Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wonderment Wednesday - Jesus' Prayer for us

Just as you, Father, are in me and I in you,
So they might be one heart and mind with us,
Then the world might believe that you, in fact, sent me.
The same glory you gave me, I gave them, 
So they'll be as unified and together as we are--
I in them and you in me.
Then they'll be mature in this oneness,
And give the godless world evidence
That you've sent me and loved them
In the same way you've loved me.

Father, I want those you gave me 
To be with me, right where I am.

So they can see my glory, the splendor you gave me.
Having loved me
Long before there ever was a world.
Righteous Father, the world has never known you.
But I have known you, 
And these disciples know that you sent me on this mission. 
I have made your very being known to them--

Who you are and what you do--
And continue to make it known....

So that your love for me might be in them
Exactly as I am in them.

John 17:24-26 (MSG)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

When God Was Born

When God was Born as told by children video.

This was really cute, so I wanted to share it with you all. I pray your holiday week is filled with joy and excitement. Keep your eyes on Him who the season is all about.

There's so much to celebrate for what He's done for us. Amen!

(turn off the sidebar music while you enjoy this video)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Choices: When it simply stinks

We had decided to not get a tree this year, which is hard because we love having a live tree for Christmas. It wasn't because we were hum-bugging about Christmas. We simply found time running short along with our spending budget. I would just get out some decorations to brighten up the house with.

Then, when I opened our ornament tub, a bad smell hit me. Seems when our storage room flooded from the overflowing laundry room, water had seeped into the plastic container and saturated every last cardboard box. Every last item had a covering of mold on it. 

As I stared down into that box, the last of my Christmas cheer ebbing away, I realized a decision had to be made. This, being a real downer of a thing to happen, could either cloud my holiday happiness, or I could look beyond the stench and gunk to what was really important.

And I wonder...
Before God came down to earth as a helpless babe, did He see the stench and gunk we'd made of His world? Did His heart falter with gloom? Was His joy in that wonderful thing He'd created stripped away from the mess that it had become?

I don't know. What I do know is that despite the mess, the stink and the corrosion, He came anyway. He looked beyond the mess and set His eyes on the HOPE of saving the lost children. He never faltered in His choice to come, to walk with us, eat with us, teach us and then die for us. 

Looking at the mess in that plastic tub, I heaved a big sigh, shook my head, and walked away. There might be some I can salvage, but I had decided to deal with it later. 

I allowed myself to be really bummed for about 10 minutes, then decided that it's not about all the decorations anyway. It was only about what He'd done. It was about Love. 

Jesus always made the best of what He had, which honestly wasn't much while He walked this earth. 

All the tinsel and lights
and the presents are nice...
but the real gift is You! 
Happy Birthday, Jesus

Yeah, all that is nice... the decorations, the twinkling lights, and PRESENTS!  Of course. But all that is a means to the end. It's our way to celebrate God's real gift, and it's easy to forget when you get burdened under with the pressure to get more and do more and having everything perfect.

And that's simply madness. Jesus' first bed was an animal troff, that manger where animals munched on hay. Where did we get the idea that everything had to be so... well, you know.

It's okay, if you can't buy a lot. It's okay if the decorations are sparse. It's okay, really. The real gift... it's HIM! It's Jesus coming to earth, dying for our sins, showing us how to really live.


Turn off the sidebar music and take a moment to wish Him a Happy Birthday right now and all through this week as you go about your Merry Making. I'll be posting some kind of Christmas fun each day, either a video I've come across or maybe some crazy pictures that will make you smile. Be blessed friends. Don't sweat the small stuff. God loves, loves, loves you. He loves you so much, he died for you. 

Can it get any better than that? 

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Friday's favorite - video day

I picked this song because of the verse below. "Give your dreams the wings to fly, you have everything you need..." 

In Jesus, the reason that we celebrate this season, we do have everything we need. He is the dream maker, the dream take-carer. If we can only have faith in Him and what He's doing with our lives, there is nothing and nowhere that we can't go. 

Have Faith. He will see you through.

Turn off the music on the sidebar and enjoy Josh Groban and Beyonce sing Believe. . .

Believe in what your heart is saying

Just believe

Hear the melody that's playing
There's no time to waste
There's so much to celebrate
Believe in what you feel inside 
And give your dreams the wings to fly
You have everything you need
If you just believe 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wonderment Wednesday - Matthew 6:34

Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now,
and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. 
God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.
Matthew 6:34 (MSG)

Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when test and challenges come at you from all sides.
You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors.
So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. 
Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.

If you don't know what you're doing, pray to the Father.
He loves to help. 
You'll get his help and won't be condescended to when you ask for it.

Ask boldlybelievingly, without a second thought.
James 1:2-5

Monday, December 13, 2010

Such a Small Word

I don't know how many times I've asked myself if I'm really hearing God. If I'm really doing what I should be doing. If I'm in the right place, making the right choices... especially when those choices are only making things worse. Or they seem worse. . . yet, are they? 


Voices quieted as the chapter president stood before the group of writers, cupping several small objects in her hands. It was our Christmas party meeting. She looked around the room and said she wanted to give everyone a little gift and as she rounded the tables, setting one small stone in front of a member, she also said that she'd asked God to let each one be a special word to the receiver. Carefully, she'd pluck one out of her palm without looking at it, and set it face down on the table. 

