Wednesday, December 25, 2013

I love all the colors of Christmas...especially the colors red and white!

Happy Birthday to You, Jesus! Lord, thank you for leaving Heaven to come here for us. 

Merry Christmas, Family. I hope that you have the most wonderful time of fellowship and rejoicing in the Son today. 

God the Son has never once stopped bein' good. I have many times.

Was with some four hundred sweet children last night as they were playing their kazoos and maracas and were singing Feliz Navidad with vigor and excitement! Yes, went to a Christmas Eve service and then on to visit at a Dallas hospital last night. Visiting. Listenin'. Talkin'..a 'lil. Prayed for em some. Listenin' some more. Met a few family members who were there to visit as well. Heard a few names...not really the place to ask their name. Liney reminded me of that. No phones, cams, recording devices of course...nothing you can carry is allowed in. Very respectful people. Some thanked us for stopping by. What kind of place is this, Lord, to spend Christmas Eve? This is just like the lowly places that You came to visit?  

Was a busy and blessed day. Grateful. Glad I have a mind ..what a blessing.. and that it all worked out today.

Just say no to drugs, and yes to Christ as Lord. Be filled with His comforting Spirit instead of that which gives ya a temporary buzz. What good has ever come from drinking much alcohol? I sure can't think of any. Heard about four young people dying cuz of it in San Clemente where I used to live.. this last week. So tragic!

What a contrast. One was a place of joy and Family and worship songs from the heart, but the second place was a place of separation from family members, and of anger, and of real craziness, and of some fights and blurry eyes from all the strong narcotics. 

So wish I could fix some things that seem unfixable. There are so many things I can't fix about this world, but I can continue to pray. 

Was so sad to see that some people there, due to repeated, lame, inferior personal choices, just weren't getting any better yet. But the Good News is that there is salvation, real wellness and restoration in Jesus Christ, who came into this world for stubborn people just like me. The Gospel is still the power of God ..even on Christmas Eve and Day in 2013.. no matter the place.  

We were singin'.. 

"Silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright round yon virgin mother and child. 

Holy infant, so tender and mild, 
sleep in heavenly peace, 
sleep in heavenly peace." By Joseph Mohr

As kids, Lin and I used to sing Christmas song at church and elsewhere cuz everyone else was doing that. It was kinda the thing to do at this time of year, but not any more - it's more than that now. What magnificent Christmas carols of truth (not all are filled with truth from Scripture, but last night they were). What a magnificent Jesus! 

Just to stop and think about the wonder it all.. of that guiding star, of the shepherds, of the wise-men, of the virgin birth - wasn't just another birth in Israel. God Himself came here, He became a fetus, and then was born into a young, poor family to bless other poor families..and all families. 

How humble! How Kind. How gracious! Praise the Father for the birth of baby Jesus.

Praises to the Prince of Peace.. our one Redeemer and King who not only delivers us from ourselves, but from all the brokenness that an evil world can deposit into our families lives.

I just love the festive brightness, and joy, and all the colors of Christmas. Don't you? So mystical, so celebratory! What are the main colors? They are...
* Green - which represents the Promise of God's saving grace. Think about all the green we see at Christmas... in wreaths, in mistletoe ..as God and us too..hope for a kiss from loved ones, in the ever-green trees, in Christmas cookies, in wrapped up presents. You know how during wintertime when all seems to look so dead and dormant outside, well the color of green is the color that people way back in the day would put up to decorate with... because it represents new life, budding growth, eternal life, and a living hope. I love the color green!
The Bible says, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.." 1 Pet. 1:3

And Liney's favorite Christmas verse also speaks of future hope: "For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name 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..." Isa. 9:6-7
* Red - which represents the Price of saving grace
"This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world (and that describes the incarnation - the very first Christmas..but why?) to save sinners, of whom I am chief." ~ Paul (emph. mine)

