Monday, November 29, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.....NOT!!!!!


So what if we've had a lot of snow lately.  So what if my house is completely decorated right now and I have Christmas music playing. I haven't caught the Christmas spirit.

Yeah, I know it's early in the season, but normally by this time I 'd be loving every aspect of the season.  I would delight in the Christmas music, food, decorations, anything!

I think I know the reason for this.  This Christmas season, God has placed on my heart all the people who celebrate this holiday without knowing him.  People who either have turned Christ out of Christmas or who walk into a store and have no idea what a manger scene is for.  

This is not surprising.  Today, everything is conspiring to make us forget the way Christ fits into everything in our lives.  People say 'Happy Holidays' in order to avoid the term Christmas simply because it has the word "Christ" in it.  

Ultimately, Christ's name has immense power.  When people say Jesus was only a good man, I think, "Then, why is he still the center of such controversy 2,000 years later?"  Why are the names of the Greek gods not shied away from or ignored?  We know that they had no power.  

A few days ago, I watched "Santa Claus is Coming to Town."  Although it was a cute movie,  my heart ached watching it, for the movie's main purpose is to explain the start of Christmas and Santa Claus.  My dad said he watched this movie as a kid.  That made me think.  How many generations of children were deceived into believing that Christmas was started by a guy in a red suit?  How many children believe that Christmas is about reindeer and presents?  If you took 100 kids and asked them what Christmas is about, what would they say?

This is even a problem in the church.  We get so caught up in the rush of the season, the shopping, decorating, etc, that we forget the purpose behind all that we do.  I think Christian children are just as likely to say Christmas is about Santa as children who have never been to church.  

Do you see what this has come to?  We worship Santa as a "god" of Christmas, while the One behind it all is shoved into a corner.  Today, our children are taught not to cry or pout, but to what purpose?  To get a toy at Christmas.  Meanwhile, Satan laughs and rejoices at his victory.  For, even though Christmas teaches morals, it is without Christ.   That is exactly what Satan wants.  Have you noticed what name you get when you rearrange the letters of "Santa"?  Pretty scary.  

The original Santa was a man named Saint Nicholas who gave gifts because Jesus gave.  Nicholas would be appalled to see how he is exalted today while Jesus is lowered.  

Our world has morphed Christmas, but what can we do?  

When you hear the word "Missionary" what do you think of?  A christian serving in a distant country perhaps?  This is the wrong perception.  God has given us a mission field right around us.  My uncle told me lately that only 4% of the people in my county go to church.  Only 4%. Aside from this, not all people in churches are born-again believers.  So think, do the people in your neighborhood know Christ? 
If you answered "no" or "I don't know," congratulations!  You have your own mission field right around you!  

I cried while writing this post.  Doesn't it shock you how we have treated our Lord and Savior?  The one who should be gloried above the earth is forgotten and ignored.  The things we celebrate that originated with Him are twisted so that that is not their purpose anymore.  

If nothing else, remember this.  Don't let Satan trick you anymore.  Christmas is all about Jesus Christ, our Savior from God, and NOTHING can change that.  Let him saturate you with his love and guidance this season and for the rest of your life.  Through him, it will really begin to feel like Christmas.  

Technological Twelve Days of Christmas


Ever heard The Twelve Days of Christmas?  Bet you haven't heard this version.  My sister came up with the idea, and all my siblings helped finish it.  I'm sure it will be a hit someday.



On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
A smartphone in a pear tree!

On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
Two earbuds and
A smartphone in a pear tree!

On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
Three new apps
Two earbuds and
A smartphone in a pear tree!

On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
Four texting plans
Three new apps
Two earbuds and
A smartphone in a pear tree!

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
Five purple Wiis
Four texting plans
Three new apps
Two earbuds and
A smartphone in a pear tree!

On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
Six Macbook Airs
Five purple Wiis
Four texting plans
Three new apps
Two earbuds and
A smartphone in a pear tree!

