Monday, December 9, 2019

The Best Gift Ever

Are you someone that shops till you drop to make sure that everyone has something for Christmas? Or do you and your family draw names and do a Secret Santa exchange?










I am a gift receiver <--- one of my love languages. It warms my heart so much just to know that someone thought about me enough to pick out something just for me.





Now that I have that out of the way, I will say that we don't really "do" Christmas around here. Well, not in the worldly sense anyway. Now, we may send something to our grandson, but we do not exchange gifts.





Yes, yes, yes, I do have to admit that as a gift receiver, not receiving gifts at Christmas has been hard on me. It has taken me a while to get to where I fully understand that Christmas is about celebrating Jesus and not receiving gifts. I want to celebrate His birth and everything that it means. How much joy I have in my heart in knowing Jesus.





I am a gift receiver, yes, but, I want Christmas to be about Christ. I want to celebrate with you the fact that because I have Jesus in my heart, I have already received the best gift ever :).





Luke 2:12 NIV 





This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”




The innkeeper did not have much to offer. He gave the best that he had. Room in an animal stall for Mary to give birth to our Lord. An animal's feeding manger was the only thing available for His bed.









I am in awe when I picture this meager beginning. It reminds me that no matter what I am going through, no matter how messed up I feel like I am, I can still offer something to the Lord.





He doesn't expect my best. He has forgiven my past mistakes. All He wants is my heart.





All He wants is your heart, as well. Even if you feel like you have nothing to offer, give the best that you can.





Turn your heart to Jesus and receive the best gift ever given.



Prayer:



Dear Father, 



Thank you so much for sending Jesus into the world. You have given me the best gift ever. All I need to do, to receive this gift, is believe in Him and accept Him into my heart. Even though I feel unworthy of your love, unable to be forgiven of all of the things I have done, I  know that I can still offer you the best that I have to give ( just as the innkeeper did ), and that is my heart. Thank you for loving me. In Jesus' name, Amen.













She Names Him Immanuel


Feeling Unqualified? Remember Mary


Bible Reading Plan: Christmas Story



















Are you someone that shops till you drop to make sure that everyone has something for Christmas?
Or do you and your family draw names and do a Secret Santa exchange?
How can I pray for you today?
If you will allow it, I will be happy to help carry your load.


























Photo credit: jeswin thomas on pexels.com 

Thursday, December 5, 2019

She Names Him Immanuel

Do you struggle with feeling that you are alone? Do you feel like your struggles keep you isolated?










In today's verse, we are reading about God letting the people know that He is with them. Excuse me, He is with us :). A virgin would conceive and give birth to a son and she would name Him Immanuel. That name, Immanuel, means God with us.





Now when you start to feel alone, with your struggles, think about Mary. What must have been going through her mind? She had agreed to marry Joseph, but hadn't yet done so and now she was pregnant. She must have lived with hurtful things being said about her. And yet.... she carried on.





Here is my SOAP of today's verse.





S:





Isaiah 7:14 NIV 





Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.









O:





The Lord will personally provide a sign
The virgin (Mary) will conceive and give birth to a son
She will call him Immanuel -- means God with us





A:





I need to be thankful for Mary
Thankful for the virgin birth
Thankful for Immanuel
Thankful to know that God is always with me





P: 





Dear Father,  





Thank you for choosing Mary to conceive and give birth to a son. Thank you for choosing her, a virgin, an ordinary woman, to carry a child. Thank you for the child that she carries and brings into the world. Thank you for your Son, Immanuel, which means God with us. Thank you for always being with me. In Jesus' name, Amen. 














Feeling Unqualified? Remember Mary


Bible Reading Plan: Christmas Story


Missed Loved Ones


















Do you struggle with feeling that you are alone?
Do you feel like your struggles keep you isolated?
How can I pray for you today?
If you will allow it, I will be happy to help carry your load.























Ps. Here are some Christmas SOAP sheets that I put together for you.


















Photo credit: geralt on pixabay.com 

Monday, December 2, 2019

Feel Unqualified? Remember Mary

Have you ever felt unqualified for a task that was set before you? The real question is: will you trust the Lord and follow through? Or will you give up?










Read over Luke 1:26-34. As you do, pay attention to Mary's response to the angel.




Luke 1:26-34 NIV 




In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”  Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”  “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”






We know that the angel of the Lord has just appeared to Mary. He has told her that she is highly favored. He also tells her that she, an ordinary woman <-- a virgin, would conceive and give birth to a son and name him Jesus.





