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Thursday, December 31, 2015

6 great ideas to start the New Year.

Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Congratulations on finishing another year! As we enter the New Year it’s a fresh slate for everyone, a reminder of God’s grace and forgiveness. If you’re tired of penning a list of resolutions but never seeing them fulfilled it’s not too late. Borrow these six powerful, yet simple resolution ideas and take off running into the New Year!

1.  I will love more. Instead of focusing on losing weight or exercising, ask God to help you love more. That’s a worthy resolution.

2.  Commit to seeing people saved. Get back to the basics this year. Resist the urge to nest over your chicks — go find that lost sheep. Ask God for a specific number of souls each month, steadily increasing your goal every month or quarter.

3.  Enable others by using the gifts God gave you.  As a Christian, part of our mandate is to reach and teach others.

4.  Keep it simple. Instead of making things complicated keep everything as simple as possible. Don’t do so much that you and everyone else is confused.

5.  Believe God. He can tell you some incredible things like “You are a deliverer,” or “You will preach my Word.” I think sometimes that God backs away from telling us His amazing plans because He sees our disbelief. Other times, He challenges our thinking with some bold statements. This year, commit to believing God in everything He declares.

6.  Be prepared. Be prepared well in advance of the class you are teaching or for your meeting you are attending. What a difference it makes to walk in ready to go. Now that’s powerful!

Dear Lord, we thank You for the New Year that You have given to us. We pray that we would do the things that You have planned for us. In The Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Wednesday, December 30, 2015


1 Corinthians 2:2  (ESV)
For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.

At the beginning of a new year, it is traditional that we make resolutions.  Resolutions are promises concerning things that we will try to accomplish in the year to come.  Usually, they have to do with losing weight or something such as that.  I read a list of resolutions that I want to share with you today.  I believe that they are resolutions that will help to insure that we will have a happy and prosperous New Year.

In the New Year, be sure to  LIE, CHEAT, DRINK, SWEAR and STEAL more than you did last year.

*LIE back and relax just a little more this new year.  Let a little more life happen to you without so much worry.

*CHEAT  failure.  Don't be afraid to try something new because you think you may fail.  It is through failure that we   learn the most valuable lessons.

*DRINK from the fountain of knowledge.  Many people around you have already been down roads you are about to travel.  Learn from mistakes they have made.  Take what they have learned and use it.

*SWEAR to do your best.  All the time, in every situation.  That is all anybody will ever ask.

 *STEAL  a little time for God.  Everyday take a little more time to develop your relationship with God.

So, if you lie, cheat, drink, swear and steal just a little more in the next year, you will have a profitable and enjoyable year ahead!  God bless you in 2016!

Dear Lord, help us to live the New Year in a way that will be pleasing to You.  In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Hunger for the Lord in the New Year

Deuteronomy 8:3  (ESV)
And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.

Please consider the following two scenarios:

Scenario 1: You have snacked all day and you feel like you have just swallowed a whale. The thought of food makes you totally nauseous, but you've been invited to a banquet.

Scenario 2: You had a rough day at work. You got away from home without breakfast, and once at work, you were so busy that you didn't have time to eat lunch either. You feel completely depleted of energy. When you finally arrive home it is 8 P.M. You smell something yummy. Your beloved spouse has prepared a simple meal just for you.

Which scenario would be the most appealing to you?

The hungry will be satisfied, but what about those who have never experienced hunger? Do they truly know what "satisfied" means? What about those who are completely devoid of spiritual hunger? Is it any wonder that most Pharisees and Sadducees could not tolerate Jesus' presence?

What if we think we have it made in every aspect of our lives? We may think we are completely filled, but maybe, just maybe, we have been nourished by inferior nutrients, ones that make us feel full, but also blind us from our real condition.

If we don't have a natural hunger for God, we will miss the boat! If we want to truly feel "satisfied", hunger is a necessity!

Are we truly hungry?

The hungry will be satisfied. May we enter this New Year with a hunger for God. Only then will we be become truly "satisfied". May this be our New Year's resolution.

Dear Lord, help us as we enter the New Year to have a real hunger for You. Give us the opportunity to share Your love with those around us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Thoughts of my dad and heaven.

John 14:2- 3 (ESV)

In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.

Today Ronald Lewis Yahr Sr celebrates 16 years in the presence of God almighty.  

