Nailed to the Cross

There was One who was willing to die in my stead,

That a soul so unworthy might live

And the path of the cross He was willing to tread,

All the sins of my life to forgive.

 

He is tender and loving and patient with me,

While He cleanses my heart of it’s dross

But, “there’s no condemnation,” I know I am free,

For my sins are all nailed to the cross.

 

I will cling to my Savior and never depart,

I will joyfully journey each day,

With a song on my lips and a song in my heart,

That my sins have been taken away.

Hymn “Nailed to the Cross” by Mrs. F.Beck and  G. C. Tullar

He Knows Just How You Feel😢

Jesus knows how you feel…

He’s been there.

Once, while recovering from a near death experience, I felt so hurt, and so low, that I actually told my son;

“I feel as though God has forsaken me!… I feel bad about saying it, but that’s just how I feel.”

In the severity of my pain and suffering, I felt that God had abandoned me.

My son looked at me with such compassion and said, “It’s OK mom, Jesus knows how you feel.

He knows what it’s like to feel forsaken, because as He was dying on the cross, He said,

“My God, My God, Why have You forsaken me?”

He knows how you feel, but He has not forsaken you.”

This was a tremendous comfort to me, and I hope this brings comfort to you too.

God loves you, and no matter what you’re going through, He knows just how you feel.

 

God’s Love is Not Reckless

“Reckless Love”  by Bethel music, draws you in with it’s pleasant melody and soothing lyrics, and has become very popular song, but…

❤️

The Love of God is Not reckless

Here’s the definition:

reck•less 

(describing a person or their actions) as being without thinking or caring about the consequences of an action. as in “reckless driving”

synonyms: rash, careless, thoughtless, heedless, unheeding, hasty, impetuous, impulsive, daredevil, devil-may-care, irresponsible, ill-advised, injudicious, imprudent, unwise, ill-considered, etc.

This is not what the scriptures tell us about the love of God.

God’s love is caring;

“God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son,”

God’s love is thoughtful;

“So that whosoever believes in Him should not perish,”

God’s love is considerate,

“But have everlasting life.”

He laid down His life for us, not recklessly, but counting and knowing the cost.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Love of God

 

The love of God is greater far

Then tongue or pen can ever tell;

It goes beyond the highest star,

And reaches to the lowest Hell,

Could we with ink the ocean fill,

And were the skies of parchment made;

Were every stalk on earth a quill,

And every man a scribe by trade;

To write the love

Of God above

Would drain the oceans dry;

Nor could the scroll

Contain the whole,

Tho stretched from sky to sky.

Hymn-“The Love of God” by F.M. Lehman

God of All My Days

In my worry, God
You are my stillness
In my searching,
God You are the answer
In my blindness, God
You are my vision
In my bondage, God
You are my freedom
In my weakness, God
You are my power
You’re the God of all my days.
Each step I take
You’ve made a way
And I will give you all my praise
My seasons change
You stay the same
You’re the God of all my days
*****************************
 from “God of All My Days”, – Casting Crowns
Lyrics- John Mark Hall and Jason Ingram

Crazy Faith

There was a time when, my family, friends, and neighbors would have thought that “Crazy Faith” would be a perfect title for my autobiography! :)

I know that this is true, because once, when I was in the final months of my pregnancy, (you know, the pregnancy that I prayed 10 years for), I overheard my husband talking to a neighbor, saying; “We all thought that Faith was losing her mind!… While she was struggling with her health and praying for another baby, her mother and sister would call and say, “We’re really concerned about Faith..”  They thought that I was going crazy!!! He had never told me this before, so when I heard it, I laughed, and said, “That’s OK… They thought that Noah was crazy too, but it sure did rain didn’t it? So, I’m in good company!”

It all began 15 years earlier, when I read Luke 8:48,  Daughter, your faith has made you whole…”, and from that moment on,  there was no turning back for me… I believed it.

Of course, I myself, don’t think it’s “crazy”, but lots of people might consider it crazy to believe for something that seems impossible. Reading those words as a young 24-year-old, and believing that God had spoken to my heart, “fueled” me to move forward in faith, convinced and certain, that God would bless me, despite my physical circumstances.

Is there something that you would like for God to do for you, but you think that it’s impossible, or not important enough, or too big, to ask for?..  Ephesians 3:20 says that God is “…able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,..”  The power at work in us includes our faith!  Many times when Jesus healed someone, he said, “according to your faith be it unto you”, or “your faith has made you whole.”

