Easter - 2018

Monday, December 28, 2015

Happy New Year! - Rest, Reflect, Renewal

Christmas is over. (Deep breath.) Another season of rejoicing in the birth of the Savior has come and gone. We are packing away our decorations, unstringing lights and taking Christmas music off our playlists, while the kids are in the other room playing with new toys. We are all ready for a bit of rest from the celebrations, cooking, traveling and the joyful busyness of the holiday. The New Year is upon us - an amazing opportunity to rest, reflect and pray for renewal for the year ahead.

Rest - “Come to me, all those who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” -Matthew 11:28 (NIV)  As strange as it sounds in a culture that pushes activity, the Lord calls us to rest. After celebrating Jesus’ birth in such glorious (but likely tiring) fashion, what blessing it is to simply sit, take a breath and rest. Rest in who He is, what He is doing and what He has done for us this year. How? He may call us to rest in Him in so many ways, by switching off devices, perhaps opening our Bible or journal in the peace of the morning or just simply sitting in quiet prayer are all great ways to start.

Reflect - “I will meditate on your wonderful works.” (Psalms 145:5b)   A new year is an opportune time to reflect on how the Lord has worked in and around us. Take note of what He has done with a sense of gratitude. Pray with an honest and open heart about any ongoing difficulties, and talk with God as you remember moments that have changed you or have shown you more of Jesus. And for those who blessed you this year, take an opportunity to send a thank you card or a note or gift of encouragement to thank them.

Renew - Isaiah 40:31 says, “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.”  The new year is dawning, and maybe it’s time for a new, or renewed, you. As we pray for and seek renewal, we are called to place our hope in the Lord. Reminding ourselves of where our hope lies, praying without ceasing, fixing our thoughts on things above and not on earthly troubles - these are among the many ways we can seek the kind of renewal that only comes from Christ.
Let's trek into 2016 with a fervor and hope for what the new year holds! Let's seek and pray for rest, reflection and renewal as we - through grace and faith - strive to walk according to His will.

You know I love ya, Don

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Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas ... Experience His Presence

Christmas Peace is opening your heart, your mind, and your strength to Experiencing His Presence in your life. This is not easy in a busy world … it is stopping, listening, and waiting. It is taking a deep breath and breathing in His Spirit. It is to look to God (for God is With Us!) and say … “I love you.”

On Christmas Day some years ago, a little boy was seen going in and out of his church several times. The boy would walk up to the nativity scene and stare and then walk back out. After several times, the boy was asked, “What gift did you ask of the Baby Jesus?” he replied, “I didn’t ask for anything. I was just in there loving Him for a little while.”      

The baby is born to you and to me. Merry Christmas. Don't forget to love on Jesus today and receive His PEACE!

You know I love ya, Don 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Discovering Christmas Peace in serving others!

“ ’I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary answered. ‘May your word to me be fulfilled.’ Then the angel left her.” is Luke 1:38.
Serving in Love Graphic
The astronomer measures time by light-years, the geologist by vast cycles, the historian by epics and centuries, the industrialist by the fiscal year, the laborer by the weekly paychecks, the child by the birthday party.

But the common measure of time begins with the awkward motions of rising in the morning and putting one foot in front of the other. Mary’s obedience teaches us the integrity of life is measured in our response to God and his love. As God’s word is fulfilled in our lives, he measures time in terms of responsible living, even when the circumstances challenge us.  Christmas peace is serving others in love … Christmas peace is that our actions speak louder than our words. Are you the Lord’s servant?

You know I love ya, Don

Monday, December 14, 2015

Christmas Shalom ... more than just peace.

GOD WITH US!!! Christmas Peace is not to be forgotten or paid off by the celebrations of lights, ribbons, and gifts. The text today reminds us to not forget the main PURPOSE of  Christmas.
The Angel said, “You are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” Christmas Peace is Jesus’ salvation. Shalom means completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety, soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony. PEACE is the absence of agitation or discord. Many search for fulfillment, happiness and contentment in material possessions, money, sex, entertainment, etc. But those things do nothing to fill "that hole in our soul" that only GOD can fill!
This is why in Luke is clear to declare the angels' declaration;  (2:14) “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” God rests his favor on those whom receive the Baby Jesus. 
My prayer is that you have His Shalom this Christmas. You know I love ya, Don