Posts tagged ‘New Year’

Emmanuel….God IS With Us!

eye of love

One thing I ask from the LORD, 

this only do I seek;

that I may dwell in the house of the LORD

all of the days of my life,

to gaze on the beauty of the LORD

and to seek him in his temple.

Psalm 27:4

This psalm is about the anticipation of being in the presence of the LORD.  It is a reminder of how we should desire to live in the presence of God every day. With the desire of living in God’s presence every day and seeking God in ALL that we do, there is no doubt that we will experience God in ways and moments we would have never thought we would experience him.

God IS With Us

Over the last month I have heard carols being sung about the Messiah’s birth.  I am reminded of what the name Emmanuel means; God is with us.  As I sing and hear these carols and reflect on the words; God is with us, I see where God has been with me and how I have experienced his mighty presence over the last year. If you have read any of my previous writings like A Glimpse of Heaven, you will know that I believe that God does give us a little taste of  heaven and the affirmation that he is with us in ALL we do and experience.

As the year begins to come to an end, I wanted to share some of the moments I have experienced God the most this year.  In other words, God has given me just a glimpse of what heaven will be like when it is time for me to go to my eternal home.

Easter Sunday 2015

Our Baptism Easter Sunday April 5, 2015

Our Baptism
Easter Sunday
April 5, 2015

April baptism one

On Easter Sunday of this year, my husband and I were baptized by immersion. Yes, we have been believers most of our lives. Both raised in Christian homes and baptized as infants. Yet, Jim and I had been led to a Baptist church that was to be and has become our church home. As we made our decision  to make Macedonia our church home, we knew we would have to be baptized by immersion.  A lot of thought, searching the scriptures and prayer went into our decision.  So, on Easter Sunday, Jim and I stood before the congregation that would become our family, professed our faith and were baptized by immersion.

As I look back on this particular Sunday, I see where God gave me a glimpse of heaven. In the song, Baptism that is sung by Kenny Chesney and Randy Travis, there is a lyric that I am reminded of as I reflect on that special Sunday. The lyric is “I didn’t seen any angels just a few saints on the shore. ”  Each time I hear this song and it comes to this particular lyric I feel the embrace of the Holy Spirit that I felt as Pastor Dan raised me out of the water. In reflecting on my baptism on Easter Sunday, I  don’t see a congregation just looking on as Jim and I were baptized. What I do see are the saints on the shore just as they are described in this song.

My baptism on Easter Sunday gave me a glimpse of what it will be like as I arrive to my eternal home.  There will be angels there but there will also be saints. The saints are the people God placed in my life as I walked this earth. They are the people who mentored me in my faith, lived our their faith every day in everything they did. Just as I looked out from the baptistery on Eater Sunday and saw a family ready to embrace me, I see familiar faces, smiling and ready to embrace me once again to welcome me home.

Nassau Bahamas 2015

I Danced With an Angel

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A little over a month ago Jim and I took a cruise to the Bahamas. It is a cruise that we have done several times before and never get tired of it. One of the destinations on this cruise is Nassau. Nassau has become one of our favorite places.  Jim and I like it not only for its beauty but for its people. Over the years and visits that we have made there, we always seem to experience God in the most unique ways.  As we have shopped in the straw market, we have heard testimony of faith and the love of God from venders. One year, we even saw the people have worship with song, prayer and testimony in the middle of the Straw Market before beginning their day.  We have had tour guides show us with pride the church they attend as they guided us through the history of the Bahamas.  Yet, this year to Nassau was unique not only because Jim and I were celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary but because I experienced God and his Kingdom in the most amazing way. I danced with an angel.

Jim and I had been on a tour earlier in the day. As the shuttle was taking us back to the beginning point of our tour, I saw a few things that I wanted Jim and I to go back and look at on our own. My mind was on taking pictures, absorbing the spirit of Christmas in Nassau with their decorations, music being played on street corners and nativity scenes being displayed in front of churches.

Jim and I step off the shuttle and thank our driver. We look at each other as to where we wanted to begin our adventure on foot. As we walked down the street, we were drawn to the sound of a band playing. This band was playing Christmas carols and songs that Jim and I remembered from our years of Sunday School as children. The closer we got to the where the music was being played the more we found ourselves dancing down the street to be where the action was taking place.

