Category Archives: hope

Is He Worthy of It All?

WORSHIP

They say it came upon a midnight clear on a silent night, a holy night.  It happened in the little town of Bethlehem and brought great joy to the world.  The first noel from angels we have heard on high sang as the shepherds asked those around them, “Do your hear what I hear?”. 

“Hark!  The herald angels sing, ” they said to the people everywhere.  For away in a manger lay sweet little Jesus boy causing many people to wonder what child is this and asking Mary, “Did you know?” Many traveled for miles, saying along the way, “O come let us a adore Him and proclaiming, “God rest ye gentlemen, for the King of the world has come!”  As three wise men followed the beautiful star of Bethlehem we are willing in our hearts to go tell it on the mountain for peace has come to earth.

Year after year we sing the traditional Christmas Carols mostly from memory not meaning.  Many of us learned these songs when we were very little along with Jingle Bells and Santa Claus is coming to town.  So this year I am pausing to reflect if these songs really have any meaning for me.  I love to worship.  I love to sing songs to the One who created us for this very thing.  Nothing brings me into the courts of His Presence like worship.  So today I ponder what all the fuss is about Christmas Carols.

In a way I feel like we should sing them all year round as a witnessing tool, after all they proclaim the birth of Jesus and what He came to do.  And personally do we even really know for certain December 25th is actually Jesus’ birthday?  But, let’s put all of that aside and truly focus on what Christmas really is.  Webster’s dictionary defines Christmas like this:

Christ·mas
noun
  1. 1.
    the annual Christian festival celebrating Christ’s birth, held on December 25 in the Western Church.

In the description of Christmas it says celebration which means to me a happy, joyous time, yet so many spend the holidays depressed and unable to enter into the celebrations.  Many are wounded and are pushing Jesus away rather than bringing themselves into His presence and allowing Him to heal them.  Jesus came to save us from sin and in that moment on the cross he bore every sickness and disease.  To me this is cause for continual celebration, more than just a season of songs.

It matters not to God which song we choose to sing when we come into His presence it is all about the heart and a song which comes from a  place a gratitude and thankfulness.  It’s not about the tune or the lyrics, it’s about the attitude and motive. If we are just worshiping out of obligation or it’s just what we do on Sunday mornings our hearts may not be in it.  Worship is a continual succession of praise to God.  A moment to moment intimacy with God Himself.

So this Christmas season as we pour out our worship to God let’s remember His amazing grace and sing praises to His name.  Let us sing here I am Lord, come abide with me.  Sing to Him how great thou art and great is Your faithfulness.  Let Him know it is well with your soul and crown Him with many crowns.  Turn your eyes upon Jesus and sing holy, holy, holy.  Surrender  it all and sing hosanna!  Just tell Him that He is worthy of it all.

Dear Lord, it is with a humble heart we come to You asking You to show us what true worship is.  We thank you and praise you for creating us to worship and we long for a deeper intimacy with you.  Show us how to enter your courts with thanksgiving.  Teach us how to praise You.  We open our hearts to a deeper intimacy with You.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

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Will You Meet Me in the Stable?

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Can you imagine for just one moment what it would have been like to gaze into the eyes of Jesus as a newborn infant?  What would it have felt like to hold him?  What if you were the one who could soothe is crying for just a moment?  Suppose you had traveled days to be in his very presence?  What would be your anticipation level as you ponder the thoughts of holding the New Born King in your arms?

When Jesus was born all heaven and earth rejoiced at the birth.  Many came from miles and miles away just to get one peek at this wonder.  Can you imagine if you were in that stable gazing upon the infant child who was going to save the world and Mary picked you out of the crowd and asked you to hold him?  The sheer excitement of the moment…

UNTIL THIS HAPPENS:

What if I accidentally drop him?

What if he screams the moment I take him?

Am I even worthy of this?

Am I good enough to hold this precious child?

Suddenly like a flood you are filled with a bazillion insecurities and instead of responding to Mary with great joy and excitement you wonder why she even picked you to hold him in the first place.  Because of the circumstances of your life you feel so inadequate in the moment.  So defeated by your own malicious thoughts that you begin to believe that the King of the world would want nothing to do with you.

So many of us have this defeated mentality when it comes to Jesus.  We often shy away from opportunities of intimacy with God because we feel unworthy, unloved, unwanted, undesired and unable to connect.  God created us for worship.  He created us for an intimate relationship.  What happened?  Where is the disconnect?  The very being who will accept us for who were are is the very one we run from because of our insecurities and wounds.