God once made a father

his best one of them all

he was smart loving and determined

to come when his kids called

This father could be so serious

And sometimes he would get mad

but he was forgiving

when we did something bad

This father could be silly

he would tell many jokes

But many times was serious

Because of his love for God

God would give him to someone

but who would that be?

the very lucky person

turned out to be me.

You never said “I’m leaving”

You never said “goodbye”

You were gone before I knew it,

And only God knew why.

There are no words to tell you

Just how I felt inside

The shock, the hurt, the anger

Has gradually subsided

A million times I’ve need you

A million times I’be cried 

If Love alone could have saved you

You never would have died

In Life I loved you dearly

In death I love you still

In my heart you hold a place

That no one could ever fill

It broke my heart to lose you

But you didn’t go alone

For part of me went with you

The day God took you home

Things will never be the same

And all though it hurts so bad

I still smile whenever I hear your name

And will always be proud that you were my Dad.

I love you dad. Thanks for making me the husband, dad and man I am today. 

Dear Lord, we thank You for those You bring into our life to help shape and mold us into who You have planned for each of us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Are you ready for 2016?

Psalm 127:1-2 (ESV)
1 Unless the Lord builds the house,
    those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
    the watchman stays awake in vain.
2 It is in vain that you rise up early
    and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
    for he gives to his beloved sleep.
The New Year is just around the corner.

If only we had the ability to make a definite promise of something that will -- or will not – happen in the New Year.

Of course, that doesn't mean people won't try to predict what their tomorrows might hold.

Over 200 years ago, off the coast of Plymouth, England, a lighthouse was built to warn oncoming ships of the dangerous reefs. The architect of the lighthouse, a fellow by the name of Winstanley was absolutely convinced this lighthouse could survive any storm or wave that might come its way.

Indeed, Mr. Winstanley was so sure his creation could handle the future that he had these words carved on the cornerstone: "BLOW, O YE WINDS! RISE, O OCEAN! BREAK FORTH, YE ELEMENTS, AND TRY MY WORK!"

To make a long story short, the winds did blow, the oceans did rise, and the work of the lighthouse was tried.

The lighthouse was tried and found wanting. In took less than three years for it to be reduced to a pile of rubble and swept away.

Even though Winstanley's lighthouse was gone, the ships still needed a warning. John Smeaton, a Christian engineer, was asked to redesign and rebuild the light of warning. He did. And when he was finished, the cornerstone read, "Except the Lord Build the House, They Labor in Vain that Build It." For many years that lighthouse has stood every test.

Now I don't know what wind and wave will come crashing down on you us 2016. I do know this: if you try to stand on your own, trusting in your own wisdom and ability, you will go down like Winstanley's lighthouse. On the other hand, if every day of this new year is founded on the Savior who gave His life for our salvation, you will be able to stand as a witness to Jesus; you will be able to withstand the storms and waves.

Which will, my friends, make 2016 a very good year!

Dear Lord, in 2016 keep us from pride and overconfidence. Let us recognize we can only stand against the storms of life if our life is built upon Jesus. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Have you made the big switch?

2 Corinthians 5:17 (ESV)
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

He soared to the top of recording charts, but one incident changed his life's course.

Tony Fontane was a popular American recording artist during the 1940's and 1950's. Born in Michigan, he was the son of a railroad worker who had converted to Christianity and moved the family to North Dakota where he operated a mission and lived in poverty. As a result, Tony hated religion. Singing was his passion, and he eventually flourished. He even celebrated notoriety on several television shows.

But life changed on September 3, 1957. Having just finished a television rehearsal, Fontane was driving to his California home when another driver ran a red light and plowed into his sports car. Rescue workers labored for several hours before successfully extricating him. He was rushed to the hospital where he remained in a coma for 30 days.

Fontane later wrote that it was while in a coma that God appeared to him in a vision and gave him one more chance. And he took it. He switched from atheism to Christianity and began a career in gospel music where he refused to sing anything else. As a result of a lawsuit with the William Morris Agency for breach of contract, he lost everything. But he actually gained it all when he made the big switch.

And this is true for anyone who chooses Christ. This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. "The old life is gone; a new life has begun!"

My old things passed away at nine years of age-not totally in practice but completely in God's sight. He took away the old sinful nature and gave me a new one with fresh wants, desires, and ambitions. No longer am I after what I or the world offers; I simply hunger to be obedient to him. Even if it costs me everything.

