Wednesday, December 24, 2014

He used the manger

Precious Babe, the Lord Jesus Christ... 
Luke 2:7 - And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.  

I'm sure all of you know the Christmas story and what took place that wonderful night. But today I just would like to talk about the manger that held the baby Jesus.  So many things could have been used to put Jesus in that night, but God chose him to be born in a small, wooden box used for feeding animals-a manger. You might say that God did not significantly choose the manger to be Jesus' crib that night, you might say that it was just a coincidence and that it didn't serve a special purpose. I believe that  is incorrect. To me the manger is a symbol of so many things. 

When you think about how God sent his only son-A king to be born in a humble stable full of animals, laid in a manger, and wrapped in swaddling clothes. How can you not be filled with wonder at the humility that took? God could have let Jesus been born in a castle, full of riches and laid in a beautiful crib, wrapped up in warm blankets. But God didn't do that. He sent his son to be born in a small manger. Why? I believe it was a symbol of not only his love for us, but a symbol of his character and of his perfection. God used that manger that night. A thought came to me the other day, one that I wanted to share with you:

 God used the manger, just a wooden box, to hold his Son. Why can't be be content just being a wooden box God can use? Sometimes we think that to be something amazing we must be the smartest, brightest, and most beautiful thing, but God didn't use a shiny and big crib to hold his Son. All he used was a little, wooden, brown box. You might have looked at that same manger a night before Jesus' birth and have said, "There's just a wooden box just good for holding hay. It has no value. It has no worth." But if you had known that that same box would be used the next day to hold Jesus you would have thought sometime entirely different. You see God uses the simple things. You don't have to have some amazing ability to be used by God, he uses humble wooden boxes to do his work. 
  God can use anyone. When you think about how he used that simple manger, think about how much more he can use a person willing to do his work. God used a wooden box; he can definitely use you! You don't have to be the brightest person or the most talented. You just got to be willing. Be willing to be just a plain, wooden box willing to be filled with the Lord. 
 You see, the manger by itself is not significant. The thing that made the manger special was not the manger itself, but who was laid inside the manger. On our own we can not come to our full potential, but when you let Jesus in your life he will make you (a manger) into a miracle. Just let him in. Let him make you, just a simple person, into a masterpiece designed to fulfil his will. 

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas tomorrow. Remember that Jesus is the reason, not only for this season, but all seasons. Be willing to be a manger....and when you let Jesus in I promise you He'll bring forth a miracle!

Keep shining bright

Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas Time

Christmas Eve 
I absolutely love this picture! It just shows the brightness and joy that Christmas brings. Tomorrow me and my family will be headed to IN for Christmas! It hasn't snowed there yet but I'm hoping for a white Christmas. Can't wait to go be with family and celebrate the birthday of our Lord Jesus. The greatest gift of all was never wrapped in paper but wrapped in God's amazing love-his son. It's amazing when you really think about how God sent his son-a King, to be born in a stable (with animals), layed in a manger, and wrapped in swaddling clothes! And all because of his amazing love for us! This Christmas don't forget the real reason for Christmas. It's not about opening gifts but it's about the Great Gift-Jesus. 

            There's this amazing song called "Where's the line to see Jesus?" 
 Around this time of year you see lines of kids waiting to tell Santa what they want for Christmas. They don't know the true meaning of what Christmas is really all about. It's not about asking Santa for presents for Christmas but it's about the presence of Christ. He is the REASON for the SEASON. 

" Where's the Line to see Jesus".

Christmas time was approaching
Snow was starting to fall
Shoppers choosing their presents
People filling the mall
Children waiting for Santa
With excitement and glee
A Little boy tugged my sweater
Looked up and asked me,
"Where's the line to see Jesus?
Is He here at the store?
If Christmas time is His birthday,
Why don't we see Him more?
Where's the line to see Jesus?
He was born for me.
Santa Clause brought me presents,
But Christ gave His life for Me."

As I stood in amazement
At this message profound
I looked down to thank him
He was no where around.
A little boy at he mall
Might as well had had wings
As the tears filled my eyes
I thought I heard him sing:
"Where's the line to see Jesus?
Is He here at the store?
If Christmas time is His birthday,
Why don't we see Him more?
Where's the line to see Jesus?
He was born for me.
Santa Clause brought me presents,
But Christ gave His life for me."
In the blink of an eye,
At the sound of His trump't,
We'll all stand in line at His throne.
Every knee shall bow down.
Every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.
Where's the line to see Jesus?
Is He here at the store?
If Christmas time is His birthday,
Why don't we see Him more?
Where's the line to see Jesus?
He was born for me.
Santa Clause brought me presents,
But Christ gave His life for me.


