O My Soul

This Tampa granddog received an ice cream cone for Christmas!



December 31- January 1
 I wanted an oh, so powerful verse to close out one year and open another.
 Here's the punch these two pack!

O my soul, bless God.
From head to toe, I'll bless his holy name!
O my soul, bless God, don't forget a single blessing!  
Psalm 103:1-2MSG

Love God, Your God, with your whole heart:
love him with all that's in you, 
love Him with all you've got!
Deuteronomy 6:5

Train Up a Child


This little one's father is a home builder and his father has him training to follow in his
footsteps.  He knows his tools and how to use them!

December 30
This week the house has been filled with grandchildren enjoying "Cousins' Camp."  We've cooked, crafted, played games, gone to the movies, and run through the woods.
Unfortunately, my husband has had food poisoning and we've had a rough night and I've been on my own today.

I bet I've called on Jesus twelve times already and it's been good training ground for the children to see He is always there.  Our grandson asked if his Papa was going to die from the poisoning. I said, I didn't think so, but I bet that he wanted too he feels so terrible.  Our granddaughter asked me how much longer I would be living. The reply, "Only God knows the number of our days." Enthusiastically, this perky five year old said, "I think you have another year!"  My husband inquired about her take on him..."Zero years," she said.  He'd probably agree.

Jesus has words of encouragement..."I have told you these things, so that in my you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world."  John 16:33

Truth Seeking Sisters


These sisters love to be in the Word! They are Truth Seekers.
"Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
John 8:32

December 29
On December 26th, She Reads Truth posted an excerpt from their book She Reads Truth; Holding Tight to Permanent in a World That's Passing Away.  The entry was talking about women wanting faith, hope and love.  This is worth a look-see!

"Real love is the God who became flesh-a living, feeling human being.  He is God with us, rescuing the dying, calling the sinners, and embracing those who are wasting away.  Real hope is the God who came to set things right.  He came to set the cloudy mirror aside for good so we can see Him, face to face.  Real Truth is the Word that created the world, the truth that never ceases to be true.  Counterfeits no longer interest her; she is looking for the realest thing."


Today, I stop and thank God for the women of all ages who have sat with me in person or online and opened God's Word and dug in.  The one's who have excitedly said, "Oh, my! Look what it says here. This is for me!" Also, the ones who have been real and said, "I don't get it. What does He mean? Pray I will understand."  

One day we will all be rejoicing together, with understanding and joy beyond belief!

God's Timing

December 28
Christmas cactus are such an excellent example of God's perfect timing!

Whatever it is you are waiting for you can trust the One who cares the most for your well-being.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-14
A Time for Everything
"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens;
  a time to be born and a time to die,
  a time to plant and a time to uproot,
  a time to kill and a time to heal,
  a time to tear down and a time to build,
  a time to weep and a time to laugh,
  a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
  a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
  a time to search and a time to give up,
  a time to keep and a time to throw away,
  a time to tears and a time to mend,
  a time to be silent and a time to speak,
  a time to love and a time to hate,
  a time for war and a time for peace.

What do workers gain from they toil?  I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race.  He has made everything beautiful in its time.  He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from the beginning to end.  I know the there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.  That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil-this is the gift of God.  I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it."

Well if that isn't chocked full of wisdom I don't know what else is.  As I typed each of those references I could apply a real life scenario.  As we approach a New Year may we remember The One Who Never Changes is walking right into it with us and He will embrace us all along the way...weeping, laughing, hurting, healing...He will be there.  Oh, how He loves you and me!


Doors

Various doors in Hyde Park...
Tampa, Florida
Poinsettias LOVE Florida yards.
December 27
Front doors make the house!  Twice, I've wanted to photograph doors in our son's neighborhood in Florida. The first time the doors were covered in pirate attire for Tampa's infamous Gasparilla Pirate Festival.  This year they were decked for the holidays.

A door is the entry to the home.  It should say, "Welcome!"

Jesus is the door to heaven. It is through Him and only Him we enter in.

What does the door to our heart look like?  Is it gated, screened, or layered with heavy protective glass making it more difficult to access?  Jesus is continually knocking.  May we encourage others to let Him in!

"Here I am!  I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and  eat with that person, and they with me."  Revelation 3:10

Intricate Plans

Staying festive for a little longer.

December 26
We passed a donkey in a field on the way to our Christmas Eve service.  If we hadn't been running late I would have liked to have stopped and photographed him and contemplated what it was like for Mary to ride an animal like that while being nine months pregnant.

