"The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion — to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair." ~ from ISAIAH 61 Bible verse for this Blog

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

MAGI ~ 1



Matthew 2:1-12
(you can read this here in its entirety on my blog)
"Secrets of the Magi: by Pastor Denyes,
Emmanuel Christian Center in Minnesota
1) Go on the journey with friends
2) It's alright to go on a journey without knowing all the details
3) Don't give up when it's not like you expected
4) Look for the King in your present situation
5) Understand the value of the Gift

Yes, I do realize that CHRISTmas is over, but I'm thinking that I may not be changing my background of "The Star of Bethlehem" with the 3 Magi... though the Bible does not mention how many wise men came to visit the King Jesus as a baby and hopefully, you'll better come to understand why I'm not changing my background back this year but leaving the "star" to guide my light... His Light on my journey. My WORD for 2012: LIGHT!

January 6th is known as "El Dia de los Reyes" (The Day of the Kings) in Mexico and much of Latin culture. Sometimes the word "magos" similar to the Greek word, is added after "reyes"(Kings) which in English relates to magic or magician, socerer ... but generally understood as wise men. Some say they were astrologers, which associates them to astrology: study of the stars, which some have applied to the occult/witchcraft. However, some think that they may have been astronomers rather than astrologers. Whoever they were, they came to bring GIFTS to the King Jesus and traveled following what we call the Star of Bethlehem (which is another interesting phenomena). The reason that it is thought to be 3 kings or wise men, is only because of the mention of 3 gifts that were given to Jesus. In the Catholic Church, which celebrates this day as the Feast of Epiphany (usually the first Sun. twelve days after Christmas, where we get the "12 days of Christmas" that I shared here). This day is very important to the children here in Mexico, because they look forward to receiving GIFTS on this day. I'm sure that I have shared in the past about this day, and if not, there are many places that do explain the tradition here like About(dot)com and Inside Mexico because that was not the intention of this blog post yet I could not ignore this.

Many of you have visited me here at aMazing Grace, Mazes, Messes, Miracles for quite some time without realizing how/why my name came to be or even that my URL address reads maz magi (dot) blogspot (dot) com (and I use to have "mazmagi" instead of Peggy for my name). However, I shared this near the beginning of this blog in 2008 and the link is always in my sidebar under ABOUT my BLOG(s)"Blog's name - why?"

The "Maz" part is the easiest to explain, having to do with where I am located in Mexico, Mazatlan, a Nahautl word for "land of the deer". And throughout the Christmas season, I referred to the "más" part of Christmas as meaning "more" of Christ. 

But then I come across this sermon above from Pastor Denyes, from a church that is almost like my 3rd church home, ECC -Emmanuel Christian Center. I listened and I didn't really focus in on his points (writing them down that is) until the 4th and 5th points struck me and then I had to listen to it all over again. Now as I look at all of his points about the "secrets of the magi", I realized that they were all from God, speaking to my heart for this new year and where I am at and planning to be or do (all in  hands of God). 

I began writing this thinking that I would be sharing on the "GIFTS of the MAGI", because I have become very interested in their symbolism and intrigued by the Star of Bethlehem. All three gifts are ordinary offerings and gifts given to a king. Myrrh being commonly used as an anointing oil, frankincense as a perfume, and gold as a valuable. But on a spiritual level, they represent so much more, and that God had this all planned in advance, documented in the Old Testament (i.e. Isaiah 60 and Psalm 72): gold as a symbol of kingship on earth (or virtue), frankincense (an incense) as a symbol of deity (or prayer), and myrrh (an embalming oil) as a symbol of death (or suffering). Now that's the quickest, most concise explanation I've ever given.

Yet, I believe, since I was not searching for Pastor Denyes message, nor anything to do with "magi" that God wants me to personalize the meaning of these "secrets" to my life (but that would take an entire book) and hopefully you can do this with your own situation.

1.
I came on this part of my life journey to Mexico in 1996 and returned more and more each year (so how do you write 16 yrs. in a blog post? and get anyone to read it). I stayed a little longer each time, until I finally live here more than my home back in Minnesota. My last trip in 2010 home, various well intended friends and family members, too... asked me to perhaps consider staying home, starting over there, etc. but something deep within me, told me "no, I must go back", I really have not accomplished or worked on all of what God has placed especially most recently on my heart, and I do have a "mission" here (on my MISSIONS blog, I recently posted 3 videos here, here and/or here to show you what's happening in some parts).

This past season here, I've been having second thoughts and I have seriously began wondering and pondering, maybe even faltering. All of which applies to the 5 points that Pastor Denyes made. 

My journey here, was not with friends or even my spouse, as I had hoped and come to expect would happen when he retired back in the mid 90s (in fact, he had told me this most of our marriage that we would retire in Mexico, Spain, or Argentina... but life happened and in '95, he changed his mind) yet I had waited to do missions work here and was sure that God had called me to Mexico back in a Spanish class trip from high school, so this has laid heavily upon my heart for years to be here. But maybe there was more work to be done in my home, in my marriage, through my church or other short term mission trips. After all, missionaries are sent out in twos and usually husband and wives (families) go together but mine is a unique situation, Lord... my husband does not believe that Jesus is the only way, the truth and the life... he believes that church is nothing more than another social organization. However, since 6th grade I had been waiting to do this calling on my life and preparing for this day. Disappointment and disillusion and maybe even doubt crept in to deter what God purposed in me. Or did I get this all wrong, God?

