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Monday, December 23, 2013

Listen, Hear, Come......

On a night many many moons ago, I was given a gift. Not the kind you can put in a box and wrap. It was just too big to wrap. And anyway, it wasn't the kind of gift that you could see. Not with these eyes I have. But with other eyes. I couldn't see it, but knew what it was.
Actually, I was wrong when I said it couldn't be wrapped. It was wrapped. Not in bright colors with foils and bows....but it was spectacular all the same. Soft and tender, frail and weak it was wondrous yet passed over by men who could not see it's worth – men who did not dream – whose thoughts went no further than their eyes could see. Hidden treasure it was – pure gold – so pure – transparent like a bottomless crystal it was all new – never before imagined. Fluid like sparkling water – defineable yet always changing – it could not be named. It was not to be found in the window of a store or under a tree or even on someone's wish list. No one had ever dreamed how huge this tiny gift would be – how it would fill hearts with joy and make men new – how it would rescue those long ago lost who roamed aimlessly through never-ending darkness – thicker than the blackest fog. Soft brown eyes, that were too new to focus – rosy fat cheeks and arms that opened wide to embrace the world, this tiny life attended Creation – was there when stars were born to announce his arrival on earth. Angels sang but not one could do justice to the gift.
What was it?
A Word.
Just one word that spoke in every language to every heart.
One beautiful Word.
Listen..........Hear it..........
Powerful and tender, it is what you have longed to hear though you never knew it.
Do you hear? The gift is there, and it is here. Now and forevermore. Can you name it? Oh, come Word......... Show me who You are................


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Baby King

Read this story with the idea that it is a story about a true story.

It is Christmas.  We are celebrating the birth of a king, in a time long ago.  His birth was a miracle.  It had been foretold many years before by the prophets and great men of old.  Feasts had been held for many years before His birth that pointed to Him so people would recognize Him when He came because no one knew the precise time when He would arrive .  His birth was a miracle and a mystery, for He was born of an earthly woman - a virgin - but His father was not flesh and blood, but Spirit that ruled heaven.  This King was the Son of God!
On the night of His birth, angels were sent to shepherds nearby tending their flocks and they were told a king - their king - had entered the world.  This was entirely appropriate for this king was to rule the highborn and the lowly.  The angels broke out in joyful songs, announcing this amazing birth.  The shepherds saw the bright star that announced the baby king's entry to the earth,and were the only ones on that night besides the angels to welcome and worship this newborn king.  The important men in this country where the new king was born, missed all of the signs announcing his birth.

About this time , there were unusual signs in the sky.  Astronomers from the far east saw something they had never seen before.  It was the appearance of the brightest star anyone had ever seen.  These astronomers - knowing the prophecies of a King to come - packed up their things, and started on a journey that would take them to the newborn King.  They gathered gifts suitable for a King - precious spices that were greatly valued - gold, frankincense and myhr. and they packed them carefully.  Their caravan included soldiers for protection as well as many servants with camels and donkeys, and food rations for they had a very long way to go,  The King came though as a servant.  He came from heaven, where His beauty and glory was dazzling, and for man's sake, He took on the nature of a servant.  He became like a Shepherd caring for an unruly flock of sheep.

The great company of men from the east followed the star that would lead them to the new King.  The trip was long and led them to Jerusalem.  They went to a ruler there named Herod and asked where the new baby king had been born.  He was a jealous ruler and a bad man.  He questioned the religious leaders and asked where this baby was to  be born.  The told him Bethlehem.  The star led the caravan of men from the east to a humble lodging in Bethlehem where they found the baby king, his mother and her husband.   They worshiped him and gave their precious gifts to him.  Then they went back to their home another way, because they had been warned in a dream not to tell Herod where they found the baby king.

Today, men have forgotten that Christmas is the celebration of the baby king's birth.  They love to decorate their houses and businesses, singing songs and giving gifts at family gatherings.  They don't talk about the joyous miracle birth of the baby king who came to save all of the people in the world, but instead have erected a great stone statue, painted with bright red and green colors.  It is supposed to be an image of a man who gives presents to all children in the world.  He only gives to those who are "good" and the gift giving is not in joy because of the king's birth, but it is because they love the gifts.

The baby king lived and taught men the ways of the kingdom, showing them how to live.  He worked miracles of healing for anyone who came to him, loving each one of them.  But the people who should have recognized him, killed him.  And He let them.  They whipped him and nailed him to a cross and let him die.  They misunderstood him when they should have  recognized him.  They fought against him when they should have stood by him.  They hated him when they should have loved him.   But He came back!  His love was so great that even death could not hold him.  The rest of the story is ANOTHER  story, but really - it's the same that we will save for another time, for this one is about the birth of the baby king!

To those of us with Parkinson's Disease, or any other, is the gift (of health, happiness, comfort, etc.) more important, or is it the gift giver  more important?  Which one do you seek?

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Watchman

We are all given twenty four hours in a day; seven days in a week, twelve months in a year.  Some day it will all change and we will slip out of a world that measures life in segments of time.  Right now the clock is ticking, but when that day comes, and time has vanished we will no longer exist in time.
I don't know about you, but I know that I want to make the very most of the time I have been given.  Last night I was praying and reading the Bible, and what I read made me very uncomfortable.  It caused anxiety.  It said pretty much that we have a responsibility to tell others the truth about God and man's sinful condition.  This passage refers to the "watchman" and how he is the one who sounds the alarm when he sees the enemy approaching.  If he does not do so, it is sin to him.  His job is to warn everyone when he sees the enemy approaching  .He will be guilty before God if he does not.  Noah was a watchman.  John the Baptist was a watchman.  The apostles were watchmen.
When the warning is sounded, if the people do not heed it and they perish, the fault is their own.  But the fault will be the watchman's if he fails to sound the warning and the people perish.
I reflected on this and reluctantly admitted to myself that it I fear the responsibility of the watchman.  We are all watchmen I think over a sphere of influence.  and we must bring God's message of salvation  to all.  To not tell the Good News is sin.
So what does this have to do with time?  Well those of us who have PD find that very often we have an abundance of quiet time on our hands.  What do you do with that time?  I asked myself that question and realized that when I am the watchman, and I see the enemy's approach, I have to speak up.  And to know the best way to do that I will spend time in prayer and reading God's Word.
Our country is in trouble in my opinion.  I have loved ones that have rejected God.  I see the peril they are in.  We have taken God out of government, out of school and even out of some churches.  It is my fear that we are on a slippery path headed for destruction.  What can I do about it?  Use the time I have now to pray for the lost; to pray for the best way to be a good watchman.  I must pray fervently for those I love.
It is not my nature to confront, but I must do so.  So I must pray.

Heavenly Father,
Here am I , Lord.  Please use me to reach my loved ones who are lost.  Help me not to fear their rejection or ridicule.  Teach me how to pray about this.  Give me the courage and wisdom I need to speak truth and lay out the plan of salvation to those who need to hear.  Help me to not waste a single minute.  You have blessed me with an abundance of time, and for that I thank you !  Now teach me to teach others.  Give me opportunities to talk to my loved ones, and use me to Your glory!  I don't know how exactly to approach them or what exactly to say, but You do, and I know that You will help me.

And to those of you who are reading this:  I am sounding the warning.  Seize the minutes, hours and days you have that are alloted to you while you are on this earth.  You need to sound the warning.  We cannot reject God and expect Him to continue to bless us in all our ways.