Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

Angel of God

There are so many recorded experiences of angels delivering messages from God, especially when you have just read most of them during the advent season and Christmas day, and Epiphany to come soon.

Even with Paul, such a conversationalist with God, yet he too received messages from angels.

I have to admit that this is striking me awkward today.

Every cult, occult, false religion I know comes at the hand of what the founders call an angel.

Then it dawned on me.

There are angels of light and angels of darkness or angels of God and demonic angels.

There is obvious power in invoking the fact that an angel, a messenger of God, has given you a direct message from the lips of God.  God favouring you as the author and the witness of such a message – leaving no doubt, fully persuading the listening ear.

For these moments in time, God has given us the spirit of discretion, that we might not be deceived.

We do not need to hear or see angels in order to know whether a cause is approved of God or not – by that, we do not need proof.

Sounds like I am on a downer about angels. Contrary – I believe that angels are ministering spirits sent from God to assist us in our darkest hour.

Angels are not kept from us by storms, or hindered by darkness.

We rarely see their hand of involvement in our lives, but the good turns, the safe return home from a dark and stormy night, may show signs of God’s goodness to us at the hands of angels more so than not.

Is this an hour of distress with you? then ask for peculiar help. If Jesus‘ presence is what you are earnestly seeking, it will not be denied. I may struggle with the appearance of an angel, but that is what you might need during this very difficult time, but I do know, that an angel of God will be standing by you in the night of your storm, when nothing matters and when everything else has failed.

“O angel of my God, be near,

Amid the darkness hush my fear;

Loud roars the wild tempestuous sea,

Thy presence, Lord, shall comfort me.”

 

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honour and recognition

 

This has to be one of the most difficult tasks I have had to face in a senior management position where the environment is based on team and the success is based on the success of the team, yet we all know that without the key players, success would be hard to come by and yet honouring or recognizing anyone above the other would imply possible discrimination, possibly missing input from key members that I might have thought were not based on my perspective, and what honour and recognition is viable – what value does that particular success warrant without slighting the recipients?

Then there are the times, I am sure the team member is saying to themselves, “I have made this happen, it is because of me that we have had so much success this year – I wonder how they will honour or recognize me at the Christmas party this year?”  Unfortunately, too many Christmas parties go by without any honour or recognition.

It was a settled principle of the Persian government that “Royal Benefactors” were to receive an adequate reward. The names of such persons were placed on a special roll, and care was taken that they should be properly recompensed, though they sometimes waited for months or years before they were rewarded.

We admit that we look for honour and recognition from God too don’t we – I read my Bible, prayed faithfully, went to church every Sunday – and now this!  I don’t deserve this, I deserve a medaL

Trust me in this…the providence of God rules over the smallest concerns of all of us. Not a sparrow falls to the ground without Him being aware.  In His time, the greatest time of all time, you will be honoured and recognized for your faithfulness, passion, desires of your heart, attitude and character of Christ pursued, practicing the presence of God, serving in love, standing when everything around you says give up… you will be honoured, you will be recognized, you will have a testimony to the amazing providence of God in your life!

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Do not ignore it

A friend of mine who lives in the Philippines reminded me of this pain, not so much of the difficulties they were enduring but with the fear that they might be ignored.  Then with all the help and support and prayers that equalled the flood that was devastating, the people were able to deal with their natural disaster and are putting their lives back together.  May this Christmas be a time of comfort and peace for those who lost loved one and a time of reflection of grace and mercy for those who were spared loss.

I also think of this when I pass someone on the street asking for money.  I have seen the con artists “set up shop.”  I really want to ignore them and again, a friend who just started working downtown found herself in the same dilemma and also chose to ignore them. That is until she shared this with someone who has worked downtown most of his life.  He carries anywhere from 10 to 20 dollars in loonies and toonies with him and does not pass one person asking for money without giving them something.

If we duly regard the golden rule of doing to others as we would they should do unto us, then we begin to realize that what we have is not really ours anyways.  The character of God reflects the attitude of community, reaching out to our neighbours, and to be ready to do good.

We know not how soon we may have occasion for help.

What I like to remember too is that also means that there are boundaries for this kind of giving.  The issue is not the giving its the ignoring.

So lets not ignore our families and friends either – our gift of love matters.

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Why should any of you consider it incredible that God raises the dead?

This is not a statement, just a rhetorical query.

I mean, just because this is something that can’t necessarily be believed by some, why should it be regarded as absurd?

Some of you, who believe that God is omnipotent, Creator of all, authour of the human frame , testimonies throughout history of restoring a person’s life – the resurrection is no more incredible than the original creation of the body and is accomplished with no greater difficulties.

If the dead are too be raised, then it is also not absurd to think that the purposes of such an act would be that of justice – vindicating the just and punishing the unjust.

The overwhelming evidence of the resurrection of Jesus, which proclaims Him to be the Christ, the Son of God; the only way of getting rid of that thought, that idea, is to pronounce it incredible.

Then we have Christmas.

The whole idea was that a baby would be born so that He could die.

That a virgin would be impregnated by the Holy Spirit.

A star would bring travellers to come from the east with amazing gifts of gold, myrrh and frankincense.  These travellers came to worship a king, but they did not worship Herod whom they had met, the worshipped a baby in a manager.

This new family would flee to Egypt, Herod would kill every male child in the Bethlehem area just to make sure he would kill this King of the Jews.

