the 19th day of christmas

by admin on December 19, 2014

And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2.7

So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’ Luke 10.34-35

no vacancy

 The Inn

“It was a cold, clear night in Bethlehem. The warmth and comfort of our inn welcomed many travelers; weary, hungry and cold from days of travel. The new taxation had everyone in an uproar! Caesar wanted our allegiance, our loyalty, and now, more of our money. The decree went out weeks ago, “Go to the birthplace of your ancestors – so all the people can be taxed.”

Elizabeth and I had always lived in Bethlehem. Our son, Aaron was born here and this is where we wanted to raise him. We aren’t rich people, we own an inn and it provides all we need, our Holy God has always cared for us.

My name is Malachi and I want to share with you an event that changed our lives, an event that would change the world. Come with me into our inn, this story can change your life too!”

This is the introduction to my Advent story, “The Miracle of the Manger”. Today, Friday, December 19th, 2014, you can download it for free right here.

I remember a road trip our family took in 1958 from New Jersey to South Florida to visit my grandparents. Interstate 95 was still on the planning board back then and the whole trip was on regular intrastate highways. We traveled in a big gray Chrysler DeSota – it had a roomy, comfortable backseat and my sister and I had fun playing road games and creating our very own language! I was eight and Peggy was twelve. The only words in our made-up language that we remember are: Densa (my sister’s name), Cooba (my name), gins (is), and milka (milk). What a riot! As the day of traveling would wind down my dad and mom would start looking for a motel. They would tell us to look for the neon sign that said, VACANCY. The weather was warm and my sister and I would hope for a vacancy with a pool! Some evenings we would have to ride miles between lodgings to find that coveted “vacancy.”

We were in a comfortable, roomy, clean automobile but we were ready to stop and rest.

I cannot even remotely imagine how Mary and Joseph felt upon their arrival in Bethlehem, Mary , bulging with pregnancy, on the backside of a donkey. After walking days across rocky, dirty, dusty terrain, I’m sure both of them just wanted a place to lay their tired, achy bodies down and a soft pillow to rest their head. It’s probable that Bethlehem only had one or two inn’s and the dreaded,

no vacancy2

“The hungry visitors were now all eating and laughing in spite of being tired and angry over taxes. Malachi took the empty tray and went toward the kitchen. Perhaps now Elizabeth, Aaron and I can have a bite to eat. The thought was barely out of his mind when there was a knock on the door.  More tired travelers I suppose. Malachi muttered under his breath as he neared the door.

Malachi opened the front door, “Yes, may I help you?”

“I … uh … I was wondering, would you have an empty room for the night?”

Malachi looked at the couple before him. A young woman saddled on a donkey’s back as a man held tightly to the reins. Oh my, thought Malachi, is she expecting a baby?

Malachi knew he was staring and caught himself, “I’m sorry, my inn is full, we have no rooms. Ah, is, excuse me sir, is your wife pregnant?”

The tired man looked sweetly at the young woman and then back to Malachi. “Yes, she is, we are tired and have been journeying for days, she must rest. If you have no empty rooms we must continue on our way.” “

Today, the Inn is man’s heart.

Is there room?

Savior of the world,

we await You.

xo

 

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the 18th day of christmas

by admin on December 18, 2014

Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also.  God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth…Genesis 1.16c-17

Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by nameBecause of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing. Isaiah 40.26

He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. Psalm 147.4

Praise him, sun and moon; praise him, all you shining stars. Psalm 148.3

Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. Isaiah 60.3

…and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” Matthew 2.2

Star of Bethlehem

 The Star of Bethlehem

Oh my goodness – don’t these scriptures make you want to jump up and down and say, “Thank You God of Creation – thank You for choosing me to be a receiver of Your great salvation! Thank You for knowing my name and knowing the number of hairs on my head. Thank You awesome Lord for everything!”

My sister loves the night sky. If you want to know when the full moon will crest the horizon, just ask her – she will know. Now that she lives in South Florida, she loves driving to the beach on full moon nights – it brings her great joy. My hubs loves the stars and names the constellations in our night sky. Here, where we live, the cloudless sky is ablaze with stars – there are no city lights to fade their brightness and to stand outside and look up is a wonder. The other night we were walking from the car to the door and I was admiring the clear, starlit sky when off in the distance a star fell. I will take great liberty here and say I firmly believe that God knows every single time one burns up and falls! If He knows the names of each one why wouldn’t He know when one shines no more?

