Tidings of Great Joy

[Picture from catholic-resources.org]

"In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn."
[Luke 2: 1-7]

When Jesus was born he was put in a manger because there was no room at the inn. Can you believe that? The king of kings and lord of lords was born and no one could spare a room! Sounds just like today, how often do we not have enough room for God? How funny how that works we are blessed with life and we cannot find the time for the one who had created us. Just can’t find the time, too busy! Sorry God got more important things to do.

Soon afterwards an angel visited the shepherds that were tending their sheep in nearby fields, which terrified them. Anyone would have been startled. When was the last time an angel had paid you a visit?

Than an angel of the Lord said:

"Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." [Luke 2:10-12]

I find this to be so wonderful. God the creator of all things was willing to make himself very vulnerable. Coming to earth as a baby through the blessed virgin Mary. He was willing to humble himself and step down from his heavenly throne to fulfill the prophecies of old. Not only that, but what a very humble birth at that. He wasn’t born in a palace, with wealthy parents. Instead he was born to very poor parents and was soon put in a manger for his bed.

Jesus was born in a little town of Bethlehem which is Hebrew for, “house of bread”. God in the flesh, resting in a manger! Jesus who said he was the bread of life, was resting in a feeding trough. Almost as if he was a grain offering. Imagine that!

I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” [John 6:51]

Than when we think of how bread was made. The different grains were smashed and ground into flour and other ingredients were added such as yeast and oil than it was baked. The smashing of these grains would foreshadow what was in store for the son of God, being lashed, beaten, and than crucified for the sins of the world. Indescribable!

Another thing I thought was great was how angels paid a visit to shepherds to let them know that their “Savior” has been born. Of all the people, shepherds! The lowest of the low class, were told that the savior of the world was born! It wasn’t the Pharisee or the leaders of Judea but shepherds. Shepherds weren’t even allowed in the Temple because they were considered such outcasts. Many were considered to be thieves, murders, and their job made them an "unclean" people.

As soon as the shepherds had heard this news, a choir of angels burst into song praising the Lord!

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." [Luke 2:14]

After this they dropped what they were doing and hurried to find what they heard about. They went to pay Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus a visit. This was one momentous event, and the only people that were invited were outcasts, shepherds, the rejects of society!

That sounds just like God hanging out with the riff raff of society. Like the sick, poor, brokenhearted, and sinners that no one else had time for. The cool thing is that, before Jesus’ return, we are all invited and believe me folks this is a party you don’t want to miss!

How can anyone describe the greatness of our Lord Jesus the Christ? I leave you with these words by a great preacher who often described his frustration of trying to wrap the glory of God into words.

“I know my words cannot honour him according to his merits : I wish they could. I am quite sure to fail in my own judgment when telling out his excellence ; indeed, I grow less and less satisfied with my thoughts and language concerning him. He is too glorious for my feeble language to describe him. If I could speak with the tongues of men and of angels, I could not speak worthily of him. If I could borrow all the harmonies of heaven, and enlist every harp and song of the glorified, yet were not the music sweet enough for his praises.” [Charles Haddon Spurgeon]

God bless and peace be with you all!

The Stranger

At Christmas time there was a Man who looked so out of place,
As people rushed about Him at a hurried sort of pace.

He stared at all the Christmas lights, the tinsel everywhere,
The shopping center Santa Claus, with children gathered near.

The Mall was packed with shoppers who were going to and fro,
Some with smiles and some with frowns and some too tired to go.

They rested on the benches or they hurried on their way,
To fight the crowd for purchases to carry home that day.

The music from a stereo was playing loud and clear,
Of Santa Claus and snowmen and a funny-nosed reindeer.

He heard the people talk about the good times on the way,
Of parties, fun and food galore and gifts exchanged that day.

"I'd like to know what's going on," the man was heard to say.
"There seems to be some sort of celebration on the way.

And would you tell me who this is all dressed in red and white?
And why are the children asking him about a special night?"

The answer came in disbelief, "I can't believe my ear!
I can't believe you do not know that Christmas time is here.

