Go now, a child of God. Choose well the road you take,
And the decisions you make. Keep in mind always that The God you serve continues to call to you, making you more and more every day into the faithful one God wants you to be.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

One hundred thirteen

I know I missed a few days, but I am still with God.

Today as I started my day one word I heard over and over again as I watched Christian T.V. shows this morning and as I listened to Christian radio today and that one word was “Joy.” It was said that we cannot seek Joy. Joy comes from God; from knowing God. Joy comes from inside. I admit I have struggled with Joy this past year and the last six months of my life have had such an impact (with my marriage being so confusing) I prayed for more Joy. I have admitted to not having much joy and tried my best to find the tiny everyday joys that are blessings that we all take for granted for time to time- like seeing the sunshine, or freedom to go where we want to go, or breathing and good health. All those things are joy and are blessings from God. God is still on the throne. He is still giving out blessings.

I think Joy and Faith are the ying and yang of a relationship with God.  For every little bit of joy, you have to have a whole lot of faith, and for a little bit of faith, you can have a whole lot of joy. Thank God!  Thank God for faith and joy! God is the giver of all things seen and unseen.  Glory to God! How blessed we are when God is Lord of our lives. 

I have been in my bible seeking God for direction in my life and that is where I need to look for answers to my questions. On this EVE of the new year my thoughts are of Adam and Eve. God made the first couple of one flesh. He made Eve from the rib of Adam and they were forever joined. Adam and Eve both had their own roles and they were one flesh. When Eve sinned, she got Adam involved and when they were banished from Eden, it was not just Eve that got banished, they both got banished and both had to suffer the wrath of God. For the first man and wife there were no other choices for any other partner. Adam couldn’t say to Eve, you did this terrible thing and I am divorcing you. He ate of the fruit also. They were bound to endure each other’s burdens. Nothing was easy ever again for them. Adam lived for 930 years. I did not read an account of Eve’s years on Earth but the bible did say that during Adam’s life he had many more sons and daughters. I could get dizzy reading Genesis 1-7; creation and man on Earth and populating the earth, and direct communication with God. What a time to be on the Earth!

I wasn’t blessed to live during that time, I am here now, during this time, in the final hours of 2009 looking back and not wanting to linger there.
I want to seize some joy.
I want to live present in the moment.
I want to take the time it takes to listen to a friend.
I want to take the time to say a prayer- immediately.
Spontaneous prayer. It is through Jesus Christ that I am allowed to talk directly to God once again.
I want to give love even when it is not given back.
I want to act instead of react.

O.K. I know I am getting off the subject- back on track – about marriage, I know that God will bless my marriage if we stay committed to it. I am still seeking God’s direction. Divorce is final. God is at work in my marriage- even more so God is at work in me.

Yesterday my daughter had her 16th birthday. In my joy I thought back to sixteen years ago when I was in labor, I was sooo ready for her to be born I was only in labor for five and a half hours. I didn’t sleep a wink even after labor because I was so excited to have her where I could see her, and hold her.

I spoke to her on the phone on the eve of her 16ht birthday about how I spent the day she came into the world and how beautiful she was when she was born. I loved her from the moment I found out I was pregnant. I even knew when she was in the womb, without being told, that she was a girl. I know that beginnings are important – beginnings remind us of the wonder in new things and what transforms from beginnings to now.

Sixteen is a milestone for kids and usually it means a drivers license and a car and new independence. My daughter will be getting those things from her father and it is a blessing that he will be able to provide those things to progress her into this next stage of her life. I wanted to give her something to mark this birthday special, and I took her to buy a ring. She picked out an age appropriate heart shaped gold ring with three diamonds across the middle of the heart. I tell her all the time she is my heart. I had a very full day of joy that continued on into today.

Remembering the beginning and that overwhelming joy makes the tough times hard to remember.  Love endures. 

I am thinking of the beginning of 2010 and I have a feeling that it will be significant to remember the beginning and this time next year I will say without a doubt 2010 is one extraordinary year full of God’s blessings and miracles.

Philippians 3: 13-14
“But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal.”

God bless you and your family in the coming year. I have so much hope for God’s grace and blessings in this new year.

May God give us all joy in 2010.

Friday, December 25, 2009

One hundred twelve

We give presents because the wise men did. We put up stars to remind us of the one at Bethlehem. We light candles to celebrate the light that came into the world.
Today is the most celebrated birthday on the planet. I lift up my praise and worship to the Lord Jesus Christ! I am thankful for all the gifts He has given in love, through family, friends and talents. I know that all things are from God and today I am blessed to have a savior and that in knowing Him I will also have everlasting life in heaven when this life on Earth is over.

