When I think of Christmas, I am reminded of the Bible’s Old Testament prophecy from Isaiah saying, ”Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress…2 The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned” Isaiah 9:1-2 (NIV).
The people back in that day were being humbled because of their rebellion against the Lord. Isaiah was prophesying that God, in His great mercy, was going to change all that. The Light was about to come, and they would no longer be in darkness, gloom, and despair. Now that is the message of Christmas.
The true message of Christmas gets clouded not only by the materialistic pursuits of busy shoppers, but by empty religious formality of the church. We all know Jesus came. Yet, when we celebrate it, we treat it as if it’s only meaningful as a past event. Jesus’ coming was not only a historical fact, but carries as much meaning for us today as it did then. We need to shout it from the housetops! JESUS HAS COME! LIGHT HAS COME INTO THE WORLD! WE NO LONGER NEED TO LIVE IN DARKNESS, GLOOM AND DESPAIR!
God, by His supernatural power, has brought healing to people in many forms this year: From my wife’s healing from sleep problems, to the lady who was healed of severe back pain (had electrodes on her back to help alleviate pain), to the one on 13 medications to emotionally handle life (she’s now off almost all of them), God has brought light to their darkness! To the one with a life of hurt, sin, and a destructive lifestyle who now has salvation, emotional healing, and a new outlook on life, God brought light to their darkness!
Joy to the world, the Lord is come! From our family to yours, we wish you the presence of Jesus in your life, your home, and in all you do. That is when you will truly have a Merry Christmas!
From Pastor Brent & Tammy Oliver
Like you, I’m thrilled with gas prices now lowering to $2 and below! When at one time prices were over $4/gallon, it is great for the budget. Yet, there’s a warning: We Americans tend to look to the short-term, and have a ‘how-it-affects-me attitude.’ If it’s good for me at the moment, then I like it.
However, what’s really going on is a global “oil war.” One nation positioning itself against another. Low gas prices here are destabilizing Russia and the Middle East. These nations need oil to be at or over $100/barrel to expand their economy. At prices right now of oil at approximately $55/barrel they are hurting. This week, the currency of Russia crashed. Interest rates went from 10.5% to 17% over night. We’re paying about 4%.
If we think that Russia’s economy will crash without an attempted retaliation on those who are forcing this, is very unwise. What would be the likely retaliation? It could be economic retaliation, if Russia perceives it has time. Otherwise, a nuclear attack is not out of the question. Russia would take a “if we’re going down, you’re going down too” attitude!
Based on history, that seems crazy—who would do a nuclear attack on the U. S.? God has been trying to draw this nation back to Him. He has sent warnings and we keep moving farther away from Him. The Scripture is full of instances where God allowed arch-enemies to humble His people and bring them back—He does this as a last resort because of our stubbornness. Russia has been flying training missions preparing for missile attacks. Their nuclear capable submarines have wandered near our coastlines. Finally, Ret. Lt. General Thomas McInerney says right now we should be on the highest alert level for imminent nuclear threat.
Folks, we tend to live for the moment while God is trying to get us to live for eternity. Contrary to popular opinion, our economy and the strength of our nation is NOT tied to jobs, it is tied to righteousness—living and being right with God. Let’s all turn back to God with ALL our hearts, so as not to forfeit God’s blessings—for both now and eternity.
Pastor Brent Oliver grew up in Kokomo, Indiana and is an Ordained Minister through the Assemblies of God. Before embarking on God’s plan to establish a church in Delphi, Pastor Brent served in both Peru and Logansport, Indiana encompassing over 29 years of fulltime ministry. His vision and creativity has been the benchmark for the growing ministry at Delphi First and after 23 years, his passion and leadership could not be stronger.