Monday, December 23, 2019

Monday Meditations - Nativity


Nativity

But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Philippians 2:7-8

When we think of nativity, Christmas automatically comes to mind. A nativity is simply the place, condition, and circumstances surrounding a birth. The Nativity is the place, conditions, and circumstances surrounding the birth of Christ.

The Place – Jesus was born in Bethlehem, which fulfilled prophecy. What a lowly place for the King to be born. Herod, evil as he was, was used by God as a tool. He was taking a census of the people, requiring them to return to the city of their birth. So Joseph packed up himself and a very pregnant Mary, to go to Bethlehem, thus fulfilling one prophesy of Jesus being born in Bethlehem.

The Conditions – While most of us were born in the sanitary conditions of a hospital, Jesus was born in a stable. If you’ve ever been in a barn, you know that it is anything but sanitary and not the most comfortable place to give birth. I'm sure a stable was not exactly what Mary had in mind.

The Circumstances – There is a lot of prophecy surrounding Christ’s birth. Just being born He fulfilled a number of prophesies. The only reason God came to earth in the form of a man was because of us. If it wasn't for our decisions to lead sinful lives, Jesus would have stayed in the comfort of His heavenly home.

If it wasn't for us, He would not have come.


If you enjoyed this post today, it is an excerpt from The 25 Days of Christmas Family Devotional. You can grab a copy for your family by clicking the cover to go to Amazon.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Monday Meditations - Rejoice


Rejoice

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Philippians 4:4

Rejoice – to take joy in, give joy to, take possession of

When an angel appeared to Mary and told her that she would bear a child – out of wedlock – how did she respond? She rejoiced. That would probably not be the response of most young women today had they had the same experience. They would probably scream, holler, cry, etc., but not Mary. Mary rejoiced.

Mary knew the Scriptures, as is evident in her song. Here she quotes the Old Testament 15 times. She rejoiced because God was giving her a gift, not only a gift just for her, but for the entire human race - past, present, and future. She rejoiced that she was the vessel God chose to use. While she was proud of this fact, she was not conceited. On the contrary, she was very humble. Mary was spending time with her cousin Elizabeth when she sang this song. I can't help but wonder if she needed a little bit of time to escape and soak up everything that God was doing for her and for the world.

We all have gifts God has given us. We should rejoice in those gifts and use them accordingly. But, be careful not to be jealous of another’s gift. One of the Ten Commandments says, “Do not covet.” That applies not only to physical things, but to spiritual things as well.

Rejoice that God has sent the Savior. Rejoice in the gift He has given you to help you share the love of the Savior.

If you enjoyed this post today, it is an excerpt from The 25 Days of Christmas Family Devotional. You can grab a copy for your family by clicking the cover to go to Amazon.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Monday Meditations - Emmanuel


Emmanuel

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. Matthew 1:23

This story, like many stories I tell, was taken from a real-life scenario from a friend of mine:

While our son Kev was being wheeled into surgery, he just kept crying for his bear he had named Baby Jesus. Although Evie was only getting tubes, Kevin was having a more serious surgery. To be honest, that bear that had been dragged through the mud, into stores, many doctor visits, and finally into the hospital, had unknowingly become my security blanket that day.

I remember the empty feeling I felt as the nurse took Baby Jesus from me and took him off to the operating room to comfort my own baby. I know, it was an inanimate object, but just the feel of Kev’s ugly, scrawny, yet loved bear was somehow giving me comfort when I didn’t have my own baby in my arms.

I sat there in the waiting room for a few minutes feeling empty and alone when suddenly I remembered my Emmanuel. My “God with us!” While Kev needed that bear to give him comfort in his childlike belief of Baby Jesus, I had the real-life version of a Savior who came on Christmas morning. Born to die so that on the morning of my son’s surgery, Kev, in his childlike faith could cling to a bear named Baby Jesus and I could be filled with the presence of the now arisen King who knew my suffering mama’s heart and comforted me like no other person or object can.

The Hebrew "Immanuel" literally means “with us is God!” Can you imagine? No matter what we have to face, a tough class at school, a bully who will not leave us alone, a surgery we are dreading, a fear we just can’t get past; it doesn’t matter, God is with us!

