Anticipation of Christmas……. Advent 2014, Christmas Eve

 

“And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of teh Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son I her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible.” (Luke 1: 35-37 NKJV)

It is Christmas Eve. One more sleep and then Christmas is here. The air is electrified with excitement. Anticipation. Celebration. World-wide people celebrating the birth of a baby. Each culture slightly different.

In our house the excitement is building. Presents have appeared under the tree at the fireplace. The advent ornaments are just about finished, just two left. The stockings have disappeared. Time seems to creep slowly by.

While we are not near family, I know that family is gathering and spending time together. Eating. Talking. Playing games. Watching movies. Laughing.

Today our family will put together the gingerbread train. Attend the Christmas Eve service. Laugh. Eat. Spend time together. Christmas music playing through out the house. Look at the Christmas lights as we drive tonight.

Waiting.

Since we live after the event of Jesus birth we have an advantage that Mary and Joseph didn’t have at that time, we can read the entire story in a matter of moments. Reading through the account of events in the book of Luke today. You read of people who had to wait. Some of them could see the evidence of what God was doing, like Elizabeth and Zacharias (the parents of John the Baptist) or Mary and Joseph. Others just had hope of a promise to them. Such as Simeon in the temple.

In part because our culture is filled with instant responses the concept of waiting is not an easy one. The anticipation of Christmas mounts and builds. For children its the presents under the tree. For parents its watching their kids faces as they open their presents. Its also a time of year when people pause and reflect on what has been and what is possibly to come. Its a time of year where we anticipate and find ourselves hopeful for miracles. A new job. Health restored. Family reunited. Peace. We anticipate and almost sense that there is a power at work around us that could take all the “downs” and make them “ups”.

It took 9 months before Jesus was born, and that was after years of anticipating God moving and sending Jesus to earth. I wonder what it was like for Mary as she anticipated the birth of Jesus. She went to see her cousin Elizabeth for the first part of her pregnancy. I don’t think it was an accident, I would imagine it was a time of encouragement for her. Both her and Elizabeth had been blessed with miracles, both sons were part of the greatest event to happen on earth – the coming of the savior. One would prepare the way for Jesus, and the other was Jesus.

The other day we were working on our Jesse tree ornament and talking through the various stories of the Bible we had read about. I realized as we were talking that without faith one has trouble believing in the virgin birth; there is no other way to believe it. Growing up hearing the story its not something I have stopped to think about much. As we were talking the other piece that emerged was that no matter what you believe, this event in history; the birth of Jesus is a pivotal part of the world’s history. Our calendar is set in a new direction (count of years) back to the birth of Jesus. Culture may try and word it otherwise but it is set to the birth of Jesus. It is 2014 because of the birth of Jesus.

Are you in a season of waiting right now?

Waiting for God to give direction.

Waiting for God to heal.

Waiting for God to mend a broken heart.

Waiting for an answered prayer.

This year is a year of waiting for me. As I read the Christmas story I am reminded to be patient, to trust and to not rush the waiting. Each moment. Each step is important to the story God is writing. Joy in each moment.

The answer to your and my prayers, desires, and hopes God alone knows how it will be answered and when it will be answered. I do know and believe this with all my heart though – the time of waiting we find ourselves in is good for us IF we choose to trust and believe God. We grow. We learn. We have a chance to pray and seek Jesus as never before. Our faith is strengthened. Our reliance continues to be more and more on God. Like Mary and all the other people in the Christmas story who did not know what time would bring, we don’t know what will come or what our story will bring but God does. Believe. Trust. Rest in Christmas Hope – in one person, the person of Jesus.

“Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.” Luke 1:45 NKJV

christmasevejessetree2014

~ Merry Christmas ~
Gail

Holy Bible. New Living Translation copy right 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc. Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All Rights Reserved.

Christmas Music ….. #sharethegift, Advent 2014 Dec 21, 2014

I enjoy music, I love to play the piano and this time of year I enjoy seeing and listening to the beautiful Christmas music. I saw the below video on You Tube the other day and wanted to share it with you. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did, the Piano Guys did a phenomenal job.

