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Friday, December 27, 2013

Jesus is born, now what?
Jesus is born, now what?

The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good ~ Samuel Johnson

Christmas has come and gone for this year, and with it our thoughts of Jesus birth.

Yet this event in real life was not one that had all it’s celebrations on the birth day. The events of the birth that we summarize on that one day happened over a period of time.

Searching the Biblegateway.com I discovered a very good time line that they provided, that shows this progression of Christmas very well. I am showing some excerpts from this timeline on this blog to explain the statement that I made.
The lead up to Christmas is shown above and took a while to occur. At least more than the 9 months pregnancy.

Next is the birth events...

 This image shows that really only the shepherds, Mary and Joseph, and their family would have celebrated the actual birth day of Jesus.

The next person mentioned as celebrating Jesus birth, was Simeon on the temple steps.

When did that occur?

Well the bible tells us how it worked...

The Lord spoke to Moses. He said, “Speak to the people of Israel. Tell them, ‘Suppose a woman becomes pregnant and has a baby boy. Then she will be “unclean” for seven days. It is the same as when she is “unclean” during her monthly period. On the eighth day the boy must be circumcised.

“‘After that, the woman must wait for 33 days to be made pure from her bleeding. She must not touch anything that is sacred until the 33 days are over. During that time she must not go to the sacred tent.


“‘After she has waited the required number of days to be made pure, she must bring two offerings. She must take them to the priest at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. She must bring a lamb that is a year old for a burnt offering. She must also bring a young pigeon or a dove for a sin offering. The priest must offer them to the Lord. They will pay for her sin. Then she will be “clean” from her bleeding.

“‘Those are the rules for a woman who has a baby boy or girl.

“‘But suppose she can’t afford a lamb. Then she must bring two doves or two young pigeons. One is for a burnt offering. The other is for a sin offering. The priest will sacrifice those offerings. That will pay for her sin. And she will be “clean.”’” Leviticus 12 (edited to reflect only the text referring to a boy)

Doing the math, 33+7 days is 40 days...so even after Jesus birth took place it was about 40 days AFTER his birth that he was presented to the temple.

This is when ...

In Jerusalem there was a man named Simeon. He was a good and godly man. He was waiting for God’s promise to Israel to happen. The Holy Spirit was with him. 26 The Spirit had told Simeon that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 The Spirit led him into the temple courtyard.

Then Jesus’ parents brought the child in. They came to do for him what the Law required.

28 Simeon took Jesus in his arms and praised God - Luke 2

Probably on that same day we hear of Anna.

There was also a prophet named Anna. She was the daughter of Penuel from the tribe of Asher. Anna was very old. After getting married, she lived with her husband seven years. 37 Then she was a widow until she was 84. She never left the temple. She worshiped night and day, praying and going without eating.

38 Anna came up to Jesus’ family at that very moment. She gave thanks to God. And she spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the time when Jerusalem would be set free.

This took time. Jesus birth events were not yet over and at least 40 days had passed.

Now let’s look at the next image...

 This shows the magi arriving to visit Jerusalem. The Magi chat to Herod and then visit Jesus. Since Herod orders children 2 and less to be killed, we can be fairly sure these Magi had been following the star for two years and had told Herod that. To see the discussions, you can read Matthew 2.

This means the wise men probably arrived to see Jesus toddling around the home in Bethlehem.

Also, realize the fact that they were still in Bethlehem suggests they were with family and friends, and since Joseph came to the city of his ancestors, that is very likely. You couldn’t get a bus home those days and had to walk, so you probably wanted your child to be able to walk before taking the long journey home.

As an aside, the word “inn” has been found over the years to have been mistranslated.  Guest room is more accurate. (See latest NIV translation for proof) so perhaps they were staying with family who took them in, but couldn’t give them the guest room, so they had to fit in with the rest of the family.

Christmas was not over for two years in the ancient times when it occurred.

We scrunch it up into one day. I think we miss a huge amount doing this.

Jesus grew like boys grow. God on earth did not rush life. Do we?

How come we want to fit all our dreams and development into as short a time as we can, pressuring ourselves needlessly.

Jesus was to save the world, but it wasn’t done in a day. We need to be willing to move towards perfection constantly, even if life is moving towards perfection asymptotically with only Jesus bridging the gap to that perfection.

