Things can Change in a Heartbeat: Give Jesus a Chance

 

Well, Christmas 2016 is over.

My holiday took an extremely unexpected – shall we say ‘turn’ – when I stepped outside onto the 2nd. floor landing of my apartment stairs. What I didn’t realize: how slippery it was.

Things happen fast.

My left foot shot our from under me like greased lightning.

How quickly – in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye – we can lose control. And there is nothing you can do about it. Even if there was, the whole thing is over before you even have time to do it anyway.

Oddly calm, I remember knowing that this was it, I was either about to die from tumbling headlong down the stairs, or sustain severely broken bones, maybe my back. Like that, it can be over.

~~~

Well, it wasn’t.

~~~

I don’t think that I was ‘lucky’. I think that either Jesus Himself, or an angel sent as a ministering spirit guided my fall or actually set me down, in a seated, upright position with the door sill right up against my lower back area.  I was not aware of any jolting impact. I noticed I was in no pain. Check. Nothing seemed broken. Check. Or bleeding. Check.

For He shall give His angels charge over thee…they shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.”  (Psalm 91: 11, 12)

Wow.

~~~

I had been carrying a box full of Christmas presents, which barely spilled out. They were okay, too…

I had not even had time to panic before it was over & I realized I was basically unharmed. After a minute, I carefully raised myself up, looking around and beginning to notice that the toe of my left foot was hurting. That got alot worse as the day wore on, witangels-charge_2h swelling & bruising, but apart from that and the onset of shock & nausea etc., at this moment I seem  relatively unscathed.  Some may say, Well, you still fell down & you did actually hurt your foot, so….what’s your point?  My point is that it could’ve been so much worse.

~~~

 

I imagine as the days go by, I will experience a continuing aftermath of realizations. Today, though, mainly I keep recalling my ‘flying through the air’ moment, no contact with the ground or handrail or anything…but Jesus. I know this is hindsight, maybe I’m wrong, but in that moment I think I sensed I was being somehow ‘held’. I just didn’t have time to consciously process it, so initially  I assumed the worst .

~~~

…so my Christmas Day was delayed for a while, I ended up on my sofa with ice on my foot. When I finally made it to the family gathering…well, the starch was knocked out of me, sooo….but I find that without all the usual hullaballoo – and nothing wrong with that! – I seem to be seeing spiritual reality with a wonderful focus and clarity. Today, I think my ‘eye is single’. (That’s not always the case!)

“Therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light.”  (Luke 11:34)

Over the years, so many times at Christmas I’ve heard those cliché statements about Jesus that I knew should’ve resonated with me but did not. I was doing my Christmas thing, ya know? But today – today I get it. There is nothing more important than knowing Jesus. The real Jesus. He is so unbelievably integral to all things that it behooves any one of us to give Him a chance.  Every day.

 

 

Advertisements

Christmas 2016…some Gifts aren’t Tangible

 

 

In years past, I’ve written articles relating to this Christmas time of year, or re-published  ones previously written to mark the holiday season.

(https://godhistoryandyou.wordpress.com/2011/12/20/about-that-christmas-tree/ https://godhistoryandyou.wordpress.com/2008/12/19/on-the-giving-of-gifts-etc-at-christmas/)

christmas-tree-fireplace This year – for me personally, it is a landmark holiday season – but my Christmas time post might not even include that much about the actual holiday. Maybe nothing…we’ll see…I’m not sure where I’m going with this…

~~~

 

 

In the comments section of one of Lana Vawser’s recent prophetic posts (https://lanavawser.com/2016/12/anxiety-attacks-attempting-to-come-upon-the-writers-and-pioneers/) concerning anxiety, someone explained that Jesus had shown her, in a dream/vision, to simply worship Him when anxiety strikes. Turn your back on the adversary, the enemy of your soul. My anxiety levels at that time were unusually high, almost at an unprecedented level, so I began practicing spur-of-the moment worship. When numbing, immobilizing fear gripped me, when my stomach began crunching from dread or anxiety, I began stopping whatever I was doing, wherever I was, and entering into my own ‘compressed’ version of bowing down before Him. I usually could not concentrate very well in these tormented moments, so I kept it simple. Very simple. And I don’t know that I worshipped Jesus so much as said “I worship You, Jesus.”

But it worked.

~~~

Why this is happening now, in the way that it is, and not years ago during so many times of prayer & supplication, intrigues me. What is different?

