Welcome to INTO THE LIGHT Journal!

This journal is NOT about me but about the GREAT Savior, the LORD JESUS CHRIST and ALL that He has done for me(and NOT what I have done)—who saved and changed (inside-out) a great sinner like me. I don't claim that I know everything about life. But one thing I am certain, that apart from the love and mercies of Christ—I AM NOTHING. "... God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world."(Galatians 6:14). I’m attesting the words of Charles Spurgeon: "My hope lives not because I am not a sinner but because I am a sinner for whom Christ died; I don’t trust that I am holy but that, being unholy, He is my righteousness. I don't have to be rich, but I must be pure. My faith doesn’t rest upon what I am, or shall be, or feel, or know, but in what Christ IS and what He has done for me. The love of Jesus is the source of salvation. He loves, He looks, He touches us, and we live!" Christ said, "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing."(John 15:5).

For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen. (Romans 10:36)

Serving in Christ's throne of grace,

Erlinda Mejia Olson, RNღღღ

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A Prelude To Christmas

By: Erlinda Mejia Olson

JOHN 1:1 ~ "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God."

JOHN 1:14 ~ "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."

Do you remember waiting as a child with excitement and hope for something to happen? Maybe you were waiting to begin your first day of school, get your first bicycle, celebrate your thirteenth birthday, or open presents on Christmas day. That feeling of longing is the same emotion the Jewish people experienced as they hoped for their Messiah ( the Anointed One from God ) to come.

Remember Matthew, the tax collector? He was one of the twelve disciples of the Lord Jesus, who was also among the hopeful, patiently waiting for God's chosen one to appear.  As a public tax collector, Matthew was anything but popular among the people in his community. In fact, he was ostracized. Though Matthew had few friends, Jesus saw something unique in Matthew and chose him to be one of His followers. From that day forward, Matthew left everything behind, including his profitable job, and devoted himself to Jesus wholeheartedly.

Matthew's Gospel introduces Jesus as the King or the Messiah his followers had grown to love and the long-awaited answer to the hope in every jewish heart.  Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies, and Matthew lays out the evidence, presenting the Good News of faith, hope, and love. Matthew also recorded Jesus' family genealogy, baptism, messages, and miracles to point to one outcome: the wait was over, the Messiah had come!

Matthew 1:1-17
The Genealogy of Jesus the Messiah
This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah
the son of David, the son of Abraham:
Abraham was the father of Isaac,
Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,
Judah the father of Perez and Zerah,

whose mother was Tamar,
Perez the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram,
Ram the father of Amminadab,
Amminadab the father of Nahshon,
Nahshon the father of Salmon,
Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab,
Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth,
Obed the father of Jesse,
and Jesse the father of King David.
David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife,
Solomon the father of Rehoboam,
Rehoboam the father of Abijah,
Abijah the father of Asa,
Asa the father of Jehoshaphat,
Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram,
Jehoram the father of Uzziah,
Uzziah the father of Jotham,
Jotham the father of Ahaz,
Ahaz the father of Hezekiah,
Hezekiah the father of Manasseh,
Manasseh the father of Amon,
Amon the father of Josiah,
and Josiah the father of Jeconiah
and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon.
After the exile to Babylon:
Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel,
Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,
Zerubbabel the father of Abihud,
Abihud the father of Eliakim,
Eliakim the father of Azor,
Azor the father of Zadok, 
Zadok the father of Akim,
Akim the father of Elihud,
Elihud the father of Eleazar,
Eleazar the father of Matthan,
Matthan the father of Jacob,
and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary,

and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah.

Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Messiah.

All glory to our Messiah, Christ Jesus, the Lord and King!

A Heart Of Gratitude

By: Erlinda Mejia Olson

PSALM 100:4-5 ~ "Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations."


Keeping a heart of gratitude gives you joy of being able to appreciate all that you have and all that you are going through in life. It produces a heart that is always yielding to God—who is in control of everything. A heart that is grateful cultivates meaningful relationships, enhances ingenuity and consequential work results, empowers your physical well-being, and produces genuine abundance. It affirms your value as a person, and instantaneously eradicates feelings of anguish, pain, insufficiency, or regrets. When your heart delights in God—always, then all aspects of your life become unshakable. And more sufficiency is allowed to pour forth, producing a steadfast, unwavering sense of balance of joy, peace, and hope.

