Saturday, December 28, 2013

Tis the Season...

Tis the season...

And a wonderful season it is.

The Christmas Season!

Many, many years ago Jesus came down from heaven to earth as a baby. He came to live among us and teach us His loving ways. Then He paid the price that none of us could pay ourselves for our sins. He was crucified and died. On the third day He rose from the dead and whoever believes in Him will be saved and live eternally with Him.

He is preparing a place for all of those who make the decision to believe in Him and follow Him.

What better reason is there to celebrate!

A few years ago, a lot of people's retirement plans went right out the door. They had worked hard to make sure to provide an income for the later years in their lives only to see it dissipate. A large number of people haven't seen their retirement be replaced yet.

It's discouraging to give so much of yourself, for your future, only to have it taken away.

Yet, our future here is really very short lived. Sometimes we don't even make it to those years we worked for, but every person will make it to that final place called death. No one misses that part of life. It is a guarantee.

So we can work and work, and plan and plan, for our future years on earth, which is wise, but then never see it.

However, we will see out future in eternity.

The great thing is, we don't have to work and work to receive the future that Jesus has for us. The future after living here is much longer than we can imagine, because it is forever. There isn't anymore endings. What we get is it.

And Jesus knows what eternity looks like. He knows the past, present, and future. He wants the best for people. He loves us.

So when He came here to give His life for us, and offer to take the place of our sins, instead of us having to pay the price, it is a big GIFT.

Bigger than what you can buy, bigger than what you can work at achieving.

This season there is a true reason to celebrate. Not because we have good jobs, nice houses, lots of presents, health, friends, and loved ones, although those are super good blessings. The reason to celebrate is our future is in His hands if we believe. He loves us so much, He already took care of our future.

We just have to believe and receive.

How awesome is that gift?

There is no better.

      

Friday, December 13, 2013

It's So Hard To Remember

I remember, when I got my first pair of contacts, in my twenties. I walked out of the doctor’s office and thought, “Wow! This is fantastic!” Everything looked so vividly clear. And what was really great is the street lights didn’t smear at night.

When I’m around my home I can take my contacts out and function just fine, sometimes I even watch television, but out in public, I need them, so I don’t get a headache straining to see all of the different things.

Quite a few years ago, I had my second operation on my right ear. Afterward, I struggled to hear and had to pop my ear quite often. It was discovered that for some reason my ear drum would invert instead of staying smooth and round. Part of the reason was due to an Eustachian-tube dysfunction, and also the doctors believed there to be a bone problem in my ear in which exploratory surgery is needed. I’ve learned to live with the problem, although it intensified after a car accident, along with irritating noise from tinnitus.

I’ve also had a problem with remembering some things, since having a good conk on the head a few years ago. I need to be sure to be rested, exercise, and eat well so I don’t drain myself physically, otherwise, I get overwhelmed and it gets a bit fuzzy in my head.

It totally sounds like I’m falling apart, doesn’t it?

Fortunately, all of these things I don’t really think too much about during the day, because I’ve learned to live with them. Unless someone sees me popping my ears, or someone has a long enough conversation with me, to realize they need to speak up when talking, it doesn’t affect me socially. Or if I have things written down, or in my calendar, people don’t really realize when I’m tired I could forget something we planned together, unless of course, they’ve been on the receiving end of my forgetfulness.

I’ve learned to manage.

A few weeks ago, we visited Ben’s sister’s family’s church. It was an incredible experience. To start with, the building had the most incredible personality. I could have sat in awe over the design of the building for quite a long time. Then came the worship, which was very well led.

And then came…the message.

I am still thinking, WOW!

Not only did the Pastor talk on my favorite gospel, the book of Mark, but he brought out some points from a passage that I have read and read, never seeing those points before.

Mark 8 is about the second time that Jesus fed thousands. The disciples had seen him do this before. They had passed out the bread, the fish and then picked up the full 12 baskets afterward. Here they are doing it again.

Then of course, there are the Pharisees who have to do their thing and try to ruin the party. You would think they would just get over it and stop bugging Jesus. Anyway…

Afterward, the disciples are on the boat with Jesus. Jesus warns them about the yeast of the Pharisees. The disciples are talking among themselves that they probably didn’t bring enough bread.

Hello! They had just participated for the SECOND time, where Jesus fed thousands from a few loaves of bread! Don’t they remember? Just a few short minutes had passed since the last feeding. It’s rather obvious they didn’t need more than half a slice of bread to feed their small group.

Yet they seem to have forgotten.

It’s pretty unbelievable that the disciples were sitting there wondering about how much bread they had with them when they had just participated with Jesus in feeding thousands.

Evidently, as the pastor pointed out, Jesus wondered it too.

Then Jesus says to them, “Don’t you remember? You have eyes but do not see, Ears that do not hear.”

But then the pastor had to go and apply it personally.

So that got me thinking. Do I remember? Do I see? Do I hear?

Or am I not only have difficulty seeing, hearing, and remembering physically, but spiritually to? Am I blind, deaf, and have a memory problem?

I thought about my life and how many times Jesus has stepped in, how He has always, always been there, yet I get fearful, I worry, I want to do things my way instead of trusting and waiting.

I have sat on the edge of a cliff in life so many times scared of the next step, even though He has somehow stepped in time and time again.  

I seem to have a real memory problem myself.

I know there are lots of times I have spread the news of something amazing God has done in my life and then there is a curve in the road and…I worry…I wonder…I just plain forget.

Truth is I was ill and felt alone. He was there.

When we had no food…we were fed.

When we had no money for bills…our bills were paid.

When we were injured…we were taking care of.

When we lost babies…we were comforted.

Yet…just a few weeks ago I was all in a flutter wondering what on earth are we going to do? Surely, we are doomed, yet the last two weeks, God has taken care of our problem.

He is faithful.

I need to remember.

I need to see.

I need to listen.

Not worry, not fear, but trust in the one who fed thousands years ago from a few loaves of bread. In the one who was determined to have the people He loved spend eternity with Him and not apart from Him, that He gave His life in our place.

To the one who said He would never leave us.

Remember…