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Come all ye faithful.

Just as I am, without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bid’st me come to Thee,
O Lamb of God, I come! I come!

Just as I am, and waiting not
To rid my soul of one dark blot;
To Thee whose blood can cleanse each spot,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

Just as I am, though tossed about
With many a conflict, many a doubt;
Fightings within, and fears without,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind;
Sight, riches, healing of the mind;
Yes, all I need, in Thee to find,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

Just as I am, Thou wilt receive,
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
Because Thy promise I believe,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

Just as I am, Thy love unknown
Has broken every barrier down;
Now, to be Thine, yea, Thine alone,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

Come

Stupid Bird!

Paul Harvey once told the story of a family who kept the same tradition each Christmas Eve—the mother and children would go to the church service, and the father would stay home to read the paper. When the family returned home from church, they would all gather to open their presents.

The father no longer believed in the stories of God coming as a baby in a manger. As the family left for church one particular Christmas, the father opened the evening paper and settled in by the fireplace. Suddenly, he heard tapping on the window. A bird kept flying against the glass trying to get out of the snow and into the warmth of his home.

stupid bird1

Feeling sorry for the bird, the man went outside hoping to bring it in. When he got closer to the scared creature, it flew against the window even harder. The more the man tried to capture the bird, the more it continued to fly into the window. He yelled out in frustration, “Stupid bird! Can’t you understand that I’m trying to help? If only you understood, you wouldn’t fly away. If only I could become a bird, and get you to understand.”

Just then the church bells rang, and the father fell to his knees, began crying, and said, “Oh God, I didn’t understand.”

God’s Son came in human form that we might understand from where we came, for what reason we were separated, and how we can be restored to God. Christmas isn’t about empty promises of material gifts, holiday icons, or seasonal sights and sounds. It is about a fulfilled promise of a restored relationship between God and humankind.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. –John 3:16-18

JesusChristMediator

PRAYER: Ask God to strengthen your faith in Him, forgive you of your sins, restore you to a right relationship with Him, and give you joy this season, and all other seasons! 

[from https://www.seniorlivingministries.org/]

 

lmayan

Hmm— Sounds familiar.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God.
All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness does not comprehend it. 
John 1:1-5
 

One of the great monarchs of Persia was known well as a champion of the common people. To relate to their needs and problems, he would mingle with them— in various DISGUISES.

He was in the world,
and the world was made through Him,
and the world did not know Him. 
John 1:10
 

On one particular occasion, he went as a poor citizen to the public baths. In a tiny cellar, he sat down beside the man who tended the furnace.

Poor Man

He talked to the lonely man, and at dinnertime he ate some of his plain food. In the weeks that followed, the monarch visited the poor citizen and grew to love him dearly.

One day, the Shah revealed his true identity to the man. He expected to hear a request for some expensive gift or money. 

But instead the poor man simply sat in silence, gazing at the monarch in awe and astonishment.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us,
and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,
full of grace and truth.
John 1:14
 

After a long period of silence, the poor man finally said respectfully,

“You left your palace to sit with me in this dark place, to eat of my coarse bread, and to care whether my heart is glad or sad. You may give rich presents to others, but you have given yourself to me. Please, Your Majesty, never withdraw the priceless gift of your friendship.”

 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.
In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you.
I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come again and receive you to Myself;
that where I am, there you may be also.
John 14:1-3
 
I am the resurrection and the life.
He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 
John 11:25
 
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that
whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
John 3:16
 
Glorified Christ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[adapted from a story in https://www.seniorlivingministries.org/ ]

 

 

lmayan

Your witness

There is a story of one Christian man, a deacon, very involved in his church, who was sitting in traffic, and already very late for work.

His car was plastered with bumper stickers that read things like “Honk if you love Jesus!” and “Jesus is my hero!”

Bumper sticker

He had already sat through two red lights. The lady in front of him was talking on her cell phone and trying to apply mascara at the same time. When the light turned green, she wasn’t paying attention, continued to sit at a standstill, holding up traffic.

Bumper sticker1

The man began honking, shouting from inside his car, and shaking his fists at the lady to move on.

Bumper sticker2

Finally, traffic finally began to creep forward.

Then the man noticed red and blue flashing lights behind him.

He pulled over and rolled down his window to greet the officer. In exasperation, he said,

“What did I do wrong? I’m late for work, and you’re holding me up!”

The officer responded,

“Sir, is this your car?”

The puzzled man growled back, “Yes! Who else do you think it belongs to?”

The policeman replied,

“Well, when I saw the bumper stickers on the back of your car,

and the way you were acting back there, 

I thought the car must be stolen.”

It’s easy for us to become frustrated and impatient with the world. But, many of us tarnish our witness for Jesus because of our words and deeds.

Decide to put on the full armor of God each morning in prayer and God’s Word, so others might see Jesus in you.

