Well it’s hard to believe that Christmas…yes…CHRISTMAS…is coming up fast on our horizon. Seems like just yesterday that we were blowing horns that the New Year had just come in with a bang, and now we are shopping for gifts for our families and friends. Did everyone survive Black Friday? Well, now it is time that we begin writing out our Christmas cards and wrapping all of those gifts that we saved so much money on (or so we are told) by buying from this store rather than that one.
We know that stress is a killer and ‘T’is the Season’ that can bring much of this dreaded killer into our lives if we let it, and don’t carefully plan out our time schedules. Make sure you plan on taking some time for yourself and just relax and let the worries recede.
Here is a list of some of the things that can help you to get rid of the frazzle in your dazzle this Christmas season: First thing is to take the time to make a list. Here we go:
1. Sit down with a cup of your favorite beverage and make a list of the things you need to accomplish in the next 2-3 weeks.
2. Planning is essential if you’re going to survive the holiday whirlwind.
3. If you didn’t take part in Black Friday to buy your gifts, make a list of those you plan on giving gifts to and set the dollar amount that you wish to spend for each person, and stick to that limit. Overspending during the holidays is a sure-fire stress producer, so stay away from the temptation to buy just one more gift for that particular person.
4. Write out your Christmas cards and mail them promptly….don’t wait or you might get stuck in the long lines at the post office.
5. Take a long, hot bubble bath and pamper yourself.
6. Get your calendar out and write out the dates of any Christmas plays or concerts that you have to attend for your children’s school or those that might be at the church you attend.
7. Now add to your list and to your calendar the dates and times that you have already signed up to bake something for a club you belong to or the church bake sale. Not to mention the baking that you wish to do for your family and friends. Baking and cooking takes a lot of preparation and planning. So, because of the time constraints, make a grocery list of the items you will need to purchase in order to successfully get these projects done.
8. Sit down and watch your all time favorite Christmas movies.
9. Plan on setting aside a time that you can wrap your Christmas gifts in private (especially, if you have children) or a husband that likes to peek and see what you’re doing.
10. Spend time with your friends and family and just enjoy the holiest of all Holy(i)days. Unwrap your presents and be thankful to the Lord Jesus Christ that He agreed to come down as a little baby so that He could become your Savior and mine. Hallelujah!
Now….just think about it for a minute…. after you open up your presents and you have to clean up all of the mess….in just 371 days it will be CHRISTMAS once again. God Bless!
Surfing the web, this writer came across an article written by Matt Walsh that was posted in The Blaze at http://www.theblaze.com/contributions/no-serious-christians-arent-worried-about-the-stupid-starbucks-cups/ about the supposed Starbucks Christmas cup controversy. Seriously? It is hard to believe that any Christian(s) would be upset about such a thing. Then there is the backlash happening on the web as well as the major news outlets picking up the story, and so this guy, Joshua Feuerstein, has been making the rounds on Facebook trying to stir up a controversy. If Christians should get upset about anything that Starbucks puts on their cups, it would be their iconic twin-tailed mermaid siren or Norse goddess. According to Starbucks:
Suddenly, there she was: a 16th century Norse woodcut of a twin-tailed mermaid, or Siren. There was something about her – a seductive mystery mixed with a nautical theme that was exactly what the founders were looking for…http://www.starbucks.com/blog/so-who-is-the-siren
Then this writer found this blurb:
One of Astarte’s symbols was actually a star within a circle, which was used to symbolize the planet Venus. Interestingly, two stars are found within the green circle surrounding the logo character of the former Starbucks logo, which was used to separate ‘Starbucks’ and ‘Coffee.’ Artistic depictions of the goddess often show her naked, so why was such a figure with a steamy background chosen to represent the popular coffee chain? Astarte was a goddess that was worshiped in the Eastern Mediterranean countries dating back to the bronze age and into classical times, according to http://www.unexplainable.net
As some commentators have responded: Go feed the hungry, etc. etc. which is a reference to:
Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
So what should shock Christians the more? No snowflakes on the red cups or the fact that Starbucks has chosen a snake-like goddess that has been represented as a twin-tailed Norse goddess, and which has also represented Astarte, a pagan goddess?
