Saturday, December 27, 2008

Why is it so hard to love our family well as compared to others in our lives? I struggle with this question often, but especially around the holidays. I ponder how I should act and what I should say even with simple phone conversations. It causes me great stress and burdens my heart to the point at which my inner spirit yells a blood curdling, "RETREAT!". An about face withdraw seems to be my best defense against a good tongue lashing towards others who, in my eyes, truly deserve the harsh treatment of honest words!

In the agony of my defeat, I become quiet almost to the point of silence. I withdraw and hold my weapon clenched behind my teeth with lips sealed. Unfortunately, I can not hush the random thoughts of anguish and hurt which swirl within my mind. So many "whys" get asked bouncing between the right and left brain followed by tears of pain. Have I once again expected more from others than what is able to be given? I wish the word "expect" could just be dropped from the whole English language.

I don't like disappointments, but life is full of them. I dislike greatly the walls we build to protect our hearts, but everyone of us does it. A negative word is never forgotten, but we have all done it to another. I guess these three things are why I'm holding myself back from visiting family. I don't want to be a disappointment, build walls, or speak a negative word. I figure time heals all wounds and in time I will get past the anger and be able to love well again. The best medicine for a tongue that wants to lash out is to stay away from that which arouses the tongue to anger, pray, and seek the face of Jesus.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

My Grown Up Christmas List

This is mine and my husband's favorite Christmas song! Click the link below and have a wonderful Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Hush My Child...Love Jesus

Hush now do you hear me sing,
I sing to you a song of peace.
The day comes near,
When I was born,
To quiet the ache of the soul.

Hush now do you hear me sing,
I sing to you a song of joy.
For though I was born,
That I might die,
Hope arose from behind the stone.

Hush now do you hear me sing,
I sing to you a song of love.
Sing back to me my sweet child,
There is no greater gift I should want,
Than for you to believe in me and rejoice!

Do you hear him? He is waiting and longing to sit awhile and talk with you. Slow down from the hustle and bustle of this Christmas season...just five minutes...and let Christ sing over you! Let him renew you with his peace, fill you with his joy, and lavish you with his love!
Click Below Link and Enjoy!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

All Paid Up

As I shopped for groceries, my son asked if he could have a small chocolate milk as a treat. I put it in the cart with the rest of our things and began to check out. The chocolate milk was the first up and the cashier asked if we wanted it left out. Of course my son wanted to carry it so the lady put a bright orange oval sticker on the container of milk. In bold black letters was the word PAID.

I didn’t think much of it at first, but as we left the store my son stuck the sticker on the palm of his hand. He chuckled and said,

“Look mom I’m paid for.”

I glanced down at his hands and my mind immediately flashed to Jesus on the cross. As we walked out to the parking lot and the misty rain hit our faces, I agreed with my son. I told him he is paid for…. by the blood of the lamb. Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sin so that we might find freedom in Him. He paid a debt he did not owe all because he loves us!

So remember this Christmas...Jesus came that He might die...die to give us life!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Play Your Drum

It was evening, but the sky was bright, lit by an amazing star that brought brilliance and joy to the darkness. The sound of a baby’s coo from the manger’s straw floor and the sight of a man and woman gazing in wonderment made the night glow even brighter.First, cattle appeared, then goats and sheep, followed by shepherds from the fields. They came…they bowed…they wept kissing the baby’s hand and the mother’s cheek.

The boy watched from afar between the rails of a fence. His drum and drumsticks, the only thing he owned, lay quietly beside him as he continued to watch unknowingly the event of a lifetime. He witnessed others come and set gifts down as they bowed before the babe. The little drummer boy was so intrigued and wanted so much to get a little closer. Hours had passed and now sitting beside his drum, he came to the exciting conclusion that this child must be a King. This child, he thought, must be the one his grandfather had told him about…the child that would come to save the sin sick world.

O, how he wanted to get a glimpse of the baby, but he had no gift. How could he walk up to a King and have no gift to give? His chin collapsed to his chest and he closed his eyes in utter disappointment of not having something fitting for a King. His eyes felt wet and when he opened them a tear drop raced down his cheek. He raised his hand to wipe the tear and the sound of his drumsticks rolling off the top of his drum caused him to look at his only possession.

“My drum…I’ll play my drum for the one who will save me!”

He picked the drum up, slung it around his neck, and stood tall clasping a drumstick in each sweaty hand. He took a deep breath and began to play, prrrr rump pa pum pum…his feet began to move and march in military style…prrrr rump pa pum pum…those who were standing…those who were bowing…the animals and the baby’s mother looked towards the small boy. The sound of his drum echoed sweetness to all! Tears flooded the drummer boy’s face, but he dared not stop giving the only gift he had to offer. It was all he had to give his King!

Will we as God’s children choose to get off the fence and give back to our King the gift He has given us as the little drummer boy did? Will we be bold enough to put Christ back into Christmas and march to the beat of a different drum by using our God given gifts to echo the sweetness of Jesus to those around us? Do you fear your Lord enough that you dare not stop giving the only gift you have to offer? If you feel you have no gift to give, share the one gift that has been given to you…the story of Jesus Christ!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Myrrh at Christmas Time

Did you know myrrh was present at the birth of Christ, used in His death, and will be smelled in His return?

Birth of Jesus - Matthew 2:11 – The Visit of the Magi
“On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.”

Death of Jesus - John 19:39-40 – The Burial of Jesus
“He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy five pounds. Taking Jesus body the two of the m wrapped it, with the spices in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs.”

