Sunday, November 30, 2014

Luke 2 : 1-19 - An Advent Story of Obedience


 
Day 1 of Bible Freaking – Let it go!  Let it go! 
On the first day of freaking on a verse or section of the Bible you just envelop the verse(s) with questions.  More questions will come as you dig down on the ones you have, but here are my first day of Advent Verses’ questions.

Was the decree part of God’s plan?  God had to get Joseph to Bethlehem to fulfill prophecy so is that why the decree?
Everyone went to be taxed – everyone?  So God knew that city would be packed?  Caesar Augustus knew it would be horrible on the people?

How did they know if everyone came?  were their accurate censuses in the cities?  Did they go after people who didn't come?  Was Matthew one of those people who sought people out?  were you taxed extra if you didn't come or put in jail? 
David’s lineage came out of Bethlehem?  Is that where David was born?

Joseph and Mary lived in Nazareth?  Is Judea a region?  Is Galilee a region?  isn't that where they ended up after Jesus was out of danger?
Were the cities based on the12 tribes?  Did each tribe go to a different city? 

Why did Mary have to go?  Did all the wives go?  Were the women taxed or just the men? Children?
Were they only taxed once a year?  Did all the businesses shut down?  Seems very inconvenient so did anyone say the tax collectors should just go around and collect?

Why would God have her travel on the day she is to be delivered?  Wouldn’t someone in their family protest?  Is God trying to make a statement about unwavering faith in impossible times? 
Was there nothing to be said about the delivery?  Did Joseph deliver the baby?  Maybe we make too much of having babies. 

She laid him in a manger?  Why would Luke report that?  What does the manger symbolize?  Is it meaningful for many reasons?  Was it cold?  Why did the birth have to be so difficult?  Did the birth circumstance cause Mary and Joseph to doubt?  Were they united in their belief of what the angel said to each of them?
Why would God send them where there is no room?  WAs it a set up?  Does it symbolize the lack of room we have for Jesus in our space, lives, time?  it seems there would be a lot of families in the stable if the town was packed. 

Why were the shepherds not going to their city to pay their taxes?  They were in the same country?  Israel?  Were the shepherds a type of Jesus – abiding? Keeping watch?  Even in the night?  Had they already gone to pay their taxes and be counted? 
Why would the angle of the Lord appear to these shepherds?  Weren’t there shepherds everywhere?  Weren't there more influential people to appear to?  Where they Jewish?  Is it meaningful that David was a shepherd?

Does the glory of the Lord make you afraid?  What does the glory of the Lord look like?  If it shone all around did other people see it too?
Why would the good tidings to all people come to the shepherds?  Did god know that this particular group of Shepherds would receive the message?

Did the shepherds know the prophecies – so that a Savior, city of David, Christ the Lord would be meaningful to them?  Were they shepherds who loved God?
Where the shepherds looking for a sign?  Was the sign that the angels were giving them that they were telling the truth about Jesus.  Was the sign so unbelieveable – a baby in a manger – that they would have to believe?

Was the swaddling clothes symbolic of Jesus’ future death?  Wasn't it hard to care for him in such a place?  Did Mary complain?  cry?  How did they eat?  Where did they take care of their personal needs?  Did Joseph stand strong even in this horrible situation with this baby who was not "his?"  Did God take them out of the city so the stigma of the child's "early" delivery would not be front and center to the community?
Why would God not send the multitude of angels to a big city?  Would that not have more impact?  Were the angles so excited for men on earth?  Were the angles trying to get across that something great had happened?  Did the angles select the location or God? Again – seems like a pretty nonproductive choice.

After the angels left did the shepherds really had no choice?  They could have been afraid or in shock and remain in their comfortable place, right?  Did they had to take the whole flock with them?   Wasn't that was an undertaking?  how they come with haste?
Why does Luke say again that the babe was lying in the manger? was it important that he was lying there when the shepherds came?

How well were the lowly shepherds received when they told their story?  Were these shepherds the owners of the sheep or hired help?   
Do we need to ponder on things to hold on to them?  Why did Mary later not want Jesus to risk his life?  Had she forgotten all of this?  How does a young girl hold this in her heart?  Did she talk to people about this as well?  Did all her family hear the story?  Did Joseph tell his family?

How did they stay faithful to God's call in this horrible situation?

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Love Rejoices Not in Iniquity


 
Why are we happy sometimes when something bad happens to someone?  When a person gets their just (bad) reward?  When someone says something unkind about someone else?  When things do not work out well for another person?

For sure it is iniquity in our hearts.  It is lack of love in our heart.  It is unkindness in our very soul.  It reveals our true inner man.
 

The bigger question is how to get away from this horrible swirl of destruction.

3 ways

1.      Be aware of your thoughts!  It is easy to get swept up into the hypnotic rhythm of the enemy and end up with him controlling your very being – which of course is his desire.
 

2.      Shut your mouth unless you are saying something that follows Philippians 4:13

truth, good report,  honest, just, pure, lovely, virtuous, praiseworthy
 
 

3.      Repent continually from this sin.  There is a positive  rhythm of awareness, repentance, and righteousness that can become the positive unswirling, peaceful place where personal accountability reigns and rules.
 

Friday, November 28, 2014

Love Thinks No Evil


 No Evil?  None?  Nada? 
How far from that mark are you?  I know I am far.
Two questions –

1.       How do you think no evil?

          We all know Philippians 4:8
Think on

Whatsoever is true, honest, just, pure, lovely, good report, virtuous, praiseworthy
 
 

You must realize that this love life is a select life.   You choose and you reject – all day long.  You cannot go into neutral mode.  You can never afford to be idle.  You are alert, for the enemy is always on the prowl to pull you into evil thoughts because your thoughts are the seed bed of your life. 
  
