Jesus!


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It’s Christmas-time once more. The season for frantic shopping; planning and entertaining and spending far too much.

What’s the point of it all? The true reason for the season is to honor the Christ-child, Jesus. To remember why He was born and be thankful.

All who believe in and follow Him, have been changed forever by His birth. Saved from worldly values to live according to the Word of God (the Bible).

Matthew 1:21 says it so well. An angel of the Lord spoke to Joseph to reassure him and to tell him what was about to happen. It was an event that changed his and Mary’s life forever. ‘And she (Mary) will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.’ This was the birth of Christ. The first Christmas to those who looked for and adored Him. No jangling cash registers or crowds of shoppers; but a quiet event, on a cold night, that brought a sigh of relief to many. Peace. Comfort. Reassurance.

May Peace, Love and Comfort be yours, now and forevermore.

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Patricia

Where is the Love?


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The world can be a cold and hostile place. It is not for the faint of heart and yet, here we are living our lives in the best way we can and, at this time of year, sharing our love and gifts without exemption.

How wonderful the world would be if each day were this way. We get up, get showered (bathed), dressed and fed, hoping that our day will be a good one. There is no guarantee and yet, as Christians we do have the assurance of an inner strength that is unavailable without reaching out to our God, who loves unconditionally.

The Bible is God’s words……..and it gives us clear direction and support……..it is a blueprint for living the right way. Of course, God is invisible – but He is not absent, because He gives us His spirit once we trust Him with our lives.

Colossians 2:5 For though I am absent in the flesh (you cannot see Me), yet I am with you in spirit (in your heart), rejoicing to see your good order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ. (NKJV)

These words give me strength and comfort at all times; I agree, it is hard to trust in the wisdom of a person unseen, and yet I believe the contents of the Bible. The advice contained within its pages reassure me at all times, because the words are wise and mean me no harm. They set me upon solid ground in thought, word and deed – and I like that.

May my God of all that is good and kind and loving, bless your celebrations of Christ’s birthday and beyond.

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Why GOOD Friday?


GOOD FRIDAY mourning!

Good Friday!

I began my day thinking why is today called Good Friday?  After all Jesus was crucified this day, so long ago?

I researched and came up with this as an answer.  I admit to posting the information on FB and www.devotionalchristian.com, and now here.  If I was curious then perhaps somebody else might be asking that question too – so here is what I found out (actually I knew the answer, but this is so much more detailed and may answer your question in a way you understand).

John 3:16  For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.  (NKJV)

“Good Friday” is certainly not the only thing we could call this day. In Latin countries, it is called “Holy Friday.” In Germany, it is called “Mourning Friday” or “Friday of Mourning.” Norway refers to it as “Long Friday” (a reference to the length of the day’s services). The Orthodox Churches call it “Holy Friday” and “Great Friday.”

All of these names are instructive and understandable. So how did it come to be called “Good Friday” in English-speaking lands? The reality is that we do not know for sure. After scouring the internet and other sources, there appear to be three plausible alternatives.

1. An archaic meaning of “good” is something akin to “holy.” Thus, it used to mean “Holy Friday.”

2. It was recognized that the evils of that day lead to the greatest good, the salvation of mankind. Thus, despite the bad, the day was truly good.

3. An archaic meaning of “good” is “God,” just as “good-bye” means “God be with you.” Thus, it used to mean “God’s Friday.”

Each of these alternatives is apt and instructive. But perhaps the one most relevant to our culture and times is the middle one. Despite the evil of that day, God evoked the greatest good from it. But by good we do not mean happy or a time of celebration per se. As stated well by Chris Armstrong in Christianity Today:

Of course, the church has always understood that the day commemorated on Good Friday was anything but happy. Sadness, mourning, fasting, and prayer have been its focus since the early centuries of the church. A fourth-century church manual, the Apostolic Constitutions, called Good Friday a “day of mourning, not a day of festive Joy.” Ambrose, the fourth-century archbishop who befriended the notorious sinner Augustine of Hippo before his conversion, called it the “day of bitterness on which we fast.”

Many Christians have historically kept their churches unlit or draped in dark cloths. Processions of penitents have walked in black robes or carried black-robed statues of Christ and the Virgin Mary. And worshippers have walked the “Stations of the Cross,” praying and singing their way past 14 images representing Jesus’ steps along the Via Dolorosa to Golgotha.

