A Letter From Jesus

I was going through some of my archived emails and I found the following message. I thought that the “letter” had quite a few important things to say so I thought that I would share it here. (I am not sure who originally wrote it so I apologize if I have stopped on someone’s copyright toes. I have made a few changes.)

Letter from Jesus about Christmas

It has come to My attention that many of you are upset that folks are taking My name out of the season. 
I don’t care what you call the day. If you want to celebrate My birth, just GET ALONG AND LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

Now, having said that let Me go on. If it bothers you that the town in which you live doesn’t allow a scene depicting My birth, then just put in a small Nativity scene on your own front lawn If all My followers did that there wouldn’t be any need for such a scene on the town square because there would be many of them all around town.

Stop worrying about the fact that people are calling the tree a holiday tree, instead of a Christmas tree. It was I who made all trees. You can remember Me anytime you see any tree.

If you want to give Me a present in remembrance of My birth here is my wish list. Choose something from it:

1. Instead of writing protest letters objecting to the way My birthday is being celebrated, write letters of love and hope to soldiers away from home. They are terribly afraid and lonely this time of year. I know, they tell Me all the time.

2. Visit someone in a nursing home. You don’t have to know them personally. They just need to know that someone cares about them.

3. Instead of writing the Prime Minister complaining about the wording on the cards his staff sent out this year, why don’t you write and tell him that you’ll be praying for him and his family this year. Then follow up… It will be nice hearing from you again.

4. Instead of giving your children a lot of gifts you can’t afford and they don’t need, spend time with them. Tell them the story of My birth, and why I came to live with you down here. Hold them in your arms and remind them that I love them.

5 Pick someone that has hurt you in the past and forgive him or her.

6. Did you know that someone in your town will attempt to take their own life this season because they feel so alone and hopeless?  Since you don’t know who that person is, try giving everyone you meet a warm smile, it could make the difference.

7. Instead of nit picking about what the retailer in your town calls the holiday, be patient with the people who work there. Give them a warm smile and a kind word. Even if they aren’t allowed to wish you a”Merry Christmas” that doesn’t keep you from wishing them one. Then stop shopping there on Sunday. If the store didn’t make so much money on that day they’d close and let their employees spend the day at home with their families

8. If you really want to make a difference, support a missionary– especially one who takes My love and Good News to those who have never heard My
name.

9. Here’s a good one. There are individuals and whole families in your town who not only will have no “Christmas” tree, but neither will they have any presents to give or receive. If you don’t know them,
buy some food and a few gifts and give them to the Salvation Army or some other charity which believes in Me and they will make the delivery for you.

10. Finally, if you want to make a statement about
your belief in and loyalty to Me, then behave like a Christian. Don’t do things in secret that you wouldn’t do in My presence. Let people know by your actions that you are one of mine.

Don’t forget, I am Jesus and can take care of Myself. Just love Me and do what I have told you to do. I’ll take care of all the rest. Check out the list above and get to work, time is short. I’ll help you, but the ball is now in your court. And do have a most blessed Christmas with all those whom you love and remember :

I LOVE YOU,

JESUS

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War Wounds and Battle Scars

Isa 49:16 Behold, I have carved you on the palms of My hands;

 

I like to read historical novels, many of which contain accounts of wars and battles. (I don’t really like to read about wars and battles but unfortunately the world’s history is full of them). Often, there are characters who are described as “rugged” and “tough” and covered with various war wounds and battle scars. These wounds and scars are usually depicted as “badges of honour” earned in battle. The men wore them with pride.

When my son was a young teenager, he tripped and fell headlong through a glass door, impaling his arms on the jagged glass. I praise God that his chest, neck and face were uninjured and no major blood vessels were severed. However, there was extensive damage to the back of his upper arms, requiring over 80 stitches to close the wounds. A number of wounds had chunks of tissue missing so that the edges of the wounds were not able to be sewn together neatly.

His injuries left several large and messy scars and I was feeling very badly for him. I asked him if the scars made him feel very self-conscious. He just laughed and said, “No. They make for a great story at school!” LOL!

Both my sons carry a wide variety of scars gained in both play and work. My husband is both somewhat amused and bemused by the tales they tell when recalling the incidents which led to receiving the injuries. They tell them with some amusement and pride. I just recall the stress of many visits to the Emergency Department!

I too, carry scars on my body. I am probably of the last generation to bear the scar on my arm from the smallpox vaccination I received as an infant. I have scars on my face from impetigo and repeated cold-sore infections. My legs bear some scars from youthful shaving attempts. But my worst “physical” scars are on my abdomen. Two pregnancies have left a veritable spider web of shiny stretch marks across my abdomen. I have also had three major abdominal surgeries which have left scars which criss-cross my belly like highways on a road map.

