Saint Nicholas

St Nichloas.pngToday I would like to share with you the true story of the Christmas Legend which was written by Julie Steigemeyer. Nicholas who was a Bishop and lived in the fourth century. A Bishop of Myra, a city in Lycia. Asia Minor what is modern day Turkey. The region is situated on the Mediterranean Sea across from Greece. The people of Myra had already heard the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ before Nicholas came to serve them. The Apostle Paul had traveled there on his mission journey, the visit is recorded in Acts 27:5-6. As a Christian, Nicholas suffered persecution under the Roman Empe4ror Diocletian and was imprisoned until the Constantine came into power and showed tolerance to Christians. Tales of Nicholas’s generosity were widespread, and he became patron saint of Russia. In Europe, he was knows as Father Christmas, and in America, Santa Claus. Legends about his home at the North Pole, flying reindeer, and distributing gifts all over the world on Christmas Eve was created to enhance his story, but his generosity is based in historical fact.  The story of his supplying the dowries for the three girls is believed to be factual. Nicholas’s feast day (the day he died) is December 6th. Many families observe St. Nicholas by having the children in the home place their shoes by the door when they go to bed the night before. When they awaken on the morning of December 6, their shoes are filled with bags of gold foil-wrapped chocolate coins that were secretly placed their during the night. The significance of Nicholas for us today is that his response to God’s great love for us in Jesus was to care for other people. His kindness and care for children are modeled every time we give a gift out of love.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

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I Seek Your Face

Psalm 105.pngGive Praise to the Lord, proclaim his name, make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to him, sing praise to him, tell of all his wonderful acts. Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. Look to the Lord and his strength, seek his face always.                                                  Psalm 105:1-4

I do not feel guilty Lord spending each day alone with you, I do not want to share this time with anyone but you, because I seek your face. I am simply responding to the tugs of divinity within me. You made me in your imagine Lord and you have hidden heaven within my heart. Much of this world is actually longing for the perfection of heaven. Sin is often a misguided attempt to fill the emptiness created by that longing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of so many of the unbelievers so that they search for heaven in all the wrong places. However, even great sinners such as myself Lord can be transformed into exceptional Christians when I have turn my passionate towards you Lord. Your love and forgiveness satisfy my soul-hunger as nothing else can, so it is good that I continue to yearn for you. I was never designed to find total satisfaction in the here and now, because I was created in Your imagine. I come to worship you for you are worthy of my praise, your name is Holy because it represents you Lord and that is who you are. I bow down and look unto the ground, since I am a sinner I feel unworthy to look into your face. However Jesus your name is above every name here on earth and in heaven that I bow to give you all the honor and glory because of your love for me. My soul dances and I sing for joy for you are the “Great I Am” the one who simply loves me because I am your child, I am the daughter of the Most high King which is Jesus Christ. So each day my soul simply longs for that time that I can run and hide and spend as much time as possible alone with you, and holding onto every word you place upon my heart to remember. And when this world of craziness seems more than I can handle, I will always remember I have a loving Savior where I can always run to and simply hide myself in thee, and “Seek Your Face.”

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Being A Witness for Christ

Acts 1.jpgThe book of Acts continues the history of Jesus’ followers in the period after Jesus’ ascension. Peter and Paul soon emerged as leaders of the rapidly growing church, which flourished and spread despite, and sometimes because of persecution of Jewish leaders and Roman authorities. These followers of Jesus at this time didn’t look like a leader did they, they never had an high school education and never went to college, which in fact never exist at that time. However, in spite of their short comings they seem to have God still use each of them to do mighty work for his kingdom. If we take a moment to think about it where were these same disciples on the night Jesus was be trade. When Jesus was in the garden to pray to God for strength they were asleep, after he was arrested they all seem to disappeared. Peter that night be trade his friend, his master not just once but three times, and when he was crucified where did most of these men go to, where they at the foot of the cross as Jesus was dying. After dying on the cross his body was laid in the tomb and for awhile the disciples all were in hiding. But six weeks later their lives all change in the upper room on Pentecost, as the Holy Spirt came upon all of Jesus disciples and other followers as well, their lives would never be the same. The same thing goes for us, once we accepted Jesus into our own lives we begin to change, and we too will never be the same again. As Max Lucado tells us in his book “Out Live Your Life”

You hillbillies will be my witness, You uneducated and simple folk will be my witness, You who once called me crazy, who shouted at me in the boat doubted me in the Upper Room.  You temperamental, parochial net casters and tax collectors, You will be my witness. You will spearhead a movement that will explode like a just-opened fire hydrant of Jerusalem and spill into the ends of the earth, into the streets of Paris, the districts of Rome, and the ports of Athens, Istanbul, Shanghai, and Buenos Aires. You will be a part of something so mighty, controversial, and head spinning that two millennia from now a middle-age redheaded author riding in the exit row of a flight from Boston to Dallas will type this question on his laptop?

Does Jesus still do it?

Does he use simple folks like you and me to change the world? We suffer from such ordinariness and my answer besides what is written in this book by Max Lucado, is yes Jesus still does use ordinary simply folks like us to share the good news of the Gospel. As long as you and I have the willing heart to serve Christ he will use us, to tell other about the “Great I Am” To tell all that their is nothing that you or I could ever do so horrible that is love cannot penetrate it.  Just open up to the book of Romans 8:38-39 to read the following words, by Paul the Apostle: For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. When we come to know this kind of love we want to shout it from the mountain top and pass it on to all and I mean all who will listen, and my friend some will and some won’t listen to what you need to share with them, but that is okay we simply plant the seed of God’s love into their hearts and we allow God to do what God does best allow it to take root and grow. The words to a hymn that I have personally sung many times by Dan Schutte: Here I am Lord, Is it I, Lord? I have heard you calling in the night, I will go, Lord, if you lead me, I will hold your people in my heart. Beautiful words, God has been calling in the night, are you willing to witness to others what he has done and how much he loves you and all of his children, I am willing to go as he leads me down the road. Will you?

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends