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I am a Freelance writer, poet, editor, artist & catoonist. My work is used by several OnLine companies to attract readers. Some of my writings have been translated into Chinese on the internet. I am posted on FaithWriters & Ezine and I edit the Harford County Christian Jail Ministry, (HCCJM) Newsletter, in Harford Co. Maryland. A follower of Christ, I work for the humane treatment of prisoners, the homeless and the disenfranchised

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Location: Baltimore, Maryland, United States

Saturday, December 31, 2005

The Perfect Vehicle

The Wonder & Joy of The Birth of Christ be In Your Hearts This Christmas Season!

This is the beautiful time of the year when we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, who was God's sinless and perfect vehicle for the redemption of mankind.
The Bible states that Jesus was tempted in all ways just like other men, but He was the only man to remain sinless, ever. Other men may found favor with God but Jesus is the only man to remain sinless, perfect. Through that one solitary life God offered us His best gift of love, an intimate personality with which we could relate. That one solitary life sealed the blood oath with Abraham, and answered for the sins of all men, because it was the one life that God Himself experienced first hand, It is through that solitary life that we are joined with God, if we choose to be and seek Him out.Most of God's prophets and servants have been far from sinless or perfect in fact Jonah told God "No! I'm not gonna do it!" (loosely paraphrased of course). David was an adulterer and murderer, his son and heir Solomon allowed idol worship in Israel, and Rahab was a harlot.
These are only some of the Biblical examples of how God has used His imperfect and occasionally defiant servants. Throughout our relationship with Him, He has used His imperfect vessels to get His message across and His work done.
George Muller was a Prussian born philanthropist and minister who lived during the nineteenth century, he moved to England in his twenties and eventually settled in Bristol, he remained in Bristol for the rest of his life. His funeral, over fifty years later, was so massive that it closed down the town.
In his troubled youth, George was not the object of such community affection, in fact he spent at least twenty-four days (that we know of) in jail for theft and other charges. His father was apparently a rather successful government official and if it weren't for his father's money and influence he probably would have done a lot more time than he did. George was about sixteen at that time in his life and he was a cynical, impatient and ungrateful young man.Apparently he had many of the material advantages that the upper middle class youth of his day could possess, and a trusting father that was willing to pay for him to get an education,but that wasn’t good enough for George.
Much like young people who get themselves into trouble today, he wanted it all, right now! He didn’t have a lot of scruples about just taking what he wanted either. He stole from his friends, his father, his school and his government. He was a liar, a con-artist, and a playboy, and by his own reckoning, a servant of Satan destined to eternal damnation which he didn’t believe in so he didn’t care.
He spent most of his young life in trouble and thinking about ways to get over. His alcohol abuse was so bad that as his own mother lay fighting a losing battle for her life, he was found drunk and staggering around in the streets. He justified his actions and attitude by watching the moral behavior of others, and in comparing himself to others he claimed there was only a difference of degrees. He attended Halle University which had a Divinity College with nine-hundred students in it including George and he claimed that there wasn’t nine among all of them worthy to teach morality or divinity to anyone.

When George Muller was twenty, something happened to change the course of his life forever. All written accounts relate that it had something to do with a Saturday evening prayer meeting that George attended with one of his old party pals, another Halle University student named Beta. It was at this meeting that George met and fellowshipped with sincere Bible believing Christians for what he claimed was the first time in his life. Also I suspect that George knew that he had reached his bottom and he started to hear the Lord in his conscience calling him to repentance. George found acceptance and understanding at the meeting and he was given a kind and open invitation to return and worship anytime he felt led to do so.
Within weeks of that first Saturday evening fellowship George Muller had become a new creature in Christ. He started to hold a Bible study and fellowship of his own at 6 A.M. every morning before his 8 A.M. classes and in the evenings he would pray with anyone he could find and many nights these evening prayers would last until after midnight. As it is with all of us, Jesus led him step by step, George started to understand the importance of meditating on the Scriptures and then the realization came to him that God was calling him to the missionary field.
When George told his father what his plans were, his father withdrew his financial support and George was on his own. From that point on, George never relied on another human being for financial support, any need he had he took to God in faith and in secret. He began to keep an accurate account of the petitions that he set before the Lord. His secret prayer journal contained when the Reverend Muller would start to pray for something and when and how the Lord answered his prayer. No one knew of this prayer journal until after his death at ninety-two years old and it was found among his papers.
By the end of his long life Reverend Muller, with guidance of the Holy Spirit had started 117 schools that educated over 120,000 children and he had raised and given away more $7,500,000.00. When he died he had less than $300.00 in total personal assets and the orphanage work, that he became so famous for, began with two children that ended up in his care when he had only two schillings in his pocket.
The Reverend George Muller’s life is an example of what the solitary life of Jesus whose birth we celebrate, at this time every year, can do if we have faith and choose to seek His truth, live by His will and for His glory. It doesn’t matter what kind of start we had in life or what kind of tangent our lives went off on. If we seek Christ and take him at His word and understand that He is the perfect vehicle of our redemption, the Son of our God, a God of kept promises and miracles, there isn’t anything we can’t overcome. No obstacle is too big for God, not jail, addiction, depression nor any type of past abuse or neglect that God can’t fix if you honestly seek Him and His will for your life.
This Christmas give Christ what He wants for His Birthday:
recognition, love and obedience, pretty much in that order.
May our God bless you and yours this Christmas and this coming year.

fiirst published in the HCCJM Christmas Flier- 2005
researched and written by the editor, Jim Stratemeyer
Copyright © 2005 by James A. Stratemeyer
The HCCJM: The Harford County Christian Jail Ministry
a non-denominational, Bible based, all volunteer, prison outreach
Ministry Website: http://www.hccjm.com/

Friday, December 23, 2005

Christ Mass Longing

I long for a Christmas with more Nativities,
and less Santas, reindeer, and candies.
I long for a Christmas when people
no longer look under the tree.
for gifts they will receive.
But they look upon the Child in the crib,
And the gifts that, to Him, they will give.
I long for an old fashioned white Christmas,
with lights of guidance and welcome
hanging in every portico,
and lights of celebration and joy,
adorning every window.
I long for a Christmas
that really is a celebration,
of the birth of the Almighty
into His chosen Incarnation.
I long for a Christmas
when again we may say,
"Merry & Blessed Christmas!"
and not just, "happy Holidays."

first published in the HCCJM Christmas Flier 2005
composed by the editor, Jim Stratemeyer,
Copyright © 2005 by James A. Stratemeyer
The HCCJM: The Harford County Christian Jail Ministry
a non-denominational, Bible based, all volunteer, prison outreach
Ministry Website: http://www.hccjm.com/