Her response......





She questioned the angel by asking him how it could possibly be that she would conceive since she was a virgin.









I can only imagine that she felt unqualified for the task. Surely, the angel must have the wrong woman.





The next time that you feel unqualified for a task, think about Mary.





Prayer: 





Dear Father,  





Thank you for calling me to do certain tasks. Even when I feel like I am not qualified for what you are wanting me to do, help me to remember Mary. In Jesus' name, Amen.












Thanksgiving Remembrance


Writing Challenge; Ezra


Bible Reading Plan; Christmas Story


Missed Loved Ones



















Have you ever felt unqualified for a task that was set before you?
The real question is: will you trust the Lord and follow through?
Or will you give up?
How can I pray for you today?
If you will allow it, I will be happy to help carry your load.



























Photo credit: stocksnap on pixabay.com

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Thanksgiving Remembrance

As you sit down for your Thanksgiving dinner, do you spend time reflecting over things that the Lord has done for you? Remember to give Him thanks.









Read over the following verses. Reflect on the part where the Lord had each tribe gather a stone. These stones were to be reminders of all that the Lord had done for them, so they could share the story with their children.





Joshua 4:1-9 NIV 





When the whole nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, “Choose twelve men from among the people, one from each tribe, and tell them to take up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, from right where the priests are standing, and carry them over with you and put them down at the place where you stay tonight.” So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, and said to them, “Go over before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord . When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.” So the Israelites did as Joshua commanded them. They took twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, as the Lord had told Joshua; and they carried them over with them to their camp, where they put them down. Joshua set up the twelve stones that had been in the middle of the Jordan at the spot where the priests who carried the ark of the covenant had stood. And they are there to this day.





I went a bit further and took 12 stones. You can see, below, the things that the Lord has brought me through. I am so thankful, as I look back on these moments in time, to see how He was there with me.





12 Stones Of Remembrance  






Stone 1  Rescue ---- Tim came to my rescue. He carried me away from a bad homelife.




Stone 2  Wedding --- Tim and I were married on May 20th, 1988




Stone 3  Phillip --- I was in labor for 23 3/4 hours before he made his arrival. The first few doses of the epidural did not last longer than 15 minutes. He weighed 7 lbs 11 oz




Stone 4  Taylor --- It took 4 1/2 years of trying, crying, and praying before I finally got pregnant with him. I was in labor for 15 hours. He weighed 7 lbs 13 oz



Stone 5  Jacob --- I was in labor for 8 hours with him. He weighed 7 lbs 9 oz




Stone 6  Affair --- Tim had an affair and wanted out of our marriage. I spent a lot of time crying and praying. With the Lord's help, I decided to fight for my marriage even though I was told that I was taking the easy way out










Stone 7  Motorcycle --- Tim decided, without my input, to buy a motorcycle. I did not want to be left behind, so when he went riding, I went with him. One day, we had an accident




Stone 8  House --- We bought a house. After living for 18 years in a condo, we finally bought a house and moved




Stone 9  Cancer --- Tim was diagnosed with burkitt's lymphoma. It was the scariest time of my life




Stone 10  Cured --- Tim was cured




Stone 11  Addison's Disease --- I was diagnosed with Addison's Disease




Stone 12  Joshua --- My grandson was born





I would like to encourage you, as you sit with your family, this Thanksgiving, to try this stone of remembrance. Of course, it does not have to be stones at all. It could be as simple as passing around index cards and pencils to each person at your table. Have them think over the things in their lives that the Lord helped them through and write it on the card. It is amazing to look back on certain moments in our lives and see how the Lord was there and how He worked everything out for our best interests.




Prayer: 




Dear Father,  




As I sit, with my family, this Thanksgiving, I pray that you will bring to mind those times that you have helped through. Help me to see your hand throughout my past and to give you thanks, on this day, and every day. Help me, also, to share these stories with my children so they can witness your love. In Jesus' name, Amen.


































As you sit down for your Thanksgiving dinner,  do you spend time reflecting over things that the Lord has done for you?
Remember to give Him thanks.
How can I pray for you today?
If you will allow it, I will be happy to help carry your load.





























Photo credit: sarajuggnaut of pixabay.com 

Monday, November 25, 2019

Writing Challenge; Ezra

Do you struggle with your quiet time? Do you have an interest in handwriting the scipture?








If you have thought about writing out scripture, I would like to invite you to join me. I will be writing through the book of Ezra.






This challenge will take about 2 1/2 weeks to complete.










