A Voice Calling

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Just a few days ago, my daughter asked me what I would like for Christmas. At this point, it is a no brainer for me – “my calendar”. You know the one – the cheap one in which you rip off a page each day to reveal the next day. But it can’t be any calendar – no, it has to be one which has a Scripture for each day.

It has been years now that I have loved my calendars. There is something so special which occurs as I read the Scriptures on each page and come to the realization that He sees me and knows me intimately.

I’m on a life journey right now, not of my choosing. Actually, none of us chose it. But we’re journeying with Him and He is enough for each day.

How is it that He can take Advent readings, calendars and current situations and weave them together in such a way to me more of Him?

It’s absolutely humbling. It truly is!

On this journey, there were decisions to be made. Hard ones at that. And here is what I have learned in the last few days ….

“Listen! It’s the voice of someone shouting, “Clear the way through the wilderness for the Lord! Make a straight highway through the wasteland for our God!”
(Isaiah 40:3, NLT)

When in the wilderness, He makes a straight way – a highway – for us to travel.

And we come through.

Know why we come through? Have you ever wondered? I have and I discovered it is not just for my comfort or ease. Although it is a part of it, a very small part to be sure. To find the rest of the story, we must continue to read …

“Fill in the valley, and level the mountains and hills. Straighten the curves, and smooth out the rough places. THEN the glory of the of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together.” (verses 4-5, NLT)

He brings us through so that we will see His glory revealed.

We’ll see it together. And we will know -

He. Is. God.

Alone.

 

Today I am joining …. Thought Provoking Thursday and Coffee for Your Heart and Hearts for Home and Titus 2 Tues. .

Lessons From Rudolph

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This is an edited repost from a previous Christmas …..

 

RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER

He was slightly different from the others. From the beginning, he stood apart from the others. Distinct.

Rudolph the red nosed reindeer. Had a very shiny nose.

That particular difference became the source of much teasing. He never did feel much like the others. Wasn’t even sure that he would ever find a place to fit in, to be accepted for who he was. Just the way he was.

All of the other reindeer, used to laugh and call him names. They never let poor Rudolph, join in any reindeer games.

He was always on the outside, looking in. Yet never able to enjoy the activities with the others. For he was different. Set apart.

If you remember the story, he finds himself in a strange place – The Island of the Misfit Toys. It was a land of exile for all the broken toys. For the ones that were different. The toys which were thought would never, or could never, bring joy to children.

It is there, while in exile, that Rudolph discovers his worth, the purpose to which he was always created.

Then one foggy Christmas Eve.

Often in life, we can be much like Rudolph. Placed in obscurity. Moses found himself, there as did Joseph and Paul and others in Scripture. Perhaps it is when we find ourselves visiting “the island of misfit toys”, we discover the very reason we have been positioned here in life.

For it was there, Rudolph found he was most needed. He had been positioned for a task that he, and he alone, was equipped to do.

Rudolph with your nose so bright, won’t you guide my sleigh tonight?

The source of his shame and embarrassment was the very thing would become the source of blessing for so many. His shiny nose was the distinction he had been provided so that he could fulfill his purpose.

Here are three lessons I learned from Rudolph lately:

  • God created us to be different. In reading 1 Corinthians 12, He purposely created us differently so that nothing would be lacking in the church. When we negate or omit or overlook some, we are hurting the cause for which we are in community. Interestingly, Paul states, “On the contrary, parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable.” (1 Corinthians 12:22).
  • Comparison is a killer. Again from Paul. we are told, “When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.” (2 Corinthians 10:12b).
  • We are trained in obscurity for the tasks we will do publicly. Obscurity is painful. But perhaps, it is the very place that we are trained to handle those times we are visible. Obscurity helps us to keep a proper perspective of ourselves. More so, we learn valuable lessons in the dark that remain engraved in our hearts forever. For it is there that we learn, like Rudolph, to embrace those traits that make us different. It is then we know the purpose for which we have been called.

 

Today I am joining …. Three Word Wednesday and Tell His Story and Wedded Wednesday and Works For Me and Coffee & Conversation .

