Once Upon a Star

Once upon a star, not just any ordinary star, this was a one of a kind unique star
A star like no other before it and since, to be the brightest shining star ever created
The light radiated so bright it could be seen for miles, even in far off countries
Helping those who searching in the night sky as a sign of a holy child who would put to shame this brightness of stars
For this star was created for a special purpose, to announce the birth of a child, a long awaited Holy child, born in humble dwellings

The bright star guided three kings who had long searched to night skies, eagerly awaiting a sign in the sky such as this bight guiding star

Leading them onwards to witness fro themselves the birth of the most special child to ever be born

That same night there were humble shepherds who knew nothing of this miraculous event, until they were told by an angel, the shepherds now also followed that most brightest of all stars

This child although ordain to be the king of kings, was to be born in a humble manger with no fine clothing as would befit the expected son of God

Even so all who beheld this child fell to their knees in worship, for even now they could see his glory and bore witness to his holiness

So it was on the very first Christmas day, may we always remember who it was that was born on this day and strive to celebrate his birth upon this day

May you all have a Blessed time rejoicing the birth of our Savior

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Oh To Be Holy

I recently read a blog post about obeying and pleasing God as two separate parts of the same process of becoming Holy

However it was unclear about just how one becomes holy, was becoming holy the end result of partaking in obedience and therefore getting to know God and then being able to please Him

The process starting with accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior, by obeying the commandments, which Jesus simplified when asked replied “You shall love the lord your God, with all your heart and soul and love your neighbor as yourself”

We might think reducing the number of commandments, down to two should make our lives a whole lot easier, but that wasn’t what Jesus intended

But He was just pointing out if we obeyed theses two then we would also obey all the others without extra effort

But “how do we love God?” By obeying first, and then seeking to please Him, by getting to know God on a personal level

A personal God was something Einstein could not bring himself to accept

It is said another part of holiness is to practice self control, although somewhere else self control is said to be part of the fruits of the spirit, along with patience and goodness

Self control is not something we humans willing do or find easy at all

We are to die to self when we invite Jesus into our lives, and from one of the older commandments “Judge not lest you be judged” which we would not do if we love others as ourselves

Buddha is said to have attempted to gain a higher level of self through self control, but never it seems never searched for God or believed there was a God

Although he believed in nirvana a state of peacefulness or a place of perfect peace and happiness, much like heaven.

I wonder did Buddha consider himself to being holy?

According the the internet, Buddha did not believe in any kind of god (which ought to please atheists) Buddhists believe everything is changeable. What exists is changeable and what is not changeable does not exist

So perhaps that’s why he didn’t even consider believing in GOD, as God is immortal and never changing

Anger – Frustration and the Power of Stillness

Anger had been welling up inside of me all day, or that’s the way it seemed at the time.I knelt on the floor intending to complain or even argue with God, I could feel my anger and frustration welling up demanding to be set free

Although if someone was to ask me now why I was so angery, I could not say or remember.

All I recolect is I felt I might explode and could continue no longer, so I knelt on the floor intending to complain or even argue with God, I could feel my anger and frustration welling up demanding to be set free

My body shivered not just with the cold of the night air, but also the powerful force of my anger, as I opened my mouth to speak I hear the words “Be still”

I found unable to speak as a quietness spread over me like a velvet blanket, enveloping me in such an indescribable peace, my hand tenderly held as I journeyed into the very presence of God

My anger and frustration began to float out of me, rising as steaming water, no longer bothering my mind or soul – no longer mine to cling onto

Quietly at first sweet music played from a distance, gradually it came closer or perhaps it was I that moved, whichever it was soon it enveloped me so complete my body – my soul rose up with the increasing crescendos

Entering into such beauty – such wholeness surrounded I lost self-awareness so completely

I became just a tiny speck of this immense oneness, this experience was beyond feelings or anything I could have ever imagined

As there was no sense of time, I could not how long I remained there, but I hope the memory will linger on and remain with me for the rest of my life

Slowly after what seem forever, my spirit descended back into my body which shivered once more, for it had missed my spirit and jolted at its arrival

This empty shell my body which the Holy Spirit of God had given as one of many gifts, for now I appreciated all of those gifts as I had never before

I was now so full of unexplainable joy I could not help myself and burst into praise songs, with such force my body shook once again, and trembled with the awesome power that still linger within me

All that frustration and anger that had so tortured my mind and body were but a faded and distant memory, replaced by this sweet gentle and wonderful peaceful love.

