Tag Archive | Christmas

“Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign: Behold, the young woman who is unmarried and a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel [God with us].” (Isaiah 7:14)

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 Hello. How are you? Last night was the first night of Hanukkah and it is (7) days to Christmas Eve-which means (8) days to Christmas? Can you believe it? This year seemed to have moved at such an incredible speed that it’s seems like a blur. It’s crazy that it went by so fast-especially once next week is over with, people might be thinking about new resolutions for their upcoming year-while leaving some old ones behind.

One of the issues we contend with during the Holidays is the false sense of “urgency” to shop and buy gifts NOW! Oh, it may seem to start slowly and subtly- then it steam rolls us like a train flying off the tracks! Then we become overwhelmed and possibly depressed because it doesn’t seem like we have enough time to get it all done. We act this way in the “name of Christmas”. But, do we truly stop to grasp who the Christ is in Christmas? Do we honestly realize the meaning for what we are celebrating? Do we really believe that “Jesus is the reason for the season?” Or, do we just accept Him as part of the “Holiday décor? Think about it. Do we actually comprehend that God is with us?” “Devise your strategy, but it will be thwarted; propose your plan, but it will not stand, for God is with us. (Isaiah 8:10)

For Christians everywhere, the Christmas season is celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. He is the One and Only intercessor between God and mankind; and He was aptly named “God with us”. He is with us even though He physically resides in the heavens. He inhabits the hearts (and lives) of those who already has received Him as LORD and Savior. Moreover, He is here with us and available to those who will call upon His name to accept Him. Immanuel, is with us. He was with us when we were in sin and He is with us when we repented and turned from our sin so He can continually lead us to everlasting life.  We will most likely stumble and fall when life throws it’s curve at us; but, He will still be with us. “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

As you look upon the Manger scene during this Holiday season, notice how the God of this universe chose to be born into humanity so He could identify with us. He is omnipresent. He was, is and always be with us.  Just look for the sign and He will reveal Himself to youBEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL,” which translated means, “GOD WITH US.” (Matthew 1:23)

As you walk Every Day With Grace, I would like to leave you with the lyrics from Michael Card’s song, “Immanuel”. It beautifully depicts God’s relationship with us this Christmas season and always.

Immanuel By Artist: Michael Card

A sign shall be given a virgin will conceive
A human baby bearing undiminished deity
The glory of the nations a light for all to see
That hope for all who will embrace His warm reality

Immanuel our God is with us
And if God is with us who could stand against us
Our God is with us
Immanuel

For all those who live in the shadow of death
A glorious light has dawned
For all those who stumble in the darkness
Behold your light has come

Immanuel our God is with us
And if God is with us who could stand against us
Our God is with us
Immanuel

So what will be Your answer? Will You hear the call?
Of Him who did not spare His son but gave Him for us all
On earth there is no power there is no depth or height
That could ever separate us from the love of God in Christ

Immanuel our God is with us
And if God is with us who could stand against us
Our God is with us
Immanuel

Immanuel our God is with us
And if God is with us who could stand against us
Our God is with us
Immanuel

 

“O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever!” (Psalm 107:1)

imagesHello! How are you? Can you believe that Thanksgiving  is (2) weeks away? I say it all the time-where does the time go? I think this holiday gets passed 0ver way too easily. For many people it’s about family, football, parades and lots of food. Oh, and Black Friday and the beginning of the mad rush to shop for Christmas.

Do you think people actually stop and evaluate their lives and give thanks for their lives; or, one another and more importantly…to God? Think about it. You woke up this morning-because God allowed it. Aren’t you thankful for that? “A person’s days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed.” (Job 14:5)  When the holidays come upon us, we get caught up in the hustle and the bustle and the drama of everything and when that happens…we lose our peace. We lose our peace with God and we lose our peace within ourselves and each other. We forget our gratitude towards God; for everything He has done for us and for everything He has provided to us. He has given us our abilities, our strength, our vision and purpose; and because of that we MUST give Him thanks. For no other reason than He deserves at least that from His creation. “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. “(James 1:17 )

