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The Marvel of It All


 

Joseph. The man we tend to forget. The man who had to decide to do the unthinkable.

Bringing to my attention his supporting actor role in the most important birth in history, I felt as if I had left him out of much of the casting. This wasn’t done to belittle his career but the focus was elsewhere.

Mary was a chosen woman. One with an appointment like none other. How would any man be able to live up to the standards of the mother of the Son of God? How would any man be able to do what he was asked to do without some hesitation on his part?

Granted, Mary’s role wasn’t easy by any means but neither was Joseph’s. Over the centuries Mary has been given the lead actor’s position in a drama only God could have written, but Mary couldn’t have fulfilled her heroic purpose without Joseph.

One might refer to Joseph as the back-up guy, or Mary’s support system.

First he had to accept her pregnancy without understanding it. But who would believe such a story?

He had to fight off crowds of accusers for the lie she supposedly was telling.

He lost friends. Coworkers. Acquaintances.

How does a soon- to- be groom explain to his family his betrothed is pregnant by another man?

Yet, Joseph stood against the odds and accepted Mary as his soon- to- be wife in the midst of a presumed scandalous affair.

And Joseph thought this was the hard part.

After God revealed to Joseph in a dream Mary was indeed telling the truth, he would embark on a journey no other man has ever taken.

Matthew 1:20 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, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.

How does a man protect the mother- to- be of the Lamb of God?

How does a man walk on foot across miles and miles of treacherous terrain leading his wife who is in her last trimester of pregnancy carrying the Light of the World on a donkey?

And then how does a man who probably had never witnessed a woman giving birth aid in giving birth to the King of the Jews?

Not only were these all “firsts” for Joseph, but he had no other place to take her but a smelly, old hay filled manger with cows and goats watching.

Was that what Joseph had planned for his new bride?

Was this the scene he wanted his legacy to be built upon?

Was this Joseph’s idea of a birthing place for the Prince of Peace? The Anointed One? Emanuel?

My thinking is he never had time to fully comprehend the enormity of it all before it happened.

They had to leave town immediately to escape Herod’s henchmen.  

Joseph didn’t have time to find a Marriott Hotel for the birth; he had to take what was available.

And babies are born on their own schedule. Joseph wasn’t given a crash course in midwifery.

Had God given Joseph a heads up a few years prior to this extraordinary story, would he have skipped town?

Would he have asked, “God, I’m not the man for this job, please find someone else?

If Joseph had thought it through would he have understood the magnitude of his calling?

If he had let it all sink in would he have taken on the fatherhood of the child who would one day be his Savior?

Joseph, the quiet man standing in the shadows probably spent the rest of his earthly life pondering the marvel of it all.

Matthew 1:16 and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah.

nativity

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A Box of Time


We are still here.My surprise

The world didn’t end.

So what do we do now?

Start over?

Continue?

Wait for the next Mayan prediction?

Unless the truth is known, anything can seem possible. An end may have been a forfeiture of pain or agony.

A termination of this world could have been a relief for some. Or so they thought.

Somehow imagining no place to go from this place has the makings of a mental health catastrophe. If this is all there is, no wonder the world is depressed, forlorn and wounded.

There is no escape. No cure, zilch as far as anything to look forward to.apples

It is what it is. You make it what it is in limited time; and what is your amount of time?

Empty all your apples in as many baskets as you can find.

Fill your life; grab every opportunity; live it to the fullest. Fullest of what?

If you have the one shot here on earth you better make it good. Good for whom?

The thought of living in a “box of time” is about as unappealing as raw oysters. I hate oysters.

What if your particular “box of time” makes its own plans?

What if life as you know it all of a sudden, in a flash is changed forever?

Dream on.

I can’t remember ever a time in my life that “eternity” wasn’t available.

Sure, eternity at a distance but still eternity.

Knowing I have Eternity with God allows me to extend my thoughts and possibilities.

Rushing around to do everything, see everything or learn it all in a “box of time” isn’t on my radar. Purposely, I removed myself from the “rat-race.” It was either slow down, stop rushing or a pre-mature death was inevitable. Eternity will fill in where I leave off so why hurry?

