People love the miraculous, “Things that are astounding.” The definition of miracle from one source is this: “The definition of a miracle is the occurrence of an amazing and improbable event, often interpreted to have religious origins and to have been caused by God.”
Long ago I said to God, “If I”m going to speak up for you and tell people about you, I need to see the reality of your promises being true in my life.” I understood I could not tell people something if I did not know for MYSELF It was entirely true….I don’t believe in “religious props for hire.” I don’t believe in being one of them, either. I’m not going to stand and tell people something that has not been proven (to be true) in my own life. God has defended me, restored me, justified me, provided for me, sheltered me, healed me, answered countless prayers (so many I can hardly remember them all). Does he do things my way? No, he does not. My story is Gods’ story “His imprint’ upon my life. I think from God’s perspective, the biggest miracle will always be a transformed heart, willing to please him.
Mary was willing to bear the supposed shame of having a child that appeared to be out of wedlock, born in a manger and not in a grand palace. The wise men were willing to follow a star, keeping silent even tho the King ordered them to tell where the child was……Jesus didn’t do a fundraiser to provide for himself, the wise men brought them gold, frankencinse and myrrh in secret. Even our saviour’s birth tells the story of how God’s miracles really work. It was a miracle an angel warned Joseph not to go to Bethlehem (Matthew 2:12) but It was also a miracle Joseph listened. If he had not listened, Jesus may have been snuffed out by Herod’s evil edict.
When God chose Joseph to be Jesus’ “Parent” he knew Joseph would obey him. That’s why he chose him.
“I pray Father we see your hand in our lives today and see the Miraculous! I pray we will pay attention and trust your guiding hand, not grieving you by insisting upon having things our own way……and I pray for the miracle of transformed hearts……both now and forevermore….in Jesus’ mighty and powerful name. amen”
This picture is of my husband Tim, when we were in Target, looking at Christmas Sweaters. He did this so I could see the approxomite size, as I was looking at a sweater for a friend. He does love Christmas, but he doesn’t like the stress that often accompanies this famous holiday. Who does?
I didn’t realize for a long time, I was the one who was making things stressful for him. I would talk about all the stuff I had to do, acting like it was one big obligation after the other. I worried about not having enough money for gifts, too. One time he sold a gun and gave me the money to buy my kids presents.
Other years, (to my almost shame) we went into debt over it. I don’t like to admit I have crossed the line from “enjoying Christmas” to being addicted to doing all the things I THINK I must do (at Christmas time).
There is one little scripture I want to mention: 2 Corn 9:7 “God loves a Cheerful giver”
There is no time of year like Christmas, to bring out the best and worst in people. If we do things grudgingly or out of compulsion, God may not be as pleased as we think. “OH WOE” I used to cry out- “I have to do this and I have to do that…….” And do I like to admit this to you? NO I do not!
Not every man is grumpy because of their wives, but you can bet if they lost their little boy wonder about it all, it was probably due to grave disappointment(s) at some time in their lives. This particular year, Tim started getting his JOY back over the Holiday.
Christmas is one time of year we should not be under obligations, trying to hold our noses right, or trying to follow some list of rules of “How Christmas ought to be.” BUT we do it to ourselves if we insist on trying to make everyone happy (starting with that Santa Claus gift we HAVE To get for the children).
I had a guy tell me recently, “Don’t tell anyone I said this but I do love Christmas, the trees, the lights……” Some men don’t think it’s manly to get goo goo about Christmas time. Others dread the commercialism, and how they might fail people if they don’t get the right gift, or have enough money to get the right thing. For them it feels like a big test or final exam at school, and all they feel is the potential failure looming on the horizon!
How can we make Christmas better for our men (and loved ones?). We can set them free from Obligations! “YOU DON”T HAVE TO GET ME ANYTHING” and I will not pout! If you get me anything at all I will smile- and be grateful you thought of me!Tweet
Yes my darlings, “Say it and mean it.” Christmas is not about what we get, it’s about what we give. Love and freedom from the chains of obligation are the best things we would ever give a person. How about “I LOVE YOU!” MERRY CHRISTMAS!! A cheerful smile and merry Heart is something we can all afford.
My son was just 15, when I left his Dad. I know it was hard for him, but he also understood. It had to be done.
The first Christmas I was away, I got a box in the mail. There, in the box were these little snowme on a tobagon, that I had admired in a Christmas store back in Detroit Lakes.
I started to cry. Here he was, struggling with his own problems and feelings, and he used his money from work to buy his mom a present, box it up and send it off for Christmas ……..
Tears welled up in my eyes as I opened his gift ……..
Tears of Joy. Tears of love, Tears of Thankfulness That the ability to show love in his pain, meant he was going to be okay. Tears of forgiving myself for what I had to do……..