Merry Christmas!

The Piano Guys with Angels we have Heard on High (as shared on YouTube)

Prayer….. Advent 2014, Dec 20

Prayer.

I had the pleasure of joining with others around the world at Proverbs 31 Online Bible Study and read through Max Lucado’s book – Before Amen. It was powerful. Highly recommend it.

Prayer is one of those areas that I struggle with and know that I need to grow in it. I over complicate the process; its simple – a conversation; yet it is easy to complicate that simplicity. The book is easy to understand and yet deep and profound in the truth communicated.

Two chapters tied for my favorite, “Ch 7 – They Need Help” (on intercession) and “Ch 9 – In Jesus’ Name, Amen” (the power of Jesus’ name.)

Interceding – on behalf of another person; I am a problem solver, I like to fix things; I was convicted and reminded sharply that when we cann’t help we can ALWAYS pray. Max says “Jesus never refused an intercessory request. Ever!” p70 Its difficult to pray for other people sometimes, why? For me its because of my pride, especially if I am in front of others I get very self conscious. What about when you are talking with someone – shouldn’t our first response is lets pray; but yet it tends to be the last response. As Max continued to unpack the chapter he talked about unbelief and belief. This is an area that I have grown in yet struggle still with (I don’t have it mastered)I love how he describes the two……. “Unbelief: Attempting to help others without calling on Jesus. Belief: pounding on God’s door at midnight. Doing whatever it takes to present people to Jesus.” Pg 72 Did you catch that? It makes sense, its simple – yet it is very hard to live out. My first response when I see a need should not be to step in and help but pray for them. I may need and should be propelled to action BUT my first response should be prayer.

Prayer.

Miracles.

Answers.

“Nothing pleases Jesus as much as being audaciously trusted.” Pg 76

God’s peace.

Have you ever experienced any of them without conversing with the Father first???

I still remember an email I received from a dear friend and mentor. A request to pray daily for and with them as they embarked on what God had next. An invitation to invite Jesus to be in the drivers seat and the ability to be on the team to help cover the journey with prayer. I am learning not to under estimate the power of prayer and what a blessing it is to be able to pray for others. “You are never more like Jesus than when you pray for others.” Pg 79

“Prayer slaps handcuffs on Satan. Prayer takes problems out of the domain of the devil and into the presence of God. Prayer confesses, “God can handle IT! Since he can, I have hope.”” Pg 97

For just a moment pause and imagine what that looks like. We are allowed into the throne room, to approach the throne because of Jesus.

It was at Jesus name the apostles healed people, Acts tells us that they were commanded to not speak or teach in the name of Jesus (Acts 4:18)

Power in the name of Jesus.

“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. These things I command you, that you love one another.” John 15:11-17 (NIV)

Its not just that we speak in Jesus name, but that He knows us. We are known to Him. When we said yes to Him, ask Him to save us – He calls us friends. He knows us and we know Him.

Jesus conquered.

In the name of Jesus.

Philippians 2:5-11 speak of Jesus coming to earth, humbling himself and obedience to death. In verse nine it says “therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven on those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

That at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow…..every tongue confess (Philippians 2:9)

Power in the name of Jesus.

Prayer.

“The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.“ James 5:16b (NIV)

~ personal response ~

Gail

Resources:

Before Amen by Max Lucado

Scripture quotations taken from the The Holy Bible, New International Version Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.

Eight (yes that is 8) days till Christmas ….. Advent 2014, Dec 17, 2014

It’s 8 Days till Christmas!

Do you feel the excitement in the air?

Around our house the excitement is building.

The youngest is hoping we see snow on Christmas – the chances are very slim at the moment, but he still hopes. He also is helping keep the count down going so we don’t forget just how close it is to Christmas.

The older I get the less I have the same sense of excitement. I wonder if its because I have lived here on earth longer. Maybe its because I am the one buying the gifts now for my kids. This year the excitement is different than when I was a child, the excitement is over the anticipation of celebrating that Jesus, my savior came to earth and was born. My life is different, I am different because of that day and another event (Easter….the cross….the resurrection) long ago. The wonderment and joy that comes from knowing Jesus, I hope continues to grow and not diminish over time.

