Sunday, December 24, 2017

I Wonder While I Wait

What are you waiting for today,  this Christmas Eve? For Santa,  hoping you were good enough all year to be on the nice list? I remember worrying. Yes,  worrying,  and waking up earlier than any of my siblings and trying to sneak downstairs just to peek. I never thought there would be anything for me. I must have been really bad,  or thought I was. When I saw I wasn't forgotten,  everything inside me just came alive! I made it another Christmas! We were told so much about “naughty and nice”. It made inroads in my soul long after I grew up and was too old for Santa.

Are you waiting for the perfect Christmas Day where everyone will be glad to see you and the food will all be perfect and no one will offend anyone,  by intention, or by ignorance? A day where you will have to neither apologize or forgive anyone? And you will all like every gift received? I guess that would be a great day, wouldn’t it?

Some are waiting for it to be over. A time of year where memories,  often sad ones,  are unwrapped and in front of you all season. Empty chairs at tables and voices that have been stilled  bring sorrow as we go through the motions on the outside,  smiling within.

Perhaps you are waiting for something more substantial. Maybe this will be the year you realize all that Christmas really means. Most have heard the account of Jesus birth,  been to candlelight services,  and sung the carols. It was all inclusive in my home growing up; Santa and Jesus side by side. But I never really understood it till later,  when it became personal.

Personal you ask? I thought Christmas was about Christ,  the reason for the season? Well,  yes,  it is,  He is….but,  so am I and so are you and so is everyone. You see,  if there was no need for a Savior,  He never would have had to come. God could have continued to rule from heaven a people who gave Him all the honor,  and have perfect lives besides. So that to me makes Christmas about all of us. He came for all of us.

The sad part is that so many don't know why it is about them. They have never allowed it to become personal. They know the story, but they don't know the relevance. They have sung the carols,  but never knew the words. They know the baby,  but they don't know the King.

So what are you waiting for? Signs in the sky? It was a star. Voices in the dark? It was angels. God to appear to you? The word was made flesh. Peace and hope to fill you? Jesus is all of it. 

We were all on the naughty list. Jesus came for me and you. It is about us giving praise to God for sending Jesus,  the light of the world.

So I wish you all a Merry Christmas! And the living hope that all things sorrowful in this life are redeemed because of Jesus coming on Christmas Day.

Friday, December 15, 2017

A Different View

This is the last entry of 2017 for
The word is “different” In between the //s is 5 minutes. Read on if you so desire.

//One thing I have a problem with is when people list their own achievements. Paul was someone who had the best of everything and strived to give it all up for the cause of knowing Christ. Okay,  my problem has always been,  if you give it up,  count all loss for something,  but at least you had it to begin with,  then you are winning on both ends. Am I the only one thinking this way?

Have you ever read a book that is way above your level of understanding? I mean because you want to? I am at present. I sit with the book and dictionary side by side and write a list of words and their definitions. I read and re-read,  till it makes sense. In doing this,  I am beginning to see the juxtaposition in Paul's words,  and am a little more compassionate of his position. I am taking a different view,  so much so,  that I have chosen my one verse for 2018.

Phil 3:13 “But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, //

Behind Paul was all he knew,  his upbringing, status, education, passion,  and his blameless position as a Pharisee. When he penned these words he was imprisoned. What good would any of this be now, yet he clearly explains he has not attained.

Behind me is all I don't know. It is just as difficult to rely on your lack of something as it is your supply. Christ asks that we do neither. The goal is to “know Christ and the power of His resurrection and participation in His sufferings…”Phil 3:10

My word for 2018 has not changed. It is hope. Whereas my verse for this year was Jer 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,  declares the Lord,  plans to prosper you and not to harm you,  to give you a future and a hope.”,  I feel Phil 3:13 follows that perfectly for me. To know more what Christ wants me to know will give me a greater experience of hope than ever realized before. Practically speaking it does not mean I am setting out to be a scholar,  haha. It does however mean to me that the excuses relied on in the past are no longer acceptable to carry into the future.

Did God use my chosen verse in my life this year? Did I prosper? Not in ways I may have expected. Did He harm me? There were times I questioned His purposes and felt abandoned. Phil 3:14, 15 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore,  and many as are perfect, (mature) have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude,  God will reveal that also to you.”

Everyone grows and matures at a different rate. What my eyes see and my ears hear can be different than yours. It is the heart God looks at and works through to make His ways known. There will always be much I don't know and things I do know and am still learning. Thank God He never says it's too late, you're too old, or you're too unreachable. That is hope!

Friday, December 8, 2017

Only One Thing

Writing for  The word is Only

Brethren,  I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do,  forgetting those things which are behind,  and reaching forth unto those things which are before.” Phil 3:13

I have only one thing left to do. I am waiting to say it. With Christmas still a few weeks away I have more than one only thing. It's a slow,  steady journey to Christmas. I plan so much more than I do, that I end up last minute no matter how big or small an event is,  and still I know I'm going to blink and it will be behind me.

I wonder how Mary felt traveling in her last days of pregnancy on a donkey to an unknown destination. She and Joseph had nothing except God to carry them. A slow,  steady journey by faith only. When she was settled in Nazareth I wonder how many times she thought back on it as a blink. Was time slower then?

Perhaps the only thing to do is to be led by the Spirit. She carried him on that journey so He could carry us through ours. I do think time is much faster now. I wonder when we reach our destination will we change our view on what we did on this earth. What only thing am I not doing because my list is so long? Maybe omitting that one only thing is holding me back from so many more blessings.

Forgetting the past and reaching toward the future can be different for each person. What past thing is holding you captive and keeping you from moving forward? It can be a thought pattern,  a habit,  a relationship, even a familiar routine. I am considering and praying about my only one thing that is necessary.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Being Nearsighted

Writing for  The word is near.

The nearness of you Lord is desired, yet so often I am apprehensive. I am so drawn by everything I see and hear and take into my senses. I let myself be absorbed into the noise and burdens that confront me and I believe that it is my burden to figure it all out, connect all the dots and bring resolve.  What I forget is when I am close to something, everything else is distanced. You tell us, “draw nigh to God and he will draw nigh to you.” It is not so I can ignore my priorities and responsibilities, but so that there is no wedge in my relationship with you. There in your presence I can find peace and your guidance. “The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me…”Ps 138:2a (kjv)

God bids I come first
He is faithful to follow
My climate settles