Also, let’s remember what we did to Jesus, and realize how Jesus treated us despite our mishandling of our lives. Mankind mishandled Jesus. Even now we sin and fail. Jesus loves us despite this. That is the measure of Jesus, what is the measure that others will measure us with, and how do we measure up?

Have a great week preparing for 2014.
Fri, December 27, 2013 | link          Comments

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Iíve got nothing...yet everything
OutwardOrInward.jpgI’ve got nothing...yet everything

“The main dangers in this life are the people who want to change everything - or nothing.” ~ Nancy Witcher Astor
Christmas comes once a year and for some it can be a time of great loneliness. When family is around it can be a wonderful time, a time of joy and happiness, but if there is no one around and we have no ability to get out and do things for others due to health or mobility constraints, it is a dark time where memories of happier times can lower ones spirit.

Yet there are many good ways to lift our spirits! Great music that lifts one into the presence of God is alone that is available on the airways if one looks for it. Then there are CD’s and for some select few long playing records of uplifting songs that bring joy and praise to our hearts.

The reflection on the truth of Christmas is actually done better in the moments without others than in the general hustle and bustle of big family occasions.

Big family occasions are good and can be fun, but they can also sometimes popularize the “what we got in gifts” rather than what God gave to us and the spiritual gain.

Yet the thought that we may be alone at Christmas is an illusion as well. God says...

I am absolutely sure that not even death or life can separate us from God’s love. Not even angels or demons, the present or the future, or any powers can do that. 39 Not even the highest places or the lowest, or anything else in all creation can do that. Nothing at all can ever separate us from God’s love because of what Christ Jesus our Lord has done. Romans 8:38-39

God is always with us!
         Christ is the constant!

The only time we can be alone is when we reject Him.

That means there is no reason for anyone to feel they do not have anything at Christmas, they have God, so they have everything!

The trick is to be outward focussed in life not self focussed.

Let’s try and remember that as we head out to boxing day sales this year.

trusting God and treating others right is better that fighting to get the best bargain. If we have to push shove to get to something we want ,perhaps we need to rather not have that want and instead need to ask yourselves what we can do to improve the world.

Perhaps by visiting a shut in instead?

Have a great boxing day!
Thu, December 26, 2013 | link          Comments

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas clarity, knowing God in adverse circumstances
babyselfish.jpgChristmas clarity, knowing God in adverse circumstances

None of us are perfect, and none of us would honestly claim to be perfect, would we?

Perfection is something that we are simply not capable of achieving. We know this to be true!

Perhaps that’s why when we look at the baby in the manger this Christmas, looking at Jesus ...that God on earth... simple, pure, and yet without sin we are moved emotionally.

Jesus conceived by Holy Spirit, in the womb of a young simple honest girl, seems inconceivable.

Yet it is simple and pure, and we appreciate the clarity and purity that God brought into our existence with that baby.

We, as teens or adults in the modern world have no such clarity. If we are honest, we know we have no such clarity or purity!

Our lives are far more unclean, smudged here and there by sin (selfish, ignorant and nasty acts we do) even when we try to get rid of it.

Holy power is needed to clean up the things we have done to screw up our lives.

To make right the things we have done to disappoint others, and perhaps worse than that, things we have done to disappoint ourselves  our family and friends.

“God on Earth”, this is not a new refrain is it?

People have been improvising god’s ever since mankind realised they were spiritually alive as well as social and physically alive.

In some cases there appears to be very early evidence that god worship was present.

So what makes this Christ kid different, or even significant?

Why should this Christ child make such a difference or impact anyone’s life in a significant way?

In what way is this God unlike the hundreds of others that have floated in and out of men’s consciousness over the years?

Why should we believe in this God, rather than in many other apparently equivalent versions of god or gods.

Perhaps, because of historical authenticity?

We can believe in any silly story off the internet, can’t we? (Sometimes many do, and get horribly mislead!)

What is the difference between real history, such as the events of the last world war or great scientific discoveries, and the made up histories’, like we find in Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” or “The Hobbit”?

Isn’t it documentary proof from numerous sources and physical locations that can be visited, proof in structures and stones?

Is it not in original documents that provide evidence of truths?

Can we go to any location mentioned in Lord of the rings...No...of course not!

Can we go to Jerusalem, Ephesus and plenty of places mentioned in the Bible?  Yes! 

Have some of these places been found by mining the bible for information? Yes!

Does the bible contain much valuable and trustworthy information used daily to help people? Yes!

