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2 years, 6 months ago 12

Merry Christmas, I pray for you that today is filled with love and peace, and that you enjoy the reason for the season!

 

Luke 2:2-38

New Living Translation (NLT)

 

(This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. He took with him Mary, his fiancée, who was now obviously pregnant.

 

And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.

 

The Shepherds and Angels

 

That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, 10 but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. 11 The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! 12 And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”

 

13 Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,

 

14 “Glory to God in highest heaven,
    and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”

 

15 When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

 

16 They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. 17 After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. 18 All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, 19 but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. 20 The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.

 

Peace on Earth, Goodwill toward men,

 

the pilgrim

 

 

2 years, 6 months ago 4

Merry Christmas Eve!  I hope you are surrounded by friends, and family.  Some families exchange gifts on Christmas Eve, some Christmas morning.  Gifts, at their best, are given with no expectations in return, they are given out of a desire to express love and appreciation.  We use the time of Christmas to do that for those we love and want to express that love, by trying to give them something we hope they will value. Of course the greatest gift is the original gift that started the celebration of Christmas, the Christ child!

 

On the way home from church yesterday morning my grandson, Elijah, read a quote from his ornament that he received in Sunday school.  It said, “Give the Lord your best, whatever it may  be, for Jesus will accept your gift joyfully!”

 

On the Eve of Christmas I want to talk for just a moment about what would make a great gift for Him. I believe that what He wants most is our hearts.  Have you ever heard the expression “the hearts desire”?  Of course you have, and it means what our hearts want most of all.  What His heart wants most of all is our acceptance of His forgiveness, and inviting Him into our lives and hearts.   Jesus came to earth for only one reason, YOU.  Yes, if there had been no one else on earth, except you, He still would have come to save you.

 

Some people recoil at the word save, but in reality that is exactly what He did.  We are all sinners, which means we have fallen short of what God wanted for us.  Our only hope was a sacrifice for our sins, instead of us paying the penalty of death, for our sins, Jesus took our punishment on Himself.  His death was the payment for all our sins.  If we accept that, and accept Him, we are forgiven.

 

Once forgiven, we have a deep desire to honor Him for all He has done for us.  This is where the gift comes in!  The only thing Jesus asked us to do because of His sacrifice was accept Him and then tell others that Good News Story!  If you were once lost, and then someone found you, and saved you from certain death, wouldn’t you want to tell others that are lost the wonderful story of Jesus!!??

 

So if you haven’t given Jesus the gift He really wants, you have some last minute shopping to do, and it’s easy, you don’t even have to brave the mall tonight, just go before Him and say I want you to have my heart and my life, His joy will be unimaginable!

 

Merry Christmas Eve,

 

the pilgrim

2 years, 6 months ago 6

I have plans for this weekend, and you should too!  O.K., that sure sounded like I think I know what’s best for you! Sorry about that….. but I do have some suggestions, O.K. I always have suggestions so if this doesn’t work for you just have a great weekend and forget all about my meddling!

 

One more thing, I am taking Saturday and Sunday off to spend a nice weekend with my bride, so my next post will be Christmas Eve.  Now, please allow me to make a few time test suggestions for Christmas weekend plans!

 

(1.)  Take extra time to tell your spouse how glad your spending your Christmas with them!

 

(2.)  Invite some of the little ones in your family, (kids or grandkids), to bake cookies or make a favorite Christmas recipe.  Then tell them about the valued friend or family member that passed the recipe down, and something that makes you smile when you think of them!

 

(3.)  Some evening after everything gets quiet around the house, read the Christmas story in Luke (Luke 2: 1-38).  Spend some time thinking about the reality of what it must have been like that night.

 

(4.)  If it snows where you live, build a roaring fire, and then sit in a comfortable chair or your couch with a warm cup of hot chocolate, and just watch the snow fall, a little soft Christmas music in the background just might be great too!  You might use that time to think of just how many ways God has blessed you!

 

(5.)  Take a minute to get alone and get on your knees and thank our Heavenly Father for giving all of us the greatest gift of all, a baby, named Jesus.  He grew up, showed us how to live, and then died to give us salvation.  Wish Him a very Happy Birthday!

 

Merry Christmas weekend!

 

the pilgrim

 

P.S.  And thanks for your gift for me, spending some of your days with me, here!

2 years, 6 months ago 7

I’ve started reading a book that I can see is going to be life changing, Catherine Martin’s, Knowing & Loving the Bible. I met Catherine through this blog, and had the pleasure of having her and her husband David at the most recent His Light Workshop.  They are great people and I really enjoyed getting to know them better!  Catherine was kind enough to send me a selection of her books, and she has a number of best selling ones!  This book is a real adventure in delving into the Bible and gaining the most possible from that love letter to us from our Heavenly Father.

 

The book promises to do the following things for the reader;

 

(1.) Revitalize your quiet time as you discover interactive devotional Bible studies.

 

(2.) Refresh your passion for Christ through exciting quiet times with God.

 

(3.) Realize the Bibles reliabilituy as the truth, authority for your belief, and secure foundation for your life.

 

(4.) Renew your mission as God’s Word works in your own life and through you, touch others.

 

I can assure you, as I’m a few chapters in, that this book will fulfill it’s promises and much more.  I do daily devotionals, and read my Bible, but this study will help me delve much deeper into God’s Word!

 

You can learn more about Catherine’s ministry and buy books at the web address below;

 

http://www.quiettime.org/

 

One of God’s greatest gifts to us is His Word, the Bible, His love letter to us.  Nothing can strengthen you, and prepare you for life like time spent reading and studying His message.

 

Thanks you Catherine for your ministry and for sharing these words of wisdom with us!

 

Be Blessed, & Merry Christmas #2,

 

the pilgrim