Archive for the ‘personal story’ Category

Infinity and Infancy Crossed at Bethlehem

November 20, 2016

Have you ever experienced hearing a person share a profound incident that had happened to them?  I have!  Several times throughout my life I had been given the joy of seeing someone come closer to faith in Christ, and then believing in Him as Lord and Savior.

Just a year ago, one special young man whose wife had just given birth to their baby girl shared a remarkable experience with me.

He had been at the hospital for many hours.  When the grandparents came to visit his wife and baby, he went home to take a long, hot shower.  While in the shower, he said that he “had a vision” and he saw God in the face of his newborn daughter!

Since I was told about this over a year ago, I don’t remember all of the details, but that one detail will stick with me forever.  I think he also said that he sat down in the shower and cried…tears of joy.  It’s no wonder!  The birth of a child is a very emotional experience!

There have been many stories about men suddenly believing in God (where they previously may have had doubts) after witnessing the birth of their first child.  I think that there are many reasons for this.  Most of all, the concept of marriage and family was instituted by God Himself, therefore why wouldn’t such a profound, exhilarating, emotional and loving experience of witnessing childbirth bring a father closer to the reality of God Almighty?

I shared this story today because I was reminded of it while reading the answer to the following question:

Why did God choose to bring the Savior of the world to us through a process of supernatural conception and natural birth?

I have a cousin who once stated to me that she cannot believe in the virgin birth of Christ.  I tried to share the biblical reasons why I believe it to be true.  Most of all, I knew that this type of  “stumbling block” in a person’s mind could keep them from receiving Christ as Lord and Savior in their lives.

Everything about the Gospel is bound up in that question, and all the answers are in God’s Word.

Well, at the time I only knew of just a few of the answers.  Today, after reading an article written by David Jeremiah entitled, “What Child Is This?” in the December issue of Turning Points magazine and devotional, I have been further educated  with answers to that profound question!

I love what he wrote at the beginning of the essay:

The two trajectories of Infinity and Infancy crossed at Bethlehem, making Christmas a mystery that flows like a bottomless river from the depths of God’s heart.  On the most remarkable night that ever was, a baby cried and eternity was changed.  In a stable in Bethlehem, the God-baby passed from a virgin’s womb into humanity and into history.  A child was born; a Son was given; a Savior came down from heaven, and earth received her King.

We’ve never gotten over it.  His name is Jesus, and we’ve never gotten over Him.

Dr. Jeremiah goes on to ask why Christ arrived this way.  Why wasn’t he brought forth as a fully grown, 33-year-old-man ready to die for our sins?  This brings forth the same question, once again:

Why did God choose to bring the Savior of the world to us through a process of supernatural conception and natural birth?

It would be best to read the entire article, but due to copyright laws, I must only summarize. I received the new December issue yesterday.   Anyone can get three free issues by going to this page.

Dr. Jeremiah writes:

First, Jesus came into the world as an infant so the bloodline of all humanity would flow through His veins.

We can read about the genealogy of Jesus Christ in the Bible (see, for example, Matthew 1:1 and Luke 3:38).  It goes all the way back to Adam.

The fact that the lineage of all the world was in His blood brings forth the profound truth that His death and shed blood was for the salvation of all.

Dr. Jeremiah continues:

Second, through the miracle of the Virgin Birth, Jesus acquired a twofold nature, being both God and Man.

Being both fully human and fully divine at the same time, He has the power to save us from our sins and through belief, He reconciles us back unto the Father, enabling us to come to heaven.

Continuing:

Noted theologian Wayne Grudem wrote:

God, in his wisdom, ordained a combination of human and divine influence in the birth of Christ, so that his full humanity would be evident to us from the fact of his ordinary human birth from a human mother, and his full deity would be evident from the fact of his conception in Mary’s womb by the powerful work of the Holy Spirit.

I want to pause here for a moment.  Recall how adamant atheists, skeptics, and haters of the Bible are against the display of the nativity scenes in public places that show up at Christmastime?  They often spew their rhetorical excuse that it is because of their belief in the so-called, “separation of church and state.”  I think it’s far more than that.  It is an indication of where the heart and soul of the individual happens to be and it is due to rebellion against God, His Living Word, Jesus Christ, and His written Word, the Bible.  Think about it.  If they don’t believe (or fear) that the nativity has God-given power, then why does it bother them for it to be displayed?

The next answer to the question, “Why did God choose to bring the Savior of the world to us through a process of supernatural conception and natural birth?” reiterates what I had just written.

Third, Jesus also came as a newborn baby to fulfill the possibility of living a perfect life.

