Friday, July 1, 2011

Proclaiming Christ as King

Mountain View

“A mountain view can literally take your breath away. Getting a clearer view of God can do the same. Here at the Warming House, you’ll find truth that will help you know and understand who God is and how He feels about you. What you find here may cause you to live your life a little differently.

A friend shared this youtube video with me. I just love it!! Check it out before reading my post.

This video moves me to tears every time I see it. In a society where God's name is slandered and people are becoming more vocal about their hatred of Christ and His followers, it is so heartwarming to see videos like this. I can tell you that I hunger for the day when Christ receives the recognition and honor He truly deserves. As we wait for that day, we can be encouraged by Paul's writings in the book of Philippians.

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

And in Revelation 19 we are told that at Christ's return we will hear what sounds like "a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: 'Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory!"

Be assured that there will come a day when every person will know without a doubt who Christ is. They will recognize His royalty, astounding glory, inconceivable goodness and perfection, and their natural response will be to fall to their knees and confess that He is in fact King of kings and Lord of lords.

So what do we do in the meantime as we wait for that day to come? Do we have to just sit around in discouragement listening to all the junk people are saying about Him? The answer is "No." There is something we can do. We can make a choice today to personally exalt Him and proclaim Him as King in our own lives.

We proclaim Him as King with more than our words. We do it as we live in response to all He has done for us. We do it as we choose to live by the principles of His kingdom (not the world's); by depending on His power, wisdom, and guidance; by trusting in His goodness; and by willingly submitting ourselves to His plan and purpose for our lives. 

So ask yourself, "Have I submitted myself to the King? Am I in charge of my life or have I given control to Him? Am I willing to go wherever He wants me to go, live where He wants me to live, and do what He wants me to do even when it isn't popular by the world's standards? Am I living by the principles of His kingdom or by the principles of this world? Do I ask for His guidance in my decisions or do I make those decisions without consulting Him? Am I striving to know and understand the heart of my king? Am I willing to take up the cause of His kingdom and demonstrate His love to those He loves, and help those He wants me to help? Am I allowing Him to change me? Am I dependent on His power or am I trying to do everything on my own?

As you ponder that, I want to leave you with a favorite scripture that has really intrigued me through the years.

"Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, "The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observations, nor will people say, 'Here it is,' or 'There it is,' because the kingdom of God is within you." Luke 17:20-21

We may become distressed because the world does not view Christ as King. We may desire to see Him recognized in our government, in our laws, in our constitution, in our pledge of allegiance, and on our federal buildings. But in this passage of scripture Christ is stating that we should not look for the progress of the kingdom of God in programs, buildings, governments, or nations. His kingdom is established in the hearts of men. When men and women live their lives in personal allegiance to the king, God will be present in all spheres of life and the world will indeed change for the better.

It all begins with you and me making a commitment to establish a relationship with Christ where He is allowed to rule in our hearts each day. The changes His Holy Spirit works in us are a natural outworking of a life lived in relationship with Him. Those changes proclaim to the world that He is your King. Imagine how the world (and our lives) would change if we were all to make that kind of commitment to Him today.

Join me by the fire for conversations about how to nurture your family and create a warm and inviting home for family and friends.

My friend, Martha, is back to share with us. Enjoy!

Every Christmas, it was the same cut glass bowl filled with the same 5-Cup Salad. Every family reunion it’s the same long wooden bread bowl filled with fresh fruit. It’s always the same.  It isn’t a rut.  IT’S TRADITION!

With every opportunity my Aunt Nancy would remind me of some bit of family tradition or event that might have some significance. I’ll always remember that my Grandmother Ogle carried Black Eyed Susan’s on her wedding day due to Nancy’s reminders.  So, for years, as we celebrated our family reunion on Grandmother’s birthday, the tables were adorned with Black Eyed Susan’s.  Although not her wedding anniversary, it became a tradition and was an opportunity to give recognition to her and Grandpa.

Today, our family reunion date has moved to the last weekend in June.  It has been this way for many years now and is held at my Aunt Nancy’s home.  Consistency makes it easy to remember to reserve that weekend each year.  With so many little ones in attendance she always provides a huge inflatable water slide for their fun along side her beautiful pool.  Food and drink are in abundance as well as plenty of laughter.   An ice cream truck arrives at the end of the meal for desert and we enjoy a huge cake to celebrate everyone’s birthday for the year.  Last year she even had a photographer come in supplied with all sorts of hats, glasses and wigs for silly family “portraits”.  Her efforts are enormous but provide us all with marked memories to carry us through life and serve to remind us of our unique family.  We have said many times, “Everyone should have an Aunt Nancy” and everyone should have traditions that last for generations.

The art of quilting has been passed down for many generations in my family. I have a quilt from my great grandmother that is at least 100 years old.  Quilting is an art and I am so glad to have learned how to quilt from my grandmother.  She made a quilt for each of her grandchildren who graduated high school. It was a great way for her to leave her mark for generations to come.

For many generations we have enjoyed the same Christmas program at our family Christmas.  As the paternal patriarch reads from the book of Luke regarding the Holy Family’s travel to Bethlehem, the youngest grandchildren re-enact the manger scene. The shepherd’s headdress are towels secured with belts, the gifts laid at the feet of the baby Jesus are household trinkets, and a Teddy Bear or baby doll wrapped in rags serves as the Christ Child.  Their robes, blankets tied about their shoulders, drag the carpet as they regally enter the room.  Even our 3-year old grandson was smitten with the solemn moment.  As you can see, we are never exactly prepared with the fine details, but the intent of honest appreciation for this world-changing event is felt.  And it’s tradition!

 If you don’t have traditions in place in your home, it is never too late to start.  The simplest of things can be made to have significance worth repeating from year to year and generation to generation.

 Consider the following:

 ·Prepare the same family recipe for an annual occasion.  Yes, EVERY year!

·From year to year, have one family member gather each family unit’s yearly accomplishments and share them in a reading with everyone.  If you are not physically together every year, a letter with the information can be sent out.  It keeps you in touch, up to date, and feeling connected with your family.

·Have the family patriarch or matriarch share memories each year from “long ago.”  This brings your family together with pride to remind you of “just how far you’ve come” as a family.

·Throw a little competition into the tradition and see who can blow the largest bubble with bubble gum.  My Aunt Ann won that one competing against her own grandchildren!

You will most likely produce an endless list of ideas once you begin.   Consistency is the key.  Talk about THAT bowl from great Aunt Helen or the recipe that came from a great grandmother who carried it with her by covered wagon to their new home long ago.  It may take a little research but most likely many things have a story that can be kept going.  It will become a tradition and produce pride and memories in a family for years to come.  Traditions serve as a reminder of who you are, where you come from, and provide comfort in their familiarity.                                             ~Martha

Enjoy the sweet summertime and remember to keep Christ at the center of your heart every day. Know that those here at The Warming House care about you. 

Enjoy the View!


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