Monday, December 4, 2017

Mystery

Have you noticed it?  Have you felt it?  There’s something different about this season.

People are different in this season.  Even the atmosphere at the grocery store is different.  The usually grumpy clerk has apparently found a supply of smiles somewhere, and now she’s giving them away.  People find themselves humming along to the carols in the air.  And some of the most unlikely might just go the extra mile for someone.  What’s up?

Some might say it’s the thought of getting a little time off.  Or it’s a sugar rush from all the extra sweets and treats.  Or the laughter of children in the snow is just contagious.  But what if it’s more than that? What if it’s more than just some elusive fairy tale magic cheerfulness in the air?

What if all creation could sense that something of truly epic proportions was going on? 

You know, the most anticipated event in all of human history took place roughly two thousand years ago in the small town of Bethlehem.  But at the time, it went relatively unnoticed.  Only a few from the humblest positions in society were in on the news when the birth took place—the birth of the long-awaited, much prophesied about, Jewish-born king who had a heart for every people on earth. 


But don’t let His quiet entrance fool you.  It may have been a relatively silent night, but the night that divine royalty left heaven and came to earth wrapped in the form of a child was nothing short of the utmost in extraordinary.

The world has never been the same since.

Praying your own world will never be the same either,

Carol


"And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, 
and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, 
full of grace and truth."

"...As many as received Him, 
to them He gave the right to become children of God, 
even to those who believe in His name."

~from the prologue of John's biography of Jesus  (John 1:14, 12)

Thursday, May 26, 2016

No Dead Ends

"The counsel of the LORD stands forever,
the plans of His heart from generation to generation."
Psalm 33:11

There is always a way forward with God.  He is never boxed in by "circumstances."

His plans are never thwarted.

Sometimes what we see as a dead end is actually a divinely engineered rest, for learning and for building our faith, while He clears the brush away for us to see the path ahead--the path that He knew was there all the time.

So thankful He is leading, and I am the one following,
Carol

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Fifty-Two Weeks Of Wonder


I have accepted the challenge to read through the whole Bible in one year.  I am only in week two and I am already overwhelmed by His mercy and at His feet in awe and wonder.  Have I read this before?  Yes, most of it.  Does it ever get old?  Never.  Is there always something new?  Absolutely!

"Open my eyes, 
that I may behold WONDERFUL things from Your law."
Psalm 119:18

You know that's a prayer He will answer!

With expectant joy,
Carol


Saturday, August 8, 2015

The Platform of Pain

“You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, 
having received the word 
in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit…” 
—from Paul’s first letter to the Christians at Thessalonica 
(I Thessalonians 1:6)

That stopped me in my tracks—joy and much tribulation in the same sentence, simultaneously existing in the same life context.  Tribulation and joy are surprisingly uncommon partners indeed.

They’re surprising partners because too often I let my joy be based on my circumstances.  Life happens to me, and I react, and not always well.  Pain or problems pull back the curtain and reveal the foundation for my joy.  Then they point me back to anchoring my joy in Jesus alone.

Please let it end!  Or maybe not...
I usually pray for pain to go away.  But could it be that God wants to do something else through me?  Too often I forget that pain creates a powerful platform.  Joy in the midst of pain is the very last thing a watching world would expect, so people are going to notice it.  When I reflect on my own life, I realize that some of the most powerful testimonies of encouragement and joyful faith I have ever seen were from people in less than ideal circumstances.  

And that’s exactly what happened with the Thessalonian Christians, too.  Paul’s letter goes on…

“…in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit, 
SO THAT you became an example to all the believers 
in Macedonia and in Achaia.” 
(I Thessalonians 1:7)

So people all over heard about their faith and joy in the Lord.  And it gets even better.

“For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you,
not only in Macedonia and Achaia, 
but also in every place your faith toward God has gone forth, 
so that we have no need to say anything.  
For they themselves report 
about us what kind of a reception we had with you,
 and how you turned to God from idols 
to serve a living and true God…” 
(I Thessalonians 1:8-9)

That’s right.  Paul would arrive somewhere, and the locals would tell him about the Christians at Thessalonica.  Incredible!

In this world you will have tribulation, so open a Fountain of Life stand.
I want to be one of those talked about believers.  Oh, not for my sake, not to draw attention to myself, but because Jesus deserves to have the story of what He’s doing, the story of His joy, told far and wide.  Especially when life isn’t pain-free.


O, Lord, turn our eyes to you, fill us with your joy, and make us magnetic messengers who make the most of the platform of pain, for your glory alone!

All for His Glory,

Carol