The prevalent thoughts and images about the "spirit" of Christmas usually involves: Santa Claus, worldly peace, sweets, merriment, feasting, lavish gift giving and receiving, the hustle and bustle of shopping and enjoying elaborate entertainment events to celebrate the birth of Jesus, that is, the First Coming of Christ, the only begotten Son of God. But none of these things are found in any of the Old Testament prophecies or in the New Testament accounts of the great and glorious day that our Creator entered into His own creation as a humble babe. Please don't misunderstand, I'm not saying we ought not enjoy celebrating Christmas. My family does. What I am saying is, the focus and purpose of our joyful celebrations should be the same as God's focus and purpose: to bring the Good News of eternal salvation by giving us Christ as a propitiation for our sins. The true spirit of Christmas and the reason for the season according to God is: eternal salvation .
"I've learned so much from my mistakes, I think I'll make more" is a popular phrase that has appeared on many memes, tweets, timelines and even things like magnets, pins, and other items we can purchase. This seemingly harmless saying is actually very harmful. Most of us have read it someplace, and often, our initial response is to laugh, feel better about the genuine mistakes we've made and sadly, even the purposeful sins we've committed against our holy, kind, and gracious Father God. This is where it gets dangerous. Do we all make mistakes? Absolutely! To err is human, right? Unfortunately, to sin is human too. And we all do it more than we'd like to admit...unless of course, a flighty little phrase like this one comes along and feeds our flesh the lies it desires—we can excuse our sins without repentance—and without a Savior. We continually come up with new ways to make ourselves and others feel better about our sins rather than do what God
Scripture art by: Biblescreen.com The LORD God Almighty, Creator of the heavens and the earth—is personal. He could've left us to our sinful natures, miserable, lost and debased. But He didn't. He could've chosen to save us from afar in an impersonal way by zapping us with a lightening rod from the heavens. But He didn't. He could've done so many things us human beings would consider, or even actually do. So let us thank God; that He didn't. Because God is holy (set apart), He did what only He can do and what He alone is willing to do with no external prodding (as if anyone could "prod" God to do anything). He chose to create, in His own image; human beings. Unlike any other creation, people alone, are His image-bearers. We alone have the ability to reason, to consider things, understand cause and effect, acknowledge our own existence (i.e., animals look in the mirror and think it's another animal, people know it's their own reflect
It seems everywhere we look and every place we go, there's Christmas music playing, people shopping, commercials filled with laughter and gaiety; sparkling decorations and hearts filled with merriment and hope. But it's not that way for everyone. There are a silent few...or a silent many, who are not merry at Christmastime. Some people have lost loved ones this year through death, or by sin, that always separates. Some, like orphans, have no one to lose, but have constant dreams of finding parents who offer the sacrificial and eternal love of Christ rather than the self-centered, ephemeral love this world settles for. Then there are those who are alone in adulthood: widows, divorcees, and those struck with depression. The list goes on...and so do their sorrows. To aggravate the reality of their lack of merriment, they are often pressured to join in on all the Christmas festivities whether they feel like it or not. And as Christians, if we don't, then we're o
What does it mean, to give thanks in all circumstances? In First Thessalonians chapter five, the Apostle Paul closes with a list of things that every Christian ought to do (vv. 12-22), but can't do in our own strength or by our own sheer will. Perhaps we can accomplish some, or all that's on this list, but it would only be a temporary appearance of godly character rather than a faithful and continual walk. For we know if we do not abide in Christ, we will not bear His fruit. And any true godly quality we exhibit is a demonstration of the power of the Holy Spirit within us (1 Cor 2:5), not from our flesh that continually desires the ways of this world. I often refer to my physical trials as a gift from the Lord and something He has seen fit to work in my life for my greatest benefit. And often, I get questions and comments from people who are outraged by my proclamation that a good and loving God would bring pain into my life. They tell me I'm rather foolish and
I've been a bit behind on my writing due to multiple doctor's appointments, tests, etc. regarding my most recent health trial with premature ventricular contractions (PVCs); which I will share in more detail with my next article. So stay tuned. I'm thankful to the Lord for all He's endured me through and also for this little bit of a breather so I can catch you up on the most recent happenings. Last Thursday, October 16, 2014 I had the blessing of being interviewed live, on Brannon Howse's Worldview Weekend Radio program. If you missed it, you can visit my media page or listen to the podcast here . What a joy it is to be connected with another faithful saint in Christ who loves God's Word, God's truth and God's people. I am grateful to the Lord for Brannon's much needed ministry to the Body of Christ in a time where apostasy is prevalent, and false teachings within the church are more dangerous to Christians than all the world's &qu
On Friday, November 14, 2014 Kirk Cameron's "Saving Christmas" will be opening in select theaters across the country for only two weeks. This movie is all about making fun of any Christian who doesn't think like or agree with Kirk Cameron and his company. According to Kirk and friends, one of the main purposes of "Saving Christmas" is to dispel the beliefs that most of our traditional Christmas practices e.g., decorating Christmas trees, feasting, mistletoe, gift exchanges, etc., are from pagan origins or fabricated myths about actual people who lived during the fourth-century—namely Saint Nicholas of Lycia, commonly known in the United States as Santa Claus. "Our focus on December 25 came from the Roman holiday called Saturnalia. This was a pagan observance of the birthday of the unconquered sun. Saturnalia began December 19 each year...Many of our Christmas customs have their origins in Saturnalia, which was marked by feasting, parades, s
