Monday, December 31, 2007

Tradin' in my S....

Tonight, I had to realize that once again I have been trying to be Superwoman. I need to be in control, know what's going on, FIX IT! I don't literally have that S on my shirt like Superman. However, some time alone in the phone booth where he'd go to change doesn't sound like a bad idea! In my head and the decisions I've been making, I've been running my life like I can handle it all. I turn my life over to God, but when He doesn't work on my timetable, I take the problem back and try to fix it on my own.

I don't put much stock in New Year's resolutions. In the past, mine have only lasted a day or 2 anyway. So I'm not calling this a resolution. More like a solution to my problem. I'm trading my Superwoman S that signifies ME running everything. My new S is for surrender. Daily, minute by minute if necessary. I'm going to let God have my S and be my Superman for 2008.

Romans 8:5-8 (The Message)
Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God's action in them find that God's Spirit is in them—living and breathing God! Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life. Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing. And God isn't pleased at being ignored.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Immanuel - God with us

The name/word Immanuel is brought up a lot at Christmas time. In the Bible, it means "God with us". In the dictionary, it refers to Messiah which then refers to Jesus. I'm sure I have heard the name/word Immanuel mentioned many times over the years. For some reason though this year, I'm paying more attention. Maybe it is because it is such a comforting thought to think that God was there in the beginning before us, He lived for 30+ years on earth as one of us and He is still with us today.

John 1:1-5 (NIV) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.

GOD WITH US in the beginning

John 1:10-14 (NIV) He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

GOD WITH US - even when we don't or won't recognize God for who He is we are given the choice to receive him and believe in his name and given the right to become children of God. Adopted into God's forever family!

Matthew 1:22-23 (NIV) All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"—which means, "God with us."

GOD WITH US on earth as one of us

Hebrews 2:14-18 (NIV) Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham's descendants. For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

GOD WITH US still....helping us conquer our fears. He became the Savior so he could truly be with us all the time, everywhere, through every need and temptation.

I pray that you will feel God with you especially close over the next few days and into 2008. IMMANUEL

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Snack? ...... OR Feast?

As I made my way to finish off the last of the Breyers Fried Ice Cream (remember ChiChi's?) this evening...much later than I should be eating, I was thinking, "IF I gotta eat, it should be something healthier than ice cream." Yeah, right. You know I ate the ice cream. There really wasn't THAT much left...... ;o)

I started thinking about how many times I let a snack be enough. I rarely enjoy cooking so the feast option usually doesn't come up a whole lot. BUT I've been invited to feasts. Potlucks are my favorite. I can usually bring dessert! A lot of times, I enjoy the company even more than the food.

Matthew 22:1 - 3 (NIV)
The Parable of the Wedding Banquet
1Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: 2"The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. 3He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come.

When it comes to time spent with God, I don't want to let a snack be enough. He's invited me to a feast! All I need to do is show up.

Wanna join me? You're invited too.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

:) Quick pick me up....pass it on......Did she get my note?

I got our mail today...and in addition to the bills and credit card offers was a card from my sister's house. I thought it was the Christmas card with a picture in it. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw it was from my 5 year old me! I smiled as I read what his mom helped him write and he signed his name. What a day brightener! Little did he know how much it would mean. He's not aware of the stresses life puts on adults. THANK GOODNESS!

I called his house and I could hear him in the background, "Did she get my note?"

We've received a couple of other cards for Christmas too. What a nice feeling to know someone is thinking of us. It's something that seems small, but can make a great impact. Do you know somebody who needs a quick pick me up/day brightener? If you keep feeling a little urging, follow up on it. God may be using you to bless somebody who really needs it. Pass it on. Have you received something unexpected recently? Whisper a little prayer of thanks for the person who was thinking of you.

OK, I wasn't going to get all spiritual tonight, but just had a thought as I typed did she get my note. God gave us a whole book of love letters and pick me ups. It probably won't come in an envelope or in the mailbox. I can just hear Him...."Did she get my note?"

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Bible - How's your sword?

I'm writing this as a reminder to myself....and sharing with you. My days go better when I start out with quiet time reading the Bible. My head knows this and my spirit knows this. Unfortunately, life lately has been busy. While this is true, it is also an excuse. I have found/made time to read books about the Bible, Karen Kingsbury novels, and SisterChick books. Even though the other books have had Godly undertones, it's not the Bible and they are not my promised sword for battle.

I was looking up something else, and ran across this. Thought I'd share.

The Life of a Neglected Bible

May we not just read on Sundays. God wants to speak to us every day. Polish the sword! You never know when you're going to need it next.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

BLAH, but wait.....

