Today's Blessing

The Euro Soccer matches are exciting. Tens of thousands in the stands to watch a few on the field. Did you know the Bible talks about “witnesses” in the stands too? We are the “live players” and those in the stands, well, I’ve always pictured them cheering us on. In fact, I can visualize my grandpa’s face in the crowd and hear him “keep going” and I do.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. (Hebrews 12:1, NKJV)

 

I love starting a new year. It’s fresh and full of promise – a miracle.

“Miracles are supernatural events that supersedes natural laws.”

Do you need a few of these this year?

Last week I drove by a familiar intersection and a memory came flooding back. Let me tell you about a miracle …

Many years ago, my young son and I had made the hour drive to Costco. I finished my shopping, we hopped in the car and drove through the subdivision weaving our way back to the main road. I noticed the light was red at the intersection; I pulled up, put on my signal and waited for the green light to proceed.

What happened next was an event that superseded natural laws.

The light turned green and I didn’t move. I sat there like a stone. I remember thinking, “What am I doing? The light is green”. Within a split second, a car like a bullet – sped through the red light.

I gasped.

Had I simply moved forward when the light turned green, I would have been hit. Considering the speed the other car was going, I doubt my son and I would have survived the impact; leaving behind my husband and our other four children.

As I made a slow left, I was so shaken, I couldn’t drive. I pulled off to the side of the road. “Dear Jesus, you just saved my life, our lives. You made me stop on a green and kept me there until the car passed. Thank you, Jesus.”

Maybe this new year you are looking for a miracle.

You need one.

A supernatural event that supersedes natural laws.

Allow me to encourage you today; if a personal God watches when lights turn green and keeps you stopped to save your life – then dear one, He sees you too – as you are stopped – because you are in desperate need of a miracle.

Jesus coming to earth – is a miracle. His death on a cross in the prime of His life for us – is a miracle.

God is full of miracles – and I believe He has one for you in 2020!

We can’t make God do anything, that would be a foolish presumption, but we can trust Him in everything and ask with faith believing – for a supernatural event that supersedes natural laws – a miracle.

“For with God nothing will be impossible”. Luke 1:37 (NKJV) 

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Dear Mom,

This year is almost in the history books and what’s done is done. The good news is: you can start fresh tomorrow and to ensure change, commit to forgetting the past – both good and bad. The good has a tenacity to make us proud, and the bad, well, that can keep us miserable. Commit to letting last year go and looking ahead to tomorrow. I pray for an extraordinary, victorious, successful, surprised-with-God’s-goodness, kind of year! “Lord, let it be so! Amen.”

But I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead. (Philippians 3:13, NLT)

Do Not Worry

The Bible says not to worry about anything.

Ponder that for a moment.

Not-to-worry-about-anything.

That’s intense.

My Mom heard a quote once and when she detects worry in herself (or me!) she says, “Worry is needless, useless and godless”. She’s right.

Worry zaps the life out of good moments and sucks the happiness out of everything.

I conclude, worry is deadly.

According to an article by Earl Nightingale, “The Fog of Worry” he sums it up by saying that 40% of the things we worry about never happen. We worry over our past, things that can’t be changed; which he says accounts for a whopping 30% of our worries, health worries come in at 12%, miscellaneous worries 10%, which brings us to real worries at 8%!

I think you get the picture. Worry is needless, useless and godless, especially if we are believers in Jesus and have the assurance of Psalm 23, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want …”.

Of late, I’ve been meditating on this scripture.

“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things”. Philippians 4:4-8

Pretty well sums it up doesn’t it?

Rejoice, be gentle, the Lord is near. Don’t be anxious, ever. When you pray, present your requests to God and thank Him – the answers are on the way. When you pray God’s way, peace will flood your soul, protecting your heart and mind. Think on things you know are true, decent, moral and pure. Whatever things are lovely and are delightful to hear about, are honourable and admirable – meditate on those things.

Such a good portion of scripture to memorize and to speak out loud, sometimes very loud … try it the next time you’re tempted to worry.

Today’s Prayer

“Dear Heavenly Father, forgive me for worrying. You are God and I am not. I am yours and you are mine. Truly, I have nothing to worry about”.

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The Night Everything Changed

As darkness fell, nothing was out-of-the-ordinary. The shepherds were in the fields with their sheep, possibly reclining with their back against a rock (uncomfortable!) – watching, like every other night.

Can you imagine their surprise, when right before their slumbering eyes an angel appeared? And I wonder why to them? During the last week, there were lots of important people milling around Bethlehem. The king had decreed a worldwide census; which meant, everyone had to make the trek back to the town of their birth to be counted. Can you imagine the chaos across the country with everyone on the move?

No doubt the shepherds were content to simply be in the fields away from the hustle and bustle in town.

And “suddenly” the angel revealed to lowly shepherds …

the greatest birth announcement ever!

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord”. Luke 2:11

“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 2:13

Literally, the sky burst forth in angelic chorus with a “multitude” singing – announcing the birth of the Christ child.

No one expected anything to change on the –

“night everything changed”.

I wished I could have been there.

I love it when God brings about a “suddenly!”

Do you need a “suddenly” this Christmas? An answer to prayer that “suddenly” bursts out of nowhere?

Allow me to encourage you today – trust in God with all your heart and don’t try to figure everything out, be anxious for nothing, pray about everything – and watch for God’s “suddenly”.

