The left overs

We are on the leftovers
Of Christmas celebration;
The liquidation is on;
Though, many have nothing
To liquidate;
Others are looking ahead
Already to the new year;
A lot of hope and excitement
In the air;
Come on O New year;
No one knows
What you carry in that belly
Of yours;
So big it is;
And to the brim,it’s full.
Hope good things it has.
I look forward to it.
2020, a year of years;
A year with a difference;
So, enjoy your left overs.

Advertisements

It’s Christ’s Time!

Today, as the season of Christmas arrives and Advent ends, my head is full of expectations. My thoughts reach as far as I can to describe God’s greatest gift. The biblical stories tell the tribulations of every person who reiterated the Good News. They took God’s word to every corner of the earth. I can narrow it down to just one word – God teaches us patience.

Faithfully we pray for unknown answers, as we remain alone with the Lord on this special holiday. If patience prevails, the wisdom of His word paints pictures for us. Times are hard at Christmas… money is tight, chores become a necessity, and patience wears thin. But let us remember, on this day, a Savior was born to save us from our sins.

Jesus was a gentle man, son of the Almighty, who walked the earth, teaching love and forgiveness. He instills everything in His good timing, such as patience, so we should each examine our hearts. Christmas images share love and forgiveness in storefronts, social media, and television screens. How can anyone be a humbug this time of year when the resounding message is “Peace to all and goodwill toward men?” Let forbearance and forgiveness ring in the holiday season and New Year!

I pray for everyone to learn the meaning of blessings from above. Kindness, consideration, and respect is the resonation of God’s love. We can’t hate yet sit in church and share the Lord’s messages. Shovel a path to a neighbor’s home, help a child zip up their coat or tie their shoes, or feed a hungry person. We are made in His likeness… a people of community.

God grants us life through His patience. He is a constant reminder we need forgiveness and understanding. If we can learn to be patient with ourselves, we can learn to be patient with others. The greatest service we can do for others is to show them His love, mercy, and grace.

It’s Christ’s time! May God exonerate you who conform to His heavenly wishes. Gather and sing… let the tune you hum this Christmas be an everlasting message. Allow Him to stay in your heart and blessed with His patience, for it’s a gift from God. Practice forgiveness on this holiday. I pray for the world’s redemption.



Receive the blogs and latest Christian news in your email! Click HERE to sign up today!

To all of you my friends at Christmas

My dear friends,
I wish you all a Christmas
That sings and dances;
Call it a happy Christmas;
May the blessings
Of this Christmas season
Pour on you
Like showers of rain
From heaven,
And remain gummed on you!
May you have
A geometric multiplication
Of everything
That is dear to you!
May your loved ones
Make you proud;
May this Christmas indelibly
Stamp happiness on your face!
May your star shine
Brightest
This Christmas
Like the sun on a bright day!
May you ever remember
This year’s Christmas day
With love and joy!
Your bossom friend,
Afanwi.

The bells toll

I like the show today;
In short, I like the day;
I like what’s going on;
I like the atmosphere;
I like the life in the air;
I like the up and down movement of people;
I like the excitement;
The buying and selling;
I like the screaming
In the market and streets;
I like the articles I see Being sold,
Everybody on their toes,
Rushing as at no other time;
It’s Christmas;
When bells toll;
And melodious tunes
Fill the air;
It’s Happy Birthday special.

Extraordinary

If you say he’s ordinary,
I disagree;
Look at what’s going on;
It’s the last minute;
Yet, still so much buying
And selling;
Call it
Last minute marketing;
Last minute rush;
Everything in a hurry;
To get things under control;
The D-hour is at hand;
It’s called Christmas;
Mass and church service
Scheduled for soon;
Never had a feast so big;
With all the world involved;
Wasn’t he so special?
To shake the world thus?
Almost 2000 years gone by,
Since he left the earth;
Yet, still he shakes it
More than any you can think.
He is not ordinary;
He’s extraordinary.

