Where The River Meets The Desert

Image result for No matter how far down any path you might have walked, the beauty of free will is that at any point you can PIVOT on the spot and take a  different journey.

At first, I thought I must be dreaming. I could hear the strength of the water rushing by me, I could feel the wind as if it was piggy-backing on the strong current. I bent down and put my hand into the water and my fingers came out wet. I could pinch myself but I knew this was not a dream. I stood up and I looked to my left and all I could see was a vast desert, no more than ten yards from me, that the river just suddenly disappeared into. I could not fathom how all that water was pouring into the desert with no trace.

The desert was lifeless but I was intrigued to take a few steps into it. I looked back at the river, like a child who is about to do something wrong looks back at its parents, but continued on my way. The river was close, I knew I could return to it anytime I wanted.

I ventured farther and farther into the desert. The farther I went, the thirstier I got. Not for the river, but for more adventure. The desert was alluring but I knew there was nothing out here for me, but I continued to walk. What was I doing? I could no longer see the river but I could remember the life it gave. There is no life out here.

Why couldn’t I turn back? Every time I started to, another distraction caught my eye. I was feeling guilty and ashamed for being gone so long but that made me want to stay away even longer.

I would pass cacti and a few animals out here, reminders that even in the emptiness of a desert, there is life. Life that reminded me of my old life, when things were good. I started to long for that life again, but I didn’t know how to get back there. Out here in the desert, it is easy to lose your way, to continue to go the wrong way, to be desperate to go back but not knowing the way.

Frustrated with the way I was living and desperate for help, I looked back to where I thought the river was and somehow I was able to whisper help me Jesus.

That was a name I hadn’t said in a long time.

Dig. I heard a voice say.

I fell to my knees and started to dig the dry, hard ground. I broke a couple fingernails and my knuckles and fingers bled. Why am I digging? It is so easily to forget the voice I heard.

Keep digging. I am never far from you.

Through the sweat and tears I kept digging for what seemed like hours. Eventually the ground began to soften and shortly after, there was a stream of water. I immediately took a drink and my eyes opened.

It was like I was blind but now I see. I thought I was alone out here but now there were hundreds, no, thousands of others with me. Thousands just like me, wandering aimlessly. Lost souls.

Next thing I knew, I was back at the river. I had found my way home, but I knew I could not stay. I was given a second chance, a new way to live my life, and I knew what I had to do.

I took my first steps into the desert, but this time it wasn’t for me to do what I wanted to do. This time, I had to find other lost ones and bring them back to the river with me.

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Church (Take Me Back) by Cochren & Co.-

The Wanderer by David Leonard- 

All The Wrong Things by Branan Murphy-

The Journey by Building 429-

Never Been A Moment by Micah Tyler- 

Come To The Altar by Elevation Worship –

 

 

The Angels Wept

It was a day for rejoicing and it was a day for sadness. It was a day the angels knew was coming but it was also a day they did not want to come. It was Christmas Day and it was Jesus’s first day on earth which means it was also the angels first day without Jesus in Heaven.

How did it come to this? The humans were given chance after chance to change their ways. There were warnings. The angels visited many humans to tell them what was going to happen. Deep down, the angels knew it was wishful thinking. They knew God’s plan to save the world was in action but still…. In the end they all knew they had to accept God’s will.

The angels had many questions. How long will Jesus be gone? Will the humans listen to him? Will the humans see all the miracles he would perform and still not believe? Will the humans change their evil ways? What would the angels do without him?

Many of the same questions the humans would have many years later when Jesus would leave earth to return to Heaven.

The angels still had a job to do. They went and they spread the good news of Jesus’s birth. They told the shepherds and they told the kings. They told the carpenters and they told the goldsmith. They spread the good news from the lowest valley to the highest mountain.

But yet, on that first day without Jesus in Heaven, they wept. Jesus was missed but they knew he would return. Yes, Jesus would return and they would anxiously await.