The angel Gabriel said to Mary, “nothing is impossible with God” and indeed, a short while later the scripture was fulfilled, “and she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger …” (Luke 2:7)

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Be encouraged this Christmas. Immanuel, “God is with us”, He sees you, cares for you and came for you!

Today’s Prayer:

“Dear Heavenly Father, I am watching for my “suddenly”. You can do more than I can think or even imagine and I trust in you today … nothing is impossible with you”.

 

 I have many favourite verses, and this is one of them: “But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart”.

Can you imagine all the things Mary had to ponder? All the things she had to think about and mull over and couldn’t tell anyone? From the moment of this unprecedented conception, until Jesus, her son’s, resurrection – her heart must have overflowed with questions, queries, misunderstandings, wonderings, unexplainable happenings, so many day-to-day’s that she didn’t understand – and all she could do was – ponder.

How do I explain to the other children that Jesus’ father is really God?

Will my other kids accept the fact that Jesus is divine?

Do I treat the ‘Son of God’ different than my other children?

How do I raise this child? This promised child. God’s Son?

Why did God choose me, I wonder?

Am I up for the task?

Remember, Mary had no idea what was in store for this Son of hers. She didn’t receive the whole picture. When the angel asked her to take part in this unprecedented plan, she simply said – yes, without knowing, one day her heart would be crushed to pieces.

Mary just lived, ordinarily. Doing day to day stuff. Just like you and me.

But, she pondered. The Bible says, she ‘pondered and treasured’ all these things in her heart.

So how can we apply that scripture?

Pondering gives you time to speak respectively and intelligently… rather than, well you know… losing it and letting useless words flow like a river. Therefore, pondering is a virtue! An asset worth striving for!

And ‘treasuring’, I love that phrase. That means, all those beautiful life moments, the ‘treasure filled ones’ – we simply tuck them away in our heart for sweet reflection.

Mary. She’s in heaven right now, sweet Mary. She’s worshipping the very Child she bore on that Christmas morn. And, soon, those of us who acknowledge Jesus as the Saviour of the world, we will be worshipping Him too.

He’s coming again! Soon!

Merry Christmas!

Recently, I had the great joy and privilege of being present at the birth of my son and daughter-in-law’s fifth child.

As I witnessed this precious soul, labouring to bring forth another child – I thought of the young Mary. Did she too experience labour pains? Did she too, almost die – to give birth? Or was it somehow divine? Did Joseph deliver this Christ child? This Child of promise? No doubt he had never witnessed a birth. How did he even know what to do? Was there another mother close by that helped? Did he rummage through their things, to find “swaddling” clothes? Did he look around and quickly clean out a cow’s feeder, the manager – to place his newborn son? I wonder…

So many ponderings of that first Christmas.

What we do know is, Mary lived through the birthing process and Jesus was born. Certainly not with the pomp deserving of a King, but humbly, quietly – exactly like He comes to us today.

And today, Jesus still speaks. “I was born. And 33 years later, I died. For you. To take away your sins. To reconcile you back to a Holy God.”

His question to us is: “Will you love me back? Will you live for me? Will you trust me even when my ways are puzzling?”

Heart searching questions as we close out 2019 and begin another year, another decade.

My answer is: “Yes, Jesus! A thousand times YES! I will love you back. I will trust You and live for You! Yes, yes, Jesus!”

You can make that your commitment for 2020! Or… make that promise to the Lord today!

“Yes, Yes, Jesus! Thank you for Christmas… for coming… I choose YOU!”

 

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Dear Mom,

Miriam was a very courageous mother of the Bible. Completely hiding her baby boy from tyrants, she devised a plan to save her son. It worked. Her little boy was rescued by a queen and grew up in a palace. In fact, he changed the course of history – his name was Moses. Dear sweet mom, you never know what God has in store for YOUR child. Pray, be wise and stay strong for your children.

And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart”. Galatians 6:9 

 

 

 

 

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Dear Mom,

God knows the secrets of the heart. Everything you have ever done or even thought of doing, God is aware; there is no hiding from Him. He loves us sweet mom, regardless of our failures and foolish choices. I know it’s hard for our minds to comprehend that Jesus simply forgives us when we ask. He is so kind and merciful. As this old year draws to a close and a new year stretches before us – put the past in the past and mark “ancient history”.  Receive Christ’s forgiveness and move on.  Jesus can make us “whiter than snow”.

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”. 1 John 1:9

 

Dear Mom,

Know today you are set apart by God. To be “set apart” means you are not ordinary, not just another mother on the roster of life. God has no favourites and regardless of your mistakes, in His eyes, you are number one. Sometimes you may feel inadequate, or not up for the task; allow me to encourage you today, YOU have what it takes. You are called, anointed and equipped; with God on your side, you can be an exceptional mom!

“The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease”. Lamentations 3: 22.23

 

Dear Mom,

Whenever you are not focused on your immediate task “pray”; which in simple terms means “commune with God”. Develop the habit of conversing, mulling over situations and asking God’s opinion on all matters. You will find your personal relationship with God maturing, your faith strengthened and a trust developing in your Creator which cannot be shaken. I pray this for you. Talk to your Father which is in heaven … often … throughout your day – such sweet communion.

“Pray without ceasing …”. 1 Thessalonians 5:17

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