Tell Me a True Story

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Friday, December 19, 2014

What Does Your Answer Look Like2


 

Not What Many Expected?
 
It is true that many are still looking and waiting for their Messiah!   

Jesus was NOT what the Jewish nation expected of a ruler, so many did not accept him as King.  

He was born in a stable and not in a palace.  He associated with the poor and with sinners and not the privileged class.   

He did not protest and cry in the streets requesting the vote of the people.  He did not seek recognition, but often retreated to find seclusion in lonely gardens or in a mountain to pray.   

Jesus came riding into Jerusalem on a young donkey, and He did not come galloping in on a white horse.   

Yet multitudes thronged him daily, usually hoping to receive FREE food or a miracle. 

For the Jews it was not popular to give up the old life style, and follow Jesus. 
 
Even today it is not always trendy and in some places is can be dangerous to acknowledge Christ!

Jesus was not recognized by many to be the King, because he did not “Look like a king.” 

When we pray, we must anticipate our answer will surely come, but we may be amazed that it might not appear as we think it should.  It may not “Look like the answer we expected.” 

Often we do not recognize God’s voice because we already have preconceived ideas of what His voice sounds like and what the results of our requested prayer will predictably be manifested.   

May we learn to open our Spiritual eyes and Spiritual ears to see and hear what God is actually saying?   May we recognize the answer to our prayer and be grateful! 

Thank you Lord for your many gifts to us and may we ever exalt you as King in our lives.   

Teach us to be aware of you in others who may not at first glance seem to us - - that you are also residing in them. 

 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Ain’t Got No Mama!




Ain’t Got No Mama!
 
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 forgiven me. 

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 the sea.” 

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.
 
Ephesians  6:4  And, 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.

How is everything at your home this day?

 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Dare to Rejoice


 
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 God is upon Me,
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;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,
To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
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 working.

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 rejoice.

Yes, in life, we may have ongoing struggles, but stir up our slumbering Spirit and Rejoice.

 

Jesus, Name Above All Names! "The Christ" Guest Post



 
 
Jesus, Name Above All Names! "The Christ"
via Meet 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.

Jesus the Christ !
 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Santa’s Beard


 
 

“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 wishes. 

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 free candy. 

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 chin.” 

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 our iniquity.

~ ~ ~ ~


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.


 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Tension of a New Highway


PREPARING our Highway to Heaven 
 
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 Baptist.

Isaiah 40:3-5  The 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.”
 

Pastor 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 us. 

In 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. 

We 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 unblocked. 

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.

 

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Are You Shy2

Shy Girl

 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.
 
Yes, Lord - Just Tell Me What to Say !