Saturday, December 31, 2011

Your beginnings will seem humble,
so prosperous will your future be.

(Job 8:7)

Another new year on the horizon.  I always have mixed emotions about new years.  I don't make official resolutions, but I do try to better myself each year, and if nothing else, learn from my past mistakes. 
God continues to give me fresh starts...not just in the new year, but every day of my life.  Do-overs are handed out generously ..... handed out daily, if not hourly, always giving me the benefit of the doubt, forgiveness, and patience beyond measure.
For my part, I continue to fail in spite of good intentions.  I'm thankful that I love a God of infinite do-overs, who will forgive me and give me another chance to please Him.... and another chance.....and another.....

Friday, December 30, 2011

The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters,
He refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for His name’s sake. 

Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for You are with me;
Your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely Your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

(Psalm 23)

For my friend, Elsie, who is almost home.  May God take you softly and gently into your eternal rest.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The lions may grow weak and hungry,
but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.

(Psalm 34:10)

Although I believe this scripture, I'm far from content 24/7.  I have my times of pity, of despair, of thinking life just isn't fair.  Well, life isn't fair, but with God by my side, it's still a rewarding, wonderful, blessed life and I'm grateful, in spite of my spiritual weaknesses. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
(2 Corinthians 12:10)

I understand the message that this scripture is sending....... I just can't use the word "delight" to describe the way I feel during these tough times.  It's a lack of faith on my side, not a lack of support on God's side.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful.
(Matthew 13:22)

Even though I believe in Jesus Christ as my Savior, I still have thorns in my life that distract me from spreading the Word of the Lord.  Call them excuses, if you must.  Whenever we give anything else top priority, we are cheating ourselves along with dishonoring God.  The one thing that you never want to be greedy with is God's Word. 

Monday, December 26, 2011

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
(Colossians 3:15)

I'm feeling blessed and grateful as another Christmas comes and goes.  Christmas is over but the peace of the season remains throughout the year if Christ remains a focal point in our daily lives.  Let peace reign!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Prayer
by Robert Louis Stevenson (1850–1894]

Loving Father, help us remember the birth of Jesus, that we may share in the song of the angels, the gladness of the shepherds and the wisdom of the wise men.

Close the door of hate and open the door of love all over the world. Let kindness come with every gift and good desires with every greeting.

Deliver us from evil by the blessing which Christ brings, and teach us to be merry with clean hearts.

May the Christmas morning make us happy to be Thy children and the Christmas evening bring us to our beds with grateful thoughts, forgiving and forgiven, for Jesus’ sake.

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

(Luke 2:14)

As the Christmas season winds down, please keep the spirit of  Christ the Savior alive and active in your daily life.  Be good to one another.  Remember Jesus every day of the year and rejoice in the gift of eternal life to all who believe.  Praise be to the Lord!
Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Hark The Herald Angels Sing (last verse)

Hail the heav'n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Ris'n with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"

Written by Charles Wesley

We often know the first verse of many of our popular Christmas hymns but fail to memorize the latter verses.  I have a couple of hymn books and enjoy reading the lyrics,  many times not even knowing the tune.  (I don't read notes.)  As you sing some of your favorite Christmas hymns this season, focus on the words of the song which, to me, sound like prayers set to music.  Let the music and the words touch your heart and soul.

Have a blessed Christmas Eve!

Friday, December 23, 2011

This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
(Luke 2:12)

It came to pass exactly as prophesied......God's will be done.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

In my alarm I said,
“I am cut off from your sight!”
Yet you heard my cry for mercy
when I called to you for help.

(Psalm 31:32)

We may not see a quick response to prayer, yet that does not mean that God has not heard our plea.  Regardless of whether we see a resolution or not, God is listening and responds in His own way in His own timing.  We may not see Him......but He always sees us.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

They will have no fear of bad news;
their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the LORD.

(Psalm 112:7)

I can often fear the worst....even before it happens, IF it happens.  When I behave this way, I'm not trusting the Lord for my protection, courage, and accepting His will for me.  Going it alone simply doesn't work.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.
(2 Corinthians 9:6)

In other reap what you get what you give.  And I'll's better to give than receive. 

Giving doesn't have to be expensive.  We can give our time, a phone call, a Christmas card with a note, a visit, etc.  It truly is the thought that counts so don't get overwhelmed if you are financially challenged.  It's not about money, it's about giving of yourself.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.
(Leviticus 19:18)

I'm sure I've used this scripture before, or at least one that is similar in meaning.  My neighbors are "challenging" to say the least and I struggle with my attitude toward them.  I continue to work on my tolerance and patience, relying on the Holy Spirit to give me a boost in the right direction.  I also remind myself that one day, there will be NO problems in my life at all!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.
(1 John 3:16)

We are all familiar with John 3:16, but 1 John 3:16 adds another dimension of thought for OUR life for others.  There are only a select few that I would willingly give my life for.  Jesus did not pick and choose.  He gave His life for all who believe with no thought of His own suffering.  This act of unselfishness is beyond my understanding and comprehension.  I can only continue to humble myself and work toward being a better person, knowing that I will never measure up to the example set by Christ.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

I trust in You;
do not let me be put to shame,
nor let my enemies triumph over me.

