Ephesians 5:19, 20 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
She viewed me coming down the
aisle to pick up my repaired hearing aid.“Come into my office,” my friend, the Hearing Specialist said.
I noticed she was fidgeting
with a lonely button and a sewing kit, as she explained.“I just purchased this sweater vest, and a
minute ago one of the buttons fell off.I can’t get one of the needles threaded to fix it.”
Restlessly she opened the
sewing kid and moved about the many needles inside a small box.Almost frantically she said, “Is this the
needle threader? I can’t make it work.”
As I reached out to select a
needle, she handed me the threading gadget.
Carefully, I inserted the
threader into the eye of the needle, and showed her how to pass the thread
through and then gently pull it into the needle.
Quickly I picked up the
button and proceeded to reattach it to her sweater.
“You need your mama,” I said to her.
Her response surprised me
when she replied, “Hazel I never had a mama.My birth mother did not want me or my sister, so my grandma raised us
in our early years, and she was mean to us.Later I went to live with my dad, and my step mother was uncaring and
hateful to me.”
I answered, “So you did not
have a mother figure to be a good role model and to show you love?”
She replied, “That is true.”
I told her, “Well, I love
you,” as I reached out and gave her a hug, and she hugged back.
As she handed me my package,
she said, “Those three women really missed out, because I have gone on to make
something of myself, and I am also proud of my adult children.”
In life not all children are
fortunate to have a good relationship with their mother, (or their father) even
those still living at home.
I think back at the many
times I failed as a mother to be patient and kind to my own children.Today, I am thankful that my children have
Jesus gave explicit
instructions about children and those who abuse and harm the little ones.
Jesus said, “It would
be better that a millstone was hanged around their neck and they were cast into
Now that seems a bit harsh,
but Jesus did not take kindly to the mistreatment of children.
Paul instructed Fathers not
to tease and aggravate their children and cause them to be angry.
ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the
nurture and admonition of the Lord.
I am reminded that Paul also
said children were to obey and honor their parents, and give them respect.
Pastor Jerry began his Sunday
sermon with the reading of Isaiah 61: 1-4, 8-11 and 2 Thessalonians 5:16-24.
Isaiah 61:1-4 “The
Spirit of the Lord Godis upon
Because the Lord has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me
to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening
of the prison to those who are bound;
2 To proclaim the
acceptable year of the Lord,
And the day of
vengeance of our God;
To comfort all
3 To console those
who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy
The garment of
praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be
called trees of righteousness, The planting of the Lord,
that He may be glorified.”
The Scripture portion in Isaiah was
spoken to encourage the people who had been in exile for 40 years and were now
returning to Jerusalem from Babylon.The prophet declared that they needed to rejoice as they approached a
devastated Jerusalem.There was hope to empower and rebuild even in
this harsh and difficult time.
We are reminded that many
today are disenfranchised and away from “home.”
As we read Isaiah we
understand this as also prophesying of Jesus coming to earth.
Jesus in his early ministry
opened the scroll to this portion and read it aloud to the people as He was
speaking of Himself.
In Israel there were desert areas in
the south, “Restore and turn again our captivity
Only a remnant returned to Zion, because many were
settled in the foreign land.
There is tremendous symbolism
in this story, as we can realize that in troubled times we have hope and practice
rejoicing in all circumstances.
Often it is hard to
rejoice.We pray for rain, and then
comes a flood, and a mountain slide that destroyed many homes.
How can we go through all
this without the “Church?”This is
nostalgic also as we prepare for Christmas Coming.We are reminded of all the blessings through
the year and we focus on good memories and rejoice.
Paul in Thessalonians assumes
that all he is writing to are Christians.Yet people go to their job and are busy with their lives.There is such a thing as rejoicing while
When we say, “I am going to
Church,” we think of a building.It is
also a spiritual place of Community.It
is still “church” if we meet in a tent, or under a tree.
