Christmas gift

What is the emotion that seems to be highlighted at Christmas? Perhaps, happiness, or joy. Either you have it or you feel lost because it seems an unreachable goal.

Being a follower of Jesus, does not mean you will live happy lives daily? Life is not about having happiness and easy joy, it’s about having challenges that we overcome with God/ Jesus. What do I mean ?

Jeremiah 29:11-14 NLT [11] For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. [12] In those days when you pray, I will listen. [13] If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. [14] I will be found by you,” says the LORD. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.”

Despite the hustle and bustle of Christmas and the voice of “Give me, give me,” stuff in the world: money, Teslas, the perfect makeup application, the newest expensive clothing, or a tech gadget, do not bring happiness. Yes, temporarily, we may feel a rush of dopamine ( the feel good hormone) but the zap of joy is temporary.

How many times do you open a present, smile and then grab for another? These physical boxes can’t fill the spot saved for Jesus especially at Christmas.

The next time you go to your favorite shopping mall, ponder this. The music is loud on purpose, it drowns out your thoughts with Christmas songs. But the songs don’t bring peace,instead you feel rushed to gather more and more materials of the world. The next thing you know, you are at cash register with many more items than you had planned, or budgeted.

Whether you are a parent or not, Christmas gives an opportunity to share the reason for the season, Jesus. Everyone can reflect each year this amazing story of love.

Pause a moment, what is Christmas really about? The awe of a baby in a manger, Jesus. Emmanuel means “God with us”. Our Father in heaven took on the lowly place of humanity when He came to earth bringing the promise of eternal relationship with our Creator.

Jesus loves you, He came to the earth to represent that love. Jesus is the place to find joy! Presents are helpful but His joy and provision over our lives is priceless. Pick His gift that lasts.

We may not believe we deserve the free gift of Jesus. He knows our faults, and still came to bring eternal life. Reflect on your life and meditate on the past choices made for a moment. Then open your heart, mind and soul.

The amazing thing about Jesus and His free gift is He still waits for us to take the leap of faith. He’s waiting for us to choose Him, repent of our pride and self consumed mind and turn to Him with humility.

Reach out to the perfect gift, Jesus. Speak aloud this prayer: I want to receive what you have for me, Lord, Forgive me for pushing you aside while I walked to my life in the past years. But right now I want to return to your plan or know you, Jesus. Help me to receive Your free gift, Help me to walk with You. In the name of Jesus.”

I pray for you realize you are not alone. Don’t be afraid!

Joshua 1:9 says “be strong and courageous do not fear for the Lord your God is with you”. But you have to take His hand with an open mind and heart and be ready to receive what He has for you!

Our Children

I feel drawn to share this October 2021 blog post today, we live in a crazy time and Our Children need our love, the Word of God, and hope. I hope you read this post and find it as timely as I did today.
Thanksgiving can be a day of wonderful family memories or hard, depressed lonely times. We can act in love regardless by praying for the Lord to illuminate our purpose and give us the ability to pray for God’s children (whether we have one or not). Sharing hope and love, our job is to get to work and pray for His people. You are not alone the Lord sees you and loves you. Peace, Mary

Inspiring Light Through the Cracks

Amy Carmichael was a 19th century missionary from Ireland. Amy opened an orphanage at the age of 28. At this time, women were not on the mission field alone. She loved children and sacrificed her life by serving India’s children. She felt the call of God and left her home of comfort to make a difference.

God delights to meet the faith of one who looks up to Him and says, “Lord, You know that I cannot do this–but I believe that you can!” -Amy Carmichael

Modern day parenting is a challenge, however, Amy was a single woman and God used her in a mighty way. Her quote showed what can happen when you trust God, we are called to speak truth and share our faith in Jesus with our own children. We are called to trust God with the unknown. God calls parents to teach their children His ways…

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New day, new sunrise

New Day dawns by MM

The Hebrew translation of sunrise ( zrikha) includes shining, glowing, luminosity. Merriam-Websters’ Definition of sunrise: dawn, daybreak, morning.

