Month: December 2008

Count Your Blessings

I know that many of us have received this message in an email at some time or another as I have but this is the first time I received it in a video with narration and music.  I hope you enjoy it and capture its meaning and place it in your heart.  May it come to your remembrance any time you feel at the end of your rope or things are falling apart.  Know that God is in control and He is there for you, waiting – just reach out to Him and let Him carry your burden, lighten the load and place your fears, problems, worries and tears at His feet.  God bless you….Briggie ^i^

Oh Holy Night

This song has always brought me to tears because of its true beauty and meaning.  Today my mom sent me a link to this video and it brought an even deeper meaning of its words to me. May this Christmas and all those to come be a reminder of who God is and how much He loves you.  God bless you and keep you in His care, in the name of our precious Lord and Savior, Jesus, Yeshua Ha’Mashiach, amen. – Briggie ^i^

What’s Christmas All About Anyway?

Going through some papers I came across a few tracts I purchased many years ago and I thought I would share this one by Ruth Bell Graham.  May God richly bless you and keep you in His care. – Briggie ^i^

crossThis is the Christmas season – a time for giving and receiving gifts.  And for weeks now you have probably been working on your gift list and shopping, shopping, shopping…

But in this final rush before Christmas, perhaps you don’t care anymore.  Perhaps love is dead.  Or your children are beyond your influence.  Or you have no children.

Perhaps something has happened, and now you find no joy or meaning to your life anymore.  Perhaps the most you look for is some temporary form of escape.

Maybe you can’t give anything.  There’s nothing left to give.  Or there’s one left to give to.

Listen!

What’s Christmas all about anyway?  Wasn’t there a death, an emptiness, a need?  Wasn’t there a Love somewhere – infinite, eternal, unchangeable – a Love that gave His only Son anyway?

That’s what Christmas is all about: God coming to earth in the Person of the Christ Child to do for you and for me what we cannot possibly do for ourselves.

Jesus lived among us and had the same kinds of problems that we do.  You haven’t a problem – and I haven’t a problem – that He doesn’t understand from close personal experience.  He spent His entire life meeting human needs.  He died on the cross to deal once and for all with our greatest need – the sin problem.

Just before ascending to heaven, the risen Chris gave this glorious promise: “I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20). That’s what Christmas is all about.

While Jesus was here on earth, He invited people to come to Him: tired people, bad people, good people, bewildered people, laborers, revolutionaries, cheats, bigots…it is the Invitation of the Ages.

Just as people went to Jesus 2,000 years ago, today we still come to Jesus that same way: just as we are.  Our only credentials: our need.

This Christmas, God is asking you to

come to Him.  You with your failures,

your sins, your problems, your fears.  You.

This is Christmas.  Redemption’s glorious exchange of gifts.

God is loving, searching, finding, giving Himself – to us.

People are needing, finding, giving ourselves to God.

This is the meaning of Christmas.  This is the wonder and the glory of it all.

You can come to God this Christmas, or anytime, by praying a simple prayer like this:

Dear God, I confess to You the emptiness in my heart, the selfishness of my thoughts, the fear in my spirit, and the sinfulness in my life.  I’m so sorry.  I know it was for me – and because of me – that Jesus died.  Please forgive me of all my sins.  Thank you Jesus, who accepts me as I am.  I come to You now, ready to spend eternity in heaven with You.  Thank You for giving me Jesus!  Amen.

In Touch Prayer December Week 4

Please join me in lifting up In Touch Ministries each week.  Take care and God bless you, – Briggie ^i^

 

PraiseIn Touch’s executive team and board of directors recently approved a plan that will allow “In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley” to reach 500 million homes worldwide.  Praise God that more people around the globe will have the opportunity to see and hear Dr. Stanley deliver a clear presentation of the gospel on television and radio.   

PrayerIn Touch works with local churches and missionaries who reach out to viewers and listeners who respond to the gospel or need further discipleship.  Pray that new believers and growing Christians would be supported effectively.

Are You Ready For The Holidays?

I receive daily devotions from Proverbs31 Ministries and I was catching up on my emails today and came across this one and thought I would share it you.  God bless you and keep you in His peace and care…Briggie ^i^

 

December 16, 2008

Are You Ready for the Holidays?