What better way to begin the New Year than in a relationship with Christ. Have you made the big switch?

Dear Lord, give us the courage to choose You over anyone and anything else that comes our way in this life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas

“Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased." When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, "Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us." So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.”
Luke 2:1-20 NASB

Thursday, December 24, 2015

A Christmas Quiz

The Answer follow at the end.  Enjoy and have a  very Merry Christmas. 

1.  As long as Christmas has been celebrated, it has been on December 25th?   True or False

2.  Joseph was from:
None of the above

3.  Who insisted that Joseph and Mary go to Bethlehem?
The Angel
Mary’s mother
Caesar Augustus
Alexander the Great
no one told them to go

4.  How did Mary and Joseph travel to Bethlehem?
Joseph walked, Mary rode a donkey
Who knows?

5.  Mary and Joseph were married when Mary became pregnant?  True or False

6.  Mary and Joseph were married before Jesus was born?  True or False

7.  Mary was a virgin when she delivered Jesus?  True or False

8.  What did the innkeeper tell Mary and Joseph?
There is no room at the inn
I have a stable you can use
Come back after the Christmas rush
None of the above

9.  Jesus was delivered in a:

10.  A manger is a:
stable for domestic animals
wooden hay storage bin
feeding trough

11.  According to the Bible, which animals were present at Jesus’ birth?
cows, sheep, goats
cows, donkeys, sheep
miscellaneous barnyard animals
lions, tigers and bears
we don’t know

12.  Who saw the star in the east?
Mary and Joseph
Magi (aka Wise Men)
both shepherds and Magi
none of the above

13.  What “sign” did the angels tell the shepherds to look for?
A star over Bethlehem
A baby that doesn’t cry
A baby in a stable
A baby lying in a manger
None of the above

14.  What is a “heavenly host”?
The angel at the gate of Heaven
The angel who invites people to Heaven
An angel choir
An angel army
None of the above

15.  What did the heavenly host of angels say?
Joy to the World
Unto us a child is born
Glory to God in the highest

16.  Did the baby Jesus cry?
He never cried
He cried just like other babies
He cried when the little drummer boy banged his drum

17.  We Three Kings of Orient Are…Who were they?
Gaspar, Melchior, and Balthasar
Astrologers, Seers, Fortune tellers
Scholars from Persia
Royal Astronomers
We’re not 100% sure

18.  How many Magi came to see Jesus?
Probably less than 10
We don’t know for sure, but there were probably dozens in their entourage

19.  Where did the Magi find Jesus?
in the manger
in the stable
in an inn
in a house

20.  Which Gospels give details about Christ’s Birth so we can answer these questions and get the TRUE facts?
Matthew and Mark
Matthew and Luke
Matthew, Mark and Luke
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John

1.  False.  For the church’s first three centuries, Christmas wasn’t in December—or on the calendar at all.  If observed at all, the celebration of Christ’s birth was usually lumped in with Epiphany (January 6), one of the church’s earliest established feasts. Some church leaders even opposed the idea of a birth celebration. Origen (c.185-c.254) preached that it would be wrong to honor Christ in the same way Pharaoh and Herod were honored. Birthdays were for pagan gods.

Not all of Origen’s contemporaries agreed that Christ’s birthday shouldn’t be celebrated, and some began to speculate on the date (actual records were apparently long lost). Clement of Alexandria (c.150-c.215) favored May 20 but noted that others had argued for April 18, April 19, and May 28. Hippolytus (c.170-c.236) championed January 2. November 17, November 20, and March 25 all had backers as well. A Latin treatise written around 243 pegged March 21, because that was believed to be the date on which God created the sun. Polycarp (c.69-c.155) had followed the same line of reasoning to conclude that Christ’s birth and baptism most likely occurred on Wednesday, because the sun was created on the fourth day.

The eventual choice of December 25, made perhaps as early as 273, reflects a convergence of Origen’s concern about pagan gods and the church’s identification of God’s son with the celestial sun. December 25 already hosted two other related festivals: natalis solis invicti (the Roman “birth of the unconquered sun”), and the birthday of Mithras, the Iranian “Sun of Righteousness” whose worship was popular with Roman soldiers. The winter solstice, another celebration of the sun, fell just a few days earlier. Seeing that pagans were already exalting deities with some parallels to the true deity, church leaders decided to commandeer the date and introduce a new festival.

