Merry Christmas 2009!

Praise the Lord it is Christmas Eve!  
My very very very most favorite time of the year!  
A time for celebrating the birth of Christ and listening to the Pastor tell the Greatest Story Ever Told.  
Which is never old or boring.  
The Greatest Story Ever Told is in fact, The Greatest Story Ever Told!  
It is indeed fact and I discover scripture anew in the Word of God every year I read the story to my children, as I listen to them sing Happy Birthday Jesus!  
This is one birthday celebration I don't want to ever miss out on.  
Thank you Jesus for inviting me every year!  
And that my dear readers, is a gift worth receiving every year!  
This year we celebrated 25 days till Christmas memorizing scripture.  
I thought I would share those scriptures with you. 
The condensed version is for the younger ones.

1. For unto 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.

Isaiah 9:6

A child is born.

2.  Surely this is our God; we trusted in him and he saved us.  This is the Lord, we trusted in him, let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.

Isaiah 25:9

This is our God.

3.  Bethlehem, though you are small, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel.

Micah 5:2

Jesus will be born in Bethlehem.

4.  Do not be afraid Mary, you have found favor with God.

Luke 1:30

Mary, Do not be afraid.

5.  You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus.

Luke 1:31

Mary will have a baby and name him Jesus.

6.  He will be great and be called the son of the Most High God.

Luke 1:32

Jesus will be the Son of God.

7.  For nothing is impossible with God.

Luke 1:37

Nothing is impossible with God.

8.  Mary answered, I am the Lord's servant.  May it be to me as you have said.  Then the angel left her.

Luke 1:38

Mary told the angel, I am the Lord's servant.

9.  Mary will give birth to a son and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.

Matthew 1:21

Jesus will save his people from their sins.

9.  The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him "Immanuel", which means "God with us".

Matthew 1:23

The baby will be called Immanuel, which means God with us.

10. There was a census in the city that required Joseph to return to his home town, Bethlehem. He took Mary and they left.

 Luke 2:1-5

Joseph and Mary went to Bethlehem.

11.  Mary had the baby in Bethlehem and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and placed him in a manger.

Luke 2:7

Jesus was born, wrapped in swaddling cloths and laid in a manger.

12.  There were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.

Luke 2:8

Shepherds looked after their sheep at night.

13.  An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, Do not be afraid I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.

Luke 2: 9-10

An angel told the shepherds, I bring you good news.

14.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.

Luke 2:11

Today a Savior is born.

15.  This will be a sign to you, You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.

Luke 2:12

You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.

16.  The angels sang,  Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.

Luke 2:14

The angels sang, Glory to God!

17.  The shepherds hurried off and found Mary and Joseph and the baby, who was lying in the manger.

Luke 2:16

The shepherds found the baby lying in a manger.

18.  When the shepherds seen him they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.

Luke 2:17-18

The shepherds spread the word about baby Jesus.

19.  Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

Luke 2:19

Mary's heart was filled with joy.

20.  The wise men had been traveling from the east following a star they believed would lead them to the one who will be born King of the Jews.

Matthew 2:1-2

Three wise men followed a star looking for a King.

21.  When King Herod heard about the wise men, he met with them and told them to report back to him when they find the baby born King of the Jews.

Matthew 2:8

The King told the wise men to tell him when they find baby Jesus.

22.  The wise men left the King and followed the star to where the child was. When they saw the star over where the child was they were overjoyed.  On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him.

Matthew 2:9-11a

The wise men followed the star to where Jesus was and bowed down before him.

23.  The wise men opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. They returned back east without reporting back to the King.

Matthew 2:11b-12

The wise men gave baby Jesus three gifts, gold, incense and myrrh.

24.  When the King realized that the wise men found the baby born King of the Jews but failed to return and tell him, he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem who were two years and under.

Matthew 2:16

The King became angry with the wise men and ordered all baby boys to be killed.

25.  An angel appeared to Joseph and said "Get up, take the baby and his mother to Egypt.  Stay there until I tell you, for the King is going to search for the child to kill him."  Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus stayed in Egypt until the death of King Herod.

Matthew 2: 13-15

An angel woke up Joseph and told him to take Mary and baby Jesus to Egypt to escape the mean King.

