If this tree could talk…

Christmas trees. if there is any one thing that symbolizes Christmas, it is a tree.

A small sampling from the internet reveals a plethora of styles and designs.

xmas tree 5xmas tree 4xmas tree 2xmas tree 6xmas tree 1

When did you put up your tree? Perhaps you cut down a live one.

Maybe the fake tree you have used has been in and out of your attic for 15 years.

Whatever the case, I think we can all agree that a tree is a symbol of the Christmas season.

Just for fun, here is my tree:

upside down tree

I pose this question to you:

If your tree could talk, what would it say? 

We take out our trees and decorate them every year. The lights go on first then the ornaments. And finally, the presents are placed underneath the tree.

If you were a Christmas tree, what would you say?

Would you be excited to be decorated?

Or would you be grumpy because you sat in storage for the last 10 months?

Are there family gatherings that you could talk about or do you stand alone in a dark corner of the room?

My purpose is not to condemn or condone the use of Christmas trees. I personally like to see trees all lit up and shining through a large picture window.

May this post be a reminder that Christmas is more than a tree. 

The trees that you see around at this time of year should serve as a reminder.

A reminder that Jesus was born in a manger and that is why we celebrate this event.

My motivation behind a “talking tree” post was two-fold.

  1. I fall into the trap of commercialism at Christmas time. You get so wrapped (no pun intended) up in giving gifts that it is really easy to forget the greatest Gift that has ever been given.
  2. If you have been distracted by all the lights and tinsel, let all that yule-tide bling point you to Jesus.

So as you gather around your tree in a few days, make time for a little baby in a manger.

Don’t worry, the gifts can wait.

Merry Christmas to all!

So many things…

As I started this endeavor, I was hoping to have things to write about each day.

Well today, I was not disappointed. Where to start…

God gave me a couple of ideas so let’s jump in!

jump in

Today, at school, I had my students retake a test. I teach high school science. On Tuesday, the students had their first test. It was a disaster! Over half of the students failed. Not a good start to the year.

badgrade

When a student fails a test, there could be many reasons as to why. But this post is not about those reasons.

I want to make note of the retake. Each student had the opportunity to take the test again. Whatever grade they earned on the first try was erased by the second attempt.

Redo.

Do over.

Try again.

Keep swinging.

Take another shot.

God gives us a reboot.

He forgives us.

That is what the cross is all about.

The reasons why we need forgiveness are numerous. Too numerous to list.

But for all these reasons, there is but one single answer. Jesus.

His sacrifice on the cross grants us a retake.

He makes all things new. You and I can have another shot.

Let your heart be overwhelmed with God and His love.

You can know the joy of having a second chance.

aecond chance

Let today be your reset. You are forgiven. You are righteous.

Sleep well friend.

We will talk more about that whole test retaking stuff tomorrow.

Even the angels…

Hello friends!

I realize it has been a while since I posted. Busy times.

In the meantime though, there have been two ideas rolling around in my head.

idea cloud

But let me catch you up first, in case you have missed my posts.

catch up

For the last number of posts, I have been going through I Peter. Today, this post will cover through verses 8-12 of chapter 1. Click here for the most recent post.

I have also stated that it seems to be taking a long time. Well, so what. Okay, on to verse 8.


Here is the first of the two ideas that have been taking up space in my brain:

1. I have never seen Jesus but I have given my whole life to Him.

“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” I Peter 1:8-9

More than just getting something, I have purpose.

My life is justified in Jesus. There is hope.

In a word, salvation.

It would take many more posts to explain all the many facets of salvation and the scriptures that support them. I probably have other posts that would accomplish this but I don’t recall which ones would have that information. Maybe read a few of them…?

Now, as for the second idea…

2. Angels are curious.

Apparently, angels are concerned with the things of man. God sends these heavenly being to do His bidding. Human life would be vastly different if there were no angels.

But about this salvation…they are curious. They don’t get the same perspective that we get. The Holy Spirit resides in those who follow Christ. That spirit empowers us to live according to God’s purpose. God, via the Holy Spirit, is with us every step of our lives.

Angels don’t that privilege.

sad-angel

“Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of the Messiah and the glories that would follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.” I Peter 1:10-12

Have you ever been to a sting ray tank? You can buy little fish and feed these magnificent creatures. Watching them glide through the water is amazing. It is really cool how you can look over the side to see into their world.

You want to lean close to get a good glimpse or maybe even to touch one of them as they swim by.

stingray

That is how the angels feel about us!

Even the angels long to look into these things…they want to know about us and our world!

I am greatly encouraged by these things. God is really cool that way.

Who am I?

Who am I? Who are you?

A few days ago, I wrote about being included. Click here to read that post.

I mentioned how the people living in these far off places were included by God. As in, God thought that they were important enough for Peter to write to them.

Here are the first three verses of I Peter for reference.

“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.” I Peter 1:1-3 NIV

The saints were included because of the sacrifice that Christ made on the cross.

Let me rearrange the wording: They were Included in Christ.

And because the were included in Christ, they could then Identify with Christ.

  • It is one thing to believe in what Jesus did on the cross.
  • But does that belief equal lifestyle?

When Christ finally died on that cross, something unique happened. It is recorded for us in Matthew 27:51;

“At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.”

From top to bottom! God did the ripping!

ripping of the veil

Now, what was open only to the high priest once a year, the holy of holies was open to the public! Anyone could enter into relationship with God.

The invite is there, we just need to accept and then attend!

I am included in Christ. If you have given your life to him, then you are also included.

Now we can go forward and be identified with Christ.

Let your life match up with your identity. If it be Christ, then live that way.

There is unlimited power and resource. We have access to the Word.

Be the person God desires you to be.

After all, he chose you.

indentity print

May Day!

Happy May Day!

So, I was curious.

Why do pilots or captains, when in trouble, use the phrase “May day! May day! May day!”?

Why would some say those words?

According to history.com, that phrase means nothing.

It just seemed interesting to me.

may first

Having explained my odd sense of curiosity, I now come to the real reason for writing today.


I have something to say.

Well, actually, it is Peter that has something to say.

You know Peter. He kept putting his foot in his mouth.

He had many things to say back when he was alive.

In fact, Peter is probably best known for things he said.

Or, more accurately, things he said before he thought about them.

saying something stupid

I have been studying the letters of Peter.

Peter had a lot to say.

And so, I am going to say what I think Peter would say to us, if he were alive today.

To begin, let’s look at the first six words of Peter’s first letter:

“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,”

Peter, a man that spent time with Jesus. He was, in my opinion, the closest person to Jesus while Jesus was alive.

Anytime someone spends time with Jesus, they will have something to say.

So come on this journey with me. Let us explore Peter and his words together.