The Christmas Season Pt. 3: Heaven Pt. 86

“Then hear thou their prayer and their supplication in heaven thy dwelling place, and maintain their cause,” I Kings 8:49

As I sit meditating on this verse today I am astounded by what God has done. The writer here is supplicating with God. He asks God for restoration when God’s people enter into judgment for their sins and are taken away into captivity…for forgiveness when they turn and repent. He asks that at the moment of the people’s cry of remorse for their sins God would hear their supplication from His dwelling place in heaven  or from His fixed and permanent abode in Heaven. The intercessor further asks God not only to hear the people’s cry but that he would maintain their cause…bring restoration…deliver them from the results of their sins.

Here is what I am astounded by. God did it! And in order to do it He left his permanent abode in Heaven and came to Earth. He took on the form of sinful man and “maintained our cause.”  We often forget that the cross was not the first sacrifice Jesus made to save us. What did He give up just to become one of us?

Let’s celebrate that sacrificial gift this season!

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Changing Seasons

Summer Love

Summer Love

“One must maintain a little bittle of summer, even in the middle of winter.”― Henry David Thoreau

The Dunes

The Dunes

“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”
― Henry James

Autumn Glory

Autumn Glory

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”
― Albert Camus

 

Fall on the Waters by JE Lillie

Fall on the Waters by JE Lillie

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” L.M. Montgomery

Land Of Broken Ice by JE Lillie

Land Of Broken Ice by JE Lillie

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.”- John Steinbeck

Broken Winter by JE Lillie

Broken Winter by JE Lillie

“My old grandmother always used to say, Summer friends will melt
away like summer snows, but winter friends are friends forever.” George R.R. Martin

Doane's Falls Royalston

Doane’s Falls Royalston

“You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep Spring from coming.” Pablo Neruda

Ferns In Spring

Ferns In Spring

“It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.”- Rainer Maria Milke

 

 

 

The Christmas Season Pt. 2

His first coming was gentle to usher in the age of grace. He came as a helpless baby, as my pastor says “God in diapers”. But as we remember that first coming this year let’s remember He is coming again and next time it won’t be as a helpless child but as the One who will judge the quick and the dead. Ultimately Christmas like every other celebration in Christendom is meant to help us remember both what He did and what He has yet to do!

The Christmas Season Pt. 1

 

I was out to lunch with some folks earlier in the week and one of my companions asked me if the Christmas season was getting busy yet.

I don’t know about you but in years past it has been very easy for me to lose the Flower of Christmas, the Rose of Sharon, among the vines of my Christmas to do list. Who am I kidding, with my schedule I can easily misplace Jesus during any month of the year in the thorny pages of my agenda. But throughout the Christmas holiday it is especially easy to miss prayer or relationship with my King simply because I am doing “so much for Him.”

This year I have determined not to reach December 25th full of Christmas spirit but devoid of the Christ child. I have determined not to let ministry and mistletoeish mayhem weary me to the point of  missing the point. Oh I’ll still be busy caroling and ministering and wrapping and of course feasting but this year I am determined to slow it down and make sure I intentionally focus on the Reason for the Season. For me intentionally planning Jesus time is going to be part of making it to Christmas Christ-like.

Let me ask you, what do you have to do to get back to the heart of Christmas? Or are you already there?

Twas the Month Before Christmas (Author Unknown)

Twas the month before Christmas

When all through our land,

Not a Christian was praying

Nor taking a stand.

Why the Politically Correct Police had taken away

the reason for Christmas – no one could say.

The children were told by their schools not to sing

about Shepherds and Wise Men and Angels and things.

It might hurt people’s feelings, the teachers would say

December 25th is just another ‘ Holiday ‘.

Yet the shoppers were ready with cash, checks and credit

Pushing folks down to the floor just to get it!

CDs from Madonna, an X BOX, an I-Pod

Something was changing, something quite odd!

Retailers promoted Ramadan and Kwanzaa

In hopes to sell books by Franken & Fonda.

As Targets were hanging their trees upside down

At Home Depot the word “Christmas” was nowhere to be found.

At WalMart and Staples and Penny’s and Sears

You won’t hear the word Christmas; it won’t touch your ears.

Inclusive, sensitive, Di-ver-is-ty

Are words that were used to intimidate me.

Now Daschle, Now Pelosi, Now Sharpton and Reed,

On Boxer, on Rather, on Kerry, on Clinton !

At the top of the Senate, there arose such a clatter

To eliminate Jesus, in all public matter.

And we spoke not a word, as they ousted our faith

Forbidden to speak of salvation and grace

The true Gift of Christmas was exchanged and discarded

 The reason for the season, stopped before started.  So as you celebrate ‘Winter Break’ under your ‘Dream Tree’ Sipping your Starbucks, listen to me. Choose your words carefully, choose what you say Shout MERRY CHRISTMAS,not Happy Holiday!

Autumn Colors Pt. 3

Autumn Glow On House. by JE Lillie

Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn.
— Elizabeth Lawrence

Walking By Leaf Light by JE Lillie

 

I cannot endure to waste anything as precious as autumn sunshine by staying in the house. So I spend almost all the daylight hours in the open air.
— Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Road To the Future by JE Lillie

October is a symphony of permanence and change.
— Bonaro W. Overstreet

Broken Sun Rising by JE Lillie

Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all.
— Stanley Horowitz

Autumn Colors Pt. 2

Golden Glow by JE Lillie

“Autumn seemed to arrive suddenly that year. The morning of the first September was crisp and golden as an apple…”
―    J.K. Rowling,    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

 

Land Of Broken Trees by JE Lillie

“I loved autumn, the one season of the year that God seemed to have put there just for the beauty of it.”
―    Lee Maynard

 

Land Of Broken Ice by JE Lillie

“Love the trees until their leaves fall off, then encourage them to try again next year.”
―    Chad Sugg

 

Broken Fire 2 by JE Lillie

“Autumn…the year’s last, loveliest smile.”  ―    William Cullen Bryant

 

Autumn Colors

Days Of Fire by JE Lillie

“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns” George Elliot

Yellow Days by JE Lillie

“No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace/ As I have seen in one autumnal face” John Donne

October Glow

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers” L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Broken Fire by JE Lillie

“Autumn is the hardest season. The leaves are all falling, and they’re falling like they’re falling in love with the ground.” Andrea Gibson