“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 (NIV)

Excited and Inspired to be Grateful for the ability to celebrate when Hope and Truth came to the world as baby Jesus.

“Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” Matthew 1:23 (NIV)

  1. Immanuel
  2. Wonderful
  3. Counselor
  4. Prince of Peace
  5. Mighty God
  6. Everlasting Father
  7. King of Kings (1 Timothy 6:15)
  8. the Word  (John 1)

Eight names (of many) that describe God.

It is easy for me to lose sight of what my role is in the story. My part to play is to be faithful. Faithfully serving. Faithfully trusting. Faithfully walking right where I am, following Jesus & obeying.

The players in the birth of Jesus were not well known leaders or those that society believed were the elite; rather it was a group of people like you and me. Shepherds. Carpenter. Teenage Mom. I don’t want to lose sight that Jesus choose me and its not because of who I am or who I am not. Its because of who He is.

Thankful for the Christmas season and the opportunity to intentionally pause, reflect and remember the story of Jesus birth.

~ a personal reflection ~

Gail

ChurchlessCoverThe Latest Book Review: Churchless by Barna & Kinnaman (Click Here)

 

 

Advent Resources:

Ann Voskamp over at A Holy Experience printables & much more, including the book

Scripture quotations taken from the The Holy Bible, New International Version Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.

The Wrong Question……Advent Day 16, Dec. 16 2014

That moment when you stop and sense…..  perhaps the question I am asking is the wrong question.

Maybe its only me, but its what happened to me this week. I was stopped in my thoughts and gave pause. “God what question should I be asking? What question do you want me to ask? ”

I was reminded through the sermon I heard over the weekend, sometimes we have to wrestle with what we are anxious about before God brings us clarity. It is not easy nor is it enjoyable, but God has a purpose for it. At times I find myself frustrated because I want God to give me an answer right now. I think my question is important; it has value, merit. I have learned that God tends to let me wrestle before I see clearly.

The advent verse was 1 Kings 18:21 “Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” (NIV)

Before I even turned the page to read the devotional – this verse jumped out at me. Now the verse is out the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal, a sacrifice and a challenge to see who was God. Was it the Lord God, the Hebrew God or the Baal. God showed up and clearly showed He was the one true God. Wrapped up in this verse though is the question God is asking of me. I am allowing what I thought was the question I was wrestling with to distract me from the bigger question. The question on where to serve, what is next, where is next – isn’t really the question – the question is do I believe that The LORD is God? If He is , and I do believe that He is – then I need to follow Him. That means me letting go of control. Letting go of preconceived ideas of what following Him looks like. I am trying to figure out what the future holds; what comes next; where is next. There is a balance of vision and goals AND trying to tell God what you want to see happen and then looking for God’s confirmation of that.

What gets in my way of following God?

Me.

I get in my way of following God.

My thoughts.

My attitude.

My perception.

My desires.

My idea of what it all should look like.

“And you let everything go. And kneel. Kneel here and behold only Him – the only place where you can receive the gift of acceptance, so the gods of acceptance have no hold on you.” Pg 150 The Greatest Gift

How do I rid myself of frustration? Get myself to the place where I don’t have battling questions, battling opinions? Worship. Pause and stop at the throne of God.

My job is not to answer all my questions. I have one question that God is asking of me to answer. Will I follow Him. Will I choose to trust. Will I live out following Him.

I have chosen to follow Jesus. Chosen to follow Him with all of me. This is a deeper call to follow than ever before. I feel kind of like Peter when Jesus asked him do you love me three times. I know He hears my prayers; hears my frustrations; hears my questions. He cares. More than I can begin to fathom. But will I choose to follow Him each and every moment. Will I choose to follow Him in the big things. Follow Him in the little things. Follow Him moment to moment. Each conversation. Each decision?

I asked Jesus a question…..and He asked one back – do I trust Him to make the right decision? Hmmm…..stopped me in my tracks. Crux of the matter isn’t it….I was struggling to be okay with His answer, I was fearful. Following and trusting Jesus means letting go of the fear and turning away from it. The answer is yes, I do trust Him and I will follow Him.

