Chestnuts anyone?

fireplace 2018
In April 2018 we began the arduous challenge of remodeling much of our new home.  Flooring, painting, some things taken out, new things put in, and now we’re just about complete.  It’s been a daunting task at times, giving us a new appreciation for people with more patience than me.  Now, it’s only 13 more days ’till Christmas.  This song fits me where I am this morning…
Chestnuts roasting on an open fire
Jack Frost nipping at your nose
Yule-tide carols being sung by a choir
And folks dressed up like Eskimos
Everybody knows a turkey and some mistletoe
Help to make the season bright
Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow
Will find it hard to sleep tonight
They know that Santa’s on his way
He’s loaded lots of toys and goodies on his sleigh
And every mother’s child is gonna spy
To see if reindeer really know how to fly
And so I’m offering this simple phrase
To kids from one to ninety-two
Although it’s been said many times, many ways
Merry Christmas to you
And so I’m offering this simple phrase
To kids from one to ninety-two
Although it’s been said many times, many ways
Merry Christmas to you
Songwriters: Mel Torme / Robert Wells
The Christmas Song lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Merry Christmas Everybody!

Cherish: The Greatest Treasure

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It’s 8:25 a.m. at my home in Texas, and by now families with children have been up a couple hours doing “Christmas.”  The room where they gathered is trashed with torn paper wrappings, boxes, ribbons and bows.  Everyone’s smiling or frowning based on the joy or disappointment of a gift given or received, pre-determined by their expectations of what Christmas would be for them this year.  What I cherish today are the memories of Christmases past, where everyone in my family received something that brought genuine joy resulting in smiles and laughter.  Today I sat looking at the fire, and remembered fondly all those happy times.  In some ways I’m a very rich man, because I can still remember these things, and smile at myself for having been a part of it all.

The greatest treasure is knowing God is not finished with me yet.  I’m making new memories now.  The road is not less difficult or challenging, as anyone who has adult children also knows.  It’s just different, that’s all.  Things change.  People change.  Circumstances change.  But one thing never changes.  God’s love, demonstrated in such a tangible way, with the baby in a manger, who became the man on a cross.  God announced to the universe His great love for all mankind.  And God is not finished with me, or us, yet.

When is Christmas really over?  When the presents are all unwrapped?  When the tree comes down, the decorations are stored, and the house is back to “normal?”  When the returns are made, and you’ve gotten for yourself what you wished for?

For me, Christmas is never really over.  I’m not one of those weirdos’ who keeps decorations and trees up year round, that’s not what I mean.  I mean, I’m only too aware that Immanuel means “God with us.”  I get that when I stepped over the line of faith into Jesus and His grace, the greatest gift to mankind ever offered was mine to enjoy forever.  In that moment the Holy Spirit of God came to abide in me, to set up a permanent dwelling in my heart and mind.  And here’s the thing…

The Grace given at Christmas when this child was born, is the same grace God expects me to dish out lavishly on the people I meet on this grand adventure called life.  Each and every time I answer insults with a kind word, receive each anger charged look and return it with a smile, or give a cup of coffee expecting nothing in return, I’m living out the expectation of God for me. Grace giver.

I may be the only form of Jesus some people ever see, and if this is true, what do they see?

Today, I cherish the idea that Christ did it all for me.  Those who know me, know I don’t deserve this great gift.  But the love God has for me personally, is the greatest gift I’ve ever received, one I will always treasure.  I want to share it with the world; with anyone who will read or listen, that’s what this blog is really all about.

Join me in the process if you agree with me.  Share this blog on your FaceBook, send it in an email, or just share the love of God with someone today.  Be a grace giver.

Cherish

Miraculous

manger

At this time of year, during the Christmas season, the word “Miraculous” gets passed around more than chips and dip at a Super Bowl party.  I’m convinced few people really have any clue what it means.

The reason I say this is that by definition, whatever event or occurrence this word is used to describe, the word demands the person using it believe in a supernatural power to intervene, and the “miracle” is the manifestation of that power.  It is used to describe the highly improbable, the extraordinary, the “only possible” through divine intervention.  And it usually includes a favorable outcome or consequence to the event.  Since many people using this word don’t believe in God, much less Santa, there’s a bit of hypocrisy in the over-use of this word.

A man and a woman come together to share in the creation of another human being, well that’s a natural thing.  How that process works inside the human body, the design and fulfillment of another human being born into this world, now that’s miraculous.

But think about it from a larger perspective.  That God would use a man of the Old Testament to prophesy about a young girl from a no-name town, who would have a male-child (even though she was a virgin), and then for it to come true 400 years after the prophecy is revealed, now that’s miraculous.

Go larger, and see it from Jesus’ perspective.  The Son of God, in eternity past, before the world was ever created, looking across the eons of time, chose to come and be this male-child Savior of the world.  Emptying Himself of His God-ness, and shrouding Himself in human flesh, this baby became a young child who became the Man of God to stand in the gap for humanity.

Now that’s miraculous.

But if you or I were to be able to ask God one question, and actually have the opportunity for God to answer this question, I believe my question would be, “Why did it happen this way?”

And I believe God’s answer to be, “It’s what I do.”  God does things differently than humans.  We define God’s actions to be “miraculous.”  Yet, from God’s perspective, it’s just what God does.  They are supernatural, inexplicable, unaccountable actions that define who He is, and what He does.

Ephesians 1:4
He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. 

Miraculous.

Thank you God, for the miraculous work of salvation, found only in Jesus.

 

 

 

 

Miraculous