Credit: Soothing Relaxation
Charlene’s Source: youtube
This is a time of tumult, anger, and accusation. Many voices are speaking, and you cannot listen to them all. Christmas and the new year are not far away; weather is unpredictable and life just seems a bit more challenging. Throughout this life we can either run and live in fear–or we can embrace the reality of God’s Holy Spirit living in us to comfort, guide and do effective work through us.
This Thanksgiving is special, as is every Thanksgiving. The most quiet family holiday each year, Thanksgiving still remains a time to gather our loved ones around us and Thank GOD for the harvest. For some the harvest is vegetables–for others the harvest is souls. I pray for a Blessed Thanksgiving for us all and that provision would be our Father’s desire for us. Charlene
1 Praise the LORD.[a]
Praise the LORD, my soul.
2 I will praise the LORD all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
3 Do not put your trust in princes,
in human beings, who cannot save.
4 When their spirit departs, they return to the ground;
on that very day their plans come to nothing.
5 Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the LORD their God.
6 He is the Maker of heaven and earth,
the sea, and everything in them—
he remains faithful forever.
7 He upholds the cause of the oppressed
and gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets prisoners free,
8 the LORD gives sight to the blind,
the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down,
the LORD loves the righteous.
9 The LORD watches over the foreigner
and sustains the fatherless and the widow,
but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.
10 The LORD reigns forever,
your God, O Zion, for all generations.
Praise the LORD.
- Psalm 146:1 Hebrew Hallelu Yah; also in verse 10
1 Chronicles 16: 8-12
Oh, give thanks to the Lord! Call upon His name
Make known His deeds among the peoples!
Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him;
Talk of all His wondrous works!
Glory in His Holy name;
Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the Lord!
Seek the Lord and His strength;
Seek his face evermore!
Remember His marvelous works which he has done,
His wonders, and the judgments of His mouth.
We have so much to thank you for. You have kept us through another year in which wonderful, as well as disastrous things, have happened. We are confident in you that we, as your people, will see more glorious days than these. It is only in drawing close to you through your Son Jesus Christ, and through your Holy Spirit that we are assured peace and comfort in the midst of life’s storms.
We are a people less sure of being able to trust this world than we were a year ago; but this also means that we are learning to trust you more with our lives and our hearts. Your Holy Spirit intercedes for us, and strengthens us.
As followers of Christ, we are eager to embrace those who do not know You. We are willing to carry out The Great Commission; to take your message of hope and salvation to hurting people all over this world. Please teach us to pray for one another in truth and sincerity; and to be willing to put aside our own needs to serve your people.
This season of Thanksgiving should be in our spirits at all times. We have something to thank you for each day. Taking time to look back upon the gracious mercies, healing, and provision you have given brings us joy unspeakable; and the knowledge that you are walking with each of us through our trials and hardships makes life easier to bear.
We thank You, Abba Father, for your readiness to hear and to forgive; for your great love to us in spite of our unworthiness; for the many blessings we enjoy above what we deserve, hope, or ask. You have been so good to us in our ingratitude, thoughtlessness, and forgetfulness of You. For your pity, long-suffering, gentleness and tenderness, we bow our heads in humble thankfulness of heart. We worship you Who are infinite love; infinite compassion, and infinite power. Please accept our praise and gratitude through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
We your people look forward to a new world where the fullness of your peace will be revealed. Keep us watchful for that day when people of every race, language, and way of life will gather to share in the one eternal banquet with Jesus Christ our Lord. Father, through Him, with Him, and in Him, through the unity of the Holy Spirit, may all glory and honor be Yours, now and forevermore. Amen
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Charlene
John 8:31-36 (NIV)
Dispute Over Whose Children Jesus’ Opponents Are
31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
33 They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?”
34 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
The Power of Family
The Pharisees were teachers of the law. They saw Jesus’ claim to be The Son of GOD as heresy against GOD and the Jewish nation. They were so sure of their identity as sons of Abraham that they had no hesitation in questioning Jesus, who was in reality the Son of GOD come to save them from their sins.
