Sunday, December 25, 2016

Let the light shine

God with us...

What would Christmas look like if the meaning of Christmas went deeper than the gifts, the food, the games, rest, work...


This year it took all of us working together to find that special time doing memory things.  

The girls and guys shopped.  They also cooked.  There were deserts such as dipping chocolates and cookie making and decorating.

My family is wonderful and they really took up the slack for me.

I am reminded that Jesus came into this dark world to enter my dark heart to show me my sin and selfishness but that He loves me oh so much.  This is the gospel I want my family to remember year after year.

The way they served each other brings me to worship.  Not that we are not without fault but this is a broken world and we all need Jesus to give us an unselfish love that He has given to us.

We had wonderful meal after another with friends and family.  We didn't even drag out the Christmas  China this year but the paper big plates and the red dixie cups.  It just did not get done this year.  One daughter decorated, my son helped entertain and he and the grandson cooked.  My husband cooked at his cook house.  My other daughters shared in the cooking and they all helped me buy presents.  It was a grand effort.

So the question at the end of the birthday of Jesus is was He the center of our time?  Did we love each other in an open and kind way?

It is will you come to the dark corners of my heart Lord and shine your light there.  May I be open about my self-centeredness and be changed.  Will you rescue me from me and may I love in ways I have been too proud to love before for your praise.  May I not want recognition but want others to see you, Jesus, not me in me.  May I be thankful for my family and friends and your gift of mercy and grace Jesus.

At the end of our time together and quiet falls upon the space we all were...I hear the whisper of the Lord and I love you princess.  My heart draws in His promise to never leave me and dwell within me and mine forever more.  Praise abounds for a love and heart I cannot make happen.  His!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Wounded Healer

By His Wounds You Are Healed

‘For this people’s heart has become calloused;
        they hardly hear with their ears,
        and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
        hear with their ears,
        understand with their hearts
and turn, and I would heal them.’” (Matthew 13:15)

Christ did not come for the well but for the sick.

I have been struggling with many issues for months now that may not be apparent to the outside world.  Several of my friends are struggling with physical illness that you would not know just by looking at them.

Our physical world speaks to us in pictures of the spiritual world.  We all come in this world sick.  Sick with shame, guilt and condemnation that the Lord wants to heal us.  We come in self focused.
The gospel heals us.  Gods love for us brings healing and was demonstrated for us in the life, death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus.

We are a broken world with broken relationships.  I am aware of the brokenness of my own heart these last weeks.  Also aware of the heart of others.  Unless we are healed the heart can harbor hardness if we are living for ourselves.

When we see the grace that swallows up our brokenness we flourish and proclaim HIs goodness to us even in struggles.

One of the hardest things to do is to focus on God and others when you have suffering yourself.  Suffering turns the eyes inward.  You can help others have life as they are guided to keep their eyes on Jesus and the needs of others.  That is where there is life as you give the life of Christ, LOVE.

So as we are aware of our physical sickness may we also be aware of the condition of the heart that the Lord wants us to work with Him in the hearts of others.  Give life this Christmas.  A heart for others and Christ.  Remember the self centered heart is broken.  The healed life maybe honest about their pain but their focus is away from themselves as it brings healing.  To the life, love and stripes of Jesus.

Their was this young boy and his sister at our home last night.  His sister had downs.  He was so interested in her and looking out for her.  I ask him if he looked out for her.  My daughter said he does all the time.  I said do you know how special you are.  He said I am not special.  I said oh yes you are.  We gave hugs, cookies and talked some more.  Just that little bit of love blessed me and him.

When Christ was on the cross He said Father forgive them.  He said I endure for the joy, (us) before Him.  I will do the will of my Father.  Christ made it through by focusing on the greater good.  His eyes were on us and the Father and heaven.

Christ has come and we are healed by His sacrifice, stripes.  He has shown us the way to life.  Through sacrifice there is the joy of the Lord.   I pray for the Saints who are in the daily struggle to be broken for Him and that He sustains them with joy and peace.

Just as it was evident when Moses had been with God so it is with us, even in our suffering.  Our bodies are wasting away but one who knows the love of God and who dwells in HIs presence, they glow.  They bring life and blessing just because they have the glory of God around and in them.  It is the life and wonder of God in Christ.  It is the peace and joy that knows they are loved and blessed by their gracious Father no matter their circumstances.  They are kept under His wings.  The river of Grace has come over them with the gentle breath of Jesus.  There is no where they had rather be than in the mercy and plan of God.  Not because it is easy but because He is good and He heals where no man can go.  In the heart of the child of God.

Almost daily I pray for others but I pray for a gentle spirit.  One that trust in Gods sovereign plan for my day and those He brings into my life.  That He will guide me and give me the words of life for them.  That they know the love of Jesus through me.  I do not have this in and of myself.  Only by the gift and work of Christ through a broken, needy woman who can do nothing apart from Christ moment by moments work.  I know left to myself I am insecure and have feelings of guilt and shame.  Only by the blood and birth of Jesus and the reminder of the Spirit am I being mended beyond joy I never imagined.

As I sit and enjoy these pictures from last year...I pray for the time with my family this year.  That I do get what needs to be done but remember also what is important.  It is a look of unconditional love given to me by Jesus...and me to those around me as I remember all guilt and shame is gone.  How precious others are and lose myself.  Remember the Savior that has set me free to live and love from a heart touched by God.

You are forgiven

You are Healed