Thursday, December 30, 2010

He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.



Galatians 3:14

The New International Version

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The True Meaning of Christmas





Question: "What is the true meaning of Christmas?"

Answer: The true meaning of Christmas is love. John 3:16-17 says, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." The true meaning of Christmas is the celebration of this incredible act of love.

The real Christmas story is the story of God's becoming a human being in the Person of Jesus Christ. Why did God do such a thing? Because He loves us! Why was Christmas necessary? Because we needed a Savior! Why does God love us so much? Because He is love itself (1 John 4:8). Why do we celebrate Christmas each year? Out of gratitude for what God did for us, we remember His birth by giving each other gifts, worshipping Him, and being especially conscious of the poor and less fortunate.

The true meaning of Christmas is love. God loved His own and provided a way—the only Way—for us to spend eternity with Him. He gave His only Son to take our punishment for our sins. He paid the price in full, and we are free from condemnation when we accept that free gift of love. "But God demonstrated His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).

A really neat story about the True meaning of Christmas!


Teach the children...
Late one Christmas Eve, I sank back, tired but content, into my easy chair. The kids were in bed, the gifts were wrapped, the milk and cookies waited by the fireplace for Santa. As I sat back admiring the tree with its decorations, I couldn't help feeling that something important was missing. It wasn't long before the tiny twinkling tree lights lulled me to sleep.

I don't know how long I slept, but all of a sudden I knew that I wasn't alone. I opened my eyes, and you can imagine my surprise when I saw Santa Claus himself standing next to my Christmas tree. He was dressed all in fur from his head to his foot just as the poem described him, but he was not the "jolly old elf" of Christmas legend. The man who stood before me looked sad and disappointed, and there were tears in his eyes.

"Santa, what's wrong?" I asked, "Why are you crying?"

"It's the children," Santa replied sadly.

"But Santa, the children love you," I said.

"Oh, I know they love me, and they love the gifts I bring them," Santa said, "but the children of today seem to have somehow missed out on the true spirit of Christmas. It's not their fault. It's just that the adults, many of them not having been taught themselves, have forgotten to teach the children."

"Teach them what?" I asked.

Santa's kind old face became soft, more gentle. His eyes began to shine with something more than tears. He spoke softly. "Teach the children the true meaning of Christmas. Teach them that the part of Christmas we can see, hear, and touch is much more than meets the eye. Teach them the symbolism behind the customs and traditions of Christmas which we now observe. Teach them what it is they truly represent."

Santa reached into his bag and pulled out a tiny Christmas tree and set it on my mantle. "Teach them about the Christmas tree. Green is the second color of Christmas. The stately evergreen, with its unchanging color, represents the hope of eternal life in Jesus. Its needles point heavenward as a reminder that mankind's thoughts should turn heavenward as well."

Santa reached into his bag again and pulled out a shiny star and placed it at the top of the small tree. "The star was the heavenly sign of promise. God promised a Savior for the world and the star was the sign of the fulfillment of that promise on the night that Jesus Christ was born. Teach the children that God always fulfills His promises, and that wise men still seek Him."

"Red," said Santa, "is the first color of Christmas." He pulled forth a red ornament for the tiny tree. "Red is deep, intense, vivid. It is the color of the life-giving blood that flows through our veins. It is the symbol of God's greatest gift. Teach the children that Christ gave His life and shed His blood for them that they might have eternal life. When they see the color red, it should remind them of that most wonderful Gift."

Santa found a silver bell in his pack and placed it on the tree. "Just as lost sheep are guided to safety by the sound of the bell, it continues to ring today for all to be guided to the fold. Teach the children to follow the true Shepherd, who gave His life for the sheep."

Santa placed a candle on the mantle and lit it. The soft glow from its one tiny flame brightened the room. "The glow of the candle represents how people can show their thanks for the gift of God's Son that Christmas Eve long ago. Teach the children to follow in Christ's foot steps... to go about doing good. Teach them to let their light so shine before people that all may see it and glorify God. This is what is symbolized when the twinkling lights shine on the tree like hundreds of bright, shining candles, each of them representing one of God's precious children, their light shining for all to see."

Again Santa reached into his bag and this time he brought forth a tiny red and white striped cane. As he hung it on the tree he spoke softly. "The candy cane is a stick of hard white candy: white to symbolize the virgin birth and sinless nature of Jesus, and hard to symbolize the Solid Rock the foundation of the church, and the firmness of God's promises. The candy cane is in the form of a 'J' to represent the precious name of Jesus, who came to earth. It also represents the Good Shepherd's crook, which He uses to reach down into the ditches of the world to lift out the fallen lambs who, like all sheep, have gone astray. The original candy cane had three small red stripes, which are the stripes of the scourging Jesus received by which we are healed, and a large red stripe that represents the shed blood of Jesus, so that we can have the promise of eternal life."

"Teach these things to the children."

Santa brought out a beautiful wreath made of fresh, fragrant greenery tied with a bright red bow. "The bow reminds us of the bond of perfection, which is love. The wreath embodies all the good things about Christmas for those with eyes to see and hearts to understand. It contains the colors of red and green and the heaven-turned needles of the evergreen. The bow tells the story of good will towards all and its color reminds us of Christ's sacrifice. Even its very shape is symbolic, representing eternity and the eternal nature of Christ's love. It is a circle, without beginning and without end. These are the things you must teach the children."

I asked, "But where does that leave you, Santa?"

The tears gone now from his eyes, a smile broke over Santa's face. "Why bless you, my dear," he laughed, "I'm only a symbol myself. I represent the spirit of family fun and the joy of giving and receiving. If the children are taught these other things, there is no danger that I'll ever be forgotten."

"I think I'm beginning to understand."

"That's why I came," said Santa. "You're an adult. If you don't teach the children these things, then who will?"

(Author Unknown)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Gods Christmas Tree

God's Christmas Tree
Study By: J. Hampton Keathley, III

Introduction

Since this is the Christmas season I'd like to share some thoughts that are particularly significant to help us, as it is often said, remember "the reason for the season." At this time of the year in homes all across America you will find a Christmas tree with presents underneath. It is one of the symbols of Christmas that stands out in this country as much as any and more than most.

Some question the origin of the modern Christmas tree, but to be perfectly honest, there is a great deal of confusion here with a number of answers proposed.

Regardless, the Christmas tree has become a part of our season, and any pagan connections it originally may have had were lost long ago-- just as were the names of the days of our week which also had their origin in pagan beliefs. At any rate, Christians believe we can use this season in a positive way to remember the birth of the Savior, who He is and why He came into the world.

Simply stated, the truth of Christ's birth or the Christmas Season is that God the Son, the second person of the trinity, became the babe of the cradle, that He might become the man of the cross, that He might die as our sinless substitute to release us from the penalty of sin, and reconcile us to God that we might receive eternal life and live abundantly through His life, and all of this as a gift by faith in Christ.

In this study we will look at the birth of Christ from the viewpoint of God's Christmas tree--the Cross. And we will open and investigate some of the presents that lie at the foot of that tree to remind us of the gifts God has given to us in Christ and that He offers the world that lies in darkness and sin.

Can we legitimately call the cross of Jesus Christ a tree? Can we think of the tree as that which reminds us of God's Son and the life He gives us? Yes, in fact, God's Word actually refers to both Christ Jesus, His person, and His death on the cross, His work, by either the word "tree," or by terms associated with a tree.

Concerning the cross, there are two Greek words that are used in the New Testament.


Click here for more about this article.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

What Makes A VITAL CHURCH?

What Makes a Vital Church? April 13, 2010 Harold Percy 2 Comments

Harold Percy was recently the speaker at the annual Institute of Evangelism dinner at Wycliffe College. This is the text of the talk he gave that evening.

It is no secret that our churches across this country are generally having a difficult time connecting with people and attracting them into the lives of their worshipping communities. It seems to be mystifying and bewildering to many that forms of worship, church life, and governance that worked effectively for generations no longer do so.

George Hunter, in one of his books on church life and North American culture, offers the picture of a corn farmer whose family has been successfully raising and marketing corn for generations. He ask us to imagine that one morning, as this farmer and his crew wake up to go into the fields to harvest the corn, they discover to their amazement that overnight the cornfields have turned to vineyards. Instead of acres and acres of rich, ripe corn waiting to be harvested, instead there are vines dropping with juicy grapes waiting to be picked. A preposterous picture to be sure, but go with it for a minute. Hunter says that in this situation there are a number of options open to the farmer. Of all these options, surely the most disastrous would be to think, “There can’t be that much of a difference between corn and grapes, so let’s just start up these corn pickers and drive into the fields and harvest the grapes.” This could not possibly end well! In fact, the harder they worked at this, the more damage they would be likely to cause.