For Christians, the first of the Ten Commandments states very clearly:
And God spake all these words, saying, I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
Those Veterans that have over the years given their lives and their time, and have willingly placed themselves in the line of fire to keep our nation, the Unites States of America, as one Nation under God; free as the founding fathers established it through the Declaration of Independence are to be remembered and honored on this day. It has been necessary to defend this great nation from the onset of its birth as we established the rights of the people through the Constitution of the United States of America. The men and women that have selflessly given of their time and talents; some for a specified time of service and some who have given all of themselves by laying down their lives for the freedom of others. As it has been said, “Freedom is not free!”
Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.
We could paraphrase this verse in Psalms 127 to read:
Except the Lord build the NATION, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the NATION, the watchman waketh but in vain.
The United States of America was founded upon the principles of God and His Word, a place where people wanted to establish a new country where they could worship their God as they pleased. During crucial battles many servicemen had their Bibles tucked securely into their coats and this writer is reminded of the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Virginia where the artist has depicted this type of scene through a statue of a serviceman dying on the beaches of Normandy with his Bible in his hand.
The history that lies behind this holiday is this
Memorial Day started as an event to honor Union soldiers, who had died during the American Civil War. It was inspired by the way people in the Southern states honored their dead. After World War I, it was extended to include all men and women, who died in any war or military action.
Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day. The current name for this day did not come into use until after World War II. Decoration Day and then Memorial Day used to be held on May 30, regardless of the day of the week, on which it fell. It is traditional to fly the flag of the United States at half mast from dawn until noon. Many people visit cemeteries and memorials, particularly to honor those who have died in military service. Many volunteers place an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries.
The Founders knew that the Lord God Almighty needed to be present in our public life and affairs and to be glorified so His blessing would flow over this great nation. This knowledge is greatly needed and a revival of the Lord’s blessings for this nation is needed right now. Again, as it has been said before, “There are no atheists in the foxholes.” Those that are prepared to lay down their lives for our freedom know this all too well. So this Memorial Day, let us glorify the Lord God Almighty the true founder of this great United States of America and to remember and honor those that have served in our military so that we as a people might remain free.
Another year come and gone and here it is Mother’s Day again. You are probably thinking about what to buy for your Mom on HER day. Like most Mothers, we have enough perfume, we have all the plates and glassware we need, we have all of the small appliances, etc. Please don’t buy her a vacuum cleaner unless she has requested one. You can however buy her a dishwasher if you don’t already have one in your home and that would be quite a blessing. If by some odd chance she is still using a washboard, DO buy her a washing machine and dryer.
So…Dad…what you can get for the Mother of your children is to treat her to a series of gifts all designed to bless her on this day set to honor her. Here are some suggestions of different gifts that you can utilize if you wish:
- Get that family photo taken that is overdue
- Take her and your family on a horse-drawn carriage ride through your city
- Eat at her favorite fancy restaurant
- Buy her a heart-shaped gold locket with that new family photo inside
- Have your family lunch catered at your favorite park with servers in tuxedos
These are just some of the ideas that this writer proffers for those of my readers who might be struggling to think of some new things to get for Mom on her day. While the Bible does not obviously have any verses set aside for a special Mother’s day event, yet we see that God the Father did provide words upon this subject. You can find it in the Ten Commandments, it is
Honour thy father and thy MOTHER: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee (emphasis mine).
We also find Jesus Christ honoring His mother on a daily basis. How do we know it is most likely on a daily basis? In the first place, it was a commandment of God and the Lord Jesus kept all of God’s commandments perfectly. Then we find an instance written in the Bible where most definitely He honored His Mother by obeying her even when it wasn’t the most convenient for Him.
