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Getting to Know Him
by Janie Buck
Topic: Christmas
Date: 12.04.2006

    This is a special time of year for we celebrate the birth of Jesus the Christ in December. He became a man so we could know God. But where does one start in getting to know the Him? Prayer is the beginning. You could pray like this: “Lord God, I want to know you. I admit that I am sinful and you are holy. I come to you in the only way you have given to man – by putting my faith and trust in your holy Son Jesus. I want to celebrate His birth by asking Him to forgive my sins and come into my heart. Thank you for hearing my prayer. By faith I believe you have answered me. Amen.”

            This will be the best Christmas of your life if this is the first time you have asked Jesus into your heart. If you became a Christian years ago it can still be the best Christmas if you believe God has forgiven your sins. We are never sinless but we should sin less. There are some bad habits that should be stopped. We have a precious promise that if we confess our sins He will forgive and cleanse us from all our sins.

            What next? Join me this December in seeking the Lord by reading the Bible. Matthew is a good place to begin. Then continue reading the New Testament everyday. The Bible is God’s Word and it is “soul food” for us. We grow in faith and trust as we learn more about our Him. Then too we became a child of God when we asked Jesus into our heart. He helps us get through life with His peace filling our heart, and He answers our prayers. Pray all the time about everything. He is interested in all that concerns us and will help us make sense out of what happens to us.


Christmas in coming
by Janie Buck
Topic: Christmas
Date: 12.04.2006

Christmas is coming and I’m already fat! (A new take on the old carol) The goose may be taking on weight but most of us need to take it off before the feasting days arrive. But even more important is our need to take on spiritual weight. Do you wonder how to be a spiritual person?

            Desire is the first necessity. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied” (Matt. 5:6). This is basic if one desires to know the Lord better. You may have enough or more than enough “things” to make you happy but you are not satisfied. Our great Creator built into us a great need to know Him.

            Long ago God gave instruction of how to find Him. It is the same today. “Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me. When you seek me with all your heart, I will be found by you, declares the Lord” (Jer. 29:12-14).

            Begin the Christmas season by taking these words seriously. They are true today as they were thousands of years ago when the Lord of all had his prophet record them.

Cure for the "Blues"
by Janie Buck
Topic: Christmas
Date: 12.06.2006

Have you ever been so discouraged you want to crawl in bed and pull the cover over your head.  “They” say that during this time of year many people are depressed. You may be one of those who feel life is not much fun now. You may go to Christmas parties but your hearts is sad. All the laughter seem motivated by what people are drinking, not real joy that we are celebrating the birth of God’s Son.

            There was a man who felt very discouraged about life. One morning before he got out of bed his two young children ran into his bedroom. The oldest one jumped up on the bed and put her arms around her dad’s neck. She taunted her little sister, “I have all of Daddy.”  The father reached out and pulled the little one into bed. With a big smile on her face she told her sister, “Daddy has all of me.”

            In a flash the father realized what his problem was. He silently prayed, “Father, you have got all of me. Therefore I have all of you living in me.” His depression faded and the joy of the Lord filled his heart.

            Give yourself to the Lord. Think over each area of your life and tell Him “Yes, I give this to you.” It is a great relief to know your life in our great Creator’s hands. Trust Him with all that you are and have.

Good and bad angels
by Janie Buck
Topic: Christmas
Date: 12.09.2006

Do believe there are angels – good ones who obey the Lord and those who didn’t and were kicked out of heaven? It’s true. The bad ones were turned into devils and cause all the wickedness on the earth. The good news about them is they represent only one third of God’s angles. There are more on our side than those who are against us! And the Lord assigns them to protect us who belong to Him.

            How do you know you belong to Him and His good angles are helping you? If you have put your faith in God’s Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, then you are one of His children. And He takes care of His kids!

            Remember when you were a child how you ran to you daddy or mommy when you were hurt or tired or just needed a hug? Now that you are grown up consider your heavenly Father in the same way. We “run” to Him via prayer. “He who comes to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him” (Heb. 11:6).  This is the “key” to prayer.