This coming Thanksgiving Day, and everyday that we live, let us be mindful of the courageous settlers of our country, who came to America for religious freedom. As they struggled to survive, they were not able to produce enough food to sustain themselves. When Native Americans graciously gave them information about what to plant and even shared food, our forefathers were able to continue. So, even at a time when they had little, they gave thanks to God for their lives and for new friends who shared.

In honor to our Heavenly Father for all His blessings in my own life, I'd like to share with you these simple practices I have found useful, as God continues to cultivate my own heart to live for Him in gratitude. There is no magical thing that will happen to you when you put these things mentioned below into practice, for you need the Holy Spirit of God to help you cultivate a heart of gratitude. But I can vouch that if you practice them sincerely, it will intensify and strengthen the flow of love and sufficiency in every area of your life even in most difficult times:

Begin Your Day in Thankfulness to God …

When you wake up each morning, bring about a heart of gratitude into your being. Meditate on God’s Word. In the stillness of the morning, offer a prayer of thanksgiving to God for letting you live for another day, for providing you with a roof over your head, for the bed you slept in, for your body that will carry you through another day, the whisper of the wind which brings forth calmness, the birds singing outside your window. As the new day awaits you, no blessing is too small to count.

Appreciate Life by Slowing Down …

It does not take that much to stop—to take heed of those simple little things in life that God has brought in your paths, that you often overlook. Most of the time, we find ourselves in a hurry. Our breathing then becomes shallow and we are not fully in the moment. It is quite challenging to practice a heart of gratitude when we are feeling impatient, maxxed out, exasperated, or stressed. Rather than constantly racing with time—trying to beat every deadline, take a moment to decelerate, breathe in, and ponder on one person or a thing (home, job, life experience, safety, etc.) for whom you are grateful and express your appreciation.

End Your Day in Thankfulness to God …

Just as it is necessary to begin your day with a prayer of gratitude, it is equally important to end the day with a prayer of thanksgiving. Before you go to sleep, reflect on all the blessings you received from God throughout the day. Bear in mind that even "trials and challenges" can be "blessings in disguise". Think about all the people in your life who deserve gratitude and recognition. Reflecting on all the love you have given and you have received.

As we gather together with our family and friends on Thanksgiving Day, I encourage you to celebrate not only for the big moments so worthy of appreciation, but also for the little blessings that come your way. I am sure you could come up with a long list of blessings that you and your family have enjoyed. But don’t stop there! Continue to thank God for providing all of your needs each and everyday that you live.

Above all, consider what God has done in your life—for giving His Son, Jesus Christ, to save you from your sins. Nothing will create more sufficiency and real sense of fulfillment in life than to experience the love of God—that has flowed in this life He has given us, and continues to flow through it each and every day in Christ Jesus, our Lord  and Savior.

And though we celebrate Thanksgiving Day as a nation, but we should always be thankful to our God Almighty everyday!
"The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song I will praise Him." (Psalm 28:7)

"Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!" (Philippians 4:4)
Have a Blessed Thanksgiving Celebration!

Song
COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS
By: Johnson Oatman, Jr., 1897


When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done. 


Refrain:
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.


Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will keep singing as the days go by.

When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
Count your many blessings—wealth can never buy
Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.

So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be discouraged, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.


Happy Thanksgiving: The Origins Of Thanksgiving

By: Christian Law Association
(from The Legal Alert Newsletter via INTO THE LIGHT Journal)

At the forefront of every Christian during this Thanksgiving holiday should be the heritage of God’s provision, faithfulness, and preservation of faith in America. We must never forget the origins of our national Thanksgiving holiday. Its spiritual significance is no longer taught in our nation’s public schools. In fact, most school children today are taught that Thanksgiving originated when the Pilgrims invited their Indian friends to dinner to thank them for their help in troubled times after the Mayflower landed. As with much of modern American revisionist history, there really is much more to the story.

God’s Protection on the Sea

The Atlantic crossing in the fall of 1620 had been an extremely difficult journey for the Pilgrims. For two months, 102 people were wedged into what was called the “‘tween decks”—the cargo space of the boat, which only had about five-and-a-half feet of headroom. No one was allowed above deck because of the terrible storms. This was no pleasure trip, but God sustained every one of the Pilgrims through the voyage.

