A Season to Change

Isaiah 11.pngA shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him, the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord and he will delight in the fear of the Lord. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; but with the righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give with justice he will give decision for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist. The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.        Isaiah 11:1-5                          I will baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, who sandals, I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirt.                                              Matthew 3:11

Once again, we have entered into the season of advent, anticipating the birth of Jesus and hoping that soon very soon that the promise of peace on earth would become true, but can we change our own lives if not the world. As we stop and look into the manager of a tiny little baby perhaps we can say to ourselves what does this all mean. We can pick up a newspaper, watch the television to take notice and to say where is this peace on earth? So much violence in our world and at times so much hate, where is this love that people seems to be talking about especially that we seem to hear it more during this season. As we begin to prepared for this season in many ways such as baking with our children or grandchildren, going shopping in a crowded mall where at times people can be a little crazy, okay you may be thinking they can be nuts at times, the beautiful lights we all see, and the music that is playing on our car radio, and even the movies on television which reminds all of us this season. I personally love the smell of a fresh Christmas tree in my home, which reminds me of the season. Are all the different traditions that we have in our own families does this tell others and also us that we are ready to make a change in our own lives? Are we showing others of what we do or say that we are followers of Jesus, we are his disciples. Even thro this is a beautiful season there are so many people who are hurting this time of year and need to hear about the hope we have in Jesus. Christmas is a profoundly beautiful season, but for some it also highlights the losses, griefs, and heartbreaks in their lives. In Isaiah 11, the prophet Isaiah speaks of a ruler who would be a descendant of Jesse. Jesse was the father of ancient Israel’s great King David. This descendant would rule with true justice and true faith, and he would establish true peace. This peace would be so great that even wild animals would be able to lie down next to one another and even a child will lead them. This descendant would also become a standard for people throughout the world. And, this descendant would be sought by people throughout the world. As Isaiah talks about this future King, he is telling us that he will be able to look into the hearts of people and judge based on the truth. The poor and oppressed will find a champion in him. This ruler to come will stand for justice and will impose punishment of evildoers. This King will not be clothed in royal purple or anything so fancy, his garments will be righteousness and faithfulness. As we heard from the gospel of Matthew we come to learn that John the Baptize was the one to prepared the way of the coming of the Lord. In most households when someone says, “Company’s coming! Everyone works and clean up the entire house in preparation of their guest. The gospel of Matthew has John proclaiming, “Messiah is coming! But do not go and clean up your house. Instead, mend your heart! Clear your lives of any obstacle that would hinder his coming.” Housework requires the right tools to use. The type of tools John has in mind are repentance and baptism. Repentance comes from the Greek word metanoia, which means change of mind, to change one’s life completely. Repentance is like driving down the wrong road, then turning around and going in the opposite direction. Baptism is the symbol that one has repented and been cleansed of sin. This was important to John’s ministry that he became known as John the Baptizer. How do we, as followers of Jesus Christ, return the purpose of Christmas to the focus of Jesus? How do we prepare for his birth and for the second coming, it is not by having parties, decorating our houses, and giving gifts wrapped in fancy paper, but instead by giving ourselves anew over to the way of Christ? I suppose giving ourselves over to Jesus Christ begins with God’s gift of grace to us. It is something we feel inside. Some call it a moment of conversion. Others call it baptism by the Holy Spirit. John Wesley the founder of Methodist called it assurance. Maybe during the season of Advent, we could call it the Spirit of Christ coming into our hearts. But whatever we call it, we will know when it happens to us, because it does cause us to confess our sins and turn ourselves away, over and over, from the trappings of this world so that we can reorient ourselves back toward Christ.

