December 26, 2006

Christmas: Reason for the season!

Christmas was so wonderful this year! I wonder though, how many people have come to know the real event that goes on? It seems Ireland stocks up on products, drinks, lights, and trees. Ireland teaches us exactly what is done at this time, and the only questions that are asked are, Why do I have to put up with all this stress? Why does everyone get gifts and end up in debt? The answer, Jesus, doesn’t seem to suffice. Why is that?

By nature, there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God (Rom 3:11, 1Cor 2:14).
I personally didn’t, and I found Jesus knocking on my door, and drawing me unto him. He was relentless! I ignored, put up a front of anger, but I couldn’t get the things I was hearing out of my mind! I kept hearing more too …

In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. (II Corinthians 4:4)
It amazes me to see how mankind will hold to anything, ANYTHING, that’s not in the Bible … evolution, communism, astrology, atheism etc. and believe anyone promoting these things.
I read about a reporter who saw 3 girls looking at Christmas presents in a window. One girl was blind and the other two were describing the various toys to her. The reporter marvelled at the thought of how difficult it would be to describe without sight what the toys looked like. A famous preacher D.L. Moody likened it to describing the things of God to an unsaved person, and to make matters worse, they aren’t interested unless the Father is drawing them (John 6:44).

Christmas is about the birth of a child, and not just another child, the only begotten Son! God in the flesh, who came down to live a sinless life and die for the numerous sins we have all commited. Who would rise again and defeat death, hell and Satan so that we could have the option(!) to choose eternal life!!!
This is one of the most significant events in history, without it we would all be lost. A significant event that happened 2007 years ago. The year of our Lord! This year I was blessed with the opportunity to worship Him in spirit and in truth, to bring honour, praise and glory to His name, and really celebrate the reason for the season!! And wow what a difference it is to be in the joy of the Lord! What did you do this Christmas? Do you know, if you died tonight, where you will spend eternity?

Jesus is waiting, not too far from here …

John Mahony.

December 07, 2006

Praises to His name!

Recently after a trip to America to learn more about the Reformer's Unanimous ministry (, we learned about the value of a daily prayer journal. Pastor then preached on our need to not just read, or even memorize the word of God, but to meditate on it! Psalms 1 tells us that a man is blessed when he meditates on God's truth in his heart daily. (see The Write way to worship Pt. 1 and 2 here)
The testimonies we heard of people who had developed a dynamic love relationship with Jesus Christ were just amazing. These people were both regular church attenders who didn't know Jesus personally, to people who had come from the depths of sin addictions that were killing them fast. Both now converse with God daily and have found His will for their lives, and He is healing broken marriages, self righteous attitudes and wicked lusts.
The journals have opened up the Bible to our members in an amazing way! People who found it hard to study for themselves, people struggling with personal trials and people who knew their relationship with God wasn't what it used to be. Let's be honest, who feels that they are exactly where they ought to be in Christ!!
I am glad to say there has been much answered prayer, and many are learning so much, and growing in grace (II Peter 3:18). I believe part of the journals effectiveness is it's layout into sections, giving us different ways in which to communicate with God. Through Bible reading/meditation, time spent listening to preaching of His word, prayer time (divided further), time in wise counsel, and then leadings/convictions of the Spirit. I Corinthians says, Let all things be done decently and in order (I Corinthians 14:40). The ordered layout really helps to focus in specifically on each way possible to hear from God and prayer becomes so sweet!
Here is an excerpt from my journal, Personal prayer time - Praises:

Thank you Lord for being Almighty God (Revelation 11:17)
Thank you Lord for being forgiving and merciful to me (1 John 1:9)
That my sins are as far as the east is from the west! (Psalm 103:12)
That You first loved us! (1 John 4:19)
That we can show You love (John 14:15)

I can tell you my praises section is mostly jam-packed with so many things i can be thankful for in the life Jesus has given! Also, some things are tough to deal with too, God is really showing me where i fall down, and sins that are in my life. I take comfort in Proverbs 24:16 and II Corinthians 12:9,10. I know sin doesn't make me a sinner but i sin because i'm a sinner, but we can be sanctified! (John 17:17) I want to hear Jesus say well done, thou good and faithful servant. Who wants to hear I never knew you?!?

December 06, 2006

Study in Daniel just Awesome!

Well, Wednesday evenings couldn't be better! A normal crowd of about 20 people gather around a huge square set of tables and face each other and the Scriptures as we go through verse by verse through the entire Bible! These days, we, as a church are going verse by verse through the Book of Daniel, and man oh man is it amazing! So practical, but also quite challenging! Obviously someone smarter than us wrote it, and yet intended us to learn it. And learning it we are! We just began chapter 3, and are endeavouring to place our feet in the shoes of Nebuchadnezzar, as well as more importantly, in the shoes of those brave, faithful young men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego! Tonight we discussed and learned about the image Nebuchadnezzar set up, and why, and how it directly relates to the image that the anti-christ will put up in Revelation chapter 13. We also saw how religions burn their opponents, while God dies for His enemies to save them from burning! What an awesome God we follow!
I so encourage you dear reader to come out and learn this Book of books! You will never be the same for knowing the truth, for Jesus promised, "ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free!" (John 8:32).
Until next time, God bless you and use you for His glory!
Pastor Craig Ledbetter