Hunter says this is the situation facing churches (for our purposes, particularly mainline churches and especially the Anglican Church) in North America. For generations we had a way of “doing and being” church that fit perfectly into the surrounding culture and so was very effective. But in recent years the changes in the culture have been rapid and significant. The result is that the churches are much like the corn farmer, surrounded no longer by corn but by grapes. The harvest has changed, and changed dramatically. And, if we as the church are going to be effective in what we are called to do, we must change as well. To insist that we can continue to do just exactly what we have always done, and hope that our results will eventually change, is folly. Corn pickers can’t harvest grapes. We need to rethink what we are doing and how we are doing it.

Dallas Willard wrote, concerning church life in America, that “your church is perfectly designed to get the results you are presently getting.” If we want to get different results we need to do some serious thinking about what needs to be changed, and what we need to be paying attention to. The following acrostic on the word VITAL provides a convenient framework for me to make a few observations about some of the things I think we need to be paying attention to if we are going to revitalize our congregations and carry on effective ministries.

Visionary Leadership

The “V” stands for visionary leadership. We need visionary leadership at every level because the nature and scope of the changes required go far beyond simply tinkering a little bit with what we already have. It is clear that the traditional parish model which is organized around liturgy and pastoral care simply doesn’t work anymore. No matter how good we get at these, it won’t help. What we need is new DNA, and leaders who get this, and can model and communicate it.

The number one job of leadership is to explain why the organization exists and to communicate this clearly and effectively. We have congregations all across this country who don’t know why they exist, with leaders who are unable to tell them.

I read somewhere that the two most radical questions any organization can ever ask itself are these: Why are we doing what we are doing? And why are we doing it the way we are doing it? These are questions that have to be asked on a regular basis in every congregation, parish, and diocese across the country. It is hard to know just what to do if you aren’t clear on precisely what it is that you are trying to do. What should be the result of all this work and effort we are putting into church life?

For my money the answer to the first of these questions would be something like, “The church exists (or this parish exists) to let the whole world (or this particular community) know that Jesus is Lord; to explain what this means, to live what it looks like, and to invite everyone within our sphere of influence to become an intentional follower of Jesus and learn to live the new life of his Kingdom.

Again, for my money, the worst possible answer to the second question (why are we doing it this way?) is “Because we have always done it this way.” A better answer is “because we have tried and experimented in all kinds of ways and currently this is what seems to be most effective, but we are always looking for ways to get better at this.”

The leadership in a vital congregation needs to be able to inspire the people of that congregation with a vision of who they can become as they work this out, to dream of what such a community of people might look like in their particular context, and to nurture such a community into being. That is always an exciting journey for everyone involved.

The challenge is that our systems of formation and oversight do not produce and nurture such leaders. In fact, they probably weed them out more often than not in the early stages. We send clergy out into the field, full of passion and dreams and hope, but without the necessary training and ongoing coaching in the transformational leadership skills required to take hold of a parish and lead it through a process of transformation to vitality. So, as they try or suggest various things, they get beaten up, discouraged, tamed, even skittish, and often end up simply trying to hang on and survive. This is an issue that needs to be addressed.

Inspirational Worship

The key here is simply to remember that people mostly prefer parties to funerals. Over the years I have come to the conclusion that we put far too much emphasis on the set texts and forms of our liturgical worship and expect far too much of the liturgy in return. We need to get over our obsession with “doing liturgy properly”—not that we should strive to do it badly, but because there are more important things to be thinking about. We simply overplay this in terms of its importance and what it can do.

One of the problems with the way we think about liturgy is that it is rationally driven. It is explained by means of logic and reason: “this piece goes here, because we have just done so and so, and this is what should follow.”

I don’t have a problem with this, except to say that of much greater importance is the tone and pace and feeling of what is happening, no matter how the pieces are linked together. It simply is a fact that the majority of our churches bore the pants off people with the tone and pace of the service. It is just quiet, somber, and weary. I have often marveled at how Anglicans can be such jolly, life loving, vibrant people on the parking lot or in the coffee hour, but so totally dull and dreary at worship. There is nothing in scripture to suggest that worship needs to be a funeral march. So much of what we do and how we do it is just lacking in imagination and energy.

When the people we are hoping to connect with do eventually come to church to check things out, most of them aren’t asking whether the pieces of the service fit together theologically, nor even, “What did I learn?” The first and most important question for them is usually, “How did I feel?” Did I feel that I was in a community that is life-filled and loving? Did I feel welcome? Did I sense that in some way I was actually in God’s presence, and that God and I were connecting? Did God speak a word into my life in that service? Was I touched? Was I challenged? Did I get excited? Did I leave with a new or renewed sense of purpose or hope; a new or renewed perspective on my life and its possibilities? Was I convicted of things in my life that need changing? Do I feel that I have been forgiven?

They aren’t asking if the priest adopted the proper postures or stood in the right places or if the hymns were proper hymns, or if their grandmother would have been pleased with the way the service was conducted.

Training In Discipleship

This has to do with the teaching and coaching that enables people to make an intentional commitment to be followers of Jesus and to learn to live the new life of his kingdom. I believe that this is at the very heart of the life of a vital congregation, but for various reasons we have let this slip badly. In fact, in many of the churches I have visited across this country most of the members have never even heard that this shot is on the board.

This work has been badly neglected. We have life long parishioners who don’t know how to pray with their families or in their churches, and life long parishioners who are functionally biblically illiterate. And these are just the basics.

I think this might be the result of thinking that this work is done by the liturgy, or that it is done as we breathe in the air of a Christian culture, or that people have just learned these things somewhere else.

But most parishes make the mistake of starting in the middle: simply assuming the people in the pews are already mature, well formed, holistic followers of Jesus, and know how to make the connections between faith and life on a daily basis. This is not a good assumption. We need to get back to the absolute basics of the faith, and take it from there, helping people to grow through a deliberate process of personal transformation.

Again, for my money, my hunch is that we put far too much effort into what we call pastoral care and not nearly enough into discipleship training. I believe that our clergy need to be delegating most of the pastoral care to gifted and trained care givers in the congregation who are longing for ways to make a difference, and to spend their own time working at developing the processes by which disciples are formed and nurtured in their congregation. “Pastoral care” should be changed to “congregational care”, and in the seminaries I believe that the departments of Pastoral Care should be changed to Departments of Congregational Leadership.

Authentic Community


I am not talking here about churches that seem more like comfortable Christian clubs, but about communities of growing disciples who are meeting together to encourage each other in their journeys of discipleship, caring for each other deeply and tenderly, and learning what it means to “love one another, to weep with those who weep, and to rejoice with those who rejoice.”

Loving Outreach and Evangelism.


All of this brings us to point where we are prepared to begin seriously thinking about how we will reach out in the name of Jesus to serve our communities and to invite others to join us in the adventure of learning to follow Jesus. The means and ways to this are limited only by our imaginations. I believe that Jesus would still say today, in our parish neighbourhoods, “the harvest is plentiful”.

But in order to be effective in this, we require visionary leadership, inspirational worship, training in discipleship, and authentic community. When we have these, we will be able to do this, as an authentic expression of who we are; ministering out of vibrant, life filled, dynamic congregations in which the message of Jesus is modeled and shared: “Come and see, join us in Christ’s mission, learn to follow Jesus with us.” Such congregations, and only such congregations, are ready for sustainable evangelism, whether “attractional” or “fresh expressions” or whatever. Without these, all our efforts will be hit and miss—like playing pin the tail on the donkey, with the tail ending up all over the place.

I love the thought of communities of Christ followers meeting together for prayer, bible reading, holy communion, and then going out to walk through their neighbourhoods asking “how can we help”—and thinking seriously about what it would mean to share Jesus in that place.

My friend Tom Bandy said it well, I think: “Love your church, of course: but love Jesus more.”


Related Posts:

The High Price of Evangelism
Reviewing the Decade of Evangelism
What is Natural Church Development?
Evidence of God At Work – Learning from Conversion Stories
A Response to the Interview with Ed Dallow
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Church - General, Discipleship, Evangelism - General, Good Idea! Articles, Lectures, Worship

Author Info:
Canon Dr. Harold Percy is the rector of Trinity Anglican Church, Streetsville, and was the first Director of the Wycliffe College Institute of Evangelism. He is the author of Following Jesus: First Steps on the Way (1993), Good News People (1996), and Your Church Can Thrive (2003). Harold and John Bowen, the present Director, are proud grandfathers to Owen Percy, born February 28 2010 to Benjamin Percy and Anna Bowen. Click here to read all articles by Harold Percy

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

To be Baptized~

My husband Charles and I have been beleavers since we were 10 and 11 years old,,,,but Charles was never Baptized,,,so we have decided to both be Baptized next Sunday as our witnesss to show our belief in the Savor Jesus Christ and become members offically of the Baptist Church where we have been active for the past ten years!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Babies Cry More

Babies Cry More
================

"How's it going Mr. Peterson?"