Western Christians first celebrated Christmas on December 25 in 336, after Emperor Constantine had declared Christianity the empire’s favored religion. Eastern churches, however, held on to January 6 as the date for Christ’s birth and his baptism.

2.  Joseph was from Bethlehem (Luke 2:4)

3.  Caesar Augustus decreed that a census be taken and all people return to their places of birth.  (Luke 2:1)

4.  Who knows?  The Bible does not say anything about a donkey.  Luke 2:4 simply tells us that Joseph and Mary went from Nazareth to Galilee.  Many biblical scholars think that because of their economic status they probably both walked but that is just speculation.

5.  False, Joseph and Mary were not married when she became pregnant.  (Luke 2:5, Matthew 1:18-25).

6.  True.  Joseph and Mary were married before she gave birth to Jesus.  (Matthew 1:24)

7.  True.  Mary was a virgin when she gave birth to Jesus.  (Matthew 1:25)  However, she did not remain a virgin after Jesus’ birth.  Scripture tells us that Jesus had brothers and sisters after He was born.  (Matthew 13:55)  Read a great article on this topic here: http://www.gotquestions.org/Jesus-siblings.html

8.  None of the above.  The Bible does not say any words spoken by the inn keeper.  In fact, Luke does not even mention an inn keeper, merely an inn and the fact that there was no room.  (Luke 2:7).  To get really specific, there is also no mention of a stable.

9.  Unknown.  Just like no words being recorded by the innkeeper, there is no mention where Mary delivered Jesus.  Matthew says Jesus was born in Bethlehem and Luke 2:7 says Mary gave birth to Him and laid him in a manger.

10.  A feeding trough for animals.  Perhaps it was this fact alone that has brought about the popular assumption that Jesus was born in a stable or barn because of a manger being close at hand to put the Baby in.  Using deductive reasoning, culture has also determined that if there is a feeding trough, there must also be animals nearby.  Countless Nativity or crèche scenes depict that as fact.  It is merely speculation and assumption.  Scripture doesn’t back up those theories in any way.

11.  We don’t know.  There is no mention of animals of any kind around Jesus after His birth.  Refer to my explanation #10.

12.  The Magi.  The star is only mentioned in conjunction with the Magi.  They told Herod they had seen the star.  (Matthew 2:2)

13.  The sign the angels told the shepherds to look for was a baby lying in a manger.  (Luke 2:12)

14.  A Heavenly Host (Hebrew Sabaoth “armies”) refers to a large angel army (Luk.2:13; Rev.19:19).

15.  “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”  (Luke 2:14)

16.   Absolutely the Baby Jesus cried!  Baby Jesus was fully human.  He cried when He was hungry, tired, wet, and in pain just like any other baby.  (Hebrews 2:14)

17.  We’re not 100% sure.  Matthew 2:1-12  reveals nothing of these visitors’ ancestry.  Over the centuries, legend has assigned them names:  Gaspar, or Casper; Melchior, and Balthasar.  Balthsar has a Persian sound.  If indeed these men were scholars from Persia, they would have been familiar with Daniel’s prophecy about the Messiah or “Anointed One.” (Daniel 9:24-27).  The designation “Magi” refers to a Persian religious caste, but when this gospel was written, the term was loosely used for astrologers, seers, and fortune tellers.  Matthew does not call them kings; that title was used later, in legends.  They may have been royal astronomers, advisers to kings.  http://christianity.about.com/od/newtestamentpeople/a/Three-Kings.htm

18.  We don’t know for sure.  The Bible does not tell us how many Magi visited Jesus.  The tradition of “3″ probably developed because they presented 3 kinds of gifts.  According to scholars the Magi’s journey probably lasted up to two years with an entourage of dozens or more people.

19.  Sorry to wreck your Nativity scenes, but the Magi were not present the night Jesus was born.  Scriptural evidence shows Jesus could have been as old as two by the time they arrived.  If that is true then Jesus, Mary, and Joseph would have been staying in a house.  (Matthew 2:11)

20.  The Gospels of Matthew and Luke give us all the details of Jesus’ Birth.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

A party for Jesus

Revelation 19:7-8 (ESV)
7 Let us rejoice and exult
    and give him the glory,
for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
    and his Bride has made herself ready;
8 it was granted her to clothe herself
    with fine linen, bright and pure”—


GUEST OF HONOR: Jesus Christ

DATE: Every day. Traditionally, December 25, but He's always around, so the date is flexible.

