The End

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“The only people who grow old are those who were born old–You were born  young.”  Dudley–The Bishop’s Wife

The end of this Christmas Season brings us the beginning of a new decade. Nothing juxtaposes old and  new so much as  the New Year holidays. Coupled with the above, these additional  quotes from The Bishop’s Wife allow us to peer into  the timeless   struggle between  aging, beauty, wisdom and significance:

“The world changes but two things remain constant–Youth and Beauty”

“If you want to know about a woman, ask the old men. They know”

Scripture acknowledges that we humans experience frustrations accompanied with aging while reminding us we can have a relationship with the One who is ever of old but never grows old.

Listen to me you descendants  of Jacob.. you whom I have upheld since your birth, and have carried since you were born.  Even to your old age  and gray hairs I am he,  I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.  Isaiah 46:3-4

 

December the 25th

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If you’re anything like me, today, Christmas Day, has a poignant significance for you.  The implication that  on this date 2000 years ago “God and sinners  (were) reconciled” is enough to change the Christian’s life forever.  But   there are plenty other people who struggle with the fact and idea of this season.  No doubt Christmas is an emotional holiday.   Obviously throughout this blog I’ve been writing as a fan of  Christmas , and for the past 4 weeks or so  waiting for today.

And when it finally gets here– while  living the dream –we may worry  that our hearts will feel  a little bit broken  tomorrow.  Lord knows that among the stores and radio stations touting the importance of the date up til now, there is a shockingly abrupt end to the celebration on December 26.  We will  miss the  music,  the lights,  the exclamations of goodwill so stimulating in December and so absent in January.  A priority of this blog has been to emphasize the relevance of Christmas upon every month of the year in order to anticipate the season.  Today’s blog is written to extend this same season.  My friend Teresa’s father points out that the holidays extend from Thanksgiving until New Year’s Day so that gives us a little more time to enjoy the sights and sounds for awhile.   Although referred to  frequently throughout these posts the following quote paired with transcendent Scripture merits another look.

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Christmas isn’t just a day it’s a frame of mind — Miracle on 34th Street.      But Mary treasured all these things  pondering  them in her heart. Luke  2:19 New King James Version 

 

With intentional meditation on the events of Christmas past, we can keep a Christmas frame of mind well past the season. For more on pondering the season and maintaining a Christmas frame of mind  see the following post from January 6, 2019.

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2 weeks to go – with The Preacher’s Wife

This Christmas get to know Jesus the real  Reason for the Season–He would die for you to get to know Him.

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“When we love someone-we are really loving God” Dudley in The Preacher’s Wife    

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.  John 3;16

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With three weeks to go– Keeping Promises with Elizabeth Lane

lizlane“It’s very important to keep promises–especially to yourself”  Elizabeth lane Christmas in Connecticut

This Christmas get to know Jesus the Real Reason for the Season–He is so anxious to explain how He’s kept all of the promises He’s made  to you. For all of God’s promises         have been fulfilled in (Christ Jesus)  2 Corinthians 1;20

For more  on what the Bible has to say about promises  See posts from June 26, 2019   and November 27, 2018green plant

Believe

“Faith is believing in something when common sense tells you not to.”  Doris Walker in

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Now Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.    Hebrews 11:1                         And without faith it is impossible to please God for whoever would approach Him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.  Hebrews 11:6

For more on what the Bible says about Faith and the characters that talk about it see the  post from November  11, 2018.

 

 

Prayer– Round 2 for 2019

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“I just got a bust in the jaw in answer to a prayer a little bit ago.”

“Oh no no no George- I’m the answer to your prayer!”

Last November 25, 2018 in a post entitled Lessons on Intercession from It’s a Wonderful Life,  I used this quote to  write about the surprising answers we get when we pray. I’m always interested in enriching my prayer life and  excerpts from  the following Devotional readings in 2019   divulge the possibility of realizing God’s perspective on our petitions.

Last Spring, Moody’s Today in the Word (May 11) wrote specifically about verse 8 in a passage from Revelation 5:1-14, ” …the four Living Creatures and the twenty four  elders fell before the Lamb each holding a harp and golden bowls each full of incense which are the prayers of the saints.”

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“Interestingly, verse 8 doesn’t say that the incense represents the prayers of the saints but rather that it is their prayers. What a beautiful picture of how Christ  must view our prayers–not as whining or nagging but like a pleasing aroma. When we worship we do not imitate heavenly worship–we join worship already underway, adding our voices to that of the living creatures and elders, angels and the rest of creation.”

Then in Autumn, one of my favorite authors commented on the following verse:

“In my distress I called upon the Lord; to my God I called. From His temple He heard my voice, and my cry came to His ears.” 2 Samuel: 22:7

In Letters to Malcolm:Chiefly on Prayer, C. S. Lewis states,”…if our prayers are granted at all they are granted from the foundation of the world. Intercourse between God and man occurs at particular moments for the man but not for God. If there is an adaptation between the free actions of men in prayer and the course of events, this adaptation is from the beginning inherent in the great single creative act.  Our prayers are heard… not only before we make them but before we are made ourselves.”

Just last month,  I came across this devotional in a scheduled reading plan very soon after  I had  requested that  God would  reveal more of His greatness to me.  In retrospect, this is not a surprising answer to my prayer. I grew up praying God is great, God is good… That the Creator can and would consider my supplications into his  eternal plan, exposing not only his greatness but his kind desire to have relationship with me, is only a token portion of his omnipotence.

Another full year has come and gone and I’m still practicing and learning to pray.   Last year These 2 devotional readings shifted my concentration away from myself and onto God when I pray. What have you learned to think or do that has elevated your prayer life?  How has God answered your prayers during the past year?