I need to worship. Intentionally pause and be in the presence of God.

Pause.

Pause from life.

Pause at the throne.

At the feet of Jesus.

Worship.

Let go.

Simply be.

An amazing thing happens when I pause and I worship. When I am still. Quiet. Order from the chaos.

Emotions find their proper spot.

Repentance over the arrogance of trying to force an answer, rather than humbly submitting.

Jesus asks me. Asks you.

“Will. You. Trust. Me.

I. Love. You.

I. Am. For. You.

Walk.

Follow. Me.

Trust. Me.

I created the universe. I made Mary pregnant. I became a baby. Grew up. Endured suffering. Shame. The cross. Conquered death. For you.  For all who believe. I can handle this. Same amount of love. Same amount of power. Trust. Me.”

In His presence.

Peace.

 

~ a personal response this Advent Season

Gail

Advent Resources
Ann Voskamp over at A Holy Experience printables & much more, including the book

Scripture quotations taken from the The Holy Bible, New International Version Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.

Sunday’s Sermon  From:  Abundant Life Foursquare Church :: Joseph

Its a Birthday Celebration…..Advent 2014, Dec 10

December 10th early in the morning  God sent me a blessing whose name is Zach. Its been 17 years and it seems like it was yesterday. The journey God has taken Zach and our family on is one wreathed with grace, love and hope. I know the journey is not finished. Along the way we have had people weave in and out of our story, each has played an important part. Some might say having a birthday in December is a tad hard because of Christmas but I am thankful Zach was born in December. Christmas is  a time to celebrate the hope that Jesus brings. There are times when I need the reminder that God loves me, loves each of us and that miracles happen every day.  I look at Zach, his brothers, my husband; at our story and I am reminded that there is hope. Sometimes miracles are different then we want them to be but they are miracles. I have learned to have a different perspective. God has shown up in our story and His grace and His power win.

Hope.

Zach reminds me to not lose hope. He has a heart that loves all those around him. He is not afraid of hard work. He is very determined. From the uncertainty of whether he would talk to being able to read to know what will he do as an adult, God has been faithful. Each turn I have thought was an obstacle has turned out to simply be a new chapter and God had all the details figured out. He reads well now, dreams of being a historian, and well loves to talk and ask questions.

zach17birthdaydinnerHappy Birthday Zach – thanks for loving each of us and being a shining light of Jesus in our lives.

zach17readingadvent2014Zach reading the nightly advent devotion…….its his job (I asked him too one night and he has taken it over)

 

Advent Resources:

The Greatest Gift & Unwrapping the Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp

Hope thru the tears ….Advent 2014, December 9

The word for this Christmas resonating with me and seen all around me is “HOPE”. Our weather today has been torrential down pour of rain and wind, as I drove away from the mall over in the distance was a big clear rainbow. The storm was clearing and painted in the sky was a rainbow, a promise that God will not destroy the world by water again. It was a beautiful reminder of hope and that when the storms in life come they are not forever. Storms come and go but one thing is certain we experience them. And even more certain – God sees it and is right there with me.

Today’s advent reading was the story of Joseph, specifically honing in on his conversation with his brothers after his father’s death. Joseph had gone through quite the journey. He had been sold to slavery. A house servant. Accused and thrown in jail. Interpreter of dreams. Second in command of all of Egypt and working to prepare for a drought and save Israel and Egypt. You can read the full story in Genesis 37-50.

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Genesis 50:20 (NIV)

This morning when I read the verse 20 the tears spilled over. You see I try and be strong, I try and look for how God is working when life gets rough. God’s grace and love for me is overwhelming. I can not be strong and receive His tender love in the recesses of my heart that need to feel His touch. Isaiah says “For thus the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has said “ In repentance and rest you will be saved, in quietness and trust is your strength.” (Isaiah 30:15 NASB) Strength to God and strength to me often don’t look the same. I tend to think that being strong means I have to have it all together, no tears, all the answers, guarded. The verse in Isaiah talks about strength means trusting, being quiet.  As we talked about yesterday – to cease striving. I must be still. I must be quiet. I must be vulnerable I must trust that He will and is taking the storms of life and working them for my good.

