Merry Christmas

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Luke 2:7-16

And she brougth forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in that same country shepherds abiding in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the Angel said unto them, "Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you, is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger."

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of heavenly host praising God, and saying,

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, "Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us."

And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.

As we know, that Babe grew up into a wonderful Man. A Man that spent His life on earth in perfect obedience to God. A Man who gave His life as a sacrifice to the Lord that His people might be redeemed, justified, and sanctified, that is, able to conquer sin and death.

By the grace of God, through the cleansing blood of Jesus, and the work of the Holy Spirit, God's people have life. We can know truth, we can love truth, we can walk in truth.

May you celebrate the truth this Christmas season. May God draw you closer to Him and send you out with that truth that He has used to change your life!

Living for who?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Makes me think about who is really worth living for...Not "Victoria", but Jesus!

Some More...

Friday, December 17, 2010

Apparently, I just can't seem to get away from this theme.

Ben Washer - one of the men behind the scenes with Reach Records and Reach Life Ministries recently shared this insight.

"The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied." Prov 13:4

"I often crave spiritual growth but don't pursue it with diligence. Random reading, sporadic praying, occasional serving - doesn't satisfy."

Continuing to Build

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Up until recently, I only read posts from this blog as other people posted about them. I'm changing that. I have seen too many good posts to go without taking the time to read this blog any longer.

So, I subscribed in google reader. I've already shared one post with you recently. Now, I'm sharing another one.

I just read it tonight and was very excited to see that it basically served as a great conclusion to the posts I made over the last few days.

Click here and enjoy!

From the Word's Perspective

And He said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how. The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”
(Mark 4:26-29 ESV)

And so it is, we may faithfully scatter the seed and thank the Lord when the harvest comes! The one who makes things grow on the earth is also making things grow in our hearts. Blessed be the name of the Lord!

Getting Practical

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

In the last post, I talked about changing your crop by changing what you plant. I want to unpack that a little bit (just for you, mom)!

Changing your crop can be for the better or for the worse. Unfortunately, if left to ourselves, we tend to change it for the worse.

For example, ignoring your alarm clock once one morning will almost always lead to a habitual pattern of ignoring it the next morning. Eventually you find yourself ignoring it longer and longer. The cycle will continue until you eventually decide you've got to start over. The alarm clock gets set even earlier to allow for time to ignore it. The long term result is the same - you are sleeping as long as you possibly can. You give up your quiet time with the Lord and possibly even good habits such as making your bed, having a decent breakfast, etc.

I can give other examples. We are all very good at slipping down the slope of irresponsibility. That's why self-help books sell so many copies. :)

Now, for a positive example.

Changing what you plant requires that you are proactive.

Let's say you do not like the amount of time you spend in God's Word. Perhaps you are spending very little or no time in the Word and you know this needs to change. So, you set a goal.

You will never reach that goal unless you PLAN the daily steps you will have to take (what you plant) to meet that goal (grow that crop of faithful time in the Word).

What will those seeds be?

*Plan WHEN to read.
*Plan HOW long to read or WHAT to read.
*Gather tools - Bible, pencil, notebook, commentary, dictionary, something to drink- whatever you'll need to make the most of the time.
*Clear the space - clear the clutter, turn off distractions, settle down and be with the Lord.

As you faithfully plant each seed each day you will eventually find that you have a healthy crop growing in your life. You will find that you are consistently spending time in the Word of the Lord and reaping the harvest of its truth in your life.

This is so simple. Yet, in our sin, we make it so complex. We grow complacent and find ourselves unsatisfied.

It all starts with a seed.

What seeds are you planting?

Where have they gotten you?

May we all plant seeds of truth that come from Christ and find joy in the Lord, the One who makes them grow!

On Conversations Near and Far

Monday, December 13, 2010

Today, while waiting to see the chiropractor, I had a very good conversation with the man that has opened his home to me while I have been away from home these last few months. We were talking about family discipleship, the church, and living on mission for God's mission. In short we were talking about how our lives are not our own and using them to build the kingdom of God.

Along the way he said something that stuck with me. It is something I want to remember.

He said, "If you want to change your crop, you've got to change what you're planting"!

This is so simple, so true, and so wise. This change in the planting begins today. No matter what area of your life you are concerned with, changing it is as simple as changing what you are planting.

Making changes today will lead to changed tomorrow. You may be surprised at how far a small change can take you.

What a blessing it was to redeem the waiting room time!

Words of Wisdom

Saturday, December 11, 2010

I'm going through my Google Reader and am feeling very encouraged by a post from Mark and Stephen Altrogge's blog, "The Blazing Center".

In this short post, Mark reflects on something that John Newton wrote. The theme is that sin is finite and Jesus, the one who makes it possible for our sins to be forgiven is infinite.

Click here to check it out for yourself!