Watchin' God Book One - Listed Alphabetically


Monday, December 22, 2014

That Baby in the Manger

Today is guest day, by way of facebook posts from a friend of mine, Jim Hatfield.  The following are posts and comments from his page (with his permission, of course.)

December 6  ·

The Wise Men first came to Jerusalem looking for Jesus in the palace. They were surprised to find - not only was the newborn king NOT there, but the old king had to ask others where He might be found. When the Wise Men finally found Jesus, they did not doubt that He was the King they sought . Even though He was not in the palace, He was clearly the King they came to worship and bestow gifts upon.

December 7 ·

Back to the Three Wise Men who came looking for the Baby Jesus: How did the Wise Men know to come looking for the New Born King of Israel? Well, ... where ever they came from (Babylon?) they had seen a star in the East. Of course there were many stars to the east of their home region. BUT, this star was a new star, and it was somehow different. The fact that they noticed it is very interesting. But the fact that somehow they questioned it's importance, and God gave them an answer is indeed a wonder. AND, they took the information from God and took off on a journey to see this new King. Following the normal trade route it would be around 800 - 900 miles and take about 4 months (if you made good time). I am thinking .. it would be nice if I were as observant as these men, and if I would ask for guidance on what to do with what I learned, AND , if I would have the faith (and the guts) to do the right thing.

Nancy Spencer Carlson: Isn't that the truth, Jim? Sometimes, even when we get the wisdom, we still lack the faith to move.

Jim Dale Hatfield: People often go to great Bible conferences and then come home excited about what God has done in their lives. What if... someone went to a great conference and then sent a post card home - from the mission field where God had led them. Just a thought....

Nancy Spencer Carlson: sign me up!! But Paul had better be with me at the conference, I suppose... My preacher would look at me more askance than he did when I mentioned that before Paul and I got married I told him that God sends me all kinds of places, and I needed to be able to continue that; if he (Paul) wasn't up for that, speak no or forever hold his peace. He agreed. And he has kept his word! But I don't think going off to a missions conference and then sending him a post card from some foreign place would be a good idea! (Though a 4 day trip to GA turned into a 2 week trip to GA, LA, TX and home by way of Chicago last summer...)

Jim Dale Hatfield:
Ha Ha, Nancy, I guess I was more picturing a young person sending a card back to their parents - not to a spouse.!! But, I think you got my point..? Lot's of people get excited about the messages that make them feel good and dedicated, but it produces mostly smoke. We need to get our wheels turning.

December 12  ·
One of those Prophesies that King Herod had read:
Isa 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
December 14·

Okay... back to that baby in a manger.... Maybe you remember who His first visitors were - besides the cow in the next stall. Yes.. it was a group of shepherds. Some of you may know that shepherds were looked upon as lowly citizens in many societies - including Israel. They dealt in the types of things that made them almost continually unclean and therefore could not go into the temple. But these people God chose to make the first - and probably greatest - announcement of the birth of Jesus. A choir made up of multitudes of angels sang to the shepherds as part of the announcement. And so the shepherds went to the stable where the newborn King was staying. And doesn't it make sense that shepherds should be on hand at the birth of the Lamb of God?

Janice Kopsho: Just as God chose David, a shepherd, to become the great King for the people.

Brenda Hatfield Adams: Thank true.

December 21 ·

Back to the Baby in The Manger: This morning. our pastor mentioned Mary's perspective. Here is a woman who has been given the very difficult task of being pregnant before marriage - in a society that stoned women for that. But, beyond that, she is the mother of our Savior. ... So, how much of that did she understand? Did she realize when He was an infant how young He would be when He died? Did she realize that He was born for the express purpose of being crucified - one of the most horrific ways to be killed. (The word Excruciating comes from the same root word.) And, did she know that she would have to stand and watch as her Son was whipped, and then nailed to a cross to die from loss of blood, and suffocation? I don't think I can even imagine how she must have felt .

Janie Craig Chenault: No, but you raise a point I'd never considered....Mary did you know?