A Heart of Gold

Have you ever wanted to reach out to a stranger and give a gift of appreciation? My mother, God bless her soul, had one bright spot I will always remember. At Christmastime, she purchased gifts for those who only came around periodically, such as the trash man and the meter reader. She even snuck a little gift in the mailbox and addressed it “to Mike,” the guy who delivered the mail no matter the weather. With a broad smile, he gave her a big “thank you.” During sweaty, hot, and humid days to the bitter arctic winds swirling over the icy bay, Mike never failed to check on my mom when she was housebound. Her heart of gold made a friend for life.

A notion overcame me derived from my mother’s uncanny disposition. What a wonderful time of the year for random acts of giving! Moments of undying love and appreciation will reach the hearts of the unexpected. So, I thought I’d try it this year too. I can’t tell you the end results yet, but deep inside my soul, God thanked me – that’s all I need to know. There must be a little of my mom in me, as I reciprocated my gratitude.

I mailed a gift to a talk show host who I’ve grown to identify with through the radio. I admire his reputation and Christian walk in life, which he occasionally shares with the listening audience. The other recipient, I can’t hold a candle to… right or wrong, we’ve become friends. We’ve shared correspondence, and I’ve come to know his heart – not his reputation. He is our President of the United States. Few could envision giving either of these gentlemen gifts of adoration, but then again, I’m not a normal man.

My address, you see, is not written on a box, but somewhere outside the box. I live and breathe God’s given air. As our Lord expects of me, I think of thoughts that would please others. Those random acts of kindness should follow throughout the year, but many only surfaces when we reach into our spirit at Christmas.

I deeply thank the men and women who unselfishly devote their time to giving to others – not just a politician or a minister but ordinary folks with a heart of gold. It’s so easy to be appreciative when you walk with the spirit of God.

To all the many Christians I have grown to know and connect with over the years, let Christmas never leave your soul! Show adoration and excitement year after year with a heart of gold. The random act of giving will bless you and change you for the better.

May your faith in friends and family be a tribute to your own random acts of kindness which comes from God. Have a blessed and Merry Christmas!

www.danabicksauthor.com


Receive our blogs in your email. Just click HERE to get started!

I’ll Light a Candle

What a beautiful winter morning! A gentle breeze is just enough to keep the fire I started lit this morning. I gathered sticks from the woods – the memories of life which once lived on the trees. Now they lie dead beneath the autumn foliage. It’s a somber reminder life is so precious and short for God’s creations.

I feel so incredibly blessed this holiday season. It’s just around the corner, and God’s fulfillment of promises fill the air. But a thought haunts my mind… all the children who are less fortunate than I at Christmastime. My childhood was full of unexpected events, too, such as divorce and death. So, when I was asked to write this blog, I gladly accepted the challenge.

Many children have no say of their ill-fated direction in life. They become victims of yet another divorce and single parenting. Even worse is the loss of a parent during the holiday season. Once upon a time, I had a classmate who faced this exact scenario.

Christmas trimmings lined the streets, and window displays were in full swing with animated characters warming the hearts of little children. An older brother told this young girl the cause of her parent’s separation “was all her fault.” At five years old, such a cruel statement was a bit much to bear for her little shoulders.

On Christmas, her mother suddenly passed away. Many questions went unanswered… this precious child only knew her mommy went to heaven.  Instead of anticipating the thrill of a Christmas morning, the little girl faced the world with a broken heart and fear of her future. Dare I say, as an adult, Christmas is a difficult time for her; fifty years later, the callous statement still lingers in the back of her mind.

There are seventy-four million children in the United States, and the divorce rate is 40-50 percent amongst marriages. So, the bigger question is, how do we help the afflicted youngsters during the holidays, carrying the burden of their parents’ selfishness? A family life of morals used to be respected, a flourishing way of life. What happened to these generations? Children, who never witness the truth about a love between parents, suffer voids in their little hearts.