I wish everyone of you a very Blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year!
See you after the New Year.

End notes:  All scriptures taken from the NIV Adventure Bible for kids.

Words Build or Destroy

Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech.
He must turn from evil and do good; 
he must seek peace and pursue it. 1 Peter 3:10-11 NIV

have you ever felt so out of place that the only thing you new to do was to 'open your mouth' as a means to fit in.  
No matter the words, 
No matter the conversation you joined in, 
No matter the gossip, 
No matter the ...fill in the blank.  
I have!  
I have walked away from countless conversations ...
even present speaking...saying to myself, 
"Why did I say that?" ... 
"I can't believe I said that." .... 
"What was I thinking?"...
or Yes, 
Even this whopper.......
"That must have really hurt her feelings."  
If you have asked yourself these questions, 
you can be sure the enemy is preying on your conversations as to try and prevent them from being uplifting and fruitful. 

A bit in the mouth of a horse controls the whole horse. 
A small rudder on a huge ship in the hands of a skilled captain sets a course in the face of the strongest winds. 
A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything—or destroy it!
It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. 
A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. 
By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell.  
James 3:3-6 MSG

Guess what?
There is a solution to leaving a conversation, a group, a class, a prayer fill in the blank.....without disecting your conversations!  
The enemy jumps on the chance to send you into an emotional whirlwind, 
especially when that conversation had to do with the Lord, 
He will attack your mouth in the middle of your sentence.   
The direction the enemy wants you to go leads to conflict and chaos.  
The other leads to peace and joy.  
Turning and changing our words requires time, energy, self-disipline and commitment. 
But most importantly it requires that we study to find what God has to say about how to use our mouths, and then rely on him to help us use them in the right way.  
Accepting responsiblity to our words is one of the most rewarding discipline.  I cannot blame others for the words that I say.  
It is my prayer that as the Lord transforms my speech, my relationships will improve, and I will experience more and more joy with the conversations that I have with others.  
And you to my dear friends. 
Psalm 139:4 tells us .. "Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord!" We must pray and ask God to give us the words to say! I pray Psalm 19:14 over myself before I open my mouth.... 
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight. Amen."

O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.  Well-spoken words bring satisfaction;  well-done work has its own reward, peace-planning brings joy to the planner and a cheerful word picks us up! Proverbs 12:14,20,25 MSG

So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you'll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know you're already doing this; just keep on doing it.  1 Thessalonians 5:11 MSG

For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. James 3:2  KJV

Bottom line girls, you and I are a constant work in progress.  Be prepared with your scripture cards!  Keep the word in your hearts and be ready! ~M

endnotes: NIV, The Message, KJV, Naves Topical Bible

To all the Covenant Bible Study Girls.

If you have questions please post a comment, I'll do my best to help.
For the girls that emailed on Covenant under Categories to the right and it will take you directly to the 'covenant' posts. I just love that you are getting your homework great you will feel when you finish!

2 Timothy 4:7
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

For the girls that asked for a 'note card holder' ...I can meet up with you at church or I can mail you one...let me know.

Just a reminder- the note card scripture list is one of the last posts here on the blog for you to print. :)

The comments will be closed when we start our new study in January!

BUT, The posts will remain there for your reference!
So remember you can catch up anytime, don't bog yourselves down.


Trust and Believe

Ask and it will be given to you; 
seek and you will find; 
knock and the door will be opened to you.

For everyone who asks receives; 
he who seeks finds; 
and to him who knocks, 
the door will be opened.

Which of you, if his son asks for bread, 
will give him a stone?
Or if he asks for a fish, 
will give him a snake?
If you, 
though you are evil, 
know how to give good gifts to your children, 
how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
Matthew 7:7-11 NIV!

By the simple discussion of these verses, Jesus urges us to keep our minds filled with the truth of God's control behind everything, which means that we must maintain an attitude of perfect trust and an eagerness to ask and to seek. What is trust?  Having perfect trust means we have perfect faith! With faith all things are possible.

God is my Father, He loves me, Why should I worry?

Even when you feel like you are stuck in darkness...You are Not.

Even when you feel God is like an unkind friend......He is Not.

Even when you feel God is an unjust judge..............He is Not.