A new day is dawning. A new light is coming, Morning is breaking. Jesus is the Light, He is the Bright Morning Star, He is new beginnings. Step into the Light.

Yesterday was an interesting day, it may have deflated some people and caused celebration in others. I felt the importance of remembering that with each new day comes a sunrise. We can count on the rising sun and the sunset at the end of our day. It is a God given nature phenomenon from the beginning of time.

We can count on a sunrise and sunset. Even more important, we can count on God’s word to be true. Meditate on these scriptures on sunrises. Stop the busy day and it’s continuous distractions. Our family watches how we handle life circumstance. It’s awesome to share with friends, family and our kids the awesome creations of God. Take the time to get up early in the morning and view His majestic sky.

Psalm 19:6 MSG
That’s how God’s Word vaults across the skies from sunrise to sunset, Melting ice, scorching deserts, warming hearts to faith.

Psalm 59:16 TPT
But as for me, your strength shall be my song of joy. At each and every sunrise, my lyrics of your love will fill the air! For you have been my glory-fortress, a stronghold in my day of distress.

Psalm 90:14 TPT
Let the sunrise of your love end our dark night. Break through our clouded dawn again! Only you can satisfy our hearts, filling us with songs of joy to the end of our days.

Psalm 112:1-10 MSG
Hallelujah! Blessed man, blessed woman, who fear GOD, Who cherish and relish his commandments, Their children robust on the earth, And the homes of the upright-how blessed! Their houses brim with wealth And a generosity that never runs dry. Sunrise breaks through the darkness for good people- God’s grace and mercy and justice! The good person is generous and lends lavishly; No shuffling or stumbling around for this one, But a sterling and solid and lasting reputation. Unfazed by rumor and gossip, Heart ready, trusting in GOD, Spirit firm, unperturbed, Ever blessed, relaxed among enemies, They lavish gifts on the poor- A generosity that goes on, and on, and on. An honored life! A beautiful life! Someone wicked takes one look and rages, Blusters away but ends up speechless. There’s nothing to the dreams of the wicked. Nothing.

Sunrise breaks through the darkness for good people – God’s grace and mercy and justice! Awesome visuals in these promises. I don’t know the future and I have to trust the One True God that started sunrises and night times. Hold onto His promises. Hope in the storms of life. He knows the plans.

Knock on the door

Knock and see

Could it really be as simple as knocking on the door? I used to think being perfect was a prerequisite to being a follower of Jesus. I could never measure up to the standard. But I am learning to seek His truth for myself. No barriers, no false teaching from others. It starts with a knock on the best door.

I love this conversation from Jesus to His best friends, the disciples as He shared this parable.

Luke 11:5-13 NLT. Then, teaching them more about prayer, he used this story: “Suppose you went to a friend’s house at midnight, wanting to borrow three loaves of bread. You say to him, [6] ‘A friend of mine has just arrived for a visit, and I have nothing for him to eat.’ [7] And suppose he calls out from his bedroom, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is locked for the night, and my family and I are all in bed. I can’t help you.’ [8] But I tell you this-though he won’t do it for friendship’s sake, if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you whatever you need because of your shameless persistence. [9] “And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. [10] For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. [11] “You fathers-if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead? [12] Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not! [13] So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.”

Initially it may seem as though Jesus words to the disciples were a rebuke. He shares our need for persistent relationship building in seeking Him for the answers.

Please reread the scripture, Luke 11, consider the text again it is metaphorical. People can understand it’s parable message in different ways.

He shares with the disciples His provision however, whoever knocks on the door needing help must ask for His protection. His love is free. His promises can be received only when we actively pursue Him. His gift of love, mercy and forgiveness are available for taking.