God providentially protected His people. A little-known fact about the Mayflower is that this ship normally carried a cargo of wine; and the wine spillage from previous voyages had soaked the beams, acting as a disinfectant to prevent the spread of disease.

During one terrible storm, the main beam of the mast cracked. Death was certain if this beam could not be repaired. At that moment, the whole Pilgrim adventure could very easily have ended on the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. But, providentially, one of the Pilgrims had brought along a large iron screw, likely for a printing press. That screw was used to repair the beam, saving the ship and all on board.

God’s Providential Will

After sixty-six days at sea, land was sighted off what is now Cape Cod, Massachusetts. But that was not where the Pilgrims wanted to be. They had intended to establish their new colony in the northern parts of Virginia (which then extended north to the Hudson River in modern-day New York), but two factors interrupted their plans. The winds had blown them off course, but they also later learned that some Englishmen who wanted to settle in the same Hudson River location had bribed the crew to take them off course.

Once again God was evident, and the Pilgrims landed exactly where God wanted them to be. Had they actually landed in northern Virginia, near the Hudson River, they would most certainly have been attacked by hostile Indians. Instead, there were no Indians on Cape Cod when the Pilgrims made landfall there. The land had already been cleared and the fields had already been cultivated, but those Indians who had prepared the land had passed away.

God’s Provision

Despite this provision of safety, the Pilgrims barely survived their first winter. Only four families escaped without burying at least one family member. But God was still faithful. In the spring of 1621, He sent Squanto to the Pilgrims, an Indian who spoke their own language and who offered to teach them how to survive in this strange new land.

Squanto was one of the few Indians from that area who had not died in the plague. He had been captured as a young man and taken to England as a slave, where he mastered the English language. He was later freed and returned to his native territory shortly before the Pilgrims arrived. Probably the most important thing Squanto taught the Pilgrims was how to plant the Indians’ winter staple crop—corn.

The Pilgrims thanked God for this wonderful helper, but they also shared with Squanto the most valuable treasure they had brought with them from England—the Gospel. Squanto died within a year or two after coming to the aid of the Pilgrims, but before his death Squanto expressed to the Pilgrims his faith in their God of Heaven.

God’s Proclamation to Teach the Next Generation

Now that you know the true story of Thanksgiving, this year make sure your children and grandchildren learn it too. The evidence of history clearly shows that on that first Thanksgiving Day, both the Pilgrims and the Indians were thanking God for His great goodness in providing for them all. In fact, with the help of Squanto, the Pilgrims had established a peace agreement with these nearby Indians that remained in place for a half century.

As America is currently facing serious challenges both at home and abroad, let’s join together with countless generations before us in giving thanks to God for His blessings and for preserving our nation. Let’s make sure that all our children and grandchildren learn Whose hand of protection has been over America ever since the Pilgrims’ arrival; and let’s all pray that He will continue to bless and sustain our nation as we continue to acknowledge and honor Him.

Recognizing the truth about America’s special Christian heritage, as the Pilgrims did on that First Thanksgiving, is a paramount truth that will keep America tied to its Biblical anchor. Abandoning our nation’s Christian heritage and values by buying into today’s secular worldview will lead to America’s destruction. Our only hope is for our nation to continue to stand squarely on God and our Biblical roots.

The Pilgrims who celebrated that first Thanksgiving with their Indian neighbors believed that God’s hand was on them. They believed they had been chosen by God for their “errand into the wilderness,” as they frequently referred to their journey across the Atlantic. May we take each day and follow God’s calling to accomplish His purpose in our lives.

"To the end that my glory
may sing praise to You and not be silent.
O Lord my God,
I will give thanks to You forever."
~Psalm 30:12~

ITLJournal in True Woman 201: Interior Design

Element One: Building Your Life on Sound Doctrine Discernment
Element Two: Reverent in Behavior Honor
Element Three: A Heart for Home Affection
Element Four: A Self-Controlled Life Discipline
Element Five: The Beauty of a Pure Life Virtue
Element Six: Working at Home Responsibility
Element Seven: The Power of Kindness Benevolence
Element Eight: What Does It Mean To Be Amenable? Disposition


1 Peter 1:15-16 ~ "but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy."

How Do You Know You Are Going To Heaven?

