Baby Jesus in a Manger

I found Baby Jesus in a Manger. I don’t know if you remember that I had lost Him a couple of years ago right before Christmas when I was setting up my little china nativity scene, and Baby Jesus in the Manger was nowhere to be found.

I searched through all the Christmas decorations without success, looking for Baby Jesus in the Manger.  I found one little nativity scene made out of plastic all in one piece, and baby Jesus was there, but He was tiny, and melted into one piece with his manger, so you couldn’t even see His face.

 I found the wooden nativity scene, and the manger with Jesus in it cut out of wood. I always liked that wooden nativity scene, but the manger didn’t even look like it had Jesus in it at all.

Somehow we made it through Christmas without Baby Jesus in a Manger in our Nativity scene on the buffet and no one even noticed because there was the Christmas tree to look at.

I was going through an old big jewelry box looking for a particular necklace when I found Baby Jesus in the Manger. I have no idea how He ended up in the jewelry box, except I must have missed Him when I was packing the Christmas decorations away for another year, and then found Him later, my little Baby Jesus in a Manger.  I must have put Him in the jewelry box so I wouldn’t lose Him again, and promptly forgot where I put Him.

However even though I love my little Baby Jesus in a Manger from my cheap china Nativity scene, the real Jesus does not reside within that little statue.

“Who (Jesus Christ) being the brightness of His (God’s)  glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.” Hebrew 1:3 NKJV.

The real Jesus can never be contained in a manger, a jewelry box, a picture, a church, or any physical place. Jesus is now seated in the heavenlies at the right hand of God Almighty, Majesty On High.

Redefining Yourself

It’s Rodeo week in Vinita, Oklahoma. I hardly ever miss the rodeo parade. I always mentally compare the current rodeo parade to the one in some distant yesteryear, when there were so many more horses and riders that they began to blur together. The floats were better, the bands had more students, and there were more bands. The parade in my memory was always better in every way.

Years ago, after the parade, we always went to South Park for Old Settlers’ Reunion. The fiddlers, dressed in their best overalls and cowboy hats, poured their hearts into their music. People sat around on park benches cooling themselves with cardboard fans from the funeral home and drinking lemonade. We were hot and sweaty, but so was everyone else.

Recently the Old Settlers’ Reunion was moved into air-conditioned facilities, and the name changed to All Settlers. People still sit around and visit with old friends while the fiddlers and singers still pour their hearts into their music.

Vinita has been defined in the past to the rest of the U.S. as an Old West horse and cattle country town with the Will Rogers Rodeo, large haying operations, multi-acre farm all part of our heritage.

Now we are busy redefining ourselves as wine country, with vineyards being planted at several places in the county, with the annual Calf Fry Festival, and as a Route 66 town, with the well-known Clanton’s Café on the well-known cross-country highway.

What are you known for? Are you happy with the way you are being defined? Are you the stay-at-home mom whose kids are now grown? Are you the career woman recently retired? Are you still wearing the same hairdo you wore in the 60s?

And do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2 NKJV.

God’s Word has the ability within it to transform you into the image of Jesus. Like a mirror, the Word of God reveals us not only as we are, but as God wants us to become.

Times change, seasons change. Maybe it is time to redefine who you are. It is time to pray, “Lord, change me by Your Word. I want to be just like Jesus.”

School Time

It’s August and time for me to buy my school supplies for another year. I love to buy Crayolas, pencils, pens, paper, and notebooks.

When I was a kid, I was always excited when school started, because our family loved school. Our family life revolved around the school year, since Mom worked for the school system as the Hall Halsell school cafeteria manager. During the summer we were on vacation, so our life was on hold, like we were living a lazy dream.

When I graduated high school, I spent the summer working, and all too soon, it was time for school to start. I drove away to college at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa. Another year of school began.

I have never stopped learning, never stopped going to school. I do my own research, my own learning, reading and teaching myself.

We start school, learning the basics, proceeding through the grades, building on what we had learned the year before. You don’t expect school to get easier as you get in the higher grades. Senior year is going to be harder than first grade. And with each grade you have to pass the test to go on to the next year.

“In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again.” Hebrews 5:12 NIV.

You pass one test, and then you might get a Spring Break, but after that it’s back to study time. Then it’s on to the next test in the next subject.

So many people seem to think that becoming a Christian guarantees a person a perfect life from then on, that your life will always be a bed of roses after you ask Jesus to be your Savior and Lord. The Christian walk with Jesus never gets easier but it does get sweeter every day.

The school of the believer, the school of Christ, where we learn the elementary truths of God’s word, is taught by those who have been through the school themselves and by the Holy Spirit Himself.

It’s school time, so study hard this year so you can pass the test. God’s calling us all to come on up to the next grade level.