Jesus does not force His relationship on any human. He wants to pour blessings on His children. We have to push aside any worldly idol that we may think can fill the God shaped hole in every human heart. No material or human thing can fill this hole. Only Jesus!

Leeland sings “Waymaker”, such powerful lyrics. Trust the Waymaker!! I have been singing this song in the way to school, our kids can hear the words reminding us to hold onto Jesus! We can be an example in action of our faith in God! Words and worship aloud can connect to the angels in heaven. We all can make a joyful sound to the King.

Gerbil, Get off the wheel

Gerbil, get off the wheel!!

Boy, our feelings can feel so intense overwhelming and so permanent, can’t they? Yet feelings are fleeting. They pop into our minds and take on a life of there own, if they are condemning they are from the devil. Feelings could actually be lies from the Father of lies, Satan. Lies related to past traumas, lies related to expectations of others, lies related to judgments of others, are not helpful. They are meant to destroy us and tarnish our mind from Gods’ truth.

Ephesians 6:10-11 AMP
In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [draw your strength from Him and be empowered through your union with Him] and in the power of His [boundless] might. [11] Put on the full armor of God [for His precepts are like the splendid armor of a heavily-armed soldier], so that you may be able to [successfully] stand up against all the schemes and the strategies and the deceits of the devil.

The truth is that God has a plan for your life. God wants you to choose His Promises over feelings. The enemy wants you to be stuck in feelings. The truth is that God has never left you. Perhaps in your past choices, shame or trauma led to your steps away from your relationship with Him.

Have you ever thought of it that way? Who stepped away? There may have been a time we felt God would never forgive us for the things we’ve done or the things we’ve said. Go to Jesus, He is a forgiving, grace giving, a merciful God. He wants to be in our lives sharing His wisdom. But if we step away from the umbrella protection of his wisdom, we can’t really be surprised that we don’t hear His voice?

God is a God of love, God of peace, God is a teacher through conviction not condemnation. He is a God of hope and returning to His Presence is amazing. God is a God of wisdom. Jesus speaks to us through the Holy Spirit.

He for us not against us. We must reach out to Him and say aloud, “Jesus, I need You! I want You to direct my life. I am ready for a New Life with You!”

There are ways for us to drop the fake feelings and instead hold onto Gods’ promises. I love imagery to explain my point, please bear with me!

Consider a gerbil in a wheel running so fast, faster and faster, trying to figure out how to get somewhere. Your feelings etched as words on that gerbil wheel: anxiety, depression, regret, fear, bitterness, holding grudges, unworthiness. We are the gerbil seeming to loose our energy and our mind. We could never get to peace and joy fast enough unless we make changes in our life. Mindless running into an unknown future can set up traps from others and the world culture.

However, if we look and fix our eyes on the image of Jesus before us and picture His compassionate face and extended hand we will feel purpose and strength will increase. Let Him fill empty spaces and be your fuel to reach the goal. Perhaps we could start the steps to forgiving ourselves, and accept His love.

Jeremiah 33:2-3 MSG
“This is GOD’s Message, the God who made earth, made it livable and lasting, known everywhere as God: ‘Call to me and I will answer you. I’ll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own.’

Greater Still by Brandon Lake

Brandon Lake, one of my favorite music artists, expresses beautifully “Greater Still” the love of our Savior Jesus. Be blessed as the lyrics fill your mind with hope and love over feelings.

Our belief and trust in God over feelings could transform us and then our belief in His promises will overwhelm the negative mindset.

So don’t be a gerbil on the wheel, hop off that stupid circular device. And seek the Son of God. He is the light, Jesus! Let Him fuel the Journey!

Stillness

Stillness seems impossible in our hard charged, hustle bustle world, however, it is necessary for our sanity. We must prioritize stillness with our Creator God. He is our Lighthouse in the stormy seas, lighting our path to peace and rest. It is time well spent to revive and refresh us as we walk this earth.