Grace and Peace yo You My Friends

 

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Thankfulness

James 1.pngEvery good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change life shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of all he created.   James 1:17-18

This week we will be celebrating Thanksgiving here in America are we can take the time to remember the history behind the first Thanksgiving celebrate with the Pilgrims and Indians years ago. However, as you think of that time we learn in school do you also take the time to celebrate the many blessings that comes from our Heavenly Father, our Creator, the “Great I Am” I truly believe that too many times we as humans take for granted our blessings that we do have. Take the time to take a walk to see all the beauty that our land has to offer, the beauty that God has created for all of to enjoy. Everything that we have, everything that we own truly are God’s bless to all of his children. Try to think for a moment just imagine you standing in the presence of God, the “Great I Am” the Alpha and Omega, our Creator. His very name at times my soul shakes because I am unworthy to look into his eyes because I am a sinner. I am standing in His presence and I take my shoes off because I am standing on Holy Ground with My Great Redeemer. I can hardly breathe or simply say a word for I am totally amaze as I look into his eyes. His love for me his child, can I simply and honestly  put it into words within my heart, what I am truly feeling at this very moment at this very second.  I stand in the presence of the “Great I Am”, in His embrace, I loose all sense of time and all my problems I may have brought to him in this place as all but disappear for I am in His presence. Whenever I feel tempted to grumble I will simply go to you and simply talk it over with you. As I open up to you my Lord, give me your peace to calm my spirit down, so that all the cares of the world simply fall away. Help me to trust you by opening up to you each and everyday. I can’t wait until I become so discourage I just need to come to you with all of my concerns. As I talk it over with you, I will remember to thank you for all that you have done, for all the prayers that have been answered and the ones that will be answer in your time. My gratitude will provide a helpful framework for the things that concerns me. As you and I talk about everything, I think of looking into your face with all of its beauty and amazing light and my worries simply disappear forever. When I spend this time with you my Lord I will come away with joy and peace spending the time with you and this world that I have come to know can never rob me of that anymore.

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Treasures in Heaven

Matthew 6a.pngDo not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be. The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you us darkness, how great is that darkness! No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

Matthew 6:19-24

These words come to us from Jesus himself, and it reminds us what we should be focusing on everyday. Too many times we get caught up with making money, and more and more, why because we want the bigger homes, cars, fancy vacations and simply we just want to hold on to whatever we can. In the midst of it all we begin to worship an idol which is call the idol of money. Many might be saying is that so bad and my answer to you is yes it is. If you go back to the book of Exodus which is in the Old Testament in the twenty chapter the second commandment from God to his people which is you and me is this, You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments. There is a difference in working to take care of yourself and support your family and becoming a workaholic, because everything you see, you what and you will do anything to get it. Jesus is telling his followers of then and us now that we need to first Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you, it is also a children song that we teach the children in Sunday School or during Vacation Bible School.             Seek Ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. Alleluia,  Ask, and it shall be given unto you, seek and ye shall find, knock and the door shall be opened unto you. Alleluia. We need to remind ourselves each day that God already knows what our needs are even our wants, however we need to seek him and trust he will take care of his children, that is what a parent lovely does for his children. Remember the more stuff that any of us have does not mean we will be happier when we get them. You are created in God’s imagine and we need to have a Walk with God to come to know and love him for who he is, and then we will come to have true happiness that money or stuff can not buy us.

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

You Can Not Hide From God

Psalm 139.jpgYou have searched me, Lord and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is a light to you. For you created in my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, “God!” How vast is the sum of them! Where I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand–when I awake, I am still with you. If only you, God would slay the wicked! Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty! They speak of you with evil intent, your adversaries misuse your name. Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord, and abhor those who are in rebellion against you? I have nothing but hatred for them, I count them my enemies. Search me, God, and know my heart, test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.                                     (Psalm 139:1-24)

These are wonderful words from the book of Psalm, we can read them many times to realize that we can never run away from God. There is no sin so horrible where his love cannot reach us no matter how are we may try. Jesus is Immanuel which means God is with us, and who is an ever present help in times of trouble. No matter what happens, Jesus is sufficient to provide whatever we need. Jesus is my Rock and Redeemer, the one I need no matter who maybe around me. There have been many times in my life where my pain has been so deep from others, however you Lord understand what I am going thru. When others seems to say things that are untrue, your love blankets me, and I know that I am safe from harm with the everlasting love of Jesus. You know me and you know my heart from within, search me to see if there is anything that should not be within me, so that I can continue to keep you closer to my than my own breath. May I Worship the one True God only the “Great I Am” the one whose love is unchanging from day to day.  My Lord it is better one day in your counts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked. (Psalm 85:10) These words from the book of Psalm as also my words Oh Lord! my prayer is that I continue to walk humbly with my God and My redeemer, now and forever.

