Tuesday, December 31, 2013

May Your New Year be filled with...


With the beginning of each new year we all tend to look back at the year ending and evaluate the sum of it. 
Focusing on what we didn't accomplish and making a resolution to change, with our new list posted on the refrigerator we again set ourselves up for failure.
 Not that lists are bad but when we turn it into the law or the ten commandments of 2014 we are doomed to fail.
 Now there are individuals out there that are naturally disciplined and do very well with lists, I however am not one of them. Those of us who are not so inclined tend to beat ourselves up and try to do better... and those that are naturally organized with lists tend to look at those that aren't and shake their heads, wondering how we get anything done.
 Not understanding that the list is there, it is just in our head, and the priorities on the list change from moment to moment.
No matter if you are a list maker or a list avoid-er, I would like to challenge you and myself for the new year with a one word list,
an unmerited gift or favour, goodwill, forgiveness that is not deserved.
The law only brings condemnation, whenever we put ourselves under the should's and should not's we eventually will fall short of our expectations. 

GRACE never looks back, it always goes forward.

Phil. 3:13     No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus has called us.

GRACE forgives.
This year I am going to practice GRACE on me. If I practice grace for myself with encouraging self talk instead of criticizing myself, maybe I then can pass it on to others.
 Practice makes perfect. What I practice I become.
 I first have to give myself slack before I can give it to others. When I am hard on myself, I am hard on others.
To start the day with grace means to start with the word. 
I start my day with a cup of coffee with the Lord and my bible. It sets my day.
I also have my alarm set throughout the day to stop and pray. Not that I don't usually have an ongoing conversation with my Lord but the alarm reminds me to stop, sit and be still.

Isaiah 40:31 Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain strength; they will mount up with wing like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.

The result of GRACE is a thankful heart.
Along with grace comes thankfulness. To live in a grateful attitude brings joy. In order to live in a grateful attitude you need to see the small things in life. 
I started a gratitude journal last year to help me notice the everyday things we tend to skip over. In order to notice the moment to moment things around me, I had to slow down. By keeping a journal it taught me not only to see things in the moment but to become more aware of my surroundings. I don't know how many times I walk to the car with my head down and head swimming with what I need to get done. 
Stop. Look up, breathe in the air and see the bird singing or the snowflakes floating down... In that moment be thankful.  
Search for God. You have to be looking to see a "Glory Moment".

Know who you are because of God's GRACE.
Decree and Declare each day who you really are if you are 
In Christ:
I am complete in Christ.  Colo. 2:9
I have direct access to the throne of grace through Jesus Christ. Hebrews 4:14
I am free from condemnation. Romans 8:1
I am assured that God works for my good in all circumstances. Romans 8:28
I am free from any condemnation brought against me and I cannot be separated from the love of God.  Romans 8:31
I am confident that God will complete the good work He started in me. Phil. 1:6
I have not been given a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind. 2 Tim. 1:7

With so much coming at us in a day through the computer, television and radio... be wise.  Watch and be selective what you listen to.  Music goes right to the soul... sing   sing   sing!
I put my praise music on in the studio and I sing with the angels (which I am sure use earplugs). I also use that time to listen to past scripture teachings or books on audio.

Phil. 4:8    Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think on these things.

Bible Verses for the New Year
Philippians 4:13 
 I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
2 Corinthians 5:17
 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
Psalm 20:4 
 May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.
Lamentations 3:22-24
 Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassion's never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.  I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him."
Psalm 51:10
 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Jeremiah 29:11
 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Proverbs 16:3 
 Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.
Proverbs 19:21
 Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails.
Romans 12:1-2 
 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will.
1 Chronicles 16:34
 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.
Psalm 23:6 
 Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
Proverbs 3:5-6 
 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
Romans 8:28
 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
1 Peter 3:15
 But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.
Hebrews 10:23  Let us hold unswerving to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.

Finally, I want to thank you for the grace you have shown me here on my blog.
 I have been putting my efforts into other avenues this past year and I appreciate those of you who still visit now and then. I will try and be here more often in 2014. 
Wishing you a New Year filled with the promise we have in Him.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas...

This Christmas I have been studying the many names of Jesus, there are many and each one shows us a little more of who he is. In order to love God we need to know Him. Just as we need get to know each other before we can love each other, so it is with our Heavenly Father.  I bought some wonderful ornaments online at http://www.familylife.com/ and with it came a beautiful little booklet by Barbra Rainey. Parts are taken from her booklet. 

I hope you enjoy this Christmas post, along with our Christmas decorations at our home.

Name above all names...

Each of us is known by our name and identified with it, Jesus has many names, scholars say as many as 300. Getting to know the names of Jesus and their meanings lets us know Him better. JESUS... means God saves. It is a form of the name Joshua. Joshua led the people of Israel and inspired them to keep believing God would deliver them. Jesus is our protector, our leader and our saviour and is the name above all names and one day "every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father" Phil.2:10

And the angel said, "You shall call his name Jesus for he will save his people from their sins." Matt 1:21

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:11 Told first to shepherds many years ago this name speaks to the task prepared for Jesus. He would come to save all mankind from sin and death. 1 John 4:14 -- “And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.”

