Cutting off Ears

Peter was in the garden with Jesus when the chief priest and Pharisees came to take Jesus.  Peter drew his sword, and cut off the ear of Malchus, a servant of the high priest.  He was reacting to the challenge of the moment.  He was defending Jesus against those who would take him prisoner.  He was trying to be a help in the ministry of Jesus.  Peter had good intentions and motives, but he reacted to the situation contrary to the direction Jesus was going.

First, Jesus healed the ear of the servant then gave Peter words of instruction, rebuke, question, remembrance, and challenge.  Jesus told Peter to put away his sword.  Don’t fight.  It was God’s will that Jesus be taken and crucified.  The events of the moment were a part of God’s plan to bring salvation to mankind through Jesus Christ.  Peter’s immediate response to defend Jesus was not according to God’s plan.  There were bigger things happening.

Am I in danger of cutting off ears?  We are so bombarded by the events of today.  Life changes and challenges confront us.  When dealing with them, it is easy to strike out in quick response.  Sometimes we are right in our understanding and assessment.  But sometimes, we are like Peter, quick to respond, not fully understanding the situation, or comprehending the will or plan of God with the result of cutting off an ear here and there.

In our current situations, I wonder if we are missing what God is doing.  What if God’s will is contrary to our American culture?  Do I react to things I don’t like?  Do I strike out when it is just the ear of the servant of those God is using to work His plan?  It challenges my commitment to the will of God, whatever His plan would be.

This has led to a list of “what ifs” and my responses to them.  “What if…”  Maybe you are wrestling with these issues too.  These are simply questions to ponder.  The conclusions are thoughts at this time about the situations.  My thinking can change as we see future events and God reveals more of His plan and workings.  As I talk with other believers, I find many struggling with the same issues.  May God direct us in our actions and reactions to what is happening in the world today.  May we always be godly in our responses.

What if…

                God is preparing the world for the tribulation?

According to a literal interpretation of Daniel and Revelation, the seventieth week of Daniel is a time of judgment and tribulation.  A pretribulation view of the rapture says that the born again people alive at that time will be caught up with the Lord in the air before this judgment is meted upon the earth.  There is hope for the believer in this promise of God.

Because the judgment will be dispensed, the world must be prepared for the seven years of tribulation.  Why would believers be shocked by bad things happening as preparations are made?  Would we not expect changes in thought and values, evil getting worse, and people standing in easily observed defiance of the living God?

Yes, God is preparing the earth for the next phase of His revealed plan.

What if…

                God intends for the American culture to diminish in the coming years?

Many wrestle with whether or not the United States will be a part of God’s plan in the tribulation period.  Some say it is.  Others say it is not; therefore U.S. will be gone by the time of the rapture.  Since the Bible is not clear on the fate of the U.S., we cannot dogmatically confirm either position.  It makes no difference which position a person may take, American culture will decline along with the rest of the world in preparation for the tribulation.

Here is the struggle.  Do we fight against this decline that God is allowing?  Is it an ear we are attempting to cut off or is it standing up for God?  Of course, we do our part as citizens within this country and stand as believers for righteousness.  But is trying to keep the American culture the primary focus of the believer?  I have traveled to several foreign countries, spent time with Christians who live under various forms of government, and observed their manner of life.  I sometimes wonder if believers in the United States have substituted patriotism, American culture, and loyalty to country for true Biblical Christianity.  Do we stand for America more than we stand in the Lord?  Do we equate the two? Just asking the question will make me un-American in some people’s minds.

I love the United States.  I love living here, the freedoms we have, the righteous aspects of our culture, and the structure of our government.  Our founding fathers built this nation on Judeo-Christian values.  As we leave that value system, we see the decline of our culture.  Do we fight against leaving the values or do we stand for personal accountability before a holy God?  What has the primary focus of our hearts and minds?  Is it keeping the American dream alive or being Christ-centered, gospel-centered followers of the Lord?  If we lived in another country, under a different political structure, struggling for our life and livelihood, could we be godly?  I have seen believers living in such conditions and love their devotion, compassion, and service for the Lord, even to the point of laying their life on the line.