TIME: Whenever you're ready. Please don't be too late though, or you'll miss out on all the fun.

PLACE: In your heart. He'll meet you there--you'll hear Him knock.

ATTIRE: Come as you are. Grubbies are okay as He'll be washing our clothes anyway. He said something about new white robes and crowns for every one who stays till the last.

TICKETS: Admission is free. He's already paid for everyone. He says you wouldn't have been able to afford it-it's cost Him everything He had!

REFRESHMENTS: New wine, bread and a far-out drink He calls "living water." This will be followed by a supper, that promises to be out of this world!!

GIFT SUGGESTIONS: Your heart. He's one of those people who already has every- thing else. (He's very generous in return though-just wait until you see what He has for you ! )

ENTERTAINMENT: Joy, Peace, Truth, Light, Life, Love, Real Happiness, Communion with God,

RSVP: Very Important! He must know ahead, so He can reserve a spot for you at the table. Also, he's keeping a list.

PARTY GIVEN BY: His Kids. That's us! Hope To See You There! Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear (linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints) Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!


Dear Lord, we thank you for coming to earth and for the special gift. Help us remember this Christmas season the reason we celebrate. In Jesus’ name, Amen

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Why Jesus is better the Santa Clause

John 3:16 (KJV)
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Santa lives at the North Pole... JESUS is everywhere.

Santa rides in a sleigh... JESUS rides on the wind and walks on the water.

Santa comes but once a year... JESUS is an ever-present help.

Santa fills your stockings with goodies... JESUS supplies all your needs.

Santa comes down your chimney uninvited... JESUS stands at your door and knocks, and then enters your heart when invited.

You have to wait in line to see Santa... JESUS is as close as the mention of His name.

Santa lets you sit on his lap... JESUS lets you rest in His arms.

Santa doesn’t know your name, all he can say is “Hi little boy or girl, what’s your name?”... JESUS knew our name before we did. Not only does He know our name, He knows our address too. He knows our history and future and He even knows how many hairs are on our heads.

Santa has a belly like a bowl full of jelly... JESUS has a heart full of love.

All Santa can offer is “HO HO HO...” JESUS offers health, help and hope.

Santa says “You’d better not cry”... JESUS says, “Cast all your cares on me for I care for you.”

Santa’s little helpers make toys... JESUS makes new life, mends wounded hearts, repairs broken homes and builds mansions.

Santa may make you chuckle but... JESUS gives you joy that is your strength.

While Santa puts gifts under your tree... JESUS became our gift and died on a tree.

It’s obvious there is really no comparison. We need to remember WHO Christmas is all about. We need to put Christ back in CHRISTmas, Jesus is still the reason for the season. Yes, JESUS is better, He is even better than Santa Claus. Merry CHRISTmas!

Dear Lord,  we thank You for being You. We thank You that you came to Earth for us. In Jesus’ name, Amen

Monday, December 21, 2015

A little Christmas history

Luke 1:14-16 (ESV)
14 And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, 15 for he will be great before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb. 16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God.

When Pope Julius I authorized December 25 to be celebrated as the birthday of Jesus in A.D. 353, who would have ever thought that it would become what it is today.

When Professor Charles Follen lit candles on the first Christmas tree in America in 1832, who would have ever thought that the decorations would become as elaborate as they are today.

It is a long time since 1832, longer still from 353, longer still from that dark night brightened by a special star in which Jesus the king was born. Yet, as we approach December 25 again, it gives us yet another opportunity to pause, and in the midst of all the excitement and elaborate decorations and expensive commercialization which surround Christmas today, to consider again the event of Christmas and the person whose birth we celebrate.

Dear Lord, as we get ready to celebrate Christmas we pray that we will remember the true meaning and all that you have done for us.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

The true Christmas tree

Luke 1:37 (ESV)
For nothing will be impossible with God.

How would you like to have a Christmas tree that blooms in your front yard every December?

"Impossible!" You might say.

Still such a tree does indeed exist. The Pohutukawa of New Zealand announces the arrival of Christmas every year by producing an abundance of bright red flowers from November to January. No wonder it is commonly called "the Christmas Tree" in New Zealand!
The Pohutukawa tree is quite a robust tree. Not only can it withstand heavy coastal winds, storms and saltwater spray, it also grounds itself in the stony ground with a thousand aerial roots. It literally cannot be shaken! The 800 year old tree clinging on the cliff of Cape Reinga is a typical example!