Even if it makes you look “crazy” to those around you, or, if it’s just a secret request that you haven’t mentioned to anyone else, ask God what you will, and believe with “crazy” or unexplainable faith that, “with God… nothing is impossible.”

Smiles and Blessings,

Faith ♥

Last First Day🍎

Back- to -School

Today marks a milestone for me.

It’s back to school again and, at our house,  it’s also THE LAST “first day of school”,  as our youngest daughter is now officially a senior in high school. Sure, I’ve been down this road a couple of times before, with two other children who have graduated, and gone off to college, but this one brings a whole season to a close for me and I just wanted to say out loud that “Being a mom is such a great blessing!”

I was blessed to have three miracle babies, when several doctors said that being a mother would never happen for me. So thankful that the LORD has the last word, and the final say, about “impossible” situations such as these.

Every season is a blessing, and as I look back with a smile and forward with joy, I’m grateful for everything that’s brought me to this day.😊

Thanks for listening!❤️

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow.”  -James 1:17 TLV

 

Happy?

My computer broke down and REFUSED to open several months ago. I’m still sulking over it and so, no blogging. Yes, I know that I could use my iphone or my tablet but after all these years, I’m always most comfortable writing with my computer, and this computer was only 18 MONTHS OLD when it gave out on me. After paying so much for it and with only a 12 month warranty, I WAS LIVID.

It’s a matter of principle. The main reason I bought this computer was so I could “depend on it for years to come”, or at least that’s what they told me at my “friendly neighboorhood Best Buy”, saying, “It is after all a Macbook Pro!” They got me… And now, here I am, writing on my teeny-weeny, tiny tablet.

But,

When I stop and think about it. I realize that there are alot worse things that could happen, and I’m reminded of what Paul says in Phillipians 4:11,

“I have learned in whatsoever state I am to be content.” so I’m learning, doing what makes me happy, and it’s good to be back!

Have a great weekend.

 

Relaxed Confidence

When Abraham gave first choice to Lot, and Lot took the best and greenest pastures for himself, Abraham simply let it be so. Then God promised to give him all the land, as far as his eyes could see, to the east, west, north and south. It didn’t matter that Lot had taken the best for himself. Abraham held a relaxed confidence in God and His promises.

My hope for the future, my trust in your precious promises, and everything that concerns me, is secure in You, LORD,

So I choose to relax, and place my confidence in You.

 

Perfect Timing

“To everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven.”

“A time to be born, and a time to die;

A time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal;

A time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh;

A time to mourn, and a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;

A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to get, and a time to lose;

A time to keep, and a time to cast away;

A time to rend, and a time to sew;

A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

A time to love, and a time to hate;

A time of war, and a time of peace.”

Ecclesiastes, 3:1-8

Just Ask

“They don’t have anymore wine.” she said, asking Him to do something about it. “Woman, what does this have to do with you or I?” was His reply.

She turned to the servers and said, “Do whatever He tells you to do.”

They filled the jars with water as He instructed, and took them to the headwaiter, who after tasting it, shouted with excitement to the bridegroom, “…You’ve saved the best wine for last!”

It was the first miracle performed by Jesus, at Mary’s request, turning water into wine during a wedding in Cana; and what was the outcome?

The servants, the wedding guests, the bridegroom, and the disciples, were all astonished and drawn to Him.

“Jesus did this. He revealed His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.” -John 2:11

And all because she just asked. Got a problem? Ask the Lord to do something about it!

Here it is in a nutshell;

“… Anything you ask in My Name I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”

– John 14:13

Start Where You Stand

Start where you stand and never mind the past,

The past won’t help you in beginning new,

If you have left it all behind at last

Why, that’s enough, you’re done with it, you’re through;

This is another chapter in the book,

This is another race that you have planned,

Don’t give the vanished days a backward look,

Start where you stand.

The world won’t care about your old defeats

If you can start anew and win success,

The future is your time, and time is fleet

And there is much of work and strain and stress;

Forget the buried woes and dead despairs,

Here is a brand new trial right at hand,

The future is for him who does and dares,

Start where you stand.

Old failures will not halt, old triumphs aid,

To-day’s the thing, to-morrow soon will be;

Get in the fight and face it unafraid,

And leave the past to ancient history;

What has been, has been; yesterday is dead

And by it you are neither blessed nor banned,

Take courage, be brave, and drive ahead,

Start where you stand.

Berton Braley.