Is my life characterized by walking with my God or standing for the American way of life?  Am I willing to let the United States become whatever God would want it to be as the earth is prepared for the tribulation?  These are questions which should cause us deep thought, a fervent seeking of our God and His will.  If the Lord wants you to be involved in politics and issues, praise the Lord.  If you are, as we all should be concerned and active as the Lord directs, remember, we are Christians first, our citizenship is with the Lord, we are His ambassadors, and our primary battle is a spiritual one, not flesh and blood.

Am I willing to let America decline if that is the plan of God?  If America falls, does it mean we have failed as Christians?  Remember why the tribulation has not started yet.  The Bible says in Second Peter, chapter three that the longsuffering of our Lord means salvation, not the preservation of a culture.  What is my primary focus as a believer and ambassador of the Lord?  Praise the Lord, people are still being saved.

What if…

                Mockers and scoffers laugh at and ridicule God and His followers?

Second Peter in chapter three says this is going to happen.  What will be my response?  Why would we be surprised?  Should we seek their acceptance and approval or should we simply stand in truth, speaking it in love?  Are we more concerned about what people think or about what God thinks?  These are hard questions in tough times.

What if…

                Evil people get worse?

Much is written in First and Second Timothy about the last days.  2 Timothy 3:12-14 shows that people are going to get much worse.  Deception will increase.  Believers are to continue in truth, walking with the Lord.  Knowing the plan of God from His word and knowing His promises, we live by faith, looking for His appearing while walking in His will, whatever it may be for each of us.  Don’t be surprised by people getting worse.

What if …

                Terrible times come with perversion and evil manifested in shocking ways?

God has told us this is going to happen.  First and Second Timothy speak of it along with many other passages.  Why would this surprise us?  Do we focus on their actions or do we grieve for their lost souls, seeking opportunity to share the gospel in love?

What if…

                God allows pestilence, famine, catastrophic disasters, and environmental change?

God has told us this will happen.  As He prepares the earth for the coming tribulation, we should expect increasing troubles.  As time gets closer, these things will increase.  In the face of disaster, people can be more concerned about death and are tender to hear the message of God, the good news, the gospel, which speaks of God’s provision for mankind to be saved from eternal destruction and punishment for sin.  It gives us opportunity to share the love of God.

What if…

                God’s revealed wrath against unrighteousness and ungodliness is easily seen?

Romans, chapter one speaks of the wrath of God is revealed against ungodliness and unrighteousness.  Sometimes God’s workings are easily seen.  Other times we wonder how long before His judgment will come?  Death and destruction of ungodly people should break our hearts.  People are dying without hope.  Do we sit back and watch with satisfaction that they are finally getting their just rewards or do we grieve as Jesus did over Jerusalem?  What is my response?

What if…

                Christians do not desire or listen to sound doctrine?

In Second Timothy, Paul warns Timothy that there will come times where Christians will not want sound doctrine.  Why would this surprise us when God has warned us it would happen?  Those who do not study will find themselves lacking and ashamed.  This is why good people who love the Lord follow causes and take stands contrary to the Word of God.  They are lacking in spiritual depth and maturity.  Just by me stating this would offend some.

Sound doctrine is necessary for a sound mind.  The stability God intends for the believer will increase the more we know His promises.  According to First Corinthians chapter two, the spiritual, mature believer will take the truths of God’s Word and make sound judgments based upon them.  To do that, we must know His Word.  Praise the Lord, the Holy Spirit will help us in our understanding as we study.

Being warned of God that people will not endure sound doctrine, we can each make sure we do not become one of those people.  We can be students of the Word, rightly dividing it with the Holy Spirit guiding us into all truth.