In the Midst …

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I wake early, grab a mug of hot coffee and head to read as I so need to fill and nourish my soul.

Countless times, in the natural realm, I have asked family, “What would you like to eat?” Yet many times, I come to His Table not knowing for certain what it is I need. Such was the case this morning.

“One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers – Simon, also called Peter, and Andrew – throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living. Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for real people!”  And they left their nets at once and followed him.” (Matthew 4:18-20, NLT)

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I have already read these verses several times this morning and the words keep jumping off the page, filling me with exactly that which I needed at this very moment:

  • Jesus sees us. Jesus saw two brothers. Their names are given to us. As Jesus walked along each day, He took note of those around Him. We do not go unnoticed by our Savior. Peter and Andrew were working, going about their normal, perhaps mundane day. And Jesus saw them. Jesus sees us in the midst of our everyday routines.
  • Jesus calls to us. Peter and Andrew were busy and may not have even noticed Jesus watching them. Jesus calls to them. Did He call them by name? Did He shout to them? We don’t know but we know this … Jesus called out to them in the midst of while they were doing what they did each day – they fished for a living. And Jesus will call out to each of us in the midst of our everyday routines.
  • Jesus want to show us how to live. These were experienced fishermen who knew all about how to go about doing what they knew to do. Yet Jesus says to them, “I will show you how….”. He wants to show us how to live with purpose and with passion so that our lives bear fruit for His glory. Jesus wants to show us how to live each day in the midst of our everyday routines.

I came to His Table this morning not knowing what I needed.

And He met me in the midst of my everyday routine.

Jesus saw.

Jesus called.

Jesus showed me.

“Come!”

 

Today I am joining with … Testimony Tuesday and Teaching What Is Good and Unite and Titus 2 Tues. and True Story .

May We Grow

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then-came-Jesus-paperback-772x1024Last week I finished up the second week of Advent readings. It has been a wonderful time of study and reflection over at Hello Mornings. We are currently doing the study, Then Came Jesus.

During the readings, this is where I found my thoughts:

  • Tears rolled at the description of Simeon – “he was righteous and devout and was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel” (Luke 2:25, NLT). And because he was postured in such a way, the Holy Spirit not only revealed things to him but fulfilled them in his life. What if that was each of us? Seriously. What would happen in me, in you, if we were righteous and devout and eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue us?
  • We each will have a reaction to Jesus. “King Herod was deeply disturbed” (Matthew 2:3, NLT) while “the wise men entered and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him” (Matthew 2:10, NLT). What will your reaction be? 649px-The_visit_of_the_wise-men(credit)
  • In his anger, Herod makes a rash and violent decision – “He sent soldiers to kill all the boys in and around Bethlehem who were two years old and under” (Matthew 2:16, NLT). Good, wise or healthy decisions are never made in the heat of the moment. Even for ourselves, may we wait until our anger dissipates.
  • There were many moves made by this little family. Another move, another town, and another prophecy fulfilled. Amazing to me that while Mary bore and delivered Jesus, Joseph was just as vital in His life. It was Joseph who continued to be told or warned by angels or dreams where to go in order to keep safe. Our children need parents who are involved in their upbringing and hear from God.
  • In Luke 2:40 (NLT), Jesus is referred to as “the child” who “grew up healthy and strong. He was filled with wisdom, and God’s favor was on him.” In verse 52 (NLT) it says, “Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all people.” Jesus continued to grow throughout His life. He gained spiritual insight (as we see in His sitting and listening and asking questions of the religious teachers in the Temple). He also grew in His awareness of His relationship with God. He knew what His earthly mission was to be and did not lose sight of that.

May we also continue to grow in Him until we “become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13, NIV). 

 

Today I am joining with … Playdates with God and Unforced Rhythms and Mon. Musings and Create With Joy and Making Your Home Sing and Soul Survival .

Prepare

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I’m joining Kate Motaung for Five Minute Friday. One word prompt. Five minutes. No editing. Lots of women. All of us writing on that same word.

