“Mirror, Mirror….”

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Take a look at yourself in a mirror. What do you see? If you are like me, you see flaws. Those tiny little lines forming around your eyes and the corners of your mouth. Maybe you notice a few hairs out of place, or a few gray ones. Maybe you see a scar or puffy eyes. Mirrors are good for showing us the imperfections in our outward appearance.

But how do we see those flaws that exist on the inside?

Take a look through the Bible, look at God’s word and how he expects us to live our lives. Those words are the mirror for our souls. They can show us the blemishes that exist from a life that wasn’t always lived according to God’s purpose. We can reexamine every aspect of our inward selves by reading through the scriptures. It is all there in black and white…and red.

How do you want your image to be reflected when you look into the mirror of God’s word?

 You’re blessed when you stay on course,
walking steadily on the road revealed by God.
You’re blessed when you follow his directions,
doing your best to find him.
That’s right—you don’t go off on your own;
you walk straight along the road he set.
You, God, prescribed the right way to live;
now you expect us to live it.
Oh, that my steps might be steady,
keeping to the course you set;
Then I’d never have any regrets
in comparing my life with your counsel.
I thank you for speaking straight from your heart;
I learn the pattern of your righteous ways.
I’m going to do what you tell me to do;
don’t ever walk off and leave me.  – Psalm 119:1-8

 

 

“This Is Christmas”

Have we lost the reason that we celebrate each year? What is Christmas?

If there never was a savior wrapped in a manger….What is Christmas without Christ?

Remember how the story goes….God’s gift was wrapped in swaddling clothes. Beneath the star, one great and holy night…

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The shepherds heard the angels sing. The wise man brought an offering. Peace on Earth began in Bethlehem…

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What is Christmas? If the angels never sang…Glory to the new born king? What is Christmas without Christ?

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This is Christmas…It’s all about the savior wrapped in a manger.

This is Christmas….because of Jesus Christ.

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 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Lyrics from the beginning of this post are from the song “This Is Christmas” by Kutless. Listen….http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20HoJZecNqM

Merry Christmas everyone!!

“He Did It For Me”

But as for you, continue in what  you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus – 2 Timothy 3:14-15

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I read an interesting quote today which led me to thinking and eventually to writing this post. It said “Are we given children to teach or to be taught?” In other words, there is so much we can learn from our children. Probably as much as they can learn from us. Their little minds are always open. Open to new possibilities, an open heart that can see beyond what we see. As adults we tend to look at everything with a bit of skepticism, doubt or worry. Children see things just as they are and with hope and excitement.

In a way, I saw a lot of what this quote meant when I listened to my own child this week. As I worked around the house last night, my heart smiled as I heard her in her room pretending to be the leader of a bible study. She was reading from her bible and explaining the verses out loud. And she was doing a very good job! I thought to myself how I hadn’t taken time from my own busy schedule for reading God’s word yesterday or the day before. So I sat down and made a little time last night after my freckle-faced inspiration had gone to bed.

She also made me stop and think earlier this week when she turned a Wii game into a thought about Jesus. She was playing a game that required a lot of balance on the Wii board and afterward she remarked how hard it was and it made her arms and legs hurt. Then she said “But that’s nothing compared to what Jesus went through! He had to hold himself up on the cross. That must have been hard. But he did it for me!!” She was so excited as she said it. Yes, he did do all that for her… and me… and all of us and yes it was hard. But where would we be today if he hadn’t? And how different would the world be if we were all on fire for Jesus like that??

Take time to listen to the children in your lives. Remember what it was like to think with a happy heart, a heart that is excited for what Jesus did and for what God can do in our lives. And take time to learn with them.

On the flip side of that, don’t forget about the children who aren’t fortunate enough to know God or have Him in their lives. How can you help them? Invite a child to your church or a youth group : )

 

“Changing the 66%”

There’s this kid. (young man I should say). He’s pretty cool. He likes to goof off and hang out with friends and do the stuff that fourteen year olds do. However, he’s not your average teenager. Statistics show he represents only a third of teenagers in a particular group. This group I’m speaking of is those who believe in God. That means roughly 66% of our teens do not believe God is real, do not pray, do not go to church and do not read the bible. 66%. That’s quite a number.

This young man, Drew, is trying to change that. He wants to make a difference in that percentage. God has laid it on his heart to reach out to those who may not know the written word and he has accepted the challenge and rose to the occasion. I admire him. He is doing something that has and most likely will continue to bring him ridicule and negativity. Does it bother him? I’m sure at times it may. Does it stop him? Absolutely not. No doubt he knows his goal and his reason for doing it and that is a greater reward than any words could ever change.

Drew started a prayer group on Facebook. This was huge for someone his age. His mother shared the story of his group in church and the following day, I joined. As I read through it, I was touched by all that he was doing. It was inspiring to see the praise and encouragement he was giving to his fellow teens (and adults too). As I continued reading though, I was shocked (sort of…honestly a lot of it didn’t surprise me) at the negativity aimed at Drew. There, on his prayer group page, was part of the 66% representing themselves in the cruelest of ways. Foul language and jokes about his faith and beliefs. Being the person he is Drew replied with prayer and scripture suggestions. I can only hope that somehow his words were heard.

His mother also recounted how he called her one day last week from the pool. He wasn’t asking for extra money or a ride home. He wanted her to come to the pool and bring….bibles. Yes, bibles. She admitted she was shocked. When she arrived (stack of bibles in tow), he called his friends over to a table under an umbrella in the corner and right there, at the pool, Drew led an impromptu bible study. He only had five bibles. There weren’t enough to go around so he helped the others download a bible app on their phones. That’s pretty awesome. His mother admits she was still in shock at what was happening, but no doubt was proud. Teenagers (and a couple moms I think) soaking wet, covered in towels sitting there reading the bible and learning a scripture lesson from a fourteen year old.

Could I have done this? Probably not. I’m not sure I would have had the courage. Most of us are afraid of what people will think. Shame on us. We could learn a lot from Drew. He is a true man of God. A warrior for God. Keep it up, Drew. You’re gonna change the world!