GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN

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How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’  – Isaiah 52:7

I’m going to step out on a theological limb here (say a prayer for me, I usually play things pretty safe)…  I’m going to say that this Christmas carol is less about the birth of Christ, and more about what you and I are called to do in our day.  Yes, I know the lyrics talk about the birth of Christ in every verse, but – the refrain clearly is talking to us in the here and now – it says GO & TELL.

Refrain:
Go, tell it on the mountain,
Over the hills and everywhere
Go, tell it on the mountain,
That Jesus Christ is born.

Go Tell It On the Mountain was compiled by John Wesley Work, Jr. and dates back to at least 1865.  He was the first African-American to collect African-American gospel songs, which was no easy task because most of it was never written, but passed by word of mouth from plantation to plantation.  If he had not continued this quest to preserve the songs, we might not have this great song today.

This African-American spiritual song has been sung and recorded by both gospel and secular artists.  Since the original lyrics celebrate the Nativity of Jesus, it is considered a Christmas carol.

So, what’s the message for us today?  As Lucinda reminds us, it is to TELL THEM.  Tell them about the real meaning of Christmas!

tell-themGO AND TELL…  tell of the light you see…  as bright as that star that shone over the manger in Bethlehem.  Tell of the peace Christ will give and the love He will give as they give Him first place in their life.  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

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MATTHEW 10:14 ON 10/14

TL MATTHEW 10 14 ON 10 14

Whoever doesn’t receive you, nor hear your words, as you go out of that house or that city, shake off the dust from your feet.  – Matthew 10:14

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How much time, talent and treasure are you prepared to spend on a person when their eternal destination is uncertain?  When is it time to stop trying and walk away, shaking the dust off your feet (or sneakers) as you leave their house?

I struggle with this because I’m an eternal optimist!  I don’t believe God gives up on anyone…  ever – so therefore, who am I to give up?  But then I see this verse and I’m reminded that not everyone is going to accept my message.  I might add, in this modern age, very few will accept it…  sadly.

There’s a commercial playing on TV that reminds me of this Scripture – an advertisement for Choice Hotels:

https://youtu.be/EZVxDzDUXNY

Or there is this one – I’ll post it just as soon as I quit laughing – it’s so funny…

https://youtu.be/YtvFhC1vmDo

Just a quick note…  I had that job – and I think I remember that guy picking on his toes – I think he was in the cubicle next to mine.  Yeah…  what a memory!

But when we are doing our best to share the gospel with others, how do we know when it’s time to stop?  I often wonder if I stop too soon.  Once in a while I wonder if I lingered too long, though.  How do we know?  I mean, this is their soul hanging in the balance – ya know?  It’s important to stay long enough – but to know when to walk away.

There are entire groups of folks that I cannot even begin to talk to – they know who they are.  Atheists, for example, usually don’t receive me, let alone hear what I have to say.  I always leave a conversation letting them know I will pray for them.  They don’t accept that either, but they can’t stop me from praying for them.  When I walk away, I am not angry or discouraged.  I’m sad.  I pray that someone gets through – at that point it’s all I can do.

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I think as long as people are open to hearing me, I’ll keep sharing my faith.  It may seem like a painfully obvious answer, but I think it’s the right one.  A few times I have received a sort of intercession from the Holy Spirit that lets me know I need to leave it – it’s like He’s telling me that this person is not “ready” to accept Him yet.  It has only happened a few times.

I guess I just want to make sure I stay long enough.  I never want to walk away too soon – but I don’t worry about it because maybe I’m not the one who is supposed to help them pray.  Maybe I’m just the one to plant one of the seeds along the way.  I’m sure that God knows how long I’ll stay to help and I have full confidence in Him – that He will bring the next person along to plant more seeds.  That’s what we do as Christians.  We plant seeds for the lost and sharpen iron with the saved.  Don’t you love God’s plan?  🙂

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

TL ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY (8)

LEAD ME ON
On this day in 1956, two years after pushing to have the phrase “under God” inserted into the pledge of allegiance, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs a law officially declaring “In God We Trust” to be the nation’s official motto. The law also mandated that the phrase be printed on all American paper currency.

Today I was standing in the dining room waiting for my toast to pop up when the song “Just a Closer Walk With Thee” started playing. I started singing along while doing a little spirited shuffle to the beat (it’s not dancing, exactly). The words to that song have a powerful meaning to me and always have. I like the line that says, “If I falter, Lord, who cares??? None but THEE, Dear Lord – none but THEE.”

I was raised to adopt a perfectionist attitude and esteem performance. It’s a crying shame that an attitude like that should be acceptable in the church, but it is. I’ve spent years trying to unwind my identity from my ability to perform. It’s finally solid in my mind – it’s not about what I do or how I do it. It is about what Christ did for me. My salvation rests on my faith and nothing else.

Now, rewards are quite another thing. The rewards are based on works, but only if they are done with a good attitude. That’s still not based upon how good my performance is. Of course I want to do my very best because it’s for God. But to get all wrapped up in myself over it is not right.

Today I pray – Lead me on, Lord. These days my eyesight is not very good and I can’t tell a sharp sign from a natural sign when I’m playing music. I can’t see to do cross-stitch anymore. The things I used to do to help others, I can no longer do. But I don’t want to concentrate on what I can no longer do. I did what I could and now it’s time to help in other ways.

Today I pray – Lead me on, Lord. I don’t know where He will lead me or what He will lead me to do, but I want to be of a contrite spirit and listening for further instruction from the Holy Spirit.

Today I pray – Lead me on, Lord.

HEBREWS 12:28 ON 12/28

HEBREWS 12 28 ON 12 28

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe…  – Hebrews 12:28

When I read that passage of scripture, I thought, “Wow – what a great New Year’s Resolution!”  I mean, what could be better than to resolve to be more thankful and worship God acceptably with reverence and awe???

It seems to me that once the proper emphasis is put on all that, everything else will fall into its rightful place.  You may think that sounds too good to be true, but don’t dismiss my theory so quickly.

When our hearts and minds are on Christ instead of our problems, we are fully trusting Him to work it all out, right?  So, if we’re trusting the Lord to take care of the day-to-day, then it will all fall into place, right?

If we could just do that one thing, it would be the best resolution because by our act of faith we are letting Christ know that we trust Him for everything.  Well, you don’t think I chose the book of Hebrews just because I wanted to tell the joke about coffee, did you?  You do know that the man is supposed to make the coffee in the household – because the Bible says He Brews…  yeah – ok.  Talking Tom likes coffee…

Anyway…  what a great reminder that we are receiving a kingdom that is unshakable!  It’s not made by human hands.  We sure can’t say that about this place, can we?  I hear bad news almost daily that makes me wonder how much longer things will stay together.  But the kingdom of God is solid and eternal.  It is where we are headed, so we need to realize that we are children of the living God and start giving Him all the glory and honor and praise He deserves.  Let’s find the awe in awesome again.

We are not abandoned.  We are not orphans.  We are more than conquerors in Jesus’ name.  Let’s go into 2014 with praise for God on our lips and a testimony in our heart to share with those who need to hear it.  😀