PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD

TL 12-1 PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORDTEN DAYS FORE CHRISTMASOn the seventh day ‘fore Christmas we will pray for love for one another, joy to share with others, peace in our hearts and thank God for His amazing grace.  Love for one another – I mean, were you out there on Black Friday???  Seriously?  But maybe it’s a love that goes beyond mere commercialism…  hmm…

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The only way to love anyone – and yes, that includes family members – is with the love of God, through Christ Jesus.  That is the love we pray to receive from God.  Love came down at Christmas:  https://youtu.be/WsSapMaTnKw

Christmas is a time to LOVE:  https://youtu.be/DOG8uXqKgNI

https://youtu.be/gOQGpSVvJ94

Dear Lord,

We need to learn how to love one another the way You want us to.  We’ve learned well how to be divisive and hateful toward those who are not just like us.  So many lines divide us, but we seriously need Your Word to speak to us and teach us to erase those lines in our lives.  Shower Your wisdom over us, wrapped up in Your love – the love that was born in Bethlehem.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

https://youtu.be/Y_n2CDALG10

When we have God’s love through Christ, we are able to give good gifts – gifts of love.  We receive the best love from God – it’s a love that sees beyond ourselves and into the feelings and emotions of others.  Christ Himself instructs us through the Holy Bible, so we are ready to show God’s love to those around us.

Jesus loves you…

https://youtu.be/-q6HJTUDOMI 

This cracks me up – in our church we used to have to coax the kids to sing louder…  whew! 

The greatest life one can have is of service. Give joy, happiness, bliss, laughter, wisdom, prosperity, love & light to others. By doing so, you tap into the Infinite Source within ensuring that you will never have to do without these “treasures” yourself! – Lateef Warnick

Serving the Lord during the Christmas season is the best thing you can do!  I hope you have an opportunity to give in some way of time, talent or treasure – maybe all three.  🙂

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PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD

TL 12-1 PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORDThis Christmas we are all thinking of the tragic terrorist acts that have come to American soil.  It’s not something that will stop us from celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  It is a reason to lay our needs and wants at the feet of God, in Jesus Name.

So today, let’s prepare the way of the Lord by praying for the country we love and care for so much!TEN DAYS FORE CHRISTMASThese six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.   – Proverbs 6:16-19

If My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.  – 2 Chronicles 7:14

Prayer-ServeProtect2-640x366Prayer-Nation2-640x366Prayer-NAIN2-640x366Prayer-ALL2-640x366We have so many needs to pray for.  God promised to heal our wicked land if we will humble ourselves and pray.  It’s an important part of preparing for Christmas – so let’s humbly bow before God in prayer today.

FROM CHRISTMAS TO FOREVER, IMMANUELIsn’t it sad that we want God to bless America, yet we don’t respect or value His precepts and His laws?  We want a scientist to come up with a cure for a disease, yet what if he / she was aborted and not given the opportunity to live, grow and develop the talent given by his / her Maker that would allow that cure to come to be.  I mean, think about it…

Thou shalt not kill is not a suggestion.  None of the Ten Commandments are suggestions – they are laws.  To break them is to sin.  Sin needs to be forgiven by God.  Keep praying for our sinful nation.  🙂

PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD

TL 12-1 PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORDAre you a griever?  Do you know another griever?  Maybe part of preparing your heart and mind for the birthday of Christ should include a conversation with another griever.  It really does take one to know one, and we feel so much better if we can share a Christmas memory.  Some memories make us laugh, others make us cry – but they are all so very precious and we hold them close – especially during the Advent season.

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I’m fortunate to have many friends who are grieving the loss of loved ones.  I’m even more blessed to have the freedom to talk about the loved ones I miss this year.  More importantly, however, I try to be a good listener as well – and let them talk about their loved ones.  Sometimes we tell the same stories over again, but that’s okay.  By repeating those tales, we keep them alive in our hearts and minds.

https://youtu.be/mz10SNKxblg

It took me a long time to come to terms with this, but even though my loved ones have gone to heaven, it is still the same Spirit that watches over us.  Of course, they know God in all His beauty and splendor now – and I still see as through a glass dimly…  but the day will come when we will both be in His presence.  That is the hope we hang our hat on, isn’t it?

