Monday, December 31, 2018

Who's Gonna Go Through Your Stuff?

A two car garage with no place for a car.

Between the womb and the grave, we collect a lot of stuff. After you leave this earth, who will sort your belongings? Who will keep a few things, give some items to charity, and throw the rest away?

Here's another question to ponder. What will they find?

You can't continue to hide secrets once you vacate this life.

My hubby and I recently sorted through our daughter's home. Her hubby died and she's desperately ill.  She couldn't help or supervise.

The big, five bedroom 3.5 bath house took days to organize and go through. It was a second marriage for both of them. They each brought stuff to the marriage and then bought new stuff together. Sorting through the place was overwhelming and mind blowing. But we did it. Whew!

We explored all drawers, attic, nooks and crannies.  We had to empty the house to sell it. I found items a mother doesn't want to see. Neither does a dad.  

Not immoral or illegal stuff, merely embarrasing items. 

As we approach the New Year, 2019, let's think about the "stuff" we add to our collections. Is it necessary? Would it embarass someone? Can I afford it? Could the money be better used somewhere else?  Would God be pleased for me to have this? Why have a big house to fill with junk? Is a smaller, simplier way of life easier and better?

A smaller, simplier lifestyle is easier and better....especially for the ones left to go though your stuff.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Angels at Christmas

If an angel appeared out of nowhere, would you become terrified?

People in the Bible had no forewarning one would materialize. They didn't receive a text message at breakfast stating, "an angel will show up and talk to you at 10:00 this morning."

Of course, if you received such a text, you'd think you'd been hacked or someone had played a joke on you.

Angels appeared without warning to the main characters in the nativity narrative. The Israelites had been promised a king, a savior. The ancient, scrolled, Word predicted He would come as a baby.

Knowing a promise and experiencing it first-hand are two different ballgames.

Angels needed to prepare the people who would be directly involved with this miracle. An angel surprised Zacharias while he was fulfilling temple duties. The messenger told the priest he would have a son and to call him John. The angel left old Zack speechless.

The angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and later to Joseph. Gabriel explained what their roles would be as they brought Jesus into the world.

Zacharias, Mary, and Joseph, although scared out of their oatmeal at the time, committed themselves to believe the angel's messages.

Angels prepare us for what God has planned for us. They did a good job on the long-ago hillside with the shepherds. Can you imagine? Sitting around a campfire with your buddies, enjoying the night, telling stories, and making smores.

Suddenly a whole bunch of angels fill the skies and sing to you. What would you do?

They scared the socks off the shepherds but gave them good news. After finding sandals, the shepherds made their way to a manger to see the tiny miracle the angels had told them about.

Angels can appear as themselves. They can also take on human disguises. Sometimes you recognize them, but often, you don't.

Hebrews 13:2. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. KJV

Who knows? Maybe Sarah will visit you. She's a hoot and I promise you...she'll make you laugh. She'll also make you think. She's a delightful, fictional angel, but she might be real. She makes me chuckle with her antics.  Look her up.

And have a Merry Christmas. Be an angel on earth to others.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Reasons or Excuses?

Here's a silly senario for you. Someone one said, "I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn’t work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness. He won't give me a bike, but He'll give me clemency."
 This pun is humorous and sad at the same time. Why do we  ask for mercy before we commit the dastardly deed? We are crazy heads. Or maybe merely human.
We give our reasons to God. “I needed a bike to get exercise, but I can’t afford one. Lord, You want me to stay healthy, don’t you? I'll help you help me. I'll steal a bike and not wait for you to provide one. That's okay with you, right?”
Our reasons are excuses to God. He calls them sin.

How about this one. "My wife doesn't meet my needs. My secretary does, God, You know I require attention, so here goes, forgive me God for what I'm gonna do."

Martin Luther. Remember him? I doubt it. No one is alive now who lived when he did. 