            You don’t have to pray perfectly worded prayers. Just pray as you would talk to a person. God knows our thoughts before we say a word. That could be scary if you are doing something you know is wrong. So first confess your sins and ask Him to forgive you based on your belief that Jesus died in your place. The penalty for sin is death and eternal separation from God, and that is why Jesus died the horrible death on the cross for us.

            Make this Christmas the best one every by seeking the Lord with all your heart.

First Prophecy of coming of the Savior
by Janie Buck
Topic: Christmas
Date: 12.11.2006

The coming of the Savior was foretold by the prophets of old and are recorded in the Old Testament. Micah wrote that He would be born in Bethlehem. “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days.”

 In the New Testament we read the fulfillment of this prophecy: “Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea….” The prophecy came true as everything in the Bible has or will in its time. Don’t let anyone steal your faith in God’s word by their degrees and accomplishments in academics. We can trust what is written in the Bible.

 When you hear or sing the carol “O Little Town of Bethlehem” let the words enlighten your faith in the trustworthiness of the Scripture which is God’s message to us. Our faith grows when we read and believe what is written. And “without faith it is impossible to please God.” Be firm in your faith and don’t let doubt gain a foothold in your life.

The Bible is “soul food” for our inner person. If you want to grow strong in faith read and study the Bible. Ask the Lord to give you understanding of what your read and study. Like David who was also born in Bethlehem and was described as a “man after God’s own heart,” pray that the Lord will give you a heart that loves and seeks Him.




The Third Prophecy about the Jesus
by Janie Buck
Topic: Christmas
Date: 12.13.2006

“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin will conceive and bear son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14).

The new movie The Nativity tells the story of this wonderful event when God sent an angel to Mary to tell her she would be the mother of the long awaited Messiah. Of course much of the movie is not recorded in the Bible, but the basic truths of Mary and Joseph, the orders from Rome that sent them to Bethlehem, the wise men and King Herod who tried to kill baby Jesus are.

The fulfillment of the prophecy is given in Matthew 1:18: “Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.”

Our faith is built on solid facts. We can trust in them because they are true.

Second Prophecy about the Jesus
by Janie Buck
Topic: Christmas
Date: 12.13.2006

Genealogies are an important part a family’s history. Never was this more true than the ones that record Jesus’ linage. One list in Matthew, the first book of the New Testament, gives Jesus’ genealogy through Joseph, His stepfather: “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham” (Matt. 1:1).

In Luke, Jesus' genealogy is traced through Mary, His mother. It records His forefathers all the way back to Adam, the son of God. (Luke 3:23-38) Imagine such a record! If some of us can trace our forefathers back to the Mayflower we think that is something to brag about.

The Old Testament prophecy is in Isaiah 9:7. “Of the increase of His government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over His kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it.” The future reign of the Lord Jesus will come. You can count on it. No one but the Father knows when that will be. Therefore we should be like the wise virgins if the parable of Jesus who prepared for the coming bride groom. (Matt. 25:1-12)

Our Father in heaven wants us to know these things that were foretold through the prophets in the Old Testament. It will build your faith to see the record unfold in Scripture. So keep up with these for I will add a new one every day.

Fourth and Fifth Prophcy
by Janie Buck
Topic: Christmas
Date: 12.14.2006

The Old Testament prophecies were given through Jeremiah and Hosea. The fulfillment is recorded by Matthew.

When the wise men arrived in Jerusalem they asked, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

When King Herod heard this he was “troubled.” He though a rival for his throne was born. He had killed two of his own sons because he though they wanted to replace him. Under the pretense that he also wanted to go and worship the Messiah, he asked the wise men to return and tell him where he was. But God “warned (the wise men) in a dream not to return to Herod, (so) they departed to their own country by another way.”

To protect the baby Jesus the Lord sent an angel to Joseph in a dream. He said, ”Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.”

Joseph “rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my Son.” (Hosea 11:1 and Matt. 2:14)

“Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he send and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah: ‘A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.’” (Matt. 2:16 and Jer. 31:15)

The Prophet
by Janie Buck
Topic: Christmas
Date: 12.14.2006

The prophecy God gave Moses of the great Prophet is written in Deuteronomy.