It doesn’t have to be perfect.

It doesn’t have to be elite or special.

Jesus was born in a stable with hay and smelly animals.

His was simple; unpretentious and unassuming.

His claim to fame was a 4 legged donkey he rode in on as his grand entrance;

Hardly the picture of the Savior of the World or King of all.

He knew he had 33 years to do what he came to do on earth.

He also knew where he would be after the resurrection.

And he fulfilled his calling out of the purest love imaginable.mary

As many awaited finality; or an apocalyptic conclusion, what do they do now?

Maybe they will seek to find the one who will never give them an end.

The one who gives us life from one place to another with a new beginning.

It is called infinity. Eternity. Heaven.

He is Mary’s child.

http://womenswindow.com/2012/12/22/sweet-baby-jesus/

http://vineoflife.net/2012/12/22/after-mayan-apocalypse-failure-believers-may-suffer/

http://vineoflife.net/2012/12/22/have-yourself-a-merry-little-christmas/

http://dailybibleplan.com/2012/12/22/preparing-a-place-for-you-3/

Copyright @ 2012 All Rights Reserved


8 Comments

The Truth


Most people don’t want to believe the truth. Why?

Change would be the next step.

Facing facts about ourselves is a direct link to weakness or some may think.

How can we not realize we are not perfect? We were born imperfect so when did we decide we know it all? Our 5th birthday?

When did we find out we didn’t need help? Or God?

Who told us we were so wonderful that they wouldn’t change a thing about us?
I don’t recall anyone ever telling me that.

The truth is the truth is the truth.

John 8:32 “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

So you ask, “What is the truth?” Jesus Christ.

And the way you get that truth is by spending time alone with him.

Jesus opened my eyes years ago to his awesomeness, presence and knowledge.

I certainly haven’t arrived, but I left. Once I started getting to know him, I realized how little I knew. We have this idea this earth and life here is all there is.

Well, it ain’t close to what God has to reveal to us.

God’s knowledge and wisdom that he wants to teach us is infinite. There are storehouses of wisdom in his word, prayer and sitting in his presence.

He waits for us to seek him so he can fill us full of him.

Prayer is powerful. God was rather clever when he thought the idea up. Just think: you can’t be across the world to help someone because we are not omnipresent like God is. In prayer, we release the need to God and he takes care of it.

And the truth again here is God is much better at dealing with us than we are with each other. He can fix what we can’t.

Once we get close to God he will take us on a journey of molding us into what he created us to be. The process can be painful, miserable and no fun. There are times we feel as if the grinding of our souls are nothing but a soggy mess. At that moment, God will use his compassionate hands and begin to form us little by little into his image.

The transformation is startling. As we begin to view life, people and difficulties through God’s eyes, our hearts change.
Once you experience it, there is no going back. And you don’t want to go back.

Everything looks different.

Earthly desires have a stench to them.

Materialism loses its meaning.

We lost ourselves in a molded bowl and came out looking like a vase.

Past hurts, wounds and betrayals are attached to the Cross.

It is there we are set free.

It is there we receive redemption.

It is there we behold the love of God in a brand new, shaped heart.

A heart he filled with himself.

http://learningtobeblog.wordpress.com/2012/07/11/the-door/

http://highlyfavored74.wordpress.com/2012/07/11/tears-for-god-%e2%99%a5/

http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/2012/07/11/lord-please-open-our-eyes/

http://thewayeverlasting.com/2012/07/11/question-sort-of-you-lack-humility/

Copyright @ 2012 All Rights Reserved


19 Comments

The Church Police


Door bell rings. “Hello. Please come in.”

Husband, “Honey, who is it?”

Wife, “Oh, it’s the Church Police. They are back again.”

Husband, “What have we done wrong this week?”

Wife, “Please sit down, my husband will be here shortly.”

Husband joins in. “Sorry. So we’re in trouble again?”

Church Police, “Yes, it appears you have been citing incorrect references about the law and it must be stopped.”

