CHRISTmas or Christmas?

CHRISTmas or Christmas?


CHRISTmas … My FAVORITE T Shirt … always draws comments and amens.

Since September Christmas has been showing up in stores and malls.  Santa even came way before Thanksgiving in many places.  We have come to expect it as the norm.  Nothing we can do about it, right?

For Christians Christmas is about the birth of Jesus. So we really have Christmas in our hearts year round.  I love Christmas and will put on a favorite Christmas carol to lift my spirits so to speak.  Sometimes you just need a little help with music.

Music.  Age old Christmas songs, caroling, hymns.  They mean so much to people from all generations.  Traditions are meant to be passed along.  Songs bring back wonderful memories during the holidays.  Our family started the holidays with Thanksgiving’s “Bless This House” and “We Gather Together”.  I am trying to recreate those traditions for my grandchildren.  Each year the commercialization is getting worse and making it more difficult.  But, at least we can always have them at churches, right?

I have friends all over the USA and this past week I have watched post after post pop up on social media regarding the churches they attend and their musical premieres for Christmas.  I see the pictures, I read the comments:

“Wow, you did a great job.”

“Love the scenery.”

“It was great seeing everyone!”

“Wasn’t the reception afterwards fun?”

“A good time was had by all.”

I kept seeing everything pointing to Christmas and noting pointing to CHRISTmas; Jesus, the reason for the season.  The message has been lost in productions, props and action.  The simple story of the Christ child born in the manger lost, or forgotten all together.  In some videos the traditional hymn or carol was so overproduced you could not even hear the words much less understand the message.

There is nothing wrong with plays and musical productions, I  have written several myself.  But, they need to include the simple message of a Savior born in Bethlehem. Wouldn’t it be better for people to come away saying, “wow, what a message”.  Or, “that really made me think about the real reason for CHRISTmas”?

As Christians this year it is important more than ever that we tell the simple story of a poor baby, born in a manger, and the message is not lost in the production of some ‘great show’.  There is a lot to be said of the simple traditions of children telling the story of Jesus’s birth.  Maybe we need to start over  there and see what we are missing.

Blog by – R. B. Green ©2018

When Do Caterpillars Stay Caterpillars?


We seem to have the plague of orange-black-spiked caterpillars olenader-caterpillar-gregarious-ifasall over our front entry.  They are the Oleander caterpillar and produce the Uncle Sam Moth (also called the  polka-dot wasp moth).  Once you see the  caterpillar you soon begin seeing the moths. uncle-sam-moth-ifas-300x286 That is because they eat themselves full of leaves then crawl up somewhere and make a cocoon.  And, as we all know, they emerge a moth, or a butterfly if they are a butterfly caterpillar.  It is called metamorphosis.  We all studied the process early in elementary school.  I collected and hatched them.  I enjoyed learning the process, the types and habits of each.  They are all predictable, they all will change.  It is what happens.  They do not stay a caterpillar.

caterpillardoes not= caterpillar

Sadly, through the years, the term metamorphosis has changed in many areas of our lives.  Not sure why, but, it seems we wanted to make things ‘easier'(?).  If you ever watch a caterpillar spin it’s cocoon or chrysalis and then emerge, then you havecaterpillar-emerging witnessed the struggle as it comes out a new creature.  It is not easy.  There is work involved.  But, it is a moth or butterfly, it does not stay a caterpillar.  emerging butterflyThis is the way God created the process.  So when His word says you must be born again and become a new creature, why do so many these days stay a caterpillar.  They still crawl on their belly, eating leaves, living the worldly life of a worm. Their lifestyle does not change. They were designed to fly above the world as the butterfly; in the world but, not of the world.  They are a new creature.

The church has failed new believers.  I wonder if many are really saved.  They are not taught they are a new creature, leaving the worldly behind for the Heavenly Father’s World.

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NASB)

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”

Yes, they walk among the world but, they are so transformed that the world spots them and knows them immediately.  They are changed, new creatures.

2 Corinthians 3:18 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.”

You can not be saved and still walk as the world walks.  You give up self and all its desires to walk daily with your Lord and Savior.  Old habits die and are left in the cocoon.  Old lifestyles are left behind where the caterpillar crawled.

James 1:23-25 (NASB)

For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; 24 for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. 25 But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.

Becoming a Christian is life changing.  Have you changed?

