Blooming Among The Blaze

It seems the wintering left long ago with the winds howling in despair,
While fragrance of blossoms filled the air. 

The simmering summer seems to keep amidst the daze, 
And, yet, I sense the flowers will keep blooming among this blaze.  

Oh, I yearn for the leaves to begin their falling,
I close my eyes and see them drifting  and swirling,
Ever shading the ground’s eternal covering. 

 

Goldenrod (Asteraceae) field and a Red maple (Acer rubrum), autumn: Vermont
I sense the flowers will keep blooming among the blaze.

 

SOURCES
Picture– https://goo.gl/images/5B5ZRD
Poem– Blooming Among The Blaze–an original, introspective poem by agreenwalt, 2017-1015.
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“That” Is Personal!

Jesus died to save you from THAT!

“From ‘that’ what?” you may ask.

The truth is Mary gave birth and called her son Jesus “because he will save his people from their sins.” [Mt.1:21]  ‘Sin’ can be defined as anything that interferes with anyone getting to know God better. In that case, any bad habit we have that interferes with anyone else drawing closer to God is a “that” (a sin).

“… we must get rid of every weight and the sin that clings so closely,
and run with endurance the race set out for us,
keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.
…he endured the cross, … has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.
… so that you may not grow weary in your souls and give up. …”
Heb.12:1-4 (NET)

So, according to the writer of Hebrews, “that” is the sin, what some might call a ‘bad habit’, which “so easily hinders” YOU in your progress towards becoming more intimate with God (NLT)—Yes, “THAT” is personal!

This saving truth may be made clearer in reading these words by Charles Finney1Finney-PrinciplesofUnionwithChrist

“Jesus Christ saves His people not only from hell, but also from their sins… YOU have no Savior if you are not saved from your sin in YOUR OWN EXPERIENCE.”
“Jesus Christ…is not only a justifying Savior, but also a purifying Savoir… He saves from hell only upon condition of His saving from sin.”
“YOU must know by your own personal experience what Christ meant when He said, ‘YOU are already clean because of the word I have spoken to YOU!YOU must know His love and know that YOU are washed clean by the shedding of His blood.”

And, by the Words of The LORD, via Ezekiel:
“For, here’s what I’m going to do: … gather you from all over, and bring you back… I’ll pour pure water over you and scrub you clean. I’ll give you a new heart, put a new spirit in you. I’ll remove the stone heart from your body and replace it with a heart that’s God-willed, not self-willed. I’ll put my Spirit in you and make it possible for you to do what I tell you and live by my commands… I’ll be your God!” Ez.36:24-28 (MSG) 

Yes, “that” is a personal thing to God; He provided a way to salvation FOR YOU so you could become personally His! Accepting Jesus’ salvation from hell gives YOU the ability to embrace and personally confess salvation’s Truth:

Jesus was crucified in MY place to die in MY place as a sacrifice so MY sin could be forever forgiven. He, now, sits at the right hand of The Father’s Throne so I CAN sit in Heavenly places. Jesus defeated sin’s hold on ME and His grace is sufficient so I CAN LIVE FREE FROM SIN while here on this earth.

 

SOURCES
1
Finney, Charles G.  “Jesus My Savior”, Chapter 2, Principles of The Union with Christ, Charles G. Finney, Louis Gifford Parkhurst Jr., Ed., Bethany House Publishers (1994).

2 John 15:13

Picture:  goodreads.com

Bible Versions: NET- New English Translation; NLT- New Living Testament; MSG- The Message Bible.

A GOOD, RIGHTEOUS MAN…

The following is my rephrase of Proverb 12 with a focus on the attributes of the “righteous man”. However, I have gleaned from numerous Bible translations available to me at the time of this writing. Therefore, the phrasing in some cases are not my own, and I have not intended to present them as such. As a mother and grandmother, my intent in taking on this endeavor and making it public is to encourage young men of faith to ‘stand’ stronger for Christ in their everyday lives. May every reader be blessed! ~ag

pr0-12-3

According to Proverb 12, a good, righteous man… 

1) … is not stupid; he gladly receives correction because he loves knowledge.

2) … obtains favor from The LORD.

3) … has “deep roots” that make him stable in all his ways. He cannot be uprooted; he is steady because he is established in the faith.

4) … chooses a wife of noble character and appreciates her help that comes from a good reputation.

5) … makes and follows justly-advised plans.

6) … speaks faith-filled, life-giving words which protect him from the need of rescue.