                        

2.      Why would that be love?

      Love is a living organism that only exists on love.  When you have filled your soul with the truths of God evil does not dictate to you. Love is not comfortable in the presence of evil. 
  
      But love can be quieted, stifled, hushed, ignored, and even laughed at within your own mind and soul.  It is a queer thing how  you embrace that which destroys while pushing away that which brings life.  You can be tricked into walking in evil, promoting evil, and rejoicing over evil.  When you do, you have truly been deceived and fallen into the hands of the one who hates you and whose only interest is to kill, steal, and destroy you.
 
Hit the mark with me today.  Just today.  Tomorrow we will think about tomorrow.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Love is not Easily Provoked

Ok – appropriate for today

Despite all the Facebook pictures of perfect families in an array of wonderfully congenial activities – baking, cards, laughing – sometimes pictures don’t say a thousand words.

There could be pictures of people …

provoked by people

                         saying unkind words

                         not pulling their weight

                         nonchalantly showing up late

                         not watching their children

                         bringing up the past

                        bringing up the present

                        forecasting the future

                        thinking they know everything

Just to name a few                 

So how do we not get easily provoked

                        ask god to set a watch over our mouth

                        don’t take things personally

                        walk away      

                        realize this day will be over but the memories will last forever

Why should we not get easily provoked

                        children are watching and learning
 

                        family is precious

 

But most of all

It is God’s way

SO

Take Care of What is Precious or Everything Else will Become Meaningless.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

 

                       

 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Love Seeketh Not Her Own


 
We all want our own way.  Period. 
 
It has gotten everyone of us something we don't want. When we realize our mistaken desire, we cry over the spilled milk that we insisted on.
 
 


 
So why don't we give it a rest?
 
1.  We all struggle with being needy and living in a state of discontentment. Remember and realize all the seeking our own way never really got us true contentment anyway. Rest in God alone.
 


2.   Our hearts hurt from life's disappointments and we want to guard against another one of those.  No such reality. Give your heart to God alone.
 

 
 

3.  At times we think this person, this deal, this answer will be THE person, THE deal, THE answer - but only ONE person, ONE deal, and ONE answer is THE person, THE deal, and THE answer. Jesus
It's an eternal set up that will never change. 
 



Saturday, November 22, 2014

Love Does Not Behave Itself Unseemly

Love Does Not Behave Itself Unseemly
 
 
Sometimes we are just unseemly - great word - almost a pretty word for not being nice.  I fell into the trap just the other day.  I wanted to be unseemly - rude, dismissive, angry,  unkind, and self-centered just to name a few ideas I had. 
 
At time we are all unseemly
 because
 
we are hurt
we are protecting our heart
we want others who hurt us to be hurt
we have things that we'd like to say
we are caught in the trap of selfishness
we are almost insane with pain
 
 
At these times 
 
we would really like to be

the one who doesn't take things personally
 the one who turns the other cheek - cheerfully - as if we're not  hurt
 the kind one
the joyful one
the seemly one
the one to whom Christ's love is enough
the one who remembers he bore our sorrow
 
 



 


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Love is not Puffed Up


Love is not Puffed Up
 

When I think of being puffed up, it makes me think of birds in the winter who fluff up their feathers for protection against the elements.  Sitting alone or in a group on a wire weathering it out.
 

When we puff up we are doing the same.

Protecting ourselves from the elements
People
Disappointment
Abuse
Being Used
Neglect
Exhaustion
Perfection

But I see our Father picking us wee birds up in his hands and saying I know you little one; let me hold you close where no weapon formed against you will prosper.
 

But I also see us flittering and squirming away from that safe spot back to our lonely wire – what silly birds we are.
 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Benefit of Not Promoting Yourself


I Corinthians 13 : 4-7
 


The Benefit of Not Promoting Yourself
 

You practice waiting quietly before the Lord

 concentrate on rejoicing over others

 practice not taking yourself too seriously

 understand resting in silence

 give God alone the glory

 learn submitting to the plans of God

quiet your soul to hear the still small voice

To Freak on I Cor 13 from the beginning click here

 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Charity Vaunteth Not Itself

I Corinthians 13 : 4-7
 

Everyone loves to be The Person


Some people are more subtle than others

They might not want to be the center of attention

They might not want the spot light but….

 They want praise when they do something

say something

accomplished something
 
 
Few of us are content to get the praise of just the One

Few of us humbly shy away from receiving the credit

Few of us sit back and not expect to be praised

Few of us can go on without being acknowledge
 

 But we should


Tomorrow we will think about why it benefits us to not exalt our self

Thanks to Barbara London for suggesting this verse check out her blog at http://scrapper123.blogspot.com\

To read freaking on I Corinthians 13 from the beginning click here
 








Sunday, November 2, 2014

Love envieth not


I Corinthians 13 : 4
 

Love envieth not

There is so much to be envious about

Seriously

The girl who married the right guy who plans incredible getaways (according to FB)

The guy who married the right girl who raves about their life (on FB)

The girl who got her education, stayed focused, got the good job, and depends on no one

The guy who rose to the top through 80 hour work weeks, aggressiveness, and knowing the right people

The skinny girl who eats all the time

The fat girl whose husband loves her anyway

All these people with their incredible lives
 

Seriously?

Maybe our envy shows what we truly value

Maybe God spoke against envy because he knew we were wasting our time

Maybe God knew that we might value the wrong stuff

Maybe God did not think we would even know what is true

Maybe God wanted us focused on our own wonderful gifts and blessings

Maybe envy is just a matter of where your eyes are focusing.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus

Look full in His wonderful face

And the things of earth

Will grow strangely dim

In the light of his glory and grace


Thanks to Barbara London for suggesting this verse check out her blog at http://scrapper123.blogspot.com\