Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas in English... it wasn't always that way

I am currently reading Tyndale: The Man Who Gave God an English Voice by David Teems, and will put a full review in the books section when I finish. It is one of those biographies that you don't want to put down. Very well written. I came across this excerpt from Luke 2 and thought it would be fitting for everyone to read the Christmas story as heard for the first time in English. (John Wycliffe translated an English Bible in the 1300s but it was translated from the Latin Vulgate. Tyndale was the first to translate from the original Greek into a common English that everyone could readily understand.) Tyndale was ultimately burned at the stake as a heretic for his efforts. But much of the KJV was taken directly from his work done in the early 1500s. Thank God for inspiring his work.

"And she brought forth her fyrst begotten sonne and wrapped him in swadlynge cloothes and layed him in a manger because ther was no roume for them in the ynne. And ther were in the same region shepherdes abydinge in the felde and watching their flocke by nyght. And loo: the angell of ye [the] lorde stode harde by them and the brightnes of ye lorde shone rounde aboute them and they were soare afrayed. But the angell sayd vnto them: Be not afrayed. For beholde I bringe you tydinges of greate ioye yt shal come to all ye people: for vnto you is borne this daye in the cite [city] of David a saveoure which is Christ ye [the] lorde. And take this for a signe: ye shall fynde ye [the] chylde swadled and layed in a manger."

Luke 2:7-12 William Tyndale New Testament 1526

Everyone should know this story and without having to learn another language.

May your Christmas be filled with the celebration of Jesus Christ - God in flesh come to redeem mankind.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Holy Illuminated

"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path."  Psalm 119:105

Where would we be without the Word of God lighting our paths?

In the dark.

Millions of people all over the world are in the dark. I get very scared in the dark, don't you? I usually find myself standing very still until someone holds my hand and leads me to the light. That is what Patrick and I want to be, a hand leading someone from darkness to light. See, the light set me free. It opened up paths of righteousness and delivered me from a life of just standing still. In Christ, the "True Light," (John 1:9), I am enlightened to the pleasures of God. Through Him I know what God desires for me.  I have victory over darkness because the dark can not comprehend the light (John 1:5). That is power, my friends:

Direction and Defeat. 

"No one, after lighting a lamp, puts it away in a cellar nor under a basket, but on the lampstand, so that those who enter may see the light."  Luke 11:33

Why would I want to keep this light to myself? Everyday I want to sit under its warmth. I lay out my blanket  and lay back with my basket full and feast upon every word. There is where I find peace, joy, and complete satisfaction. Just me, my Bible, and my prayers - my idea of a perfect day.  To think of not having this - I would rather die.

Those same millions that are in the dark are doing just that - dying without the light. The god of this world has blinded them, so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ (2 Corinthians 4:4). Light that I carry around without fear of it ever being extinguished. Light that I proclaim to everyone around me as the "only Way, Truth, and Life."  So, what am I going to do with my light? Head to Africa.  I am going to love and live in a world that is not my own but one that God will show me.

I will spend my life sharing my light so that others can spread out their own blanket or share a spot on mine. And together we will feast on the Word.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

With My Hands Lifted High

 This is a song that I sing daily.

Join me in praising our Faithful God!

Monday, December 12, 2011

For You I Wait All The Day

December has brought, for our family, a period of waiting. We are waiting for direction. We are waiting for provision. We are waiting to leave. Wait. Wait. Wait. Every corner that I turn, every new day that I awaken what is lurking for me is wait. I am horrible at the wait. I was raised in the "get-it-now" generation.

So in my mind I am finding it hard to grasp the periods of wait that are written for us in the gospel. Wait for the word, Wait for the star, Wait for the child. How agonizing this must have been for all involved. Not the perfect smile pictured nativity that we are all fed this time of year. We are able to conveniently turn the page in the gospel of Luke and see the story unfold it all of its glory, but I know that Mary and Joseph had to wait. So, too, Patrick and I must wait. We must be ready to go at a moments notice. We can't be concerned about accommodations. We can't determine how long we will stay. We just have to patiently wait. So, what do we do in the wait?

Psalm 25:5 says, "Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; for You I wait all the day."

Jesus is in the wait

He is the light for my day, the water for my thirst, and the warm, savory, bread that nourishes my soul. If doing the will of God and accomplishing His work was enough food for Jesus (John 4:34) then it is enough for me. So, the wait is not a byproduct of the call. It is a vital part of the call. It is in the wait where trust is tested. It is in the wait where faith grows. It is in the wait where love manifests and multiplies. It is here where the foundation is laid so that all that God desires to accomplish through you can achieve its end.

Just like Mary and Joseph, who knew what God was doing through them, to the rest of the world it seemed like madness. A marriage unfit. A child conceived out of lies and deception. For them their period of wait had to have been agonizing. Oh,come Oh, come Emmanuel were the words that she cried out silently. Begging God to speed up His long awaited gift so that she could be redeemed and return back to her life with Joseph.

I, too, find myself crying out before the Lord, " I have waited my whole life for this, why do I have to wait?" "Why are the days long and the trials and temptations more than I can bear?" "Are you truly going to fulfill in me all that you have revealed and promised?" "Oh, come Oh, come Emmanuel!" It is at this point that the Holy Spirit softly speaks words of comfort over me through the word just like he did to Mary. "The Lord is with you." (Luke 1:28) That is when I take in a deep breath and can accept the challenges that are here today in the wait. The Lord is with me. 

And for Him I will wait all the day.