Seasonal

Joseph

 

For many of us, this time of year our thoughts are drawn toward the most special event that has ever occurred in the history of our world. 

  • The scene…Bethlehem, the event…the birth of our Savior.
  • The One who was born in a humble stable and was the long anticipated Emmanuel.
  • What a name for those back then, and for each one of us today “GOD WITH US”

Songs, programs, plays, family celebrations have long focused on the familiar participants who appeared on the scene of this beloved, much repeated story.

  • We hear so frequently about His mother Mary.
  • The angles who announced the Baby’s birth.
  • The shepherds who hurriedly went to see the newborn Child.
  • And, later the Wise Men who came to honor this God/Man with precious gifts.

History and people honor the Mother of this Christ Child.

  • They speak of her youth, her purity, her dedication to God.
  • But, what of Joseph of Nazareth?
  • We must remember, he was chosen also for God’s purpose.
  • What kind of man was he?
  • What did he think?
  • More importantly: what did he feel, how strong was his faith, his trust?

I’ve often wonder about him as he watched these momentous events take place in and around his life.

  • I believe he would be a man of great faith with a kind heart.
  • A man full of love and tenderness.
  • He would be courageous, dedicated and protective of those he loved.
  • He wasn’t self absorbed or full of pride.
  • He would be a man of principle, but also a man of strength and action.
  • He would be a man who accepted things he didn’t understand.
  • He was a man of integrity.
  • All of these things and many others describe Joseph.

Jesus came into this world pure and sinless.

  • He lived a sinless life and went to the cross for you and me.
  • According to Scripture Joseph was never mentioned after Jesus reached the age of twelve.
  • It is thought that Joseph died long before Christ began His earthly ministry.

Our Savior was pure in every way.

  • I believe His adopted father Joseph lived a life before Him that was full of character.
  • He demonstrated the best of humanity.
  • Joseph taught Him the value of hard work with the scared hands of a carpenter.
  • But, also showed Him by example the value of a tender heart.
  • Joseph was both a teacher for, and a student of this baby, child, young man; that through a miracle of God entered his life.

Many times on this road of life as Joseph was; we are called upon through faith to accept situations we do not understand.

  • To go forward and be the best we can be.
  • Sometimes in the face of mockery and the rejection of others.
  • You and I have a responsibility to listen, accept, to focus ahead and teach others as Joseph did.
  • An angel from heaven does not come to comfort or lead us.
  • Today, we have the Word of God in our hands to accompany us through whatever path we are destined to follow.

From the beginning of time, God had a perfect plan which was fulfilled in Bethlehem and Jerusalem. 

  • The Babe in the manager that we and others celebrate this season; was brought into this world in a cattle barn by the worn, rough hands of Joseph.
  • Thirty-three years later this baby who grew to be a man, who fulfilled all Scripture; was taken off the cross after His death by the hands of another Joseph.

 

“I believe the Glory of Heaven is lying in my hands tonight” **

**  Joseph’s Lullaby from the Album The Christmas Sessions

      recorded by Mercy Me

 

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Life's Journey

Headlights

 

Have you ever thought about the Headlights of your car and how they relate to your life?

  • I enjoy driving; especially on long distance trips.
  • I know very little about cars and how they operate, but I’m thankful for the convenience and pleasure mine brings to my life.
  • If we are observant, we will see the lessons taught in our simple daily experiences.

Headlights are a vital part of our driving experience.

  • We CANNOT drive through the dark without them.
  • They keep our lives safe when otherwise we cannot see.
  • We may be on a dark, winding road, going through the woods; possibly even a tremendous storm.
  • In our specific experience: we have to be alert to deer jumping out of the woods (which has happened to us many times).

Each of us trusts in the Headlights of our cars.

  • We really can only see as far as the beam lights the way for us.
  • As we arrive at the end of the lit area, the light shines a little further down the road.
  • But, we fly down the road expecting to arrive at our destination safely.
  • We don’t think about the short distance the light casts in front of us or that we won’t arrive at our expected end.

This is the way we need to live our lives.

  • Not worrying about what might or might not happen.
  • Go through each day, week, month, year, the whole of your life a step at a time.
  • You might not see the vast expanse of your whole trip, or what is around the bend.

The unexpected does happen to all of us.

