Remind me....

December 31
Somewhere in the midst of 20 of us hunkering down here over the holidays and feeling a bit overwhelmed,  I looked at our daughter and said, "Remind me of this moment when I  think this would be fun to do this again."  The majority of the kids have headed back to their homes with their spouses, children and pets.  Most of the towels and sheets are washed and the decorations are beginning to come down and already I miss having them all here.  We even slipped into Target on one airport run and purchased half price wrapping paper should we attempt this feat again and I need to wrap 143 packages!

I feel certain at some point in the middle of natural childbirth I told my husband I never wanted to deliver  a baby again, yet I did it six times.

So it is with our sin...we are brought to repentance and tell the Lord we don't ever want to stand before him guilty of such a sin again, yet we fall and come before him needing to be cleansed from the same offense.  Sad, but true.

As 2012 closes out and I reflect on our many blessings, our moments of thanksgiving, the lessons we have learned, the people we have loved and those who have come into our lives this year, as well as those whose earthly lives have ended, I also am reminded of my many sins which have been forgiven and humbly bow my head in prayer.  Stepping into 2013, I pray the Holy Spirit will be quick to remind me of the clean up process which had to take place when I gravitated to those sinful areas and with God's help may I steer clear of sin this year.

Here is a clean up crew which was in action Christmas Eve...

We can all relate to Romans Chapter 7.  (The Message)

17-20 But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can’t keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’treally do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.
21-23 It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.
24 I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question?
25 The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.

The Responsibility of Instructing

December 29-30
Paul, took God's purpose for his life passionately, passing on to us through the Word, the seriousness of our responsibility to teach, train and instruct!

Fathers, do not exasperate your children; 
instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
Ephesians 6:4

 Teach them to stay in the Word...
 Make a joyful noise unto the Lord....
 and shower them with love, encouraging them along the way!

In Titus chapter 2...

Teach the older men to be temperate,worthy of respect, self-controlled, 
and sound in faith,in love and in endurance...

  Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. 
                                        7 In everything set them an example by doing what is good.  
Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, 
not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 

 Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, 
to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, 
and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

Micah 6:8
And what does the Lord require of you?  
To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

The Light of the World

December 28
The phone rang and it was our neighbor inquiring about our lights, which appeared to be on and fine. Her's however, kept dimming and she had called the power company to come and investigate the problem.
Life brings about physical days which are cloud covered allowing less light to shine in, while also there are days when our spirits seem a little darkened and we long for the light.
Praise God for his Word which promises:
The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple. Psalm 119:130

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.'" (John 8:12 NIV)

The brightness and joy of the Lord can be snuffed out quickly by the unkind words or rejection of others.  Satan is the father of lies and loves to bring darkness into our heads.
Renee Swoop wrote:
"We were created to live in the Light by focusing on what God thinks about us instead of what we think about ourselves. When we follow Jesus closely and completely in our thoughts, turning away from doubts and lies, we can find lasting security and confidence in Him."

So when you feel the lights of life dimming around you and uncertainty creeping in, call upon the ultimate power source, Jesus, and plug into the Word of God so that your light might shine!

For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us
the light of the knowledge of God's glory displayed in the face of Christ.
2 Corinthians 4:6


December 26
Following four days of feasting on Christmas foods, it is great to take a step back from the table and simply feast on the Word of God.  Taking the letters from the word feast  we find some fabulous verses to encourage us as we walk with the Lord.

Faithful Lord, increase our faith.  Luke 17:5
Enthusiastic You thrill me, Lord, with all you have done for me.  Psalm 92:4
Always Always be joyful.  Keep on praying. No matter what happens, always be thankful for this is 
                   God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. 1 Thes. 5:16-18
Show I have put my trust in You.  Show me the way to go.  Psalm 143:8
Taste Taste and see that the Lord is good.  Psalm 34:8

No Guest Room

She gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, 
because there was no guest room available for them.
Luke 2:7
December 25
There are bodies everywhere!  Our five sons grew up sleeping in a pile half the time and would be comfortable crashing together anywhere still, but their wives aren't feeling the love!  :)

Not sure their wives are used to sleeping like a litter of puppies, but we have packed it in here together for Christmas.  If a manger was good enough for Mary, we will wade through the togetherness.  Yesterday morning the power went out before sunrise.  All the "marrieds with children" were in the living room and kitchen area and it went  totally dark.  We had not thought through this scenario and fortunately the power came right back on.