7) … “stands firm”; he establishes his home on the unshakable Rock of Salvation.

8) … is commended for his prudent wisdom (good sense).

9) … understands that pride comes before a fall, and remains humble before his God. He doesn’t concern himself with notoriety; he knows his God as his source for all things needful.

10) … shows kindness by regarding for the needs of his animals. [The Voice Bible commentary on v.10: “Those who are righteous treat their animals humanely…”—A person in a positive relationship with God stands in a right relationship with His creation. How we treat animals may mirror our souls—not just the pets in our home, but the pets in our neighborhood and the animals in our food supply. One who is truly right with God considers the needs of His creatures.]

11) … doesn’t try to live out idle fantasies, but understands the principle of cause and effect, and works his purpose towards abundance.

12) … desires that his root flourishes, produces so that his success blesses others.

13-14) … escapes trouble by faith-filled words of praise, emphasizing the God-given promises which produce as surely as “the work of his hands rewards him.” [see v.6~ Faith speaks!]

15) … “listens to wise advice.”

16) … is not quick to show “his annoyance”, but instead, responds with empathy and a willingness to guide with practical wisdom and skill in order to give good counsel. [meek and “prudent”(Strong’s #7919)]

17) … has an honest testimony that represents Truth.

18) … is not harsh, but speaks deliberate, encouraging words that can heal a broken spirit.

19) … speaks Truth.

20) … reaps joy as a promoter of peace.

21) … is blessed by things meant for his harm being turned for his good—“No harm befalls the righteous.”

22) … delights The LORD because of his faithful truthfulness and honesty.

23) … doesn’t flaunt his knowledge; he uses discernment on when to speak and when to be silent. In other words, “The wise man sits back and listens while the foolish man tells all he knows.” (unknown) [see v.16]

24) … is not lazy; he leads with diligent hands.

25) … doesn’t worry, nor listens to negative reports—he is careful what he hears! (Phil.4)

26) … “is cautious in friendship”—uses discernment in choosing whom he allows to be his friend, but is always a friend to his neighbors. [“Bad company corrupts…” ~1 Cor. 15:33]

27) … “prizes his processions”, not allowing them to go bad by neglect—he is grateful.

28) … has eternal life.

~~ ♥ ~~

SOURCES

Picture: Proverbs 12:3 nlt | by Bob Smerecki .

Bible Versions:  Amplified Bible, Emphasized Bible (aka Rotherham), Jerusalem Bible, Message Bible, Net Bible, New International Version, New Living Translation, Revised Standard Version, Voice Bible.
(Disclaimer: To the best of my recollection, this list contains the Bibles I read concerning this study. However, it may not be all inclusive.)

 

Love’s Opposite Attracts Evil

Disclaimer: This is a “reblog” of an article by my son, Barron Greenwalt. I added the Bible passage from James, but the rest of this post contains his thoughts. It is my hope that you are encouraged by this post.  ♥ Neeter

Live Well, Live Wisely~ Do you want to be counted wise, to build a reputation for wisdom? Here’s what you do:
James 3:13, 17-18(MSG) Do you want to be counted wise, to build a reputation for wisdom? Here’s what you do: Live well, live wisely, live humbly. It’s the way you live, not the way you talk, that counts… Real wisdom, God’s wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced. You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor.
v.15-18(VOICE) The wisdom of this world should never be mistaken for heavenly wisdom; it originates below in the earthly realms, with the demons. Any place where you find jealousy and selfish ambition, you will discover chaos and evil thriving under its rule. Heavenly wisdom centers on purity, peace, gentleness, deference, mercy, and other good fruits untainted by hypocrisy. The seed that flowers into righteousness will always be planted in peace by those who embrace peace.

Barron Greenwalt

Love’s Opposite Attracts Evil
By Barron Greenwalt

In the Bible, James (3:16) tells us that “where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.” Therefore, selfishness is the opposite of love and it breeds evil. So how do we change it? James gives us the answer in the very next verses (17-18), “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteous God is love.” The answer is “seek wisdom from above”; we pray!