Being a momma, I've always loved the passage in Luke 2 where it talks about Mary "treasuring up" the things the angel told her.  Going to The Message translation to read that verse I was caught by the different actions that went into play regarding Mary and the shepherds after their angelic encounters.

Mary kept all these things to herself, holding them dear, deep within herself. The sheepherders returned and let loose, glorifying and praising God for everything they had heard and seen. It turned out exactly the way they’d been told! Luke 2:19-20 MSG

Our encounters with the living Lord vary in their purpose.  There will be those things just between Jesus and us and others times we are to "Go and tell!" We serve a very personal God who weaves together intricate plans for his purpose and his glory, which are beyond our comprehension!.

Our Attitude

Celebrating early with these five!  (The baby just hasn't appeared yet, but he's there.)




December 24-25

Christmas in Florida with palm trees blowing in 80 degree temps takes some attitude adjustment.  We kept saying, "It sure doesn't feel like Christmas." The inflatable snowmen in the yards really confused me.  But Christmas can happen anytime, anywhere, because it happens in your heart.

"Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus, who existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage. Instead, He emptied himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men...He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death."  Philippians 2:5-8

I've loved taking time this month to reflect on why God chose to come to earth in human form.  He didn't come as a super hero.  He didn't use his infinite power to be an oppressive king or have others bow before Him.  (We will willingly fall on our faces before Him when we see him.) He came to save   the children He loves so dearly.  What a compassionate attitude.

May our attitudes reflect the need to open the gift of salvation!





Here's Your Sign



December 23
We've had the blessing of celebrating Christmas in Florida at the home of one of our sons. These happy flamingos greeted us when we arrived.  Not quite the cattle lowing, a donkey nodding or bleeps of sheep, but they were a sign of welcoming and joy.

Long ago the prediction of a sign was made:

"Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: 
The virgin will be conceived and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel."  
Isaiah 7:14 

"The Lord will give you a sign," just jumped off the page at me.  How many times have I said, "Just give me a sign Lord.  Please, have a letter in the mailbox telling me what to do.  Show me which way to go!"

None of these earthly decisions I've stewed over matter at all compared to the decision I made in 1973 to ask Jesus into my heart.  The time when I grasped that God came to earth, as Jesus, to die for my sins.  It makes the celebration of Christmas hold such a deeper meaning than presents under the tree.

Accomplishments


Our daughter in her Covenant College office,
which signifies how hard she has worked to accomplish her doctoral title!
If you're in her French Literature class those stacks represent a lot of reading you are doing!

December 22
What is your most memorable accomplishment? Maybe there is a goal you are praying your way through right now.

God set out to save mankind from sin and accomplished it by coming to earth in a most unique fashion.  Jesus explains it this way:

"I came down from heaven not to follow my own whim, but to accomplish the will of the One who sent me."  John 6:38

So, let's set down the wrapping paper, put aside the Christmas cards, and forget the cookie crumbs on the counter.  Whether it's a silent night, a holy night, or jingle bells that are ringing, may we truly ponder the question: "What Child is this?"   If someone stopped us today and said, "Why do you celebrate Christmas?" How would we respond?

Temptations


Enormous marshmallow-gumdrop tree at Homegoods!

December 21
As cute as this candy tree was, I would not gift it to someone I loved.  What a temptation!  What a stick mess!

Sometimes we position ourselves into tempting situations, which have the great potential to become sticky messes.  Knowing our weaknesses is a real strength!

"Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."
Matthew 26:41

Naughty or Nice


December 20
This is hands down my favorite photo this month.  These two have been asked the nail biting question by Santa..."Have you been good this year?"  The face on the left says..."Ugh, just exactly how would you define good."

I'm reminded of a similar question I've heard my husband inquire of individuals..."God forbid, but if you should die in your sleep tonight, do you know for certain you are going to heaven?" The follow up question is..."So if you were standing in front of God and he asks..."Why should I let you into heaven?" What would you say?

"If you declare with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' 
and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."  
Romans 10:9

The World Was Changed


December 19
Take 3 minutes, only 3 minutes and listen to this song and think about all the ways God changed the world by coming to earth as a baby and walking among man.

Tell It

Out for a pancake breakfast and scheming up good times.


December 17-18
Lawsy, lawsy.  Tis' the season for making jolly and eating way too much good food.  I've had homemade Christmas cookies and candy for breakfast the past two days. It has to stop! 

