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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Inspired by . . . a new year

 

"...one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Php 3:13-14
 

 

It's that time of year again. After the let down JOYs of Christmas we seem to slip into a thoughtful, sort of half-awake, repose wherein we dissect the past and make new expectations for the future.

I know many of you make new year's resolutions, or choose words to inspire your focus for the upcoming year. Nothing wrong with either - - in fact, I admire you for it!

But for most of my life I've done little of either. I'm more of a 'by the seat of my pants' kind of gal, albeit in a controlled sort of way.  {I'm sensing some not so quiet laughter from some of you out there}  And, although this may sound cliché to some of you, I really do trust God for what's next.

I suppose, though, if your life happen to take a 180 and/or as you get older you're more apt to be thoughtful about the past and more concerned about the future no matter what personality tendencies you had before.

With all those wonderful, inspirational words floating around out there in blogland it shouldn't surprise me that I'm in a debate with myself about choosing one. Did you get that? The debate is more about the choosing of a word, than about the word itself. Why? Because, as I've already explained, this isn't really my sort of thing and I didn't want to do it just because others were doing it.... blah, blah, blah.

So, although I had a word, I had decided not to choose it. 

That is until Good Morning Girls announced the topic of their January study.

 

Focused-Blog-Ad

 

 

There was no escaping it. The word had chosen me.

So now, like many of you, I have a word to help keep me focused in 2014.

My word is: Intentional

 

And, I am going to begin this year by being intentional with all of YOU and invite you to join my Facebook group for the GMG online winter study, Intentionally Focused. If you're interested you can request to join here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/236810263143915/

 

Wishing you all a healthy and JOYfilled

New Year!

 

Blessings,

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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Inspired by . . . action

You've heard the phrase, "Actions speak louder than words," I'm sure. And it is true. People can say anything they want, but their actions will prove them out.

The smallest deed, showing a person that they are in your heart and on your mind, means more than the spoken words, "I love you," when followed by neglect.

This was the topic of Max Lucado's Christmas Eve service.

Jesus is God's word in action.

 

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I've often pondered this truth, but can't remember ever hearing it preached this way before. Lucado's words instantly reminded me of a scene from Heart's Desire:

 

I am the bread of life. Five thousand people were fed with five small loaves and two fish. John was reading in the sixth chapter of the Gospel of John when it hit him.

Jesus's actions spoke louder than His words.

John had been debating all afternoon the best way to apologize to Mel. Now he thought he knew. He flipped back to Luke, and continued reading.

The Son of Man came to seek and save the lost. Save them from what? John continued reading. From an eternity separate from God. How did Jesus save them? John already knew the answer to that question. He had died for them.

And He died for me.

John's thoughts quickly turned from a certain young lady to an all-powerful God. Having never felt God’s love in such a tangible way before, John fell to his knees, truly understanding for the first time what God had done for him on the cross. This was grace, not that he had done or ever could do anything that would merit the kind of love his Savior had shown him. God had given His Son; Christ had given His life so that he might have life. Life eternal with God. The debt for his sins, past, present and future had been paid.

It was dark outside when John finally rose from where he'd been kneeling. Fearing he'd missed dinner once again, he pulled out his timepiece and was relieved to see he had not. More than ever, he was determined to make things right with Mel. Since words seemed to fail him, he was fully prepared to show her by his actions. And with God’s help, he just might pull it off.

 

Jesus, God, always backs up His words with action. He did it when He walked this earth as a man, and He is still doing it today.

 

You can trust Him to fulfill His promises to you.

 

Blessings,

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Monday, December 23, 2013

Inspired by. . . Noel

 

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"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder:

and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God,

The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."  Isaiah 9:6

 

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From Our Family to Yours

May PEACE and JOY rule in your HOME and HEARTS this Christmas.

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

 

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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Inspired by. . . Mary

 

And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest:

and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David:
And He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end.
Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee,

and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee:

therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age:

and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.
For with God nothing shall be impossible.
And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.

And the angel departed from her.

Luke 1:26-38

 

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Wow! I've probably read this scripture 100 times and I still can't get over Mary's response to the angel. "Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word."

Admittedly, just the thought of having a child is terrifying to me. I am wholly inadequate to such a task.

But this was no ordinary child. No ordinary messenger.

I wonder if it was the last words the angel spoke that gave Mary the hope and faith she needed to answer as she did?

"For with God nothing shall be impossible."

Perhaps we can have the same hope and faith today. His words, His promises are not just for Mary. They are for each and every one of us.

 

With expectation,

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Picture is textured with Bonnie's Xmas music texture. Thank you, Bonnie, for your generosity.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Inspired by. . . hope

Today is the first Sunday of Advent. A time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the nativity {birth} of Jesus Christ.

 

This first week as we prepare our hearts and wait expectantly for what we know is to come, we focus on the word – hope.

 

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There are many in our world today who have no hope. For many, the sheer desperation of their circumstance produces this state of mind. For others, looking out upon the world with a full belly, from the warmth of an "easy" chair, they simply see the reality of a world that seems to be imploding upon itself. Still others believe that as products of evolution, we are programmed to continually seek to better ourselves, and as a result shall never find true contentment. There is nothing after this. All is lost.

But the truth is that all is not lost.

That very first Christmas we were given the gift of hope. God's gift to us. His Son. Our Savior.... our Redeemer. Our hope for a better tomorrow.

Hope came into our world.

Hope ...... that God can take any life, no matter how broken, and make it beautiful.

Hope ...... that the best is yet to come!

This gift of hope that entered our world so many years ago has never left.

It is still here today. For some, it still lies beneath the tree . . . wrapped . . . waiting.

 

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May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing,

so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. ~ Romans 15:13

 

Some of us need to be reminded of the hope we have. This Advent season is the perfect opportunity to refocus our hearts on Jesus, the Giver of all hope.

And some of us need to unwrap the gift. Let hope give birth to faith and . . .

 

Believe.

 

With expectation,

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