John 2:1-8. 12
And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. After this he went down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, and his brethren, and his disciples: and they continued there not many days.
Jesus knew that it was not yet time for Him to begin His ministry, yet because His mother took the lead and set Him upon His path, He obeyed her and performed His first miracle in His ministry. We don’t see Him arguing endlessly about the fact that it wasn’t time yet; what we do read is that He does make mention of this, yet He honors His Mother and does it anyway. By the cultural rules of the society in which He was living, He could have simply informed His Mother to be quiet and refused to do anything. Yet He honored her and obeyed her. This is a good clue for all children to do so in imitation of the Holy One of God. Amen.
So this Mother’s day, give honor unto whom honor is due. Above all, children love your Mother, honor her and obey her and as the commandments of God states: “that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” Have a blessed Mother’s day!
The National Day of Prayer was first observed informally by the Continental Congress in 1775 and then later on it was observed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. During the Presidency of Harry S. Truman, he declared an actual day of observance on April 17, 1952 and it was brought into law by a bill that he signed. It was President Ronald Reagan who amended this law and declared that this National Day of Prayer would be set on the first Thursday of May, beginning in 1988. In different languages it is written as:
National Day of Prayer in English and
Día Nacional de la Oración in Spanish
היום הלאומי של תפילה in Hebrew and
기도의 건국 기념일 in Korean (Holidays.)
There are many things that different people do on this day. Some people just simply pray for our Nation and for the people that they know. Other people observe it with prayer and with fasting and also to entreat the favor of the Lord God Almighty, that He might bless this nation once again and restore this Nation to greatness.
According to the National Day of Prayer website, it will be televised live on DirecTV 365 as well as being streamed live on their website. It will begin at 9:00 a.m.to 12:00 EST and broadcast from the Cannon House office building in Washington D.C. Some of the speakers that will be presenting will be Anne Graham Lotz and Dr. James and Shirley Dobson.
Many cities across the nation will also be hosting Prayer breakfasts and other linked events. In the Chicago area and surrounding communities (or even nationwide), there will be at least 40 different events, so to see which one is close to you just click here and enter in Chicago, Illinois. Other countries such as England and Australia will also be participating with the United States of America and prayer will be uplifted to our Creator at the same time and on the same day, May 1st. Hallelujah!
When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.
Let us pray!
The Sunday before Easter has been called Palm Sunday because of the imagery of the Lord Jesus Christ making His triumphal entry into Jerusalem. The people hailed Him as their Messiah, waving palm branches and laying them down before Him, as well as their outer garments or cloaks so that the asses’ colt that He rode upon would not have to tread upon the dirt road.
In just a few more days, the Lord Jesus entered the beginning of His passion or suffering which would culminate in His resurrection from the dead. The whole of it came to be called the Passion week which included all of the activities of the Lord Jesus during His final week in His physical body upon the earth.
This year, Palm Sunday will fall on April 13, 2014 and churches everywhere will be celebrating this day in remembrance of our Lord’s passion that He suffered for us. Looking at some of the historical aspects of this event, the palm tree itself has always been associated with the oasis in the desert. When the people of Israel camped in Elim, there just happened to be 70 palm trees and 12 springs of fresh water. Thus do we see the imagery of the number 70 for the exact number of elders that judged the people. The number 12 being the representative number for the 12 tribes of Israel. Thus we see that Jesus was being hailed as the Messiah, with the people waving palm branches, thus indicating that the Lord Jesus as Israel’s Messiah was their eternal oasis of ‘living water,’ even as He had told the Samaritan woman at the well in:
Jesus answered and said to her, If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.
The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those who are planted in the house of the Lord Shall flourish in the courts of our God.
The Holy Bible prophesied that a ‘triumphant and victorious” king would enter Jerusalem ‘humble and riding on an ass.’ The spectacle of Palm Sunday fulfills this prophecy,” so The Dictionary of Biblical Imagery. We find this prophecy in Scripture in
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth. As for thee also, by the blood of thy covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water.
