Archive for the ‘ Holidays ’ Category

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – My Hymns & Songs – 12/09/2018 – Faithfully Coming

Continuing our journey through the songs and hymns that have had an impact on my spiritual life, we now turn to another of those famous Christmas carols.

O Come All Ye Faithful

Lyricsd

O Come All Ye Faithful
Joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem.
Come and behold Him,
Born the King of Angels;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

O Sing, choirs of angels,
Sing in exultation,
Sing all that hear in heaven God’s holy word.
Give to our Father glory in the Highest;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

All Hail! Lord, we greet Thee,
Born this happy morning,
O Jesus! for evermore be Thy name adored.
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

A few thoughts …

In all of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it can be too easy to forget to stop and worship our King.

We must remember that this is a time of joy. Our Savior has come!

Some may get caught up in the materialism. Get past it.

Some may get caught up in the idea that angles do not sing. I like what some teach, that they did sing at Creation (Job 38:7) but stopped singing at the Fall. However, perhaps they did sing at the birth of Jesus (Luke 2:13-14), for God joined His Creation to save sinful humanity.

Regardless, let us come together and adore our Savior and King!

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – My Hymns & Songs – 12/02/2018 – Drumming Up Faith

It is time to continue looking at the hymns and songs that had an impact on my spiritual life, and this week I have another of my top three Christmas carols.

Little Drummer Boy

Lyrics

Come they told me
Pa rum pum pum pum
A new born King to see
Pa rum pum pum pum

Our finest gifts we bring
Pa rum pum pum pum
To lay before the King
Pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum

So to honor Him
Pa rum pum pum pum
When we come

Little baby
Pa rum pum pum pum
I am a poor boy too
Pa rum pum pum pum
I have no gift to bring
Pa rum pum pum pum
That’s fit to give our King
Pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum

Shall I play for you
Pa rum pum pum pum
On my drum

Mary nodded
Pa rum pum pum pum
The ox and lamb kept time
Pa rum pum pum pum
I played my drum for Him
Pa rum pum pum pum
I played my best for Him
Pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum

Then He smiled at me
Pa rum pum pum pum
Me and my drum


A few thoughts …

Here is why I really like this song:

We are invited to come to the King of all Creation. We must realize that we nothing to bring other than what He has given us, so we really have nothing to offer. But …

If we only seek to give our best, our all (even though we may – will – fall short, He only desires that we obey His commands and draw near to Him), Jesus will smile on us. It is His faithfulness that we rely on. We merely let Him call the shots and help us get through.

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – My Hymns & Songs – 11/25/2018 – Mighty Merry

As we continue looking at the hymns and songs that had an impact on my spiritual life, we move into controversial territory. What is less controversial about it is that I at least waited until Thanksgiving weekend.

Yep. Christmas music! And here is one of my top all-time three.

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

Lyrics

God rest ye merry, gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
Remember, Christ, our Saviour
Was born on Christmas day
To save us all from Satan’s power
When we were gone astray
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

In Bethlehem, in Israel,
This blessed Babe was born
And laid within a manger
Upon this blessed morn
The which His Mother Mary
Did nothing take in scorn
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

From God our Heavenly Father
A blessed Angel came;
And unto certain Shepherds
Brought tidings of the same:
How that in Bethlehem was born
The Son of God by Name.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

“Fear not then,” said the Angel,
“Let nothing you affright,
This day is born a Saviour
Of a pure Virgin bright,
To free all those who trust in Him
From Satan’s power and might.”
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

The shepherds at those tidings
Rejoiced much in mind,
And left their flocks a-feeding
In tempest, storm and wind:
And went to Bethlehem straightway
The Son of God to find.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy
And when they came to Bethlehem
Where our dear Saviour lay,
They found Him in a manger,
Where oxen feed on hay;
His Mother Mary kneeling down,
Unto the Lord did pray.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

Now to the Lord sing praises,
All you within this place,
And with true love and brotherhood
Each other now embrace;
This holy tide of Christmas
All other doth deface.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

A few thoughts …

Why is this one of my all-time favorite Christmas carols and songs? It is the Gospel laid out.

Words have meanings. Whether “rest” meant “keep” or “make”, or whether merry means “mighty” or “joyful”, the song still works. If it is “God keep you joyful, Gentlemen” or “God make you mighty, Gentlemen” or even “God keep you mighty” or “God make you joyful” … IT JUST WORKS!