The Day After Christmas by Matthew West  – 

After The Sparkle by Becky Kelley –

Leaving Heaven by Matthew West – 

Birds of a Different Color – Christmas Eve

cardinals, goldfinch, bluebird, nuthatch, chickadee:
art credit: James Hautman

It was Christmas Eve all through the land

All the birds stared in amazement at the Christmas tree so grand

The little birds could barely contain their excitement

The older birds looked on, filled with contentment

The eagle remembered how far they have come

He remembered all the work ALL the birds have done

Which made this day an even more special day

He took his place and said: “Birds, I have something to say”

Want to see one--not at a zoo--SOON!:
photo credit: Paula Krugerud Photography

“I’ll keep it short since tonight the little ones can’t be up late.”

“It has been a long time since we chose to love instead of hate.”

“It was a lot of work to repair our broken relationships.”

“As you all know, it hasn’t always gone to script.”

“We have learned from our mistakes, our experiences.”

“We have learned to work through our differences.”

“We have returned this land to the way it was created.”

“For that reason alone, tonight we ALL should be celebrated!”

“We are gathered here today because of the one who was born.”

“Who also died for us, tattered and torn.”

“As some of us birds are getting older,

We know we can’t carry this land on our shoulders.”

“We must teach the next generation

That love is the only way to rule this nation!”

All the birds started to sing

A beautiful sound that caused a gathering

All the animals from the forest came

The deer, the rabbit, the skunk and others you know by name

They gathered around the Christmas tree

They held hands and all sung with glee

The sound reached near and far

Then humans arrived, by foot and by car

They couldn’t believe their eyes

It was then they started to realize

Everything they thought they knew had to be ruled out

Because right there was a hawk singing with a field mouse

There was a bear beside a deer

There was a sheep standing by a wolf  with no fear

There was a fox right beside a hare

All these beautiful birds were there

They could hardly believe their ears

When the animals said: “There is nothing here to fear!”

“Yes, at one time we were all enemies!”

“We decided to let love rule our hearts until our eyes could see!”

Then the humans held each other’s hands

All the different people across the land

Blacks and whites, Muslim and Christian

All races, all people, could see the animals vision

The eagle then spoke once again:

“One last thing to say my friends.”

“To move forward you must move on from the past!”

“You have to live as last is first and first is last.”

“Let every man, every woman, every boy, every girl

Know what it’s like to have peace in this world!”

“Let ALL our voices join together as we sing Silent Night!”

Then they sang Joy To The World  and We Wish You A Merry Christmas

I can only say it’s all true, as I was there to witness

All the birds of a different color

Helped all the people discover

Instead of fighting they should ALL join hands

Because love is the only way to rule the land

Merry Christmas to ALL and to ALL a love filled night 

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art credit: Peter Rabbit

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Let It Be Christmas by Alan Jackson –

Santa’s Wish (Teach The World) by The Tenors –

Better Together by Gaither Vocal Band –

Join With The Angels by Matthew West –

Rest In You Tonight by The Oak Ridge Boys –

Gather Round by Band Of Merrymakers –

The Night Before Christmas by Brandon Heath –

Wish List by 7eventh Time Down –

Silent Night by Pentatonix –


Christmas Will Come

Christmas will come

No matter what you’ve done

Whether you believe or not

It doesn’t matter if you forgot

He came to fulfill His obligation

There is no need for negotiation

Many said He wasn’t God, they lied

He was born, He lived, He was crucified

Christmas is about His birth

He came to show us our worth

Born with silver spoon or born in a slum

Have no doubt Christmas will come


It doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor,

Find it in your heart or in a store

If you live in America or Tel Aviv

It doesn’t matter what you believe

If you have or haven’t heard of Him

Whether your light is bright or dim

Santa Claus is not the reason

That we celebrate this season

If you can buy ten gifts or none

Have no doubt,  Christmas will come


A long time ago on a cold December morn

A beautiful, wonderful baby boy was born

To save this world of our sin

And that death would not win

Many years after His manger birth

He taught of ways not of this earth

To get to Heaven He is the only way

He forgives the times we sinned today

With the pounding of a drum

Have no doubt, Christmas will come


When we are down, our spirits He will lift

In all our wants we only need one gift

That was given to us free of charge

The cost of His death for me was too large

For me to live, this gift I must accept

I will live for Him, I will never forget

With the softness of a hum

Have no doubt, Christmas will come


Lights, trees, ornaments, presents

Christmas coming did not represent

Love came down, a star shined bright

Darkness was overtaken by His light

It doesn’t matter where you’re from

My dear friends, Christmas will come


Do you believe?