The time when Santa comes around with gifts for girls and boys.
When they're asleep on Christmas Eve, he brings them lots of toys.

The man you see in red and white is Santa Claus, so sly,
The children love his joyful laugh and twinkle in his eye.

His gift-packed sleigh is pulled along by very small reindeer,
As he flies quickly through the air, while going here and there.

The children learn of Santa Claus while they are still quite small,
When Christmas comes he is the most important one of all."

He held His head in shame, He closed a nail-pierced hand.
His body shook in disbelief; He did not understand.

A shadow crossed His stricken face, His voice was low but clear
"After all these years they still don't know." And Jesus shed a tear.

~Author Unknown~

I came across this at Jesus is the reason, I thought it described the world pretty well.

Remember that Jesus is the reason for the season!

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a happy and safe New Year! God bless and peace be with you all!

The Ladybug: "Just stopping by"

About a month ago, I remember after going to my dialysis center in Philadelphia, my mother and I stopped at a store. As she went into the store I waited in the car because I was still having a hard time breathing (fluid around my lungs). I had the window down because it was a nice sunny day. I was also enjoying my favorite radio station, Hope FM. As I was listening, I felt an itch on my arm I lifted my arm to closely examine my arm. There to my surprise, was a ladybug! I was glad I looked, because I was going to squash whatever it was. It was just a friendly ladybug paying a visit. Than I just watched the ladybug, it slowly crawled up my arm and than came to my hand and went onto my knuckles. It seemed to be showing off, stretching it’s wings and flaunting it’s beauty. I have to say while watching this ladybug, I really felt God’s presence and I just felt very relaxed and protected. I just felt like God was saying, “Just checking up on you”. After the ladybug got done stretching it’s wings, it just took off hovering away into the gentle wind across the parking lot. I thought it was a pretty cool experience.

[Picture from Wikipedia]

When I got home I did a little research on lady bugs. Here is what found:

“In parts of Northern Europe, tradition says that one's wish granted if a ladybird lands on oneself (this tradition lives on in North America, where children capture a ladybird, make a wish, and then "blow it away" back home to make the wish come true). In Italy, it is said by some that if a ladybird flies into one's bedroom, it is considered good luck. In central Europe, a ladybird crawling across a girl's hand is thought to mean she will get married within the year. In some cultures they are referred to as lucky bugs (Turkish: uğur böceği).
In Gaelic, the insect is called bóín Dé — or "God's little cow"; similarly, in Croatian it is called Božja ovčica ("God's little sheep"). In France it is known as bête à bon Dieu, "the Good Lord's animal", and in Russia, Божья коровка ("God's little cow"), while in both Hebrew and Yiddish, it is called "Moshe Rabbenu's (i.e. Moses's) little cow" or "Moshe Rabbenu's little horse", apparently an adaptation of the Russian name, or sometimes "Little Messiah".

Hmmm all these have to do with the Gospel, that’s pretty interesting! I would of never knew all this stuff. Than I thought, I wonder why a lady bug would have something to do with a “Moses little red cow” or red heifer and so…I did some research. Red cows are very rare, only nine had been sacrificed throughout Jewish history. This means it is a very rare occurrence considering Hebrew history spans back to AM 1948–2123 (1812 BCE to 1637 BCE).

Thomas what does AM stand for? AM is an abbreviation for Anno Mundi or "the year of the World" much like AD is Anno Domini or "the year of our Lord". But now the world has changed this to CE which stands for Common Era. Wonder why the world would want to change AD or take "the year of our Lord" away? (being sarcastic)

The importance of this red heifer to the Jewish people is pretty astounding. The ashes from the sacrifice of this perfect red heifer would cleanse the sins of the Jewish people which would allow them to be able to rebuild the Holy Temple! According to the Hebrews at the Temple Institute they believe, “the Holy Temple is the only solution for achieving the elusive peace we all desire to see: for the Creator Himself, the Supreme Author of peace, has stated: "The honor of this last house will be greater than that of the first, says the Lord of Hosts; and in this place I will grant peace, says the Lord of Hosts" (Hagai 2:9).”

