Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Have a Mary Merry Christmas

Believe it or not, Charles Spurgeon, the Prince of Preachers, was not a fan of Christmas.  He once said in an early sermon “I hold it to be one of the greatest absurdities under heaven to think that there is any religion in keeping Christmas-day. There are no probabilities whatever that our Savior Jesus Christ was born on that day and the observance of it is purely of Popish origin; doubtless those who are Catholics have a right to hallow it, but I do not see how consistent Protestants can account it in the least sacred.” (#57, December 23, 1855)

However, he did go on to say that the recognition of our Lord’s Birth was certainly a worthwhile exercise.  And nearly a decade later he issued a call for the church to enter this season with a “merriness” that imitates that of Mary.  Here are his words preaching on the text from Luke 1:46-47, on December 25th, 1864

Observe…the sacred joy of Mary that you may imitate it. This is a season when all men expect us to be joyous. We compliment each other with the desire that we may have a “Merry Christmas.” Some Christians who are a little squeamish, do not like the word “merry.” It is a right good old Saxon word, having the joy of childhood and the mirth of manhood in it, it brings before one’s mind the old song of the waits, and the midnight peal of bells, the holly and the blazing log. I love it for its place in that most tender of all parables, where it is written, that, when the long-lost prodigal returned to his father safe and sound, “They began to be merry.” This is the season when we are expected to be happy; and my heart’s desire is, that in the highest and best sense, you who are believers may be “merry.”



Mary’s heart was merry within her; but here was the mark of her joy, it was all holy merriment, it was every drop of it sacred mirth. It was not such merriment as worldlings will revel in to-day and to-morrow, but such merriment as the angels have around the throne, where they sing, “Glory to God in the highest,” while we sing “On earth peace, goodwill towards men.” Such merry hearts have a continual feast. I want you, ye children of the bride-chamber, to possess to-day and to-morrow, yea, all your days, the high and consecrated bliss of Mary, that you may not only read her words, but use them for yourselves, ever experiencing their meaning: “My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior.”

And, yet, Spurgeon revealed his fear that many would not be focusing on just true joy, and ends with a plea for God’s people to join Mary in her merry song.

There will be much music to-morrow which would not chime in with hers. There will be much mirth to-morrow, and much laughter, but I am afraid the most of it would not accord with Mary’s song. It will not be, “My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior.” We would not stop the play of the animal spirits in young or old; we would not abate one jot of your relish of the mercies of God, so long ‘as ye break not his command by wantonness, or drunkenness, or excess: but still, when you have had the most of this bodily exercise, it profiteth little, it is only the joy of the fleeting hour, and not the happiness of the spirit which abideth; and therefore Mary must sing alone, as far as you are concerned. The joy of the table is too low for Mary; the joy of the feast and the family grovels when compared with hers, But shall she sing alone? Certainly not, if this day any of us by simple trust in Jesus can take Christ to be our own. Does the Spirit of God this day lead thee to say, “I trust my soul on Jesus?”



My dear friend, then thou hast conceived Christ: after the mystical and best sense of that word, Christ Jesus is conceived in thy soul. Dost thou understand him as the sin-bearer, taking away transgression? Canst thou see him bleeding as the substitute for men? Dost thou accept him as such? Does thy faith put all her dependence upon what he did, upon what he is, upon what he does? Then Christ is conceived in thee, and thou mayest go thy way with all the joy that Mary knew; and I was half ready to say, with something more; for the natural conception of the Savior’s holy body was not one-tenth so meet a theme for congratulation as the spiritual conception of the holy Jesus within your heart when he shall be in you the hope of glory.



My dear friend, if Christ be thine, there is no song on earth too high, too holy for thee to sing; nay, there is no song which thrills from angelic lips, no note which thrills Archangel’s tongue in which thou mayest not join. Even this day, the holiest, the happiest, the most glorious of words, and thoughts, and emotions belong to thee. Use them! God help thee to enjoy them; and his be the praise, while thine is the comfort evermore. Amen.  (#606


And Amen.  May you like Mary, enjoy a truly Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Go Phil Robertson!

By Cheryl Weldon

I never post anything on a blog.  For one thing I am never on the internet long enough to finish the list of things to do when I finally get to a library or someplace with wi-fi.
        Today however, seems to call for a response.  

