Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The True Meaning of Christmas

"By common confession, great is the mystery of godliness:  He who was revealed in the flesh, Was vindicated in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Proclaimed among the nations, Believed on in the world, Taken up in glory" (1 Timothy 3:16).

Hey Gang, I realize Christmas is over and all the packages that were wrapped neatly and under the tree have been ravaged by eager hands but, as I was researching, I came across this neat saying submitted by one Delmar Eby of London, Kentucky. It rang my bell so decided to extend Christmas thoughts and send it along to you:

The Bethlehem Babe of the Manger became -
The Calvary Savior of the Cross, who is -
The Resurrected Lord from the Grave and is now -
The Ascended King in Heaven, soon to be -
The Returning Judge in Glory -
He became all of this so we can be -
The Reigning Saints in Glory forever!
Alleluia!  What a Savior!

Eby followed this with the question, "Does the commemoration of Christ's birth mean all this to you?  Or are you satisfied with a manger scene of the Babe?  For if we are locked into the manger scene and satisfied to leave Jesus in the manger, then there is no way we can look beyond the manger to the scenario listed above.   In other words, we are locked into the Bethlehem Babe of the Manger - period.”

Delmar made a powerful point when he wrote, "All the attributes and titles given to Jesus in the Scriptures are necessary for our eternal well-being.  We must receive Jesus for who He is; 0nly then can we find the true meaning of His birth, and Jesus will become to us all that is most comforting and blessed".  

In other words, as you look at the past year and prepare for the New Year, are you satisfied to allow it to be just a continuation of the past year, or are you filled with zeal and excitement in the many opportunities that are yours to serve the King of kings? 

I am sure that each of you who read these epistles have your favorite Scriptures.  I certainly have mine but, also confess, as I have reached the older that dirt age my emphasis has changed.  My ears perk up when I hear Jesus saying, "Come you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world" (Matt. 25:34).

Wow, is that not awesome?  But, note what the King said are the prerequisites to inheriting the kingdom.  Yes, salvation is the foundation but note what Jesus said"Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me." (vs. 40). 

Did what?   "For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; naked and you clothed Me.  I was sick, and you visited Me, I was in prison and you came to Me" (vs. 35-36).

Soooo,  my young friends in Christ, I close this epistle with a  promise from Yeshua Hamashiah: "Give, and it will be given to you.  They will pour into your lap a good measure - pressed down, shaken together, and running over".  Now note the next words of the Lord: "For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return" (Luke 6:38).  By whose standard of measure?  Your standard of measure!  What say ye?  Does that sound like we determine whether we will be blessed in the same measure that we give?  Wow! Awesome!   



Monday, December 28, 2015

A TIme For Change

“Come to Me. All who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28).

Hey Gang:  Do you know what a magnet is?  I mean have you ever been drawn to something like a magnet?  Well, never having been drawn to something by a magnet, I do not have a clue how that felt but I do know how it feels to be drawn to Bens Pretzel shop in Shipshewana, Indiana.  There are two things in this world that get my immediate attention, baked pretzels, you know the big, fat kind and apple dumplings.  

As a child growing up I had a grandma “mom” that had the wondrous ability of making apple dumplings to perfection.  When she was making apple dumplings the whole house was filled with an aroma that filled your heart and mind with anticipation.  But one day I went off to college and later into the Air Force; during my absence my “mom” passed away.  I feared with her went the recipe for her ‘apple dumplings. 

And then one day, at a football game, I met this lady who caught my eye and several years later she became my bride.  I always have said that she was far more than I deserved, she was kind of like a Cadillac and I was more of the Edsel class.    And then I learned what a true Cadillac she was for she had the same wondrous ability to make apple dumplings, just like “mom”. 

While sitting outside of Bens Pretzel shop there was a huge clock on the wall that got my attention.  It was always my understanding that when you retire from your life’s work that you do as Gen. Eisenhower said he was going to do when asked that question: “I am going to go to my farm in Gettysburg and get out my rocking chair and sit there for seven years and then slowly begin to rock”.    I have thought about that some in the last few days and wonder if I would have the stamina to “slowly start rocking”.