Many do not want the
hierarchy of church life.Unfortunately
there are times that church is toxic and certain ungodly behaviors can drive
people away.Splits can occur and they
often don’t make it and the congregation dissolves and many are hurt.They are put off by ‘church,’ so they feel they don’t need “church”
and decide to go solo.
True believers meet with
others of like precious faith, and rejoice together as they serve Christ.They know there is strength in assembling
together to worship and pray.
We do not deny that there is
suffering, pains and problems in life, but God sent us a Savior.We the church reach out and become God’s
hands to touch friends with encouragement, kindness of a phone call, e-mail
(not quite as nice,) a ride to church, or a bowl of soup.
John Calvin said, “There is
not one blade of grass, or color in this world that is not intended to make us
Yes, in life, we may have
ongoing struggles, but stir up our slumbering Spirit and Rejoice.
Me In The Meadow by Roy Lessin The Christ And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.Matthew 1:16
The name Christ means Messiah. Messiah means the Anointed One, the One sent by God to be the Savior.
For centuries the Jewish people had known through the promises God made to Abraham, Moses, and David that Messiah would come. The prophets also spoke of the Messiah’s coming.
Isaiah proclaimed, “His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”(Isaiah 9:6)
The name Jesus Christ means that He is the Savior of all who believe; the promised Messiah, and the anointed redeemer of Israel.
He is the one God so faithfully promised.
Jesus was sent by the God of Israel, He did not send Himself; Jesus was appointed by the God of Israel, He did not appoint Himself;
Jesus was anointed by the God of Israel, He did not anoint Himself. Jesus knew why He was sent, no one had to tell Him; He understood why He was sent, no one had to explain it to Him; He rejoiced in why He was sent, no one had to motivate Him.
His place, His person, His position, His passion, His purpose, flowed out of the anointing He carried as the one sent by God.
“I’m the oldest, so let me be
first,” I said to my younger brother and sister.
It was a few weeks before
Christmas, and Mother had agreed to take us downtown to view the Holiday window displays with all the animated
figures at the major stores.
Inside the Largest store was a Santa
Clause sitting on a large throne waiting for the children with their lists of
Now I must let you know that
my mother had already told us kids that there was NO Santa Clause.
She explained that it is a story about a good
man who is no longer alive, but the story lives.Each year, men dress up like Santa and it is
sort of a game.We know the truth, but
it would be fun for you children to visit Santa and get a free candy cane.
So here we were in line
waiting for our turn to tell Santa what we wanted for Christmas and receive the
I told Santa I wanted a doll
with eyes that opened and closed and she must say Mama.Since I am the investigating type, I looked
very carefully at his disguise, and said “Thank you,” as I took my candy.
I spoke to my brother, “Allen, it is your turn next,
but look closely at his beard and you will see a red string just under his
Perhaps Allen was not quite
as observant as I was, because at first glance, he could not see the red ribbon.He tilted his head and tried to look under
Santa’s beard causing some embarrassment to Santa.
When Allen was satisfied the beard was fake,
he told Santa he wanted an electric train and left with his free candy.
~ ~ ~
In life, all is not always as
it seems.We listen to the promises of
the politicians and are confused when we discover their many lies.
We pay good money so our
children can attend college to discover many professors are teaching them to hate America and Israel, and cast away all morals learned at their mothers knee. Some middle school teachers are requiring students to learn about the Muslim faith, and say a prayer to Allah.
Anymore we wonder what is fake and
what is real.
I am reminded of the old
hymn, “Standing on the Promises of God.”It is in God’s Word that we will find the answer to REAL Eternal Life,
by following the REAL Jesus.He is the Way the
Truth and the Life.
May we take a good look at
the manger, the walk of Jesus, the cross and the empty tomb, and His promise to return.
You will find that there is a red line
running all through the Bible and it is the blood of Jesus to wash away all
~ ~ ~ ~
P.S. I shared this story at my church on Sunday morning, and when I sat down, our Pastor said, "We don't always agree with people's opinions about politics and I doubt very much if our schools are teaching our children to hate America and to embrace the Islam way of life."