Holiday planning!  Tis' a lot of work, but I think it's fun.  Blisters from hot glue guns, flour on the floor and sticky candy cane residue on door knobs and phones are part of the process. What we need to include in the festivities is time alone with Jesus and ways to bring him into our conversations as we gather with friends and family.

"Go tell it on mountain, over the hills and everywhere! Jesus Christ is born."

We have more news than that to spread.  We have the written Word exclaiming his birth, ministry, death and resurrection!  We have our own personal testimonies of how He came into our lives and how he guides, comforts and empowers us today. Do we tell it though?  I don't mean stand on the street corners and shout, but do the stories of Jesus show up in our everyday conversations.  

When we gather around a table to share a meal do we talk of how God is moving in our lives?  Are we excited to share a verse that has just spoken to us, or suggest a fabulous Bible study we've done.  Do we ask our friends, what has God been doing in your life lately?  Do our phones open to iTunes as we say...."Listen to these lyrics!"  

Are we as excited about sharing our living Lord as we are a new recipe or details of a fabulous vacation spot?  It's easy to type up these little devotionals each day, but will my mouth open to praise the Lord and tell of his goodness at the next dinner party or luncheon I attend?

"I will tell of the loving-kindness of God. I will praise him for all he has done.
I will rejoice in his great goodness to Israel, which he has granted in accordance
with his mercy and love."
Isaiah 63:7


More Kingly Thoughts


December 16
She Reads Truth  emailed these points yesterday:

"Jesus' life was an act of service. His death a display of humility, and His resurrection a demonstration of power unlike anything  the world had ever seen...Jesus came in the actual flesh to rule not only mankind with justice and mercy, but also to rule the demons, the wind and waves, and even disease. Jesus came to be King—not made fit to rule because of His appearance, but because of His holiness and the ransom He paid."

We get out the nativity, we wrap the presents and we sing the carols.  Do we leave the baby in the manger, wrapped in the swaddling cloths, thinking, ah, what a feel good story and go on with life?
Or, do we remember the life of servanthood?  The teachings which were taught, the miracles performed, the healing that happened and the forgiveness and restoration that was offered.  Power beyond belief!

Does the crown of thorns come into our mind or just the sheep, the shepherds and the star the wisemen followed?  We can imagine the stench in the stable and think....gross.  But do we allow the nastiness of our sins to come into play and recognize we are the whole reason the story had to take place.

Of all the ornaments on our tree, is there a cross to remember the sacrifice which Jesus made?
I want a handpainted one of the empty tomb or one that simply says..."He is risen!" or "He paid it all."

"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.

The King Chose...

Look who showed up on a cold wintery day!
December 15
In the current She Reads Truth study we are studying the role of kings, remembering Christ is our King! "A king fights battles.  In the Old Testament, this often meant the king chose which battles to fight.  He needed to be both brave and discerning..."

Life is full of battles which can be fought.  Wisdom and discernment, ladled with prayer help us discern which ones are worth taking a stand.  Recognizing we have a King who will fight for us, one who is much more capable when it comes to wisdom, discernment, and also power is a great first step in the battle fighting process!  The second step is remembering our battles are not against flesh and blood.

"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."
Ephesians 6:12


"The Lord is the strength of his people."
For the Lord your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, mighty, and awesome God, showing no partiality and taking no bride."  Deut. 10:17

Glory in the Highest

Auntie Love!


December 14
Wanting to go to sleep with scripture on my mind, I randomly typed in John Piper, to pull up a sermon. Instead, glaring at me was this quote.

"God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him."
John Piper

WHOA!  As I entered this Fox News link, a warning came up from Blogger (whose service I use to post these devotionals) about the content in this link.  This is pro Christian content!  Would you ever have thought there would be a time in America people would be warned against Christians?  I'm really shocked this just happened. I'll probably be booted off this site. Certainly, I've been tagged! What a prompting to PRAY!  Let me see if I can get my train of thought back. This threw me for a loop.

My purpose was to write and encourage you to journal what most satisfies you about our faith in Christ.  Recently, I heard about a dissatisfied group, American Atheists, and their releasing of a Christmas 2016 billboard campaign using President-elect Trump's "Make America Great Again" slogan to encourage young people to skip church. Below is the dangerous link to the article.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/12/05/american-atheists-make-christmas-great-again-by-skipping-church.html

The article references the percentage of young people who are not satisfied with church.  In my state of being more than satisfied with Christ, truly elated in the relationship, I'm naive to the reality that there are people (I know Satan is up to this work) actively persuading others, especially the younger generation, to stay away from church. I started to type religion, but religion isn't a threat. It's the power of Jesus which is the threat.  (Funny, at first I typed treat, instead of threat.  That works too.)