The thought entered my mind that we are given so much time on this earth.  It was written in God’s book before time began that I would be born on such and such day and die on such and such day.  I wondered, for those who are raptured, will there be a blank space where the day of departure would normally be? What I am saying is we are allotted so much time, years, months, weeks, days, hours and even seconds on this earth and what we do with that time will determine where we spend eternity. 

My “mom”, you know the apple-dumpling maker once said to me, “Enjoy your school years because when they are past, time begins to speed up.  A truer statement was never spoken.  I cannot believe it is the end of another year.

I give to you this back ground to announce that I must make another change in the publishing of the blogs.  Have you ever bitten off more than you can chew?   When we moved the prophecy blog to the What’s Happening Man” it kind of overloaded our systems.    So, effective the first of the year we will continue the Gramps Morning Thoughts on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays and the What’s Happening Man published only on Saturdays.. 

It would be nice to hear form some of you as to whether the blogs are hitting you on your hot buttons.


PS The first time I made apple dumplings, we had company.  I had a full dinner  - ham and the fixings and apple dumplings for dessert.  Imagine my feelings when Gramps my husband of less than a year-came home and smelled ham.  His response, "I thought we were having apple dumplings."  "We are ,for dessert"  His response, "Apple dumplings ARE the meal"  We continue to do both - meal and sometimes dessert!  Gma

Friday, December 25, 2015

THe Greatest Gift of All

“Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow” (James 12:17).

Hey Gang:  I pray, as we near that day set by man that we celebrate the birthday of our Lord, that you will take some time alone and give thanks for the gifts that God gave to us through His Son Jesus Christ.  Keep in mind that when Jesus came to earth as a man and suffered and died on the cross so that you could be reconciled to God, He had you in mind- even though you had not been created yet.  
Luke put it this way: “And human hands can’t minister to His needs, for He has no needs!  He Himself gives life and breath to everything, and satisfies every need there is” (17:25 Living New Testament) 

The most memorized verse in the Bible lays the very foundation for God’s love for His creation and His desire that none should perish but have everlasting life with Him: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). It is also the most profound verse in the Bible.

The greatest gift – He gave Himself.  Our greatest gift – to give ourselves to Him and those He sends our way.  He gave us life so that we would have something very precious to give to Him.  He gives us abundantly, more than we need, so that we can share those blessings with others who are not as blessed as we are.

I have learned that when I give to others the presence of God flows through the giver in compassion, which is love in action.    And I have also found that the greatest of all gifts is not purchased at Macy’s, but rather words of comfort to those in stress, a casserole dish to someone who is too ill to prepare dinner, or shoveling the walk of the shut in next door.

And a neat promise of God is that the giver is always blessed more than the receiver. The first blesssing will be the joy of the Lord saying ‘thank you.’   Matthew put it this way, “Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.” (25:40). 

Sooo, as you prepare for the sharing of gifts on Christmas morning, keep in mind the greatest of all gifts was not made with human hands, but comes from the Father of Lights, THE GIFT OF SALVATION, who was in the beginning with God!



Wednesday, December 23, 2015

I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day -

Hey Gang:  The bride f my youth has accumulated a library of very special Christmas books that she reads each year.   One is titled Christ in the Carols, printed in 1999 and she has perused it each of the past ten years.  Each year there are ones that appear more special than others and in some years there is one that stands out in bold print, as one special for this day.  Such was the case this year when she read ‘I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day’ by Henry W. Longfellow. 

 This is the devotional:

I heard the bells on Christmas day their old familiar carols play, and wild and sweet the words repeat of peace on                      earth, good will to men!
I thought how, as the day had come, the belfries of all Christendom had rolled along the unbroken song of peace on                  earth, good will to men!
And in despair I bowed my head:  There is no peace on earth: I said, “For hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on            earth, good will to men!”
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep: “God is not dead, nor doth he sleep!  The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,             with peace on earth, good will to men!”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote these words of this familiar carol during a period of intense conflict in 1863..  The nation was locked in a bloody battle, North pitted against South in a struggle to the death, as the Civil War threatened to tear the United States apart.