Ezra 7:10 NIV 






For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the Lord , and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel.





Prayer: 





Dear Father, 





Please help me to be like Ezra and to be devoted to studying and observing your word. Help me as I seek to help those in need by sharing what I learn from your word. Thank you for all that you do. In Jesus' name, Amen.











Writing Challenge; 2/3 John, Jude


Handwrite Scriptures; 3 Reasons You Should


Handwriting The Scriptures 


















Do you struggle with your quiet time?
Do you have an interest in handwriting scripture?
How can I pray for you today?
If you will allow it, I will be happy to help carry your load.







































Thursday, November 21, 2019

Thankful For You

Who do you have in your life that means a lot to you? Have you let them know that you are thankful for them?








The Lord has blessed you with certain people that take care of you, love you and reach out to you when they do not hear from you. I would like to encourage you to take a few minutes to let these certain people know that you are thankful for them.




Earlier this week, I received personal messages from two different people. These messages from these women meant more to me than either of them can know. Just the fact that they took the time to reach out and check on me and let me know that I have been in their thoughts... well, it means a lot. I am so thankful :).




Who do you need to reach out to? It only takes a few minutes to send a text message or personal message. Or, maybe you can write them a note. Just a little something to let them know they are in your thoughts and that you are thankful for them.








Philippians 1:3 NIV 




I thank my God every time I remember you.




Prayer: 




Dear Father, 




Thank you for those that you have placed in my life. Thank you for the care, the love, the concern that I receive from each of them. Thank you for the friends that reach out to me when they do not hear from me <--- they are truly a blessing. Father, thank you for the one reading this. What a blessing she is to me. In Jesus' name, Amen.












Focus More On Being Thankful 


Believe, Trust, Be Thankful 


Count Your Many Blessings 


Thank Offering 

















Who do you have in your life that means a lot to you?
Have you let them know that you are thankful for them?
How can I pray for you today?
If you will allow it, I will be happy to help carry your load.
























Photo credit: skeeze of pixabay.com 

Monday, November 18, 2019

One Word Tips

Are you someone that sets resolutions for yourself every year? How well do you stick to your resolutions? Do you start off strong, but lose interest as time goes by?







I have never been good at sticking to my resolutions. I guess I lack follow through. So instead of feeling like I am letting myself down (and God), I stopped making resolutions every year.



Now, with the Lord's help, I pick One Word to focus on throughout the year. I will let you know, straight up, when you decide (with the Lord's guidance) on a word, you will notice things "happening". Changes in your life will take place that go hand in hand with your word.



How do you choose a word to focus on? 




1. Pray 



Ask the Lord for guidance in choosing a word



2. Cues 



Pay attention to cues - signs from the Lord. If you listen and pay attention, the Lord will start to reveal things to you. For me, it is always the fact that the word I am considering is used a lot. In other words, I hear the exact word a lot. I will even start to read about the word in devotionals. So, slow down enough to listen.




3. Verses, definition, synonyms 



Look up verses to go with your word. I, personally, will pick, at least one verse that goes with my word. That verse will then be my "verse of the year". Make sure that you look up the definition of the word you are considering along with any synonyms <--- you might come across something that speaks more to you.








4. Images 



If you are creative, start creating images with your word. If not, then look on google or pinterest for images with your word. Make sure the word is a true fit for you.




5. Share 



Share your word with family and friends so they can help keep you accountable. You might even consider making it a family word.



Here are some of the words that I have used over the past several years. Maybe one of them will speak to you.



Hope 



Peace 



Brave 



Trust 



Renew 



My word for 2020 ..... FOCUS 



Isaiah 30:21 NIV 



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.”




Prayer: 



Dear Father, 



Thank you for giving me the freedom to study your word. Thank you for giving me the ability to narrow your word down to only one word of focus for the year. Father, I ask that as I go throughout the year you will give me ears that hear your direction. If I venture from the path, help me to hear your voice behind me saying, "This is the way; walk in it." In Jesus' name, Amen.











Bible Reading Plan, Christmas Story


Masterpiece


Focus More On Being Thankful


















Are you someone that sets resolutions for yourself every year?
How well do you stick to your resolutions?
Do you start off strong, but lose interest as time goes by?
How can I pray for you today?
If you will allow it, I will be happy to help carry your load.





























Photo credit: katecox of pixabay.com 

The Best Gift Ever

Are you someone that shops till you drop to make sure that everyone has something for Christmas? Or do you and your family draw names and d...