Jesus had 33 years to demonstrate His righteousness before giving His life as a sinless substitute.  Even His executioner proclaimed, “Certainly this was a righteous Man!”  (Luke 23:47)  His chief apostle called Him “a lamb without blemish and without spot: (1 Peter 1:19).  Dr. G. Campbell Morgan put it like this:  “The death of Christ would have been of no avail for the redemption of the world, had it not been preceded by His perfect life.”

[Every] human being since Adam has battled a guilty conscience–except for Christ, whose conscience was as pure as His life.  Because of that we can draw near to Him “in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience…” (Hebrews 10:22).

We can easily add on this verse:

Rom 3:10

As it is written:

“There is none righteous, no, not one;

In fact, read all of Romans 3:10-3:18 (including the footnotes to the Psalms) and Romans 3:19-31.

Here’s the easier to read and understand NLT version of Romans 3.

Fourth, Jesus came as a baby and grew to manhood as we do so He could identify with every phase of our lives.

We have an Advocate in Jesus Christ who was fully human like us in every way.  He came from a family as God has ordained families to be, so he would be a merciful and faithful high priest and make atonement for the sins of the people.  He helps those being tempted.

Fifth, Jesus came as a baby to show us the importance of families.

Throughout history, God’s version of family includes a mother, a father, and a child or children.  He created family first – through Adam and Eve.  Then came the institution of the state, the entity of the Church, and the nation of Israel.  It is very fitting, then, that the Lord would begin the process of bringing salvation of the world through another family, the family of Mary and Joseph.

Nicole Cottrell said (paraphrased in part):

Families provide support, encouragement, discipline and love which we all need to become whole and healthy.

God chose for Jesus, the Savior of the world, to be raised by a mother and father, surrounded by siblings and other family members…[Jesus] was born into a family because families are important to God.

The true meaning of Christmas is often secularized to appeal to many different types of people.  Some might say that it is too commercialized, and I would agree.  However, for believers, the Incarnation of Christ is a story that sends its shafts of meaning to the very depths of our souls!

This is what I hold onto.  This is what my family holds onto.  The rest of the secular world can just say “Happy Holidays” if that’s their prerogative.

But Christians know that God so thoroughly planned a way for you, dear reader, to be reconciled to Himself.  I pray that if you don’t know Christ as Lord and Savior, isn’t now the time to be saved?

Hat tips:

Turning Points December, 2016 magazine and devotional entitled “Christmas Through the Eyes of a Child.”

All links.

An Encounter With Earl

February 28, 2016

Yesterday was the day that I was able to get back on track with my fitness training.  Since beginning this type of training over a year ago, my strength has improved tremendously, I have been able to keep my weight down and I have noticed a significant improvement from the aches and pains associated with aging.

My son owns a Fitness Together studio about 20 minutes away from my home and he usually schedules my training time at the end of the morning session of clients so that we can have lunch together.

Fitness Together - San Diego, CA, United States

Well, this particular day I would have arrived too early so I decided to do some errands before getting to the studio.  My second errand was a quick run down the aisles of the local Vons grocery store.  Just as I was heading to the checkout, my son texted that his previous client had completed her training session.

There appeared to be only one checkout stand open with about 3 people in line.  They didn’t have many items so I thought that it would still be a quick checkout.

Then, out from the back of the third checkout stand popped a gentleman who motioned to me (in quite an amusing and flamboyant manner) to come over to that particular checkout stand.

When I complied, he began talking to me as I hurriedly placed my items on the conveyor belt.

He then said something like,  ‘Am I being too annoying by chatting with you this way?  Don’t you hate when grocery checkers do that?’

I glanced up at him and said, “Well, you certainly put a smile on my face!”

He then said, “be sure to swipe your Vons card!”  I told him that I had already punched in my phone number.  I looked up at the register total and noticed a series of about 10 sales tax listings of $1.79.  I quipped, “I didn’t know that Bernie Sanders already became president! ”

Earl said, “Want more?” And he kept adding the $1.79 sales tax on the list.

I laughed and told him, “Bernie said he would tax people at 90% of their income.”

Earl said, “No – that’s for Trump to build the wall!”

He then added, “That’s only for the rich…are you rich?”

The lady behind me in line said, “She won’t be if Sanders gets into office!”  Had quite the laugh about that!

I told Earl that my husband is retired and I’m a homemaker.

I noticed that he had placed about 10 game pieces upon the Monopoly game sheet that Vons is running these days.  I said, “did I earn all of those pieces with this one order?  He said, “Yeah, killed a few more trees.”