As Jesus taught them, many believed His witness. Yet they also clung to the teachings they had heard all of their lives. It is hard to convince someone of a truth who thinks that they already know what the truth is all about. They had been waiting for The Messiah with preconceived ideas of His identity and purpose. They were not willing to receive what they were told because it did not fit their expectations.
“Listen to Me, you who follow after righteousness, You who seek the LORD: Look to the Rock from which you were hewn, and the hole of the pit from which you were dug. Look to Abraham your father, and to Sarah who bore you; for I called him alone, and blessed him and increased him.” Isaiah 51: 1&2 NIV
This scripture passage gives us an indicator of where the Jews conviction regarding Abraham as father arose. Abraham was in reality the father of the Jews, but what was not a reality to them was Abraham’s commitment to his Father, the GOD of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They were so blinded by their own concept of who GOD was that they did not recognize Him when he appeared before them. The Jews were looking for a warrior King, someone to fight their battles against the Roman tyranny. There were previous times in Hebrew history where they sought a Redeemer after repeated warnings from GOD that they needed to turn from their sins and repent. In our present age, this applies to the entire population of the earth, because Christ came to save us all.
Isaiah 53 (NIV)
Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgression of my people he was punished.
He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in his mouth.
Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
After he has suffered,
he will see the light of life and be satisfied;
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
and he will bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.
Family Works Together
In the natural order of things, family pulls together to ensure existence, to produce offspring, and to pass on values. If we are made in the image of Christ, we are a part of His family, therefore we seek His existence, we are His offspring, and we possess His values.We also possess His power.
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Easter Revisited for March 29, 2018
Once again, Easter, the celebration of the Resurrection of our LORD and SAVIOR is here. This is the season of recognizing the sacrifice that Jesus the Christ made for each of us to have access to eternal life. Through intercession, Jesus paid the price for all of ours sins committed and not yet committed. That we are not worthy of such unconditional love has been covered by His blood shed for the remission of sins. We are all loved beyond our own comprehension.
A striking portion of scripture that epitomizes this love is found in John 21: 1-25. Jesus had prepared hot coals and was cooking fish for the disciples as they struggled for a catch. Just as when they had first met, Jesus told them to “throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some. When they did, they were unable to haul the net because of the large number of fish”. This was representative of the many “fish” or followers of Christ yet to be caught for the Kingdom of GOD.
As we contemplate the true meaning of Christ’s sacrifice we should focus on the “Great Commission”. First of all, Easter is for everyday and everyone. That the holy day is celebrated once a year does not detract from the fact that Easter’s message applies each day. We are as Christians to fish for others to gather them into the Body of Christ. GOD’s Holy Spirit guides our fishing methods as all are not the same. However, each method should contain the same message and yield the same result. Why make Jesus’ sacrifice and love nil? To give His act meaning is to spread the Word and the Joy of Salvation. Then we may partake of the Lord’s Supper just as Jesus shared bread and wine with His disciples before His death, and then shared bread and fish with them after His resurrection.
Easter should continue long after the calendar appointed time of its celebration. In a world and a time when men do not want to hear the Word of GOD, let us as followers of Christ continue to study, teach, preach, and spread the news of the gift above all gifts–Salvation.
A Joyous Easter, Charlene
Read Matthew 27: 1-66
We are observing Easter of 2018. What does Easter mean to us this year, or any year?
Is Easter now a not so major holiday? Are we focusing on the true meaning of Easter? Mostly I see people hurrying around filling Easter baskets and creating Easter displays. Each year it seems as if the merchant’s displays are being put up earlier and earlier. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we would think to start studying the import of Christ’s sacrifice at this time?
I remember as a child participating in Easter egg hunts and looking forward to the Easter basket filled with chocolate bunnies and yellow chicks–not to mention jellybeans. I still love chocolate and jellybeans–but they take a certain back seat to the true meaning behind Easter and The Cross of Christ.