THE SAME SPIRITGrieving people don’t mind if their grieving friends shed a tear or two – and usually they both shed tears in empathy.  There is no shame in that…  we got so used to certain traditions and happy times with these people – and they’re now gone.  It hurts – that’s just the heart of the matter.  ❤

God of compassion,

There is such a hole in my heart!  Today should be a day of joy, but I feel only the emptiness and loss of someone so beloved.  While the world celebrates around me, I remember Christmas celebrations of the past and I long to have my loved one with me.  I bring my sorrows to you, Lord, like some odd gift of the magi and dump them at your feet.   In my blind tears I wonder if anyone can possibly understand the depth of my sadness. Yes, you can.  You sent your son to be with us in our deepest sorrows and I know that even though I might not feel it at this minute, you are here with me, grieving with me, caring for me in my sadness and loving me.  Dearest lord, help me to turn to the one I miss so much today and speak.  Help me heal the loss of our parting and help me not to regret the things I didn’t say.  Sorrow tears at my heart, but today I ask that my loss soften my heart and make me more compassionate with everyone I meet.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

CELEBRATION IN HEAVENWe’re blue when our loved ones are not around at Christmas time.  We can’t help but think of the past – old traditions and fun times with family that will never happen again.  I know heaven is a beautiful place and would never wish for them to come back here – but by the same token, I really miss them!  😦

PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD

TL 12-1 PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORDThe most happy people are the most thankful ones…  so today, let’s give thanks to God for all our blessings.  Yes, I know we just did that at Thanksgiving – but guess what?  We’re going to do it again – and again – and again every day until the Lord comes back to earth to snatch us away!

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It must be very difficult to be parents of a teen today – they want so much technology – and that’s so expensive!  It’s a challenge to teach them to not look at what their friend has and want one too.  How can that be done?  Well, I think a lot of people are going into debt trying to make sure their teen has the best of everything.

A CHRISTMAS RAINBOWBe thankful for a Christmas rainbow…  what a gift from God above!

Teach teens the value of money – and the importance of being grateful for the stuff you already have.  Technology changes daily!  The newest thing comes out about 5 minutes after the used-to-be new thing gets opened.  Teaching teens how to be contented with what they have is an excellent strategy.  Let them know how many hours they’d have to work at McDonald’s to earn the new toy they want.  That’s a reality check right there!

Lord, thank You for this newly blessed day that not only gives me a shot at being a better me, but a future and a hope.  – Pauline Seaport

The happiest people are the most thankful people.  I might add that if we are thankful to the Creator of all – it’s that much more meaningful.  I’m thankful to God for all He’s done in my life – not just for the stuff I have.

Sometimes you have to stop dwelling on the ones who have done you wrong and start being thankful for the ones who do you right! – Nishan Panwar

Thankfulness for small things can bring a chuckle to me sometimes.  I have a habit of putting my pen in my mouth before I type.  Today, I got finished writing and was ready to type – I popped my pen in my mouth and noticed that it smelled like CHOCOLATE.  I’m not joking – my pen smelled like chocolate!  Call me crazy, but I was thankful for that!  If we live in a perpetual attitude of gratitude – it makes all the difference in my life.  I think God laughed along with me!  🙂

 

 

PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD

TL 12-1 PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORDDonate to a local charity.  What a wonderful way to help out during the Christmas season.  Our local Disabled American Veteran thrift store has a shopping cart beside the front door.  It’s convenient to drop off a donation, and I try to give at Christmas time especially because so many folks do their Christmas shopping there.  Having choices is always a good thing – right?

Everyone has a particular charity they give to.  We have several local charities but there are also the more well-known ones such as The JDRF and The American Cancer Society.  There are so many needs, aren’t there?  Needs for research and unfortunately that takes a lot of money.  I can’t give to all of them, but just like everyone else, I do what I can afford to do.

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Sometimes it can seem overwhelming.  It seems like every time you turn the TV on, you see an advertisement for a new charity.  I think we just have to pray and ask God to show us what to do.  Once in a while there are opportunities to volunteer with organizations.  Giving to charitable organizations does not always hit your pocketbook.  Sometimes it takes a little of your precious time.  I can’t speak for everyone, but often I have more time than money.