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There we were in a park area outside the straw market. Along with other tourist and locals Jim and I were enjoying the music and dancing along. Then, over to my right, I see this man. He probably had only one or two teeth in his head. However, he was singing and dancing along with everyone else. He was raising his hands to heaven praising God as the band played.  In the midst of the music and movement, I ended up beside this gentleman ( I say gentle because I sensed he had a gentle spirit about him).  Before I knew it, I was dancing and singing with this kind old man. As the song leader led the crowd in the song; Michael Rowed the Boat Ashore, this kind man took my hand with his and raised our hands towards heaven singing;  Jordan’s river is deep and wide, Hallelujah…And I’ve got a home on the other side, Hallelujah.  

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It was in that moment when I knew God had given me another glimpse of heaven. In heaven, we  will hold hands with fellow believers whether we knew them on earth or not and lift our voices in praise to our Father, our Creator, our God.  It was in this moment of  dancing and lifting my hands towards heaven with this man I had never met I felt the holy spirit embrace me once more.  Yes, “there are angels among us”.

The Angels Sing

Christmas Eve Worship 2015 two

Last week,  at Christmas Eve Candlelight  worship, I experienced another glimpse of heaven. Worship began with Christmas songs and greetings.  Along with the Christmas songs and greetings, we had communion along with our Pastor sharing the gospel and the meaning of Christmas. After our pastor spoke, the candles that each person held were soon lit and the congregation joined celebrating the birth of Christ with singing more carols.

As we sung the familiar Christmas song; O Holy Night, I closed my eyes. Further into the song, I heard extra voices especially while singing the words; “Oh hear the angels’ voices..”.  At first,  I didn’t think anything about the extra voices. I was sitting on the front row with many people behind me and the sanctuary being fairly full I thought that was what I was hearing. Yet, the next time we came to those words I knew I heard extra voices and voices unlike you hear in congregational singing.

I opened my eyes to look and see if there were people in the balcony because the voices sounded like they were coming from above me. However, there was no one in the balcony but the sound and audio technicians. As I turned back to continue to sing, I close my eyes again and I heard the extra voices coming in again on the song.  There is no doubt in my mind that the angels were singing and proclaiming Christ’s birth with us just as they did on that first Christmas.

Emmanuel…God IS With Us

Bible with heart

These are just a few moments that I wanted to share with you. As I have shared these moments with you, I am again reminded that God’s presence is with me at all times. It is up to me to desire to be in his presence, to acknowledge his presence and keep my heart, eyes and ears opened to experience his presence.

My New Year’s Wish For You

Christmas Eve Worship 2015

As the New Year approaches, I ask you to stop for a moment and reflect on this past year. Reflect on where and how you have experienced God in your life.  You may want to journal these experiences or share them with loved ones as you say good-bye to this year and hello to the New Year.  Most importantly, give God thanks and praise for these moments.

In the New Year, I challenge you to take Psalm 27:4 to heart.   As you go through your days, your weeks and months this year, seek God in ALL situations and in ALL that you do.  Emmanuel….God is with us!!

Take time to listen to the video

May you experience HIS presence as you walk through the New Year

Christmas Resolutions

christmas 2007

Since we are now in the midst of the Christmas Season, we know that the New Year is not too far away. It is on New Year’s Eve when we make those resolutions that we soon break within the first few weeks of January.  Instead of making New Year’s resolutions this year, why not make Christmas resolutions?

The Advent Season is a time of preparing our hearts and minds for the Christ-child. As we make these preparations, why don’t we take time out and evaluate our walk with Christ.  In this evaluation process, think about our daily walk with Christ. Where can we improve in the upcoming year? Think about our witness to a non-believing world. Are we a true witness for Christ? How do our priorities in life measure up? Do we put God first in ALL that we do?

On Christmas Eve, we will have made our evaluations/resolutions.  On this particular night we will be celebrating the birth of the Christ-child. As with any celebration, gifts are brought and given to the honoree. This year, let’s place these changes that we want to make  for the new year as our gifts to the Christ child. Then, allow the Christ-child to lead us through the new year.

Taking Inventory

“Immediately the Spirit drove Him to the wilderness. And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan, and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to Him.”