Even though my body and mind now told me to rise, I didn’t want to leave even though I was now aching, reluctantly I whispered Amen.

I arose stiffly from my kneeling and stretched and once more raised my voice in praise, turning away left my room to return to what would never quite be normal life again

I Surrender All

https://youtu.be/7x2IpLSfqp8 I Surrender All, a YouTube video I wanted to embed so that it would be included in my post
However WordPress does not seem to allow this anymore, basically because I use a Free membership, so WordPress promptly changes the ebeded video back into a link, however I still intend to write this post

I Surrender All, is one of my favorite Hymns which stuck firmly in my memory and I would often find myself humming it (humming is one of my bad and annoying habits)
But it wasn’t until recently that I came to know the truth of the words of that song

When I finally relinquished my control (poor control) over my addiction of far too many years, it wasn’t until and Surrendered EVERYTHING, that I began to benefit from the effects that this Hymn and the words sing about

The sense of freedom was wonderful beyond mere words can explain, as anyone who has tried to give up any kind of addiction will tell you just how impossible giving up their addiction can be

They will also tell you the longer you allow it to dominate your life, the harder it is to give up and that is certainly true in my case

What they may not tell you but I will, is how I made up excuses and reasons anything but admit I was addicted

As to the addiction I would prefer not to give into details, just to say it was sexual based, and started way back in my innocent youth

It was instigated by another boy who sat next to me at school, who seemed to know about sexual things, but I allowed it to continue ignoring his advances as best I could

Until one day he stopped in the same unannounced manner he had started, but by then I had become so accustomed to him taking advantage of my quiet nature

I found I could not remove the memory of his actions, and began fantasizing and indulging myself in very the same action he had done to me

My fist excuse “it was not my fault he had perverted me” so with that excuse I could continue where he left off

But as time went on I had to come up with other excuse, as my sexual appetite increased

Here are some of those excuses “I’m only human” “You have to have some pleasures in life, too boring otherwise” It’s not as if I’m hurting anyone”

But these were just lies, that allowed me to continue  and not face up to the fact I was addicted, which lead me into much darker places (practices)

One thing I had noticed the more power of the addiction grew the more it demanded, and the sense of loneliness as how could I explain to anyone until now

For now Jesus has been gratuitous enough to lift the burden of me, so that I am no longer addicted and even if I stray back into that dark place of self-indulgence

These two passages below came to my mind, but had to do a google search to find the actual passages and verse

Ephesians 4:22-24English Standard Version (ESV)

2 Corinthians
22 
to put off your old self,[a] which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires,
23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

– Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Putting off my old self is way over due, how about you?

The weapons of the enemy

I know from personal experience, the more I give into my own weakness (temptation) the more power I freely give to the enemy

The enemy knows us and our weakness and will use ever one of them against us, to distract and deceive us

All too frequently he uses ourselves against ourselves, by manipulating our human emotions are turned against us

For once we give into our self-indulgences, we open the door of opportunity for evil to slither in with 

The enemy uses Lies are his the main weapon, Confusion to cloud the mind so we begin to doubt, he also uses poor imitations of gifts given by God

Such as lust which he disguised as free sex instead of love, the enemy invaded our minds into thinking that free sex was the new alternative to “love”

The big difference is sex, is self-centred and appeals to our vanity, this also gives us the so called freedom to include the same gender relationships.