"It's a dog eat dog world Woody,
and I'm wearing Milk Bone underwear."

That's a greeting from Norm on the TV show Cheers.

All of us have one of those days.
Some of us have one of those seasons.
Some even have one of those lives.

It feels like the world is chewing on us.

It isn't, it just feels that way.

I have long realized that life isn't really what it is;
it's what we think it is based on relative things and our
knowledge level.

If you have traveled extensively, you know that in many parts of
the world just clean drinking water is a rarity.

We flush with clean drinking water.

So many of us have so much when you compare it. Those of you
who are reading this have access to the Internet, email and a
computer.

You can see, and you are not reading this from a hospital.

We have so much, yet there is an innate tendency to complain.
I tried to think of the easiest point in our lives to see if we
complained then.

Babies have perhaps the easiest life around.
Babies don't have to go to the toilet because mama changes their
diapers. Mama breast feeds them or gives them a bottle, rocks
them to sleep, and lets them sleep as much as they want.

Babies go to bed when they want.
Babies wake up when they want.

Babies don't have to work.
Babies don't have to deal with bills or bosses.
Babies don't worry if their thighs have gotten too fat or if
their hair is receding.

It's as easy as it gets.

With all of that,
babies cry more.

Babies cry more, with all of that.

Maybe it's not circumstances, but the closer we are to babies
(regardless of circumstances) the more we cry and complain.

I shall leave you with that thought.

Babies cry more.

With all of that.


~A MountainWings Original~

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

ABC's of Thankfulness until Thanksgiving-

Nov. 25: Z- I am thankful for zeros ,,without them we would not have tens, twentys, thirtys etc.

I am thankful for the zillions of ziggags in ricrac for sewing! I am thankful for the Zoos so we can enjoy the animals. A Zebra is one of those animals.! I really liked Zoology in school, I am thinkful for all the information about the animals. I am thankful for the Prophet Zachariah, his body was found to be incorruptable.

ABC's of Thankfulness until Thanksgiving-

Nov. 24: Y- I am sure there are many things that I am thankful for that begin with a Y. Yesterday comes to mind to be thankful for! I am thankful for young people, I am thankful for the years that I have lived so far! I am thankful for the table game called, Yatsee, my children used to play it. I am thankful for Yahoo,,, my email carrier! Yukon, Alaska, the thought of it makes me shiver! I am thankful for you Beverly and Marilyn, also DLynne...Ye' all are the best friends!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

ABC's of Thankfulness until Thanksgiving-

Nov. 23: X- Ohhh, this is a hard one!! I do not know many x words!!
How about X-men, a group of super-heroes. A Xylophone, to make beautiful music! Xerox machine, to make copies, movies that are marked with x-rating to help protect our children and myself from viewing them.
I just don't use many x words in my vocabulary!!

ABC's of Thankfulness until Thanksgiving-

Nov. 22: W- I am thankful for the Word, the Word was, is and always will be God!! I am thankful for writers, writings,, the Will of God, welcome signs, wonders, and my brother-in-law, William. I am thankful for weddings, Wednesdays and Winter,,,cause without it we would not have Spring. I am thankful for winners and wieners, you know hotdogs!! I am thankful for God's world, His Warriors, and women, especially the great Christian Women here in this wonderful community!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Season of Advent

The Season of Advent
Anticipation and Hope

The Advent Wreath~

Next Sunday is 1st. Day of Advent~

The Meaning of "Advent"
The word Advent means "coming" or "arrival." The focus of the entire season is the celebration of the birth of Jesus the Christ in his First Advent, and the anticipation of the return of Christ the King in his Second Advent. Thus, Advent is far more than simply marking a 2,000 year old event in history. It is celebrating a truth about God, the revelation of God in Christ whereby all of creation might be reconciled to God. That is a process in which we now participate, and the consummation of which we anticipate. Scripture reading for Advent will reflect this emphasis on the Second Advent, including themes of accountability for faithfulness at His coming, judgment on sin, and the hope of eternal life.

In this double focus on past and future, Advent also symbolizes the spiritual journey of individuals and a congregation, as they affirm that Christ has come, that He is present in the world today, and that He will come again in power. That acknowledgment provides a basis for Kingdom ethics, for holy living arising from a profound sense that we live "between the times" and are called to be faithful stewards of what is entrusted to us as God’s people. So, as the church celebrates God’s inbreaking into history in the Incarnation, and anticipates a future consummation to that history for which "all creation is groaning awaiting its redemption," it also confesses its own responsibility as a people commissioned to "love the Lord your God with all your heart" and to "love your neighbor as yourself."

Thankgiving Thankfulness ABC's:

Nov. 21: V- I could not help but see Beverly's post that had the word vacation in it! I would not mind going on a vacation trip!!
I am thankful for victorys won and the state of Vermont. I would love to visit there! Yeah!! visits are good too! Beautiful views are great! Volumes, verbs and vacancys are a few more good v words. I am thankful for this very wonderful and blessed Sabbath day! I am thankful for good videos, musicals or movies. I am thankful for my friend Lori's Dad, Vernon, my friend Vicki, our friend's daughter, Victoria, another friend's son whose name is Vincent.

Thankgiving Thankfulness ABC's:

Nov. 20: U- I am thankful for God's Universe, our Universities where we can get a higher education. I am thankful for my Christian upbringing from my parents. I am thankful for the urban areas in our cities of America. I am thankful for the direction of up. that is where I want to be looking when Jesus returns for His Bride, the Church, in which I am a part of, because I am His!! I am so thankful for U'all ,,,I made up that word!!! God loves us so much that He sent His only begotton Son to die on a cross for us lost sinners.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16 kjv.
This is the first BIBLE verse that I learned as a child.

Lots of Love, Deanie

Saturday, November 20, 2010

ABC's of Thankfulness until Thanksgiving-

Nov. 20: T- I am thankful for my life that God has given to me and all the things He has provided for me. Oh, I am thankful for the holiday called Thanksgiving Day, I am thankful for
thankful people, true love and trusting friends, tough skin, because we have to have it to get through this life.
Our truck that we drive around. My toes that get so very cold. My tongue that I can talk with. The since of touch that I have, the many, many tremendious things in my life, my family, my friends and my talents that God has given to me that I may worship Him more!

ABC's of Thankfulness until Thanksgiving-

Nov. 19: S- First and formost, I am thankful for Jesus the Son of God my Savior! I am thankful for the Salvation that He provided for my Soul! I am thankful for Sharion, my baby sister, Stevie, my nephew, and my friends Sondra and Sharon and I am very thankful for my Sweetheart, Charles! I am thankful for Millie Shutt, my volunteer co-worker. Sacred songs, the Solar System and I am thankful for soldiers, in Gods Army and in the United States Army. Short-cuts on my computer, to make it faster to get to my favorite Christian Womens Community! I am thankful for a Lord who helps me through the storms of my life and makes me appreciate the sunshine!

ABC's of Thankfulness until Thanksgiving-

Nov. 8: R- I am thankful for the Book of Revelations in God's Holy Word. I am thankful for the cars that we ride in each day. My daughter-in-law Rita, I am very proud of her! I am thankful for real friends, rasins and rays of sunshine! I have so very much to be thankful for in my life, but right now I can not think of many things that begin with the letter R. Rewards is a good word to remember, because we will recieve them for being faithful to Christ and the reason that He come to this old sinful world! Jesus is the Reason for the Season that is quckly approaching. It is the best time of the year!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

ABC's of Thankfulness until Thanksgiving-

Nov. 16: Q- I am thankful for Quilts, Q-tips, the Quail Birds that my son goes hunting for every Fall. I am thankful for quarts of icecream, milk and all the other good things that come in that size container. I am thankful for my Quartz watches. The Quarterback position in football, the quarter of a dollar, quarter of a mile that I can walk sometimes, not often enough! I love my quite times with God,,,for that I am truly Thankful and Grateful for His Great Love!

ABC's of Thankfulness until Thanksgiving-

Nov. 15: P- I am thankful for the Power of Prayer! The programs at church that gloryfy God! Also the few on T.V. that I can stand to watch. I am thankful for Pat Robertson on TBN, Peanuts and peanut butter, pancakes and potato cakes, plums and prunes, pumpkins, pears, peaches, pineapples, and pudding! I am thankful for our Pastor and Gods Preachers all over the world! I am thankful for my Partner in my marriage, his paycheck and mine!! I am also thankful for patience and protien in my food such as pinto beans, that helps keep me healthier!!

I made a list for P and Q last night when I was watching TV, during the comercials,,,I like Castle and Dancing with the Stars. Charles goes back and forth with tthe football game and them.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!



