Everything I Need To Know About Christmas

Christmas1This is what I think is most important about celebrating this Season.  If you would like to add please comment below.

Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.  Matthew 2:14

My prayer for you:

Heavenly Father, help us keep Jesus as the focus this Season.  Let us keep others in our minds and hearts, forgetting ourselves and giving our best.  Bless us with the inner peace of the knowledge that Jesus is, was and will be.  Make it so Lord!

Recall Notice

Sometimes I wonder if God would just like to RECALL the whole project.  I know He loves Go and sin no more!us more than anything but I really think He gets tired of it all.  Don’t you?  A dear friend sent me this and I thought it would be good for all of us to read.

Dear Human.

The Maker of all human beings (GOD) is recalling all units manufactured, regardless of make or year, due to a serious defect in the primary and central component of the heart.This is due to a malfunction in the original prototype unit’s code named Adam and Eve, resulting in the reproduction of the same defect in all subsequent units.  This defect has been identified as “Subsequently Internal Non-morality”, more commonly known as S.I.N., as it is primarily expressed.  Some of the symptoms include but are not limit to:

Loss of direction…Foul vocal emissions…Amnesia of origin…Lack of peace and joy…Selfish or violent behavior…Depression or confusion…Fearfulness…Idolatry…Rebellion

The Manufacturer, who is neither liable nor at fault for this defect, is providing factory-authorized repair and service free of charge to correct this defect.  The Repair Technician, JESUS, has most generously offered to bear the entire burden of the staggering cost of these repairs.  There is no additional fee required.

Duerer_praying_handsThe number to call for repair in all areas is: P-R-A-Y-E-R.  Once connected, please upload your burden of SIN through the REPENTANCE procedure.  Next, download ATONEMENT from the Repair Technician, Jesus, into the heart component.  No matter how big or small the SIN defect is, Jesus will replace it with Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control.  Please see the operating manual, the B.I.B.L.E. (Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth) for further details on the use of these fixes.

WARNING: Continuing to operate the human being unit without correction voids any manufacturer warranties, exposing the unit to dangers and problems to numerous to list, and will result in the human unit being permanently impounded.  For free emergency service, call on Jesus.

Fiery FurnaceDANGER: The human being units not responding to this recall action will have to be scrapped in the furnace.  The SIN defect will not be permitted to enter Heaven so as to prevent contamination of that facility.

 

God Letter Closing

 

P.S. Please assist where possible by notifying others of this important recall notice, and you may contact the Father any time by ‘Knee Mail’!

Passionate Pursuit

How is your spiritual life?  Who are you depending on in your walk with Jesus?  Is it your pastor? Your Bible study leader? Sunday School teacher? Mom? Dad?  Mentor?  I sure hope not!  Although each of those people can help push you forward YOU are the only one responsible for your Christian growth.  If you want a real love relationship with the One and Only, you have to do the work.

Persistence and passion are the key.  My awesome husband will tell you he knew I was God’s choice for him the moment he laid eyes on me (at the Defiance County Fair).  I, however, had a different plan for my life.  I was never getting married since I intended to have a stellar, career as an opera singer.  God definitely had other plans for my life.  As we talked, over the next hour or so, he passionately, persisted, in his pursuit of a date with me.  I said yes and 45 years later, 41 of them married, I do not have a moment’s regret.

The same concept applies to our life with Jesus.  He is passionately pursuing us.  He wants to be part of who we are.  Unless we determine to do all that is necessary there is no relationship.  So what does that entail?  The same thing we do to build ‘people’ relationships.  Spend time with Him.

Love Jesus

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.   Deuteronomy 6:5

Thy word, have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against You.  Psalm 119:11

Prayer Lily

I Needed The Quiet

I NEEDED THE QUIET

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God says on the seventh day He rested from His work(Genesis 2:2) and since we are created in His image we need rest too.  In the 23rd Psalm David said, “He makes me lie down…”  Job’s friend Jophar gives him a crumb of reassurance saying, “You will lie down without fear…” (Job 11:19).  With great wisdom Solomon wrote these words, “…when you lie down your sleep will be sweet” (Proverbs 3:24b).  Jesus recognized the need for quiet rest when he said to the disciples, “Come with Me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” (Mark 6:31)

