Get Moving & Make Some Noise!

Chilly —  December 17, 2014 — 2 Comments

The story is old and has been told well over one hundred zillion times. The story of an inn, a pregnant virgin, a stable, a manger, a star and a king. It’s a story that never grows old that Someone with a very creative mind and loving heart planned thousands of years ago when things didn’t work out in the garden. It’s an unlikely story with humble beginnings.. and what seemed like a sad ending instead ended miraculously.

Picture with me the scroll being unfolded in temple in Jerusalem about 740 B.C. The pharisees and Levites listen attentively as a portion of scripture is read:

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. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this. Isa 9:6-7 NIV

For thousands of years the Israelites expected their Messiah…. to come in kingly fashion –  white horse, trumpet fanfare – massive display of power & majesty.  But, instead of being born in a castle this king chose just an old stable for a delivery room and a manger for a bed … the humblest dwelling. Certainly, an unpretentious story like this didn’t appear to be the fulfillment of these words from Isaiah chapter 9. The king the Jews expected would be heralded on front page news, require trumpets, a large audience, a banquet, fireworks and honor guard. Surely, no Jew, no reporter would discover a king in the shape of a tiny new-born in a stall surrounded by animals and straw. And no one could imagine how this one life could change the world.

In the days of Caesar Augustus a decree was issued that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. Joseph a member of the royal line had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, King David’s ancient home-journeying there from the Galilean village of Nazareth. He took with him Mary, his fiance, who was obviously pregnant by this time. And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born; and she gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him in a blanket and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the village inn. Luke 2:1-7 TLB

cole-angel-shepherds

Instead of announcing this birth of the King to the prominent citizens and politicians of the land….the angels proclaimed it to a few lowly teenage Shepherds:

Imagine one night… you and your friends watching over your sheep, it’s dark and cold. Suddenly, you are engulfed by a bright light and see what could be a spirit or an angel (you’ve never seen one so, you can’t be sure)… fear overwhelms you as you hear the angel proclaim:

“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Then, another company of heavenly host appear with the angel, They are praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:8-15

Rushing off to Bethlehem to see this thing that has happened you and the others find Mary and Joseph and the baby…..just like the angel said…. lying in a manger. After seeing Jesus you report the news to everyone about this child-King. People are amazed at the story.

    • Are you still amazed?
    • Do you still run to proclaim his miraculous birth IN you?
    • Never forget, YOU are HIS living birth announcement!
    • Make haste, my friend, there’s no time like RIGHT NOW!!

Somebody shout: “The Messiah is here!” Chilly

Christmas Prodigals

Chilly —  December 10, 2014 — Leave a comment

Each day I look for unique ways to LEARN… I’ve always believed that anything alive MUST grow.  You know, stop learning and you stop living. So, with this in mind, I do various things to inspire & educate my heart and mind. One of the simple ways is by daily adding a new word to my vocabulary. You can find lots of applications that offer this – many will send a word to you, via email, daily.

So my word today was: prodigality
[prod’-i-GAL-i-tee]
1. extravagant wastefulness

018-prodigal-sonThe story of the prodigal son (Luke 15) is familiar to most of us. I think often times when we think of the word ‘prodigal’ we associate it with words like:  rebellious, ungrateful, selfish or foolish… but, in truth, it really means ‘wasteful’. You see, his father’s gift was meant to give him a better life and a brighter future. It was an investment, a foundation and a trust.  Something that the son could build his life upon. But, instead, the son took his father’s gift for granted and turned it into something cheap and meaningless.  It took a pig’s pen to bring him to his senses.

I think we are like the prodigal…  far too often. 

The Christmas season really exposes this. You see, it’s during this time that we are reminded how our heavenly Father – motivated by great love – send his Son to redeem us. He gave us the ultimate gift!! Is your life built upon it? Is Christmas a time of “extravagant wastefulness” for you? IF yes… well, I guess change is required. Or, will you refuse? Will it take a pig pen?

I want to be a person of extravagant generosity!

  1. What was your “pig pen” moment? … or, do you need one now?
  2. How can you be sure to never, ever, go back to the slop?
  3. Is your generosity replacing your wastefulness?

God so loved YOU, that He GAVE… to celebrate Christmas, we must do the same.

12 Dazed!

Chilly —  December 10, 2014 — 5 Comments

<REPOST>

I heard the weirdest Christmas song, again, today! I always wonder what people think when they sing the Twelve Days of Christmas!

12 DaysWhat in the world do leaping lords, French hens, swimming swans, and especially the partridge who won’t come out of the pear tree have to do with Christmas?

Hmmm, I’m glad you asked!
Below is the explanation:

From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly.  Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics. It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church.

Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality which the children could remember.

  1. The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.
  2. Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments
  3. Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.
  4. The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.
  5. Five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the  Old Testament
  6. Six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.
  7. Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit– Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.
  8. Eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes (Matthew 5).
  9. Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit:  Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.
  10. Ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.
  11. Eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.
  12. Twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in The  Apostles Creed.

Now You know how that strange song became a Christmas Carol — HOW COOL IS THAT?!!

Q:  IF the freedom that we have to practice and live-out our faith was illegal, how would we go about making sure that the next generation learned and lived the same?  Hmmm…

66 Expressions of Love

Chilly —  November 23, 2014 — 3 Comments

JESUS became a powerful expression of LOVE to EVERY
book of the Bible and to EVERY member of your family! 

 

Genesis: The Creator & The Light

Exodus: The Passover Lamb

Leviticus: The Sanctifier

Numbers: The Guide & The Rock

Deuteronomy: The Prophet

Joshua: The Commander of the Army of the Lord

Judges: The Righteous Ruler

Ruth: The Kinsman-Redeemer

1 Samuel: The Anointed King

2 Samuel: The Son of David

1 Kings: The Wisdom

2 Kings: The Covenant of God

1 Chronicles: The Coming Messiah

2 Chronicles: The Temple of the Lord

Ezra: The Remnant

Nehemiah: The Mighty Wall

Esther: The Intercessor

Job: The Mediator

Psalms: The Good Shepherd

Proverbs: Wisdom & Honor

Ecclesiastes: The Ultimate Prize

Song of Solomon: The Bridegroom

Isaiah: The Prince of Peace

Jeremiah: The Revealer of Truth

Lamentations: The Man of Sorrows

Ezekiel: The True Shepherd

Daniel: The Fourth Man in the Fiery Furnance

Hosea: The Faithful Husband

Joel: The Giver of Dreams & Visions

Amos: The Burden Bearer

Obadiah: The Might Savior

Jonah: The Forgiving God

Micah: The Ruler in Israel

Nahum: The Righteous Avenger

Habakkuk: The Great Evangelist

Zephaniah: The King of Israel

Haggai: The Glory of God

Zechariah: The Merciful Father

Malachi: The Son of Righteousness

 

Matthew: The Messiah

Mark: The Servant

Luke: The Son of Man

John: The Son of God

Acts: The Risen Lord

Romans: The Justifier

1 Corinthians: The Gift of Love

2 Corinthians: The Triumphant Lord

Galatians: The Liberator

Ephesians: The Head of the Church

Philippians: The Humble Slave

Colossians: The Fullness of God

1 Thessalonians: The Joyful Hope

2 Thessalonians: The Faithful One

1 Timothy: The Mediator

2 Timothy: The Destroyer of Death

Titus: The Faithful Pastor

Philemon: The Advocate

Hebrews: The High Priest

James: The Great Physician

1 Peter: The Believer’s Example

2 Peter: The Source of All Knowledge

1 John: The Everlasting Love

2 John: The Constant Teacher

3 John: The Name above all Names

Jude: The Foundation of our Faith

Revelation: The King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Amen!

Tried and True

Chilly —  November 19, 2014 — 3 Comments

Put me on trial, LORD, and cross-examine me.
Test my motives and affections.
 Psalm 26:2

Why do you do what you do? Yeah, what’s really behind the things you do? The music you play? The clothes you wear? The things you read? The friends you hang with? The prayers you pray? The money you spend? Etc…

trueYou see, God knows your motives and affections… He knows the truth. Your service to God and others (yes both) will reveal who you truly are. It’s not enough to pray and read your Bible – no, you must OBEY it AND you must LOVE God & others with ALL your heart.

Does our faithfulness defend us or expose us? IF we have the character and nature of God, faithfulness is not an option: O LORD God Almighty! Where is there anyone as mighty as you, LORD? Faithfulness is your very character. Psalm 89:8

It’s not enough to look in the mirror and convince ourselves with “I’m ok” statements. What’s the purpose behind your efforts? Selfish gain or sacrifice? Laziness or long-suffering? Happiness or joy? Oh yes, my friend – our motives count and God knows exactly what’s up! People may be pure in their own eyes, but the LORD examines their motives. Proverbs 16:2

“Faith, as Paul saw it, was a living, flaming thing leading to surrender and obedience to the commandments of Christ.” A.W. Tozer

We’re not on break… EVER. We constantly stand before our God and anything less than our very best is not just unacceptable – it’s sin. You do not have “free time” unless during those times you are FREE in Christ. Fight the urge for “me time” and seek God like never before – He’ll take care of your “me needs” in a far superior way than you could ever do for yourself.

fighting to be faithful, chilly