On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
Seven 3D TVs
Six Macbook Airs
Five purple Wiis
Four texting plans
Three new apps
Two earbuds and
A smartphone in a pear tree!

On the eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
Eight white keyboards
Seven 3D TVs
Six Macbook Airs
Five purple Wiis
Four texting plans
Three new apps
Two earbuds and
A smartphone in a pear tree!

On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
Nine modern ipods
Eight white keyboards
Seven 3D TVs
Six Macbook Airs
Five purple Wiis
Four texting plans
Three new apps
Two earbuds and
A smartphone in a pear tree!

On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
Ten Christmas downloads
Nine modern ipods
Eight white keyboards
Seven 3D TVs
Six Macbook Airs
Five purple Wiis
Four texting plans
Three new apps
Two earbuds and
A smartphone in a pear tree!

On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
Eleven snazzy printers
Ten Christmas downloads
Nine modern ipods
Eight white keyboards
Seven 3D TVs
Six Macbook Airs
Five purple Wiis
Four texting plans
Three new apps
Two earbuds and
A smartphone in a pear tree!

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
Twelve techno-junkies
Eleven snazzy printers
Ten Christmas downloads
Nine modern ipods
Eight white keyboards
Seven 3D TVs
Six Macbook Airs
Five purple Wiis
Four texting plans
Three new apps
Two earbuds and
A smartphone in a pear tree!








Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Once upon a time.....

.... in a land not far from here, there lived a little princess named Disobea .  She lived in a great castle with her Father, the King.  She was loved by her Father, who fulfilled her every desire.  She never had a want or need.  One thing her Father had cautioned her not to do.  


"Daughter," He had said to her, "never venture in to the valley.  It is a place where my children must never go."


The princess Disobea loved her father and her life in the castle, but she was a curious princess.  One day, she was walking through her gardens when her eye fell to the valley in the east, the very valley her Father had told her about.  


Now Disobea never meant to go against her Father, but she convinced herself that it "wouldn't hurt to go down for just a minute."  Swiftly and quietly, she made her way out of the garden and down toward the valley.  


No sooner had she stepped foot in the valley when a great number of people jumped from the bushes and captured her , tying her hands behind her back.  Glancing around, she saw the people's faces looked hard and cruel.  Shivering, but still trying to keep the dignity of a princess, Disobea lifted her head and said to the crowd, 


"Who are you?  What do you want with me?"


One man spoke up.  "We are the people of Badden.  And, as for you, you are to be our slave."


"Slave!?" cried the princess, indignant.  "Why, what have I ever done to you?"


"The child doesn't know a thing!" one woman said. "Girl, anyone who comes down here joins us.  If we train you well, maybe you'll get to be a part of our society some day."


In the beginning, Disobea was appalled by the ways of Badden and its people. They thought, spoke and did evil things.  Anyone who would be considered low in the castle, such as thieves or murders, would be considered acceptable in Badden.  And anything good or noble to her Father, such as love or kindness, would be considered a sissy deed in Badden.  Although Badden shocked Disobea at first, eventually she got used to it.  Bad became good and good became bad.  She began to see things the same as the other people and do the things they did.  


Still, in the back of her hard heart, there was a tiny piece of what she used to be.  A tiny piece that was still a princess.  Discontented and sad at the life she now led, Disobea cried and called out to her Father.  Her Father, nearby in the woods heard her cries and rushed to her.  


"I am here, my daughter," he said.


" Oh, Father, it is horrible here.  I am sorry for disobeying you.  I am sorry for who I am.  Can't you take me back with you?"


"Not yet, my daughter.  But there will come a day when I come for you.  This could not be without Sacrif.  Do you remember him?"


"Yes, he was your son.  Not my brother, not like me.  He was your second-in-command.  He was just like you in every way."


"Right.  Did you know that he came down into the valley, not from curiosity, for there is none in him.  He came knowing what it was like, in order to make the way for others.  When he came, he would not become like the people of Badden.  He  was perfect in every way.  The people of Badden could not accept that.  They killed him for something he never did.  But that was not the end.  He came up from the grave and will rule with me forever.  Were it not for his sacrifice, you could never come to me or talk to me, for I can have none of Badden around me.  But since he gave himself, you are pardoned."