God still has a great and mighty work to be completed here on Earth until Jesus second return. May we all look forward to that day as we celebrate and worship our Lord today all days forward.

Philippians 2:7
“He gave up his place with God and made himself nothing. He was born to be a man and became like a servant.”

God became a man in the Lord Jesus Christ. God was on the Earth in the form of someone that we could see, feel and hear. He came with a message. That message was to accept Him and to live with Him in eternity.

I am blessed this Christmas day and am surrounded by love.

God is love.

Blessings to you and yours today.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

One hundred eleven

Luke 2:13-14
“and suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: ‘Glory to God in the highest/ And on earth peace, good will toward men!”

Today it is my prayer that everyone can experience Jesus Christ this Christmas eve.

Traveling mercies to those traveling to visit loved ones near and far.

May God give us all peace this Christmas.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

One hundred ten

This morning I woke up late and I had wanted to begin my devotionals first thing in the morning.
So what happened? I got in from my second job at around 10 PM, went directly to bed and awoke several times in the early morning 2:30, 3:45, and 4:30 I think it is the noise of my upstairs neighbors bouncing around causes me to wake fully up and look at the clock to see what time it is. I was able to drift back to sleep and I woke to the sound of a loud thump when my upstairs neighbor’s feet hit the floor hard at 7:00 AM.
I have to be at work at 7:30. I made it. Thankfully my work does not require I meet a dress code.
Last night between my jobs I sat looking at the lights on my Christmas tree. I have an ornament that says “Joy.” Where was the joy in my Christmas so far? It wasn’t gifts under the tree. I didn’t have to shop for relatives, or any baking, or social engagements that usually have me in a tizzy here two days before Christmas. This Christmas I admit is not like Christmas past. As a whole Christmas is different this year.

For a lot of people they will be going through the same kind of separation from Christmas past; illnesses, job losses, death of loved ones, broken families, natural disasters and other tragedies that are life changing, made this season different for many. I don’t know if I am more aware of these things not only because I am going through some, but also because I am getting older. Growing up someone else is there to protect you from the full brunt of the situations of struggle, but when you become a grown up, there isn’t anyone there to change the weight of the situation. We all need God. He can keep us from collapsing from these struggles, if we allow Him to.

My feeling this morning is one of defeat. Stripped of all the things one normally does at Christmas, did I neglect to do the one thing that is required of the season? That one thing is to honor Jesus Christ, our one and only reason for the season. It is my hope that my gift of myself, will honor him, with my devotion, with my thoughts and prayers(even though I missed a few days of blogging and I can’t seem to wake up early). I don’t know that I will ever be worthy of all God provides, but stripped down to the bareness of who I am with all my faults I have to give thanks that God still loves me. I have to put all my trust in God.

Psalm 119: 147
“Early in the morning, before the sun is up, I am praying and pointing out how much I trust in you.”

It is my prayer that we can be joyful and thankful and not let defeat overwhelm us to the point that we are not able to rejoice in Jesus Christ. Jesus was a gift of Love and that is the gift I am giving and I am asking for nothing in return.

Love and blessings to you this Christmas.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

One hundred nine

I took four days off of blogging for a vacation. I spent a few days with my husband. We went to Nashville, TN. The lights were nice and we saw the Rockettes at the Grand Old Opry. We also saw carved ice sculptures of Charlie Brown characters. The trip as a whole was good.

My marriage is still a very emotional area of my life. I have a lot to gain if we reconcile. I can regain all the security and stability of having a partner to share in all the events of our life. I will have my best friend back. I will have someone that will be affectionate, respectful , share laughter, share trials and the ever present comfort of love. I will also live in our home that we remodeled together. My dog will be less stressed. I will be able to calm down emotionally and not cry everyday feeling the weight of what I am loosing if we don’t reconcile. My marriage is still very much in crisis.

I have been in mourning the whole time I have been out of the house. I am ready to stop mourning. I am going through some very personal and emotional things. I pray and seek God’s will, I am trying to be patient. I want peace. Divorce is such a final thing with me. It will be the end of my relationship with my husband. We have remained close and not dated anyone else during our separation, so in that aspect I have retained hope that we could reconcile. He is not in any rush to reconcile or divorce.
I am emotionally torn.

David felt the same way I feel in Psalm 13
1 How long, O LORD ? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and every day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?
3 Look on me and answer, O LORD my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death;
4 my enemy will say, "I have overcome him,"
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.
5 But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
6 I will sing to the LORD,
for he has been good to me.

I surrender to God’s will. My efforts have been useless. I have to be patient. I know that God loves me. I have prayed about my marriage every day.