Surveying the situation, Longfellow was overcome with despair.  It appeared that evil had triumphed over good, strife had replaced peace.  The message of Christmas seemed distant, even futile.  Then he heard it – the sound of the bells.  Church bells ringing, proclaiming peace on earth, good will to men.  Surrounded on all sides by death and hatred, the bells were a necessary reminder that God was at work.  He had not forsaken his people. 

Just as the bells encouraged Longfellow, the words of his carol refresh and renew our hope.  They remind us that no matter what happens, no matter how bleak the circumstance, God is still in control and he is faithful.  “Jesus is alive!” the bells continue to ring out.  “And his kingdom will never end!”

Is God faithful?  Does He really mean what He ways?  Can we trust Him?  The answer is Yes!  Let these promises enliven your faith and give you the confidence to stand firm against trials and tribulations.

We are truly living in that time described by the writer of Hebrews when he wrote, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the heaven.”  This expression “Yet once more,” denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.  Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our god is a consuming fire” (Heb. 12:26b-29).

“Understand, therefore, that the Lord your God is indeed God.  He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations and constantly loves those who love him and obey his commands” (Deut. 7:9).

Blessings to each and all this Christmas Season and throughout the coming New Year,

Gramps and Grandma

Monday, December 21, 2015

A Personal Note from Gramps

The older I get the more I am convinced we can make Christmas as stressful, or as peaceful and joyous as we desire.  I do believe with the increased pace we are living today, it has become more stressful for many. The holiday get-togethers, shopping for just the right gift, and the hanging of indoor and outdoor decorations all add to making the season more chaotic one.    I have to admit this year has been especially void of the true Christmas spirit, for me.   Me thinks I have let outside influences steal my joy and take my focus off the real meaning of why I celebrate Christmas. 

I have found I am not unique in the “older-than-dirt brigade”.  As we get older trying to come up with the perfect gifts for loved ones becomes more difficult.  This day and age when, if we want something we go out and by it, makes it tough on those of us who do not have a clue what the needs of loved ones are.    Let’s face it folks, there are enough distractions in our world to cloud our minds and keep us from focusing on the ‘Reason for the Season’! 

There are two major things, and a zillion smaller ones, that sadden my heart in this so called age-of enlightenment.    One is the great multitudes of children that are no longer will sit with their families on Christmas Eve listening to the patriarch of the house read the Christmas Story of how God loved the world so much He sent His only Son to come and free us from the bondage of sin.   As I sat on the edge of the beds of the multitudes of kids that have passed through my life, the “I want more than anything” theme always centered on “I wish only to be with my mom and dad in a peace and happy home”.

If you have had that in your life, you are truly blessed and should be abundantly thankful.
In recent years I have become a compulsive researcher. I spend many hours seeking that one pear- of-  great price that is hidden in the words of those who have had victory over the alligators to share with you who avail yourselves to the Gramps Morning Messages.  I found the following pearl in a devotional that I read to my bride each night before we cash it in for the day. 

I believe it is the finest gift I can give to you this Christmas.  The writer began by saying, “I would like to share three passages that help focus our attention on the true reason we celebrate Christmas – Jesus come to earth!”  The first reason we celebrate Christmas is John 3:16; the words Jesus spoke to Nicodemus: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” 

When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, sin entered the world and perfect fellowship between God and humankind was broken.  Jesus came to remove the barrier between God and humanity by dying on the cross and making salvation possible for those who turn from their sins, place their faith in God, and follow daily in obedience to His Word.   We celebrate Christmas because Jesus came into the world to make reconciliation between us and God possible.  Wow, can you say Hallelujah for that this morning?

The second passage that helps our focus is John 10:10 where Jesus says, “I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.”  Jesus came that we may discover the life that God intends for all who follow Him.  A life that experiences the virtues of the Spirit (Galatians 2:11-23; 2 Cor. 6:6-10; Eph. 4:2; 5:9’ Phil 4:8-9 and Col. 3:12-15).  Which comes through a relationship with Christ and a surrendering of our lives to the leading of the Holy Spirit.  We celebrate Christmas because Jesus came so that we might receive all that God intends for our lives to be.