Maybe it is being female, or extremely self-conscious, or both, but I am not “proud” of my scars and I certainly don’t like to display them!

When I re-married, I was ashamed of my scars and really worried that my new husband would find my abdominal scars to be unsightly, unattractive and definitely not sexy! When I shared my fears with him, he brought me to tears when he gently kissed them and then told me that to him, the scars represented the battles that I had been through and won. They represented some of the tough situations that I had lived through and that I was all the more precious to him because of what I had been through. He said that my scars are part of my life story and that he admires the woman that I am, in spite of, and maybe in part, due to those scars.

WOW! How can you not love a man like that?!

I also bear scars from wounds that were not physical, but rather emotional. My father leaving; my mother’s despair and depression; my own mental health battles; my first husband leaving. All have left deep, emotional scars that people can’t see and I don’t really want them to know about.

I think that it is these emotional scars which have had more influence on my life than the events which caused my physical scars.

The good news is that all my scars, be they emotional or physical, do not affect how my Heavenly Father sees me or loves me. He loved me so much that he sent his only son, Jesus, to die for me. In fact, Jesus bore horrific wounds in his back, head, hands and feet that led to scars, for me, so that I could lay aside my emotional and spiritual wounds and be healed, delivered and saved.

Isa 53:5 But He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was on Him; and with His stripes we ourselves are healed. 

My scars tell the story of what I’ve been – flawed, damaged, wounded, shamed, sick. Jesus’ scars tell the story of what I have become – saved, hopeful, made perfect, healed, delivered, beautiful.

Trade your scars for Jesus’ scars and you will have a wonderful story to tell.

Blessings

1 Have you failed in your plan of your storm-tossed life?
Place you hand in the nail-scarred hand;
Are you weary and worn from its toil and strife?
Place your hand in the nail-scarred hand.
Chorus:
Place your hand in the nail-scarred hand,
Place your hand in the nail-scarred hand;
He will keep to the end, He’s your dearest friend,
Place your hand in the nail-scarred hand.
2 Are you walking alone through the shadows dim?
Place your hand in the nail-scarred hand;
Christ will comfort your heart, put your trust in Him.
Place your hand in the nail-scarred hand. [Chorus]
3 Would you follow the will of the risen Lord?
Place your hand in the nail-scarred hand;
Would you live in the light of His blessed Word?
Place your hand in the nail-scarred hand. [Chorus]
4 Is your soul burdened down with its load of sin?
Place your hand in the nail-scarred hand;
Throw your heart open wide, let the Savior in.
Place your hand in the nail-scarred hand. [Chorus]

B.B. McKinney

In The Beginning – The “How” Of It All

I have written a few posts describing what I believe a Christian is or should be. I guess I should have started with the topic of how a person becomes a Christian in the first place.

The first step can be difficult – recognizing and admitting that we are sinners and that we need to be forgiven and saved. But after that, and contrary to popular opinion, it is actually quite easy to become a Christian. I am not talking about some of the spiritual “hoops” that some would tell you that you have to jump through first. You don’t have to attend church or sign a membership card. You don’t need to be dunked in a tank of water. You don’t need to eat a special wafer or drink special wine. You don’t have to pray for so many hours a day. You don’t have to wear certain clothes or look a certain way. You don’t have to give up drinking alcohol, eating pork, playing cards, going to the movies or dancing. The only prerequisite that God requires of you is that you have a sincere, meek, and penitent heart that desires to seek out God and have a relationship with Him.

Php 1:9, 10 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in full knowledge and in all perception; … that you may be sincere and without offense until the day of Jesus Christ,

Jas 1:21 Therefore putting aside all filthiness and overflowing of evil, receive in meekness the implanted Word, which is able to save your souls.

Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

When you get to that place in your heart, the next step to becoming a Christian is “saying” and “believing”.

Rom 10:9 Because if you confess the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.
Rom 10:10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth one confesses unto salvation.

The word “confess” means to acknowledge. You admit that you are a sinner who needed a saviour and that Saviour is Jesus Christ. (You don’t need anybody else around to verbally confess either – you could be alone on a desert island and God would hear you and accept your confession). Then you acknowledge that Jesus paid the price for your sins and He died in your place.

Then in your heart you believe that God resurrected Christ from the dead and that Jesus is now sitting at the right hand of God interceding for you.

Rom 8:34 … It is Christ who has died, but rather also who is raised, who is also at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.

