A Christmas Story with a 'different" flavor!

Weekend Read!
A Christmas Story 
by Randy Movold

This is a story about Emillio Mandou who lived during the very first Christmas.
Emillio was the son of a shepherd named Aehzad, who had settled near the town of Bethlehem many years ago. Christmas was still in the future during this time  although some people knew a special day was coming but they did not know when it would happen or how.

One night Emillio and his two older brothers, Plutuspar and Herkinny, were going to relieve some other shepherds in the fields.  As they trekked up the hills,  they noticed a sharpness in the cloudless starlit sky.  A distant light in the western sky awed Emillio, who was quite a dreamer. It couldn’t be the sunrise because he knew the sun rose in the east and it couldn’t be the sunset because that had already happened.  He wondered why this light was there and what did it mean?  It was also evident to his brothers and they all stared in awe.  Just about that time, three sheep decided to head for another pasture on the far side of the creek, up the hill and on the edge of the forest where wolves hid out 

Emillio and his brothers did not notice the three sheep missing until they heard the howl of the wolves and then the sheep crying.  The brothers bolted in the direction of the noise yelling back to Emillio to stay and take care of the rest of the flock.
Emillio had never been alone with the sheep before let alone in the dark on this eerie quiet night.  The glow he had seen earlier became a comfort to him and for security he gathered the rest of the sheep around in a huddle nearer to him.
As Emillio gained comfort in this situation, he heard his name being called. “Emillio, Emillio.”
“Yes, my brothers, what is it?  Have you returned?”

The voice said, “Emillio, I am not your Brother but a Host from heaven, a servant of the living God, who has made heaven and earth, indeed who has made all things in the universe.  Gird your self, Child, tonight is the night!  Let me put it this way, Emillio.
My name is Gabe,
And I’m here to tell you
Of a Babe
He came to earth this day for grace,
He came for the human race
Now go- don’t be slow, Grandson of Jo
Go west, young man and follow the glow
I know you’s tired and wants to sleep
But grab your staff and drive dem sheep
West, yeah west,
‘Cause God knows best.

“Excuse me, Host of Heaven, but are you trying to tell me something?” asked Emillio.
“Yes, Emillio, But I don’t think you’re ready for Heavenly Rap just yet. One day in the future, kids your age will understand the meaning of that rhyme. What I want to say to you is, follow that light in the sky. Take your sheep with you and that special box you have been working on.  You will want to give it to the Christ Child as a gift, Emillio.  Follow the star, Emillio and the light will lead you to true love.  When you arrive open your heart and whisper your acceptance to this Christ Child..  Invite him to come and enter your heart.  Go now, Emillio, Christmas is waiting for you.”

Emillio grabbed his staff, wooed the sheep to follow him and headed straightway for the light.  As he came closer to Bethlehem, he noticed many people in the streets.
“How will I ever find the Christ Child, the angel told me about?”  thought Emillio.  Just as he wondered how he would do this, he saw the light, it was now a very bright star and he proceeded to follow it.  As he made his way, he knew he was getting nearer.  Emillio started running and leaping with his sheep following close behind. 
As he drew nearer he asked a merchant if he was on the right road. 
“Yes!” said the merchant, “Around the corner, up the next street, you will come to an Inn called the Way - Side Inn, that is where the star shines the brightest.  And, Son, don’t forget your sheep.  Also, tell at least one other person along the way about the bright light and the special Babe.

Emillio was so excited, he almost knocked a man down at the corner.
“Whoa,......Boy, What in Prophet’s name is this?”
“The star, sir, at the Way-Side-Inn!”
Looking towards the Inn, the stranger saw the brilliant light over the Inn.
“What are you waiting for, Son, the star awaits us.  Is this your box?  It must have fallen out of your carry pouch as you were running.”

“Yes, Sir, it is my box, I’ve been working on it for quite some time and I’m going to give it to the Christ Child when I see him.  Inside the box are miniature turtles from Persia.  They are precious to me, I’ve been collecting them for a while, they live a very long time and yet they remain small.”

“Tell me your name, boy.”
“Emillio Mandou, Sir.”
“So Emillio, I am sure it is you who is the first one to give a box of turtles as a gift.”
“Yes, sir.  My grandfather always told me to give only what is precious and you will never be in want of anything.”
“Your Grandfather was a very wise man, Emillio.”
“And good too, Sir.”

