HAPPY NEW YEAR 2014

Happy New Year 2014

What a great time to start something…right?  Out with the old and in with the New! Hooray!

Time to make a resolution or a few……So what is a resolution anyway?

res·o·lu·tion  (rz-lshn) n.

1. The state or quality of being resolute; firm determination.

2. A resolving to do something.

3. A course of action determined or decided on.

4. A formal statement of a decision or expression of opinion put before or adopted by an assembly such as the U.S. Congress.

5. Physics & Chemistry- The act or process of separating or reducing something into its constituent parts: the prismatic resolution of sunlight into its spectral colors.

6. The fineness of detail that can be distinguished in an image, as on a video display terminal.

7. Medicine-The subsiding or termination of an abnormal condition, such as a fever or an inflammation.

8. Law A court decision.

9. An explanation, as of a problem or puzzle; a solution.

b. The part of a literary work in which the complications of the plot are resolved or simplified.

10. Music -a. The progression of a dissonant tone or chord to a consonant tone or chord.

b. The tone or chord to which such a progression is made.

11. The substitution of one metrical unit for another, especially the substitution of two short syllables for one long syllable in quantitative verse.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

As you can see there are many ways to define “RESOLUTION.” What is your meaning?

Do you have any resolutions? Do you have a plan of action?

Let me share my most important resolution and plan of action with you, if I may…

My 2014 New Year’s Resolution is: to STOP just being there and START BEING THERE! In more detail…stop just thinking about things, do them.

My plan of action involves 3 main steps:

1.)      Pray about everything and anything…the more detail the better, that way I know God is always working and blessing me and will help me bless others.

2.)      Be healthy in every way. Mentally, physically, emotionally, and most importantly SPIRITUALLY! Even if it means taking one step at a time…I know that I will be better than I used to be.

3.)      Action. No not movie stuff LOL…but as soon as I have a thought…do it.  Call that person…offer a ride…play that game with my kids…take my husband out on a date…have a party for no reason…give when there is a need…offer what I have…God will do the rest. Whatever it is…don’t wait any more! I want to enjoy life to the fullest.

Life will bring challenges to my resolution, but I am ready to take them on.

If you need some tips and suggestion about your resolution, email me and I will be more than happy to help you get started and make a plan of action!

