Without Even Knowing It

There are a whole lot of reasons why I love the Christmas season but one of them is that unbeknownst to them, there are oodles of people singing praises to God as they cruise through traffic listening to the radio or sing with family at home around the piano.  All Christmas carols lift our Lord on high.  They praise Him and give God the greatest of Honor when they sing to Him.  All around the world, unknown to those who live on the earth, God is getting an extra dose of praise that is coming to him from hearts that are in various different conditions towards who He is and what He represents.

It may seem obvious that God isn’t the best at Marketing His Son or how He will change your life.  Even during the Christmas season when He gets all the more PR than any other times of the year God seems content to leave the PR and advertisement up to Santa and the elves and all of the others who come out at Christmas to rile up the troops to shop til they drop during the festivities. I’m not sure what we are worshiping during the season but more often than not it seems that money and all that is attributed to money win out as the number 1 item on the list.  Sadly to say it’s not Jesus.

Jesus who is the real reason for the festivities.  Jesus who’s humble life began in a manger to save the world.  Jesus Christ Son of God born of a virgin…so much to say. Such a beautiful picture of God celebrating the birth of our Savior.  He had all of the Universe at His disposal to create a birthday display.  Can you imagine!  No, they didn’t have a room at the Inn but they wouldn’t have had such a panoramic view had they been stuck in an Inn!!!  The shepherds couldn’t have shown up and worshiped Jesus at the Inn  I just can’t help but wonder if there was more to that born in a manger thing.  It’s kind of awesome to think that God decided to display His son to nature before He displayed Him to people.  Just like Jesus showed himself to women when He rose from the dead before He showed Himself to the disciples.  He didn’t go to the big show.  He went to those that believe more readily, the animals and the women and children all who hadn’t been tarnished by the cynicism of the world.

We just take things at face value. There are so many times found in the gospels in which we take the story just the way it is and don’t wonder why. God is God.  He could make there be room at the Inn.  This IS the son of God after all.  And God can do anything He wants.  So one must realize that them being out there in the manger was exactly as it was intended by God to be. And certainly one must remember that nothing that God does is random.  Everything has purpose and reason.  Everything God does has purpose and reason.

I love that about God.  Not even the smallest action can be discarded as unimportant.  Come on now, He knows the number of hairs on each of our heads so if He knows that number for every one of us – and it changes at least 100 times a day per person – then what can He do with the nuances of our lives?

As I look back on the Christmas season and sense the depth of Jesus in my heart and hearth, I know that nothing is an accident with God and He knows just how much to expect in any given area.  He knows that at Christmas time He suffers abuse still.  Abuse of Jesus isn’t new or subdued.   He, symbols of Him and people who worship Him are prone to abuse, even death.  As the world gets lost in the festivities of Santa on a sleigh and trees and lights, etc…People all over the world are being persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ.

For so many of us it’s just so simple.  Our faith isn’t as sacred because we don’t have to fear persecution for it.  That makes a world of difference. We rarely are held accountable for our faith and if we do it’s by some silly church council that wants to bicker about the length of our skirt. Or hair. Or parking space.  There is always something for the Christians to find fault about other Christians.  But if it was us vs them and “them” was the government or a segment of society that was allowed to harass us, then maybe we wouldn’t pick on the small doctrinal stuff and instead would work together for Christ as one Church. Could we do that?  Would it take persecution for us to work together.

Luke 2:7 – And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

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The Walking Miracle

Have you ever taken the time to just ponder the incredible nature of the human body.  The intricacies that cause all of the things in the body work with each other to make them work beyond our wildest dreams.  We don’t even think about all that went into creating us with an ability to do some of the amazing things that we are able to do.  Athletically, mentally, psychologically.  We are simple yet very complex and it’s not just for our own pleasure.  God intends for us to use these bodies to his glory and for His purposes.  Yet it can be difficult when it seems as if our bodies are working against us.  We age, we break a leg, we get a cold…so many things.  Shoot the variety of things that can happen is astronomical and for me I have to find the humor in it all or I’d get all self conscious and  stuff.  Nope.  I’ve got a really doozer on my knee where I tripped up some concrete stairs, ripped my jeans and make a bloody mess of my knee.  I just wish I could watch the falls because they have got to be entertaining.

Sometimes falls like that are telling us something that we need to know about our bodies and we aught to take heed to listen to all it is trying to say to us. The aches and pains are all linked to something that a simple glass of water could elevate.  God created our bodies with very little maintenance in mind. It is incredible what we can live through and live without. There was a guy who was stranded on a life raft for over 50 days.  In the beginning he would catch fish and eat the fillets but then after 50 days had passed his appetite changes and he wanted the eyes and the organs  from the fish.  His body desired the nutrition and or proteins.  Didn’t gag or think it was gross.  He craved these usually discarded parts of the fish.  As it sits he was rescued and in relatively good shape.

Our body will tell us what it needs and it will also tell us what it wants – as if what it wants is no less a need than the real needs are. We have to be careful of these.  The sugar and breads and drinks and egg nog…and, and, and. We may not realize what we’ve done to our bodies until after the damage has been done. And who, pray tell, likes to diet?