But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus.
Matthew 12:14 

Lawsy-mercy! I've received another warning. This may be the end of Boojoyful through this server. Interesting.

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Assistance is Needed

It was so much fun watching Samson, our grand dog, help decorate the family tree.




December 13
Assistance- the provision of money, resources or information to help someone; the action of helping someone with a job or task.

The word was stuck in my head as I tried to go to sleep last night.  Heading to Biblegateway I thought for sure I'd find some references to assistance.  I had to head to The Message and found:

"Sign some widows up for the special ministry of offering assistance.  They will in turn receive support from the church. They must be over sixty, married only once, and have a reputation for helping out with children, strangers, tired Christians, the hurt and troubled.  1 Timothy 5:9-10.

Paul has given some specific instructions concerning widows in this chapter titled "The Family of Faith."  What a fabulous reputation to have...one where we are known for helping children, strangers, tired Christians, the hurt and troubled.  Ask God to place one person in each category, as well as a widow, on your heart to offer assistance to this Christmas season.

Off to find a stranger in need of assistance!


He is All Things



For unto us a child is born...and his name shall be be called...

Wonderful Counselor

Mighty God

Everlasting Father

Prince of Peace

Isaiah 9:6
December 12
Growing up in the Methodist church I became accustomed to the rotation of ministers.  In the case of our church it was every 4-7 years the switch occurred.  One minister might be a strong preacher, the next a great administrator and then maybe one whose strength was pastoring the flock.  Our gifts, as humans, are varied.  It's good to remember that when we look at others.  Do we look at our parents, siblings, business colleagues, classmates, and friends and say, "Thank You God for the amazing gifts you have given this person and for placing them in my life."

Ugh, yuck, stab, conviction.  I'm involved in a mentoring ministry right now and each month we set a goal to pray for a characteristic of Christ to be strengthened in us.  This month we are working on holiness. My mission is to practice speaking positively.  It has made me realize how many negative comments I make about situations and individuals. When my husband walks in the door, I'm ready to dump my frustrations with others in his lap!  Tonight when he comes home, I hope to have only positive things to say!

There are those names of Jesus again!  Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. He has every gift! He is our All in All.  There's nothing negative to say about Him!

Take out your journey or a slip of paper to stick in your Bible and jot down 10 names of people close to you.  (Not necessarily those who are your top ten favs, but people you encounter on a regular basis.)  Now give them a "name" or "label" which testifies to a God given gift they have!  Someday if they come across this list, it will be an encouragement to each of these people.




Carrying a Kiss


December 10-11
Our two year old grandson is a barrel of fun and one of the sweetest spirits God could ever create.
If something can be gotten into, this little one will get it. He was investigating the products in my bathroom and came across a tube of lipstick and held it up to me.  Rubbing the color across my lips, 
I then took his hand and kissed it.  Carrying a kiss has become a favorite activity!

1 Peter 5:14 says: "Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ,"

This photograph reminds me of a great Old Testament teaching found in Deuteronomy 6:5-9

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength.  These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart.  Repeat them to your children.  Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead..."

A mother's kiss on the forehead of her child would be a nice tattoo!


Approachable



December 9

I love our pastor. His messages pack a powerful punch and you always leave church filled up!
Stirred to pray for him recently, the word approachable came to mind while praying.  Looking that up in the dictionary was the definition: friendly and easy to talk to.   He certainly is that.

Opening a Christmas devotional, by Max Lucado, I read an excerpt from his book God Came Near and there was further description of our pastor in the description of Christ.

"It was about to begin-God's plan for humanity, crafted in the halls of heaven and carried out on the plains of earth.  Only holiness could have imagined it.  Only divinity could have enacted it. Only righteousness could have endured it...
So, people came to him...Because he refused to be a statue in a cathedral or a priest on an elevated pulpit.   He chose instead to be Jesus. There was not one hint of a person who was afraid to draw near to him.  There were those who mocked him, were envious of him, and misunderstood him. But none considered him too holy or too divine to touch.  There was not one person who was reluctant to approach him for fear of being rejected."

The Lord told Moses, "Come to me..."  Exodus 24:12
Jesus said, "Come to me...and I will give you rest."  Matthew 11:28
Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me." Matthew 19:14
The Psalmists cry out, "Do not be far from me, my God; come quickly."  Psalm 71:12

Let's Pray:
God, you are Almighty. Greatly to be feared, surrounded by hallow ground. Yet, through Christ, we may approach Your throne!  You humbled yourself and came to earth in an approachable stance, which still exists today.  How blessed we are. Fill us up during this season of remembrance and find us faithful to tell the story of how precious our relationship with you is!  In Jesus' Name, Amen

Out Done!


