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Christ’s Resurrection, Our Eternal Life

Christ’s Resurrection, Our Eternal Life

For Christians all over the world, this week is quite significant, because it is considered Holy Week.  Holy Week is the week leading up to the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ the Savior of the world.

This week as we meditate on the scriptures that lay out so clearly the sequence of the events leading up to Christ’s resurrection, we can only be grateful for the hope that we have in Christ.  No sacrifice has ever, and will ever match the sacrifice that Christ made on our behalf.

As you prepare to spend time with your family and friends this Easter Sunday don’t forget to put God first in your celebrations.  In other words, make it about Him, and your gratitude for what He has done for you.  If you are tempted to put Him on the backburner that day, just ask yourself who else has died for me lately?

This should reel you back in pretty quickly.

Have a glorious Easter as you worship our King!

CHRIST DEATH
Mark 15:37-39
37 Then Jesus uttered another loud cry and breathed his last. 38 And the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.
39 When the Roman officer[a] who stood facing him[b] saw how he had died, he exclaimed, “This man truly was the Son of God!”
CHRIST BURIAL
Mark 15:46-47
46 Joseph bought a long sheet of linen cloth. Then he took Jesus’ body down from the cross, wrapped it in the cloth, and laid it in a tomb that had been carved out of the rock. Then he rolled a stone in front of the entrance. 47 Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joseph saw where Jesus’ body was laid.
CHRIST RESURRECTION
Romans 6:8-11

And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him. 10 When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. 11 So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.
Mark 16:5-7 ESV
And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed. And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.”
Luke 24:6-7 NIV
He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ”
Luke 24: 38-40
38 He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? 39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”40 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet.
OUR ETERNAL LIFE
John 11:25-26
25 Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life.[a] Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. 26 Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?”
Romans 10:9
If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Revelation 1:5-6
and from Jesus Christ. He is the faithful witness to these things, the first to rise from the dead, and the ruler of all the kings of the world.

All glory to him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by shedding his blood for us. He has made us a Kingdom of priests for God his Father. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.

Hallelujah! Hallelujah!   All praises to Christ our King, for He has risen!!!.

 

Are You Spiritually Flabby?

24 Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! 25 All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. 26 So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. 27 I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.
Romans 12:2
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect
Psalm 1:1-2
Oh, the joys of those who do not  follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers.
But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night.
1 Thessalonians 5:17
17 Never stop praying.
Acts 17:11
11 And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth.

 For the last four years I have been dealing with a severe illness.  Because it has been so debilitating, I have not been able to be as physical as I normally would have been in the past. This has caused my muscles to weaken, and even become what some would call flabby.  I am currently in physical therapy to strengthen the areas that have become severely weakened due to a lack of movement and exercise.

Believe it or not, we can also become spiritually flabby.  When we miss several days of a good workout of prayer and Bible reading, our spiritual muscles weaken and we leave ourselves open to the attacks of the enemy.  We start to walk in fear and doubt, and even in some severe cases disbelief.  We may even find ourselves committing sins and getting into situations that we wouldn’t ordinarily get into. And this is simply because we have not been working out spiritually.
Let’s look at what we need to do to get spiritually fit.

  1. Set a time each day that you will meet with God.  Respect this appointment as you would any other important appointment. Make it a priority.
  2. Come to your appointment prepared. Bring your Bible and a notebook or journal, to write down the downloads that you will receive from God for your day.
  3. Start with praising God. You may choose to sing or you may want to have some praise music going to prepare your heart to hear from God.
  4. Quietly sit and pray and ask God to help you understand what you are about to read from His Word.
  5. Make sure that you have selected a place and a time where you will not be interrupted.  Be sure to silence your phone.
  6. Initially just sit to silence yourself.  Let all of the thoughts of what you need to do for the day drift away.  If you find it difficult to silence the noise that is going       on inside your head, write your thoughts in your notebook to get to a place of silence.
  7. Enjoy reading God’s word and just spending time with Him.  Repeat tomorrow and the next day and the next, until it becomes a habit.

I can honestly assure you, that you will never ever regret these spiritual workouts.  It will be the best investment of your time ever.  You will grow stronger in your faith and your love for God. You will find that with God’s help you can weather the toughest of storms.

From these workouts you will find yourself joyful and hopeful about your life now and in the future.  I hope that this blesses you and encourages you to have a spiritual workout each and everyday.  And oh, don’t forget it’s important to commit to staying physically fit as well.