Van Walton

“What matters is not your outer appearance… but your inner disposition.”
1 Peter 3:1 (MSG)

Devotion:

This year I am tempted to keep a close count of the number of times I hear the question, “Are you ready for the holidays?”
What does that mean exactly? If I were to guess what people mean when they ask one another if they are “ready for the holidays,” I would say most are not talking about spiritual readiness. I bet what they typically mean is, “Have you made a list of all the stuff you need to do before the 25th and have you checked it off?”
Usually the answer that follows is a long list of to-do’s before Christmas day. Baking, sending Christmas cards, buying and wrapping gifts, hiding presents from the children, or delivering them to neighbors, choir or play practice, preparing for guests, or preparing to travel. My list also often includes planning and attending parties, house cleaning, and finally – my favorite – decorating.
I wonder, if Jesus were making a holiday preparations list, what would He include? What if those who were there on Christ’s birth day could advise us on getting ready for Christmas? What would be on their list?
Joseph might recommend we listen closely to the voice of God to prepare.
Mary may suggest we ponder the miracles of heaven.
Perhaps the angels would propose we sing about the King.
The shepherds may gently guide us to follow their act of worship.
Possibly the wise men would teach us to give Jesus our most valuable gifts.
The innkeeper may suggest “Hospitality: open your heart and home.”
And Jesus’ list would likely encourage us to be a light on the hill pointing the way for others to know Him.
Comparing my to-do list to the ones above, I wonder if I lived at that time, would I have missed Christ’s birth? Would my busyness have kept me from slowing down to take time to worship in the stable? Unfortunately I have “missed” many Christmases in the here and now because I’ve not slowed down long enough to bow my knees and experience the miracle.
I want Christmas for my family to be more about an act of worship and awe than a frenzy to decorate, shop, and jump through the world’s hoops. I don’t want to miss the true reason we celebrate.
A few years ago I set out to purposefully plan the way I celebrate. As a result, my Christmases have become increasingly simpler and at the same time my heart has become increasingly more satisfied.
Are you ready for the holidays?
Father, Thank You for sending Your son to point the way to You. Please remind me that preparing my heart for You is more satisfying than any other preparations I could make. Simple and pure devotion to You is what makes this season so special. Help me balance my time and keep my focus on You this year. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

My First Christmas In Heaven

God will wipe away every tear from their eyes;
there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor
crying. There shall be no more pain, for the
former things have passed away.”
        ( Revelation 21:4 *NKJV )

Dearest Friend,
     If you are suffering from the loss of a loved one this Christmas,
the following message is for you.  If you are not suffering
from that loss, but know of someone who is, why not forward
this message to them.  For it has ministered to many over the
past few years!   It is called:

                       “My First Christmas In Heaven”
   I see the countless Christmas trees around the world below
   With tiny lights, like Heaven’s stars, reflecting on the snow
   The sight is so spectacular, please wipe away the tear
   For I am spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.
   I hear the many Christmas songs that people hold so dear
   But the sounds of music can’t compare with the Christmas
   choir up here.  I have no words to tell you, the joy their voices
   bring.  For it is beyond description, to hear the angels sing.
   I know how much you miss me, I see the pain inside your heart
   But I am not so far away, We really aren’t apart.
   So be happy for me, dear ones, You know I hold you dear.
   And be glad I’m spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.
   I sent you each a special gift, from my heavenly home above.
   I sent you each a memory of my undying love.
   After all, love is a gift more precious than pure gold.
   It was always most important in the stories Jesus told.
   Please love and keep each other, as my Father said to do.
   For I can’t count the blessing or love he has for each of you.
   So have a Merry Christmas and wipe away that tear
   Remember, I am spending Christmas with Jesus Christ
   this year.
                                                          Author Unknown

In Touch Prayer December Week 3

Please join me in lifting up In Touch Ministries each week.  Take care and God bless you, – Briggie ^i^

 

PraiseIn Touch’s executive team and board of directors recently approved a plan that will allow “In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley” to reach 500 million homes worldwide.  Praise God that more people around the globe will have the opportunity to see and hear Dr. Stanley deliver a clear presentation of the gospel on television and radio.   

PrayerThe handheld, solar-powered International In Touch Messenger contains 35 of Dr. Stanley’s most powerful sermons.  The ministry plans o produce Messengers in several languages.  Pray that God would direct these audio players to people who have not heard the gospel and who have limited or no access to sound biblical teaching.

Prayer Update – Evey Campbell

Hello Saints and Prayer Warriors.  Just a few short weeks ago I asked you to lift Evey Campbell up in prayer, and today I have both sad and joyous news.

Evey has gone to be with her heavenly Father.  We mourn the loss of a beautiful woman and sister in Christ and rejoice her joining those who have gone before us to be with Jesus.

Please lift her family and friends up in prayer as they grieve her passing from this world and help them to rejoice her going home.

I am sure Evey is singing and praising God and rejoicing her new spiritual body that has no sickness or death pinning it down.

Are Those Bells I hear?

Said the night wind to the little lamb, do you hear what I hear?!  Uh, yeah, I hear those sleigh bells jingling ring ting tingaling too, and those Silver bells and let’s not forget about those Jingle Bells but the bells I’m referring to are those of a Wedding kind…

Somebody’s getting married!!!!  It’s official, my daughter Daniele accepted the marriage proposal from her boyfriend Chris!  How awesome is that? 

I am so happy for both of them!  Chris is a wonderful man and his family is so sweet and kind and of course they are getting a totally awesome, beautiful, gifted, talented, funny, charming, loving, giving, kind and  generous, soon to be wife and daughter in law!

