Monday, December 26, 2011


Thank you to all my readers & followers. I hope you ALL had a VERY Merry Christmas. In celebrating the birth of Christ, we are now looking forward to the day He comes again. Keep Him in your heart always.

Now i have 1 more challenge for you. And you can start today. Make a resolution to focus on your relationship with Jesus daily. By doing this, your relationship will grow stronger every day. This is my prayer for you.

There will be no post next Monday, January 2, 2012. Blog posts will resume on the following Monday.


Monday, December 19, 2011

Advent Season - Part 4 - Joy

The fourth week of Advent is traditionally associated with the JOY that the birth of Jesus brings.

"Joy" is defined as "a feeling of great pleasure & happiness. This time of year, when i hear the word "joy" i think of "Good tidings of great joy".  As Christians, we know that God is a God of joy & He wants His people to be joyful also. He wants His people to have HIS joy. Sadly, it's estimated that only 20% of Americans are happy or joyful. Do you have a sense of joy in your life? An evangelist once said, "The trouble with many is that they have got just  enough religion to make them miserable. If there is not joy in your religion, you've got a leak in your religion."

One thing that is contagious in life is attitude. The only thing more contagious that a good attitude is a bad attitude. People always project on the outside how they feel on the inside. I have met many people who i could tell right at first that they were Christians. The joyful glow of the Holy Spirit just reflected in them.

Joy is found in obedience.
"The shepherds returned, glorifying & praising God for all the things they had heard & seen, which were just as they had been told."
Luke 2:20 (NIV)

Joy is found in fellowship. When the believers gather God appears in our midst through His Holy Spirit.
"But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good new of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord.' "
Luke 2:10-11 (NIV)

Joy is found in the church, in worship when Christians gather & grow in faithfulness to God.
"It gave me great joy to have some brothers come & tell about your faithfulness to the truth & how you continue to walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth."
III John 3-4 (NIV)

Joy is found when we accept Christ as our Savior, & are able to share it with others.
"We proclaim to you what we have seen & heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father & with His son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete. This is the message we have heard from Him & declare to you; God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all."
I John 1:3-5 (NIV)

Joy is experienced whenever we give thanks in the midst of ALL circumstances.
"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
I Thessalonians 5:16
"When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul."
Psalm 92:19

Advent Week 4 Challenge:
Make a list of your prayers for joy - for yourself, for those who don't know Christ, people you don't know, your local area, in world situations, etc.

Jesus, who brings joy where there is sorrow, & happiness where there is despair. Thank You for Your great mission of joy, which we particularly remember at Christmas.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Advent Season - Part 3 - Love

The third week of Advent is traditionally associated with God's love for the world & His people. To me, John 3:16 says it all:

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life" (NIV)

God sent His Son to be born of the Virgin Mary, knowing what Jesus would have to go through so much suffering, before His death on the cross. Just so we would have eternal life. That is love.....God's love. And when when i think of the countless blessings the He generously gives us, it is so overwhelming. God IS love.

I know how protective & defensive that i am about my boys. Can you really imagine giving  your child to go through what Jesus went through for us. I don't think i could. I would die for my boys & i would die for God, but to know that my boys would have to suffer like Jesus did, i just don't think that i could do that. But God loved us that much!

I'm reminded of the story of Abraham & his son Isaac. God tested Abraham by telling him to take Isaac up on a mountain & sacrifice him to God. The next day, that's exactly what Abraham did. He even got so far as to bind Isaac & lay him on the sacrificial altar. He even had a knife poised to kill his son. But just in the nick of time, an angel appeared & stopped Abraham from sacrificing his son.

"Abraham looked up & there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over & took the ram & sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham call that place 'The Lord Will Provide...." 
Genesis 22:12-14a (NIV)

God not only provides for our needs, He forgives us of our sins. He gives us the peace that passes all understanding. He offers us eternal life! This type of love can never be measured, it can only be felt. This is the love of our Heavenly Father! God IS love! He loves each & every one of us, His children.

This Advent Season, ask God to fill your heart with His love. His love for all mankind. And as you get ready to face the busy last two weeks before Jesus' birthday, remember to reflect Gods' love to those you meet. you don't know what that person may be going through. Wish them a Merry Christmas & give them a smile that is filled with God's love.

Week 3 Advent Challenge:
This week, write your own prayer list for God's love to be revealed -- to yourself, people you know, in your local area, in world situation, etc.

Jesus, whose love for the world was so great, you were prepared to die for it, we thank You for your sacrificial mission, which started at your birth. We offer up our prayers for your love to be shown abundantly to each & every heart. Amen.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Advent Season - Part 2 - Peace

The second week of Advent is traditionally associated with the peace that Jesus' birth promises.

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given & the government will be on his shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
Isaiah 9:6 (NIV)

Christmas is the season of peace & celebration. But there are so many people who struggle, especially at this time of year. For some, a time when hearts should be overflowing with love, it's a time of pain & sadness. The Christmas season can be full of stress too, with the shopping, the decorating, the Christmas cards, the gatherings, the baking & cooking. And sometimes Jesus gets lost in the activities. But when God sent His one & only Son to this earth. He did it to bring light & salvation to a lost world. His birth brought us a promise that can never be taken away. Jesus' birth signified a promise to bring you peace, no matter what you're going through. He is the Light of the World who will never fail you.

So if the peace of this season is overcome with a situation which is causing pain, sadness, &/or stress, the peace that comes through knowing Jesus is sufficient for all of our needs, & He will get us through anything. And through all circumstances, His power is so strong, He can give you peace in the midst of your struggle. No situation is ever hopeless when you have Christ in your heart.

Week 2 Advent Challenge:
This week, make a list of those who you know are struggling. At the top of my list this week, are those who have lost loved ones this past year, especially those who have lost children. The first Christmas after losing a loved one can be very hard & i know i wouldn't have gotten through those "firsts" without God's peace. Pray your own prayer of hope for those on your list. Then give the list to God.

Jesus, who brings peace into turmoil & conflict, we thank You for Your divine peace mission, which we are reminded of by celebrating Your birth. We offer up our prayers for peace, trusting that You will act in each & every situation.