The third passage is John 14:1-4; “Do not let your hearts be troubled.  You believe in God; believe also in me.  My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”

Jesus’ resurrection and His ascension to heaven gives us, as believers, the hope of eternal life with God.  We celebrate Christmas because Jesus came that those who place their faith in Him will live with God forever

We celebrate Jesus’ birth because it honors the Savior who came into the world.  Several thousand years ago, the angels proclaimed this great news to the shepherds.  This news brought with it the message of hope, peace, and salvation for the world.

We, as believers, have the opportunity of pointing others to the good news of Jesus’ coming and the difference it can make in their lives.  The world needs to understand that Christmas is more than programs, parties, and presents.  Our world must be guided to the truth that the true meaning of Christmas is found in the birth of Jesus and the difference His coming has made on the world.

So my friends, my challenge to you his Christmas Season is to turn off all the electronic devices and gather your loved ones together and share the story once again that Jesus loved you so much He came to die on a hideous cross so that one day you can be with Him for all eternity in the that place He has prepared for His children.

Folks, last Christmas we celebrated Jesus’ coming with our family intact.  This Christmas there will be an empty chair at our table.    I tell you this only to challenge you to make sure you are sharing God’s love and His salvation with your family, friends and even your enemies, if you have opportunity for you have no guarantees you, too, won’t have an empty chair at your table.



Friday, December 18, 2015

Every Good and Perfect Gift IS From Above

 “He was in the beginning with God.  All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made”  (John 1:2-3).   “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”  (James 1:17).

Hey Gang: Dr. Adrian Rogers wrote in A Family Christmas Treasury, “As we rejoice in the arrival of the Christmas season, let us celebrate the constancy of the light that shined into the world when Jesus was born of the virgin Mary". 

John tells us that Jesus was “with God in the beginning”.  Furthermore, Jesus is the Creator God without whom “nothing was made that has been made” (John 1:1,3), Jesus is the eternal God!

God cannot change.  He declared through the prophet Malachi, “I am the Lord, I do not change” (Mal; 3:6).  James made this wonderful statement: “Every good and perfect gift is from above coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:17).

We will soon welcome in a new year.  And since our world is a very uncertain and perilous place, we have this certainty to lean on: “His compassions fail not.  They are new every morning: great is Your faithfulness” (Lam. 3:22-23).

Keep in mind we do have the constancy of Jesus to depend on for today, but someday we are going to be made just like Him.  "We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is"  (I John 3:2).  We will bask in the direct rays of His glorious light forever!  Praise God for the changeless, constant light of the Lord Jesus Christ!  Does that get your thumper to thumping?

Soooo, to all my friends,  if your name is not written in the Lamb's Book of Life and you are awaiting your invitation to the Marriage Feast of the Lamb, give yourself an eternal Christmas present -right this moment! Fill that void in your chest cavity with One who loves you dearly, Yeshua Hamashiah. 



Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Who Are You Lord?

“For unto you is born this day a Savior who is Christ the Lord!” 

Hey Gang:  Familiar, but totally misunderstood by growing numbers of people.  Have you ever taken a moment or three in the quietness of your mind and heart and asked the question, “Who are You Lord?”   I have.  I learned long ago that, if I do not take a moment of reflection and review of my Christian walk, I can become as cold as the left-over potatoes from the Christmas meal.   

I read of a wonderful story about a man who was blind for more than fifty years.  Then, one day, a surgeon discovered a new procedure that gave hope to the man- perhaps he could see for the first time in his life.  The operation went well and all anxiously awaited the moment of unveiling, to see if he had been blessed with the miracle of sight, something we take for granted every day.

When the surgeon arrived on that morning, the man was filled with anticipation, a heap of hope and excitement, that God had blessed the hands of the surgeon and he would see for the first time, after more than fifty years of darkness.  The moment came.  The bandages were removed from the first eye, and then the second.  Then the pads that prevented light from penetrating and straining the eye were removed.  

Slowly the man opened his eye lids but had to shut them quickly, for the light, even in the darkened room, was too intense for eyes that had been darkened for more than fifty years.

