Go Tell It On the Mountain

“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” –
CSLewis

“For we live by believing and not by seeing.” – 2 Corinthians 5:7 NLT

Did you grow up singing carols and goimg to Christmas performances? If you did, you are probably familiar with the words of the song “Go Tell It On The Mountain,” but have you ever really thought about it? According to Wikipedia, “Go Tell It on the Mountain” is an African-American spiritual song, compiled by John Wesley Work, Jr., dating back to at least 1865, that has been sung and recorded by many gospel and secular performers. It is considered a Christmas carol because its original lyrics celebrate the Nativity of Jesus. I’ve sung hundreds of times, and I’m not sure I’ve eve paid attention to the last verse:

He made me a watchman
Upon the city wall,
And if I am a Christian,
I am the least of all.

Go, Tell It On The Mountain,
Over the hills and everywhere;
Go, Tell It On The Mountain
That Jesus Christ is born.

If I believe this, then God has made me to be a watchman, a crucial role in His Kingdom. The prophet Ezekiel wrote tha God said to him: “Son of man, I have appointed you as a watchman for Israel. Whenever you receive a message from Me, warn people immediately…..” We are charged to be watchful, and to tell people about God and His Son, Jesus. We are to warn the people away from the temptation posed by the enemy, and the death that awaits when we fall for his charms. We are responsible to share the Good News, from the walls and the watchtowers and the mountaintops. Read Ezekiel’s words closely!

“If I warn the wicked, saying, ‘You are under the penalty of death,’ but you fail to deliver the warning, they will die in their sins. And I will hold you responsible for their deaths. If you warn them and they refuse to repent and keep on sinning, they will die in their sins. But you will have saved yourself because you obeyed Me. “If righteous people turn away from their righteous behavior and ignore the obstacles I put in their way, they will die. And if you do not warn them, they will die in their sins. None of their righteous acts will be remembered, and I will hold you responsible for their deaths. But if you warn righteous people not to sin and they listen to you and do not sin, they will live, and you will have saved yourself, too.” – Ezekiel 3:17‭-‬21 NLT

This job is not one that Christians should take lightly. We are celebrating the most momentous gift in the history of mankind. Now is the season for us to take the Good News, and Go, tell it on the mountain, that Jesus Christ is born!

Pain, Momentary or Permanent

There are many types and causes of pain. It can be physical, emotional, and spiritual. Medical treatments often cause momentary, or temporary pain to us physically, but when the treatment, surgery, adjustment, whatever, is done, we feel much better. Childbirth can be (and usually is) incredibly painful, but the love that floods the mother when she holds her baby for the first time makes all the pain and discomfort disappear. Many millions of people have physical conditions that cause them to be in constant pain. The emotion pain of cutting a toxic person from our lives can hurt so deeply that we can’t imagine living through it. Watching a loved one suffer, or losing a loved one through death, causes us tremendous pain. It doesn’t matter who you are, how “rich” you are, how much power you hold, or where you live, pain will be your companion at some point in your life.

“Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.” – Romans 8:18 NLT

Whether the pain is temporary, fleeting, or something to live with our entire earthly lives, there is a permanent solution. It’s an eternal cure for the deepest, most debilitating pains known to anyone on earth, and it is utterly free, no strings attached. Why, then, do people reject this cure? Who do you know that will reject a gift that is offered with nothing asked for in return? Why are we so suspicious of the gift that will free us, but we grab for the horrible and painful gifts the enemy hands us, gifts that are firmly tied to the giver? I think it’s because the true gift is offered in plain packaging, no frills….. but the enemy wraps his with beautiful wrappings and ribbons and bows and bling.

I confess that for many years I preferred the gaudy gifts. I convinced myself that the beautiful wrappings made up for the ugliness and darkness inside. If I wrapped myself up in the packaging, I could present myself to the world as impervious the the darkness and ugliness. I could hide it from myself. Wrong. There is only so much you can do to hide. EVERYTHING comes to the light, eventually. I have a huge debt of gratitude to the people God put in my path to show me the TRUE Gift. Much of the physical and emotional pain I have dealt with throughout my life could have been avoided if I had paid attention to the real Gift of Love, instead of turning and going through the muck, trying to capture that elusive feeling of “happiness”. Is that where you are today? Treading through the muck, wandering in the pain and hopelessness?

My prayer today is that you will look up, open your eyes and your hands and your life, and really SEE where you are. Reach out to the One Who is able to pull you out of the ugliness! If you can’t stand up or put one foot in front of the other, don’t despair. The One Who is capable of pulling you up will carry you until you can walk, and even then, no matter what, He will ALWAYS be with you. He will never expect you to carry on by yourself, and in fact, even when we turn our backs on us, He will NEVER leave us alone. I know this, because I experience it daily. Even in the darkest parts of my life, He never walked away or forsook me, because I accepted His Gift at a young age…. I just chose to follow the path the world (i.e. the enemy) instead of going with my Savior. I thank the LORD that He didn’t desert me!

