Tuesday, December 29, 2009
We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers. We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. The Lord's message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia-your faith in God has become known everywhere. I Thessalonians 1:2-3, 7-8
Christianity is more than a belief system; it is a way of life. It is more than a way of life; it is a tour of duty. When we became a Christian, we enlisted in the service of Jesus Christ. There is a spiritual battle in the world. Poverty, injustice, abuse, and hatred are all part of the human suffering going on around us. Depression, divorce, drug abuse, psychosomatic disease is all part of the world we live in and God has created us to be His ambassadors of love. You and I have a purpose beyond mere existence. We are disciples of Jesus Christ. No one knew this better than the church in Thessalonica. Paul was blown away by their seriousness and dedication. He thanked God for their faith, love and hope and committed himself to pray for them. But it wasn't what we would consider "faith, love and hope." Listen to what Paul wrote. He said, "your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope." When is the last time we did something because of faith in a mighty working God? When did we labor in love? When have we had to endure hanging on to nothing else but hope? That is what it is to serve Jesus. You take the responsibility seriously. You involve yourself in the life of others. You step out, way over your head and know that only faith in God can get results. You take on situations that try your love beyond reason. It is hard, hard work. And when nothing else seems to be working, God comes through and you are inspired to get up and do it all again because there is hope. There is a hurting world. We have the answer. May we follow the example of the Thessalonians.
Have a wonderful day, everyone.
Friday, December 25, 2009
I ate and controlled my portions until I got to the banana pudding. (LOL) I went back for seconds.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together becomes reality. - John Lennon
MERRY CHRISTmas!!! From my home to yours!!!
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Hear the Sounds of the Season
The Bible tells us that on the night Jesus was born, an angel appeared to some shepherds in the fields and told them the good news. When the angel finished delivering the message that the Saviour of the world had come to Earth, "suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: â€˜Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!'" (Luke 2:13-14, NKJV).
I believe that just as the shepherds heard sounds from heaven that first Christmas, we are to hear the sounds of the season this year. Not the sounds of carols over loudspeakers in malls. Not the sounds of families in distress because of the economic pressures of meeting bills and buying gifts. Not even the sounds of children's laughter or the hushed tones of a church choir singing "Silent Night."
Hear the sounds of the season that are coming from the realms of God's glory! Luke 1-2 and Matthew 1-2 unveil the divine dynamics through which the Christ will be revealed. As it was for those who were "people of His plan" in that hour, so it is with us who are today's cast for God's divine purposes on the earth. There are sounds to this season! Those who have an ear to hear what the Spirit is saying will hear the sounds that are right now being released in the realms of glory.
As angelic hosts filled the sky over the hillsides near Bethlehem their "sound" was very different from the sounds on the earth. In the natural realm there were sounds of social unrest, of government decrees imposing inconvenient edicts, and of oppression and injustice.
Even among those called into the Lord's plan there were likely sounds of expectation mingled with second-guessing: "Did God really say that?" "If such an amazing day of the Lord is planned for us, why are things so contradictory?" But the ears tuned to the Spirit were hearing something very different.
The story of a host of angels appearing to some shepherds near Bethlehem has become so familiar to us that it's more sentimental than significant. Yet this is one of the few descriptions we have of the glorious sounds to be heard in the eternal realm of the Lord's presence.
The prophet Isaiah heard the same sounds in his vision of the throne (see Is. 6). John, the Revelator, heard them, too! From the realms of glory there is a sound of His triumph and supremacy. There is the sound of authority. There is the sound of His prevailing purposes and power.
Choose to incline your ear to that realm. Go higher in your hearing to listen to what God will say and reveal. Triumph, authority, supremacy, divine activity, thrones and worship of the Enthroned One: All of these are available to us as the soundtrack of this season of God's plans on the earth! We are a part of those glorious plans. Hear the sounds of the season!
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