May this Christmas find you with plenty of room for Jesus in your heart and living in His light and power.

 Still a bed full of babies!
 Merry Christmas from the grands and...
 the whole Andrews gang.

Are You Ready for Christmas? Make it a date!

Ready to feed the masses!

Repent for the kingdom of heaven is near.  Matthew 3:2
December 24
Ready or not!  Here it comes! About a week ago, the check out girl at Kroger asked me, "Are you ready for Christmas?"  It took me back for a second as I realized she had no clue how many I had coming to get ready for!  My initial thought to myself was, "I will never be ready for this!"
One day I read an online devotional which stated the real important question for us is...
Are we ready for Jesus?
I thought back to the excitement and anticipation of getting ready for a date with my husband.
We have an impending date with Jesus.  We shall see Him face to face.
Oh, that we might daily repent and be ready for that encounter.

I am beginning a study on the book of James (the half brother of Jesus).  In preparation for this study, the author has us looking at who James was.  Being fond of his half brother (Jesus) was not a characteristic for which James was known. He and his siblings thought He was a nut! After Jesus' resurrection, he appeared to James when they were alone.  Then James believed and was sold out for Christ!

Tonight I will pass out colored pieces of paper and ask our family members to list the names of people whom they long to see come to know the Lord.  I have a wrapped box with a slit in the top and we will slide those names into this box, place a bow on top and put it under the tree representative of the greatest gift these people could receive.

Santa is not coming down our chimney tonight, but Jesus will be returning one day.

Will you be going home with Him?  Make it a date!


December 23
A dear friend, whom I met a few years ago in an Apple store in Minneapolis,  passed along these two explanations of Christmas decorations we use.  He posted these on his condo door for neighbors and their visitors to read.  He wrote to me sharing that he wanted to share with those looking at his decorations how he feels about the whole Christmas season.  He writes:
"It (Christmas season) was the start of my being saved!"
Our daughter shared how she heard Billy Graham say that it takes approximately twenty people sharing the love of Christ, slowly chipping away at a hardness of heart, before someone gives their life to the Lord.  When my husband came to Christ at the age of twenty-eight, he recalled a fellow in high school who had shared about Jesus with him and also a man in a stairwell in an athletic club in Alabama who asked him, "God forbid if you die tonight do you know without a doubt you are going to heaven?"  The actual moment of surrender came in front of the 700 Club on television.

What might we share this season with another,
that could lead them to the greatest gift available to mankind.

The Christmas Tree
Originally, the Christmas tree was an evergreen tree 
and represented the eternal life that Jesus brings.  
When it is cut down and then put up again, 
the tree represents the resurrection of our Lord.

The Wreath
The wreath is a circle which represents the eternal, divine love of God,
which has no beginning or end.

Lovely, isn't it?

Feel His Love

December 22
For He will tell His angels to care for you and keep you in all your ways.  
They will hold you up in their hands. So your foot will not hit against a stone.
Psalm 91:11-12

The past two weeks have been a roller coaster ride of emotions for us, for many dear friends and for our nation.  (Mostly big dips, then a reprieve comes in ways which are obviously the Lord's doing.) Today's mail held two packages, each brought tears of joy to my eyes.  The "joy" ornament was from a young woman who was in my Sunday School class years ago as a high school student. This remembrance was truly a lift to my spirit.
Then I opened a package from a young mother of four whom I've never met personally, but hold close in my heart as we have become prayer partners and life encouragers.  The hand pained "Boojoyful Always" painting will be treasured forever.
The title of her "faceless angel" painting is "Held".  On the back of the painting is Psalm 91:11-12 and this message.
"After going through cancer in my right eye and having it removed, I was blessed to have friends, family and people I did not even know care for and encourage me.  My husband and I often said it was difficult to get discouraged when we were encouraged by so many.  The verse in Psalm 91 was shared with me after I told someone I felt "held" by God.  The Lord knows our love language and how we need to feel his love.  He will send his angels concerning you. May you feel His love through the angels  in your life.  And may He use you to be an angel to others."

