THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT

tl-12-1-adventToday is the third Sunday of ADVENT.

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth,
    burst into jubilant song with music;
make music to the Lord with the harp,
    with the harp and the sound of singing,
with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn—
    shout for joy before the Lord, the King.

Let the sea resound, and everything in it,
    the world, and all who live in it.
Let the rivers clap their hands,
    let the mountains sing together for joy;
let them sing before the Lord,
    for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
    and the peoples with equity.  – Psalm 98:4-9

Though the arrangements of this familiar Christmas carol have changed through the years, the message is still crystal clear – THE LORD HAS COME – JOY TO THE WORLD!  Everyone from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir to Mariah Carey has recorded it…  and is it any wonder???  Everyone loves to sing about the hope and JOY that came down to earth on Christmas night.

Did you know that Watts actually wrote this song as a testament to the SECOND COMING of Christ – not His birth?  Ah – that puts a whole new spin on things, eh?  I know when I hear the lyrics in the future, I’ll think of them much differently.

Based on the last part of the 98th Psalm, English songwriter Isaac Watts wrote the lyrics to this uplifting carol.  It was first published in 1719 in Watts’ collection; The Psalms of David: Imitated in the language of the New Testament, and applied to the Christian state and worship.

The carol is called Joy TO the world…  but what about Joy FOR the world?  God came to earth incarnate…  FOR you and me.the-name-of-joy

joy-prayer

“The Bible talks plentifully about joy, but it nowhere talks about a “happy Christian.” Happiness depends on what happens; joy does not. Remember, Jesus Christ had joy, and He prays ‘that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.'” — Oswald Chambers

Try to find some time to reflect on all the blessings in your life.  As you seek joy this Christmas, consider that God sent His Son – joy incarnate – to the world – and for the world.  Praise God for His awesome gift.  Oh, and may I add…  praise God for His awesome gift that is yet to come!  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

 

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (31)

Oh admit it…  you’ve done it – I know you have!  Okay – if I admit that I just did it, would you admit you’ve done it then???  Fine…  I’ll admit it.  It’s the middle of the month and I forgot to change both of my perpetual calendars to October!  They are still on September – both of them!

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While I’m sure the perpetual calendar police won’t be visiting my house anytime soon, it still makes me crazy to think that I’ve lived through an entire half month without the calendars being correct.  You’d think someone would remind me.  Oh – scratch that…  we’re talking about a person who does not notice when I’m only wearing one earring.

I used to think it would be so cool to have a perpetual calendar – and they are sort of nice.  I must have liked it because I bought another one – a totally different kind – for the basement.  So, now I have two of them, one upstairs and one downstairs.  You’d think I would have remembered to change one of them – at least.

The time just flies by, doesn’t it?  Maybe I’m just having a difficult time keeping up with it.  I know it sounds like I’m beating myself up over it, but I’m not.  Part of me wonders if it’d be worth changing them now – I mean, I only have another half month to go – so maybe I should just catch it up again in November and be done with it.

Where did this year go?  I just keep wondering what happened to the time…  seems like yesterday we were welcoming 2015.  Welcoming and wondering if things were going to get better or worse, but knowing that no matter what, our God would be faithful to us – and so He has!

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You know, I don’t believe we have much longer to share our faith with those who don’t know Christ as personal Lord and Savior.  My granny used to say, “I feel it in me bones” – and I guess that’s how I would describe it.  We’ve been given the signs to look for in the Bible – and I suppose I just see that prophecies are coming to pass almost daily – and very quickly!  When I heard that Russia was becoming such a key player in world events, my mind went to the portion of Scripture that talks about the BEAR coming down from the North.  I have heard that preached my whole life – that BEAR is Russia!  I believe the second coming of Christ is very near.  Look at it this way – we’re one day closer than we were yesterday.

If you disagree with me that is certainly your privilege.  It’s more of a feeling deep down in my spirit than anything, I guess.  I just believe time is a-flyin’ and time is short for those of us with a purpose for ministry.  Now…  I suppose I’d better get those calendars changed – to NOVEMBER…  then I’ll be ahead of time for a change.  LOL!!!  Wink!  😉

SERENDIPITY DAY

TL 8-18 SERENDIPITY DAY

8-18 DAY OF GRACE

I can’t prove it, but I don’t feel as though we have many days left to share our faith.

Today is SERENDIPITY DAY!  While most people associate serendipity with a sort of luck, I view it as a blessing.  It’s so wonderful when God puts me in the path of one who needs to hear that Jesus loves them.  It would seem like coincidence, but it’s actually providential intervention by the Holy Spirit.  We have to be on the lookout for others who may need encouragement and truth.

