Saturday, December 31, 2016

at the end of the year...

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ." Ephesians 1:3

Thanking God for blessings of the past, and for the blessings to come.

Happy New Year!

we are loved and chosen by God,

Monday, December 26, 2016

a Mighty Word ~ rest

"Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

Even though the official CHRISTmas day is over, it proclaims an event worthy of daily celebration.  Thank You, Father!

Taking some time off to continue celebrating with family and friends and to rest in Him.

we are loved and chosen by God,

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry CHRISTmas!

"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

Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

Merry CHRISTmas!

we are greatly loved and chosen by God,

Saturday, December 24, 2016

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 we add to CHRISTmas has the potential to take away our joy.

Father, may it not be! I want to meet You at the manger first.  May there always be room in my heart for You. There is no where we can go nor nothing we can do or say on our own that compares 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.

Keeping room in our heart for Him, fills us with His Peace.

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

Friday, December 23, 2016

do you hear what I hear?

"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 of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ 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, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." Luke 2:6-12
He didn't like CHRISTmas, and why should he?  He had never had a tree nor presents -- there were no good memories.  All he knew about CHRISTmas was what the world told him and what he saw around him.  So when asked to write about CHRISTmas memories, he couldn't.  Sensing his emptiness, Mrs. Wesley told him about CHRISTmas, the true CHRISTmas.  He had never heard it, but now he has... and hope is possible where there once was darkness.

If you are stressed, disheartened, discouraged,maybe you need to hear the real CHRISTmas story, again.  Escape the make believe and usher in Truth and Peace -- then we can celebrate no matter what the circumstances.  
For God gave His Son for us to have eternal life... isn't that enough?  If we need to give anything to others, may it be the sharing of Him.

"Hark" the herald angels sings. Glory to the newborn King,

Peace on earth, and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled;

Joyful all ye nations rise, Join the triumph of the skies;

With angelic host proclaim, Christ is born in Bethlehem,

Hark! The herald angels sing, Glory to the newborn King!

May your CHRISTmas be filled with love, joy, peace, laughter, and mostly with Him!

we are loved and chosen by God,

Thursday, December 22, 2016

a Mighty Word ~ believe

"I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation... I can do everything through Him who gives me strength." Philippians 4:12-13

Having a hectic day?  Remember the true reason for CHIRSTmas.
Believing in Him makes CHRISTmas and every day better.  

we are loved and chosen by God,

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

you better watch out!

"Be self-controlled and alert.  Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." 1 Peter 5:8

He is out there just waiting to steal your joy!  Has he succeeded with you?  This has to be one of the deceiver's favorite and most successful times of year.  Just look around you or in the mirror.  Many are in a festive-frantic hurry, scribbling to-do-lists one after the other.  Some are dreading the "holy-days" due to illness, loss of income or separation from loved ones.
I pray for you, especially now.  We still have a choice on how we feel about CHRISTmas.  I pray you stop each day and find a few quiet moments to remember the reason for the season.  Remember the gift that can't be topped, the one that you can share or "re-gift" yet also keep... the incredible gift of eternal salvation... thank you Jesus!

So, say a pray to our Father, listen to some wondrous CHRISTmas music, read His Word... or just stop, and take a breath of thanks.  May your attitude be one of gratitude.   Just don't feed that lion!!

we are loved and chosen by God,

Thursday, December 15, 2016

have you heard?

As many leave school for CHRISTmas Holy-day, i pray you are filled with the love, joy, and peace our Father intends for you.  If you need a little help, try putting the melody of songs below in your heart. And speaking of heart, know you are in mine…. but more importantly His.

You better watch out
You better not cry
Better not pout
I'm telling you why
Jesus Christ is all around.

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

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 all around.

"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!

have a joy-filled day and a glorious Merry CHRISTmas!

Happily His and grateful to be your sister-in-Christ, veneal

the most wanted gifts

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

Best gift of the season?  Be the gift.  Care and love others through your words and actions.  It's the gift they will remember.
Father, You demonstrate best how to love others.  May we  reflect Your image during the CHRISTmas season and every day.

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

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

come ye faithful...

