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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

HAPPY HOLIDAYS & MERRY XMAS!

I tend to be an observer.  I learn so much just by observing.  I don't plan to observe, that's just...what I do.  



I never will forget Brother Ed Kofi, in Liberia, telling me on more than one occasion, "Sis Becky, you don't talk much, but you observe.  I've watched you." He is an observer, too (wink!).  My good friend, Dawn Barnes, has "caught me" observing and commented, "You are ALWAYS thinking." Dawn is an observer, too (wink!)  When I am with Deaf and observing them, I catch/notice so many new signs.  Yes, even after 15 years!  If I am with my good friend who is hearing, Vandora, when I see something new I quickly ask her, "Did you see that sign for ...?"  

Definitions vary a bit for the word, observer.  Most say it is a person who watches and/or one who notices things.  

Some would say I observe too much or too long, before I act.  I am guilty, as charged, I am sure.  I wish I could say I pray as much as I observe, but that is simply not true.  My observations are most often followed by much pondering and thinking and sometimes filtered with prayer.  

When I read/study God's word my observer mode comes out, often.  Sometimes, I pause long enough to ask God's Spirit to help me "see" or "notice" what it is He wants me to glean from His Word.  Many times, He shows me what He wants me to learn even when I do not ask Him to do so.  His Word is ALIVE (LIVING), so it will accomplish it's intent.  

I tend to be a stickler for what His Word says and what it does not say.  There is so much you and I can learn when we, ourselves, devote time to reading and studying God's Word for ourselves.  Yes, it is also important to receive wise counsel from others who do the same, but there is nothing that can take the place of you and me sitting in the presence of Yahweh, alone, one-on-one.




I hate assumptions, but I am guilty of them all to often.  Assumptions get us into so much trouble in our earthly relationships, one can only imagine what our assumptions relating to God can do.  The assumptions about our God are so destructive for so many.  It isn't the nonbeliever's assumptions that concern me the most, but more so the believer's assumptions that are so damaging and debilitating for themselves and others and often for an entire lifetime.  

Please do not assume you know what God's Word has to say about something, check it out for yourself.  Become an observer of His Word.  Notice things, that maybe others have never brought to your attention.  You may be surprised to find something very different from what you "thought" or "assumed" was true. All to often, we tend to develop thinking patterns based on assumptions instead of His Word.  Be aware, God will always be revealing more and new truths to you as you mature in your walk with Him, as well.  What I know and believe about the scriptures, today (age 55), are somewhat different from what I knew as a new follower of Christ at the age of 14 and even so as His follower at the age of 41.  

You and I will never know all there is to know about God, He is simply...too BIG!

An "assumption" that was revealed to me this year, by a dear friend's Facebook post, surrounds the phrase "Happy Holidays".  A few years ago, when the media and many in the retail industry decided they would no longer wish others "Merry Christmas", this time of year, but instead they would say "Happy Holidays", many of us became indignant.  And we were all to proud to boldly proclaim Merry Christmas back to those who wished us Happy Holidays...those heathens.  Turns out our pride may have been a little over zealous.  The word holiday means first and foremost "holy day", according to Merriam-Webster, so wishing someone Happy Holidays is not far from wishing them a Merry Christmas, now is it?  Jesus is holy and these days are 'set-apart' to celebrate His 'holy' birth.  The same holds true for Xmas.  I remember many years ago, that became a popular way to write Merry Christmas, Merry Xmas.  How dare they take the "Christ" out of Christmas!  Once again, when someone took the time to search a little deeper, turns out the use of the X dates back to the early 1500's and it is the first letter in the Greek word for Christ. 

When God looks down on us, I wonder how often He shakes His head in disbelief at the insignificant things we become so zealous over and the vital things we overlook? 



Will you join me in celebrating the birth of the holy child, who lived a holy life, so He could die a holy death, for you and me to be holy?




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