In 1517, Martin Luther realized the sale of indulgences by the Catholic church wasn’t invented or approved by God. Back in Luther's day, one could buy the right to sin before the sin took place. In other words, the premeditated sin was supposed to be forgiven before the petitioner committed the beastly act.

What kind of logic is that?

The story is told how Martin Luther was disgusted when he saw a drunken man lying in a ditch. He voiced his repulsion to the intoxicated guy. The man dizzily held up his printed indulgences, the ones giving him permission to sauce himself until he was blotto. He replied to Luther, “It’s okay. I already paid good money for this sin.”
If you know you’re gonna sin, why do it? Should you plan it, carry it out, and then ask for forgiveness? Wouldn’t it be better to not break God’s heart in the first place and then test His mercy?

What premeditated, sinful act do you plan to commit this holiday sesason? Overeat? Too much alcohol? Overspend? Yes, plots are out there, and some of us are asking forgiveness in advance of the action. We are giving our reasons to God.  

Folks, God doesn't work that way. He says, "Your reasons are excuses. They are a no-no."

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Adam's Quote to Eve

What did Adam say the day before Christmas? Hooray!  It's Christmas, Eve!

Maybe if Eve had selected an ornament from a Christmas tree, sin wouldn't have come so soon to all of us.

Oh, wait! There were no gaily decorated trees. Eve didn't have that choice, but she had other choices. What did she do?

She chose a no-no fruit.


We have Christmas because of sin!

Sin came first.

Then Christmas.

God gave us His son to forgive us of our disobedience.

Rejoice, Eve! It's Christmas. Your sins were forgiven because God planned a manger scene long before you ate the forbidden fruit. 

We call it Christmas.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

The Birth of Jesus

The Birth of Jesus

Jesus came into this world like we all do. Through the womb of a woman. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit to His virgin mother, but we are formed by an earthly father to our human mother.

The birth of Jesus records a weird set of circumstances, right? These conditions occurred only once in history and will never happen again. And just like us mortals, He would live a few years and then die. Unlike us, He stayed dead for only three days. His Father, our God, and His God, raised him back to life.

His development in the womb cocoon was ordinary, and after Jesus completed his growth, He was pushed out into the world. Just like us.

He grew to manhood in a normal fashion, and yet, He was different. His heavenly Father gave him a mission before conception—live a perfect life and go to a cross and perish for human sins.

At the appropriate time, He began His work. 

And at the appropriate time, He finished it. 

Jesus came as a baby.

He will return as King.

These truths in history are the reasons we celebrate Christmas

Friday, December 7, 2018

Grandma Got Run Over by a What?

"Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer."

This funny, silly song always makes me laugh. The first time I ever heard it, my daughter and I were headed to the mall for Christmas shopping. We laughed so hard I had to pull off the road. We were hysterical and it took us many moments to recover. It's a precious memory.

The part where the lyrics say Grandma forgot her medication and staggered out the door and the segment about blue and silver candles matching grandma's wig made me think of my mom.

My mom never drank, but she often forgot medication, and this oversight would cause her to stagger. She had beautiful hair and never wore a wig, but her hair sometimes shimmered a blue/silver.

A few people thought I was disrespectful because this crazy song made me think of Mom. I honor her with laughter and sweet memories, and when she was here, she enjoyed the song and laughed with me when she heard it.

Mom made Christmas special, and the reindeer didn't run over her. 

What's your favorite song that makes you smile?

Here's a few lyrics from Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer

She'd been drinkin' too much egg nog
And we'd begged her not to go
But she'd forgot her medication
So she stumbled out the door into the snow

Now the goose is on the table
And the pudding made of fig
And a blue and silver candle
That would just have matched the hair in Grandma's wig

Find the lyrics here.

Listen to the silly song here.

And don't forget to buy my three Christmas books. They will make you laugh!


PBG Insider: Gay N. Lewis Introduces her "Sarah" series

Sarah at Christmas