Many believe that this red heifer could be soon arriving. In order for the Temple to be rebuilt, the Ark of the Covenant must also be in possession. According to the Temple Institute, Israel does indeed have this as well, it is hidden underneath the Temple mount.

“This location is recorded in our sources, and today, there are those who know exactly where this chamber is. And we know that the ark is still there, undisturbed, and waiting for the day when it will be revealed. An attempt was made some few years ago to excavate towards the direction of this chamber. This resulted in widespread Moslem unrest and rioting. They stand a great deal to lose if the Ark is revealed - for it will prove to the whole world that there really was a Holy Temple, and thus, that the Jews really do have a claim to the Temple Mount. (The official position of the Islamic Wakf, the body that governs over the Temple Mount, is that there never was a Holy Temple, and that the Jews have no rights whatsoever to the place)” [The Temple Institute]

The completion of the third Holy Temple will eventually bring the Messiah but there will be much chaos before that happens. If you would like to know more about what happens please read about it in the book of Revelations.

Wow, all this from a little visit from a Ladybug or “Moses little red cow”. Ladybugs “are generally considered useful insects as many species feed on aphids or scale insects, which are pests in gardens, agricultural fields, orchards, and similar places.” [Ladybug]

May be the reason why they were given the names of domesticated animals such as cow, horse, or sheep was because of the way farmers used Ladybugs to help maintain there crops from harmful pests. This is as close as I got to the reason why Ladybugs were given such names.

Anyway Thank you for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed the post. Take care all you people, God bless and peace be with you!

Favorite Blog Award and Christian Blog Of The Week Award

This award was given to me by Gillian Mc Donald at UCANHOPE2 she is a Christian teacher who loves to read the word, pray and write articles about christian living, natural health and self improvement. Thank you Gillian for this award, to God be the glory!

Another award from my Christian sister Lori Laws at Persevere Her blog is great! Very inspirational and encouraging, you should stop by there if you need a lift! I humbly, accept your award Lori, but the glory goes to God, Glory to God in the Highest! I am just a humble servant of the Lord who deserves all the glory because without him I am nothing.

I would like to pass the award to other humble servants of God,

Chris from the Bible Post and Brian from The New Covenant.

Knowing Your Purpose

There’s an old joke about a preacher who was stranded on the roof of his church in a flood. As the waters rose higher around him he prayed fervently for God to rescue him. “The Lord will provide,” he told himself.

Soon a boat floated by. The occupants called to the preacher to swim to them. “Don’t worry about me,” he called back, “The Lord will provide”. Reluctantly the people on the boat went on.

The waters rose higher and soon were lapping around the knees of the man of God. Another boat appeared within a few yards of the church rooftop. The rescuers inside called to preacher, and again he replied, “The Lord will provide!” This boat went on, and the preacher prayed even more fervently.

Just as the waters reached the preacher’s chin, a helicopter appeared. It came flying right over the preacher’s head. The rescuers called down to the preacher, but then he clutched his steeple and cried, “Save someone else. The Lord will provide for me!” So the helicopter sat there a few minutes hovering over the preacher and than went off to save more people.

A few minutes after the helicopter left, the waters closed around the preacher’s head, and he drowned. Reaching the gates of heaven, he asked for an immediate audience with the Lord, which was granted. In the divine presence the preacher humbled himself and asked, “Heavenly Father, my work on earth was not yet finished. Why didn’t you save me?” “Good grief”, God replied. “I thought you wanted to come here. I sent you two boats and a helicopter, didn’t I?”

Moral of the Story

You better have your mind made up, so you don’t let any opportunities pass you by. If you don’t know what your purpose is than you better figure that out. You can start by writing down your major objective in life and what your plans are to achieving it. This is the first steps in self discipline. Self discipline is what makes you jump when your boat or helicopter comes by!

