I'm on my second day at home (well, my first full day at home) for the holidays, and I couldn't be more fulfilled right now.
I got home in time to go to a friend's wedding yesterday afternoon and what a wonderful event it was. It was such a display of what a wedding truly means and I was so grateful to have been there and seen people I haven't seen in such a long time.
From there we went to my sister and brother-in-law's church (First Baptist Florence) to see their Christmas program and it was fantastic. We even went back again tonight and it was even better. We were able to see some of Ross's family that I definitely haven't seen in a while and it was great to see them.
As I sat listening to the music of this wonderful program my amazing brother-in-law put together, I was overwhelmed with all that is associated with this season -- the birth of Christ, what it means, what it led to and what it has meant for my life.
And then it hit me, how many people don't even know this story or just don't even care. As I sat and listened to the words of the songs and watched the video of the birth of Christ and then the death of Christ, tears streamed down my face.
What an impact these two events have had on my life, even just in the past few years. I've been a Christian since I was seven, and I confirmed that fact when I was 14 and struggling with some doubts, but only recently have I fully grasped that Christ has completely transformed me from the sinful being that I was born as. Yes, I still struggle with sin. Everyday. We all do. But I now know that Christ in me can defeat, and has already defeated, any temptation that comes my way. I just have to trust and believe that with God, nothing is impossible.
The song that really struck a chord (no pun intended) with me tonight was originally sung by Natalie Grant, one of my favorite contemporary music singers. It's called, "I've Believe". Here are a few of the lyrics.
The wise men saw
The baby born that the angels called the son of God, Heaven’s child
The great I AM
Born to take away my sins through nailed pierced hands
Emmanuel has come
And I believe
How can it be that God’s great plan
For his story
Would send you to the lonely tree
That you would come
For one like me
In a cross
I believe he came for one, he came for all
Heaven's child became a plan
Gave his life for me in spite of all I am
This is such a declaration that all Christians should be exclaiming to everyone they meet. This is such great news. This GOD became a man, suffered and took on the wrath of the Father for ALL people so that we would not have to suffer it ourselves. And for what? Because of love. WOW!
See I'm one of those people with whom it doesn't take a lot to convince me of something. I'm more prone to believe than not to believe. I believed in Santa until I was 11 years old. And I still love to believe in him. It just gives Christmas a completely different feeling. Like there's more hope or more to look forward to. I believe in GOD a billion times more than I believe in Santa Claus. I can't really explain it. There's just a completely different feeling. I've seen so much evidence of GOD in my own life and in many of my family members' and friends' lives that it's too hard not to believe. And he just keeps showing himself. It's so exciting!
My hope is that you are experiencing that same completely different feeling. And if you aren't, seek it. Be desperate for it. Find it. Or better yet, quit hiding and let God find you. And when he does, and you get that feelings, relish in it. Because that is as good as it gets...until we get to Heaven.
On a completely different note. I thought I should post the answers to my fun little movie quote quiz and then add a few bonus questions for good measures.
Here are the answers:
1. 10 Things I Hate About You
3. A Christmas Story
4. The Wizard Of Oz
5. Remember The Titans.
6. You've Got Mail
7. Christmas Vacation
8. My Fair Lady
10. Shawshank Redemption
11. The Holiday
12. Polar Express
13. Rookie Of The Year
14. The Replacements
15. Dangerous Minds
And a few for good measure. Are you as good as you think you are?
1. You will be different, sometimes you'll feel like an outcast, but you'll never be alone. You will make my strength your own. You will see my life through your eyes, as your life will be seen through mine. The son becomes the father and the father becomes the son.
2. A vigilante is just a man lost in the scramble for his own gratification. He can be destroyed, or locked up. But if you make yourself more than just a man, if you devote yourself to an ideal, and if they can't stop you, then you become something else entirely.
3. Remember kid, there's heroes and there's legends. Heroes get remembered but legends never die, follow your heart kid, and you'll never go wrong.
Leave your guesses in the comments!