What if…

                Believers get caught up in the issues of the day and lose sight of God’s purposes and work?

As Peter in the garden, I wonder how many ears I have cut off, thinking that what I was standing for or contending about was so important.  I hope with age, that I have increased in my ability to know which battles are important and which are not.  I certainly do not want to stand against God’s plan or cut off ears while God is doing something else.

It is easy to get caught up in the issue of the day because it is foremost in people’s minds.  We must seek God’s perspective on the issues and act accordingly with the fruit of the Spirit evidenced in our demeanor.  A question I ask myself is; will this matter in 50 years?  It has often been said; we can win a battle but lose the war.  We can get people to conform to right action while losing their hearts.  What is my focus, right action or right hearts?  Who is my focus?  What is the purpose of my life and the work of my day?

As a believer we are to walk in the Spirit, committed to God’s will.  He will lead us correctly as we walk with Him.

What if…

                Spiritual maturity is determined by wearing a mask or not wearing a mask?

I ask this question to show how easy it is for issues of the day to control our thinking and attitudes.  What if we are required to wear a mask, would we or why wouldn’t we?  I remember when I was a motorcycle rider.  A law requiring us to wear helmets was passed in our state.  The reaction was similar to the mask mandate.  Some already wore helmets while others said they never would.  I didn’t even own a helmet at the time but soon bought one.

With masks, I have seen people use the issue as a way to determine people’s spirituality.  How silly can we be?

What if…

                Christians are confronted with performance based mindsets?

Does our performance determine our spirituality or does our spirituality determine our performance?  It should be that walking in the Spirit; we live godly and righteously in this present world with the Holy Spirit leading us into the good work God sets before us.  Godliness does not come from doing the right things.  Godliness comes from walking in the Spirit and God producing righteousness through us.  This goes to our focus.  Do we focus on doing the right thing or on walking with our Lord, giving Him control of everything in our lives?

What if…

                Christians are required to have a personal, intimate, and consistent relationship with Christ?

Here is the practical conclusion of the matter.  We are to walk humbly with our God.  We are to have a personal, intimate, and consistent relationship with the Lord, committed to His will, His plans, and His purposes whatever they would be and however He would lead.  This is why Paul’s prayer in Colossians 1:9-12 is so important and is my prayer for you.  I hope and pray that I will never be cutting off any more ears.  Keep looking up for our redemption draws close.  “Even so, come Lord Jesus.”

The Mark of the Beast

In my lifetime, I have heard from many sources, read articles and books, and watched movies and videos, about references to the mark of the beast. People try to identify the mark, label it, create doctrine about it, and try to build systems of economy, policy, and conspiracy with the technology of the day. During my lifetime, I can share many theories espoused as truth or defined as a definite probability concerning the identity of the mark. I want to address the issue with some logical thoughts from my years of observation and study.

First, I am not the final authority, God is the authority and He has given us His Word. The things I will say will be open to debate and further study, I am not God. What He says is not open to debate, for He has given us the truth. We study His truth and apply it to our lives, situations, and the world around us. Problems come when we try to make our conclusions equal with His truth or debate them on the same level.

Prophecy is one area where speculation and application has been stated as fact. People take the events at the moment and try to interpret them, creating scenarios with current events, which are nothing more than possibilities. Many have proven to be erroneous with the passing of time. Unfortunately this has created in people skepticism with anything to do with prophecy; some even giving up the study of God’s revealed truth concerning the future.

The mark of the beast is a recent topic with the current events of chipping, Bill Gates, and vaccines possibly embedded with microscopic chips. People are drawing conclusions. Some say they will never allow themselves to be microchipped. The debate literally rages on social media.

Can I say that the world is heading toward the end times described in the Bible? Yes, definitely. God is preparing things for the end times. But let’s not neglect truth. Can we have the mark of the beast without the beast? No, no matter what is done: chip, credit card, social security number, or anything else. Some even try to identify the beast, thus giving legitimacy to their conclusions about the mark. The beast will not be revealed until the earth is in the tribulation period. My question remains. How can we have a mark of the beast without the beast?