This name declares that He is from God and that He belongs to God and that He is God.
A Lord is someone who has great authority over others or is your Master or teacher. For Jesus to be your Lord means He rules over your life.
For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:11
The first announcement was to shepherds tending their flocks that would be sacrificial lambs during the Passover. This was symbolic, the lambs blood shed was meant to atone for the peoples sin once a year. But Jesus blood would be shed once and for all because His sacrifice was perfect and forever, planned before time began.

the meaning is: God with Us
Behold a virgin shall be with child and shall bring forth a son and they shall call his name Emmanuel Matt.1:23
This miraculous birth was not conceived between a man and woman but in a woman alone and not a married woman but a young girl. Foretold centuries ahead in Isaiah which was His birth announcement. God became flesh to dwell with us. He laid down His former glory and became a man with all it's frailties, emotions and temptations to walk in our footsteps as an example to us. To show us the way to salvation. A God not up in heaven somewhere but here present living with you and me.

And His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor , Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace of the increase of His government and of peace there will be no end Isaiah 9:6-7
Every human heart longs for peace without end. But it cannot be found in this world, no king in this realm ever ruled under perfect peace, we are all flawed and prone to error. Only one who is Divine who is sinless can rule with perfection, His name is Jesus. 
While we wait for His government on earth to rule without conflict at the end of this age we can still experience the peace Jesus has to offer. "Peace I leave with you my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid" John 14:27
Jesus knew He was leaving when He spoke to His followers and they would feel abandoned and afraid so He promised them assurance of much needed peace. That peace comes from the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, that was the promise to the disciples after Jesus left... God indwelling with power to overcome our frailties by His Spirit. Jesus living in us through His Holy Spirit gives Peace that passes all understanding.
One of the most loved hymns of the church "It is well with my soul," was written by Horatio Spafford just months after all four of his daughters drowned when their ship sank in the Atlantic Ocean. His wife was saved when a plank of wood floated beneath her unconscious body. Keeping her from drowning. Overwhelmed by grief on the journey to meet his wife he wrote these words near the place where the ship sank: "When Peace like a river attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll... Thou has taught me to say, it is well with my soul. 
It is only with the Prince of Peace can we say, It is well with my soul.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor... Isaiah 9:6
Wonderful... full of wonder, speechless, in awe, unable to move
Jesus full of wonder counsels us on our every need and through every step in our lifetime. "Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. Pray then," Jesus said in Matt 6:8 He knows our needs before we are aware of them..."And my God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus" Phil. 4:19 ... and then promises to take care of you and me with his endless supply of goodness. 

Behold The Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the root of David, has conquered so that He can open the scroll and its seven seals.
Rev 5:5

The first mention in the bible of this Lion as a prophetic reference to Jesus is found in Genesis 49:9. Jacob speaks his blessing to each of his twelve sons. To Judah He says, Judah is a lion's cub. The scepter shall not depart from Judah.
The scepter is a rod often made of gold and encrusted with jewels which a king extends toward anyone seeking his favor or blessing. It is a symbol of Kingship and authority over every person in his realm.
While Jacob's words to his son pointed out that Judah himself would hold authority Jacob was also speaking of a greater power of a future descendant the verse goes on to say, "Nor the rulers staff from between his feet until tribute comes to Him; and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples. One day a son will receive the tribute of Nations and the obedience of all people. This was a prophecy of The rule and reign of Christ.
In the book of Revelation, The Lion of Judah appears to John's vision of the end times. Peering into heaven John sees a sealed scroll in the right hand of God, but on one can answer the angel's call to open it, John begins to weep because no one was worthy. Then one of the elders spoke, "Weep no more, behold THE LION OF THE TRIBE OF JUDAH...
Jesus, The Lion of Judah, the majestic, powerful and fearless one has conquered sin and death. He alone is worthy, as Jesus steps forward to take the scroll and open it He appears as a lamb. All heaven fall before Him.
This Christmas I bow before

 the LION OF JUDAH, the king

"I AM... THE ALMIGHTY". Rev 1:8
One day, an old man was praying when he heard a voice behind him that was loud and commanding, like the blasts of a trumpet. Whirling around he saw a man "clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around His chest, the hairs of His head were white like wool, as white as snow, His eyes were like a flame of fire, His feet were like burnished bronze... His voice was like the roar of many waters" Rev. 1:13-15
John, the apostle had been transported by the Spirit to the edge of heaven and was gazing in wonder at Jesus himself. Told to write what He saw and heard, John described Jesus: "The faithful witness, The Firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth", showing us that absolute power belongs to no one but Jesus (Rev. 1:5) John makes it clear that Jesus loves us and has freed us from our sins by his shed blood and made us a kingdom (vv. 5-6) He makes Jesus' royalty clear, for only kings create and rule kingdoms.
"I AM The ALPHA and OMEGA, says The Lord God, "who is and who was and who is to come, The Almighty. Rev 1:8
The title ALMIGHTY compliments another name of Jesus - Mighty God - the titles are similar and yet each one speaks to different facets of Christ. Mighty God reveals Jesus' unequaled power and strength over all created earthly elements. Almighty expands our understanding that His might reaches far beyond our planet to His eternal rule over the hosts of angels and the vastness of the heavens and expansive universe.