Thanksgiving ABC Thankfulness:

Nov. 14: O-I am thankful for my micro-wave oven, my olives for dinner and the organ at church and the nice lady who plays it every Sunday! She is taken for granted, with hardly ever a thank you! Onions are a good food to have on a sandwich or in another food's recipe. I am having a difficult time thinking of thankful o words! :(


Thanksgiving ABC Thankfulness:

Nov. 13: N- I am thankful for the name of Jesus! I pray in His name!! November,
noon meals and non-alcoholic drinks. I am thankful for notcho cheese chips and next-door neighbors.

Friday, November 12, 2010

GoD And DoG by Wendy J Francisco

ABC's of Thankfulness until Thanksgiving-

Nov. 12:M-I am thankful for my Savior, Jesus Christ! And for me who He loved so much that He died on the cross for me and all lost sinners!! I am thankful for Marilyn, my CWTR friend!! I am thankful for milk that makes us grow up storng. I am thankful for moms, especially mine and all good mothers! members of this community, and the Manger where Jesus was born. I am thankful for my mornings and my favorite
movies. I am thankful for these books in the Bible, Matthew, Mark and Micah I am thankful for the money that we need to pay our bills and to buy our food! I am thankful for Mary, the mother of Jesus. My sis Mary Catherine and both of my Grandmothers whose names were Mary, Mary Elizabeth and Mary Catherine.

ABC's of Thankfulness until Thanksgiving-

Nov. 11: L- Love is at the top of my list! Lord, is what I call my Savior Jesus! I am thankful for God's laws, also the laws of the land!! Labor, another name for work, I am thankful for loyal friends! What would we do without them? Also our laundry rooms? I am thankful for mine, small as it is!!

ABC's of Thankfulness until Thanksgiving-

Nov. 10: K-
I am thankful for all acts of kindness done toward me! I am thankful for knowledge that I have gained from living sixty-six plus years. I am thankful for Kentucky, the Bluegrass state. I am thankful for kindergarten class for children, my daughter-in-law teaches those little ones in her city! The one thing I should have been thankful for first is the Kingdom of Heaven! I am thankful for the King James Version of the Bible, God's Holy Word, this is the one that I grew up reading.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

ABC's of Thankfulness until Thanksgiving-

"Nov. 9- I am thankful for Jesus and the Book of James in God's Holy Word, all of my friends whose names are Jim, for my son whose middle name is James, the patience of Job , which I do not have most of the time! Jehovah, one of the many Names of my God. John the Baptist, who God sent to prepare the way of the Lord, and I am also thankful for the Apostle John! I am thankful for my friend Jaunita who had to say good-bye to her husband yesterday. I am thankful for the jar of honey my daughter-in-law gave to me!"

Nov. 8, 2010 - I Thankful thoughts~

"Nov. 8: I- I am thankful for the Great I AM! I am thankful for Israel, ice for my cold drinks and ice cream and ink pens, Independance Day , and I am thatkful for the Internet! I would have a difficult time communicating with you all if we did not have it availabe."

Sunday, November 7, 2010

My Online Friends

My Online Friends: "~My Online Friends~

Maybe you don't look me right in the eye
Maybe you can't ever wipe my tears when I cry
Maybe we can't share some tea and honey so sweet
Or walk together down a path, or up the street



But, we can still be good friends, because you see
We met on the internet, you and me
And when you have a cyber friend, it matters not
How you look, what you wear, or what you've got

I don't care if your last name is Smith or Jones
Or if your size is perfect, plump, or skin and bones
You're there for me and I appreciate you
You've been a pal through thick and thin


You shared my glad times
And in my sad times, you made me grin
So I send this greeting card to you, dear friend so fine
To tell you, I'm so glad you're a pal of mine


And here's a hug, though not with arms


For that can't be...
But it's a hug, straight from my heart
To you, from me"

ABC's of Thankfulness until Thanksgiving-

"Nov. 7: H-I am thankful for the hope of an eternity in Heaven that I have from knowing Jesus, my Savior! My husband for almost 46 years! I am thankful for hound dogs that I have had in my family. There were Fox hounds, Coon hounds and a Basset hound. I am thankful for my house where we have made our home, I am thankful for the Holy Spirit that is within me, who guides me in my life! When Jesus had to go away to Heaven and leave this earth and His Disciples (this includes us too) He sent us a Comforter who is the Holy Spirit. I am thankful for Holidays especially the Christmas Holiday and the whole season. This is the the best time of the year when we celebrate the birth of our King. His birth was announced to Shepards in their fields where they attended their flocks. The way the wonderful news was announced was by a Host of Heavenly Angels. The old, old story is the greatest ever told. I love to hear it every year at this time of being thankful and I feel so humble at the thought of why He come to earth as a little baby to be an example for our lives and die on the cross so that we might be saved from sin in this sinful world!! He will return soon for His Church.
Thank You my Lord!!
Revelation 22:20 kjv He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus."

Friday, November 5, 2010

Thankgiving Thahkfulness ABC's Nov. 5th. F:

Thankgiving Thahkfulness ABC's Nov. 5th. F:

Nov. 5th. F: I am thankful for Fridays, formulas, favorites, February, friends and families and most of all my Father in Heaven! I am thankful for the food we eat and my feet I walk on. I am thankful for my earthly father in which I called Daddy.

Thankgiving Thankfulness ABC's Nov. 4th. E:

Thankgiving Thankfulness ABC's Nov. 4th. E:

Nov. 4: E - I am thankful for everlasting life with Jesus. Evenings relaxing on my computer and watching TV. And Charles says eating which we are both thankful! I am thankful for energy to do what I must do. Everything good, because it all comes from God!!

Thankgiving Thankfulness ABC's Nov. 3rd. D:

Thankgiving Thankfulness ABC's Nov. 3rd. D:

Nov. 3rd: D - I was not online yesterday,,,,so I need to post my Thankful D's!
I am thankful for my Dad. This day is at the top of my list! I thank God for His divine love and delivering me from evil. Jesus' disciples, do-nuts and Darrin and Danny, my daughters-in-law too!!

Thankgiving Thankfulness ABC's Nov. 2nd. C:

Thankgiving Thahkfulness ABC's Nov. 2nd. C:

Nov. 2: C - Most of all I am thankful for Christ who died on a cross for a world of lost sinners like me. He was resurected on the third day and now sits on the Right Hand of God intervening for us. Some day soon He will retrurn for His Church, His beleavers, the redeemed according to His will.
I am thankful for our children, my sweetheart Charles, my friend Carolyn, our town ClintonCalhoun Baptist Churchwhere we worship our Lord with other Christians! As my husband and I traveled to the citywhere our youngest son lives today, we thought of several more that I am not remembering right now. I am so thankful for this community of beleavers where we can share His Love!! Oh,,,I am thankful for baby chicksand cows.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Nov. 1, 2010 - B Thankful thoughts~

Nov. 1 - I am thankful for the Bible Gods Holy Word and other books, my friend Beverly, my Boys, Darrin and Danny, all four of my brothers, baptism in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit! I am thankful for bread and butter, buckles, boundaries like the ones that my Dad and Mom put into place for their children by the way they lived. I am thankful for beleavers in Jesus Christ who taught me how to live for Him. I am thankful for black berries and blue berries. I am THANKFUL for blessings, for Belonging to this wonderful community of beleavers! Butterflies, birds and don't forget bubble gum!

ABC's of Thankfulness until Thanksgiving-

Oct. 31- I am thankful for an Awsome God also, ABC'S, average folks, asprin, angels, alfalfa, Americans, America, altitude, alters, Arizona, Alabama, apples, avocodos, acorns, azaleas, afterlife with God and all things good from Him!

Friday, October 15, 2010

This weeks Post on More about Heaven~

Christianity:
Traditionally Christianity has taught "Heaven" as a place of eternal life, and a kingdom to which all the elect will be admitted, rather than an abstract experience. In most forms of Christianity, belief in the afterlife is professed in the major Creeds, such as the Nicene Creed, which states: "We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come."

