Thursday, December 29, 2011

Lessons From "Where's My Water?" (Part 1)

Have you played this new and amazingly fun game from Disney? It's an application you can download to your mobile device and use to kill time when you have nothing better to do! (hehe) Surprisingly, this game stayed on top of the Favorite List for 3 weeks since its release around September 2011, even knocking off the Angry Birds from their perch!

My son loves this game as much as I do. He is so into puzzles and strategic games that he's really having a LOT of fun playing with Swampy, the reptilian hero in this particular game. I like the idea that this Disney game is Physics-based, and so I have no problem with my 7-year-old getting hooked on it! (A homeschooling mom's favorite: Work & Play rolled into one! Hehehe...)

Swampy is a pretty interesting alligator, though. You'll find him so different from the rest of his peers. He's actually become an outcast and the ridicule of his "congregation," (Yes, a group of alligators is called just that) because of his un-alligator ways. ;) 

Swampy loves to keep himself clean and has good manners, mind you! That is why you will have to find ways for him to get some CLEAN water in the shower because unlike the rest of the alligators around him, he hates contaminated water!

Now I'm sure most of you are scratching your head right now and are probably asking yourself why a christian blogger is now sounding like a techie blogger in her post! Don't worry, I'm not changing my blog's theme nor the heart of my niche. ;)

I just wanted to share the lesson we all reflected upon very early this morning. The kids woke up pretty early (think 4:30!) as their dad prepared for work. Because my son is hooked on "Where's My Water?", he was already fidgeting with my phone at this time... (My 4-year-old daughter and I had our turns, too! Hahaha!)

Then something just hit us when we were about to get back in bed. God somehow used the game to remind us of how magnificent His Grace is in the life of an individual. 

The bible tells us this in 2 Corinthians 5:17,

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (KJV)

Now, Swampy somewhat became a picture of that! I told the kiddos that Swampy is just like a person who places their genuine and full trust in the LORD Jesus Christ! We become a new creature in Christ and would no longer behave the way we used to! 

The moment an individual places their faith in the COMPLETED WORK OF CHRIST ON THE CROSS, Jesus' blood cleanses our hearts from all unrighteousness and filth of sin (Revelation 7:14), and we become squeaky clean as Swampy! 

God's Word reminds us that it is ONLY BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH that we are saved (Ephesians 2:8). No amount of our own good works could ever make us HOLY and RIGHTEOUS before the eyes of God. No matter how much we give to the poor and needy, no matter how nice of a person we are toward others, no matter how many times we piously follow religious rituals and ceremonies, we still stand GUILTY before God for the sins we've committed! Our good works may seem to dust off some cobwebs on the surface and around our hearts, but it can never cleanse the very core of it that is tainted with SIN. (Romans 3:23) The Word of God clearly tells us that our good works are as filthy rags before the eyes of the HOLY and ALMIGHTY GOD! (Isaiah 64:6) 

That is why God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins! That HIS righteousness may become OURS the very moment we trust in HIS COMPLETED work on the cross. Through HIM and HIM ALONE will we find the forgiveness of our sins and the ONLY Truth and Way to eternal Life! (see John 3:16, John 14:6, and Romans 3:24-26)

Before the New Year rolls in, try to examine yourself and reflect on the Truths found solely in Scripture. Ask yourself if you've honestly embraced CHRIST JESUS' completed, FINISHED WORK on the Cross. Have you placed your faith in HIS death and resurrection as the ONLY WAY to have eternal LIFE? Maybe today is the day of YOUR Salvation. Encounter God's Truth in His Word.

But if you say you have indeed placed your trust in Christ ALONE, there's more to it than that! We had a few more lessons that God reminded us of as we reflected on Swampy's life. We'll touch that in the next part of this Lessons from "Where's My Water?" series.

Y'all take care always!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Neverthless, MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Everybody would probably agree that this year has brought many turmoil in our lives. From countries being shaken by earthquakes and tsunamis, to cities rattled by protesters, to families devastated by either war, famine, accident, job loss, foreclosures, natural calamities, disease and illness, or the global economic slump.

Not only that, but we also get a dose of agitation from those groups of people who just really love to wage war against Christmas. From the atheists who put up their billboards to mock the Almighty God they so willingly deny, and even to the many christians who are critical about the celebration itself.

There is so much hullabaloo around this particular season, really. From the over-commercialization of it, to the pagan roots of many of the traditions, Christmas has become a fiasco in itself. Many around the world either focus on Santa and his reindeers,  or the extravagant and insane holiday shopping and gift-giving.

I understand that today there's a lot of people becoming critical about the Christmas tree and the lights, or the mistletoe and the hollies. Many raise eyebrows at christians celebrating this season in December and many other this and that of the whole Christmas shebang!

What amazes me, though, is that many christians have allowed themselves to become so critically minded about all these Christmas things that they lose focus on what I believe is more important. We raise so many issues that we attempt to slap at people's faces and shove what we perceive is right down other people's throats that we no longer shine forth the good news of Christ's birth and the JOY that His Grace brings!

I honestly don't teach my children the "magic" of Santa nor anything mystical about the Christmas tree in our living room. Nor do we teach them that Christmas is about frantically shopping for presents and having plenty of gifts to open on Christmas Day.

But, we allow them to enjoy the season of remembering the miracle of the birth of our Savior, as well as understand how blessed we are to have the most important gift of eternal life through JESUS CHRIST.

In my own humble opinion, the many things we see and do today should always reflect the love of Christ and that we should seek to bring only HIM all the glory He deserves. It doesn't matter whether others meant the December celebration for evil, or whether they meant it to rob us of God's Truth. GOD will still bring to pass that which is good and that which accomplishes HIS purposes to save souls.

Unless the food on our tables and the decor of our homes are deliberately offered to demons, THEN, I would strongly become very critical about it. BUT if we could only take the Christmas season and make GOD bigger and the center and focus of it all, then whether it be celebrated in December, September, July or August; whether it be celebrated with presents under the tree or not; whether we have abundance to celebrate the day or none at all,  the Christmas celebration could and SHOULD be an avenue to show CHRIST's LOVE to a dying, dark and lost world!

I really would prefer we all FOCUS on the NATIVITY rather than the festivity. I'd rather we focus on JESUS' BIRTH rather than focusing on pagan traditions. I'd rather we USE THIS TIME TO GLORIFY GOD by sharing the gospel to the lost, rather than turn unbelievers off by our insensitivity and critical spirits. I'd rather we USE this "IN SEASON" to bring the JOY of the good news of the Savior's birth and the GRACE He freely offers to all who believes, rather than focusing on what others SHOULD be doing and SHOULD NOT be doing.

There are indeed many stark ungodly practices we see around us this Christmas Season and we should be discerning enough to see where our hearts are founded upon as we celebrate the season, but it SHOULD NEVER HINDER A TRUE CHRISTIAN from SHINING Christ's LIGHT, GLORY and TRUTH in the picture! We are planted in an evil and fallen world... may we LET OUR LIGHT SHINE before men, THAT THEY MAY GLORIFY OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN!

We may see heartaches and desperation around us... we may experience difficulties and hopelessness in our lives. We may learn about pagan and unbiblical practices around the Christmas tradition...
but nevertheless, let me wish you and yours 

was, is, and always will be 

Choose ye this day, then, who you want to serve, focus on, and glorify during this holiday season! 
But as for me and my house, I WILL SERVE, FOCUS, and GLORIFY 

"But as for you, you thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save many people alive. (Genesis 50:20)


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