I've repented privately to the LORD my God. And now, to prove my repentance is true, I repent publicly for my public commendation (review) of Kirk Cameron's "Monumental" movie back in 2012 (which I've removed from my site and requested Examiner.com to do as well). My dear friends and readers, please forgive me for showing Kirk favoritism, for misleading you, and for not doing what I've always encouraged you to do—be Bereans, test everything with the Word of God; show no favoritism, but share truth in love. About two weeks ago, my husband and I realized we gave Kirk a pass. We sanctioned everything he said or did because of his former years of good and faithful work for the true Gospel . But over the past several years, Kirk has demonstrated a slow digression towards the false social gospel of "we can transform the world and make it better", rather than what he used to preach and teach, "let's share the Gospel of Jesus Christ whic
I look to the Lord. "Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, for You have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy." (Psalm 61:1-3, ESV) In my current situation, my "enemy" just happens to be my own body. My literal heart is faint. As many of you know, the Lord has allowed, in accordance with His good and perfect will, for my body to suffer many things these past 10 years . Now with five surgeries within five years (I didn't write about my kidney stone surgery and stent last year...I just didn't feel like it, sorry), I have another issue that requires extensive medical attention. I have a heart arrhythmia. I have what's called premature ventricular contractions (PVCs). I've actually had them for the past five years, with about one year where they completely went away. They started up again this past year, but similar to
Ah, Facebook, our beloved friend and greatest foe. What are we, as Christians to do with Facebook? Whose face do we choose to display—ours, or Christ's? Whose life is magnified on our personal timeline and news feeds? What do we mostly share and who have we chosen to surround ourselves with by accepting or making friend requests? Are we enticed by the world and encumbered with its dealings (politics, our jobs, our personal rights, physical health, etc.) that that is the prevalent face everyone sees? I'm not suggesting that sharing pictures of us, our families and the life God has given us is a bad thing. And I'm not suggesting we never share anything about politics, our jobs, religions freedoms, or healthy lifestyles. What I'm doing is questioning: Is it the things of God or the things of this world that mostly populate our personal timeline as well as our news feed where we're greatly influenced (whether we like it or not) by what we see, hear and rea
There's so much in this life to be fearful of: loving someone, because they may not love you back; rejection from family, friends, co-workers and even other Christians; public humiliation; being ignored, forgotten and used. I don't want to be afraid of what others think of me, will do to me, or not do to me (Gal 1:10). I don't want to be afraid of never being physically healed. I don't want to be afraid that my doctors may not always know exactly the right thing to do (Prov 2:6). I don't want to be afraid of giving up on ministry opportunities or public services because of my faith and abandon to Christ and His Word. I don't want to be afraid of that phone call, text or email where someone tells me that I'm too narrow-minded of a Christian for their feel-good, man-centered ministry (Gal 2:20). I don't want to be afraid of speaking the truth in love, just because it's not the truth someone wants to hear (Prov 27:5-6). "
Tuesday, September 11, 2001. I remember. Do you? I remember where I was, who I was with and what I was doing. I just returned home from dropping my two precious sons off at their elementary school. When I walked in the door, I could hear the television on, with a newscaster's voice detailing a terrible accident in New York City, New York. My husband was sitting quietly on the couch, watching and listening intently as one of the Twin Towers was burning because an airplane had crashed into it. It seemed surreal. I stood there confused, "How can an airplane accidentally hit a building?" Just as I was thinking this, 18 minutes after the first plane crashed into the north tower, I see another plane crash right into the the south tower. This was no accident. I wept and dropped to my knees and began praying. I prayed, wept and watched. I listened intently to the newscasters and my heart broke for all those innocent people in the airplane, in the building and for their fa
There are many (too many) days I have trouble just opening the Word and getting my day started with Praise and Quiet Time in the Lord. I know this isn't a popular thing to share, but it's an honest thing to share about my spiritual walk...or sometimes, lack thereof. Though I could keep this weakness of mine hush hush and only share my accomplishments, my highs and all my joys I have in Christ, I can't do that because it would be disingenuous. When I remember I'll never be the wisest, kindest or most Christ-like person on this side of Heaven, I am both relieved and spurred on toward holiness (2 Cor 7:1, Eph 4:24, Heb 12:14). This may sound a bit strange—to feel relieved and encouraged by what makes me weak; but in Christ, these seemingly diametric concepts are actually harmonious. "So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep m
"While he was coming, the demon threw him to the ground and convulsed him. BUT JESUS rebuked the unclean spirit and healed the boy, and gave him back to his father. And all were astonished at the majesty of God. " ~Luke 9:42-43, ESV (emphasis mine) When was the last time I was astonished at the majesty of God? When was the last time you were astonished at the majesty of God? We're often astonished by so many things: breathtaking musical talent, incredible athletic ability, jaw-dropping acts of illusionists, amazing (and often humorous) animal antics and even the evil we see all around the world. I'm not saying this is wrong. What I'm saying is, are we more astonished by these creations, or their Creator? We live in a generation deluged with information through news, videos and social media. With this influx of information it seems we've forgotten the most important aspect of communication—listening. We've forgotten how to stop and smel