Men have studied the stars as long as time has been in existence. The moon has great pull and power over our environment and the Lord God gave it not only for light but for the signs and the seasons (Genesis 14.1). Our neighbors are farmers and they use the moon to determine when to plant certain crops – I think that is the seasonal use God intended when He hung it in the vast space.

Astronomy and Astrology are two totally different studies.

astrology: the divination of the supposed influences of the stars and planets on human affairs and terrestrial events by their positions and aspects. (Merriam-Webster)

astronomy: the scientific study of stars, planets, and other objects in outer space. (Merriam-Webster)

God implicitly warns against the worship of stars (Deuteronomy 4.19). Do you think putting credence in one’s astrological sign and following one’s horoscope falls under worship? I do, IF you are allowing it to influence your life. Years ago I got very caught up in the different signs of the horoscope, etc., the Lord dealt sharply with me about that. Now, when someone asks me ‘my sign’, I tell them the cross because I am a child of the Most High God!

Astronomy is a whole different thing – it is a science, studying God’s Creation!

It has been said that the Magi, from the east, were astronomers in search of the star. But, was it a star they looked for?  In Matthew 2.2, the Greek word for star is aster, which means light strewn over the sky! Star in Genesis 1 is the Hebrew word kowkab, which means round or blazing light such as a “star”.

The one thing we know is this, there was a bright light shining in the sky over Bethlehem, whether it was a star or a strewn light in the heavenlies – it was there!

Tonight, go outside and gaze up at the stars and imagine this: on the night that Jesus Christ was born the sky was ablaze with celestial light and when the Christ child breathed his first earth breath, and cried His first newborn cry, there ensued a party in heaven, and,

…the morning stars sang together
    and all the sons of God shouted for joy… Job 38.7

Can you hear the music?

Messiah is so very near.

We await You.

xo

 

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the 17th day of christmas

December 17, 2014

Tweet The Lord has established His throne in heaven, and His kingdom rules over all.  Bless the Lord, you His angels, who excel in strength, who do His word, heeding the voice of His word. Bless the Lord, all you His hosts, you ministers of His, who do His pleasure. Psalm 103.19-21 And suddenly there was with […]

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the 16th day of christmas

December 16, 2014

Tweet When Pharaoh calls you in and asks, ‘What is your occupation?’ you should answer, ‘Your servants have tended livestock from our boyhood on, just as our fathers did.’ Then you will be allowed to settle in the region of Goshen, for all shepherds are detestable to the Egyptians.” Genesis 46.33-34 And there were shepherds […]

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the 15th day of christmas

December 15, 2014

Tweet While I, Daniel, was watching the vision and trying to understand it, there before me stood one who looked like a man. And I heard a man’s voice from the Ulai calling, “Gabriel, tell this man the meaning of the vision.” Daniel 8.15-16 The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in […]

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the 14th day of christmas

December 14, 2014

Tweet Zacharias’ Song …Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied: “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,     because he has come to his people and redeemed them. He has raised up a horn of salvation for us     in the house of his servant David (as he said through his holy prophets of long […]

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the 13th day of christmas

December 13, 2014

Tweet A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord;  make straight in the desert a highway for our God…” Isaiah 40.3 …Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly. But they were childless because Elizabeth […]

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the 12th day of christmas

December 12, 2014

Tweet Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age. Also he made him a tunic of many colors. But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peaceably to him.  Now Joseph had […]

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five minute friday: prepare

December 12, 2014

Tweet I’m up to my eyeballs in the 31 days of Christmas, but I cannot resist the challenge offered by Five Minute Friday! Today’s word prompt is PREPARE. I’ve got 5 minutes to write off the top of my head (or heart!). First I’ll drop in the graphic and I’ll link up my 31 days […]

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the 11th day of christmas

December 11, 2014

Tweet Then He said, “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” Genesis 22.2 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten […]

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