When I turned mine over, I knew immediately He'd heard her prayer. 

It's the very word I hear every time I question what He's asked me to do. 

"Have faith, Jackie. I'm right here with you. There's a reason for everything. I have good plans for you. I desire good things, not bad, for you." 

I held the little stone between my fingers, letting them rub over the indented word, saying it over and over... faith... faith... just need to have faith.

Then our speaker got up. She talked about when tragedy hits. She had experienced it, going blind one day and having to rebuild her life because of it. Yet it's not defeated her. Matter-of-fact, her blindness has allowed her to see life much more clearly. 

Her last words are still re-vibrating through my spirit: 
I'm not stuck. I'm in position. Live life. Live it to it's fullest. 

That's the FAITH walk. It's the keep on walking, despite how high the waves look, keep on doing what seems impossible because He will make all things possible for those of us who love Him. 

Such a small word. Such a small gift. Yet so profound. 


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wonderment Wednesday

And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus...

Philippians 4:19

Monday, December 6, 2010

Missing it

A repost from the archives:

I think it was Joyce Myers who had the funny lesson about taking another trip around the mountain. Like, for instance, when the Israelites missed it with God and he sent them back out into the desert for a longer time to think about it and hopefully learn their lesson.

She called it "taking another trip around the mountain."

Ever feel like you keep having to relive the same trials time and time again? Keep getting mad about the same things? Keep bouncing checks? Keep missing appointments? The list is endless. Life seems one trial after another.

One more trip around the mountain. Will I get it this time?

After 95% of the original Israelites were dead, the promised land finally came into view.

Oh, Lord, don't let it be that way with me. Help me to learn Your lessons by at least... the third... maybe fourth time around?

After three grueling weeks, I managed to drag myself out of bed this morning, determined to get back into the habit of having an early morning quiet time with God. I know better than to let that time slip. Every thing simply goes awry when I don't carve out that predawn hour to sit quiet, listen for His call, and take in his words like honey on warm toast. How could I allow myself to start each day without filling myself? Haven't I learned by now I need His sustenance to make it in this life?

I sat at my desk, groggy eyed and empty headed, too early for even my thoughts to start their swarming. "Well?" I ask after downing half my first cup of coffee. As a response to the quiet, I open my journal and write, "Lord help me get back into a routine. The past three weeks have been a blur. I feel like my free time has been squeezed of all excess like a damp rag. I'm weary and I'm begging for a short rest. A time to recollect myself."

I've talked before about John Eldredge's book Walking With God on this blog. This is one book you can not race through. It's one that needs to be savored, re-savored and yet again, savored at least once more.

I heard, "Fall. Third entry."

And it sounded familiar, something I'd visited before. The title read, Until God Becomes Our All, and of course, I've savored this morsel a few times.

You see, I've been struggling with several things: changes, disappointments, readjustment, family... to name a few. The job I'd hoped for didn't come through. So I was bummed. Life itself, ever moving and revolving brings its own changes in relationships, events, time constraints. The job I do have has changed drastically and it's been a struggle to keep up. During all this, my eyes once again moved off my steady rock and onto the wildly lapping waves around me. But at least I didn't sink completely this time. No eye-to-eye moments with a tuna. Not this time.

Yet the distance grows, and will keep growing if I don't throw out my arms and plead, "Catch me, daddy!"

Eldredge wrote, "We see God as a means to an end rather than the end
itself. God as the assistant to our life versus God as our life. We don't see
the process of our life as coming to the place where we are fully his and he is
our all. And so we are surprised by the course of events.

It's not that God doesn't want us to be happy. He does. It's just that he
knows that until we are holy, we cannot really be happy. Until God has become
our all, and we are fully his, we will continue to make idols of the good things
he gives us."

And isn't it easy, when everything is going smooth, and life is good and you need shades the world is so bright. And we slip on those shades and color our vision until He's not the center anymore, but all the things we THINK make us happy and complete.

Such as the job we want.
That perfect relationship.
Perfect, well-behaved kids who are acing all their classes.

He wants these things for us as well, but not at the cost of our relationship with Him.

In Philippians 4:12, Paul says, "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want."

That secret, my friends, is found in making God our all. Eldredge also wrote: "As long as our happiness is tied to the things we can lose, we are vulnerable."

Our happiness needs to be tied into the fact that He loves us, no matter what's going on. He loves us even when we don't get the job we want. He loves us even when our kids are fighting and we join in the fray. He loves us when we are being less than kind and caring to each other. He loves us. He loves us and He has our best interest at heart. He only ask to be the center of ours.

Then, as Paul summed up, "I can do everything through him who gives me strength." vs. 13.

I can do everything. Nothing will hinder me. Nothing will separate me from the love he has for me. A love that is wide and far reaching, that goes deep and past my fingertips high. There's no boundaries to it. No end. No beginning. We don't have to earn it. It's just there.

He loves me.
He love you.
forever and ever and ever, amen.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wonderment Wednesday

You God, are my God
earnestly I seek you;

I thirst for you,
my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land
where there is no water.

I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.
Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you. . .

I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.
I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.
On my bed I remember you;
I think of you through the watches of the night.
Because you are my help.

I sing in the shadow of your wings,
I cling to you;
your right hand upholds me.
Psalm 63:1-8
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