Not so incredible to believe that God can raise the dead, not so incredible to believe that there is a resurrection, not so incredible to believe that our lives here on earth matters, and how we live that life matters and how involved God is in our lives matters and what we believe about Him matters, not so incredible to believe that there will be an account of our life that was given to us by God and not so incredible to believe that there will be only two outcomes on that final day when we meet Him face to face.

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Celebrate

Just saying the word aloud makes me realize just how often I do not celebrate.  Celebration is just not my way of living and I think it is messing me up.  Don’t get me wrong – I am excellent at Birthdays, Christmas, Easter, Anniversaries – you know that stuff everyone else is good at – but to celebrate is more than being happy, more than being appreciative or thankful, more than just being delighted in – it means celebration!  The act of doing something celebratory.

I am thinking now why I can go crazy at a ball game or hockey game and be not so crazy at church.  I am celebrating my teams achievements, but at church I am trained to be quiet, reserved, holy… no celebrations allowed.

I saw a clip from SAT-7 who filmed a 12 hour marathon church service in the Cave Church which is located in the Garbage Village of Cairo.  Yeah, you heard me, 12 hours.  At one point, the 12,000 people attending this service started shouting the name of “Jesus” for – hang on – 15 minutes!  Yeah, that’s right – compare that to my Promise Keepers event where 4,000 men could hardly keep it going for 3 minutes.

Imagine if we could come to church each Sunday to celebrate the things that God has done in our lives each week?  Imagine if I as a father could celebrate with my family during the dinner hour what God has done each day?It has got me thinking…looking forward to celebrating more individually, with family, corporately…and still take in a few ball games and some Marlies games too.

 

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Do you think about your children’s children?

Attended a funeral yesterday of a workplace friend, a fellow member of the senior management team, and a person of a kindred spirit when it came to the things of God.

I went to be part of the support system and left having been ministered to and blessed – for the family provided a testimony of God’s faithfulness in their lives.  I saw his kids and his grandkids in action and I knew they were loved.

How often do we make plans for our children’s children?

Most of us are just getting by today and are planning to let tomorrow take care of itself.  If we are hardly getting by looking after our own children, where will the funds come from for our children’s children.

Simple things like writing a Will or developing an estate plan bring these things a little bit clearer into perspective.  A tax accountant told me once that if an individual is a giver, and they have a Will, they are usually not in debt and the other way of course minus those two attributes.

God has a wonderful plan for our children’s children and I think if spend the time sharing testimonies of God’s faithfulness to them, and we spend time explaining the things of God to them, the funds will take care of themselves.  If God owns all the wealth in the world, and everyone leaves this earth without taking anything with them, I think God has plans for what will happen to it all.

Our parents have left us with no money whatsoever, but have been graciously giving to our children each birthday and Christmas etc. and putting those gifts aside each time has given both of them, along with working etc. a fund that will allow them to graduate university without incurring any debt whatsoever. We are thankful when we see God’s hand in these things.

Here is a web page I found that was quite dogmatic in its approach to the same subject –

http://www.letgodbetrue.com/proverbs/13_22.htm

So how do we go about leaving an inheritance to our children’s children?

First of all we have to be thinking about it and we don’t think we can do it all by ourselves.  By living prudently and decently, we train our children to do the same so that will not require our funds, but will leave them for their children.  Especially being careful, including living right and giving generously, to obtain the blessing of God upon what you have, and to entail that blessing upon your children, without which the greatest effort and frugality will be in waste.

Do not think about leaving this world’s goods only – your prayers, your instructions, your good example will be good gifts and the promises of the covenant you made with God and your personal decision to follow God will be the best gifts to give.

 

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I will send an angel before you…

http://philleng.blogspot.com/2010/02/i-will-send-angel-before-you.html

I borrowed this photo from the site above as the site has a thread that deals with the same topic.  It may cover some things that I will not.

I am intrigued, to say the least, about angels.  In fact, I get down right meditative as I explore this territory with God asking Him to enable me to understand this incredible subject.

Most of us like the simple context that we might be providing hospitality or kindness to an angel unawares.  Cute stuff.

Angels talking to Mary, Joseph, shepherds, Zachariah, women at the tomb etc. always becomes expected as we hear the stories each Christmas.

Daniel, Peter, Silas all having angelic visitations more amazing.

Missionaries having their local communities share how their lives were spared by giant men dressed in white – powerful

Elisha, Billy Graham asking God to open eyes into the  spirit world and see the angels around them, keeping them safe – like getting God involved.

Somewhere then, if angels are real and present then demons are to.

As Daniel was praying, it took the angel twenty-one days just to get to Daniel.

Read Charles Mully’s book where he saw the demons pick up his father two feet off the floor.

Talked to some missionaries in Malawi who were sharing the gospel in a Muslim part of town and they had many accounts of tall men dressed all in black killing people and in the morning they were dead with no sign of trauma whatsoever.

So, angels are not just about fun and games.

Angels are real, demons are real

Where do we fit in.

If God sends in angels before I arrive at a place, or sends them along with me as I am going to a place, I am going to spend a little bit more time asking God to do so.  When I am in a place or having arrived at a place, I am going to spend a little more time asking God to displace any presence of the demonic that would hinder his work.  If I am going to cast out demons and pray for deliverance in healing and miraculous, I am going to need to fast and pray more often than not.

If I want to live a normal life, not engaging with the spirit world at all and ignoring all possibilities of their existence – how boring.

I signed up to follow Jesus because following Him makes the difference in my world, our world and the world of tomorrow.  Jesus take the wheel – lets see what we can do together and having angels making things happen because You care – awesome and thank you.  Rather follow You than be safe, give me courage every day to follow You.

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