Glory To God In The Highest

“… Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior,

who is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you;

You shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

Luke 2

Caged Bird Free

My stubborn will at last has yielded,

I would be Thine,  and Thine alone

And this the prayer my lips are bringing,

Lord, let in me Thy will be done.

Thy  precious will, O conquering Savior,

Doth now embrace and compass me;

All discords hushed, my peace a river,

 

My soul a prisoned bird set free.

Sweet will of God

Still fold me closer,

Till I am wholly lost in Thee.

 

-“Sweet Will of God” by Mrs. C.H. Morris

 

The Good Doctor

When they saw Him eating with sinners and tax collectors, they said to His disciples,

“With tax collectors and sinners He eats?”

On hearing this, Jesus said to them,

“Healthy people don’t need a physician, but sick ones do.

I did not come to call righteous people, but sinners.”

– Mark 2:16-17

The Hat Rack

Here’s a “post from the past” at my daughter’s request. Blessings! – Faith

Once, when my husband and I were visiting a new church for the first time,  an elderly lady came up to us and invited us to her house for dinner. We gladly accepted, and followed her home after service.  As we sat in her living room, we had a very pleasant conversation, and got  to know a little more about each other. She was a long-standing member of her church,  and well-loved by the congregation.  Although she was elderly, she was vibrant and enthusiastic, and very happy to talk about how much she loved the Lord, and all that He had done for her. She enthusiastically shared some of her many testimonies, and my husband and I  talked a little about our faith experience.  I mentioned how our two children, a son and a daughter, toddlers at the time, had been miracle babies, because I was told that I would never conceive, and even so, I was still praying and believing God for another baby.

She looked at me, with a smile in her eyes, and said, “You see that hat rack over there on the wall?” I answered, “Yes.” she said, “Whenever the Lord does something for me, I imagine that I’m hanging a hat on a hat rack…and every time he answers I just keep adding a new hat.  And the next time I find myself frustrated about something that I’m praying for, I  just take a look at that hat rack, and see all those hats hanging there, and I’m reminded of all the prayers that God has answered, (some that I may have even forgotten), and I am encouraged that He did it before and He’ll do it again.”

I really appreciated this example and made an effort to apply it in my own life. In fact the Lord did answer my prayer and blessed me miraculously with another sweet baby girl!

When I think back on this example, it reminds me of what young David said to King Saul, when he volunteered to fight Goliath…

“David said… The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, He will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine…” I Samuel 17:37

You see, the lion and the bear were hanging on David’s hat rack!!! He just took a look back, and was fully persuaded, that God would do it again. :)

“Has it been awhile since you took a look at your own hat rack?”

Surely God has blessed you and answered your prayers in the past, and hey, there’s always room for another hat, so

Just take a look back, have faith,  and,  like David, be fully persuaded that God will do it again!

Amazing Grace

The Lord has promised good to me…His word my hope secures.

He will my shield and portion be…
as long as life endures

Through many dangers, toils and snares…
I have already come.
T’was grace that brought me safe thus far…
and grace will lead me home.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years…
bright shining as the sun.
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise…
then when we’ve first begun.

John Newton

Here’s to Hugs and Kisses

  Hugs

Reduce harmful physical effects of stress;

Calm deep pressure on children, tantrums, and mellows moodiness;

Help the body’s immune system, cures depression, and induces sleep;

Invigorate and rejuvenate

Increase heart rate and stabilize blood pressure;

Give a positive emotional state;

Bring out a surge of serotonine and dopamine, which are known as “feel good” brain chemicals.

Relieve pain, make you healthier and happier;

Help to overcome fear

 Kisses

Good for the heart, as it creates an adrenaline which causes your heart to pump more blood around your body.

Stress-reliever, lowering your cortisol ‘stress’ hormone.

Endorphins produced by kissing are 200 times more powerful than morphine.

Reduces anxiety and stop the ‘noise’ in your mind.

Increase the levels of oxytocin, an extremely calming hormone that produces a feeling of peace.

Great for self-esteem.  Make  you feel appreciated and helps your state of mind.

Those who kiss quite frequently are less likely to suffer from stomach, bladder and blood infections.

Those who kiss goodbye each morning live five years longer than those who don’t.

Here’s to Hugs and Kisses! OXOX

The Best Education

 “An eternal question about children is, “How should we educate them?”

Politicians and educators consider more school days in a year, more science and math, the use of computers and other technology in the classroom, more exams and tests, more certification for teachers, and less money for art.

