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Archive for December, 2009

Jesus’ Letter About Christmas

I usually am not influenced by mass emails that are circulated around the airways. But, one titled Letter from Jesus caused reflection.  Our Nation’s forefathers openly and unashamedly referred to God as the Creator without concerns of political correctness. I wish that was still the case, but should we Christians make huge public protests when attempts are made to take God and Christ out of Christmas? Is there a higher priority than Christians concerning themselves whether the Town Square is required to take down the Nativity Scene if not replaced with another religious symbol? Would our Nation be any worse if public Nativity scenes were taken down? What if our jobs mandated us to refer to Christmas time as the Holiday Season? There weren’t these pressures in previous generations but not so long ago our Nation disapproved of people of color drinking from the same water fountain as white folks. Are people influenced because of Nativity scenes and other Christian symbols or because of changed lives they come in contact personally? What if we who called  ourselves Christians loved others as God loves us? Can you imagine if those who called themselves Christians acted as Christ?

Letter from Jesus about Christmas
 
It has come to my attention that many of you are upset that folks are taking My name out of the season.  How I personally feel about this celebration can probably be most easily understood by those of you who have been blessed with children of your own. I don’t care what you call the day. If you want to celebrate My birth, just GET ALONG AND LOVE ONE ANOTHER.
 
Now, having said that let Me go on. If it bothers you that the town in which you live doesn’t allow a scene depicting My birth, then just get rid of a couple of Santas and snowmen and put in a small Nativity scene on your own front lawn. If all My followers did that there wouldn’t be any need for such a scene on the town square because there would be many of them all around town.
 
Stop worrying about the fact that people are calling the tree a holiday tree, instead of a Christmas tree. It was I who made all trees. You can remember Me anytime you see any tree. Decorate a grape vine if you wish: I actually spoke of that one in a teaching, explaining who I am in relation to you and what each of our tasks were. If you have forgotten that one, look up John 15: 1 – 8.
 
If you want to give Me a present in remembrance of My birth here is my wish list. Choose something from it:
 
1. Instead of writing protest letters objecting to the way My birthday is being celebrated, write letters of love and hope to soldiers away from home. They are terribly afraid and lonely this time of year. I know, they tell Me all the time.
 
2. Visit someone in a nursing home. You don’t have to know them personally. They just need to know that someone cares about them.
 
3. Instead of writing the President complaining about the wording on the cards his staff sent out this year, why don’t you write and tell him that you’ll be praying for him and his family this year. Then follow up… It will be nice hearing from you again.
 
4. Instead of giving your children a lot of gifts you can’t afford and they don’t need, spend time with them. Tell them the story of My birth, and why I came to live with you down here. Hold them in your arms and remind them that I love them.
 
5 Pick someone that has hurt you in the past and forgive him or her.
 
6. Did you know that someone in your town will attempt to take their own life this season because they feel so alone and hopeless?  Since you don’t know who that person is, try giving everyone you meet a warm smile; it could make the difference.
 
7. Instead of nit picking about what the retailer in your town calls the holiday, be patient with the people who work there. Give them a warm smile and a kind word. Even if they aren’t allowed to wish you a “Merry Christmas” that doesn’t keep you from wishing them one. Then stop shopping there on Sunday. If the store didn’t make so much money on that day they’d close and let their employees spend the day at home with their families
 
8. If you really want to make a difference, support a missionary– especially one who takes My love and Good News to those who have never heard My name.
 
9. Here’s a good one. There are individuals and whole families in your town who not only will have no “Christmas” tree, but neither will they have any presents to give or receive. If you don’t know them, buy some food and a few gifts and give them to the Salvation Army or some other charity which believes in Me and they will make the delivery for you.
 
10. Finally, if you want to make a statement about your belief in and loyalty to Me, then behave like a Christian. Don’t do things in secret that you wouldn’t do in My presence. Let people know by your actions that you are one of mine.
 
Don’t forget; I am God and can take care of Myself. Just love Me and do what I have told you to do. I’ll take care of all the rest. Check out the list above and get to work; time is short. I’ll help you, but the ball is now in your court. And do have a most blessed Christmas with all those whom you love and remember :

I LOVE YOU,

JESUS

Does God Give Us More Than We Can Handle?

If we believe God has promised  to not give us more than we can handle, and we feel overwhelmed, one may wonder if God cares or is actively involved in our lives. Let’s be honest. We can point to times in our life or the lives of others and seriously question if they have more than can be humanly handled. Is a child being abused daily supposed to believe somehow God is controlling their situation and letting them be abused, only to the degree they can handle it? Sometimes, people in an effort to comfort during tragedy say something like “God does not give us more than we can handle.”  This may not always be terribly encouraging or helpful. When people are in a crisis we can’t go wrong listening, being slow to give advice or clichés, and lending a hand as needed.

God does not promise us we will not face extreme adversity, perhaps more than we think humanly possible at times. God has not promised we will not at times feel overwhelmed. It is critical we understand when God gave the world freedom, this meant sometimes people would be treated inhumanely. In many countries women and children are raped or have limbs cut off. God has given freedom in this world but vengeance is His in the long-run. Justice delayed does not mean justice will not be served. Christians in the New Testament  were promised to expect extreme hardships for their beliefs. 

What has God promised us? God has promised through our relationship with Him to empower us to handle any hardship that we may encounter. Paul writes “…we were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead (2 Cor 1: 8-9).” This last sentence does not mean God is the cause of suffering.  Paul is saying sufferings can cause us to be dependent on God. Paul reminds us  God has conquered death. Eternal life is His promise.  God will never desert or forsake us in our present circumstances. The more we understand Him the more likely we are able to draw comfort and strength from Him in tragic times.

If we have an intimate, understandable relationship with God, we somehow will  be able to handle any sickness or persecution that may come our way. During crises times if we can learn how to not blame God, we will be able to draw great strength from Him. God chose to suffer as we do by sacrificing His Son. He is a Creator who did not  abandoned us when the world  chose evil over good. Know and understand God completely, so to draw comfort from Him  in the most difficult of times beyond human comprehension and ability to handle. God will never give us more than we can handle with His help.

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