Celebration one of God’s Gifts

Celebrating is good.  There are some that say celebration is from the Evil one it is a sign of gluttony. What a bunch of Hogwash. God told Moses to assign festivals  Exodus 23: 14-19, Leviticus 23.  Paul reminds us to celebrate Colossians 2:16  Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. (NIV)

The key is to acknowledge God as the provider.  

When the deceivers come and say celebration is sin, Show them God’s word.  Be bold and Courageous (Joshua 1:9) . Let them know how foolish they are.

Sin is when we get drunk with our celebration.  It does not say you can’t have a drink, but is does warn against getting drunk (Proverbs 20:1).   1 Timothy 5:23 Paul says drink a little win for  illness.

When we pull God into our festivals, we are giving Him praise for the provision.  What do I mean “pull God into the celebration”? Sadly, even for many Christians, conscience effort is required.  A focus on saying  “God thank you for…” is not automatic

In this next month of celebration remember it is Jesus’ birthday.  And to those that say well it is not the exact date so it is wrong.  The date does not matter. Historic records are lost. The pagan things place into our celebration of the Lord’s birth are only bad if those things cause you to forget the real focus of the celebration.  

Have your Christmas tree, you wreaths, gifts, eggnog, and what not Keep Pulling the Lord into those Parties. 

 

 

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Keep fighting back (Christmas depression part 4) you are worthy

There are a couple of things that you need to know. First of all I firmly do not believe that Depression is a feeling, it is a state of mind.  It is not a choice. There is however, a choice involved. The choice to fight back.  In my opinion, depression comes from the Evil one. It is clearly not from God. Job 34: 12: 12 It is unthinkable that God would do wrong, that the Almighty would pervert justice. Fight back with the thoughts that God does not want us to be timid.  2 Timothy 1: 7: For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power,love and self-discipline.

In my experience, depression is the lies of the evil one telling us we are unworthy, we can’t it makes me afraid. Afraid to go out of the house, afraid to do anything at all. It makes me afraid to be with my husband. It makes me afraid to make a choice. He focuses on whatever has just happened and brings back things from our past to support it. For me that is a lot.  From neglect as a child and teenager, to physical abuse as an adult; from having a period of homelessness as a teenager, to desperately wanting my family miles away to help me get out of a severely abusive almost to where I took my life to get away-relationship. The evil one will pull things out, throw them at me and use them to prove to me that I am unworthy.  THESE ARE LIES.  ME, YOU, WE are worthy to feel Joy, WE are worthy to feel COURAGEOUS. WE are worthy to feel happiness. WE ARE WORTHY OF THE PEACE BROUGHT BY THE HOLY SPIRIT.  WE are WORTHY because we are children of God. Oh and the important part:

THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING THAT YOU CAN DO TO EARN THIS WORTHINESS. IT IS A GIFT FREE FROM GOD. 

Let me repeat that, it is a free gift from God.  Ephesians 2: 8-9: For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.  All you have to do is trust in the Lord.  It is not always easy but God will give you the strength.  Isaiah 40: 28-29: 28 Do you not know?  Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. 29 He gives strength to the weary  and increases the power of the weak. When we listen to the Lies of Satan, the ones that tell us we are unworthy, we become weak, it is in our weakness that depression sets.  However, when we trust in the Lord, when we put on the Armor Of God, we become strong in our Spirit and we soar like EAGLES.  You can find information about the Armor of God in Ephesians 6: 10-18.  Sometimes the battle is daily.  But you can not stop fighting, your fight is easy.  All you have to do is put your trust daily in the creator of all things, GOD.  He will give you strength. He is your shield  Matthew 11:28-30: 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  Jesus took our burdens upon him when he died on the cross.  This is why we are celebrating Christmas, because Jesus came to earth Born as a baby. This is why we can overcome depression, sometimes a daily fight. Remember it is the Evil one who is telling you that you are unworthy.  It is God telling you YOU ARE SO VERY WORTHY. Celebrate His Birth with your whole heart, because that it what it means to Love the Lord your God with all your heart. It means that you do not have to listen to those lies. It means you have the power to trust God, it means that through the grace of Jesus you have overcome even death (Spiritual) There is still a physical death. and everything Satan is telling you is a LIE!.  