All of these responses come from the place where we want to make the child into the best adult possible, not in the sense of virtuous and wise, but in the sense of one who is an efficient part of the machinery of society. But on all these counts,the soul is neglected.”

-Thomas Moore

“…So  commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these words of mine.(says the LORD)

Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you go to bed and when you get up.”

Deuteronomy 11:19

Take Courage My Heart

He’s In The Waiting.♥

“Take courage my heart
Stay steadfast my soul
He’s in the waiting
He’s in the waiting
Hold onto your hope
As your triumph unfolds
He’s never failing
He’s never failing.”

“Wait for ADONAI. Be strong, let your heart take courage, and wait for ADONAI.” – Psalm 27:14

 

Take Courage Lyrics-Bethel Music & Kristene DiMarco/ Photo- Google Images

Patient Endurance

“Remember the former days

When, after you were enlightened,

You endured a great struggle with sufferings.

Sometimes you were exposed to public ridicule and were beaten,

Sometimes you helped others who were suffering the same things.

You suffered along with those who were thrown into jail,

And when all you owned was taken from you, you accepted it with joy.

You knew there were better things waiting for you that will last forever.

So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord.

Remember the great reward it brings you!

Patient endurance is what you need now,

So that you will continue to do God’s will.

Then you will receive all that He has promised.”

 

Hebrews 10:32-35

Tree of Life Version and New Living Translation

 

A New Day

If life seems at its lowest ebb, because a day’s gone wrong,

 

Let not your heart be troubled, for a new day soon will dawn.

And we can never be quite sure, just what it has in store,

Since each one is so different, than the one just gone before.

As it penetrates the darkness, with its soft and tranquil beams,

It calms even the most restless soul, and brings new hopes and dreams.

So when a day’s been troubled, and the night is dark and long,

Lift up your fallen spirits, for a new day soon will dawn.

-Anonymous

My Shepherd

ADONAI is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.

He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff comfort me.

 

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies: You have anointed my head with oil, my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the House of ADONAI forever.”

Psalm 23- TLV

Behold, I Am Doing a New Thing, Now it Will Spring Forth

It’s Blooming in the Desert!

After 5 years of devastating drought in southern California, the mountains and deserts of Death Valley are exploding with beautiful blooms and color!

Thus says ADONAI…

“Here I am, doing a new thing; Now it is springing up!”

“I will make a way in the desert and rivers in the wasteland”

– Isaiah 43:19

TLV

Cactus blooms in Southern California desert/Photos- CBS News

“Remember Me”

“And He took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.” Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.” Luke 22:19-20

There are many traditions, holidays, and ceremonies, that we observe and hold in remembrance, and many of them in the name of Christianity. We celebrate birthdays, and Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter, and that’s fine, they are special days, and it’s good to celebrate, but there is one thing that the Lord has asked us to observe, in remembrance of Him, and the sacrifice that He made to redeem us, saying, “Do this as oft as you will, in remembrance of me.”  II Corinthians 11:25

As we remember the last supper today, we are also reminded of Christ’s sacrificial love for all of us…We are reminded of His tremendous suffering, and the price that He paid to save us, and that by His grace, through faith, we are saved.

Thank you, Jesus.

First Love

“Valentine’s Day is almost here, so here’s a “Post from the Past” just for you!”

I met the man who was to become my husband when I was nineteen years old. At first no one took me seriously, because I had never been serious about anyone before. My closest friends teased me and joked that  this new relationship would probably only last for about two weeks and then it would be over, because that’s how it had been for me up until then. But this time was different.

My friends soon became aware of the difference in me as I lit up whenever I talked about him, and talked about him constantly. I began spending less and less time with them, and wanted to spend more and more time with him. When we left campus, for our hometowns in different cities during holiday breaks , I would miss him terribly and  couldn’t wait to be with him again. While at home on break, I would curl up in bed with my  mother, like two girls at a slumber party, and tell her all about him, talking all night long…

In Revelation 2:4-5,  Jesus says to the church at Ephesus, “

... You have left your first love…repent and do the first works…” 

I think about the first works or actions of a person experiencing a first love, and I ask myself,

“Am I still doing the first works?” Do I still light up whenever I talk about my Savior? Do I still  speak of Him constantly? Am I spending more time with Him than I do with less important activities? If I haven’t read my Bible in a while, do I miss it? Could I stay up all night, talking and sharing about His love and His faithfulness? Asking these questions stirs the heart, generates enthusiasm, and awakens a fresh start.