Just as God saw to it that He had prophesied before it happened, the Lord Jesus Christ came riding into Jerusalem, riding on the foal of an ass. But let’s look at the remaining two verses of Scripture, and let’s see what else is prophesied. The Scripture states that “he shall speak peace unto the heathen..” This would be the Gentiles that one day would be allowed to enter into the family of God. It also states that “His dominion shall be from sea to sea…” which means just exactly what it says…that the Lord Jesus Christ rules and reigns over the entire universe, not just for a short while, but eternally. Then let us look at the final verse; verse 11, “…by the blood of thy covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water.” Truly phenomenal statements: “…by the blood of thy covenant…” for the Lord Jesus Christ was soon to make a new covenant with His very own blood. Finally, “…I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water.” This usage of ‘water’ is often associated with the Holy Spirit and indeed, Jesus foretold that He would be giving forth ‘living water’ and so indeed He did bring to pass this very prophecy.
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There are endless articles in books, magazines and internet stories of how to find love, how to ditch your date and to create your own therapy and express your hate. Please forgive the rhyme of the first line, but it is February and poets abound with lyrical lines and sonnets of love (author is laughing even as she writes these lines.) Okay. So the topic of this article is “how to keep your husband or wife as the love of your life” (more rhyming.) Biblically speaking…
Let’s look at 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
Charity can be translated as LOVE, so yes…
LOVE suffers or puts up with a lot of things for a long time and sometimes this is what we have to do, because none of us are perfect.
LOVE is kind. Sometimes you might want to say what your really think, but if you truly love your spouse, sometimes it’s wiser to just not say anything.
LOVE doesn’t envy. Especially, when your spouse gets that promotion and you wonder when yours is going to come to pass.
LOVE doesn’t know what a BIG EGO is all about. So when you get that promotion, remember that your spouse is probably waiting for one too. So treat them to something they really want and draw them into the limelight with you.
LOVE doesn’t act like a jerk. No explanations are really needed here, we’ve all seen them.
LOVE doesn’t seek applause.
LOVE is not easily provoked, so husbands and wives should not allow themselves to get angry and blow up with every little thing that happens on a daily basis.
LOVE does not think evil things about their spouse. Hmmm…how can I get even with him/her.
LOVE does not rejoice in iniquity or sin, whether you or your spouse commits the infraction, repent as soon as possible if you have transgressed against the Lord your God.
LOVE rejoices in TRUTH. So what is truth? Truth is not a what but a WHO. Truth is the Lord Jesus Christ and truth is His WORD. So to be able to rejoice in TRUTH is to read God’s Word, and apply it to your life and to your marriage.
LOVE bears all things. When your spouse is not doing the above prescriptions, but this also does not mean that you have to be a door mat either.
LOVE believes all things. This does not mean that when your husband/wife comes in late at night with that ‘deer-in-the-headlight-look’ that you believe every story they tell. You reprove in love and get your spouse back on track.
LOVE hopes all things. You hope for the best in your marriage and you are willing to work at it for a life time, never giving up even if your spouse wants to give up on your love. Daily prayer together forges a union that is hard to break.
LOVE endures all things. So when things are not going the way that you think they should, you endure…even as the Lord Jesus Christ did as He forged out our salvation to form a relationship with us for an eternity.
This does not preclude that both husband and wife should rejoice in doing those small things for the love of their life:
1. Taking your spouse on a date night
2. Putting chocolate kisses on their pillow
3. Putting ‘I LOVE YOU’ notes in their lunchbox or briefcase
4. Calling them at lunch time just to hear their voice
5. Candle-light dinners for two
The list could go on and on, so come up with your own special delights to treat your spouse with love from your heart. This next is especially for the husbands…when your wife asks you the DREADED question….”Does this dress look good on me?”
Even if the answer is “NO!” Take your wife in your arms and look directly into her eyes and tell her,
“YOU look beautiful my love!”
Happy Valentine’s Day!