Sunday, January 11, 2009
Monday, December 22, 2008
"Don't be frightened, Mary," the angel told her, "for God has decided to bless you! You will become pregnant and have a son, and you are to name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!" (Luke 1:30-33 NLT).
An angel of the Lord appeared to [Joseph] in a dream. "Joseph, son of David," the angel said, "do not be afraid to go ahead with your marriage to Mary. For the child within her has been conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins" (Matthew 1:20-21 NLT).
And so our infinite God stepped out of the perfect peace and pure joy of heaven into a single cell in the womb of a girl--a girl that He had knit together in her mother's womb. For nine months baby God grew. He grew a heart, lungs, and eyelashes--all part of His ingenious design. Then, in a stable with animals that He had created, baby God was born. The One who had dreamed up the earth moved nearer to place His feet on it. God didn't come as a grown man--that would have been marvelous enough--He came as a wobbly-necked newborn.
It was His plan.
. . . From heavenly crown to earthly cradle . . .
. . . From throne to womb . . . and then to a stumbling toddler . . . to a curious child . . . to a young adult . . . to a grown man . . . to die on a cross.
All to rescue us.
It's just too much. Yet it's not a mere story, it's not just a fairy tale. It's an event that actually happened. It's historically true. At a point in time, the brilliant Master of the Universe left the perfect love of heaven to step down to earth and rescue us.
What kind of God does that? What kind of God leaves His overwhelmingly magnificent home, a home that's more marvelous than we can ever imagine because we've only lived in fallenland? What motivated You to come here, God? To submit Yourself and all of Your infinite glory to the confines of a womb of one of Your creations? And then, years later, to die for those creations--some whom would never even turn and acknowledge what You did for them?
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son . . ." (John 3:16).
Christmas morning was a declaration of the heart of God. Jesus' baby cries proclaimed for all the world, "This is who I am. I am Your God, the God who came to earth to find and rescue you. I am the God of goodness, justice, peace, mercy, hope, and wholeness. I love you deeply--can you see just how much? So do not worry, I am here. Do not fear, I have come."
Our God didn't just say "I love you." He lived "I love you." And He lived His "I love you" all the way from the womb to the cross.
God, The King of the Universe, loves you. So much that it's almost inconceivable. So much that it's hard to believe. But do believe it. It is overwhelmingly, wonderfully true.
In the birth of the Baby in a manger, may your soul find its worth this Christmas.
Friday, December 5, 2008
Below is the part I was adding in.You will see in the NOTE: about looking up the word brilliance. Brilliance not a word I normally use everyday, but it just flowed with my Christmas thought. Then when I looked up the word (to spellcheck it actually), it showed main entry: fire
................hmmmmmmmm never thought of brilliance as fire. Then the definition further intrigued me. So, I went to the Word to see what I could learn.
I went to the concordance to look up words like clarity, burn, purify. I prayed for the Holy Spirit to reveal to me what I needed to discover! As I searched through the Bible, I hit upon several cross references. This sent me in to a studying extreme as I had Bible open, computer on Biblegateway.com, and several papers everywhere with scripture verse addresses written down to look up for further review.
What is my point..........my point is--have you ever lost yourself in the Bible? Don't know where to start? Pray for revelation, guidance, and His teaching. Then go to the concordance for a word that is laying on your heart. Then watch out!!! You will find yourself flipping from verse to verse as He cross references you through His Word!
WHEWWWWWW....what a morning! Thank You Father for your teaching and leaving us Your Word. Praise Your name Jesus!!! Glory, glory, glory..........
The "brilliance" of Christmas
This is our third Christmas since asking Christ into our lives. The expression of being Born Again has such brilliance to it during the Christmas season.
I watch as others are in a Christmas panic. Yet, since coming to know the Lord, I have great peace. A simple peace that the true blessing of the Christmas season is the gift that God gave to all of us- His son, Jesus, who paid the ultimate price for our multitude of sins.
Because of His grace, I cannot get caught up in the frenzy. The Holy Spirit doesn't let me "go there". It's like my brain doesn't even recognize any fleshly fears of getting the right gift, do we have enough money, cookies, cards...on and on and on.
Nope, it is now reborn into me to love this season of Christmas. To love God's gifts of Jesus and the Holy Spirit!
(Note: I quickly looked up the word brilliance. The synonym listed:
Main Entry: fire
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: Exceptional brightness and clarity, as of a cut and polished stone.
