Friday, December 25, 2015

and the angels sang!

"While they were there, 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 guest room available for them.
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:6-14

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!   How very blessed we are.
Merry CHRISTmas!

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,
love, JOY and peace,

Thursday, December 24, 2015

all wrapped up?

"She wrapped Him in cloths and placed Him in a manger..." Luke 2:6

As you finish wrapping your gifts, remember the One wrapped first for you - in unconditional love.  Thank You, Father! 

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,
love, JOY and peace,

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

be the grinch

 "... be filled with the Spirit." Ephesians 5:18

More, More, More!

Yes, i do want more -- more of You, oh Lord, more of you!  

May our hearts grow 3 times bigger this CHRISTmas season in Christ.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,
peace, JOY and love,

Friday, December 18, 2015

have you heard?

As we leave school for CHRISTmas Holy-day, I pray you are filled with the love, joy, peace that our Father intends for you.  And if you need a little help, try putting the  melody of songs below in your heart. You are in my heart…. and more importantly His.
Happily His and grateful to be your sister-in-Christ, 

"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,
have a joy-filled day and a glorious Holy-day season!

Merry CHRISTmas!!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

do you have room?

"(Mary) wrapped (the baby) in cloths and placed Him in a manager, because there was no room for them in the inn." Luke 2:7

And what about now?  Is there room for Him...

in your heart
in your day
in your thoughts
in your actions
in your plans
in your prayers

As the 25th gets closer, don't let Him get squeezed out due to stress, busyness, commercialism, shopping and other demands of the season.  The craziness can cause us to flip, if not careful.

Let's be sure to take a daily, quiet moment to securely and tightly wrap God in our hearts, and allow His Light to shine in us.  As we make room for Him in all we do and say, the true JOY of the season will be ours and will radiant to others in need of His Peace.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,
love, JOY and peace to you,

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

reindeer with an attitude

"Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus." Philippians 2:5

Those reindeer! Their obvious attitude wasn't one that brought cheers from everyone.  

In the spirit of CHRISTmas, teachers guide and inspire students through many wonderful art projects.  I couldn't help but chuckle seeing the influence teachers have on students.  How true the line is "we become like those we are around" -- for better or worse.
No matter what our personal preferences are in teams, foods, colors, clothes, may we be united in portraying the same attitude and spirit as Christ when we converse with others. 

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, 
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control...

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,
love, JOY and peace to you,

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

a Mighty Word ~ love

"We love because He first loved us." 1 John 4:19

Best gift of the season?  Be the gift.  Care and love others.

Father, You demonstrate best how to love others.  May we  reflect Your image during the CHRISTmas season and every day.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,
love, JOY and peace to you,

Monday, December 14, 2015

don't be fooled

"Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith..."  1 Peter 5:8-9

Every time i turn around, someone is trying to snuff the JOY out of CHRISTmas.  The latest ploy --- billboards.
Knowing his days are numbered, the devil is on a fierce roll.  He is feverishly attacking and pursuing believers, with lies  to draw God's children away from the Light. And what better time for him to stoke up the fires of deception than during our most JOYous season.

But i am getting better... and wiser.

My eyes are fixed on another sign that is far more powerful, one based on Truth. A right life is not about being good, for we can never be good enough. Instead, it's based on the grace of God poured out generously and lavishly on all who come to Him and have a relationship with Him. It's produces eternal benefits, not because of what we do but because of what He did.
Be wise and keep your JOY; we have much to celebrate with our Father.  Only God is good, and He has us covered.

"And the God of grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To Him be the power for ever and ever. Amen." 1 Peter 5: 10-11

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Friday, December 11, 2015

a word of caution

"...Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, 'Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!' 'Martha, Martha,' the Lord answered, 'you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better...'"Luke 10:39-42

My Bible did not fall apart due to misuse or neglect, but due to an abundance of good stuff.  It was jam-packed with bookmarks, favorite passages, notes, letters, and booklets.  The over accumulation of good stuff finally blew my binding apart.  Yes, even too much good stuff can be bad.

How is your holiday season going?  Is it packed with lots of good stuff and happenings?  Supporting friends/family in various programs, attending gatherings, preparing special foods, serving others in need, leading a group, joining committees... how much more good stuff can you do?  How much more can you stick into your days before blowing up?  Even good people (and apparently reindeer) can only take so much, especially during the holidays.

Just because it's good, doesn't mean you should say yes and do... especially if it means not having time at our Father's feet.  After all, it is His Son's Birthday, and all He wants is your presence.  Do you have time to celebrate Him -- with JOY?

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Thursday, December 10, 2015

a Mighty Word ~ The gift

"Every GOOD gift and every PERFECT gift is from above..." James 1:17

Still shopping?
Don't panic. Sharing Him with others is gift enough for you and them.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

where is He??

"You will seek me and find me when you seek me with ALL your heart." Jeremiah 29:13

They were on a mission and filled with excitement.  The gingerbread man had escaped their room; luckily he left them a clue.  They followed the clue, only to find another.  And that clue led them to yet another.  As i watched them on their quest, their spirits were not damped  by the continuous journey, and their anticipation only mounted with each clue they found.  They were focused and stayed on the right path, and soon to their delight the gingerbread man was recovered.