He slowly opened them again, a wee bit at a time.  His first comment, I didn’t know yellow could be so yellow, as he looked at the yellow wall paper in front of him.  He was blind but now he could see.  

For many years of my life my eyesight was good but I was blind spiritually and could not see. But, when Jesus was born into my life, my blindness was buried by the Light! 

Soooo, friends, have you taken a moment or three, in the hustle and bustle of the asides of Christmas, to get alone with God?  To thank and praise Him for His love?  Praise Him that He sent His only Son into the World that our blindness could be removed and we could live in His Light?  O, by the way, don’t leave the quietness of your time until God answers your question, “Who are You, Lord??


Posts on grampswhatshappeningman.blogspot.con on Dec 15 and 19

Monday, December 14, 2015

The Wonder and Awe of the Christmas Story

 “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace” (Isa. 9:6).

Hey Gang, There is no doubt that the Christmas story is filled with wonder and awe. It fills young and old with delight that is even more enjoyable and amazing because it is all true! I found the following quips about Christmas somewhere in my travels and will share them with you this morning.

Shepherds, at the bottom of the social fabric of that time, were entertained and blessed by a choir of angels that filled the night with glory and hope. Mysterious Wise Men from the East followed a star that brought them to Bethlehem, where they worshipped and presented gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to the child- King.

Then there is the centerpiece of the story: A young couple, at least was a teenager, were uniquely chosen to bring the Christ-child into the world and raise Him. They faced a challenge of faith and courage that was undergirded by angelic visitations! Mary, the young virgin maiden, was with child without ever knowing a man before marriage; an outward looking scandal, by any stretch of the imagination. Then there was Joseph, who had to endure the gossip and “whispering” in a community that knew nothing of the angelic announcement heralding the birth of Jesus.

More sinister still was Herod’s plot to kill the child and, and if successful, would frustrate the will and purpose of God for world redemption. The Christmas story is truly beautiful, amazing and thought provoking. For Christians, it teaches us:

       1. Christmas is worth celebrating, since all of Heaven did so and gave beautiful voice to the wondrous events as they were unfolding in Bethlehem. The Gospels of Matthew and Luke devote lengthy passages to this story of wonder and great joy. We should do the same.

       2. Christmas is the hope of the world. God became man and did so to save us from our sins and give us a new beginning. The message is ever the same - peace and goodwill to all the world; a peace and goodwill which has to be appropriated individually by repentance and faith in the finished work of the Son of God on the cross.

      3. Christmas has a unique message in the gifts delivered to the Christ-child by the Magi from the East. Gold was a tribute to his identity, royalty, as King of the Jews and the King of kings of all the world. Frankincense, a priestly connection of His diety, meant His life would be pleasing to God and sinless. Myrrh, foreshadowed His death, which we know that would be for the sins of world – for all who would repent and accept His salvation. This is because myrrh was a burial ointment that was used to prepare the body for its final resting place. He died in our place.

     4. Christmas reminds us of a conflict that ever rages over the souls of men. Dark forces were at work on that beautiful, awe inspiring night; they sought to destroy the babe born to Mary and Joseph and thus they ultimately sought the destruction of all of humankind. This battle continues!

Soooo good buddies, we would do well then to gather our families together and carefully read this wonderful narrative from the Gospels. Worship and prayers of thanksgiving and joy should ascend to Heaven and sweet carols and should bathe our souls in the wondrous love of God. We would do well to visit the House of God on Christmas Eve or morning and there, together with all the family of God, give thanks for God’s Gift of all gifts that became ours on Christmas Day.



Friday, December 11, 2015

"Greetings Favored One, the Lord is with You."

Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary.  And coming in, he said to her, “Greetings, favored one!  The Lord is with you”   (Luke 1:26-28).

Hey gang:  Are these not amazing words that get your heart to pumping?  The Christmas story begins with an experience that is beyond description to our human minds.  Gabriel, an angel who stands at the Throne of God, was sent to tell a young lassie that she was the “favored one” who would be the mom to the King of kings and Lord of lords. 