When we have self-seeking motives in our hearts, our thinking and our actions become contrary to God, allowing evil to have reign in our lives as well as the lives of those in our realm of influence. Sometimes, our selfishness is such a part of what we have become that we…

View original post 75 more words

It’s Insanity!

insanity-doing-same-thing-dogball

Insanity:
Doing the same OLD thing (again),
expecting NEW results.
~ag

Defining ‘insanity’ as “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results” is often attributed to Albert Einstein. In looking up the spiritual aspect of the word ‘insanity’, I ended up with the term, “BACKSLIDINGS” which refers to a turning back from, defecting, a state of faith-LESS-ness. It comes from a root word meaning ‘to return’, a turning away from God’s ways and revert back to sinful ways. In other words, backsliding is “to LAPSE” in the practice of spiritual obedience and responsibility. Reverting back to the old sinful life is INSANITY! I mean, really, exactly how well did it work out for you the first time?
In Jeremiah 3:22, Come back to me, you wayward people. I want to cure your waywardness…” God regards backsliding as a condition that requires HEALING! The word translated ‘cure’ (Strong’s #7495) is the Hebrew word meaning “heal”. The Message paraphrase reads: Come back, wandering children! I can heal your wanderlust! Say: “We’re here! We’ve come back to you. You’re our own true GOD!” 

(VOICE)Eternal One:
Come back to Me, My faithless ones, and I will heal your faithlessness.

God was asking them to repent and go back to living His ways. He says to His people, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.” This word ‘heal’ in the Hebrew word refers to recuperation and mending, not only of the personal emotional distresses caused by sin, but also of a restoration back to a state of blessedness. God is faithful to His faithful people!

BAPTIZING “THE CHURCH”

A NOTE CONCERNING BAPTISM IN MATTHEW’S GOSPEL

baptism-Ro6

As “THE CHURCH”, we need to re-think our requirements about baptizing converts. When it comes to ‘baptizing’, shouldn’t JB (John, The Baptist) be our model?! JB required evidence of repentance as a prerequisite to being a candidate for baptism. His call to “Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for Him.” [Mt.3:3,NIV ] was preparation for salvation through repentance. He preached (Mt.3:2), “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand (NASB)…Turn from your sins and turn to God, because the Kingdom of Heaven is near (NLT)…Change your life (MSG).” Only when the people showed evidence of living Godly ways, and only then, did he allow the people into the baptismal waters. He baptized them with water as a sign they had “cleansed” their lives through repentance (see v.7-11 below).

In verse 11, JB says, “the one coming after me is more powerful than I am… (Jesus) will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire”. The reference to “baptize with Holy Spirit” is a reference to the actual NEW BIRTH at the point of Salvation. The old spirit man dies and a NEW SPIRIT comes into existence IN YOU! Note that ‘fire’ is a term to mean a total purification would take place, not just a ‘washing’. The salvation Jesus brings* does not just wash sins away, it rebirths every “whosoever” who believes and confesses~ brings forth evidence! 

I found a good explanation of Biblical baptism (#907) at NETBible.org:

“The clearest example that shows the meaning of ‘baptizo’ (#907) is a text from the Greek poet and physician Nicander, who lived about 200 B.C. It is a recipe for making pickles and is helpful because it uses both words (‘bapto’ and ‘baptizo’). Nicander says that in order to make a pickle, the vegetable should first be ‘dipped’ (bapto-#911) into boiling water and then ‘baptized’ (baptizo) in the vinegar solution. “Both verbs concern the immersing of vegetables in a solution. But the first is temporary. The second, the act of baptizing the vegetable, produces a permanent change. “When used in the New Testament, this word (#907) more often refers to our union and identification with Christ than to our water baptism. e.g. Mr 16:16. ‘He that believes and is baptized shall be saved’. Christ is saying that mere intellectual assent is not enough. There must be a union with him, a real change, like the vegetable to the pickle!”
(Bible Study Magazine, James Montgomery Boice, May 1989).

My point?

Jesus said, “GO! Make disciples….” I know of few denominations and even fewer local church facilities that follow JB’s example of established, evidenced repentance as a prerequisite.  However, I am convicted that DISCIPLESHIP classes should be offered as an integral part of The Church’s baptising services. Otherwise, it is a disservice to ‘the world’~ SELAH!

~*~

Mt.3:7-11, VOICE, including commentary-in bold.
But John is not exactly warm to all those who come to him seeking cleansing.

He (JB) told some Pharisees and Sadducees who came for the ritual baptism,… “You children of serpents! You brood of vipers! Did someone suggest you flee from the wrath that is upon us? 8-9 If you think that simply hopping in the Jordan will cleanse you, then you are sorely mistaken. Your life must bear the fruits of turning toward righteousness. Nor are you correct if you think that being descended from Abraham is enough to make you holy and right with God.Yes, the children of Abraham are God’s chosen children,but God can adopt as daughters and sons anyone He likesHe can turn these stones into sons if He likes.”