So Emillio and the stranger entered the Way-Side-Inn leaving the flock of sheep outside.  They inquired about the newborn babe.  The manager of the Inn looked tired and extremely puzzled.

“I know nothing of this babe and please don’t ask me for a room, I have none.  I even had to rent out my stable on the West side of the Inn.  Come to think of it a young couple came in late on a donkey and by-Jove, that girl was pregnant!  Come follow me to the stable.”

Out the door and around to the Inn’s side they went, and Lo! the star, which they had seen, went before them until it came and stood over where the child was. And they came in haste and found the child as he lay in the manger.
Emillio was honored to present him with the gift, which he had lovingly prepared for a very special occasion and he also felt compelled to give his heart and soul to this babe who he realized was really a King!
That evening, Emillio not only discovered the first Christmas but also was able to share it with the stranger and the Inn Keeper. And Emillio was honored to be the first one ever to give a box of turtles as a gift!

Achieve personal satisfaction.

Thursday December 20 2012:

Galatians 6:45.  “Be sure to do what you should for then you will enjoy the personal satisfaction of having done your work well and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else,  (5) For we are each responsible for our own conduct.”
As I write this, the Calgary Flames are trying to win the Stanley Cup.  They have clambered their way to this level and it is an exciting series.  I also enjoy watching football.  I feel so blessed when the players profess a relationship with Christ on the public podium.  As I watch these players, I see temper tantrums and adverse actions that are often inexcusable.  I realize it is a sign of frustration and usually an impromptu action.  I think about how often, we, as Christians do something or say things in the heat of the moment only to be sorry after we have said them.  Numerous times, this has happened to me but it is usually too late to do anything about it.  If we endeavor to live as Paul instructs us we would not have these moments of regret for bowing to frustration or saying or doing things we regret
Prayer for today:
Heavenly Father, Help me to accept responsibility for my own actions and not blame anyone else for my shortcomings. Help me to do my work well so I won’t be embarrassed or ashamed of anything I do.  In Jesus name, Amen.

Givng way to peer pressure???

Tuesday December 18 2012:

Luke 6:39.  “What good is it for one blind person to lead another?  The first one will fall into a ditch and pull the other one down also.”

Jesus used this statement, metaphorically, to create an awareness  of the danger of following a leader who may lead us astray.  Often we follow others who do not deserve our trust never mind our devotion.  I see this happen in young people or those who have a low esteem of themselves.  This is where peer pressure is prevalent.

When I was out of fellowship with the Lord, I made several friends who were single, ‘game’ for anything and irresponsible.  Several times they were able to talk me into doing things that were against my moral standards.  The action of agreeing to be involved in their actions was like falling into the ditch that Jesus talks about here.

 The people I was with had closed eyes to spiritual things and even though I was spiritually astute, my flesh was weak, as a result I made bad decisions.  This type of behavior is prevalent in teens today, especially if  parents are negligent at working at a relationship with their young people.  Our responsibility is to guide and teach our young teens a truth that cannot be disproved or destroyed.  The secret is to be strong in our faith and follow and teach that faith to our offspring.

Prayer for today:  Heavenly Father, I am so thankful that you have provided your book of truth, the Bible, for our benefit.  Help me to live by your laws and teach them to our children and grandchildren. I pray that others may see your precepts in my life.  Help me to be strong in truth and not to be duped by anyone who wants to me to stray from your Word. In Jesus name, Amen.

Why Temptation???

Friday Decembe 14 2012:

James 1:14  “Temptation comes from the  lure of our own evil desires.”

James speaks about the weakness of bowing to temptations.  We all encounter temptations in life;  there are so many!  Despite God’s grace and forgiveness, we do give in to temptation. It shows maturity and obedience to muster  the courage and strength and desire to refuse the temptation in the first place.  It is better to say “no” to others and ourselves when we are tempted.
When I give in to temptation once it becomes easier the second time and  it becomes easier each time I falter. Soon the senses become dulled to the fact that what we are participating in is actually sin.  On the other hand, each time I resist temptation, it becomes easier to refuse and soon it becomes an automatic “no”. After a few refusals, I notice, temptations stop coming my way.
I believe, with God’s help, it is possible to resist temptation and soon the temptation loses its lure because our desires turn toward heavenly things  that edify and glorify the Creator.

