Monday, November 15, 2010

The Perfect Tree

"The big pine trees make the prettiest trees," the little pine says to himself.

It is Christmastime in the forest, and all the trees are excited about the season. Their thick branches are covered with blankets of snow –

all the branches except for the little pine's, that is.

"Who would want such a little tree with such thin branches?" he says.

"Don't worry," says the biggest spruce in the forest, "someone will think you're special."

"All trees are special," chirps a little bird, sitting on a snowy bough.

But the little pine isn't so sure. His branches droop a little.

"Hey, wait for me!" calls Sarah. "I want to pick the tree this year!"

Her brother David scoops up some soft snow and makes a snowball.

"Not if I get there first," he shouts, throwing the snowball at a lamppost.

Dad and Mom follow as the family starts out on a snowy walk to the forest.

"Remember," says Mom, "it can't be too broad, or it won't fit through the door."

"And it can't be too tall," says David, "or it will scrape the ceiling."

"We'll know the perfect tree when we see it," says Sarah.

Soon the family arrives at the forest. The trees can't wait to see which tree will be picked.

The children race right past the giant spruce trees. They stop at the little pine.

"This one!" decides Sarah.

"Yeah! It's perfect!" says David.

The children dance around the little pine.

"Hmm," says Mom, "it's not too broad."

"And it won't scrape the ceiling," says Sarah.

"Looks just right to me," says Dad.

"See," says the biggest spruce, "someone thinks you're special already."

"They can't mean me," says the little pine. "Look at my thin little branches."

Dad examines the tree closely. "The trunk isn't very broad. It'll be easy to cut," he says.

"Be careful," says Mom.

"I'll be very careful," says Dad. "I won't hurt our tree a bit."

Dad begins to saw the bottom of the little pine's trunk.

"What beautiful, straight branches," says Mom. "Such a lovely little tree."

"See? They don't think your branches are skinny," says the biggest spruce. "They think you're special."

The little pine still drooped. "They think I'm special now. But wait 'til they get me home."

Once the little pine is cut, Dad carefully wraps it with twine.

"The twine makes sure the branches won't bend and break off," he tells the children.

David and Dad lead the way home with their new tree tied securely onto the sled.

"Where will we put the tree?" asks David.

"In front of the window," says Mom, "so everyone can see our perfect little tree."

"The decorations will be so beautiful!" Sarah says. "Our tree will be the best one ever!"

"I hope the decorations look right on my skinny little branches," the little pine thinks. "I don't want to disappoint my new family."

At home, Dad and David make a tree stand for the little pine. Dad puts a bowl of water at the bottom for the tree's trunk.

"What's that for?" asks David.

"To give the tree a drink," says Dad. "We need to take care of our perfect little tree."

Sarah and Mom watch as Dad and David get everything ready.

"Look," says Sarah. "People can see our tree from both front windows."

"You're right," says Mom. "Everyone will get to admire our beautiful tree."

"Oh, no," thought the little pine. "Everyone will see how silly the decorations look on me!"
Mom gets up from her chair. "Time to start decorating," she says.

"What can we do?" Sarah and David ask.

"Start with these," says Mom, scooting some boxes near the tree. Inside the box are brightly colored ornaments of all shapes and sizes.

"Ooh, they are so shiny," says Sarah.

"Some of them were Grandma's favorite ornaments," says Mom.

"What a lucky tree," says David, "to wear such special ornaments."

"I'll place the angel on the top," says Dad.
The little pine is worried the angel will not be able to balance on his thin top branches.

David and Sarah hang shiny ornaments on the little pine's branches until the boxes are empty. Mom wraps the tree with garlands of red ribbon. The angel that Dad placed atop the highest branch proudly watches over everything.

"Isn't it the most beautiful tree you have ever seen?" asks Sarah.

"It certainly is," says Dad.

"How lucky we were to find such a special tree," says David.

The little pine perks up. "The family isn't disappointed. Maybe the big spruce trees were right."

David glances out the window. "Look!" he says. "It's snowing!"

"This is the perfect Christmas," says Mom.

The little pine stands proud and straight. "The big spruce trees were right," he thinks. "Being special doesn't always mean being the biggest or the most beautiful.

In the forest, I thought that I was a scrawny little pine. But now I know that I truly am special."

Don’t ever forget.
Your presence is a gift to the world,
You’re unique and one of a kind.
And don’t ever forget for even a day…
How very special YOU are!
God has created you for a purpose.
You are wonderfully and beautifully made.
Make sure you make a difference where you are and you do it today.

Attributes of God

There is one God, composed of the Holy Trinity, existing in fellowship, converging into one perfect omniscient, omnipotent entity;

a) The Father, Lord God Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth.
b) The Son, who bore physical pain to shed His blood for our sins,
c) The Holy Spirit who is encompassing and ministers to our hearts and fills us with Joy. God is omnipresent, and is the alpha and omega.
Scriptural backing:
a) God the Father: Always knowing, Always Faithful. Ruler of Heaven, Ruler of the Earth. He is Holy, trustworthy, and lawful. Creator of Heaven and Earth. -Isaiah 37:16
b) God the Son: Born of a virgin, this perfect man was God in human form. His sole purpose was to save us from our ignorance and sin. He died an excruciating death, so that we may live. Because His blood was shed, we can claim our place in Heaven. He was buried and on the third day, He emerged, conquering death, and obtaining the key of Death from the enemy. He appeared to His disciples and Mary Magdalene and claimed His place at the right hand side of Our Father. He is The Truth, the Way, and the Life. -John 14:6
c) God The Spirit: God's personal Messenger. Our teacher and standard. He informs us of our sins and helps us to realize that we have sinned. He fills us with Joy, Love, and Faith. Our communicator with the Lord, He can relay messages to God, when we do not know the words to express ourselves. His very presence allows us to commune with God on a spiritual level, and experience a very real and personal relationship with Jesus. -Galatians 5:22
Lets learn about some of the characteristics of God:

God is Omniscient

The attribute of God by which God perfectly and eternally knows all things which can be known, past, present, and future. God knows how best to attain His desired ends.
This, like omnipresence, demonstrates that man cannot hide from God because God knows all things. He knows the number of hairs on each head, He knows the heart and thoughts of every man. Just because no man is around to see us do wrong doesn't mean nobody saw it happen - God did. The proverbial tree falling in the forest that doesn't make a sound because no man was there to see it or know about it falling at that time, God sees and knows. Our intentions in the things we do are known to God. We need to be sure that our attitudes are congruent with our actions because God knows when we are doing things for the wrong reasons or motives.

Scripture Support:

Psalm 147:4,5
He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name. Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite.

Acts 15:18
Known to God are all His works from the beginning of the world.

Psalm 33:13
The Lord looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men.

Jeremiah 38:17-20
Then said Jeremiah unto Zedekiah, Thus saith the Lord, the God of hosts, the God of Israel; If thou wilt assuredly go forth unto the king of Babylon's princes, then shall this city be given into the hand of the Chaldeans, and they shall burn it with fire, and thou shalt not escape out of their hand. And Zedekiah the king said unto Jeremiah, I am afraid of the Jews that are fallen to the Chaldeans, lest they deliver me into their hand, and they mock me. But Jeremiah said, They shall not deliver thee. Obey, I beseech thee, the voice of the Lord, which I speak unto thee: so it shall be will unto thee, and thy soul shall live

Romans 4:17
(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickened the dead, and calleth those things which be not though as they were.

Isaiah 46:10
Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.

Matthew 11:21-23
Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.

God knows everything that has happened and everything that will happen. He knows when we do things for the wrong reasons and when we do things for the right reasons. All things we do should be to serve Him and bring glory to Him.

Since God knows everything I do and the reasons or motives I have for doing them, I will commit myself to doing everything as if I were doing it for God Himself. I will yield myself to Him daily, that I may do what He wants me to do and be what He wants me to be.

God is Omnipresent

The attribute of God by which He fills the universe in all its parts and is present everywhere at once. Not a part, but the whole of God is present in every place. This is true of all three members of the Trinity. They are so closely related that where one is the others can be said to be, also.

Therefore, when man is sinning God is there. If a child is doing something a parent has told him not to do, God is there. There is no place man can go to hide from God.

Scripture Support:

Psalm 139:8
If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.

Jeremiah 23:23,24
Am I a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord.

Ephesians 2:22
In whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit..

Psalm 113:5
Who is like unto the Lord our God, who dwelleth on high.

Psalm 123:1
Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens.

I Kings 8:27
But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?

Matthew 6:9
After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

Hebrews 1:3
Who being the brightness of his 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 on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

I Corinthians 1:27
But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.

Matthew 18:20
For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

Romans 10:6,7
But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? Or, Who shall descend into the deep?

Romans 8:9
But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

There is no place to go where God is not already there.

I need to be serving God everywhere, not just at certain places like church or with my family. I need to be aware of God's presence at all times and walk with Him always.

God is Omnipotent

The attribute of God which describes his ability to do whatever He wills. God's will is limited by His nature, and He therefore cannot do anything contrary to His nature as God, such as to ignore sin, to sin, or to do something absurd or self-contradictory. God is not controlled by His power, but has complete control over it; otherwise He would not be a free being. To a certain extent, He has voluntarily limited Himself by the free will of His rational creatures.

This means that if God says something will happen.   He has the power to make sure that it will happen.  Therefore, when He promises eternal life to those who believe in Christ, He has the power to grant it.   Just as He cannot sin, He has the power to forgive those who do.

Scripture Support:

Matthew 19:26
But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

Genesis 17:1
And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.

Job 42:2
I know that thou canst do everything, and that no thought can be withholden from thee.

Jeremiah 32:17,27
Ah Lord God! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee:
Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?

Luke 1:37
For with God nothing shall be impossible.

Revelation 19:6
And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.

There is nothing that God cannot do except that which goes against His nature. God alone has the power to conquer sin and death. He even created Satan who disobeyed and fell, therefore, He has power over him. He promised to give us the power to overcome he that is in the world.

I will rely on God's power when Satan tries to tempt me. I will call upon the name of Jesus to provide me with the protection and the peace He promises to those who call upon Him, because He is powerful enough to keep that promise.

In Hope:
We believe that you reach the kingdom of Heaven through salvation in Christ, accepting Him as your personal Lord and Savior. From that moment on, we believe that we have a personal relationship with Him that allows us to seek His Will. We believe that we become Born Again, in that we experience a spiritual "rebirth" where we shed our flesh and material desires; inheriting an eternal life with Our Father. We stand by the belief that the Bible, consisting of 66 books, was written by men, that were inspired and led by the Holy Spirit. Each word was divinely inspired and was presented as the inerrant, absolute truth, and eternal. There is no debate about its authenticity and infinite truth. The Word of God is His heart revealed to us, so that we may know His Will.

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