 One of the reasons I like Thanksgiving is because it really does make one take a look at their lives. Unfortunately, it is easier to see the negative things in life, so it may take a little more effort to really examine the blessings one may actually have in one’s life.  But, when you do take that look, you can honestly say that life is not that bad. I remember hearing someone who was a Holocaust surviver say “every day above ground is a good day!” It puts things in perspective, doesn’t it?  Many people think they don’t have much to be thankful because we sometimes compare it to those who have more and have what we want.  We rarely compare it to those who are less fortunate and say “Thank you, God!” Some of us have been less fortunate and can appreciate an increase of God’s bounty of goodness; still, there others who cannot appreciate or, handle their blessings of increase because the focus is on self. One may think like King Nebachanezar and think “look what MY hands have built. (or increased). There’s no humility with that type of thinking.  There is no gratitude towards God.   Yet, in spite of all of that, God is still good and still  loves us and patiently waits for us to say “Thank You, Lord for loving me and providing what l need. You may not have given me everything I may want, but you are always faithful to provide for my needs!”  “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”                (1 Thessalonians 5:18) 

As we enter into our Thanksgiving season, it is my prayer that you take a look at your life and start thanking God for your life and everything He has done for you. I know some things are not easy. But I do know that God has a purpose and a plan for your life and the circumstances  that surround your life. “I will praise you, Lord, Although you were angry with me, your anger has turned away and you have comforted me. Surely God is my salvation;I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation.” (Isaiah 12:1-2)

As you walk Every Day with Grace, start with just one thing to be thankful for and see how your thankfulness will become a way of life for you.

In His Love,

Melody

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:6)
 

“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this. “(Isaiah (9:6-7)

 

 

iPhoto LibraryHello! How is everyone doing this Christmas Season?  I hope you survived your holiday shopping and preparation for this Christmas. I know the pressure can be unbearable, yet we somehow manage to get everything done.

As you celebrate Christmas, know that God loves you; and has presented the gift of eternal life through His Son, Jesus to you.  God has a purpose and a plan for your life, so why not accept salvation through Jesus today?  The Bible says “For He says: In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you. Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Corinthians 6:2).  Over two thousand years ago, GOD made the announcement to the world that a Savior, His Son, was born in a manger. He could have chosen a royal palace for Jesus’ birth; but, instead God chose to identify with His creation through a humbleway of life.  It is through Jesus Christ alone that we have peace with God and can have peace with mankind.

Below is the message of the birth of Jesus which is found in the Bible, the Gospel of Luke 2:1-20:

Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth.  And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

“In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened.  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people;  for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.” When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds begansaying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.”  So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart.  The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.” (Luke 2:1-20)

God does not go back on His Word.  His promises are true and forever-that’s why He put it all down in His book for us to read, apply and to hope in. Jesus is the Reason for the Season. “She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21)  “And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth.”(Philippians 2:8-10)

As you walk Every Day With Grace, it is my prayer that you have a Blessed Christmas and that you reflect on the good gifts God has given you through His love in His Son, Jesus.

In His Love,

Melody

I leave you with one of the most cherished Christmas songs proclaiming the good news of Jesus:

Hark the Herald Angels Sing  (Text: Charles Wesley, 1707-1788; alt. by George Whitefield and others)

        Hark! the herald angels sing, 
	"Glory to the new born King, 
	peace on earth, and mercy mild, 
	God and sinners reconciled!" 
	Joyful, all ye nations rise, 
	join the triumph of the skies; 
	with th' angelic host proclaim, 
	"Christ is born in Bethlehem!" 
	Hark! the herald angels sing, 
	"Glory to the new born King!" 

2.	Christ, by highest heaven adored; 
	Christ, the everlasting Lord; 
	late in time behold him come, 
	offspring of a virgin's womb. 
	Veiled in flesh the Godhead see; 
	hail th' incarnate Deity, 
	pleased with us in flesh to dwell, 
	Jesus, our Emmanuel. 
	Hark! the herald angels sing, 
	"Glory to the new born King!" 

3.	Hail the heaven-born Prince of Peace! 
	Hail the Sun of Righteousness! 
	Light and life to all he brings, 
	risen with healing in his wings. 
	Mild he lays his glory by, 
	born that we no more may die, 
	born to raise us from the earth, 
	born to give us second birth. 
	Hark! the herald angels sing, 
	"Glory to the new born King!" 