~~~

The Scriptures speak of all things being put under His feet. ( Jesus’ feet, that is.)  And the glory, the power, and the kingdoms belonging to Him. Do you want to keep some things out from under His feet & instead keep them under yours? Ya want some of that power for yourself? So maybe you aren’t willing to yield it all up…I am now sure I was not willing. And I cannot say if I even recognized that.

What I can say is, in declaring “I worship You, Jesus” out loud (even if softly) & in public places that were not churches or Bible studies – I FELT myself yielding things up. I FELT myself ‘coming under’ Him in a way I never had before. I FELT & I SAW Jesus covering me, and all that I was yielding. HE is the Possessor of heaven & earth, and all that is herein. HE is your Champion. He is gracious. He’s got your back…

~~~

Merry Christmas!

 

christmas-star_2

Wise Men still Seek Him

 

…about that Christmas Tree…

Author’s noteAs I see Christmas Day bearing down on me, and wanting to eliminate any stress that I can!, I’m not attempting a special post for this December 25th.  Rather, I am reblogging again one from 2011. 

But I do want to make a very somber and serious observation on our times, one which I had been hearing about for a few years now, but wasn’t aware of in my own areas of life.  Franklin Graham hit the nail on the head in his article “The War on Christmas.”  By endorsing Rev. Graham’s thoughts on the ‘sacred nature of Christmas’ I might seem to be contradicting my own, expressed in the following post.  Not my intention at all!  Rather, the removal of God in Christ from any aspect of our society will leave us an emptiness & lack of joy that will only get worse.  I have never been so aware of hearing “Happy Holidays”, and not one “Merry Christmas.”  Twice, I wished cashiers “Merry Christmas” recently, and they seemed caught off-guard, flustered. I felt a little bit sad.  I had not realized how far along spiritual changes had progressed.

Even so, we who still believe, (regardless of how we do or don’t celebrate Christmas) keep on keeping on, looking within our own hearts & spirits, where Christ dwells, and shines.  And the darkness overcomes it not. 

ΑΩ

 

 

All around the world, people are preparing to celebrate that Holiday of all holidays, Christmas.  Like the siren call of myth, the lure of yuletide activity is almost impossible to resist.  Even the Scrooges I’ve known, still, amidst their bah humbugs! usually join in the celebrations, one way or another.  Just about everyone finds him or her self sitting around a Christmas tree, sharing food and exchanging gifts amidst garland, glitter and goodwill.  And those who aren’t able to, wish they were.

What is it about that Christmas tree?  I’ve been working on mine for awhile now, off & on, taking my time and ensuring that it is just right!  Why do almost all of us do it?

My money is on hope and expectation.

We think we’re ‘decorating a Christmas tree’, but the roots go much deeper than that.  People are looking for something better.  We want the comfort & contentment of security.  We want the release of joy.  I believe the decorated Christmas tree stands as a symbol & token of such things.   For myself, I find an almost inviolable sense of peace, of serenity as I gaze upon my own tree, with its twinkling lights and its sparkling elegance.  It is a silent and immoveable testimony to enduring abundance.

“I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”   (John 10:10)

~~~

Springing up around the centuries-old tradition of decorating a live evergreen tree at Christmas time are several different stories pointing to its origin.  Reading these accounts I learned that it was possible that Martin Luther himself had set this practice in motion…or St. Boniface…and the tradition began in Germany…no, wait, it was France…I’ve seen Egypt mentioned…well, actually, it looks like ancient Rome was where the practice first surfaced…

And speaking of the ancient Romans, their trees were just pieces of evergreen shrubs decorated with bits of metal, celebrating a winter festival (that ended on December 25) in honor of their god of agriculture, Saturnus.   The pagan god Bacchus was honored in a similar fashion as well.  And the prophet Jeremiah wrote of the cutting down & adorning of trees, declaring it a vain, heathen custom  (Jeremiah 10: 2–4).  So it does seem that what eventually became the symbol of the birth of the Saviour of the world, the Lord Jesus Christ, had its roots in pagan practices.