Yet, despite—indeed because of—its sadness, Good Friday is truly good. Its sorrow is a godly sorrow. It is like the sadness of the Corinthians who wept over the sharp letter from their dear teacher, Paul, convicted of the sin in their midst. Hearing of their distress, Paul said, “My joy was greater than ever.” Why? Because such godly sorrow “brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret” (2 Cor. 7:10).

For me, the day is a somber, reflective one. I focus on all that Jesus gave up and suffered for his Church. The humiliation, pain, and death are a sacrifice on our behalf. Today, we appreciate the price of that sacrifice. At the same time, however, we should not forget the great good that Jesus’ sacrifice effected. After all, Resurrection Sunday is on the way.

Taken from http://christiancadre.blogspot.ca
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Easter Sunday we celebrate the Resurrection of Christ!  He is Risen, we will proclaim and we will be joyful and celebrate!

My Blinking Coffee Maker


A New Day

A New Day Dawning

My coffee maker is winking at me! Honestly: on and off, on and off goes the little red light. It’s actually telling me that the machine needs cleaning, but what it isn’t recognizing is that I have cleaned it — I removed every removable part that I can find; I removed the filter mechanism and replaced the filter, and then cleaned it some more just to be sure. But the blinking red light still winks at me! What is its problem? What have I missed? Every nook and cranny has been dealt with that I can see, but it chooses not to take any notice — and so-o-o, day in, day out, whenever I make coffee, the machine winks at me. I even tried to hide the light with a black marker — a big, black, permanent marker that I thought I could use to daub onto the little red light and mask it — well, that didn’t work! No way was it going to be hidden. I think I’d miss it now — I’ve become quite used to its presence.

Psalm 51:1-2 – Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. (NKJV)

When God sees the need for us to be cleaned, His light, the Holy Spirit, convicts us that unnecessary sediment is present in our spirits and hearts, the remainder of all the wrongs we have committed. He pursues us continually in many ways. He puts His people in our path to get our attention, to speak to us, and help us to recognize where improvement is needed. He reminds us continually through His Word — if in fact we are actually checking the interior of the Book. He will keep reappearing in many forms, reminding us that it is time for change.

Yet, how many times we try to mask Him so that we can go on doing what we are doing — things that we know He would not approve of. It’s as if we are picking up a big, black marker and trying to obliterate Him from the eyes of our hearts and spirits. We do that in vain because His light will not be blocked, however hard we try to make it happen. He will continue to pursue each one of us and make us aware of His disciplines and His way. His light will be ever present until we take notice and attend to what needs correction.

John 12:46-48 – I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness. And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him — the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day. (NKJV)

Those who have received Christ need periodic cleanings, but others need to confess their sins and receive Christ’s forgiveness for the very first time. Only when we choose to conform and repent and call upon God in the name of Jesus to help us and accept us and change us from the inside out can we begin to understand what a difference His cleansing in our lives will make. It is a feeling beyond any other and cannot be adequately described by mere words — we’ve got to try it ourselves. Many years ago, He called me to change and to follow Him. Thankfully, He took over, and I had no control over the powerful spirit of love that wrapped itself around me. He walked me to the prayer rail of my (then) church, where I gave my life to Him. I have rejoiced in that action ever since. You can do it too!

Prayer: Lord Jesus, I want to know You personally. I know that I have done wrong things in the past and I am sorry. I am willing, with Your help, to turn away from my sins and turn to You. I believe, Jesus, that You died for me and rose again for me. Please come into my life and change me and show me Your ways, right now. Amen.

Recall Notice!


I loved this message.  I received it in an email from a friend.  I do not know the origin.

The Maker of all human beings (GOD) is recalling all units
 manufactured, regardless of make or year, due to a serious
 defect in the primary and central component of the heart.

 This is due to a malfunction in the original prototype units
 code named Adam and Eve, resulting in the reproduction of
 the same defect in all subsequent units.

 This defect has been identified as “Subsequential Internal
 Non-morality,”  more commonly known as S.I.N., as it is
 primarily expressed.

 Some of the symptoms include:
 1. Loss of direction
 2. Foul vocal emissions
 3. Amnesia of origin
 4. Lack of peace and joy
 5. Selfish or violent behavior
 6. Depression or confusion
 7. Fearfulness
 8. Idolatry
 9. Rebellion

 The Manufacturer, who is neither liable nor at fault for this
 defect, is providing factory-authorized repair and service free
 of charge to correct this defect.