Prayer for today: Heavenly Father, I am thankful for your forgiveness when I falter.  Your grace is free and I know you love me even when I do things that are wrong.  I ask you today to keep me from temptations, give me strength to say “no” to things that are not from you.  I pray that the lure of temptation will diminish as my walk with you becomes stronger.  In Jesus name, Amen.

lead us not into temptation...........

Tuesday December 10 2012:

Matthew 6:13.  “And don’t let us yield to temptation but deliver us from the evil one.”

There is more temptation in the world today than ever before.  The media bombards us many times each day to tempt and seduce us to experiment with substances and actions that eventually harm us.   Television shows and movies encourage sinful living in the name of freedom.  Our computers are often tools used to corrupt innocent minds, satiate sexual abusers and promote pornography.   The tempter is everywhere, using every means available.  Jesus gives us this line in his prayer for us to pray.  Our plea needs to be for strength to overcome evil desires and to be delivered from anything evil that could impact our lives negatively.  Only through the power of the Holy Spirit can an addiction or weakness be overcome, healed and removed.

Prayer for today:  Heavenly Father, I know I’m not always what I should be and many times I succumb to the things of this world. Help me to be strong in my faith and give me strength to refuse anything that will harm me in any way.  I know you want what is best for me and so I pray that you will give me wisdom in staying strong and not be tempted by things that may harm.  In Jesus name, Amen.

Who is the Holy Spirit?

Wednesday December 6 2012:

Acts 2:4.  “And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.”

To speak in other languages in this way is sometimes called a manifestation of the Holy Spirit.  Some churches are witness to several different kinds of manifestations. 

Some will go to extremes and use it as a way to obtain attention from media or other sources.. 

Some churches discourage any manifestations of the Holy Spirit  could it be because they are afraid of losing control of the congregation or that they are afraid of allowing God to be in full control?

My own experience of a specific experience with a manifestation of the Holy Spirit involves a wondrous time of feeling like I was being showered with warm oil and a joy so powerful that it could not be contained and just seemed to bubble out in tears and emotion that  was wonderful.  I remember longing for this feeling to remain. 

I was accompanying  high school students from a Christian School on a short-term mission experience in Mexico. I was feeling superfluous and wondering why I actually came when the power of the Holy Spirit came upon me so strongly that I could not do anything to suppress it or control it. 

It was a positive and  memorable experience that enabled me to gain strength with a new and wondrous peace that enveloped me for some time after. 

I long for another touch like that but I know there is nothing I can do to have it repeated; it must come from the hand of God or it will not be real.  I feel it was a gift from God to comfort and confirm that he was taking care of me while enabling me to become closer to him with a new understanding of who God is.

Prayer for today:  Heavenly Father, I just want to thank you today for your faithfulness.  I know you are with me for anything that is not real could never touch me as you have.  Your promises always are evident and you deserve all honour and glory for you are the one and only God.  In Jesus name, Amen.

Do you know the Holy Spirit?

Monday December 3 2012:

Genesis 1:2. “The earth was empty, a formless mass cloaked in darkness.  And the Spirit of God was hovering over it’s surface.”

The Spirit of God has always been,  just as God is;  so is the Spirit.

He is the third person of the Triune Godhead (Matt. 28:19)

The Old Testament richly alludes or prepares us for the revelation of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament.

The Spirit was active in creating life as we know it on earth.  The Spirit endows the people of God in the Old Testament, as some Judges (Judges 3:10) King David (1 Samuel 16:13)  and especially those who were in the Messianic line (Isaiah 11:2, 42:1, 48:16)  The old testament points toward the messianic day as a special enjoyment of the Spirit of God. (Isaiah 32:5 and 44:3)

We can embrace the Holy Spirit and invite his presence into our life to indwell us and equip us with the strength, wisdom and courage we need so that we can be all that God desires us to be.

Prayer for today:  Heavenly Father, Thank you for sending The Comforter, The Holy Spirit to be with us while Christ is with you.  I am so glad that you, in your wisdom, knew we would need someone to enable and equip us to have the courage to be witnesses for you and spread your gospel to those who are in need of it.  I invite you, Holy Spirit, to fill my heart with fullness so that I can be all that God intended me to be.  In Jesus name, Amen.

A wayward Son?