Regardless of the circumstances, kids should have a Christmas. This joyful day is a celebration of our Savior’s arrival to earth. But, amidst the hustle and bustle, we should encourage the children to grieve – it’s ok! Support their thoughts and questions to ease their anxiety. Encourage simple ceremonies, such as lighting a Christmas candle near the parent’s photo, or placing a picture inside a bulb to hang on the tree. Wrap up a special gift for the child with a photograph of their parent. Create a special “memory” tree with ornaments that reflect the loved one’s life, or make a donation in their memory to a favorite charity.

Many organizations and charities assist children during the Christmas holidays. Some top names include Toys for Tots, Operation Christmas Child, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Angel Tree, the Salvation Army, and the Christmas Spirit Foundation. The Lord gives us instructions to help those in need.

Years pass like dust left upon a shelf, and grief leaves an imprint on the heart.  Begotten memories, entombed in the body of a child, are reminders of Christmases tainted by disaster and hurt. Let us teach the suffering children that God is our only hope in life. His strength will help us endure the pain and strife of a world destroyed by sinners.

Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court. — Psalm 127:3-5

As for the little girl whom I wrote about today, she joined her siblings and grew up in a blended family. But, just as her life settled into normalcy, her father quietly slipped away, too. Behold, an angel came to the rescue – her “stepmother.” Retrieving all the broken branches which laid in pieces on the ground, this special woman raised my friend to the beautiful lady and fellow author she is today. She was one of the lucky survivors! This is proof our Father’s power can conquer the hearts of the unknowing and replenish the trees.

Today, with Christmas just three days away, will you consider supporting a child’s organization or adopting a child for Christmas? Spend time with a mourning child and make the holiday one they will always remember, away from pain.

I’ll light a candle this Christmas in memory of all the innocent little children who are missing a parent. God bless you all, but especially… God bless my sweet friend!

Have a very Merry Christmas!


Would you like to receive the blogs in your email? Please click HERE to subscribe today!

Immanuel: Christmas and The Meaning of the Incarnation of Christ

Christmas, Immanuel, NativityAs we approach the day that Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus, many of us are engaged in a swirl of activity to prepare businesses, homes, and churches for this important day. This is both traditional and understandable in most western cultures around the globe.

Most of these traditions and much of the activity is our human effort to both honor and praise God for sending His only Son from His heavenly home to be born as a helpless infant so that all could have the opportunity of the hope of salvation. However, many of us, including myself, can sometimes ignore the meaning of Christmas for lack of reflection amid the hustle and bustle of the season.

“Immanuel” equals “God With Us”

Christmas, Incarnation, NativityThe New Testament specifically applies the word “Immanuel” to the birth of Jesus in the first chapter of Matthew’s gospel account.

But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). Matthew 1:20-23 [ESV]

These four verses make a staggering statement that encompasses the complete gospel, or ‘good news’ of the New Testament. Moreover, it clarifies one indisputable fact; this could only have been the work of God.

Consider first what actually happened. The angelic message to Joseph said that 1.) Jesus was conceived via the Holy Spirit, 2.) That Jesus would be virgin born, 3.) He would “save his people from their sins” 4.) This was a fulfillment of ancient prophecy and, 5.) Jesus would be the embodiment of “God with us,” which is known as the doctrine, or belief that Jesus is “God Incarnate,” i.e. God in human flesh.

The Incarnation means that God the Son, through the means of God the Holy Spirit and within Mary’s womb, with the authority of God the Father comes to live among His creation as one of us. Only God could have done this, and only a supremely loving God would have done this.

For as soon as Jesus was conceived, the timeline toward His crucifixion began. The Triune God knew beforehand that this would be the case and Jesus came anyway to demonstrate God’s love through the giving of His life to atone for the sins of all humanity.

