Valentine #1

ValentineJohn3-16[1]

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Valentine John 3:16

 

 Blessings to you all

 

“For God so loVed the world,

        that He gAve

             His onLy

             begottEn

                  SoN,

                      That whosoever

        believeth In Him

           should Not perish,

        but have Everlasting life.”

John 3:16

HOPE – エレミヤ書 29:11

エレミヤ書  29:11

主は言われる、わたしがあなたがたに対していだい ている計画はわたしが知っている. それは災を与え

ようというのではなく、平安を与えようとするもの

であり、あなたがたに将来を与え、希望を与えよう

とするものである

Jeremiah 29:11  For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Today, we need hope more than ever.  Thousands of years ago, God spoke to the people of Israel, exiles (captives) in Babylon.  They were taken away from their homes, their property, children – everything taken from them and their lives turned upside down and totally changed.  Their city and temple was destroyed.

A few years later, God would use Nehemiah to bring these exiles back to their home and rebuild their temple.  And years even later, God sent His Son, Jesus, to be born as a child (please read my post Why Christmas) and to live among us, die for us, rise from the dead to save us from eternal death and give us life everlasting.

God looked all the way down the millennia to then to now.  He still speaks to us.  He still has hope for us.  His Son still loves us. 

In spite of everything ugly, frightening, horrible, catastrophic, WE STILL HAVE HOPE!

John 3:16 – 17  God loves us so much, He sent His only Son to live with us, die for us, and rise from the dead to save us from eternal life.  He was sent not to condemn us, but to save us and give us hope. (my paraphrase)

It is Christmas.  Regardless of what you celebrate, how you worship, I share this with you.  Believe it or not, that is your choice.

But I want you all to know this and to know there is hope.  Be blessed.  God Bless You!  Merry Christmas!

 

imagesCAAF21JL

Why Christmas?

Below is one of my favorite stories of Christmas.  I am not sure who wrote it and most sources for the story say “author Unknown”  If any of you know, I would truly appreciate knowing.  “God loved us so much, He sent His Son to live among us as human.  For God did not want us to perish, but to find the true Light through the birth death, and resurrection of His Son, that we may be saved from darkness (sin) and live with Him forever.”  My paraphrase of John 3:16-17

Now the man to whom I’m going to introduce you was not a scrooge, he was a kind, decent, mostly good man. Generous to his family, upright in his dealings with other men. But he just didn’t believe all that incarnation stuff which the churches proclaim at Christmas Time. It just didn’t make sense and he was too honest to pretend otherwise. He just couldn’t swallow the Jesus Story, about God coming to Earth as a man. “I’m truly sorry to distress you,” he told his wife, “but I’m not going with you to church this Christmas Eve.  I don’t quite believe this “Emanneul thing and I don’t understnad enough to truly believe.” He said he’d feel like a hypocrite. That he’d much rather just stay at home, but that he would wait up for them. And so he stayed and they went to the midnight service.

Shortly after the family drove away in the car, snow began to fall. He went to the window to watch the flurries getting heavier and heavier and then went back to his fireside chair and began to read his newspaper. Minutes later he was startled by a thudding sound. Then another, and then another. Sort of a thump or a thud. At first he thought someone must be throwing snowballs against his living room window. But when he went to the front door to investigate he found a flock of birds huddled miserably in the snow. They’d been caught in the storm and, in a desperate search for shelter, had tried to fly through his large landscape window.

Well, he couldn’t let the poor creatures lie there and freeze, so he remembered the barn where his children stabled their pony. That would provide a warm shelter, if he could direct the birds to it. Quickly he put on a coat, galoshes, tramped through the deepening snow to the barn. He opened the doors wide and turned on a light, but the birds did not come in. He figured food would entice them in. So he hurried back to the house, fetched bread crumbs, sprinkled them on the snow, making a trail to the yellow-lighted wide open doorway of the stable. But to his dismay, the birds ignored the bread crumbs, and continued to flap around helplessly in the snow. He tried catching them. He tried shooing them into the barn by walking around them waving his arms. Instead, they scattered in every direction, except into the warm, lighted barn.

And then, he realized, that they were afraid of him. To them, he reasoned, I am a strange and terrifying creature. If only I could think of some way to let them know that they can trust me. That I am not trying to hurt them, but to help them. But how? Because any move he made tended to frighten them, confuse them. They just would not follow. They would not be led or shooed because they feared him. “If only I could be a bird,” he thought to himself, “and mingle with them and speak their language. Then I could tell them not to be afraid. Then I could show them the way to safety … to the safe warm barn. But I would have to be one of them so they could see, and hear and understand.”

At that moment the church bells began to ring. The sound reached his ears above the sounds of the wind. And he stood there listening to the bells – Adeste Fidelis – listening to the bells pealing the glad tidings of Christmas. And he sank to his knees in the snow.  “Father forgive me.  Now I understand.”

 

bird in snow

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