Archive for December, 2012

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 6,600 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 11 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Advertisements

imgres

As I sit back and watch this Christmas season play itself out, I am reminded of a verse I read recently in Ecclesiastes of all places; it says,

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:11.

What does this verse have to do with Christmas? Nothing and yet everything, because I believe it provides a glance at the magnitude of God as well as something we have talked about before in this blog…eternity in heaven. And what does that have to do with Christmas? Well, frankly everything, because if you really think about it, we have already been given the greatest gift of all, the gift of eternal life through Christ Jesus. What could possibly be better than that?

So why do I pick now, the middle of Christmas season, to remind you…? Because, as this Christmas Season continues to progress with the scramble for gifts, fighting crowds, traffic jams, music, decorations and the like I just can’t help wonder what God thinks about all of this? Well, actually, I already know what God thinks. He doesn’t care…What I mean is…He doesn’t care about the business of decorating, or gift giving, or Christmas Carols, What He cares about…is your heart (and…I have proof). Do you remember back in the Old Testament when God was looking for a new King to replace Saul? If you recall, God decided on David for many reasons but when He sent Samuel to find him He said;

…Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him (Saul). The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.

1 Samuel 16:7.

Guys, if there is one thing I hope you understand it is that God is NOT like you and me. He doesn’t think or act like a human being. As mentioned above in Samuel, He does not care what you look like on the outside, but rather what your heart looks like on the inside. The only way you can gain access to the “eternity that is set in your heart” as stated above in Ecclesiastes, is to set your eyes on Him…especially during Christmas.

Christmases will come and go, for years and years and one thing will still stand true throughout…You CANNOT get to eternity in your own. However, 2000 years ago, God came in the form of a baby to save you and me from certain death. All you have to do is to…trust and believe with all of your heart…God will do the rest.

Let me leave you with one more thought:

Recently, some kindergarten students were asked to share their definition of love at Christmas time…This one from Bobby, age 7, was my favorite…

Love is what is in the room at Christmas when you stop opening presents and just listen…

From all of us here  @IronmanStrength,

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year…

The-Magic-of-Christmas

This post is probably not going to be what you thought based upon the title but frankly…I think it fits…

Let’s start off with a question…Have you ever been to Disneyland? I’m sure you probably have. In fact I would say that 75% of Americas population has been to one of those parks and there is a reason for that…it is a GREAT place to go. In fact, it is the “happiest place on earth” right? Have you ever seen a television commercial for Disney? In 30-60 seconds, you are taken on a magical journey to a place where happiness abounds and dreams come true. Years ago, I saw my children gaze longingly towards the television for several minutes after one of these commercials ended and I have to say…I don’t blame them! Who wouldn’t want to go to place like that? Just for a little while to be taken away into a different world…filled with characters and music and nothing but fun. A place that can completely overwhelm ones expectations because you have to admit that just looking forward to a Disneyland trip might be the best part of the vacation…unless…

Have you ever been to Disneyland on a busy day?…thousands of people with small children…Long lines, long days, hot weather and rides that are closed. Is this really the happiest place on earth? Please don’t take me wrong…I am not complaining about Disney at all, I am focusing on an ideal that our world puts out there for us to swallow which is this promise of magic or an experience that will somehow take us someplace better that is more fulfilling? They want you to believe there is a place on earth that can actually provide you contentment or happiness…or maybe just temporary happiness? Does anyone really think that is possible?

Then we have Christmas. Christmas for children is truly amazing. Why? Because of their expectations. Expectations are what create the feeling of excitement inside all of them and causes them to look forward to that exciting day of waking up and opening presents. But that is the kid side of things…what about the adult side? Does anyone really feel the way we did when we were children at Christmas time? Probably a big NO right? Why is that? Why can’t we experience the joy we had as kids anymore? For me, over time, I began to believe that somehow if I could just get that one “thing” I wanted…somehow it could make me feel different but as was always the case, it never worked. I was always left with this strange, empty feeling inside…The overall anticipation of Christmas “stuff” was never able to satisfy me inside…deep…at my core…WHY?… Because loving other stuff could not bear the weight of my expectations. My expectations of what this world can provide have always fallen short of my deepest satisfactions. I can assure you, any feeling of elation I may have had at the time was only temporary.

So if the stuff of this world can’t fulfill what we need…the question is, how do we fill that empty void we get at this time of year? Hopefully, my reasons pointed you towards an understanding that neither Disneyland, nor presents under a tree, nor anything else this world can offer can fill your void completely. The void WILL still exist once the “new” wears off…

Did you know you were created in his image and therefore are wired for heavenly things? As you have probably already experienced…you cannot fill that void yourself. No matter how many times you go to Disneyland…you will still feel the same afterwards…temporary satisfaction….For anyone to truly experience the magic and the essence of Christmas, you must accept the greatest gift of all…the gift of Salvation. Christ provides it to all of us who will simply receive it…It is absolutely free but with a condition. Christ requires that you believe in Him…that’s it…Acts 16:31 says:

“…Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved…”

I challenge all of you this Christmas…don’t fall victim to this world’s illusive pursuit of contentment and joy because you WILL NOT find it…no matter where you look…anything you find can, and WILL only be a temporary feeling…I challenge you this year to delight yourself in Christ (Psalms 37:4) and not in a quest to fill your emptiness…we already know how that story ends…

Until next time guys…

From all of us here at @Ironmanstrength

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year…