Our Savior sacrificed his entire being for us on Calvary’s cross. There has never been or ever will be another sacrifice to match it. That is because as Jesus said, “It is finished”.
He performed a completed work so that you and I could be alive this day to live in Him and to partake in Communion with Him. He performed a completed work so that we could have a right to reign with Him for eternity and the glorious indwelling of The Holy Spirit to guide us in this life. He performed a completed work so that the entire world could be ministered to and the Great Commission performed in His Name.
As it states in Matthew 27: 35-37 NKJV : “Then they crucified Him, and divided His garments, casting lots, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet:
‘They divided my garments among them, And for my clothing they cast lots.”
‘Sitting down, they kept watch over Him there. And they put up over His head the accusation written against Him: THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.‘
They did this to make fun of our Savior, but they inadvertently furthered the plans of the Kingdom of GOD. It is because of Jesus’ sacrifice that we can stand firm and declare that the Kingdom of GOD is here. It is our duty and our desire to see those who need the King of Kings gather at the Easter Banquet table.
Charlene’s Source: youtube
Charlene’s Source: youtube
A Retro Look At Christmas for 2016
Christmas is a wonderful, spirit-filled Holiday. When I was a child the anticipation of not so much presents, but oranges, apples, tangerines, candy, fruitcake, and nuts was one of the best joys of the season. These we received at church and at home. My Dad and older siblings always decorated the tree on Christmas Eve–so we children literally experienced Clement C. Moore’s “Twas The Night Before Christmas”. No, we did not hear hooves on our roof, nor Santa’s jolly “Ho, Ho, Ho”–but the Christmas story was read to us each year before bed. We did not all participate in the tree going up, but we always took it down as a family on New Years Day–without fail.
I can remember listening to Santa Claus’ journey (to get to our town) on the radio in our living room. I truly believed that he was working hard to reach us until my older sister told me that Santa wasn’t real. I was three years old and totally devastated. Christmas never felt the same again until I realized that the Spirit of Christmas was the true giver. Christmas became even more wonderful, but I also grasped that my parents did a lot of hard work. It wasn’t until years later that I discovered that the manufacturers also did a large portion of the hard work.
I believe that my mother associated Christmas with hard times. She grew up without her father–who died when she was very young. This is an opportunity to thank her for putting forth so much effort to make our Christmas season memorable when I know that her own Christmas memories may have been much sparser.
My Dad loved the very essence and spark of Christmas. He was a Baptist Pastor who would take us to church on Christmas Eve to hear, see, and feel the Nativity Scene; then return home to play with his children. It was his job to help set up the tree, and put the bicycles and other mechanical gifts together. Long after we (four girls and two boys) had cleaned our rooms and closed our excited eyes, Dad, along with my Mama, would take the time to ensure that all was ready for us on Christmas morning. It would not be until I was 16 years old that I would actively participate in this Christmas Eve ritual.
Mama loved to cook. Christmas gave her a golden opportunity to do what she did best. Her fruitcakes were legendary. I can remember helping her in the kitchen with the ulterior motive of tasting the batter and snitching the tiny bits of fruit and nuts. Delicious gingerbread smells and hot sweet rolls were what greeted us at the breakfast table on Christmas morning. I have always associated my Christmas breakfast with that of the girls of Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women” except that I actually got to eat my breakfast.
After breakfast it was time to open presents. First came the fruit and nuts. I still eat an orange with candy inside it every Christmas. The juice runs down my chin. I love it! Then came gifts varying from dolls to books; from skates to bikes. I always received art supplies as I was the artistic child. I also received a nightgown, slippers, and books every Christmas. The books were definitely my favorites. They were “Trixie Belden”, “Little Women”, “Rose In Bloom”, “Bobbsey Twins”, “What A jolly Street” and more. I spent the most wonderful moments of my childhood with my best friends–my books.
