Saturday, December 20, 2014

Quotation Saturday ~ Christmas



Luke 2:13-14 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

CHRISTMAS

“And when we give each other Christmas gifts in His name, let us remember that He has given us the sun and the moon and the stars, and the earth with its forests and mountains and oceans--and all that lives and move upon them. He has given us all green things and everything that blossoms and bears fruit and all that we quarrel about and all that we have misused--and to save us from our foolishness, from all our sins, He came down to earth and gave us Himself.”
~ Sigrid Undset

“How many observe Christ's birthday! How few, His precepts!”
~ Benjamin Franklin

“I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.”
~ Charles Dickens

“There are many things from which I might have derived good, by which I have not profited, I dare say,' returned the nephew. 'Christmas among the rest. But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round -apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that- as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!”
~ Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

“Don’t spoil Christmas Day by anticipating how it will be. Let is unfold as it does, and be grateful for whatever comes.”
~ Toni Sorenson

“Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!”
~ Dr. Seuss

“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.”
~ Laura Ingalls Wilder

“Christmas can be celebrated in the school room with pine trees, tinsel and reindeers, but there must be no mention of the man whose birthday is being celebrated. One wonders how a teacher would answer if a student asked why it was called Christmas.”
~ Ronald Reagan

“Want to keep Christ in Christmas? Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, forgive the guilty, welcome the unwanted, care for the ill, love your enemies, and do unto others as you would have done unto you.”
~ Steve Maraboli

“I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“As Christmas day unfolds in strips of ribbons and bows, I’m reminded of Christ and His birth, when the Glorious King came to earth wrapped in swaddling clothes.”
~ Joni Zipp

“And in despair I bowed my head;
"There is no peace on earth," I said;
"For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!"

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth he sleep!
The Wrong shall fail,
the Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men!”
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Thursday, December 18, 2014

I'm Alive!



Num. 23: 8 How shall I curse, whom God hath not cursed? or how shall I defy, whom the LORD hath not defied?

The season of JOY is in full swing and I’m so happy to be alive.

We went to see the movie Exodus Tuesday night and it was the first time that we’ve been out alone in a very long time, nine or ten years? Yeah that’s about right. We don’t get out much not only because of funds but because seriously there is nothing out there that I so desperately need to see.

Exodus was an exception. I had heard it was a good movie and when someone says it’s good we usually wait for it to come out on DVD to see the product of what people are talking about.

The movie Noah had some pretty bad reviews so we didn’t waste our time on it. God’s Not Dead received pretty good reviews and we’re thinking about purchasing and now Exodus? A lot of excitement surrounds the Moses story so we wanted to see for ourselves what Hollywood is doing or not doing for our Lord.

Christian Bale was chosen for the role and I would have much rather had Jim Caviezel, who played Christ in Passion of Christ in the role, but Bale would have to suffice. Although Bale lost his English accent quite a few times, he didn’t do a bad job of Moses and bringing him to life for me. (English accent, really?)

To me the movie Exodus was a darker version of the all time favorite version with Charlton Heston in The Ten Commandments. The images were not as colorful and vibrant but then again, do we really believe the Bible stories are all about Rainbows and Unicorns? No, the Bible can be pretty dark at times and I think Hollywood pulled this one off. Is it biblically sound? Well you’ll just have to see for yourself. I didn’t leave the movie laughing at the fabled lies like the Noah movie drew; I left feeling… ALIVE!

Then the drive home -- I despise nighttime driving no matter who is behind the wheel and Tuesday night was no exception. The roads have no streetlights so basically you’re driving blind down a narrow dirt road until high beams are spotted. With what felt like a never ending constant swerving at a high-speed journey home, (the speed limit is 60 MPH) my prayers were being said the entire time and you guessed it, we made it home ALIVE!

Three times this month we had a near miss car collision – once when Steven was driving north into Gibbon and a white pickup was heading east. He had a stop sign and Steven had the right of way but the truck just kept coming through the stop sign. Steven pressed hard on his brakes to avoid a collision, leaving a nice skid mark on the road and the man driving the pickup looked at us like WE had done something wrong. The incident almost put us toppled in a ditch but the Lord was just not ready for us yet.

Adam had three incidents in his learning to drive so far. Once when a lady was backing up out of her driveway, again not looking to see if any cars were coming. A good horn-honking stopped her abruptly. Then a red light runner almost hit us. Then yesterday a company van was trying to hurriedly get through a stop sign to beat an oncoming truck as an 18 wheeler passed. He didn’t see us because he was waiting for the cattle truck to pass, then speed up and make it to the other side of the crossing only WE were there on the other side of the cattle truck. He came within less than a foot of ramming Adam in the driver’s side. Adam had the right of way and the van was just in a hurry to get across the road.