The Christmas holiday can be a tough time for those who do not feel loved.  Ugh, just had a memory of middle school dance cotillion where you stood along the wall in your little white gloves, sipping punch from a glass cup, WAITING for someone to come ask you to dance.  I bet there are girls who never danced once.  Awful.  I am thinking now of four friends, who are either separated or divorced, and the pain which attempts to engulf them this time of year as they feel "left out".  Then there are those who have lost loved ones and this is their first Christmas alone.  There are others who not only have no gifts under the tree....they have no tree and feel there is no reason to celebrate.

Right now, let's bind together and pray for these folks to FEEL CHRIST'S LOVE.  They do have reason to celebrate, for the greatest gift ever has been given to them.  Once they accept the gift, they will never be alone  or left out. Jesus will ask them to dance with him every day and his "band" of angels will circle up one, singing Glory Hallelujah!


The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
Isaiah 7:14

December 21
As a child, December 25th could never arrive fast enough.  As a grandmother, preparing for everyone to descend upon our home and be fed, bedded down and gifted for several days the time is slipping away. Somehow I am managing to squeeze a little Jesus time in each day right  now, but that will be more difficult as my "little squeezes" arrive on Saturday.

The other night I was studying the name Immanuel,  which means God with us.   We certainly need to be reminded that He is with us, when we face times like last Friday's shooting where He seemed to be so far away.

Ann Spangler writes: "When our sins made it impossible for us to come to him, God took the outrageous step of coming to us, of making himself susceptible to sorrow, familiar with temptation, and vulnerable to sin's disruptive power, in order to cancel its claim.  In Jesus we see how extreme God's love is.  Remember this the next time you feel discouraged, abandoned, or too timid to undertake some new endeavor.  For Jesus is still Immanuel, he is still "God with us."

We have a friend, who suffered through the heartache of his wife having an affair and leaving him.  Quite often, he would walk over to our house and just hang out in the evenings.  Then there would be periods of time where we would not see him and I knew more than likely he was dating someone whom he thought we might not approve of.  We are that way with the Lord...we don't want him near us when we are in a sinful state. He is there though.

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 
even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
Psalm 139:7-10

It's those sinful times we need him most.  Like a grocery clerk calling out "Clean up on aisle nine!"
We need to cry out to Immanuel, "Clean up in my heart!"

Jesus "R" you for "R"eal?  You "R"escue, "R"edeem and "R"estore!
Thank You for always being with us.

Surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.   Matthew 28:20
(Hmm, guess the Mayan calendar missed it and the end was not today.)

An after thought: I was searching to see if Immanuel or Emmanuel was the preferred Biblical spelling. Wikipedia stated either is acceptable.  Then I began reading some articles on the name Immanuel.
This one from a Lutheran pastor in Lexington, KY was excellent. 

