My Divine Assignment: To Encourage Others

A dear friend who has gone to be with the Lord once told me I was her Barnabas which Biblically means "encourager." I never saw myself like that, but as I've grown in my walk with the Lord it seems that is my desire. I hope that what I share here will be an encouragement to you as we trust the Lord - for great is His Faithfulness.

My Divine Assignment: To Encourage Others.
In Christ's Love, Shelley

KEEP His JOY IN TRIALS, TEARS & TRIUMPHS ~~ A WOMAN'S HEART SHOULD BE SO COMPLETELY LOST IN God THAT A MAN MUST SEEK Him TO FIND HER ~~ Our desire to learn God's Word must be greater than our need to breathe ~~

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Welcome Santa, Celebrate Jesus !!!

     As followers of Christ, we want to be truthful about Christmas & it's traditions.  Sometimes this can be challenging.  I purchased a great video by the creator of Veggie Tales titled "Buck Denver - Why Do We Call It Christmas?"  I learned quite a bit  as far as Christmas traditions & how they came about.
     Last week on the news,  atheists were saying that Christians "stole" the  traditions from pagans & winter solstice.  Question - do atheists think stealing is wrong & if so where did they get that belief?  I found that  quite humorous if it wasn't so disheartening that so many people are looking for "something."  I pray that at Christmas & all through the year we are sharing that "Something" or should I say Someone to give them hope, peace & JOY in the midst of difficult times.
     A wonderful book I purchased years ago reveals the real story - The Story of St. Nicholas - more than reindeer & a red suit by Cheryl Odden.  As believers, we do not have to exclude Santa from our Christmas because he was a follower of Christ - giving & helping because he loved Jesus. 
     I pray that we will welcome Santa into our homes & see the delight on little ones faces from the gifts they have been given.  Then let us celebrate Jesus because He is God's greatest Gift.
     For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given...and His Name shall be Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.    Isaiah 9:6

Friday, December 9, 2011

To Christmas or not to ....

   As I "mature," it seems with each passing year I want to decorate a little less. There are a few reasons for this. First, I just don't want to unpack & pack all that "stuff" I used to put out. Second, I continue to desire to simplify & what better place to start than with Christmas decorations.  I have given  many of my decorations to the Salvation Army these past few years.  Third, the Nativity is the basis of my decor now, as I have many different ones, including the Willow Tree set which my girls gave me & children's nativities that my little ones love to rearrange. I love the Nativity & I so want my focus to be on The One who came to seek & save the lost.  I was lost.
   Most of us are aware that there is a "war" on Christmas. Could it be that it has the word CHRIST in it?  My humble opinion - YES !!!!  Yet there is a dispute among Believers - should we even celebrate Christmas because many of the traditions were "re-made" from pagan celebrations.  Read more about this -  Got Questions? 
     I've thought about this "controversy"  YET even if some  Christmas traditions came from pagan rituals, we know that God can take what the evil one has purposed for harm & our Lord will use it for good.  Pastor Joseph Parker has said, "I believe people have a greater openness to the Gospel at Christmas."
     It's not about what or how , but WHO we celebrate.  If my heart is right with God, if my desire is to tell others about the Saving Grace of God during this time of year, then I will celebrate Christmas.  For my God, the Creator of the Universe, who stepped down from His Throne to come as a Baby is greater than any pagan tradition.  Let's not miss this opportunity to share The Good News when so many people are in need spiritually & hurting hearts long to be healed by His Touch. We are His Feet & Hands.

 We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, who are called according to His purpose.  Romans 8:28

 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for see - I am bringing you good news of great joy for ALL the people.   Luke 2:10 

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