Every Christmas when I get them out, The tears come again………
and it’s happening again……
thank you Thomas, I will never forget what you did……
Here is the story of “The Christmas we never forgot” In full detail, referrenced in my book Grace to the Rescue…..It’s exciting!
My husband had lost his job. We had no income. My Mom did send gifts each year but we had no way to pay the rent. And it was Christmas time………..
To make matters worse, their nintendo game was in the hock shop. Our Power bill was over due……..and about to be unhooked. A friend of mine came over, stood in my living room and prayed and commanded that we be blessed in the name of Jesus. She was loud about it too! Like a trumpet!
“You’re the provider she screamed and I thank you their Christmas will be BLESSED” …….
I could feel the Holy Spirit when she prayed……It was not a nice little God’s will be done prayer, it was a prayer of Faith and love and she was NOT backing down! And we as a whole did NOT deserve it, my husband had made bad choices….and I had asked God to have Mercy and not punish all of us for his actions.
I had applied for Help through the power sharing program at the electric company…….
Two days later I got a phone call. “You’ve been selected for help with your power bill, she said…..”
But then she added, “But that is not all. A new company in town wanted to know a family they could bless and out of hundreds of names we chose you………..”
That company paid our rent. They asked what gifts the kids would like, and got them exactly what they asked for. They gave me an expresso machine. They got the nintendo out of Hock. And they gave us food and an envelope with cash in it. To top it all off they gave my husband a job at their company…..
It was overwhelming, to say the least. In a MINUTE all of our needs were met Every single one. We went from problems galore to “Everything taken care of.” The relief I felt was rather how they must have felt when they crossed the Red Sea……..
People were sick of hearing our problems by then. Even the church people (for the most part).
Do I give the glory to God? OF course I do! Why were WE selected, I ask myself……..
I think back to that prayer of one passionate person who would NOT back down…….
Who decided WE were worth it……
And that is a person I want to emmulate….
With love and blessings,
“Christmas when I was a kid.” Does anyone even care? (What it was like?). I think so, because honestly, I have read stories about the Christmas’s of others, and I totally enjoy them.
When I was a kid, Christmas was a magical time for me. Mom made a lot of different goodies, including, popcorn balls, fudge (2 different kinds) frosted cookies, pinwheel cookies, and sometimes we had peanut brittle laying around.
There were cousins, aunts and uncles who sent packages by mail (grandma’s too) and soon the tree was abounding with colorfully wrapped gifts. We all looked at the Sears Catalogue to dream of what Santa might bring…….
I didn’t teach my kids about Santa, because i remember the disappointment when he didn’t bring quite what I asked him for. I believed, so I thought maybe I was ‘naughty” is why it didn’t happen. I thought maybe he was trying to teach me a lesson, and that was why I got peanuts and oranges in my stocking (mostly) and didn’t know til years later that santa’s budget depended on Mom and Dad’s budget, at the time.
Therefore, based on that disappointment, I didn’t teach my children to believe in Santa Claus, I told them it was a nice story and a nice thought, but ultimately Jesus is the reason for the season.
When I grew up, which happened during the process of raising children, I decided Christmas Joy was something I wanted to emmulate. I learned to make the cookies, (and the fudge) as much as I do NOT like or enjoy kitchen duties. I soon found out what a servant heart it takes to pull of this Amazing Holiday. It’s a lot of work, to say the least……
Finding out just how much work it was, made me appreciate my Mom even more, and all she did for us at Christmas time. I had no idea! The shopping, the boxing, the mailing, the goodie-making, the budget-strategy! It took weeks to get it all done and must be started before Thanksgiving……..
The decorating, the Christmas cards, and putting pictures in all of them. (I did it all). In the end It would be over with and I’d say I DID IT! I really did it! Everyone got a gift, everyone got a card……..I made the goodies and did not burn them! Oh How I prayed over Christmas (every year) and rejoiced to get those boxes mailed out before the 15th……
Then came the thank you’s from Mom and friends and the delighted looks on children’s faces……
Now some bad stuff happened yes. I had some who did not appreciate, nor did they reciprocate (yes even with some of my family). My Dad always said “Bah Humbug” at Christmas, which made me very sad……
Christmas reminds me a little of the gospel (not that it can really compare with it) but it’s a reflection of it, in some small way. The lights, the giving, the generosity and the love……and like the gospel, it is not always appreciated or reciprocated….But its’ still important to SHINE!
I want to thank you Mom. Your love for us always shined through at Christmas time, especially. THANK YOU for all you did over the years to make it special! Thank you for the Christian example of serving and giving & loving. Forgive me for the times I didn’t seem as appreciative as i should have.
With love, your daughter,
Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the last of all and the servant of all.” Mark 9:35
Let’s pray a minute: “Father bless this day, anoint my words, and help anyone out there who struggles with Christmas to be healed and enjoy it Father! IN Jesus’ name I pray…Amen”
I can remember bad things, or I can remember good things, about Christmas time. There were the gifts we wished for that we didn’t get, and we can remember the happy people, or the crabby ones, it is up to us.
