Monthly Archives: December 2011

Is Christmas Really Over?

It has been a long time readers. We all know how winter breaks keep you busy with family and friends and of course relaxing. Then as things start to settle down, you get back into the groove of life. Our family of 6 all got sick and for the most part are still breaking the sick/healthy barrier.

Let us know if there is anything going on in your family that you would like us to pray for. I hope that Christmas went well for everyone and Jesus was worshiped, families were loved, and lives were changed.

Remember that although the day of Christmas may be over, it is the gift that was given that day that changes lives and brings hope to our world. This video is a great reminder of that promise: Christmas Really Happened. Enjoy and remember that when life starts back up, give your worship to the One who gave that Life.

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Celebrate Jesus this Christmas Season!

I just got back from Nebraska to see a friend of mine who teaches in China. It is always a celebration when we get together because of the distance between us throughout the year. There was a celebration of the prodigal son when he returned to his family. We find many celebrations in our culture; birthdays, holidays, and graduations and yet other celebrations are described in the Bible.

Celebration can occur when the Lord delivers you from your enemies like in 2 Samuel 22. “David sang to the Lord” because his heart was thankful and the Spirit of God moved Him to sing. Celebration can also occur with restoration like in Job. He had lost everything in life but because of his faithfulness “the Lord made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before” (Job 42:10). One of the greatest celebrations that is still celebrated today is the birth of Jesus that bright night in Bethlehem. This celebration has taken dips and turns through our world but the truth of Christmas is made known in the hearts of men and women like Christina Rosetti and John Henry Newman.

Christina Rosetti wrote a poem title The Christmas Carol where the nativity is the theme. The last verse says this, “What can I give him, poor as I am? If I were a shepherd I would bring a lamb, If I were a wise man I would do my part—Yet what I can I give him, Give my heart” (Foster, pg.310). Foster says this verse of her poem clearly depicts celebration and joy of the Christmas season. Newman had similar thoughts about Christmas, cheerful and joyful, because of the humbleness of Christ. He said, “No lot could be more humble and more ordinary than that which the Son of God chose for himself” (Foster, pg.328). Christmas is just one celebration that we, as humans recognize as important to gather together for–BUT DEFINITELY RANKED TOP ON MY LIST.

C.S. Lewis said, “what we have been told is how we men can be drawn into Christ—can become part of that wonderful present which the young Prince of the universe wants to offer to His Father—that present which is Himself and therefore us in Him (C.S. Lewis 1980, pg.200). With Christmas around the corner I think it is only appropriate to accept the wonderful present the baby in the manger was born for and ultimately what he died for. I would like to go further and to say if we want to indulge in the gift even more than accepting it, we should surround ourselves with Christ like attributes. That might require a few disciplines on our part, so, go ahead discipline yourself. I know I will.

With only three days until Christmas, I encourage us all to consider how we are spending our time, money, and service. God has given us everything and now we have the opportunity to give back and Christmas is a great season to start. Everyone waits until the new year to start something “new”, a new resolution, but I think it is the Christmas season that guides us into something new. A new born King. A new law. A new chance. A new light. So many things are new around this season and I urge my readers to consider this day, a resolution that will change your life forever! The resolution to accept the gift of salvation that is given to all.

References:

Foster, R. (2000). Spiritual classics. New York: HarperOne.


Is the Church’s Marriage Failing?

McRaney in his book, The Art of Personal Evangelism states that God desires to restore community and family among the redeemed (p.16) and it is the family relationship that I want to focus on. First, the “relationship” with God the Father should resemble that of a marriage. Families are being destroyed all over the place due to weak marriages. So if the Christian population desires to reach the nation for Christ, then the earthly parallel, marriage; needs to be strong and create a godly impact for others to see. It’s not enough to attempt to create a relationship with God then evangelize to our neighbors for them to find that the one relationship that best symbolizes our relationship with God is frayed.

“God Himself was living a form of community, the Trinity, prior to forming mankind in His image” (McRaney, 17). Jesus represents the perfect form of a relationship, the perfect wedding (Revelation 19:7) and community. As stated above, if Christians are to provide a picture of these terms to the world, then it should start with the marriage and create a rippling affect to a community designed to worship and love God and others.

With that being said, it is imperative that the body of Christ equip families with the resources and Biblical insight to create godly marriages, families, and communities so the world can get a glimpse into what it is like for the church to be married to Jesus and be in perfect community within the trinity. Some of you may be thinking, that seems a bit harsh, we all make mistakes, are you saying I can’t evangelize if I have a broken marriage or family? No, I am not, but what I am saying is that in the overall scheme of things; a marriage or family that showcases the love and grace of God allows an unbelieving world to view the relationship God desires with his church/body of Christ.

Consider your relationship with your spouse today. Does it showcase the picture of our relationship with God? Can others see the love you have for one another? Can they see the sacrifice and forgiveness you give to one another? Or are you holding on to a hurt? Are you grumbling and keeping records of wrongs? God deals with us in grace, forgiveness, and love. God keeps no records of wrong (1 Corinthians 13:4-7). Jesus is the perfect bridegroom, the ultimate example that we should look to in our own marriages. Today is the day of change. I urge you listeners to get right with God and start reconciling your relationships for His glory!! As always I pray over my posts and my readers, but if you desire, please send me specific prayer requests to our e-mail: allsupministries@gmail.com and I will certainly pray for you and keep in contact to see how God is working.

References:

Will McRaney Jr., The Art of Personal Evangelism, Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing: 2003.


Sunday School Activity: Funshop Gallery

First of all, the Allsup family wanted to wish our friend, Jordan Yerkes a very Happy Birthday today! Jordan, we pray you will receive God’s gift He has for you on this special day! And to all our readers, God has a special gift for you today too. I encourage us all to seek Him with all we have, so that our eyes will be open to what He has in store for us each day.

