HOLIDAYS

 

HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS

 

With each and every passing year

as we gather on Christmas Day,

we’re reminded of loved ones

who once were here,

but have gone to another place.

We look at the chairs where once they sat,

reminded by the empty space

that our celebration will never be the same

’til we’re with them once again.

To be ‘home”, truly “home” for the holidays,

to see again those gone before us

and realize the reality of the hallelujah chorus

as we sing to the One standing before us . . .

no longer an image on a Christmas card,

but our Savior, the Christ, face-to-face,

reunited with our loved ones, we’ll worship our King,

forever . . . truly “home” for the holidays.

 

†††

 

INDEPENDENCE DAY

On this Independence Day, Lord,

we will lift our songs to you!

For we’re free, yes, truly free

to boldly love and worship you,

to read your word, to share our faith,

to openly speak your truth.

Without fear of torture, chains, or death,

we can praise and honor you!

And because of the freedom living

in the United States affords,

I heard the gospel preached one day

and accepted you as my Lord.

And now I have more freedom

than I’ve every known before,

for he who the Son sets free is free indeed!  

And how I thank you, Lord!

 

I am free from failure for I can do all things

through Christ who strengthens me.

I am free from want for my God shall supply

everything I ever need.

I am free from doubt for God has dealt

to every man the measure of faith.

I am free from weakness, for the Lord is my strength;

of whom shall I be afraid?

I am free from sin for the blood of Jesus

cleanses me from all sin.

I am free from worry for He said to cast

all my worries upon Him.

I am free from fear because I walk in the Spirit

of power, love, and a sound mind.

I am free from defeat, oh thanks be to God,

for my triumph is always in Christ.

I am free from every sickness because

I’m healed by the stripes of Christ.

I am free from death, because I believe in Him;

He is the resurrection and the life!

Yes, on this Independence Day,

we rejoice in the fact that we’re free.

Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty!  

For freedom He has set us free!

Oh, Father, I praise and I thank you

for providing us with this blessing,

and while it is still day in the USA,

let me always be confessing

my dedication to you and your gospel of truth

at every opportunity –

as Christians are dying in foreign lands today,

someday here it might not be so easy.

 

†††

 

IT’S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS

On Christmas, we celebrated the arrival of the Messiah,

and though that day has passed and a new year has begun,

we watch the current events

and our spirits are stirred within

because “it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas”

. . . again.

If He comes again this year, will you be ready?

Are you sold-out for Christ? Is He your Love . . . your passion?

Do you want to spend time with Him?

Does it pain you when you sin?

Does He mean more to you than any earthly possession?

The definition of “lukewarm” is a dire warning ~

it tells us what we do NOT want to be:

unenthusiastic,

indifferent,

halfhearted,

cool;

in our relationship with the Lord,

this cannot be.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

I pray this day

that each of us

is ready.

“I know your deeds, that you are neither hot nor cold.  I wish you were either one or the other!  So because you are lukewarm – neither hot nor cold, I will spew you out of My mouth.”  Revelation 3:1-17

“But concerning that day and hour, no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.  For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.  For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.  Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left.  Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left.  Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.  But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into.  Therefore, you must also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”  Matthew 24:36-44

“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom.  Five of them were foolish, and five were wise.  For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps.  As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept.  But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’  Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps.  And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’  And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut.  Afterward the other virgins came also saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’  But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’  Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”  Matthew 25:1-13

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord’, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”  Matthew 7:21

†††

LITTLE BABY JESUS

 

Oh, how we love little babies;

they’re so tiny, so sweet, so precious,

kissable, huggable, loveable

and totally dependent upon us . . .

 

unable to live without us,

they need us to survive,

as we nurture, love and protect them,

and respond to their whimpers and cries.

 

Could it be that is why “baby Jesus”

has such appeal to so many at Christmas –

a baby unable to do anything

accept be diapered and cuddled with kisses?

 

It’s so much easier to stand at a manger

and look down on a baby who coos,

than to look up at the One with fire in His eyes,

who speaks words of heart-piercing truth.

 

But there in the confines of that manger

was Holy Power in infant flesh constrained;

the eyes of God looked out from that infant frame –

He saw your sin . . .

He knew your name . . .

and just why He came.

 

†††

 

 

IT’S

ALWAYS

CHRISTMAS

 

It’s always Christmas for me

because Jesus lives within me.

Like the cold and barren stable long ago,

He came to live within what was a cold and barren heart,

and this human stable has become His home.

He is welcome here,

and there is room for Him here,

not just on Christmas, but every day of every year.

Unlike the magi of old, I need not follow a star;

the search is over.  I am found.  And He’s right here.

Over 2000 years ago,

the angels rallied the rich and poor –

lowly shepherds, wealthy kings – to worship Him.

But angels need not rally me to bow in worship to my King!

I live to worship Him for now and evermore!