We are reminded at Christmas time what Mary faced when it was announced to her that although she was a virgin, she would be bearing a child. The very words of the angel were: "For nothing is impossible with God." (Luke 1:37)

I love Mary's reaction. Instead of unbelief or utter resistance, she simply declared: "I am the Lord's servant... May it be to me as you have said." (Luke 1:38)

She, too, had to face turbulent weather when her fiancé doubted her purity. But she came through victoriously. Any why not? After all, God was with her!

Jesus reminds us also: "What is impossible with men is possible with God." (Luke 18:27)

Too often we limit God with our unbelief. We worry way too often and label many of our situations as "impossible" to resolve. I have news my friends! God specializes in the "impossible!"
The secret to experiencing God fully in this manner is in becoming like the New Zealand Christmas tree, which blooms brightly during the entire Christmas season, even though its existence is often mired with "impossible" circumstances. It never doubts its survival. It's firmly rooted on the rock!
We can also face our "impossible" situations if we remain rooted on the Rock! We can stand unabashed in the storms of our life because we are anchored on the One whose specializes in impossibilities. No need to worry, no need to fret, no need to be discouraged. God is with us! "They will call him Immanuel-which means, 'God with us.'" (Matt 1:23)

This is the real Christmas message. God is with us and because of this, we can expect miracles!

To experience Him fully however, we need to be grounded in the rock. Or in other words, we need to let Jesus be our Lord in life. We need to let Him be in control of all of our decisions: "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." (John 15:5-6)
If we do, we will never be the same again, and we will start to bloom like the Pohutukawa tree. Bright red flowers will sprout, and they will remain not only for the Christmas season, but throughout our lives for eternity: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." (Gal 5:22-23)

Let us be the living Christmas trees that God wants us to be! Let God transform us in blooming individuals who can face the impossible.
We do indeed have a bright future with God at our side, "For nothing is impossible with God." (Luke 1:37) Let's not be distracted by the storms of life that are temporary. Instead, let's concentrate on the eternal.

Be what God would like you to be!

Dear Lord, this Christmas season and throughout the year help us to be what You want us to be. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Start believing again

Matthew 21:22 (ESV)
And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.

Sometimes the most amazing things we discover in life aren't learned by textbook. They are studied over a period of time.

They simply appeared.

You ever take a minute to notice a little child sitting on Santa's lap. His innocence. His smile.

You ever wonder what is going through his mind.

He's looking at a big hairy old man dressed in a red suit. That close he must see the line of the beard. He must see the white painted eyebrows and that when Santa speaks the mustache doesn’t even move all that much.

So, what is it that makes a child still go through the motions of believing in Santa.

Perhaps he has learned to suspend reality when faced with such things. Like super hero powers that makes a man leap to the top of a tall building.

You know it can't be done, but still a child believes.

Because he wants to? Maybe. Maybe he wants it to be true so bad that he forgives.

That's it. He's learning to suspend reality and forgive.

Of course, maybe, he's afraid not to believe in case somehow it just might be true.

Then one day it all disappears. The childish beliefs. The untarnished hopes and dreams suddenly vanish leaving behind the unforgiving, not convinced, not buying it, adult.

"You lied to me about all those things I thought were true as a child, why should I believe in anything as an adult?" One might say.

Along that same time in childhood, we begin to understand that God doesn't heal all sick people. God doesn't keep your old dog from dying. Just because you prayed for Grandpa doesn't mean he will live forever.

So, how do we work our way through all of this?

"I'll believe it when I see it," becomes the way.

Until one day when nothing is working. Until one day when you are faced with a crisis you cannot explain. Perhaps you are cornered and feel trapped. Maybe it appears you have lost everything and that reality that you bought into all those years suddenly becomes unbearable.

It's time to believe again.

This is where it all turns around.

Change "I'll believe it when I see it" to "I'll see it when I believe it."

God may not appear to those who do not believe still He is there for them.

God cannot be touched or held in your hand, yet all that He is can be found in the people around you, the world you live in and the heavens we explore.

Yes, my friend there is a God. You'll see Him when you believe in Him.

This Christmas, begin to believe again. You'll find Him in a manger.

Dear Lord, we thank You that You are always there even when we don’t believe. Help us to share our believe with those You bring into our life. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.