After I visited a festival of trees in Spokane Wa, I decided to up the ante on my tree decorating, and try to do a better job. I had my years of saying “You aren’t here Mom, so I’m gonna glob that tinsel on thick” ha ha ha
And what does Christmas have to do with Jesus, you say? Aren’t we supposed to be studying his word, and growing? Think about that for a moment. How can we grow?
Do we remember the good (About Christmas?) or do we remember the bad? Is Christms about getting our way all the time? Or the perfect “Martha Stewart dinner?”
My son and daughter both wished for the chance to pick things out, so some years I have included gifts cards, while other years, they said “Mom, I’m sorry I’m never going to use this (contraption) you just gave me.”
Barking out statements like “It’s the thought that counts” puts a squash on how people feel. Being rude and saying “I hate this’ is also rather, well, rude to say the least. Why can’t we just tell the truth? hmmm….…
I can remember getting stressed out when I was young, trying to keep appointments with older people who had dinner at 1, but my kids were hungry at noon. Trying to beat people into submission to accomodate others, does NOT make Christmas fun. Does it? Perhaps we need to learn how to communicate that……
It’s not fun when people are late to supper, it’s not fun when there are rules and regulations about how Christmas is supposed to be. I think what is cool for me, is that was when my kids were growing up, we were so poor we got a complete Re-set about Christmas. If it wasn’t for God, Christmas would not have happened at all.
And why are those movies so special to people, like the Grinch movie and some others? Because they get across the point Christmas is not about the stuff we get, or the perfect tree, or the perfect holiday dinner.
God loves the stuff that CAN and often does come out at Christmas time. The generosity, the smiles, the singing, the thoughtfulness, and yes THE LOVE that people express in various ways at Christmas time.
So many times I have thought, What if people were like this all year long? Celebrating, Making merry in their hearts, looking for ways to bless others….
(To be continued). PS (It’s six weeks away) ….
I put up my Christmas tree a little early this year BEFORE Thanksgiving! If you don’t approve it’s too bad, I’ve already done it. What I believe if this, if you aren’t hurting anyone, it’s okay to have fun. And God knows this has been one stressful year. What harm can there be in having a little fun? (I said to myself).
Nope, I”m not going to drink or get drunk to reward myself for having survived “The year of corona virus.” And I refuse to let it drive me to drink because of the stress involved………
One reason I love Christmas so much, is that when I was a child, My Mom always made it fun. There were goodies baking and trees going up. There were bows and ribbons as she wrapped gifts for my cousins and aunts and uncles. Back then, we used to exchange gifts by mail.
I will be sharing some reasons I still have the Christmas Spirit, and how God played a part in that. I love Christmas music, Christmas trees, snowmen, carolers, bows and boxes, Christmas goodies, and time with friends and family.
What’s not to love about it? Christmas is such a beautiful time, but only if we keep it that way. Thanks for following me as I spend 12 days talking about Christmas, and why it is still kinda magical to me….
So here is the question: How can we de stress Christmas? And how can we get in tune with WHAT Christmas means to us, and why? Therein, lies the Journey….
I feel like Just sharing some Christmas thoughts, even though it is only the 1st of November.
It has occured to me that many people struggle, as they see the Holidays approaching.
And I really feel that God would like me to address it, in advance, before it is upon you.
I PRAY You will be inspired to face the Holidays with Joy this year, and not with dread.
Let’s do this together!
With Much Love,
Leaders must be disciplined Titus 1:62. satan must be told to be quiet (Mark 1:33-343. Harsh words for fools and mules Prov 26:3 4. To have life you keep instruction Prov 10:17 5. Learn to love Discipline Prov 3:11 6. Instruction in God brings rest Psalm 94:12-137..Presumptious leaders bring death 1 Kings 1:5-6 8. Let God choose your habitation Duet 12:8-9 9. Holiness is the first step to a disciplined life in God Lev 20:26
Holiness is the first step (to a discplined life). This means to be set apart, unto him.
We won’t even be able to receive God’s instruction unless we have stepped away from the rest of the world, and its’ way of thinking. Let God rule over your heart (Be Holy!).
And don’t be presumptuous………(an idea that is not known for certain)
It is dangerous to be in presumption. We must learn to seek God about how his word applies to our lives, and the lives of others. We must be careful to not PRESUME what a person should be doing right now. Jesus came to release people from being justifed in keeping laws, because he knew we need to be RESTORED into the Christ-Like person he intended us to be.
“Father please, help and allow us to lead a disciplined life, one that glorifes you Father! Thank you that while we are not saved by rules and regulations, We do need to have a disciplined life to have success, and you want so much for us to have this discipline that makes uf more effective for your Kingdom! So we thank you for your discipline today!
You are such a good Father …” In Jesus’ name. amen