Matthew 19:14

Jesus said, Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them,
for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as them.
Matthew 19:14
December 20
God's timing is so perfect! Almost a year ago, I asked a friend if when her little boy outgrew his crib and she wanted to pass it on, to let us know.  Never thought we'd need four cribs in our home, but we sure do this coming week!  A couple days ago she called to say they had moved their son into a big boy bed and the crib and diaper changing table were in the garage, ready for their new home.  I told her my guess was this beautiful crib may make it's way into the homes of several of our grandchildren, as well as here at Shiloh.
The seven year old daughter of this family has a precious faith and attends a Christian school, which stresses scripture memory.  I requested that their daughter select a verse to write on a note and put in the changing table drawer.  After moving the furniture into the house today, I opened the top drawer to find the Matthew 19:14 written by this child right on the base of the drawer. The tears dripped down my cheeks, I was so moved by the verse she had selected and the hope for the future of America knowing there are children still being trained up to be passionate about Christ.  Also, I prayed for all the people who will open that drawer in the future, parents, siblings, grandparents, baby sitters, etc.  I know those words of Christ are going to penetrate many a heart!  God's word is so powerful.

Keep investing in our youth!
Keep passing on the truth!
Keep telling others Jesus wants them to come to him!

Good Morning Poem

December 19
Yesterday morning, my husband bestowed upon me the gracious gift of doing my grocery shopping on "senior citizens' day".  It took him two hours, but he got a blessing on the way, which I have since heard about from others.  In the sky was a double rainbow!
One lady told me there must have been thirty cars pulled off the road with people getting out to take a picture. She said she felt like it was a reminder from God that He is still watching over us despite all the heart ache and evil that prevailed this past week.  

The cast of The Voice sang a beautiful tribute to the Sandy Hook victims.

Another friend forwarded this poem which had come to her.


twas' 11 days before Christmas, around 9:38
when 20 beautiful children stormed through heaven's gate.
their smiles were contagious, their laughter filled the air.
they could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there.
they were filled with such joy, they didn't know what to say.
they remembered nothing of what had happened earlier that day.
"where are we?" asked a little girl, as quiet as a mouse.
"this is heaven." declared a small boy. "we're spending Christmas at God's house."
when what to their wondering eyes did appear,
but Jesus, their savior, the children gathered near.
He looked at them and smiled, and they smiled just the same.
then He opened His arms and He called them by name.
and in that moment was joy, that only heaven can bring
those children all flew into the arms of their King
and as they lingered in the warmth of His embrace,
one small girl turned and looked at Jesus' face.
and as if He could read all the questions she had
He gently whispered to her, "I'll take care of mom and dad."
then He looked down on earth, the world far below
He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow, and woe
then He closed His eyes and He outstretched His hand,
"Let My power and presence re-enter this land!"
"may this country be delivered from the hands of fools"
"I'm taking back my nation. I'm taking back my schools!"
then He and the children stood up without a sound.
"come now my children, let me show you around."
excitement filled the space, some skipped and some ran.
all displaying enthusiasm that only a small child can.
and i heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight,
"in the midst of this darkness, I AM STILL THE LIGHT."

Breath of Heaven

Not my mantels, but these are pretty!

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17

December 18
Our driveway sensor sounded at 3AM, alerting us that a vehicle had come onto the property. By the time my husband was out of bed, it sounded again. Upon approaching our garage a motion detecting light comes on and it had most likely deterred whomever had driven through Shiloh's gates.  Moses (our bulldog) knows that three beeps on our burglar alarm mean a car is approaching.  He is quick to go to the door in hopes of it being one of his delivery buddies with a treat, so he was out the door to sniff out the middle of the night situation.
As we lay back down in bed, my husband's sweet breath blew down upon my face.  Even in the middle of the night his breath smells so pleasant.  Maybe it is because he eats a bowl of ice cream in bed each night before he falls asleep. Cherishing the moment in the stillness of the night, with Christmas lights burning on the mantle of our bedroom fireplace, I began to think about God's breath and Amy Grant's song, Breath of Heaven, came to mind.
Take 5 minutes for yourself and bask in these lyrics, remembering the real gift of the season.  Also, see if some of the lyrics, which I have highlighted, remind you of the situation in Newtown, CT.  May we continue to pray for the hurting hearts there.