Some specific descriptions of this Kingdom as given in the canon of scripture include— (this list is by no means comprehensive):

Peaceful Conditions on a New Earth — Is. 2:2–4, 9:7, 11:6–9, 27:13, 32:17–18, 33:20–21, 60:17–18, Ez. 34:25–28, 37:26, Zech 9:10, Matt. 5:3–5, Rev. 21
Eternal Rule by a Messiah–King — Ps. 72, Jer 31:33–34, Zech 2:10–11, 8:3, 14:9, Matt 16:27, Rev 21:3–4
an heir of David, Is. 9:6–7, 11:1–5
Bodily perfection — No hunger, thirst, death, or sickness; a pure language, etc. – Is. 1:25, 4:4, 33:24, 35:5–6, 49:10, 65:20–24, Jer. 31:12–13, Ez. 34:29, 36:29–30, Micah 4:6–7, Zeph. 3:9–19, Matt 13:43
Ruined cities inhabited by people and flocks of sheep — Is. 32:14, 61:4–5, Ez. 36:10,33–38, Amos 9:14


Early Christian writing
Early Christianity
From the early second century, we have a fragment of one of the lost volumes of Papias, a Christian bishop, who expounded that "heaven" was separated into three distinct layers. He referred to the first as just "heaven", the second as "paradise", and the third as "the city". Papias taught that "there is this distinction between the habitation of those who produce a hundredfold, and that of those who produce sixty-fold, and that of those who produce thirty-fold".[17]

According to some views, some Christians in the first century, such as Paul of Tarsus, believed that the Kingdom of God was coming to earth within their own lifetimes.[18] They looked forward to a divine future on earth.[18] When the Kingdom of God did not arrive, according to this hypothesis, championed by Bart Ehrman (2006), Christians gradually refined their hopes so that they came to look forward to an immediate reward in heaven after death, rather than to a future divine kingdom on earth[18] — despite the churches' continuing to use the major creeds' statements of belief in a coming Resurrection Day.

A PRAYER FOR TODAY

Father God, thank You for Your grace that is at work in my life. Thank You for empowering me every day to fulfill Your purposes. Keep me close to You and teach me to trust as I walk with You one day at a time. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Recieve Grace

Receive Grace


TODAY’S SCRIPTURE
“It is through Him that we have received grace (God’s unmerited favor) and [our] apostleship to promote obedience to the faith and make disciples for His name’s sake among all the nations”
(Romans 1:5, AMP)



TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria
Do you want to see more of God’s favor and blessing in your life? Receive His grace. Grace is God’s favor, but it’s also His supernatural empowerment. When you have God’s grace and favor, it enables you to accomplish more and be more effective both in your own life and in building His kingdom.

This verse says that God’s grace enables us to promote obedience to the faith and make disciples among all nations. In other words, grace empowers us to live the life God has called us to. Now, maybe you can’t go to all nations today, but you can make a difference in the lives of the people around you. You can “promote faith” by living a life of love and obedience to God’s Word. You can “promote faith” by encouraging the people in your life and living as an example of His goodness.

Today, open your heart and thank Him for His grace that empowers you. Let His truth set you free and then enjoy that freedom! Live as an example of His love because you are making a difference in the people around you.




A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Heavenly Father, thank You for Your grace, favor and mercy that empowers me to live the life You’ve called me to. I receive Your grace by faith. Help me to stay obedient to Your Word and live as an example of Your love and light. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

— Joel & Victoria Osteen

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Promise of Heaven~

What will heaven be like?
Heaven is a place more wonderful than we can ever begin to imagine. It is a place of joy and beauty, of peace and happiness that will never end.

Why? Because heaven is also a place where there will be no sin or suffering, no sorrow or pain. It's a place where there will be no quarrels or disagreements, no disappointments or weeping--because there will be nothing there to make us sad. And in heaven we will never do anything to displease God.

We will then know perfect joy. Psalm 16:11 says, "In Thy presence is fullness of joy; in Thy right hand there are pleasures forever." Everything that now makes us groan will finally be done away with, and we will find ourselves in the very presence of God, where the purest and truest kind of joy is possible.

In heaven we will also have perfect knowledge. The Bible says, "Then shall I know even as also I am known" (1 Corinthians 13:12). We will have no more unanswered questions, no confusion, no ignorance, and no more need to walk by faith rather than by sight.

We will live in perfect comfort. We will love God perfectly and will be loved perfectly by Him. His love will engulf us forever.

Stated simply, heaven is a place of perfect joy forever.

Think of it! We will be perfectly free from evil forever. We will be set free from captivity to sin, and finally able to do that which is absolutely righteous, holy, and perfect before God. With sin and its effects erased forever, the promise of heaven is an everlasting life of unimaginable blessing!

How good do I have to be to go to heaven?
Most people understand that doing evil can keep us out of heaven. But few realize the Bible also teaches that doing good cannot get us in.

None of us could ever gain enough merit to deserve heaven. We are sinful, and God's standard is utter perfection. Jesus said, "Unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:20). He added, "You are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect" (v. 48).

Who then can go to heaven? Who can be saved?
Jesus' disciples asked Him this same question (Matthew 19:25). His answer? "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible" (v. 26). In other words, being saved so that we can go to heaven is not something we can accomplish. It is something God must do for us.

What if I stopped sinning now and never sinned again?
No matter how hard we try, we could never stop sinning because we are hopelessly in bondage to sin. The Bible tells us even our hearts are deceitful and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9). In other words, we are sinful to the core. Furthermore, even a single sin would be enough to destroy us forever: "Whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all" (James 2:10). But even if we never sinned from now on, we would still be guilty of our past sins. And as the Bible says, "The wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23).

But the good news is that God has provided a way to free us from the guilt of sin!

What has God done for me to take away my sin so I can go to heaven?
When God forgives, He cannot merely overlook sin. Full payment (atonement) must be made for our sin. Christ's death made full atonement for those who trust Him. If we believe in Him, His dying counts in our stead, paying for our sins in full. The Bible says, "The blood of Jesus... cleanses us from all sin" (1 John 1:7). It is only through the blood of Christ that we can ever be cleansed from the terrible guilt of sin.

But that only erases the guilt of our sin; we still need perfect righteousness in order to enter the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:20).

Where do we get that perfect righteousness?
If you truly believe in Him, the full merit of Jesus' own righteousness is credited (imputed) to you--to all those who trust Him alone for salvation.

The Bible teaches that God "justifies the ungodly" by reckoning (or crediting) Christ's righteousness to them (Romans 4:5). Believers are clothed in His righteousness, and God accepts them solely and exclusively on that basis. That's why the Apostle Paul was willing to discard all his own efforts to earn God's favor, preferring instead to stand before God robed in a righteousness that was not his own (Philippians 3:8-9).

If you are not a Christian, you need to lay hold of this truth by faith: the sin that will keep you out of heaven has no cure but the blood of Christ. If you are weary of your sin and exhausted from the load of your guilt, He tenderly holds forth the offer of life and forgiveness and eternal rest to you: "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28).

How can I be sure Christ will save me?
The Bible promises that no one who believes in Christ will be turned away: "Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out" (John 6:37). In the closing words of the Bible, Christ invites all to come to Him and receive the promise of heaven: "... Let him that heareth... come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely" (Revelation 22:17b).

If you would like to know Jesus Christ as your Savior and have the promise of heaven, we would encourage you to receive Him right now wherever you are. Simply pray:

Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I know that You died for me to pay for my sins. Please forgive me and make me one of Your own, that I may live in Heaven with You for all eternity.

Text adapted from the book The Glory of Heaven by John F. MacArthur ©1996 Crossway Books.

http://www.crossway.org/product/663575723554

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Today is my Daddy's Birthday~ This Story is A Tribute To Him~


Left to right is their names, Lula, Willie, Myrtle and second picture, left to right is Floyd, Rue and Rube.





Today is the anniversary of my Dads birth. 1903 - 1972~


These folks were not very old then, but I was only in the seventh grade in 1956. So, they seemed old to me.


They were not only related, but they were the best of friends.These pictures were taken in Muscatine, Iowa. My family moved back to Missouri that fall.



My mother died the very next year at the age of 51 years. My dad was never the same after she had to leave their family and him behind. I didn't realize then like I do now that her purpose here on earth was finished. So much of my Dad left with her that night she died from a massive heart attack. It seemed as though he never did get over missing her. He lived, if you can call it that, in other words he existed for several more years. He died during the Christmas Holiday Season of 1972. He sufffered with cancer for little over a year after he found out that he had colon cancer. He worked very hard at several things during his lifetime and raised a very large family with two special ladies.




My Dad was a child of the Most High God. He beleaved in Jesus as his Personal Saviour. I can say without a doubt that both of my parents were born again Christians. I did not say that they were perfect people, but they were forgiven people. It is my Mom and my Dad that I must thank for exposing me to the ways of God when I was a young child. They taught me the Golden Rule, as they taught all of their children, that we were to do unto others as we would have them do unto us. They were responsible for me going to church, even if it was in the little old school house. There I leaned a lot of the Holy Scriptures, which included the Ten Commandments. They practiced what they beleaved. I miss them very much, but I know that they would not want to come back to this old sin filled world. I know that they will be two of Gods special people who will be smiling at me when I enter Heavens Gates! There will be no more sorrow or heartaches, no more death. There will only be happiness there because there will not be any sin or darkness of any kind because the Light will be the Son. The Son will be the Light!!