Synonyms: brilliancy, luminosity, radiance
Thank you Holy Spirit for the thought of using the word brilliance! )
"John answered them all, "I baptize you with water. But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire." Luke 3:16
Cross reference Acts 11:15,16
"And I will bring the third part through the fire, Refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested They will call on My name, And I will answer them; I will say, 'They are My people,' And they will say, 'The LORD is my God.'" Zechariah 13:9
Cross reference: Is 48:10, Mal 3:3
"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." Romans 12:2
Cross reference: Gal 6:14
Sunday, November 9, 2008
The stage was set as Stephanie (a 16 year old that attends public school) presented a skit where she gave a beautifully wrapped "gift" to a young man. Together they opened it, and then he leaves. Stephanie is left to piece back together the "gift". Another young man then takes the "gift" from her and rips it, then walks away abruptly. Stephanie is left with a badly torn "gift". She then turns away to place a veil on her head. She takes the "gift" all torn, tattered, and used and holds it up. This is what she is left with to present to her new husband.
Tony then spoke about STDs, where God wants you near the line of "what is considered ok", and gave scripture regarding Guard Your Heart. They had us create a list of what qualities we want in a husband/wife, and to settle for nothing less on that list.
John Deckard of LiveAbove.com showed a brief DVD of a new network that will pair up Believers as they head off to college- as a potential roommate.
It was an evening so well received. Parents commented how perfectly presented and Teens said it really spoke to them. We asked them for a repeat performance in the new church---so, if you saw it...tell others when they return. It is worth watching---even twice!
Praise God for delivering this message to the Youth of Pompey Community Church and their community.
Friday, September 26, 2008
Sorry about the late email for this event. But I promise you that this will be a yearly event, now that we are aware of it.
It was cool. Very cool.
There were just 6 of us there on Wednesday morning 9/24/08. It was cold but the sun was coming up, making the morning air warm. We said good morning and quietly walked to the flag pole. We all closed our eyes for prayer. Even with eyes closed you could sense the sun's shine. As prayer started, you could sense Him. In a beautiful, Fall morning we prayed for our teachers, our community, the administrators, the students, our government. We prayed that each Believing student would walk His Light throughout the halls. We prayed that others would come to know Him. We prayed for all to take time out of the day and busy schedules, to get into His Word and to tell God that we love Him.
Mark your calendars for Wednesday September 23rd, 2009. It is next years SYATP.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
The trip to NYC was full of amazing events:
Saturday we arrived in New Jersey, checked into our hotel, and took the transit to NYC. The transit takes you through the Lincoln Tunnel which is actually underwater. Very smooth, comfortable ride...but could freak you out if you really thought about it! As we exited the Port Authority onto the streets of New York....whoa!!!! You are immediately immersed into what feels like a movie. The tall buildings, the cabs, so many people--we wanted to see everything. We spent Saturday walking and site seeing: Rockefeller center, Central Park (acres and acres of green, peaceful beauty), F.A.O. Schwartz, St. Patricks cathedral, Tiffany and Co., Time Square, and so much more.
Sunday we took the subway to Brooklyn. We actually liked riding the subway. Not scary at all! We were about to experience the whole purpose for our trip-THE BROOKLYN TABERNACLE!!!! We got there an hour early and the church was already 1/2 full! Then the choir entered--285 people that swayed, and sang, and worshipped Our Lord. Oh, the Holy Spirit was so present!!! Pastor Jim Cymballa gave his sermon on John 3:22-29. and spoke of "more thoughts on Jesus, less on me". The "AMEN!"s and "HALLELUJAH"s were repeatedly uttered throughout the church. When service was over, we slowly exited and hugged our way out the door. We then walked across the Brooklyn Bridge to Manhatten, to see Ground Zero. There is now a large fence around the base of where the WTC was, but you could peer in and see the huge whole. We left there, got the subway, and headed back to Time Square. It was now close to 5:00 and we headed to the TIME SQUARE CHURCH for 6:00 service. As we sat in our seats waiting for service to begin...we looked around at all the nationalities that were under one roof. Even a women in a beautiful ceremonial dress (maybe from Nigeria???). Lucy commented, "Perhaps this is what Heaven will be like". After another amazing worship from the choir, The Pastor gave a message on Matthew 17:24-27. He shared "do not look to man-only God." AMEN! After a full day of walking and worshipping we headed to Tony DiNapali's for a wonderful Italian dinner and great conversation about our day.
Monday morning arrives: One last trip into the city. Lucy needed to pick up some wire for the jewelry she makes.......so we go to the "Diamond district". Yep! That's what was there store after store of diamond jewelry. I stopped at one window to admire a gorgeous ring, the store owner quickly invited me in to try it on. I just smiled and shook my head no............... I know where my treasures are--there is nothing here on earth that can compare what lies ahead in Heaven. Praise God for His gift of Jesus Christ and our Comforter.