Such power inspires awe and yet... "He who dwells in the shelter of the most high will abide in the shadow of The Almighty" Psalm 91:1
The Almighty is my refuge...

MIGHTY GOD            

And His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God... Isaiah 9:6When Isaiah the prophet made the announcement of the coming of Jesus' birth, the Israelites understood Mighty for they had experienced the great power of the Lord when He parted the Red sea with just the breath of His nostrils (Ex 15:8) Mighty God is a significant name given to this infant lying on a bed of hay. Human eyes saw just a baby but God left no doubt as to His true nature. Nothing is impossible with God Luke 1:37
When there is no way out, just like the Israelites when staring at a vast body of water the blocked their escape... Jesus is our Mighty God to provide a way for us. He can help you through any crisis. This time of year is joyous for many but for some Christmas is very hard. Jesus Mighty God can help you through the deep sorrow and hard times.


The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham Matt. 1:1David's life was certainly anointed by God, he was to become King of God's people and through Davids fervent love for God became the apple of God's eye even though his life was less than perfect. He received from God a very important pronouncement that His throne would last forever, only a son of David could be King of God's people.
A thousand years later Matthew wrote his account of the life of Jesus and in the first sentence declares Jesus to be the The Son of David. A significant title every Jewish adult knew that the rightful King would be a descendant of David.
Many in Jesus day recognized him as the son of David even the children knew the truth about Jesus identity and cried out "Hosanna to the SON OF DAVID!" He was far more than what even the disciples knew him to be, the King that would rule and save not only the Jews but the whole world. A Kingdom not here on earth but a Kingdom to put heaven here on earth. That Kingdom resides in us because where the King is the Kingdom follows. We are here to walk in that Kingdom and to bring it to earth... here now. That Kingdom is God's power, healing, grace, love, forgiveness all of what Christ did here on earth is ours through Jesus. Walk in the Kingdom today... bring heaven to earth today.

Once upon a time there was a prosperous kingdom made safe by a brave humble and good king. It was filled with houses and palaces built of stone, paneled in fragrant cedar wood and decorated with ivory, scarlet, gold and silver, pleasant vineyards rolled over the hills and food was abundant.
After forty years the good kings son took the throne. Because he was given wisdom and understanding from God, kings and queens from all over the world came to hear him speak and to bring hi gifts, his wealth was unsurpassed, his kingdom unmatched.
The people of the kingdom felt indestructible, and slowly self confidence crept upon them and evil began to walk the streets. In 586 BC, this kingdom - this kingdom of Israel - fell. The land was ruined, houses burned and the royal palace destroyed. Worst of all, the glorious house of God was dismantled, its gold furnishings chopped up and hauled away. 
Neither King David nor his son, Solomon imagined their glorious kingdom would end. Their people never imagined it either because they all knew the promise to David that his throne would last forever, but they like we had incurable condition called sin. It caused them to fall and those that survived the the destruction of Jerusalem were marched to Babylon as slaves including Jehoiakim, the king. Yet God was still orchestrating the future. The maker and keeper of promises was not going to break his word, hidden in the ruins of what was once a proud nation, the line of David remained unbroken. God's providence always rules and overrules to accomplish His great purpose. One, day over 500 years later, two men appeared in the land that was once Israel. John the baptist proclaimed the other man Jesus, The Lamb of God John 1:29. Immediately Andrew and John, the disciples, followed Him saying, "We have found the Messiah". The next day Nathanael met Jesus and pronounced him, "The King of Israel". They thought He would set up a literal kingdom, overthrow the Romans and rule over them as the prophets foretold. Though they misunderstood His mission, they still identified Jesus correctly as a the promised and long-awaited

In Genesis--the seed of the woman
Exodus--the passover lamb
Leviticus--atoning sacrifice
Numbers--the smitten rock
Deuteronomy--the prophet
Joshua--the captain
Judges--the deliverer
Ruth--the kinsman
Kings--the ruler
Nehemiah--the restorer
Esther--the advocate
Job--the redeemer
Psalms--the shepherd
Ecclesiastes--the goal
Song of Solomon--the groom
Prophets--coming one
Gospels--the God-man
Acts--the risen one
Epistles--head of the church
Revelation--the Worthy One

Wishing all of you a very Blessed