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:6-8 [ESV]

Christmas, Jesus, IncarnationThe love of God shown at the cross of Christ was always within the heart of God. Jesus began manifesting that love among us when He left His heavenly home and humbled Himself to become “God with us.”

Think of it. Jesus left the indescribable glories of heaven and choose to limit Himself to the weakness of human flesh, not for His sake but for ours. He left a domain so far beyond our comprehension, that the Bible says it defies even human imagination.

But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”—  1 Corinthians 2:9 [ESV]

Jesus left this to come and live among sinful, treacherous, unrighteous humanity and be scorned and murdered by His own people. ‘God with us’ meant this kind of love walked among us.

God didn’t need to become human to know us and our joys as well as suffering. We needed Him to show us through Christ how much He loved us, even unto death, and to take our sins upon Himself for our eternal good.

What Were the Odds?

Christmas, IncarnationBiblical students will recognize that the first four books of the New Testament are known as “gospels,” or accounts of the “good news” about Jesus Christ and that each one is written in a different manner or style. The authors record the same overall event, the life of Christ on earth, but from different perspectives and purposely writing to different audiences.

Matthew is written aimed at an audience of his fellow Jews for the intention of convincing them that Jesus was indeed the Messiah come in fulfillment of a multitude of Old Testament prophecies. Thus Matthew cites more prophetic declarations that are manifested in the life of Jesus Christ than any other gospel account.

conservative interpretation puts the number of messianic prophecies fulfilled by Jesus in Matthew at 25. Many biblical scholars state that Jesus fulfilled over 300 Old Testament prophecies during His life on earth.

Consider for a moment what the statistical odds are of any one person fulfilling this number of predictions about their life. In fact, to make it simpler, a couple of researchers and mathematicians tried to find out the odds beginning with the odds that one person fulfilled just 8 of these prophecies.

In the book Science Speaks, Peter Stoner and Robert Newman discuss the statistical improbability of one man, whether accidentally or deliberately, fulfilling just eight of the prophecies Jesus fulfilled. The chance of this happening, they say, is 1 in 1017 power. Stoner gives an illustration that helps visualize the magnitude of such odds: “Suppose that we take 1017 silver dollars and lay them on the face of Texas. They will cover all of the state two feet deep. Now mark one of these silver dollars and stir the whole mass thoroughly, all over the state. Blindfold a man and tell him that he can travel as far as he wishes, but he must pick up one silver dollar and say that this is the right one. What chance would he have of getting the right one? Just the same chance that the prophets would have had of writing these eight prophecies and having them all come true in any one man, from their day to the present time, providing they wrote using their own wisdom.”

Inset.4.12.18.2019If one follows the number further and calculates the odds of any person fulfilling 48 such prophecies about himself, the odds become 1 in 10 to the 157th power! That’s 10 with 157 zeros after it!

One other calculation to put some perspective on these numbers. The universe is estimated by most scientists to be 12 to 13 billion years old. Using the 13 billion years figure, that means the universe is approximately 4.1 x 10 to the 17th power seconds old.

Now convert that number to the smallest time measure currently used in science, the nanosecond. A nanosecond is a billionth of a second.

That means the odds of any one person fulfilling 48 of these prophecies is astronomically greater than the number of nanoseconds that have passed since the universe has existed! Only a being of infinite power and knowledge could have done this, and only a being of unfathomable love would have done it.

Jesus as Immanuel, ‘God with us,’ was God’s gift to humanity and the greatest Christmas gift we could ever receive. Let us be eternally thankful and praise the LORD for such a Divine gift of love this Christmas season and forever.

D.T. Osborn

Sources: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway Bibles, 2001

Featured and Top Image courtesy of Lorenzoclick’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 1 courtesy of jacinta lluch valero’sFlickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 2 courtesy of Lawrence OP’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 3 courtesy of Ryk Neethling’s Flick page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 4 courtesy of Jonathan Gross’Flickr page – Creative Commons License

All other sources linked or cited in the text

Originally published in TIL Journal