The first snowfall in Minnesota, a couple weeks ago,
produce a snowman of immense height.  
Our son and daughter in law outdid themselves with this one!

December 8

God outdid himself when he sent Jesus as the sacrifice for our sins.  It's truly mind boggling when we stop to think about the enormity of that kind of love. 

Have you said "yes" too many times to the allures of the season? It's a challenge to keep it simple and all about Jesus.  Committing to "stop" and seek Him daily helps place us in a "right" position.  Monday night I attended the children's Christmas program at the Christian school where my husband works.  It was such a thrill to watch the enthusiasm of the children worshipping the Lord.  The program itself was a school teaching tool, instilling the story of Jesus' birth and the power of his Word into their lives.  

Some of the cast members were dressed in shepherd and sheep attire.  The song was so "real" about how stinky and low the life of a shepherd can be.  It is a life of commitment and provision, which correlates with all Christ does for us as our Good Shepherd.

"I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me-
just as the Father knows me and I know the Father-and I lay down my life for the sheep."  
John 10:14-15

The last song these children sang was "Shout Immanuel."  They were jumping for Jesus with joy and it was contagious.

"Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: 
The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will all him Immanuel."  
Isaiah 7:14  

The fact that God is with us is reason to rejoice and to give thanks!  God will not be outdone!


The Best is Yet to Come

Baking Christmas cookies with this top chef makes bring joy to my day.

December 7
Joy to the world, the Lord has come!
Let earth receive her king!  
Let every heart prepare him room and heaven and nature sing.  
Isaac Watts 1719

The carols are playing.  I’ve vacuumed, prepared food, and cleaned out the front hall closet readying it for winter coats.  If anyone was peeking in the windows they would have seen me dancing with my duster!

Hearing the lyric let every heart prepare him room stops me in my tracks.  
How much room have I made for Jesus today?  There are more chores awaiting, but I choose to take a break and receive whatever the king might have for me.

In Max Lucado's Cosmic Christmas, as Gabriel  looks in the manger he is mesmerized and states:

”All of God was in the infant.  Light encircled His tiny hands.  The very glory I had witnessed in His throne room now burst through His skin.  I felt we should sing, but did not know what.  We had no song.  We had no verse.  We had never seen the sight of God in a baby….In a moment….our minds were filled with Truth we’d never known before. We became aware for the first time of the Father’s plan to rescue those who bear His name.  “Worthy is the Lamb.”

Is the nativity set up in your home? Let's go stare at the manger for a moment and ponder the sacrifice God made for us taking on human form as Jesus.  Say to the Lord, "I know your ways are not my ways, but I love the wonder of it all and believe the best is yet to come."


"Jesus answered him, 'Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.'"
Luke 23:43

The Hunt

Christmas tree hunting with one of our sons and his family was a delight.




December 6


Picking up an old read, Max Lucado’s book, Cosmic Christmas, sparked insight.
The book is written from Gabriel’s perspective, as he is being sent on the assignment where Mary will "be with child." Lucado writes that Gabriel may have said:
“Just the sound of my King’s voice stirred my heart.”
Can we say likewise?

In one part God is explaining to Satan how he will come to earth as Immanuel, God with us.
Satan asks, “Why would you do this?”

Isn't that thought provoking?  
Satan knows enough about heaven to know no one would swap that life for life on earth.

Lucado writes: 
“The Father’s voice was deep and soft.  ‘Because I love them.'"  He replied to Satan.

Lucado gives an arrogant voice to Lucifer’s thoughts as he converses with God.
“Ever since the fruit was plucked from the tree in the garden, I’ve held your children captive.  
They fell. Fast. Hard. They are mine.  You have failed. Heh, heh, heh.”

“You speak so confidently,” replies the Father, astounding me (Gabriel) with His patience.

Lucifer stepped forward, his cloak dragging behind him and says,   “Of course! I thwart everything You do!  You soften hearts. I harden them.  You teach truth, I shadow it.  You offer joy, I steal it.”

God answers, “Your deceptions have only served as platforms for My mercy.  You are still my servant Satan…Every act you have intended for evil, I have used for good.”


Are you cheering yet?  More to come tomorrow…stay close to your Savior!

The Call


Our newest grand-puppy, Samson, an English bulldog.