Breath if Heaven (Mary's Song)

I have traveled many moonless nights

Cold and weary with a babe inside
And I wonder what I've done
Holy Father you have come
And chosen me now
To carry your son

I am waiting in a silent prayer
I am frightened by the load I bear
In a world as cold as stone
Must I walk this path alone
Be with me now
Be with me now

Breath of heaven
Hold me together
Be forever near me
Breath of heaven
Breath of heaven
Lighten my darkness
Pour over me your holiness
For you are holy
Breath of heaven

Do you wonder as you watch my face
If a wiser one should have had my place
But I offer all I am
For the mercy of your plan
Help me be strong
Help me be
Help me

 Is the gift of God's Word easily accessible in your home?  Grab it daily and let His love breath upon you.  Open it wherever you are this next week and breath refreshment upon those with whom you share this sacred time.

Mary Pondered Them

December 17
But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
Luke 2:19

Just prior to this verse, we read where the shepherds had had their socks (ok, probably sandals) knocked off due to an angelic encounter, announcing Christ's birth.  They scurried along to Bethlehem to check out this revelation.  Then the Bible says...they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child and all who heard it where amazed at what the shepherds said to them.  While their jubilation led to "public praise," Mary's approach was more one of private prayer. Her told in this story had been a bit more personal.  My guess is Mary had invested in a time of private prayer daily for the past nine months!  She had been carrying precious cargo on the inside and now had the responsibility of nurturing God in the flesh on the outside!  The One sent to save sinners would be nursed and dressed by a young teenage girl.  I think I would plug into prayer mode for moment to moment instructions.

Our hearts turn today to 26 mothers (I am including the ones of the adults killed as well) who can no longer nurture their children. Each day they must awaken hoping this tragedy was a nightmare. This time next week they will not be gathered around the tree with their child singing Christmas carols and tucking them in anticipating the excitement of Christmas morning.  Over and over I keep thinking "how can they go on".

While prayer (pondering with God) is not allowed in our public schools, it is always allowed in our hearts and provides a great source of healing.  Last week I read a quote and now I am not sure where it was from:
"Your prayer time protects your heart from becoming hardened by hurt 
and it stops your ego from edging God out.
Your spiritual convalescence is your prime time to be loved by your 
heavenly Father."

After Jesus' crucifixion, for a period of 40 days he reappearing to those closest to him.  Jesus explained he would be leaving, but was sending a "helper", the Holy Spirit. When He was taken up into heaven, leaving those who loved him desperately behind, the Bible tells us in Acts 1:14 what those people did.

They all joined together constantly in prayer,
along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.

Prayer puts into action a powerful privilege in our lives...our connection and communication to the living God, our heavenly Father.   May we all join together constantly in prayer for the community of Newton, CT, for our nation and for those who don't carry the joy of Jesus in their hearts.

The Plan

December 15-16
Our hearts and prayers go out to, not only the family and friends of the victims of yesterday's shooting, but to all children whose innocence has been displaced by the realization of evil in this world.  Also, our prayers should be with the family members of the shooter.  

I pray that this video below will lift your hearts today. If you have children around, please show it to them to get their minds on Jesus.

Here's the plan!


 I love these photos I caught of my great niece peeking under her Christmas tree. 
She was quick to point out a little tear in the paper of one gift
where she couldn't help but see what the gift was.  I remember doing the very same thing!
The WONDER???? of Christmas.

Who among the gods is like you, Lord?
Who is like you-majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?
Exodus 15:11

He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted.
Job 9:10

December 14
The word wonder  can be used as both a noun and a verb. Yes, the English language is a confusing. 
As a verb the definitions are...
:to be in a state of wonder, to feel surprise, to feel curiosity, or a cause of astonishment or marvel.
In noun form it means...
: the quality of exciting amazed admiration,
: the rapt attention or astonishment at something awesomely mysterious or new to one's experience
: a feeling of doubt or uncertainty

Sitting in the surgical waiting room Tuesday, all ears became attentive and WONDERED if the Code Blue announced for our floor was related to one of our loves ones in the operating room.  The moment my brain comprehended the reality of the announcement prayers poured forth from my mouth.  The moment I said, "Amen" a new announcement came forth..."Code Blue cancelled.
Driving home late at night, exhausted, I wondered if other drivers had been drinking or if a deer was going to jump out in front of me. Two local men, my age, had died in single car accidents this past Sunday night. The prayers for protection and safe passage came forth.
Walking the halls of the nursing home Tuesday, I wondered about the families of the patients lining the walls near the nursing station. (Those who sat in their wheelchairs in catatonic states.) How hard it must be to have to leave them there.  The prayers came forth that these patients have Jesus in their hearts!

