Love Them through Their Blue Christmas

Love Them through Their Blue Christmas

“Tis the season to be jolly, fala lala lala lala lala!”

Some reading this may actually disagree with my first sentence. While Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year for Christians, as we are celebrating the birth of our Savior, many people find the Christmas season to be emotionally brutal.

Christmas can bring feelings of sadness and gloom for people who have lost loved ones and are facing an empty chair on Christmas Day. Some have experienced financial losses due to health reasons, job losses or recent storm damages. Others are facing serious health conditions.  And there are so many other reasons out there causing sadness at Christmas time.

Let’s all try to remember to be a little bit more patient with others this Christmas season. If you know someone is hurting this Christmas, take an extra moment and reach out to that person.  Let’s also remember, everyone we meet has a story. And some of those stories are sad. So what ever moods we are greeted with in our hustle and bustle, let’s be patient.  Let’s be kind. Let’s show the love of Jesus.

If you are hurting this Christmas, I am so sorry for your pain.  I pray for your healing and  that you will be restored to the peace that passes all understanding.  Remember, you are loved.

Let’s pray for each other every day and especially for those who are hurting this Christmas.

“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” – Ephesians 4:32

The Greatest Story

The Greatest Story

The greatest story is about the life of Jesus Christ: the perfect human and our perfect Savior.

December is a perfect time to revisit His story and share it with others. And the gospel of Luke is the perfect place to start, as it opens with the anticipation and birth of Jesus and ends with His death and resurrection.

I want to encourage you to get still each day of this Christmas season and reflect on the life of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Whether you study a Christmas devotional each day or a chapter from Luke each day, I pray you find renewed joy and peace through God’s greatest gift to you: JESUS.

JESUS IS THE REASON!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

‘Tis the Season

‘Tis the Season

The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.” – 1 Timothy 1:15-17

Trees and lights are going up everywhere. Shopping malls are filled with Christmas music and smiling faces. “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” ….Yes, it’s the week after Thanksgiving! The anticipated wait is over. Christmas season is finally here.

Oh what fun it is! At least for a couple of weeks, right?

Let’s face it. By Christmas Day, most of us lose our joy to society’s ideal that all must be perfect to be merry and bright. We tend to get too stressed preparing for gatherings with family and friends. We are always worried about the house being perfectly decorated, all the right foods on the menu, perfect gifts, etc. As a result, we can find ourselves too tired to enjoy the day, and just ready for it to be over.

And we know the truth. All the frills and trying to make the day all perfect is not necessary.  JESUS, the guest of honor is already there. He sees our imperfections and still loves us perfectly. Our guests should see the warmth and joy of Jesus through our hospitality, shining brighter than any string of Christmas lights or candle centerpieces.

God sent his son Jesus to save us. So as we plan, shop, and prepare our houses this month, let’s examine each step and find its significance in celebrating the birth of our Savior. We will find, most will be trifling insignificance.

Let’s not sweat the small stuff this month. Let’s ask to God help us prepare for each day. Let’s ask HIM to open our eyes and hearts to JESUS and every unique blessing He has prepared for us, now and on Christmas Day. And let’s give HIM the honor and glory for it all!

Our Keeper

Our Keeper

Oh no! My vehicle wouldn’t start!

Fortunately, I was in my driveway. This was just four months into me becoming a full-time, stay-at-home wife and Nana. What timing, right?

My husband called a local dealership to come tow it in for repair. They did.

The next day, they called with the diagnosis and projected cost. Whoa! For the cost quoted, we could make two down payments on another vehicle!

At this point, I became very upset. I cried to my husband, “what are we going to do?!”

And then, the Holy Spirit nudged me. I hushed and began praying for an affordable plan. A few minutes later, we were both reminded of a local family-owned car repair shop that might specialize in this type of repair.

So my husband called and told them the problem. They said they could repair our car for over half of what the dealership quoted! AND, they would even go get the vehicle and move it to their shop!

Thank you, Father for an answered prayer!

Our end result could have been so much more disappointing had I not reacted to the nudge. Jesus told us to seek and you shall find when we seek him we find him. When we seek his plans and provisions, we find them.(Matthew 7:7,8) God is all caring. He is our keeper.

I must remember not to give into self-pity during stressful times but remain focused on God for directions to his plan for my life. He does have a plan for every detail of my life.

When I’m disappointed by a plan’s outcome, it’s usually because it was my plan, not His.

He Loves Me Anyway

He Loves Me Anyway

God is omnipresent and omniscient. God is always with us. He knows everything about us. He sees us from the inside to the outside. He loves us.

How comforting it is to know that on my best days, my self-loathing days, my silly days and my darkest days: my heavenly Father loves me anyway!

“O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
    it is high; I cannot attain it.  Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?  If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me and your right hand shall hold me. If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” even the darkness is not dark to you the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you. For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you. Oh, that you would slay the wicked, O God! O men of blood, depart from me! They speak against you with malicious intent; your enemies take your name in vain. Do I not hate those who hate you, O LordAnd do I not loathe those who rise up against you? I hate them with complete hatred; I count them my enemies. Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!

Seasons

Seasons

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted” – Ecclesiastes 3:1-2

My favorite season has always been summer! Long days, warm evenings, and blue skies are just perfect for me. But seasons change and soon fall is here.

I never enjoyed fall because I dreaded the ushering in of cooler temperatures, shorter days, and…..winter on its heels. That’s right, I wouldn’t enjoy fall because of my dread of cold, bleak-looking winter!

Finally, I realized my silliness.  Now, I try hard to enjoy the many facets of the fall season AND early winter: beautiful foliage, pumpkin patch, fall festivals, hot chocolate, Thanksgiving,  and Christmas. (But honestly, here in the south, we are usually having a heat wave around Christmas!)

God gives nature the fours seasons to plant, nurture, harvest, and renew just as He gives us four seasons of life: birth, growth, harvest, and death. And within those major seasons are many small experiences that He gives us ( and nature)with specific timing and purpose. While we may not like the season we are in, faith in God will enable us to peacefully embrace the season, accepting His timing and purpose.

If we rebel against God’s timing, we miss out on so many precious joys. Our seasons change but God does not. HE is the same yesterday today, and forever.

Today, I pray for God to give you the strength, patience and joy needed to embrace your current season.

He is crazy about you!

He is crazy about you!

God is crazy about you.
He sends you flowers every spring and
a sunrise every morning.
Whenever you want to talk, He’ll listen.
He can live anywhere in the universe,
and yet He chose your heart.

~Anonymous

 

It is of the Lord‘s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.”

Lamentations 3:22-23

The Greatest Gift of Love

God loves us! This we know because He gave his only son to die for us so that we could receive the gift of salvation and live forever in His kingdom.

There is no condemnation by Jesus. When He died on the cross for us, He traded his righteousness for our sin. Remember He is sinless. But he came and lived on earth, to teach us how to live, then he died through sufferings that should be ours, the sinners. He took our place. The greatest gift of love…. ever.

Jesus died for us, and we should be living for him! If you believe, and have confessed Jesus is Lord, and repented of your sins, you have received the gift of salvation. You are a child of God! You are not condemned but guaranteed eternal life through Jesus. Don’t let Satan tell you otherwise! Celebrate your freedom in Christ and let Him walk with you each day!