Psalm 62:5-8 TPT
I am standing in absolute stillness, silent before the one I love, waiting as long as it takes for him to rescue me. Only God is my Savior, and he will not fail me. [6] For he alone is my safe place. His wrap-around presence always protects me as my champion defender. There’s no risk of failure with God! So why would I let worry paralyze me, even when troubles multiply around me? [7] God’s glory is all around me! His wrap-around presence is all I need, for the Lord is my Savior, my hero, and my life-giving strength. [8] Join me, everyone! Trust only in God every moment! Tell him all your troubles and pour out your heart-longings to him. Believe me when I tell you-he will help you! Pause in his presence

Words to heal, words to provide hope, words to encourage, words to bring Light into our daily life.

The Passion translation of the Bible is full of words for you. It’s modern translation, feels so personal and revives me. I hope it revives you.

Darkness must flee in the midst of the illuminating Light of our Savior.

A fellow Sister in Christ at Moms prayer meeting shared this song, “ Why” by Elevation worship at the Loft. The high school choir sang this amazing song at the close of the concert. There was not a dry eye in the auditorium from family, and teacher. Bask in its message for all.

Why by Elevation worship

Why do you matter to Jesus? Because you are precious, He created you in His image, He knows you, He believes in your specific gifts, He wants you to believe in Him. There is no sin so great that can separate you from His love.

Jesus is better than silver, gold and anything in this world. Listen to the words of this song, Why, and feel the awe inspiring, Presence of God. Call out to Him! He loves you.

Lord, keep pouring

Evil will not win! I know days can be exhausting and weariness can sap your strength. I know trials can feel overwhelming and peace seems unattainable. I know you may feel alone and unseen.

I have been in your position and may be there again today: sad, lonely, lost and overwhelmed, without hope and in conflict. I learned to rebuke thoughts that bring darkness. Shake those thoughts meant to bind you from your mind, feelings are deceptive. Faith in the unseen God are truth. The choice is to stay deceived or reach to new freedom and truth.

Hebrews 12:1-2,5-6 TPT
As for us, we have all of these great witnesses who encircle us like clouds. So we must let go of every wound that has pierced us and the sin we so easily fall into. Then we will be able to run life’s marathon race with passion and determination, for the path has been already marked out before us. [2] We look away from the natural realm and we fasten our gaze onto Jesus who birthed faith within us and who leads us forward into faith’s perfection. His example is this: Because his heart was focused on the joy of knowing that you would be his, he endured the agony of the cross and conquered its humiliation, and now sits exalted at the right hand of the throne of God!

[5] And have you forgotten his encouraging words spoken to you as his children? He said, “My child, don’t underestimate the value of the discipline and training of the Lord God, or get depressed when he has to correct you. [6] For the Lord’s training of your life is the evidence of his faithful love. And when he draws you to himself, it proves you are his delightful child.”

I have learned and learn daily to take my burdens to the Cross of Christ. I literally see myself labeling the heavy rocks and boulders with these words. I see myself dragging these heavy burdens to Jesus!

I ask for His strength to get me to His feet, I may cry out aloud, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus! Because I don’t know what else to say. His word says, He understands our groaning through the Holy Spirit. That is not a human concept but everything is possible for God. In the supernatural, holding His hand, listening for His voice, I can find hope again.

Psalm 36, the Passion version, described well the struggle of rebellion of sin and also the mercy seat love of God. His love is extravagant but we need to open our hearts to this amazing gift.

