Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Erick and I have been enjoying our time here in Michigan. Spending time with family and friends truly is a blessing! Our time here always feels so short....yes, time does go by quickly. But, as the countdown continues to the 25th we are wishing you and yours the very merriest Christmas! Praying that you are surrounded by family, friends, and peace. All the things that truly make life worth living.
 Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Miracles

  It seems like this year, more than any other, I know quite a few people that are looking and hoping and praying for a Christmas miracle of sorts. I know that Erick and I are definitely in that place as well. As we are trusting for God's provision and care in our lives. I'm not sure what it is about this "time of year" that has everyone especially prone to the idea of miracles. I spent some time thinking about this as of late and have come up with these possible solutions:
              a) We are all watching way too many Hallmark movies. 

              b) "Miracle on 34th Street" has become literal. 

              c.) We are all consuming way too much sugar. Hot chocolate included.

    Any takers? Alright.... maybe not so much. But, what does the term "miracle" really mean? Well, here is the definition. So, we get that a miracle surpasses how we understand the physical world. In other words, it doesn't seem possible. In other terms, there is no logical reason why a miracle should happen or could happen....but they do happen. And just like people are different, our miracles are different as well. The things we seek that seem impossible and past the natural this Christmas season may be very different from each other. None the less, miracles become personal. They are personal as we hope for them. They are personal long after they take place. Maybe so much so, that some of us choose not to buy into the "season of miracles" mantra because hoping is just that: personal. 

     I'm not sure what miracle you are seeking right now. I know that everyone, deep down, is looking for something to change, or come through, or heal, or just happen. I can't help but be reminded of Christ when I think of the definition behind the word. Doesn't it sound miraculous that God would come to earth, in the form of a baby, and be made in our likeness to eventually die? Think about that. It surpasses our physical world. Our knowledge. He came to die. So, that we could even have the chance of seeing the miraculous. Now, that idea, has done nothing short of a miracle in me.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Hebrews 12

   Last night I hunkered down for bed early. This means that I went to bed before 1:30 a.m. (which has become my normal bed time the last few weeks). I happened to read Hebrews 12 before I passed on into the dream world.
  I'm just going to go ahead and mention now that this chapter just seemed to literally leap of the page. I was hanging on every word. I was rereading sentences. I was finding the content matter to be speaking so directly to my inside. Even now, I'm not sure if I have pin pointed the exact reason why. Here are some things that struck me as so amazing and encouraging last night, my head propped up with two pillows, reading by lamplight. 

  • As it stands, Hebrews 12:2 has to be one of my favorite verses ever. But, I just love the imagery in this verse as it talks about the joy set before Christ. We were that joy to Him. That we can be called children of God. Awesome.

  • Vs. 5-11 speaks of God's discipline in our lives. This sounds heavy, I know. But, I couldn't help but feel encouraged by these verses as I have often felt the last few months that God has been doing a work on my heart. On my attitude. On how I view purpose. On how I worship Him. He disciplines us like a father. He refines us. He strips things away piece by piece that we shall gain from it.  "For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it" (Hebrews 12:11). I often wonder why, when I go through trials of life, I choose not to see it as the refinement of my character for the sake of Jesus? 

  • Vs. 22-25. All I can say about these verses is: "Praise God." He has made a better way for us. He has carved a path. Because of that though, there is a responsibility: to hear and take action

  • Vs. 28-29. "Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire." First of all, everything on this earth,  even our bodies can be shaken. These things can be removed. Time breaks these things down. But, I just think it is awesome that Christ cannot be shaken and he bought that for me (and you) on the cross. So, what should my response be? Thanksgiving. Worship that has absolutely nothing to do with me. Humbleness. Wonder. Christ should consume all of me. Down to every last plan and thought and dream and life goal and the words that come out of my mouth. I should be absorbed by Jesus.
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