Let do this New Year thing together!

~~~HAPPY NEW YEAR 2014~~~

FREEDOM

FREEDOM-Liberty In Christ

Image

What is FREEDOM?

Dictionary

1.The power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint
– we do have some freedom of choice
– he talks of revoking some of the freedoms
2.Absence of subjection to foreign domination or despotic government
– he was a champion of Irish freedom
3.The state of not being imprisoned or enslaved
– the shark thrashed its way to freedom
4.The state of being physically unrestricted and able to move easily
– the shorts have a side split for freedom of movement
5.The state of not being subject to or affected by (a particular undesirable thing)
– government policies to achieve freedom from want
6.The power of self-determination attributed to the will; the quality of being independent of fate or necessity

7.Unrestricted use of something

– the dog is happy having the freedom of the house when we are out

8.Familiarity or openness in speech or behavior

BIBLE:
Freedom in Christ frees us from unnecessary religious practices and religious cults. You can experience  the right relationship with God and your neighbors.

“Give me liberty or give me death!” Patrick Henry evidently placed a high value on freedom. Often, it is for “freedom” that soldiers fight on the battlefield, sometimes to take it away from others or to protect it, or to restore it to those who have lost it. In the United States, we generally think of such freedoms as the freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of the press and freedom of assembly.

But there is more to freedom than simply civil laws protecting such. There are some freedoms that civil law cannot give and armies cannot secure. We have to look elsewhere for certain freedoms, and they are extremely important ones. Freedom from sin, freedom from sin’s eternal consequences, freedom from hopelessness and despair, and ultimately, freedom from death.

Liberty In Christ
“Jesus was therefore saying to those Jews who had believed Him, ‘If you abide in my word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free,'” (John 8:31,32).
When Christ came, the whole world was lying in the power of the Evil One. In the context of Jesus’ promise to “know the truth and the truth shall make you free” is an objection of some who heard Him. They countered that they had never been enslaved to anyone. Besides being historically inaccurate (they had, indeed, served as slaves in Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia and many Jews were slaves in Rome as they spoke), they were missing the point. Jesus explained He was talking about their being enslaved to sin (John 8:33-36).

There was pride and pretentiousness; hypocrisy and greed; hatred and selfishness. They held to outward religious form and pomp; self glory and human tradition, often setting aside God’s commandment in favor of their traditions. They were self-righteous and often hard-hearted. Jesus came to free them from such, and us as well. Sin is a cruel slave master which will always kill its faithful servants in the end (Romans 6:23; 5-7; 12-14).

While the Jews dealt with these things, the Gentiles were no better off. They were enslaved to false gods (Galatians 4:8). Their degradation seemingly knew no limits (Romans 1:28-32).

Jesus came to set us all free. He was the only One who could do so. We could not free ourselves, neither could any other force in heaven or on earth. It had to be Jesus. In Him we are set free as we are made new (2 Corinthians 5:17). Remember Jesus’ own words about it; this freedom is related to and dependent upon “abiding in (His) word” (John 8:31).

Be Not Subject Again-No longer a slave to sin
“… and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1b).

The specific danger Paul addresses in the above passage (cf. Galatians 5:1-15) is a return to or dependence upon Judaism for salvation. Paul has many fine things to say about the Law of Moses. It is good; it is righteous; it led us to Christ as a schoolmaster, it spoke of the Christ to come; it is profitable for study and learning from its examples, and so forth. But it could not justify, and returning to it for justification would only result in enslavement.

False teachers were demanding the continuing observance of the Law; and even that the Gentiles, to whom the Law was never given, subject themselves to its ordinances. Paul writes, “Therefore, let no one act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day…” (Colossians 2:16).

Additionally, there were false teachers of other sorts trying to adulterate the gospel with human philosophy and traditions (Colossians 2:8-10). Paul’s answer: “But even though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 6:8).

The Answer To A Present Danger
“For sin shall not be the master over you, for you are not under Law, but under grace.” (Romans 6:14).

We must stand guard over our freedom in Christ, else we may well find our liberty eroded and ourselves enslaved again. Peter warns that the final state of enslavement can be even worse than the first so encourages the faithful not to allow themselves to be led astray by false promises (2 Peter 2:18-22).

