Ginrich's Devotional Blog

December 31, 2010

A Clean Slate

Mic 6:8 He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God

Let’s end this year with a clean slate.  Take time to pray this prayer:

 

Father, God, there are probably people I’ve hurt during this year.  Please heal their hurts and forgive my insensitivity.

There are probably people who wanted an ear to listen and I didn’t take the time.  Please forgive me and listen to them.

There are probably people who needed a helping hand and I was too busy with my own “to do” list.  Please forgive me and send them a helping hand.

There are probably people who were lonely or sick and I was too busy to visit them.  Please forgive me and send someone to be with them.

As this New Year enters, help me to be more caring of others, have a better listening ear, have hands more willing to help and be more sensitive to those who are lonely or sick.

Thank You for Your forgiveness and for Your patience as I learn to put You first, then others and follow with my own desires last.

 

December 29, 2010

Receipts

Ecc 3:6 a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,

Today we cleaned out our receipts for the past year.  We had to read each one to make sure it wasn’t for something under warranty.  In the process we were able to review our year.  Many of the receipts brought back fond memories.  This made me think I should also review my spiritual experiences over the past year.  What were the circumstances around my growing times?  What were the circumstances around the times I did not show my love for God?  The questions can go on and on.  It is a good time to reflect on past spiritual victories and challenges.  Some of it can bring tears and repentance as we seek God’s forgiveness on things we didn’t realize at the time were not in His character.  Some of it can bring joy and surprise of the growth of God’s fruits of His Holy Spirit within me.  Many of the receipts were put in the trash, never to be remembered again.  There are some memories that should be put in the trash, never to be remembered.  These are memories of people or events that have hurt us and we have had to speak a word of forgiveness.  We have not forgiven if we continue to think on the event.  Once we have expressed forgiveness or been forgiven, treat it like a useless receipt.  Put it in the trash and move on.

 

December 28, 2010

New Year’s Resolutions

Pr 2:6 For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding

Many people make New Year’s Resolutions.  Usually, around two or three weeks they find they cannot keep their resolutions.  This could be for many reasons.  The primary reason for not keeping a resolution is lack of commitment.  When we make a resolution we should talk it over with God.  When we seek His wisdom and respond to it we can be assured the resolutions we make are in His will for our lives.  When we have that assurance, commitment is easier.  Today is the day to start seeking God and His wisdom.  Then, if He leads you to make a resolution for the new year, ask Him to help you carry it out.  Remember, all things are possible with God.

 

December 27, 2010

Preparation

Isa 40:3 A voice of one calling: “In the desert prepare the way for the LORD   make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God.

What to do with the week between Christmas and New Years?  One of the things I do is prepare my physical house for the New Year.  I never feel like spring-cleaning in the spring.  In the spring, I want to be outside enjoying the freshness of the weather and the freshness of nature coming into bloom.  Every since a child I have cleaned out things between Christmas and New Years.  It is also a good time to do some spiritual cleaning.  We are to prepare the way for the Lord.  We cannot do it for others until we have done it for ourselves.  This is a good time too check our hearts and minds; check our priorities.  Does God have a clear path to our devotion?  During this week, let us take time to ask God to search our mind and hearts and remove anything in us that separates us from Him.

 

December 26, 2010

Day After

Dt 31:6 Be strong and courageous.   Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

After Christmas, what?  Many people experience a let down or even depression after a big holiday.  Sometimes it’s because they had expectations that weren’t met.  They might have not gotten the material things they wanted, relationships might have not gone how they had hoped or maybe even the food was disappointing.  We tend to be full of expectations.  Then, when things or people don’t come up to our expectations we are disappointed, depressed or even angry.  Some of us even put expectations on ourselves.  I quite often disappoint myself in the use of my time.  Many times it’s because I put more on my “to do” list than possible to accomplish.

We can save ourselves a lot of disappointment and frustration if we would live in the moment and appreciate all God allows to come our way.  If we try to make everything under our control we will remain frustrated or angry.  If we recognize that all that touches us passes through God’s hands first and is allowed to pass to us our outlook will change.  My expectation is God is God will never leave me or forsake me.  That is a promise and God does not break His promises.  I will never be disappointed.  I can always trust and rejoice in all circumstances because I know He is with me.

