Sunday, December 23, 2012

you better watch out!

"Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." 1 Peter 5:8

There is someone out there trying to steal your joy.  Has he succeeded?  It's a daily battle for me, and some days i really take a beating.  CHRISTmas has to be one of his favorite and most successful times to frustrate and short circuit believers. Take a look around -- or maybe take a look in the mirror.  Everyone is in a frantic hurry and scribbling to-do-lists.  If you are stressed about CHRISTmas, your focused is in the wrong direction.

I want to pray for you now.  I pray you stop and find a few quiet moments to remember the reason for CHRISTmas.  Remember the gift that can't be topped and the One who gave it to you.  God's gift of salvation lasts a lifetime.

Let's pray to our Father, listen to some joyous CHRISTmas music, read His Word... or, at least stop and whisper a breath of thanks. But what ever you do, don't feed that lion!

have a blessed-filled day!

Friday, December 21, 2012

have you heard?

As many leave school for CHRISTmas Holy-day, i pray you are filled with the love, joy, and peace our Father intends for you.  If you need a little help, try putting the melody of songs below in your heart. And speaking of heart, know you are in mine…. but more importantly His.

You better watch out
You better not cry
Better not pout
I'm telling you why
Jesus Christ is all around.

He's making a list
And checking it twice;
Gonna find out Who's naughty and nice
Jesus Christ is all around.

He sees you when you're sleeping
He knows when you're awake
He knows if you've been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake!
O! You better watch out!
You better not cry
Better not pout
I'm telling you why
Jesus Christ is all around.

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests." Luke 2:14

Do you hear what i hear?  Good News can be found!
Angels we have heard on high exclaim, " Jesus is coming to town!"
Come all ye faithful, be filled with His joy and love,
A silent, holy night will then give you His Peace from above.

Deck the halls, we have reason to shout!
Christ the LORD has risen! let there be no doubt.
Oh, Christmas tree, oh, Christmas tree, your beauty i see,
is about celebrating what Jesus did for you and me.

So, you better not cry, you better not pout,
Hark! the herald angels still sing it out,
"Joy to the world, the Lord has come!"
Have yourself a merry 'lil Christmas... each and every one!

have a joy-filled day and a glorious Merry CHRISTmas!
Happily His and grateful to be your sister-in-Christ, veneal

Thursday, December 20, 2012

are you wise?

"Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him."  Matthew 2:1‑2 

And wise men/women still seek Him.

have a Peace‑filled day!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

do you hear what i hear?

"And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." Luke 2:6-12

He didn't like CHRISTmas, and why should he?  He had never had a tree nor presents -- there were no good memories.  All he knew about CHRISTmas was what the world told him and what he saw around him.  So when asked to write about CHRISTmas memories, he couldn't.  Sensing his emptiness, Mrs. Wesley told him about CHRISTmas, the true CHRISTmas.  He had never heard it, but now he has... and hope is possible where there once was darkness.

If you are stressed, disheartened, discouraged,maybe you need to hear the real CHRISTmas story, again.  Escape the make believe and usher in Truth and Peace -- then we can celebrate no matter what the circumstances around us are.  For God gave His Son for us to have eternal life... isn't that enough?  If we need to give anything to others, may it be the sharing of Him.

"Hark" the herald angels sings. Glory to the newborn King,

Peace on earth, and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled;

Joyful all ye nations rise, Join the triumph of the skies;

With angelic host proclaim, Christ is born in Bethlehem,

Hark! The herald angels sing, Glory to the newborn King!

May your CHRISTmas be filled with love, joy, peace, laughter, and mostly with Him!

I love you all, veneal

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

a Mighty Word - FAITH

"Against ALL hope Abraham in hope believed... 
he was strengthen in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what He had promised.... The words "it was credited to him" were written NOT for him alone, but ALSO FOR US to whom God will credit righteousness -- for us who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.  He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to LIFE for our justification." Romans 5:18-25

Jesus said... "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they (you) may have life, and have it to the full." John 10:10

Hallelujah! Hallelujah!  Have the faith of Abraham and believe Jesus, and your joy for CHRISTmas will overflow to many!

have a faith-filled day!

Monday, December 17, 2012

angels are singing...

As i prepared for school Monday morning, many questions filled my head... How would it feel walking through the doors? Would the students look different in my eyes? Would there be chatter and laughter, or silence? Would some be absent? 

And then the deeper questions... Why?? How could this happen? Where were you, God?
Questions, no person can answer. Answers, no reasonable person can fathom.  So, where can we turn for sanity and peace? For me, at such times, the only consolation possible comes from our Father. Just listen to His Words...

"Jesus wept." John 11:35
The Lord says..."at the time it happens, I am there." Isaiah  48:16
"Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord." 2 Corinthians 5:6

In other words, Jesus cries with us.  He knows and understands all our sufferings.  We are never alone... not for a day, not for an hour, not for a second.  And one day, in the blink of an eye, we will see and be with Him.

