Through words and pictures, we walk the winding trails of the untamed west. As a Wyoming Christian author, I breathe the beauty around me, transferring it to paper. I dare all to take the leap into God's country. Learn of its untold stories and reveal for yourself . . . where the wild meets the Forgiven.
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Christmas is Here!
Wow. December 25, 2017 is here already. Can you believe it? I have to be honest with you. I can't. This year has flown by. One minute it was January, the next, July, and now it's Christmas. Where did the time go?
I'm really not writing this blog about the time continuum, but when I began writing my blog today wham, it hit me... 2017 is almost gone! If you're feeling the same way, say it with me. Ready? 1 - 2- 3. WOW!
Okay, back to the topic at hand, Christmas. Do you celebrate Christmas? I do. I know people, both Christian and non-Christian, who don't. They have their various reasons. Such things as their beliefs, worldly commercialism, and their health. I understand most of them if not all. Do I agree with them? Not always, but who am I to judge? I didn't want to celebrate Christmas this year myself. To tell you the truth, I didn't even want to do this Christmas post.
I can hear you all the way from here. Why is she then? Something happened when I was preparing for the weekly study I have with my husband, and I'm so grateful. We are breaking down the biblical Christmas Story and the characters involved. During this process, I was reminded what this amazing holiday is all about.
I'll start by telling you what I discovered Christmas is not. Christmas is not about giving each other gifts, feeding the poor, helping the homeless, and offering unbiased service to all. I'm not saying that to be mean or a scrooge, but to be honest. God didn't take the form of Jesus to secure an army for social justice. Although Jesus did serve people, He did so because of His nature, not as an agenda. God never said He was here to mount a social revolution but an internal, eternal one. One of His disciples wanted Him to lead a revolution against Rome. We saw how that worked out.
Now that I've offended some of you, bear with me a moment. What is Christmas really about then? Really? Why did the Almighty God come down to this world as flesh, blood, muscle, and bone? What was His motivation? Why did He do it if He didn't intend to sit on every throne in the world and rectify the social chaos tearing His people apart?
Well, what does Scripture tell us about the motivation of God for Jesus?
Jesus told Pilate in John 18:37 that He came "into the world to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice."
And Zaccheus, the chief tax collector, in Luke 19-9-10, "Today salvation has come to this house, because he, too, is a "son of Abraham." For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save which was lost."
He told Nicodemus, Pharisee and one of the rulers of the Jews, in John 3-16-17, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him."
In Mark 10:45, Jesus reprimanded his disciples for their squabbling and reminded them of his purpose on the earth. "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many."
God's incarnation through Christ isn't easy...for anyone. We'd like to think it's about good will and peace on earth, but is that truly what it does? Those who follow Christ know better and these words of Jesus to his disciples in Matthew 10: 34-37 hold true.
"Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man's enemies will be the members of his household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me"
In Hebrews 10:4-7, Jesus is referenced as the sacrifice for all in place of the symbolic sacrifice required by Jewish laws. "For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says, Sacrifice and offering You have not desired, but a body You have prepared for Me; In wholeburnt offering and sacrifices for sin You have taken no pleasure. Then I said, "Behold I have come."
The gift Jesus offers the world is liberating and eternal. He declares this gift to the Jews in Matthew 10:10, and as Christians we rejoice in it every single day. "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly."
If you keep reading in Matthew, you'll find Jesus calling himself the good shepherd. He describes a good shepherd as someone who lays down his life for his sheep. He knows his sheep and they know him. They hear His voice and come when He calls and become as One. He also says that no one can take his life but He gives it away and He will take it back again.
Over two thousand years ago, this world received the most amazing Christmas gift. A baby was born in a small town in a tiny country. He came for one purpose, to give His life for all so all who believed could be free from the penalty of sin...death.
Christmas is not flashing lights, fancy decorations, tons of gifts, and soup kitchens. It's God who was born as a baby named Jesus. This baby grew and the Son of Man changed the world. He died and rose again, offering all who believes in Him eternal life.
Do you believe in Christmas? In Jesus as your Savior? If not, I invite you to ask Him into your heart right now. Confess that you aren't perfect. You're sorry and want to know Him and have a relationship. Go to a local church for Christmas service or next Sunday. Let someone know of your decision!
And if you already know Jesus, but haven't been in contact for awhile? That's okay, say hello again! Tell Him you're sorry and you want that close friendship you used to have once upon a time ago. Go to a local church for Christmas service or next Sunday. Let someone know of your decision!
If you're one of those die-hard church goers and everything is rocking along, nice and peaceful-like, sit back and take stock of your Christian walk. What do you see? Someone on fire for God, ready to tackle the world for Him? A grouchy, pew-warmer, upset at every sound, motion, looking for other's faults? A Sunday Christian, going through the "good and godly" motions one day a week and living your "own" way the rest of the week? Examine why you're going to church, talk to God honestly about it, and remember He knows the truth! Confess your heart, dedicate your life to Him, and go forward on fire. Tell someone you know what you've done and rejoice!
Life is too short to wonder where we stand with the Almighty. Jesus is Christmas and it's a Merry Christmas indeed!
Falling Rock: A Short Story Once upon a time, in a small Indian
village, a brave warrior called Falling Rock fell in love with the chief’s daughter. She returned
his love and they went before the chief to ask for permission to wed. “You
say you love my daughter. Is this true?” The old chief looked to his youngest
daughter, the most beautiful of his children. “Yes,
Father. He loves me and I love him. Please let us marry.” Her small hands
grasped his gnarly ones and he narrowed his beady eyes at the warrior. “What
do you have to offer for this union, young warrior?” He
watched as the bravery seemed to seep out of the man at his question. “I
have nothing, my chief. I do not own any animals or fancy cloth. I can offer my
service and my loyal protection.” His black eyes met the daughter’s. “To you
and yours for the rest of my days.” “I
have that already, my man. I wish you to complete me a task. If you are
successful, you will have permission to marry my daughter. Do you agree?” The
stage… Raving Lunacy I search
every hidden realm in the computer for my lost words.I dig into the recycle bin, the hard drives,
the documents and picture files looking for the elusive data.No bits or bytes are to be found.Strands of hair fall by my chair and unkind
words caress the ceiling.My husband
listens to the moans and groans for a little while then asks the one question
I do not want to hear.
"Did you save
DID I SAVE THEM?Of course, I saved them!I always
save them!What kind of an airheaded
writer does NOT save their work?Do I
look like an airheaded writer?NO!Of course not, that is because I SAVE MY
WORK!(I did say raving lu…