To become a Christian 1) admit that you are a sinner and acknowledge that Jesus died for your sins 2) believe that God raised Jesus from the dead (which is also our hope of glory for us).

And as Porky the Pig said, “Th-th-th-that’s all folks”!

Simple eh?

Blessings

Push Fluids

As I am lying on the couch, I am trying to decide which best describes my current state: limp noodle, wet blanket, or death warmed over. Well, maybe it’s a bit of all three. One thing I do know – I am bored! A person (at least, this person) can only stand to watch so much tv or to read for so long! My mind begins to wander and as so often happens, an idea for a blog post and lesson comes to me. (Who knew that vomiting and diarrhea could be inspiring??)

As a former nurse, I am well aware that patients who experience ongoing vomiting and diarrhea can quickly become dehydrated. A simple test is to gently pinch the skin on the back of the hand. If the skin quickly and smoothly “rebounds”, the patient is usually not dehydrated. However, if the “pinch” of skin remains or goes down very slowly, the person is probably very dehydrated. When this happens, the doctor often orders “Push Fluids”, meaning that the  patient is to be encouraged to increase the frequency and quantity of drinking fluids. (And if the person is unable or unwilling to drink, a lovely I.V. is inserted – so pass the straw please!)

Since the digestive system has undergone some stress, the fluids are usually ordered as being “Clear”, meaning that you can see the bottom of the cup or glass while the fluid is in it.

So here I am, Day 2 of chamomile tea, red Jello, popsicles and diluted berry juice. And all I am craving is a big order of salty French fries!!

Just as our physical bodies can become dehydrated, so too can our spiritual life. Sometimes “doo-doo” happens in our life and we are left feeling drained, weak and tired. When this happens, we need to re-hydrate ourselves. We need to re-fill our spiritual water tanks with “fountains of living water”. Jesus tells us that he is that fountain. He invites us to drink of his clear, living water.

Joh 4:10 Jesus answered and said to her, If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that says to you, Give Me to drink, you would have asked of Him, and He would have given you living water.

Joh 4:14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst, but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

So if life has left you feeling “pinched” and dehydrated, go to the fountain of Jesus and drink deeply of his clear, living water. Remember – Push Fluids!

Joh 7:38 He who believes on Me, as the Scripture has said, “Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.”

(and you don’t even have to sit on “the great white throne”!)

Rev 22:1 And he showed me a pure river of Water of Life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.

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Advent Peace

Two more sleeps until Christmas!

Rom 10:15 … As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace and bring glad tidings of good things!”

This, the last week of Advent, is to remind us of the gift of peace.

Psa 29:11  Jehovah will give strength to His people; Jehovah will bless His people with peace.

The Hebrew word for ‘peace’ is ‘shalom’ (I love the sound of it) and it means “safe, well, happy, friendly, welfare, health, prosperity and peace”. That’s a whole lot of good stuff packed into one word; it’s like a super, mega-multivitamin! ( and you don’t have to choke trying to swallow it down).

In the O.T., God made a covenant of peace with the nation of Israel:

Eze 37:25,26  And they shall dwell in the land that I have given to Jacob My servant, the land in which your fathers have lived. And they shall dwell in it, even they and their sons, and the sons of their sons for ever. And My servant David shall be their ruler forever.   And I will cut a covenant of peace with them. It shall be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will place them, and multiply them, and will set My sanctuary in their midst forever.

(Note: a “covenant” is a contract. A contract only works when all the parties involved keep the terms of the contract. God was willing to keep His side of the contract, unfortunately, the nation of Israel broke the contract time after time. But that is a lesson for another blog)

In Isa. 54:10  peace is mentioned as being part of the inheritance of the nation of Israel.

Isa 54:17  …This is the inheritance of the servants of Jehovah, and their righteousness is from Me, says Jehovah.

God made a covenant with Israel, but in His foreknowledge, God knew that Israel would continue to break that covenant and that humankind needed  more help, so He gave prophecies regarding the coming of One who would bring into being a better covenant (including a better peace):

Isa 9:6  For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given; and the government shall be on His shoulder; and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

The Gospel of Luke tells us how that prophecy was fulfilled:

Luk 2:8  And in the same country there were shepherds living in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
Luk 2:9  And lo, the angel of the Lord came on them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them. And they were grievously afraid.
Luk 2:10  And the angel said to them, Do not fear. For behold, I give to you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
Luk 2:11  For to you is born today, in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
Luk 2:12  And this is a sign to you. You will find the babe wrapped, lying in a manger.
Luk 2:13  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,
Luk 2:14  Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

That baby, Christ the Lord, who would grow into the man, Jesus, told us in the scriptures that he came to give us peace:

Joh 14:27  Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Jesus wants us to live in that peace:

Joh 16:33  I have spoken these things to you so that you might have peace in Me. In the world you shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.