To be made right with God, one must truly repent.
It means to turn completely away from sin and completely toward God.

“…I ritually cleanse you through baptism as a mark of turning your life around. But someone is coming after me, someone whose sandals I am not fit to carry, someone who is more powerful than I. He will wash you not in water but in fire and with the Holy Spirit. He carries a winnowing fork in His hand, and He will clear His threshing floor; He will gather up the good wheat in His barn, and He will burn the chaff with a fire that cannot be put out.”

~*~

Romans 5:20-6:6, VOICE

5:20 “When the law came into the picture, sin grew and grew; but wherever sin grew and spread, God’s grace was there in fuller, greater measure. No matter how much sin crept in, there was always more grace. 21 In the same way that sin reigned in the sphere of death, now grace reigns through God’s restorative justice, eclipsing death and leading to eternal life through the Anointed One, Jesus our Lord, the Liberating King.
6:1-6″How should we respond to all of this? Is it good to persist in a life of sin so that grace may multiply even more? Absolutely not! How can we die to a life where sin ruled over us and then invite sin back into our lives? Did someone forget to tell you that when we were initiated into Jesus the Anointed through baptism’s ceremonial washing, we entered into His death? Therefore, we were buried with Him through this baptism into death so that just as God the Father, in all His glory, resurrected the Anointed One, we, too, might walk confidently out of the grave into a new life. To put it another way: if we have been united with Him to share in a death like His, don’t you understand that we will also share in His resurrection? We know this: whatever we used to be with our old sinful ways has been nailed to His cross. So our entire record of sin has been canceled, and we no longer have to bow down to sin’s power.” 

~*~

*For further understanding of the New Birth/Salvation brought by Jesus’ Blood, see the  New Testament letters to the Romans and Ephesians.
Bible Versions: NIV~New International Version; NASB~New American Standard Bible; NLT~New Living Testament; MSG~The Message Bible; VOICE~The Voice Bible.
Picture source: QuotesGram (It is my understanding it is a public domain image.)

INTRO: PASSING ON THE MOVE OF GOD TO THE NEXT GENERATION

“Give the story of it to your children,
and let them give it to their children,
and their children to another generation.”
~Joel 1:3 (BBE)

COMING SOON: A renewed hope of generational “rekindling of holy zeal ” in Bert Faris’ new upcoming book, Passing On The Move Of God To The Next Generation.
May You Be Encouraged, ag

Read the Introduction to the book, here…

The Flaming Herald

This is the introduction to my new upcoming book, Passing On The Move Of God To The Next Generation. It is now in the editing process. Check our posts and website for its soon release. I know it will ignite a fire in you.

Now well into the 21st century we have reached a crisis in the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement. Although there have been many good ministries birthed in the last few decades, with it has also come a deluge of unsound beliefs, erroneous practices, and extreme and excessive teachings, along with a glaring absence of the moving of the Holy Spirit and a diminishing of the real power and presence of God .

From a defective and cross-less gospel, to a dumbing down and a cheap imitation of the ministry and work of the Holy Spirit, to the gross overemphasis on personal prophecy and prophetic ministry, to New Age goobly gook and…

View original post 840 more words

Waiting to “Be Courageous”

Sometimes it takes more courage
to stand your ground and wait
than to jump in and save the day!
It takes trust to be truly courageous.
—ag, 2016-0305

“Not yet.… not yet.… not yet.… not yet.… PULL THAT PEACH!”

Those words are from a recent (2015) funny Yoplait commercial which demonstrates the message that waiting for precise moment is essential to obtaining the best results.

 

lion-scarface
“Be brave. Be strong. Don’t give up. Expect God…” ~Ps.31:24, MSG

Be strong and courageous in TheLORD. True courage has an attitude; it is called patience. Patience reigns our faith, holds us back from acting too soon. Whereas faith gives us a zealous expectancy of “things hoped for” and our trust in God gives us the courage to carry out His plans with expected zeal, patience controls our zeal. It keeps us from “leaning towards our own understanding”and allows us to “wait upon The LORD” so that we do not get ahead of God’s timing.  In this context, the Biblical definition of ‘strong’ means to persevere or remain consistent by waiting patiently, to stand still. The wait is not a permanent stance; it is staying in a watchful position, to “catch”the right moment, like a lion waiting for the exact moment  to pounce, in order to assure his victory in the end.