I took a few days off from blogging and broke my promise of blogging every day. I prayed every day and I am needing Him more. It is still a couple of days before Christmas and my focus can turn once again to the season and songs that celebrate Christmas.

Let go and let God handle my situation and if a reconcile in my marriage doesn’t happen, I pray that I have a peace about it and thankful for the mercy God gives.

"Away in a Manger" is the song I am singing.

Friday, December 18, 2009

One hundred eight

Today marks Christmas being one week away. May all our thoughts turn to Jesus Christ.
Yesterday I posted about how Hanukah began for the Jews, today I want to tell you that the Catholics also began a week of prayer.

In the Catholic Church's traditional cycle of prayer, Evening Prayer, also called Vespers, always includes the great song of Mary known as the Magnificat. This song is preceded and followed by a short verse or "antiphon" that links it to the feast of the day or the season of the year. In the last seven days of Advent (December 17-24), the Magnificat antiphons are very special. Each begins with the exclamation "O" and ends with a plea for the Messiah to come. As Christmas approaches the cry becomes increasingly urgent.

These "O Antiphons" were composed in the seventh or eighth century when monks put together some of the key Old Testament texts and phrases looking forward to our salvation. They form a rich, interlocking mosaic of Scriptural images; in the Middle Ages the custom grew of ringing the great bells of the church each evening as they were being sung.

A particularly fascinating feature of the O Antiphons is that the first letter of each invocation, when read backwards, forms an acrostic in Latin: the first letters of Sapientia, Adonai, Radix, Clavis, Oriens, Rex, and Emmanuel in reverse form the Latin words: ERO CRAS. These are understood as the words of Jesus, responding to his people's plea, saying "Tomorrow I will be there."

I am looking forward to the return of Jesus. If it happens in my lifetime, I will marvel in the events that will happen and if I die before, I know that with my salvation I will be with Him in heaven. I wish He would return tomorrow. His second coming will not be like the celebration of His birth with a day marked on the calendar. When Jesus returns it will be without any time to prepare, He will return when it is God’s will for Him to return. By using the Advent season to point us day after day to the coming of Jesus,  we must  focus on our true home. That true home is, of course, life in eternity with God. The time is now to declare Jesus Christ is King. Our King, that still reigns.

Today it is my prayer for Jesus Christ to return. Salvation is for every person. May many be filled with the Holy Spirit and feel Jesus Christ calling them home, home being living a life in which Jesus Christ is the center of their lives so that they will know Him and He will know them when He returns.

Dear lord and savior Jesus, I am in prayer that you will reveal yourself in my life, lead me in the way that I am to go, direct my heart, my hands, my thoughts and my actions. I depend on you for all my needs and in You I have my faith for an extraordinary tomorrow.
I have faith in Jesus return.

Grace and Peace to you from God our father.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

One hundred seven

Luke 1: 39-45
39At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, 40where she entered Zechariah's home and greeted Elizabeth. 41When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42In a loud voice she exclaimed: "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! 43But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!"

Mary and Elizabeth were blessed with so much joy being 1st time mothers, but that is not the reason they were so joyful. They were both carrying children that were both being born for God’s specific purpose.
John didn’t even meet Jesus until he was well into his ministry speaking about the salvation of Jesus.

Today is the start of the Jewish holiday Hanukkah. They will have eight days of celebrating and each day light one candle of the Menorah. The Menorah came about because there was this guy, Antiochus, the Greek king,that destroyed a temple and demanded that everyone sacrifice pigs only in the temple. The priest, Judah Maccabee, who was over the temple, fought against Antiochus and killed him, and when Maccabee went to honor God to burn a lamp, all they could find was a small bottle of olive oil. The bottle of oil was not supposed to last long as fuel for the lamp(some thought it to be a drop of oil, some say it was only engough to burn for a day), but the small amount of oil lasted for eight days.

Today’s menorah that celebrates the miracleof the lamp burning for the Maccabees, it has nine candles, the center candle is the “servant candle” It is used each night to light the other candles. It stands taller than the others and is to signify Jesus Christ as “the servant.”That is an abbreviated version how the menorah and the lighting of the menorah came about.

I’m not Jewish, but Mary was a Jew and Jesus was a Jew. It is good to know other religious customs so that we can know and appreciate the life of Jesus and celebrate with others, no matter if the religion is Jewish, Catholic or Baptist. We are all celebrating Jesus Christ.

Peace and Mercy to you from God our father.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

One hundred six

James 1:17
“Every good action and every perfect gift is from God. These good gifts come down from the creator of the sun, moon, and stars, who does not change like their shifting shadows.”

