Friday, December 26, 2008

Psalm 23 The Lord is my shepherd

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not be in want. . .

A shepherd tends his flock, protecting the sheep from predatory animals. He brings his charges through unseen dangers. King David--once a shepherd--knew the various tasks needed to care for sheep: rescuing the errant ones from peril; providing them with nourishment, having to move them regularly in an effort to provide food for them.

Isn’t God our shepherd? Doesn’t He protect us from danger? Doesn’t He rescue us from harm? Doesn’t the heavenly Father provide for us? The obvious answer to each of these questions is “yes.” Because of what He does for us, each of us can say, “I shall not be in want.”

As God’s sheep, we have certain behaviors to display. We are to obey Him. We are to listen for His voice. We are to wait for Him to rescue us. We are to yield to Him when He helps us.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Preparation for Christmas

Over the years people in our society have devoted a quantity of time getting ready for Christmas. People make time for shopping for the ‘right gift.’ They decorate their homes with numerous Christmas trees, wreaths, mistletoe and colorful centerpieces. Mothers bake cookies and make candies for their families and friends. I think these things are nice if the people do them with the spirit of Christ in their hearts.

Sometimes, in all of this preparation, People push Christ aside. Interesting enough all this preparation consumes more time than the holiday itself.

Due to the economic issues facing our nation, people seem to be doing the preparation in a down-scaled fashion. Because of all we hear about the financial state of the banking and the automotive industries, people don’t know where they stand with their incomes and their insurance coverage.

Some questions come to the forefront of this blogger’s mind:
1. Are we preparing for Christ at all?
2. Do we honor Christ with our lifestyle?
3. Shouldn’t we reflect Christ as we prepare for His birthday?
4. Shouldn’t we live for Christ every day?

The thought of keeping Christ in Christmas intrigued me when, as a child, I saw a banner hanging on a small building set up for bell ringers. It read “Keep Christ in Christmas.” I didn’t know what they meant.

Now, as I watch television and read the newspaper, I notice the commercialism of Christmas. On television, I hear local businesses as they wish us “Happy Holidays.” I heard one particular business say “Merry Christmas.”

Fear, Courage: God Is With Us  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...