Cleanup came next, and as the boys, including Dad, and the two youngest girls played with their toys–we older girls helped Mama to finish preparing the mid-day Christmas meal. I say this with no regrets. It was wonderful to be in the warm, fragrant kitchen with Mama and my oldest sister. The kitchen was always the warmest room in the house at Christmas in temperature and temperament. I can still smell the roasting turkey and candied yams that made my mouth water.
We always ate in our dining room, which had a cozy fireplace with a mantel above it. This is where my parents hung the mistletoe. They always embarrassed us. All of us would exclaim, “Yuck!”. My Grandmother and my Aunt would also join us at the Christmas meal. Dad would say the Christmas Blessing and we could eat. It was hard waiting for the adults to serve us all. I always got a drumstick–still my favorite piece, and stuffing so rich with flavor that I could have skipped the turkey altogether. There was homemade rolls; cranberry sauce; candied yams; collard greens, and a large slice of fruitcake for desert. So many leftovers. Storing them was another job to do while dishes were being washed, dried, and put away. We never ate an evening meal–we were too stuffed. Evening was a time to enjoy our gifts and each other. We would sing ‘O Holy Night’ with harmonies, and ‘The Little Drummer Boy’ while we tapped out the drumbeats.
Finally, heads nodding, we would climb the stairs and store our treasures in our bedrooms. Christmas Day was drawing to an end, and what a wonderful day it had been. What I did not have the wisdom to know at my young age was that Christmas is every day. The gift of the Savior of Mankind is something to ponder and treasure all year long.
Was your Christmas like mine? Possibly not. I believe that everyone has a unique experience because we all perceive differently. We grow up in different types of homes without the same family traditions. What is important is the knowledge of the Christ-child’s sacrifice for us, and remembering that we are Blessed with gifts each day, such as family– not just at Christmas.
Does my immediate family celebrate Christmas the same as I did as a girl? There are many similarities, but there are also new traditions that marriage has brought to me and my family. Now, instead of reading ‘The Night Before Christmas”, we read Luke Chapter 2–the story of Christ’s birth. We are all adults here now, and this Christmas is to be treasured. Next Christmas may be different, but I can always treasure the memories of watching my children’s faces at Christmastime, and my own delight in reading them Clement C. Moore’s “The Night Before Christmas” when they were very young.
Have a Wonderful Holiday Season– Charlene
picture credit: hubpages.com
Narrative credit: charlene @charlene’s attic
I truly love the bells!!! 🙂
Credit: Relax Your Mind
Charlene’s Source: youtube
These are a few clips of these awe-inspiring, heart-wrenching films proclaiming the sovereignty of GOD in seeking the lost. Please seek them out in their entirety. You can find them on the web, Netflix, and @ Amazon.
Finger of GOD/ Darren Wilson
Father of Lights Official Teaser Trailer
Furious Love Deluxe Edition Trailer
GOD and Rental Cars with Todd White from Father of Lights Deluxe Edition
Credit: WP Films
Charlene’s Source: Youtube
We are to proclaim Christ and carry out the Great Commission. The title,”Unknown God”, was an indicator that these people were searching , as we all do, for their Maker and Redeemer.
17 When Paul and his companions had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue. 2 As was his custom, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and proving that the Messiah had to suffer and rise from the dead. “This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Messiah,” he said. 4 Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and quite a few prominent women.
5 But other Jews were jealous; so they rounded up some bad characters from the marketplace, formed a mob and started a riot in the city. They rushed to Jason’s house in search of Paul and Silas in order to bring them out to the crowd.[a] 6 But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some other believers before the city officials, shouting: “These men who have caused trouble all over the world have now come here, 7 and Jason has welcomed them into his house. They are all defying Caesar’s decrees, saying that there is another king, one called Jesus.” 8 When they heard this, the crowd and the city officials were thrown into turmoil. 9 Then they made Jason and the others post bond and let them go.
10 As soon as it was night, the believers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. 11 Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. 12 As a result, many of them believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men.
