Monthly Archives: November 2012

ADVENT and the Second Coming of Jesus

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Advent and Christmas are a time to make straight the paths of your life,

and prepare a place in your heart for the Prince of Peace to come and abide.

Old-fashioned, Spiritual Christmas?               John R. Brokhoff

“What has happened to the old-fashioned, spiritual Christmas? The cause is our disregard of Advent. The church set aside this four-week pre-Christmas season as a time of spiritual preparation for Christ’s coming. It is a time of quiet anticipation. If Christ is going to come again into our hearts, there must be repentance. Without repentance, our hearts will be so full of worldly things that there will be ‘no room in the inn’ for Christ to be born again.…We have the joy not of celebration. Which is the joy of Christmas, but the joy of anticipation.”

Memory Awakens Hope              Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger

“Advent is concerned with that very connection between memory and hope which is so necessary to man. Advent’s intention is to awaken the most profound and basic emotional memory within us, namely, the memory of the God who became a child. This is a healing memory; it brings hope. The purpose of the Church’s year is continually to rehearse her great history of memories, to awaken the heart’s memory so that it can discern the star of hope.…

It is the beautiful task of Advent to awaken in all of us memories of goodness and thus to open doors of hope.”

Fire of Advent            Edward Hays

“Advent, like its cousin Lent, is a season for prayer and reformation of our hearts. Since it comes at winter time, fire is a fitting sign to help us celebrate Advent…If Christ is to come more fully into our lives this Christmas, if God is to become really incarnate for us, then fire will have to be present in our prayer. Our worship and devotion will have to stoke the kind of fire in our souls that can truly change our hearts. Ours is a great responsibility not to waste this Advent time.”

Take Time to be Aware           Edward Hays

“Take time to be aware that in the very midst of our busy preparations for the celebration of Christ’s birth in ancient Bethlehem, Christ is reborn in the Bethlehem of our homes and daily lives. Take time, slow down, be still, be awake to the Divine Mystery that looks so common and so ordinary yet is wondrously present.

“An old abbot was fond of saying, ‘The devil is always the most active on the highest feast days.’

“The supreme trick of Old Scratch is to have us so busy decorating, preparing food, practicing music and cleaning in preparation for the feast of Christmas that we actually miss the coming of Christ. Hurt feelings, anger, impatience, injured egos—the list of clouds that busyness creates to blind us to the birth can be long, but it is familiar to us all.”

An Advent Examination                       Edward Hays

“Advent is the perfect time to clear and prepare the Way. Advent is a winter training camp for those who desire peace. By reflection and prayer, by reading and meditation, we can make our hearts a place where a blessing of peace would desire to abide and where the birth of the Prince of Peace might take place.

“Daily we can make an Advent examination. Are there any feelings of discrimination toward race, sex, or religion? Is there a lingering resentment, an unforgiven injury living in our hearts? Do we look down upon others of lesser social standing or educational achievement? Are we generous with the gifts that have been given to us, seeing ourselves as their stewards and not their owners? Are we reverent of others, their ideas and needs, and of creation? These and other questions become Advent lights by which we may search the deep, dark corners of our hearts.

Life Is an Advent Season         CONNECTIONS

“Life is a constant Advent season: we are continually waiting to become, to discover, to complete, to fulfil. Hope, struggle, fear, expectation and fulfilment are all part of our Advent experience.

“The world is not as just, not as loving, not as whole as we know it can and should be. But the coming of Christ and his presence among us—as one of us—give us reason to live in hope: that light will shatter the darkness, that we can be liberated from our fears and prejudices, that we are never alone or abandoned.

“May this Advent season be a time for bringing hope, transformation and fulfilment into the Advent of our lives.”

St. Andrew—Nov. 30          Priscilla Marck

“The feast of Saint Andrew invites us to ponder his response to Christ’s call: “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men. At once they left their nets…” (Mt. 4:19-20). With his brother Peter, Andrew immediately left his fishing nets to catch souls for the Kingdom.

Are we hesitating to respond to Christ this Advent because we are waiting for just the right moment, those perfect circumstances that will allow us to be just as quick as Andrew? Sadly, we may discover that while we were waiting for that illusive moment, we failed to be attentive to the here and now invitations of everyday life, missing opportunities to respond with the generosity of a true follower of Christ.”

Called to be Witnesses                 CONNECTIONS

“…[W]e are called to be witnesses of God’s by the love we extend to others; precursors of his justice by our unfailing commitment to what is right and good; lamps reflecting the light of God’s Christ in our forgiveness, mercy and compassion; harvesters of souls through our humble and dedicated servanthood.”

An Advent Reflection                       Fr. Brian Cavanaugh

“During Advent opportunities for works of charity abound calling out for Christians from every side: a sack of food for a needy family, money dropped in a Salvation Army kettle, a donation to an Indian school, a toy for ‘Toys-for-Tots,’ etc. Unfortunately, these works of charity so easily can assuage the Christian conscience, while doing nothing to being about a solution to the root causes of the problem.