Life as a Dialysis Patient

I have had a rough couple of weeks with my health. I have been getting fluid around my lungs and this makes it hard to breathe. This makes it very difficult to do anything, a couple of steps tire me out and any kind of exercise tires me out which annoys me greatly. I know I need to exercise to stay strong and when I don’t get to, I feel very weak.

The reason I have fluid around my lungs is because of my dialysis. Sometimes the fluid gets absorbed throughout my body and it seems to form around my lungs. The only way to get this fluid out is by doing more dialysis. Yay! More dialysis talk about fun...

There is a lot of work that goes along with dialysis, such as trying to drink enough fluid or cut back on fluids. I have to say, I hardly drink anything and I still have trouble with fluid building up, which is very annoying, as you can imagine. Another thing is changing your diet around. You always have to make sure your numbers are at certain levels to keep your body healthy. To do that you have to take your medications, follow your diets, and follow your dialysis regimen. Here is a list of labs that are normally taken every month.

: A normal level of Albumin is 3.5 or greater. Peritoneal dialysis increases your protein needs. Eating plenty of protein helps with healing, building muscle, and it keeps you strong. If you have peritonitis, an infection in your peritoneum, your body needs even more protein than normal. You can increase albumin by eating more beef, chicken, turkey, fish, fresh pork, lamb, veal, egg or egg substitute. Take a protein supplement if recommended by dietitian.

Calcium: A normal level is 8.4 to 9.4. If too high try to avoid Tums, Rolaids, or other calcium pills unless prescribed. This is important for healthy bones and heart.

Cholesterol: A normal level is 100 to 200. Is a waxy, fatty substance found in tissues throughout the body. Certain types of cholesterol circulating in the bloodstream can accumulate in blood vessels, and eventually cause clots if not maintained. If you take medication to lower cholesterol, you can help keep your level normal by eating foods low in cholesterol and fat.

Ferritin: A normal level is 200 to 500. Ferritin is an iron-carrying protein which is a more accurate monitor of long term body iron status than the Blood iron level, which varies with diet.

Hemoglobin: A normal level is 11 or higher. A protein in red blood cells that transports oxygen from the lungs. If it is too low you may feel tired. It is important to take your Renal Vitamin everyday.

Hemoglobin A1C: A normal level is less than 7.0. Hemoglobin A1C measures blood sugar over a period of 2 or 3 months.

Iron saturation: A normal level is 20 to 50%. Iron is needed to build red blood cells and to prevent anemia.

Potassium: A normal level is 3.5 to 5.5. Normal potassium keeps your heart and nerves working well. Eating fruits and vegetables and taking a potassium supplement (if prescribed) helps keep your potassium normal.

Phosphorus: A normal number is 3.5 to 5.5. Most of the phosphorus in the body is found in the skeletal system, it helps keep your bones strong.

PTH Intact: A normal number is 150 to 300. PTH is your parathyroid hormone which acts as the most important endocrine regulator that controls calcium and phosphorus levels in the blood.

CA x PHOS: A normal number is less than 55. Calcium x Phosphorus = Product. To have a good product, follow a low phosphorus diet and taking your binders when you eat. Normal product is important for healthy bones and heart.

Triglycerides: A normal level is below 200. Triglycerides are fats normally found in your blood. Extra levels may be harmful to your heart. You can lower your levels by including fish high in omega-3 fatty acid; using olive or canola oil instead of butter or lard; avoiding alcohol and foods high in sugar, saturated fat, and cholesterol. If you have diabetes, try to keep your blood sugar normal. Weight loss if you are overweight and exercise help lower triglycerides.

KT/V: A normal level is 1.7 or higher. Your KT/V is the adequacy of dialysis. It is the measurement of how well your blood is being cleaned. A good number means your blood is being cleaned well. KT/V is affected by your dialysis treatment, such as number and size of bags, dwell time, transportation gradient, and how well you follow your treatment regimen. The benefits of adequate dialysis include feeling better, eating better, fewer hospitalizations, and living longer.

These are just a few of the things that we have to do as dialysis patients. Having kidneys made life a lot easier! :)