This is just one area of concern with the current discussions. Another problem I have is with the fear and conclusions that have been drawn from the world events. God does not give us the spirit of fear. Some people are obsessed with identifying something we cannot identify or will we even see if the pretribulation rapture is correct. So whatever marks, chips, social security number, or whatever new technology comes, it is not and will not be used as the mark of the beast until the tribulation.

Conclusions –
1. The first conclusion is that I don’t need to worry about accidently getting the mark. It will be on purpose with the beast and purpose being identified. People will know.
2. I cannot lose my salvation from a mark, chip or any other thing. Salvation is secure in Christ.
3. The pretribulation rapture position teaches I will not be in the tribulation. So why spend time worrying about the mark?
4. If the rapture is mid-tribulation or prewrath, then the beast will be known. It will not be a guessing game for those taking the mark. They will know exactly what they are doing. Again, can Christians lose their salvation?
5. If you are amillennial in your position of future events, then that part of Revelation is allegory. Therefore the mark is not literal and there is no reason to be concerned about it.

So, there is nothing about the mark of the beast for the believer to be concerned or worry about now. Technology will continue to grow. Can we see things getting ready for end times? Yes. Is a chip embedded in your hand the mark of the beast? No. Not till the tribulation will the mark be given that is of the beast. A Christian who receives a chip now is not going to lose their salvation. It is impossible for that to happen. For me personal, looking into the things happening in our world, the chip thing and others, is sometimes interesting. But I refuse to let my perception of or anyone else’s interpretation of world events become the determining factor for how I live. We must take the Word of God and apply it to the situations of life, a biblical world view. Right doctrine takes away panic, fear, and worry. Wrong doctrine or application of doctrine will create panic, fear, and worry. So…

You and me, God, let’s go!

Study

Trust Your Horse

Many lessons can be learned from working with horses. Growing up in Wyoming with “Horses, Hitches, and Rocky Trails,” and the riding of horses has taught me many things. Some old-time horse people will understand the reference to the book. One lesson impacting my life was to trust your horse.

Riding a horse on the trail through the mountains is a wonderful experience; with the creak of the saddle, the scent and beauty of the forest, the water tumbling over rocks in the creek bed, and the blue sky stretching upward from the ridges and mountain peaks. As you sit on top of a horse many feet above the ground, fear of falling is a concern. Fears of the horse running away with you, bucking you off, or making wrong steps as you go near a cliff must be dealt with in order to enjoy the ride. If you do not trust the horse, a ride through the mountains can be filled with anxiety. You have to learn to trust your horse.

We used to ride at night to get deep within the mountains or we would come out of the mountains late in the evening riding in the dark to the trailhead. Riding at night gave us the opportunity to enjoy daylight deep within the wilderness, far from roads and people. You have to trust your horse if you are riding in the dark. The horse can see at night. It will stay on the trail as you go through the mountains. A good horse does not need you to direct it in order to stay on course. They will follow the trail. Just sit in the saddle, loosely holding the reins. The horse will take you home.

My trust of the horse became so deep that I would tie the reins into a knot over the neck of the horse, letting go of them because there was no need to take control of the horse. I had trust in my horse. I can remember riding under the beautiful night sky so relaxed that I would be half asleep, sometimes even nodding totally asleep. I have heard many stories of cowboys sleeping in the saddle. It is not hard to do when you trust your horse.

God has set a path before each of us. When we trust Him completely and give him the reins or control, He will take us where He wants us. It’s like trusting my horse. If I didn’t trust him, I would try and control each movement. But as I learned to trust my horse, I could simply rest, knowing it would take me down the trail. In the same way, I can give God control of every area of my life with the knowledge that He will keep me on the path, carrying me along the way, enabling me to continue in faith, peace, and grace, and giving me the experience a full life in the journey. We miss out when we don’t trust the Lord enough to give Him control. We need to learn and grow in our trust of Him.

