What I Learned from Mary
Christian Living Serve

What I Learned from Mary

A young girl living an ordinary life chosen to live an extraordinary life.

Who is this girl?

Mary, the mother of Jesus.

I think about Mary a lot, not just during the Christmas season. I often think about her faith, integrity, loyalty and great love for God. There are life lessons in Mary’s life:             

Mary demonstrated absolute faith in action through obedience.

Mary loved unconditionally. 

Mary’s faith and obedience reminds us how God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things.  

As we think about Mary this Christmas, let’s ask ourselves:  “Am I willing to step out of my ordinary for God’s extraordinary?”

And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.” – Luke 1:38

Presence is the Present
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Presence is the Present

As the days become more hectic this Christmas season, it can be very challenging to stop and do something unexpected for someone else. But isn’t that part of what Christ is about?

God gave us a Savior on Christmas Day so many years ago. Our Savior came to love us, help us and save us from the world. Jesus always stops and helps us when we need it. And as His follower, I am to do the same for others.

Today I must ask myself: as a Christ follower, am I sharing my life with others beyond telling them about Jesus? Christmas isn’t about the number of presents under the tree, it is about sharing the presence of Jesus in our lives. The unconditional love of Jesus should be  over flowing from my life into the lives of others, not just at Christmas, but all year. 

Let’s look for more ways to share the love of Jesus and help others this Christmas. Finding ways to give our time and presence can yield great blessings, joy and peace to everyone involved.

Merry Christmas!

“…give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” – Jesus (Luke 6:38)

The Reason
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The Reason

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”             – Isaiah 9:6

Christmas is just over a week away! I hope you are getting that ‘to-do’ list finished and making beautiful memories with your family.

Most of us find ourselves in a big rush during the final weeks before Christmas. But in the midst of all that, let’s remember why it is the most wonderful time of the year. Let’s take time to reflect on, give thanks for, and enjoy the greatest Christmas gift of all – JESUS!!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!


How’s Your Day?
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How’s Your Day?

How’s your day going? Did you start out strong, upbeat, and full of joy? Or were you struggling to just start?

We live in a rushed world. And add the Christmas rush to the mix and our December days can quickly become anxious and chaotic. If we do not start our days strong, we cannot run the race of life at a strong and confident pace. We need to jump-start our days with Jesus: our source of strength.

I challenge you to fill up with joy tomorrow morning. Spend five to thirty minutes with Jesus. Pray with Him. Read and meditate His word. Then, face your day with the peace that surpasses all understanding.

 

“O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch.” – Psalm 5:3

The Greatest Story
Christian Living God's Love Good News

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
God's Love

‘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!

Immeasurably More
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Immeasurably More

God’s faithfulness is amazing. Perfect. Incomprehensible. Enduring.

I am awestruck by His daily blessings in my life. But even on the not so good days or in difficult circumstances, God does immeasurably more than I can imagine….and more.

 

 “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, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21

Our Keeper
God's Love Prayer

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
God's Love

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!