Did God give us salvation because we deserved it? No. There is no way on Earth that we could ever deserve salvation. It is a true gift from God. It is a gift of love. God knows we are all sinners. We came into this world as sinners, we have sinful natures, but once we accept salvation, we accept the gift of Jesus Christ forgiving us of our sins.

I got a letter from my brother over the weekend. He rarely gets to write, but he had some good news. He is now in a half-way house out of prison. His jail sentence was supposed to be until 2015. My brother had a problem with drugs and has been in and out of jail since he was 18. He is two years older than me, so it has been about a 20 year journey of incarceration. He has a daughter that is a senior in high school this year. He has missed a lot of her life because of the lifestyle he chose. I understand about addicts because of my brothers life. Addicts they don’t realize the lives they really destroy are the lives of their loved ones. It has been really tough for his daughter to not have him around and that is all she wants, even now.

For my brother to be in a half-way house there is hope that he might be able to make it to her graduation. It will be an important day for her. We will all be in prayer that he will be able to go.

God is the giver of joy and He is with us.

“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”
- Matthew 1:22-23

I am praying today that God will be at work in my brother’s life so he will be able to beat his addiction and I am praying for his daughter and her mother. Her mother is a single parent with three children. I am always amazed at how supportive she has always been towards my niece and the relationship with her father. She always made sure that she could visit him, write him and keep that connection over the years.

Does he deserve her mercy? No. His drug problem is why they divorced. Does he deserve her forgiveness? No. I know that she doesn’t support the relationship because of him, it is because of the love she has for her daughter.

Does God have to forgive us each time we sin? No, but it is because of His love and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ that we can have forgiveness. It is love from God. I am thankful that God loves us enough that we can be forgiven.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

One hundred five

Each day I have thoughts of God and of Jesus.

Today I am wondering what He is thinking about me.

John the Baptist said of Jesus Christ-
He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.”
-John 3:30

“When God intends to make something wonderful he begins with a difficulty. When he intends to make something very wonderful , he begins with an impossibility.” – Former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Coggan

Each day I ask God to tell me what to write about in these devotionals. I have a whole bible for Him to reach into and make some words speak to my heart. I write those verses down and study then write the devotional. I am writing this blog purely out of my devotion to God. Each day I spend some time with God throughout the day listening to Christian radio and sermons, but lately you can notice by the time most of my posts happen, they are written at the very end of my day.

I wanted to change that this week. I tried to plan to write first thing in the morning and change my routine. I set the alarm yesterday, when it went off I turned it off said a quick prayer and went back to sleep. I didn’t write the devotional and I had all day yesterday, again I worried over things I should not have and when I got around to my devotional the weather was so bad that I was not able to post. I wrote it, and could have posted it first thing this morning, but honestly I overslept again this morning. Gettin up early is difficult for me.

When God is at work in our lives He is searching us and revealing things that He wants to change about us. I know that God doesn’t mind me having Him in my last thoughts of the day, but instead of reporting each day about how God is at work in my life, He would rather have a talk with me in the morning and increase my faith in what He wants to show me in my day. I start my day with a prayer, giving my day to God and I see changes, but I feel like He wants to give me something to start my day to face all that I have to face.

What if God started each of my days saying, “Be where I assign you, when I assign you. There are new connections coming into your path this week. You will begin to experience life in a way that you’ve not known in the past. So be where you are to be, when you are to be there, and watch me work on your behalf.” Chuck D Pierce, Stay connected to God.

Today I felt God saying to me not to put this devotional and Him last in my day. This week I will discipline myself to wake by the alarm early, study and write this devotional fresh each morning. Can I believe that He will take this ordinary life, nothing special life and make it extraordinary?

Ephesians 3:20-21
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurable more that all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”

Yes, I do believe He can take an ordinary life, and make it extraordinary.
I am in prayer that everyone that reads this will experience a miracle of God in their life. I pray they will experience the miracle of the life of one man, Jesus Christ and the salvation He offers for each of us.

Grace and peace to you from God our father.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

One hundred four

Romans 5:15-17

15But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God's grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! 16Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man's sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one
man, Jesus Christ.

Yesterday I went out in the rain and did some Christmas shopping. It was a rainy wet day. I shopped more because of obligation than with joy, because money is tight this year. I admit it is easier to give when you have plenty.

I went over to my mother-in-laws yesterday to help her decorate her tree. She has a home based sewing business. She decorates her tree as her showpiece each year. I help her with making bows for the tree, and decorating. Last year she said she wanted something different and while I was out shopping, I had seen trendy decorated trees and she allowed me to buy the decorations. Usually we draw names at thanksgiving and the name we draw is who we get a gift for. This year she said her tree would not have gifts under it; we are not exchanging gifts. Times are tight for everyone. We forget that the gifts don’t matter, it is the fellowship and getting together with family that makes the season special. My helping her with her tree every year is my gift to her.