Fast Pass … Fast, Faster, Fastest ~~~~~~>

Fast Pass … Fast, Faster, Fastest ~~~~~~>


Fast pass, no waiting in line.  In que, no taking turns.  Hurry up.  Get there. Fast. Faster. Fastest.  Three extra fast passes are yours for only $50 plus tax.  You are on vacation but, you have to move fast.  Move your order to the front of the line for an extra $14.99.  You waited too late to order, you need it fast.  Pay for standard, priority or express shipping.  You are in a hurry to get it there, here … NOW.  Everything is on a roller coaster ride.  We literally do not take the time to take time, even with families, our love ones …. the  children.  rollercoaster

I recently watched a ‘fast pass’ exchange of kids.  It was evident in the faces of the adults that they chose a neutral ground, a fast food restaurant, to exchange the kids for his turn with them.  Even the neutral ground was fast.   She did not stay.  He bought them food sat down.  They did not converse, he was on his phone.  One asked why they could not live together.  He did not answer.  He was fast talking to one client after the other.  The kids ate fast, asked to go play.  The children scurried to the playground. Fast, faster, fastest way to raise children in today’s society.  He stayed on neutral ground the entire time.  He did not cross over to their space.  It was evident he was going to tire them out, take them home and put them to bed.

Our politically correct society has taken this attitude as the norm which has stuck us in neutral.  We are constantly in a position of rolling backwards at the first hill.   We are encouraged to keep life neutral; keeping others at arms length, all the while speeding through our days.  It is okay to go through life ‘texting life’ to each other.  Little bytes of interchanges sufficing for real time communication.  It has crept into every aspect of our lives, including spiritual.

Church services are timed to the minute, you hear timers going off on phones should the service run over.  Reminders that other plans are in place and they need to get going.   We only have an allotted time for God.  When we started exchanging Holy Ground for mutual ground it slowly became neutral ground.  Every aspect of our lives is beige in an effort to blend.  So no wonder we start rolling backwards at the first hill, we are in neutral.

Our spiritual life is beige and has become ritualistic.  Everyday the same, if we take time for God at all.  A five minute reading, or listening to praise music on the radio has replaced spontaneous communication with God.  He loves for us to walk and talk with Him.  We can talk with Him constantly, not just meals, morning and nighttime.  We are not instructed to face in any direction at certain times of day.  God offers a complete open channel whereby we can walk and talk in any direction at any time and converse with Him …. about ANYTHING.

It is time to take time.  Wait on the Lord, walk with Him.   Get out of neutral ground, do not go to mutual ground, go straight to Holy Ground.  When you walk with Him, He will order your days.  There will be time for everything.  Life will slow down and you will have peace in your heart.

Deuteronomy 5:33 (NASB)

You shall walk in all the way which the Lord your God has commanded you, that you may live and that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which you will possess.”

Jeremiah 7:23 (NASB)

But this is what I commanded them, saying, ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you will be My people; and you will walk in all the way which I command you, that it may be well with you.’

2 Corinthians 6:16b-18 (NASB)

16b … just as God said, “I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 17 “Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,” says the Lord. And do not touch what is unclean; And I will welcome you. 18 “And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” Says the Lord Almighty.

Today.  It is time to get out of the fast, faster, fastest mode with God, spouse, children, parents, friends and even the chance meeting of someone God places in your path.

~ RBG © 2018

 

 

God or gods?

God or gods?


There is a difference between God and gods. There are many false gods. Who are your gods? The devil is the god of this world, as evident of mankind’s worship of all things sin. They choose him, to be blinded.

2 Corinthians 4:4 “in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”

While satan* rules this earth, he is not in control unless you give him control. In essence you worship him when you worship a sin and it controls you.

Some worship lying, they will con you out of your last dollar. They will trick you into taking the side of wrong, they will lead you to believe in false data. They mess with your mental focus. The Bible tells us who is the father of deceit, satan*.

Some worship the flesh. Ignoring all other aspects of their being… mental, emotional and spiritual, their focus is all things physical. Instead of spirituality being foremost it is last or nonexistent. The physical controls their mental and emotional to the point of deprivation.

Many worship materialistic gods; houses, cars, boats, sports, money. Their gods control their decisions leaving them in patterns of habitual sin. Not all things are sinful but, prioritizing them to the point of worshipping them is sinful. They confuse wants with needs.

