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Friday, December 24, 2010

WHAT IF?

Happy Birthday Jesus... and Adam
As most of you know, I started the infamous Frogcast about two years ago.  I confess I have minimal meteorological training but must also admit I have miraculously been amazingly accurate by using a weird science of facts mixed with childish embellishment.  I refer to myself at the big MF (master forecaster) but have to be careful with the abbreviation.  So it was only natural that in the middle of last month I went public with my promise of a White Christmas.   At the time it appeared foolish to put a hundred free T-shirts on the line if my prediction failed but now eight hours away from snowfall on Christmas Eve, my heart feels anything but foolish.

If you follow me on Facebook you know this year has been defined by me rediscovering the natural beauty of our God and His creation.  My travels down Hwy 412 in between coffee shops put me in a position to admire amazing skyscapes several different times.  I posted photos of several of these that I had the pleasure of witnessing and capturing on my I-Phone.  The most amazing event, a dense fog cover at sunrise, I failed to capture.  But let's just say, I saw things this year I can't describe.  More than once I was moved to tears asking the question, "Is this just for me, Father?"

Today, Christmas Eve, I was driving back to Dyersburg under a gray sky watching the clouds growing thicker with the temperature gauge on my truck hovering in the mid thirties when a few pellets of sleet hit my windshield.   The forecast for snow was in my favor.  The miracle looked like it just my happen.  I would like to say I had prayed for snow but I hadn't.  I should have because it would certainly have increased my chances.  But in spite of this I asked myself a question, and then the tears came.  "What if this weather event affecting 14 states is just for me?"   I looked out the window at the beautiful gathering storm and wondered if it could be true.   I must admit that no one gave a White Christmas a chance until four days ago and it will be the first time it has actually snowed on Christmas in almost 100 years.  It just seemed too odd that God would do this just for me.   But what if He did?

What if He came as a child wrapped in swaddling clothes just for me?   What if the Lamb of God was born in Bethlehem where the priest prepared all the firstborn lambs for sacrifices in the temple just for me?   What if this tiny, adorable child subjected his holiness to the horrible wrath of a lost world just for me?  What if God, infinite and omnipotent,  changed his nature, finite and limited, just for me?

What if this child grew up into a man and endured temptation in the dessert just for me?  What if this man led a perfect life just for me?  What if he loved children just so as I kid I would know he loved me?  What if he loved the imperfect just so as a teenager I would know He loved me?   What if he loved the hurting sinner just so as an adult I could know he loves me?   What if his teachings about life and lessons of love were just for me?

What if this child, who grew up into a man, was spit on, beaten to a pulp, publicly mocked, nailed to a cross, speared in his side, and forsaken by God just for me?   What if when he asked God to forgive his tormentors he asked also for my forgiveness?   What if God loved me so much that he sent his very own Son as a sacrifice for the forgiveness of my sins and that by believing this was just for me, I could call him Savior?

A snowstorm across 14 states is a small thing.  Salvation is a precious thing.  He did it for me.  He did it for you.  Want a picture to prove it?  Read the book of Luke.   God's position for us is no longer on trial because when he laid him in that manager and hung him on that cross, one thing became very clear... God will spare no expense when it comes to you and me.    Abraham never had to sacrifice Issac.  God never had to sacrifice his Son either... but He did and the Lamb was willing, love motivated them both.   This Lamb of God; born in Bethlehem; who attracted angels, wisemen, kings, and shepherds; whose blood was shed for the remission of sin; was the greatest gift and sacrifice ever offered.  What if we loved God the way He loves us?   What if that is what it really means to be a Christian?  What if this relationship would give us true peace and joy?  What if?

1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.
 4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
 8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
   and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
 15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
 16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.


Living Room Preparty
Bag Piper 2nd Time
Dinner by Blackberry Hill Catering
Damon ate too much!

Damon & Heather after the competition!

Jackson Store Employees

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