Despite any difficult circumstances that we may be going through, Jesus wants us to know that we can live in peace because he has “overcome the world”! And if we are believers in Jesus, he lives in us and we are one with him, therefore we can “overcome the world” too!

More importantly, Jesus came so that we may be in peace with God:

Rom 5:1  Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Living in peace is part of living in the kingdom of God:

Rom 14:17  for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

This Christmas season, remember the angel’s message to the shepherds:

Luk 2:10  And the angel said to them, Do not fear. For behold, I give to you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
Luk 2:11  For to you is born today, in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

JESUS, THE REASON FOR THE SEASON

Rom 15:13  And may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.

2Pe 1:2  Grace and peace be multiplied to you through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, …

SHALOM

 

 

Why I Believe

1Pe 3:15  but sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and be ready always to give an answer to everyone who asks you a reason of the hope in you, with meekness and fear;

Let me start by asking a few questions: What do you see when you look at the state of the world? What do you think when you watch the news on tv, hear it on the radio or read it in a newspaper or on the internet? How do you feel when you or a loved one is suffering from illness, relationship problems, poverty, fear, or loneliness? What are your solutions for hatred, crime, war, pollution, poverty, sickness and death?

When I look at world history, I see a recurring pattern of ignorance, hatred, anger,  greed, power struggle, war, suffering and death. While it is true that mankind has made advances in such things as science, technology, and medicine, the majority of the population of the world continues to struggle with the same life-destroying problems it always has done. “There is nothing new under the sun”.

What kind of world will it be for our children and their descendants? What kind of hope can mankind give them? It seems that many of our young people don’t have much hope for their future.

What can give people a real reason to hold on through the difficult times of today and a real hope for a better tomorrow? Can the theory of evolution based on the survival of the fittest, dog-eat dog way of thinking offer real hope? Can non-living idols made of stone and wood by man’s hand  offer real hope? Does the belief in witches, wizards, and vampires offer hope? Does the use of alcohol and drugs really make the problems go away? Has mankind, at any time in history, been able to totally eradicate the evil in this world by his own efforts? Do we have the ability to fix ourselves? I would say that the overwhelming evidence of the wickedness of mankind throughout history would say – No – we can’t do it!

So what is the answer then? For me, the answer is not to be found within myself or within the efforts of humankind. The answer, and my hope, is in the belief that there has to be something, someone, bigger and better out there than ourselves:

Rev 1:8  I am the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the Ending, says the Lord, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.

There has to be someone who loves us more than we love ourselves:

Joh 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 everlasting life.

There has to be someone with a plan to save us from ourselves:

Gen 3:15  And I will put enmity between you (Satan) and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He (Jesus)will bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.

Jer 23:5  Behold, the days come, says Jehovah, that I will raise to David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and act wisely, and shall do judgment and justice in the earth.

1Jn 4:9  And the love of God was made clear to us when he sent his only Son into the world so that we might have life through him.
1Jn 4:10  And this is love, not that we had love for God, but that he had love for us, and sent his Son to be an offering (atonement) for our sins. (BBE)

There has to be someone who is willing to lay aside all ideas of selfishness; someone who is willing to risk it all, sacrifice it all, give everything they’ve got for the betterment of others:

Joh 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 everlasting life.
Joh 3:17  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him.

Isa 53:5  But it was for our sins he (Jesus) was wounded, and for our evil doings he was crushed: he took the punishment by which we have peace, and by his wounds we are made well.
Isa 53:6  We all went wandering like sheep; going every one of us after his desire; and the Lord put on him the punishment of us all.
Isa 53:7  Men were cruel to him, but he was gentle and quiet; as a lamb taken to its death, and as a sheep before those who take her wool makes no sound, so he said not a word.

There has to be something to give us hope for the future:

Joh 14:2  In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
Joh 14:3  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, so that where I am, you may be also.

Rev 21:3  And there came to my ears a great voice out of the high seat, saying, See, the Tent of God is with men, and he will make his living-place with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them, and be their God.
Rev 21:4  And he will put an end to all their weeping; and there will be no more death, or sorrow, or crying, or pain; for the first things have come to an end.
Rev 21:5  And he who is seated on the high seat said, See, I make all things new. (BBE)

This is why I have hope. This is why I believe.

Joh 20:31  But these are written so that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you might have life in His name.

Joh 14:1  Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in Me.

Blessings

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