 I find it so amazing, then, that the ultimate outcome of God-less ritual became this universally recognized symbol of  true Life, eternal Life.  Talk about transformation!  Talk about restoration!  Talk about mortality being swallowed up of Life!  In fact, turning it inside out, who is to say that this very outcome was not the original intention of a  seed constrained within an outward expression of another sort.    Certain types of men “..hold the truth in unrighteousness.” (Romans 1:18) 

But the truth is still there.  When Ecclesiastes 3:11 speaks of God placing the world in their heart (the hearts of human beings), it is important to know that the more literal meaning of ‘world’ connotes a sense of eternity, and that which is concealed (Strong’s Concordance, Hebrew #5769, #5956.)  This awareness is placed within us all.  That is a good thing.  Those invisible things are understood by the visible, created things…such as a tree…but ‘vain imaginations’ (Romans 1:21)  darken hearts, and what is produced misses the mark. 

You end up with a raggedy shrub wearing scraps of metal.

How triumphant, then, is the glorious Christmas tree of today! 

 “…The evergreen theme continues to weave its way through the history of Christmas trees as a symbol of the promise of life to come…” (link)  While this statement refers to the warmth of spring after a cold, hard winter, there is another Parallel here.  The truth of eternal Life in Christ, who has abolished death!  bears witness of Itself throughout this same history.

~~~  

      

…on the Giving of Gifts, etc. at Christmas

Jesus, the Revolution & You

For those of you who may have read my recentChristmas posts, I direct this, uh, warning: my next words will make it appear that I’m doing a complete 180′ on the whole ‘keeping Christ in Christmas’ theme. Be assured, that is not my intent at all! I just have a real problem with religiousness. Some don’t realize, so did Jesus…

Years back, I listened to a Christmas Eve message, via radio, broadcast by Jack Hayford, at that time pastor of the Church Along the Way (I think that was the name) in California. ‘Born-again’ celebrities attended his church. I think he is a very cool guy.

Pastor Jack was saying something like this: he had a real problem with ‘religiousness’, too, meaning, persons who had a thumbs-down ‘tude towards the celebratory aspects of the Christmas holiday, giving gifts, etc., and having parties. For the rest of my life…

View original post 435 more words

…so, about that Christmas Tree?

 

All around the world, people are preparing to celebrate that Holiday of all holidays, Christmas.  Like the siren call of myth, the lure of yuletide activity is almost impossible to resist.  Even the Scrooges I’ve known, still, amidst their bah humbugs! usually join in the celebrations, one way or another.  Just about everyone finds him or her self sitting around a Christmas tree, sharing food and exchanging gifts amidst garland, glitter and goodwill.  And those who aren’t able to, wish they were.

What is it about that Christmas tree?  I’ve been working on mine for awhile now, off & on, taking my time and ensuring that it is just right!  Why do almost all of us do it?

My money is on hope and expectation.

We think we’re ‘decorating a Christmas tree’, but the roots go much deeper than that.  People are looking for something better.  We want the comfort & contentment of security.  We want the release of joy.  I believe the decorated Christmas tree stands as a symbol & token of such things.   For myself, I find an almost inviolable sense of peace, of serenity as I gaze upon my own tree, with its twinkling lights and its sparkling elegance.  It is a silent and immoveable testimony to enduring abundance.

“I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”   (John 10:10)

~~~

English: A Christmas Tree at HomeSpringing up around the centuries-old tradition of decorating a live evergreen tree at Christmas time are several different stories pointing to its origin.  Reading these accounts,  I learned that it was possible that Martin Luther himself had set this practice in motion…or St. Boniface…and the tradition began in Germany…no, wait, it was France…I’ve seen Egypt mentioned…well, actually, it looks like ancient Rome was where the practice first surfaced…

And speaking of the ancient Romans, their trees were just pieces of evergreen shrubs decorated with bits of metal, celebrating a winter festival (that ended on December 25) in honor of their god of agriculture, Saturnus.   The pagan god Bacchus was honored in a similar fashion as well.  And the prophet Jeremiah wrote of the cutting down & adorning of trees, declaring it a vain, heathen custom  (Jeremiah 10: 2–4).  So it does seem that what eventually became the symbol of the birth of the Saviour of the world, the Lord Jesus Christ, had its roots in pagan practices.