When the Lord spoke directly to the Israelites, they said, “Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God or see this great fire any more, lest I die.” God told Moses “they are right in what they have spoken. I will raise up for you a Prophet from among their brothers. And I will put my words in His mouth and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. And whoever will not listen to my words that He shall speak in my name, I myself will require it of him.” (Deut. 18:15)

In the New Testament the Apostle John told where and when this was fulfilled. When Jesus feed a crowd of five thousand people who were following Him He did not send them home hungry. A little boy offered his lunch and Jesus took it and broke the bread and fish and gave it to the disciples to distribute to the crowd. They all were feed and “When the people saw the sign that He had done, they said, ‘This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!’” (John 6:14)

Jesus chided the religious leaders for not believing all the prophets had written in the Scripture. But the common people recognize Him and believed on Him.

Decide that you will be a believer and this will be the best Christmas of your life. If you are already believer let your faith grow as you read the prophecies and their fulfillment.

Eighth Prophecy
by Janie Buck
Topic: Christmas
Date: 12.15.2006

Isaiah 11:2 “The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.” This prophecy is an account of Jesus’ early years. Its fulfillment is recorded in Luke 2:52.

As mothers we pray for our children to grow strong physically, mentally and spiritually. We do everything in our power to help them “grow up.” Our greatest grief is when a son or daughter takes the wrong road in life. There are many anxious days and nights when they become teenagers and we can’t control them any more. That is the time parents hit their knees and get serious about prayer.

Mary the mother of Jesus must have been delighted as she watched Him grow up. Scripture tells us that “… Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.” (Luke 2:52) Everyone liked Him.

My grandson grew up in the West and moved with his parents back to their home in the South. He had a hard time adjusting to his new school and making friends. The boys in his class had been friends since Kindergarten. The girls liked him but he wasn’t old enough to appreciate their admiration. It took several years to “earn” the confidence of the boys.

While Jesus was growing-up He didn’t have problems like my grandson. As He matured He gained wisdom and blessing from God. The people in His town liked Him. Later when He visited His hometown and read a prophecy about who He was the people tried to push Him off a cliff! They couldn’t accept the fact that He was more than the local carpenter’s son. We’ll see that a little later in prophecy.

Nineth Prophecy
by Janie Buck
Topic: Christmas
Date: 12.15.2006

Isaiah 53:3 “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;”

When you were young did some of your classmates not play with you and even made fun of you? Some children have this sad experience. Just this week there was a boy arrested for killing another student who picked on and harassed him. Now two mothers mourn for they both lost their sons, one is dead and the other in jail.

There is no record of rejection in Jesus’ childhood but the Scripture is clear that His public ministry was one of rejection by “His own people.” ”He came to His own, and His own people did not receive Him.” (John 1:11) The people in Nazareth surely knew Mary was pregnant before she and Joseph were married. Joseph knew and considered not marrying her until an angel told him who the baby was she was carrying.

“But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12)

Yes, it is possible to be “born again.” One of the great leaders of Israel came to Jesus one night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with Him.”

“Jesus answered him, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ (Read the story in John 3:1-21)

We are really “born again” when we believe Jesus is the Savior and invite Him to come into our heart and forgive our sins. If you have received Jesus as you Savior then give thanks and that you are forgiven. We all still do wrong things every day. “If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (I John 1:9)

We never are become so “good” that we don’t “mess us.” But some things should be stopped. If you know they are wrong ask for help to quit doing them. Keep short accounts with the Lord and you will realize the blessedness of His living in your heart.

Tenth Prophecy
by Janie Buck
Topic: Christmas
Date: 12.16.2006

The tenth prophecy about Jesus was given through another Old Testament prophet. “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” (Zechariah 9:9)

When people who had come to Jerusalem for the Passover heard that Jesus was coming “… they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, crying out, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. Even the King of Israel’ And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written, ‘fear not, daughter of Zion, behold your king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt!’” (John 12:13,14)

 The next verse in John quotes the prophecy in Zechariah 9, The people who had heard Jesus in other parts of Israel were not mistaken. They recognized Him as the long awaited Messiah and did what was foretold.

You would think the disciples understood what was happening but didn’t. “But when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these thing had been written about Him and had been done to Him.” (John 12:16)

If we understand who Jesus is our hearts should be filled with joy like the people who welcomed Him to Jerusalem. In His presence is fullness of joy.