Red reminds me of pure passion from above. Ever locate that fine crimson red line representing pure love through the Bible? God watches every move you make n knows your every thought every minute of every day.. cuz He loves you so much He can't take His eyes off ya! Therefore be red hot for Christ. Scarlet was the color of the cord that Rahab an outsider who had faith was told to display from her window if she and her family were to be saved when Jericho was destroyed (Josh. 2:17-21). When Pilate had condemned Jesus to be crucified the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the Praetorium and clothed him in a scarlet robe, twisted a crown of thorns and placed it upon His head. Thus they mocked Jesus claim to be a King saying "Hail, King of the Jews" (Matt. 27:27-30). Scarlet red is the colour of the beast and the clothing of the woman riding it as described in Revelation. This vision symbolises the corruption of true religion and represents a political and religious system that persecutes the true followers of Christ and represents all that is corrupt in God's sight (Revelation 17:3-6). In the Song of Solomon scarlet is used in the description of the beauty of the bride where we read "Your lips are like a strand of scarlet.." (Song 4:1-5). "Come now, and let us reason together," Says the Lord, "Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool." (Isa 1:18). Also see Ex. 26:1, 2 Chron. 3:14. The Hebrew word 'towla' (Masculine) and 'towle' (feminine) means scarlet or crimson. The Hebrew word 'karmiyl' means crimson, red or carmine. The Hebrew word 'shaniy' means scarlet or crimson. 'Shaniy' signifies the color obtained from the insect 'coccus ilicis'. The dried body of the female provides a coloring matter from which dye can be made and then used to color cloth scarlet or crimson. In the N.T. the Greek word 'kokkinos' means scarlet or scarlet colored.
* White - which represents the Product of saving grace. I love to get the clean linens out of the dryer after they have been washed clean - so warm! I was not so clean inside for 17 years, not at all. But because of the Cross, Christ washed me. Just had to turn and ask Him to. White is such a great color
The Psalmist prayed, "Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow." Ps. 51:7

God is gentle, concerned, caring and He clearly appeals to each of us sinners.. "Come now, and let us reason together," Says the Lord, "Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool." Isa. 1:18
* Gold - which represents the regal Purpose of saving grace. You know that there is a Kingdom and a King coming again. No more selfish presidents or other kinds of leaders leading us astray. How great will that be! We believers will be raptured to be with them and then He will return to this earth with us to rule and reign on earth for a thousand years. Yes, the color gold is kind of a precursor of Christ's coming Kingdom which you can be a part of. Today is a great day to make this the best Christmas you have ever experienced. Turn and trust the Jesus of Christmas right now! Remember the gifts that were brought to baby JesusWhy gold, frankincense, and myrrh? 
Gold. You know it was so valuable. Still is. It was what subjects ..if they ever got the chance.. would present to their kings. It was how they showed them respect. When the wise men presented gold, they were honoring Jesus with the very best they possessed, and they also were recognizing that Jesus was king. In both the Old Testament Tabernacle and the Temple, gold was used plentifully, so we see that gold is also associated with worship. And we are told that in the heavenly city we will "walk on streets of gold." (Revelation 21:21)

Frankincense represents Jesus' divinity. It is a very costly and fragrant gum distilled from a tree. It was used in worship, where it was burned as a pleasant offering to God. It also was used as medicine and as perfume. We don't burn frankincense in our church services, but our worship still should be pleasing to God. While frankincense represents sweetness, myrrh represents bitterness. Myrrh is an aromatic gum and is obtained from a tree in the same manner as frankincense. It is used chiefly in embalming the dead. (John 19:39).

Myrrh was brought as a gift to acknowledge the human suffering Jesus would experience as a man.
To summarize, gold was a gift for a king; frankincense was a gift for Jesus' divinity, and myrrh was a spice for His burial. Even though these gifts provided financial resources for the round trip Mary and Joseph took to Egypt, they were symbolic of the future roles of Jesus.
The Scriptures tell us.. "And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh." Matt. 2:11

"Christmas eve. and the sky was bright with a holy Light...twas the birthday of a King.." ~ Ann Kiemel Anderson

"How silently.... how silently... the wondrous Gift was given...our Lord, Emmanuel."

"Though millions have come, there's still room for one.. there's room at the Cross for you.."


Yeah, just thought I'd throw in this video from my pastor in SoCal as a bonus. Gotta run. Friends are arriving at our home for a big meal. Wish you could be here with us as well.  

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