Are the documents from which the bible was originated and from which we gain evidence of Jesus valid and available? Yes!

If this is the case, we need to ask ourselves if Jesus was real, did this baby ever exist?

The bible is rejected by so many people, yet, in the final analysis there is NO other set of writings that have been scrutinized to the incredibly deep level as the manuscripts that make up the bible.

They have been found to be valid true documents. They have been checked and rechecked. They are in museums for people to review. Facts!

The bible is not the only evidence for Jesus, as we also have Jewish and Roman historians that refer to Jesus as well.

This guy existed!

 How can we know Jesus was God?

I guess you have to look at the facts again.

Just think about this...how could a harmless carpenters son, in a country, under occupation by the worlds strongest military power, (who was not allowed to even carry a physical weapon of significance), not only defeat these oppressors, but start a following in that country while it expressly forbid other religious followings and gatherings of
crowds that could not be controlled. How could this carpenters son go on to establish a movement that would become the greatest religion the world has ever seen?

Do you know that today there are more Christians in the world than any other religion? (Check it out!)

This work had to be done in days without modern communications and modes of transport.

Why would millions of people be willing to die for a false idea that was not capable of being tested adequately?

Answer: They wouldn’t!

Yet millions willingly offered up their lives for Jesus, often without resisting the evil that took their lives.

The only reasonable truth is that something supernatural was involved.

That something supernatural is still involved!

Christians know this supernatural aspect is the glory of God in Holy Spirit that takes us into new paths and joys daily.

It’s the truth that points to the baby in the manger and says with clarity, “there is your God”, it is the power that drives us to purify their lives and get rid of the grunge of the last years sin, looking with new strength and power to what is available as God leads us through into our new year.

The real question is, will we have the courage to follow God’s leading this year?

Look where it got that baby?

Do we want to do the same or similar things for God today? Do we have courage of our faith?

Strangely enough, Jesus said... “What I’m about to tell you is true. Anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. In fact, he will do even greater things. That is because I am going to the Father. 2.John 14:12

Is that not an amazing Christian thought to consider this Christmas?
Wed, December 25, 2013 | link          Comments

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Rift in Evil

By Ken X Briggs

  • Published: September, 2010
  • Format: Perfect Bound Softcover(B/W)
  • Pages: 208
  • Size: 6x9
  • ISBN: 9781450250894 

Available from Barnes and Noble, Amazon, iUniverse.

you can email me at Author@KenXBriggs.com

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This suspense thriller centers on Kiara, a beautiful young woman pursued by a murderous group of people, who relentlessly and ruthlessly hunt her and her sisters. Kiara has no idea why she is being targeted! When Kiara and her family turn to the law for help, this fails. Her pursuers’ powers reach deeply into the political and law enforcement world. Family support for her dwindles when they too have to flee her pursuers. Can Kiara escape the clutches of both the law and dishonest big business? With the media broadcasting that Kiara and friends are dangerous and subversive, can Kiara clear her name and bring her pursuers to justice?



To purchase Kiara's Pursuer ebook  @ $1.99

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To contact the author contact Author@KenXBriggs.com


 RiftInEvil.gifThe town of Zinaville is dropped into a spiral of evil causing a young man and a beautiful but abused woman to launch into an investigation that unveils an evil conspiracy.

A horrific mining accident results in Joshua Robyn's father being killed. Joshua struggles both with himself and his townsfolk as he tries to make sense of an incomprehensible situation. Is it an accident or a murder? Why is there a seeming link to evil? Why is his work environment suddenly threatening? What is the conspiracy about and what are they trying to do? As action moves dramatically from exotic African grasslands to the heart of North America's cities, the plot unfolds and the pace quickens. Will there be time? Why is a beautiful abused young woman in the center of this plot?

Evil tendrils tighten on their lives and the interplay between the visible and invisible world shows opposing forces at work.

Will there be a rift in evil?

Will they be able to stop the evil in time?



Click here to order Rift in Evil (ebook or Paper available)
  • Published: September, 2010
  • Format: Perfect Bound Softcover(B/W)
  • Pages: 208
  • Size: 6x9
  • ISBN: 9781450250894 

Available from Barnes and Noble, Amazon, iUniverse. Chapters

you can email me at Author@KenXBriggs.com
Frugal Eating Advice
Good advice for students living on limited $'s. Click on the image!

 May you be blessed today!

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