God is with us. Amazing! Stop! Be quiet! Bow before Him! Worship the Lord who has clothed Himself in our humanity. That is if you have asked Him to come into your heart and forgive your sins. It is a one-time act of receiving Him and an ongoing daily confession that makes everyday a thanksgiving to the Father for giving His Son to be our Savior. 

Prophecy of Jesus' betrayal
by Janie Buck
Topic: Christmas
Date: 12.17.2006

I guess most of us have had a friend turn against us and become our enemy. If it has not happened to you give thanks for it is not rare. But not many of us have had a friend turn away from us to the point of causing our death. It happened to Jesus and He was the only man on earth who never treated another person badly.

Jesus knew one of His twelve disciples would betray Him yet He didn’t chase him away. He came to die for the sins of everyone in the world and that disciple was part of the plan of God. It was foretold centuries before it happened. “Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me.” (Psalm 41:9).

Who of us would suspect a close friend to give information to those who would put us to death? Jesus knew all along who it was that would do the “dastardly deed.” The last night before it happened He told John and Peter which one of the twelve would betray Him. In fact He told Judas to go and do what he had planned.  

“Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went to the chief priest in order to betray Him to them.” (Mark 14:10)

Do we ever betray our Lord Jesus? Do we think more the approval of our friends than the approval of God? A stanza of a hymn says: “Forbid it Lord that I should boast save in the death of Christ my Lord.”  Father I pray, “All that is within me praise His holy name” even as the Psalmist wrote. 

Angel choirs
by Janie Buck
Topic: Christmas
Date: 12.25.2006
Oh! If we could hear the angels sing as they did when Jesus was born! That would be wonderful but that was a one-time event when our Father announced the birth of His Son in human flesh.

Yes, God was incarnate and lived among His chosen people. Why did He choose one man and his descendents to send His Son to earth? He loved the world He created and wanted all mankind to be His earth children. But the first man sinned and lost for everyone that privilege. So God chose one man and his family after him through which He would send His Son to save us from the consequences of our sin.

The long expected Son of God finally came and now nearly two thousand years later we rejoice in the celebration of His birth. And still more glorious is that He will come into our heart and we will be born again. We become a brand new person on the inside when we receive Jesus as our Savior. He makes us fit for living with Him in heaven when we leave the earth.

If you have believed on the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ and invited Him to come into your heart you can have assurance that you will live in heaven as one of the Father’s many children.
Resting Faith
by Janie Buck
Topic: Christmas
Date: 12.25.2006
Oh! Is there was anything that is permanent! Something I can trust that will last forever! Do you ever feel this way? Most people do so don’t worry. Everyone needs a safe place. Home should be that place where one can shut out troubles and rest, but often it is not so. We all get weary tired. Our body requires rest and sleep. Also our soul must find a resting place.

A song that you may have sung in church describes this place. “My faith has found a resting place, not is device or creed. I trust the ever living One….” That is the answer – trust the Lord. Faith in Him and trust in His care are bedrock to built our life on.

“If you are not firm in faith, you will not be firm at all” (Isa. 7:9). The Lord said this to one of the greatest prophets, and we would do well to take it to heart. No one likes a “wishy washy” person who is blown about with every fad that comes along. Stand firm in faith! Trust the Lord in spite of what is going on in your life. He will see you through all you problems.
Carol of the Bells
by Janie Buck
Topic: Christmas
Date: 12.25.2006
This carol expresses the condition of our world today as it did when Longfellow wrote it years ago. Sing it and rejoice that God is still on the throne and Jesus arose from the dead and will forgive all our sins if we ask.

“I heard the bells on Christmas day their old familiar carols play,

And wild and sweet the words repeat of peace on earth good will to men.

I thought how, as the day had come, the belfries of all Christendom had rolled along th’ unbroken song of peace on earth, good-will to men.

And in despair I bowed my head: 'there is no peace on earth,' I said, 'for hate is strong, and mocks the song of peace on earth, goodwill to men.'

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep: “God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;

The wrong shall fail, the right prevail, with peace on earth, good-will to men.”

