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Archive for December, 2008

The Reason




The Reason

Originally uploaded by susan.house

We’ve had our Christmas parties, we’ve opened our presents, we’ve had our time or are still enjoying our time with family and friends; but, while all this was going on, was Jesus there? Did you give Him a present? Just in case you think I’m being holier than thou; I must admit to you I did forget to give Jesus a present. It’s not too late. Just like us, I have a feeling He likes receiving presents even if they are late. Anyway, I hope so, because mine was late.

Next Christmas, I’m going to start a new tradition. Whether I’m with family or friends, I’m going to throw a birthday party for Jesus. Cake and all. I’m writing it in my datebook today for December 24th, right after Christmas Eve services. The idea is not mine, but is Rick Warren’s but there is no higher compliment than imitation. Thank you Rick.

It has been said that approximately 86% of the population of the United States believes in God. Maybe the problem isn’t believing in God but having the faith to believe God. In the movie, MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET the mother tells her daughter, “Faith is believing in things common sense tells you not to.” The Bible tells us in Hebrews faith is “being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see”. My brother asked me one time why I believe in God? Well, here’s the answer: man has deserted me, man has failed me, man has hurt and disappointed me BUT God has never left my side in the thirty some years I’ve walked with HIm, He has never hurt me, He has given me riches and blessings only a person who truly loves me and knows my innermost thoughts and desires could give. As someone stated it so eloquently:
JESUS
We are fed by His hands,
Carried in His heart
Supported by His arms
Guided by His steps
Instructed by His words
Warmed by His love.

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The Miracle of Christmas

Originally uploaded by susan.house

Okay, the hustle and bustle of Christmas is over. We’ve had a couple of days to rest from the frantic pre-Christmas pace and now I’m asking you if you got what you wanted for Christmas. Hopefully, by now, you know me well enough to know there just might be a hidden meaning laying around in that question somewhere. First of all, yes, I very much received what I wanted for Christmas both materialistically and spiritually. Materialistically, I so badly hoped for a new MP3 player, at least a 4GB one. This was definitely not something I required but something I really desired. My daughters gave me one for Christmas. Spiritually, I yearned to spend time with Jesus in a special way.

When my hip dislocated a special friend loaned me the book, THE SHACK, to read. I started reading it this week and I must tell you, I spent time with Jesus this last few days in a way I would never have dreamt. If you haven’t read this book, I’m telling you, it is a must read. How this book touches you will be different than how it touched me. But, let me assure you, it will touch you. It has opened my eyes in ways I never expected, it has given me reassurances where reassurance was necessary, and it has filled me like very few books other than the Bible have done. In my estimation, it is a “must read” for everyone out there. Whether you have a relationship with the Trinity or you have turned your back on all that “religious” stuff or you just plain don’t believe in any part of the Trinity and you think this religious stuff is for the masses, I encourage you to obtain this book and read it. I pray you take me up on this, get yourself a copy, and I know you will be touched just like I have been. HAPPY READING!!!

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Giving Credit Where Credit is Due

On November 13th, I wrote an article concerning the 40th anniversary of a near-fatal accident. In it I stated the details were not important. I now refute the statement. It is of utmost importance because it is in the details where we can discover God’s involvement the most. Therefore, saying the details were unimportant is saying God’s involvement never happened. Too many times we keep silent when He has acted in our life. Thus, we deprive others of knowing our God is a living God. Unintentionally, we further the misconception Satan so desires the world to believe that God no longer works in our life today.

The accident happened on a snowy, blizzardy night in what’s known as a “white-out” condition. I was driving a Volkswagen Beetle. My two-year-old daughter was standing up in the front seat. The railroad crossing only had the railroad crossing sign. No lights, no crossbars, no protection, and no matter which direction a car approached from there was a blind side. On the northwest side of the street was a factory with a “yard” where the train would unload. The tracks were going north and south, the street went east and west. Unbeknownst to me, as I stopped at the tracks, the train had finished unloading and was slowly chugging out of the yard. Because of the horrible weather conditions, the man responsible for placing a flare at the intersection of the street and track threw it off the back of the caboose. Unfortunately, it landed deep in the overgrown weeds, on the west side of the tracks. I was on the east, I never saw the flare. The engineer never blew the train’s whistle. We collided directly underneath the engineer’s window.

In those few precious moments in which the accident was occurring, the bones in my body were snapping like popcorn popping, and He was holding my daughter in the palm of His hand. She never hit the dashboard or the windshield. Her injuries consisted of a cut tongue, a tooth knocked out, and a cut on her chin. Simultaneously, He was protecting my spine from injury. This was one of the few areas of my body that was unharmed. Overall, there were approximately sixty fractures throughout my body. Forty of the fractures, approximately, were from the waist down. My forehead above my right eye had a gaping hole the size of a silver dollar caused by the gearshift plunging into my skull from the force of the impact.

The doctors did not expect me to survive the night but God’s expectations were different. The doctors did not expect me to ever walk again but God’s expectations were different. The doctors’ feared brain damage, God thought differently. Everyone knew my daughter should have been killed, God thought differently. As we are told in Scripture, “What may appear impossible to man is possible with God.” So, you see, the details were not unimportant. It is the details where God where we discover God’s actions and glory.

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Santa/Jesus

Originally uploaded by susan.house

This is the time of year we are all astir.  Excitement is in the air.  There is a great sense of anticipation and many expectations in the air.  In a season connected with death, a baby enters this world offering life and love to everyone. It is my all-time favorite holiday.  Next to Easter, I can’t think of a day that has the opportunity to impact more lives or change more lives than these two holidays.  Yet, unfortunately, there are not any other holidays that have been more controlled by the world than these two days.  The day God sent His Son to us and the day His Son gave His life for you and me.

 

As we rush about, busily preparing for our Savior’s birthday, let us remember the differences between Santa and Jesus Christ. I received this email (I’ve made some modifications to lessen space requirements) that states the comparisons so much better than I could:

Santa lives at the North Pole. JESUS is everywhere.
Santa rides in a sleigh; JESUS rides on the wind and walks on the water.
Santa comes but once a year; JESUS is an ever present help.
Santa fills your stockings with goodies; JESUS supplies all your needs.
Santa comes down your chimney uninvited; JESUS stands at your door and knocks.. and then enters your heart.
You have to stand in line to see Santa; JESUS is as close as the mention of His name.
Santa lets you sit on his lap; JESUS lets you rest in His arms.
Santa doesn’t know your name, all he can say is “Hi little boy or girl, What’s your name?”JESUS knew our name before we did. Not only does He know our name, He knows our address too. He knows our history and future and He even knows how many hairs are on our heads.
Santa has a belly like a bowl full of jelly; JESUS has a heart full of love.
All Santa can offer is HO HO HO; JESUS offers health, help and hope.
Santa says “You better not cry”; JESUS says “Cast all your cares on me for I care for you.
Santa’s little helpers make toys;JESUS makes new life, mends wounded hearts, repairs broken homes and builds mansions.
Santa may make you chuckle; JESUS gives you joy that is your strength.
While Santa puts gifts under your tree; JESUS became our gift and died on the tree.

It’s obvious there is really no comparison.We need to remember WHO Christmas is all about.We need to put Christ back in Christmas.

Jesus is still the reason for the season.

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