Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Laugh with Me

Last night I heard a friend say that we should start the Christmas season with laughter. I think it sounds like a grand idea! A merry heart is a good medicine, or so I've read (see Proverbs 17:22).

Christmas is a time to be merry. It is a season of joy because the Good News has been shared with us. God loved us so much that He sent His Son to make a way for us to be reconciled to God. I can laugh about that. It is not a laughter that is skeptical, or deriding. It is a laughter that bubbles up from within and spills out in a joyful noise. I am sure that God would love to see His children smile and praise Him through the joyful noise of laughter because they are free from the eternal consequences of sin.

Yes, there are still many consequences of sin that we endure here on earth, but eternally we will live forever in a beautiful sin-free place! Can you hear the angels laughing with praise over us? I sometimes think I can. They see Gods amazing grace cover our sin and they laugh with glee knowing that God has done a wondrous thing in us!

So, the question I offer you today is, will you laugh with me this Christmas? Join me in a symphony of praising God that bubbles up from deep within and showers the world with the joy we know in Christ Jesus our Savior; the Son of God, born under a star, laid in a manger, lived a perfect life so He could be the Lamb that was slain for the sins of the world. Let's laugh!

Joyful Lord, God of Merry hearts, You gave us a Spirit who seals our hearts with joy! You Are worthy to be praised with all our being. Thank You for Christmas! Thank You for all it means for the world. I want to splash in your love until my joy bubbles up into laughter for the wonders that You have given me! Let the laughter grow!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Desperate for Christmas

Christmas can't seem to come fast enough for some people. We have seen signs of Christmas before Halloween! Thanksgiving was overrun with the sale spree of Black Friday that was pushed back to Thursday. Everywhere I turn I see people desperate for Christmas. Maybe they are only desperate for $mas.

As I watch shoppers scanning the items on shelves over flowing with many things, I am sure that though they seem to be running hard toward $mas, they have hearts that are hungry for a real Christmas. Jesus spoke to His disciples about this in terms of a harvest. He said the fields were white and in need of laborers to bring in the harvest (see Matthew 9:38 and John 4:35.)

What are our hearts searching for this Christmas season? Are we looking for the right gift at the right price? Are we seeking the hope of a brighter future? More importantly are we looking for the Lord Jesus Christ and His gift? What we seek for ourselves should we not also seek for others?

When I see people desperate for Christmas am I willing to offer them the truth? The harvest is ripe. This is the time to go tell it on the mountain tops, that Jesus was born, lived a sinless life, died in our place and rose again to someday come back and rule the earth! This blog is my mountain top. Do you have a mountain top?

Father, my heart is desperate for more of Christmas to live in my heart every day. You sent Your Son as a miracle gift. It is Your Grace and Mercy that calls our hearts to seek Christmas. Father, so many are lost in the glamour of the seasonal shopping daze. Let Your voice be heard above the crowds! Let Your truth touch their needy hearts and let Your Word fill their hearts with hope, peace, joy, and love. I choose to serve as a laborer in Your fields, Lord. Let my words bring You Glory!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

My Stuff

This morning our pastor spoke on The Theology of Stuff. Interesting title and his scriptures and insights made me think. The last point he made was that God is the owner of our stuff and We are the stewards. The most often word I heard today was the word "Willing." I love it when God takes me just a bit further in thinking about the sermon topic. Today, God again humbled me with the thoughts He gave.

God wants me to be a willing giver. It delights Him when I become hilarious over giving. That happened yesterday for me. I was so very excited to shop with my husband for our young boy who will receive our shoebox! I would giggle and tremble with excitement as I placed each item into that little box. We searched for a scripture to write on the box and chose Proverbs 3. It was our prayer for this young man. I was so very willing to give what I could. I could not help but be full of willing joy in giving! I felt God's pleasure too.

Before Sunday School I looked over the outline for the sermon, contemplating the points John would expound. "Who is the owner of my stuff," was one of the questions to be answered. I already knew that the answer was God. The interesting part was that God is the owner of ALL my stuff. Yes all of it! He even takes away our sin when we don't want to own it anymore! WOW! Now THAT is a God thing! He does not want us to own our sin and so He takes it. He owned it on the cross, paying the price that was rightfully mine to pay.

Lord God, Owner of all creation, You are the Good and Holy God who would own my sin so that I would be free to live. I bow my heart before You. I do not deserve what You did for me! Thank You for Your mercy that took my sin and owned it all the way to the cross. I want all that is mine to be Yours. I want to be willing to give You all: my sin, my things and my life. Today my hand is open. Remind me every day that You took the worst of me and You really deserve the best.

Friday, November 11, 2011

What If?

What if I was judged as a criminal for being a disciple of Jesus Christ?

What if my good works were seen as a threat to the governmental programs?

What if my words were evidence used against me to prove I was a Christian?

What if I followed Jesus to the cross?

What if I lived my life always looking to see what The Holy Spirit was doing and dare to do it too?

What if?

Lord and Savior, Jesus, You dared to come and show all of us what it would be like to follow You in a world that did not want You. You were courageous and determined to do what was right and good. I don't always look like You because I am afraid to be judged wrongly. Thank you for doing that for me! It is through You that I can change and be more like You! I want the what ifs in my life to give You glory and not shame. Change me ,Lord!

Monday, November 7, 2011


"...For I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. " Phil 4:11b (NAS)

This verse was at the center of our Sunday School lesson yesterday. It has grabbed a hold of me and will not let go. I am wrestling with this virtue of being content in whatever circumstance I find myself. But am I to be content in all things?

I do believe God wants me to be content with my material goods. I do not need to chase after the things of this world that will never satisfy, nor last. It does not matter that my household furnishings do not make a fashion statement. I can find contentment in my clothes, food, and shelter, but should I ever be content with my walk with God? Or a less than satisfactory relationship with those around me?

In searching my heart I cannot say that I am content with my Christian walk. I, like Paul, press hard toward Christ. I want to be a disciple that does what I have read and heard, but I know that I am not there yet. I have far to go before I can be content in my daily living for Jesus. The same is true for my relationships with others.

I cannot sit back and pretend to be content with my marriage when I too often love myself more than I love my husband. My failures as a friend or neighbor also produce discontentment and urge me to discipline myself to be better.

Contentment. It is a two faced coin of being and striving. For me, my heart must continually chase after God and His place for me. It is only in Him that I can be content. Therefore I can only be content in the place where I am running hard after Him.

You, O Lord are my Hiding Place! You are my Strong Tower and my Refuge! It is only in You that I find safety and contentment. But, Lord, I will never rest contentledly and completely in You until Heaven is my only home. Forgive me, Jesus, for the times when my feet are slow to follow You; when my eyes focus on this world and fail to see that You have planned much more for me. Thank You for making me thirst after You. Thank You for allowing short moments of contentment to tempt me onward to find more of You! Fill me with a desire for Your holiness and You completness. I will forever need to seek more of You.