Becky Roe: All we know is that Mary pondered all these things in her heart.
One other thing I ponder about Mary: how much Jesus loved & honored her. The wedding shindig, He told her plainly it wasn't the time for Him to get involved & even so He turned water into the best wine of the party. Bearing the sin of the whole world, He struggled for enough breath to tell John, "Take care of Mom." I also think about the fact that Mary was there with Him when He came in & with Him when He went out. Wow.

Stephen A Morrison: What happened to Joseph during this time? He was there in the beginning. Jesus took on Joseph's trade originally, which is a tremendous compliment to any father, but how did Joseph feel when Jesus said, "Why do you seek me? Did you not know I must be about my Fathers business?" Ouch!
So much is written about Mary, and rightly so, but what about the guy who married the pregnant mother. I can't imagine the emotional turmoil he must have felt as he raised this son as his own. If you knew you were rearing the Son of God, how would you approach that one? Did they have a Dr. Dobson then? Or for that matter a bookstore to go to? Hmmm...."How To Raise The Son of God, by Nicodemus Dobson...?"

Nancy Spencer Carlson: Hey ya'll - can I copy/paste this on my blog or NC Carlson page? Pretty please? It's great!

Jim Dale Hatfield: Nancy, No problem on my part....I am glad that you like it that well.

Nancy Spencer Carlson: you have wonderful friends who make very thoughtful comments. I might even steal all of them from your page if no one has any objections.

Jim Dale Hatfield: Friends? Speak now or forever hold your peace?... LOL

Stephen A Morrison: Sure, any post is public property. I'm honored.

Lana Meadows: I think God protected Mary and only let her know what she needed at the time she needed to know it. Otherwise it would have been to much for her to bear. I assumed Joseph died mid way in Jesus life. He was probably older than Mary.

Lana Meadows: I always just guess that when Jesus said he was in his father's house that they would realize what was happening.

Stephen A Morrison:  I'm just seeing a lot of opportunity for an emotional roller coaster for Mary and Joseph. Knowing yet not knowing. Knowing yet hoping not. Joy in the blessing, but sorrow in knowing or maybe suspecting what was ahead for their son. THE SON OF GOD!

Brenda Hatfield Adams: It's like having Bible study online.

There you have it: Jim and his friends on the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  

I'm in agreement with Lana: Mary probably didn't know much, or she wouldn't have been able to bear the pain.  Can you imagine knowing ahead of time all the trials you have had to go through? 

Do you have any other thoughts? We want to hear them!  

Merry Christmas! 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Angels We Have Seen - On the Front Porch

Imagine the snow covers the yard.  This is the best I can do!

It was a snowy Christmas eve in Alaska. There was about a foot of new-fallen snow covering the yard of our little house. I had been out on the enclosed porch earlier that day, but we hadn't been outside in the yard for several hours, so the blanket of snow was beautiful and unbroken by footprints. 

Around 7 that night, I heard a bit of noise on the front porch, but thought it was just the wind rattling the decrepit porch door. The phone rang about 7:30. A vaguely familiar male voice asked to speak to J. I tried to place the voice amongst our friends in the tiny town as I handed the phone to J.

"Huh?" he grunted into the phone with a very strange look on his face.

I could hear the man speaking, but couldn't make out any of the conversation.


J hung up the phone and answered my question. "He said it was Santa and I should open the front door."

Curious, he walked over to the door and opened it carefully.  A smallish package wrapped in bright Christmas paper fell into the house. It was addressed "To J, From Santa." Of course, he wanted to open it right then. I was willing to see what it could be. And just what do you think it was? The very thing J wanted for Christmas! And this Mrs. Claus had already wrapped up that very Lego set and intended to put it under the tree that night!

More curious than ever, we looked out the porch door. Remember, there is about a foot of new snow in the yard. There are 3 stairsteps up to the porch door, so if anyone were to open that door to put the package against the front door, there would have to be footprints in the snow.