Even as Jesus referred to the Pharisees of His day as being enslaved, there are those today who think like the Pharisees thought. They are prideful and hypocritical. They look for a physical kingdom of silver and gold instead of a spiritual kingdom of truth and righteousness. They are steeped in human religious tradition and creeds, while setting aside the doctrine of Christ. Do not let the modern version of the Pharisee rob you of your freedom!

Neither let empty human philosophy take your freedom away. The names of the philosophies may have changed (now we have humanism, modernism and so forth) but the effects are still the same. They cannot save. Only the gospel can do that (1 Corinthians 1:18-22). The world is constantly bombarding us with words to entice us away from our salvation. Our answer: “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1).

John 3: 16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in HIM shall not perish but have everlasting life.”  FREEDOM IN CHRIST

 

Holiday Tips: Make Your Memorial Day Memorable written by: : Debra Gilroy

ImageFor many of us, Memorial Day is a three day holiday to celebrate what feels like the beginning of summer. That’s good, because there is a lot to be said for celebrating the start of those hopefully lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer with a cookout, picnic, barbecue or gathering of friends and family.

But like many other national holidays, there’s a meaningful back story that’s worth telling and remembering in some way during this celebration, and you’ll find lots of ideas on just how to integrate remembering into your day below.  But first, what’s Memorial Day about?

How did Memorial Day begin?

Apparently, many towns and cities claim to have started the tradition of Decoration Day, as Memorial Day was originally called, although Waterloo NY was declared the winner of this title by former President Lyndon Johnson in May, 1966. The day itself actually was proclaimed by a Union General on May 5, 1868 to honor those who had died in the Civil War by placing flowers on their graves on May 30 at Arlington National Cemetery.

After World War I, the day was changed to celebrate those U.S. forces who had fought and died in any war. In 1971 it was declared a national holiday to be celebrated on the last Monday of May. Since then, it has been a day meant for a unified honoring of the nation’s war veterans who died in war. It’s been informally expanded to include those who are veterans who died after serving in the US. armed forces as well.

Remember those who gave….

Traditionally, it’s a day of cook outs, picnics, and outdoor activities, but here are a few ideas on how to add more meaning to your Memorial Day this year:

  • Attend a parade: Many local communities have a small parade honoring veterans who have fought in a war or contributed to the effort in some way. Regardless of your politics and beliefs, it’s a way to give tribute to those have done what they felt was right for their country. Thank them.
  • Visit a cemetery: This can be especially important if one of your relatives was a veteran. While the tradition over the early years of Memorial Day was to “decorate” the grave with flowers, you’ll most often today see the small flags next to the tombstones of veterans (usually placed there by volunteers), whether they died in the war or later. Children can benefit from this activity as well, because it gives them a history lesson.
  • Have a family ceremony: During your event, take a few moments to say a word about your family members who may have fought, died, been wounded or disabled in any war for the U.S. If you’ve done some work on your family tree, go back as far as you can. If you have a family member or friend who is in or returning from Afghanistan, ask them to speak, and give them your thanks.
  • Create a playlist of relevant Memorial Day music: With i-tunes and your i-pod, you can design a playlist of patriotic music in any genre from country to big bands. The old standards like America the Beautiful are always good, but be creative and do a mix of pop, rock, R & B and country  Add the music that is meaningful for you from various times the country was at war. Here are a few starter ideas for your list:
  • America (Neil Diamond)
  • Freedom (Paul McCartney)
  • Citizen Soldier (3 Doors Down)
  • Living in America (James Brown)
  • Born in the USA (Bruce Springsteen)
  • R.O.C.K. in the USA (John Mellencamp)
  • American Soldier (Toby Keith)
  • It’s America (Rodney Adkins)
  • Wear a red poppy: This tradition began in 1915 when Moina Michael wrote her own poem in reaction to In Flanders Fields, mentioning a red poppy in relation to the “blood of heroes never dies”. Since then organizations, including veterans groups, have made the red poppies to sell for fund raising purposes.
  • Have a Remembrance Moment: In hopes of putting the remembering back in Memorial Day, Congress declared in 2000 a National Moment of Remembrance resolution. At 3pm local time, Americans are asked to “voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to Taps.”
  • Serve a “flag cake”: After all the remembering activities, move on to your summer start off celebration with menu that includes a “flag cake”. Vanilla cake, vanilla frosting strawberries cut in quarters and some blueberries are all you need. Bake the cake in a 9 x 13 pan, frost it, then create a flag design using the strawberries for stripes and  the blueberries for the stars. Yummy, patriotic, and another way to remember what Memorial Day is all about!