Photograph from Inbloom.com

Below, I have included a link to a PowerPoint for a Sunday School activity that church leaders might be interested in. The goal is to showcase God’s attributes in Art through the eyes of His people. It is a very fun and hands on activity that can be tweaked according to your church’s mission and purpose. Please use it, tweak it, and share it with others. My purpose is that the body of believers can link arms across the world to spread the message of God!

Funshop Gallery

Click the link above to open the PowerPoint.

Let me know if you do not have PowerPoint and I will e-mail you the concept.

E-mail us any prayer concerns you may have: allsupministries@gmail.com

Give us a shout through our twitter accounts: @rallsup or @SDldan

Or you can find us on Facebook: Rehana Allsup and Daniel Allsup


The Right Path

The Texas Rangers are waiting to hear if they won a bid for Japanese pitcher and phenom, Yu Darvish. It’s a blind bidding process, the bids were allowed from every MLB team, although only a handful submitted bids.

 

Over the last two seasons, the Rangers General Manager, Jon Daniels has had great success getting the usually downtrodden Rangers to the World Series in consecutive seasons. He has created a great confidence and trust within the fan base. I for one am on-board with whatever move he makes, because he has proven himself to me.

Texas Rangers GM, Jon Daniels via Chickenfriedbaseball.com

 

When the Yu Darvish bidding was coming to its deadline, I tweeted something to the affect of: “If Yu Darvish goes to Toronto, I’m OK with it because, whatever JD bids, is the right number”. No tongue in cheek, I believe that statement- to the penny. I have a lot of trust in JD.

 

JD however is just a man. I have even more trust in The Creator. I was once downtrodden; he has given me a new life in Jesus Christ. I have great confidence in the Lord.

 

When God’s intention for my life, doesn’t line-up with my desires, I tell myself, that I’m on-board with whatever move He makes, because He has proven Himself to me.

 

“I’m OK with God’s will in my life, because, whatever path God chooses for me, is The Right Path.”.

 

Follow Jesus Christ always,  and follow my wife (@rallsup) and me (@SDIdan) on Twitter,  or email us allsupministries@gmail.com


The 1st Plague of Egypt is in my Applesauce

Snack time was interesting the other day. My kids had strawberry applesauce with the “smore goldfish” combo. Our 4yr old son put his goldfish inside of his applesauce. I was walking around picking things up when he said, “it’s like Moses.” What is like Moses? So in a couple of seconds he told me how his inventive snack combination was like the first plague upon Egypt:

Sydney: Well Mommy, Moses turned the water to blood like my applesauce. 

Me: Why yes, he did. Then before I could say anything else.

Sydney: AND LOOK THE FISH ARE DYING.

Everyone laughed.

Then they devoured the Plague of Egypt and snack time was over.

 


Tim Tebow-a Man of Valor!

Tim Tebow has been the rave for quite a while now. People from all over are hearing whispers of the man on his knees. ESPN, The Washington Post, NFL news, and many other media outlets are creating a religious stir in our country. But to be honest, they are all missing one thing and that is why I have decided to write this article.

David was a shepherd boy who knew how to praise God. He is most often called, “a man after God’s own heart” because of his fervent dedication to the Lord. He was not ashamed to praise God in front of people or alone with his sheep. An example of this can be found in 2 Samuel 6:14-16.

 Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the LORD with all his might, while he and all Israel were bringing up the ark of the LORD with shouts and the sound of trumpets.

 As the ark of the LORD was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD, she despised him in her heart.

You see this passage tells us that David danced before the Lord with all his might and even though others despised him such as Michal, he continued to praise God. He understood the importance of worshiping with all he had. Tim Tebow is similar to David in this respect. A comparable story could be written about Tim Tebow.

Wearing shoulder pads and a jersey, Tim would kneel before the Lord with all his might, while he and all the Broncos celebrate their victory over the opposing team.

As the ball was passing through the end zone, many fans watched from the stands. And when they saw Tim Tebow fall to his knee to give thanks to God for this victory, some despised him in their heart.

You see Tim Tebow is a lot like David and David is a lot like Tim Tebow:

“David said to the whole assembly, “Praise the LORD your God.” So they all praised the LORD, the God of their fathers; they bowed low and fell prostrate before the LORD and the king (1 Chronicles 29:20).”

It looks like the whole assembly of Israel was Tebowing that day.

Keep reading, it gets better. The final passage I want to use to parallel Tebow to David is this:

“One of Jesse’s sons (David) from Bethlehem is a talented harp player. Not only that–he is a brave warrior, a man of war, and has good judgment. He is also a fine-looking young man, and the LORD is with him (1Samuel 16:18).”

It is clear that they are similar in many ways. We can replace Tebow’s name once again in this passage and it would read like this:

One of Robert Tebow’s sons from Jacksonville, Florida is a talented quarterback. Not only that—he is a leader, a man of encouragement, and has good judgment. He is also a fine-looking young man, and the Lord is with him.

Get on twitter and type in @TimTebow and you will see around four tweets a second depending on the time of day. These tweets range from words of praise, to words of hate, and lastly, to words of flatter.

Tim Tebow is a man of valor just like David was and both are very similar in character. But the most important thing they have in common is the fact that they love God so much that they are willing to proclaim it with their words and actions. Tim Tebow is in the spotlight because God put him there.

It does not matter if the Broncos lose or win because Tebow is first and foremost on God’s team and God always wins and so will Tebow! But the question is not about Tebow but about you. Whose team are you on? Will you be defeated or dominate in the 4th Quarter of your life?

Author: Rehana Allsup

@rallsup


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