"Wow, Father.  He did that for me?"


"Yes."


"Father, this is wonderful, but what do I do now?  I don't want to live like the people of Badden until you come for me."


"There are a few things you can do.  First, speak to me.  Though you may not see me, I am there and I will answer."


"How will you answer?"


"Not always through words, but sometimes through people or signs I will give you.  Also through these."


"These?"


"Yes, here they are.  They are letters I have written to you.  They tell of my love for you and give advice for the problems you will face."


"Thank you, my Father."


"You are welcome, daughter.  I love you and I will continue to forever."


"I love you in my heart of hearts."


"One last piece of instruction: tell others in Badden about me.  I will come for you one day, but I can only come for those who call out to me as you did.  Tell them about me, your Father and theirs, for they are all truly my children."


"I will, Father.  But are you going away?"


"Yes.  I must leave now, but I will come again.  And remember, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."


Now you may recognize this story.  It is a true story told a little differently.  In this tale, Disobea ( or disobedient)  represents you and me, children of God who have stepped down from his castle of goodness.  Sacrif (or sacrificial) represents Jesus, who gave his life for you and me.  The people of Badden are the people of this world who are children of the King, but don't know it yet.  Just like the princess, it is our job to tell those people about their Father, the King.

In His name,
See ya!

Matthew 28: 30
I am with you always, even to the end of the age.




Thursday, November 18, 2010

Family



Dad is the one                                                                                                              
Who goes to work each day                                                 
And yet he still comes home
Ready to play
When you’re stuck on your math
Dad’s the one to ask
And he will help you
With a very hard task
Mom is the one 
Who scrubs and cleans
She will also mend 
A hole in your jeans
When you’re scared 
In the middle of the night
Mom will come
And hug you tight
Sisters are the ones 
Who play with dolls


And they tell of princesses 
In marble halls
Doing hair and
Making pie
Sisters are there 
If you need a good cry
Brothers are the ones
Who climb up trees
And get scrapes on 
Their arms and knees
But if ever anyone 
Starts to tease
Brothers will be there
As quick as you please
Though we are different
It is true
We are family
And I love you!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

His Plan



Stop.  Think about this statement.  God knows everything that has happened to you.  Let's add another statement to that one.  God knows everything that is happening to you.  Here's our last statement.  God knows everything that WILL happen to you.  He is working all these things out for His plan, and, guess what, His plan is PERFECT!  It has no flaws! True, we may try to thwart it by trying our own way, but it NEVER works!  When you think you are messing up His plan, he knows what you are doing, and he knew at the beginning of the world that you would do it!  Think about it.  Isn't it amazing that the God of the universe knew, from the beginning of time, who you are and you will be.

But do we trust His omnipotence? Sometimes, no.  Lately, there have been times when I think something didn't happen the way it should have.  Often, it just didn't go the way I wanted it to.  I would say, "God, I think ______ situation would have been better if it would have happened THIS way. "   Although I never said or thought those words, that was my attitude.  Basically, I was claiming to know better than God.  He has been showing me lately that His way really is the best way.  He knows what He is doing.  He has a purpose for all that happens, whether we see it or not.  God has planned everything out in advance.  He knew that man would fall.  He knew that George Washington would be our first president.  He knew your name.  And he has known all these things since the beginning of time.

In Romans 8:28 it says,
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him.

This is something that we need to keep in mind.   Whatever happens to us, good or bad, has purpose in God's plan.

A while a go, I saw a video of Steven Curtis Chapman singing a new song, Meant to Be.  It was written to go with the new Vegetales movie, "It's a Meaningful Life." I think it really carries a good message about God's purpose for you.  You can see it here.

If you don't get anything else from this, take away this fact.  God knows EVERYTHING that happens to you, and he has a purpose for it.