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Have you ever wondered what would have happened if Mary would have said NO – ???  I can’t imagine a humble servant of God doing that, but what if she would have?  Her obedience, considering her young age, tells me that she was well grounded in her faith.  When it comes to decision-making in our own lives, we’d be wise to learn to ponder things over more than we do.  Who to help and where to give – these are important decisions because not every charity is using your dollars the way you would want them to.  Get to know the charity you want to help before you give.

You may need a little nudge to donate your time to sing…  but it makes others smile.  This is what I’m talkin’ about…

https://youtu.be/wBnf0md-8Iw

Helping others is one of the greatest blessings God gives us.  When you give of yourself, whether it’s time, talent or treasure, you feel as though you are making another person’s life better.  In turn, your life gets better.  Don’t you love how God’s plan works in each of us?  Some need help – others need to help.  All needs are met.  🙂

 

PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD

TL 12-1 PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD

It is better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret.  – Jackie Foyner-Kersee

We are the modern-day John the Baptists…  and it’s up to us as Christians to PREPARE THE WAY OF THE LORD – in our own hearts and lives – and subsequently shine His love and mercy on others within our realm of influence.

Lucinda wrote about the Ten Days Fore Christmas…  and I’ll fill in the rest – wink!  😉

TEN DAYS FORE CHRISTMAS

These days it’s possible to lift a person’s spirit online – which means you can share joy in your po-jammies!  I don’t know about you, but I think that’s great!  We need to engage whether we feel like it or not.  Reach out to friends and loved ones. It may be in the form of Christmas cards, or through the telephone or the Internet, if they’re not nearby.  Here’s an idea – if you Skype or do a Google Hangout with video, set it up so that your Christmas tree is in the background – all lit up!  Why not contact that person that God lays on your heart today?

The commercialism of Christmas bombards us and makes us feel bad for feeling bad…  if that makes sense.  We feel as if our lives are not “adding up” to what they should because we don’t use this particular product or we don’t have much family, so we must be missing out on something special.  Years ago, I did a study about advertisement and subliminal messages we receive in TV commercials.  We must remember, especially at this time of year, these advertisers want to sell products – they want our money.  It’s about you parting with your hard-earned money.  It’s a façade – a lie.  Don’t buy into it.

We have a Savior to share with others.  How can we do that if we don’t take the time and make the effort to get our own hearts and minds prepared for a Christ-centered Christmas?  It’s about finding opportunities to help others because we know that’s what our Lord did.  He didn’t hide out when He was in a mood.  He knew His purpose and fulfilled His ministry.  We’re here for a reason, so let’s prepare our hearts and minds for Christmas – then share the Christ of Christmas with others!  🙂

ROMANS 11:29 ON 11/29

 

TL 11-29 ROMANS 11-29 ON 11-29

For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.  – Romans 11:29

There are tangible gifts that God gives us for a season – gifts that are not eternal, but temporary – we don’t understand why we have to lose these gifts / blessings, but we have to accept God’s plan and know that He will sustain us no matter what.

Paul has looked through a telescope to get a glimpse of just how big God is, and he invites us to take a look for ourselves.  The gifts in this verse are not tangible, they are special and spiritual gifts from God – His free grace, having to do with the spiritual and eternal welfare of the souls of men.  Once we accept Christ into our hearts and lives, these things are ours for eternity and will never be taken from us – they are without repentance – immutable and unalterable.  God will never revoke them or take them away from us once we’ve accepted them.  Why?  Because God never changes and He is faithful to love and care for His own at all times.  There are no degrees or shadow of distinction.  His grace stands immovable and reliable.

https://youtu.be/weJsIQldILM

Because God’s will is sovereign and He never changes – we can rest in and rely on His promises.

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How many things are reliable in this world?  Not many…  in this life people make promises and often don’t keep them. 

God’s call on your life is forever – He will never take it back.  The gifts and abilities that God gave you are yours to use for Him.

Once you walk through the door of Salvation, you belong to God for eternity.  He will never sever that relationship with you.

Walk through the door, shutting the door behind you.  Use your God-given talents and abilities to glorify your heavenly Father.  He will help you find a ministry if you ask Him.  🙂