Psalm 36:1-12 TPT
A poetic song, by King David, the servant of the Lord The rebellion of sin speaks as an oracle of God, speaking deeply to the conscience of wicked men. Yet they are still eager to sin, for the fear of God is not before their eyes. [2] See how they flatter themselves, unable to detect and detest their sins. They are crooked and conceited, convinced they can get away with anything. [3] Their wicked words are nothing but lies. Wisdom is far from them. Goodness is both forgotten and forsaken. [4] They lie awake at night to hatch their evil plots, always planning their schemes of darkness, and never once do they consider the evil of their ways. [5] But you, O Lord, your mercy-seat love is limitless, reaching higher than the highest heavens. Your great faithfulness is infinite, stretching over the whole earth. [6] Your righteousness is unmovable, just like the mighty mountains. Your judgments are as full of wisdom as the oceans are full of water. Your tender care and kindness leave no one forgotten, not a man nor even a mouse. [7] O God, how extravagant is your cherishing love! All mankind can find a hiding place under the shadow of your wings. [8] All may drink of the anointing from the abundance of your house. All may drink their fill from the delightful springs of Eden. [9] To know you is to experience a flowing fountain, drinking in your life, springing up to satisfy. In the light of your holiness we receive the light of revelation. [10] Lord, keep pouring out your unfailing love on those who are near you. Release more of your blessings to those who are loyal to you. [11] Don’t let these proud boasters trample me down; don’t let them push me around by the sheer strength of their wickedness. [12] There they lie in the dirt, these evil ones, thrown down to the ground, never to arise again!

Lord, keep pouring out Your wisdom, Your Peace and Your Love! Change me from the inside out. Release more of your truth and blessings to those loyal to you. Draw those who feel lost and alone to Your mercy seat of love and grace. In the light of your holiness we receive the light of revelation. Jesus, Holy Spirit we need You, Amen!

Fisherman or Fish

Photo by Sirikul R on Pexels.com

Fishermen have a difficult job, they are at the mercy of nature, chaotic weather patterns, and abundant supply of fish. Fishermen have to trust the wisdom of generations of fishermen and luck. However, when the nets remain empty, they are sunk.

As it is in life, there are times when we don’t know where to plant our steps or drop our nets. We may feel the world is chaos, but the Lord is drawing His people to seek Him. Jesus calls us to listen to His wisdom.

At times, He may instruct us to step back from groups of friends, maybe even family, that are not aligned with His ways. Maybe we need to shake the dust off some of the choices of our past.Or He may encourage our boldness to share our life stories of joy, hardship, and His deliverance.

It is hard for me to live in conflict with anyone. But just as the fisherman, Simon Peter, and Andrew were called by Jesus as the first disciples to drop their nets and become fishers of men, we are also called to do the same, to seek Jesus and follow Him.

Matthew 4:18-22 AMP 18 As Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He noticed two brothers, Simon who was called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. 19 And He said to them, “[b]Follow Me [as My disciples, accepting Me as your Master and Teacher and walking the same path of life that I walk], and I will make you fishers of men.” 20 Immediately they left their nets and followed Him [becoming His disciples, believing and trusting in Him and following His example]. 21 And going on [further] from there He noticed two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and his brother John, in the boat with their father [c]Zebedee, mending their nets; and He called them [to follow Him as His disciples]. 22 Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him [becoming His disciples, believing and trusting in Him and following His example].

It may cause distress, and emotional upheaval but I am learning to follow Jesus instead of other things. You may get crazy looks, or have people say, ” No thanks, I don’t want to hear your thoughts.” Jesus still wants us to make fishers of men, to make disciples in the nations, across the street, or even the world. He will use your life story.

The statement “shake the dust off our feet” means being okay with walking away from people who may not be open to the Word of God, Jesus. We must stand firm in Jesus Christ alone, not be afraid to claim His truth ( He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life ), and share with others our personal testimony of His work in our lives.

We are not superior to any human, we must seek the Lord for His words to others before a word leaves our lips. We must forgive others who are not ready to hear the gospel but pray for them. We must seek Jesus forgiveness for our past poor choices and start over with an evolving testimony to share.

Some people may think we are religious nuts or will not listen to our call by the Holy Spirit to share what we have learned from our walk with Jesus. It can hurt our hearts and make us second guess the call Jesus has on our lives.