Yes. Learning to trust a horse was very instrumental in teaching me what trusting my God will look like in my life experience. Trust the Lord. He is worthy of our trust. Give Him the reins of your life and enjoy the journey.

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My Dad riding one of our favorite horses.

Frustration!

Frustrated! This one word describes the condition of many people looking at the events of today. Who do we believe? What do we believe? This morning, with a short perusal of Facebook, I saw numerous articles espousing either the pros or the cons of wearing facemasks. I opened my email to an announcement from the public information officer of our community that they have restocked their supply of masks and the masks are now available for distribution. If you wear a mask, you can safely pick up a mask from the city.

Reactions to masks vary. If you wear a mask, you are characterized as someone who is foolish, overreacting, and not trusting the Lord. If you don’t wear a mask, you are characterized as a person who is foolish, callous, and uncaring. Frustrating! This is just the mask issue. Then there is the medical side of all that is happening. Is the virus as bad as some are saying? Is it no worse than the normal flu? Is it going to spike in death rates as we start opening up society? Who knows? Frustrating! We have not even started looking into the conspiracies and slants of statistics, media, and biases. That’s even more frustrating.

A phrase from my growing up years in Wyoming comes to mind. This is not my first rodeo. In other words, it is not the first time I have felt frustration. In dealing with it, my first tendency is to simply get away from it. One humorous, outdoors writer would say that the answer to life’s problems and difficult situations is, “Let’s go fishing.” The trouble with that is; the problems we are facing will still be there when we get back from our fishing trip. We may even have problems when fishing. The fish might be wearing facemasks; at least they must have something covering their mouths, because they are not biting. Frustrating!

Jesus said that He gives us peace. Not peace that would come from the world or situations, but His peace. Paul encouraged Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:14 to carry on in what he knew for sure. This is great advice in a time of intense frustration. What do I know for sure? There are so many varied reports on masks, the virus, whether quarantine works or is useless, political ploys or conspiracies, attempts at worldwide control in the guise of protecting people, and whether this is a manufactured or natural virus. I have opinions on each of those subjects, but then again, so do you, and I’m sure we agree on every aspect of them. Not!

What do I know for sure? God is still God. He still loves me and nothing will separate me from His love, even death itself. God is not surprised by what is happening in the world today. He is still working His plan. He has purpose in what He is doing and what He is allowing man to do. I am secure in Him. No one can change that. I know there is much more going on than any one person would ever know. I know God’s Word is still powerful. I know there are still people coming to Christ, accepting Him as their Savior.

So what does God want me to do through this? He wants me to continue to trust Him, follow Him, let Him work in me and through me, and to be faithful. He wants me to focus on truth, His truth. I wonder how many hours are spent researching the virus issues with the varying opinions. If we would spend even half that time studying what we know for sure, our thinking would be much clearer on the frustrating issues around us. Some things, we would even refuse to think about because they are just opinions, ideas, and many, even in the best thinking, are just guesstimates. I am simply going to do the next thing God puts before me to do, while trusting Him to work in and through all that is going on around me. Do I stick my head in the sand? No. I simply acknowledge the difference between those things that I know for sure and the things I do not. I don’t let the things I am unsure of be the controlling factors in my life. I act and react as the Lord leads. God is still God and He is still working His plan. I’m sure! He still loves me. I’m sure!

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I’m Fine, Except for the Bad Parts

“I’m fine, except for the bad parts, but we all have them; it’s just, how we deal with them.” This phrase has opened many conversations. I use it when people ask me how I am doing. “I’m fine except for the bad parts.” Most people are not interested in the bad parts of life when they ask how we are. They are simply being kind. But when I quickly add that we all have things in life that we are struggling to overcome, people often identify with the phrase; whatever the issue may be for them. We all have problems of one type or another.

