For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. —Romans 15:4

Saturday, December 26, 2009

All Together

Romans 8:28

28And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (KJV)

This week my family and I experienced the wonder of a new birth. Our grandson, Eli arrived into the world after much work on his mamma’s part and much prayer from the rest of us. He is beautiful bundle of joy (just had to say that!) What a wonderful time to experience new birth and see everyone from all sides of a loving family work together to help in so many ways.

As this New Year begins, find ways to work for the good that God intends. We are all called to be caring, compassionate people.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Top Ten Ways to Celebrate

Luke 2:17-18

When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.

‘Twas the week before Christmas and all through the town, not a person was smiling, their faces in frowns… How sad to see people hustling and bustling, preparing for a celebration without knowing the joy that Christ brings.

Luke tells us that at the birth of Christ, the shepherds went out immediately and told the neighbors that Jesus was born. They celebrated his birth by sharing good news to anyone who heard them. As this week before Christmas unfolds, here are my Top Ten ways to celebrate our Saviors birth.

1. With joy-filled hearts wish others a Merry Christmas
2. Pray for the person for whom you are wrapping a gift
3. Send greeting cards that express the joy of Jesus birth either through the card itself or your own words
4. As you stand in line with other shoppers, be patient (ok this one is for me)
5. Listen to Christmas music that reminds you why we celebrate the season
6. If you make baked goods or candy, make enough to share with a neighbor, then visit with them for a while (thanks to our pastor Kris for this one, I did it and enjoyed talking with our older neighbor the other day)
7. Spend time with the people you love
8. Be kind to the people who get on your nerves (you know we all have to work on this one)
9. Read to the children, your own or someone elses-they would love to hear the story of the birth of Christ
10. Last of all, worship the Lord and praise him, He is the reason we celebrate!

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Visit to read another Chrismas devotion.  Also check out Teresa's books while you are there.

Friday, December 11, 2009

A Donkey Ride

Luke 1:46-49

46And Mary said:
"My soul glorifies the Lord
47and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
49for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.

A season of babies has descended upon our family this year. Max arrived in October to a busy home and welcoming siblings, Elijah will be born any day now (even as I write this I wonder if my phone will ring beckoning me to the hospital). In the cold of winter Zeke will join his big sister and my nephew and his wife will also deliver a baby boy.

With all of these little boys being born and seeing Sara, Elijah's mamma, ready to deliver just before Christmas brings to mind Mary, the mother of Jesus. Some writers say Mary traveled on a donkey for 70 miles from Nazareth to Bethlehem in the last stages of her pregnancy. If you've ever been pregnant you know the last thing you'd want to do is balance precariously on a donkey, then find out that you must deliver your sweet little baby in a stinky animal habitat. Yet, Mary went with Joseph faithfully trusting God and following his plan, discomfort and all. In our Christmas songs we celebrate the birth in the manger and those gentle animals and all that wonderful hay that made a bed. But, do we ever stop to think about what Mary and Joseph sacrificed and endured to bring our Savior into the world. What an example of pure faith.

As you prepare for the Christmas season, remember the sacrifice of the one who came to set us free. Celebrate Jesus!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Shine Your Light

2 Samuel 23:4

4 he is like the light of morning at sunrise
on a cloudless morning,
like the brightness after rain
that brings the grass from the earth.'

This time of year, my husband and I enjoy riding around our town and looking at the Christmas lights. Some folks hang just a few, while others fill their yard with the glow of Christmas. I especially delight in the nativities that some set out. It is so refreshing to see the reason we celebrate Christmas displayed where all can see.

God calls us to be the light of the world. I love how Samuel describes light in verse 4, "like a brightness after the rain". We can be that brightness throughout the holidays and shine our light for Jesus.

Merry Christmas!