  • Some fear what tomorrow might bring and fail to engage life fully.
  • Too many times we say: “What if, what if, what if.”
  • The way we talk to ourselves does nothing except cripple our hopes, dreams and goals.
  • Believe in tomorrow.
  • Just, as when you jump into your car on a dark night and turn the Headlights on.

Driving a car is faith. Living life is faith. Eternity is faith.

  • We cannot see all the way to the end of our trip.
  • But, we have a trustworthy vehicle, a roadmap and those who will help and guide us.
  • Examine your life.
  • Consider the destination that is ahead of you.
  • Turn your Headlights on and you will be able to see the path ahead of you……..as far as the beams light the way.
  • If you don’t turn the Headlights on, you will always be in the dark.

“If you are the kind of person who is waiting 

for the ‘right’ thing to happen, you might wait a long time.

It’s like waiting for all the traffic lights to be green

for five miles before starting the trip.”

–Robert Kiyosaki

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Life's Journey

What’s The Big Deal?

 

Everyone one of us has experiences, probably on a regular basis, that are unexpected, frustrating, irritating and sometimes can make us down right mad.

  • For me, I get very impatient when stuck in traffic.
  • Somethings we encounter are larger and some are smaller events, but we still let them get under our skin and we over react.
  • Such as: we’re in a hurry to get somewhere and the car won’t start, we’ve misplaced our keys, company’s coming and the sink stopped up, the phone didn’t get charged or just as you are ready to go out the baby spits up.

The list is endless for all of us. We all have experienced over and over Gumperson’s Law.

  • These incidents are just part of living an everyday life.
  • My husband gets sooo very upset at himself when he has “an accident of life” happen to him. Maybe he’s misplaced something. He’ll break a glass or spill something that will fly all over the place.
  • I usually try to sooth his irritation and help clean up the mess.
  • While we are working to put things back in order I tell him: “IT’S NO BIG DEAL” don’t take it so seriously, nothing important has happened. Calm down, everything’s going to be ok.

I remember one time when I went to an orthopedic surgeon.

  • He had been giving me shots in my knee, but this time the pain was so intense that I let out a small cry.
  • He apologized. I remarked to him that it caught me by surprise and that this experience was “just small potatoes.”
  • He gave me a serious look and said: “you’ve got the big picture, don’t you?” 
  • I responded in the affirmative; by that time I had had many real life experiences.
  • From then on any time I met one of his collegues, he always introduced me as his favorite patient.

A while back while visiting with a friend of mine, it was easy to see that she was quite upset and distressed.

  • As I inquired about her problem, she told me her mother had  a health issue that MIGHT be cancer.
  • My friend had worked herself up into an emotional state that included losing her mother before too long.
  • We talked and I encouraged her to take it a step at a time. Wait for tests and more definitive news.
  • If the news was not good she could concentrate on crossing one bridge at a time; not all of them at once.
  • As it turned out her mother didn’t have cancer.

We all fall prey to the fear of the unknown, but that is not the place to stay even for the short term.

  • Trust that things will turn out right.
  • If they don’t, then ask for strength to face whatever is before you and get going to do whatever is required to conquer the situation and come out on the other side.

Most of the time I have learned not to let the little things get to me anymore.

  • I must confess though, when something major happens I may find myself stunned for a little while.
  • But then as reality hits, I gather my thoughts, put myself back together, look to my faith and start down the path to meet whatever situation is ahead of me.

When it comes to the various little experiences of life, stop and say to yourself: “IT’S NO BIG DEAL.” Save your energies for the things that are A BIG DEAL.

 

“Worrying is like a rocking chair.

It gives you something to do,

but won’t get you anywhere.”

 

(Response of a 17 year old boy from Firestone, CO when asked this question:

What is the best piece of advice you ever received?)

   

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Life's Journey

Opportunities

 

This post may sound strange to some of you.

  • The circumstances of my life’s journey has found me to be alone quite a bit of the time.
  • There have been many highs and some lows.
  • People have come into and departed from my life.
  • Through it all I became an observer and a thinker.
  • Everything that happens to us in this life is a teaching experience; both for ourselves and others.

I have the habit of highlighting or saving some things that I read.

