Sunday, December 21, 2008

Ever Rescue A Bird Crashing Into The Window?

How's it going for you? Have your holidays and all that goes with them met your expectations this year or have you felt a little empty? I so hope it has gone well for you and yours! Got tons to be grateful for this year (and if you really knew me, I don't deserve any of it).. but the best of it all is a loyal Friend of mine who is sometimes kinda quiet, but He listens real close. "Aw Kurt, you sound like a broken record!" you might say. Well who can you get real with in a pinch or out? I wanna be close. Others can talk love non-stop, but He is love. What king do you know that has left his throne... what lord have you read about that has abandoned his home.. what boss have you had worked under, that chose a cross.. for you? What grave have you seen that was ditched by its occupant? From a crib in a barn, to bleeding and scars to heaven to pray. Hey, things don't always go my way, but He's there for me.. and for you. Got health issues? Hopefully not today. Got relationship or finance issues? Got Christmas party issues? What rich landowner have you met who even gives a flip about your situation? Which one could permanently do anything about it to make things better ..forever?
"Though He was God, He did not demand and cling to His rights as God. He made Himself nothing; He took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form" (Phil. 2:6- 7, nlt).

"Though Christ a thousand times in Bethlehem be born, if He’s not born in thee.. thy soul is still forlorn." ~ Angelus Silesius

"Christmas is based on an exchange of gifts: the Gift of God to people—His Son Jesus; yes the Gift of God to man—when we first give ourselves to God." ~ Vance Havner

I do love celebrating the birth of Jesus! They're singing our songs out there (..much better than I could too)the best songs in all the world. This is such an enjoyable time for us here in Texas for sure ..especially when my parents come out to visit us from California. It’s a time when we can give gifts, catch up on beach news, look at photos (my mom takes more than I do..), show visitors around the town (like there so much to see..) and take part in old family traditions (simple ones, nothing spectacular, but we enjoy being with each other and with Him).

I thought it was funny how earlier today on their way to our place (my parents driving on the road ..I mean) from the south near Waco; they were directed towards the exit gate by some big secret service men after they drove on up the entry way of the Bush Ranch down in Crawford. They wanted to take a photo there. Of course they knew they’d be stopped at the guard gate too, but it was worth the risk to them and it confirmed to them that they actually found the place in that nothing of a town.

Later this week I plan on showing them where the Bush family will move to in Dallas real soon (it’s very close to where my wife works and George W is a patron there). We’ll play it by ear and try to create some fun during the entire week for sure.

The First Time Jesus Came
He came veiled in the form of a child.
A star marked His arrival.
Wise men brought Him gifts.
There was no room for Him.
Only a few attended His arrival.
The Next Time Jesus Comes
He will be recognized by all.
Heaven will be lit by His glory.
He will bring rewards for His own.
The world won’t be able to contain His glory.
Every eye shall see Him.
He will come as Sovereign King and Lord of all. ~ John F. MacArthur Jr.

In Christ, Christmas is a most beautiful time—one of great joy and celebration.

I do feel for those who for some reason or another can not get together with their loved ones during this time of year. My older son, Stephan, is one of them this time. Been there before and I don’t like it.

For many people, Christmas is a time of stress, a time when they feel real down, sometimes even a time of conflict, insecurity and chaos. That’s how it used to be at my home when I was growing up. There was a lot of drinking and fighting going on—I hated it, but it’s so much better now that I, my dad and others in my family got right with God through Christ.

To miss Jesus at this time of year is to totally miss Christmas. Don’t do it! Spend some time alone in Matthew 2 and in talkin’ it over with God before you do anything else this season.

There are a lot of churches around helping the situation for many, and some not so much. We do what we can. But for some people it’s still kind of hard for them to understand the meaning of Christ’s first Advent. Listen, it doesn’t have to be difficult this year. Pray honest to-the-point-prayers IN Jesus' Name, asking for what you need. I once heard Paul Harvey tell an interesting story about a family up north on Christmas Eve. This family had a tradition where the Mother and children would go to the Christmas Eve service, and the Father would stay home and read the paper. When the family returns home from church, they would all gather to open up their presents.

The Father was not an evil man, but he just couldn't believe in the childhood stories anymore of God coming as a baby in a manger. As the family left for church, he opened up the evening paper and began to read by the fireplace.

Suddenly, he heard tapping on the window. It was a bird flying against the glass of his window trying to get out of the snow into the warmth of his home. The man had compassion on the bird, and he went outside, hoping to bring it in.

As he approached the bird, the bird just flew against the window even harder. Pretty soon, the bird flew into the bushes below the window, half frozen, yet too afraid to be caught by this huge man. The more the man tried to reach for the bird, the more the bird flew frantically into the snow and thorns of the bushes.

After a few minutes in the cold and seeing the bird continue to injure itself, the man yelled out in frustration, "Stupid bird, can't you understand that I'm trying to help?" The man paused and thought, "If only you understood you wouldn't fly away ... if only ... if only I could become a bird, and get you to understand."

Just then, the church bells rang, as they always have on the hour. But when the man heard the bells this time, he fell to his knees and began to cry, saying, "Oh, God, I didn't understand. Oh, God, I didn't understand."

God's Son, Jesus Christ, came in human form that we might understand from where we have come from, what our greatest need really is, how we were separated from God by sin, and how we can quickly be restored to God through true repentance and faith in Jesus. He's the only Way..there's no other. Hey there, you don’t have to be alone or lonely any more. As the Bible says, "You shall call His name Immanuel," which means "God with us" (Isa. 7:14). He came down to become more than just your best Friend.

If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator; If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist; If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist; If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer; But our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a Savior.

This year it could be the most blessed holiday season of your entire life! Do respond today. Merry CHRISTmas!
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