By God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation: What Does It Mean To Be Saved (Born Again)?

"And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment," (Hebrews 9:27).

Dear Friend,

God is asking you the most important question of life. Your joy or your sorrow for all eternity depends upon your answer. The question is: Are you saved? It is not a question of how good you are, nor if you are a church member, but are you saved? Are you sure you will go to Heaven when you die? God says in order to go to Heaven, you must be born again. In John 3:7, Jesus said to Nicodemus, "Ye must be born again." In the Bible God gives us the plan of how to be born again—which means to be saved. His plan is simple! You can be saved today.

How?

First, you must realize you are a sinner. "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). Because you are a sinner, you are condemned to death. "For the wages (payment) of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). This includes eternal separation from God in Hell ...."it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgement" (Hebrews 9:27). But God loved you so much He gave His only begotten Son, Jesus, to bear your sin and die in your place. "...He hath made Him (Jesus, Who knew no sin) to be sin for us ... that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus had to shed His blood and die. "For the life of the flesh is in the blood" (Leviticus 17:11). "...without shedding of blood there is no remission(forgiveness)" (Hebrews 9:22). "...But commandeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). Although, we cannot understand how, God said my sins and your sins were laid upon Jesus and He died in our place. He became our substitute. It is true. God cannot lie. "God ... now commandeth all men everywhere to repent" (Acts 17:30). This repentance is a change of mind that agrees with God that one is a sinner, and also agrees with what Jesus did for us on the Cross.In Acts 16:30-31, the Philippian jailer asked Paul and Silas: "...'Sirs, what must I do to be saved?' And they said, 'Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved...'" Simply believe on Him as the one who bore your sin, died in your place, was buried, and whom God resurrected. His resurrection powerfully assures that the believer can claim everlasting life when Jesus is received as Savior. "But many as received Him, to them gave the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name" (John 1:12). "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Romans 10:13). Whosoever includes you. Shall be saved means not maybe, nor can, but shall be saved.Surely, you realize you are a sinner. Right now, wherever you are, repenting, lift your heart to God in prayer. In Luke 18:13, the sinner prayed: "God be merciful to me a sinner." Just take God at His Word and claim His salvation by faith. Believe, and you will be saved. No church. no lodge, no good works can save you. Remember, God does the saving. All of it.

Just Pray:

Oh, Father in Heaven, I know I am a sinner. I believe Jesus was my substitute when He died on the Cross. I believe that His shed blood, death, burial, and resurrection were for me. I believe that apart from Your Son's finished works on the Cross, there is no other way I can go to Heaven except through Him and in Him alone. I now receive Him as my Lord and Personal Savior. I thank You for the forgiveness of my sins, the gift of salvation and everlasting life, because of Your merciful grace. Amen."

God simple plan of salvation is: You are a sinner. Therefore, unless you believe on Jesus Who died in your place, you will spend eternity in Hell. If you believe on Him as your crucified, buried, and risen Savior, you receive forgiveness for all of your sins and His gift of eternal salvation by faith. You say, "Surely, it cannot be that simple." Yes, that simple! It is Scriptural. It is God's plan. My friend, believe on Jesus and receive Him as Savior today. If His plan is not perfectly clear, I'm encouraging you to read this journal over and over again, until you understand it. Your soul is worth more than all the world. "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" (Mark 8:36). Be sure you are saved. If you lose your soul, you miss Heaven and lose all. Let God save you this very moment. God's power will save you, keep you saved, and enable you to live a victorious Christian Life. "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, Who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it" (1 Corinthians 10:13).Do not trust your feelings. They change. Stand on God's promises. They never change. After you are saved—there are three things to practice daily for spiritual growth: Pray—you talk to God. Read your Bible—God talks to you. Witness—you talk for God. After you are saved—you should be baptized (by water immersion, a symbolic picture of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection) in obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ as a public testimony of your salvation, and then unite with a Bible-believing church without delay. "Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord..." (2 Timothy 1:8) ..."Whosoever therefore shall confess (testify of) Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father which is in Heaven" (Matthew 10:32).