First Sunday In Advent

Hope.pngToday is the first Sunday of Advent, so we light the first candle on our Advent wreath: the candle of Hope. Twenty-five centuries ago, in a time not much different than our own, when the Israelites had little hope for the future of their country or their people, the Jewish prophets called to God to come to the people and make thing right. They told the people and us that a messiah would come as a new hope in the midst of suffering. Their prayers were answered with the birth of Jesus, also called Emmanuel, a Hebrew word which means, “God is with us.” Today begins our Advent journey of waiting for the birth of the one who is called the Light of the World and the Hope of the Nations. As we light the candle of Hope we give thanks for the prophets of today who dare to speak words of hope for liberation who say “No” to the evil in the world, and who call us to overcome our comfortable fears so we may let go of faulty ways of thinking and doing and explore new realms of unimagined visions of how things could be.

Prayer: So many in our world, Holy God, have lost or put their hope in false promises. Sometimes it feels you aren’t with us but are far, far way. We pray that you come into our world again. Be Emmanuel for us so we may notice where you are already present. Enter our hearts to see in new ways the creative power of hope. Help us live into your hope so we may be your light shining in the dark places of our world. We pray this in the name of the one who was born in Bethlehem and whose return we await.  Amen

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

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Give Thanks To The Lord

1 Chronicles 16.pngGive thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. Cry out, “Save Us. God our Savior; gather us and deliver us from the nations that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise.” Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting.                                         1 Chronicles 16:35-36

Every time that we give thanks to God, we acknowledge that he is our Lord and Savior, our provider. And every time we receive with thanksgiving, we demonstrate our kinship with him. Yet even through we are his children, and we know we are supposed to give thanks in all circumstances, sometimes our words ring hollow. We say them without feeling the least bit thankful. It’s especially hard for us to be grateful in the midst of a bad day, when everything seems to be going wrong. God knows what goes on in our heart far better than we do. He knows when we feel thankful, and when we don’t. However, he can see in the depths of our hearts a desire to please him by offering thanks even when we don’t feel like it. When we struggle to be grateful, we need to stop and remember who God is the “Great I Am” of our life and of our faith. We are utterly dependent on God for everything, including our next breath. Every good gift is from God! When we thank God during a difficult day, we are assuming the proper stance for a child of God. If we are preserve in this thankfulness, resisting the temptation to grumble, we can find joy and praise in the midst of all of our struggles,

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Giving Thanks

1 Chronicles 16.pngLet the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let them say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!” Let the sea resound and all that is in it; let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them! Let the trees of the forest sing, let them sing for joy before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, his love endures forever. Cry out, “Save us, God our Savior, gather is and deliver us from the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name, and glory in your praise.” Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Then all the people said, “Amen” and “Praise the Lord.”                                                       1 Chronicles 16:31-36

Every time you and I take the time to thank the Lord, we acknowledge that he is our Lord and Provider. And every time you receive with thanksgiving, we demonstrate our kinship with God.  Yet even thro we are his children and we know we are suppose to give thanks in all circumstances, sometimes our words ring hollow. We can say them without feeling the least bit thankful. It’s especially hard for either you or me to be grateful in the midst of a difficult time in our lives, when everything seems to be going wrong. God knows what goes on in our hearts far better than we do. He knows when we feel thankful, and when we don’t. However, God can also see in the depths of our heart, a desire to please him by offering thanks even when we truly don’t feel like it. When we struggle to be grateful, we need to stop and remember who he is God, our Creator, and the “Great I Am”, and he is the author of our lives and of our faith. We are utterly dependent on him for everything, including our next breath. Every good gift comes from above. When we thank God during a difficult day or a period in our lives, we are assuming the proper stance for a child of God. If we persevere in this thankfulness, resisting the temptation to grumble, we can find joy and peace in the midst of our struggles.