Well friends, Jesus came to take all of that away.  He came to wipe every tear.  He arrived in a quiet intimate setting as an invitation to those who felt unworthy.  His very presence in that lowly stable invited even the humblest person to seek Him.  He was not born in a palace where rules and regulations would have kept many from even seeing Him.  No, He was born in a place where there was an open invitation from the heavens.

Will you meet me in the stable this year?  Will you come witness the most intimate birth in the history of the world?  Will you allow yourself to feel worthy, loved, accepted and wanted just long enough for the Newborn King to smile at you and let you feel safe?

Dear Lord,  Will You help each of us to visualize ourselves at the foot of the manger.  Help us to see the love and acceptance in that tiny humble stable setting.  We thank you for loving us all right where we are with no reservations.  We invite you into our insecurities and wounds so we may have a true intimate relationship with You.  In Jesus Name we pray.  Amen

Thank You for Offending Me!!!!

offenses

Thank you for not noticing I colored my hair.  Thank you for stealing my parking spot.  Thank you for not saying hi at church today.  Thank you for not buying me coffee.  Thank you for forgetting my birthday.  Thank you for not remembering I am allergic to green peppers.  Thank you for ignoring me yesterday at the store.  Thank you for not inviting me to go out to dinner.  Thank you for cutting in front of me.  Thank you for not asking me to be a bridesmaid.  Thank you for not buying me something when you went to the store. Thank you for posting what you did on Facebook.

SHOULD I GO ON?

Offenses are literally EVERYWHERE these days.  As the world grows colder and colder and we are busy building our walls of defense against one another, we are suffering on the inside and no one seems to notice it much anymore.  We shrug our shoulders and move on to the next offense which just adds fuel to the fire already blazing on the inside.  We misinterpret things.  We react to situations based on our past hurts.  We are literally destroying our bodies with all this harbored bitterness. Often we take on offenses that really are not even there.

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So how can we overcome offenses in our lives?  Our women’s Bible study is reading a book called “Who Switched Off My Brain” by Dr. Caroline Leaf and just in the first two weeks I have learned a few things. (you can look her up YouTube and watch her amazing videos)  The main thing I want to focus on for the purposes of this blog is good trees verses bad trees.  When we are offended we have two choices:  take the offense and create a black tree or reject it and create a green, healthy one. (see Dr. Caroline Leaf videos for further understanding)  From the moment something offends us we can either choose life or death.  It really does something to the chemical balance in our bodies.

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Let me give you an example which just happened this morning.  I was driving my husband to work and he simply said to me, “Ya know, you need to slow down.”  Um, What?  I was going 40 and was ready with my defense when he further explained the speed limit had changed to 35 a few blocks back.  As I listened to his explanation I realized I had a choice to make:  Green Tree or Black Tree.  Here are the two scenarios:

  • I take on the offense:  My mind starts racing.  My blood pressure begins to elevate.  So I begin to build my defense case.  I have been driving for 31 years and have had 1, yes one, violation.  Then pride begins to boast in all its glory, my mind tries to dig up ALL of the things I have witnessed while being a passenger to his driving (which the list was very short–he is a great driver).  If I proceed with this avenue I will then become bitter and EVERY time I am driving my husband somewhere I will feel like I am not driving right according to his standards.  I would also open the door to me being critical about his driving as well.  Do you see where the bitterness grows and festers until it’s a BIG ugly black tree?
  • I decide not to be offended:  I choose in that very moment to capture this offense and give it to Jesus.  My blood pressure does not rise.  There is no place for bitterness to grow.  I know that pride will only get me into trouble and possibly a future “told you so”, besides,  growing a green, healthy tree is much simpler in the long run.  Besides I plan on spending the rest of my life riding in the car with my husband and this could have grown into one BIG UGLY black tree.

I am so THANKFUL God is renewing my mind in this area of my life.  Letting offenses fester only leads to a bitter life and possibly damages to my health.  I want to be able to love people and not take on any offenses.  The journey will not be easy, yet I accept the challenge.  I have had several instances this week where I have failed to not take on an offense, but then I remember it is a learning process.  It merely is in slowing down and making the clear choice rather than the one tainted by past hurts.

Dear Lord, I thank You for renewal of minds.  I pray You will help me to keep seeking deeper understanding in this area of my life.  I thank You that I am fearfully and wonderfully made and You meet me right where I am at.  Thank  You for healing me and guiding my steps towards greater freedom!  In Jesus Name!  Amen