Wednesday, December 24, 2014

away in a manger

"…the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son.  She wrapped Him in cloths and placed Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”  Luke 2:6-7

The manger scene sings of love, joy, peace, forgiveness, kindness, Truth, hope, fulfillment.  

Yet, we easily get sucked in and wrapped up into "our" preparations and expectations of CHRISTmas being so much more... setting us up for frustration, sadness, exhaustion and disappointment. What all we add to CHRISTmas has the potential to take away our joy.

Lord, may it not be.  I want to meet You at the manger first.  May You always find room in my heart for You. There is nothing we can do or say to compare to the glorious gift of eternal life -- made possible only by the sacrifice of Your Son, Jesus, for the forgiveness of our sins. Thank You.

Keep room in your heart for Him and be filled with His Peace.

Merry CHRISTmas!
friend, we are greatly loved and chosen by God, 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

do you believe?

Jesus said…
“For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life…” John 6:40

Yes, i believe I can get through the next few days.
Yes, i believe it is okay to eat lots of sweets… during the holidays.
Yes, i believe it is starting to feel like snow.
Yes, i believe hot chocolate is better with marshmallows.
Yes, i believe CHRISTmas was, is and shall always be about the birth of Christ.
Yes, i believe we all have something to give… even if it’s just a smile. 
Yes, i believe we, as believers, have already received the greatest gift ever!
Yes, i believe Jesus is my Savior.
Yes, i believe the best is yet to come!
The real question is are we living like we are believing?  May our actions reflect what we believe… 
Merry CHRISTmas!

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Friday, December 19, 2014

guess who's in town

You better watch out!
You better not cry!
Better not pout!
I'm telling you why,
Jesus Christ has come to town.

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord."  Luke 2:11

He's making a list
And checking it twice;
Gonna find out Who's naughty and nice
Jesus Christ is all around.

Jesus said - "
And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."  Matthew 28:20

He sees you when you're sleeping.
He knows when you're awake.
He knows if you've been bad or good,
So be good for goodness sake!
O! You better watch out!
You better not cry!
Better not pout!
I'm telling you why,
Jesus Christ is coming back to town!

Jesus said - "
And if  I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am."  John 14:3

Look for Jesus in whatever you do, say, see, hear or sing... He is there.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,
Merry CHRISTmas!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

all wrapped up

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6

The days are closing in on Christmas.  Are you ready?  Are you all wrapped up?  And if so, what are you wrapped up in?  Christmas can be a season of many mixed emotions.   It can be a time to get easily wrapped up in emotions of anger, resentment, pain, regret, hurt, loneliness, fear, envy, bitterness, jealousy, exhaustion, and pity.  But don't despair, you don't have to stay there.  God has got Good News for you!

God desires to take away whatever you have so tightly wrapped up in your heart that causes you pain, hurt and separation from Him.  He wants to unwrapped those harmful, destructive emotions and wrap you up in His Love, Hope and Peace instead. Through the birth of Jesus we have been given the greatest gift of all times... a gift that lasts for eternity.  A gift that by itself is reason alone to still have joy during Christmas. 

Is your wrapping a bit tight and uncomfortable?  Do you need some unwrapping and rewrapping in your life right now?  Our Father has the perfect wrap picked out for you, and he is eagerly waiting for you to come to Him for it.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Sing it out loud! for Goodness sakes!

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests." Luke 2:14

Do you hear what i hear?  Good News can be found!
Angels we have heard on high exclaim, " Jesus is coming to town!"
Come all ye faithful, be filled with His joy and love,
A silent, holy night will then give you His Peace from above.

Deck the halls, we have reason to shout!
Christ the LORD has risen! let there be no doubt.
Oh, Christmas tree, oh, Christmas tree, your beauty i see,
is about celebrating what Jesus did for you and me.

So, you better not cry, you better not pout,
Hark! the herald angels still sing it out!
Joy to the world, the Lord has come!
Have yourself a merry 'lil Christmas... each and every one!

