CANDLE OF HOPE

Romans 15:13

Image result for House decorated for Christmas

13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

We are now into December and the season of Advent . However this year shall we say has been literally knocked sideways thanks to The Coronavirus with Lockdown’s, Businesses & Health suffering.

Who would see the day when places of worship have been closed for almost a year. Most People in the current situation have stuck to the guidelines and kept things as normal as possible.

Today is th first Sunday in advent ‘The Candle of Hope’

Isn’t it strange how at the lead up to Christmas you start to see adverts for donations to several charities whilst at the other end of the spectrum you see a house decorated like the one above.

Though having said that there used to be a person who lived in a nearby village to me decorated his house at Christmas to raise money for a ward in the local hospital.

Little Children

Ephesians 6:1-4

1Children, obey your parents in the LORD, for this is right. 2″Honor your father and mother”-which is the first commandment with a promise- 3″so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” 4Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the LORD.

Matthew 19:14

14Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”See the source image

Many moons ago ( I say many moons as I am 60) having being brought up in The Salvation Army I decided to get saved on what is known in the Army as commitment Sunday at the very young age of 7yrs and I have committed my life to Christ ever since.

I have had my up and down’s in my Christian life since then but who doesn’t? The main thing is I have kept my faith and still attend The Salvation Army as my church.  In fact with the various things that have happened in my life health wise or other, if anything it has been my faith that has kept me going.

He is Lord

Philippians 2 New International Version 

Imitating Christ’s Humility

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit,if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:Image result for he is lord

Who, being in very nature[a] God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
    by taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
    he humbled himself
    by becoming obedient to death—
        even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
    and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.

Although sometimes used in prayer times this chorus can also be used as a testimony when we think of the words;

He is Lord, He is Lord

He is risen from the dead and He is Lord

Every knee shall bow every tongue confess

That Jesus Christ is Lord

Prayer

Ken's Devotions

Prayer is one of the most important tools of our Christian life next to the Bible and there’s no doubt about it the most common prayer is The Lord’s Prayer and even though there is slightly  different translations depending what church you belong to, when it comes down to it, it all means the same thing. The Lord’s Prayer  is also the prayer a child is taught to say before he or she goes to sleep at night.

The Lord’s Prayer
King James Version (KJV)

9 Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

 10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

 11 Give us this day our daily bread.

 12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power…

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O LIGHT FROM LIGHT – HYMN

responsorialpsalmcatholic

O LIGHT FROM LIGHT

HYMN

I

O Light from Light and image too

Of God most High, unfaltering,

To you, O God-redeemer, be

All glory, honour, kingly pow’r.

II

Lawgiver and most tender priest,

You show inscribed, and in your blood,

“The Prince of princes and of kings

The King most high”, upon your cloak.

III

All glory, Jesus, is your due;

The rulers of this world you rule,

While ages on the ages turn

With Father and kind Spirit one.

Amen.

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The Power of the Cross

1 Peter 2

24 “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” 25 For “you were like sheep going astray,”[f] but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

Mark 8See the source image

34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.

As I listen to this song by Stuart Townend I can’t begin to imagine the pain and suffering Christ went through for us at Calvary. Being whipped (that to me is painful enough) then having a crown of thorns placed on your head and then huge nails driven through your hands . He did all this to save you and me from our sins.

The amazing thing was three days after they put him in the tomb they found it his mother and Mary Magdalene found the tomb empty

 

Decisions

Image result for Christian decisions

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Most of us will have heard or used the saying ‘Decisions, decisions, decisions’ at some point in our life.

Because we have to make decisions every day of our lives decisions are usually pretty easy to make most of the time, but occasionally a tough one comes along where we find ourselves asking what do I do here? What road do I take.

It is then as Christians we should pray to the Lord for guidance and trust in the Lord to guide us in the right direction.

I’ll let the video speak for itself.

Compassion

Image result for The Lord' Compassion

Isaiah 49: 15

“Can a woman forget her nursing child And have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you.

Mark 6: 34

When Jesus went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and He felt compassion for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and He began to teach them many things.

When I was looking for readings for today’s blog I felt I had to put both of the above readings up.

Generals John Gowans & John Larsson  of The Salvation Army were two very talented officers in the Salvation Army who wrote 10 musicals.  This song is from the second musical, titled “Hosea” – the story of the Old Testament prophet’s faithfulness and forgiveness towards his unfaithful wife, relating this to God’s forgiveness of His people who had broken their promises to Him.

1.
If human hearts are often tender,
And human minds can pity know,
If human love is touched with splendor,
And human hands compassion show,
Chorus
Then how much more shall God our Father
In love forgive, in love forgive!
Then how much more shall God our Father
Our wants supply, and none deny!

2.
If sometimes men can live for others,
And sometimes give where gifts are spurned,
If sometimes treat their foes as brothers,
And love where love is not returned,

3.
If men will often share their gladness,
If men respond when children cry,
If men can feel each other’s sadness,
Each other’s tears attempt to dry,

Bow the Knee

Philippians 2:9-11 9

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is LORD, to the glory of God the Father.

I originally fist heard this video a couple of years ago sung by a girls choir on you tube and fell in love with it, and now guess what!, it’s become that popular that everyone’s singing it.

The words to the song are so meaningful and true. As I look at the verses below It’s a song that tells us in times of doubt ,fear etc we are to Trust in our heavenly Father.

There is a third verse in the video which unfortunately is not listed.

There are moments on our journey following the Lord
Where God illumines ev’ry step we take.
There are times when circumstances make perfect sense to us,
As we try to understand each move He makes.
When the path grows dim and our questions have no answers, turn to Him.
Bow the knee;
Trust the heart of your Father when the answer goes beyond what you can see.
Bow the knee;
Lift your eyes toward heaven and believe the One who holds eternity.
And when you don’t understand the purpose of His plan,
In the presence of the King, bow the knee.
There are days when clouds surround us, and the rain begins to fall,
The cold and lonely winds won’t cease to blow.
And there seems to be no reason for the suffering we feel;
We are tempted to believe God does not know.
When the storms arise, don’t forget we live by faith and not by sight.