I've been reading some other sites....and trying to change my attitude. It has been a blah week, there is no other way to describe it. You know how it is when you can read or hear about someone/something else and think "well, it could always be worse"? Now, my heart knows this is true, but my emotions go, "yeah, well, it sure FEELS bad right now!" It seems like life lately has just been one thing on the next and the load is getting a little heavy. And I'm thinking to myself, do you really want to write anything right now when you are in such a funky mood? However, I'll do better writing as it's stuff I'd probably never say (if I'm completely honest with myself). So, why not just put it in my journal? Why post it here? I'm guessing I'm not the only way who is feeling/has felt this way. So, share the load, divide the troubles......multiply the blessings, add some care, subtract the worry (enough math terms?)

Then I get to the blog and look at the verse of the day. I knew I put it at the top for a reason.

“But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.” (Luke 1:30-33) (NIV)

All of this is still true today, for me...and for you. Granted, we're not going to be the mother (or father) of Jesus. But He came here for US!

"Do not be afraid, _____(state your name), you have found favor with God. Give him the name Jesus. He will be great. He will reign forever. His kingdom will never end."

I don't have to be afraid. God still favors me. I can call on the name of Jesus. He IS great. He reigns forever...including today. His kingdom will never end because he's coming back for a better place and time!

Thank God! Hugs to all....and to all a good night......

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

What would YOU ask for?

Matthew 7:7 "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. (NIV)

At Christmas time, we think of giving and getting gifts. We may or may not get what we ask for. Sometimes it costs too much or we can't find the requested item. We may have a hard time asking for what we need. Maybe it's not a gift. Maybe we wish we could have a different quality about our personality or something that is not a "thing". It is not really something somebody can give us. Then what?

Seeking God is wise. It makes sense. How come it seems so easy to go our own way, but then we look back and realize if we would have made God part of the process the way would have been easier?

What if God himself asked you what you wanted? What an amazing thought! It could be ANYTHING! Would we be smart enough to ask for a virtue (a commendable quality or trait) and not a thing? David's son, Solomon, was asked that question....and he picked wisdom (ability to discern inner qualities and relationships/good sense)!

1 Kings 3: 5 That night the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream, and God said, “What do you want? Ask, and I will give it to you!” 6 Solomon replied, “You showed faithful love to your servant my father, David, because he was honest and true and faithful to you. And you have continued your faithful love to him today by giving him a son to sit on his throne. 7 “Now, O Lord my God, you have made me king instead of my father, David, but I am like a little child who doesn’t know his way around. 8 And here I am in the midst of your own chosen people, a nation so great and numerous they cannot be counted! 9 Give me an understanding heart so that I can govern your people well and know the difference between right and wrong. For who by himself is able to govern this great people of yours?”
10 The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for wisdom. 11 So God replied, “Because you have asked for wisdom in governing my people with justice and have not asked for a long life or wealth or the death of your enemies—12 I will give you what you asked for! I will give you a wise and understanding heart such as no one else has had or ever will have! 13 And I will also give you what you did not ask for—riches and fame! No other king in all the world will be compared to you for the rest of your life! 14 And if you follow me and obey my decrees and my commands as your father, David, did, I will give you a long life.”
15 Then Solomon woke up and realized it had been a dream. (NLT)

It may have been a dream, but Solomon did become known as the wisest man who ever lived. He governed with understanding and wrote many Proverbs that we still refer back to today. He got what he asked for and even more!

Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. (NIV)

What are the desires of your heart? God still offers us the ability to ask.

Ask, seek, knock....God, Thanks for opening the door and letting me ask for what I need. Today, my top need is _______.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Love Came Down at Christmas - Jars of Clay

Fun, cool beat, something different Christmas song and neat video! (Thanks for sharing Jeremy at JQ!)

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Victorious Living - Worth a listen!

Sometimes I think God delays us to be in a certain spot to hear just what we need to hear just when we need to hear it. I have had this happen often: usually with songs, sometimes with Dr. Laura, and many times with Focus on the Family.

I heard the first part of this yesterday and was moved to tears many times in a 1/2 hour! There are times when we think things couldn't get worse. Then, through God's grace, we hear or see something that puts our lives and problems in perspective. If you look soon, it is listed under Daily Broadcasts. If you have to, search under David Ring or Victorious Living. David Ring has cerebral palsy. His 1st saying was: I've got Cerebral Palsy, what's your problem? Now he uses, I have Cerebral Palsy, but Cerebral Palsy doesn't have me. It takes some concentration to listen, but what a message!

I'm listening to the 2nd part now. Tears flow and life is in perspective for today.