(Psalm 25:2)

It may not happen in this earthly world, but someday, my enemies will be far behind me.  They will not, and cannot have victory over the Lord's will for me.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.

(Matthew 5:4)

Many will approach the Christmas season with the loss of a loved one, the loss is a job, a way of life, or a multitude of other types of loss.  Christmas will not be the same, but it should still be a celebration of the birth of our Lord, the true meaning of Christmas.  It's not about your's about Jesus.  Make new traditions..... be grateful for the small things and rejoice in the great promise of eternal life.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,  not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
(Philippians 2:3-4)

Am I able to say, from my heart of hearts, that I value others above myself?  Do I put others first?  There are many, many people that I can truly make that statement about, however, there are more that I would not.  And the truth is humbling, embarrassing, and eye opening. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.
(James 3:17)

I believe that this is true with all of my heart, yet I often fail to heed the words of wisdom sent directly from God and head off in my own direction.  You'd think I'd learn...........

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

“The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”
(Mark 1:15)

Don't wait for tomorrow to ask for forgiveness from the Lord.... tomorrow could easily become today!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Does not Scripture say that the Messiah will come from David’s descendants and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?”
(John 7:42)

I've been doing a brief study of the life of David, which has been very interesting.  David, just like all of us, made many mistakes, and some were extremely sinful and displeasing to God.  Thanks to the grace and forgiveness of God, partnered with David's sincere and heartfelt repentance, the lineage of Jesus remained intact and completed God's plan.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
(Hebrews 4:16)

Our confidence can waver a bit when times are tough, when we don't feel like God is showing us mercy in our times of trouble, when things seem too much to handle.  These are the times when we really need to focus on God's grace and mercy.  He does care...He does know what we are going through.....and He will comfort us through anything and everything if we trust and obey His will for our lives.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

A generous person will prosper;
whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.

(Proverbs 11:25)

It's all about the giving....not the getting.

Friday, December 9, 2011

This is what the LORD says,
 He who appoints the sun
to shine by day,
who decrees the moon and stars
to shine by night,
who stirs up the sea
so that its waves roar—
the LORD Almighty is His name:

(Jeremiah 31:35)

I love the winter skies.  It seems like the stars shine brighter in the winter, especially if there is a layer of white snow to reflect their sparkle.  Cold, crisp, quiet, and full of God's beauty, winter nights are breathtaking.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Do not withhold your mercy from me, LORD;
may your love and faithfulness always protect me.

(Psalm 40:11)

I certainly don't deserve the Lord's mercy, yet I'm blessed to receive it anyway.  Just another priceless gift, given out of unconditional love.  Thank you!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.
(Romans 12:19)

But I want revenge.....and I want it now!  I'm trying to pray for wisdom and control of my emotions and trust that God will take care of the situation, one way or another.  This is hard for me, as I want the satisfaction of being heard and acknowledged.  It helps me to isolate the situation and compare it to how difficult things could pales in comparison to past experiences. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.
(Hebrews 2:4)

In this misguided season of gift giving, I'm grateful that God has already given me my gift.....the best gift of all, and the one that will last throughout eternity. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

(Isaiah 40:31)

Our hope gives us strength.  It's tangible, it's real, and it's God given.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

As for God, His way is perfect:
The LORD’s word is flawless;
He shields all who take refuge in Him.

(2 Samuel 22:31)

Yet we still go off on our own tangents, guided by our own  will power.  Futility at it's best.....

Saturday, December 3, 2011

"He has more mercy than you have misery."

(From Charles Swindoll, Insight for Today)

Sometimes we think the deck is stacked against us, but that simply isn't true.  God's mercy is endless, my misery is finite. 

Friday, December 2, 2011

And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.
(2 John 1:6)

As the anniversary of Jesus' birth approaches, I hope that we can look at others with eyes of love, not contempt and judgement.  Be patient with one another....celebrate your differences.......treat each other with respect.  God expects this from us everyday not just during the Christmas season, so....... please......  "Walk in love."

Thursday, December 1, 2011

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
(Ecclesiastes 3:11)

I found this scripture today and really love the images that it evokes in my mind.  My limited mind, of course, cannot even begin to imagine all of the things that the Lord has done, or has yet to do. 

I love the statement that everything is beautiful in its time.....that's so true!  And everything has beauty, although you may have to search a little to find and recognize it. 

God gives us little glimpses of eternity, little nuggets of understanding, and lots of beauty to inspire and give us a tiny taste of what He has planned for our future.