In my career as a teacher and principal I learned just how important rest was.  Long hours and a great deal of stress do not help anyone’s health.  Burning the candle at both ends, ends up with nothing when the flames have consumed all the wax.  I finally came to my senses and retired early.  The job was consuming me and I heard the Spirit clearly say this is NOT what I want for you.  You see, even though I prayed every morning that I would keep Him close all day, when I walked through the school doors I quit focusing on Him and started focusing on kids, teachers, parents and all the issues and stress a high poverty, inner city, school brings.  I ended up quite ill from lack of rest, poor diet, and high stress.  When my awesome husband was hospitalized and in a chemically induced coma for 20 days from a Traumatic Brain Injury I had much time to pray, think, and reflect. The conclusion–my career was killing me.  Once the decision was made, a calmness came over me that I had not known before.  I knew without question this was exactly what God wanted.  I needed adequate rest and He already knew this was the only way I was going to get it.  Praise God! I listened! and rested!

Heavenly Father, thank You! for making me aware.  You deserve my total, rested attention.  I want to do that.  Make my life more and more about You.  In Jesus Name make it so!

7 Rules For Life

7 RulesFrom time to time I read something on Facebook that is actually applicable to life.  The 7 Rules of Life resonated in my thoughts, leading me to find scripture that tells me God would want these ‘rules’ to be considered and used by His Children.

Hebrews 12:8 tells us to live at peace with everyone.  If we are doing that we will not need to make peace with our past because there will be nothing there to worry about.

I loved the second one and really gave it some thought.  If we truly believe Genesis 1:27 then we understand that we are defined by God.  How we look and our personal characteristics are the mirror of God’s image.  What other’s think doesn’t really matter when our life is completely centered on the One and Only.

Matthew 6:34 applies to rules 3 and 7.  Our problems, trials, temptations, and challenges look different as time passes.  What may have been a major crisis in our 20’s pales when we look at it through the lenses of our 50’s.  We will never solve all the problems that are in this world, but we can know that in God’s timing everything will eventually work out.

Judging others is a major issue in everyone’s life.  We may be able to convince others on the surface that we aren’t judging them, but…  Matthew 7:1-2 tells us that the consequence of being judgmental is that we will be judged in the same way as we judge others.  Can we at least, if we have to ‘judge’, do so with love, mercy, and compassion?

Why are we so worried about stuff?  We are clearly told in Phil. 4:6-7 to quit worrying.  God is in control.  He has our front, back, sides, tops, bottoms, past, present, and future in His very capable hands.  Let this truth settle in your mind…He wants and will provide what is best for us.

Number 6 is the only one I would question.  I have given God charge of my life.  With that I have given him control of happiness, joy, delight, and all the other good things that are in His storeroom for me.  Ecclesiastes 2:26 says He will give us wisdom, knowledge, and happiness if we please Him.  You might ask how do we please Him.  It’s quite simple!  We learn His Word, know His Son, and share all with others.

Fishy Friends

fishermanMy dad was an avid fisherman.  As soon as the weather was warm enough to be on the lake he was there.  Of course, he taught all three of his girls the skills necessary to be fisherman.  Such things as putting our own bait on the hook, quiet conversation or no talk at all, and of course how to swim if we fell out or the boat capsized were patiently taught until we got it.  To this day all three of us still enjoy a quiet morning on the water.  In fact I can still filet and skin a fish.

Jesus was into fish too!  His first disciples were persuaded to follow Him by telling them they would become ‘fisher’s of men’.  In Matthew 4:19 we are not only told He said this but they followed immediately.  Then he walked down the road a bit and said the same thing to two more fisherman.  They followed immediately.  These four men Peter and Andrew, James and John became Jesus’ BFF’s!

Christ_feeding_the_multitudeJesus also used 5 loaves and 2 fishes to clearly show that He could and would provide for His people.  (My husband jokes that we will be served fish and chips in heaven, at the Great Banquet, because of the number of times fish is a part of the Story.)

When Jesus appeared to  the disciples beside the Sea of Galilee, before His Ascension, guess what He served?  Yep!  He was cooking fish and invited his friends to have breakfast with Him.  John 21:12-13

IchthusIn the first century church the fish symbol (Ichthus) was used by believers to identify themselves as Believers.  These friends of Jesus would ‘write’ the upper half-circle of the fish when they met someone and if that person finished the lower half-circle they were recognized as a fellow Believer.