December 5


In a quiet moment, seeking the Lord, I sensed him saying there will be a future calling on my life. (Hmm, calling me home to heaven, maybe? That’s the ultimate calling.)  On the table beside me was the book Jesus Today.  Opening the inside flap a friend had written:
“Christmas 2013 For Boo-
May God continue to speak to you, inspire you and use you for His glory, and may you always have an open heart and mind to His CALL!”

Are you kidding me?  Another one of those times my faith was increased as I knew the Lord was there.  Opening the book to where a ribbon bookmark laid was entry #63.

“If we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.” Romans 8:25

“Among the five senses sight is often the one that people value the most.  I created the world beautifully and I want you to appreciate beauty when you see it. However, more beneficial is hope, which itself is a kind of vision.  It enables you to see through the eyes of your heart-things that are not yet. The most stunning example is the hope of heaven.  Your ultimate destiny is to share in My Glory!  This is My promise to you, secured through My finished work on the cross and My resurrection.  Practice hoping for things you do not see-both for this life and the next.  Ask Me to guide you into hopes and dreams that are in line with My will.  Train the eyes of your heart to “see” these blessings, while praying for My will to be done fully and only.  Discipline yourself to wait eagerly-with your focus on Me and the longed for outcome  Remain hopeful and expectant as you wait with perseverance.”

Let's Pray
Father, you are beyond our comprehension.  You are the One who knows all things, past, present and future.  When we grasp that we can't grasp You, we are able to rejoice in that fact alone! Our hope is in You, the perfecter of our faith.  May we see the blessings of this day and tell of your goodness to others.  We wait with eager expectation for all that is to come on earth and in heaven. In Jesus' Name, amen!

Care Enough

Enjoying pancakes with a candle and whipped cream, just because we can!

December 3-4
The Hallmark channels are packed full of Christmas specials this month.  The company's theme this  year,  in their heart tugging commercials, is "Care Enough." A great personal challenge for us all.
Finish this sentence...Do I care enough to....?

Jesus is the ultimate example of caring enough. He cared enough for us that he laid down his life for our sins.

At least three of the movies this season are prince or princess related.  You know how the story goes. There's no need for spoiler alerts with Hallmark movies.  A European prince or princess, usually on the sly in America, looking for normalcy, accidentally falls in love with a commoner and...

Well, we are all part of a royal love story.  The Prince of Peace left his heavenly throne and came to earth and walked among the commoners. Even in the throws of our sinfulness, the Prince of Peace loved us so deeply, he cared enough to pay the price for us to enter a royal ever after.  For those who believe on His name, they get the story tale ending!

"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."
Isaiah 9:6

Where in your life have you seen Jesus...
Be your counselor
Reveal his might.
Love you like a Father (He will do this forever)
Exude a peace that passes understanding over your circumstances?

Things that Thrill My Heart

Sorry, I must have hit the wrong button and this didn't post yesterday. I'll just use it for today as well.
Bubble gum toothpaste and princess and Nemo toothbrushes mean someone under six is in the house!
Dirt Dog is spreading joy to a new generation 18 years later.

December 1-2
It's no news alert that I love being around youngsters. Their honesty and inquisitiveness bring a smile to my face.  All of our grandchildren are "big city" kids with more opportunities and high tech allure than one could ever dream up.  They live in cities filled with tourist attractions. Indoor amusement parks, libraries with climbing walls, trampoline parks, the beach, aquariums, etc.  When they come to Shiloh we can stay in our pjs all day if we want and life is more about what is flying, creeping, or swimming by. We can go for days and never get in the car.  

Honest conversations erupt.  This week our granddaughter asked me how old I was. "Sixty in January,"would be turning 60 in January. "Wow!" She exclaimed.  Then that night when I tucked her in bed, prayed she would have dreams that would make her laugh and sang a song about the day we had completed. She looked at me and said, "I don't think you are going to look any different when you are sixty!"  Ah, the things that thrill my heart are so simple!

I wish I knew how to attach videos, which have been texted to me. Yesterday, I received one from a grandson singing "Go Tell it on the Mountain."  It thrilled my heart!

God's Word also thrills my heart.  It's active and alive and speaks to me in specific ways reminding me God is totally aware of EVERYTHING.  You are going to love Psalm 1:1-3

"How well God must like you-
you don't hang out at Sin Saloon,
you don't slink along Dead-End Road,
you don't go to Smart-Mouth College.

Instead you thrill to God's Word, 
you chew on Scripture day and night."