Wife, “But sir, the stance the church is taking is wrong. The law has been twisted so much the church won’t even discuss the truth about it. If we don’t speak out who will?

Church Police,” You’re involvement has been noted. You were told not to speak about this issue with other church members, yet you continue to do so against the will of the authority.”

Husband, “But sir, the church is the only way it will work. The two go together. They are not separate.”

Church Police walk to the door. “You have been warned.”

Ugh….who is the Church Police? I wonder. Do they really do this kind of stuff?

Unfortunately, yes. What if your position is correct and theirs is wrong?

The Pharisees never left.

No. They still exist. Only now they aren’t clothed in linen garments to the floor with caps shaped like a cone. Most dress in blue jeans and Polo shirts.

Firsthand experience here only I have changed the picture and dialogue to protect the accusers.

I love God’s church. The church is my foundation; but I feel it cracking.

To be honest, I am glad this happened to me and not some backsliding Christian or atheist/agnostic aspiring to rejoin the land of the living souls in God’s community.  The exit door would have been their next move.

Now don’t get me wrong here. I need correction as much as the next guy or girl.

However, when a “Church Policeman” uses their podium to announce their clamoring righteousness for a law they know very little about they would be better off remaining at the “Police Station.”

I wish I could say this was a once in a lifetime “Church Police offense.” But it wasn’t. It isn’t. The hierarchy may need a little review.

Years ago I started going to a new church after a brutal  divorce. I knew God wanted me there. After weeks of Membership classes those who wanted to join met with the Leaders of the Church. Three of us, me and two, single, never before married men stood before the “Church Police.”

In front of this group of all men and me, one leader began questioning me relentlessly about my divorce. He didn’t believe in divorce and made it clear to me he wanted no divorced women  in “his” church especially when he declared it had to be my fault. Never mind that my “ex” cheated on me.

The brow-beating continued until the Minister rushed to my defense. As a result of this particular leader’s actions against me, he was removed from his position as a leader; and rightly so.

I joined and was actively involved for many years.

My point in revealing these misdemeanors of church administration isn’t to highlight the churches’ failures or misled few,  but to acknowledge I remained in all of them after these hypocritical, pharisaical impeachments. Not to my own credit, but God’s.

Why? I am no different from them.  I am a sinner saved by grace just like they are.

The church is made of sinners who make mistakes. One leaders’ faultiness isn’t going to keep me from doing God’s work. Maybe God used me to expose him for his obvious discrimination against women to remove him from a leadership post. Maybe God used me in the first instance to show the leader the law was incorrect as he viewed it.

Maybe God wants other Christians to stand up for the truth when the Church has missed it. Maybe God knows the church is in need of review and is exposing the ills for correction. Maybe God wants the church to do more “praying” instead of one exhaustive project after another.

Maybe the Church is in trouble, but that is all the more reason to stay.

The church needs our help, not our self-righteous attitudes. The church needs our support, not an excuse to boycott for a few offenses.

The church has seats for the lost child, the backsliding Christian and the man or woman who lost their jobs.

The church has seats for the “Church Police” who may need a heartbroken, divorced woman who followed God’s heart, to remain standing for the church even when the church let her down.

Why? Because Jesus died on the cross for me. It’s the least I can do for him and that just about wraps it all up.

Hebrews 10: 25” Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

http://chiefofleast.com/2012/04/19/embracing-my-bapticalvimethocostalism/

http://highlyfavored74.wordpress.com/2012/04/19/see-with-your-heart-%e2%99%a5-thats-what-god-wants/

http://samuelatgilgal.wordpress.com/2012/04/18/prayer-and-the-spirit-of-god/

http://samuelatgilgal.wordpress.com/2012/04/18/the-tax-collector-and-the-pharisee/

Copyright @ 2012 All Rights Reserved

 


9 Comments

“I will contend with those who contend with you.” Isaiah 49:25.


I watched the President speaking on the issue of contraception and the church view on it. Specifically Catholics.

Let me clarify I am not Catholic and do not necessarily agree with everything they teach. However they are our fellow Christians and I value them in the body of Christ . I do believe as they, our religious freedoms are being attacked by our own government.