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

What it means to be a Christian

Gal 2:20 - I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. 

  I'm sure many of you have said before that you are a Christian, but have you ever given it any deep thought? Being a Christian is not just a's a lifestyle-it's your identity. The word Christian begins with the word-Christ. This does not only mean that we are followers of Christ but that we are to be "Christ-like." 
   I cannot even begin to tell you how many stories I've heard of people who refuse to go to church, get saved, and become Christians because of the bad reputation of another Christian. People are watching you. You may not know it, but they are. We should proudly announce to others that we are Christians, but that is not good enough. To be a Christian means to be "Christ-like." Do you act like Christ? Do you show love, mercy, and kindness to those around you? We can't brag about our love for Christ because we fail daily, but we can brag about Him because His love never fails.
  Jesus isn't looking for us to be like other Christians, He is looking for you to be more like Him! Don't compare yourselves to other Christians,compare yourself to Christ. So many professing Christians do not understand the vital importance of  what being a Christian means. They don't maintain a godly testimony, and they don't go out of there way to proclaim the name of Christ to others. 

What does being a Christian mean to you? Do you take it seriously? God wants us to strive to be more like Him. He lives within us, and He wants us to also live for Him. To be a Christian is more important than just your religion. It's a lifestyle. It's a life directed towards honoring and serving a living Savior! Does Christ mean a lot to you? To be honest he needs to mean more than a lot to you....he needs to mean everything to you. And if He means everything to you, you will be the greatest Christian you can be.

Be more "Christ-like". Strive to live a "Christ-filled Life!"

Rom 12:2  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. 


Keep shining bright

Saturday, December 6, 2014

God's amazing plan

This is a guest post by my amazing friend Hope McDaniel. Hope you all get a blessing out of this!
                                           Very successful flagstone path through a meadow with striking white Alliums
So a bunch of us teens are eating together, and the adult at the table starts asking everybody what their future plans are..
"Going to Maranatha for Pastoral Studies"
"Music education with a goal of teaching in a University"

And the list goes on and on, then it hits me, I have no clue what I want to do.
And then I start flipping out.
Oh of course I've dreamed of doing lots of things, but none seem quiet right. And then colleges, oh the list is extensive. And money, I don't even have a stable job, how in the world will I ever pay for college? Should I even try going? Should I go to the mission field, or serve in some ministry in the US? What if I miss out on God's best for my life? What is God's will? When will i find it?

I think some of those questions are things we all think about during  our teens years. And honestly, we've only got one shot at our future, so it can be pretty intimidating. But recently I came across a great book called "Discovering your Destiny"(its a great read, I would definitely recommend it) and it put things in a great perspective for me. I just want to share a few of those thoughts with you guys.

1) Gods got an awesome plan just for you. "Gods will" isn't some scary thing designed to suck all the fun out your life. Its actually so much better than we could imagine, and it definitely is the best option in the end. Don't dread it, anticipate it. 

2) Gods will isn't some hidden object your trying to find. God doesn't just send you on this search all alone. No, he wants you to walk with him and step by step, opportunity by opportunity he brings his will into your life. 

3) Daily walking with him is key. In order for God to show you his will and to work that out in your life, you have to daily spend time with him. Walking with him and getting to know him better. It reminds me of the servant who found Jacobs wife, "I, being in the way". 

4) You want to know God's will? You already have it. Obey what you know, and God will show you the rest. For example, God's will is for you to give thanks in everything, for you to obey your parents, for you to work your hardest at all you do(school would def. fall in that category), he wants you to reach out to lost souls and tell others about him. Right now while we wait, why not do what he clearly wants for our lives right now? 

Don't get so bogged down about all the pressure and decisions. Stay close to God and trust him, he's got this under control. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

D e c e m b e r

I can't believe December is here...already. I feel like fall just got here and now winter has taken it's place! I can't believe how fast this year has gone by...we're already on the last month of the year! 

    Winter is so beautiful though. December is probably my favorite month of the year! Not only do I just love wearing sweaters, snuggling up with extra blankets, and drinking hot cocoa, but I love the Christmas spirit that this month brings! I hear Christmas music every day and I love looking at all the Christmas lights in town. Next week my church is having a float in the parade =) The week after that I'm having a teen Christmas party at my house and the week after that we're going Christmas caroling! I just love December.  It truly is- 
"The most wonderful time of the year!" 


P.S. My blog is in the middle of being redesigned. Sorry if it's looking the process of giving it a wintery/Christmas look!

Keep shining bright