  • I also jot down notes and dates of anything that speaks to me.
  • Thus, you have the quotes that I use at the end of each post.
  • In this area, organization is not my greatest attribute.
  • There are too many notes and ideas of various sizes in several places.
  • But when I am attracted to a subject, I usually find what I need.

That brings us to “OPPORTUNITIES.”

  • The thoughts of this post were easy to find. I wrote them in the front of my Bible.
  • I was sitting in the choir (on a Sunday) listening to our pastor’s message.
  • Have no idea what he said, but whatever it was my mind was led down a specific path.
  • Before I lost my train of thought I quickly wrote them down.

PROBLEMS ARE NOT PROBLEMS, THEY ARE OPPORTUNITIES.

They are opportunities to learn

They are opportunities to grow

They are opportunities to listen

They are opportunities for faith

They are opportunities to minister

WOW. Just now in typing these five lines, I have made a personal discovery.

  • It is time to divert from where this post was originally going.
  • I am once again confronted with my water shed experience on this road which we call life.

In the mountains of Colorado there is a specific altitude area which is called the Continental Divide.

  • In past years my husband, myself and our children have crossed over that Divide many times.
  • It is the point in the United States that determines whether ALL rain water will flow east to the Atlantic Ocean or west to the Pacific Ocean.
  • Everything rises to and flows down from that peak.
  • In short, it determines the water shed of the United States.
  • Most of my life I applied myself to grow toward what was my destiny.
  • Unexpectedly that peak was reached and everything has flowed downward from that time forward.

Without giving it much thought, I have just discovered these short phrases written down years ago “OPPORTUNITIES” are both the challenge and in many ways the basis of my life.

  • These quickly recorded ideas were written on February 22, 1987.
  • The next day February 23rd would be my husband’s and oldest daughter’s birthday.
  • Sixteen months later on June 23,1989 we buried our precious eldest child. WOW….when lest expected we are confronted with the thoughts and ideals of our lives.
  • WOW, WOW, WOW. Now, it was the appointed time for me to live out the words that I believed and shared with others.

THEY ARE OPPORTUNITIES TO LEARN.

  • I learned God was real and His Word was true.
  • For myself He became a “Wonderful Counsellor” *(Isaiah 9:6).
  • He revealed Himself to me in an unusual and personal way.
  • I learned morning always comes after the darkest night.
  • I learned to stand more strongly on His promises.
  • l learned that the principles that were the foundation of my life must be lived out for others.
  • In short, “practice what you preach.”

THEY ARE OPPORTUNITIES TO GROW.

  • I had to become a big girl now. It was necessary for me to become the family rock.
  • In three weeks time our immediate family absorbed three blows.
  • My husband had just had major surgery and was still in a weakened condition.
  • Our middle child had just gotten out of a long stay in the hospital (trying to give birth to a seven months baby); was confined to home on an IV.
  • Our oldest had an automobile accident which took her life.
  • We quickly had to fly out of state to join our son-in-law and make funeral arrangements.

A week later when my family flew home, I stayed behind with our loved “son” to take care of a precious six months old baby boy; until this young husband and father, which we loved, could finish his job and move back into town where his parents would be able to help him with the baby.

Yesterday was gone and there was a new family dynamic that needed to be created. Had to let go of so many things in life that are unimportant. The things that we cling to both emotionally and physically. I now knew for sure that life is to be lived “one day at a time.” We never know what tomorrow will bring, so we must look for the best in each day. There was no choice but to go forward one step and one day at a time. That was imperative for me….for others were watching and following.

THEY ARE OPPORTUNITIES TO LISTEN.

  • Once back at home it was time to really start my journey through grief.
  • It seemed that I just couldn’t settle down and read anything; even my Bible, so…..I listen a lot; mostly to music.
  • Sometimes just the majestic music of the old masters.
  • At times the music of our day.
  • Music with beautiful instrumentals or maybe with words that were encouraging.
  • It might be secular or gospel music.
  • I listened to good teachers on the radio.
  • I heard men and women speak who had to travel difficult roads.
  • Most of the time I just listen to God. He was always there, especially in the silent times.
  • I love the scripture in the Old Testament where King David says: “I just came to sit before you Lord.”

THEY ARE OPPORTUNITIES FOR FAITH.