Have you ever been overwhelmed with gratitude

32 When Elisha arrived, the child was indeed dead, lying there on the prophet’s bed. 33 He went in alone and shut the door behind him and prayed to the Lord. 34 Then he lay down on the child’s body, placing his mouth on the child’s mouth, his eyes on the child’s eyes, and his hands on the child’s hands. And as he stretched out on him, the child’s body began to grow warm again! 35 Elisha got up, walked back and forth across the room once, and then stretched himself out again on the child. This time the boy sneezed seven times and opened his eyes!
36 Then Elisha summoned Gehazi. “Call the child’s mother!” he said. And when she came in, Elisha said, “Here, take your son!”

Have you ever been overwhelmed with gratitude?   In 2nd Kings 4:32-36 the woman from Shunem experienced a blessing so great that she became overwhelmed with gratitude.  You see. her young son had died, and she went to Elisha for help.  With God’s power working through Elisha, he was able to bring her son back to life.  Witnessing something like that firsthand, I am sure would not only be amazing, but it would cause the gratitude meter to go way up.

We certainly don’t have to experience anything that profound to become overwhelmed with gratitude.  You may be able to recall on more than one occasion, how God’s goodness to you, brought tears to your eyes because you were so grateful.

When my daughter was twelve years old, she was selected to travel abroad to Europe with several other students from our part of the state. This was a huge honor for her.  My husband and I were so excited for her to have this opportunity to travel and see and experience parts of the world that she had never seen before. We knew that it would be an education in itself.

This experience, however, would come with a huge price tag of $7000.  At that time my husband and we were struggling financially.  We didn’t know how we would pay for our daughter to go on this once in a lifetime trip. We just knew that we wanted this dream to come true for her.  We started to move in faith, believing that it would happen.  She was so excited and determined to go, that we could not stand to see her get disappointed.

During those years my daughter loved making jewelry from beads. She had also learned how to make colorful bracelets from small rubber bands. Teenagers absolutely loved them, and a lot of the kids at her school were wearing these bracelets during that time.  We stocked her up on beads and rubber bands of every color.   We went to a local dress shop here in our town, and the owner loved her jewelry so much, that she let her put her pieces in her shop. In no time her items sold out and she was able to bring more items in.  The owner of the shop knew that her goal was to get to Europe, so she continued to order from her.  Her sales however were only a drop in the bucket compared to how much she needed within a limited amount of time.

My husband and I decided that we needed to do some type of fundraising to help her with this goal, so we sent letters out to all of our friends and relatives, asking them to please support her goal. We could not believe the response.  Everyone that knew her was so excited to help support this goal.

I remember us being so close to wrapping things up, but we still needed a lot more money than my husband and I had personally that we could give.   We were stuck not knowing where the funds would come from, but still believing someway, somehow it would all come together.

One Sunday after church my daughter and I were about to leave the church parking lot, when one of our church members came up to my car door.  When I let my window down to see what she needed, she said that she and her husband wanted to give towards my daughter’s trip. She then handed me a check for $500.

I instantly burst into tears.  It was more than I could have ever imagined.   I was literally overwhelmed with gratitude at that very moment, and uncontrollably so. And it didn’t stop there.  Out of nowhere a friend gave me a check for $250. and said, if you don’t reach the goal by your deadline, let me know and I will give more.  And if that wasn’t enough, my husband got a call from a gentleman that had already given a sizable amount, who told him the same thing.  We did not have to call either person back, because the goal had been reached.  God had provided, and boy were we ever thankful for His goodness towards us!

I have three thoughts on why we become overwhelmed with gratitude.

  1. Sometimes we pray for things not knowing whether or not God will give us what we are asking Him for. When He says yes to our request, in some cases we are so surprised that we become overwhelmed with gratitude.  Remember we should ask, believing that what we are asking for is already done.
  2. There are times that we have a need so great, that when God meets that need for us we are overwhelmed with gratitude.
  3. When God blesses us, just because we are His children. This can also come as a surprise and cause us to be overcome with gratitude.
  4. During our quiet time, or time of worship when we sincerely praise God for who He is, we can become overwhelmed with gratitude.
    Gratitude is simply an expression of our hearts, saying thank you God for your unwavering kindness towards us.

    24 But be sure to fear the Lord and faithfully serve him. Think of all the wonderful things he has done for you.

Too Much Noise

Too Much Noise

Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him.
Psalm 46:10
10 “Be still, and know that I am God!  I will be honored by every nation.  I will be honored throughout the       world.”
Job 6:24
24 Teach me, and I will keep quiet. Show me what I have done wrong.
1 Kings 19:11-12
11 “Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper.

