Saturday, December 4, 2010

I Am a Guest Blogger

One of my blogging friends, Susan Panzica over at  Eternity Cafe has asked me to be a guest blogger during her 40 Day Focus event. My entry is called,  Isaiah Tells Us .I invite you all to go on over and read. If you feel led, feel free to leave a comment.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Guidance into His Presence

“After they heard the king, they went on their way,

and the star they had seen in the east went

ahead of them until it stopped over the place

where the child was. When they saw the star,

they were overjoyed.” Matt. 2:9-10

The royal visitors to the Christ child, called Magi, followed a star for a long time. It guided them across deserts and through mountains. They stopped and asked direction from King Herod, who plotted to have the babe murdered.

The Magi found the star and proceeded to follow its path to the place where the baby lay. God’s Word tells us they worshipped the child.

The Magi sought guidance from a star much like we seek guidance from God. They studied the heavens and the scrolls to gain information about the event. The star guided them into the presence of the Son of God.

We study the Bible as we search for answers to the questions that beset us. Our Guide isn’t in the stars, He made them. The Magi sought the help of a king. We can seek the aid of the King of kings. The Magi returned to their home, leaving the presence of the Christ child. Once we know Him, He always has us in His watchful presence.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

God’s Message of Love

“Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host

appeared with the angel, praising God and saying.

‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace

to men on whom his favor rests.’” Luke 2:13-14 (NIV)

God sent us a precious gift, His son. He came wrapped in cloth strips and came to a manger in a stable. Although we don’t fully understand why, it was His plan.

God had made himself absent from their lives for four hundred years. All of a sudden the angels were singing and telling shepherds, the poorest of the poor, the good news of Jesus’ birth. These people, the first to hear about the birth of the babe were frightened.

The shepherds hurried into Bethlehem to see for themselves what the angels told. Once they verified the news, they told others about the angelic visit and the message and the gift from God.

How do we celebrate the coming of Christ? We give gifts. Our gifts are all wrapped with pretty paper or placed in neat looking gift bags. The wrapping paper is nice but it’s torn off and disposed of quickly. The gift bags, we save to use again. God’s gift came in rags. The gifts we give and receive among our families and friends get broken, out grown, or fall out of style. But the Gift God gave us is for all eternity.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Preparation for Christmas

“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:

‘Prepare the way of the Lord;

Make His paths straight.” Isaiah 40:3 (NKJV)

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.”

I read recently where a company that sells sporting goods has rethought its approach to how it advertises for Christmas. The buying public contacted the corporate office and voiced its concern of the nonuse of ‘Christmas’ in the company’s print and media advertisements. I think this is a small yet positive beginning for a change to bring Christ back into our observance.

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 ...