Archive for December, 2012

Wow! The Mayans were wrong. What a surprise! CBN.com

Connect with CBN.com to get my take on the Mayans prediction of the end of the world and how to prepare:

http://www.cbn.com/spirituallife/biblestudyandtheology/perspectives/hylton-mayans-2012.aspx

Invest in Christmas, Day 21-Two Birth Announcements

I remember the day I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. So many emotions. Excitement. Fear. Amazement. Worry. Joy.

And I was 28 years old.

I can’t imagine Mary’s heart.

We get a glimpse of it in God’s Word.

“And Mary said: ‘My soul exalts the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He has had regard for the humble state of His bondslave; for behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed. For the Mighty One has done great things for me; and holy is His name.’” Luke 1:45-49 (NASB)

Don’t you just want to be her bff?

What insight. What faith. What trust.

She understood her need for a Savior. She understood His holiness.

There was another birth announcement to Joseph.

“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, wanted to send her away secretly. But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus for He will save His people from their sins.’” Matthew 1:18-21 (NASB)

It was gutsy of him to hang in there. Obedient, even.

Would have loved for them to be in my home group.

Two average people met by astounding circumstances. Brought through by simple trust.

You ever think they doubted their angel sighting?

I’m guessing they did, although I don’t know.

I doubt my calling for service to Him. I know I’m called to serve through writing. When I don’t see results, I doubt.

Maybe you’re discouraged.

Don’t be. God is powerful. He is all-knowing, all-wise, and loving. He doesn’t make mistakes. He doesn’t sleep. He sent His Son to redeem us and “save His people from their sins.”

Trust that. Then keep on keeping on.

Today’s worship will be from Keith and Kristen Getty. Enjoy and trust and serve and worship.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6nAsESYPiY[/youtube]

Investing in Christmas, Day 20-An Insignificant Town

I’ve never lived in a big city. Growing up as a Salvation Army Officer’s Brat, my family transferred every three or four years. I spent my childhood in the midwest, around corn fields, and soy beans. Even an eight year stint in Kansas.

But we’ve all heard of one obscure village in the Bible. Bethlehem. Here’s our text for today:

“But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity.” Micah 5:2 (NASB)

Amazing how the Old Testament points to Jesus? So many prophecies–all fulfilled.

Bethlehem boasted the birthplace of King David. A “suburb” of Jerusalem, Bethlehem means “House of Bread: and Ephrathah means “Fruitful.”

Read this passage from John:

“I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.” John 6:48-51 (NASB)

The fact that Joseph and Mary owed taxes and had to make the long trek to Jerusalem when she was about to give birth seemed like a coincidence.

There are no coincidences with God.

There are no insignificant people or unimportant towns. Our God is a God of detail and order.

And He cares.

About you. About me.

He is the Bread of Life.

To invest in Christmas today, feed on God’s Word. Take time out of your busy schedule to spend a half hour feasting on the Word of God. Maybe the Psalms. Maybe the birth of Jesus.

And consider feeding someone. There’s a homeless guy in the park I feed. Not always, just when I’m going there and have extra food and the Lord lays him on my heart. I pray for him. I’ve given him a tract. I think for Christmas, I’ll give him a Bible.

My husband once said that if I could be anyone, it would be a cross between Amy Grant and Erma Bombeck.

I hope I’ve given you a taste of Erma over these last few weeks. Here’s a bit of Amy. My favorite Christmas album ever.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOJK_STdFhw[/youtube]

 

Investing in Christmas, Day 19-Finally, Good News

 

 

Good news is hard to find these days.

Lots of bad news about human trafficking, the economy, and oppression.

More recently, tragic news about mass killings of children.

So many heartaches. So many brokenhearted.

Is there any good news?

That’s what Christmas is all about—The Good News.

Look one more time into the Old Testament book of Isaiah 61:1:

“The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,”(NIV)

In Isaiah’s time, there was plenty of heartache. Slavery, even.

In Christ’s time, the same horrors existed.

With a press of a finger on our computers, we see unspeakable evil. Shameful. Horrific.

It could almost lead a person to despair.

Almost.

Scroll over to the New Testament book written by Dr. Luke.

“He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.’”

“Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, ‘Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.’” Luke 4:16-21(NIV)

Nervy. Astounding.

Good News.

That’s what we celebrate at Christmas.

Good News for this world. Great News for the next.

Christ—both man and God born to be our Savior.

Saved from what?

Sin.

The result of human trafficking, and a failed economy, and mass killings.

Hope.

Don’t leave this world without it.

To invest in Christmas today, listen to this Michael W. Smith song, “All is Well.”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yAyplzXmjVE[/youtube]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recite Romans 2:25-29

Okay, so this was the hardest to recite. But we finished. Barely.

Hope you’re working at it. Do your best! Memorizing even a part of God’s Word reaps eternal rewards.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8k1Ubu1LJYw[/youtube]