Amen

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Praise the Lord

Habakkuk.1As I had my time alone with God I once again came across the book of Habakkuk which is in the Old Testament, where this book ends with Habakkuk’s prayer of praise. Through the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, through the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, through there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in God my Savior.                    Habakkuk 3:17-18

To Praise our God, the God of Creation the Great I Am during the difficulties that we are facing is never an easy thing to do, however, it is the only right thing to do. You probably saying to yourselves boy is this person a little crazy. When I go thru many storms I try to do this one thing to Turn My Eyes Upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace. During my own storms in life when I stop and sing or say these words the focus immediately goes to Jesus and not the problems. I remember how much I am loved, how I am a child of the Most High King, and remember the words that the Apostle Paul had written in the book of Ephesians 2:4-5 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved.

Does God Cares

Ephesians 3.pngThru many tears and searching scriptures many times, is the same old question we seem to be saying does God really care. We at times seem to say does God hear me when I cry myself to sleep, or the frustration I seem to carry inside of me of wondering about this months bills, Does He care when I see the pain in the eyes of my child when the doctors don’t seem to know how to be able to treat her, or does he even care when someone hurts you so deep within your soul, and you simply and truly don’t understand. Does God cares when others treat his world so terribly and where too many people hate, and we all wondering where is this peace on earth we hear so much of.  Let me share with all of you YES GOD CARES! He understand your pain as well as mine, he watch his son being beaten and crucified to die for our sins. If we look into the old testament to Isaiah 41:10 it says: So do not fear, for I am with you, do not be dismayed, for I am your God, I will strength you and help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. I recently read here on the internet about a little girl who’s dog had died, just read the following

Our 14-year-old dog Abbey died last month. The day after she passed away my 4-year-old daughter Meredith was crying and talking about how much she missed Abbey. She asked if we could write a letter to God so that when Abbey got to heaven, God would recognize her. I told her that I thought we could so, and she dictated these words:

Dear God,

Will you please take care of my dog? She died yesterday and is with you in heaven. I miss her very much. I am happy that you let me have her as my dog even though she got sick. I hope you will play with her. She likes to swim and play with balls. I am sending a picture of her so when you see her you will know that she is my dog. I really miss her.

Love, Meredith

We put the letter in an envelope with a picture of Abbey and Meredith and addressed it to God/Heaven. We put our return address on it. Then Meredith pasted several stamps on the front of the envelope because she said it would take lots of stamps to get the letter all the way to heaven. That afternoon she dropped it into the letter box at the post office. A few days later, she asked if God had gotten the letter yet. I told her that I thought He had.

Yesterday, there was a package wrapped in gold paper on our front porch addressed: “To Meredith” in an unfamiliar hand. Meredith opened it. Inside was a book by Mr. Rogers called, ‘When a Pet Dies.’ Taped to the inside front cover was the letter we had written to God in its opened envelope. On the opposite page was the picture of Abbey & Meredith and this note:

Dear Meredith,

Abbey arrived safely in heaven. Having the picture was a big help and I recognized her right away. Abbey isn’t sick anymore. Her spirit is here with me just like it stays in your heart. Abbey loved being your dog. Since we don’t need our bodies in heaven, I don’t have any pockets to keep your picture in so I am sending it back to you in this little book for you to keep and have something to remember Abbey by.

Thank you for the beautiful letter and Thank your Mother for helping you write it and sending it to me. What a wonderful mother you have!!!

I picked her especially for you. I send my blessings every day and Remember that I Love You Very Much. By the way, I’m easy to find.

I AM WHEREVER THERE IS LOVE!!!

With Much Love … ❤ GOD ❤

Don’t Say You’re Too Busy To Share This …

Just Go Ahead And “DO IT”!!!

🙂 “MAY GOD BLESS YOUR LIFE ALSO”!!! 🙂

As I read this letter from a mom and her little girl it brought tears to my eyes while reading it, because all through out scriptures we can see how much God truly cares for his children, I do hope that you enjoy reading it.

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends