The Escape

Imagine you are sound asleep, entering those peaceful areas of your mind, where the day’s activities just fade away. Drifting around in the sweetest of dreams. Suddenly, you feel like someone has touched you or told you to wake up.  Through hazy eyes, you try to adjust to the darkness.

As you rub your eyes you say to yourself, “I must still be asleep.”

Your heart pounds harder in your chest as your eyes focus on the angel standing beside your bed. You are pretty sure it is an angel from the pure white light expanding from its form. (And the form would be male. Angels came before the creation of woman or Eve.) Yet, you feel no harm only a feeling of warmth and security. Yes, this must be an angel.

The angel speaks to your mind. You are informed to pack up your family and move to another state immediately! Your family is in extreme danger! The angel is gone and your bedroom is dark once again.

What do you do?

That is exactly what happened to Joseph in Matthew 2:13-18. The angel warned him that Herod was furious and would be hunting down baby Jesus.  Joseph was told that he had to take his family, go to Egypt and stay there until God tells him where to go next.

And that is exactly what Joseph did!

Matthew also reminds the reader of the prophecy in Hosea 11:1, being fulfilled when the Lord said “Out of Egypt I called my son.”

I am told in my study bible that this verse is referring to when God called the nation of Israel out of Egypt during Moses’s time. But that the inspiration of the Spirit revealed to Matthew it also meant Jesus.

Matthew, also quotes the prophet Jeremiah. Another indication of the fulfilling of prophecy for the coming of the Messiah. Something very important to the Jewish reader.

“A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”

Now, I want to return to the question, “What would you do?”

Would you really get up the next morning, wake your spouse, and pack up your family to leave? Or would there be considerations for your job, your home, your family, your kid’s schools, their friends, etc?

How many times in our lives do we listen to God’s commands for our lives when it contradicts our own plans?

I believe, as Christians, we have moved further away from listening and obeying God. Instead God is a figure-head somewhere up in the white fluffy clouds. Oh, we call Him down when we are in trouble, but basically He is not the center of our lives anymore.

Think about what we could be missing out on, by living this way.

For me, I am so grateful Joseph and Mary did not live this way!

God Bless You!

God Bless America!

 

The Magi and The Terrorists

Well, I choose my title after the happenings in France yesterday. I do think I should get back to Matthew and we must concentrate our efforts on loving change in this world. But I want to show that those who are evil and power-hungry terrorist have been around forever.

In, Matthew 2:1-12 , we see the Magi inquiring about the baby who is the Messiah.  They are on a journey, following the star, to give gifts to honor our Lord’s birth! Matthew makes sure to emphasize that the baby was born in Bethlehem in Judea. Once again confirming what the prophets had stated in the Old Testaments. And that the blood line came from King David. Which is very important to the Jewish community!

We are told King Herod, the people’s chief priests, and the teachers are extremely disturbed about the news.  These are our terrorists. Because to me, anyone who wants to kill my Jesus and stop the spread of His loving message is a terrorist! And that is what we are seeing in today’s world.

I am told in my study bible that Herod lived a murderous and opulent lifestyle. He murdered his family members including his own wife and children.  Later on we will see him murder the babies of Bethlehem. His insatiable desire for power, control, and greed will eventually be his downfall. As with all of those who strive to further their terrorism.

The terrorists fear the birth of the Messiah, because now the people will not indulge in assisting their lifestyles of carnage, luxury, and breaking every one of the Ten Commandments. Then the terrorists control is diminished, and the people led by God would rise to the call and vanquish them!

Ok, stepping down from my soapbox…

For now, we see Herod telling the Magi to let him know when they find the baby, so he can worship the Messiah too. What a liar!

The Magi followed the star and found Jesus with his mother.

In a study group, I attended years ago, it was explained that baby Jesus was probably months old. You have to understand that travel, whether on foot or camel, takes some time.

The Magi presented Jesus with gold, incense, and myrrh. And then returned to their country by another route. Because God stepped in to make sure evil would not alter His plan for our salvation. In a dream the Magi were warned about Herod and his evil plans.

