Personally Speaking

December 21

Anticipation

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God. Romans 8:28


Being the afterthought, well actually accident, in my parents lives I am much younger than my siblings. They were all off to college or married and living out of town by the time I was eleven years old. The Christmas holidays was filled with joyful anticipation as I anticipated the homecoming of each of them. Christmas morning was also filled with anticipation...waiting and wondering when they would wake up so we could open our presents! Now I'm on the parental/grandparent end of anticipating my children coming home! Three down and a bunch to come!

Having a "Mary" moment I began to think about what was on her mind as the time neared for her to deliver her first child. She was off on a donkey adventure with no family to support her, only Joseph who had to be filled with a bit of anxiety himself for the babe he would be delivering wasn't even his own child. They didn't have a Bible in their back pack to pull out for encouragement or an IPOD to stick in and pipe praise music into their hearts. What they did have was the remembrance of an angel's visit and a faith of their fathers' and proclamations from prophets. Our resources for growing our faith and increasing our knowledge of Christ are enormous. Hopefully, we will allow our faith to grow and be filled with enthusiasm (which means with God) as we anticipate all He can be and do in our lives.


PT

Lord, oh Lord, how majestic is Your name. As we anticipate our days on earth there can be a sense of insecurity reflecting on the unknowns. There is comfort in the fact that You know the road ahead and promise to walk it with us. The great comfort clause is the hope of heaven and security of what Christ came here to do guarantees us entrance to an eternal life beyond any of our expectations. May we utilize our faith to spill over and sure up the doubts of those with less certainty. What a gift we have to give. In Jesus' Name, Amen

December 20

What to do?

We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you. 2 Chronicles 20:12


Opening my emails this morning I had to reread the prayer request of a friend three times to grasp the reality of the message. Her neighbor's son in law shot himself yesterday while his wife and two teenage sons were at church. The grief this family is facing is devastating. As I closed my eyes to pray for them the Lord placed upon my heart how easy it is for us to not see the depth of pain or need in others. A cheerful word, touch of a hand upon a back, unexpected note or call, invitation to include someone in lunch or an outing can make the difference in a person's day. Not everyone is jolly this season. Our need to be loved and desire to give good gifts to those we love can bring consequences which leave us feeling hopeless. When we don't know what to do we can turn to God who does know.


PT

Lord, you lavished love upon us through the gift of Your Son, but the world tells us that is not enough. In the mighty name of Jesus we tell the devil to flee from tormenting the minds of people and making them feel hopeless. Let Your message ring loud and clear, not only from ministries, but from each of our mouths. May we speak hope and joy to everyone we meet. Let us proclaim that even though finances may not be what we want, Jesus’ love is more than sufficient. Guard our mouths Lord, nudge us with Your Holy Spirit to be sensitive in what we say for we do not know what goes on behind closed doors in others’ lives. Lord, we treasure time with family but there seems to be much pain and loss...death, deployment, divorce, drugs dependency, bringing burdens to so many. Strengthen those left behind as well as those who suffer or who feel so lonely. Show us where to minister Father and find us faithful to act. Draw us all closer to You and therein find our peace. In Jesus’ name, Amen

December 18-19

Do It My Way

This past year I had to succumb to wearing glasses full time.

The ophthalmologist told me I would most likely want to try contacts. Ha, I laughed, "I can't even put a drop in my eye. There is no way I will be able to put in a contact lens." Time has passed and

my grandson doesn't like my glasses, they stay dirty, I can no longer wear my kool sunglasses and I've already sat on them and broken them once. I figured if I was able to give birth naturally six times, I could certainly learn to put in a contact, so I made an appointment. Forget that! Giving birth is much easier!


With my mouth wide open (that seems to make my eyes open wider as well) I became terribly frustrated yesterday. My mind flashed back to the nurse who was trying to teach me to do this. Oh, the patience that woman must have with her contact patients! The instructions had been laid before me to insert the right contact with the right index finger and the left with the left.