This Christmas keep Jesus in your celebrations. Jesus birth is the greatest gift ever given, by the greatest gift giver of all, our wonderful God and father.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

One hundred three

Psalm 22:26
“Those who look to the Lord will praise him.”

Hundreds of years before Christ birth prophets told of his birth, his life and his salvation of sinners. During his lifetime Christ proved many to be true.

The book of Revelation tells of the second coming of Christ. Prophecies foretold – prophecies yet to come true. Praise God!

Each day of advent my thoughts are of Christ and his return.

“The bridegroom is coming, to take us all away; maybe tomorrow but I hope that it is today.” Those are words to a song I sang in the choir when I was younger and I have those words in my head.

Praise God!

May you know the Love of God our father.

Friday, December 11, 2009

One hundred two

Luke 2:8
“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.”

A friend told me of being in a program and had to sing the verse above- the verse was changed to “washing their socks by night all seated on the ground, the angel of the Lord came down and said, ‘will you wash mine?”

How many Christmas programs will you attend this year?

My daughter is a teenager and her school doesn’t put on a program, but I used to look forward to making the costumes for her part. One year she was the partridge in the pear tree in the twelve days of Christmas. It was an excellent costume. A cardboard tree with a bird without a head; a hole cut out for her head and she wore a feathered mardi gras mask. I glittered it up and it was beautiful on the stage. She was so proud of her costume, we donated it to the school afterwards and I’m sure they used it in future productions. Later in the song she forgot her part because she turned to watch her classmates and the crowd got a laugh about it. Also we didn’t tell her dad which part she was playing so he had to figure it out, he said he kept looking for her and the song was half over before he realized she was the partridge- the lead part!

She and I used to also make up our own version of the twelve days of christmas, putting in our own items- "5 cubic zirconia gold rings, 4 cheap sunglasses, 3 pairs of boots, 2 tubes of lipstick, and a camera!" to which we would sing as loud as we could in the car on the way to school.   Every day the items would change and it would always be funnier each time we sang it. 

Laughter and memories are gifts of the season.

May you be blessed with laughter and wonderful memories this Christmas!

Peace and mercy from God our father.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

One hundred one

Six months before Christ’s birth, John the Baptist was born to the prophet Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth. I am not accurate of their ages but I think Elizabeth was about 90 yrs. old and Zechariah was about 100 yrs. Old The Angel Gabriel came to Zechariah in the temple and told him the good news of John’s birth. John was to be a great man in the sight of God. He was chosen to go to Israel to preach before the coming of Jesus. Zechariah was in disbelief and Gabriel took his voice from him until the day of John’s birth.
Elizabeth became pregnant and knew it was divine because she had waited so long for a child and a woman during that time was disgraced if she was barren. She thanked God for His favor on her.

For a woman to have a child at her age was big gossip. Word even got to Mary and she traveled to see her cousin and rejoiced with her. Herod also heard about this birth and thought he could also be the messiah, and sought after him. Elizabeth went on the run protecting her son, she prayed out to God and he had a mountain open up and hid them from Herod. Herod had Zechariah murdered because he preached of the coming Messiah. Herod did not want to lose his kingdom. Elizabeth died 40 days after, how, we do not know.

Then John was in the wilderness until he appeared and went out to preach.

John’s life of solitude- It is hard to think of what age he was without his parents, but I think it was fairly young, but even the Angel Gabriel said John would be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth.
John spent his childhood solely with God and nature. He did not live in the world.

I have been reading “A search for Solitude, the Journals of Thomas Merton Pursuing the Monk’s True Life.” Merton wanted nothing more than to be alone in nature with just God.

September 15, 1952
Out here in the woods I can think of nothing except God and it is not so much that I think of him either. I am as aware of Him as of the sun and the clouds and the blue sky and the thin cedar trees. When I first came out here, I was sleepy (because we are in the Winter season and no longer have meridienne) but I have read a few lines from the Desert Fathers and then, after that, my whole being was full of serenity and vigilance.”