Even when you fill in the blank................................He is Not.

All trust and believe God is behind all things strong and growing.  
Nothing happens unless God's will is behind it, 
(There is a reason for everything...pun intended) 
therefore we can rest in perfect confidence in Him. 

Prayer is not only asking, 
but an attitude of mind which produces the atmosphere in which asking is perfectly natural. 

"Ask and it will be given to you!"

Blessings, ~Melanie

Utimate Teacher- Jesus the One and Only!

Those who love instruction love knowledge!

Those who loves discipline loves knowledge!

Those who ignores correction is unwise.

Proverbs 12:1 NIV

That loves the instruction of Wisdom, or Christ,

(Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life.Proverbs 4:13);

the means of instruction, the Scriptures, which are profitable for instruction in righteousness, and are written for our learning; the Gospel, which instructs into the person, office, and grace of Christ; the ministers of the word, who are so many instructors in Christ; and even the rod of afflictions, by which men are taught their duty, and the will of God: and these are to be loved; and he that loves them clearly shows that he loves knowledge; since the means of instruction, making use of them, and getting instruction by them, are attended with labour, trouble, and difficulty; which a man would not choose, had he not a love unto and a desire after knowledge, and an increase of it; as the knowledge of God, of Christ, and of his truths.

The Lord GOD give me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak!
Isaiah 50:4 

Let's do a bit of word research, learned both words are translated "limmud" adj. (lim-mood) meaning "taught".   Also translate as "disciple", one who is "taught".

All children should be taught of the LORD; in turn; great shall be the peace of thy children. Isaiah 54:13 

This leads us to the instructions and teaching that would come from the Utimate Teacher- Jesus the One and Only!

Blessings, ~Melanie

In His WORD I put my HOPE!

In His WORD I put my HOPE!

I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope. Psalm 130:5 NIV

His patience in hope.

It is for the Lord that my soul waits, for the gifts of his grace, and the working of his power. We must hope for that only which he has promised in his word. Like those who wish to see the dawn, being very desirous that light would come long before day; but still more earnestly does a good man long for the tokens of God's favour, and the visits of his grace. Let all that devote themselves to the Lord, cheerfully stay themselves on him. All that wait on God for mercy and grace, are sure to have peace.

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible is available in the Public Domain.

The Word is a Light

Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.
{The word of God directs us in our work and way, and a dark place indeed the world would be without it.}

A Short Story

On the day the Lord returns,

You are in your car driving home. Thoughts wander to the game you want to see or meal you want to eat, when suddenly a sound unlike any you've ever heard fills the air. The sound is high above you. A trumpet? A choir? A choir of trumpets? You don't know, but you want to know.. So you pull over, get out of your car, and look up. As you do, you see you aren't the only curious one. The roadside has become a parking lot. Car doors are open, and people are Staring at the sky. Shoppers are racing out of the grocery store. The Little League baseball game across the street has come to a halt.. Players and parents are searching the clouds And what they see, and what you see, has never before been seen.

As if the sky were a curtain, the drapes of the atmosphere part. A brilliant light spills onto the earth. There are no shadows. None.

From every hue ever seen and a million more never seen. Riding on the flow is an endless fleet of angels.. They pass through the curtains one myriad at a time, until they occupy every square inch of the sky.

North. South. East. West.

Thousands of silvery wings rise and fall in unison, and over the sound of the trumpets, you can hear the cherubim and seraphim chanting, Holy, holy, holy... The final flank of angels is followed by twenty-four silver-bearded elders and a multitude of souls who join the angels in worship.

Suddenly, the heavens are quiet. All is quiet. The angels turn, you turn, the entire world turns and there

He is.... Jesus.

Through waves of light you see the silhouetted figure of Christ the King. He is atop a great stallion, and the stallion is atop a billowing cloud. He opens his mouth, and you are surrounded by his declaration:

I am the Alpha and the Omega.

The angels bow their heads... The elders remove their crowns... And before you is a Figure so consuming that you know, instantly you know: Nothing else matters...... Forget stock markets and school reports. Sales meetings and football games. Nothing is newsworthy... All that mattered, matters no more... For Christ has come.

Shout for praise! In His Name, ~Melanie