Posts Tagged ‘ Celebration ’

500 and Counting

I realized after publishing my Groundhog Day post that it was my 500th post on this blog!

I think it rather fitting that on such a milestone, God let me share the first steps to receiving the Gospel message.

Excellent.

Father, help me to remain a faithful servant and witness for your glory. Empower me with your Holy Spirit to always point our fallen world to the sacrifice and resurrection of your Son, Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, our Savior and Lord.

Amen.

Some Final Thoughts About Momma Klem

My mom said to get the Wisdom of God, so start with some of the thoughts found at Proverbial Thought!

Last week, Jesus gave my mom a great big hug and took her Home, one day after her 53rd birthday. The amazing thing is how much joy and love for God was experienced and expressed throughout her final days.

It is hard to stay upset when someone on her way out stresses the importance of our Lord being glorified in the middle of everything.

It was my honor this past Saturday to share about my mom at her Celebration of Life service. I am sharing it with you … plus the last bit I knew I would not be able to say in that moment!

I remember telling my parents when I was a child that I wanted to be just like them when I grew up … only better.

When I first became a Christian, my mom was afraid I had joined a cult, but she could not deny the change in my life.

James 4:6 says, “But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’” My mom’s response was “Well, I guess I’ll never get grace!”

However, she had a lot of questions, and within a year of my coming to Christ, my parents did to. But mom just asked more questions. As [Pastors] Todd and Scott  can attest, she always had questions. Sometimes there were full arguments over Scripture and Christian life. She would often come to me, call me, or message me in some fashion asking if she was sinning for doubting and questioning so many things that came her way.

First, I would remind her that many people doubted, including the Apostle Thomas, and He is a pillar of the Church! And I would always respond with 1 Thessalonians 5:21, “Test everything; hold onto the good.”

Back to James 4, in verses 7-8, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

As a new Christian, I often wondered why more people would not help out as much as I did as a new believer. When my parents finally started following Jesus, there was no stopping them! Ask anyone: they dived in head first, helping out everywhere they could.

But my mom had compassion and love for others. She had raised me to not judge anyone, not for any reason, no matter what they looked like, no matter what they acted like. She certainly lived out 1 Samuel 16:7, which says “The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Many of you here know how true this is. How many co-workers, youth, and others did she reach with her love and compassion? She very easily lived out 1 Corinthians 9:22, I will just read it: “To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.” She struggled through her doubts so that with compassion and love she could help others struggle through their doubts that others might be saved.

She learned to live out James 4:9, to “[become] wretched and mourn and weep. [And to] Let [her] laughter be turned to mourning and [her] joy to gloom” so that others would come to know the same Savior she knows.

And as verse 10 says, she learned to “Humble [herself] before the Lord, and [she is exalted].” I think needing to be moved to a larger hospital room to fit all of the guests, and the people sitting here and lining the halls attests to, she has been exalted. And for all of us who know Jesus, we will one Glorious Day see her again.

[What I would have said, but had written down]

My parents have been through many fires and trials in life, and they have grown to live Jude, verses 20-23, “But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.

My parents have made it very difficult to do life better than them. I just look forward to that Glorious Day when we all get to reunite with our Lord and remember all of our stories together.

Let Us Adore The King – O Come All Ye Faithful

Adore the Wisdom of God by finding some wisdom at Proverbial Thought!

We continue looking at some of my favorite Christmas Carols and why.

I have taken us through several songs and poems which have touched my life in some way, but honestly it is most Christmas carols and many Christmas songs that impact my life by simply being about Christmas and, specifically, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

That is why there is the ever-slightest shift this week.

The carol this week did not have a dramatic impact on my life, but it certainly begins to explain some of what I feel and believe.

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.

Why I Like This Carol …

… is that it is a call to celebration and worship.

There is something inherently joyous and celebratory about it, many times because the music is very upbeat and celebratory. Regardless of the music, those words just draw all focus to Jesus. They are a call to sing and celebrate the Savior of the world. They are a call to worship the Lord of all.

Join with me in celebrating and worshiping our God who saves us!

Following Me – 100 Followers!

It took almost a full two and a half years, which I do not find surprising with a blog focused on theology and poetry, but today I received my 100th follower!

I know I owe some of this to my friends and fellow bloggers from Proverbial Thought, that great devotional site on the wisdom of Proverbs. Here is a special shout-out to Heather Joy at GrowUp318, because I met some of those friends through her blog!

I must say to each person who follows my blog, though, that this still comes with a warning of encouragement.

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God— even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved. Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.
1 Corinthians 10:31-11:1

Thank you to each of my followers! For those who have them, may your blogs be blessed by God as you bless God through your gifts.

A special thanks goes to my wonderful wife for dealing with the hours I have spent at my laptop or on my phone typing blog entries and responding to comments, and for the advice she has offered, whether requested or spontaneous, to make my words that much better!

For everyone who comes across this page:

The Lord bless you
and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace
Numbers 6:24-26

Celebrating Re-birth

Before you read whatever I have to say, get some wisdom from Proverbial Thought!

Last year, I explained that this particular day is important to me. It is a day I celebrate with my friends and family.

To re-cap, I call it my Re-Birthday. It is the day I celebrate Christ getting a hold of my heart and my life! It has been 13 years to the day!

I make a cake. I share it with my loved ones … and even some I do not know particularly well, if at all.

Here is the thing …

I do not want presents on this day.

I do not want to go out to a restaurant on this day.

I do not want someone to make my favorite meal on this day.

I do not want an extravagant party thrown in my honor on this day.

Because …

Christ calls each of us to be a new creation.

Christ commands us to give up our own desires for His desires.

Christ asks us to be His ambassador of life, peace, and servanthood to this world.

Christ only wants to move through us to a lost and hurting world, to draw them closer to Him.

So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.

You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Ephesians 4:17-24

Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience. We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart. If we are out of our mind, it is for the sake of God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

As God’s fellow workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. For he says,

“In the time of my favor I heard you,     and in the day of salvation I helped you.”

I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.
2 Corinthians 5:11-6:2

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.

“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:13-16

While I take a day every year to focus on the gift of grace, forgiveness, and life our Lord has given me, this is really a daily thing. We should all be ready each day to thank Jesus for loving us so much. People should be able to tell that you have been with Jesus (Acts 4:13).

We should thank Him through our devotion to sharing His grace to the rest of the world, with every person we know.

Christ is the Light.

Let Him shine through you!