Enjoy family and friends!!!

The CHRISTmas Sign

Twas the night before Christmas and throughout the land,

People were kneeling and all holding hands…

Their world had been shattered with violence and hate,

They gathered each praying that it wasn’t too late.

In Churches and Mosques and prayer line and on the phones,

Synagogues and Temples and small private homes…

The idea started with one little girl, who wished for one prayer, from all of the world.

Every one of God’s Children from each different nation, United for one hour of prayer and dedication.

The girl told her best friend, who then told her teacher, who the following Sunday shared the idea with her preacher.

From there it just snowballed with flyers and speeches, commercials on TV, and everywhere radio reaches!

Someone sent an email that burned up the wire; it raced around the internet like an uncontrollable fire. From computers to cell phones, faxes through cyberspace, the World Wide Web was overwhelmed as it continued to race!

The Date was decided for most seemed to believe that this magical hour, should take place Christmas Eve. For surely if the planet could somehow unite in prayer, God would hear us on this most special of nights…

They gathered in stadiums, town cafeteria and halls, school gyms and chat rooms, each filled wall to wall. All of Europe’s great cathedrals were filled to overflowing, never before in all history there had been such a showing. Spain, Portugal, Singapore, Greece, Kenya, and Paraguay, Rome, Chile, Columbia, the good olds USA!

Exactly at 10pm the service would start. The little girl with a dream would say a prayer from her heart, in a tiny little church hall, where the girl usually prayed. Microphones and speakers were wired, her words would be relayed, to the very ends of this planet and then back again. The whole world could join her praying for Peace to all mean!

The small girl stepped slowly in front of the crowd and all the satellites and cameras made the static so loud. Then a great hush fell over all those gathered there; the world held it’s breath as she started her prayer…

DEAR GOD, UP IN HEAVEN~PLEASE HEAR US TONIGHT. LET YOUR ANGELS FLY DOWN AND SHOW US YOUR LIGHT! PLEASE STOP ALL THE HATRED, HELP US MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICE AS TONIGHT WE ALL PRAY WITH ONE SINGLE VOICE…SHOW US THE WAY GOD, TO LIVE IN PEACE AND TO SHARE ALL WE HAVE WITH OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS, EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE…AND GOD, ONE MORE THING, IF YOU HAVE TIME AND COULD YOU SEND US SOME SORT OF SIGN? IT WOULD DO PEOPLE GOOD IF THEY HAVE DOUBTS, THEY CAN BELIEVE. THIS WOULD BE A GOOD LESSON FOR THIS CHRISTMAS EVE!! SO PLEASE TELL THE ANGELS TO BRING PEACE DOWN TO MEN LIKE THEY DID THAT FIRST CHRISTMAS SO LONG AGO……AMEN!!!

When the girl had finished there was not a sound…all over the world only silence was found. Then suddenly a voice in the back cried out, “Look-up, there near the ceiling.” And that was all it took…Every eye in the world…For the cameras still rolled and glanced quickly upwards as they’d been told…High over head everyone could see Innumerable flickering balls of light.

The entire world stood spellbound at this miraculous sight! Then as people watched in awe, each glowing orb changed to a dove…The universally accepted symbol of God’s undying love! A gasp spread quickly through the all, the electronic feedback was the same…reports of the doves from around the world, as each country checked in by name…The beautiful birds were everywhere, radiating warmth and peace! This was the sign the girl asked for, so that doubt would finally cease!

She clapped her hands quite merrily for she was unable to keep still, delighted with this wonderful show of God’s great and loving will! Wonderful exclamations, songs of praise, such a loud and joy-filled noise cause the rooftops all to raise!

That night knew no division; there was no rank or class, just the whole wide world as one, in PEACE~at last!

This may be another pretty story to you, but it is a true reminder that God is God and if you believe, Christmas is still CHRISTmas!!!

May God give you Peace and a sign as he Blesses you this CHRISTmas~May God fill you with Joy, Hope and Dreams in the year to come!!!

CHRISTMAS THINKING

“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” – Chinese Proverb

The first step is to BELIEVE in the Gift of All Gifts~ The birth of JESUS! For it is JESUS that is the Christmas Miracle!

Santa’s Prayer

Santa’s Prayer

(Author Unknown)

 The sleigh was all packed, the reindeer were fed, but Santa still knelt by his bed.

 “Dear Father,” he prayed, “Be with me tonight, there is much to do and my schedule is tight. I must jump in my sleigh and streak through the sky, knowing full well that a reindeer can’t fly.  I will visit each household before the first light, I’ll cover the world and all in one night. With sleigh bells ringing I will land on each roof, amid the soft clatter of each little hoof. To get in the house is the difficult part ~some with chimneys some that are more than one story, but no matter, I will be in each child’s dreams and heart. My sack will hold toys to grant their wishes, the supply will be endless like the loaves and the fishes. I will fill all the stocking and not leave a track; I will eat every cookie and every snack.  I can do all of these things Lord, but only through you.  I just need your blessing, and then it’s easy to do. All this, to honor the birth of the One, that was sent to redeem us, YOUR Most Holy Son.