Hang in there and keep looking up! God loves us...what else do we need?

Media....and what if......

I had some other thoughts I wanted to write about, but this seemed pretty timely.

As I'm writing, I'm listening on the news about ANOTHER shooting...this time at a mall. Makes me sad...and rather angry. It seems the more coverage these incidents receive the more people seem to think they'll be made famous after their death if they go out with a bang (no pun intended). The media neglects the fact that their response to these incidents is very important. Yes, we need to know, but focus more on the lives of the victims that have needlessly been taken and cut short and less focus on the shooter(s) and why they made the decision they did.

AND the "famous" people that are covered so much they can't even live their lives OR rest in peace...Brittney Spears, Paris Hilton, Tom Cruise and his family, Anna Nicole Smith, Elvis, etc. They get noticed for EVERY little everyday thing they do. It amazes me that people WANT to be famous. Why live life under a microscope?!?!? If we as a society spent as much time reading the Bible as we do watching the TV and reading news about stuff that in the whole eternity of things does not matter, what a change we might see! (I step off my soapbox)

SO, what if the media covered some of the more important news and what if there had been television back when Jesus was born? How much coverage would His birth have received? Some friends and I took this thought upon ourselves as a Christmas program for Sunday School one year. It actually turned out pretty good and I'm wishing I had a copy of it (come to think of it, I probably do somewhere as I keep WAY too much paper). SO, ponder on that for awhile and if I get a chance, I'll try and remember some of it as finding it (before Christmas) ain't gonna happen.....

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Point of Grace - How You Live

Excellent song with a great point. It's not who you knew, not what you did, it's how you lived.....

Do You Have Room? Prepare for the Gift and pass it on!

Matthew 7:11 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him. (NLT)

Do you ever picture God as the Ultimate Father? Sometimes that may be hard to do, especially if your father here on earth let you down, or isn't in the picture of your life, or is just plain human. ;) As parents, we strive to do the best for our kids. We may try to meet their needs before they even ask or to anticipate the desires of their heart. God prepared a gift for us that we weren't even aware we needed. We don't always show appreciation for what we've been given and what we can be saved from.

Can you imagine taking the time and effort to prepare the greatest gift ever and have it rejected time and time again?

Matthew 23:37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God’s messengers! How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn’t let me. (NLT)

God did that for us when He willingly laid aside his kingly robes and came from heaven in the form of a helpless baby. There was no room for Him in a comfortable place in an inn. He was born in a barn where animals were kept out of the way. He was wrapped in "swaddling cloths", basically rags...leftovers. He gave us a gift by going through trials and temptations here on earth so He can truly understand when we cry out in desperation when the going gets too hard.

What do you do when you receive a gift that you can never even imagine how much it cost the giver to give it? The word sacrifice comes to mind. I looked it up and my favorite definition is: a: destruction or surrender of something for the sake of something else b: something given up or lost . In this case, Jesus became someone given up FOR the lost. Us! How do we not let that precious gift stop with us but be a gift that keeps on giving?

Matthew 25:34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. 36 I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’

37 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? 39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

40 “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’ (NLT)

Like Mary when she was visited by the angel and found out she would become the mother of the Savior, ponder and treasure in your heart the sights and sounds of Christmas this year. Recognize the fact that because of Jesus we do not travel this frustrating path of life alone. We are made for better times and a better place. What a gift and God is willing to keep giving and giving! Are we prepared to make room and receive it and pass it on?


Sunday, December 02, 2007

Absence of Light Devotional

I wrote the following for a devotional website so I thought I'd share:

Isaiah 9:2 - The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. (NIV)

As my daughter and I wait for her bus in the morning before school, we often play with shadows. She tries to make her shadow look taller than mine. We step on each other's shadows. Our shadows do what we do. If we dance, our shadows dance.

A shadow is an area that is darkened because the light is blocked. It is the absence of light in the shape of the object blocking the light. Shadows can look big and overwhelming, depending on how close or far away the object is from the source of the light.

Job 12:22 - He reveals the deep things of darkness and brings deep shadows into the light. (NIV)

Our world today can seem dark and scary. The shadows of our problems can feel like they are ready to overtake us. Maybe darkness feels like it is trying to move into our life. We don't have to stay there.

Psalm 23:4 - Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (NIV)

There are many who still need to meet the source of our light. Will we be someone's shadow, or will we help project the light that they need to make it through that next tough step?

Prayer: God, thank You so much for being the light that keeps even our darkest days from overwhelming us. Please put people in our path who need Your light. Help us to project that light and chase away the lingering darkness. Amen.