Jesus Returns for His Bride - Psalm 45:8
“All your robes are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia…”

Psalm 45 is a song in praise of the king on his wedding day and depicts a foreshadowing of Christ. After the exile this psalm was applied to the Messiah, the promised Son of David who would sit on David’s throne. (taken from NIV Study Notes)
The Scent of Jesus

Often I crave alone time to just sit and think about Jesus. I imagine in my mind different scenarios of what it must have been like to have lived during the time of Christ and actually see him face to face as he spoke. How deep was his voice or did he sing tenor? How would his hand have felt as it brushed over top of mine walking amongst the crowds? Did Christ have a scent that lingered which would remind me of his presence throughout the day long after his departure to the next town? Would this scent cause me to seek him even more with the desire to capture another moment of grace in his presence?

At the birth of Jesus, the magi brought the new King incense and myrrh
(Matthew 2:11). What is the origin of these two gifts? God instructed Moses to “Make an alter…” in the Tent of Meeting (Exodus 30:1) and on this alter Aaron was to burn incense every morning and also when he lighted the lamps at night fall. The fragrant smoke that rose from the burning of incense symbolized the prayers of God’s people. God commanded Moses (Exodus 30:34-35) to make the incense from equal parts of gum resin, which is taken from the middle of hardened drops of myrrh. This was very rare and very valuable. Also, the closing flap of claw shaped snails called, Onycha, was rubbed with an alkali solution to remove impurities; it was then soaked in the fermented berry juice of the Caper shrub, or a strong white wine, in order to enhance its fragrance. Galbanum, a rubbery resin, was added. Last, pure frankincense was tapped by slashing the bark of the Frankincense (Boswellia) tree found in Lebanon. The sap bleeds out from the tree as resin and is called “tears”. These trees are also considered unusual for their ability to grow in environments so unforgiving that the trees sometimes grow directly out of solid stone, which the tree attaches to by means of a sucker-like appendage. The deep roots and its sucker like appendage prevent the tree from being torn away from the stone during the violent storms that frequent this region; the “tears” from these hardy survivors are considered superior due to their more fragrant aroma.

Myrrh is identified with an aromatic gum exuded from the leaves of the cistus rose. Its oil was used in beauty treatments (Easter 2:12) and was sometimes mixed with wine and drunk to relieve pain. Jesus was actually offered this drink mix when he suffered on the cross (Mark 15:23), but did not partake of it. The most amazing thing about myrrh is that it was brought to Christ at his birth by the magi and his body was wrapped in linen strips scented with myrrh at his death.

The harden drops of myrrh are considered very rare and very valuable and so are we as children of God. Yes, they burned incense in the Tent of Meeting as directed by God, but now we have Jesus. He surrendered all in the garden of Gethsemane as his sweat was like “tears” of blood. He loved us so much that just as the Frankincense tree was slashed to retrieve the good resin, so also was our Lord flogged by Roman soldiers that through him we remove impurities of sin in our own lives and become good once again. Jesus enhances our fragrance as children of the light as we grow in our knowledge of him and allow his love and grace embrace our daily walk. We need to cling to Jesus as a “sucker-like appendage” growing from the Solid Rock and know we will prevail in unforgiving environments and violent storms. Having joy despite the trials will label us as “hardy survivors” and superior in the eyes of Christ with our fragrant aroma!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

True Treasure of Christmas

Do you allow Christ's energy to struggle deep within you or do you wrestle with your own selfish desires and allow these to drive your actions?

I would hope most would choose the latter of these two choices and struggle with the energy of Jesus rather than that of your own ambitions. How powerful He is making us more than conquerors, but how often we forget the power of the King who has supremacy over all things.

"He is before all things and in Him all things hold together." Col. 1:17

Do you close the front door in the morning and rush off to start your busy day and leave Jesus standing at the window waving goodbye with tear filled eyes? Christ desires so much for us to realize our true treasure is fullness in Him and not chasing the ambitions and material things of this world.

Please do not be preoccupied with your "to do" list this Christmas season, but realize, as Christ desires for all, the treasure of this season is not the gifts we give or the gifts we receive..the true treasure is fullness in Christ Jesus!


may we please you in every way,

live a life worthy of the Lord,

bear good fruit,

and grow in the knowledge of the Jesus!


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

True Peace of Christmas

The picture below is beautiful indeed. The view out the window with filtered sunlight peeking through the branches of the now naked tree drew me to seek a better look. I heard the chirp of the red bird whistling a sweet melody to his fellow friends and squirles waved their tails wildly in the air as if to give me a hardy hello. It drew me...spoke to me to come come out and join in the good time. I came awe stricken in a daze like state toward the window to partake of what I thought would give me a sweet sensation of peace and joy...

But then...

a sudden thud...

as my head bangs against the wall...

for the window I sought ...

was not a window at all...

it was a shadow...

giving me a false belief...

of what I thought was the real thing!

My hands reached upward to rub the spot where I was whincing in pain. The sudden thud brought me right out of my starry eyed state and made me realize I was deceived. I sought beauty and peace where it could not be found lured in by sights and sounds which made my heart desire a false contentment.

As I lifted my head from my hands, a true warmth overcame me. I looked up and to my right...and there before me was the true window.

Don't let the shadows of this holiday season lure you into false belief that "things" will make you happy and bring you joy, peace, and contentment. For soon after you will realize this idea is false. The only true peace received is that which comes from our Savior...Jesus! How he longs for you to seek Him and not the shadow!