Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas - 2012

Looking at my blog I see that I did not even update the yearly Messiah Program that my wife and I sing in every year. Let's call it a hiatus. We once again did sing in it and had a wonderful time. I did stay awake and fully aware the entire time yet still made a few errors. Good thing there are lots of voices there to cover me...
Lately I've been spending time listing books on eBay and letting politics wander aimlessly without my help or input. As far as 'religion' goes I've been keeping up with church attendance and chatting with God throughout the day. Also I get into text message debates with a JW friend.

His (the JW's) big thing this season is, as is every year, DON'T CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS! and to this I say, Romans 14:5 - "In the same way, some think one day is more holy than another day, while others think every day is alike. You should each be fully convinced that whichever day you choose is acceptable." - NLT -

I say that that verse says so much more than which days to celebrate or not. It says to me that God expects us to have differences of opinions. The chapter also says to accept people for believing differently than you. ACCEPT THEM? WHAT KIND OF NONSENSE IS THAT? All the people that don't agree with me should be whacked upside the head to have some sense knocked into them.

Well, I think accepting them (in spite of them having pointy little heads) is one of the things that truly makes following Jesus a tough thing to do. But what costs does this type of 'following Jesus' incur? One is losing the ability to proclaim, "I'm better than you because ___________!" (Fill in the blank) - So much for pride and self righteousness. Both of which I have an overabundance of.

That is why salvation is a two part process. - The initial meeting of Jesus. Having Him come into your heart in a real and tangible way. What some call the 'Born Again' experience. And next is having your life changed as a result of that experience.

None of us is 'better' than the next guy because we all have a mix of good and bad in us. Right thinking and twisted thinking. Nice actions/reactions and not so nice. ... We all need fixing. That is by God's standards and not our own.

The only source I've found for getting my life fixed is through my personal relationship with Jesus. Sometimes I work harder at the relationship than other times. Sometimes I'm inspired to walk hand in hand with Him and other times I get self centered and go my own way. - But through it all I've found HE IS FAITHFUL! He promised He will never leave me nor forsake me. I believe that because a.) It is in the Bible and b.) I've experienced it.

This Christmas Season has been great for me because it has presented some faith building opportunities and given me a chance to build my relationship with He who came not to live in a castle but He who came to live in our hearts. One thing that always gets me in the Christmas story is that the only God of the universe became incarnate in a stinky stable.

That can be likened to the way he came to live in my heart. I didn't need to get it cleaned up before His arrival. That was a good thing too because I never would have gotten it clean enough. Instead He came in as soon as I invited him. The simple prayer, "Lord! Come into my heart. I need you Jesus!" did the trick for me. As the song says, "He Touched Me".

Added benefit: As I allow him more room in my heart he does all the cleaning up too. May you find the same benefits in your life. If you don't know Him simply ask Him to reveal Himself to you. Remember there is a holiday that celebrates the other end of His sojourn on earth. At that point in time He rose from the dead and HE IS STILL ALIVE!

Guess I said all that to say this,

Merry Christmas and may the joy of the Lord fill your heart to overflowing.

The Prodigal Blogger

Paul - prying1 -