When was the last time you just sat quiet before the Lord?   Was it so long ago that you have to really think hard to remember when it was.  If so, you may agree that it has been too long.  There are some of you who may have to admit, that you have never sat quiet before the Lord and that’s ok, because starting today you can change that.

The reason you may want to consider making this a new practice, is because God can reveal so much to us when we turn the noise down in our lives.  We can’t hear Him when we are constantly bombarded with the noise from TV’s, phones, social media and Drama that comes our way.

God wants our full attention, and the only way that we can clearly hear His instructions for our day, is to be silent.   When we are constantly racing from place to place and thing to thing, we miss so much that God is eager to share with us. We pray and we ask God to give us answers and directions, but we don’t turn down the volume in our lives, so that we can really hear His response.

When we do this, it is like asking for directions from the GPS in your car, and not making any adjustments to the sound of your car’s radio.

If the sound of the music is constantly blurring, you will miss the directions that your GPS is providing.  It’s not that God is not providing answers, it’s that we have not stopped the flow of noise that is constantly moving in our direction.

So may I suggest to you today, that the next time you grab your Bible, or you kneel to pray, that you end your quiet time, with a few minutes of total silence before the Lord.

If it is hard for your brain to quiet down for a few minutes, I suggest that you bring a notebook to your chair and write down your thoughts as they come to you, until your brain quiets down.  It will take time to develop this new habit, but it will be your most treasured time with God once you master it.  This is a discipline that will reward you over and over again.  You will start to clearly hear the guiding words and instructions from the one who loves you most, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.

Blessings to each of you, as you start a deeper journey with your Heavenly Father!

God Is Always At Work

God Is Always At Work

A few weeks ago, I had spent countless hours looking for a Birthday list that I use in my home-based business.  After several days of looking and not finding it, I started to get a little frustrated.   I had prayed and asked God to help me find it, but I still couldn’t seem to put my hands on it.

It was important to me because it was the beginning of a new month, and I always tried to send out my Happy Birthdays on the very first day of the month.  One day while thumbing through lots of papers, still looking for the list, I decided to send up one more prayer.  What happened after that prayer was absolutely amazing, and straight from the hand of God.

I heard a soft whisper saying “Send out a text to all of your customers letting them know that your birthday file had disappeared.  Ask them if they would send you their birthday info”.   The response was unbelievable!   Within 24 hours the size of my list had tripled the size of the original list, and people are still texting their info to me.

What God showed me in that moment, is that so many times we get upset and frustrated because we can’t have what we want when we want it.  We don’t realize that many times God is trying to bless us with more.
I had to stop and just thank God for blessing me beyond my expectations. As a result of things going God’s way and not my way 4 things happened.

  1. I will get to be a blessing to more people through my Birthday Club.  Not only will customers benefit, but my team members will also benefit from what I have learned.
  2. God’s timing and provision proved to be what was best for me.
  3. I became more keenly aware of God’s concern for even the small things in my life.  No need is too small for God to step in and show that He cares about what’s important to me.
  4. I learned that no experience is insignificant, because God is always at work.

 

 

What Will They Say ?

 What Will They Say?

So I reflected on all this and concluded that the righteous and the wise and what they do are in God’s hands, but no one knows whether love or hate awaits them. All share a common destiny—the righteous and the wicked, the good and the bad,[a] the clean and the unclean, those who offer sacrifices and those who do not.
As it is with the good, so with the sinful; as it is with those who take oaths, so with those who are afraid to take them.
This is the evil in everything that happens under the sun: The same destiny overtakes all. The hearts of people, moreover, are full of evil and there is madness in their hearts while they live, and afterward they join the dead. Anyone who is among the living has hope[b]—even a live dog is better off than a dead lion!
2 Samuel 14:14
14 Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But that is not what God desires; rather, he devises ways so that a banished person does not remain banished from him.
Hebrews 9:27
27 Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment,
Ecclesiastes 3:2
2     a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,
Ecclesiastes 5:15
15 Everyone comes naked from their mother’s womb,  and as everyone comes, so they depart.
They take nothing from their toil  that they can carry in their hands.

This morning my husband and I watched a Celebration of Life Service on Facebook, for a woman who had indeed lived a very full life.  The large attendance at her service was quite extraordinary.  But what I was most impressed with were the many comments that were made about her. Over and over comments were made about how strong her faith was, even through her illness and other adversities that she had faced.

