Saturday, December 31, 2011

"Christmas Is Over - Now What"

Please welcome Guest Blogger, Penelope Conway. Thank you for bein' my guest taday!

Christmas is Over... Now What?

A few days ago it was Christmas morning. Excitement and smells of a holiday feast filled the air. Gifts were nestled under the tree wrapped in brightly colored paper and bows. Children were wide-eyed, in awe of what was inside the box that had their name on it.  Dazzling lights and sounds of jingle bells provided a backdrop to this much anticipated moment. It was a time for family and friends to come together, exchange gifts, feast, and celebrate the birth of Jesus, the Messiah. 

But once the gifts have been unwrapped, the leftovers eaten, the decorations put away, and the excitement has subsided... what do you do? What do you do when Christmas is over? What do you do when the celebration has ended? For many, life goes back to the routine that consumed them before. A routine of worry, frustrations, self-focus, and complacency. They forget what it means to serve. They forget what it feels like to give. They forget how to shine the light of Christ in the darkness of this world.  

Oh, at Christmas time it's easy. Everyone is being a light. But in January, when the person in the cubicle next to them is hurting, or their neighbor is going through a divorce, or the man on the street corner needs a meal, they walk on by because their own needs are more important. They are no longer the "Good Samaritan" willing to help those in need. They become self-centered and focused on their own needs, wants and desires. They tell themselves that someone else will talk to that person in the cubicle next to them, and someone else will help their neighbor, and someone else will give a meal to the man on the street corner.  Just not them!

Why not be that "someone else" today? Why not stand up and let the world know that the light that came into this world so many years ago, Jesus the Messiah, lives in you every day of the year?  Why not shine brighter this coming year than you did last year? Why not be the difference the world needs? You don't need Christmas to do that. You simply need Jesus.

Our very lives should be a reflection of Christ in all that we say and do. It's not easy to stand tall shining that light when you have storms and people and life coming at you. It's not easy to keep from cowering in the corner and hiding that light when persecution comes. Jesus experienced that... "The light shines in the darkness and the darkness doesn’t comprehend it." (John 1:5) "He was in the world, and the world did not know him. He came unto his own, and his own didn’t receive him." (John 1:10)

Jesus, the very light Himself, was rejected by those He came to save. Have you ever thought about that? I mean, really thought about it?

I don't think we understand what took place thousands of years ago when God became flesh. Do we really understand that God, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, gave up His throne to live as man: to hurt, to love, to serve, to die... for you?!  On the day of His birth all creation bowed down, all heaven rejoiced, all hell trembled, everything changed because new hope for man was born. The entire universe rejoiced to see the Savior born, that is except man. Jesus was born into this world to be worshiped. Anyone could come and bow before him. The town was filled that night with people. But only a few shepherds came to worship him. At a later time some wise men came. But there were no feasts or parades there in Bethlehem to welcome the King of Kings into this world. There were no parties or a welcoming fanfare. No, it was a humble entrance filled with awe and wonder in the heavens. And though he was not recognized on this earth for who He truly was, Jesus left an unmistakable trail of evidence that changed the world forever. Jesus, the Messiah, God in the flesh, brought life to us all through His life, death and resurrection. 

We need to do the same thing with our own lives. We need to leave an unmistakable trail of evidence that our world has been changed by the coming of Jesus. We need to be a person who is changed and altered by Him. It doesn't mean filling our world with Christian "stuff" and doing Christian things. It means you, your life, your calling, and all you have, becomes a witness to the world.

It's tempting to get comfortable, to keep a low profile, to follow the crowd... but instead, I invite you to put flesh, hands, feet, gifts, creativity, and life to the service of the Word. I ask that you make God your priority in life in a way that the Word of God takes on life in you. What overtook the world with the good news of Jesus was people who included the excluded, served the hurting, invited the forgotten, risked, created, suffered, gave, and went. They put flesh, hands and feet to the Word.

This is not the easy way or the profitable way to live, at least not as the world counts profitability or ease. This is not the way to the next level of success. This is not just a way to live during one month out of the year. This is the way of Christ and the way of every true believer. Will you put hands and feet to the Word?

Penelope Conway is living proof of God’s power to change people and that He can heal the broken; using them to bring light, love, hope, and truth into the darkness of this world. Penelope has been made whole after enduring the shattering effects of a dysfunctional childhood and has grown by God’s grace, receiving healing from overwhelming fear, bouts of depressions, and insecurities that were the result of her past struggles. Penelope learned in an up-close and personal way how faithful God is. She became very familiar with His promises, His grace, and His comfort, and now walks in the freedom that only Jesus can provide. Her desire is to share that freedom with everyone she meets, encouraging them that they were born to fly. She longs to see others set free, healed and made whole in Jesus—to awaken them and to help them to understand that God is a God of second chances.
Penelope is a licensed and ordained minister and has been invited to speak at crusades, conferences, and events, where she crosses all racial, denominational, cultural, age, and gender lines, propelling the cause of Jesus Christ. She passionately brings a message of hope that reverberates long after she has left. Her honesty and sincerity serve to invite those in her audience to form a new or first-time relationship with the Lord. Her approach is conversational, creative and captivating and her confidence is contagious.
It is amazing to watch what God is doing in the life of Penelope. The love of God has rescued her, the grace of God has kept her, and the call of God compels her to excellence. Anyone who ever sits under this unique ministry of the Word recognizes the special call God has on her life.

1 comment:

  1. Scam artist. You should be ashamed of claiming you have Multiple Sclerosis to scam people into sending you money. Very Un-christian like if you ask me