Do you use a symbol to proclaim your belief?  Do you wear a cross?  Do you unashamedly carry your Bible?  Do people ask if you’re a Believer because of how you act or look?  Do you willingly talk about Jesus when someone notices what you’re wearing, carrying or modeling?  I take every opportunity I find to talk about my Jesus.  You can too!

Heavenly Father, shine through me.  Let others see Your love, faithfulness, joy, delight…when they see me.  Oh, Lord, let my life be totally about You!  Make it so in Jesus Name!

God’s Great Love…

I have finally finished the Book of Deuteronomy and am ready to dig in to Joshua.  I am reading the Word in the Message and Peterson writes some very interesting introductory thoughts about the book.  This one in particular was very compelling, and I quote, “God’s great love and purposes for us are worked out in the messes, storms and sins, blue skies, daily work, and dreams of our common lives, working with us as we are and not as we should be.” (The Message.  Eugene H Peterson.  NavPress. 2004  pg. 263)

God loves us, without question, and really wants what is best for us.  He knows what ‘we should be’ but determines to work with us as we are.  His purpose is to make us the best we can be as we mirror His Son, Jesus.  He knows we are imperfect, sinners, always.  It is not a spur of the moment plan.  God is able to see the past, present and future of each of our lives and He wants to be part of every moment.   His presence is always there we just don’t always choose to honor it.  God’s plan will prosper us and provide for us.

God's Plans

He does nothing without just cause.  He knows the right time, the right place, and the reasons for His actions regarding us.

Ezekial 1423

However, He expects us to communicate with Him through prayer.  And wants others to be doing the same for us.

1 Thessalonians

God knows and He will share His plan.  All we have to do is ask and listen for the response.

Oh, How He Loves Us by David Crowder

Heavenly Father, my prayer today is that You will open our hearts and minds and give us the ability to hear You.  Oh, Lord, when we hear You let us respond as You would have us respond.  I lift this prayer in the Mighty and Awesome Name of Jesus.  Make it so!

I Love You BUT I Don’t Like You

houseWhen God says I love you He is saying just that.  Where did we come up with the I don’t like you part?  Perhaps, we want to say I don’t like what you’ve said/done but I have to love you because God says so.  Hmmmmm  I really don’t think the intent of the command to love others has anything to do with a qualification (but I don’t like you).

There are 3 basic commands in the New Testament…Love God and love others!  (Matthew 22:35-40)  Go and Tell! (Matthew 28:19)  Do any of those say BUT I don’t have to like you, your actions, your opinions, your stuff…?

"These 15 (crash!).... er, 10 Commandment...

When God says love me that’s exactly what it means.  The first 4 commandments of the 10 are about loving God.  He says I AM God!  You can have no other gods in any form whether spiritual or physical.  Honor My Name.  Worship me on the Sabbath and rest from all else.  How do those equal love?  Think about this.  When we are with those we love we focus totally on them, we honor them, we let nothing get in the way of our relationship with them, we set aside time to be totally with them.  That is how we are to love God!

How we are to love others is commanded in the next 6.   Honor your parents!  Do not murder, commit adultery, steal, lie, or want what belongs to someone else.   This is where the ‘but I don’t like you’ comes into play.  We get ourselves into a self-righteous attitude and say I don’t like you because you…  We have to get over ourselves!  Doesn’t God say I AM God and you’re not?  Stop separating the two.  I love you, period.

Fish hook loveLove is wanting what is best for another.  It is not wanting what is best when we say, but I don’t like you.  When a person hears, I don’t like what you are doing or saying, they immediately equate it to I don’t love you.  Oh, dear friends, take these words out of your vocabulary!  They are not God-like.  If we truly want to become more like Him we cannot allow our human attitudes to have a part in how we love.  Let nothing get in the way of simply loving!

Oh, How He Loves Us!

Oh, Heavenly Father, let me simply show love.  Keep me constantly aware of Your example.  Let me show love in Jesus’ Precious and Holy name.  Make it so!

Happy Birthday, America!

220px-Spirit_of_'76“When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.”

26 of the original signers of the Constitution were ordained ministers and it is likely the rest were Believers in Christ.  They all took an oath to the effect that if they did not uphold the document they were signing into law they would be hanged.  Words in this document attest to the Creator who gave man life and “certain unalienable rights”.   They would have rather died than be at the mercy of a government that did not have their best interests at heart!

