Praise the Lord!

Praise the Lord!

The shortest chapter in the Bible is Psalm 117, it is just two verses. Yet these two verses are immensely profound in their simplicity. You want to boil things down to the minimum and just look at the core of human existence? Then here you go:

“Praise the Lord, all you nations! Worship Him, all you peoples! Because God’s faithful love towards us is strong, the Lord’s faithfulness lasts forever! Praise the Lord!”

It doesn’t get much simpler than this, Praise the Lord. Worship Him. Because, He is faithful. His love is strong towards us and He is forever faithful. Thus, we should, Praise the Lord! No matter what you are facing, no matter what difficulties or trials befall you, Praise the Lord! In the good and in the bad, Praise the Lord! In the sun and in the rain, Praise the Lord! In life and in death, Praise the Lord! In sickness and in health, Praise the Lord! In the hardest of times and in the best of times, Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!

Praise the Lord,

you are loved,

cj

13 Years and Counting

13 Years and Counting

i have been writing a book for 13 years, that’s right you heard me, 13 years. i guess you can say that i am persistent or lazy. i would say, i am self-conscience of ability. However, one day that book will be completed, and it will be read by at least two people, my mom, and my dad. Now imagine this, the Bible which many refer to as the “Good Book” is actually a collection of works, both books, and letters. There are 66 of them written by 40 different authors over a period of…well…thousands of years.

The influence that the Bible has had over the years is unfathomable. It has had both good and bad impacts on the world depending on who was doing the interpreting. It is an adventure story, love story, comedy, history, and wisdom. It is if read correctly, the answer to all of life’s questions…and by life’s questions i mean any and every question you might have ever in your life.

In 2 Timothy 3 we read in verses 16 and 17 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” And again in 2 Peter 1:20-21 we read, “But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.” There are a few other places that talk about this idea of the impactfulness and importance of Scripture, google it some time.

The book that i have been writing will not take thousands of years…at best i only have about 50ish years left to live. It will not even come close to impacting the world as the Bible has either. There have been countless books written, but none have claimed so much, promised so much, explained so much and been right so much ever! There is no book that has outsold or been stolen more than the Bible either…how’s that for distribution?

Hark the Herald Angel Sing

Hark the Herald Angel Sing

Its almost Christmas and i harken back to a time when life was simpler, yet my childhood angst would be aroused with unimaginable anticipation. The house pristinely decorated with Christmas cheer, every room, every hall, my mother would spare no expense or space. It reminds me of the cartoon version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas and in particular the song, Welcome Christmas (listen to it here). Even now i can see my moms house decorated to the hilt. She as in years past started decorating in October…setting up Harvest scenes that will easily transition into Christmas scenes along with Harvest Trees that have become Christmas Trees. She quite literally took this song for everything its worth…

Trim up the tree with Christmas stuff
Like bingle balls and whofoo fluff
Trim up the town with googoo gums
And bizilbigs and wums

Trim every blessed window and trim every blessed door
Hang up whoboohoo bricks then run out and get some more!
Hang pantookas on the ceilings
Pile panpoonas on the floor
Trim every blessed needle on the blessed Christmas tree
Christmas comes tomorrow. Trim you, trim me!
Trim up your tree with fuzzle fuzz
And fliffer bloofs, and wuzzle wuzz
Trim up your uncle and your aunt
With yards of whoflut flay

i don’t know what any of that means but it is definitely an accurate description of my parents home. My present home, however, is much more modest in its decor. In fact this year even more so; i confess that i have not been very festive this year at all, compared to Christmas’ past anyway.

i sometimes feel guilty that i don’t have all the trimmings up, that is until i remember the modest entrance of the King of kings.

Luke 2:4-7
4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. 6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
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Although, the following verses are marked by an angelic scene in the sky with great significance, the actual place and birth were humble, times ten. i think we can sometimes get lost in the glamor of modern Christmas and miss the simplicity of Jesus’ birth that heralded in the Majesty of the King. To this i say, Merry Christmas my friends, may you think of the humility of God in the birth of His Son, Jesus, Emmanuel. Hark the Herald Angels Sing:
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Hark the herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild
God and sinners reconciled”
Joyful, all ye nations rise
Join the triumph of the skies
With the angelic host proclaim:
“Christ is born in Bethlehem”
Hark! The herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!”

 

Christ by highest heav’n adored
Christ the everlasting Lord!
Late in time behold Him come
Offspring of a Virgin’s womb
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see
Hail the incarnate Deity
Pleased as man with man to dwell
Jesus, our Emmanuel
Hark! The herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!”

Hail the heav’n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Ris’n with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! The herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!”

 

God bless us, everyone! (Tiny Tim)

You are loved,

cj

P.S.

Here are some interesting facts concerning the Hymn/Carol of Hark! The Herald Angel Sing from Wikipedia (so take it with a grain of salt?)

 

Finding Jesus

Finding Jesus

i have walked past many red kettle pots, gave to some, felt guilty at others. i have waited in lines at the post office, the grocery store, and while shopping for gifts. i have heard sermons, read blogs, listened to music that reflect the season of Christmas.

Our house is decorated, complete with tree lit up in the corner of the living room and stockings all hung by the fireplace with care. The gifts wrapped and placed under the tree stir the anticipation of Christmas morning.

As i look at all the “Christmas” around me and as i am reminded constantly by meme’s on Social Networks, to keep Christ in Christmas. i can’t help but remember the question asked by the wisemen from the east when they stood before Herod, “Where is the newborn King of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.”  Matthew 2:2

Let me encourage you today to ask that question now through Christmas. As you ponder the question, “Where is the newborn King of the Jews?” Look for Him, in the red kettle pots, in the lines you stand in, the sermons you hear, blogs you read and songs you hear. Look for Him in your home among the many decorations. And, each time as you find Him as the wisemen did may you be filled with joy.

You are Loved,

cj