~ ~ ~
(Me again) The sad thing is that our schools began to fail many years ago when the Bible and prayer was removed from our schools. Muslims admit they are using a system called the "Trojan Horse." It is to slowly slip in a bit here and there until they finally take over. Many college students are refusing to say the pledge of Allegiance to our flag, and history books are being rewritten. It pays to do a Google search with the questions, "Are our children being taught to hate America and a second question, Are our children being taught to embrace Islam." It might surprise you what comes up when you do some research.
Today at our church,
was the lightening of the second candle for Advent.The first message was “Watch,” and the second
is to: “Prepare.”Isaiah prophesied about John the
Isaiah 40:3-5The voice of
one crying in the wilderness: “Prepare
the way of the Lord; Make straight in the desert, A highway for our God. 4Every valley shall be exalted And every mountain and hill brought low; The crooked
places shall be made straight And the rough places smooth; The glory of the Lord
shall be revealed, And all flesh shall see it together; For the
mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
Jerry read from Isaiah 40:1-11 and from Mark 1:1-8. I took notes and edited his sermon.- - When we think of highways, some are
dangerous, with turns, and bumps. As
engineers plan new routes, and better roads, the changes are safer and please
his Gospel book Mark was direct and abrupt as he took us straight to John the
Baptist, a desert preacher, a wild looking man, simply clothed and eating
locusts and wild honey.
Mark 1:7-8 And John preached, saying, “There comes
One after me who is mightier than I, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to
stoop down and loose. I indeed
baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
Isaiah offers comfort in the
place of testing for the people were not where they wanted to be.He presented Hope, that a Savior would come,
but there was preparation needed.
John urges to prepare your
hearts and repent from your sins.His
message filled a need as people flocked to hear his words.
Commitment may need to be
renewed as God comes out to meet us.
may have been twisting and turning in our walk, and there have been rough
places that need to be straightened out and perhaps widened out.
God leaves the road
improvement up to us;we might be
following Christ, but have prejudices', are tight fisted with our money, not
being kind to family and friends, refusing to use our talents to do God's work,
dodging responsibility and ignoring the needs of others.
These aspects of our lives
take us on detours and hinder our Christian walk.
We all come today on a Spiritual Highway,
that might need to be engineered and pot holes need to be filled.Likewise Spiritual bottlenecks need to be
We may need to sit in silence
and listen to how God directs us to make these changes in our spiritual
road.We cannot change the highway that
others walk, but it is necessary that we allow God to change "ME."
Our world is a dangerous
wilderness out there.
We must build a
signpost to guide others and join with them as we Prepare to take the straight newly paved highway.
We are reminded that our Lord
Christ Jesus is always by our side as we travel on His Highway.
As a young child in school, my face would turn beet red when ever I was called on by the teacher.I respected adult leadership almost to the point of being afraid to speak out.
My shyness extended into High School, and I wanted an A in Geometry, but my teacher informed the class that she only gave A's to those who would raise their hands and explain the answer to the problem we had that day.I did my best, but in her opinion it was not good enough, and she gave me a B+ on my report card.
The next day, I called my teacher to my desk and quietly but outright told her that I deserved an A and she was in error to give me less.For “shy me” that was risky business.
As far as I knew, no one else complained, but my words flustered her a bit.She told me to speak up more which I did, and at the end of the semester she relented and gave me an A as my final grade.
I have outgrown my shyness, and with God’s help I am no longer afraid to speak out.
Usually I have found it best to delay and not to speak in haste or in anger.Often I wait until God says, NOW, usually the next day.While waiting I ask our Lord, what exactly should I say?
The Holy Spirit begins to formulate a plan of words and when I follow the script that He gives to me, and there is no offence.
One or two Sundays a month I share one of my very short stories with a message at my church, and I aim to express them as I am led.One recent Sunday, my story may have been considered unusual to some, but as I finished all I could see were smiles.
My hope is that the needed words are heard and received in their spirit.
If you are shy, just ask God, “What do I say next?”He will give you His words to say.