We wonder what would have happened to my husband's aunt had the newspaper deliveryman not come to her back door to leave her paper yesterday at 4:15AM.  It was then that he smelled smoke and heard a crackling noise. Realizing the house was on fire he banged on the door for 10 minutes before rousing our aunt and was able to get her out of the house.

We wonder all day long.  May our verb action of wondering be transformed to the noun form and our minds experience the WONDERS  of our God, who sent a tiny baby to save a multitude of lost people.  Ah, so much more than we can fathom or comprehend.

Sing Chris Tomlin's song:
How Great is Our God
The splendor of a King Clothed in majesty 
Let all the earth rejoice All the earth rejoice 

He wraps Himself in light And darkness tries to hide 
And trembles at His voice Trembles at His voice 

How great is our God, 
sing with me 
How great is our God, and all will see 
How great, how great is our God 

Age to age He stands  And time is in His hands 
Beginning and the end  Beginning and the end 

The Godhead Three in One Father Spirit Son The Lion and the Lamb The Lion and the Lamb 

How great is our God, sing with me 
How great is our God, and all will see 
How great, how great is our God 

Name above all names Worthy of all praise 
My heart will sing How great is our God 

How great is our God, sing with me 
How great is our God, and all will see 
How great, how great is our God

They Hurried Off

December 13
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.
Luke 2:16

Personally, when I think of shepherds, I don't think of a hurrying, scurrying bunch, but an angel would most likely like a fire under anyone's behind!  If I take time to think of how Jesus would want us to celebrate his birthday Psalm 46:10 comes to mind:  Be still and know that I am God.  But that is difficult to fulfill with all that society impresses upon us during this season.

Saturday night, we were driving home from spending the day with our parents.  As I passed a side street, before our turn off, I thought of a precious sister in Christ who has been a wonderful example to me.  She has lung cancer and is scheduled for surgery December 13th.  I knew I'd be leaving the 10th to be with my father, so I asked my husband if we could have a prayer party the next day to pray for the upcoming surgeries.  He's so accommodating! I sent out an email to some of her neighbors and friends.  A substitute mama of mine is a fabulous pianist and organist and she agreed to come play Christmas carols.  The neighbors pitched in with the food and we came together and had Christmas!  After my husband prayed, instead of everyone HURRYING off, we turned down the lights and sang, "Silent Night" by candlelight.

The next morning one of my friends, who had been here, called to say the husband of a woman she worked with was killed that night in a car accident.  We had just prayed for another friend of her's, whose 24 year old son dropped dead last week due to a heart defect no one had a clue he had.  When my pianist friend came in they share that while they had been playing pickle ball that afternoon, a 52 year old gentleman playing had a heart attack and flatlined. An ambulance was called and he is recovering at a nearby hospital, but we just never know when our time on earth will come to an end.

So with that in still and know that God loves you and wants you in heaven with may need to hurry to your knees and confess Christ as more than a baby in a manger, but as Savior, as King, as Lord of your life.


An Andrews Christmas long, long ago!

December 12
Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 1 Peter 4:9

Emailing with my sister in law recently, I reflected on my favorite part of Christmas being when she and my oldest brother (who died in 1987) would come home to Virginia, from Florida, with their two children.  I was only ten years old when they made me an aunt!  Having those babies around was so much fun.  I attended Rollins College, near their home outside Orlando and eventually had the privilege of teaching at the school my niece and nephew attending!
Family can be a joy or at times a job to stay joyful around.
There will be twenty-one of us bunking it in here for the holidays and I can't wait.  I love to see our children/grandchildren together and the opportunities are becoming slimmer and slimmer as they plug into their own lives and schedules.

