I know everyone is quite busy this time of year. I have a long list of “to do’s” myself. But I wanted to take a moment to share a quick message, and a prayer.
I’ve been thinking a lot about Christmas and the real Spirit behind it. Yesterday we were asked, “What gift would you give to God”? It is His birthday being celebrated after all. But from everything I have learned over all these years, I know that the one gift He desires most of all, is my heart.
Sometimes my mind becomes very distracted with the details and demands of everyday life, and I lose my focus on what really matters…God, my family and friends, and doing what I can to be a blessing to others.
So I want to take this time to tell all of you…you are the gifts that I treasure most in this world. Thank you for the time and the love you have given me. I wish you all the very best blessings of peace, love and joy to fill your hearts in the days ahead. Merry Christmas to all, and Happy Birthday Jesus!
Where Is Jesus? He’s In My Heart!
Some people are saying that America was never a Christian nation. Some are saying that it used to be, but is not now. And others are insisting that it still is. I can’t honestly and accurately say what is (or was) in anyone else’s heart or mind but my own. I guess it doesn’t really matter what anyone calls this country. I personally, am a Christian.
The word Christian means to follow Christ, to be Christ-like. It was first used (Acts 11:26) in Antioch (not as the English word we use now) to describe the people that were following the teachings of Jesus Christ and trying to live their lives according to the examples He had given. More accurately, it described the people that had received the Spirit of The Holy Ghost and had given their lives completely to Him. It did not mean to simply believe in Jesus, for even Satan believed, but I’m pretty sure he would not be called a Christian.
In any case, the core nature of being a Christian is not about being in a group where everyone agrees with or goes along with everyone else about all things. It is more about a personal relationship with Christ in our own heart. God made us all individuals, each one of us is unique. In being unique, we are not going to agree with each other on everything. But as Christians, we are all subject to His instructions (the Bible) in loving one another and how we are supposed to work together for His glory.
The Bible says in Romans 12:3-5, “3 For by the grace (unmerited favor of God) given to me I warn everyone among you not to estimate and think of himself more highly than he ought [not to have an exaggerated opinion of his own importance], but to rate his ability with sober judgment, each according to the degree of faith apportioned by God to him. 4 For as in one physical body we have many parts (organs, members) and all of these parts do not have the same function or use, 5 So we, numerous as we are, are one body in Christ (the Messiah) and individually we are parts one of another [mutually dependent on one another].” (Amplified translation)
In this context we are being instructed to work together for the common goal of what is good for us all, with each contributing his or her own unique gift or talent, but moving in the same direction as a whole in God’s will.
Not including our past history or how this nation was founded, the current percentage of the population claiming to be Christians in America is 73%. (Wikipedia) So I have to wonder, if we are doing what we are supposed to as a whole (living under God’s leadership), how is it that we have allowed so many of (man’s) laws to be passed that are essentially “escorting God right out of our lives”? If the majority of this nation is declaring that we are Christians, why are we condoning these laws with our silence? God’s Word is pretty clear about homosexuality, murder, theft, etc. Yet we continue to allow our own government to pass laws to the contrary, just so long as they call it by a different name or don’t bother us with it.
As an individual with only one voice, I cannot change much. But as a population of 73% of the American public, when we stand together, we can change a lot of things. That is to say, if we stand together and take action. The Bible commands believers in Psalm 94:16 to RISE UP and STAND UP for God against evildoers.
I am not suggesting that we try to force anyone to become a Christian. That is not our business, it’s God’s. What I am saying is that by being too silent and ignoring the direction our politicians and government have taken and the laws they have passed under the pressure of a small minority group, we are allowing the moral fabric of our nation to be destroyed.
Our children are growing up confused and unbalanced. In their hearts they may feel something of a basic sense of what is right or wrong, but they see the examples of what is being allowed or being pushed as “normal and acceptable behavior” plastered all around them. Even in a lot of the Christian homes there is compromising and excusing, instead of truth and obedience.
And then we cry out in wonder at the insanity of a brutal beating of an elderly man for a few dollars. We scream in outrage at the raping and beating of a young teenage girl. And we ask why in the shooting of innocent children. Why would or how could anyone do such horrible things? The answer is simple, because of evil.
It’s not about passing more laws to take people’s guns away. (Cain didn’t use a gun to kill Able.) It’s not about passing laws to allow people to carry guns either. In fact, it’s not really about passing any laws at all. We were already given Ten Laws a long, long time ago, and if those laws were actually observed, there wouldn’t be any other laws needed.
The problem is we can’t obey those laws without God’s help. That is why Jesus came. He lived to teach and show us how to live. Then He died, rose up again, and ascended back up to Heaven to give us the gift of His Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38). It is only with His precious gift that we have the means to live in obedience of His Word.