Words that were used to describe her were, kind, servant, helpful, joyful, positive and faithful. So many comments were also made about her beautiful voice and how she loved to sing for the Lord.  They also mentioned how everyone knew without a doubt that she truly loved God.  One lady said that she did not know how to say no to anyone because she always wanted to help others..
So my question to you today is, what will they say when God calls you home?  Will the things that are said about you at your Celebration of Life, be comments that genuinely inspire those attending to live better, and more fruitful lives?
The mark that we leave on this earth will affect generations to come.  We are all sent to this planet to be a blessing to others. We are the hands and feet of Jesus here on earth.   May I encourage you to live your life in a way that when you leave this earth you will be truly missed.  And, prayerfully  your legacy will live on forever through those you leave behind,
The Dash Poem (By Linda Ellis)
I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend
He referred to the dates on the tombstone
From the beginning…to the endHe noted that first came the date of birth
And spoke the following date with tears,
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those yearsFor that dash represents all the time
That they spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved them
Know what that little line is worthFor it matters not, how much we own,
The cars…the house…the cash.
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.So, think about this long and hard.
Are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left
That can still be rearranged.If we could just slow down enough
To consider what’s true and real
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.And be less quick to anger
And show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives
Like we’ve never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect
And more often wear a smile,
Remembering this special dash
Might only last a little while

So, when your eulogy is being read
With your life’s actions to rehash…
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent YOUR dash?

What Is Your Disobedience Costing You?

What Is Your Disobedience Costing You?

Since the beginning of time, it has been man’s will against God’s will.  With the fall of Adam and Eve in the garden, humans have since entered the world with a sinful desire to be in control of their own lives.

This sinful nature can be very costly.  Not only does it affect the lives of the sinner, but also the lives of those that are nearest and dearest to them as well.

A couple of days ago I was reading a passage of scripture from 1st Samuel, chapter 13.  King Saul had become fearful of losing all his troops.  He became impatient and would not wait any longer for Samuel (who was a prophet) to arrive as promised.  He did as most of us do when we become impatient, we decide to take matters into our own hands.  This is almost always a mistake, especially if God has said wait.

Saul’s disobedience cost him his kingdom, a kingdom that Samuel told him that God would have established forever, had he been obedient.   As a result, God sought a man after his own heart, and that man was David.
King Saul not only lost his kingdom, but he also lost his peace.   He became a jealous crazed man, who desired to kill an innocent person, and he even tried to kill his son at one point.  Needless to say, he lost the respect of his son also.

Can you imagine losing an entire kingdom for generations to come, because you were disobedient?

So, I ask you to stop and think today, what might your disobedience be costing you?  You see God has blessings upon blessings in store for us, but we will never know what they are, if we live in disobedience.
May I encourage you today to live a life that honors God, with a heart that seeks after Him faithfully and obediently and watch the blessings flow!

Until I Became A Mother

Until I Became A Mother

Isaiah 49:15
15 “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget, I will not forget you!
Proverbs 31:28
28 Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:
Exodus 20:12
12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.

Until I became a mother I could not fully comprehend the sacrifices that my mother made for me, without reservation each and every day.
Until I became a mother I couldn’t fully appreciate the late nights that my mother sat up, waiting for me to get home from a ballgame or a date.
Until I became a mother I never realized how many prayers must have gone up on my behalf.
Until I became a mother I never realized how many days my mother must have stood in the kitchen exhausting what little energy she had left that day, to prepare a meal for our family.

Until I became a mother I never realized the depth of love that my mother had for each one of her children.
Until I became a mother I never realized that there were times when my mother might have wanted a new dress for herself, or a new pair of shoes, but she always made sure that I looked nice first.
Until I became a mother I never realized how many nights my mother must have stayed up with me, weary from exhaustion as I lay in bed sick.
Until I became a mother I never realized that my mother may have had dreams that she put on hold to make sure that my dreams were possible.

Until I became a mother I never realized, that being a mother is the hardest job on earth, but also the most rewarding job.  I am convinced that only God could create in mother’s the capacity to love so deeply and freely.

This coming Sunday is Mother’s Day, a time set aside to honor mothers.  If you are blessed to still have your mom, I encourage you to let her know how special she is to you.  Thank God for her daily, after all, no one other than God will ever love you like your mother.–

28 “For in Him we live and move and have our being..Acts 17:28

Dedicated to Leading Women to Live Victoriously by Empowering Them to Step into Greatness.

 

 

 

Are You Headed For The Ditch?

Are You Headed For The Ditch?