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

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

Keeping Faith

Romans 4.pngTherefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s off-spring-not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. As it is written: I have made you a father of many nations. He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed-the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not. Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him. So shall your offspring be. Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead-since he was about a hundred years old-and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief, regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.        Romans 4:10-21

It is always quiet easy to have faith when things are going our way and everything seems to being smelling like a rose. But, the question to you is this! how is your faith when life seems to be falling down all around you. No matter how hard you maybe trying, at times things seems to go from bad to worst and that is when your faith or even mine is being tested. As we read above in the book of Romans, we read about Abraham a man of great faith, he truly believed that God would do for him what he had promise, which is for him and his wife Sarah to become parents even being quiet old, and that he would become the father of many nations, and Abraham believe and it came to past. What is faith, faith is believing in God, trusting him for he knows what is best for all of his children. To have great faith like Abraham or any of the prophets we need to practice at it each and everyday. The different ways to practice that faith is to continue to study the Word of God, having a prayer life with our Creator, and being a part of a community of other believers.  When things become hard for you and even for me our faith can with stand the test of faith, and knowing that God will give us the strength to continue to move forward in our faith journey.

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Seek God Always

1 Chronicles 16.jpgGive 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. Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced, you his servants, the descendants of Israel, his chosen ones, the children of Jacob. He is the Lord your God; his judgments in all the earth.

(1 Chronicles 16:8-14)

The book of 1 Chronicles which is from the Old Testament and opens with the most genealogical record in the Bible, and then adds many incidents from the life of David. It was written for the exiles who had return to Israel after the Babylonian captivity. It’s purpose was to remind them they were from the royal line of David and that they were God’s chosen people.

Did you know that you and I are God’s chosen people, isn’t that amazing to hear, that you are not a nobody you are someone that God has already chosen even long before you were born or hear about who God is!  This is what we as Methodist call Prevenient Grace: the Grace that comes to us before we know God-the porch before we enter into a house. God showers it upon all people whether they are aware of it or not. Through prevenient grace, God takes the initiative in beginning a relationship with us. Prevenient grace is God’s way of showing us that no matter who we are or where we are, God is already there ahead of us, waiting for us. God’s prevenient grace precedes us wherever we go.  As I was read and meditating on this book from the Old Testament it is telling us to seek God’s face always, not only when a need arise and we need God at that very moment in time, but to always seek God’s face. To sing your praises to God and God alone, not an human because they are never worthy of anyone praises. Remember what he has done for us. You maybe saying to yourself, what has God done for me, let me go ahead and tell you my friend. God loves us so much he sent his one and only son Jesus into this world to die for the sins of all mankind (John 3:16) Everyone good and perfect gift that you have ever receive has come from God: such as food, clothing, housing, job, family, friends and the list truly goes on for all of us. Let us remember that God has never and I mean never broken a promise to his children, I can’t say that for us, we have all broken many promises that we have made to God over the years. In spite that we continue to sin against one another and God doesn’t stop God from loving us, because he truly knows our hearts. Once you have accept his son Jesus Christ as your personal Savior forever I can tell you that Never will He leave you, nor Never will He forsake you (Hebrews 13:5) Jesus has already taken the first step long before you were born to die for you because of your sins, won’t you take the next step and ask him into your heart forever, and believe me when I tell you that you will never regret of become a Christian, a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Dear Jesus

Thank you for dying on the cross for all my sins and loving me even when I have not  love myself. I ask you into my heart to live forever, help me to become the person that you has design me to be.

In Jesus Name I Pray

Amen

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Devotional

Footprints 2.pngSo do not fear, for I am with you; do not dismayed, for I am your God, I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous hand.          Isaiah 41:10

As I spent time alone today with God I began to think of these words from Isaiah. Isaiah was a prophet from the Old Testament and he was known as the most eloquent of the prophets, analyzed the failures of all the nations around him and pointed to a future Messiah who would bring peace to the national and to the earth. As I re-read these words today I remember and reflect that I am not alone, for wherever I go or whatever I may do I know God is with me. There are a lot of things I simply do not understand of why things may happen to me in my life, or where in the world will I ever get the strength to see a problem thru. What came to my mind in a instant was a poem, as well as a song called “Footprints in the Sand” that I would like to share with all of you.

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Did you ever had that feeling when you are going thru life day by day that something or someone walks with you, well my friend there is and his name is Jesus. He promise once we have accepted him as our own personal Lord and Savior he will never leave or forsake us, and believe me he won’t.  Jesus understand your disappointments, your loneliness, your fear, your anxiety and so much more because Jesus loves all of his children and my friend You are His Child.

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friend