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A Christmas Thank You From Us To All Of You! December 25, 2010

A   MERRY CHRISTMAS THANK YOU!  2010- WHAT A BLESSED YEAR! Tears of love came to our eyes this morning. We were thinking of you.    For the last month, John and I have been trying to reflect and write about this wonderful year and the wonderful friends  and family that we have; knowing that we could not fit it all into 2 pages.  People who really know us will say:  “Why didn’t they put this in or that in?  etc.?”


The Christmas cards came in this year and I already knew the names that would be on them… every now and then a pleasant surprise. Well, even though we’ve been sending 200-400 letters out since 1980 (only missing one year); last year strikingly fewer cards or letters were coming in; but the faithful few are always there.  We are humbled by your consideration and thoughts.   I remembered my childhood when cards, calls, cookies and visitors filled our home.   Despite the changes, we will not give up our traditions, we’ll keep writing to you guys no matter what!  I’m thankful.

For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.  Romans 11:  29

Imagine an assignment to set up websites for the ministry requiring ten or more hours of writing daily for nearly a year…just to set it up? Only God could sustain a person during that time and that’s what happened to me.  I needed it!  But, it’s far from over.


It has been such a Blessing Blogging on the Internet.   There was great darkness to overcome, but God sent fellow  Bloggers  Sharon from Australia, Bisi from England,   Sondan from DC, Marta from the United States…just up the road, Gladwell from Poland now England  and Yeap  Chee Seng from Singapore and many more new friends… from all over the world to support us as we reached out to all of the world to minister the Gospel.  At first, we wondered as we plowed the ground because maybe 50 people came..so we put up another site.  Well, that didn’t help much so we packed up and moved…on the Internet.  That was when we got our breakthrough.  That was 10 sites ago…now Café Sozo  has a readership of 1.7 million and we hear from people from the most populated to the most remote areas of the world!    Our greatest joy has not only been in ministering; but also in receiving prayer requests and praying them out.   The Glory of the praise reports  are only because of Almighty God!

I want to give a special shout out to our Guest Writers!  Many have come over the years.  But our current cadre  consists of  a powerful group of God’s front line workers:  Gene McGuire, Jeanniene Lee and Martin Cisneros.  And each of them has their own ministries!  They are very kind and faithful  people.

A heartfelt to Aaron and Julia Hobson  (The Battle Ready Prayer CD)  , Kim Brooks,    Jeanniene Lee ( Word Of Wisdom For Health and Healing CD)  Robin Anderson and to every writer that we’ve ever had the privilege of interviewing. We pray Blessings and much success on your walk of wisdom and obedience.  Truly you have allowed God to use you.

To our readership…you keep us going too!   God sent you.    Every year, God sends the most wonderful people to this site.  One year, when my health was challenged and my time was pressed; He sent two people…one from Traverse City and the other from Minneapolis and they literally took over the site and ministered in my absence…they did a fine job!


The people who have written in, well they’ve had such faith for miracles…that my faith was increased just by the interaction.

I admit that at first, nothing much seemed to happen…and then there was an explosion of traffic.  I’m sure that the lesson from all if this is to stay in faith and persevere when we start on a path…so I say THANK YOU.  We will soon celebrate 4 years of ministering and each day is action packed!  Each day we are God backed and ready for duty!


And then there’s our Facebook Family! Wow!    I love y’all!     I’m not gonna name names just yet…but you guys are the best…one of a kind…you sharpen!  Even when you don’t know it…  I love y’all!   I try to make it a point to know everyone in my network; even if I do not leave comments.  I’ve also  met a few of my Facebook family in person.

A special thanks to Kwame Onpoint Peterson, Christine Covington, Victor Davis and Derek Forney  for supporting our prayer events!  What can we say.    You guys inspire us…keep us going over at Café Sozo.  Originally, I wasn’t so sure that the Internet was a place that I wanted to minister; but God sent the technological expertise, the wisdom and the friends…to make it certain, peaceful and safe. We are so thankful for you.  We really do pray for you daily.   There are people that I talk to regularly and some I know and some I doo not.  But, you have Blessed me mightily with your comments, thumbs up, smiles  and encouragement.  THANK YOU!  There are people that I go to church with that I never knew before and now I do.  I’m thankful.  I’m humbled and it is an answer to prayer!

JESUS IS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON!

I have over 80 relatives  on Facebook.  Without that vehicle; I would not know them so well.  I truly love them and I thank God for each of them.    I could name names…but I’d leave out someone really important…because you all are and I do not want to be held accountable for that.  (smiles)

THANK YOU!   THANK YOU!   THANK YOU!