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

a Mighty Word ~ JOY

The angel said... "Don't be afraid!  I am here with Good News... which will bring JOY to ALL the people.  This very day... your Savior was born -- Christ, the Lord!" Luke 2:10-11

What does the angel need to remind you of today?  Not to be afraid, or something else?  Not to be:



The JOY of the Good News is still true... and it's for you and me!
Thank You, Jesus!

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Monday, December 15, 2014

strung up tight?

"Share with God's people who are in need.  Practice hospitality."  Romans 12:13

All burned out, loose fuses, and strung up too tight,
Does this describe you or the Christmas tree lights?
The economy is erratic and the future's a fright,
But relax and trust Jesus, YOU will be all right.

With our money dwindling and many in great need,
the true meaning of Christmas should guide our deeds.
Redirecting our habits and priorities we must heed,
let's seek out the homeless, hungry and hopeless, don't you agree?

What would our Savior do at a time such as this?
Would He hold on to His riches and hide our want lists?
You know He wouldn't, so why should we,
let us give to others and follow His lead.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Friday, December 12, 2014

on His path

The Lord said...
"Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. 

The morning fog was thick as I traveled to be with Daddy for his surgery. With 3 close family members in the hospital, i was surrounded with concerns. Daddy's surgery was labeled high risk due to a heart that functions at 40%.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you...

The fog reminded me of the many uncertainties in life, as well as the knowns. There were three knowns i leaned on heavily:
1.  God is aware and in control of everything. 
2.  God had prepared Daddy for this surgery months ago by allowing a medical condition to erupt, forcing a change in his medication. A change which drastically improved and strengthen his health to withstand surgery.
3.  Trust God always.

 Since you are precious and honored in My sight and because I love you...

On my drive, i didn't know for sure what laid ahead; but i knew keeping my focus on the road lines would deliver me safely to my destination. Likewise, keeping our focus and trust on God, our Life Line, and not our circumstance, is the key to peace and safety of mind.

Do not be afraid for I am with you...

Now, let's fast forward through the fog to the surgery. The surgeon told us to prepare for a 2 - 3 hour surgery, due to a dislocated ankle and 4 broken bones. But in no time, a humbled surgeon emerged and reported, we had received an early CHRISTmas present.  To his surprise the surgery only took 24 minutes... a real miracle and blessing.

You are My witnesses... and My servants whom I have chosen...

May we strive not to discount or dismiss what seems to be worthless or wrong or worrisome in life.  We have no idea how God might use it for the good later for us... or for another.  He has a plan, and His plan is always good and right and perfect. We need to be His witnesses and share the Good News with others. Many are hurting and in need of hope -- we've a story to tell them.

so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am He."
Isaiah 43:1,2,4,5,10
Family... the true gold and treasures in life.
God... the Hope and Promise of what is to come.
CHRISTmas... He is our reason for JOY.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Caution! robberies are in progress

"What has happened to all your joy?..." Galatains 4:15

There is a thief lurching outside your door, wanting to rob you.  How do I know?  I know because I have already had a nasty battle with him.

It was a close call.  I almost got completely chewed up and swallowed by a monster storm of dismay, disappointment, and despair.  Due to a variety of unrelated circumstances over the past week, the thick clouds of doom gathered.  Lost values, sickness, accidents, careless decisions and other issues threaten to dismantle and shred the JOY and HOPE of CHRISTmas.  

Then it hit me, like ice water in the face... WAKE UP.  Satan, the great stealer and deceiver, was singing with delight.  He was out to steal my joy, and was doing a great job of it. He had been busy tossing out stumbling blocks, and i was tripping over all of them. 

But back off, bad boy, because i have reclaimed my joy.  You will NOT defeat me during this glorious CHRISTmas season.  I can't control the circumstances around me, but i can control how they affect me.  If the disciples could withstand jailing, beatings, persecution and crucifixion and keep their joy, surely i can rise above my aches and the worlds to remain joyful in Him.  So,  let's close that back door to woes and open the front door to joy.  

Father, to you be the glory today and forever more! Your immense love for us is reason enough to be JOYous.  Thank You.

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests." Luke 2:14

Need some help finding your JOY? Listen to this:

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,