For many, prayer in any place but the privacy of home or church, is not allowed.  That was not the intent of the founding fathers.  Part of the reason for the Revolutionary War, in addition to the taxation issue, was that England wanted the colonists to recognize the Church of England as the only Church of America.  Prayer, worship, and the Bible were a huge part of the Revolutionary American’s life.  The Founding Fathers would have rather been hanged than deny their oath…   Our current government would like us to believe that prayer is not acceptable in public…pretty much not at all, anywhere.  Yet belief in the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and the desire to respect and glorify Him in this new country is very evident in the first prayer uttered at the first meeting of Congress.

September 7th, 1774
Carpenters Hall, Philadelphia

O Lord, our Heavenly Father, High and mighty King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, who dost from Thy throne behold all the dwellers on earth and reignest with power supreme and uncontrolled over all the Kingdoms, Empires and Governments:

Look down in mercy we beseech Thee, on these American States, who have fled to Thee from the rod of oppression, and thrown themselves on Thy gracious protection, desiring henceforth to be dependent only on Thee, they have appealed for the righteousness of their cause; to Thee do they now look up for that countenance and support which Thou alone canst give; take them, therefore, Heavenly Father, under Thy nurturing care; give them wisdom in Council and valor in the field; defeat the malicious designs of our cruel adversaries; convince them of the unrighteousness of their cause; and if they persist in their sanguinary purpose, O, Let the voice of Thy own enerring justice, sounding in their hearts, constrain them to drop the weapons of war from their unnerved hands in the day of battle! 

Be Thou present, O God of wisdom and direct the councils of this honorable assembly; enable them to settle things on the best and surest foundation. That the scene of blood may be speedily closed; the order, harmony and peace may be effectively restored, and truth and justice, religion and piety prevail and flourish among Thy people. Preserve the health of their bodies and vigor of their minds; shower down on them, and the millions they here represent, such temporal blessings as Thou seeth expedient for them in this world, and crown them with everlasting glory in the world to come. All this we ask in the name and through the merits of JESUS CHRIST, THY SON, OUR SAVIOR.

AMEN

-Rev. Jacob Duché

Dear, dear friends, pray for this country, it’s people and it’s leaders.  God clearly said, “…if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”  2 Chronicles 7:14

This should be our humble and fervent prayer...IF MY PEOPLE…

Heavenly Father, 237 years later, we are still oppressed by our government, yet You have said if we will pray, You will heal our land.  Well right now I’m asking that You hear that prayer from me.  Forgive us, give us strength and courage to stand as Daniel did against a modern Babylon.  Help us all seek your face and forgiveness.  Give us strength and courage to stand for YOU!  I lift this prayer in Jesus’ most Holy and Precious Name.  Make it so!!!

Heaven Is!!!

thCA8GZJYEA sick man turned to his doctor as he was preparing to leave the examination room and said, “Doctor, I am afraid to die.  Tell me what lies on the other side?” Very quietly the doctor said, “I don’t know.” “You don’t know?  You, a Christian man, do not know what is on the other side?” The doctor was holding the handle of the door;  on the other side came a sound of scratching and whining, and as he opened the door, a dog sprang into the room and leaped on him with an eager show of gladness. Turning to the patient, the doctor said, “Did you notice my god?  He’s never been in this room before.  He didn’t know what was inside.  He knew nothing except that his master was here, and when the door opened, he sprang in without fear.  I know little of what is on the other side of death, but I do know one thing…” “I know my Master is there and that is enough.” On this Memorial Day Weekend take the time to remember those who have gone into the Master’s arms.

Oh, How He Loves You and Me!!! Worship Him in song…   Thank You by Ray Bolz.

Revelation 21:1-5      Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.  I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.  And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them.  They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God.  He will wipe every tear from their eyes.  There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.  He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”  Then He said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

Revelation 22:1-5     Then the angel showed me the river of the Water of Life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the Throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city.  On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month.  And leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.  No longer will there be any curse.  The Throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and His servants will serve Him. They will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads.  There will be no more night.  They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light.  And they will reign for ever and ever.  

Revelation 22:20-21      He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”  Amen.  Come, Lord Jesus.  The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people.  Amen.  

Heavenly Father, make it so!