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.  – James 3:9 & 10

I weep for the lost in general, but I weep more for the lost in the realm of my influence. There are a couple of people I would love to get saved for. Have you ever wished you could just do it for someone else? I have – many times! Unfortunately, all we can do is share in love. Plant the seed. Some of it falls on good rich soil, but as we know… some of it does not. Lately my seed has fallen on rocks and died. It makes me sad.

What can we do when that happens? Well, I know I can always pray for them! It’s amazing that as much as the world tries to stop Christianity, they can’t keep us from thinking a prayer to God. That, they will not steal from us.

Keep sharing Jesus and His good news with everyone in your path.  This is the day of grace. Invite Jesus into your heart and life while there is still time.

I can’t prove it, but I think our time is short. I think Jesus is coming back for His own… SOON!

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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HEAVEN & HELL
I would like to post the movie “Thief in the Night” on here but it is copyright protected, so go over to You Tube and watch this 1972 Christian classic.

In 1972 I was only 11 years old.  We went to a very small church and our youth group consisted of me and another kid that sometimes showed up and sometimes didn’t.  Our youth group was invited to a larger sister church to watch “A Thief in the Night”. Although it’s faith-based fact, the story was the writer’s interpretation of Scripture.  I didn’t accept Christ after seeing this.  I didn’t accept Christ into my heart and life until my 13th birthday.  I was too young to watch this, but it got the wheels turning in my mind.  At age 11, I still thought that if I was thinking about Christ coming back, He wouldn’t.  I took that scripture literally that talks about “When ye think not” – so I tried to think about it all the time so He wouldn’t come back – I knew I wasn’t ready yet.

Now, I’m not going to get into pre-tribulation, post-tribulation. I subscribe to the theory that God knows and when He decides the time is right, that’s okay by me!  This movie was made in 1972 so obviously we’ve been given 40 years to spread the Good News of Christ Jesus to the world.  My point is that the motivation which led to salvation for thousands of teenagers during the showing of that movie was not love, but fear.

I didn’t want to meet Christ with a heart full of fear.  I came to Christ at age 13 because  I saw the suffering of my Lord and knew that He went through all that – just for me. I obviously did not understand everything, but I knew that I needed Christ in my life so I could live the best life I could. When you are motivated to be saved because of love instead of fear, there is a completely different attitude in your daily walk. You are relaxed in the LOVE of Christ instead of looking over your shoulder every few seconds to see if God might be mad at you for something. If you come to Christ in fear, your relationship with Him will be fear-based, not faith-based.

The writers and producers of “A Thief In the Night” were doing what they thought was best – and yes, hundreds of teenagers went forward because they did not want to be “left behind”. I’m not questioning that they got saved, but I pray that they came to the knowledge that Christ loves them and they don’t have to fear the future or fear the wrath of God. I hope they went on to learn about the LOVE of God through His Son, Jesus.

I wish I had been older like the other kids in youth group.  They threw me in with the older kids because, well – there wasn’t anyone else in my age group.  For most activities that worked out, but I should not have been allowed to see “A Thief in the Night”.  If I could make one suggestion to a non-Christian, it would be:  watch PASSION OF THE CHRIST.  Oh, there are subtitles so make sure you wear your glasses.  I saw it at the movie theater – nobody told me I’d have to read and I walked into the theater without my glasses.  When I bought the DVD I finally got to experience the entire movie and it’s beyond amazing.  How can anyone reject the LOVE of Christ?

There is a heaven to gain and a hell to shun, that’s for sure. I hope we all come to realize that we need to be serving the Lord because of His marvelous LOVE for us and not because we fear being eternally separated from Him.

May God’s love and peace be with you. ❤

MERRY CHRISTMAS

 

TL MERRY CHRISTMASA CHRISTMAS EMBRACE

God keeps His promises. People on this earth make and break promises every day. Children of God who earnestly seek Him and want to lean on Him are known as righteous. Seeking a righteous lifestyle brings eternal rewards from our Lord. He is not a man so He will never lie. He has never broken one promise and He never will. There are Biblical accounts of God’s precious promises and how those promises were fulfilled.

One in particular is only eleven verses long. The short story begins in the 25th verse of the 2nd chapter of the book of Luke in God’s Word, The Holy Bible. A righteous man named Simeon was promised by the Holy Spirit of God that he would not die before he had seen Christ. He was rewarded for his righteous life. He did see Christ at the temple courts.

Verses 28-32 tell us that Simeon took Him (baby Jesus) in his arms and praised God, saying:

Sovereign Lord, as You have promised, You now dismiss Your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen Your salvation, which You have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to Your people Israel.

Then in verses 34-35 we are told that Simeon blessed the father and mother. Then he said,

This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.

At Christmas I not only celebrate the birth of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, but I look forward to the second and final coming of this same Christ! With the same Holy Spirit infilling that Simeon had, I feel a great deal of anticipation in my soul about the time when God turns to His Son and tells Him it’s time to whisk us all up and take us home. I’m ready and I hope you are too! ❤