Responding the way I do to the question “How are you?” often causes people to stop and think for a moment. It is almost as if you can see the wheels turning in their mind. Their thoughts turn to the issues they are dealing with at the moment. The person may even share some things they are going through, allowing for a longer and deeper conversation. In other words, people open up.

As we interact with people around us in social settings, how often do we think of them being in difficult situations? Most people have problems that they only let their inner circle of friends know and some don’t even tell them. If issues and problems are so prevalent, why not acknowledge them? Oh, there is the other side of it too. Some people never stop talking about their problems or issues. It is said of them that they enjoy bad health or having problems.

Of course we do not want to be complainers or encourage others to be. But how can we help someone if we do not know about their needs and how can someone help us if we never tell anyone we are hurting? I am reminded of a situation where a family was on the verge of destruction but no one knew it. They had never shared that there was a problem. My statement, I’m fine except for the bad parts has opened the door for some of these things to be shared.

Finding a pathway into people’s lives is never easy. This is just one of many ways the Lord has given me to deeper than just, “I’m fine.” What are some of the ways you use? I hope we are all searching for ways to connect with those around us. We want to share the love of God to those around us.

Study

North American Leaf Free Trade Agreement

You have heard of NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement. It allowed import and export between Canada, the United States, and Mexico, without tariffs. The problem with trade is when a country imports more than it exports.

I am part of the NALFTA. You may wonder what this is. It is the North American Leaf Free Trade Agreement. I don’t remember signing up but apparently I’m a member. It must be a local agreement between neighbors, providing for the free exchange of leaves from our trees. Today I spent hours dealing with leaves, my neighbors doing the same in their yards.

As I was gathering leaves into bags, I tried to examine them for the tree of origin. They are not labeled, made by the neighbor’s tree, but I can tell that some of them are not mine. We don’t grow that kind of tree or bush in our yard. So upon close examination, I wonder if there is a trade imbalance. Are more leaves being imported into my yard than I am export to the neighbors?

So far, no one has said anything about the leaves I have exported nor have I said anything about the leaves being imported to my yard. A wind could fill my yard again with the neighbor’s leaves, or maybe it could blow the rest of mine to the neighbors. Upon closer examination, I see most of the leaves in my yard are from my trees. I did watch some leaves from our trees cross property lines in accordance to the North American LEAF Free Trade Agreement, NALFTA.

I think I am exporting more than I am importing. It works well when you do. I like being a member of the NALFTA. I do feel sorry for the neighbors who have to rake my leaves from their yard but then again, they are members too.

So as the neighbors rake my leaves, I think of it as the windfall of the NALFTA and am thankful we’re all a part of the agreement. But I still don’t remember signing up.
– Monte LeavellFall Leaves

It’s so Obvious!

It is so obvious! There are times when we see the hand of God working. It is right before our eyes. God is working. This is what we recently experienced in ministry. As I have written in a previous article, we often look back and see God’s working in our lives. We can see how He orchestrated each event. It is easier to see the hand of God when we look back.

But there are times in our lives that we actually see God working at the moment. On our latest ministry trip, we saw God doing great things. It was not something one person noticed. It was everyone involved. The changing of hearts, the opening of eyes to truth, and the working of the Holy Spirit was evident.

We cannot produce these things. Only God can. We must rely on Him. He is working. Sometimes we do not see His working until we look back, but when He makes it obvious, everyone sees His working. It is special when it is obvious, but just because we may not see the evidence does not mean He is not working.

God is working. Sometimes it is easily seen at the moment and other times is seen as we look back over the day, week, month, or years.