†††


JOY TO THE WORLD
(A Different Version)
Joy to the world,
the Lord has come
and now
He lives
in us!
When others watch the way we live,
are peace and joy the things they see?
Is Jesus seen in us?
Have we told them of His love;
of His mercy,
and grace,
and of His wondrous love?
Or is it . . .
Joy to myself,
myself alone.
You’re sad.
Too bad.
Not me.
I found the Lord a while ago.
That suits me fine; I need no more.
You’re on your own, my friend;
I’ll just pray that you get saved
‘cause I’m not good
at talking
‘bout this kind of thing.
How will they know
if we don’t care?
Don’t speak,
don’t love,
don’t share?
He came into the world for you,
but came for your lost neighbors too.
At Christmas time and more,
let us live the Word of the Lord,
and go forth
with the Truth of Christ
to all the world.
Joy to the world;
He lives in you.
Sing forth
your song
of Truth!
We have the joy this sad world needs!
We have His hope, we have His peace!
And they can have it too
if we’d speak forth words of Truth:
“Unto you
Jesus has been born
and died
for you!”

†††

NO GREATER GIFT

 

Unto us a child is born; unto us a Son is given!

Wonderful Counselor!  Mighty God!  Our Prince of Peace!

On this Christmas Day and for the remainder of my life,

is there any greater gift I could receive?

 

For Who, but You, gives eternal life to me?

Who, but You, loves me wholly just for me?

Who, but You,  heals my soul and sets me free?

No one.  No one, but You!

 

And who, but You, always intercedes for me?

Who, but You, supplies everything I need?

Who, but You, would die solely just for me?

No one.  No one, but You!

 

For You are God.  You’re my Provider.

You’re my Healer, Comfort, Shelter.

You’re my Rock and I’m covered by Your hand.

You’re my Savior, my Deliverer.

You are my dearest friend.

For every need I have, You are I AM.

 

What a Christmas present!  What a perfect gift!

Thank you, Lord, for being all I need.

Help me to remember what this season’s all about:

there IS no greater gift than You for me!

 

(Isaiah 9:5-7)

 

†††

 

WHOSE BIRTHDAY?

 

Christmas is ‘round the corner . . .

there’s excitement in the air . . .

decorations blink and glitter . . .

Yuletide greetings everywhere . . .

such a special time for giving  . . .

happy shoppers fill the mall . . .

money spent with no misgiving . . .

so our loved ones have it all . . .

 

                    The word “Christmas” includes the name of Christ,

                    the day we appoint to celebrate

                    His holy birth . . . His holy life . . .

                    so whose birthday is it, anyway?

 

Families awake in the early morn . . .

Christmas Day has just arrived . . .

bright colored wrap is quickly torn . . .

to reveal what lays inside . . .

from one gift, right to another . . .

paper and bows in disarray . . .

contents set aside with great haste . . .

why, it’s almost like it’s my birthday . . .

 

                    The word “Christmas” includes the name of Christ,

                    the day we appoint to celebrate

                    His holy birth . . . His holy life . . .

                    so whose birthday is it, anyway?

 

I was hungry and you nourished me . . .

I was thirsty and you gave me drink . . .

I was naked and you clothed me . . .

I was a stranger and you invited me in . . .

I tell you the truth that whatsoever

you have done for one of these,

who are the least of my brothers,

You have truly done for Me . . .

 

                    so whose birthday is it, anyway?

 

THE ULTIMATE VALENTINE

There’s something so much more to love
than sugar-filled candy hearts
and sentimental writings
found on lacy parchment cards.
There’s something so much more to love
than the ode of a sweet love song,
and there’s more to love than the ones I’ve loved
my whole life long.
You see . . . before I even knew of love,
before I was physically conceived,
before I ever drew one single breath,
His Love was poured out for me.
This One took the punishment I deserved;
He was innocent, but oh how He loved me;

flogged with a whip made of jagged sharp bones,
though I was the one who was guilty.
And the thorns pierced His head so deeply,
this wicked device called a crown,

an attempt to humiliate and defeat Him,
yet He uttered not one hateful sound.
The soles of His feet became gashed and torn.
Splinters buried deep in his flesh.
His shoulders rubbed raw by the weight of the wood,
the vehicle by which He’d meet death.
So tired and weak, His legs trembled
and His knees buckled under the strain.
As He fell to the ground, the people just laughed;
how much they enjoyed seeing His pain.
With effort He rose to continue on
and came to the place where He’d die.
Quietly He lay down on the rough wooden cross,
as His ankles and wrists were then tied.
With eyes tightly closed, He knew the next step;
the weight of the hammer released
and the nails ripped into His delicate flesh,
fiercely piercing His Hands and His feet.
With a jolt, the cross raised harshly upward,
there Jesus hung naked before men.
Though the spat and they mocked and they laughed and they jeered . . .
with love He looked down and forgave them.
After hours of torment, the time had arrived ~
the moment for Mercy to meet Truth,
but just before giving His Spirit to God,
I know He whispered “For you, child. All for you.
He pressed onward in pain; never to give up;
through it all, it was me on His mind.
For even back then, He considered me His child;
He loved me and gave me His life.
The ultimate valentine . . . my sweet savior, Jesus Christ.”

“We love because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19

 

 

Cheri Henderson, http://cheri-henderson.com  

 

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