Today's Blessing

An enormous group of people came up against an impossible situation. With the Red Sea before them and an army fast approaching behind them, certain death stared them down. All of a sudden - God intervened. Throughout the night strong winds blew and the Red Sea parted. They had a dry path to cross over. “Do you need a miracle today?”

Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. Exodus 14:13 (NIV)

 

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Silent Night, Holy Night.

Christ is born.

A week or two before the holidays, I try to read the Christmas story everyday; I don’t want to miss a fresh thought.

Today, I marvelled at Joseph.

He had already chosen Mary to be his bride and was looking forward to a life with his love. She accepted his proposal, and no doubt, she too was looking forward to being with him. Perhaps they even expressed their desire of future hopes and dreams … how many children, where they would live … regular stuff.

Life was very normal in Nazareth. For a young engaged couple, neither of them expected anything out of the ordinary.

Imagine with me the scene, when Mary brings Joseph the words from the angel. Unprecedented news. The Bible says, “while he (Joseph) thought about these things”, an angel of the Lord also appeared to him in a dream.

There are two things I took away from my reading this morning.

Firstly, Joseph didn’t panic. He pondered the news from Mary, then went to sleep. That is amazing, considering her disclosure. Secondly, while resting, the angel confirmed in a dream what Mary had told him.

How kind of our Lord.

Understanding how hard it would be to believe such a story, God came through for Joseph and settled his mind … and … He comes through for us too; helping us with things not understandable.

This Christmas, do not panic.

Have a peaceful rest each night, knowing … for unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.  And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye 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: 11-14 (KJV)

 Silent Night. Holy Night.

Christ is born … let us rejoice!

 Today’s Prayer:

 “Dear Heavenly Father, what a plan! Thank you for sending your son to such a willing couple … teach us to obey you as they did … be it unto us according to your word”.

 

 

 

Mama's Blessings (12)

Dear Mom,

Imagine the shepherd’s surprise on the night of Jesus’ birth. They were simply watching their sheep, like all the other nights, when suddenly everything changed. Kind of like a mother – doing ordinary things on an ordinary day…when, out-of-the-night-sky an angel started speaking, hosts of angels began singing, the “ordinary” became “extraordinary.” Do you need God to suddenly break into your day with an unexpected miracle? Watch for Him.

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests. (Luke 2:13,14, NIV)

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I love Mary and one day I will meet her.

Right now she is with Jesus, her earthly Son – the Lamb of God who took away the sin of the world – what a story.

Mary’s resolved willingness to obey the angel’s announcement in Matthew 1-2 and Luke 2 is so admirable. I enjoy reading the details.

During her visitation by the angel, you don’t read these common responses: “you can’t mean me? Are you sure there isn’t someone else? Have you talked to Joseph? My parents? I don’t think I could handle the looks, the shame, and the disbelief of my peers. How could I explain the baby within me is God’s son? I don’t think I could do what you’re asking. It’s too much”.

No, sweet Mary didn’t say any of those statements, questions we may have asked if given the same assignment. Her humble surrender to fulfill this unprecedented plan is remarkable. I marvel at her readiness to obey.

“Mary answered. May it be to me as you have said”. Luke 1:28

That’s it.

She didn’t ask any other details. Nor did she ask the angel to give her a plan as to how to raise the Son of God or explain other mysteries.

She simply said, “may it be to me as you have said”.

There is always sweet relief in silent surrender.

Dear reader, perhaps you are disappointed in how 2016 has gone. There were no manuals for the unexpected challenges that arose.

Allow me to encourage you today, the past is ancient history. Look forward to tomorrow! Everything you need for 2017 is found in the baby Jesus – who came to literally “save us”.

Like Mary, trust in God today and let Him look after all your tomorrows.

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this”. Isaiah 9:6,7 (NIV)

Today’s Prayer:

“Sweet Saviour of mine, thank you for coming to earth as a baby. In 2017, would you be my Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace? I surrender everything to You”.

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Dear Mom,

When the angel Gabriel came to the elderly priest Zechariah saying that his prayer had been heard, he was puzzled. Having long since given up praying for a son, he had moved on. Sweet Mom, have you given up on a long-awaited prayer request? What’s amazing about this story is: when you make a request to God, your prayer is logged in heaven. I simply love that thought. Watch for God to answer your prayers … Merry Christmas!

“… Do not be afraid Zechariah; your prayer has been heard, your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son …”. Luke 1:13

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Dear Mom,

If you are completely burnt out – often up until the wee hours of the morning trying to accomplish all your tasks, I pray that God renews your strength today. The Bible says when we are weak and completely spent, He is so incredibly strong. In a sense, we absorb the strength of the Lord. Sweet mom, God is looking after you – rest earlier tonight and sleep well – He is watching over you.

“In vain you rise early and stay up late … for he grants sleep to those He loves”. Psalm 127:2

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Dear Mom,

During this fall season, once again, the climate shifts and I am reminded that nothing on earth stays the same. I never liked much change as a young mom; I found it too disruptive in my family’s routine, however, change is like an avalanche – impossible to hold back. I’ve learned, despite what is happening around me, I can place my trust in God, the Changeless One. He’s kept me steady for decades, talk to Him about anchoring you too.

“Be still, and know that I am God …”. Psalm 46:10

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Dear Mom,

While out for a walk in the middle November, in Canada, I saw the, “Last rose of summer,” literally. Here was a lone rose, blooming so beautifully, tucked in close to the brick of a house. Even after some driving rain, crippling frost, and cold weather, this little rose held on. You can hold on too, sweet mom. You are like the rose, and no doubt, have had to bloom in the worst of circumstances. Despite whatever adversity is facing you today – remember the rose – you can make it.

I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. (Matthew28:20, KJV)

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Dear Mom,

Suddenly, God can swoop in and change everything. Always keep hopeful in your situation. You just never know when God will say “enough” and sweet mom when He says “enough” then the trial is over. I’m waiting for answers to prayer. Are you? I know God will answer – why? because He cares. He’s a good Father. He wants to respond to us – our part is to respond to Him. To trust Him. He’s working things out.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take”. Proverbs 3:5,6

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Dear Mom,

Sometimes we walk by faith; like flying through clouds in an aircraft. All of the sudden the blue sky disappears; we cannot see around us or even in the distance. Maybe we start to question our route and consider grabbing the controls; oh sweet Mom, I encourage you today, leave the driving to Him who is professional – Father God. Let us not interfere with how He is doing things – He is in control. God sees clearly up ahead and knows the way perfectly. Trust Him. He is with you. You are safe in His hands.

“Trust in the Lord at all times …”. Psalm 62:8

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Dear Mom,

During this fall season, once again, the climate shifts and I am reminded that nothing on earth stays the same. I never liked change as a young mom; I found it too disruptive in my family’s routine, however, change is like an avalanche – impossible to hold back. I’ve learned, despite what is happening around me, I can place my trust in God, the Changeless One. He’s kept me steady for decades – talk to Him about anchoring you too.

Be still, and know that I am God. (Psalm 46:10, KJV)

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