"Against ALL hope Abraham in hope believed... 

he was strengthen in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what He had promised.... The words "it was credited to him" were written NOT for him alone, but ALSO FOR US to whom God will credit righteousness -- for us who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.  He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to LIFE for our justification." Romans 5:18-25

Shopping, gatherings, cooking, meetings, unexpected requests, bumps in the road, etc. Not sure which direction to head? Don't let your hope and JOY of the season get squashed. Have the faith of Abraham and believe Jesus, and your joy for CHRISTmas will overflow to many!

we are loved and chosen by God,


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

you deserve a break

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your heart and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

Set up for students, our JOY overflowed when teachers dropped in for a quiet moment with us too.  Nestled next to a "roaring" fire and twinkling lights, they allowed the quiet peace to provide a needed moment of sweet relief.

Don't let the busyness of the season demands leave you drained and depleted.

Stop... rest... refuel.
Be filled with the delight of the season and Him.

we are loved and chosen by God,

Monday, December 12, 2016

there's a song in the air!

"The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing." Zephaniah 3:17

Thank You, Father, for your mighty love and song for me.
Now here's one for You...

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah!

we are loved and chosen by God, 

Friday, December 9, 2016

strung out?

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

Burned out, loose fuses, or 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 around in need,
I pray the true meaning of Christmas guide our deeds.
Reassessing our habits and priorities we must heed,

And seek out the homeless, hungry and hopeless... do you agree?

What would our Savior do at a time such as this?
Would He hoard 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.

we are loved and chosen by God,

Thursday, December 8, 2016

a Mighty Word ~ names

"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 

When we know Him by all these names, we are blessed indeed!

we are loved and chosen by God,

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

caution! robberies 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?  Because I have already had a nasty battle with him. 

Practically chewed up and swallowed by a monster storm of dismay, disappointment, and despair, it was a close call. 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 deceiver, was singing with delight.  He was out to steal my joy, and doing a great job of it. Tossing out stumbling blocks, he had me tripping over them left and right.

But back off! I'm reclaiming 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 woes and aches to remain joyful in Him.  So, let's slam that back door to defeat and throw open the front door to celebration.  

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

we are loved and chosen by God,

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 not to be:



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

we are loved and chosen by God,

Monday, December 5, 2016

what i want most...

"But the angel said to her, 'Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.  You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus'...
'How will this be,' Mary asked, 'since I am a virgin?'
The angel answered... 'nothing is impossible with God.'
'I am the Lord's servant,' Mary answered.  'May it be to me as you have said.'"  Luke 1:29-31, 34, 37-38

Faith - believing God for the good, even in the face of adversity.

Now, talking about faith… Mary had it.  

Father, that's what i want most.  I want to be filled with faith like Mary's.

we are loved and chosen by God,

Friday, December 2, 2016

what are you building?

"There is a time for everything... a time to tear down and a time to build."Ecclesiastes 3:1,3
Like the students' CHRISTmas trees, life is put together in steps...piece-by-piece, day-by-day. What might first appear messy or questionable, in time, could portray a picture of joy.

If you don't like or can't build on what happened yesterday, maybe you should take time to reconsider whether to push on, tear down or just wait. A decision is only too late or wrong, if you totally give up and don't pursue what you believe is right.

Today is a new day and another chance to let God move and shine through you.  What will you do with it? 

Before you decide, check with God; He's the Master Builder of everything and makes all things beautiful in its time. He knows what He is doing.

we are loved and chosen by God,

Thursday, December 1, 2016

prayers for the Smokies

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable.” Isaiah 40:28

When the fires raged on the West coast it bothered us, but our feelings did not linger after the newscast.  But seeing and smelling similar fires in our backyard, the significance and sadness of it is personal, overwhelming and ongoing. With heartache as heavy at the smoke, we grieve the loss of human and wild life, homes, businesses and scenic beauty.
Most all of us have spent time in the Smokies, enjoying the breathtaking view and cherishing memories  with family or friends in places now damaged or destroyed.  Living through a tragedy is different than just reading about it.  We are affected to varying degrees of sadness to difficult events/times based on our experiences, but God is not.  His compassion and understanding is great and unwavering in any and all circumstances for all His children.

You have taken account of my wanderings; put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in Your book?

May we draw comfort knowing God is Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnipresent. He who is everywhere, knows all and it all powerful is personally affected by whatever touches us. 

And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

Praying and believing His Word now and forever for the Smokies and for all of us.

we are loved and chosen by God,