“The Cross stands as the epitome of evil. If God can transfigure the greatest evil into the greatest Gift, then He intends to turn whatever you’re experiencing now into a gift. You cannot be undone. “ Pg 81 The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp

Joy, being thankful? The places in my heart that hurt, are torn, are crying – they are experiencing God’s amazing grace and love. The storm may seem ugly now, but I believe that God is good & He is not done. Hope believes in the silver lining, the silver lining of grace, peace, healing, and love. That God will use all the torn and messy parts of my life for good. Its easy for us to see how God can use our gifts, our talents, our skills…..its difficult for us to believe that He can use the messy parts.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 (NIV)

My prayer is that God meets you right where you are, in whatever or wherever you find yourself in life. That you will experience God’s amazing grace. His powerful, wonderful, and redemptive love. Peace, rest, grace, truth meet you right where you are. Restoring and strengthening your hope that God is good and that he loves you. He has a purpose and a plan for you, for me, for each of us.

Like the rainbow that appeared in the sky by the mall, we experience the clearing of the clouds and the rainbow in our own lives. All around us are beautiful reminders that God is right there with us. Allowing us to smile, a smile that comes from the depths of who we are out for the world to see.

A fun gift/blessing / joy that I see from the window in my office – the lights on the neighbors tree…..doesn’t look very pretty during the day but its beautiful at night. It turns the tree with no leaves into a beautiful expression of the holiday season. Situations in our life can look like that tree – we see barren branches and a string of life – but we need power, we need Jesus to shine His light and make it beautiful. He is making and does make us beautiful, a beautiful reflection of Him.

My challenge to you and I – choose joy, choose to find things to be thankful for.

~ a personal response this Advent Season

Gail

Advent Resources
Ann Voskamp over at A Holy Experience printables & much more, including the book

Scripture quotations taken from the The Holy Bible, New International Version Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.

Cease Striving …. Advent 2014, Dec 8

Tis the season for busy, busy, busy. The air is drenched with the anticipation of Christmas and all the tasks that must be done. Food bought. Presents for co-workers. Presents for kids. Presents for spouse. Presents for parents. Presents for outreach project. Parties to attend. Food to eat. Decorating to do. Christmas lights to see. Christmas lights to put up. Christmas concerts to attend. Nerves frazzled. Emotions running high.

None of this looks, feels, or resembles Jesus – does it? Maybe it is just me, but I struggle to see Jesus in the midst of all described. One of the rooms in the house, fondly named “the mommy quiet room” serves as my office and a place I like to go when I need to quiet myself. There is something very peaceful and serene about the room. Perhaps its the coziness. The numerous windows. The placement in the house. More than all of that its the place where I choose and work to be still.

“Cease striving and know that I am God” Psalms 46:10a(NASB)

What would happen if you were still?

If you chose to no be grabbing after, reaching for, running hard towards, hoping you would be able to catch God? Catch His attention. His love.

Maybe what you are striving after is success. Title. Power. Recognition.

God has been gently calling me to stop striving in my strength and let Him lead. Let Him heal. Let Him lead the way. Rest in His ever present presence and believe that He understands, He sees, and He has not forgotten. He has a purpose.

When I read this verse this morning – it hit me between the eyes and pierced straight into my heart, I need to cease striving to understanding. To cease, to stop trying to reconcile things in my mind. And to just be. To be in His presence. To allow His presence to envelop me. His love to wash over me and breath life into each crack and crevice of who I am. I would have said I wasn’t striving, that I was resting in His presence and simply being – but when I saw the words “cease striving” I was convicted. There are areas in my life where I need to apply this. Its an action. Its a step I take. I replace the striving with knowing. With knowing, acknowledging – understanding that God is God. I need to pause and wonder at who God is. All He has done for me. The blessings. The miracles. The lessons. The joys and the sorrows. To remember all He has done so I can have hope for all He will do.