“Works of justice, on he other hand, follow the road less travelled of Advent’s hope to pursue solutions for difficult problems. Hope comes through works of justice rather than simply performing works of charity.”

Gift of Wonder          Rev. Alfred McBride

“Each year, God asks us to shed one more coat of awareness, one more dream state and come alive to the vision of God’s plan for each of us and the world-at-large.

“The older we get, the harder this is to do. As children we had a sense of wonder. Our eyes were wide open and drinking in the fascinating gifts we beheld…Our thirsty souls could not have enough of the wonders of creation.

“Then, somehow, we grew too old to dream. We tired of the abundance of the world, or at least grew weary of keeping up with the feast of life, and stepped away from the banquet of life.

“The natural gift of wonder God gave us as children was meant to be kept alive.  Instead we let wonder go to sleep. We entered the typical dream state of most humans.

“Why else does Jesus tell us today, ‘Stay awake!’…Advent says, ‘Wake up and realize the gifts of love you have received.’

“…Psychology says, ‘Let go.’ Spirituality says, ‘Wake up.’ In both cases there is a withdrawal from the busyness of daily life (our dream state) and a waking up to the subconscious and spiritual depths of ourselves.”

  

Some articles about advent. Just click on the link.

A VISIT FROM ST. NICHOLAS

EVERGREENS FOR ADVENT

HOW SAINT NICHOLAS BECAME SANTA CLAUS

IT’S BEGINNING TO LOOK LIKE CHRISTMAS

JOY TO THE WORLD

MESSAGE FROM SANTA CLAUS

SILVER BELLS

TELL OUT MY SOUL THE GREATNESS OF THE LORD

THE ADVENT VIRUS

THE CHRISTMAS GUEST

THE KING IS COMING

THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS LIKE UNTO A CHRISTMAS TREE

THE MAN BEHIND THE STORY OF FATHER CHRISTMAS

THE SERVANT KING

THE STORY OF THE CAROL SILENT NIGHT

WHERE TO SEARCH FOR THE LORD

WHY IS JESUS BETTER THAN SANTA CLAUS

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Advent is the time we especially look forward to the second coming of Jesus to the earth.

No one knows when this will happen, but we must be sure that we are ready by staying close to Jesus every day.

         

A few verses of Scripture to encourage us. Philippians 1     New International Version (NIV)

1 Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all God’s holy people in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons

2 Grace and peace be to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Thanksgiving and Prayer

3 I thank my God every time I remember you.4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now,6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. 9 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight,10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.

Life Worthy of the Gospel

27 Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel28 without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God.29 For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him.

Second Coming of Jesus

Jesus promised His disciples He would come again.

It’s in the Bible, John 14:1-3, TLB. “Let not your heart be troubled. You are trusting God, now trust in Me. There are many homes up there where my Father lives, and I am going to prepare them for your coming. When everything is ready, then I will come and get you, so that you can always be with Me where I am. If this weren’t so, I would tell you plainly. And you know where I am going and how to get there.”

Christ’s return will be literal and real.

It’s in the Bible, Acts 1:10-11, TLB. “It was not long afterwards that He rose into the sky and disappeared into a cloud, leaving them staring after Him. As they were straining their eyes for another glimpse, suddenly two white-robed men were standing there among them, and said, ‘Men of Galilee, why are you standing here staring at the sky? Jesus has gone away to heaven, and some day, just as He went, He will return!'”

How will Jesus come again?

It’s in the Bible, Luke 21:27, NIV. “At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.”

How many will see Him when He comes?

It’s in the Bible, Revelation 1:7, NIV. “Look, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of Him.”

What will we see and hear when He comes?

It’s in the Bible, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, NIV. “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.”

How visible is His coming to be?

It’s in the Bible, Matthew 24:27, NIV. “For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.”

Christ’s coming will be unexpected and dramatic.

It’s in the BIble, 2 Peter 3:10, NKJV. ” But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.”

What warning has Christ given so we won’t be fooled about the second coming?

It’s in the Bible, Matthew 24:23-26, NIV. “At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There He is!’ do not believe it. For false Christ’s and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible. See, I have told you ahead of time. So if anyone tells you, ‘There He is, out in the desert,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here He is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it.”

Does anyone know the exact time of Christ’s coming?

It’s in the Bible, Matthew 24:36, NIV. “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”

Knowing how human it is to procrastinate, what does Christ tell us to do?

It’s in the Bible, Matthew 24:42, NKJV. “Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.”

What warning has Christ given that we might not be taken by surprise by this great event?

It’s in the Bible, Luke 21:34-36, NKJV. ” But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthyto escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

Why is Jesus second coming taking so long?

It’s in the Bible, II Peter 3:8-9, NIV. “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

While we wait for Jesus, how should we live?

It’s in the Bible, Titus 2:11-14, NKJV. ” For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.”

What will the world be like when Jesus comes?

It’s in the Bible, Matthew 24:37-39, NIV. “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.”

Will Christ’s coming be a time of reward?

It’s in the Bible, Matthew 16:27 and Revelation 22:12, NIV. “For the Son of Man is going to come in His Father’s glory with His angels, and then He will reward each person according to what he has done.” “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with Me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.”