Today the word prompt is ….. Prepare.

Our desire is to prepare for Christmas. We address cards, decorate, buy gifts, wrap gifts, hide gifts {{yeah, much goes on surrounding gifts!}}, bake, and more.

I am beginning to wonder if we truly ever feel ALL prepared.

This year, by any simple and probably normal assessment, I am far from prepared.

I have only addressed, maybe two cards. My house is not yet decorated. No wreaths hung at all yet. Tree is still not finished. And so the other day, I posted a picture on Facebook of my favorite corner of my house …

photo-9Truth be known, it’s the only corner that is prepared. Here is what hit me ….

While I am yet not prepared, I have never been MORE prepared for Christmas than I am this year!

As I have been reading familiar Scriptures and looking and anticipating Christmas. I have noticed Jesus in the midst of my days this month. He has woven His way into my thoughts and my heart is readied. Each heart must prepare room for Him. No one can do that for you.

The funny thing about heart preparation – it requires no purchase. Nothing more is needed than giving Him time and adoration.

“Joy to the World, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room.”

Today I am joining with …. Five Minute Friday and Everyday Jesus and Fellowship Friday and Friendship Friday .

Winnie & Wonder

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I have a confession to make – I am late in decorating our house this year. Our tree finally has the lights on it and maybe about a dozen ornaments but it still is standing very incomplete.

Yesterday I thought it would be fun, or interesting at best, to attempt to do some decorating with Jocelyn. After hanging the few ornaments, she became frustrated at needing help to get them to stay on, so we moved onto stringing the stair rails with lights and beads and bows.

And then it happened …..

Jocelyn opened the box and this little guy was on the top ….

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All her sense of helping me decorate was lost! She had a new friend. To add to her excitement, when Winnie’s paw is squeezed, he sings and claps his cymbals.

I will readily admit, all sense of decorating, even for me, was lost as I watched Jocelyn’s complete joy and wonder ….

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And then her laughter as she let him clap her finger between his cymbals …

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There is nothing as beautiful as the look of wonder on the face of a child.

This morning I am remembering the wonder and astonishment of a few others:

“The star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw, they were filled with joy! They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed and worshiped him.” (Matthew 2:9-11, NLT)

These wise men were in wonder of all they beheld that night.

The Baby in a manger.

I desire eyes filled with the wonder of Him.

Today I am joining … Thought Provoking Thurs. and Coffee for Your Heart and Hearts for Home and Thurs. Favorite Things .

My Christmas List

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I went through my teenage years listening to Amy Grant & Kathy Troccoli music. Loved them both! So it should not come as a surprise that one of my favorites Christmas songs is on Amy Grant’s Christmas CD. I have loved this song for years. Even at other times of the year, this song speaks to my heart.

Here’s my life long wish, My grownup Christmas list. Not for myself but for a world in need.

I do not think there has ever been a time where I have been more aware of the brokenness which is in our world. In our lives. And it is into our brokenness that our Savior broke in that first Christmas. Or perhaps He broke open our brokenness.

No more lives torn apart, that wars would never start and time would heal all hearts.

Time does not heal all hearts. But the Babe in the manger did come for that very reason. “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” (Psalm 147:3). He, Himself, dresses our wounds, bandages our hearts so that we do not hemorrhage.

Everyone would have a friend.

It is at this time of year, loneliness is most on display. May those who are alone experience the truth that we have a friend that sticks closer than a brother (Prov.18:24). The Life born in the stable came to bring life and to call us His friend.

Right would always win and Love would never end.

Right will always win. One day He will right all wrongs. And in the meantime, we keep loving others. Loving Him. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.Love never ends.” (1 Corinthians 13:7-8, ESV).

Perhaps our Christmas Wish List should look more like this: jesus%27+christmas+list“He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8, NIV).

May this song by Amy Grant bless deeply today!

*This is an edited & repost from last year.

 

Today I am joining with …. Three Word Wed. and Tell His Story and Wedded Wed. and Works For Me and Coffee & Conversation and Wed. Prayer Girls .