Sunday, December 28, 2014

A thought on leaving Christmas lights up all year you look like a Christmas tree!?

Christmas lights...some people leave them up all year.  I for one began taking our decorations down on Christmas night!  I began to box ornaments once the last guest closed the door.  The eight trees in my home are proof we love Christmas. This is proof it's not for lack of love for the holiday that we start to un-decorate but because we know it won't be long before we are back to our regular schedules.

This year, I have a new thought on these lights. I almost regret breaking them down.  I have enjoyed the last 32 days with my halls decked so bright.  Every corner was decked with bright Christmas colors since the week of Thanksgiving.  No doubts on our street we are children of the one true King.  Remember my Tim the Tool Man manger scene?  It makes the statement loud and clear we are CHRISTians, right?

So back to un-decorating....our internal lights should not only shine those 32 days but all 365.  Thus, as we undecorate that tree, let's make sure we don't lose our decorations!

Prayers that our life lights don't go dim now that shouting Jesus is the Reason for the Season and defending Merry Christmas over Happy Holiday's is 333 days away.  May we keep that light shining bring within us for Christ so there is no doubt to those who cross our paths that we are children of God the Father-Elohim.

How do we keep those internal Christmas lights shining bright all year long other than sporting this homemade sweatshirt all year? We do this through the decorations in our lives----our words, wisdom, and works.


May our words be a reflection of The Word. May we build others up in our words.  Avoid tearing others down. The old adage "if you don't have anything good to say, don't say anything at all" applies.  I am certainly not saying we don't confront issues with one another biblically but I am saying as Christian brothers and sisters we are to lift each other up not tear each other down.  When we see our sisters and brothers in need, we encourage them.  We take time to listen to one another and to speak life in to one another.  I challenge us to let others see the light of Jesus shining bright in our life.    

1 Thessalonians 5:11 Encourage one another and build each other up...

Ephesians 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 


May we follow and give godly wisdom.  This wisdom comes only from God's word.  May we ensure advice we follow or give lines up with God's word.  We may have lots of knowledge and thoughts on what someone should do, before we speak it, may we seek the Lord to ensure it is His direction and not ours.

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.  

Proverbs 12:15 The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice.

Proverbs 15:31-33 

He whose ear listens to the life-giving reproof Will dwell among the wise. He who neglects discipline despises himself, But he who listens to reproof acquires understanding. The fear of the LORD is the instruction for wisdom, And before honor comes humility.


May our works aka our deeds exemplify the hands and feet of Jesus.  Now, we are clear it's not our works that get us in to heaven, but they do demonstrate who we are in Christ. 

Colossians 3:17And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father.

Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.

In Sandra Wilcher vernacular....If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and talks like a must be a duck. So, if you are a Chrisitian, you should look like one, walk like one and talk like one all year long!  May we all shine bright this year!  I don't wanna look like a duck!  I wann
a look like a CHRISTMAS tree...shining bright for CHRIST!  

Let's leave our internal Christmas lights on all year long!  

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

I don't know who she is....Let others know you KNOW Jesus!

At my office, I hear my name what feels like hundreds of times a day.  Sometimes when I hear someone call out to me or ask where I am, I call out, "I've never heard of her."  For some reason, that never stops people from walking in, starting to talk, asking for help or sharing something with me.  Usually, the only thing it does is cause a brief chuckle or get a response like this  "you are crazy." However, it never stops people from approaching me or continuing with their purpose!  There are few places I go in our town that someone doesn't know who I am because of my job. Ah, the joys of being a social worker. Never a dull moment!

I tried this the other day at home when my kids called out "where's mom?" I said "I have never heard of her."  They both ran to me, told me I was a nut, and continued with what they needed from me.  So denial clearly is not working for me.

Escaping who I am is never going to happen even on my craziest of days.  God created me to serve others, to be His hands and feet, and to tackle some of the craziest of problems.  I actually love it but sometimes a spa retreat seems appealing!  Last night, in my quiet time, I pondered my comment.  "I've never heard of her."  Clearly, a misnomer since I am her!  It took me to a much deeper many times have we denied Christ if not in our words but our actions.

I began to think what is my response to the cross.  When I hear people talking about Jesus do I call out "I KNOW HIM!" or do I remain silent.  When I hear people deny Christ, do I remain silent, do I have a Peter like moment and imply that I do not know Him? 

In Luke 22-After being asked if he knew Jesus,  60 Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” We all know Peter knew Jesus well, He loved Jesus, He served beside Jesus. But suddenly, he was caught in a dangerous know Jesus may cost him his life so in his moment of weakness, denial gripped him.

I suddenly thought of all the times I have seen posts on social media and hesitated in responding because I wanted to be politically correct or avoid offending others. I thought of times I have sat silent when I had plenty of words to say.  Conviction of my silence and lack of actions being indicative of "I do not know Him."  May we not be silent during this CHRISTmas season -- our silence or actions say we don't know Him.  

SO, I do KNOW HIM!  I cannot deny who I am in Christ, I will not deny who I am in Christ. May we exude who He is in us everywhere we go.  It is Merry CHRISTmas not Happy Holidays, it is Jesus' birthday we celebrate.  On someone's birthday, we only celebrate them so let's remember that this is Jesus' birthday.  The song says it so well...Happy Birthday Jesus, we're so glad it's Christmas...all the tinsel and lights and the presents are nice but the real gift is you!

Luke continues---Just as he (Peter) was speaking, the rooster crowed. 61 The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” 62 And he went outside and wept bitterly.

Let's live with no regrets...JESUS we DO know you!  

Peter didn't stop there...he went on to win 3,000 souls to Christ in his first sermon and he was the leader of 12 apostles of Christ fulfilling this truth  Matthew 16:17: "And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it." 

Regardless of any mistakes we have made we can still fulfill God's purpose for us!