My Dad loved and raised eleven children to adulthood. There were two sets of twins. They were a boy and a girl each, with only the girls surviving after they were born. My youngest half-sister was a twin and I was the other one. There were seven girls and four boys all together. They have a lot of decendents,,,a lot of little Lambs running around this world raising their own families.



The reason I say this is because our last name is Lamb.



Look at the pictures and tell me which couple is my parents.




I have put a link to an article from Barbara Walters, about the afterlife and how different people beleave about it. I know how it will be because the Bible tells us just how it will be. It all depends on our choices in our lives here on earth. If we do not make a decision to follow God,,,we have made the decision to do the opposite.



John 3:16 kjv tells it the way it is. It is written like this.



John 3:16 kjv For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life


.


If you want to check it out at your convenience. Here is the link.




http://abcnews.go.com/International/Beliefs/story?id=1374010





Or you can check it out this way.


Heaven -- Where Is It? How Do We Get There?




Barbara Walters Explores the Meaning of Heaven and Afterlife


Nearly nine out of 10 people in the United States say they believe in heaven, according to a recent ABC News poll. But what exactly do people think of when they think of an afterlife and what do they believe is required to get there? Barbara Walters travels to India, Israel and throughout the United States, interviewing religious leaders, scientists, believers and non-believers alike to get a range of perspectives on heaven and the afterlife. From Valhalla to Nirvana Every culture has... Full Story

Friday, September 24, 2010

Claudeans Flowers & More

Claudeans Flowers & More

High Squirrel~

High Squirrel
=========

A single slip would be certain death or at the very least a
severe injury.

I watched it run carelessly amidst what most would consider
extreme danger.

It was a squirrel.

It ran across power lines located over 30 feet above the
pavement. It seemed to dance, dart and dash above me as I stood
transfixed in the church door.

It was a MountainWings Moment.

Here was a creature in what I thought was great danger. Such a
situation would have me nearly paralyzed with fright.
The squirrel danced.

I thought of the many people whom I knew. I thought how some
lived like the squirrel, looking in front of them but never
dwelling on what’s behind or below. They had tough situations
in life. Frankly, some of the situations could make you
shudder; yet, they were happier than many with far smoother
conditions.

That simple squirrel on the electric wire taught me something.

I took my cell phone and snapped a picture of it. It’s not a
high quality picture; it was a cell phone and the sun was setting
but it captured the spirit of the squirrel.

Even when you face tough situations.
Even when things are down to a thin line for support...
Even when unpleasant things could happen if you fail or fall...
Even when the wind starts blowing.

Dance.


~A MountainWings Original~

Friday, September 17, 2010

Deanie's World: My Testimony

Deanie's World: My Testimony:

"I have a very deep Faith in God, who is my Heavenly Father!

I have been saved by the shed blood of his Son Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvery. I beleave in a Risen Saviour who now sits on the right hand of God. God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit co-equal. Jesus will return to claim His chosen people, the called according to His Will. Jesus has said in His Holy Word the Bible that no one comes to the Father but by me.
Our Anniversary is March 28th. I have been married to a wonderful man for 44 years, who loves God and His ways. We have always seeked Gods will in our lives. I am a mother of two fine sons, a mother-in-law to two special girls and I have one very handsome grandson who is twenty two. I am a retired activities director at a long term care facility. I volunteer at our local food pantry, it is called The Samaritan Center.. I feel so blessed to have been able to help there since I have retired. My hobbies are flower arranging in baskets and other containers. I have had the honor of designing and creating the flowers for several weddings and flowers for our church. My husband and I enjoy fishing at the lake near by us. We both enjoy flea marketing and reminscenscing about the good old days.

Our lives evolve around our children,our church family and our family and friends . I also have the privilege of singing in the choir at our church. A little Southern Baptist Church that is over one hundred years old.
I especially like to spend all the time I can on my computer. I have made so many friends online. The computer is such a good learning experence, with always something new to do, such as blogging and my groups.
I have loved Jesus as my Savior since I was eleven years old. I depend on Him to direct my life as I could do nothing without Him."

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Here is Some Good Advice~

Look back and thank God.

Look forward and trust God.

Look around and serve God.

Look within and find God!"


God closes doors no man can open and
God opens doors no man can close.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

~We have been decieved

~U.S. Capital Tour with David Barton~

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Beatitudes, the Sermon on the Mount






Jesus Christ gave us the eight Beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount, recorded for all posterity in the Gospel of Matthew, the first Book of the New Testament of the Bible. Matthew's Gospel is directed to an audience steeped in Hebrew tradition. The Gospel of Matthew stressed that Jesus Christ is the Messiah foretold in Hebrew Scripture, our Old Testament, and that the Kingdom of the Messiah is the Kingdom of God in Heaven. Jesus offers us a way of life that promises eternity in the Kingdom of Heaven.

The teachings of Christ Jesus were simple but unique and innovative at the time of his life on earth. He began teaching about 30 AD during the ruthless Roman occupation of Palestine. At the time there were four major groups in the Jewish religion, the Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, and the Zealots, all of whom presented a different viewpoint to the Jewish people. The Pharisees demanded strict observance of the Mosaic law expressed in the Torah, but also accepted the oral tradition of Jewish customs and rituals. The Sadducees were mainly from the priestly families and strictly accepted the Law of Moses but rejected oral tradition. The Pharisees, unlike the Sadducees, believed in the resurrection of the dead. The monastic Essenes awaited a Messiah that would establish a Kingdom on earth and free the Israelites from oppression. The Zealots were a militant Jewish group who wanted freedom for their homeland, and were centered in Galilee; one of the Twelve Apostles was Simon the Zealot.

St. Augustine called the Beatitudes the ideal for every Christian life!


THE EIGHT BEATITUDES OF JESUS


"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they who mourn,
for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek,
for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they shall be satisfied.

Blessed are the merciful,
for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure of heart,
for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called children of God.

Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."


Gospel of St. Matthew 5:3-10







ON THE BEATITUDES



"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
"Poor in spirit" means to be humble. Humility is the realization that all your gifts and blessings come from the grace of God. To have poverty of spirit means to be completely empty and open to the Word of God. When we are an empty cup and devoid of pride, we are humble. Humility brings an openness and an inner peace, allowing one to do the will of God. He who humbles himself is able to accept our frail nature, to repent, and to allow the grace of God to lead us to Conversion.

It is pride, the opposite of humility, that brings misery. For pride brings anger and the seeking of revenge, especially when one is offended. If every man were humble and poor in spirit, there would be no war!



"Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted."
If we are humble and appreciate that all of our gifts and blessings come from God, we grow in love and gratitude for Jesus Christ our Savior. But this can only produce mourning and regret over our own sins and the sins of this world, for we have hurt the one who has been so good to us. One also mourns for the suffering of others.

St. Gregory describes another reason to mourn: the more one ascends in meditation of Divine Truth, Beauty, and Goodness, and then realize the poverty of human nature, man can only be left in sorrow. When one contemplates that we were made in the image and likeness of God and lived in Paradise, the Garden of Eden, and compare that to our present state after the Fall, one can only mourn our present condition. But the sentence continues that they shall be comforted, by the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, and hopefully one day in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Mourning in this context is called a blessing, because mourning our fallen nature creates in us a desire to improve ourselves and to do what is right!



"Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth."
St. Gregory of Nyssa taught that the Beatitudes build one upon another. A humble person becomes meek, or becomes gentle and kind, and exhibits a docility of spirit, even in the face of adversity and hardship. A person that is meek is one that exhibits self-control. St. Augustine advises us to be meek in the face of the Lord, and not resist but be obedient to him. Obedience and submission to the will of God are certainly not in vogue these days, but they will bring one peace in this world and in the next.



"Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied."
A continuous desire for justice and moral perfection will lead one to a fulfillment of that desire - a transition and conversion to holiness. This is true for all the virtues - if you hunger and thirst for temperance, you will head towards the goal you have in mind. St. Augustine, in his discourse on the Lord's Sermon on the Mount, notes the correspondence of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit and their necessity in fulfilling the Beatitudes. For example, one must have the gift of fortitude so one may be courageous in seeking justice.



"Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy."
Mercy is the loving disposition towards those who suffer distress. Love, compassion, and forgiveness towards one's neighbor will bring peace in your relationships. We say in the Lord's Prayer: Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. As we are merciful to others, so our Heavenly Father will be merciful with us! Jesus reminds us that whatever "you did to the least of my brethren, you did it to me (Matthew 25:31-46)." St. Paul calls for the obedience of faith in the beginning and end of his Letter to the Romans (1:5, 16:25-27). The following are ways to be merciful to your neighbor, as well as obedient in faith to Christ our Savior.