 

A perfect example of my point is found in the story of Peter when he so courageously cut off that soldier’s ear. Jesus had a better plan, but Peter just jumped in to save the day before considering a “better and more excellent way”. Then, as you may remember, Jesus had to correct Peter’s act of haste before continuing to handle the situation. Now, I don’t think anyone would call Peter a fearful man, but in that instant, Peter’s haste was based on a fearful instinct of defending Jesus and his friends. He wanted to change the circumstance in which they found themselves. Fearful situations seem to have a way of compelling us into feats of haste instead of faith.

To further emphasize this thought here is an excerpt from “COURAGE” by Frances J. Roberts.

   There are many places, My child, where only sheer courage will see you through. Prayer is the breath of the soul. Faith is paramount. Love is the essence of pure being. But none of these will suffice in the hour of stress if you have not courage.
…Courage makes perseverance attainable when encouragement is nowhere to be found… when love is gone, faith is wavering, and prayer is difficult.
Courage rises like the delivering angel out of the deep unshaken assurance of the immutability of the character and faithfulness of God… Courage keeps the destination in view and heeds not the intervening obstacles….
…Courage is the simplicity of knowing: God is working out His purposes through every circumstance of my life. His plan is GOOD, and how He chooses to act is none of my business, and whom He uses to bring it about is not my concern.

~~*~~

Joshua 1:9
“Be strong and of good courage;
do not be afraid, nor be dismayed,
for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go”

 Psalm 27:14
“Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous…”
NLT

“Wait {and} hope for {and} expect the Lord;
be brave {and} of good courage
and let your heart be stout {and} enduring…”
AMP

“Rely on the Lord! Be strong and confident! …”
NetBible

Psalm 31:24
“Put away fear
and let your heart be strong,
all you whose hope is in the Lord.”
BBE

“Be strong and let your heart take courage,…”
NASB

“Be brave. Be strong. Don’t give up.
Expect GOD…”
MSG

~~*~~

SOURCES

You Tube— Yoplait Funny Commercial 2015– (link inserted above)

Hebrews 11:1— “things hoped for”

Proverb 3:5 “…leaning not unto our own understanding…”

Hebrews 8:6– “…better and more excellent way…”

“COURAGE”–Roberts, Frances J. Make Haste My Beloved,p. 86-87. Barbour Publishing, Inc.. Kindle Ed.

Bible Versions: MSG~ The Message Bible; NLT~ New Living Translation; AMP~ The Amplified Bible; BBE~Better English Bible; NASB~ New American Standard; NetBible~ Net.Bible.org .

 

The Perfect Work of Patience

LET PATIENCE HAVE ITS PERFECT WORK IN YOU
“But let endurance {and} steadfastness {and} patience
have full play {and} do a thorough work,
so that you may be perfectly and fully developed [with no defects]…”
Jms.1:4, AMP

The other day, Honey told me, “You would be much happier (less frustrated) if you were more patient with me.” How wise he is… However, developing patience should not be a goal with such a selfish motive attached, right?! Hahaha…. Impatience with others can cause unkind words to fall from our mouths, in reaction to the feelings of frustration in us. This can, in turn, can cause feelings of inadequacy in our loved ones and discourage them from trying.  I am an encourager; it is my gifting. Therefore, ‘impatience’ should have no place in me. I am child of God; therefore, ‘impatience’ should have no place in me.  Let’s declare it, “Impatience has no place in me!”

“Only love has the power to silence the ego and temper the will. In so doing, it is working patience in the soul. Patience knows no demand. Patience does not relate to and is not impulsed by self-will. Patience is content to be ignored and unrecognized, because it knows the purposes of God are majestic and unfathomable and move in a sphere untouched by petulance…”
[Roberts, Frances J. Make Haste My Beloved, p. 88. Barbour Publishing, Inc.. Kindle Edition.]

These words propel me into singing, ♫The Power Of Your Love Is Changing Me1 Changing Me♪♪♪ My Heart Is Open Wide♪♪♪ I’ll Never Be The Same♪♪♪ I’m Calling Out For More♪♪♪ I’m Singing Out My Praise♪♪♪ I’m Pouring Out My Thanks♪♪♪ Lifting Up My Voice♪♪♪ Dancing In Your Joy♪♪♪ The Power Of Your Love Is Changing Me, Changing Me♪♪ ”.  Singing those words is a great meditation tool! By the way, if you have not yet heard the entire song I was singing, I encourage you to find it online–after you finish reading this, of course. But let’s continue our quest towards love’s perfect work.