But what good can His Word do if no one sees it, hears it, or experiences it’s power around them? We need God and His Word to be the center of our lives, because without Him, evil overcomes.
It is not my desire or intention to judge anyone else for what they believe or not, or for what they do. It is just my belief that as a Christian and an American, it is my right and responsibility to stand up for what I believe in, and to live my life accordingly. I believe in “the land of the free, and the home of the brave”. I believe in “the right to keep and bear arms”. I believe in “one nation, under God”. I believe in “God shed His grace on thee”. I believe in “thou shalt have no other gods before me”. I believe in “For God so loved the world…” I believe in “love one another, as I have loved you”. I believe in repentance, being baptized and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. And I believe in “…as for me and my house, we shall serve the Lord”.
I will live my life and teach my children as Jesus leads me. I will vote as Jesus leads me. I will speak as Jesus leads me. And I will love others, as Jesus leads me. Will you?
My prayer today is that hearts and minds are opened to Jesus’ gift, that eyes will see the truth, and that the people of this country and all around the world will know His great love for us all. May peace and joy surround you, and God bless. – Amber
A beautiful little soul has gone on to God’s Kingdom. She is safe now in the arms of Jesus, no more pain, no more tears. She is at peace.
But her family is in pain. The grip of grief, pain, anguish, despair, unanswered questions, all this and more, can be so overwhelming in our time of loss. Sometimes there is no sense to be made, or reasons why to be answered. I know, because I’ve lived through it.
There were only 2 things that kept me going, 2 reasons that I helped me endure…knowing the love of my Savior, Jesus Christ, and knowing that my child was in His arms where he would be happy forevermore.
Even though it’s been over 11 years now since my son Jason died, there are still moments when all those feelings of grief and sadness return. And it’s in those moments when I realize just how much I need Jesus. Without His comforting and peace, I could not live.
I pray that Faith’s family will have the strength to hold onto the love & peace & comforting that only He can give, to know that their precious little girl is with Him now. I pray that they can know in their heart they will see her again one day, and find security in the family of Jesus. In the Holy name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.
Please pray for a miracle! A little 1 year old girl named Faith suffered a head trauma at daycare and appeared brain dead yesterday. She is undergoing an MRI right now to determine if there is any brain activity.
This is Baby Faith & her Mom & Dad.
I know the heartache and the fear and anguish these parents are going through right now. I also know that God is mighty and capable, with Him ALL things are possible!
Please pray for this family, for healing, comforting, peace, strength, and faith and trust in the Lord! Let the Spirit of His great love flow out through our prayers. Amen! And thank you all!
This is a re-blog from Kevin Senapatiratne of www.christconnection.cc :
Why Pray? 10 reasons to make an investment in prayer.
So why pray in the first place? Let me give you just some of the benefits to a consistent life of prayer. This is hardly a complete list but since this is a post not a book I figured I should start here.
1. Relationship with Jesus.
If this was the only reason to pray that would be plenty. We get to build a friendship with God. But there is more.
2. Health Reasons.
The science that I have seen indicates that there are many health benefits to taking time to pray. Things like blood pressure, strengthened immune system and helps with arthritis. For more info see this article by a friend of mine (http://bit.ly/NV0zo6 ).
3. Helps with my relationships.
I find that I am easier to deal with after a time of prayer. This makes it a positive thing for those people close to me when I pray. If I am a nicer person to be around my friends have a better chance to grow.
4. Prayer impacts my family.
I see the difference in my family when I pray. I am investing in my daughter’s future every time that I pray for her. My marriage can get deeper and deeper as I pray for it.
5. Prayer impacts whatever I am praying about.
If I am praying for my church and leaders it makes a difference. It is like a buffet (and I like buffets). Anything in the world that I would like to impact can be touched in my prayer life.
6. I get direction for my days as I pray.
Sometimes God will speak to me about specific assignments for the day or topics for this blog. Other times He will give me more long term direction. I never know what God will say when I pray.
7. Prayer gives me perspective.
It is easy to get focused on my immediate concerns, worries, and cares. Prayer helps me step back and get the perspective of heaven and eternity. This makes life issues take on the right size.
8. Prayer helps me avoid temptation.
Jesus teaches us to pray, “Lead me not into temptation.” We don’t know all the sin we avoid simply by praying this prayer. I figure it is worth not having to go down that road.
9. Prayer makes me more effective.
It is amazing what I get done when I prayer over my list of things to do. I somehow am more productive than otherwise. And sometimes things that seem so important just get eliminated from my list altogether.
10. Answers for needs
I have seen too many answers to prayer over the years to not include this. Miracles happen! But will we ask?
As I said reason number one would be enough, but none of the others are too shabby either. What is your favorite answer to the question, “Why pray?”