13 But when the Jews in Thessalonica learned that Paul was preaching the word of God at Berea, some of them went there too, agitating the crowds and stirring them up. 14 The believers immediately sent Paul to the coast, but Silas and Timothy stayed at Berea. 15 Those who escorted Paul brought him to Athens and then left with instructions for Silas and Timothy to join him as soon as possible.
16 While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols. 17 So he reasoned in the synagogue with both Jews and God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there. 18 A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to debate with him. Some of them asked, “What is this babbler trying to say?” Others remarked, “He seems to be advocating foreign gods.” They said this because Paul was preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection. 19 Then they took him and brought him to a meeting of the Areopagus, where they said to him, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? 20 You are bringing some strange ideas to our ears, and we would like to know what they mean.” 21 (All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.)
22 Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.
24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. 28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’[b] As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’[c]
29 “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill. 30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31 For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.”
32 When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, “We want to hear you again on this subject.” 33 At that, Paul left the Council. 34 Some of the people became followers of Paul and believed. Among them was Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus, also a woman named Damaris, and a number of others.
Acts 17:5 Or the assembly of the people
Acts 17:28 From the Cretan philosopher Epimenides
Acts 17:28 From the Cilician Stoic philosopher Aratus
Elizabeth Talbot is an on-fire, wonderful servant of the LORD. Enjoy this!!!
Credit: Better Life Broadcasting Network
Charlene’s Source: youtube
Some things are worth repeating.
Great help to express and confirm your beliefs. Thank you to Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli. Please share this with someone else.
Scriptural Data for Christ’s Claim to Divinity
1. Early Creedal Formula: “Jesus is LORD” (kyrios) Revelation 4:11 “Thou art worthy, O LORD, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things; and for thy pleasure they are and were created”(insert mine) ; 1 Corinthians 12:3; Phillipians 2:11
2. The title “Son of GOD” (Son of implies “of the same nature as.”) Matthew 11:27; Mark 12:6; 13:32; 14:61-62; Luke 10:22; 22:70; John 10:30; 14:9
3. The New Testament calls Him “GOD”: Titus 2:13; 1 John 5:20; Romans 9:5; John 1:1
4. Absolutely, universally supreme: Colossians 1:15-20
5. Eternally preexistent: John 1:1; Phillipians 2:6; Hebrews 13:8; Revelations 22:13
6. Omnipresent: Matthew 18:20; 28:20
7. Omnipotent: Matthew 28:18; Hebrews 1:3; Revelations 1:8
8. Immutable: Hebrews 1:11-12; 13:8
9. Creates (only GOD can create): Colossians 1:16-17; John 1:3; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Hebrew 1:10
10. Sinless: perfect: Hebrews 7:26; John 8:46; 2 Corinthians 5:21
11. Has authority to forgive sins: Mark 2:5-12; Luke 24:45-47; Acts 10:43; 1 John 1:5-9
12. Rightly worshipped: Matthew 2:11; 14:33; 28:9; John 20:28; Hebrews 1:5-9
13. Speaks the unique, forbidden divine name: John 8:58
14. Called “King of Kings and LORD of Lords” : 1 Timothy 6:15; Revelations 17:14
15. One with the Father: John 10:30; 12:45; 14: 8-10
16. Performs miracles: John 10:37-38, and throughout all Four Gospels
17. Sends the Holy Spirit: John 14: 25-26; 16: 7-15
18. The Father testifies to Him(Jesus)(insert mine) Matthew 3:17; 17:5; John 8:18; 1 John 5:9
19. Gives eternal life: John 3:16; 5: 39-40; 20: 30-31
20. Foreknows the Future: Mark 8:31; Luke 9: 21-22; 12: 49-53; 22:35-37; 24:17; John 3: 11-14; 6: 63-64; 13: 1-11; 14: 27-29; 18: 1-4; 19: 26-30
21: Is LORD over the Law: Luke 6: 1-5
Work Cited: Kreeft, Peter and Ronald Tacelli: Handbook of Christian Apologetics 1994: Intervarsity Press, Madison WI.