Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Teach The Children!

Just a week before Christmas I had a visitor. This is how it happened. I just finished the household chores for the night and was preparing to go to bed, when I heard a noise in the front of the house. I opened the door to the front room and to my surprise, Santa himself stepped out next to the fireplace.

"What are you doing?" I started to ask. The words choked up in my throat and I saw he had tears in his eyes. His usual jolly manner was gone. Gone was the eager, boisterous soul we all know. He then answered me with a simple statement . . .

"TEACH THE CHILDREN!" I was puzzled. What did he mean? He anticipated my question and with one quick movement brought forth a miniature toy bag from behind the tree. As I stood bewildered, Santa said, "Teach the children!

Teach them the old meaning of Christmas. The meaning that now-a-days Christmas has forgotten. "Santa then reached in his bag and pulled out a FIR TREE and placed it before the mantle. "Teach the children that the pure green color of the stately fir tree remains green all year round, depicting the everlasting hope of mankind, all the needles point heavenward, making it a symbol of man's thoughts turning toward heaven."

He again reached into his bag and pulled out a brilliant STAR. "Teach the children that the star was the heavenly sign of promises long ago. God promised a Savior for the world, and the star was the sign of fulfillment of His promise."

He then reached into his bag and pulled out a CANDLE. "Teach the children that the candle symbolizes that Christ is the light of the world, and when we see this great light we are reminded of He who displaces the darkness."

Once again he reached into his bag and removed a WREATH and placed it on the tree. "Teach the children that the wreath symbolizes the real nature of love. Real love never ceases. Love is one continuous round of affection."

He then pulled from his bag an ORNAMENT of himself. "Teach the children that I, Santa Claus, symbolize the generosity and good will we feel during the month of December."

He then brought out a HOLLY LEAF. "Teach the children that the holly plant represents immortality. It represents the crown of thorns worn by our Savior. The red holly berries represent the blood shed by Him.

Next he pulled from his bag a GIFT and said, "Teach the children that God so loved the world that he gave his begotten son." Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift.

Santa then reached in his bag and pulled out a CANDY CANE and hung it on the tree. "Teach the children that the candy cane represents the shepherds' crook. The crook on the staff helps to bring back strayed sheep to the flock. The candy cane is the symbol that we are our brother's keeper."

He reached in again and pulled out an ANGEL. "Teach the children that it was the angels that heralded in the glorious news of the Savior's birth. The angels sang Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace and good will toward men."

Suddenly I heard a soft twinkling sound, and from his bag he pulled out a BELL,. "Teach the children that as the lost sheep are found by the sound of the bell, it should ring mankind to the fold. The bell symbolizes guidance and return.

Santa looked back and was pleased. He looked back at me and I saw that the twinkle was back in his eyes. He said, "Remember, teach the children the true meaning of Christmas and do not put me in the center, for I am but a humble servant of the One that is, and I bow down to worship him, our LORD, our GOD."
Matthew 1:18-21

"This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Bruised But Not Broken

Psalm 139: 13-14 "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

Do you ever feel like you are an outcast? Like something is wrong with the way you look. Do you perceive yourself as grotesque or worthless? I have ready many things on the Internet and seen many things on t.v. where people, especially women, are hating themselves from an outer perspective but really the inside needs to be healed in order to move forward. The demons from the past need to be dealt with head on in order to conquer the future.

My past self esteem was not too rosy. I grew up not liking several things about myself. I was too tall, a big nose, big feet, and too skinny. I didn't like being the tallest girl in class. I towered over the boys and felt awkward. I felt that no boy in the world would ever like me. I didn't go to a bunch of school dances or activities because of the way I stuck out like a sore thumb. I missed part of my childhood because I stayed in the house which was my safe haven. I didn't have a boyfriend until college but it was already too late for my self esteem. I was broken inside. No matter how much my mother told me how beautiful I was, I couldn't see it. She was supposed to say that because she is my mother. I didn't feel accepted by men until I got older. I didn't just want a man to uplift my self esteem but I did want acceptance. Then I thought acceptance would make me feel better. I learned different. I had to learn for myself that self esteem begins with self.

The people in my past have moved on with their life and probably don't remember my name. So why was I holding on to them? They had said some things that I didn't like or hurt my feelings that stuck with me throughout the years. Did they care? No. Did they apologize? No. Did they know they hurt me? Probably not.

So what would it take for me to build up my self esteem? A man in my life? A modeling contract? A star in Hollywood? NO! A realization that God made me in HIS image, not the world's. I didn't learn or absorb this until a few years ago. What I had to realize is that it wasn't about my physical appearance now but it was about my emotional strings tugging at my spirit that were attached to my past. I had to find the courage to cut them loose. I can't say that reading the bible and all the scriptures cured me right then and there but it took some time to heal those wounds. I had to realize that His ways are not my ways and His thoughts are not my thoughts. I thought I was a mistake but God thinks of me as His child whom He loves and has a plan for. God is love and if I was made in His image, I was made in love. God doesn't make mistakes. He was right on the money with me. No one in the world can understand the mixture that went into making me but my God. He is the potter and I am the clay. He molded me this way. So why am I hating on myself AND Him?

The Lord is now using my painful past experience to teach others about self love. I am glad He is using me now and He knew all along that I would come out victorious! So how about you? Are you feeling insignificant or unattractive? Is your past painful or comments from others still hurting you? I heard many people say let go and let God but that is easier said than done. I do want to profess that the devil is a liar and he will use any negative tactic to get you to not see what God says about you. Choose to believe God today and everyday about what He says you are, made in His image. That is a great comparison all by itself! If you need to seek professional help, do so. There is no shame in it. Also seek spiritual help. God hears and and knows you. He feels your pain. Don't just endure an unhealthy mental state with temporary solutions but seek God for everlasting results that will have you jumping for joy! You have to heal from the inside out and God will see you through. You need to do what you have to do in order to be in line with God's purpose. Believe what God says about you and do not conform to this world. God has the last and most significant word in everything and even about you. Don't lose hope.

Father in Heaven, I pray for the healing of all who read this post. I pray for intense spiritual guidance and mending of a broken spirit. I pray to you, oh precious God, that you will come into their lives with a renowned sense of self esteem that will blow through their lives with a passionate response from them. I pray that their confidence is greater within themselves and you. I pray that they see past outward appearances that can fade and look within for a loving soul that is full of your grace. I pray that they will have a deaf ear towards negativity in the world and negative people will disappear from their life. I pray that when they look in the mirror they see you. They see the love that you have shown them and the love that they are made of. I pray that they only see the good in themselves. I pray that they forget the horrible past of upsets and disappointments but only remember the beautiful person that they are. Help them realize that there is a bright future ahead of them. Father I pray this sincere prayer for everyone who has been damaged by worldly comments and false prophecies. Please protect and heal as only you can. Thank you in advance.

In Jesus name, Amen.