Many times people have frustrated me and I have not always responded in “lovely” ways. I regret to admit it, but I have lashed out with impatient and sometimes unkind words. However, the love God “has poured into our hearts 2” enables us to change so that we are able to love as He loves.  Even though I have failed many times, God keeps working in me and gives me the grace to get back up and try again.

“Even though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again” Pro.24:16.

That verse in Proverb 24 is encouraging in that “seven” refers to a completeness and perfection. No matter how many times Satan attempts to make us fall or how thorough his efforts seem to be, they are null and void because the work of righteousness IN US is complete and perfected. In other words, the ‘falls’ have no ill effect on the work we have accomplished for God’s Kingdom thus far, and we have His grace to continue our journeys. Each fall we may experience can only affect us and our purposes, dreams, and missions to the extent we allow.

Pro24-v16-CharlieBrownLucy-football

Therefore, do not allow past failures to haunt you! Say, “NO MORE!” to the taunting voice of your mind. Let the righteous say: “I’ll get up and I will not quit. My steps are ordered of TheLORD. I rejoice in Truth and Righteousness. The just live by faith; therefore I exercise my faith in all situations. The power of His love is changing me. I call out for more of Him, and He answers my cries. Impatience has no place in me. I wait upon TheLORD, and He renews my strength as the eagles’. I lift my voice in singing His praises and I dance in His joy. I will trust Him because His love endures forever and never fails me. He is always gracious and merciful to me. My hope is in Him alone. It is by His wisdom my house is built and by understanding it is established.”

~ ♥ ~
When we allow the Holy Spirit to control our lives,
He will produce in us:
love, joy, peace, patience,
kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness, and self–control.
Gal.5 (LB)

… God keeps at bringing the work of faith in us to a flourishing finish…
Phil.1:6; Ro.1:17; 1Peter 1; 2Peter 1

Ro.5:52
NASB~ “…the love of God has been poured out within our hearts…”
NLT~ “…we know how dearly God loves us, because
he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.”

~ ♥ ~

SOURCES
Roberts, Frances J. Make Haste My Beloved, p. 88. Barbour Publishing, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

1 “The Power of Your Love (Is Changing Me)”, Travis Cottrell, Unashamed Love (album), Released 2003.  http://traviscottrell.com/music/

Media Picture~ I believe the media picture to be public domain; any infringement on ownership is unintentional. The characters in the picture are Charlie Brown and Lucy from the Peanuts Comic, originally drawn by Charles Schultz.

Bible Versions: AMP- Amplified Bible; LB- Living Bible; NASB- New American Standard Bible; NLT-New Living Testament.

 

Immanuel~ Still With Us?

At Christmastime it’s so obvious (hopefully) what we are celebrating & Who we worship, but what about the rest of the year? In December we hear most people sing out “Merry Christmas!”in celebration of the birth of Jesus, or at least personalized versions of a holiday greeting. In January, we bellow out “HAPPY NEW YEAR!”  Our voices may remain “cheery” after the midnight cry, but conversation seems to change from peace and goodwill toward others to resolutions to be a better ‘self’. Where does all the SELF-centeredness come from all the sudden?

What happens in that one week between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day? As we begin to pack up all the Christmas décor and store it away until next year, do we pack up all that we say we believe about Christmas into the boxes, too? What remains? When people walk into your house, what do they see? Where are the gifts of peace, hope, and love that we talked about those few weeks? Look around; is there still evidence of your faith? Faith in Jesus as ‘Immanuel’? Is He truly still “with you”?

HarkHeraldAngelsSingLyrics

When the angels sang, “Glory to God in The Highest…” about the “good tidings of great joy”, their joy was not just about Jesus’ birth, but the significance of His coming to Earth~ the incarnation of God in man. He grew in knowledge and statue, and He LIVED A LIFE in order to give us abundant lives full of blessings and joy. So, let’s resolve to live ours abundantly, proving to Whom we belong. When we do, we will find that those gifts of PEACE, LOVE, & GOODWILL are still with us~ and much more.

Let’s make a RESOLUTION TO SING HIS PRAISES throughout this New Year. Afterall, the angels are still singing; He is Immanuel. 

♫♪ ~ ♥ ~ ♪♫

 Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

(Listen by clicking.)

 ~ ♥ ~

NOTE:  These post-Christmas thoughts came from my thought process in January 2012, about how people perceive our homes as they enter into our livingrooms.