Monday, December 27, 2010

ALMOST (saved) by Official P4CM Poet Ezekiel Azonwu

Oh my, so good! My favorites... Not righteous but right-ish. So now all God sees is a pile of Ishmaels when He intended for Isaacs....
We have all worked in sin and death was minimum wage, but if it weren't for Christ, we would have almost got paid.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

It Is Well With My Soul

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

-Horatio Spafford

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas is a Promise

By Joni Eareckson Tada

   Rummaging through our garage one December afternoon, I sniffed the unmistakable fragrance of new leather. My 7 year old fingers found it behind a box--a new pony bridle.
   From that moment, Santa Claus was dethroned from my childhood. No more leaving 7-up and cookies on the mantelpiece on Christmas Eve. No more bleeding-heart letters to the North Pole. No more sugar or carrots for the reindeer. I was relieved. Something deep down told me it had all been a ploy anyway.
   From then on, December 25 was a special day--a holy day. The candlelight Christmas Eve service at our church had new and deeper meaning. Almost overnight, Christmas Eve became one of those "silent nights" to ponder the miracle of Jesus.
   And ponder I did, long and earnest. But always, as I sat back into the pew, I expected something else to happen--something to fill the longing inside me.
   I know now that I was deep into a Christmas longing. It's a longing each of us senses this time of year--especially when we listen to the child inside of us. It's a desire to be home, to belong, to find fulfillment, complete and eternal. Christmas is an invitation to a celebration yet to happen.
   On this side of eternity, Christmas is still a promise. The Savior brings inner peace to those who receive Him. But the story is not finished until there is peace in our world.
   Every Christmas is still a "turning of the page" until Jesus returns. Every December 25 marks another year that draws us closer to the fulfillment of the ages, that draws us closer to Home.
   Every holiday carol is a beautiful echo of the heavenly choir that will one day fill the universe with joy and singing. Each Christmas gift is a foreshadowing of the gifts of golden crowns to be cast at the feet of the King of Kings.
   Each smile, each embrace beckons onward, calls upward when those who have received the gift of God's Son will see the Lord face to face.
   Angels hovering over treetops may have heralded His birth in the Bethlehem night, but one day they will herald the dawning of a new day.
   This Christmas I pray that God will fill the longing of your heart with the reality of His Son. May the Babe of Bethlehem who gave His life on the Cross of Calvary bring you love and joy and peace throughout the year and on into eternity. Amen.

   "Behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of  David a Savior
which is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:10, 11)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Dearly Loved: Heaven's Favorites

"When a dealer in precious gems finds a stone of minimum value, little time is spent cutting it.  But when a rare diamond is found, that stone will be cut, and cut, and cut again.
When the Lord finds a saint whom He loves much, He may spare others trial and trouble but not this one, His well beloved.  The more Jesus loves you, the more of the rod you will feel (Heb 12:5-6).  It is painful to be a favorite of heaven, but seek it and rejoice in it.
Being in the King's council-chamber involves such work for faith that flesh and blood might cringe from the painful blessing.  If a gardener gets an inferior tree, he lets it grow wild and takes whatever fruit it produces.  But if the tree is exceptional, he will want every branch in its proper place, and he will cut here and cut there because this produces more fruit.  The gardener leaves nothing on the tree that would be detrimental.
You who are God's favorites must not be astonished when trials appear.  Rather keep your door wide open, and when trials come say, "Welcome messenger of the King!  The sound of your Master's feet is behind you.  You are welcome, for my Master has sent you." - Charles Hadden Spurgeon

My fellow suffering servant, our God loves us dearly!  We are bound for the Kingdom!