Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer

"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, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."  - Isaiah 9:6  

+++ A Christmas Song "Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer" +++

On a cold Chicago night, a little girl climbed onto her father's lap and asked a question. It was a simple question, "Daddy," four-year old Barbara asked, "Why isn't my Mommy just like everybody else's mommy?" Bob May stole a glance across his shabby two-room apartment. On the couch lay his young wife, Evelyn, racked with cancer. For two years she had been bedridden and all Bob's income and savings had gone to pay for treatments and medicines. As he ran his fingers through Barbara's hair, he prayed and asked God for some satisfactory answer to her question.

Bob was a copywriter for Montgomery Ward, the big Chicago mall order house. Now at 33 Bob was deep in debt and sad. Although Bob did not know it at the time, the answer he received from his prayer was about to bring him fame and fortune. On that December night in his shabby Chicago apartment, Bob cradled Barbara against his shoulder and the answer to his prayer started like this...

"Once upon a time there was a reindeer named Rudolph, the only reindeer in the world that had a big red nose. Naturally people called him Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer." As Bob went on to tell about Rudolph, he tried desperately to communicate to Barbara the knowledge that, even though some creatures of God are strange and different, they often enjoy the miraculous power to make others happy.

Rudolph, Bob explained, was terribly embarrassed by his unique nose. Other reindeer laughed at him; his mother and father and sister were mortified too. Even Rudolph wallowed in self-pity.

"Well," continued Bob, "one Christmas Eve, Santa Claus got his team of husky reindeer -Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, and Vixon ready for their yearly trip round the world. The entire reindeer community assembled to cheer these real heroes on their way. But a terrible fog engulfed the earth that evening, and Santa knew that the mist was so thick he wouldn't be able to find any chimney.

Suddenly Rudolph appeared, his red nose glowing brighter than ever. Santa sensed at once that here was the answer to his perplexing problem. He led Rudolph to the front of the sleigh, fastened the harness and climbed in. They were off! Rudolph guided Santa safely to every chimney that night. Rain and fog, snow and sleet; nothing bothered Rudolph, for his bright nose penetrated the mist like a beacon.

And so it was that Rudolph became the most famous and beloved of all the reindeer. The huge red nose he once hid in shame was now the envy of every buck and doe in the reindeer world. Santa Claus told everyone that Rudolph had saved the day and from that Christmas, Rudolph has been living serenely and happy."

Little Barbara laughed with glee when her father finished. Every night she begged him to repeat the tale until finally Bob could rattle it off in his sleep. Then as Bob was about to put the finishing touches on Rudolph, tragedy struck. His wife died. Bob turned to God to help him through. Yet, despite his grief, he sat at his desk in the quiet lonely apartment, and worked on "Rudolph."

Night after night with tears in his eyes he worked away to make the story into a complete poem as a Christmas gift for his daughter.

In 1938 Bob was asked to an employee's holiday party at Montgomery  Wards, he took his poem with him. He read the poem for all to hear and when finished they explode in applause.

By Christmas 1947, over 6,000,000 copies of his poem in booklet form had been distributed. Rudolph was a hit and on his way to becoming a permanent fixture in each Christmas to follow.

God had answered his prayer in a much more abundant way than he could have ever imagined. The demand for Rudolph products soared. He was here to stay.

From then on when Christmas rolled around Bob remembered Barbara's question that inspired him to pray and ask God for help to write the story.

"Father, thank you for answer to prayer. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, Amen"
Scripture: Psalm 17:1b "O LORD, hear my plea for justice. Listen to my cry for help. Pay attention to my prayer, for it comes from an honest heart" 

Get into God's Word!

'...they...searched the Scriptures daily...' Acts 17:11

The Devil doesn't mind you paying lip-service to God's Word as long as you don't take the time to read and study it.

    How long have you been talking about reading your Bible?  When are you going to get around to doing it-and applying its principles in your everyday life?

Dr. Howard Hendricks writes: 'Anybody can come up with a grandiose scheme for change. One person says he wants to reach the world for Christ. Somebody else wants to study every book in the Bible over the next five years. Somebody else plans to memorize 100 verses. Somebody else is going to become a Christ-like spouse. Wonderful! When are you going to begin?

Until you answer that, all you have is good intentions. Those have about as much value as a worthless cheque.

ü  After all, what good does it do to dream of reaching the world with the Gospel if you can't share Christ with the person in the office next to you?

ü  How are you going to study the entire Bible when you don't even know what verse you're going to study tomorrow?

ü  How can you memorize 100 verses when you've never even tried to memorize one?

ü  Rather than fantasize about a Christ-like marriage, why not start with something simple such as doing the dishes if you're a husband, or encouraging your husband if you're a wife?

Too much "application" stays at the level of good intentions because we talk about the end of the journey without specifying when, where, and how we're going to take the first step.

As someone has well said, "We don't plan to fail, we fail to plan." '

Victory Over the Enemy

'You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies...' Psalm 23:5

To protect his sheep the shepherd must constantly be on the lookout for a small, brown snake called the adder that can pop up out of its hole, bite the sheep and kill them. And that's what the Lord has done for us!

He's dealt with Satan, the old serpent, and has prepared for us 'a table in the presence of our enemies'. He's done for us what He did for Peter after his infamous chapter of denial: invited us back into fellowship with Him.

Three days after Jesus rose from the dead, the angel said, 'Go, tell His disciples - and Peter - that He is going before you into Galilee...' (Mark 16:7). The biggest failure was the only one Jesus singled out by name.

When Peter reached the shore that morning beaten and weary, the fire was burning, the meal was prepared, and Jesus was saying,                            

'...Come and dine...' (John 21:12).

Have you failed badly? Jesus invites you to come, be fed, be healed and restored to fellowship with Him.

But a word of caution:

Peter didn't think he would fail, but he did. And so can you. St Augustine said, 'The devil is like a mad dog that's chained up. He's powerless to harm us when we are outside his reach, but once we enter his circle we expose ourselves again to injury or harm.'

You're no match for the enemy! But God has given you a strategy for dealing with him:

'Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you' (James 4:7).

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