Sunday, December 18, 2011

Do You Hear What I Hear?

My post title tonight is the sermon title from this morning.  Once again we attended Lansing First CON as we were meeting family for dinner to celebrate Paul's Mom's birthday.  Basically the sermon asked us if we just approached Christmas in the same old manner, having heard the Christmas Story so many times, and gone through the celebrations year after year so that it has become not that meaningful to us.  

There are still people out there who are hurting, even crying, and they need the Hope that only Jesus can bring.  Can we hear their pain, their cries?  Are we offering them the Hope we have, the gift of the Savior?  Jesus didn't come so that we could have a party every year...He came to seek the lost, heal the hurting, and provide a way that leads to eternal life, and gives hope for this life.  If we have accepted Him, it is our responsibility to turn around and offer Him to others.  Do you hear what I hear?

Spent quite a few hours at the ILNC office this week.  We are using a new program for our annual invoices, so there was some learning involved, some trial and error.  I also began archiving files, getting ready for 2012.  We had a residents' pot luck at the Learning Center one night, after which we wrapped gifts for a homeless men's shelter in Kalamazoo.  

It's been a cold, rainy, snowy week.  Hubby and I treated ourselves to a pizza night in Vicksburg at our favorite pizza place.  Just the smell of the restaurant is warming and tantalizing, and it was so nice to walk in and relax after a long frustrating day. 

Yesterday was my semi-annual cabinet treatment.  I have to get in the mood to treat the oak cabinets and shine them up....and yesterday happened to be the day.  The mood hits me about twice a year.  I gave a good cleaning to the appliances and counters as well.  

I don't do Christmas cards any more, but I have been sending out some Christmas emails to friends I don't keep in contact with on a regular basis.  It's the time of the year that I think about the various people God has given me the privilege to cross paths with.  I like to keep in touch, especially if they move, and get updated on their lives now and then.  

We had another spell with Tuxedo this week...another time of him having seizures or stroke symptoms and his body being limp.  But once again after about three hours he seemed his normal self again. I sure hope we can be with him when his final hour comes.  With a vacation just ahead, I dread leaving him behind.

I'm in the midst of planning my shopping list for our time share week meals and cookie making.  I made up the menu and activity schedule this weekend...always open for flexibility.  I just needed to know what I need to take from home, and what I need to buy when I get to the other end.  Everyone is going to pitch in and help in the cooking and baking process...something we will do to have fun together, along with a nightly sharing time (directed by a different family member each night), and games and activities each day to keep us entertained and interacting with each other.  It's going to be so much fun!!

Well...I need to get back to my list and my Christmas emails.  Let me share my weekly devotional highlights.  Keep in mind I am now in the minor prophets and Revelations.  Won't be quite as much scripture to share from these books.  Two weeks and I will be done with the One Year Bible, read through in 2011.

The Word for You Today
1.  "The Blessings of the Compassionate Heart"

  • "You can give without loving, but you can't love without giving."

1.  The Sins of the Seven Churches  (ch 2 - 3)

  • Ephesus - they lost their passion for God
  • Smyrna - they were afraid of persecution
  • Pergamos - they were tolerant of sexual sin & idol worship
  • Thyatira - they allowed immorality in the church through their leaders and teachers
  • Sardis - the church is dead and their deeds do not please God
  • Philadelphia:  I know you well; you aren't strong, but you have tried to obey and have not denied my name.  Therefore I have opened a door to you that no one can shut. (3:8)
  • Because you have patiently obeyed me despite the persecution, therefore I will protect you from the time of Great Tribulation and the temptation, which will come upon the world to test everyone alive.  Look, I am coming soon!  Hold tightly to the little strength you have---so that no one will take away your crown.
  • As for the one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God; he will be secure, and will go out no more; and I will write my God's name on him, and he will be a citizen in the city of my God--the New Jerusalem, coming down from heaven from my God; and he will have my New Name inscribed upon him.  (3:10-12)
  • Laodicea - they were lukewarm, comfortable with status quo, indifferent
  • Look!  I have been standing at the door and I am constantly knocking.  If anyone hears me calling him and opens the door, I will come in and fellowship with him and he with me. (3:20)
  • O Lord, you are worthy to receive the glory and the honor and the power, for you have created all things.  They were created and called into being by your act of will.  (4:11)
  • Even though the fig trees are all destroyed, and there is neither blossom left nor fruit, and though the olive crops all fail, and the fields lie barren; even if the flocks die in the field and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will be happy in the God of my salvation.  The Lord God is my strength, and he will give me the speed of a deer and bring me safely over the mountains.  (3:17-19)
  • Pride ends in a fall, while humility brings honor.  (29:23)

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