Friday, December 6, 2013
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel,
Shall come to thee, O Israel.
It snowed today. More snow than I've seen in one day since I moved here 7 years ago. I have missed the quiet peacefulness of that icy cloak of freshly fallen glittery white snow. I can feel God's presence in the stillness, just like I do when I hear the ocean's waves crashing on the sandy beach. His Strength. His Peace. His Absolute Power over all creation. So close...
Matthew 1:23 says-
“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel” (which means, God with us).
I desperately needed to feel God's presence today. I know in my heart that He is always with us, but with things in our life slowly spinning out of control, to have Our Heavenly Father lovingly wrap us in this beautiful blanket is to know a joy-filled peace like no other. Thank you, Lord...Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel...
Since God is “Emmanuel,” how is God with YOU this Christmas season?
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Mary, did you know that your Baby Boy would one day walk on water?
Mary, did you know that your Baby Boy would save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your Baby Boy has come to make you new?
This Child that you delivered will soon deliver you.
Jesus, Son of God, was born to us via a young girl with a willing, servant's heart. Mary said yes to whatever God had in store, no questions asked. She had no way of knowing the wonderful things He would do...the miracles He would perform...the lives He would save. She had no way of knowing the heartache she would experience either. Mary surrendered her life...her reputation...her dreams...for God's future.
Luke 1:38 says-
And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
How willing am I to do what He asks of ME?
How willing am I to go where he sends ME?
How willing am I to trust him in ALL things?
Lord, search my heart. Break me of my selfish ways. Create in me a humble, willing spirit that can only come from You. To you alone, I surrender all...
He has amazing plans for my life. And for yours...
What keeps you from fully surrendering to God?
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
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.”
Most of the people I've come into contact with lately would not tell you (or me) that Christmastime is a peaceful time for them. I've seen mothers rushing their children from here to there and back again- play rehearsals, choir practice, and parties. I've seen fathers feeling the pressure of providing for the extra expenses that come with gift giving, traveling, and party planning. I've seen children tired from the busyness and lack of sleep and schedule.
Yes, there are some folks that haven't been lost to the holiday hustle and bustle, but they are few and far between.
I am striving to stay grounded right now, but troubled by a situation brewing in our lives. One most definitely out of our control. We keep bringing it back to the Lord, not knowing what He would have us do, but finding ourselves impatient for His answer.
Psalm 29:11 says-
May the Lord give strength to his people! May the Lord bless his people with peace!
Lord, there is I nothing I want more than your peace. I am so thankful that, like today's Christmas carol, you are not dead, that you do not sleep, that you hear my prayers, that you have all things in your control, that you have plans for me, plans for good. Help me to keep my eyes on you, especially when there are so many distractions surrounding me. Instead, surround me with your peace. May Your Will be done today and always...
In what ways do you find peace and comfort in God?
Monday, December 2, 2013
Have yourself a merry little Christmas, Let your heart be light.
From now on, our troubles will be out of sight.
When I really listened to the words of today's Christmas carol, the one word that really struck me was "little". Have yourself a merry LITTLE Christmas... Yes, and little it shall be! A non-existent budget makes for easy gift giving. I can either make it, bake it, or fake it ;) But these things take so much time and effort...Who has time to be baking and crafting all day? Busy, busy, busy. Sounds like a certain Martha we all know (Luke 10). I need to be here, do this, go there...adjoining my wheels all day...And I just desire to spend this Christmas time celebrating my Jesus, honoring Him, sharing Him...
Luke 10:41-42 says-
But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
Lord Jesus, teach me to be like Mary!
The more I thought about it, the clearer it became to me. That's the perfect gift! One that I gave up my time for, moved my hands over, prayed over the recipient...
I'm starting to see my merry little Christmas taking shape and I like what I see. What troubles do you need to let go of to have one too?
Sunday, December 1, 2013
Angels we have on heard high
Sweetly singing o’er the plains
And the mountains in reply
Echoing their joyous strains
Gloria in Excelsis Deo
Driving home tonight, after a long day at the park with family and friends, I was blown away by the beautiful sunset. Not just a blend of colors, but the clouds looked like wind-scattered sand, the sky painted blue, pink, orange... A deep breath of contentment filled my lungs. God is good...
Luke 2:14 says-
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
Yes, it was His Perfect Peace I was feeling. Just for that moment, I was in awe as I considered what an artist our God is. In all of creation we see his fingerprints. Whether a colorful sunset, a newborn child, tall trees, beautiful flowers, a wild animal...truly AWEsome.
I cannot imagine what it was like that night Jesus was born. Angels rejoicing, singing glory and honor to the Newborn King. Awestruck...
When was the last time you were truly in awe of God?
Saturday, November 30, 2013
Let earth receive her King.
Still basking in the Thanksgiving afterglow, I am so very much aware of the good gifts God gives us every day, if only we would open our eyes and look around. Family around the dinner table, friends with warm greetings and hugs, strangers who respond to a simple smile. The hesitant kind...."what? Who me?" Yes...
Nehemiah 8:10 says-
Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
God answered our prayers this week to send family to spend Thanksgiving with us. My mom and my brother drove
12 hours to join us. We were overjoyed to see them, spend time with them, make memories. And thanks to friends that sent portions to us who had none, we ate and drank too. What normally would have left me exhausted- hours on end in the kitchen, cleaning, cooking, cleaning again- I found strength in the Lord readily available. He is so good! Rejoice! Rejoice! I gladly receive my King! :)
What is it that keeps us from remembering or noticing these things a few weeks from now, in the cold gloominess of February? I don't know, but I will work to prevent it this next year.
What will you rejoice about during this Christmas season?
Monday, November 25, 2013
My boys and I were downtown today, heading into the library. Enjoying the nice fall weather and in no particular hurry, I didn't quickly move on (like I might have another day) when stopped and greeted by a homeless man.
"Hello, how are you?"
Doing well, how are you?
"Good. Good...Where do I know you from?"
(Smiling) Oh, you've seen me around town before.
"Do you think you can help me with something?"
Possibly. What can I do for you?
"Food. I need food. Just a bite to eat."
(Feeling my empty pockets, I shook my head. And I didn't have my dreaded purse with me either.) I can't. I have nothing.
"That's okay. God will provide. Have a nice day."
Yes. Yes, He will.
And I believe that with every bit of my heart. For days I had been stressing over how I would stretch my own budget to feed extra mouths this week. Thanksgiving week, no less. Those "extra mouths" that I had prayed for and God had answered. It's all yours anyway, God. I will trust in you...
See, this morning I received a phone call and a whole ham. I didn't ask for it. I didn't even pray for it. God knew what was needed and provided as only He can.
So, yes. I wanted to help the man who had humbled himself to ask for help. I couldn't, but I know the One who can. And I know that He will.
How has God provided for you this week?