RURAL BRYANT, SD, PRESENTS:
in Fergus Falls, Minnesota.
It has stimulated us to think of some of the "WHAT IF'S" of the FIRST CHRISTMAS EXPERIENCE...
WHAT IF Mary had asked, This Life I'm carrying, isn't this contrary to the laws of life?"
Joseph could have said, "WHAT IF we don't make it to Bethlehem before Baby Jesus is born?
...WHAT IF we find the rooms all taken?"
WHAT IF, MARY had complained to Joseph and the innkeeper, "I want to have MY baby in the INN.' I don't want the "left over" barn to have my baby! There's lots more on the ground than straw, Joseph! There is even manure on the walls...oh, the flies, the mice and the sparrows with their droppings! The odor is so strong!"
WHAT IF Joseph had said, "Mary, you'll have to wait until I clean the stable!" His attempt would have been futile,unnecessary, and too late.
Are we giving our `left-overs' to THE LORD?...Left-over Love...Left-over money...Left-over time? How about giving God first and our best? Thinking of the meanest of circumstances, JESUS was born in! If one is eternally lost, it's NOT because he is too dirty, but because he thought he could make himself clean.
Let us pray that JESUS will be born into many hearts this CHRISTMAS of 1998 with forgiveness and ETERNAL LIFE...Let him transform filthy, stable-like hearts to clean, selfish to loving, disgruntled to happy!
JESUS CAN MAKE EVERYTHING BEAUTIFUL!
II TIMOTHY 2:19...."NEVERTHELESS THE FOUNDATION OF GOD STANDETH SURE."
GALATIANS 2:20..."NEVERTHELESS I LIVE; YET NOT I, BUT CHRIST LIVETH IN ME."
MATTHEW 26:39..."NEVERTHELESS NOT AS I WILL BUT AS THOU WILT."
LUKE 5:5................."NEVERTHELESS AT THY WORD I WILL LET DOWN THE NET."
PSALM 31:22...........: NEVERTHELESS THOU HEARDEST THE VOICE OF MY SUPPLICATIONS."
Since Scripture has recorded NEVERTHELESS almost one hundred times, always with tremendous power, let us remember that He is not the God of WHAT-IF,
by Andrew Culverwell, [a song that enhorts us to remember and rejoice with the ringing of bells that Jesus is our King, born for you and me!]
Think for a moment about the awesome power you have which you can use! No, you don't have to be in full-time Ministry before God will perform this power through you! Neither do you have to be on a mountain top or in an isolated place to put to work this power! God uses everyday people in everyday situations to put this power to work! You, and others in the Body of Christ, can call upon God to create an atmosphere in which God can speak as you sing, as you testify, as you fellowship.
Let's remember, "There Is Power In The Blood" and it will NEVER lose its power. God wants us to reflect Him! We are God's after-glow! True beauty...heart deep...unseen by ourselves, yet visible to others...held securely by God's hand of Love!
We engage our eyes, ears, hearts, minds and voices as we emit sounds of discovery and triumph...we can develop warm rapport as we sing. Warm, beautiful sounds and feelings remain as we SING TO THE GLORY OF GOD. This POWER can be accomplished by CALLING ON GOD! God promises us:
Our blessings through music comes to us by way of musical instruments (organ, piano, guitar, harps, mandolin, harmonicas, omnichord, etc.) through vocal solos, duets, trios, quartets, ladies and men's chorus and mixed choir, band & orchestra, radio, recordings...Especially AT CHRISTMAS THE WHOLE WORLD IS VOCAL WITH SWEET SOUNDS BECAUSE OF THE GOODNESS OF THE LORD. It is the human voices which combines the charm of sweet sounds in the programs and services as we sing with our hearts' tunes to God's pitch-pipe and exercise this Power...and experience great and mighty things to His Glory!
Merry Christmas to All!
From Estelle and Joseph Rangen
The most important was the Sunday School program with our pieces and songs. How exciting to learn our part. Mama would sew up a storm on our wool dresses which were usually blue and made very plain so as not to take too much cloth. She'd make about three the same only different in size.
One Christmas stands out in memory, Pearl had been off to Augustana Academy and was expected back for days of vacation. We had the usual Christmas program at Church, always so memorable, then home to recite our recitation again...to sing Christmas songs as a family and then, surprising us, Pearl came with a little package for each of us!
This was a first in our memory! Pearl no doubt had worked hard at jobs in Canton to save enough to be able to buy us each something for Christmas.
Mama always made white bread with currents or raisins which was special, and we'd enjoy chicken smothered in cream and Papa would come with a cold orange which he'd shove down by our face in bed, Christmas morning.
We'd pop corn, sometimes make popcorn balls and if Mama could spare the sugar, make candy.
What luxury at Christmas time! Oh, yes, we always received a bag of peanuts and candy at the Sunday School program which we hoarded to make it last longer.