“May the Lord reignite the spark that fueled our first works, and may we continue

to rekindle our love for Him Who first loved us.”♥

 

Can a Mother Forget?

Image result for mother and baby nursing silhouette

Sometimes when we’ve been praying for something for a very long time, we begin to lose heart, and wonder if the answer will ever come. I know exactly how that feels. I remember praying and praying for God to work a miracle in my life, and sometimes, I felt that God had forgotten about me and my situation. Of course we know that God sees us always, and knows everything about our lives, but still, it is true of us as humans, that we sometimes think that our situation may not be as urgent to God as we would like for it to be.

This is so not true!

At one of my lowest points, the LORD gave me a verse which comforted me and reassured me, and to this day, this verse is very near and dear to my heart. In Isaiah 49:15-16, the Lord says, “Can a mother forget her nursing child?… Yes, she might, but I have not forgotten you… I have you engraved on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.”  This is how I understood what He was saying to me through this verse:

1. “Can a mother forget her nursing child?” – Naturally, the answer to this question would be a resounding, “No.”  We all know how attached a mother is to her newborn baby, and so we understand the significance of this question. But…

2. “Yes, she might,” – Although it would seem impossible for a mother to forget or abandon her newborn child, it has happened, as unbelievable as it would seem, sadly, it has been the case for some mothers. But…

3. “I have not forgotten you” – God is saying that His love and care for us is even greater than a mother’s love. Infinitely greater. How so?…

4. “I have you engraved on the palms of my hands” – Here, I pictured the palms of my Savior’s Hands, which still bear the nail scars, pierced for me… And then…

5. “Your walls are continually before me.”  My situation and the circumstances that surround me, are continually before Him! Oh, Glory to God!!

Here it is in a nutshell…

God loves you, more than you can imagine, He has not forgotten you, and  your situation is continually, always, before Him.

Hold on.  :)

In The Boat With Us

As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples,Image result for stormy sea

“Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.”

So they took Jesus in the boat and started out,

And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea,

Insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves:

But Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat…

 His disciples came to Him, and awoke Him, saying,

Lord,… “Carest thou not that we perish?”

And He saith unto them,

Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?

Then He arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea;

And there was a great calm.

But the men marveled, saying,

What manner of man is this,

That even the winds and the sea obey Him!”

Matthew 8:25 and Mark 4:38

-As we “cross to the other side”, through the storms and trials of life,

Jesus cares.

He is “in the boat” with us.

He cares

and He will calm the sea.”

I Stand in Awe

“You are beautiful beyond description

Too marvelous for words
Too wonderful for comprehension
Like nothing seen or heard
Who can grasp Your infinite wisdom
Who can fathom the depth of Your love
You are beautiful beyond description
Majesty enthroned above

And I stand, I stand in awe of You
I stand, I stand in awe of You
Holy God to whom all praise is due

I stand, I stand in awe of You.”

-Hillsong

Heaven is for Real

Because Jesus said so;

“Let not your heart be troubled:

Ye believe in God, believe also in Me.

In my Father’s house are many mansions:

If it were not so, I would have told you.

I go to prepare a place for you.

And if I go and prepare a place for you,

I will come again, and receive you unto myself;

That where I am, there ye may be also,”

John 14:1-3

Delay Does Not Mean Denied

Waiting for an answer to prayer can be hard sometimes, but I’d just like to share that although it seems that there  may be a delay, it doesn’t mean that your request has been denied. In fact, it has been my experience that after what seemed to be a great delay, I was blessed far and away more than I was asking for in the first place! 

Here’s an example from  John 11:1-44

A request for healing is brought to Jesus. “…A certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha… Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.”

 Jesus responds with a delay. ” Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was.” Then, after finally arriving in Bethany, Lazarus having been dead 3 days, 

 Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead.  ” He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!”

And he who had died came out,,.. “

“Are you praying for something, and there seems to be a delay in receiving your answer? Just remember that God is working all things together for your good, and He is able to do “exceedingly abundantly above all that you may ask or think… So hold on, the answer’s on its way, and it promises to exceed your expectations!”  :)

In The Secret Place

“He that dwells  in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust.

Surely He shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.

He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou trust: His truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flies by day;

Nor for the pestilence that walks in darkness; nor for the destruction that wastes at noonday.

A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.

Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.

Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;

There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.

For He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.

They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.

Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.

Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.

He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honor him.

With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.”

Psalm 91

Unto You Is Born This Day, A Savior!

“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; You shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,”

                                            “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

          Luke 2:8-14

And It Came To Pass

nativity

“And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed…

And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.”

 Luke 2:1-6

 

I Love This Story! Please Read It

There was once a man who didn’t believe in God, and he didn’t hesitate to let others know how he felt about religious holidays like Christmas. His wife however, did believe, and she raised their children to also have faith in God and, His Son, Jesus, The Christ, despite her husband’s disparaging comments…

One snowy Christmas Eve, his wife was taking their children to a Christmas Eve service in the farm community in which they lived. She asked him to come, but he refused.  “That story is nonsense!” he said. “Why would God lower Himself to come to earth as a man? That’s ridiculous!” So she and the children left, and he stayed home.

A while later, the winds grew stronger and the snow turned into a blizzard. As the man looked out the window, all he saw was a blinding snowstorm.  He sat down to relax before the fire for the evening. Then he heard a loud thump. Something had hit the window. Then another thump. He looked out, but couldn’t see more than a few feet. When the snow let up a little, he ventured outside to see what could have been beating on his window. In the field near his house he saw a flock of wild geese.

Apparently they had been flying south for the winter when they got caught in the snowstorm and couldn’t go on. They were lost and stranded on his farm, with no food or shelter. They just flapped their wings and flew around the field in low circles, blindly and aimlessly. A couple of them had flown into his window, it seemed.

The man felt sorry for the geese and wanted to help them. The barn would be a great place for them to stay, he thought. It’s warm and safe; surely they could spend the night and wait out the storm. So he walked over to the barn and opened the doors wide, then watched and waited, hoping they would notice the open barn and go inside. But the geese just fluttered around aimlessly and didn’t seem to notice the barn or realize what it could mean for them. The man tried to get their attention, but that just seemed to scare them and they moved further away. He went into the house and came with some bread, broke it up, and made a breadcrumb trail leading to the barn. They still didn’t catch on.

Now he was getting frustrated. He got behind them and tried to shoo them toward the barn, but they only got more scared and scattered in every direction except toward the barn. Nothing he did could get them to go into the barn where they would be warm and safe.

“Why don’t they follow me?!” he exclaimed. “Can’t they see this is the only place where they can survive the storm?”  He thought for a moment and realized that they just wouldn’t follow a human. “If only I were a goose, then I could save them,” he said out loud.

Then he had an idea. He went into barn, got one of his own geese, and carried it in his arms as he circled around behind the flock of wild geese.  He then released it. His goose flew through the flock and straight into the barn–and one by one the other geese followed it to safety.

He stood silently for a moment as the words he had spoken a few minutes earlier replayed in his mind: “If only I were a goose, then I could save them!” Then he thought about what he had said to his wife earlier. “Why would God want to be like us? That’s ridiculous!”

Suddenly it all made sense. That is what God had done. We were like the geese–blind, lost, perishing. God had His Son Jesus, to become like us so He could show us the way and save us. That was the meaning of Christmas, he realized.

As the winds and blinding snow died down, his soul became quiet and pondered this wonderful thought. Suddenly he understood what Christmas was all about, why Christ, the Messiah had come. Years of doubt and disbelief vanished like the passing storm. He fell to his knees in the snow, and prayed his first prayer: “Thank You, Jesus, for coming in human form to get me out of the storm!”

Author Unknown

Season of Light- What to Know About This Year’s Overlapping Christmas and Hanukkah Holiday

Bundle up: Wednesday marks the winter solstice, the first day of winter and the day with the fewest hours of sunlight for the whole year. And in a few days, two holidays celebrating light will take place during the darkest time of year, when Hanukkah begins on Christmas Eve. The last time that this exact…

via What to Know About This Year’s Overlapping Christmas and Hanukkah Holidays — TIME

Between Now and Not Yet

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

You may not realize

You will often forget
That I have a plan for you
Between now and not yet

I have so much more for you
You focus so much on debt
I have plans for you to prosper
 Between  now and  not yet

You’ll walk through the valleys
And fear to take your next step
My plans are not to harm you
Between the now and the not yet

If you’ll slow down and take a breath
Take time to watch My sun set
It’s My plan to give you hope and a future
Between the  now and  the not yet

“The Plan I Know” by David Andrews 

Morning by Morning

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;

There is no shadow of turning with Thee,
Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not,
As Thou hast been,Thou forever wilt be.