He uses anger to take away our control of our temper, which spread like a bush fire from one person to another, engulfing anyone it touches

He also uses our bad habits and quickly turns them into addictions, at which point we become slaves rather than the free willed people God created us to be

How to tell bad habits from good ones, good habits take time and constant effort to maintain, whereas bad habits are way too easy to get into

But the devil to give up, and there is a hint in that phrase to who is driving force behind our bad habit

As with temper, any addictive bad habit can and do affect other people more than we might imagine

Not only infecting others in the same way a virus would spread, but also like ripples on water, growing larger as they spread

The enemy uses our prejudice against others who don’t look or talk the same, and through our own vanity allow ourselves to judge them inferior and we become self-righteous

So we can begin so called holy wars, claiming to have Gods approval

Blessing in Disguise

Over the years I have had many answers to prayer, although not always the answer I asked for, as they say “God doesn’t always give us what we want, but always gives us what we need”

This was the case recently when I was praying my wife would stop having convulsions, as the day was turning out to be one of the worst days she had in years

Seizure after seizure throughout the day, until the evening time when I had given up hope that my prayers would be answered

Despondently I rang 999 and paramedics came and took my wife to Heartlands A&E, where she has been for nearly two weeks now

My wife’s recovery has been a little mixed, some days much better and others, so it looks as if she will be staying in hospital another week

Visiting the hospital back and forth is arduous and expensive as I use a taxi there and back, as bus service would take long and involve two both ways

I can’t say that life as a career has been easy, but being without Carol at home is far worse, as I miss her infectious smile and laughter, as its music to my soul

I had a lot of response when I commented on Facebook about what happened, many people we know commented and offered prayers and good wishes

You may well be wondering by now where the “Blessing in Disguise” come into this

Let me explain, for too many years some of the medication that Carol takes on a daily basis has given her confused thinking and changeable moods

Which the local doctors prescribed yet another tablet, (Psychotropic medication) which was for her (mental condition) so I was told

Since Carol had been admitted into a different hospital they reviewed the medication and removed using the medication that had been causing that problem

Hence the blessing in disguise, when I realized this was the answer to prayer we needed I gave praise to God and continue to do so and trust in the healing power of God

Extraordinary – Story Retold

Long ago and far away there were two ordinary everyday people, at least they thought themselves ordinary until the extraoridinary events that unfolded afte they meet
Joseph was a much respected member of the community by hardworking carpenter by trade, while Mary was a young girl who had already devoted her life to serve God
She prayed regularly, and she was always willing to obey
This is their story and how all the events unfolded, Joseph was summoned by Mary’s father to do carpentry work for him as he had heard how skilled a workman Joseph was
So it was Joseph set off towards where Mary lived he took with him just the needed tolls for the job, and Mary’s father had ordered the timber
Mary was attracted to the 21 year old handsome carpenter even before she knew his name, while Joseph was impressed by Mary’s devotion to serve God, and found her to be of a pleasant and good nature
As the job involved several months of work Joseph remained as the honoured guest of Mary’s father
Overtime their admiration for each other grew in strength into love for each other and because of this Mary’s father had decided that they should be married
So he was Joseph and Mary were married and while Mary was praised god for marriage and new life
God spoke to her and revealed his plan for her, Mary was to be the chosen one to give birth to his son the Messiah
While Mary took the unexpected news with her normal modest unquestioning manner,

Joseph was more than a little taken aback by the news
After all he was only a newlywed husband and had certainly not expected Mary to announce that she was soon to be with child
He was confused and bewildered for he knew this was not his child, but he could not find it in his heart to doubt Mary when she had told him, this child was to be the son of God
Still dazed Joseph retired to bed on his own, with doubts and thoughts dancing around in his head
As he lay down unable to sleep, an angel of the lord spoke to him “Do not trouble your mind, your wife Mary speaks the truth, she will give birth to God’s Son and you shall call him Emanuel”
Then Mary joined Joseph who embraced her lovingly and they both fell asleep
The following day they had to travel many miles back to Joseph’s home town, and due to the census the little town was full, and so Joseph and Mary were required to accept an oxen stall
Where the son of God was to be born, before He was born there was to be a heralding shining star to guide three kings from the far East and humble shepherds who would worship the new extraordinary child
So it was on that night of night’s Jesus was born to Mary and Joseph, and although many years have passed since that holly night, we all should give thanks and praise that our saviour was born
For without Jesus Christ there would be no Christmas day
We need to rejoice as the shepherds and kings and all the angels rejoiced