From '96 until 2009, I had a Mexican friend join me somewhat in this journey. But not committed as I was, yet a great help to me living here in Mexico and making the necessary trips to the border for permits, etc. a bit more safe for me. That ended in Dec. of 2009. Since then, other friends have helped, like you all... but no one person was here as a friend to make those trips, which keep getting longer, more dangerous, more problems along the way and I'm getting older and less able in so many ways. God has shown me that He is my pilot and He is here with me, as My Friend, my Guide, my Provider, my Everything... so I remain. I seek a fresh anointing... a refilling of His Spirit. I expect great happenings this year as I reflect His Light! (my new Word for 2012 if you've missed that)!

2.
I definitely went on this journey, without knowing all the details. And my husband has remained faithful in providing for my monthly costs, which makes him my sponsor or partner somewhat without knowing all the details either, yet I believe God still requires more of him and more of me although we are separated in more than just the distance. I trust God with the details. Now I just need to fine tune my listening skills because I know God is working on me and pray that He is continuing to work on him. I stepped out in faith and I continue in faith, doing my part, with all of my heart, I lean into Him. 

3.
When we arrived at the 3rd point of  this sermon "not giving up when it's not like you expected" God got my full attention. My ears perked up and my heart followed quickly. I thought about the "magi" making this trip, following the night skies, watching and looking for the Bright Star that would point out the place. I recall many nights trusting in that Bright Morning Star along my journey also. He shines so much brighter when you are seeking Him in the pitch darkness of either the night or your life journey. If you've been in the dark, you know what the Light brings. Hope, warmth, acceptance, significance, security, growth, freedom.

4.
The most important part was when Pastor Denyes mentioned to "look for the King" in your current situation. That I needed to hear and grab hold of...how about you? Can you see the King? My purpose is to worship my King and follow what He purposes still in my life! The wonderful power of the Holy Spirit keeps me focused on God's plan and purpose for me but He has asked us to make our journey and be in fellowship, not try to make it "on our own". I no longer want to be deceived or walk in deception of others. I want to keep my distance from darkness, yet it is in this darkness that my light must shine. Mexico has become ruthless in the fight against corruption and cartels (reminds me of Herod's time) yet from the news I catch from back in the USA, there are many ruthless battles going on there as well. Can I see the King? Can I hear from the King? This is my personal desire this new year of 2012 to see and hear my King in every thing I set out to do and every way I travel just to touch the hem of His garment and know He's there, He cares, He's with me in this, He's guiding my steps and making a way. No camels, no entourage, no regal wardrobe, no expensive extras; just me and my King! 

5.
Finally, I arrive at the point that I wanted to write about... the value of the GIFT! With as much as I have written already however, even trying to be brief, not possible 'cuz... I could go on and on about the value of the GIFT! 

It is Priceless and that is what I hope to convey to many here in MX or wherever God wants me. I truly cannot put into words just how priceless and valuable His Gift to me has been or is...

I treasure and cherish the value of His GIFT so much, that I must continue to seek and share the greatest GIFT ever given to human kind... Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Without Him, I am nothing, I have nothing... life is meaningless and so hard but with Him, all things are possible, I am something of value, I have all that He provides through His grace and I depend on His Provision. It does not mean that my life will no longer be hard or have difficulties, but I have Him and His assurance, His guidance, His promises, His Word to meet each one with Him and His help. This Gift is a gift that keeps on giving!

I must increase my understanding and role that God has given me and what part of this Gift, He wants me to share and where, according to His will. I do not have gold, frankincense or myrrh (can't even play a drum and have trouble with my tambourine) but I can offer virtue, prayer and any suffering for His Name's sake and shine my light into the darkness of another's life. I must see with His eyes and hear with His heart and move in His Spirit, not my own or another.
 
This GIFT was very costly for Our Heavenly Father, Our Lord Jesus gave His every thing for you and me! God has given me and you resources/treasures that we can bring to the King! But the greatest Gift we can give is ourselves. We all have things that we value, whether economical or sentimental. Yet God treasures His ordinary people, flawed and imperfect, so in need of His Grace... and He wants us to follow Him in humility and repentance that comes as we follow Christ as His disciples. The treasure is to walk with Christ and experience a deeper relationship with Him as we present ourselves completely to Him. We need to develop a rich and satisfying relationship that brings real JOY for us and our loved ones! A lasting JOY! One that is our eternal JOY! May each one come to know Him...

Isaiah 9:6-7

God is with us
"Emmanuel"

Can you even wrap your head around this concept?
God, Divinity with me... awesome!

* Although I'm not linking up with them yet, this is the closest I've come to this, but I'd like to direct you to "Hear it on Sunday, Use it on Monday" even though it's Tues., the links are there and you can link up until Weds. midnight with Graceful. Then there's the special round up on Thurs. that Michelle DeRusha does (host and author at Graceful). 

BE SURE TO READ MY NOTE AT THE END OF MONDAY'S POST!

APOLOGY

On July 18, 2017, I drafted almost 3000 blog posts that I had published since 2008 when I began blogging rather than edit each one. So if you clicked from somewhere and ended up here and the post was unavailable, I am sorry. It would be too much work for me to go back through each one and fix. I guess I'm still learning. I apologize also to anyone who subscribes that perhaps received many old ones in your email. There's somewhat of an explanation on 7/19/17.
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This blog is ALL about HIM, for HIM, not about me!
I hope that is what you see
this is why I am



To my faithful visitors;
all of you who spend your valuable time here with me
I do appreciate you so much!

Thank you for taking your time to visit!

Love, Sweet blessings & Hugs!

DIOS TE BENDIGA
GOD BLESS YOU

always

Peggy