Sitting at home with my face smashed up to the magnifying mirror my attempts were made over and over again and I was getting no where. "Lord, help me," had been prayed more than once!

Reading Charles Stanley's devotional online today was a great reminder of:


God's School of Obedience

1 John 1:3-6 "Starting at age five, our children are enrolled in school and given lessons to learn each year. We are students too. At salvation, we became participants in the Lord's school of obedience. There, we are discovering the necessity of trusting Him and waiting for His direction. We are taught the importance of commitment and learn to search His Word for guidance. God also wants us to learn these lessons:
• Listen attentively to the Spirit's promptings. Our God does not speak in an audible voice, but He makes Himself heard quite clearly through the Holy Spirit. Jesus said the Spirit is our Helper who will bring to mind Scripture passages we have studied (John 14:26) and show us how they apply.
• Obey the next step. Abraham was called to leave his home and journey to an unknown destination (Gen. 12:1). He obeyed even though the way was unclear to his human mind. We, too, must step out in faith even when we do not know all the details of the itinerary.
• Expect conflict. We can't live obedient lives without having trouble with the world (John 16:33). Our friends or family may drift away when they realize certain interests of ours have changed. Some may hurl criticism our way or call us unkind names, while others may reject us completely.
Practicing a lifestyle of obedience doesn't mean we'll never make mistakes. But it does require diligence if we are to succeed. Obeying the Father was Jesus' priority and purpose in life, and we should make it ours as well. Which of these lessons do you want to tackle first?"
PT
Praise You Father! Your love and patience are like none other. Jesus truly is the Perfect One to instruct us and teach us the way we should go. Forgive us for our folly and find us diligent to persevere for Your purposes. With these approaching days of festivities and celebration keep us mindful of what is of eternal value. In Jesus' Name, Amen

December 17

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights who does not change like shirting shadows. James 1:17


Moses and I both like this time of year when the UPS and Fed Ex guys show up. Our reasons are different. I enjoy the packages arriving and he loves the roar of the sound of the big truck engines and longs for a ride on one, but he seems to be satisfied by the treats they throw to him! The anticipation of what might be contained in the boxes being delivered has always been joyous. That is the way I feel when I open God’s Word each day…a joyous anticipation. Don’t miss the gift He has for you within His Word today.


PT: Lord, you are the Giver of every good and perfect gift. You outdid yourself when You gave your son for sinners such as us. We pause in this moment to feel Your love and say, “Thank You, for your Son.” In Jesus’ Name, Amen

December 16

Tell Someone They Are Blessed


Oh, the weather outside is frightful,

but knowing Jesus as Lord is so delightful,

I'll open my Bible and pray;

So it can snow, snow, snow all day!


Ever since childhood (and continuing as a parent and now still the wife of an educator) I've loved a snow day, because it means NO SCHOOL! Our crew begins arriving home tomorrow and it is such a blessing to have this whole day alone with my husband to put the finishing touches on preparations for the Christmas week ahead. This snow makes things even more festive.


Mary's Song reveal an amazing attitude in this young woman.

And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in

God my Savior, for the Mighty One has done great things for me— holy is his name.

Luke 1:46-47, 49

Studying this passage has me thinking. God knew Mary needed encouragement during this unexpected pregnancy, so He sent her to a girlfriend (cousin)! Elizabeth set the tone for Mary's visit by saying this: Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear....Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished. Luke 1:42,45.

Who do we know this holiday season who needs a bit of encouragement? Who needs to know that despite their circumstances they are loved and blessed? Yesterday, I asked a man how I could pray for him and he answered, "Pray for three friends who are facing divorce, it is so sad. The good thing though is it is drawing them closer to God." Who needs someone to help them take an "unwanted" situation and realize we serve a mighty God who can turn it into a blessing?

Check out the new ABC section. Today's "B" word is blessed!