When it comes to our bodies we are the temple of the holy spirit .  We are the space in which the Holy Spirit lives and we can give to Him a shabby home or a home that honors the incredible God that we serve. Then something happens and we have to go through trusting that the truth of the word about our living vessels is right.  As the chemo comes into the body and it feels un-reasonably attacked.  l pray protection around all of the aspects of the body that need to remain strong and not come to any dooms day conclusion.  Because, last I read, Jesus overcame the world and our physical bodies are covered under the blood.  But I’ve got to use another part of this body to kick that whole process into overdrive. My heart and my mind and my spirit have to agree and speak it into existence.  By the blood of the lamb I am healed. DONE!

Do you think that God created humanity without contingencies and back up plans? There isn’t a medical breakthrough that didn’t start as a thought?   Just an idea based on ones own personal journey or on the journey of someone else close to them the passion for something to work is strong and there’s only a desire to find answers. Not done for personal accolades or applause their motivation is much more streamlined and particular.

God uses us as He grows us up into the men and woman He has called us to be.  He wants for us to catch the message and catch the passion  to choose to think healing and power and sweet blessing.  Sure there is more but these work out just fine for the obedient at heart. As they become a part of who we are we won’t have to think to do them it will come naturally and it won’t be a question of if we’ll pray but when, and how.  It’s never the same.  It’s not like some sort of algebra equation. No, it’s a thing of the spirit.  It’s fluid like the wind and it can have quite the mind of it’s own.  God has been so good to give us all. that we need to make our lives free of pain and difficulty.

We are called to be ambassadors for Christ.  It is not a passive kind of lifestyle.  One will take risks and do things that could make others laugh but we don’t care what every one else thinks.  Once we choose to be like this in the Lord there’s no changing; no going back.

What an adventure!

Psalm 139

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The Mysteries of God

I would venture to guess that one of the most confounding aspects of the Lord is the mysterious aspect.  We want Him to be clear with us and we want Him to be succinct with us.  He gives us a simple answer and somehow we have twisted it to mean something else.  Hanging our dreams on the end of the moon we assume that our interpretation is sound and we shoot for it’s arrival and pending birth into our lives. The mysteries of God can be really confusing.  It appeared as though the only ones that were blessed with the ability to comprehend the seemingly endless line of riddles were His disciples.  They were given the power to understand things that most didn’t understand. So many were listening but only some heard and were able to take His word into the depths of their heart.

I like to know what I’m working with and understand the ins and outs and yet Jesus has told us to come to Him as a little child.  Simple.  Trusting.  Uncomplicated.  Bold.  Kids are very open and then they become adults and the whole world changes.  We struggle to stay trusting and simple minded.  Not stupid.  Not naive.  Just simple.  They don’t need to know what they are working with and understand the ins and outs of things.  They just do and they do a pretty amazing job at it.

The enemy lies to hide things that he uses to torment our lives – or that he is using to try and destroy our lives. We can think that we are covered and have an understanding of an issue in our lives and in truth we are oblivious to the knives he has stabbing in our back, the holes in our finances, the gnawing irritation in our children or spouse…we’re clueless and then it’s too late. We have to pay attention and know what to be tuned into. Often the message is subtle and seems a bit crazy but we need to listen and heed whatever it is that the Spirit is trying to tell us, even if it defies logic and seems ridiculous. We are an active participant in whatever it is that the Lord is doing in our lives.  We don’t just sit and receive from Him.  We take action and won’t know what that action is if we aren’t tuned into the voice of God.

It is meant for us to know the mysteries of God.  He hard wired us when He gave us salvation and baptized us in the Holy Spirit to discern what is the next step for us. Often people are too preoccupied with their own life to hear what is going on in the life of the God who lives within them. God isn’t just some medicine off the shelf or some self help book from the store.  God is real and powerful and beyond our wildest imaginings.  Perhaps that’s why it’s difficult for people to grab onto the amazing power that God has at our disposal. We doubt our ability to be an ambassador for the Lord.  Us heal?  Us deliver?  Us do any of the things that God did? We are so small and so human! Yes, we are, and so were everyone of the disciples!  Just people.  Normal people who listened to Jesus and heard the truth beyond the mystery. Not only that but they chose to put into action all of the mysteries that they were being given and it worked.  What a perfect test of the system.  Jesus sent out the 72 disciples 2 by 2.  While out and about the countryside these pairs of human beings/followers of Christ were casting out demons and healing the sick.  There was nothing they couldn’t do.  When they got back to Jesus they were so excited about how the spirit worked through them.  They felt powerful and felt like what they believed was actually true.  How that must have felt to them.  Jesus is the best boss ever.

What a day that must have been for the disciples.  Learning that in the name of Jesus they became conduits for His power to deliver on all of the promises of God.  How very beautiful and how enriching it had to be for their faith.  When I pray and it prayer is answered quickly I am in awe that God actually heard me and that He chose to honor my request.  I’m so very humbled by His greatness and His love and generosity.  He is such a great God.  The only true and living God.

I do know that  the brain is a very powerful organ and that we can think ourselves into and out of a lot of different corners. Some will utilize the power of meditation and keep God out of the equation.  It is tough for some people to accept Christ as the King when they are used to sitting on the throne of their lives.  Yet when we succumb to the word of God and wash in the water of the word every thought, God is able to do things in and through us that our mortal mind could never do on it’s own.  Probably the hardest part of being a believer is letting go into the arms of the Lord and letting Him do His thing with out our interruption.  We ruin more of the things that God wants to do in our lives than anyone else. Doubt and fear tangle with our hearts making it difficult to surrender into the Lords care and plan.

But when we do, there is nothing in the world quite like it!

Luke 10:1 – After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go.

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