postheadericon Twelve Days of Christmas - Day 3


"While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born,
and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son.
She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger,
because there was no guest room available for them."
- Luke 2:6-7

What humble beginnings our Lord had. I can't even imagine. Every time I look at a nativity, I think of that glorious night all those years ago. I think of that stable and the animals and placing this tiny, newborn baby into a manger.

"Yes," said Queen Lucy. "In our world too,
a Stable once had something inside it
that was bigger than our whole world."
- from The Last Battle, by C.S. Lewis

How powerful is that?! This little tiny baby was and is bigger than our whole world. He is everything. And it's really as simple as that.

In my family, we have a tradition. Baby Jesus is hidden from our nativity scene until Christmas Eve. We make our preparations, but Jesus doesn't join the party until His birthday. When I was little, we made a big deal about finding Baby Jesus and turned it into a competition. As a girl, I didn't see much greater meaning in our search, but now I see things differently.

We searched for Jesus. Isn't that how it is in life?

"But if from there you seek the Lord your God,you will find him
if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul."
- Deuteronomy 4:29

This little baby is where it all began. In His birth, in a smelly stable, our search begins. And 2,000 years later, we're still seeking. While you may or may not play hide-and-seek with your nativity Jesus, we are called to seek Him in our everyday lives. We are called to seek Him with all of our heart and all of our soul.

Isn't it funny that the lessons we were learning as small children are far greater and more powerful than we ever would have guessed back then. A simple game turned into a metaphor for life. God is awesome!

Tonight, I kneel in awe at the foot of the manger. I think about that precious baby who was bigger than our whole world. I am thankful for that gift. Because even wrapped as a small baby, it is the greatest gift of all.
 

postheadericon Twelve Days of Christmas - Day 2


"So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea,
to Bethlehem the town of David,
because he belonged to the house and line of David.
He went there to register with Mary,
who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child."
- Luke 2:4-5

Every time I think about the Christmas story I think about Joseph. The amount of faith that man had is truly incredible. I often think he doesn't get enough credit. But he trusts Mary, and he trusts God. And it blows me away. I pray that I can have a faith like Joseph's.

"Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed,
you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to here,'and it will move.
Nothing will be impossible for you."
- Matthew 17:20

Joseph had faith that would move a mountain.

How do I have faith like that?

"Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart."
- Proverbs 3:3

If I've learned anything in the past 6 weeks, it's that practice makes progress. If we even hope to see God in the storms, we have to seek God in the sunshine. Faith isn't always easy in the struggle, so we sure as heck better practice during the smooth sailing. I want to have love and faith in my heart every minute of every hour of every day, but if I want that, I have to exercise it.

"Now faith is confidence in what we hope for
and assurance about what we do not see."
- Hebrews 11:1

Oh how I have always loved that verse. Faith is the confidence in what we hope for. SERIOUSLY?! I get to have confidence in the things I hope for because God wants that for me, too. God wants to give me the desires of my heart. And the more I pray for the desires of my heart to align with God's will, the more I seem to see Him at work.

My goodness, we serve an amazing God!

I just have to share a story about how cool God was in my life today. I have embarked on a journey to write 30 letters in 30 days. I'm about halfway done, but I almost don't want it to end! Anyway, I sent a letter to my friend, Megan, the other day. Funny thing was, she sent one to me, too! We both received each other's letters today and we both had our day made by those letters. Isn't God's timing freaking awesome?! Because for real, His hand was clearly all over that.

When little things like that happen, it makes me that much more confident in what God is doing in all of our lives. If He cares that much, to do something that small, then how much must He love me?!

So tonight I'm thinking about Joseph. He had faith to move mountains, and so can I. Because with God, allthings are possible. And as He weaves His way through my life in the big and small things, I can bind faithfulness and love around my neck so that I can love others on purpose. Pretty cool stuff!
 

postheadericon Twelve Days of Christmas - Day 1


"In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census
should be taken of the entire Roman world.
(This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.)
And everyone went to their own town to register."
- Luke 2:1-3

It's December 1st today! I can hardly believe that 2014 is about to come to a close. What a year and a journey it has been. I'd like to wrap up the year by focusing on the ultimate Christmas gift. The one that came to us in a stable over 2,000 years ago.

I absolutely love chapter two of Luke and how the first Christmas is described there. So I'm going to break it down from now until Christmas to help us focus on each part of the story.

This is where we start a census. A registration process to determine population details. What strikes me is that God has a census record of ALL of us. He knows all the hairs on our heads. He knows every intimate detail about each and every one of us. He created Jesus and sent Him as a gift at Christmas. He sentenced Him to death on a cross, but called Him to rise again for our salvation. And then He created you. And He created me.

"For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand -
when I awake I am still with you."
- Psalm 139:13-18

The Christmas season is a time to remember all that we've been given. Put CHRIST back in Christmas by remembering the ultimate gift. Share His love as a gift to those around you. Remember that God has a census and knows who you are. He loves you so much that He gave you the best Christmas present ever!