Monday, December 9, 2013

Do Christians decorate or not decorate for Christmas?

Some Christians are questioning the validity of “Christmas Decorations” during the holiday season.  There is a group that sees nothing wrong with having a tree, putting up lights or playing traditional Christmas music.  Then there are those who think that Jesus is being lost in the mix and we should not give gifts or focus on anything other than God.

What is Christmas all about anyway?  It is a time set aside to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ; the Nativity.  So, what's so bad about the things in the first paragraph?  Can Christians be true to their allegiance to God & make merry as they send out the proverbial Christmas card or deck the halls?

I do agree that the retail community has commercialized Christmas too much, especially when they tend to draw employees away from their families on Thanksgiving & Christmas Day by having them work on the holiday.  The way that Thanksgiving is lost between the celebration of Halloween and Christmas has gotten worst over the years.  And let’s not forget that some people and some places demand that Merry Christmas be replace by the words “Happy Holidays”.

As I began to decorate this year, my husband & I went to select a “live tree”.  After having had an artificial tree for over 20 years, the lights died.  Decorating the tree reminds me of the wonderful family times that we had in the past: midnight mass, chopping down our own tree, walking through the snow, the Ooo’s and Awh’s when the lights were turned on, family gathering around the dinner table, and the love that is shared during this time.

If this one time of the year gives just one person the desire to come to church, or implants a little joy and good will; then let your light so shine before men - be it spiritual or a little physical.  Instead of criticizing how we express Christmas, let’s spread the love of Christ to the world.

“Jesus is the Reason for the Season” and as you choose to decorate or not decorate – let’s remember to “Keep Christ in Christmas” and love one another instead of condemning how our neighbor chooses to celebrate with holiday decorations.

Isaiah 9:6 King James Version (KJV)
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
      ???What Say You???
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Monday, November 25, 2013

Care About Someone

The following letter was to a sister in the Lord who had a spirit of Bulimia.[1]  She is a dear friend of mine and I was very concerned about her welfare.  I had found an article in my local newspaper concerning the disease and was urged by the Holy Spirit to send it to her along with this letter.  I hope that it may also help someone else troubled with this condition.

Dear Sister _____,
You are very dear to me, and I hope that what I am about to say will not disrupt our friendship.  If I have missed it (the Lord’s message that I was instructed to give to you), please forgive me and pray that I hear the Lord better next time.  I am using “I” throughout this letter because you know it is we (God and me) who are speaking to you, and that our God is in both of us.

My concern is your weight loss.  If you remember, I did ask you how you lost all that weight so fast, and you never gave me a response.  No; no one in your family told me anything about your sudden weight lost  You once told me, when we were in ________ (location) about how you lost weight once before and that your family did not approve.  I am not going to lecture to you, but I would like to share an article I came upon along with a few scriptures.  At first, I was going to send you this anonymously so you wouldn’t get upset with me, but the Lord told me to do it this way (using the computer because it’s faster—not impersonal).  I too, am trying to lose some weight but by natural means.  If “the three Ds” (diet, discipline and discipleship) doesn’t work for you anymore; there are other ways.

Would you introduce the way that you are losing weight to a church group?  Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit and we know that God dwells in a clean temple (I Cor. 6:19).  And, if I were a weak Christian, and was in the same situation of wanting to reduce; should I follow your example?  If my physical body couldn’t take the strain, what would you do?  Would you be able to carry the responsibility of my death for following your pattern? (Romans 14)

It has taken me awhile in prayer to our Father before I could confront you with this letter Sister _____.  I love you and your family, and I don’t want anything to happen to you.  Again, if I am wrong about this situation, let me know and pray for me.  But, if I am right, know that I am here for you, and we can get through this together.