Jesus said... "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33
"There will be terrible times in the last days.  People will be... boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, without love,without self-control..." 2 Timothy 3:1-4 
"You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world." 1 John 4:4

In other words, Satan is active in our world. He knows his days are numbered and is furiously working to snuff out God; but God's victory is guaranteed.

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28
Jesus said... "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creations. " Mark 16:14
"God our Savior, wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth." 1 Timothy 2:3

In other words, God can and will use everything, good and bad, to fulfill His purpose - growing His Kingdom.  He desires for all of us to spend eternity with Him and not in the darkness of hell. Death is a fact, the only question is the destination.

"The Spirit helps us in our weakness.  We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express." Romans 8:26
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God." 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

In other words, God who comforts us, helps us comfort others.

"And the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid.  I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:10-11

In other words, CHRISTmas is upon us and we today, more than ever, have reason to celebrate the true meaning of CHRISTmas. Because of Jesus' birth, death and resurrection, we have the gift of eternal life.  And in the face of tragedy and pain, this grace and mercy of our God restores hope and peace to broken lives.  

Thank You, Father, for the only gift i truly want... Jesus, my Savior.  He has the power to mend the heart, while the angels sing, " Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and goodwill to men."

have a comfort-filled day and celebrate CHRISTmas... joy is there!

Friday, December 14, 2012

do you have room?

"(Mary) wrapped (the baby) in cloths and placed Him in a manager, because there was no room for them in the inn.”  Luke 2:7

What about now?  Do you have room for Him in the inn

in  your heart
in  your day
in  your thoughts
in  your actions
in  your plans
in  your prayers

Don’t let Him get crowded out due to stress, busyness,commercialism, shopping and other added demands of the season.  His Presence in us needs to be one of permanent residence at all times, especially now.  

Wrap Him securely and tightly in your heart and place Him actively out in your life for all to witness.  Make room for Him in all you do and say, and the true joy and peace of the season will be yours and radiant out to others.  And what better gift to share than Him?  Jesus is the Gift that keeps on giving and giving and giving.

Have a Presence-filled day!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

a Mighty Word - faith

"But the angel said to her, 'Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.  You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus'...
'How will this be,' Mary asked, 'since I am a virgin?'
The angel answered... 'nothing is impossible with God.'
'I am the Lord's servant,' Mary answered.  'May it be to me as you have said.'"  Luke 1:29-31, 34, 37-38

Faith - believing God for the good, even in the face of adversity.

Now, talking about faith… Mary had it.  Father, i want to be filled with the faith of Mary.

have a faith-filled day!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

do you have fragile decorations?

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ." Ephesians 1:3

Last year's decorations had been quickly packed, stored and stuffed in the attic.  It was good enough for most items, but not the glass CHRISTmas bell.  It was totally shattered.  Better wrapping could have saved it. 

How is your CHRISTmas season coming?

Shattered bells, shattered lives ~ and CHRISTmas still comes. It's near impossible to live 365 days without changes.  Marriages, deaths, loss of income, sickness, births and other things happen. Some for the better, some not - as least through our eyes.  During trials, i struggle, as my eyes shift down on me and not up to Him.

Father, there are times i am crushed by the world around me.  Life can be hard, unpredictable and mean.  And when i tackle it, without You, i shatter like glass.  I need to be completely wrapped, protected and covered in Your Love, Wisdom and Will.  Oh, how thankful  i am for the wonderful CHRISTmas season!  During this time, no matter what has happened the past 365 days, i am reminded and brought back to what really matters... You and Your unconditional Love.  Thank You for my Savior!

have a celebration-filled day!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

a Mighty Word - give

"Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."  2 Corinthians 9:7 

To those in need, may we give freely and gladly.  Surely, this will put a smile on our Father's face and joy in our heart.

Monday, December 10, 2012

where is He??

"Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!" 2 Corinthians 9:15

"Where is he?!" "Have you seen him?!" "Can you help us find him?!"

Mrs. Anderson's class was on a mission and filled with excitement.  The gingerbread man had escaped their room; fortunately, he had left them a clue.  They followed the clue, only to find another.  And that clue led them to yet another.  As i watched them on their quest, their spirits were not damped  by the continuous journey, and their anticipation only mounted with each clue found.  They stayed focused on the path he set for them, and soon to their delight the gingerbread man was recovered.

What have you been hunting for this season? A special gift, unique gadget, five minutes of peace?  For me, it's been baby Jesus' to give as reminders of the reason for CHRISTmas.  As i searched the stores, i came up empty handed. I had ignored the clues and looked in all the wrong places.  He is not in the stores, but in our heart.  

When we accept Jesus as our Savior, we asked Him into our heart... right?  He is still there, but unfortunately we cover Him up with others priorities during His season and tuck Him in a corner.  So, i have no gift for you, just this reminder of where the greatest gift of all is. Here's your clue... Jesus said, "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with ALL your heart".  Let's stay on the right path by following this clue. There is no greater joy than finding and being with Him.  If you need more clues, see His Word... it's loaded.

So, let's say is again... "Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

Know it, believe it, live it... and be filled with Him always.

have a Jesus-filled day!