Broken Cups, Broken Dreams, Broken Hearts

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During Christmas I enjoy drinking out of my Christmas cups, a different one each day. I try to post it on Face book along with a thought for the day. Some days just a happy thought, other days a prayer. This has been a fun practice for the past two years. When I read the comments I feel like I’m having coffee with a friend.

This year we are in the middle of a major home renovation so there is no Christmas tree or decorations amid the sheetrock, tile and flooring waiting to be installed. But I do have my cups out, sharing coffee each morning with my FB friends.

As I was unpacking my cups placing them in my new, freshly painted cabinets I dropped one. Gazing at the broken pieces, this thought came to my heart: “Broken cups, broken dreams, broken hearts.”IMG_0170

I can glue a Christmas cup back together. In Hallmark movies Santa fixes broken dreams. But in reality there is only one who can mend a broken heart, give us a new dream and if so inclined even glue a cup back together. His name is Jesus. In fact, the real purpose of Christmas is to mend the greatest heartbreak and greatest dream of all. The heart that was broken in a garden long ago when Adam and Eve made a wrong choice and the dream that was dashed for a hope and a future with Him. God’s heart, God’s dream was broken.

His dream was for us to live eternally with Him in intimate relationship just like what he had with Adam in the very beginning.

But as he looked down on us and saw the brokenness, He had already made a way to mend hearts and renew His dream for us. Jesus Christ, His Son, slain from the foundation of the world. And so the plan for the first Christmas was set in motion. The choice was made. His Son would make a way for God and man to dare to dream again.

In incremental, well-planned steps God began to blow gently on the dreams of the world with words and pictures.

The covering in the garden.

The ram in the bush.

The Lamb’s blood on the door.

The Lamb, without spot or blemish, sacrificed at Yom Kippur to take away the sin of the world.

Ruth and Boaz: Restoration through the Kinsman Redeemer

Isaiah: “A virgin shall conceive….”

Jeremiah: “He will give you a hope and a future!”

The Angels to the Shepherds, “The Lamb has been born. Your Kinsman Redeemer is here!”

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And in the stillness of night in a stable, cold and dark, God’s most excellent dream was birthed into the Earth. The Lamb, without spot or blemish, was born and wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger, because there was no room for Him in the inn.

Thirty years later Jesus Himself announced, “He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted.” He heals broken hearts so that you can dare to dream again.

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It’s time to dream again

So dream big this Christmas! Your heart healer and dream maker has come!

Merry Christmas!

 

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The Light, Hidden in Plain View

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My Christmas Décor, can you find it?

It’s hidden in plain view.

As you know we are in the middle of a big kitchen renovation. So this year my only Christmas decoration is a beautiful poinsettia. It sits perched on a box of dishes from the kitchen in the middle of the living room, along with the kitchen table, refrigerator and boxes of wood that will eventually become the floor. But today, I’ve added my Hanukah menorah celebrating the Festival of Lights commemorating the rededication of the temple after the Maccabeus revolt.

Interesting that John 10 mentions Jesus was in Jerusalem during the Feast of Dedication (Hanukah) to celebrate. The Light of the world standing in the middle of the Festival of Lights, but they didn’t recognize him. Hidden in plain view.

From John 1- “In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not… He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.”

Some say Jesus was born in December. Others say that he came during the Feast of Tabernacles in the fall but was conceived in December during the Festival of Lights. Regardless of when, the fact is HE CAME. He came as the light to shatter the darkness. But the sad fact today is, just as in 32-33 AD, he stands in the midst of the brilliant, multi-colored Christmas lights and the soft light of the Hanukah candles as the Light of the world and many times still goes unrecognized as The Light. Hidden in plain view.

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The question to our hearts this Christmas is “Is He still hidden in plain view in my life?” Jesus told us that WE are the light of the world. Remember singing, “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.” In this season of lights you can let His Light shine a little brighter through you, honoring the one true light of the world. Don’t let Him stay hidden in plain view, let him shine! Make a noise. shout a praise. sing a song. ring a bell. Yes, you can do those things. But you can also speak a little kinder to that harried cashier, love a little more gently when correcting your child, hug a little tighter when greeting a loved one, smile a little brighter when greeting strangers.

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Don’t keep Him hidden in plain view, let the Light of the world shine through you.

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukah!

Ready or not, Here comes Christmas!

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Delightful mugs of cocoa in front of a lovely blazing fire while gazing at a beautifully decorated Christmas tree with carols playing in the background.

Christmas cards with Mary, innocent and beautiful, Joseph, strong and watchful, and a sweet sleeping baby lying in a manger of clean straw, with angels hovering all around.christmas-manger-pictures-mucbnplx.jpg

Does this remind you of Christmases past?

Instead of the twinkling lights of a Christmas tree, Mary and Joseph saw the glorious light of an amazingly brilliant star. Instead of the sounds of carols being sung by a choir, they heard the hooves of the donkey, the clatter of carts on cobblestone and the laughter of children as they traveled to Bethlehem with the crowds of people. Instead of decorated coffee mugs they drank their cool water out of …. I’m really not sure what they used for drinking. Perhaps a clay bowl or a leather wine skin or possibly a wooden cup.

Sometimes as writers we make it dismal and hard or simple and joyful. As poets we clean it up, romanticize it or spiritualize it. As artists we might paint it as a brown desert scene or with snow or with a golden glow. Basically none of us in our present day know what it was really like.  But regardless of how we imagine it, paint it or spiritualize it, the most  important fact is this: HE DID COME.

Whether it was cold or hot, dirty or clean, beautiful or just raw. HE CAME

This Christmas my house is under major renovation and my usual routine of December has been totally interrupted. Last year I celebrated each morning by drinking from a different coffee mug and remembering how I got each one. I took a moment to stop and meditate on the true meaning of Christmas and even had a prayer focus on some days. I loved reading the comments and so many joined with me each morning.

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This morning as I stood in the middle of the chaos-hammers banging and saws sawing-I realized that Christmas would not wait for me. It would still come December 25, ready or not! This year the ONLY Christmas decor I have is a few coffee cups and one poinsettia. So I have a new plan for this year. When celebrating Sabbath the Jewish people light two candles every Friday evening at Sundown. The first is to remember, the second is to observe or celebrate. My plan is to follow the Jewish example: remember and observe. At least once a day, with my cup of coffee, I will make a point to stop and remember. I will remember that although my house is a little chaotic it will come back together and be beautiful and new and different. That is what the First Christmas did: Brought order out of chaos and made all things beautiful, new and different.

This year I will observe and celebrate Christmas, even in all the mess. The word Celebrate means “to publically acknowledge a happy or significant event.” And that, my friend, is exactly what I plan to do. I will greet others with “Merry Christmas!” I will hum or even sing songs about His birth, maybe out loud in Walmart! And I will gather with friends, exchange gifts and keep a stash of cash easily accessible to give to the bell ringers of the Salvation Army. I will celebrate the most significant event in all of history: His birth, His death, and His resurrection.

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Merry Christmas!

Let’s stop, remember and observe with great gladness and joy!