  • This was a unknown path. Above all else on this new journey, God must be honored.
  • My faith grew immensely. You see “I had walked through the valley of the shadow of death” and “His rod and staff had comforted me.”  *(Psalm 23:4).
  • There were many alone days when my heart would ache almost more that I could stand.
  • God was my refuge and help. I would go “boldly to the throne of grace to find help in my time of need.” *(Hebrews 4:16).
  • Many times I told God “I’m not going to look into the future and the experiences with my child that will never be, but with You I can do this TODAY.”
  • I’m so thankful that what they say are the many stages of grief, I skipped.
  • Acceptance was there at the beginning…..because of faith.

These next few words are for the skeptics and non-believers. Read them clearly and understand what they say: FAITH IS NOT A CRUTCH, IT IS STRENGTH. The way to be strong is to let go of yourself and choose to put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ as your personal Savior.

“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.” *(Titus 2:11)

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but, have everlasting life…For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved…He that believeth on Him is not condemned; but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” *(John 3:16-18)

“For by grace are ye saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift…not from works, so that no one can boast.” **(Ephesians 2:8-9)

I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows Me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.” **(John 8:12)

“But these are written so that you may believe Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and by believing you may have life in His name.” **(John 20:31)

“There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people by which we must be saved.” **(Acts 4:12)

“If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved…With the heart one believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth one confesses, resulting in salvation.” **(Romans 10:9-10)

“The Lord does not delay His promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance.” **(2 Peter 3:9)

“I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” *(John 10:10)

To those of you who do not believe this, I only ask one thing. Take time to think about what has been said and the Scriptures given. Basically, we are strangers, but you are in my thoughts and I am someone who cares about you and your life choices. Feel free to comment or ask questions. I don’t have all the answers, but have learned many things about what and Who is true.

THEY ARE OPPORTUNITIES TO MINISTER.

  • Once you have traveled a difficult path you have been given the gift of guiding others who are at the beginning of the same road.
  • You go along side of them and whisper in their ear: “I made it through and you will too. Others have walked this same road and called back….the walk will get easier, the night will be gone, the tears will diminish, the sun will shine again, you will remember once more how to sing and laugh.”
  • But you must listen to this warning. You cannot comfort someone going through a painful experience with the words: “I know how you feel and what you are going through.” This statement can only be uttered by those who have truly had the experience.

Again, I say WOW. This post certainly and quickly led me in an unplanned direction. Absorb these words for they are life and truth. I leave you with the words from a book that comes to my thoughts frequently. They simply say:

“In acceptance lieth peace.”

(Hannah Hurnard)

 

“The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and He knoweth them that trust in Him.”  **(Nahum 1:7)

 

*King James Version

**Holman Christian Standard Version

 

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Life's Journey, Seasonal

The Song The Angels Sang

 

…..December 20, 2014

 

What is this that I hear?  

A sound like never heard before.  

Yet, if I am still and listen, 

Something begins to take form in the emptiness of my life.

And I can begin to hear the music.

 

  • It’s a new song, never heard before.
  • It’s the song planned ever since the world was formed.
  • It’s a song that came to earth because of the garden.
  • It’s the song of the season.
  • It’s a song of a gift given.
  • It’s a song of celebration.
  • It’s a song for you and me.
  • It’s a song of peace.
  • It’s a song of joy.
  • It’s a song of forgiveness.
  • It’s the song of eternity.
  • It’s the song the angels sang to the shepherds
  • It’s a song of goodwill to all men.
  • It’s a song of prophecy.
  • It’s a song all can hear if they listen.
  • It’s a song of restoration.
  • It’s the song of redemption.

 

Isaiah 9:2 & 6        “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined…… For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”    **

Luke 2:8-15

2:8…………The message was first given to the common people

2:9-10…….Fear not, it’s good tidings of great joy

2:11………..It’s a message of good news to all mankind

 

Romans 5:1  “There is no other name by which we may be saved”    

Matthew 28:5-6    ”And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified……He is not her for He is risen, as He said.  Come, see the place where the Lord lay.”   

 

This is the Song the Angels sang.  The song of hope and of a destiny for those who hear the music and accept it’s message.

IT CAN BE YOUR SONG.

 

“Faith consists in believing

when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.”

(Voltaire)

** kjv

 
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