Real Christmas: A Poem

Christmas, a time filled with decorations,
candles and lights and ribbons and bows,
a time of great cheer, parties and toasts,
a time to wish peace on each boy and girl
of opening gifts and dinners galore.

Yet don't forget through the comings and goings
the real truth often veiled in the hustle and bustle.
Not the reindeer or Santa (though he's based on Saint Nick),
not Rudolph or Frosty or elves sprightly and quick.
Though these bring joy, there's joy deeper still...

Make no doubt about it,
Christmas is not wishful thinking.
Christ did come as an infant, a baby,
conceived in a real woman's womb,
the humble teenage virgin Mary.

He was born into our world
God in the flesh,
the awesome, glorious Lord,
made to be held and seen and heard--
light inaccessible breaking into the dark.

He was real, this God-man,
as real as you and me,
He ate and he breathed,
he hurt and he loved,
he bled and he died.

So remember on Christmas the truth of the day
Jesus came as a man, a babe born to die,
to save us from sin and he will come again.
Manage to pause for a moment or two
and remember the man who came here for you.

Psalm 114

You are the God of Hope.
We come to you in prayer,
We come with our requests.
We know our strength is limited,
but your power endless.
Hear our cry, O God,
Listen to the pleas from our mouths.
We wait.
We wait with patience.
And as we wait,
we ask that our souls conform to your will.

Psalm 113

My heart grew troubled,
my soul groaned within me
as I observed the ways of the ignorant.
I saw those who blind themselves to the Lord,
who ignore his existence and his statutes.
I saw how they prospered,
how power fell into their hands.
Wealth they have in abundance,
yet they waste it on trivial nothings.
Sinners dominate the culture,
they draw others in with their sin.
Those who are lawless are honored
and those who deny God lauded.
I asked myself, "Why is this so?
Why has God allowed the wicked to prosper?"

My thoughts were helpless
and my mood downhearted
until I remembered the truth.
The end of the wicked is to come.
The ignorant have gained their reward on the earth;
they have gained the love of men.
Those who seek the love of men
will find emptiness on the Day of Judgment.
I realized, O Lord, that those who love you,
those who serve Yahweh,
they will receive their reward at the end of time.
The righteous will stand on that day,
but the sinner will fall.
Though the wicked prosper now,
their downfall is assured.

I look to the faults of culture,
to a nation awash in sin,
to a country flaunting iniquity.
I know, O Lord, even if your people are slandered,
if believers are reduced to but a few,
if Christians are mocked and despised,
you, O Mighty God, still reign.
The Lord is King of Nations,
God of Hosts,
and He will come to judge,
to proclaim his justice from the mountain tops.
The Son of God will reign
and all will bow before Him.
This, my God, is my hope,
and I put my trust in you.

Psalm 112

Take heed, all you who decry God's creation,
who ignore the Almighty's handiwork!
For the power of our God has created;
His hand has designed all we see.
To deny His work,
to be deaf to His speech,
is a way to judgment.
Bow before the Almighty God today
while it is still called today.
Preserve your life
and acknowledge the Author of All.

Psalm 111

You are Yahweh,
I AM that I AM,
created by no one;
existing in self-sufficiency,
you need no one to live;
acting self-directed,
you do as you please;
living eternally,
you have no beginning and no end;
displaying consistency,
you remain immutable.

Is there any being like Yahweh?
None can compare.
No being in existence can claim he is
self-existent, self-sufficient, self-directed,
eternal and consistent in existence.
If there is no being like Yahweh,
then who do I trust?
I must trust Yahweh,
he who can see all ends,
he who alone knows the depth of man.
LORD, remind me at all times
that you alone are the sustaining force of my life.

Psalm 110

How can I attain contentment?
When circumstances go wrong,
I complain and grump about.
When people hurt me,
I cry and whine.
When the world chides me about my faith,
I feel anger and hatred.

Teach me the secret to contentment.
Teach me to say as Paul,
"I have learned the secret of being content...
I can do all this through him who gives me strength."
I cannot find contentment on my own;
I cannot force change in my feelings.
Only You alone can work peace in me.
May I cling to you day in and out
for only in fixing my gaze on you
do I have the hope of true contentment.

Psalm 109

God, may I chose life over death,
right over wrong,
love over sin.
May I never seek how close to the line
I can get;
May I run far from the line.
May my life reflect Christ,
reflect his love and perfection.
Make me not proud in my disobedience,
but humble in forgiveness.
Make the path smooth before me
as you rescue me from temptation
and restore me in your grace.

Psalm 108

Could it be?
Is it true?
Is this what love looks like?

Is love submitting to a slap in the face?
Is it standing innocent yet on trial?
Is it the scourge applied to the back?
Is it a forced march to a hill?
Is it nails through wrists and feet?
Is it cries from a cross?
Is it death in a tomb for three days?

Yes, this is true love.
Through pain, misery and death
can true love be found.
There is no love truer
than yours, my Savior.
Proved through death,
yet more, through life,
a resurrection made a promise,
sealing me in the Spirit.

"This is love: not that we loved God,
but that he loved us
and sent his Son
as an atoning sacrifice for our sins."
1 John 4:10

Greater love has no one than this:
to lay down one’s life for one’s friends."
John 15:13

Psalm 107

Practicing patience
Eliminating worry
Actively trusting
Cultivating contentment
Establishing rest

Give me the peace that passes understanding.

Psalm 106

Give me patience, O Lord!
My flesh does not wait for you,
it wants what it wants now.
It pummels me with disappointment,
with hurt and with sorrow.
Subdue my flesh,
let me submit to your Spirit.
Let me not forget
the myriad gifts of favor you have bestowed.
Make me ever thankful.
always full of praise at all times.
And may my memory of gratefulness

teach me to wait for you gladly.

Liebster Award

I received a unique award from Pursuit of Titus 2. She has a wonderful testimony--go to her blog and read it!

The Liebster Award is given to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers, in the spirit of fostering new connections. Liebster is a German word that means ‘dearest’ or ‘beloved’, but can also mean ‘favorite’. The idea of the award is to bring attention to blogs with less than 200 followers. (see note) The Award comes with a few rules.

You’re supposed to:

1. Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.

2. Reveal your top 5 picks for the award and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.

3. Post the award on your blog.

4. Bask in the love from the most supportive people on the blogsphere – other bloggers.

5. Hope your recipients pass the award to their 5 favorite blogs to keep the love flowing.

So, here are the blogs I have chosen for this award:

Positive Paragraphs from a Perpetual postPessimist--written by my closest friend who is seeking to truly live for God, even through obstacles and imperfections.

Amanda Johnston--my awesome friend, a published writer and someone whose thoughts and writing are profound.

God's Gift of "Grace--Every time Natalie posts I am encouraged in my Christian walk--This woman makes me want to be a better woman of God every day!

Another Day Stronger--I am continually drawn back to Kellie's blog because she is so real! She is walking a tough road and clinging to God every step of the way and she doesn't hide her struggles from her readers.

Witticisms--I don't scrapbook or make paper crafts at all, but Jessica is just so talented, I always go there to see what she has made next!

Psalm 105

Lord, change my heart!

I want to be closer to you,
go deeper with you,
pray further with you.
I want you to be made manifest
in my actions and words,
in my mouth and my hands.
I want impatience to flee,
anger to cool,
and fear to become trust.
I want to be covered with you,
not only knowing,
but living the death of sin.
I want your Spirit to fill me,
night and day,
sunrise to sunset.

Lord, rule my heart!