I find it so amazing, then, that the ultimate outcome of God-less ritual became this universally recognized symbol of  true Life, eternal Life.  Talk about transformation!  Talk about restoration!  Talk about mortality being swallowed up of Life!  In fact, turning it inside out, who is to say that this very outcome was not the original intention of a  seed constrained within an outward expression of another sort.    Certain types of men “..hold the truth in unrighteousness.” (Romans 1:18)

But the truth is still there.  When Ecclesiastes 3:11 speaks of God placing the world in their heart (the hearts of human beings), it is important to know that the more literal meaning of ‘world’ connotes a sense of eternity, and that which is concealed (Strong’s Concordance, Hebrew #5769, #5956.)  This awareness is placed within us all.  That is a good thing.  Those invisible things are understood by the visible, created things…such as a tree…but ‘vain imaginations’ (Romans 1:21)  darken hearts, and what is produced misses the mark.

You end up with a ragged shrub wearing scraps of metal.

How triumphant, then, is the glorious Christmas tree of today!

“…The evergreen theme continues to weave its way through the history of Christmas trees as a symbol of the promise of life to come…” (link)  While this statement refers to the warmth of spring after a cold, hard winter, there is another Parallel here.  The truth of eternal Life in Christ, who has abolished death!  bears witness of Itself throughout this same history.

~~~

…about that Christmas Tree…

All around the world, people are preparing to celebrate that Holiday of all holidays, Christmas.  Like the siren call of myth, the lure of yuletide activity is almost impossible to resist.  Even the Scrooges I’ve known, still, amidst their bah humbugs! usually join in the celebrations, one way or another.  Just about everyone finds him or her self sitting around a Christmas tree, sharing food and exchanging gifts amidst garland, glitter and goodwill.  And those who aren’t able to, wish they were.

What is it about that Christmas tree?  I’ve been working on mine for awhile now, off & on, taking my time and ensuring that it is just right!  Why do almost all of us do it?

My money is on hope and expectation.

We think we’re ‘decorating a Christmas tree’, but the roots go much deeper than that.  People are looking for something better.  We want the comfort & contentment of security.  We want the release of joy.  I believe the decorated Christmas tree stands as a symbol & token of such things.   For myself, I find an almost inviolable sense of peace, of serenity as I gaze upon my own tree, with its twinkling lights and its sparkling elegance.  It is a silent and immoveable testimony to enduring abundance.

“I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”   (John 10:10)

~~~

Springing up around the centuries-old tradition of decorating a live evergreen tree at Christmas time are several different stories pointing to its origin.  Reading these accounts I learned that it was possible that Martin Luther himself had set this practice in motion…or St. Boniface…and the tradition began in Germany…no, wait, it was France…I’ve seen Egypt mentioned…well, actually, it looks like ancient Rome was where the practice first surfaced…

And speaking of the ancient Romans, their trees were just pieces of evergreen shrubs decorated with bits of metal, celebrating a winter festival (that ended on December 25) in honor of their god of agriculture, Saturnus.   The pagan god Bacchus was honored in a similar fashion as well.  And the prophet Jeremiah wrote of the cutting down & adorning of trees, declaring it a vain, heathen custom  (Jeremiah 10: 2–4).  So it does seem that what eventually became the symbol of the birth of the Saviour of the world, the Lord Jesus Christ, had its roots in pagan practices.

 I find it so amazing, then, that the ultimate outcome of God-less ritual became this universally recognized symbol of  true Life, eternal Life.  Talk about transformation!  Talk about restoration!  Talk about mortality being swallowed up of Life!  In fact, turning it inside out, who is to say that this very outcome was not the original intention of a  seed constrained within an outward expression of another sort.    Certain types of men “..hold the truth in unrighteousness.” (Romans 1:18) 

But the truth is still there.  When Ecclesiastes 3:11 speaks of God placing the world in their heart (the hearts of human beings), it is important to know that the more literal meaning of ‘world’ connotes a sense of eternity, and that which is concealed (Strong’s Concordance, Hebrew #5769, #5956.)  This awareness is placed within us all.  That is a good thing.  Those invisible things are understood by the visible, created things…such as a tree…but ‘vain imaginations’ (Romans 1:21)  darken hearts, and what is produced misses the mark. 

You end up with a raggedy shrub wearing scraps of metal.

How triumphant, then, is the glorious Christmas tree of today! 

 “…The evergreen theme continues to weave its way through the history of Christmas trees as a symbol of the promise of life to come…” (link)  While this statement refers to the warmth of spring after a cold, hard winter, there is another Parallel here.  The truth of eternal Life in Christ, who has abolished death!  bears witness of Itself throughout this same history.

~~~