Although many prioritize everything above God, in essence making satan* their god, their priorities and satan* are not God. “The One, I Am” is God. God won the war over sin for all who believe Jesus came, lived, died and rose again as their Savior.

All of us have a void in us that occurred with the fall of man. When God left, the emptiness of life without Him began. Mankind tries to fill their emptiness with all sorts of gods. The only filling of that void comes when The Holy Spirit fills it after we accept Christ as our Savior.

Sadly, many Christians take control of their life and try to replace the Holy Spirit, ignoring the Power He gives, leaving a sense of emptiness again. The Holy Spirit is still there, willing an able to replace your substitute gods.

“The One, I Am” is God. He won for man the war over sin once and for ALL. All who believe Jesus came, lived, died and rose again as their Savior are victors with Christ.

Who are what are your gods today. Is God Lord or, are you and your gods in charge?

*lower case because he is one.

No Time Like The Present

No Time Like The Present


We ask God, can you fix this, make it like it was? We want Him like He has been in our past. We hope for what He will be in the future while ignoring Who He is in the here and now. Jesus is the same as He was in the past and will be in the future, open your heart to Who He is in your present.

I was raised on sound Biblical teachings and sound Biblical music. Everything from the front of the churches led worship of who God is with humbleness and reverence. Sunday mornings we worshipped. We went back on Sunday nights for praise and testimony.

I was raised attending the interdenominational churches of The Christian and Missionary Alliance.

The founder of the C&MA, A. B. Simpson, wrote songs based on scripture, not “feel good to sing, toe tapping and emotion raising productions.” The truths sung aloud raised our spirits all on their own, no theatrics needed.

One of my favorites, based on Hebrews 13:8, was “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Now, over 100 years later, the hymns’ Biblical truths are sung around the world in many languages.

May we live today with our feet on the solid ground of His promises because Jesus is the same. (Click link to enjoy)

Yesterday Today, Forever

YESTERDAY, TODAY, FOREVER

Words: Al­bert B. Simp­son, 1890.

Music: James H. Burke

~ O how sweet the glorious message simple faith may claim

Yesterday, today, forever Jesus is the same.

Still He loves to save the sinful, heal the sick and lame

Cheer the mourner, still the tempest, glory to His Name.

Refrain

Yesterday, today, forever, Jesus is the same.

All may change, but Jesus never! Glory to His Name!

Glory to His Name! Glory to His Name!

All may change, but Jesus never! Glory to His Name!

~ He, who was the Friend of sinners, seeks the lost one now

Sinner come, and at His footstool penitently bow

He Who said “I’ll not condemn thee, go and sin no more,”

Speaks to thee that word of pardon as in days of yore.

Refrain:

~ Oft on earth He healed the sufferer by His mighty hand

Still our sicknesses and sorrows go at His command

He who gave His healing virtue to a woman’s touch

To the faith that claims His fullness still will give as much.

Refrain:

~ As of old He walked to Emmaus, with them to abide

So through all life’s way He walketh ever near our side

Soon again we shall behold Him, Hasten Lord the day

But twill still be this same Jesus as He went away.

Refrain:

What is missing?

What is missing?


I am reading, hearing and seeing more and more topical sermons, studies and programs on why so many are not attending church. They all have lists, numbers, statistical findings on…. excuses.

  • There are long time church members staying home.
  • Families bouncing from church to church.
  • Young people discouraged and looking elsewhere, even the world.
  • Visitors that don’t return. All searching, hungry, looking.

Why? I have not found the answer in any list I have seen. That is because the lists are based on excuses. The writers all focus on excuses, not the reason. The reason hits too close to home. Many of them are the cause. There is only One reason. He is missing.

This is not new. John wrote of churches in His day that were found lacking, where He was missing. Only two were positive, Smyrna and Philadelphia…. 28-1/2% of the churches in his day were found faithful.

Sadly, too many of our churches in America today are becoming more like the other 71-1/2% written about in Revelation. This is the message John needed churches to hear and why God had it recorded. It is how churches are held to accountability. Many churches are a combination of more than one of the ones John wrote to; how tragic.