Thank you for your many kindnesses over the years, for opening your hearts to us, for compassion, kindness, Blessings, phone calls… Even if no one notices; God knows and He’ll be pleased with the good in you and the things you do for all of the people in your life.   However, you know…life is short…The bible says this life is but a vapor;  if you’ve ever lost a loved one…you know that’s true.

But God promises those who believe will live through all eternity. I work for God and my job is to tell all of the world about Jesus and the promise of eternity, the remission of sins, deliverance, peace and most of all the love that God has for every one of us. So, I’ll end this thank you note with a hope that no matter how far or how close that you are to God…that you will get closer.  That you’ll take time out to pray daily.   That God’s GLORY will shine through you.  And I give the GREATEST THANKS TO GOD FOR THAT HOPE!  Always remember that you were created to be Blessed; to be a Blessing…destined for GREATNESS in God’s eyes.    We Love you …The Davenport Family!  MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAVE A JOYOUS NEW YEAR!

And never forget that Jesus walked on the water…and God is Love!   HOME PAGE HERE


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Merry Christmas From Cafe Sozo! December 25, 2010


It’s All About Jesus!

Luke 2

1And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

2(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

3And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

5To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

6And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

7And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

15And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

16And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

17And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

18And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

19But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

20And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

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Jesus is the reason for the season.  As the year winds  down, we find ourselves reflecting on the joy of walking with God.  And we are thankful.  We are thankful for your support and we are humbled by your many kindnesses and your friendship.  More people than ever before have began to subscribe to our blog posts.  We express gratitude to WordPress for the wonderful technological advances that you have provided.

It is our aim to reach higher levels, to make dramatic site changes and to make more inspiring materials available to our readership.  Please be assured that we pray for every prayer request that comes in!  We receive thousands of prayer requests, praise reports and comments .

This is a time that we would like to thank so many of our guest writers; Bisi Oladipupo Pastor Martin Cisneros, Gene McGuire, Gladwell Musai and Jeanniene Lee Maki.    TO YOU ALL WE SAY:  THANK YOU! BRAVO!  CHEERS!

We have experienced growing pains; but  then again…that’s been our dream!   Thank you Jesus.

 

HIT HOME PAGE HERE!!

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Do Christians Go To The Cemetery? by Elaine Davenport December 24, 2010

I looked hard and I saw no command in the bible that said:  “Stay out of cemeteries! ” MY RESEARCH TURNED UP…QUITE THE OPPOSITE.

Romans 13: 7  Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute [is due]; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.

 

I TRULY BELIEVE IN HONOR…

 

There was a television show on called:  The Swan. A reality tv show where they took women who simply looked ordinary with one or a few flaws and did an  extreme makeover on them. Even as Christians that’s pretty much something that can happen to many of us over time.  So don’t get too caught up in your “religious traditions”   whatever they may be…follow God.  He may be trying to take you someplace; if you’ll let Him.  Did God want to make me over some more?   I concluded that He did…after all,  “I’m a work in progress.”

Someone actually said this:

“There’s no spiritual reason to visit the empty vessel of a love one no longer present in this world or their empty vessel.”

It fails to take into account individual differences and issues, the need for closure and God’s greater plan.

Christians are taught that once you die; if you have not made a decision to make Jesus your personal Lord and Saviour that your destination is hell!  That said…a lot of Christians believe there is no reason to go to the grave sites of their loved ones; not even out of respect.

That’s ironic, because I suppose that there are millions of non believers who believe the EXACT SAME THING!


Wow!   I could fill a book.  I mentioned that I was looking forward to going to the cemetery to put Christmas wreaths on the grave sites of my grandparents, my dad and two of my favorite uncles.  In the conversation that followed, I found myself discussing the merits of such a venture.   It seems that  there are some people out there who believe that once people die and are buried; there is absolutely no need to deal with that anymore.

 

I was even  surprised to find out that a lot of Christians believe this. And this is not a criticism of anyone’s belief or perception.  I was just reminded of an expression I often hear about “people” who are  “so heavenly bound that they are no earthly good.”

But, is this really the case?

I’ll pick up on that later.

RELIGIOUS FIRESTORM !

There are groups of Christians who believe that you should and can pray for the dead.  I respect people’s beliefs (to a certain degree) but that one…is not scriptural and if it is…I haven’t seen it.  For instance, it is said that Catholics believe this:   SEE UNDERSTANDING ROMAN CATHOLOCISM

To answer your question; NO, I do not know the differences between  Roman Catholicism and Catholicism.  But, I’m sure there must be.

And…of course…the radicals as some term them…I include myself…believe that once you die basically there is no prayer that can save you.