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon, and stars in their courses above;
Join with all nature in manifold witness,
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy, and love.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today, and bright hope for tomorrow
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside.

-Thomas Chisholm

Through Trials

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet.

Only through experiences of trial and suffering

Can the soul be strengthened,

Vision cleared,

ambition inspired,

and success achieved.”

Helen Keller

“In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33

With Thanksgiving

“O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the Rock of our salvation.

Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto Him with psalms.

For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In His hand are the deep places of the earth:

the strength of the hills is His also.

The sea is His, and He made it: and His Hands formed the dry land. O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.”

Psalm 95:1-6

Bold

Proverbs 28:1 says,  “… the righteous are bold as a lion.”  and in Hebrews 4:16 we’re told to come boldly before God’s throne in prayer. This is what Caleb did.

You can read about Caleb in Joshua chapter 14 verses 7-14 , and interestingly enough, the name Caleb means “bold”. Here’s his story…

Caleb was 85 years old when the Israelites reached the promised land. He was one of only two men who had survived the 40 year wanderings in the desert. After being freed from slavery in Egypt, he and Joshua were chosen by Moses to spy out the land that God had promised them. There were 12 men in all, one for each tribe. When they returned from their travels, 10 of the spies were terrified, and reported that it would be impossible to defeat these cities because they considered themselves and  their own people to be too small in comparison.  But Joshua and Caleb believed that God had led them to this good land and had faith that He would give them the victory.

The people believed the 10 spies. God was angry with them and because of their unbelief, they would have to spend the next 40 years walking around the desert until they all died off, leaving only their children and grandchildren to be the ones who would inherit the promised land. But God honored the faith of Caleb and Joshua.

Joshua became the leader of his people after the death of Moses, leading them into the promised land, dividing the Jordan River, and marching onto victory in the battle of Jericho. Caleb now 85 years old had remained strong in faith, and courageous in battle. In the face of battle over the land that Moses had promised would be his inheritance, Caleb boldly responded, saying:

“… the LORD hath kept me alive, as He said, these forty and five years, even since the LORD spake His word to Moses, while the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness: and now lo, I am now eighty-five years old. As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: As my strength was then, even so is my strength now… Now therefore give me this mountain,… the LORD will be with me, then I will be able to drive (the inhabitants) out, as the LORD said…Hebron therefore became the inheritance of Caleb.”

He got what he wanted. Caleb was bold in his faith as a young man, and even as an old man. He knew that there was nothing too big to ask God for, and his boldness is evidence of that faith.

By faith, we are the righteousness of God in Christ, and “the righteous are as bold as a lion.”

You Can Count On It

true love

You can count on God’s Word.

If God said it, you can count on it to come to pass.

His Word is absolutely trustworthy.

God never breaks His Word.

In Him there are no broken promises.

“God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man that He should change His mind.”

“Does He speak and then not act?”

“Does He promise and not fulfill? “

Numbers 23:19 

On Life’s Path

“Preserve me, O God: for in You do I put my trust…

I will bless the LORD, who has given me counsel: my heart also instructs me

in the night seasons.

I have set the LORD always before me: because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices: my flesh also shall rest in hope…

You will show me the path of life:

In Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore.”

 Psalm 16

Turbulence

Image result for airplane

A few days ago, a friend of mine encouraged me with these words…

She said, “When a pilot is flying and sees turbulence ahead, he approaches it head on. He does not go around it, over it, or under it; he goes right through it. The pilot can’t see beyond the limited view of his cockpit, so he must rely totally on the instrument panel for guidance. He goes right through the turbulence, difficult as it may be, and presses through until he reaches the beautiful clear sky on the other side.”

This life, as we know, can bring us to turbulent times that cannot be avoided. We’d rather go around them, but we must press through. As we rely on and put our complete trust in the LORD, even when it gets rocky, He will lead us through to the beautiful clear skies on the other side.

Like Jabez

The bible says that Jabez, a descendant of Judah, was “more honorable than his brothers”and even though his mother named him Jabez (which means pain), he called out to the LORD and God heard him and gave him what he requested. 

This is not a story about getting everything we want, it’s actually an example that there’s always hope when we pray because no matter what we’ve been through, or what we’ve been called, as children of God, we have His eye.

 Jabez may not be as well known as Abraham or Moses but that’s just the point!  God’s love is there for the “little guys”too and the story of Jabez  reminds us that in Christ, each of us is special and uniquely significant. He cares for us and will answer when we pray.