God gave us to one another for a reason, it is not by accident you hold the title of family with the group you do. May this thought provoking video help us hold our tongues and hand out hugs when visiting family this holiday season!

All our son Jackson wanted for Christmas this year, long ago, was his two front teeth!

Why I Believe-Epiphany Part Two

December 11

Moments after I emailed my friends about the "Holy Spirit came upon her" epiphany I was having my quiet time reading some daily devotionals online.  There in my email was a confirmation from God.  I love how He does addition to reminding me that I needed to call upon the Holy Spirit to come upon me and equip me, He used this devotional to have me read the words....The Lord is with  you.  While I have not questioned that for a moment, it was so sweet to read it in print.  God's love is such warmth!

I wrote again to the small group praying for me:
"As I typed in each of your names again to email you, I began to pray for what God has ahead for you today. ( I don't believe in coincidences and felt strongly God wanted each of these people to remember the power of the Holy Spirit and God's presence.)  Isn't His ripple effect wonderful.  I remember when my mother ways dying and I was writing to a small group (that is actually how the Boojoyful devotional came into existence) people would write back and say...I needed to hear what God gave you today Boo, because.... And they would share what they were dealing with.  So as you pray for Deke's parents and my father, I am praying that God unleashes a wildfire in your lives and uses you to spread the Good New this season.  Also, I pray that an oasis will spring up each day in your wilderness to refresh you as God just did for me.

For our God is a consuming fire."
Hebrews 12:29

We must keep our noses in the Word if we want to learn more and live abundantly.

An Ephipany

These vultures were atop a tree in our neighborhood and their erie presence gave us the creeps.
They were a reminder that darkness does lurk around us.

Below is an email I wrote to some close friends last week upon learning my father has cancer. Two hours before this news came, we received a troubling call concerning my in laws.  My father in law is in a nursing home recovering from hip replacement and my mother in law is struggling with an exasperating flu.  (Fortunately, all these loved ones live in the same town about 40 minutes from our home.)

December 10
When was the last time you wandered in the dark?  Not wanting to disturb Deke (my husband) or Moses (our dog) in the middle of the night on a water or bathroom run, I sometimes wander in the darkness with out stretched  arms feeling my way along hoping to not walk into a wall, door, or cabinet. As I go I pray that ole LOL (Lump of Lard) bulldog is not in my path.

A prayer request came last week from an online prayer group of which I am a member:

A young woman from Florida, in her early 30's, had given birth to a premature baby girl and the tiny one did not survive. A few days later, the mother had a blood clot and was rushed to the hospital where she went into a coma and has now died.  My friend was asking that we pray for her husband and parents.

When I hear of tragedy like this or wander in my own wonder of how I will get through these days ahead with my precious father, I can become numb and try to feel my way through the darkness.  Totally aware that God is present, sometimes I still do not know how to step forward.  

Mary's story came to mind the other day.  A young virgin finding out she would be pregnant with God's child!  There's a show stopper for you.  She didn't really waiver (I assume the presence of the angel was an obvious faith or fact builder), but she did wonder and voiced her question: “How can this be?" The angel explained this would happen by the "Holy Spirit coming upon her."

A light bulb went off!
That simple verse spoke to me in my wilderness.  I've tried to be strong these past days and accept my wilderness time vowing to look for the good, but with the shock and numbness I've forgotten to call upon the Holy Spirit to be my strength and joy!

Holy Spirit, come upon me!

I love each of you so much.  As one of you shared....let’s pray for mercy for Davedaddy.

Some of you say what you like about me is I am real....the real truth is that I am sobbing right now at the thought of telling my Daddy good-bye.  Please pray for God's mercy and  the surgery Tuesday at 7AM.