Desert Fathers 

Dec. 29. 1052
“Not solitude for the sake of something special, something exalted: solitude as the climate in which I can simply be what I am meant to be, and live in the presence of the living God. Solitude in order to be a simple Christian. Like climbing down from a mountain or a pillar or starting over again to behave as a human being- I need solitude for the true fulfillment which I seek-that of being ordinary.
Life in the world was utterly abnormal.
Life in the monastery if not ordinary. It is a freakish sort of life. The freakishness is not St. Benedict’s fault, but maybe it is necessary. In solitude, at last, I shall be just a person, no longer corrupted by being known, no longer creating myself in the image of a slightly unbalanced society. Living in the likeness of the God who is my life: that is to say, living as unknown. For a Christian is one whom the world does not know.
‘Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us that we should be called the children of God, and such we are. This is why the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.”
1 John 3:1

I am not Catholic, but I have attended Mass a lot of times with my mother. I don’t have any reason for choosing this book from the library last week, but as I began reading it, I began reading it aloud. I am halfway through it and some of his words brought me to tears. I did not know why I was reading it, but now I know it is to better understand the solitary life of John the Baptist and his relationship with God, and also the constant seeking of God. Even a monk – a bible scholar- seeks God and a deeper spiritual life with God. One would think just choosing the life of a monk would be sufficient but that was not so with Merton.

Just the same, choosing life as a Christian is not enough, we have to seek God and a life with God.

John the Baptist and Jesus Christ - two children born specific for God's purpose.  Two childhoods very much a mystery, both lived a life of ministry, both murdered.  One resurected- Jesus Christ.  One to return again- Jesus Christ.  Praise God!

On this tenth day of Advent, I am humble. 

Peace and Mercy from God our father.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

One hundred

Yesterday my thoughts were of the three kings that traveled to bring gifts to Jesus when he was born. These Kings left their families and kingdoms to bring him gifts.

In today’s world, usually monetary gifts are what we bring to God each week as the offertory plate is passed down the aisle. This can become routine. I go to the bank each week with my payroll check and I get cash for my offering keeping true to first fruit, before I spend any money for any of my needs or wants, I take the first cash out and put it in my bible for Sunday morning.

Do I sacrifice from my giving?

I really don’t think of that money as a could have, would have, should have.

I could have bought a new shirt.
I would have went to the football game and out to eat with my friends.
I should have put that money into savings.

I do pray over my paycheck and give thanks for it and I know that my tithe is going towards Gods work through the church. God has blessed me and made it so that the amount I tithe is not a financial burden, I do not give it without some sacrifice.

I don’t go without necesities, by tithing. That is a blessing from God.

I am trying my best to get out of debt, I set that goal a few months ago and as an example $55,678.25 (this is not my real debt).
I took the first five numbers of the total debt and prayed about it I prayed that If I could pay $556.78 this month and followed that formula, I wouldn’t have to pay that amount again, the amount I paid would be less and less next month my debt would be $55,121.47 so then that payment would be $551.21 Sure it doesn’t look like that much of a change when you have a large debt but through the process it is positive because the payment is less every month.

God will be faithful to helping me to meet my needs by helping me keep focused on the goal.

Now when the devil hears about me and God working to get out of debt, he likes to push thoughts of the could have, would have, should have done with my tithe money instead of giving it to God. Or what I could have, would have, should have done with the payment amount that is twice the amount of my required monthly payment. And that is where the real sacrifice comes in.

I don’t have premium cable television or high speed internet or go out to eat every day for lunch with my friends. I don’t spend without putting it to prayer. I feel guilty spending for extravagances like sodas (a 24 pack of cokes cost almost $5) or things I don’t really need but want. I wouldn’t be so aware of my spending if I didn’t already know I had a financial goal to be able to make my payment, but this is the sacrifice I have to make because I created my debt from not being so aware of my spending.

2 Samuel 24:24
24 But the king replied to Araunah, "No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing."

This was king David asking God for mercy to stop the plague on his people.

I am sacrificing to not only tithe, but also to get my debts paid off and have the financial freedom God wants for me.

The magi brought gifts to the Lord, and I am thinking this Christmas what gift can I give to Christ?

 I am thinking of a very special gift just from me to him, it is something personal that no one else needs to know about and I am letting it be a sacrifice, and pray that it will be pleasing to the Lord.

What personal sacrifices would God find pleasing?

Forgiveness- forgiving someone that you feel anger towards or have needed to forgive for a long time.
Or giving time to God each day- Setting aside one hour of solitude with God- just you and God.
Maybe it is giving something up- like smoking, or drinking, or cursing, or saying hateful things.

Seek the goodness of God in your life.

Make the sacrifice gift you give to God your most important gift of the season.

Peace and mercy to you from God our father.

Remember the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Hebrews 11:1
“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”

Faith- sure and certain.

Sure and certain of God.

Faith in the coming of Jesus Christ.