But there were no footprint!  None. Not up the driveway. Not up the steps. Not even under the eves. Just no possible way for that present to be where it was.

If there isn't a Santa Claus, there surely is a God, who must have been meeting some unspoken need of an 11 year old boy who lived with his mother.
(this was first posted on my personal fb account.  I'm sharing the thread that followed.)
  • Cheyanne:  I love that....thanks for sharing.

  • Nancy: Lucy, I was thinking it might have sounded like Pete, because I would recognize the voice, but not be someone I talked to on a regular basis. And he was connnected to the church that did stuff like that for Christmas. BUT even if it was him, HOW on earth would someone get into the porch with no footprints??

  • Lucy: I have no idea! Unless they tossed it from farther out! We received a surprise gift of $100 years ago in T.... It didn't come from my folks, either! But, we desperately needed the money! God knows!

  • Nancy: nope. couldn't have tossed the package in, because it was inside a closed porch! But it's a really cool story! And God does indeed know!

  • Cheyanne: Gee, did any of your friends fly really small planes?
  • Lucy: There are angels, you know!

  • Nancy: I KNOW Lucy!! Met at least one, my very ownself!

  • Nancy: Chey, you are funny!
  • Lucy: OK...tell me your angel story!

  • Cheyanne:  Did you look on the roof for footprints???
  • Nancy: you guys are funny!!
    Angel story:

  • Nancy: I was driving down I-95 in SC. The gas light had been on for many miles. We were almost home, so I was hoping to be able to limp in on fumes. Not so. However, the car stopped in an excellent location: right at the top of an exit, with a gas station right across the road.

  • Nancy: I went into the station to get a gas can. An old guy asked if I had run out of gas. Yes. Where? Just at the top of the exit, I said. He insisted on buying the gas can, and the gas, and giving me a ride down the frontage road to just opposite my car.

  • Nancy: There was a fence, of course, and an empty field filled with tall grass. The old gentleman handed me over the fence from the back of his ragged red pickup truck. We walked up to the car. He put the gas in the tank. When I turned around to say thanks, the man was gone, his truck was gone and there was no indication that anyone had been there!

  • Nancy: Again, no 'footprints' in the grass, no swaying fence where the guy would have had to climb over. Nothing. Just gas in my car and off I went!

  • Nancy: Hey could you guys offer up a prayer for me. I need to find a form very soon - like within 30 minutes or so. It's around here --- somewhere. Thanks.

  • Lucy: Lord, if you can send your messengers to Nancy in such amazing ways...then I ask that You would help her find the form that she needs! You have helped me over and over again in like matters! Thank You, Lord! To You belongs all the glory!

  • Nancy: Man!! You guys are fast! Just found it. In 2 minutes! God is amazing, isn't he?? (I was typing this as Lucy was typing her prayer!)

  • Lucy: Great story, by the way!!!

  • Nancy: Don't you just love that angel story??

  • Lucy: I have great faith for asking God to help me find things...including reconciling my bank account, etc! His provisions for us are truly amazing...we just have to have eyes to see!

  • Cheyanne: I do love that Angel story.

  • Nancy:  There was one time when I was looking for something (of the zillions of times I have asked for help). I'd looked all over the house, following the Spirit's leading. I finally was getting frustrated. It seems like sometimes God has me look places just to see if I'll continue even when it doesn't seem logical, or the trail comes to a dead end.
    Well, I was back in the bedroom, where the thing should have been, and there it was, in the middle of the bed!! It would have been totally impossible to miss it in my earlier searches.
    It's so much fun watchin God!!

  • Lucy: The scripture that I've been following this year is: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not on your own understanding! In all your ways, acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths!" Proverbs 3:5-6. Over and over again, I've heard that phrase..."Lean not on your own understanding!!!!!"

  • Nancy:  sometimes I actually LIKE fb! We can share good stories, and encouragement.

    Do you have any angel stories to share??  We  would all love to hear them!  Leave a comment below!  Pretty please?  Think of the opportunity to give God the glory for his favor to you!