 The Repair Technician, JESUS, has most generously
 offered to bear the entire burden of the staggering cost of
 these repairs. There is no additional fee required.

 The number to call for repair in all areas is: P-R-A-Y-E-R.

 Once connected, please upload your burden of SIN through
 the REPENTANCE procedure.

 Next, download ATONEMENT from the Repair
 Technician, Jesus, into the heart component.

 No matter how big or small the SIN defect is, Jesus will
 replace it with:
 1. Love
 2. Joy
 3. Peace
 4. Patience
 5. Kindness
 6. Goodness
 7. Faithfulness
 8. Gentleness
 9. Self control

 Please see the operating manual, the B.I.B.L.E. (BEST Instructions
 Before Leaving Earth) for further details on the
 use of these fixes.

 WARNING: Continuing to operate the human being unit
 without correction voids any manufacturer warranties,
 exposing the unit to dangers and problems too numerous
 to list, and will result in the human unit being permanently
 impounded. For free emergency service, call on Jesus.

 DANGER: The human being units not responding to this
 recall action will have to be scrapped in the furnace. The
 SIN defect will not be permitted to enter Heaven so as to
 prevent contamination of that facility. Thank you for your attention!

 – GOD

 P.S. Please assist where possible by notifying others of this
 important recall notice, and you may contact the Father any
 time by ‘Knee mail’!

 Because HE Lives

 May the Lord Bless and Keep you.

 

 

A New Morning!


It is New Year’s Eve and it snowed overnight.  I look out at gray skies and a crispy, white blanket of snow covering the ground.  There are many imperfections concealed beneath it’s shroud.  You would never know there were areas of uneven ground there, because they are now hidden from view.  Just a layer of snow; deep and crisp and even!

The happenings in our lives can sometimes be hidden like that too.  We often do not know what to expect as each new day dawns.  Each event of the day is ‘under wraps’, until it is time for it to be revealed to us.   We hope against hope, that all will be white and beautiful, and not dark and menacing.  We hope for a comfortable white blanket to snuggle into.

The Bible promises that kind of comfort from God!  Each new day presents us with an opportunity to discover and experience more of God’s love.  Even in the midst of terrible sorrow, great is His faithfulness.  He is the comforter and compassionate God who remains “full of grace and truth”.  His love endures forever and is available to us, like a blanket to wrap around ourselves each and every morning.  

Lamentations 3:22-25 Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.  They are new every morning.  Great is Your faithfulness.  “The Lord is my portion” says my soul, “there I hope in Him”.  The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. 

Prayer:  Lord reveal Your loving kindness and comfort to us.  Where there is despair bring hope!  Where there is sadness, bring joy!  Where there is struggle, bring relief.  We trust in Your provision and in Your Grace.  Please do not stay hidden.  In Jesus Name, Amen. 

http://pattersmatters.wordpress.com

Author of Eleanor’s Story – A Stolen Childhood

For grieving children Brenda Wood’s beautifully illustrated book ‘The Big Red Chair’, brings a message of love and hope.  Comes complete with a CD, on which Brenda reads the story.

http://heartfeltdevotionals.wordpress.com

  HAPPY NEW YEAR !

 

Welcome, JESUS!


And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.  (Luke 2:7 NKJV)

Praying you are blessed with the company of family and friends!

Praying you are safe and have shelter!

Praying that you experience a Peace beyond your understanding, as you welcome JESUS into your hearts and lives.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JESUS!

The Best Christmas Gift


HAPPY CHRISTMAS!

Ah! Christmas-time is here again. Time for hurried shopping trips. Time for shopping excesses. Time to buy gifts for those we love. Decision after decision!

What can I give my spouse?

What to give the children!

What to give friends and family!

Will it be a new guitar? The latest electronic gadget on which to view, text and listen? Perhaps the latest video game?

It is so easy get ‘caught up’ in the buying frenzy expected of us by retailers.

The very best gift you can give is the story of Jesus! Christmas after all, is the celebration of His birth.

He was born to bring us the gifts of peace, contentment and joy! He wanted and still wants us, to share his unconditional love with others. What greater gift is there?

Gift-giving is a beautiful way of sharing and showing our love with those nearest and dearest to us, but let’s not forget the true meaning of Christmas.

