Fri., Aug. 18, 2017   







No Comparison To Jesus

I came across this comparison between Santa and Jesus. I don't know who wrote the overview, but it is encouraging to remember the reality of the truth of Jesus. There is no comparison to Jesus. Enjoy this with me for a minute.

Santa lives at the North Pole, but Jesus is everywhere. Santa comes but once a year, but Jesus is always here. Santa fills your stockings with goodies, but Jesus fills your heart with joy. You have to wait in line to see Santa, but Jesus is as close as the mention of His name. Santa lets you sit on his lap, but Jesus lets you rest in His arms. Santa knows if you are naughty or nice, but Jesus knows if you have eternal life. Jesus knows your past, present, and future, and He loves you unconditionally. Jesus knows the number of hairs on your head.

Santa says, you better not cry. But Jesus says, He'll dry your weeping eyes. Santa's little helpers make toys, but Jesus gives us new life, mends wounded hearts, repairs broken homes and builds mansions. Santa may make you chuckle, but Jesus gives you joy that goes beyond your circumstances. While Santa puts gifts under your tree, Jesus became our gift and died upon a tree.

As you celebrate Christmas this year, may I encourage you to put Jesus at the center of your Christmas? The reality of Christmas is that Jesus is also known as Emmanuel, which means God with us. No matter how you celebrate, because of Christmas, God is with you.

Have a blessed Christmas in Christ.



STIMULUS

As we embark upon this time of tight budgets and the loss of jobs, the duty of the church is to encourage the body. We must reach out and assist those in need and be available for those who simply need prayer and conversation.

Whether or not you voted for President Obama, he is the president of all. We must work to assist in his vision while we keep him accountable and responsible for the outcomes of this massive spending/stimulus law.

If Obama sincerely believes that science has the ability to improve lives, then we must ensure that legislation is put in place to work toward that end. While my thoughts are vastly different on the methodology required to stimulate the economy, I am not the president.

Let us continue to pray for President Obama and our nation, as we move forward together in resolving this crisis.

 



Storms

 

While sharing with a friend the other day, he said "even if it storms, it will be a nice weekend." We were predicted to have about 12" of snow. And, even though I think he was referring to the fact that he was going to get some much-needed time off, I heard him saying much more. Allow me explain.
 
The "storm" image is appropriate for our time, especially for those of us trying to find our bearings in this rather uncertain financial climate. The President is trying to jumpstart America. And while I don't agree with the methodology from an economic perspective, I hear all kinds of dialogue about stimulus packages and tax credits, and the like, and I still do not understand how we are going to weather this economic storm. This is not a good thing.

Finally, I have decided to spend more time learning to depend upon God for all things.  I am still learning that my life, and all my stuff, is passing away before me, regardless of who is paying the bill, or doing the bailout.

Yes, I know without question, that there is no storm than can ever take away from me (or from you!) God's blessing, God's forgiveness or God's great love.

God has a true stimulus package and it's found in Jesus!


Sin

SIN

Sin is deceitful. It promises pleasure, it gives pain. It offers life; it gives death. It opens out as bright as the morning; it closes as dark as night.

It is a beast of prey. Under a velvet paw it conceals a claw that wounds and lacerates those that would stroke it.

In every sin there is the seed of another sin. it is self-propagating. It roots itself in the soul of the sinner until it has used up every bit of good soil in the soul.

It corrupts his nature, perverts his tastes, weakens his will, and scars his conscience.

And with each evil deed, inclinations toward evil become stronger and stronger, until the “sinner cannot cease from sin” and he is “consumed of his own lusts.”

Sin is a very promising employer - and a terrible paymaster.



Your Point Is?

My wife and I sat in the bed a few nights in anticipation of the new episode of the TLC Network's “Jon & Kate Plus 8,” which, if you are not familiar with it, is a reality television program chronicling the lives of a ten-person immediate family, consisting of a husband and wife, a set of 8-year-old twins, and a set of 5-year-old sextuplets. Having eight small children in the house at the same time is, at the very least, a chore and a major financial undertaking for the parents, but for us, the viewing public, it is fascinating, so the network gave this family their own show. Well, the idea was cute at first, but when the stakes got higher, everything went wrong. Originally, Jon had a position in IT (I think) and Kate, once a nurse stayed home with the kids, but when the fascination of the viewing public grew to astronomic proportions, stardom was thrust upon them, and neither one handled it very well.

On the heels of the show's popularity, TLC began to pay Jon & Kate $50,000 per episode, totaling $1.5 million per season, meaning that Jon could quit his job, and the family could move into a larger home far more accommodating for them. Furthermore, Kate leveraged her newfound celebrity status to garner book deals, interviews, and various other appearances. Now, Jon was the one staying home with the children, while Kate was frequently out of town, “working” and making even more money for the family through all of the business ventures her status opened up for her. It was clear that the couple did not see eye-to-eye about the value of these perks, in that while Kate felt all of the stardom was good for her and for the family, Jon was not interested being a star, doing the show, being surrounded by cameras 24/7, or dealing with Kate being gone seemingly all the time. Forgetting that the very cameras he hated were on him all the time, he began to develop friendships with other women and was repeatedly caught on camera and various venues with these women. Whether he was cheating or not, whether or not Kate was getting too close to the bodyguard accompanying her on all of her “business trips”, or whether or not she was truly acting in the best interests of her family by continuing to ignore Jon's desire to step away from the show and maintaining a hectic travel schedule, one thing was crystal clear—fame was tearing Jon & Kate apart.

We may not know every single detail about how their relationship deteriorated, but what we can see is that stardom has once again claimed the union of a once very happy and very much in-love couple. Jon & Kate began the process of filing for divorce on Monday, June 22, 2009. When you become a household name throughout North America; when you become an instant millionaire; when people begin to give you, for free, what you once struggled to pay for on your own, it becomes very difficult to turn your back on all of that, even when you see that all of your perks have come at the detriment of your family. The abundance of things and the presence of physical comfort tend to mask that which is lacking in one's relationships because there is always this idea that if financial concerns are taken care of, then all other issues will eventually take care of themselves. When have you ever known that to be true?

What it all boils down to is this question: What is the point of it all? If Jon & Kate could go back to when they were first offered the deal from TLC to do the show, would they do it? Would you risk the happiness between your spouse/significant other for a comfortable lifestyle? Would you opt for a $50,000/year salary and retiring in old age over a seven-figure/year salary if it meant maintaining marital and familial harmony? At some point in time, we must all ask ourselves what marriage really is. Is it a business partnership, or is it a passionate, lifelong, best-friendship with the one God ordained for you? Does it require you to share your entire life with one person, or can you just be roommates? Is your spouse (after God) the most important factor in your decision making, or is everything you do “just for the kids”? Well, as for me, Chariece Cylar comes first. I must commit my life to doing well by her because while God may bless me with multiple children, I only have one wife and best friend. Choose wisely, saints, choose wisely.



You're the apple of God's eye!

A well known speaker started off his seminar by holding up a $20 bill. In the room of 200, he asked, "Who would like this $20 bill?"

Hands started going up. He said, "I am going to give this $20 to one of you but first, let me do this." He proceeded to crumple the dollar bill up. He then asked, "Who still wants it?" Still the hands were up in the air."

Well," he continued, "What if I do this?" And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, now all crumpled and dirty. "Now who still wants it?" Still the hands went into the air.

"My friends, you have all learned a very valuable lesson.

No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20. Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We feel as though we are worthless.

But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value in God's eyes. To Him, dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are still priceless to Him.
Psalm 17:8 states that God will keep us, "as the apple of His eye."






 
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