Here lately, it seems like the world is in a state of defiance where they don’t feel the need to obey traffic laws or any laws for that matter. Very similar to the days when Moses was trying to free the Hebrews and they became restless and tired of ‘waiting’ for God.

People are taking the Law into their own hands and it looks like their trying to wipe my family out but my patience of waiting on the Lord is my saving grace and we were spared death.

Thank you Sweet Jesus!

Rom. 6:11 “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”




Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Dislike Button?



Well we know THAT won’t happen because of the state the nation is in right now. We’re divided, we’re colorized and we’re full of DISLIKE for more than we LIKE.

I was thinking of writing to Mr. Zuckerburg to offer some suggestions for a ‘possible’ dislike button. While the Like button, introduced in February 2009, is used up to 4.5 billion times each day, I’m sure I have a few friends who have used half of those millions in one week.

I personally think the LIKE button is as demeaning as Mr. Zuckerburg feels the DISLIKE button would be. Maybe the like button was for you to feel good about yourself, but not much unlike being in a schoolyard with surrounding friends, when one child is left in the corner with NO ONE liking them, it can begin to feel very isolating; intentional or unintentional.

Here’s my ideas:

Instead of a like/dislike button, why not have a like button with options? It hurts (yes truly hurts my heart) to see people announce the death of a loved one and people LIKE it? I think they’re trying to express emotion without actually using WORDS of condolences. Emoticons can only do so much. A heart symbol means love, it doesn’t mean an offering of sympathy, empathy, prayer or agreement. Simply put emoticons display emotions of love, happy, sad, angry and so on.

When I purchase an item online I’m often asked when giving a review of the product--
Do you: LIKE, NOT SO MUCH, AGREE, or DISAGREE. I think the like button on facebook should be upgraded with the changing trends of this world. Give us options.

Just like those questions on products, facebook offers a place to ‘leave a message’; many choose not to express emotions and click the LIKE button for no apparent reason other than clicking to acknowledge that they saw the post.

When a review is left for a product, again we’re given options:
Was this review helpful yes or no.
Quite simple. We’re given options!

I think Mr. Z is apprehensive for fear of it affecting advertisements, trolls, and bullies. We have options whether we want to SEE the ads, or choices of what we DON’T MIND seeing, so why can’t the LIKE button express more emotion. Facebook is an emotionally driven site. We need more than emoticons, again, they just don’t cover it all! We need choices!

If Mr. Z is afraid of the downside of a DISLIKE button, why not take the LIKE button away completely and replace it with the silly emoticons? Then when someone dies, the emoticon with tears can express what the person wants to say. If someone disagrees with a post, the angry face emoticon, smiley will replace LIKE, and a heart will signify LOVE. THEN a person can actually feel free to use WORDS to convey their joy, sadness, sympathy or love for a post in the message box.
An example: Joni received – 5 smiley faces, five angry faces, 1 million hearts. Okay I exaggerated the hearts a bit.

Here’s another suggestion for FRIENDS. Have you ever seen a person with over 300 – 800 or even a thousand friends? What is up with THAT? Do they seriously know these people or are they friend thieving? Jumping on the grab-a-friend-of-a-friend bandwagon?

I love the LISTS. We can name them and then click on what we see in our feed. I have a WRITER list and view what my writing friends are posting. My suggestion is this, what can people see on my wall? That option is FRIENDS ONLY which kind of stinks if you have a bandwagon of friends. I would LOVE to see OPTIONS of who can see this! FAMILY, friends, close friends, etc. Not too hard but apparently Mr. Z wants us sharing with total, possibly stalking strangers! Just because a friend APPEARS nice, is not always the case when he begins stalking you now is it?

We live in a techno text world, one I am not accustomed to in any way. If I go to a page and see a bunch of txt lingo I click away from it quicker than you can blink an eye. I will not be dragged into trying to interpret what people are TRYING to say. Can’t people write WORDS anymore? Can’t people express themselves like normal people? I have one or two friends who actually uses words, it’s comforting to know out of millions of people caught up in this age of technology, I can find two or even three that still use words to express their emotions.

Mr. Z, something needs to change. The site is no longer a social friendly service for teens, it is a community of adults overwhelmed by not being able to express themselves. If the emoticons do it for people, give them what they want. Me, I’ll just keep writing for myself. “Better to write for myself and have no public, than to write (and be a showcase) and have no SELF!”


Here! Here!

 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

My Christmas Countdown


1 Chron 29: 9 Then the people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly, because with perfect heart they offered willingly to the LORD: and David the king also rejoiced with great joy.