Let us remember to say, “Happy Birthday, Jesus”!

Let us invite and welcome Him into our hearts, minds and spirits.

Let us remember to thank His Father, God for all that He provides for us day by day.

Let us keep Jesus in our hearts all year long, and each successive year of our lives.

Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (NIV)

Prayer: Father, when the worldly interpretation of Christmas overwhelms us, help us to not forget You, and Your gift of Jesus to us. May we focus on what is important and beneficial to us and may we grow in faith and love. Amen

https://pepeprays.wordpress.com

The Dawning


Matthew 1:18-20a,24– This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife.” When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. (NIV)It had been a long day. It commenced at 3:30 a.m. when I was called into the jail and was just ending now at 5:30 p.m. Ending was not exactly the right word, however, as my daughter had taken over at the detention centre as I left, which meant that I still had all the evening barnyard and house chores to do on my own.

I had finished feeding the dogs, collecting, washing, and depositing the eggs in the fridge, and forking hay to livestock. Now I was standing in the dusky, drizzling wet. Weary and worn, feeling every one of my sixty-two-plus years, and very much alone, I was waiting for the water trough to top up, when something unexpected occurred. A warm, soft head nudged under my hand as brown eyes looked up into mine. Denby, my collie, sensing my discouragement and frustration, had come alongside to offer his support. With this loving gesture also came the dawning of renewed truth. Just as Denby stood so faithfully beside me, so did God’s ever-present Spirit. I was not alone. God understood my situation and would continue to supply all I needed to accomplish the tasks at hand, just as He always had in the past. With this dawning, the warmth and invigorating power of His inner peace quickly routed all feelings of frustration and weariness of heart.

Many years ago, the earthly father of Jesus must also have felt deeply discouraged, frustrated, weary, and very much alone, as he wondered what to do when he discovered that his beloved Mary was pregnant with another’s child. God’s reminder to him that he was not alone came through the guise of a dream. As Joseph slept, God’s presence came alongside, revealing the right pathway for him to follow and filling his heart with invigorating power and peace to obey.

Emmanuel, God with us, was the child whom Joseph was called to care for as his own. Jesus Christ, God incarnate, had come to earth that man might never again be alone, separated from God.

This Christmas season, some of us may be in the midst of feeling discouraged, weary, frustrated, and very much alone, but this need not be so. Emmanuel — God with us — is right where we are, whatever we may be doing, however we may be feeling. Within this precious truth lies the dawning of invigorating power and everlasting peace within, if only we will reach out in faith and embrace Him — Emmanuel, God with us.

Prayer:Father God, thank You that through Your Holy Spirit, the living Christ is always near, ready and waiting to bestow His power and the peace that passes understanding upon us, for the asking. Grant us faith to ask now. In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.

By Kind Permission of:  Lynne Phipps, Atlin, British Columbia, Canada

Christians And Christmas


I live in a diversified, multi-cultural area to the northwest of the city of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. This area I now call home was only a small town sixty years ago. Now it has multiplied into the thousands. And yes, things are changing — in the home, in the workplace, in retail business, and in our churches. Worship styles are changing from traditional to contemporary. Christians have to think of new ways to get the unchanging, true Word of God out in the open for those who do not know what it is to be a Christian. What better time than Christmas to do that?

Take for example the Santa Claus parade we just had in Brampton. It was watched by many, including a mixed group of many cultures from distant lands. It was held on a Saturday evening when the main street was sealed off to all traffic, except for the floats that were all lit up in different colours.

I watched with a certain bit of pride as our church here in Brampton took part, using a float loaded with parcels all wrapped up in anticipation of the greatest gift we can give. The nametags posted on the float declared the birth of Christ.

After the parade, I began thinking how, in our churches, we need to market what we believe in and keep Satan from slipping in through the cracks of the foundation upon which we built Christ’s church!

1 Corinthians 8:6– Yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live. (NIV)

Prayer: Heavenly Father, we come to You this day as we approach the celebration of the birth of Christ, our Saviour and our Lord. May we never give up what You have given so generously to us who believe. Help us in spreading the good news as we have been commanded. In Jesus’ precious name, we pray. Amen.

By Kind Permission of the Author:  Anne Russell, Brampton, Ontario

See more at:  https://pepeprays.wordpress.com

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