Life on earth will never be painless. I struggle financially, I have physical issues, and it is difficult for me to come out of my shell. These will be a part of my life until I die, or until my Jesus returns, and that’s just reality. The beauty of it all is that because I accepted His Gift, l don’t face it alone. His strong Hands are with me to support me and carry me as needed. Plus, I get to spend all of eternity with NO sorrow, NO pain, NO struggles! Don’t know about you, but I would rather live my life now as if Jesus were real (and He IS real and alive), than to face an unknown and dark eternity.

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” – Revelation 21:4 NLT

Silence….

I have maintained a silence for several days. This time of year, November and December, are difficult for me, as they are for many. Society puts so many expectations on us, plus family and peer pressure to go and do, and to buy all the latest toys and gadgets for gift giving. For so many of us, financial struggles are an ongoing theme. When I was younger, my Grandma would give me five dollar bill. Since I’ve become an adult, I’ve often wondered what she gave up in order to present us with the small amount. It’s so easy to judge, based only on the immediate circumstance, rather than to look further to determine what is reality. My love for her has grown immensely as I have realized the sacrifices she had to have made in order to spoil me and my siblings. In many cases, mine included, we have multiple nieces and nephews, across the ages from baby to married with their own children. Through the year, I get things for them as I come across something I think (hope!) they will enjoy, but it always ends up lopsided as we get nearer to Christmas. I will find I have something for one brother, but nothing for the other…… and no funds to rectify it. What to do? Give nothing to either? Give the gift to the one, and leave the other to feel slighted? Of all the days in the year, Christmas is both the most difficult and one of my favorites to celebrate. Times like this are HARD. Not just for me, but for hundreds of thousands of others. The pressure is on! As hard as it is, I am working to remind myself of what I adore about this season. We celebrate the birth day of our LORD and Saviour, JESUS CHRIST. He is where our focus should be, not on the mound of presents under a tree. Our tradition for our Oklahoma family is to come together Christmas Eve to eat and fellowship and exchange gifts. It will be chaotic with a baby and a 2 year old, an 8 year old, and a 13 and 18 year old…. and all of the corresponding adults, but I love the chaos. I missed out on it for years when I was separated from family. The music and the decorations can work to either help us focus on our Emmanuel, or on the physical, worldly side. If you are estranged from family today, if it is possible, forgive and love them. In many instances it isn’t healthy or possible to be involved with birth family, so use the energy to focus on the ONE Who Loves you more than life itself; the One Who left Heaven to came to earth to sacrifice His life for your salvation. If you are physically alone on this day, look to Jesus: “For I hold you by your right hand— I, the LORD your GOD. And I say to you, ‘Don’t be afraid. I AM here to help you.” – Isaiah 41:13 NLT

“One night I dreamed a dream. As I was walking along the beach with my Lord. Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life. For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand, One belonging to me and one to my Lord.

After the last scene of my life flashed before me, I looked back at the footprints in the sand. I noticed that at many times along the path of my life, especially at the very lowest and saddest times, there was only one set of footprints.

This really troubled me, so I asked the Lord about it. “Lord, you said once I decided to follow you, You’d walk with me all the way. But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life, there was only one set of footprints. I don’t understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me.”

He whispered, “My precious child, I love you and will never leave you Never, ever, during your trials and testings. When you saw only one set of footprints, It was then that I carried you.” “

Discouraged, Sad?

Why do we walk around discouraged? Why are we sad? When we remind ourselves of God’s Truth, we should realize that we have no reason – none, zero, zilch! – to be anything but joyful. When I get down, whether because of circumstances or a poor choice and it’s consequences, my friend likes to say to me: “Who’s in control?” Who do you think is in control?

“The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.” – Exodus 14:14 NLT

I can always answer “Not me!” because I know the Truth of Who is in control. He lets us drive until we voluntarily hand it over to Him. He’s a gentleman and won’t ever force us to choose Him.

“This is the message of Good News: There is peace with GOD through JESUS CHRIST, Who is LORD of ALL.” Acts 10:36 NLT

Life is SO much simpler when we let God “drive”!!

“Honor the LORD, you heavenly beings ; honor the LORD for His Glory and Strength. Honor the LORD for the Glory of His Name. Worship the LORD in the Splendor of His Holiness. The Voice of the LORD echoes above the sea. The GOD of Glory Thunders. The LORD Thunders over the mighty sea. The Voice of the LORD is Powerful; the Voice of the LORD is Majestic. The Voice of the LORD splits the mighty cedars; the LORD shatters the cedars of Lebanon. He makes Lebanon’s mountains skip like a calf; He makes Mount Hermon leap like a young wild ox. The Voice of the LORD strikes with bolts of lightning. The Voice of the LORD makes the barren wilderness quake; the LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh. The Voice of the LORD twists mighty oaks and strips the forests bare. In His Temple everyone shouts, “Glory!” The LORD rules over the floodwaters. The LORD reigns as KING Forever. The LORD gives His people Strength. The LORD Blesses them with Peace.” – Psalms 29:1‭-‬11 NLT

AMEN!