So to all of my friends, least YOUR Glory I rob,

PLEASE LORD, remind them that it is YOU who gave me this job.”

                                                In Jesus Name,

                                                ~~~Santa

Teach CHRISTmas

The door opened and Santa walked in! The toy bag was bulging at the seams!  The children’s faces beamed with anticipation of what was inside…was there a toy for them?

As Santa opened the bag, clapping, cheering and smiles were in the air. No toys came out of the bag, just a tray full of holiday snacks. Santa set the tray on the table and told everyone, “Eat and be Merry! Rejoice in the goodness of the Lord.”

Then, Santa asked everyone to come close so that they could see what was in his bag.

He first pulled out a FIR TREE and placed in the middle of the room. Then Santa said with a smile, “The pure color green of the fir tree stays green all year round, no matter what the world does. All the needles point toward heaven, resembling the thoughts we should have every season. The shape of the tree is like a triangle which represents the Trinity-Father, Son and Holy Spirit”

The room got quiet and everyone just watched in a puzzled way, what Santa was pulling out now.  It was a Star that shined so bright. “This star is a symbol of the heavenly sign of all promises from long ago that still remain today. God promised a Savior for the world, and the star, lead the world to understand that God’s promise was fulfilled.”  Santa said proudly, as he placed it at the top of the tree.

Now everyone got real quiet , sat down and, all eyes were on Santa. What was to come?

Santa then reached in the bag again and pulled out a CANDLE. “Christ is the light of the world,” Exclaimed Santa, “It is Christ Jesus that displaces the darkness.” He quickly pulled out streams of lights and put them on the tree. “Lights also remind us and those around us, that we may be, the only Jesus others see. For we are to be the light to others, just as Jesus is our light.”

No one made a sound but continued to looked at the bag. Once again, Santa reached in the bag and diplayed another surprise. This time he removed a WREATH and placed it on the tree. “Eternal love: real love that never ceases or fails. That is the continuous love that surrounds us through Christ.” Santa said boldly. He also pulled out round ornaments, placed them on a tree and said, “Ornaments are round with no beginning or end. For God is eternal.”

The CANDY CANE was revealed next. Santa hung it on the tree and said, “For God is our good Shepherd. He brings us back when we stray and holds us when we are weak. We know his voice and so it is HE that leads and we that follow.”

This time Santa reached in his bag to gently bring out an ANGEL. “We are to remember that the angels brought forth the glorious news of our Saviors birth. “Glory to God in the Highest, on earth peace, and good will.” Santa sang.

Then to everyone’s surprise, Santa pulled out an ornament of HIM-SELF and announced, “I am just a symbol that is over stated.  However,” with humility he continued, “I have asked for repentance and received forgiveness, and in doing so, I have learned to be an example of God’s generosity.”  A tear ran down his check ….and then…he continued.

He cleared his throat while he pulled out another item from his bag. A HOLLY LEAF was shown. “Immortality!” Santa said strongly.  “The crown of thorns worn,by our Savior, and the berries are a reminder of the blood that was shed.”

A beautifully wrapped GIFT was pulled out of the bag next. “God gave his only son as the Best Gift and true miracle of Christmas. Thanks to God that he loves us so much, he gave up his most beloved.” Santa said heart fully. “Wise men brought gifts to honor the Holy baby; so we give gifts to honor the same Spirit as the wise men.”

Then suddenly there was a soft twinkling sound….Santa’s hand pulled out a bell and rang it.  “Not only do we rejoice in the joys of jingles but we are to listen like lost sheep for the guidance of God until he returns.”

The bag was empty and all were amazed at what they had heard and seen. One would think that there would be much disappointment with no one getting a gift, but there was singing and praising the Lord. Gifts come in all sorts of ways when they are from the heart. Toys became a thought of the past, and  the focus was on the TRUE spirit of Christmas!

Santa looked at the tree and all the things around the tree, along wiht all of the children and families laughing~he was pleased.

His final words were not “Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night”, but with a smile of compassion Santa said, “Remember that Christmas is a time of celebrating Hope and Light! Joy and life!  My hearts desire is for you NOT to put me in the center of your celebration-for I am just a humble servant of the ONE who IS!  I bow down to worship God the Creator, Jesus my Savoir, and Lord of my Life.”

 

“May God Bless you all, and to all, a Merry CHRISTmas!”