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a Christmas poem

christmas xmas christmas tree decoration

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

A is for ANGELS, announcing his birth; God’s only Son has now visited earth.

B is for BABY, a person tiny and small, a precious gift God has given us all.

C is for CANDLE, burning bright in the night; our darkened world has now seen the light.

D is for DECORATIONS in our home and town, adding to the joy that we feel all around.

E is for EXCITEMENT that you can feel in the air, a special happiness that we all can share.

F is for FAITH in Jesus, our Lord; we celebrate his birth and trust in his word.

G is for GIFTS – we all love them; remember the gifts the wise men gave him?

H is for HOPE, fulfilled back then, and the blessed hope of his coming again.

I is for INCENSE to freshen the air; the wise men gave him some when they visited there.

J is for JESUS, God’s Savior and king; he is the reason we celebrate and sing.

K is for KINGS – they called the wise men; they were really just people who were looking for him.

L is for LIGHTS, adorning the tree; and a single star that guided the three.

M is for MARY, who was chosen by grace; she was the first to see her Savior’s face.

N is for NATIVITY, that awesome night; when our Saviour was born it was love at first sight.

O is for OPENING the gifts at the tree; He tore heaven open and gave us Jesus for free.

P is for PURITY, like fresh white snow; because he was sinless, he can make us so.

Q is for QUIET, that silent night, interrupted by angels shouting in glorious light.

R is for RITUAL, our family traditions; it’s OK to have them as long as we don’t miss Him.

S is for SINGING a carol or two; we have to rejoice because the message is true.

T is for TIME we share with family and friends, celebrating Christ and honoring Him.

U is for UNDERSTANDING the Bible gives us; because of it we keep Christ in Christmas.

V is for VIRGIN, the miracle mother; Christ came to us unlike any other.

W is for WREATH, hanging on my door; it reminds us of life, not death any more.

X is for XMAS, an abbreviation when writing; in the x the word Christ in the Greek is hiding.

Y is for YEAR that is coming to an end; one last chance to show love to a friend.

Z is for ZEAL, a passion to live; Jesus showed that his Father has a passion to forgive.

 

 

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my new book on Ecclesiastes!

I have just finished a new book. It is a new translation of the Old Testament book Ecclesiastes, and a reader’s guide to its content. I am offering the book as a .pdf download.  If you are interested, send me $5 through my PayPal account:

paypal.me/jeffersonvann

Then, send me an email at jeffersonvann@yahoo.com and I will send you the document.

Of course, it is also available as a Kindle e-book:

Thanks for supporting my writing habit!

Link

2018 articles published in New Zealand

Afterlife

2018 articles published in New Zealand

Here is a list of articles I have written which were published online in New Zealand in 2018. You may click on the hyperlink for an individual article to find it on the Afterlife website.

 

the conversation continues

jp

I have been having an interesting discussion with Pastor Corey McLaughlin on the subject of whether angels and demons are immortal. My view is that God alone is immortal (based on 1 Timothy 6:16).

But Pastor Corey argues that Revelation 20:10 implies that at least some angelic/demonic beings are immortal.

Catch up with the discussion by going to my latest post on the Afterlife website:

https://www.afterlife.co.nz/2018/05/demon-mortality-and-revelation-2010/

A prayer for the persecuted church

 

Lord Jesus,

You warned us that your church would be a persecuted church.  You promised your ultimate blessing upon those of us who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, and promised us a coming sky kingdom where justice remains.

You reminded us that the prophets who came before us were also persecuted because they took a stand for the God of the Bible in the face of political and cultural opposition.

Like the prophets of old, you are sending your church out today into nations and communities which arrest, deport, wrongfully punish, and even murder them. Indeed, you warned your disciples that they would be hated by all nations because they accept you, and seek to serve you.

But you told them not to return violence for violence, hatred for hatred. Instead, you told them to pray for their persecutors. We are to follow your example, because you prayed even on the cross “Father, forgive them, because they do not know what they are doing.”

If possible, Lord, we ask you to grant your church and your gospel favor among the nations in this generation. But if not, we ask for courage for our brothers and sisters who face persecution because of their loyalty to your name.

Amen.

Jefferson Vann

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

 

thoughts at a baptism

 

36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know beyond a doubt that God has made this Jesus whom you crucified both Lord and Christ.” 37 Now when they heard this, they were acutely distressed and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “What should we do, brothers?”38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and each one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.39 For the promise is for you and your children, and for all who are far away, as many as the Lord our God will call to himself.”40 With many other words he testified and exhorted them saying, “Save yourselves from this perverse generation!”41 So those who accepted his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand people were added.42 They were devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. (Acts 2:36-42 NET).

 

Today we have some candidates who have come forward in this special service to be baptized.  I want to share a few thoughts with you based on this passage in Acts chapter 2, which records the fact that after Peter’s sermon at Pentecost, some three thousand people decided to be baptized and were added to the church fellowship.  My thoughts are addressed directly to the candidates.

 

  1. You are not being baptized because of who you are. You are being baptised because of who Jesus is. This baptism is not a reward for being good or faithful or obedient. People who are clean do not need to be washed. The three thousand people on the day of Pentecost learned that Jesus was God’s Christ and their Lord but that they had been responsible for putting him to death on the cross.  It is a horrible thing to think that you are responsible for someone else’s death. Every culture on the planet condemns its murderers – particularly if they kill someone who is innocent or important. Here at these waters we all come to the realisation that we are responsible for killing the most innocent and most important person who ever lived.
  2. You are not being baptized because someone else needs it. Peter told the three thousand “Repent, and each one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.” This baptism is not a family ritual that you participate in as a rite of passage, or to show your appreciation for your parents’ or grandparents’ faith. No, on that Pentecost Sunday, there were three thousand individual decisions to testify of their personal need for forgiveness.  They were being added to the church, but the church was not the reason they were being baptized.  Each of them had made a choice to die to their old life, and live a new life for Jesus. When they were buried in that water, they chose to bury their old lives in it. When they were raised from that water, it was to live new lives for Jesus.
  3. You are not being baptized because you are promising to give yourself to God. The promise for today is coming from someone else. On the day of Pentecost, Peter told the people gathered about what had happened to Jesus. He died, was raised to eternal life, ascended to heaven, and was “exalted to the right hand of God, … having received the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father” (Acts 2:33).” They had just experienced a miracle in which large crowds from many different areas had heard the gospel being proclaimed in their own languages. This miracle was the result of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Peter told the three thousand that day that God promised them the same Holy Spirit. I am telling you the same thing. Don’t expect to be the same after today. You are not just giving your life to God. He is giving his life to you.

 

LORD, thank you for these who have decided to testify of their faith in you today by being baptized in water.  Thank you for your decision to cleanse them from their sins, raise them to new life, and empower them with your Holy Spirit. Amen.

celebrating new things- marriage

BH55H0 Rings

Then the man said, “This one at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this one will be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.”  That is why a man leaves his father and mother and unites with his wife, and they become a new family (Genesis 2:23-24 NET).