Earl was friendly and funny and made the checkout experience quite entertaining.

As I was leaving I said, “Bye Earl!”

He said, “Y’all come back now! Ya hear?”

Urban Dictionary Top Definition

Ya’ll come back now! Ya hear?

A redneck woman tells you to come back to where you are when you are leaving, and then asking if you heard her.

Bye, Ya’ll come back now! Ya hear?

Earl just happened to be black and too young-looking to recall the Beverly Hillbillies series! Perhaps he has seen the re-runs?

I chuckled to myself as I pushed my cart to my car. Wondered if he said that because he thought I was a redneck, a millionaire, or did I just resemble Miss Hathaway or Granny Clampett? I will have to ask him next time I’m there!

🙂

Little Miracles

December 22, 2015

 

Have you ever seen, heard of, or experienced a spiritual message from God?  I have!   They are not easily forgotten and when I share them with other believers, they often share a little miracle with me that had happened to them.

Today, a blogger in my Reader feed shared how prayer healed a young girl of a tumor. Now THAT’S a huge miracle! Praise God and His Son, Jesus Christ, for that answer to prayer!

I have experienced both little miracles and spiritual messages in my life. When I shared my journey to Christ years ago at my former blog, I left out an early miracle that had happened when I was a teenager.

I lived in N.J. back then. Shortly after getting my license to drive, I asked my parents if I could take the old station wagon down the shore with one of my female friends from high school. They said no. My parents went away that weekend and so I decided to disobey them and drive down the shore anyway.

As I recall, the houses that we visited were filled with drunk teenagers and it wasn’t much fun. My friend was hoping to find this guy that she was crazy about, and I don’t recall whether or not he was at any of the parties we attended. I knew that I would be driving to the house where we would stay the night so I didn’t drink alcohol. By the time my friend was ready to leave, it was 1:00 a.m. and it was raining.

I was driving through a green lighted intersection on a divided highway.   The road had two lanes in each direction. I was chatting with my friend, looking straight ahead when all of a sudden she turned to look at me and grabbed my arm, pulling me hard over towards her seat. Suddenly, we were hit broadside on my driver’s side with a loud crashing sound!   We  began spinning around on the slick highway. I was screaming! It felt like an eternity before the car banged up against the right side curb and came to a stop. I continued to scream and cry.  My friend was hurt. She had hit the windshield with her forehead and a little blood trickled down her face. Glass was strewn about inside the car.  Her knee banged up under the passenger side dash board. We sat there for the longest time waiting for someone to come along and get us out of the car. The station wagon was totaled in the crash! I can still remember sitting on the curb weeping and saying, “my parents are going to kill me!” I worried more and more about what they would say and do once they found out that I had disobeyed them and had taken the station wagon down the shore when they had forbid me not to.

When the police and paramedics arrived, I recall hearing several of them saying, “It’s a miracle that the driver wasn’t killed.” This made me shudder in the rain and cold night air even more! My friend Debbie was taken to the hospital as a precaution for observation. Hours later, my parents showed up to take me home. Of course, they were very glad that I wasn’t seriously hurt. My neck bothered me a bit and my back ached days later, but there was not a scratch on me.

The next day, the man at the repair shop where the station wagon was towed gave my dad his evaluation. It was totaled. Then, he said something else. “It’s a miracle that the driver of this car wasn’t killed.”

I had heard this several times and now it was irking me! I wasn’t a born again Christian yet at this point in my life.  Within my teenage arrogant thoughts at the time I said to myself, “why is everyone saying that?!”

Years later, I had accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I started to look at this incident in a completely different way. I realized that if Debbie had not been looking my way, she would have never seen the car running the red light and heading towards the station wagon. I also thought about the fact that seat belts were not mandatory yet back in the 1970’s. This was another reason why I wasn’t killed. Debbie was able to grab me and pull me across the bench seat towards her so that the mangled side of the wagon didn’t impale me. Being an old vehicle, the steel frame that separated the front from the back seats took the brunt of the impact. However, if I had been in the driver seat instead of pulled away by my friend, that v-shaped steel frame would have gone right into my flesh.

I know. Some people may not consider this a “miracle,” but I do. I think that one of God’s angels was in the car that night, protecting me from deadly harm! Of course I can’t prove this, but recalling all of the events of that horrible night causes me to pause and thank the Lord for His mercy and protection!

Another incident and one of the most riveting moments of my life happened when my dad was dying of mesothelioma – an inoperable lung cancer caused by asbestos exposure. You can read about that in my Remembering Dad post.