What have you been hunting for? A special gift, a unique gadget, five minutes of peace?  For me, it's been some baby Jesus' to give as reminders of the reason for CHRISTmas.  As i searched from store-to-store, i came up empty handed.  How could there be CHRISTmas without baby Jesus?  I finally stopped and remembered. 

There was and is a baby Jesus, but i had ignored the clues and looked in all the wrong places.  He is not in the stores, but in our heart.  When we accepted Jesus as our Savior, we asked Him into our heart... right?  He is still there. Unfortunately, we are the ones who cover Him up with others priorities and scoot Him in a corner.  So, i have no gift for you, because you actually already have it.   And here is your clue of where the best gift is -- in your heart.

Know it, believe it, live it... and be filled with Him always.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Tuesday, December 8, 2015


"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

Due to harsh worldly circumstances, i'm taking CHRISTmas for what it actually is this year.  I've been shaken into a better reality... CHRIST comes first in CHRISTmas for a reason.  It's about Him and HIS doing... not mine.  CHRISTmas is about first giving thanks and praise to God for His Son and everlasting gift, eternal life for all who believe.  
Yes, CHRISTmas is coming... and so is Christ.  Are you believing? Are you ready?

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Monday, December 7, 2015

who's to blame?

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—  not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:8-10

From the inception of the Salt Shakers for Him devotionals, my heart's desire has been and is to encourage, inspire and lift up teachers, school staff members and anyone else in need of our Father's love.  Anger has rarely fueled my writings, but last week numbness and disbelief put sparks in my heart.

After the horrific tragedy in California, a prominent U.S. newspaper covered it's front page with, "GOD ISN'T FIXING THIS".

I was stunned and angry.  Are they really blaming God for this?  My first thought was how dare they attack my God. Then i realized they don't know my God.

God doesn't desire puppets, but designed us with freewill. We are created by Him, for Him to know-love-worship Him. Our hearts are built with a void only He can fill. Yet, He leaves it to us to decide.  

From the beginning of time, troubles have existed. Thankfully, God has not forsaken man, despite our sinful ways. He continuously and faithfully seek us out of darkness. God loves us so much He sent His only Son Jesus to save us, to fill us with His Holy Spirit and to provide eternal life.

So what has happened?  Our God fixed a Perfect Plan, man chose to stray. As i see it, the problem is not with God, but with man's unwillingness to accept His love.  And maybe there is also a breakdown with man's inability or lack of boldness in sharing Jesus with others.  Jesus' great commission is for all -- go and make disciples in all the world.  Is having Jesus in our heart enough? Jesus said go, go and do.  Together we can strengthen and grow the front line of God's people by believing, living, going and telling God's story.

For several days a verse from Galatians echoed in my head... What has happened to all your joy?  Can we still be joyful at this time?  Yes. I refuse to give Satan satisfaction in stealing it. Now is the perfect time to fuel our mission to tell and show others about God. This our Holy Season, the birth of Jesus, is worthy of joyous celebration. Because of His birth, Hope is instilled for today and for tomorrow. We rest in the knowledge God is the final Victor.  Evil will be defeated and all God's people will reign with Him forever and ever. 

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Go, tell it on the mountains, Jesus Christ has come!
Tell it!  live it! 

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Friday, December 4, 2015

want to eavesdrop?

Would you like to listen in on my prayer today? It might be yours too.

Lord, how much more? I barely get my head above one massive wave before another one hits.  The waters are white capping all around, and You know how much i don't like water.  I really need a break from the trails -- health issues, financial uncertainties, loss of precious loved ones, unexpected detours, increased demands, heartaches, fear of nightmares resurfacing... how much more?

You must trust Me.  "Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know." Jeremiah 33:3 

Father, i do trust You, but haven't i been through enough.

I am working in you and on you, Child.  "Yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand."  Isaiah 46:8

But, Father, it's so tiring. 

I've got some rough ends to smooth out in you.  We will gain much through these times.  Trust Me.   "But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him." Jeremiah 18:4

Father, i'm not perfect, but i'm okay with me.

But I'm not.  I understand how you feel, remember Jesus had had enough in the Garden too.  But you must trust Me to do what is best.  I have more in store for you than you can ever imagine, but there is still work to be done.  "Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us..." Ephesians 3:20

But how much longer will this necessary work on me last?

Just leave it to me.  "And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear."  1 Corinthians 10:13 

How much more, Father? 

Until you give it all to Me.  "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.." Proverbs 3:5

I have surrendered all to You.

No, child, there are some parts of your life that you still have your fingers gripped tightly around... areas concerning your life, your family... to name a few.  Don't worry, I promise you that i know what you can bear.  I have a perfect plan for you.  "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

I am afraid of what's to come.

You need not be fearful. I am always with You.  "There is no fear in love.  But perfect love drives out fear."  1 John 4:18

Okay, my Sweet Daddy, Your Will be done, not mine.  But can you please do it gently? 

It will be as it needs to be.  "... we gave up and said, 'The Lord's will be done.'" Acts 21:14

I love you, Father.

I love you too -- and more than you can humanly understand. Just trust Me.  "And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love."1 John 4:16 

In Christ we pray and give thanks,

amen, amen.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,