Weekend Read Saturday December 1 2012:

Soon after our first grandson turned 17 yrs. old, he decided to seek  his independence.  The parting was not easy.  As our daughter spent time in prayer, for him; she wrote these words:  I trust they will be a source of comfort and blessing to you.

Why does it hurt so
To let my treasure go?
A gift in youth, a gift of love
Sent to us from our Father above
A treasure to cherish for a short while
One that often brought a smile
The “while” is over, the smile, a tear
The heartache is great this 17th year.

No more can I help or nurture along
No more can I mend with a hug or a song
The treasure God gave me, alone on the street
Keep away from him Satan, God keep him sweet
Protect him and help him as he finds his way
Broken and humble, returning one day
To the Father who gave him a purposeful life
Into your arms, away from strife
Ministering, healing comfort, forgiving
Once again Dear Jesus, for you he’ll be living
Your gift, my son
My treasure, Yours alone!

Robyn Movold, October 7, 2000

Being merciful!

Monday November 26 2012:

Mercy: 1)forgiving, compassionate, withholding of the punishment or judgment our sins deserve.
              2) the compassion that causes one to help the weak, the sick or the poor.

Exodus 34:6 &7.  “ I am the Lord, I am the Lord, the merciful and gracious God.  I am slow to anger and rich in unfailing love and faithfulness.  I show this unfailing love to many thousands by forgiving every kind of sin and rebellion.”

We serve a merciful God who forgives our sins because we ask him to.  In turn, it is our responsibility to be merciful to others.  When God created ‘man’ he gave us a free will and by doing this, he knew we would disappoint him many times in our lifetime by committing sin.  I am so thankful God is merciful and waits to forgive my numerous sins thereby showing me his tender mercies.

Prayer for Today: Heavenly Father, let me be merciful to those who sin against me.  Let me show mercy to the ones who hurt me or do me wrong.  I want to be forgiving as God is forgiving unto me. Hear my prayer, oh God, In Jesus name, amen.

"The Lady With the Big Blue Car!

Weekend Read:
The Lady With The Big Car

It’s about a lady sitting on a curb - “Bag Lady,” they called her.  She was older. She was lonely. She lived in a little one-room shack.  One cold day as she was sitting on the curb begging and trying to keep warm by wrapping her old worn sweater around her shoulders a little tighter,  a big blue car slowed down and stopped right beside her; a tall lady got out. 

She stooped to ask the bag lady what she could do to help her.  The bag lady looked up, her dimming eyes reflecting sadness and dejection, answered, “everything”.  Then the tall Lady from the big car asked her if she would consider going for a drive with her.  She took the Bag Lady to her home and asked her to choose some things that she would like to have.

 There were many things in the tall lady’s house that the Bag Lady had not seen for many years and she looked longingly at many of them. The Tall Lady started putting household items and clothing and small furniture in her big blue car and before long, the Bag Lady was driven home and with her went a warm quilt, two woolen blankets, two pillows, some fancy dishes, an almost new, winter coat, two warm sweaters, a small table and a box of food.
The Bag Lady couldn’t quite believe what was happening!  She was most grateful and overwhelmed by it all.  As she sat in her little shack and realized all that she had gained that day, her eyes filled with tears of joy and thankfulness.

After that, “The Lady With the Big Car” made several more trips to the Bag Lady’s little house.  There were no names exchanged but there were several street people and many new refugees who were helped by “The Lady With the Big Car”.

 She didn’t want to bring attention to herself.  It didn’t matter that they didn’t know her name or that no one else realized who was diligently bringing treats, necessities and happiness to these forgotten people. She would load her car with linens, furniture and food for Vietnam Refugees, and the children watched for her and they would jump up and down and announce that “The Lady with the big car is coming” and parents would come out of their dwelling places in anticipation and excitement with ready hugs and loving looks. Everyone in the neighbourhood knew what the announcement meant and it brought them joy and hope.

The “Lady With the Big Car” was my sister.  After our Mom died, just before my 11th birthday, she became my Care Giver, my “Mother.”  She spent many years helping others, specifically those who were in need.  She had spent many years in poverty herself as a single Mother, trying to raise two boys until she married a generous man who loved her and bought her a big blue Lincoln. Not many people knew about the hours she spent with needy refugees and street people.

 Several years ago she died after a lengthy battle with sclaraderma and cancer. She was my hero and I just thought someone else might like to meet my Hero, my Sister.