When I was a little girl approximately 4 years old, my mom and I were about to leave home, when she realized that she needed to run back into the house for something.   When she jumped out of the car to go back into the house,  I quickly jumped into the driver’s seat of our new salmon-colored Ford car.  I put the car in drive and headed straight for the ditch, barely missing our mailbox while gripping the steering wheel as though I knew what I was doing.

I probably had seen my mom and dad do this at least a hundred times or more, so I decided that I could do it too.  Needless to say when my mom came out of the house, she was in total shock, and thankful all at the same time that I was alive.   I think the only reason I didn’t get a spanking for my little escapade that day, was that my mom was so relieved that I was still all in one piece.

You see even as adults if left to our own devices we would drive our lives straight into the ditch.  So many times we want to do just as I did as a child. We want God to get out of the driver’s seat so that we can take over. Trust me, when I tell you,  that the safest thing that we can do, is ask Jesus to take the wheel.  Not only should we ask Him to take the wheel, but also to keep the wheel, because He can see a lot further down the road than we can. He knows where the potholes are, the curves as well as the detours and He knows our destination and we don’t.

What I am saying to you today, is to trust God with your life. He knows what He is doing, and He knows your purpose for coming to this planet.  Allow Him the space and time to reveal those things to you, as He sees that you are ready to handle them.  Then and only then will you get to experience all that He has in store for you. He’s the ultimate chauffeur. Stress less and enjoy the ride, you are headed for a safe arrival.–

28 “for in Him we live and move and have our being..“Acts 17:28
Dedicated to Leading Women to Live Victoriously by Empowering  them to Step into Greatness.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart  and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,  and he will make your paths straight.[a
Psalm 62:8
Trust in him at all times, you people;  pour out your hearts to him,  for God is our refuge.
Jeremiah 17:7
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,  whose confidence is in him.
Psalm 37:23-24
23 The Lord makes firm the steps   of the one who delights in him;
24 though he may stumble, he will not fall,   for the Lord upholds him with his hand.
Isaiah 30:21
21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”
Isaiah 58:11
11 The Lord will guide you always;   he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden,  like a spring whose waters never fail.
Psalm 32:8
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;   I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.

 

 

Jesus A Gift To The World

Jesus A Gift To The World

Isaiah 7:14
14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you[a] a sign: The virgin[b] will conceive and give birth to a son, and[c] will call him Immanuel.[d]
Matthew 1:23
23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”[a] (which means “God with us”).
Luke 2:7
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.
John 1:14
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Isaiah 9:6
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Luke 1: 30-35
30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 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, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[a] the Son of God.
Luke 2:13-14
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

John 3:16
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

This morning as I look out of my bedroom window, I can see snowflakes gently falling to the ground.   There are only three days left until Christmas, and basically, the entire town has come to a silent halt.   For days now, the weather stations have been predicting, that the temperatures would plunge to very low and dangerous levels and that we would see snow.  It was also predicted that this would be one of the coldest Christmases on record, across forty-five states.

That being said, isn’t amazing how God chooses to slow things down.  I consider this a huge blessing, especially this close to Christmas.  What a great opportunity to enjoy spending time with God, focusing on His birth and His sacrificial stay here on earth.  This is a wonderful time to curl up with a cup of hot chocolate or hot tea and spend hours reading, journaling, and studying His word. It is also a great time to refamiliarize yourself with the story of the birth of Christ. 

Also, take a moment and think about all that Mary and Joseph went through in preparation for Jesus’s entry into this cruel world in the form of flesh.  I encourage you to put yourself in Mary’s shoes for a minute.   How would you have responded to the Angel that brought Mary the excellent news, that she had been chosen to be the mother of Jesus?   How would you feel knowing that you were indeed carrying the Savior of the world?   How would feel knowing that you were bringing a child into this world, knowing that He would be crucified? You see even though she understood the purpose for His coming, He was still her son. 

It may be a little difficult for you to focus on all that I am asking you to do If you have not finished your Christmas shopping.  You are probably going into panic mode right about now, wondering when the streets will be cleared enough for you to finish your Christmas shopping.  I want to encourage you to take some time to release yourself from the commercial side of Christmas, relax, and just for a few minutes simply bask in the spiritual side of Christmas.  After all, it is what truly matters.  Everything else will work out one way or the other.  I know that when you do, you will feel a sense of peace and you will be blessed for being in God’s presence.  You will also be focusing on what Christmas is really about and that is Jesus!    May you and your family be blessed with a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!