I often thought, why did God spare me and not others? Was it because He knew that my journey to Christ was down the road of my life and for this reason He protected me during that dreadful accident? Was it because my destiny was laid out for me and I was meant to marry, have two children, and (so-far) one grandchild?

These are questions that we can only answer with faith on this side of heaven! If you read my journey to Christ, you would have seen that my life included some tragic circumstances.

Jesus told us:

Jhn 16:33

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you willfn have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

Galatians 5 informs us that the fruit of the Spirit does contain one negative – that of longsuffering.

Gal 5:22

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

Gal 5:23

gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

Gal 5:24

And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Gal 5:25

If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

The ultimate end of the suffering portions of my life was that God saw me through them and they all actually ended up strengthening my faith in Christ!

There is a quote from Dr. David Jeremiah that seems appropriate to share here. He said:

“God’s man or woman in the center of God’s will is immortal until God is finished with him or her.”

I think that Jeremiah’s quote is in line with Roman’s 8.

Our lives on this earth are but a brief moment in time compared to eternity! As Isaiah 64:6 tells us, “we all fade as a leaf” in our earthly existence.   Yet, Romans 8:37-39 tells us the rest of the story because Christ is our ultimate hope!

Rom 8:37

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

Rom 8:38

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come

Rom 8:39

nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

In closing, I want to take this opportunity to wish all of my readers and visitors to this blog a Merry and Blessed Christmas, and a Happy New Year!

In Christ’s service,

~Christine

Hat tips to all links.

In A Personal Story Segment…

December 17, 2014

Several  readers, friends, and family members already know that I admit to being “techie” challenged.  It is one of the reasons why  I don’t want to switch my old dashboard here to the new and improved one being offered by WordPress.com.  The same goes for my cell phone.

I had an old flip phone for 8 years.  The guys at Verizon told me it was a classic.  Yep…keeping a cell  phone more than 2 years is unheard of these days!   But when my husband wanted to get me a good birthday present, I finally decided to upgrade to the iPhone 4s.  This was a few years ago, but I was good to go for another 5 years!  Well, that phone started acting weird a few weeks ago.  At first, I wasn’t getting the  traditional beep when I was getting a text message.  Then, I couldn’t hear my phone ringing – even when the volume was up high.  Callers later told me that their calls were automatically going immediately to voicemail.  A day or two later, I was getting a blank screen with some lines across it whenever I tried to retrieve my email.  I had to face the truth – my phone was probably dead.

Well, my daughter said to me via an email, “Mom – you can’t be without a cell phone!  Go get a new one!”  I must admit, it was weird not to have a cell phone to check over the previous few days.  It’s kind of true that after all these years, it had become attached to me – either at the hip when in my pocket or when it was right under my arm in my purse!

Fortunately, my husband bought the new giant iPhone 7…(or is it 8?  I can’t keep track) so he gave me his “old” iPhone 5s to use in case my 4s wasn’t fixable.  I wasn’t interested in the big phone that he had just purchased.  I need a slim, small one that fits in the back pocket of my jeans.

On the advice of my husband, I took my phone to the nearest Apple store to see if it could be saved.  I sat at the “Genius” table, and one by one, two nice technicians came over, asking me questions.  I told them about the problems I was having, and they asked me if I had backed up my phone on I Cloud.  I said I wasn’t sure, but I think that my husband backed it up for me once – several years ago!   Oh great…I thought.  Here comes bad news.  Well, they had to empty the phone of its contents in order to see if it could be saved, and unfortunately, they found that it couldn’t be saved.  My iPhone 4s was officially dead.

I recalled that my husband sometimes mentioned to me that I needed to go to the iTunes site and back up my phone through I Cloud…but what busy woman has time for that?  Anyway, the Apple technicians tried to help me access the site that my husband set up, but they said that there wasn’t any content there for my phone!  I was SO SAD because this probably meant that I had lost everything that was on my phone – including hundreds of photos in two albums!  *sigh*  Lesson learned… 😦

The nice man at Apple told me that I could go over to the Verizon kiosk right there in the same mall.  He told me that I would need to purchase a $10.00 SIM card and have them transfer my number to the iPhone 5s.

Well, long story short is that I happened to get a newbie guy at the kiosk who took 1 1/2 hours trying to do the transfer!  I should have known I was in trouble when he started chatting with me and mentioned that he would rather be working at Nordstrom!  He was a young guy – probably in his mid twenties.  To pass the time (as he fumbled with the transfer), he kept asking if the photo on my husband’s former iPhone 5s was of my daughter being walked down the aisle at her wedding …or was it actually me with my husband?  I was thinking…That doesn’t even make any sense!  Nice try bud…however, I finally had to advise him that after 3 such compliments, FIRST magazine says that a person starts suspecting that they really aren’t genuine. Ha hah!