     So A&E decides to suspend Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty.  Why are we so suprised?  They are well within their rights to do so.  After all it is their network.
    Now I hope that the future goes well for Duck Dynasty and God continues to bless them.  I have to admit I enjoy their christmas cd and all the shows I have seen on dvd.  Maybe someone else could pick it up or maybe they have done well enough they can market independently.  My family will continue to support them.  
      Are we really suprised this happened?  a&e (no mistake) never said they were a Christian network.  Duck Dynasty promotes a christian lifestyle and some times says it plainly.  There were bound to be issues.  
       Issues.  The real issue is that as a nation we have raised generations of "Christians" who have no morality.  We have tv evangelists who can never keep their pants zipped.  We have pastors and pastors wives who think getting divorced is no big deal as their kids are devastated.  Monogomy.  I am willing to bet the average person does not know the meaning of the word.  
     Issues. Adultery. One of the biggest.  Today there is little differnce between Christians and non Christians and the saddest part of that is seen in marriage.
     Christ gave us marriage between a husband and wife as a picture of the church. Christ is the bride. We,as christians, are the church.  What did christ do for is bride?  He gave up his life for her. HE GAVE UP HIS LIFE FOR HER.  Did you hear me yet? I will say it one more time. He gave up his life for her.  for some reason people go into marriage and think it is no big deal.  When you get married, it is for life.  You are willing to give up your life for your spouse and later for your children.
     Issues.  I will give you issues:  drunkenness, gluttany, murder, child abuse,lying, cheating, laziness, sex outside of marriage, homosexuality, the list could go on and on.
      Issues.  The real issue is that christians want to hold up someonelse's sin so they do not see their own.  The real issue is that most of us christians are living lives in a way so that other people cannot see Christ.  We have the nerve to see sin in someonelse.  God forgive us.
     Phil Robertson never said anything hateful.  Phil Robertson said homosexuality was a sin.  He's right, it is a sin.  It is.  Not because I say so.  Not because Phil said so.  Homosexuality is a sin because God said so.  The Bible says so.  Homosexuality is a sin because God says it is.  He say so plainly in several different places.
     Duck Dynasty isn't perfect but they do not show "Christian perfection."  They show a multi generational family struggling in daily life with decisions of family and business.  Making mistakes and memories to learn from and live by.  I have found it amazing to see the things they forgive each other for.  I wonder if I am so forgiving?
      So how do you respond to a situation like Duck Dynasty and a&e?  are you mad that Phil said it is a sin?  It is. Get over it, or even better go read your bible all the way through. Realize that God saves sinners. He gave up his life for me and I am a sinner saved by Grace.  Praise God that on my worst days I am a sinner saved by the grace of an almighty God.  And  praise God that on my best days I am a sinner saved by the grace of an alimighty God, everlasting father,the prince of peace.  Or are you out there thinking how dare a&e do that to Duck Dynasty, homosexuality is a horrible sin.  Are you going to rant and rave?  People are watching you.  how do you treat others?  how do you treat your pastor, your church, your family?  How did you treat the waitress in the restaraunt when she served you?  How will you respond in long lines in the season of Christ's birth?
    God hates all sin.  All sin is wrong .  The bible also reminds us that no sin is greater than another and ........ Best of all Christ came to seek and to save those who are lost.  That included me when I was 9 years old.  But you can ask my husband and kids and they will tell you that I am still a sinner.  Guess what? So are you.  Thank the Lord that his sacrifice was big enough to cover all of my sin and yours too. 
     Go home and watch Duck Dynasty and then pray for them and me and you because we are not perfect and fail miserably daily.  And yet God in his perfection chose us the imperfect to show and tell of Christ and His salvation for a dying world.

One last note:  I really love how so many episodes of Duck Dynasty show Jase doing something awful to his brother Will and yet at the end of the show instead of a brotherly brawl they have made a family memory.  I want to learn to live like that and to forgive like that.

 So long all y'all.  Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Creation's Telling
The mighty lion roars, a noble eagles soars.
The wolf cries to the moon, praying that our Lord's coming is soon.
Flowers bloom and birds make song, bringing joy to all who come along.
Whales crash and stars sing; praise honor, glory to the King.
Water, wind and sky, answer God's cry.
All creation heeds His call. All but one who's taken a fall.
Man, to whom all was given. To sin by Satan driven.
Driven to rebell and start on the path to hell.
Thinking we were better than God, even though He made us from sod.
He by right should've destroyed us, but instead, He pitied us.
So He sent His Son, to forgive what's been done.
And we... I, put him on a cross go die!
I beat Him, I spat on Him!
I drove nails into Him, brought humiliation to Him!
Yet His words were not of wrath, but of love to put me back on the path.
He died my death, then was laid to rest.
But He arose the victor, forgiving this lowly cur.
That I might come in, He pardoned all my sin.
And now I join creation, in praising the God of my salvation.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Another attempt at poetry(sorta).

Don't be afraid to be a critic on this. I'm not very good.
I call it "Longing for You".
I am longing for you,
Longing to be held by You.
Wanting to see a smile upon Your face,
I’m running to finish the race.
Trying to stay on the path before me,
‘Till the end when I will love You fully.
Others I may hold dear,
Some far and some near.
But none can ever come close.
Through all trials and woes,
You stand strong.
And even when it’s You that I’ve wronged,
You’re willing to forgive.
You give me the desire to live.
I want to bring joy to You, in all that I do.
But so many times, I don’t know how.
All I know is right now,
I’m longing for You.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Kenaniah in Concert

Kenaniah has only been singing with the Sing His Praises Homechool Choir for a couple weeks, but they already had their first "performance."  There was an event at Evangel College on Sunday, and the little guys got to join in.

Here's his debut.  He's right in front, just to the left of the director, looking terrified by enjoying every minute of it!


video

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Vacation!!!!

Went to Table Rock Lake this week with; mom, dad, grandma and grandpa, LoriAnn, KJ and Kenaniah.







Had a blast! Here are a few of my pics from the trip(and NO there aren't any of me!).

Saturday, August 18, 2012

God's beauty in Creation.


Here are some pictures I took yesterday morning. I love being outside in beautiful weather!! Thought I would share them with "y'all".