All you mom’s out there, when you learned for the first time that you were with child, how did you feel?  Now, keep in mind she was a virgin, betrothed, but not married yet. Imagine the torrent of feelings that must have surged through Mary’s heart at that moment.

Then the angel spoke, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God.  And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call Him Jesus.  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever and His kingdom will have no end”. 

The Catholic Church refers to Mary as ‘The Queen of Heaven’ and has placed her on the same level as deity; however, Protestants tends to place her in what might be called the ‘second class coach of the gospel train’.  We need to rethink both, and  be mindful of the role that Mary played in the Christmas story. 

God did not give her divinity, but instead used her obedience to give Christ humanity!  Note Paul’s words in I Timothy 3:16: “This is the mystery of godliness, that Jesus Christ is entirely God and thoroughly man” (Hainley rendition).  And how did this happen? Through the young woman’s pregnancy and pain of labor.  

Mary’s response to Gabriel foretells her important place in the gospel story: “And Mary said: ‘My soul exalts the Lord, And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.  For He has had regard for the humble stated of His bond slave. For behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed’” (Lu. 1:46-48).

As we begin the countdown, before we celebrate the birth of God’s Gift – “His only begotten Son” who came to earth for the specific purpose of giving His life a ransom  for you and for me - make sure your honor and worship and praise is for ‘Jesus, the Reason for the Season’.



Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Are You Giving Gifts That Have Eternal Value

“And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).

Hey Gang:  When was the last time you shut down all the things that cloud your mind from looking at the more important things of life?  Gar Trusley, who did time studies for corporations, identified the three top things participants would do if the doctor said, “You have one month to live”. By a large percentage, those he studied said, “Seek the Lord- make sure they were in good relationship with the Lord, make sure they were in right relationship with spouse and family, and repair all the breaches that might exist between them and their neighbors.

It was interesting to note that, when he asked them to list the ten things in which they tended to invest their time and energies, these three things were are the bottom of the list. Soo, they knew that the things that brought real joy into their heart was not ‘making a buck’, climbing the corporate ladder or becoming something super special in the eyes of man!  

A recent study discovered that, in our culture, suicides are increasing by leaps and bounds and, each year, depression is the number one plague among a growing number.  As we move God further from the life of our country, despair and hopelessness grow in equal proportion.

We go to great pains to fill that vacuum that is just the size of God in our chest cavity.  We just experienced another ‘Black Friday’ –which began on Thanksgiving.  The world's retailers spread the good news that they have the very thing that will fill that vacuum.  People lined up hours in advance to make sure they were the first in line to purchase that aphrodisiac that would give them a moment or two of joy.  
I vaguely recall a song of years long gone, which told us that we seek the things that give us peace in all the wrong places.  I believe the Psalmist knew something about that when he wrote these words: “But let all who take refuge in You be glad, Let them ever sing for joy; And may You shelter them, That those who love Your name may exult in You.  For it is You who blesses the righteous man, O Lord, You surround him with favor as with a shield.” (Psalm 5:11-12).

Soooo, my young lassies and lads, am I saying the giving of material gifts is wrong?  In no way! But, keep in mind that gift will be probably be forgotten in due season but the intent behind the gift will never be forgotten.  God’s Gift to us, His only Son, is eternal.  Be sure and share this will  with all of your family and friends;  His return, to claim His own, seemingly grows closer each day… as seen by what is happening daily in the world.


PS New posts on on Dec 8 & 12.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Be A Power Broker for God

 “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of His glory”.  (Isa. 6:3,   Read 6:1-8) "And blessed by His glorious name forever; and may the whole earth be filled with His glory.  Amen and Amen" 
(Psalms 72:19). 

  In this day when everything that can be shaken is being shaken, It may not seem like the earth is filled with His glory, but rest assured it is – For the Bible tells me so (Heb. 12:26b-28).

Hey Gang' Can you say, Wow!  is it not neat to know that the whole earth is full of His glory?  True, the news would seem to indicate that the earth is not filled with His glory.  But keep in mind, we are not to judge by what we think or see, but by what God has given us in His Word.  He did say, I will be with you always! 