The days leading up to Christmas turn our days to worship by singing Christmas carols and looking forward with excitement and anxiety.
When we were young we had the same feeling towards our own birthday. It would be a day of celebration and we would feel the love from our family and friends as we gathered
For cake and presents. We know all about the first time Jesus Christ came into the world, but in thinking of Christmas I can not help but to have the same feeling of excitement and anxiety awaiting His return.

Faith is knowing that Jesus lived his life as a man and the Bible is certain of the details of his life. We have faith in knowing when the bible says that the Lord Jesus Christ will be returning.
Celebrating Christmas is celebrating Christ birth. I have a lot of faith in his second coming. I am in anticipation of his return with the same feeling of joy that knowing our birthday will happen once a year.

Jesus will come again, and I have faith that it will be a day of celebration, just as his first birthday. Until that day we have to seek him, just as the magi did, and offer love just as he loved us.


Faith in the Lord.

Monday, December 7, 2009


Question asked of me is what ways does Christ want to use me to touch the world?
That is not a question I can answer. I am making it God’s choice in how he wants to use my life. I think of my hopes and what God will reveal what he wants for me.

My thoughts for Advent today are of Mary. I think of how God chose her and how it was all divine. From choosing a virgin mother to the nine months that the baby grew inside of her. I am thinking we are the same being God’s children. When we are in God’s will (womb) He fills us with the Holy Spirit and our faith grows and it shows in our speech, in our actions, and in our decisions.

I watched my daughter at dance tonight. I see myself in her. I see how she moves and how she smiles and how she has a bit of shyness but doesn’t hold back when it comes to her stubbornness. My friends say that they see me when they see her, and they can’t deny that she is my child, even her father can not distinguish the difference in our voices on the phone.

To be like JESUS is a big task. But like my daughter, she has no choice to be so much like me. It is not only her DNA but also in all the years we spent every moment together. I feel that when God takes our lives in his will, we begin to reflect his characteristics. We have forgiveness, compassion, empathy, love, and concern for others, when we are growing in Christ, it’s natural that others start to see the resemblance of God in our lives.

1 Col. 1:27
“Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

Grace and Peace to you from God our father.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


Jesus lived for thirty-three years on the earth. His days and life all had a time line. As a child in the temple he learned and he taught, as a man He left Nazareth because it was time for Him to spread his message, He died because it was his time to go.

To think of God and Jesus as one and the same, He came to Earth but only had a short lifetime to complete what he had to do.

This morning Pastor Anderson preached about how there is not any time to put off your own salvation. Will you be ready? Will you be in the right place when God calls us home?
Only with the Holy spirit and our acceptance of Jesus Christ as our savior can we be at peace about our eternity.

Job 36:26
“God is …greater than we can understand. No one knows how old he is.”

Peace and Grace to you from God the father.

Saturday, December 5, 2009


The root word for adventure is advent, which means beginning. And with every beginning there is anxiety.

I am thinking about Jesus’ life and how it began, born to a virgin mother, his parents having to make the journey for the census in her time of labor. Because of the census there was no room at the inn, so they had to find a retreat and Jesus was born in a manger. The three kings sought him by following his star. Herod asked who they were going to see, it angered him that he was not the one they were seeking. To save Jesus life they had to keep it a secret, Herod wanted the kings, on their return journey to tell him where this “King of the Jews” was so he could kill him. The kings were careful not to return in a way that Herod would know. Herod was so mad he ordered death to all male boys in his kingdom of a certain age. They flee to Egypt and then to Nazareth to escape the rule of Herod.

Some of us may be in a time of advent in our own lives.. A new beginning. A new adventure. Some of us are making plans, some of us have no plan. Some of us are having to adjust because the plans we made are falling apart.

Where are you in your ADVENTure?
In my own life I am seeking God, and His guidance. I am trying to be present in every moment. Being present is hard for me, I live inside my head a lot of the time with my thoughts and I am sometimes distracted from what I really need to focus on.

Yesterday was a busy day for me, everything I planned fell apart, and when they did, I allowed whatever to happen happen, I admit I struggled with it. I wanted to do what I had planned, but something else happened. I got a call from my daughter around 8:30 pm I had resigned to the fact that the plans I had made were not going to happen and I had already put on my pj’s and washed my face. My daughter wanted to go out and be social with her friends and she needed a chaperone. I was tired and could have said no, but I jumped at the chance to be mom. I got dressed, we spent some time being social but most importantly, we spent some time together, we laughed, we talked, we had a mini retreat sharing a meal together. Of all the people I had the chance to spend the evening with, I know I spent it with the most important one.

I like hearing her voice, spending time with her and strengthening our relationship. I am glad she tells me about her friends and is concerned for each of them. I am able to just love her during this time and we are rebuilding our relationship. I thank God for this blessing.