  1. Rev 2:1-7 Ephesus churches that have forsaken God as their first love
  2. Rev 2:12-17 Pergamum churches that need to repent
  3. Rev 2:18-29 Thyatira churches with false teachers/teachings
  4. Rev 3:1-6 Sardis churches have fallen asleep, simply exist, there is no visible life
  5. Rev 3:14-22 Laodicea churches that are luke warm, fence straddlers, tolerate sin to keep peace

If only the flocks had shepherds (pastors, teachers, leaders) that pointed to The Great Shepherd and led in Worship.

People are looking for worship. Only worship fills that nagging empty void. It was a place in us created by God for communion with Him, and Him alone. And the void that was created by the fall of man can ONLY be filled by restoration of communion with God. Consecrated, sanctified and humbled by the great I AM, we can approach with our hearts now humble and reverent in worship of Him. That is the hunger everyone is yearning to be sated.

There is a time and place for praise and rejoicing for all He has done. But, only after we have worshiped who He IS, the Great I AM, can we know how to praise Him fully. How can you adequately praise someOne you don’t know who He is? You must truly, reverently and in all humbleness, bow your heart before Him. El Shaddai, El Elyon…. Lord God Almighty, The Most High God.

We have a generation that feels they have worshipped God because they have “praised” Him. Through all the good feelings and emotional highs, the theatrics, lightings, gesturing and posturing they leave service fulfilled. It lasts until they get to the restaurant and everyone starts grumbling. Diluted by the world being brought in to God’s house, most have never been in a House of Worship. They will try and recharge themselves throughout the week by putting on praise songs, motivational speakers, and try to shout, clap and dance. Yet they feel empty shortly there after. They do not know how to worship the Great I AM, so their praise is as unfulfilling. They put the proverbial cart before the horse and find no success in moving towards God. Time and place, Ecclesiastes 3.

Families move from church to church searching trying different programs. Youth become delusion and leave. The elderly become more and more hungry for real worship they once knew. There is one reason – no place to Worship, no reverence, no humbling, no teaching of El Shaddai, El Elyon. All the praising of what He has done can never replace who He is, the Great I Am.

Moving on, step by step.


Wednesday at 4:30PM I meet with Nuerology department/stroke clinic. My checkup mostly and new questions.

They said I would have the headache the rest of my life. But, now it goes away hours at a time. I have yet to go a whole day, in these 31 months, pain free. Recently it has changed. There have been more ice pack days, hours with my head packed in 3 -5 ice packs. I think it is barometric pressure causing the extreme headache. The weather has been weird; below freezing in FL is not norm. It intensifies my senses even more. I am over sensing in all areas. I still am easily startled, still have verbiage issues at times and still have very low endurance. I tire easily, especially on OT work days.

My right side has been strange (left brain damage). Normally it is “novocaine feeling” 24/7. But, recently there have been times of intense pain and no numbness. It is like my brain is trying to wake my right side up. You know when you have novocaine how you cannot feel but, you “sense” and can control? My right side is like that. The insides of my mouth and throat are like that. I strangle easy if I do not think to “control” it.

My short term memory has improved. I am better at locating memories. I am always working on processing. and am writing down incidences to talk over with the doctors.

I so want them to reduce my Meds from 2000mg/day. I know of patients on 15mg. The side affect is “talkative “ and long writings 😉. I can read short paragraphs again and remember what I read. I can write without rambling as much (I hope) and in a shorter amount of time. This will probably take me an hour. In the beginning it would have taken hours, even days.

The doctors said what ever benchmarks I had achieved by six months is what I would live with the rest of my life. It is 31 mos later and I am still healing, improving … achieving. I will never be 100% of the old me. I will keep driving Phil nuts with the new me. But, I can be 100% at this new me.

The doctors are not sure what to do with me. We have known of 7 stroke victims since mine. I am the only one alive. I also am working full time. I tell them my Master Physician knows what to do with me. 😀 Mark 5:27-29, 34 I know not what tomorrow holds. But, I know: God is still on His throne, still in control. None of this surprised Him. He loves me and cares for me. He has a plan and I can trust Him.

Thank you all for prayers and encouragement on my journey. I would have never chosen this path. But, when there is only this path you can sit down and be stuck or, allow Him to carry you. I choose to have Him carry me forward, step by step. Trust. Obey. The more you trust. The more you obey. The more you obey, the more you trust. Trust. Obey. Moving forward, step by step., “Lord willing and the creek don’t rise.”