Till, ringing, singing on its way, the world revolved from night to day, A voice, a chime, a chant sublime, Of peace on earth, goodwill to men!”
Glory, Grace & Truth
by Janie Buck
Topic: Christmas
Date: 12.25.2006
“The Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We observed His glory, the glory as the unique Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). The Apostle John wrote these words. He was one of the twelve Jesus chose to be His disciples and tell the world who He was and what He has done for us. Open you Bible and read what John wrote.

Three words in the verse above give us insights into the wonder of God becoming a man: Glory, grace, and truth. “Glory is a state of being that transcends our poor, dull, ordinary lives.” Isn’t that wonderful! We can rise out of our misery and selfishness. It is done by confessing our sins and turning our face toward the beautiful face of our Lord Jesus Christ!

Grace is the undeserved smile of God upon us. It makes Christ our life partner. “God with us!” Yes, right in our very own heart. He lives in all who receive Him as Savior and Lord. Will you allow Him to be Lord of your life? You’ll never regret it. He is good and will make you into the person you wish you were.

Truth. Jesus said, “I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except by me.” He loves us! Even you and even me! We can trust someone who loves. He promised to always be with us so count upon Him to be there with you all the time.
How does faith start
by Janie Buck
Topic: Journal
Date: 12.29.2006
Have you ever wondered why some people have so much faith? They keep moving through life with a secret source of strength that is puzzling. And how did they get so much faith that they see the answers to their prayers?

It is really rather simple. They read a book. Not any old book but the Bible. In it they learned about God’s love and Jesus the only Savior. You can know Him too for He said, “Come to me... and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28).

First we must come to Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins. Believe that He died on the cross (it wasn’t for anything He had done) but for all who will put their trust in Him as their Savior. The Father accepts what Jesus did in our place and forgives us.

Also we need to come to Him daily asking forgiveness for sins. Then grow in faith and knowledge of Him by reading and studying the Bible.

Jesus is the Author (He wrote the book) and Finisher (He works at the project until it is complete) of our faith. (Heb. 12:2) That is encouraging because we are not alone trying to muster up faith. Stop and think about Him giving us faith and helping us grow in trusting God.

There is one thing we need to do, and that is “...fixing our eyes on Jesus” and trust Him to keep us going.

He is the One who helps. He is the Creator, originator, instigator, founder, initiator, and source of our faith. These words help us see Him as the Person who encourages. He helps us make it through daily life as we pray about everything

Verse to Memorize:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)


Lord Jesus, I accept your invitation. I come to you and ask you to forgive my sins. Come into my heart and guide me in the why I should go.

I also pray that what I learn in the Bible will be activated by the Holy Spirit.

Thank you for hearing my prayer. I praise you, my Savior.
New Year Resolutions
by Janie Buck
Topic: Christmas
Date: 12.30.2006
It’s almost over! There is only one more day in the year of 1906. Did you accomplish all of your goals for this past year? How about your “New Year’s resolutions?” Oh, well, we all can start over.

Is there a “land of beginning again?” There is an old poem that my mother had me memorize about that “land” where all our mistakes and heart aches could be corrected. It is wishful thinking.

But there is a place where all our sins and mistakes can be forgiven and washed from our souls. It is at the cross of Jesus Christ whose birthday we just celebrated. He will forgive all our sins when we kneel before Him and ask.

But where is He so that we may “come before Him and kneel?” He is here and now, present with you and me and everyone who realizes their need of God our Savor who forgives all who seek Him. He will wash us in His own blood and present us to the Father with great joy.

Make this New Year’s resolution: “I will confess my sins as soon as I am aware that I have done wrong.” Read I John 1:9 (it is a letter the Apostle John wrote near the back of the Bible. If you don’t have access to a Bible email me and I will write it out for you.)
December 31, 2006
by Janie Buck
Topic: Christmas
Date: 12.31.2006
This is it! The last day of 2006. And the last day of December which was a joy to my heart. Just thinking about celebrating the birth of the Son of God filled my heart with joy. In His presence is fullness of joy.

Who wouldn’t exchange all they are and all they own to have a fountain of joy continually welling up within their heart? That is what the Son of God gives to us when we place all our hope and trust in Him.

He said, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow within him.” (John 7:37,38)

So, dear reader of this Journal, I pray you will invited Jesus the Christ to fill your heart with His joy and peace. Then you will enter the New Year with joy.

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