Your Sister in Christ

Our physical bodies are not our own.  They are on loan to us from our Father, to do His will.  We have seventy-plus years’ of life expectancy on earth, and I believe that our bodies were made to endure that life span.  We are not supposed to abuse our bodies with overeating, or any other form of abuse (i.e. drugs, alcohol or cutting).  It is our responsibility to exercise proper care in what we do to our bodies in moderation and take care of what God has given us just as much as we take care of that new automobile, home, child, or other possession that He has blessed us with.  Have you noticed how very well-preserved many Christians, who are doing the will of God, actually look?  They look marvelous, and so can you!

[1]A habitual disturbance in eating behavior mostly affecting young women of normal weight, characterized by frequent episodes of grossly excessive food intake followed by self-induced vomiting to avert weight gain

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Monday, November 11, 2013

“The Job Syndrome”

(A Spiritual Faith Diary) “Formula for Faith is Believing Without Seeing”

“The Job Syndrome”—what is it?  It’s an expression that I’ve come up with to explain the condition, which I feel that I’m in sometimes.  Those times are the times when we go through a situation we feel is unpleasant.  As I write this book, I feel that I am experiencing those issues right now in order to help someone at another time.  Sometimes the experiences are embarrassing, but we have to remember what the Bible has to say: “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man:  but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (I Cor. 10:13).

The book of Job, in the old testament of the Bible, is a ‘once-upon-a-time’ story about a good man who suffered many injustices in his life.  One day, as the story goes, Satan appears before God to tell Him about all the sinful things people are doing on earth.  God says to Satan, “Did you notice My servant Job?  There is no one on earth like him, a thoroughly good man who never sins.”  Satan answers God, “Of course Job is pious and obedient.  You make it worth his while by showering riches and blessings on him.  Take away those blessings and see how long he remains your obedient servant.”

God accepts Satan’s challenge.  God doesn’t tell Job what is about to happen to his life.  As the story develops, Satan destroys Job’s house and cattle and kills his children.  He afflicts Job with boils all over his body, so that his every moment and movement becomes physical torture.  Job’s wife urges him to curse God, even if that means God’s striking him dead.  He knows he can’t do anything worse.  Three friends come to console Job, and they too urge him to give up his piety if this is the reward it brings him, but Job remains steadfast in his faith.  Nothing that happens to him can make him give up his devotion to God.  At the end, God appears, scolds the friends for their advice, and rewards Job for his faithfulness.  God gives him a new home, a new fortune, and new children.  The moral of the story is: when hard times befall you, don’t be tempted to give up your faith in God.  He has His reasons for what He is doing, and if you hold on to your faith long enough, He will compensate you for your suffering.  The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come” (Ish. 57:1).

“Small Beginnings” (September 23, 1996)
In 1996, I began to go through a situation similar to Job’s.  No, I did not lose my children, or my home, or my health, but, when you are confronted with misfortune; it can seem as enormous as any problem that Job faced.  Just as Job’s trials, my misfortune seemed enormous and unending...

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Monday, October 28, 2013

Does the Church Have a “Head Cold”?

The church body is under the attack of the devil, and the church has symptoms like that of the flu (Isaiah 29:9-15).
Stopped-up head:
Can’t hear the Word of God
Eyes swollen shut:
Can’t see our faults and sins
Body aches – pains:
Backsliding, backbiting, gossip, hurt by a church member
Coughing and spreading germs:
Sowing discord among the brethren
Itchy, watery eyes:
We can’t see the enemy before us
Can’t understand the Word of God
Suffering from attacks of the enemy on our health
Hot for the things of this world or anger towards one another
Can’t breathe:
Unable to witness to anyone due to a lack of knowledge—not studying the Bible
Open our understanding to God’s Word and bind up sickness and disease.
Take medication and rest.  Rest in the Lord Jesus Christ and have a large dose of the Holy Spirit, our comforter and protector. Let’s have some of the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
Pain Reliever: Take a dose of the Word of God.  Listen to the Holy Spirit instead of just hearing Him.  Act on the Word and let our light so shine before men. (Mat. 5:16)

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