But stand firm, there are certain people you are called to intersect and share your story. I have been fearful at times to step out in boldness, however, I am amazed when I have spoken as He prompts, I am humbled and in awe of how Jesus fills my words with His truth.

We are not all-knowing, we are not the Savior, Jesus is. Just as He prepared the first disciples, He will prepare us. We must give people space after we share His transforming work in our life. Sometimes we must give grace, tighten our sandles and walk on.

We must Let go and Let God be the source for their transformation. You may be just a seed sower and they will need more time. Emotionally letting go of family or friends who don’t know Jesus or who have stepped away from His umbrella of protection feels sad and without hope.

However, Jesus can work with your loved ones when you step out of the way. Shaking the dust off your feet can bring more clarity as Jesus speaks through the next person He has directed across their path. Shaking the dust off the poor choices of the past can also bring new life in a new relationship with Jesus.

Sean Curran has a meaningful message of patience in his song, ” Shake the Dust off.” His lyrics remind us to ” Shake off the dust and let fear fall.. let praise arise” and ” Arise, O generation, revivals’ on the run”.

We can trust our God, He will not be silenced, His truth never changes, and soon the whole world will know, there is no King but Jesus.

Be a fisher of men for Jesus! Consider throwing out the net if you know Jesus as Savior, or seek to be caught by Jesus, grab the net if you want to know Him.

2 Thessalonians 3:16

Now may the Lord of peace Himself grant you His peace at all times and in every way [that peace and spiritual well-being that comes to those who walk with Him, regardless of life’s circumstances. The Lord be with you all.

You can’t get away

Reach out for Him

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed it lately but my blog post has a similar theme. I want you to understand how much Jesus loves you! I have a passion deep in my heart to let you know how much Jesus loves you!

He gives us free will to reach out to him, so call out to him today, say Jesus I’m a sinner I want a relationship with you. Jesus, please forgive me for the choices in my past. Jesus, I want you in my life.

He will not force Himself on you. He wants you to choose. He knew you from the moment of your conception. He created you in His Image. He wants a relationship with you!! Yes, You!!!

But we must choose that relationship.! Choose that relationship today before time goes by before the day ends! Because you can’t get away from His unconditional love. Accept His Love today!

The song. “I Can’t get away”, by Melissa Helser, feat. Naomi Raine is just so cool, so deep, so amazing, it just feels like it reaches down into my soul. I hope it affects you in the same way.

I can’t get away!!!

Matthew 7:7-8 NLT
[7] “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. [8] For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

Jesus wants to be your protective shade. Let Him. The time is now!!

Psalm 121:5 NLT
[5] The LORD himself watches over you! The LORD stands beside you as your protective shade.

His Infinite Names

I don’t know anyone who’s known by hundreds maybe even thousands of names other than our Lord: Faithful Father, Lamb of God, Creator, Jesus, Holy Spirit, Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace, King of Kings, Lord of Lords. The list is endless.

Something to meditate on: this is the same person; Jesus, Father, Holy Spirit, and Creator God who wants to know you.

I heard the song by Sean Curran “1000 names”, it’s so powerful to hear and take. Because it reminds me that within those thousand names I can find the right name I may need for today, tomorrow, or my future.

If I’m in a happy content place, I might find the name King of Kings or Lord of Lords to be cool! If I’m in a time of confusion, Wonderful Counselor may be the correct name to impact my mind and life. If I’m needing relief through conflict, Prince of Peace may mean something to me. If you are struggling with mental or physical health, He is the Healer ( Jehovah Rapha)!

We need to share His infinite Names with those we love; friends, family, children, teens, young adults, and even strangers. It may be the beginning of their walk with the unchanging God of the universe.

I hope you enjoy the song as much as I did. The same God who has multiple names wants to know yours. Even though he has various names, there is only one King Jesus!

1000 Names Sean Curran

Amazing to think, God is immutable but His Names are multiple in the description of His reach. He will finish what He starts! He will not give up on You! Sing to Him who is worthy of praise.