The Corporal Works of Mercy
1 Feed the Hungry
2 Give drink to the thirsty
3 Clothe the naked
4 Shelter the homeless
5 Comfort the imprisoned
6 Visit the sick
7 Bury the dead

The Spiritual Works of Mercy
1 Admonish sinners
2 Instruct the uninformed
3 Counsel the doubtful
4 Comfort the sorrowful
5 Be patient with those in error
6 Forgive offenses
7 Pray for the living and the dead



"Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God."
Moses (Exodus 33:20), John (1:18), and Paul (1Timothy 6:16) all say that no one can see God here on earth! But Jesus says the pure of heart shall see God! To be pure of heart means to be free of all selfish intentions and self-seeking desires. What a beautiful goal! How many times have any of us performed an act perfectly free of any personal gain? Such an act is pure love. An act of pure and selfless giving brings happiness to all.



"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God."
Peacemakers not only live peaceful lives but also try to bring peace and friendship to others, and to preserve peace between God and man. St. Gregory of Nyssa calls a peacemaker a man who brings peace to another; but one cannot give another what one does not possess oneself. Hence the Lord wants you first to be yourself filled with the blessings of peace and then to communicate it to those who have need of it. By imitating God's love of man, the peacemakers become children of God.



"Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven."
Jesus said many times that those who follow Him will be persecuted. "If they persecute me, they will persecute you" (John 15:20-21). Stephen, Peter and Paul, nearly all of the Apostles, and many Christians in the Roman era suffered martyrdom. The twentieth century with its two World Wars and endless regional conflicts has seen its share of martyrs such as Maximilian Kolbe, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and the Central American martyrs. But the Lord promised those that suffer for his sake will be rewarded with the Kingdom of Heaven!




Jesus
Mary
The Bible




REFERENCES


1 The Navarre RSV Holy Bible. Four Courts Press, Dublin, Ireland, 2001-2005.
2 St. Gregory of Nyssa. The Lord's Prayer and The Beatitudes. Ancient Christian Writers, Paulist Press, Mahwah, New Jersey.
3 St. Augustine. The Lord's Sermon on the Mount. Ancient Christian Writers, Paulist Press, Mahwah, New Jersey.
4 Pope John Paul II. The Splendor of Truth, the encyclical Veritatis Splendor. Pauline Books & Media, Boston, 1993.
5 Pope Benedict XVl. Jesus of Nazareth. Doubleday, New York, 2007.
6 Brown RE, Fitzmeyer JA, Murphy RE (eds): The New Jerome Biblical Commentary. Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1990.
7 Spielvogel JJ. Western Civilization, Sixth Edition, Thomson Wadsworth, Belmont, California, 2006.



THE EIGHT BEATITUDES OF JESUS



"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they who mourn,
for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek,
for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they shall be satisfied.

Blessed are the merciful,
for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure of heart,
for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called children of God.

Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."


Gospel of St. Matthew 5:3-10


ON THE BEATITUDES



"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
"Poor in spirit" means to be humble. Humility is the realization that all your gifts and blessings come from the grace of God. To have poverty of spirit means to be completely empty and open to the Word of God. When we are an empty cup and devoid of pride, we are humble. Humility brings an openness and an inner peace, allowing one to do the will of God. He who humbles himself is able to accept our frail nature, to repent, and to allow the grace of God to lead us to Conversion.

It is pride, the opposite of humility, that brings misery. For pride brings anger and the seeking of revenge, especially when one is offended. If every man were humble and poor in spirit, there would be no war!



"Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted."
If we are humble and appreciate that all of our gifts and blessings come from God, we grow in love and gratitude for Jesus Christ our Savior. But this can only produce mourning and regret over our own sins and the sins of this world, for we have hurt the one who has been so good to us. One also mourns for the suffering of others.

St. Gregory describes another reason to mourn: the more one ascends in meditation of Divine Truth, Beauty, and Goodness, and then realize the poverty of human nature, man can only be left in sorrow. When one contemplates that we were made in the image and likeness of God and lived in Paradise, the Garden of Eden, and compare that to our present state after the Fall, one can only mourn our present condition. But the sentence continues that they shall be comforted, by the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, and hopefully one day in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Mourning in this context is called a blessing, because mourning our fallen nature creates in us a desire to improve ourselves and to do what is right!



"Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth."
St. Gregory of Nyssa taught that the Beatitudes build one upon another. A humble person becomes meek, or becomes gentle and kind, and exhibits a docility of spirit, even in the face of adversity and hardship. A person that is meek is one that exhibits self-control. St. Augustine advises us to be meek in the face of the Lord, and not resist but be obedient to him. Obedience and submission to the will of God are certainly not in vogue these days, but they will bring one peace in this world and in the next.



"Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied."
A continuous desire for justice and moral perfection will lead one to a fulfillment of that desire - a transition and conversion to holiness. This is true for all the virtues - if you hunger and thirst for temperance, you will head towards the goal you have in mind. St. Augustine, in his discourse on the Lord's Sermon on the Mount, notes the correspondence of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit and their necessity in fulfilling the Beatitudes. For example, one must have the gift of fortitude so one may be courageous in seeking justice.



"Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy."
Mercy is the loving disposition towards those who suffer distress. Love, compassion, and forgiveness towards one's neighbor will bring peace in your relationships. We say in the Lord's Prayer: Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. As we are merciful to others, so our Heavenly Father will be merciful with us! Jesus reminds us that whatever "you did to the least of my brethren, you did it to me (Matthew 25:31-46)." St. Paul calls for the obedience of faith in the beginning and end of his Letter to the Romans (1:5, 16:25-27). The following are ways to be merciful to your neighbor, as well as obedient in faith to Christ our Savior.


The Corporal Works of Mercy
1 Feed the Hungry
2 Give drink to the thirsty
3 Clothe the naked
4 Shelter the homeless
5 Comfort the imprisoned
6 Visit the sick
7 Bury the dead

The Spiritual Works of Mercy
1 Admonish sinners
2 Instruct the uninformed
3 Counsel the doubtful
4 Comfort the sorrowful
5 Be patient with those in error
6 Forgive offenses
7 Pray for the living and the dead



"Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God."
Moses (Exodus 33:20), John (1:18), and Paul (1Timothy 6:16) all say that no one can see God here on earth! But Jesus says the pure of heart shall see God! To be pure of heart means to be free of all selfish intentions and self-seeking desires. What a beautiful goal! How many times have any of us performed an act perfectly free of any personal gain? Such an act is pure love. An act of pure and selfless giving brings happiness to all.



"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God."
Peacemakers not only live peaceful lives but also try to bring peace and friendship to others, and to preserve peace between God and man. St. Gregory of Nyssa calls a peacemaker a man who brings peace to another; but one cannot give another what one does not possess oneself. Hence the Lord wants you first to be yourself filled with the blessings of peace and then to communicate it to those who have need of it. By imitating God's love of man, the peacemakers become children of God.



"Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven."
Jesus said many times that those who follow Him will be persecuted. "If they persecute me, they will persecute you" (John 15:20-21). Stephen, Peter and Paul, nearly all of the Apostles, and many Christians in the Roman era suffered martyrdom. The twentieth century with its two World Wars and endless regional conflicts has seen its share of martyrs such as Maximilian Kolbe, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and the Central American martyrs. But the Lord promised those that suffer for his sake will be rewarded with the Kingdom of Heaven!




Jesus
Mary
The Bible




REFERENCES


1 The Navarre RSV Holy Bible. Four Courts Press, Dublin, Ireland, 2001-2005.
2 St. Gregory of Nyssa. The Lord's Prayer and The Beatitudes. Ancient Christian Writers, Paulist Press, Mahwah, New Jersey.
3 St. Augustine. The Lord's Sermon on the Mount. Ancient Christian Writers, Paulist Press, Mahwah, New Jersey.
4 Pope John Paul II. The Splendor of Truth, the encyclical Veritatis Splendor. Pauline Books & Media, Boston, 1993.
5 Pope Benedict XVl. Jesus of Nazareth. Doubleday, New York, 2007.
6 Brown RE, Fitzmeyer JA, Murphy RE (eds): The New Jerome Biblical Commentary. Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1990.
7 Spielvogel JJ. Western Civilization, Sixth Edition, Thomson Wadsworth, Belmont, California, 2006.

Monday, August 9, 2010

My Journal for Weightloss~

A Prayer For Weight Loss

Father God, I come to you in the precious name of Jesus that you will perform a miraculous healing in my life concerning my desire to lose weight. Thank you Lord that nothing is impossible with you and that you can help take away my desire to overeat and fill the voids within me that cause me to seek food as a substitute.
Lord, touch my mind right now, help me to see what causes me to overeat, give me a strong desire to want to take care of my body and see it as you do Lord. Help me to make the right food choices and touch my mind with creativity concerning food and what I eat. May I be restored to divine health again.