I don’t know if everyone looks at their calendars and counts down the days until the arrival of Christmas but the child in me still looks forward to the day. I don’t know why; I’m not expecting anything special but just the leading up to the day itself carries an aura of joy and happiness.

I had the audacity to go shopping Saturday kind of forgetting the hustle and bustle that people put into this season. I went early thinking it safe but boy was I wrong. I can see why people become humbug after experiencing the joyful blissful spiritual feelings of Advent to be tossed into the raging sea of people only to be spit out and tossed onto the shore.

The real reason I went shopping on Saturday was because they are calling for some wild and crazy weather this week. Saturday was a cloudy 55-degree day and felt downright warm so with teaching Adam to drive, I thought this would be a good day to venture out on the roads.

We did fine until he hit the traffic congestion. I don’t know about you when you first learned to drive but throwing obstacles like New York City traffic at you when you barely know the stop signs and red/yellow/green light signals; it proved not to be a good idea.

I picked up a few things as quickly as possible, left the store and got behind the wheel myself, meandered through even more congested traffic and brought us home safely. I couldn’t believe I pushed Adam into such crazy traffic. I know I know, he HAS to experience it but the nose-to-tail jamming of two lanes was too soon. All turned out okay because we made it to our safe haven where we could relax and enjoy the rest of the day.

Since we’re not rolling in the dough, our Christmas, just as Christmas’ past, are meager but joy-filled. THAT is what the season is all about to me, the JOY of the season. If I do decide to buy something I prefer to do it online, but there are some things you just can’t buy online. While people tried to rob me of my joy, I kept it intact and sit here today feeling good, not having overspent, enjoying the lights and pleasantness of an over commercialized season.

I woke yesterday morning to a blanket of white covering the lawn and walkway. I read the weather before bed and it said possible snow/sleet/rain but I was not expecting it to be a beautiful layer of the white stuff. It’s God’s gift to me. Thank you, Lord!

Yes, I see the Lord in everything and all my experiences are gifts from Him. Whether it is a trial or a blessing, I cradle my humbleness in my heart and allow Him to work through my daily living. This is the season of joy, this is the season of life. In nine more days it will all be over? Or will it? Not for me because I carry this season in my heart year round.
My gift to Him this season is the celebration of His life and power instilled in me!

Oh wait…it isn’t the ‘season’ that brings me joy it is God’s immense love for me! He fills me with the Holy Spirit and walks with me through dark tunnels, sunny days, gray skies and starlit nights. Nothing fake, mean or humbug about that. He is the joy that overflows my spirit daily. Praise be to God.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Quotation Saturday


1 Cor. 4:14 I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you.


 CHARMING
All charming people have something to conceal, usually their total dependence on the appreciation of others.
~ Cyril Connelly

“With mortal age comes the immense need for childish charms. Like a fine wine, sweetens with maturity.”
~ Rae Lori

“Don't rush to design your face to look beautiful, attractive and charming. Rather, be quicker to decorate your mind to appear as goal-oriented, passion-embedded and action-driven.”
~ Israelmore Ayivor

“If you look up "charming" in the dictionary, you'll see that it not only has references to strong attraction, but to spells and magic. Then again, what are liars if not great magicians?”
~ Deb Caletti

DECEITFUL

“It's discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit.”
~ Noël Coward

“The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.”
~ William Shakespeare

“Mindfulness helps us get better at seeing the difference between what’s happening and the stories we tell ourselves about what’s happening, stories that get in the way of direct experience. Often such stories treat a fleeting state of mind as if it were our entire and permanent self.”
~ Sharon Salzberg, Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation

“Never pretend to be something you are not, especially to be accepted. Be loved for who you are, it will be tough at times but worth it.”
~ Isabella Poretsis

CONSCIENCE

“There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.”
~ Martin Luther King Jr.
“Your conscience is the measure of the honesty of your selfishness.
Listen to it carefully.”
~ Richard Bach

“The Roots of Violence: Wealth without work, Pleasure without conscience, Knowledge without character, Commerce without morality, Science without humanity, Worship without sacrifice, Politics without principles."
(Young India, 22 October 1925)”
~ Mahatma Gandhi

“Through pride we are ever deceiving ourselves. But deep down below the surface of the average conscience a still, small voice says to us, something is out of tune. ”
~ C.G. Jung

PRIDE

“A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you.”
~ C.S. Lewis

“Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need. ”
~ Khalil Gibran

“All men make mistakes, but a good man yields when he knows his course is wrong, and repairs the evil. The only crime is pride.”
~ Sophocles

“When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures bristling with prejudice and motivated by pride and vanity.”
~ Dale Carnegie