Fighting Back (Part 2, Christmas Depression)

If you have ever meet me and gotten to know me even for a few days; you know I don’t quit.  That is attribute my children and husband will assign me, if asked to name one thing about me. They will tell you, my mom, my wife does not quit. She does not give up.  My kids know first hand that if they are doing something that is wrong, I do not stop hounding them about it.  It is one of the gifts that was given me a long time ago when I became saved. The Holy Spirit in me gives me the ability to push on no matter what. There have been times where it has taken some time. Only because I was stubbornly listening to the evil one and believing that it is hopeless. But most of the time it just takes a few nights sleep. God will speak to me my dreams if necessary.  See God needs us to be quiet in order to hear him.  Again, let’s us go with “Do you know me? Have you meet me?” Quiet is not my strong suit.  In a classroom I can talk myself hoarse. That is why when God really needs my attention, it is through my dreams. It is not a dream where I see God speaking, it is not a “Moses on the Mountain” kind of thing. No, it is more action. But there is talking and if I listen to what is being said I realize, God is speaking. I know this makes me sound crazy right? Well maybe, unless you are not hearing your dreams. I believe that God speaks to us using whatever means available, just like we have to do with our children. We have to use whatever means available. How many moms have joined whatever form of social media even with a fake name to see what their preteen through teenage child is doing? Who has started texting just to be able to communicate with their child?  Why should God, who made us be any different? He uses whatever means necessary to speak to us.

Feeling HOPELESS? trust me somewhere in the background God is knocking and trying desperately to remind you that he is there waiting with HOPE AND JOY right there for you all you have to do is acknowledge him. (Luke 15:1-7) Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

Just like that Shepherd, that is how God pursues us,   especially if we have already accepted him as our Lord and Saviour.  He pursues the non-believer as well, it is just like us; we will pursue our own child who is failing more that someone else’s child. We might have been praying for this child or that one; but let our child start to slip and although we still pray for those that we have been praying, we pursue our own.

Since God is much better than us, he does more than we do, he will seek us even in our dreams if that is what it takes to reach our stubborn head. He will pursue us even if our foolishness place us in jail. He will send His angels to fight the Devil over us. Believe me if you think you are a sore loser, you have absolutely nothing on God, he fights for us to the bitter end. He fights for us.  When we realize that God is fighting for us, then how can we stay still? How can we remain is a sea called hopelessness? Merry Christmas.

Christmas Depression

Hello,  If you are reading this, you suffer from Christmas depression.  Maybe you are missing a loved one.  That is certainly one reason for depression over the holidays. I have a friend that says depression is focused on the person. There is truth to that, however, knowing that is true does not necessarily help with the depression. One of the things that can get me down is what I call Christmas expectations. I know that sounds crazy, but you want the house to be perfect, energy to bake cookies, or pies. you want people to show up for your Christmas party. Maybe you are like me and just want an excuse to cook that 20 pound turkey or that ham. You can not help but to think “How on earth am I going to use all those leftovers?”  Then you realize there is not a Christmas party, because the disappointment of no one showing up is just too much. I mean you invited any family that is remotely related to you, you invited friends, you made lots of food and there was even alcohol.  Since you drink only occasionally, three years later, you still have not found a dessert or some other dish to use it; therefore it is still there up in the cupboard. You can’t help but to think about if I try to throw another Christmas party am I going to have zounds of cookies that I am taking everywhere just to get rid of them.  Have a job at a different school? take a plate of cookies. I took cookies everywhere that year.  I mailed them, and I still threw out about 5 dozen cookies; see I invited many people to an open house come anytime between the hours of … stay for a while or just long enough to get some refreshment before you go about your way. No one not one person showed up. The depression of wanting to be included in one Christmas party and not even having an invitation can be overwhelming.  I made the house perfect, yet no one came, I played Christmas music, secular and Christian. You could hear it outside. Our Christmas decorations were spectacular. No one came.

This is where those of us who are suffering depression during the Christmas season need to focus on Jesus. This year I have learned of a couple of places that the Homeless stay, those that have absolutely nothing. Some of our leftovers are going there. That is something Jesus tell us to do, care for the homeless. Give the poor a coat. I have too many coats.  There is a laundromat, where homeless stay, it is open 24/7, even Christmas day. I know the person that is the manager, i should tell her in advance, but I know her heart is just like mine; that is where we are putting stuff on Christmas day.

YET STILL I HAVE NOT MENTIONED THE MOST IMPORTANT PART!

 Jesus’ birth the reason we are celebrating. I know I am sad because I just want someone to share my Christmas.  My family is so far away.  There are a few here where I live, but they don’t like me so they won’t come (that is a different story). But I have to focus on Jesus to get me through this time that is supposed to be of cheer. That is what you have to do as well. FOCUS ON JESUS, REMEMBER IT IS HIS BIRTH.

JOHN 3:16-17: 

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned,but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

 

 

 

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