 

December 25, 2010

Happy Birthday, Jesus

Isa 9:6-7 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.  And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Happy Birthday, Jesus.  Thank You for leaving Your Father in heaven to come to our earth as a baby.  Thank You for being willing to experience in our human, finite form the things we must experience during our physical life on this earth.  Thank You for showing us that God loves us.  Thank You for teaching us how we are to love God and each other.  Thank you for facing such a horrible death on the cross and bearing our sins – the things that separate us from God the Father – so we can have eternal life with You and the Father when our days on this earth are finished.  Let the way we celebrate Your coming as a baby to this earth put a smile on Your face.

 

December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve Day

Mt 22:37 Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’

Eve’s are special times. These are the times we start celebrating the event of the next day. Today let’s prepare our hearts to make more room for Christ in our hearts, minds and life. Let us take time to be sure we are practicing the JOY of Christ – Jesus first, then others and yourself last. If you know someone who is alone today, give them a call. If possible, invite them to a candlelight service somewhere. At the service, be sure you are completely there. So often we have said and sung the rituals in our services so often that we can do it in our sleep. Let’s stay tuned in and really understand and mean the words and the songs we sing this evening. Have a blessed Christmas Eve.

December 22, 2010

Imagination

Eph 3:20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,

I sacrificed a good night’s sleep to stay up and see the lunar eclipse.  The clouds refused to part.  All I could see was a redish/orange glow through the clouds.  But, as I looked at the glow, I was able to imagine the big, red circle of the moon that was making the reflection through the clouds.  Many times, as we read God’s Word, we can use our imagination as we read about the accounts of events.  We tend to romanticize history and clean it up to suit our fancy.  Instead of romanticizing let’s try to put ourselves into the events.  How would we feel in those situations?  What might we have done?  I’ve tried to do that in a small way during Advent season with the different people involved in the Nativity event.  I hope this opens the doors of your imagination.  The gift of imagination comes from God.  We can use it in a good way or in a bad way.  We have the control.  Let’s use it in a good way and get really involved in the events recorded in God’s Word so we can better understand them.

 

December 21, 2010

Christ in Christmas

Filed under: Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 1:36 am

Mt 25:35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,

Today we met at church and filled 14 boxes with food and gifts.  We get most of the names from the school district office.  We maintain a food pantry in our church for emergencies and contribute to the area wide food pantry.  We also do these boxes at Thanksgiving.  I’m not sure why we don’t do some at every holiday time.  People in need are usually in need throughout the year.  They sometimes get help from various sources but, at holiday times, the need seems even more urgent.  Holiday’s bring up a lot of depression in people in need.  They see all the things others have and it makes them feel bad.  There are some people who think others should be helped for a limited time only.  Unless we walk in their shoes, we don’t know why some are in need for long time periods.  Jesus didn’t tell us to judge or decide how long someone should be able to get help.  He said, “feed the hungry and give drinks to the thirsty.”  He didn’t say just to do it on Christmas or Thanksgiving.  He just said, do it.  Our biggest problem was getting in touch with each family to deliver the gift boxes.  Giving isn’t always easy or convenient.

You might not have money or food to give but you can give a smile, listening ear, a word of cheer or many other intangibles.  There is no “us” or “me” in Christmas.  It is all about Christ and Christ is about reaching out in love to others.

December 20, 2010

Star of Bethlehem

In stead of reading a devotion today, may I recommend going to the web site “bethlehemstar.net”  This is a very interesting site.  Occasionally you can see him lecture on some of the TV stations.  Discover and enjoy.

IT’S AN ASTRONOMICAL MYSTERY. A strange star is claimed to have appeared at the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. This site is an investigation of the story found in the BiblicalGospel of Matthew, a story often called the ‘Star of Bethlehem.’ It brings the words of Roman and Jewish historians alongside the visions of ancient prophets. It mixes “modern” mathematicians with murderous turmoil in the Roman imperial court. It combines all these with astronomical facts which no one disputes. And it concludes that the star was a real event. Come solve this age-old mystery for yourself…

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