BELOVED

“Over the years, I have come to realize that the greatest trap in our life is not success, popularity, or power, but self-rejection. Success, popularity, and power can indeed present a great temptation, but their seductive quality often comes from the way they are part of the much larger temptation to self-rejection. When we have come to believe in the voices that call us worthless and unlovable, then success, popularity, and power are easily perceived as attractive solutions. The real trap, however, is self-rejection. As soon as someone accuses me or criticizes me, as soon as I am rejected, left alone, or abandoned, I find myself thinking, "Well, that proves once again that I am a nobody." ... [My dark side says,] I am no good... I deserve to be pushed aside, forgotten, rejected, and abandoned. Self-rejection is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life because it contradicts the sacred voice that calls us the "Beloved." Being the Beloved constitutes the core truth of our existence.”
~ Henri J.M. Nouwen

“Define yourself radically as one beloved by God. This is the true self. Every other identity is illusion.”
~ Brennan Manning

“To ignore, repress, or dismiss our feelings is to fail to listen to the stirrings of the Spirit within our emotional life. Jesus listened. In John's Gospel we are told that Jesus was moved with the deepest emotions (11:33)... The gospel portrait of the beloved Child of Abba is that of a man exquisitely attuned to His emotions and uninhibited in expressing them. The Son of Man did not scorn or reject feelings as fickle and unreliable. They were sensitive antennae to which He listened carefully and through which He perceived the will of His Father for congruent speech and action.”
~ Brennan Manning


Friday, December 12, 2014

Christmas Celebration


Rom. 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Why do we celebrate Christmas?

The first Christian celebration of Christmas was December 25, 336 AD. The very earliest of Christians like Peter and Paul and the people of that time did not celebrate Jesus’ birth on December 25th. I may have been right in assuming that in fact Jesus was born in late April
Notice the final paragraph on that page.

Christmas seems to be a pagan holiday twisted and turned into this commercialized vehicle and I seriously don’t know why I celebrate it except that for the fact I have been conditioned and brainwashed into celebrating just because ‘everyone else is doing it’.

Through researching Christmas as you can imagine, I came upon a plethora of pages and links that I clicked until my eyes burned. As with any religious searches on the internet it is no wonder people come up confused with what is fact and fiction. 

When I grew up and became the religious freak that I am, religious celebrations took on new meaning to me. The rebel in me did not celebrate the Holy Days like everyone else; it was my way of not conforming to what the world tried to program in me. Sure I have a tree but to me it is a symbol of life and death and to commemorate a holy day that has been celebrated for centuries. The lights signify the Light within. Ornaments are a display of memories throughout the years. Giving became a year round ritual of the giving of all of me, but on Christmas it became a ritual of what people ‘expected’. Please know, I am conformed by the Holy Spirit.

I often hear people say ‘Remember the reason for the Season’, but do they themselves even KNOW the reason for the season? Have they done ANY research as to why we call the day the ‘Day of Jesus’ birth’? Do they even care?

In my eyes, the people of the world have conformed to the world, they’re happy with being led around by the falsity in life. I’m okay with that but don’t expect ME to conform to the worlds programming.

The Christmas tree IS a holiday tree. Are you putting it up to commemorate Christ? Did Christ have a Christmas tree? Or is the Christmas tree just a traditional politically correct term that you expect the entire world to follow?

We’re so caught up in our own pre-programmed belief system that when the truth comes along it looks like a foreign plague that we cannot and will not be a part of. This year as the world celebrates Christmas, I will be reminded of the TRUE reason for the Season.
Luke 2:7-14 “And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Dominion


Eph. 6:12-18 -
[12] For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
[13] Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
[14] Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
[15] And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
[16] Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
[17] And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
[18] Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
[19] And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
[20] For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.


We wrestle against rulers of this world through lies, deceit, commercialism, buying into the falsity that is fed us by the ladle-full.

What hand do you have in participating in this deception of innocent souls? Taking on the whole armor of God is not telling you to wear God when He’s convenient and fits into your lifestyle.

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, is not a casual affirmation, it is a deep down spirit-filled prayer that ripples through your body and becomes a part of who you are as you wrestle with the evils of this world.

The wrestling match is on – good or bad, dark or light, up or down. Free will allows us to choose – there is no place for lukewarm, indecision or maybe.

Since living in the safety of the armor means oneness with Jesus, we can expect to share His struggles as well as His peace. Remember, God offers us His victory in the midst of trouble -- not the absence of pain. So "do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you, but rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ..." (1 Peter 4:12-13) ~ Eternal Crossroads

Begin your day as a journey with Christ knowing full well you are safe in His hands. Wrestle with the enemy to keep yourself on the straight and narrow road you must travel.
 
God be with you all.

Silent Protocol

Silent Protocol
Angel Always...godspeed

Sunshine Award

Sunshine award