“That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth.” Philippians 2:10 Douay-Rheims Bible
I have been trying to decide on gifts that would be appropriate for Christmas. I have been struggling with this for years, not just this Christmas. I’m somewhat estranged from my own children and family. Divorced. That terrible word because of all the painful implications. Broken vows and unfulfilled promises. They seem to have turned from God and I blame myself. The world grabbed them the first chance it could. I raised them as Christians with all the true trimmings of Christmas (Christian values, virtues and high principles for proper conduct). Now, my grandchildren have been brought up not knowing God and only knowing stuff – the things in and of this world. Here I am wondering what to give them. I would dearly love to give them a Bible but I’m afraid they’ll reject it and throw it away. My dilemma. To me, Christmas will always mean the birth of my Lord Jesus, God and Savior. Not Santa Claus. We are estranged because I am strange to them. An old fossil. Believing in God is a weird concept. Their parents, my children, are uncomfortable if and when I mention His existence. I have prayed and waited patiently for years for them to come back to the way they were raised but that hasn’t happened. I cringe at the idea of celebrating a fat red costumed man in place of the Christ who laid in a trough to become the food of our salvation.
Thanks to Gaye Francis Willard for the original artwork!
I was just thumbing through the Bible to see if anything in particular struck me and actually everything did. It struck me as being harsh for sinners. I think, do anything but sin! The punishment for sin, although fair, is frightening.
“These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful.” Revelation 17:14
If I were to envy anyone anything, it would be the moment they knew that God called them. That one defining moment when the world became a different place from the norm for them. I love to hear the stories of how God calls us. There is nothing like the call and that first moment. I never get tired of hearing how God is working with His people. The love He showers on us through His Son is powerful testimony of His presence. If everyone, who experienced that moment, shared it, I think we could make the difference this world needs.
“After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.” 1 Peter 5:10
No one gets out of this world without suffering and pain. I have never met anyone who hasn’t suffered. Turn to God and turn your suffering into a tool for redemption. If we offer ourselves to God without complaint, He can turn it into something wonderful and perfect. All we have to do is surrender to our Lord!
Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 1 Timothy 6:12
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Life’s loud noisy distractions have a way of drowning out God’s quiet gentle urging. Tonight the rain on my tin roof and hum of the air purifier alone are making racket enough to run the quiet off. I wonder if I’m being selfish. He calls some to be missionaries in foreign countries and some to die for the faith. For me, to wash clothes, of which I clearly have too many. Or make meals, some days we have the 3, I could easily skip some of those. My waist line is increasing. My prayer life is not increasing as fast. I don’t mean to whine. I really would like to be sure that the will I’m doing is not my own. God’s will be done.
I was speaking with a truly Christian women who felt there was no need to go to Mary, Jesus’ Mother. It seemed like a step backwards for her – why go to Mary when you can go straight to Jesus/God? At the time I came up with my usual no answer or comment. I’m real slow on the draw when it comes to verbal responses. I get tongue tied and never know what to say. I love Mary and go to her all the time. I get to Mary through her Son. When I was a little girl I got to her Son through her. Mother Mary is the first tabernacle. She held Jesus first and yet He made her. So here is what I should have shared. Holy Mary, the Mother of God is our gift and perfect example of ‘women’ from God. I can glean grace and help for all kinds of daily details from Mary, and it’s not as if I’m going behind Jesus’ back. She is with Him always. Who knows Jesus better than His Mother? When I am looking for the perfect gift for Michaela (an 18 year old beauty who graces our family) I go to her Mom, Erin. She knows just the right thing. Jesus has a plan, but has been known to change it when asked by His Mother.