One of my favorite Christmas songs. Hope you enjoy!



If you enjoyed this post today, it is an excerpt from The 25 Days of Christmas Family Devotional. You can grab a copy for your family by clicking the cover to go to Amazon.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Monday Meditations - Ornament



Ornament


They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor, their righteousness endures forever. Psalm 112:9a

Each year our trees look more and more beautiful as we place ornaments all over them. One year, while bringing home our Christmas tree on a very windy day, the tree blew off the top of the car, damaging the top portion of the tree. Once we placed the tree in its stand at home, we had to do a little doctoring to make that tree even somewhat presentable. Some strategically placed ornaments helped as well. Other people may not have noticed, if they didn't look too closely, but our family knew the truth behind it all.



Sometimes people are the same way. We dress ourselves up in nice clothes and put on a little make-up to improve our appearance, but all that preparation does nothing for what's on the inside. We may think we're fooling people, and we may be, but we can never fool God. He knows all about us, inside and out.



This Christmas season let's not jump to conclusions about how someone looks on the outside. Deep down inside we all want love. We want someone to care about us, even if we are only given a word or a smile.

God created us all. He loves us all. We need to love others unconditionally as He does.


If you enjoyed this post today, it is an excerpt from The 25 Days of Christmas Family Devotional.  You can grab a copy for your family by clicking the cover to go to Amazon.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Monday Meditations - Bible

Bible


Books are some of my very favorite things. I am rarely without a book nearby. If I have a few moments to spare, I indulge and allow myself to escape reality.

And then there is the Bible. That is the Ultimate Book. When I get lost in the pages of the Bible, I see miracles, I learn more about God and Who He is, I grow closer in my relationship with Him.

Reading the Bible is one of the ways in which God communicates with me. But, do I pick up the Bible enough? Do I spend enough time searching the Scriptures looking for answers to my prayers and questions and finding out how He wants me to live my life?

The answer is probably no. We can never spend enough to too much time in the Word. I remember the Christmas I received my first grown-up Bible. I spent the afternoon reading through the first chapters of Genesis.

That is definitely one of the things I need to be working on.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Monday Meditations - Persistent


Persistence

Children may not know the meaning of the word persistent, but they have the concept down pat.

"Can I have a snack?"

"No."

"Can I have a snack?"

"No."

"Can I have a snack?"

"No."

This is a typical conversation with one of the little people I babysit, only the conversation lasts a lot longer. I don't have a problem with snacks, but I do limit them to no more than 20 per day. She'd like more. She's persistent.

As a child, I was persistent. Not for snacks, but for salvation. Every night I would pray and ask Jesus to come into my heart. I was afraid that maybe I didn't do it right or something. God was more than willing to listen to the persistent please of a child.

Now, as a writer, persistence is key in my life. I have to send out a lot of articles and stories if I want to receive paychecks. You know that old adage, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again." That definitely applies to the life of a writer.

What about your life? Where do you need to be a little more persistent? Is there a relationship you should persist in pursuing or renewing? Wherever it is, find that area of your life that need a little more effort and go for it. Give it your all and see what happens.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Monday Meditations - Reliable



Reliable

We all want to be friends with that person who is reliable. Reliable people are the ones you can depend on. They are the ones you can call on when you're in a pinch and need a helping hand. Reliable people get things done. I had a great example of reliability in my parents. If they made a promise to do something, it would be done, and it would be done well. That's something I'm still working on.

A friend of mine falls into the category of reliable. She is always the first in line to fix a meal, bring a treat, or take care of any job that needs doing. I want to be like her when I grow up.

A few years back I was convicted about my own reliability. A friend of mine desperately needed some help. She didn't call on me at that time, but I had to think about what I would have done if she had called me. Would I have told her I was too busy? Would I have dropped everything and ran to her immediately? I honestly can't answer about what I would have done that night, but it sure has made me aware of what I will do should I ever get that "I need help" call from a friend in the future.

I want to be reliable. I want to be there for those who need me. I want to be the light of Christ. But, the only way I know I can be reliable is when God is at work through me. I want to work on being more reliable this week and in all the weeks to come.