You are the light of the world… Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:14, 16
 
You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
1 John 4:4
 
PRAYER: Ask God to help make you a shining witness of His love, His kindness, and His gentle spirit each day, as you interact with those who do not know Him.
 

[Adapted from https://www.seniorlivingministries.org/ ]

 

 

 

lmayan

Even Better…

In the book, A 2nd Helping of Chicken Soup for the Soul, Jack Canfield and Mark Hansen use an illustration to talk about answered prayer.

The story goes that Pastor John Ramsey was used to receiving a rose boutonniere to wear on his jacket each Sunday. After services one day, a little boy came up to him and asked if he could have the rose he was wearing.

Ramsey knew it would go in the trash when he got home, so he gladly offered it to the boy and asked why he wanted it.

The boy replied, “I’m going to give it to my granny. My parents divorced last year. I was living with my mom, but she got married again and wanted me to live with my dad. I lived with him for a while, but he said I couldn’t stay, so he sent me to live with my grandmother. She is so good to me—she cooks, takes care of me, and loves me—so I want to give her the rose.”

Pastor Ramsey stood staring at the boy with tears in his eyes. He pointed to the large vase full of fresh flowers sitting at the altar and said, “Take those to your granny because she deserves the very best. That little flower isn’t enough.”

The boy’s eyes lit up and he shouted, “What a good day! I asked for one flower, but got a beautiful bouquet instead!”

Flowers for Grandma

When we come to God with our prayers, we aren’t much different than the pastor and boy in this illustration. Oftentimes, we don’t notice that when we bring our pain or hurt to the Lord seeking a small remedy, He points us to a greater solution and comfort and asks us to take that instead.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
–1 Peter 5:6-7

PRAYER: Thank God for the answered prayer that you so often take for granted.

[from  https://www.seniorlivingministries.org/]

 

 

lmayan

GAAA!!!

stress

All of us experience undue stress. Stress is that subtle-yet-building pressure that robs us of our well-being, peaceful state of mind, and sometimes even our health.

How many times have you thought to yourself— when you can think at all: “I’ve got too much to do and too little time to do it!”?

Stress affects us all. It may seem that some have developed immunity to it, but in reality, they have simply learned how to cope.

It should be our goal to learn to control the stress we face. Because if we don’t, then our bodies are likely to experience changes. Stress affects the brain, the gastrointestinal tract, the skin, your sleep habits, your immune system, and most importantly, your spiritual life.

Everyone feels the pressures of life. But you don’t have to live life as though you’re in a pressure cooker all day and then end the day feeling like you’ve been hit by an 18-wheeler as you collapse into your bed at night.

To take control of stress in your life, first claim your promises in Scripture. Here are just a few:

You will keep him in perfect peace,
whose mind is stayed on you,
because he trusts in you.
Isaiah 26:3
 
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God,
to those who are the called according to His purpose.
Romans 8:28
 
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7
 
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
1 Peter 5:6-7
 

Create some quiet time—possibly even in a very quiet place—to read Scripture, pray, get alone with God, and write out your feelings.

And you’ll need to refrain from telling yourself you shouldn’t be relaxing when you finally get the chance to do so!

Size down your responsibilities and “just say no” when you begin to feel an incredible amount of stress.

Plan quality time for yourself—alone, or with someone who is good for you.

And avail yourself of Christian resources such as the “Winter Silent Retreat” offered by Pecometh Camp and Retreat Ministries.

PRAYER: Ask God to help you relieve the stress and rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul.

(Adapted from https://www.seniorlivingministries.org/)

 

 

lmayan

The Gift of Giving

Once there were two young men working their way through Leland Stanford University. Their funds reached an all-time low, so they got the bright idea to solicit Polish pianist Ignace Paderewski, who was touring the U.S., for a piano recital. They would devote the profits to their board and tuition.

Paderewski

The pianist’s manager asked for a guarantee of $2,000. The fearless students worked hard to promote and stage the concert, but wound up only raising $1,600.

After the concert, the two students presented the artist with their earnings— along with a promissory note for $400— explaining they would earn the amount as soon as possible and send it to him.

Paderewski said, “No, I’m sorry, but that won’t do.”

He tore the note to shreds, returned the money to them, and continued:

“Take out of this $1,600 all of your expenses, keep for each of you 10 percent of the balance for your work, and let me have the rest.”

Years went by. Paderewski became the premier of Poland. As war came upon the world, Paderewski strived to feed thousands of his starving Polish countrymen. Paderewski knew there was only one man in the world that could help his people.

He called upon him, and tons of food began to flow into Poland for distribution. After the people were fed, Paderewski traveled to Paris to thank his friend, Herbert Hoover, for the relief sent.

Mr. Hoover replied, “That’s all right, Mr. Paderewski. Besides, you don’t remember it, but you helped me once when I was a student at college and I was in a hole.”

hoover

Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”

Luke 6:38

Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?” The King will reply, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” 

Matthew 25:37-40

PRAYER: Ask the Lord to give you the opportunity to serve others in need this season. Thank Him for the blessings He has given you and for taking care of all your needs. 

