Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Making All Things New

Forget the former things;
    do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland.

I'm game.  How about you?

Saturday, December 21, 2013

We Don't Have It That Bad

While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born,
 and 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 2:6-7

My daughter and I were talking the other day about the delivery of her first child.  The hospital was so crowded that they sent her home to wait out her intense labor.  When she couldn't stand it anymore, they went back to the hospital, waited in the waiting room a long while and then in the hall and finally in a partitioned room with about three others...all in labor.  Everything worked well, praise the Lord, and she delivered a beautiful little girl.
When I think of those circumstances as compared with the birth of Christ, I realized that she really didn't have it "that" bad.

  I'll can never begin to understand the emotions that must have swept over Mary at her first child's birth...not at all what she had dreamed...not at all what the picture above depicts.  Yet, in that humble and very dirty cattle stall, she delivered 
The Mighty King.

Antique Christmas card from personal files

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Finding the Peace

As the deer pants for streams of water, 
so my soul pants for you, my God.
Psalm 47:1

In all the bustle of the Christmas season, I get way too busy...yet that still, small voice continues to call me to find rest in Him.  When I take the time, I'm quenched.  He remains faithful to his Word.  It's me that is the problem.  I hope you find that rest as well.

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Lights of Christmas

Christmas Lights:

The lights in the eyes of a sweet granddaughter just turned seven;

the first Christmas lights seen by a six month old, the baby of a dear friend;

the lights and delights of remembering loved ones who now live with the Lord.

Christmas carries many joys...and sorrows...
 but it's still Christmas, 
the birth of God's only Son, Jesus.
On With The Celebration!

Photos from the personal files of Jennie Hughes and Jennifer Ragan.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

How Majestic!

Picture by Moyan Brenn on Flickr
earthincolors free pictures

Lord, our Lord, 
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
What is mankind that you are mindful of them,

    human beings that you care for them?
Psalm 8:1,4

In scouring Flickr for photos of winter...a most glorious season...I found this one that I think is outstanding.  Lo and behold, it is taken in Norway...the country of my roots.  Yes, the photographer is amazing but God is Majestic.  Without Him he wouldn't have this photograph.  Enjoy the beauty around you, friends, for we have a creator who loves us.Read the sermon by Ben Mandrell from whom my idea for this post came here.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Feeling Insignificant?

Bethlehem today

But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
    though you are small among the clans of Judah,
out of you will come for me
    one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
    from ancient times.
Micah 5:2

Never underestimate the Lord.  The smallest may become the greatest.  The least of all may become the most.  Just when you think you have nothing to give, God gives you abundant blessings.  When you have been spent, He renews your strength.  When you have lost all hope, He gives you a purpose.  When you feel your prayers are hitting the ceiling and going no further, God amazes you with himself...
just like Bethlehem. 

Who would have thought?

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Where Is Integrity?

God is very forthright when He speaks about honesty and integrity.  It's very difficult to find a person as described by the Psalmist in the passage below.

Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent?
    Who may live on your holy mountain?
The one whose walk is blameless,
    who does what is righteous,
    who speaks the truth from their heart;
whose tongue utters no slander,
    who does no wrong to a neighbor,
    and casts no slur on others;
who despises a vile person
    but honors those who fear the Lord;
who keeps an oath even when it hurts,
    and does not change their mind;
who lends money to the poor without interest;
    who does not accept a bribe against the innocent.
Whoever does these things
    will never be shaken.
Psalm 15

I was reading a sermon about Ananias and Sapphira and how they tried to trick the disciples into believing they did what they had promised.  It's found in Acts 5:1-11.  God does not take lying lightly.
You can read the sermon here.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Family Fun...or Is It?

I will commit myself to you forever; 
I will commit myself to you 
in righteousness and justice, 
in steadfast love and 
tender compassion.
Hosea 2:19

I love Christmas. This is a photo taken about 5 years ago. Boy, have things changed. We've added two more and another is on the way.  
Just being with family members is so much fun.  We play, tell stories about our lives, eat, share presents and laugh until our cheeks hurt.  We get along well but no one is perfect.  Sometimes there are misunderstandings, struggling over toys, feeling sorry to lose a game or even some resentment.  We try to remember that love should be "steadfast"...never failing...the love that comes from Christ.  It's the glue that keeps our family together...that common bond.  It takes commitment and compassion to be a loving family...and sometimes sacrifice...but it's worth it.

We're looking forward to being with all of these lovely people some time during the Christmas season.  I can't wait to see each one.  

Photo from my personal files.

Saturday, December 7, 2013


The tempest comes out from its chamber,
    the cold from the driving winds.
The breath of God produces ice....
Job 37 8-9

This is actually a picture of an ice storm we had last year on the path we walk behind our house.  So far we've escaped the worst of the tempest.  Another is to come tonight after a predicted cold but sunny day.
I'm thankful for winter.  It's time.  God has it all arranged so I'm all in.

Photo from my personal files.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Fading Leaves

You will be like an oak with fading leaves,
like a garden without water.
Isaiah 1:30

The leaves are almost gone.  Summer has past into Autumn and Autumn into Winter. 

It is supposed to be 70 here today and then we'll have a cold blast with all the vestiges of Winter. 

 Things don't last long so I'll enjoy each as it comes.  I'll praise the Lord as He has given me breath to do so. 

Photo is from my personal files.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Meeting the Neighbors

 Love your neighbor as yourself.
 I am the Lord.
Leviticus 19:18

We've invited our neighborhood to our house tonight to meet them and share Luke 2 together.  Of course, I'll have food. 
 I've really stepped up lately with hospitality (a weakness of mine in the past) and because I haven't been crafting as much as usual, I've been able to keep my house in pretty good shape...neat-wise.
We've lived here a year this month and have only met a few of our neighbors.  Everyone seems to be cloistered and not too friendly.  I guess they've heard about us Northerners invading their neighborhood...or that my husband is a minister.  Whatever the reason, we're reaching out.  May the Lord be honored.