In recent months I have gained a new appreciation for the book of Habakkuk.  It begins with a cry to God: "How long, O Lord, will I call for help, and You will not hear?  (Hab. 1:2).  God's response is found in verse five when He said, "Look among the nations!  Observe! Be Astonished!  Wonder!  Because I am doing something in your days - You would not believe if you were told." 

Now skip over to Chapter 2, verses 13-14, and tucked in the midst of four "woes" we find these words, "Is it not indeed from the Lord of hosts that peoples toil for fire, and nations  grow weary for nothing?  For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.”  

Would it not be awesome to see God's glory covering Michigan and all the world as the waters cover the sea?    Is it not awesome to know that is exactly what is going to happen one day- in the not too distant future for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose?

Tony Evans wrote in his book, Our God is An Awesome God, that holiness is the center piece of God’s attributes.  In other words at the center of what God is, is His holiness, and, to understand His holiness is to unlock the door to understand Him better and better.

I like Peter’s words when he asked the question, “Do you want to learn to know God better?”  His answer, “Then work hard”.  To get things handed to us on a silver platter is to forget as quickly as we close the Word.   Again, we return to the words of James who said that it is the trials and wilderness experiences that opens the door to a deep understanding of God.

Soooo,  my challenge to you today?  Do something sacrificially to honor Father God.  Plant a seed in some one’s heart who needs to feel the Lord’s touch.  Paul said, "Be an imitator of me – a bond servant for Jesus."  Do you think it would be fan-tab-u-lous to be like Paul?  Call someone – tell them you are thinking about them and praying for them.  What joy that will bring to their heart!



Friday, December 4, 2015

Resisting Temptation - Tools in God's Toolbox

"Be of sober spirit, be on the alert.  Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour". (I Peter 5:8). 

Hey Gang: In this day and age when reading the evening newspaper is like reading a horror story that is too evil to be true.  I have come to the point where I can only handle the news one or two days a week.  One of the reasons I enjoy our tenure at Bartlesville, volunteering at Voice of Martyrs, is there is only local television and very little national and world news.  

But, As Believers we need to get the good news entrenched in our hearts and minds - Satan has been defeated and is on earth on borrowed time.  He is a gross sort of being with a crushed head.  We know that at the cross and Christ’s resurrection, Satan's power over Christians was destroyed.  The war has already been won! So take up your cross and sword today and keep your head up high - don't act like you have been defeated.   

However, there is a 'nonetheless' principle involved here, Satan still prowls the earth looking to drive a wedges between God and His children. His temptation is, unfortunately, a daily part of our lives. (I Peter 5:8).  But Peter gave us the antidote to his temptations, "But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world" (5:9). 

 Yet, if we use the power of the Holy Spirit and the truth of God's Word to help us, we will find ourselves effectively resisting temptations. But, there is a BUT, a prerequisite, we must avail ourselves of His presence by inviting the Holy Spirit to have control over our lives and spending quality time in God’s Word. 

It is important to firmly implant in your dome of intellect that Satan’s power over Christians has been effectively destroyed; the war has already been won through our Savior’s death and resurrection which conquered the power of sin and death forever.

So, how does one stand firm in the face of this world filled with bangles and beads that are constantly dangling the "better life" that the world offers?  First, we need to understand, temptation is always there.  Jesus endured it and overcame it in the wilderness. How? By overcoming Satan with the Word of God. 

The Psalmist emphasized this point when he wrote, "Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I may not sin against You" (Psa. 119:11).  In addition to God’s Word, prayer can help us to resist temptation. The night He was betrayed, Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane and He told Peter to pray “so that you will not fall into temptation” (Mark 14:38). Also, in the “Lord’s Prayer,” Jesus taught us to pray that we would not be lead into temptation (Matthew 6:13Luke 11:4).

Soooo, keep in mind, even though Christians already have the tools necessary for victory, we need to use our common sense and not place ourselves in situations that prey upon, or stimulate, our weaknesses. We are already bombarded every day with images and messages that tantalize our sinful lusts. We don’t need to make it more difficult than it already is.

New Post on Sat Dec 5