Why is Jesus coming back?

It’s in the Bible, Hebrews 9:28, TLB. “So also Christ died only once as an offering for the sins of many people; and He will come again, but not to deal again with our sins. This time He will come bringing salvation to all those who are eagerly and patiently waiting for Him.”

At Jesus’ second coming, we will fully experience the reality of our salvation.

It’s in the Bible, 1 Corinthians 1:7-8, TLB. “Now you have every grace and blessing; every spiritual gift and power for doing His will are yours during this time of waiting for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. And He guarantees right up to the end that you will be counted free from all sin and guilt on that day when He returns.”

What is the last promise Jesus gives us in the Bible?

It’s in the Bible, Revelation 22:20, NKJV. “He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming quickly.’ Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus”

Copyright © 2009, Bibleinfo.com

(Translations Abbreviations  TLB The Living Bible  NKJV New King James Version  NIV New International Version)

A color drawing of the famous Bible verse- Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 1 Corinthians 2 verse 9

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Jesus Tells Us Not To Worry

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JESUS TELLS US NOT TO WORRY

(From an article written by Josh Wilde)

Worry is one of the areas of the Christian walk that many people struggle continuously with. We need to read scriptures and be reminded that God has asked us not to worry but to trust Him completely. It is this reassurance and these Bible verses about worry that help during stressful times or times filled with anxiety. I would ask you to say a prayer before reading these, that God uses them to speak to you today.

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I recommend that you watch The Revelation TV Channel on Sky channel number 581 or Freesat channel 692.Their website is http://www.revelationtv.com/ They are a Christian channel. They have live, interactive programmes, which are wonderful for people who are lonely and many programmes that help people learn about the love of God and how to live the Christian life. The presenters and guests make you feel that you are part of the Church family.

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If you feel you need God in your life and you don’t know how to find Him and you feel alone, lost, guilty and frightened, I recommend the website from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association www.PeaceWithGod.net

What did Jesus Say About Worry?

Matthew 6:25-27 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on.

Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?  Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?

Matthew 6:34“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself.  Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Matthew 11:28-30 Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me,

for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. “

Luke 12:25And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?

John 14:27Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

A song to help you not to worry.   

CONSIDER THE LILIES    

Written by Joel Hemphill   Sung by Jim Patterson.

Consider the lilies, they don’t toil nor spin

And there’s not a king with more splendour than them.

Consider the sparrows, they don’t plant nor sow,

But they’re fed by the Master who watches them grow.

Chorus

We have a Heavenly Father above

With eyes so full of mercy And a heart full of love.

He really cares when Your head is bowed low.

Consider the lilies and then you will know.

May I introduce you to this friend of mine,

Who hangs out the stars and tells the sun when to shine.

He kisses the flowers each morning with dew,

But He’s not too busy to care about you.

Chorus 

We have a Heavenly Father above

With eyes so full of mercy And a heart full of love.

He really cares when Your head is bowed low.

Consider the lilies and then you will know.

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Purity and humility are beautiful.   

1 Peter  Chapter 5  verses 6-10

6Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

7Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

8Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

9Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

10But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus,

after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, establish, strengthen, settle you.

Worry Bible Verses- All About Peace

Colossians 3:15And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.

2 Thessalonians 3:16Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.

Psalm 55:22 Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.

Worry Bible Scriptures Mentioning Anxiety

Proverbs 12:25Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.

Philippians 4:6-7 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

1 Peter 5:7casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

Worry Verses Say Do Not Fear

Psalm 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Isaiah 43:1-3 But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour. I give Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you.

Hebrews 13:6 So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”

Additional Bible Verses Related to Worry

Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth!”

Psalm 56:3 When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.

Psalm 121:1-2 I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he

will make straight your paths.

1 Corinthians 10:13No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

Romans 8:31What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Christian Quotes About Worry

Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength. – Corrie Ten Boom

I’ll give you some symptoms of a sign that your faith is deteriorating–whenever you face all of your problems and you trust only your plans to get you out–it is a sign that your faith is deteriorating. – T.D. Jakes

No one can pray and worry at the same time. – Max Lucado

Knowing that God is faithful, it really helps me to not be captivated by worry. But knowing that He will do what He has said, He will cause it to happen, whatever He has promised, and then it causes me to be less involved in worrying about a situation. – Josh McDowell

Worry is the sin of distrusting the promise and providence of God, and yet it is a sin that Christians commit perhaps more frequently than any other. – John Macarthur

What a Friend We Have in Jesus 

What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!

What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!

O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,

All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.

Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?

We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer.

Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share?

Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care?

Precious Saviour, still our refuge, takes it to the Lord in prayer.

Do your friends despise, forsake you? Take it to the Lord in prayer!

In His arms He’ll take and shield you; you will find a solace there.

Blessed Saviour, Thou hast promised Thou wilt all our burdens bear

May we ever, Lord, be bringing all to Thee in earnest prayer.

Soon in glory bright unclouded there will be no need for prayer

                            Rapture, praise and endless worship will be our sweet portion there.                         

 Words: Joseph Scriven (1857)