Through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, one can be made mighty for God and joyful in grace and forgiveness. The main point of the entire song is that when we put our faith in the risen Lord, Jesus Christ, we are saved from the ravages of sin, saved from the loss of relationships with other people and with God, saved from eternal death, and saved from God’s wrath and the schemes of the Devil.

Also, it tends to be a dang happy song! (Sorry for the language.)

Thanksgiving

The Psalmist says “Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise.” Some scholars have deemed this “The protocol of heaven,” that is to say, that if one were visiting royalty in another country (England for example) there is a protocol for what you do and say when meeting with them. It is similar when meeting with God Almighty. Similar, but not the same. Why, because God generally meets you where YOU are. He is wonderfully personal and too many people don’t understand that. He wants to meet with YOU, He wants to talk to YOU! You don’t need to go to a pastor or priest in order to hear the voice of God. There is one simple thing that you must do – be real with God.

God knows your heart anyway so why try to hide anything? He knows your thoughts, fears, worries, concerns, hopes, pride, and yes, even your sins. You see, “thanksgiving and praise” are not the protocol of heaven, but are evidence of the condition of your heart. No matter where on earth you are, you can connect with the God of eternity if you are simply real and honest with Him, because “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” “Real” people are humble people because their self-perception and world view are grounded in reality and the way things actually are. People who are proud or haughty are generally putting on a facade in order to present themselves as better than others. But as we know “ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” So as a humble person, you will recognize that we all (including yourself) need a Savior.

Humility unlocks the gate and then thanksgiving can begin. Otherwise we become like the Pharisee in Luke 18:10-14 who thanks God that he is more righteous than other men, obviously his prayer of thanksgiving was wrought with pride (which God opposes) and the gate of thanksgiving that he was trying to enter remained locked. But there was another man there who was humble when he prayed to God, and we’re told that he went away justified by God.

So humility unlocks the gate and you enter the gate by thanking God. This Thanksgiving, lets remember to be humble and real with God and others so that our thanksgiving is not in vain, and perhaps we can draw even closer to Jesus.

About Jesse Walker

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VerseD: Psalm 9:1

I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.
Psalm 9:1, ESV

God has done amazing things.

If you are saved by grace, give Him thanks and share it with the world!

Is there any more reason more worthy of thankfulness than this?

Happy New Year 2018

2017 was another full year.

I taught 7th Grade Math.

We changed local churches.

God finally helped to revive my teaching and apologetics ministries, most notably through the creation of the a simple man of God YouTube channel.

I survived the closing of my favorite coffee shop, where I was a customer, a barista, and finally the manager.

This all leads to the extremely likely possibility of new Adventures. (Yes, this is a veiled hint as to what is coming next.)

In all things, God is good. All the time.

Fall on the promises of God, this year and always.

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Numbers 6:24‭-‬26 ESV

In His Love,

Daniel

Preparing Your Heart – Fourth Week of Advent – Holy Christmas

It is time to finish up the series that first ran three years ago!

__________

It is now the fourth week of Advent! (See the last three weeks’ devotional thoughts herehere, and here.)

Again, Advent is a time to remember our Lord’s first coming as we look forward to His imminent return.

So, let us prepare hearts for encountering the Lord!

There is a slight twist today in presentation as well as seeing as it is Christmas Eve!

O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour’s birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, the night when Christ was born;
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!

At first we are reminded that sometimes life is going well.
Then we are reminded that sometimes life is hard.

Life seems perfect and flawless.
Or we are dealing with an illness, a tragedy, or the loss of a loved one.

The answer, in any circumstance good or bad, is to fall on our knees and acknowledge that we need a Savior, to seek the God who came to save us from our sin and suffering by coming to us as an infant, the weakest of all things.

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
O’er the world a star is sweetly gleaming,
Now come the wisemen from out of the Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friends.
He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!

The Light of the world calls us to Himself, and only the wise heed His call. Only the wise understand that He truly understands all of our hurts and needs and can help us because He has been through it all.
And He deserves our adoration and worship.

Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother.
And in his name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
With all our hearts we praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we,
His power and glory ever more proclaim!
His power and glory ever more proclaim!

It is not only our trials and pains which he helps, but He has called us to love all other people.
We not only see our need for salvation from sin and God’s wrath, we see our need for His love to fill our hearts, to treat our friends, enemies, and strangers alike as brothers and sisters, with love and compassion.

And for ever we shall worship Him and declare His awesomeness!

For He has come to save and will come again a final time to fully redeem His own, and that is the full promise of the gospel!

He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.
Revelation 22:20-21, ESV