“Jabez  called out to the God of Israel, saying,

“If only You would greatly bless me, and enlarge my territory. Let Your hand be with me,

and keep me from harm, so that I might not suffer pain.”

And God granted what he asked.” 

 I Chronicles 4:10-TLV

The Garden


garden
I come to the garden alone.

While the dew is still on the roses.

And the voice I hear,

Falling on my ear,

The Son of God discloses.

He speaks and the sound of His voice,

Is so sweet the birds hush their singing.

And the melody that He gives to me

Within my heart is ringing!

And He walks with me,

And He talks with me,

And He tells me I am His own!

And the joy we share…

As we tarry there…

None other has ever known.

-Charles Austin Miles

A Time of Reckoning

“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time, are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18

To reckon, is to establish by counting or calculation, and today, as I struggle with  pain and limitations as I recover from surgery, I am reminded that, in calculating the number of difficulties and painful events that have occurred in my life, I am encouraged and inspired to think of what God has in store for those who love Him, those who are called according to his purpose. Paul, in reckoning all of his pain and suffering, just lays it out there for us in II Corinthians 11:24-27; “… five times received I forty stripes save one. I was beaten three times with rods, stoned once, three times I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by my own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, (that’s me today, lol ), in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.”

I don’t suppose that many of us can say that we’ve suffered to this extent, and I’m in no way trying to belittle anyone else’s experience, yet Paul kept moving forward and I’m so glad that he did because during these tremendous hardships, He wrote most of the epistles of the New Testament. Most of them from prison. In light of all of this, and considering the hardships that we may be facing, we too can reckon that none of it compares to the glory that shall be revealed in us, as we, like Paul, keep moving forward and looking up…

Elected

“Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes.” Ephesians 1:4

“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own; that you should show forth the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light”  I Peter 2:9

“You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that you should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever you shall ask of the Father in My Name, He may give it to you.” John 15:16

Double For Your Trouble

There isn’t anything that we go through, that hasn’t first been permitted by God. This may be a little hard to accept sometimes, but it’s true, and in the end we’ll see that it was only allowed for our good… And that’s not all.

When it’s all over, the Lord will bless you in such a way that you receive “double for your trouble”, and sometimes even more.

Remember when the LORD told Abraham, way back in the beginning before Sarah was even pregnant, that he would be the father of a huge nation and this nation would be slaves in a foreign land, and that they would be there for over 400 years, but He would deliver them with a mighty Hand and they would come out with great substance?( Meaning they would come out with great riches.) Well 400 years of slavery is a long time for people to spend working for no pay, and the bible says that the morning after the first Passover, the Egyptians just started giving the Hebrews anything they wanted and they “spoiled” the Egyptians. Psalm 105:37 says, “He brought them forth also (out of Egypt), with silver and gold.”  And we all know the story of Job who, after he had so tremendously suffered, received twice as much of all that he had before.

Think about it. Hasn’t God brought you out of trouble and then blessed you? It could be that He blessed you monetarily, or restored your health, or blessed your family, or even blessed you with wisdom, in preparation for the blessings yet to come.

In Isaiah 61:7, the LORD says, ” For your shame you shall have double...” and if God says it, that settles it!

So if you’re going through a rough time right now, be encouraged…

You’re gonna be blessed DOUBLE FOR YOUR TROUBLE!!!!

God of Angel Armies

I know who goes before me
I know who stands behind
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

The one who reigns forever
He is a friend of mine
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

You hear me when I call, You are my morning song
Though darkness fills the night, It cannot hide the light

You crush the enemy, Underneath my feet
You are my sword and shield, Though troubles linger still

Whom shall I fear?

My strength is in Your name, For You alone can save
You will deliver me, Yours is the victory

I know who goes before me, I know who stands behind
The God of angel armies, Is always by my side

The one who reigns forever, He is a friend of mine
The God of angel armies, Is always by my side

And nothing formed against me shall stand
You hold the whole world in Your hands
I’m holding on to Your promises… You are faithful

I know who goes before me, I know who stands behind
The God of angel armies, Is always by my side

The one who reigns forever, He is a friend of mine
The God of angel armies, Is always by my side

The God of angel armies, Is always by my side.

From Chris Tomlin’s “Whom Shall I Fear”

In Oceans Deep

Image result for ocean

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise… My soul will rest in your embrace

For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and you won’t start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

-Hillsong  “Oceans”