This morning as I read the newest Facebook status updates, I saw where many were sharing what they were giving up for Lent. Others were sharing the beginnings of Lenten Devotionals along with where and when Ash Wednesday services would be taking place today and this evening. Then, I head on over to Wednesday morning bible study where the question was asked; “Lent. What does it mean?”

“Lent. What does it mean?”  Some of the answers from our group were it is a time of giving up something. One group member shared an idea from Christian author, Angela Thomas where Angela puts a bowl of flour out on the table.  Then, she has her children to write the name of a person they need to forgive or something they need to be forgiven for. Once they write this in the flour, they take their hands and wipe it out. This is a beautiful symbol of showing how Christ’s death on the cross wiped our slates clean. Others shared how they have come to find it a time of doing daily Random Acts of Kindness.

As I listened to these thoughts on Lent, my wheels were turning. I began to think of when we celebrate the New Year coming in and how we all make resolutions. We look at the new year as a time of renewal and fresh starts. Lent is very much like the New Year coming in. For me, Lent is not just about giving up, or daily acts of kindness but it is a time for taking inventory and renewing my walk with Christ.

In the days ahead, I will reflect on my Christian walk. In this reflection, I will asking myself the following questions and talking to God how and where I need to improve. The questions that I will be asking myself are:

Where am I on my Christian walk? Is God calling me to take a new direction?

How can I strengthen my faith?

What things are in my life that are getting in the way of my walk with God?

Where do I need to make changes to better serve God?

How can I demonstrate what God is doing in my life?

Where is God working where I can join Him?

These questions are only the beginning of me taking inventory. Throughout the Lenten Season, I am sure that there will be more questions that God will place on my heart for reflection and conversation with Him. It is through this inventory process that I gain new perspective and  a better understanding of my Creator who is always walking with me not just on good days but even in those seasons of life where I, myself feel like I am wondering in the wilderness.

Lent. What does Lent mean to you?

Blessings-

Putting On A New Face

Groucho Marx & anonymous blogging

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. the old has gone, the new has come!" 2Corinthians 5:17

Over the last couple of years, I have picked up some sort of little gag gift for my family.  A couple of years ago, I purchased Groucho Marx glasses at the Dollar Tree.  When giving out these funny face glasses, I told my gracious family recipients  to let the glasses be a reminder of putting on a new face for the New Year. It was a chance to let go of the old and to start new and fresh.

Just as the Groucho Marx glasses symbolized to my family about letting go of the old and putting on a new face, it also represents what happens when we ask Christ into our lives.  When we invite Christ into our lives, we are willing to let  go of our old self and put the past behind us.  Once we let go of our old self, we put on a new face. The new face is that of Christ.

The year 2011 has now arrived.  I encourage you to take off the old self and put on a new face. Put on the face of Christ and remember you are His representative each and every day this year.  May those you encounter this year see the image of Christ in you.

Blessings

[tweetmeme]

You’re Invited!

Susan's first party dress

“Blessed is the man who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.” Luke 14:15

‘Everyday should be a party dress day’ is a quote that I saw on a sign as I was ‘browsing’ through Hobby Lobby. It made me think about the Christmas Season and upcoming New Year‘s celebrations.  Party dresses to be worn and the guys dressed in their finest attire. Yet, when the season is over, the decorations will be put away along with the party clothes.

Whoa, hold on! When it is time to put things in storage, don’t put those party clothes away! God has planned a party for you everyday this next year and you are invited!  Joyce Meyer explains in her book Eat The Cookie; Buy The Shoe, that God invites us to join Him in his party.   An example that she uses in one of her chapters is Jesus calling His disciples. When calling these men to follow Him, He was inviting each one to join Him in the party.  She goes on to say “it is in our living for God and serving others with a Christlike mind that we are participating in God’s party.”  Thus, everyday is a celebration and everyday we are invited by God to join Him in His party.

2011 will soon be here.  As we make  our New Year’s Resolutions which we will most likely break on January 2nd, let’s accept God’s invitation. This year may we keep our party attire out to wear everyday.   Let’s celebrate each day, love one another, and serve others with a  Christlike mind.  As we are celebrating, let’s invite others to join us in this party with God.  It is a party like no other! Happy New Year!

Blessings!

Excerpt taken from Eat The Cookie; Buy The Shoe by Joyce Meyer (p.30)                   [tweetmeme]

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