Anyone smart enough would never take on the Catholics.

After listening to President Obama, I wanted to hear what the  President of the Catholic LeagueBill Donohue had to say in his interview on FOX. He is more than fired up over this supposed change in policy. He is not only angry, he is insulted that the Obama administration would try to cover up their lies, and now change the plan which Mr. Donohue says is to get the tax payers to pay for this contraception which can lead to other medical treatments Catholics don’t agree on.

The League he says, has been inundated with support from Jews, Mormons and many others who are outraged by this latest ploy to attack our religious liberty. In an almost threatening tone, Mr. Donahue said at the end of the interview, “President Obama will pay.”

Interestingly enough is the President himself said, “most churches could probably do much better than the government any day in offering services.’ What? Did that really come out of his mouth?

If so, then why doesn’t he stop imposing government rules and mandates and let God take care of it?

This is the 2nd speech in 2 weeks the President declared himself a Christian. I am not one to judge, bargain or decide that for anyone. That is between him and God but if that is his stance, let’s see how it fits in with the Bible.

John 8: 31-32 ” Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

A bible from 1859.

Image via Wikipedia

Meaning we are to obey God and his word.

I wonder if the President knows God’s word on government mandated healthcare.

Romans 13 explains the role of government in our lives. What I find interesting is verse 8 which says, “Let no debt remain outstanding.”

If that is true how can we pay for healthcare? or welfare? or any other government program when we have an outstanding debt of

$ 1 5 , 3 4 3 , 0 6 1 , 9 3 7 , 0 3 4 . 1 6

If you read Romans 13 you will not find anywhere in that chapter that government is suppose to force healthcare on it’s citizens. We are to help each other as members of the body of Christ. IT IS THE CHURCH’S RESPONSIBILITY NOT THE GOVERNMENT.

The issues arise of health care imposed by the Obama administration that go against Biblical order.  In other words we are not to use our tax dollars to pay for health services that go against the word of God. That right there rules out Obamacare because it is trying to do just that.

There is no where in the Bible that states government is suppose to mandate healthcare and especially if it is broke! Our debt rules that out. God would not advise the government to add more to the debt but to pay it off. Get a balanced budget. Stop spending. And don’t raise taxes; they are already
unreasonable due to overspending and especially wasteful spending!

In masses, we can win this fight against religious freedom, wasteful government and those who wish to diminish the Biblical authority God set in place.

According to Bill Donahue of the Catholic League, legal action is not out of the question.
Folks, I believe this fight is far from over. If we don’t support the church on this issue, what else will be attacked?

http://www.catholicleague.org/obama-pushed-us-too-far/

COPYRIGHT @ 2012 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


7 Comments

The Stuff We Leave Behind


Screenshot from the trailer for the film You C...

Image via Wikipedia

Our Pastor made a very unique observation. He said he had never seen a hearse with a trailer attached to it. Do you know what that means? It means you can’t take it with you no matter what it is.

His sermon was based upon no matter whether you are rich or poor, we have certain issues to deal with, but our stuff does not matter. In my opinion what ever issues you deal with we are often substantiated by our own perspectives of those issues.
Our stuff and whether or not we want to hold on to it, is temporary.

That being the case our stuff does not make much difference. I know I have too much “stuff.” Most of which is for my convenience or to use as I see fit or need. I am amazed when I find something I have had for “eons” not knowing I still had it. So if I did not know I had it, why do I need to keep it?

My perspective on the issue of stuff is that if I have stuff I didn’t know I had why not give it away? At least someone else in need of my stuff may be able to use it while in this temporary stop-over.

It says in Matthew 6:33 that God knows our needs and will give them to us if we seek him first and his kingdom. That really makes sense. God created us and knew the stuff we would need before we were born. I wonder how much stuff God has?

He told us to travel lightly and in the end we will not need our stuff at all. I think that is because the stuff in Heaven will last forever.

How much stuff do you have? If you already own a trailer or were thinking of buying one for the trip, you may as well get rid of it; it won’t fit through the gate.

stuff