Thursday, December 31, 2009

Another New Year

Years ago we had colourful bantam chickens as part of our ‘pet’ barnyard. They had the run of the yard and their own little hen-house with nest boxes and a night roost above the ground where they loved to sleep.

One year we decided we wanted some baby ducks and bought some fertilized eggs.

Rather that incubate them under lights we ‘hired’ our bantam hen to do the job. She and her mate were delighted with the whole surrogate parenting thing and faithfully kept those eggs warm.

In due time the eggs successfully hatched and you never saw parents more proud of their ‘chicks’.
They didn’t seem to notice that their ‘chicks’ grew too big too quickly making it rather difficult, and quickly impossible, to fit them all under Mother Bantam's little wings.

The day the 'chicks' found our pond and instinctively went for a swim, Mr. and Mrs. Bantam realized that they had some severely challenged offspring. They clucked wildly from the edge of the pond and reluctantly the ducklings returned to their parents perplexed at what all the fuss was about.

The real problem arose when the parents decided the ‘chicks’ were big enough to join them on the roost for night. They demonstrated the flight up and squawked for the ‘chicks’ to join them.
The ducklings looked up in confusion and found no responding desire in themselves to ‘roost’. Somehow they knew webbed feet were not going to be able to balance on nor grasp the wooden rod.

We watched in amusement as every night the Mother Bantam tried to coax her ‘chicks’ to join her on the roost. Up she flew, then down and up again , clucking instructions the whole time.
She seemed to be convinced that if they watched long enough they would surely catch on.
They would/could not.

Finally, she just decided to sleep with her children on the ground rather than leave them alone and afraid.

I thought what a beautiful picture this was of what God did for us.

We could not come up to Him. Our sin ‘webbed’ our soul and we could no longer grasp His holiness.
So what did God do, but come down to us, to live among us where we were comfortable, rather than leave us alone and afraid.

John 3:13 No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.
John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

We are approaching another new year.
We look back on the year that is past and in hindsight view the blessings and the trials.
We do not know what the new year will bring.... but as Christians we have an anchor. We have a God who cared enough about us to come down to dwell among us. He gave us every promise that He would see us through whatever comes our way.

We need not fear the new year, because we know God has already passed through the year and prepared it for us. He has not left us to walk here alone. He has come down to walk with us. His Holy Spirit lives within us and is our trustworthy guide.

May this be our song throughout 2010,
Isa 12:2 ...Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; 'For YAH, the LORD, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation.' "

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wishing YOU a Blessed Christmas!

I learned something this year that I had not heard before....
Always in my mind the shepherds to whom the angel appeared with the Good News were men. But someone explaining the customs of that time said that the shepherds were always the old or the feeble , women and children, or the youngest boy in the family - shepherding was a lowly job.
I don't know who the shepherds were, since we are not told in scripture, but is it not like God to give more to those who are thought less of in their society?

How exciting it must have been to those shepherds, in the midst of another endless night of watching sheep to suddenly have the heavens open to them with the most glorious display!
It always moves me when I think of God purposely choosing the poor, the weak, the ordinary to display His glory to or give His special gifts !
There truly is no respecter of persons with God -- unless it is in favor of those the world rejects.
Isn't it reassuring to know that we need never fear that we are not 'good enough' to approach God ?
In sending His Son ... He sent an open invitation to you and me - no matter who we are - to come into His Presence!
Read the words of that beautiful story of the shepherds ... again ... and imagine YOU are one of them.. Imagine what it must have been like that glorious night !

Luk 2:8-20 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.
Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.
For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, 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, goodwill toward men!"
So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, "Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us."
And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.
Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child.
And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.
Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.

I wish you a very blessed, glorious Christmas season. May you with the shepherds of old rejoice over the good news that is still the best news man has ever heard !!!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

What is Love?

Art Linkletter once asked a four year old boy the question, "What is love?"
He answered with a child's insightfulness.
"When someone loves you they say your name differently.
Your name is safe in their mouth."
This is the Christmas season, when love is expressed in many ways. Love is shown in our gifts, our family reunions, our cards, our generosity to those less fortunate than ourselves.

Though we sing the old Christmas Carols that speak of that first Christmas so long ago,

and though we wish one another a 'Merry Christmas',

it seems that most people celebrating Christmas have forgotten

that Jesus is the reason for the season.

The world has forgotten that His reason for coming was LOVE.

He came to dwell among us so we could see God's love toward mankind.

Did you ever stop to think that His love for you is such that your name is safe in His mouth ?

Isa 43:1 But now, thus says the LORD, who created you,... And He who formed you...."Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine.


is His name safe in your mouth?

Is his name at times a swear word in your mouth,

or do you speak reverently when His name is on your tongue?

Do you speak His name in love,

or do you speak carelessly about Him, not careful to give Him the honor due His name?

John, at the end of his gospel tells us that the reason

why the wonderful things about Jesus were written down.

John 20:31 "but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name."

It is in the beautiful name of Jesus that we have been given 'eternal life' ,

the "right to be called the children of God"


Let us remember, not just this Christmas season, but every day

how majestic is the name of Jesus.

May His name always be 'safe' in our mouths.


Sunday, December 6, 2009

What Changes?

I stood on my patio the other day looking at the valley view.
The valley, with its farms against the backdrop of the surrounding mountains, never changes but how many times I run for my camera to catch yet another photo of how drastically the weather can change the view from my patio.

As I stood and gazed, I thought about how my patio view portrayed how this worlds 'weather' changes the way we view God.

When our skies are tinted with the pink of evening and peace settles over our world, we find it easy to find God and thankfulness arises in our hearts.
Psa 72:3 "The mountains will bring peace to the people, And the little hills, by righteousness. "
But sometimes darkness settles over our life. We question, we struggle, bad things happen. We cannot see where we are going. And yet even then there are lights in the darkness, a friend... a song... a comforting scripture....we know God is there.
Psa 18:28 "For You will light my lamp; The LORD my God will enlighten my darkness. "

The summer days of our life are good. We enjoy the richness of God's blessings, our future looks bright and promising . It is easy to trust that God's love covers us.
Psa 21:3 "For You meet him with the blessings of goodness; You set a crown of pure gold upon his head. "

I love the 'snow' that covers... how often we need to be forgiven, to be given a fresh start.
Psa 51:7b "Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. "

At times our emotions are lifted to heavenly places and we taste of things to come. Our hearts respond with praise and worship as we gaze upon His beauty.
Psa 29:2 "Give unto the LORD the glory due to His name; Worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness."
At times we know that we know that God is true, but at other times fog of doubt or fear or worry cover up the very things we take for granted, the things that feed our faith and we feel God is hidden from our sight.
Pro 1:33 "But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, And will be secure, without fear of evil."
Sometimes the clouds of life roll in and the mountains of our faith are shrouded. Are you still there, God? But yes, even when we cannot see Him, He is there.
Heb 13:5b "He Himself has said, "I WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU NOR FORSAKE YOU."
"Dear Lord, may we not be disturbed by the 'weather' that brings changes to our life's landscape, but may we keep our eyes on you. You never change and if we put our trust unwaveringly in You, we will never falter."