 


 

“Every good and perfect gift comes from above, from the Father who made the sun, moon and stars.” (James 1:17)

 

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Hello! How is everyone? Is everyone surviving the hustle & bustle of the holidays?  I bet many people are getting ready to wrap their gifts (if they have not done so already) and put them strategically under the tree in anticipation of Christmas.  Or, for those like myself who did not put up a tree, I have all of my gifts wrapped and neatly placed to one side of my living room waiting to be given out to family and friends.

I am sure that most of the time when one thinks about gifts, it is a happy, notion filled with wonderful anticipation. But, what about those who do not like to open their gifts right away? Or, worse…what about those who do not like to receive gifts at all? You may think “What?! Who doesn’t like to receive gifts?” Believe it or not, there are people who don’t like to receive anything-gifts, compliments, love, etc….  Now, there could be various reasons as to why one would feel that way.  It could be a self-image issue; meaning that one may think or feel they are not worth much of anything to deserve any form of a gift. Or, someone may feel obligated to give something back once they received their gift -whether or not they have the finances or even like the person-they do not want to feel indebted to anyone. And yet, another reason for someone to be this way could be a prideful attitude: “I don’t need anyone; I can take care of myself! “I’ll do it myself.” “I’ll buy it myself, etc…” The sad part about that attitude is that you rob yourself and that other person of a blessing because God uses people to show His love to one another.

You may ask, “What gift has God given me? What has God done for me?” The answer: His Son, Jesus. “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21)  Through God’s love and mercy, He imparted the gift of eternal salvation through His Son, Jesus.  “Jesus said: “I came so that everyone would have life, and have it in its fullest” (John 10:10). “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17) You may think :“God can’t identify with me!” “He’s too big and I’m not important enough.” His response would be: “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” (Matthew 7:11) “You may ask, How?” His Word to you is: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7)

You see, our sin is what separates us from God and everything He has to offer. “Adam sinned, and that sin brought death into the world. Now everyone has sinned, and so everyone must die.” (Romans 5:12)  If we compare ourselves one to another, we probably think we don’t sin…but we do. “All of us have sinned and fallen short of God’s holiness (Romans 3:23).  “As it is written: There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God.  All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.” (Romans 3:10-12)  “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23).  You are probably thinking that this is a message thing to say to everyone, but I tell you in God’s love, it is the truth and the only truth that matters is God’s truth.

That’s why God gave salvation as a free gift. We can’t earn and in reality, we don’t deserve it. But once we receive it through the acceptance of Jesus Christ into our hearts and lives, it is ours forever!  “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9) “For God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable. [He never withdraws them when once they are given, and He does not change His mind about those to whom He gives His grace or to whom He sends His call.) (Romans 11:29 Amplified)

This why God’s redeemable gift is so special. The Bible says There is only one God, and Christ Jesus is the only one who can bring us to God. (1Timothy 2:5). This Christmas, accept God’s free gift of salvation if you have not done so already. All you need to do is: 1) admit you are a sinner and need forgiveness; 2) believe that Jesus Christ died for you on the Cross and rose from the grave; and 3) through prayer (talking to God) confess that Jesus Christ is the only way to God and commit to live for Him for the rest of your life.

I pray that you accept the gift God has waiting for you. It’s your choice to accept His gift of love and salvation. This is a gift that need not to be returned.

In His Love,

Melody

Joy to the World

Text: Isaac Watts, 1674-1748
Music: Arr. from G.F. Handel by Lowell Mason, 1792-1872
Tune: ANTIOCH, Meter: CM with Repeat

 

Joy to the world, the Lord is come! 
	Let earth receive her King; 
	let every heart prepare him room, 
	and heaven and nature sing, 
	and heaven and nature sing, 
	and heaven and nature sing. 

2.	Joy to the world, the Savior reigns! 
	Let all their songs employ; 
	while fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains 
	repeat the sounding joy, 
	repeat the sounding joy, 
	repeat the sounding joy. 

3.	No more let sins and sorrows grow, 
	nor thorns infest the ground; 
	he comes to make his blessings flow 
	far as the curse is found, 
	far as the curse is found, 
	far as the curse is found. 

4.	He rules the world with truth and grace, 
	and makes the nations prove 
	the glories of his righteousness, 
	and wonders of his love, 
	and wonders of his love, 
	and wonders of his love.