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WHAT’S THE “BELIEF” BEHIND NOT GOING TO THE

CEMETERY?

There are people who think it’s biblical to stay away from the cemetary.  From talking with them; I’ve found that they either believe the grave is empty or they believe that the ministry or mission does not involve praying for or to the dead.   That would be absolutely true if this was the only reason that people went to the grave to visit their departed loved ones.

REASONS PEOPLE DO GO TO THE CEMETARY TO

VISIT LOVED ONES…


*

There are many reasons people go to the cemetery.

My mother is up in age; she doesn’t think so, but trust me she is.  A few years back, when she seemed bound and determined  to go and it didn’t matter what the temperature was or the work involved; she was going.  For every major holiday, like clockwork she spent at least one hundred dollars…and still had to work.  So, out of support I decided to tag along and something happened to me…I changed.

I’ve come a very long way.  Physically, it’s a task; that I don’t mind.    Today, we took a shovel and had to dig out the tombstone marker to make certain that our wreath stands where in the proper place.  We climbed heels and even had to seek out a map.  My late uncle Chris was buried in a newer section and I’m truthful to say we never found his specific headstone in the snow.    The only reason that we knew where the other graves and headstones were was because we’ve been when there wasn’t snow and we remembered.  Uncle Chris was buried without a headstone in the pouring rain.     The cemetery showed us where he would be buried and we can find his gravestone…but in the summer.

It’s way back in the middle of a very large field with lots of markers and up a rather steep hill.  The gentleman who was helping us looked at me as we searched and dug in an area about the size of a half  acre  AND SAID:  “THIS IS NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE.”

 


BUT, BACK TO THE REASONS PEOPLE GO…LET’S TALK ABOUT WHY I WAS THERE…

 


Originally, I went to  the cemetery just to keep my mom company.    I wasn’t completely motivated to go on my own , but I felt a tad guilty.  I wasn’t comfortable with burying my loved ones and totally forgetting about them.  So, I figured I’d go along for the ride and much of my drive was fueled by curiosity.  I wondered why certain people were driven to go and why others could care less.

If  “love” is part of our calling card as Christians then somehow, I was being led to do this thing.   In the very least, I was honoring my mother.  I was also honoring “the memory” of  my dad, my grandmother, my grandfather and my two uncles.

I noted that my mom seemed wired with compassion.  She has always been that way.  Mine wasn’t so consistent…it seemed  to come  and go.   I confess that one of my faults is that I haven’t always had compassion at every turn.  And there have been times when I’ve regretted not having it. And yes, I know the importance of having a balance.

 

 

THE TRUTH!

At some point, and I don’t know when I was expecting to go.  I even began to  think about things I could do to help; which ultimately led to my making the wreaths and spending $26.00 to make wreaths for all 5 grave sites which we could interchange the entire year.   This idea could potentially save us hundreds of dollars.

My journey brought  me to a great self inflection point!

Why am I even talking about this at a faith site?   That’s easy because I have faith in God that He will not only order my steps but also give me wisdom and understanding.

People go and get healed of emotional issues.

People go as an act of honor…not worship.

Many people go and get closer to God.

Some have  prayer there.  For many; it’s an exercise (prayer) that they don’t often do.

Some make Divine Connections.

Some keep their sanity.

Some end up ministering to others.

My own mother had a greater respect for Christians due to my initial act of obedience that turned into an act of love.

My point?   Before you draw the line on “not going” to a cemetery for “religious” reasons; just pray and ask God for wisdom.

So, what;s the answer?   Yes, some Christians do go to the cemetery…but some remain just like the part of the world that sees no value in going…perhaps a great deception…but it’s not up to me…that’s them. Now, I feel better having talked about it.

GREAT ARTICLES:

A GRAVE REMINDER

THE TOMBSTONE, THE UNVEILING AND VISITING THE GRAVE


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Daily Devotion For The Christmas Season by Zondervan Books December, 2010

The following message is from “Daily Devotions for the Christmas Season” By Zondervan Books
“When the angels had left them and gone into Heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the Baby, Who was lying in the manger. When they had seen Him they spread the word concerning what had been told them about the Child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.” (Luke 2:15-16)
PRAYER: We can understand, O Lord, why the shepherds wanted to go to Bethlehem to see the Savior who had been born. We can only pray today the we may be as eager to understand more about our Savior and His ministry in our lives as the shepherds were to see Him. May we cause people to be amazed at what we tell them as to what the Lord means to us. May we impress upon them that what He has done for us He can do for them as well. For Jesus’ sake. Amen
Sincerely Yours, Gene McGuire
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