As I strive to do this Lord, please bless all within me - my cells, and my metabolism - that they will function properly so I can lose the weight. And let me take it one day at a time and not worry about anything else but the cares of the day that I woke up to.

Thank you Father for loving me enough to help me through this.

Amen.



This picture was taken on Christmas day, December 25, 2009~


My Journal for Weightloss Contenued~

On the 30th. day of July my husband and I weighed and he had lossed another four pounds making him a total loss of 25 Lbs. so far! I also had lost another four pounds making a total of 20 Lbs. lost so far! We are doing such an amazing job this time! I am so very proud of my husband and myself! Can that be so wrong? We really do love to eat,you know!

Saturday, July 31, 2010



Work Hard, Do Your Best, Keep Your Word,
Never Get Too Big For Your Britches,
Trust In God and Never Forget a Friend

This is some really good advice!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Pressing on Toward the Goal~

We have each lost another four pounds this month, this makes Charles 25 Lbs. and 20 Lbs. for me! Yeah!! I will post an after picture when we reach our goal of being slim and healthy too!




You know that this is Paul speaking to the Philippians in the New International Version of the Bible:

Pressing on Toward the Goal
12) Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13)Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14) I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
15) All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16) Only let us live up to what we have already attained.

17) Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you. 18) For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19)Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things.

I found it!!!

Here is the Prayer:

A Prayer For Weight Loss By Lynn

Father God, I come to you in the precious name of Jesus that you will perform a miraculous healing in my life concerning my desire to lose weight. Thank you Lord that nothing is impossible with you and that you can help take away my desire to overeat and fill the voids within me that cause me to seek food as a substitute.
Lord, touch my mind right now, help me to see what causes me to overeat, give me a strong desire to want to take care of my body and see it as you do Lord. Help me to make the right food choices and touch my mind with creativity concerning food and what I eat. May I be restored to divine health again.

As I strive to do this Lord, please bless all within me - my cells, and my metabolism - that they will function properly so I can lose the weight. And let me take it one day at a time and not worry about anything else but the cares of the day that I woke up to.

Thank you Father for loving me enough to help me through this.

Amen.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


My prayer for you as you visit my blog, is that you are truly blessed by all that is shared here for you to enjoy!

Sincerely, Deanie


My Joural for Weightloss:

We started our weight loss journey in January. We really did not do very good until we decided to buy the Flat Belly Diet Book. That was almost three months ago. Actually it has been close to four months now. We weigh only once a month and that day is always the 30 day of the month. So, we have only five days until we weigh again. My husband had lossed a total of 21 lbs. last month and I had lossed a total of sixteen lbs.





You can see that this picture is us at Christmas 2009!

We are a very happy couple who enjoys life and we live ours to glorify God. So it is only fitting and proper that we would like to glorify Him by the way we eat.

We simply LOVE TO EAT!


I saw a quote somewhere that I thought was a really good motto for me to go by when it comes to food. Here it is:

"Eat to live, not live to eat."


I have convenced us that it is portion control that helps us loose pounds, along with low fat foods, sugar-free or low sugar foods. We mostly eat fruit for desserts. If I bake a cake I put applesause and/or applebutter in it for replacing the oil. An Anglefood Cake is the best choice if we want cake.

Basically, we eat heart healthy foods, low salt, low fat and trying to due away with artificial sweeteners. They are everywhere! Especially aspertame.

I put the food on our plates. All of the usual things that make us gain pounds we have stopped eating, such as cookies, icecream and pies and cake.


Sunday is our free day when we can eat what we want if we can hold it! I have found that I can not eat as much as I once did, even when I want to let myself.
Today we had lunch at our favorite Mexican Restraunte, El Sambres is the name of it!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Peculiar, Missouri



Peculiar, Missouri is where this sign is located! I know, becuse I have been by there many times!
Thanks to Lori for the previous post, I borrowed the post to share here with you all because it is so very true!!

Thanks for visiting my blog!!
LOL...Deanie

Deeper with Jesus in Rhode Island: The Trouble Is Those OTHER People - Reasons NOT to Follow Jesus (part 5)




Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Trouble Is Those OTHER People - Reasons NOT to Follow Jesus (part 5)
Let’s be honest. One of the biggest reasons NOT to follow Jesus is the company He keeps. I mean, really, He lets anyone in.

Imagine standing in line for the hottest ticket in town – entrance to Studio Eternal Life. You've met the owner and He’s given you the password, the name that assures you will be one of the fortunate few allowed to pass through the velvet rope past the burly man with the rippling biceps.

“Jesus”, you repeat to yourself. He’s my ticket inside.

As you wait, you look at the others in line. You begin to guess who else may have access to the name. Several people seem a lot like you so you’re certain they’re getting in. Others are people you would like to be, so they are probably in, too.

But then there are many, sort of, undesirables waiting, too. People who would be buzzed off in the first round of The World’s Got Talent. You know what I'm talking about. You’ve seen the ones. Before they even open their mouths onstage you just know it’s going to be a freak show. So, on the one hand, you feel kind of sorry for them but on the other hand, you shudder at the thought of spending eternity with their kind.

Then the line begins to move and you smile as several people like you pass through the rope but suddenly, one of the cool kids is turned away and three low-life’s gain entrance to your desired destination. What’s up with that? You glance around and notice others are flustered at this obvious administrative snafu. You’d think there wouldn’t be any computer errors in this line!

Now, you’re watching carefully and you realize you can’t reliably predict who will gain access and who won’t. You don’t see any money changing hands. Everything seems very above board. And the closer you get, you can even hear people as they mumble quietly either “I’m sure I deserve to be here. Look on your list. My name is . . .” Or, as you are prepared to say “I couldn’t dream of entering in my own name. I come in the name of Jesus alone.”

What could this possibly mean? Could it be that heaven is going to be full of people you wouldn’t have dreamed of associating with on earth?

What if you run into people you’ve snubbed? What if there are some whose suffering you blatantly ignored? What if you have to spend eternity worshipping with those impossibly annoying hand-wavers or that weird guy with the toupe and white alligator shoes that match his giant King James Bible?

You start thinking that probably it would have been a good idea to get some practice in before this big day – practice loving people so different from you.

Then, just inside the door as you’re still mulling over how you’re going to adjust to the mixed crowd gathered before you, you catch someone staring, wide-eyed in your direction.

“What!?” The person exclaims, pointing at you. “How did you get in here?” Then you watch her hurry off after a bright spirit asking “Am I seriously expected to spend eternity with people like that?”

Well, it’s not going to happen that way probably but you get my point, right? Jesus, He’s cool. The Bible is full of great stuff and studying it and praying are awesome ways to spend time but loving the CHURCH, yeah, no thanks, have you MET these people? They are NOT easy to love.

But, loved ones, that’s exactly what we’re called to do – love the strange, peculiar freak-show collection of fellow worshippers that gather at Jesus’ feet. The bee-hive hairdo cat glass lady with the bleeding ear soprano must love and be loved by the barefootliving Africandrumplaying vegan who will only worship at a coffee shop or outdoor venue. The Chinese pastor who has spent half his career in prison, separated from his family who scrounge and starve without him in Jesus’ name must love and be loved by the Southern Baptist preacher who drives a new Caddie every three years and is about to experiment with a golfing tournament outreach ministry. Our differences go way deeper than hymns or praise music, hands up or knees down. Jesus really knows how to draw a mixed crowd.

Revelation 7:9-10 (NIV) says “After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: "Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb."

You think you know what that will look and sound like but I promise you, it is beyond our imagination right now. I can promise this because we don’t even seem to have enough imagination to figure out how to love the Christian in the next pew. But, we’d better start applying some Holy Spirit inspired creativity in that direction, people, because eternity is a long time to spend with someone you avoided on earth.

So, drop out now if you’re not up for loving the crazies, the outcasts, the peculiar, the stiff-necks, the scowlers, the gigglers, the liberals, the fundamentalists, the charismatics, the unwashed, the hard to love and the irritating. And drop out now if you can look in the mirror and not think you’re one of them.

Following Jesus is not for people with weak stomachs, small hearts or anemic imaginations. We are a hard people to love and we love hard in return because we follow Jesus and He welcomes all kinds – even us.
Posted by Lori Stanley Roeleveld at 1:47 PM Reactions:

Labels: accepting other Christians, differences in Christians, loving the church, oddball Christians, peculiar people, reasons not to follow Jesus, Revelation 7:9-10





Deeper with Jesus in Rhode Island: The Trouble Is Those OTHER People - Reasons NOT to Follow Jesus (part 5): "'Deeper with Jesus in Rhode Island' is Copyright 2009 by Lori Stanley Roeleveld. If you enjoy it, feel free to pass it along or post it anywhere, provided that (1) it is not altered in any way, and (2) this copyright notice is attached."