Misplaced Confidence

Did you ever have a person tell you something and you were unable to determine if they were teasing, joking, or stating a fact? When I was a small boy, my dad would tease me by telling me something silly. One thing he said was that my brains were in my feet. As a six year old, I had no idea my dad was telling me something untrue. I had confidence in him. I even went to school, being in first grade and argued that my brains were in my feet. My dad said so! I soon found that my confidence was misplaced. I learned my lesson; my dad enjoyed teasing people. That certainly made my childhood interesting and fun.

Confidence is a good trait for individuals. The problem comes when we place our trust in someone or something not reliable. Confidence in the Lord is never wrong. If God says He will do something, you can be sure He will. If He tells us about ourselves, our family life, our church, our world, or of the conflicts within each, you can trust what He says. When He speaks of the forgiveness of sin, freedom from condemnation, joy in the midst of trials, and of peace that this world cannot experience apart from Him, you can believe Him.

Confidence has much value in our lives. When it is in the right place or person, the worth is beyond compare. The Bible gives many statements about confidence or persuasion. Some demonstrate misplaced confidences while others show properly placed faith in the Lord and His working. I will list a few examples of the right object of confidence. I encourage you to read and study them:

• Philippians 1:6
• 2 Corinthians 5:6, 8
• 1 John 2:28
• 1 John 3:21
• Romans 8:38
• 2 Timothy 1:12

There are others to add but this is a good start. We all have confidence in something or someone. Your confidence, faith, trust, or belief in Lord and His Word is never misplaced.

Happy New Year?

I woke up this morning thinking about the New Year. We want to look forward with anticipation of good things. It’s not the case for many people. We have friends who have recently lost loved ones, some facing medical issues, some in the last days of life on this earth. We know others who face issues at work, family relationship problems, and situations that require drastic measures. For all of us, this life comes with difficulties and trials. So, can we really wish someone a Happy New Year?

Hope! We hope for good things for ourselves , for our families, friends, and for everyone. Yes, we can wish everyone a Happy New Year. There is hope that the events of life, difficulties, and trials will turn out well.

The source of good in this life and eternity is God. In Him there is hope. Even as we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, God is with us and we will never be separated from His love. There is much heartache, sorrow, pain, and suffering. But there is also love, joy, and peace.

Just because I wish you a Happy New Year does not mean that I don’t care or realize you are facing difficult issues in life. I wish for you to know the joy, love, and strength to endure that comes from our God. So no matter the circumstances, yours or ours, may each of us experience love, joy, and peace this year. There is hope in the Lord.

While He May Be Found

A catchy phrase stays in our minds. Some can quote movie lines, commercial catch-phrases, song lyrics, and famous quotes with great accuracy. I have noticed myself thinking about various Christmas themed quotes during this season. Maybe you will recognize some of them.

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.” This phrase comes to mind as I venture into the mall, shopping centers, and throughout our neighborhood. Then I breathe the crisp outside air, see the snow, and feel the chill penetrate through my coat. Memories come of previous seasons, causing me to evaluate, bringing me to the conclusion, yes, it is beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

“The Birthday of the King.” We had a man in our second church who would sing this song every year as a special. He put much effort into singing it with grace and confidence. It was wonderful and is still a precious memory.

“O Holy Night.” I always looked forward to hearing a lady in our first church sing this for a special at Christmas time. She beautifully sang the song with its wonderful words. “The soul felt its worth.” What a deep impacting phrase, the meaning reaching into hearts as we contemplate the significance of it.

“The reason for the season.” Of course, the birth of Jesus is the reason for the season, a good thing to remember through the extra activity and busyness.

One of my favorites is, “Wise men still seek Him.” The Bible speaks of seeking the Lord while He may be found though He is not far from any of us. But the words, “wise men,” signify that those who are truly serious and studious will seek. The sad part is that I know Christians who give no evidence of a desire to seek the Lord, or walk with the Lord. Jesus is not only the reason for the season but He is the life giver. Every day, we should walk with Him. Armed with the knowledge of who He is and what He does in and through lives, wise ones will seek Him.

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December a few years ago at our home.