I encourage you to look at your own ADVENTure and seek what God has in store for you. Live in the moment, seek God’s direction, go where God wants you to go.

Psalm 18:30
"The ways of God are without fault."

Joy to you from God our  father.

Friday, December 4, 2009


Today I am listening to Christmas music and the thing about Christmas music is – unless you have lived under a rock- most of us know all the words – Away in a manger, Joy to the world, the Christmas shoes, and Silent night, ect. Nothing can lift your spirit like singing along, raising your voice and singing praises (even out of tune)

Today’s verse is an attitude adjustment for those of us feeling anxious about the season and how we are going to get through this tough time and knowing that Christmas this year will be more of what we give of ourselves than what we can give as a physical gift.

Philippians 4:8
“Fix your thoughts on what is good and true and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine, good things in others. Think about all you can praise God for and be glad about it.”

Christmas songs help to focus on Jesus Christ just hearing the words “Do you see what I see… do you hear what I hear…a song a song high above the trees with a voice as big as the sea… do you know what I know… a child a child shivers in the cold let us bring him silver and gold… Listen to what I say… A child a child sleeping in the night will bring us goodness and light!

Praise God for our Savior Jesus Christ.

Joy to you from God our father.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Isaiah 42: 6
"I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness;
I will take hold of your hand.
I will keep you and will make you
to be a covenant for the people
and a light for the Gentiles.”

God has plan. His plans will be carried out. God had a plan for Jesus Christ to come even at the time of Adam and Eve, and before that.

December has met me face to face with joy and trepidation, a little grief and helplessness. I have to realize that misery is optional. I said this a few days ago and it is a hard thing to do- but we have to cling to Jesus and repeat as needed-“In every circumstance- Choose Joy!”

And if you can’t laugh at least once today, lie on your back eating apples using your naval as a caramel dipping bowl!

Joy to you for we are celebrating the birth of our Lord all month, not just the 25th.

Joy to you from God the father.


Psalm 40: 4
“Happy is the person who trusts the Lord”

These are words I really needed to hear today. I had a lot on my mind and I feel I need some direction from God on the matter because I don’t have the answer or know how to make something happen. I am putting it to prayer and will see what God can make happen and I will trust in the Lord for His provision in the matter.

I will put my trust in the Lord.

Today is the second day of advent and my thoughts of Jesus today are of hope. I think of his birth and today we are in expectation of his return. To God be the Glory and we worship God almighty,

Lord, may my tomorrow be extraordinary. Thank you for the trials and the rebuilding of my walk with Jesus so that I will know him better.

Keep Christ in Christmas.

Love and blessings from God our father.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


As I begin December I am thinking of the days that lead up to Jesus’s birth and the days that followed.  Jesus lived an extraordinary life.

There is so much to learn about Jesus the boy, and Jesus the man, and Jesus the Messiah. What would it have been like to know Jesus as a boy? What teachings did Mary and Joseph have on his life? In today’s society everybody and their mother is writing a book about their own lives. What if Mary and Joseph had gotten a book deal and wrote what it was like to be the parents of Jesus? In the Bible we are given small glimpses of who they were. Would Mary have listed 10 of Jesus’ favorite foods? Funny things he said? How he interacted with his siblings? What would Joseph have told? Would he tell of how he would take Jesus to work with him? Would he have told about Jesus’ first fishing trip?

I wish there was a photo album of Jesus’ life where we could look and see his baby picture, and a picture for every year after.

The most memorable image of Jesus we have is of him nailed to the cross and seated at the last supper.

I am thinking of the time that we will see him face to face for the first time. It brings me joy to think of that, in the same way that an expectant mother awaits to see her unborn babies face for the first time. Mother’s can hardly wait for that moment, now with technology mothers can see their babies face more clearly in ultrasounds but not even that image replaces looking into the tiny face and having those baby eyes look back.

There isn't a photo album but the Bible tells His story and for us to know Him, we need to read the word and  love him; as a baby in a manger, as a boy who taught in the temples, as a man that selected men to be fishers of men, and as the Messiah to be worshiped. 

Jesus Christ’s birth was a gift of divine love from God.

Jesus had many gifts we can experience every day; His love, unconditional; His Sovereignty, Lord of Lords; His energy, I can do all things in Christ; His work, in his teachings and he death for our sins and his resurrection so that we don’t have to fear death.

Every day can be Christmas as we experience Christ in our lives. Each day is a gift from God.

Psalm 9:11
“Sing praises to the Lord… Tell the nations what he has done."

May we all know Jesus Christ and one day look into his face and hear his voice for the first time, what a joy that moment will be. 

Hoping for Joy to you from God the father.