Next, a guy who was supposed to be the manager at the kiosk came over and tried to solve the problem.  Even he was having difficulty!  I asked to use their landline to call my husband and tell him what was going on.  The newbie guy dialed the number and handed me the receiver.  My husband told me to just buy a new phone!  I said no…his former iPhone is perfectly good!  These guys just need to find out what the problem is!

After about another 15 minutes, I recalled what the guy in the Apple store told me – “you need to buy a new SIM card.”  Guess what?  That’s what I told the guys at the Verizon kiosk and voila’!…the transfer FINALLY  went through!  Now…why didn’t I tell them that the moment I sat down at that kiosk?  I had the answer all along – but didn’t share it with them.  I figured that they must know a LOT more than I do about such things and maybe the SIM card is reusable?  Answer:  NO!  Not when you are attempting to transfer another number to a used iPhone! 

Another lesson learned.

Oh, but the good news is that some of my photos were saved because apparently, they were being automatically uploaded to the I Cloud!  My husband was able to retrieve them from the I Cloud that he set up on my home computer a while back.

Some of the photos I had were lost.  The great photos that friends and family members had sent to me (including ones of our daughter’s wedding in April) were all missing.  Hopefully, I can ask to have them resent to me.  This time, I will be sure to back them up on my computer!

 


The Last Refuge

Rag Tag Bunch of Conservative Misfits - Contact Info: TheLastRefuge@reagan.com

Standing in Grace

...this grace in which we now stand. — Rom 5:2

The End Time

Exalting the name of Jesus through Christian essays

Michelle Lesley

Discipleship for Christian Women

The Acceptable Digest

"Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it ..." Song of Solomon 8:7

On the Edge Again

Life happens. I hope to encourage everyone in bad times!

Cooking with Kathy Man

Celebrating delicious and healthy food

Talk Wisdom

Talk Wisdom's goal is to defend the tenets and values of Biblical Christian faith. We defend our Constitutional Republic and Charters of Freedom, especially when speaking out against destructive social and political issues. As followers of our Savior and Lord, we should boldly stand up for Jesus Christ in our present circumstances. He is our Savior, Lord, and King, and His love needs to be shed abroad in our hearts and in our world - now.

WINTERY KNIGHT

...integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Cry and Howl

Let not him that girdeth on his harness boast himself as he that putteth it off. I Kings 20:11

pastorwardclinton

Pastor Ward Clinton is a pastor in the Church of The Nazarene and author of a handful of books.

GraceLife Blog

Thoughts About God's Amazing Grace

True Discernment

2 Timothy 4:3-4

Eternity Matters

We look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

Centinel2012

De Oppresso Liber

The Oil for Your Lamp

"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge." (Hosea 4:6)

Walter Bright

Refining theological understanding. Sharpening ethical rigor. Heightening devotional intensity.

Kingsjester's Blog

Opinions from a Christian American Conservative

As Seen Through the Eyes of Faith

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Rom. 10:17) KJV

Daniel B. Wallace

Executive Director of CSNTM & Senior Research Professor of NT Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary

The Master's Table

God honoring, Christ Centered

Truth2Freedom's Blog

"There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily" - George Washington letter to Edmund Randolph — 1795. Going beyond the MSM idealogical opinion/bias and their tabloid news with a distractional superficial focus on entertainment, sensationalism, emotionalism and activist reporting - this blogs goal is to, in some small way, put a plug in the broken dam of truth and save as many as possible from the consequences—temporal and eternal. "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it." - George Orwell

Citizen WElls

Obama eligibility, Obama news

drkatesview

Thoughts on Our Constitutional Republic

We the People of the United States

Fighting the Culture War, One Skirmish at a Time

partneringwitheagles

WHENEVER ANY FORM OF GOVERNMENT BECOMES DESTRUCTIVE OF THESE ENDS (LIFE,LIBERTY,AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS) IT IS THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO ALTER OR ABOLISH IT, AND TO INSTITUTE A NEW GOVERNMENT...

Be Sure You're RIGHT, Then Go Ahead

"Our threat is from the insidious forces working from within which have already so drastically altered the character of our free institutions — those institutions we proudly called the American way of life. " -- Gen. Douglas MacArthur

WordPress.com

WordPress.com is the best place for your personal blog or business site.