8th Christmas Gift

Eighth Gift of Christmas – Rest

In all the hurry towards Christmas, it is easy for us to forget to rest for a moment at the manger. But He patiently lingered the unhurried nine months in the waiting room of Mary’s womb. Shepherds were the first to know as they rested with their flocks. Then Jesus was born and quietly grew up in the tiny village of Nazareth. He didn’t burst forth with proclamations of greatness but rather in the back of Joseph’s carpenter shop. He had brothers and sisters with whom He had to share a straw mattress on the floor and what simple meals were put before them. Never do we hear of a complaint, or detect an attitude of frustration. Jesus simply waited for the day when His work would begin and rested in the place where God had placed Him. It was there in Nazareth that He learned to give thanks for bread and fish. In the ordinary circumstances of His quiet life He learned how to wash feet, celebrate weddings and how to handle wood and nails. The same God who in Christ rested in the boat in the storm has also invited us to come and rest our souls in Him!  p1010967

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls Matthew 11:29

A Flower that Never Fades

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The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever  Isaiah 40:8

At the moment of her selection Esther was the most beautiful young woman that the king could find in all his domain. She was chosen to be queen and to live in his palace. Esther received the finest clothes, the most servants and the sweetest perfumes of any lady in Persia. But her true loveliness had little to do with her hair, her figure or her face. What still shines about Esther in the pages of the Bible is her character. Esther chose to be an intercessor for her people to the king. She willingly faced death, dishonor and failure because she trusted God. Her physical beauty is today remembered only in words but she retains forever a beauty that will last forever!

And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away              1 Peter 5:4

Adventures of Tad Book 2

The Adventures of Tad Book 2

Just out today, Tad and Rad – The Adventures of Tad Book 2. Tad meets a new friend who is different – Meet Rad the black sheep and Tad’s best friend!. Follow Tad and Rad to see what they learn in this exciting new adventure filled with action and danger and hope. 

Purple Thistles

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He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yetno one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:11

When our boys were small we used to read to them Richard Scarry’s  “Cars and Trucks and Things that Go” The greatest delight they had was to find on each page, where the illustrator had hidden the little character named Goldbug. Sometimes Goldbug would be waving from the back of a bus and on the next page he would be riding next to a fireman in the fire truck. No matter what the story line or the featured vehicles, we were always sure to spend a moment looking for our little friend. Then when the boys spotted him they would point and cry out with glee, “There’s Goldbug!”  Solomon tells us that In the same way, God has painted a detail into every page of creation and then plants within our hearts the unexplainable longing to understand His eternal plan.

The often hated Purple Thistle shows off his beauty in September. He has grown unnoticed all year. No one has wanted him or looked out for his success. But here he is, showing off the deep purple colors of his flowers behind a well protected circle of spines. Not many will try to browse on him so he will delightedly spread his seed through all the fields around for the far future generations of his own kind.

In our neighborhood, maybe in our our family or at our jobs, we are sometimes like him. No one sees a value in the life God has planted within us. But quietly protected by God’s side we will have our own moment to bloom. There between the petals of our flower, are eternal seeds that by God’s grace spread of the message of Jesus Christ. The blossom is for just an season, but the eternity of God is enclosed within every seed. Close you eyes and imagine for a moment, that seed falling on another heart. In the midst of their difficulties and right in the center of their daily routine. The seed slowly settles in then germinates and a light suddenly switches on and they cry out with glee, “There’s Jesus!”

Fencing the Land

   Whoever has no rule over his own spirit Is like a city broken down, without walls. Proverbs 25:28

 

When the fences start to fall over then our boundaries begin to be disregarded. The neighbors aren’t all bad, but the fact that four-wheelers are roaring across our fields tells us it is time to put up new wire. The same is true about our personal lives. When we forget the importance of defining our values as Christians we begin a process that blurs the lines and leaves open the gates for intruders. Boundaries are not only about being legalistic. Self control is also an often overlooked fruit of the Spirit. It might be time to set some new posts, string some new wire and put locks on the gates of our lives. Defeat doesn’t come to us when we fail to control what others do to us, but rather when we fail to control our selves. 
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