Do you deceive?

Some may try to stop it or delay

But you can’t stop His birthday

No matter how far away you run

Jesus Christ is here, He did come

It doesn’t matter what you’ve done

Have no doubt, Christmas did come

Christ Is Come by Jeremy Camp – 

Christmas Is Coming by Jason Gray – 

All Things Collide by Brad & Rebekah – 

You’re Here by Francesca Battistelli – 

Even So Come by Kristian Stanfill – 

The King Is Coming by Newsboys – 

That Day Is Coming by The Collingsworth Family – 

Come Lord Jesus by Dustin Kensrue – 

For All The World by Phillips, Craig and Dean – 

Christmas Stockings

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The Christmas stockings were hung with care

Some were extraordinarily beautiful, others ordinarily fair

Some were hung by the chimney

Others were hung on the tree

Some were made with bright colors

While others must’ve been bought for a dollar

Some had lights that shined so bright

Others even glowed in the dark of night

Some had glitter that sparkled from time to time

None of these comes close to describing mine

On my wife’s she had written a bible verse

One of my daughters had Santa on hers

Another daughter made hers with good cheer

While another finished hers by writing the year

When we were all done we were quite pleased

Then we joined hands and prayed for the least of these

But back to the stockings galore

There’s so much to say, so much more

Some had to be at least three feet long

When those are filled, I hope the nail is strong

Some are just a little bigger than my foot

For mine, I gave Santa a list, in case he needed my input

Some are made with love, paint, and glue

Some are quite fantastic while others have a mistake or two

Some were stitched and crocheted with extreme care

Others looked like they came out of the drawer by your underwear

Some had stickers of Santa and Rudolph and such

Others had just a name, but that was enough

On that Christmas morning, I learned a thing or two

From these Christmas stockings and I’d like to share with you

It doesn’t matter what the outside is

Because there is one thing I know and it’s this

It doesn’t matter what’s on the outside

Because the outside is just a brilliant disguise

What matters the most the outside tries to hide

What really matters is what’s on the inside

Image result for bible verses on whats on the inside

The Gift

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There didn’t seem to be much she didn’t want. It seemed like half the toy catalog was written down on her list. Barbies, doll houses, princess things, and dolls. Not to be left out were matchbox cars, board games, Playmobil things, and a football. She even asked for love. She was just a young girl.

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Her list changed over the years. Now there were clothes, gift cards, and money on the list. She also asked for  iPods, iPads, and other things that start with I. One thing hadn’t changed though, she still asked for love. She was just a teenage girl.

She had most everything she ever wanted.  She didn’t have much of a list this year. A new pair of Nikes, some pots and pans for her new apartment, gift cards, and money. Mostly, she just wanted her family to be together. She still was asking for love. She was just a young woman.

She had everything she had asked for. She had been married a few years and had her first child. She asked for her child to be healthy.  She asked for her husband to be faithful. She asked for good friends. She asked to be successful in her career. She asked for her bills to be paid. She asked to always be loved. She was just a young mom.

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She was confused about her life. Something was missing. She had everything she wanted. She had a great career, she had great friends. She was happily married, had two healthy, happy children and a strong foundation from her parents, but she had forgotten about the one who loved her.  Somewhere along the way she had forgotten about her faith. She asked for love. She asked for forgiveness. She was just a young Christian woman.

 

She thanked God for the life she had. She asked that her children have a relationship with Jesus. She asked that they don’t wait as long as she did to accept Jesus in her life. She asked that they realize how much they are loved. She knew the gift that Jesus had given her. He was born, He lived, and He died on the cross for her sins. She asked for love and she received the love of her Heavenly Father. She received a gift she could never pay back. A gift given to her a long time ago. She just had to be open to receiving it. She was just a woman on her journey to eternal life.