This is my first born and the first of my children to be engaged so I’m kinda clueless as to protocol so any advice you can give will be deeply appreciated.

It looks like they’re planning either a Spring 2010 or Fall 2010 (of course I prefer the latter) wedding and I know it’ll be here before we can blink.

Here is the happy couple – image aren’t they just too cute??

 

Here’s Chris on one knee – image awe, look she’s so happy….image and what’s so cool is that he asked our permission for her hand in marriage before he proposed to her!  He made some brownie points on that one – and he gets major kudos for the bling….. image

So now the question is, anyone got a few grand laying around they aren’t gonna use???  If so send it on over here….hehehehehhe

As things progress, I’ll update everyone. 

The Story Of Silent Night

Last week I shared the Legend of the Candy Cane.  This week I’m sharing the Story of Silent Night.  I hope you enjoy it.  Take care and God bless you with the peace that only He can bring…Briggie ^i^

 

 

There have been many stories of the origins of the Christmas carol “Silent Night, Holy Night.” One of the most popularly told one is as follows:
In the winter of 1818 at St. Nicholas’ Church at Obendorf, a village near Salzburg, Austria, Joseph Mohr, the assistant to the priest, faced a dilemma. It was just days before Christmas, and the church organ which was so important to providing music for the Christmas services was broken. Since the organ repairman was not a local of the village it would actually be months before the repair could be made, and Christmas would be long past.

His solution to the problem of the broken organ resulted in one of the most popular Christmas carols of all time. In 1816 Mohr had written a simple poem that the villagers could understand expressing the wonder of the birth of Jesus. He asked his friend Franz Gruber who was the organist at St. Nicholas to write music to accompany his poem so that they could sing it together using a guitar to accompany their singing.

chapelThey first performed their newly composed Christmas carol at the Christmas Eve midnight service on December 24, 1818. It did not instantly receive the worldwide recognition it has come to know, however. It was not until years later in 1825 when Carl Mauracher was rebuilding the organ at St. Nicholas that a handwritten copy of the words and music was found in the organ loft.

Mauracher was from an area in the mountains of Tyrol which had many traveling folk choirs who performed throughout Europe. He carried the carol back home, and it became a popular song with the choirs as they traveled and spread its popularity wherever they went.

In some versions of the story it is told that mice had eaten the bellows of the organ. Others say that Gruber himself had broken the organ. It is believed that there was frequent flooding of the area that caused rust and mildew to affect the condition of the church organ often making it unplayable. It is actually not known however if the organ was truly broken at Christmastime of 1818. Some say that Mohr simply wanted a new carol for the service and was fond of the guitar as an instrument. Some stories tell that both the poem and the music were hastily written that Christmas Eve. A manuscript for “Silent Night” in Mohr’s hand was discovered in 1995 which is dated 1816. In the manuscript Mohr credits the melody used for the carol to Franz Gruber.

Whatever the details of the circumstances, Joseph Mohr’s and Franz Gruber’s contribution of Christmas music for their village’s Christmas Eve midnight mass gave us all the beautiful “Silent Night, Holy Night.” submitted by Janice Hayen

 

holly and ivy The lyrics of the carol appear on below and reflect Joseph Mohr’s spiritual joy.  Oh, that the real meaning of Christmas would grip us this season as it did him!

As you consider the angel’s proclamation: “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11), remember that these words are for you, just as much as they were for the shepherds who first heard them.  Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem on that silent night signaled the beginning of His earthly mission to save us from our sins.  This mission included His sacrificial death on the cross, His glorious resurrection on Easter morning, and His ascension into heaven forty days later to reign as the eternal King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  holly and ivyAnd the reason for His coming to earth?  Love.  He loved us that much! “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

 

Silent night! Holy night!

All is calm, all is bright

‘Round yon virgin mother and Child,

Holy Infant so tender and mild,

Sleep in heavenly peace!

Sleep in heavenly peace!

Silent night, Holy night!

Shepherds quake at the sight!

Glories stream from heaven afar,

Heav’nly hosts sing, “Alleluia!”

Christ the Savior is born!

Christ the Savior is born!

Silent night! Holy night!

Son of God, love’s pure light!

Radiant beams from Thy holy face,

With the dawn of redeeming grace,

Jesus, Lord at Thy birth!

Jesus, Lord at Thy birth!

In Touch prayer December Week 2

Please join me in lifting up In Touch Ministries each week.  Take care and God bless you, – Briggie ^i^

 

PraiseIn Touch’s executive team and board of directors recently approved a plan that will allow “In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley” to reach 500 million homes worldwide.  Praise God that more people around the globe will have the opportunity to see and hear Dr. Stanley deliver a clear presentation of the gospel on television and radio.   

PrayerPray that the international department would acquire the best possible air times to broadcast TV and radio programs.  Ask God to provide reasonable costs and adequate funding for In Touch to reach the most people possible for Jesus Christ.