Once again, love prevails because God has already won the war! He won it the first day of creation and His plans will not be altered. We, as Christians, should step up to win the battles in our homes, streets, communities, and nation!

God Bless You!

God Bless America!

 

Blue

The single word brings about images of terror, protests, and the five fallen police officers in Dallas. It is time for America to get back on track.

It is time to stop the hatred and spouting of vile words! Black Lives Matter should be All Lives Matter.   And the Black Panther Party, well I see no difference in you from the sixties.  You see I was there in Atlanta and Augusta Ga. I saw you raping, killing, and stealing from your own kind in the name of seeking justice.  You did not differentiate the color of skin. Violence dripped like a mad dog, from the salvia in your mouth.

I saw the men of my small town, my own father, stand with the police at the Hilltop Drive-in Movie Theatre.  Their guns loaded and scoped down on the bridge where you would come over from Augusta. Waiting on the National Guard to arrive. They did not want to kill anyone, but The Black Panthers were not coming into North Augusta. The police and the men were there to protect all the people of North Augusta…black and white.

So I say to you Black Lives Matter, The Black Panther Party, and the all protesters…

Police chief, David Brown, gave you a challenge to become part of the solution. Fill out an application and join the Blue. They will put you in your neighborhoods, the place you want change, and give you an opportunity to create real change!

Can you stop the talk and walk the walk? That is real courage. Anger and hatred does not change a situation, only love. Vocal, violent protests does not bring about real change, only love. Can you walk the walk?

Will you accept the challenge!

Johnny Cash became The Man in Black because of the injustice in the world. He wanted to be a simple reminder. A quiet, peaceful reminder. The way Jesus said it should be done…with love.

Jesus has called me to walk in love and I pray that all of my sites will demonstrate love from this day forward.

Can you walk the walk with me?

God Bless You!

God Bless America!

Matthew and Jesus’ Birth

Matthew 1:18, begins with “This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.”

Now, in the those days in Jewish culture being pledged was as solid as already being married. And Joseph would have to divorce Mary, which would publicly disgrace her and she could possibly be stoned. Being a compassionate man, Joseph decided he would do divorce Mary quietly.

Well, an angel of the Lord decided to set Joseph straight and came to him in a dream. The angel told Joseph that Mary was carrying the Holy Spirit’s child. And they would call him, Jesus, because he would save his people from their sin.

Matthew reminds the Jewish people, this was fulfilled through what the prophet Isaiah said, when he retold what Isaiah had said in Isaiah 7:14.  Which is very important, because in the old testament, the prophets foretold the coming of the Messiah.  The information from the prophets was how the Jewish people would know He was the Messiah.

“The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel-which means, “God with us.”

Matthew ends Chapter 1 stating that Joseph did what the angel told him and took Mary as his wife.  We are also informed that there was no marital union until she gave birth and they named the child Jesus.

Wow, everything appears to fall into place, but can you imagine the complexity of it all back then? And what about the weight Mary carried on her shoulders by becoming Jesus’ mother? He may have been her Lord, but first Jesus was her baby boy. Any mother can relate to the maternal feelings of having a child.

And then Joseph, a Jewish man with compassion enough to allow the woman he was going to marry carry another’s child. You have to know that his faith in God was much larger than a mustard seed. Joseph had the faith the size of a mountain or even bigger!

You know, Joseph reminds me of great step-dads.  To me, the definition of a great step-dad is one who marries a woman who has children from another marriage or man.  And proceeds to love the child or children as if they were born to him. There is never an accounting of the money spent on raising the child/children. It is all equal among all family members; i.e. the love, money and time.

In this first chapter we are shown great love and faith, between God and His people. And in return great faith and love from the people to God. I believe what came before Jesus was love, what came with Jesus was love, and what should come after Jesus is love!

Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior! Joseph and Mary are my heroes!

God Bless You!

God Bless America!

 

I Must Apologize

My last blog, I was talking about the book of John, but I was really in the book of Matthew. I began at the beginning with the New Testament. I realized my mistake today. I have corrected the entry.

It was in the beginning where I wrote John, when I meant Matthew. At least after the first few paragraphs, I got with the program and wrote Matthew.

I am sorry.

We will see the differences between the Apostles telling of Jesus’ ministry, which will give us insight into each of the Apostles.

Thank you for accepting my snafu!

God Bless You!

And God Bless America!

Walk, No More Talk!

Ok, in yesterday’s blog, I stated that we needed a refresher course in love. And my suggestion was the book of John in the bible. So, if I am going to tell others they need to read the book of John, I need to read it too. I will begin with the New Testament and the book of Matthew.

My next blogs will be about the books of the Apostles and love.

Today, I start with Matthew, Chapter one, verses 1-17.

Beginning with “A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham.”

And then the list of names begin. Some I can pronounce fairly well and others I stumble through.

At the end we are told, “Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen generations from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Christ.”

My study bible tells some very important facts about how Matthew wrote the genealogy. First, since he is writing to the Jews, it was important to trace Jesus back to Abraham. Second, four women were named. Three by their name and one by description.

Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheba (by description), were the women.  At least three of the women were Gentiles and Bathsheba was an Israelite. Was Matthew saying, God was the God of all men and women; not just the God of the Jews? I think so, and so does my study bible.

And the final fact is that the genealogy is grouped in the number 14. The number 14 means double measure of spiritual perfection (7). And sets of 14 refer to the incarnation or God in human form. To me it is like the beating of the drum, “Jesus is coming!” “Jesus is coming!

So in the very first part of the chapter, we think Matthew is naming the generations who came before. But Matthew is telling us some very important information.  Matthew tells us God is God to all people of the earth. Our color, ethnicity, education, or station in life, did not change the fact that we are all God’s children! And then he reveals, “Jesus is coming!”

You would think after all of these centuries, we would begin to understand.  Somehow, we became more lost in this world, than lost in God’s word. Because God never changes, His word never changes!

Why do you think we are just as lost today as they were back then? My answer is evil! It roams this earth like a lion devouring its’ prey and whispering lies in the ears. Now Jesus has defeated Satan and won the war, so what we are dealing with on earth are the battles. And the only way to win is with God’s word coupled with love and forgiveness for every single person.

Until tomorrow…

God Bless You!

And God Bless America!

Where is The Love?

I hear the pot stirrer stirring. Their big wooden paddles filled with racism and hatred swirling around the American people. And I see the destitution on both sides of the equation. One side is desperate to stop the violence and the other side is frustrated to the point of violence.

This situation in America breaks my heart! What are we leaving for our children and our grandchildren? Will there be a future for America?

I pray so.

Now, I am not a formally educated person in theology, I only read my bible and join in bible studies. But every morning I feel like I am in the garden with my Lord, when I go into my prayer closet. Walking, talking, listening, and sometimes even crying. He is with me through it all.

This morning it was a heavy-hearted walk and talk.

How could we, His children, hate each other so much?

And, what can we do about all of this hatred? How do we move forward when time after time, we hurt, maim, or even kill one another?

The only answer I can see is LOVE.

But I think that we all need a refresher course on how to love, why we love, and how to forgive and move forward during difficult times. No, you don’t have to go to college or take an online course either. Just open your bible and start reading the book of John! Jesus is, was, and always will be our only example of true love.

His greatest commandment to us is found in John 13.

John 13:34-35

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Jesus does not say love for one another if you are only white, black, Asian, Jew, Christian, or Muslim. He says love one another as He loves us! And Jesus loves us no matter our sins, skin color, dishonorable ways, or even if we don’t believe in Him. The whole world can turn against us and Jesus never will leave our side.

And then have you ever said or felt like, “Now how many times do I have to forgive so and so?”

Well, Peter, a disciple of Jesus felt the same way.

Matthew 8:21

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?”

Jesus answered

“I tell you not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”

Wow, that is alot of forgiveness! And we are called to do the same when forgiving others.

So, I believe the only answer is Love and Forgiveness!

 

God Bless You!

God Bless America!