Some thoughts on “Christmas”

​The accouterments and the heathen history of “Christmas” trouble me. That they exist takes away from the soul-saving news. That Christianity has been slapped onto heathen celebrations and then peeled off by a God-hating society seems to me to be part of Satan’s scheme to further confuse people and seal their destruction.

However, as the psalmist states, which I believe applies to every day, “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” 

Because Jesus lives, we have reason to anticipate that the best is yet to come, despite often dark and overwhelming circumstances.

God loves us, came to reconcile us to Him, and we will soon be with Him. Thanks, honour, and glory be to Him forever. ♡

Ephesians 2:

4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

And Can It Be…?

Such a beautiful hymn, set to beautiful scenes of God’s creation, gently spurs me all the more onward to heaven where neither thorn, nor darkness, nor impending death can ever detract from the eternal enjoyment of fellowship as it was meant to be in all its perfection.

Watch and listen: And Can It Be?

And Can It Be?

Text: Charles Wesley, 1707-1788 

Music: Thomas Campbell 

1. And can it be that I should gain 
an interest in the Savior’s blood! 
Died he for me? who caused his pain! 
For me? who him to death pursued? 
Amazing love! How can it be 
that thou, my God, shouldst die for me? 
Amazing love! How can it be 
that thou, my God, shouldst die for me? 

2. ‘Tis mystery all: th’ Immortal dies! 
Who can explore his strange design? 
In vain the firstborn seraph tries 
to sound the depths of love divine. 
‘Tis mercy all! Let earth adore; 
let angel minds inquire no more. 
‘Tis mercy all! Let earth adore; 
let angel minds inquire no more. 

3. He left his Father’s throne above 
(so free, so infinite his grace!), 
emptied himself of all but love, 
and bled for Adam’s helpless race. 
‘Tis mercy all, immense and free, 
for O my God, it found out me! 
‘Tis mercy all, immense and free, 
for O my God, it found out me! 

4. Long my imprisoned spirit lay, 
fast bound in sin and nature’s night; 
thine eye diffused a quickening ray; 
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light; 
my chains fell off, my heart was free, 
I rose, went forth, and followed thee.
My chains fell off, my heart was free, 
I rose, went forth, and followed thee.

5. No condemnation now I dread; 
Jesus, and all in him, is mine; 
alive in him, my living Head, 
and clothed in righteousness divine, 
bold I approach th’ eternal throne, 
and claim the crown, through Christ my own. 
Bold I approach th’ eternal throne, 
and claim the crown, through Christ my own. 

Scrawling About God

Sometimes I feel like going out to my incomplete writing shed, taking a pen and notebook, and writing in big scrawling letters about how much I love God, obliterating the thoughts of how frustrated I am with everything else in the world.

Yes, focusing on my love for Him, and what I know from His Word about His love for me, throwing in some imagination and inferences about how heaven is going to be, is what I need to do, and perhaps I will find that for those few moments, nothing else will matter.

If I could do it in crayon on large sheets of newsprint, all the better.

But then…

“Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.” *

*Taken from Frederick M. Lehman’s “The Love Of God”
(Of note, “scrawling” is not considered a proper word. Right now, I do not care.)

Not Made for This World

CS Lewis wrote in “Mere Christianity” about the desires we have that cannot be satisfied, which led him to conclude we are not made for this world.

How science has discovered that our brains only function on a small percentage of their full capacity is a mystery to me, but if that science is correct, I wonder if the remaining potential is symbolic of something new and far superior that will be formed after we are dust scattered throughout more dust, becoming nothing so we may be recreated from scratch as a new home for the spirit that has experienced so much frustration and imperfection, and because of that experience, we will rejoice endlessly in that which is perfect.

I believe the Bible. Science, via the brains of man, has proven in various ways what was written millennia ago in it – things that were once mocked have now become evident by studies, as progress has permitted. The world is, after all, truly round.

Oh, to have all the answers in plain view, wherein I can look and see that my heartaches, doubts, and questions have full and satisfying solutions.

Meanwhile, until I see plainly and not through a glass darkly, platitudes, guesses, and excuses will be poured upon me. Sometimes they burn, sometimes they soothe, but never do they consume nor fulfill.

Acclaim, accomplishments, riches, plans, material, dreams, losses, condolences – none of it matters. If you find something that makes you happy, if it is in this world, it will end, except for one thing: love.

But love is better than anything merely of this world. Love is of GOD.

“Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.”

All is vanity, but only without God is there no hope.

Love lasts forever. And it is to note that the Bible tells us God is love. That which exists in God is that which is not vain.

What I see in this life is meaningless compared to that which I will see in the presence of my Lord, when everything is viewed in the literal light of His love. To see His face and be endlessly with those who love Him as I do, for that do I now breathe.

If not for the pain that too often overwhelms me, I might have no desire for that better place.

Still, I do not want the pain.

I was not made for this world.

Hearing About God

I love hearing about God from others who love Him. Sure, some “know” Him, but it is different hearing words from those who love Him.

It is more than Theology I seek. It is all of God – not just studying Him, but I crave an immersion in Him. His Word, I read it, devour it, and ruminate on it. I discover things I want to unravel. I query others who might have nuggets about certain passages. Right now I am rereading in Ecclesiastes. I need to know more about the author, the setting, the culture at the time, and what all else, I do not even know.

I am dying to be with Jesus. (Worded that way very much on purpose.)

Controlling One’s Passions?

I did not write this, but I read it this morning, and was moved to share it. With permission from the author, whose website is http://tombirkenmeyer.com/, I am reprinting it, along with the William Blake quotation poster he included.

passions and control

“Gotta dream you put away or gave up on? Why not visualize something so important and meaningful for you that it would break your heart not to do whatever it took to become the person who could achieve it no matter how devastating your life is right now?

Why not use whatever is going on as leverage to get the skills, the emotional maturity, the spiritual equipping, and whatever else you need to solve a problem and achieve a dream?

Why not have a vision of who you wanna become that creates so much PASSION that you can no longer keep using the same story you’ve been selling yourself on why you can’t be where ya wanna be??

You’re either gonna be pushed around by your circumstances or pulled by your vision…

If things are too hard for you to move on your dreams then you don’t have any other problem except that your vision that drives your passion is so WEAK that your circumstances are pushing you around…. So, build up your vision.. why not?

Have you been abused? Are you broken down? Are you financially ruined? Has all your time been manipulated and demanded by other people? Did you fail out of school? We’ve all got something. Whatever you’ve been through or stuck in the middle of, I promise you someone has been there and figured it out…. they grew from where they were planted and so can you, no matter what…”

A Beautiful Spirit

Yes, I do feel within me that I am a beautiful spirit, and thank you for saying so.

I don’t say that in any conceited way, but just in a way that appreciates that I am worthy of goodness just as much as anyone else.

I used to be down on myself when I lived with the abuser. I have learned that it was all lies and that one must not be down on themselves. The world gives us enough bombardment from the outside. I have no desire to destroy my own walls from within.

I get down, really really down, and sometimes wish to die, but never do I ever put myself down.

Are you, too, a beautiful spirit?

I think we who have been through much and have survived – and who hasn’t? – who continue to breathe and to love others, are like the Japanese art of Kintsugi, where the damage to broken vessels is not concealed, but rather it is magnified by filling the cracks with gold, beautifying them in spite of – or because of – the blows they have received.

We didn’t ask for pain, but we got it, and we will not be rendered useless because of it.  May we instead be beautified within via the gold hammered into our wounds.

New_Kintsugi

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