Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Time

So, it's Christmas again.
December 25, 2013.

So, most people that I know are probably sat in their living room floor, eating out of oversized hosiery, with relatives packed in about a dead evergreen tree (or even a plastic replica of a dead plant).

Most of my friends removed decorated paper from cardboard boxes, boxes filled with random items, typically purchased within the last month.

So, it's the same here at Grammy and Poppy's house.

Our tree is fake.
There is wrapping paper everywhere.
Many faces wear smiles…or laughter.
Dogs and a cat are everywhere. Dog hair everywhere…
Tissue papers and boxes are being the new residence of the bird.
The house smells like pie (pumpkin and cherry pie mostly).
And the people are wearing new outfits.

I now have some fun new things!!

This summer I went to Dominican Republic, and I've been working to learn Spanish since. Part of that, is looking up Bible verses friends sent to me, and trying to translate them into English, then looking them up in my (English) Bible. So, this Christmas, my parents wanted to get me a Spanish/English Bible, but it was hard to find, so they employed the help of my Aunt Elaine, who searched her city for the Book, but found it not. Finally, a copy was discovered online and it was ordered. She got it only the day before she drove up for Christmas.
I opened it and kinda stared for a moment in shock…then picked it up and hugged it. When I put it on the table to watch others open their gifts, I just put my chin on the Bible.
I am so glad to have this Bible, the English in it is ESV, and the Spanish version is RV. I'm so happy!!!!

But is this the purpose of Christmas? To get gifts? Or is it to give gifts? Or is it about spending money to support small businesses? Or is it to be with family?

Why do we have Christmas?

God the Father GAVE Jesus the Son to us!

Through Jesus Christ we RECEIVE salvation!

Since before the world, this was God's plan. This was His intention, His purpose, His design. This is not a secondary back up measure. This is not man's plan B, but this is God's precious mercy and grace.

I Peter 1:20-21
"He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God."

So, this was God's plan all along. But just how would He fulfill all the prophecies?

How would the King of kings and Lord of lords come to conquer the world?

How would the Prince of peace overcome death?

The Mighty God would come in the form of a human, humbled to be a baby, birthed in a stable, and laid in a manger.

His mother would be Mary, a virgin, betrothed (engaged) to a carpenter. Thus this was not a family of high esteem or rank. And this child was the God of the universe! He had come, to ransom His people.

Matthew 1:22-23
"All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
"Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall call his name Immanuel."
(which means, God with us)."

He is the Saviour of the world! I'm so glad He came into our dark world.

John 8:12
"Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the light of the wold. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

Jesus was and is the Christ, the Son of God, and completely equal with God.

John 10:30
"I and the Father are one."

So, here we are, Jesus, completely man and completely God.

John 1:29
"The next day he saw Jesus coming towards him, and said, "Behold, the Lamb of god, who takes away the sin of the world!""

Jesus Christ came to this world, born as a vulnerable baby, so that we as weak sinners might be ransomed. He became the weak to save the weak, He became the shamed and despised so that we might be accepted and beloved.

He accomplished this by taking all my sin and being crushed by the Father for my sin, so that I might be spared that fate. He was crucified so that I might live.

Isaiah 53:5
"But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed."


…and He is coming again.

II Peter 3:10
"But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed."

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Happy Birthday Joshua

So, often a person might make a new friend, and thus a friendship is born, yet siblings may not be included in that friendship, worse they may even be seen as the "third wheel" or viewed as "cramping style". This is very sad to me, my friends siblings are just as much my friend as the first sibling I met from that family! My best friend's youngest sister is my "twin".

And the brother to Jenn, the author of Becoming A Fair Lady blog (and the one who invited me to the Dominican Republic), is one of those kinds of friends. I didn't know him until AFTER getting to know Jenn. He soon went from being "Jenn's brother", to my own friend. The entire Raimundo family is dear to me. So, without further explanation…

Happy 18th Birthday Joshua!!

It was such a joy meeting you, and wonderful to get to know you throughout the trip. I've loved that we still keep in touch.

Yes, when I am out there next, I'll teach you to drive. :-)

You, sir, are a blessing to my life, a dear friend, and tons of fun!!

Your kindness and thoughtfulness wasn't missed on the trip, I was always very grateful for your gentlemanly conduct. Of all the men I've been around that gave effort to treat the women around them as SISTERS in Christ, you have succeeded. I felt honored and treated well when around you.
Often you gave up your will to someone else's, that is wonderful. It is a brilliantly burning light in you, that you serve Jesus Christ.

Dear brother, may this coming year be a year defining to your character and being in Christ. May our Lord continue to mold you to look more like Jesus.
I pray that you keep growing into the man of God you were created to be!

It has been, it is, and I am sure it will continue to be, a huge blessing in my life to watch you as God directs your footsteps.

Dear brother, when life pressures you to compromise, keep your eyes on Christ, He will make you able to withstand pressure.
When life seems upside down, remember that Jesus IS the WAY! You will never be lost or misdirected if you're guided by Christ.
When sin crouches at the door, remember two things…One, for it to overtake you, first it must bind up the strong man that is Christ, and two, you are in armour is given to you by God. He will always provide you an escape.
When it's hard and you're exhausted and it seems good to give up, hold tight to what you know is Truth. He'll never leave you, and He provides you with everything, and He is enough for you.

Dear brother, grow, like a tree planted by the still waters, soak up the blazing hot SON Light. Remember you are chosen by Him, and kept by Him.

Ephesians 4:32 - 5:1-2
"Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God."

Stand strong brother, fear nothing but God, be bold and courageous! Be unashamed of the name you were chosen for…disciple of Jesus Christ.

Romanos 1:16
"Porque no me avergüenzo del evangelio, porque es poder de Dios para salvación a todo aquel que cree; al judío primeramente, y también al griego."