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She asked for one more day. She asked for memories she couldn’t recall. She shed a tear for a child lost too young. She asked to see her parents again. She remembered Christmas past. She asked if she had done enough. She thanked God for the gift of love He had given her. She was just a woman at the end of her days here on earth. She was just a woman, filled with joy for the life she had lived. She was just a woman that loves God. She was just a woman that accepted His gift.

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She was just a woman who asked for love.

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Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer by Burl Ives – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMletImQ_cs&w=420&h=315]

Children Again by Jason Gray – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iI9fnwl5FgQ&w=560&h=315]

Hold On Christmas by MercyMe – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxvR2ptGTws&w=560&h=315]

The Gift by Collin Raye – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJDmQI1Euk8&w=420&h=315]

The Giver and the Gift by Point Of Grace – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcP9VQCQBK8&w=560&h=315]

Beautiful by Kutless – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztUsXFyJuT8&w=560&h=315]

For God So Loved by Brad & Rebekah – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jo8H9te9TNI&w=560&h=315]

Love Is Here by Laura Story – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQu0hQb2GSE&w=560&h=315]

Your Love Is Mine by I Am They – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_uJYKoHhQo&w=560&h=315]

Leaving Heaven by Matthew West – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvfKG8BFBd8&w=560&h=315]

The Perfect Gift by JJ Heller – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mDftjVZXPs&w=560&h=315]

Love Will Save The World by Brentwood Benson – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjY03bl5QWc&w=560&h=315]

For All That You Have Done by Rend Collective – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkK01FsfK74&w=560&h=315]

What Christmas Present Will You Give Jesus?

Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree, how many presents under your branches are for me?

How many presents are under the tree for Jesus?  It is his birthday. He is the reason for the season.

What presents can you give to Jesus you wonder?  There are many and I bet you have never thought of them. Maybe some of you are giving Him these presents every day.  Maybe some of you give them one day and take them back the next.

Present one:  trust.  Do you give him all your trust?  Do you trust him even when things are going bad? Do you trust his plans for your life? Do you trust him completely, 100%? If not, maybe this year is the year you give him the present of your trust.

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Present two: your heart. Do you give him your heart?  Does he come first in your heart? What does your heart treasure the most? That new job promotion? Your wife? Your football team?  This season put Jesus first in your heart.

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Present three: love people. Do you truly love others? Do you know your neighbor’s names? Have you forgiven those that have hurt you? Have you reached out to people that may not know about Jesus?  Do you live your life that will lead other people to Jesus? Are you making disciples?

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Present four: family. Is Jesus part of your family? Do you talk to him like you do your spouse or children? Do you share with him your heart? Do other members of your family treat him like he is part of the family?

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Present five: time. How much of your time have you given Jesus today?  Have you set any time out of your busy day to just spend with him?  Five minutes of quiet time with just you and him? Two minutes? One ?

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This post was inspired by a devotional I read that really spoke to me so I wanted to share it with you.

What other gifts can you think of that you can give to Jesus?  Not only on Christmas but every day.

Where’s The Line To See Jesus by Becky Kelley – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OExXItDyWEY&w=560&h=315]

A Gift To You by Kids Worship Childrens Ministry –  [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3iG1gkW9R0&w=560&h=315]

Jesus What Can I Give You by Oceans Edge Music – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIjBK-jD38o&w=560&h=315]

Give It All by We Are Messengers  – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNljt27vZc4&w=560&h=315]

Christmas Must Be Something More by Taylor Swift – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGEbfP3Afbg&w=560&h=315]

Nothing To Give by 7eventh Time Down – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqpH1arHGl4&w=560&h=315]

Little Drummer Boy from the cartoon –    [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZvjPCcHI4g&w=560&h=315]

What Is Christmas by Kutless –  [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbHH38d1k3w&w=560&h=315]

Baby Boy by For King and Country – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oV4llLa_2nk&w=560&h=315]

Give by Jason Crabb – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OlXajGcSC_s&w=560&h=315]

What God Wants For Christmas by Darius Rucker – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqlH19dhI9Q&w=560&h=315]