He Came

He Came.

In the still quietness of a manger, He Came.

In my heart, desperate for peace 45 years ago, He Came.

In the heartbreak of losing a precious loved one, He Came.

In the excitement of the birth of our children, He Came.

In the hustle and bustle of opening presents, the chaos of big families and in the company of just a few, He comes.

His presence is evident in Tree ornaments, on billboards, in store windows and in the hearts of His people.

Today, look around in your home, in the streets and on the faces of friends.

Breathe deeply the truth of His word.

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HE CAME!

Lesson in a cup: Wise men still seek him

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All of the Turkey is gone, the pecan pies eaten, the Christmas tree up, the floor vacuumed and for the most part towels and sheets have made it to the laundry room.

Thanksgiving was absolutely wonderful with all 20 of my family at home for five days. Chaos of the best kind.

This morning as my son left, rather than enjoy the quiet, I felt a little lonely. The house is sort of straight, I’m looking out my back door at the beautiful green, gold and red leaves, amazed once more at the beauty of autumn.

So why the lonely feeling? My mother’s heart is praying for my children.

Perhaps your tribe is the exception, but most of the time, in the commotion of gathering for the holidays, there are un-thoughtful words spoken, expectations unmet, past wounds un-healed and unknown future responsibilities weigh heavily on hearts and minds. Each of my children carry burdens that become mine as I pray for them.

That’s called family. The issue is not that all of this takes place, because it does. What makes the difference is that after all is said and done: we are family. We are for, not against, each other. When one is hurting, all the others feel the pain. Even when there is discord we know that ultimately when push comes to shove, we will pull together to help each other overcome and make it to the finish line.

As each one left to go to their homes to face their own family trials, we sent them off with prayer and hugs all around, feeling the oneness and love of family. Arriving home they began texting about old songs that are a part of our family history. The message still rang true after all these years.

 

He Didn’t Bring Us this Far to Leave Us

by the Imperials

He didn’t bring us this far to leave us

He didn’t teach us to swim to let us drown

He didn’t build his home in us to move away

He didn’t lift us up, to let us down.

(Click here to listen) 

 

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HOPE to run our race with integrity.

HOPE in the Wisdom of the Father as we seek Him.

HOPE to finish well.

Jesus Christ, the HOPE of glory!

 

Then I looked at my first cup of the season and smiled: Wise men still seek him.

 

 

My prayer for my family:

“Lord, as my children face uncertain futures and past hurts, may they truly realize that Wise men and women still seek You.

Today, I pray not for riches, fame or even joy for the holidays. I pray for wisdom. Because as wise men and women, they will seek you, and there they will find Your Peace, which is the answer to everything.”

 

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!

 

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!