“ God doesn’t want to number your failures or count your accomplishments as much as He wants you to have an encounter with Him.” p70 The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp

If I don’t choose to cease striving, I will miss Jesus, I will miss the Father. I will miss out in the fullness, the richness, the depth of all that God did over 2000 years ago with the birth of Jesus. As I choose to stop striving I am allowing room for an encounter with the Holy God of the universe, the Creator of the whole world. I know its difficult, areas that we need the healing power of Jesus seem to surface when we are still, it requires letting go of control, of believing He is leading our life. Being still is learning to trust what God tells us to do and to simply obey and let Him handle all the rest.

Where striving ceases and encounters with Jesus are the norm, we will KNOW Him.

The goal for this Christmas, to walk in such a way that I experience, I encounter Jesus in a fresh way. That the hustle and bustle doesn’t cause anxiety and frustration; but rather the beauty of Christmas spills over. The beauty of Christmas, the hope that Jesus gives – occurs in the stillness and the knowing. The miracle of watching Jesus show up in each of our lives and changing us.

Advent Resources:
Ann Voskamp over at A Holy Experience printables & much more

“Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.”

 

Laughter – Advent 2014, Dec 6

Today’s advent and Bible reading was about the birth of Isaac. You can read more about it here: Genesis 21:1-7

The challenge for all of us was to make 3 people laugh – laugh not from sadness and tears but from joy. Its going to be a fun challenge. We love to laugh around here.

The Jesse Tree is coming together – Jeremiah is our official artist.

 

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The Advent Book we are going through: Unwrap the Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp

DEAR ….. Advent 2014 – December 5

Today is Five Minute Friday, the day where I join others over at Kate Motaung‘s site for the word of the day. Today the word is DEAR and I wrote a letter to myself. We have all had those days where we are talking to ourselves and processing things. I wrote for five minutes and then chose to finish my thoughts for the day. Thanks for stopping by!

Dear Self,

Its been an interesting journey over this past year. We have had times of crying, times of laughter, times of joy. Now we find ourselves in Advent waiting on Christmas and the celebration of  Jesus coming to earth. Its one of my favorite seasons. The music, the opportunities for compassion, the opportunity to reflect. Looking back and looking forward.

Remember today how much we have to be thankful for. We are blessed. God has provided us with a family, a place to live, food to eat, opportunities to grow. I know this season we are in is hard. Its been really rough at times but for all the rough patches it has been one of the richest most exciting times of growth we have experienced in a long time.

– stop, but today I want to continue my thoughts-

Today is December 5th.  20 Days till Christmas, 26 days till the beginning of a new year.

One of the reflection questions today was on how I can be a blessing to others; why is it so hard to look at my actions thru that lens?

I know that this a struggle because we don’t want to make it about us. We have to learn to trust, pray, ask the Spirit for help and go for it. He didn’t bless us to keep it to our-self. He gave us our gifts, talents, passions, and experiences for a reason – to be used to show and tell the world about HIM.

Gail

“Only when you first unwrap the gifts of blessings to you can you be wrapped up as a gift of blessing to others. Only when you are overwhelmed with the goodness of God can you overflow with the goodness of God to others.” The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp p41

How can we all be a blessing to others, here are some of my thoughts:

* Put our skills & talents to use in our community. Maybe its baking for a senior center or that class party. Maybe it is volunteering a a local non-profit, such as your church or a mission organization.

* Love on our family.  Is it a phone call. A card. Washing the dishes. Making a meal. A surprise treat. A visit.

* Pray. Sometimes what people need is prayer, don’t under estimate the power of prayer.

* Give monetarily. Is God prompting you to give financially to a specific purpose, organization, or to help meet a need?

* Two specific ways I know of here in our community here in the Northwest that I have been a part of are happening again:

Water Changes Everything – a walk to raise money for building wells in Burkina Faso. The walk is on December 13th in various locations. Head here to learn more: Walk in the Light International

Outrageous Christmas : there are needs all over that we can help meet and stories we have to tell of people’s compassion in this holiday season; head to outrageouschristmas.com to learn more.

What can we add to this list? How can we be a blessing to our families, our community, and to the world?

 

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