History

“Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:18 NLT

No matter where we are or what we are doing, there are so many reasons to be grateful. Think about it.

There is much violence and protesting is taking place because of things that happened in the past. History needs to be taught as it happened, and it should be inclusive of ALL the viewpoints, not to be devisive but to pass on Knowledge. How else do we learn and keep from repeating the same mistakes over and over? People of every color and ethnicity have been through struggles throughout history. We don’t have to condone tragic events to acknowledge them. If we try to make reparations to every ethnic group that was mistreated in history, then every person alive should receive something. I’m sorry for how the tribal peoples were treated, but I had no part in it. My ancestors were maligned and mistrested, and I have been through hell, too, but no one is working on improving MY life because of it. We have history to learn from and to move forward from. Today is the day we need to live for, not all of the yesterdays. If we are AMERICAN, we should be together. Using hyphenated names is just a subtle way to promote divisive. We aren’t Irish-American or Native-American or Chinese-American or African-American. We are AMERICAN.

As a Christian nation, Americans should be leading the world in showing others how to live in harmony. We have so much to be thankful for, yet we seem to lead the way in litigation and violence. Take today, and look to JESUS to see how to live. Live like you are LOVED, because you are!

That’s my 2 cents.

I Am Knit Together in Love

My Grandma, my Mother’s Mom, crocheted blankets for people she loved. I will never forget the beautifully put together blanket she made for my baby. It was knit together in love. My Mom does cross-stitch, and has made beautiful works for all of us. Mine hang throughout my house, and everytime I look at one, I am reminded of her love. Everyone does something to show their love. It may be a tangible thing, like a blanket or a cross-stitch design or a painting or other handcrafted item, or a meal or baked goods. It could be an act of service, or it could be giving up a baby or child, so that the child can have a better life. These can all be put done in love.

God showed His Love in creating us; He knitted us together. As the psalmist so beautifully said;

“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank You for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous – how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in Your Book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” – Psalms 139:13‭-‬16 NLT

This Almighty God created a beautiful world for us to live on. He knit it together, along with the stars and the planets, for us to enjoy. He also created in us a free will, the ability to make our own decisions, and we have done our utmost to destroy our world and our lives ever since. The God of the Universe didn’t let us slide, but He did one better. He sent His Son, an integral part of Himself, to live among us and to die for us. The Ultimate Sacrifice.

“How precious are Your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, You are still with me!” –
Psalms 139:17‭-‬18 NLT

What Amazing Grace! Not only did He Knit together the Universe for us, He sacrificed Himself to redeem us from our sins. Whatever other people say to you, regardless of the lies and venom Satan spews in your ears, you have been knit together by God. You are beautiful to Him, and what you do matters to Him. His hearts desire is to Love us, and for us to love Him in return. To show us mere humans the breathe and depth of His Love, Jesus – The WORD – stepped down from His Throne, His rightful place at the side of GOD, for this purpose.

“In the beginning The WORD already existed. The WORD was with GOD, and the WORD was GOD. GOD created everything through Him, and nothing was created except through Him. The WORD gave Life to everything that was created, and His Life brought Light to everyone. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.” – John 1:1‭, ‬3‭-‬5 NLT

“So The WORD became human and made His home among us. He was full of unfailing Love and Faithfulness. And we have seen His Glory, the Glory of the FATHER’s One and Only SON.” – John 1:14 NLT

The point is this: we were knit together for one reason only. To share the ABSOLUTE LOVE of our Creator and Father with Him. Simple, but somehow it becomes the most difficult thing for so many people to grasp. If you have known any love in your life, multiply by a million, and you will still fall short of how much our Father in heaven LOVES us. Are you interested in a relationship with the One who created you and Who knows everything about you down to the tiniest component of your physical body (remember, He made it!), and He knows every thought you have ever had or will have…… ? I have a relationship with Him, and because of that He has made me the Daughter of the King of kings. How AWESOME is that? Your elevation from mere human-ness to being the son or daughter of THE King is just waiting for you to take a small but decisive step to Jesus.

“For this is how GOD Loved the world: He gave His ONE and ONLY Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have ETERNAL LIFE. GOD sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him.” – John 3:16‭-‬17 NLT

Have you taken that step and asked Jesus to come into your heart and your soul and your life? My prayer is that you will take that tiny step today as you are reading this. I can promise that there is NOTHING in the whole earth-world that will even come close to it!

Being knit together……