[Adapted from https://www.seniorlivingministries.org/]

lmayan

Which one are you feeding?

One evening an old Cherokee Indian told his grandson about a battle that was going on inside himself. He said,

“My boy, the fight is between two wolves.” 

two-wolves

That got the boy’s attention.

 It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by

every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’

Matthew 4:4

“One is evil,” the old man continued.

“Anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego.”

Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk,

that by it you may grow up into salvation.

1 Peter 2:2

“What of the other, grandfather?” the boy asked.

Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy 

and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.

Jeremiah 15:16

“The other is good,” he said.

“Joy, Peace, Love, Hope, Serenity, Humility, Kindness, Benevolence, Empathy, Generosity, Truth, Compassion and Faith.”

 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies. To him who

overcomes I will give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of my God.

Revelation 2:7

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather,

“Do we all have such wolves fighting inside us, grandfather?”

So when they had eaten their breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter,

“Simon, son of Jonah, do you love me more than these?”

He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I have affection for you.”

He said to him, “Feed my lambs.”

He saith to him again the second time, “Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?”

He saith unto him, “Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee.”

He saith unto him, “Feed my sheep.”

He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you have affection for me?”

Peter was grieved because he asked him the third time, “Do you have affection for me?”

He said to him, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I have affection for you.”

Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.” 

John 21:15

“Yes,” the wise old man said.

 And thou, Beth-Lehem, the land of Judah, thou art by no means the least among the

leaders of Judah, for out of thee shall come one leading, who shall feed My people Israel.’

Matthew 2:6

“Then, which wolf wins the fight?”

 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the

which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the

church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

Acts 20:28

The old Cherokee simply replied,

“The one you feed.”

Then I took the little book out of the angel’s hand and ate it, and it was as sweet as honey in my mouth. But when I had eaten it, my stomach became bitter. And he said to me, “You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings.” Revelation 10-8-11

Feed on the Word of God.

word-of-god

But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
    And in His law he meditates day and night.
He shall be like a tree
    Planted by the rivers of water,
    That brings forth its fruit in its season,
    Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.

Psalm 1:2-3

lmayan

Thank You.

Note: This post is uncommissioned, unsolicited, unauthorized. Our Pastor can honestly “disavow any knowledge of this action…”

Words fail us sometimes. Especially if emotions make us stop, stumble, choke up… even make us incoherent, sometimes, and sometimes even speechless… like I’m babbling right now.

So I’ll say this with PICTURES and SCRIPTURES.

Pastor thank YOU

“And I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.” Jeremiah 3:15

pastor-appreciation

“Remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 1:3

pastor-appreciation3(1)

“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”” Isaiah 52:7

pastor-appreciation1

“Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.” Hebrews 13:7

pastor_appreciation_card-r95a105cc286741d8bb7ceed8ff5841e7_xvua8_8byvr_512

“How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?” Romans 10:14

And so, Pastor Amy, on behalf of myself and all who would join with me, for all that you do, and all that you are, and all that you mean to us, a very heartfelt… 

thank you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

lmayan

Where’s Your Treasure?

Earthly treasure. The proverbial “riches of this world“, the “silver an’ gold“…

Where’s YOURS at?!? 

 

HOME

 

HERE?mercedes

wall street

HERE?

bank
shiny1HERE?
boat1

WHERE’S YOUR TREASURE?

George W. Truett, a well-known pastor in the mid-1900s, was invited to dinner in the home of a very wealthy man in Texas. When the meal was finished, the gracious host took Pastor Truett to a high place where they could get a good view of the surrounding area.

Pointing to the oil wells on the horizon to the north, he boasted, “Twenty-five years ago I had nothing. Now, as far as you can see, it’s all mine!”

Looking south at his sprawling fields of grain, he said, “That’s all mine too.”

And then, turning east toward huge herds of cattle, he bragged, “They’re all mine also.”

Then pointing to the west and a beautiful forest, he exclaimed, “That too is all mine.”

North, South, East and West. All his. He had it all, and wanted it known, too.

He paused, waiting for Dr. Truett to compliment him on his great success.

However, Truett placed one hand on the man’s shoulder, pointed heavenward with the other, and simply asked,

“How much do you have in THAT direction?”

The man was surprised and confessed, “I haven’t really thought of that…”

shock

There are people who have many material possessions. But they will leave this world the same way as everybody else: with nothing. And when they meet their Creator face to face, they may have little or nothing to show for all their time on earth. They’ll be broke— or worse.

Don’t be one of those people.

Whether you have a little now or a lot, remember to store up real, imperishable treasure in the only place it counts and will endure forever: in Christ’s Heaven.

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

– Matthew 6:19-21
[adapted from https://www.seniorlivingministries.org/]

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