The Importance of Pockets

Pockets are more necessary than I realized. Pockets are for soul refreshing. 

I just got home from doing a little shopping and banking. It felt good to get in the warm house. Here in Wisconsin it is in the 20’s heading for the single digit temps later this week. I stuffed my hands into the pockets of my sweater feeling thankful for cozy pockets to warm my cold fingers.

I am realizing I need pockets.

  • Pockets to carry little treasures.
  • Pockets of time to accomplish the items on my to do list.
  • Pockets of truth to bring me out of the place of lies that I sometimes get lost in. (I need friendly reminders me of what God’s truth is about the situations in life.)
  • Pockets of peace to know stillness and rest.

I am realizing the need for another pocket. Christmas is less than two weeks away. I started to take inventory of all that needs to be done in the next few days before Christmas and gulped, wondering, how is that going to happen?

I am realizing I need the pocket of time between now and when the new year begins to prepare for all of the holiday events that are scheduled. I also need to take time to breathe so that I can enjoy the presence of the Lord in my life.

You have to plan for pockets, or you end up without any when you really need them. I am saying all of this because I realized today that I need to take a couple weeks off from posting. I will begin posting again a couple days into the new year.

I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Christmas full of blessings. May your hearts be filled with the joy of knowing Jesus and celebrating all He is to and for us. l pray that the new year will draw you into deeper faith in Him so that you know all of the peace and hope that you can have in Him.

May your souls be refreshed this Christmas. Take time to plan for the pockets you need so that you don’t miss what is really important, the true reason for the season. Jesus is born, He came to be the Savior of the world. Praise God!  

MERRY CHRISTMAS! 

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Five Simple Lessons from the Christmas Tree

What can you learn from a Christmas tree? I find that the Christmas tree has much to teach us, simple reminders that truly keep Christ in Christmas. 

First of all, the Christmas tree is shaped like an arrow pointing to heaven. This is a good reminder for us to keep an eternal perspective. Stress can takeover when we become obsessed with the here and now. We fuss and fret and forget what really matters is Jesus birth. He is the reason for the season. So look up and remember.

The glimmering lights on the tree can help us remember to shine for Jesus. We are called to be lights in a dark world. There are lights of every color available for your tree, bright, beautiful, and blinking. Use your own unique personality and giftedness to brighten others lives this Christmas season. 

Then, there are all of those special ornaments carefully placed on the tree. Ornaments on a tree are like blessings in our lives, both adorn our lives with beauty. Whether you decorate with a theme in mind or just have a menagerie of trimmings, what really makes the ornaments themselves special often is the meaning connected to each one. Somehow even a tarnished ornament has beauty if it reminds you of a loved one that has gone to be with Jesus, or makes you think of a friend that you seldom see. Take time to remember, count the blessings in your life. Gratitude leads to joy. Decorate your heart with a thankful spirit and let the inner joy that fills you bring beauty to each moment of this season.

The Christmas tree is often topped with a glittery star or an angel. The star in the sky in the Christmas story led the shepherds to find Jesus. And the angels told the shepherds of the glory of the baby born.  This Christmas lead others to see Jesus by demonstrating Christlikeness. Sometimes the holiday seasons are the most difficult seasons to live out His love in our lives. When you see a star remember where it led the shepherds, and choose to do likewise.

The gifts under the tree capture so much of our time and attention. Let each gift remind you that God gave us the gift of Jesus the Savior of the world. He came to earth for the purpose of giving us the free gift of salvation, eternal life. What He has given is the one thing every human needs more than anything else on this earth. Is there a special way that you can share about the true Gift of Christmas this year?

Christmas, it is all about Jesus, we are just so easily distracted by all the hustle and bustle. This year remember all of the ways that can help you keep your focus on the real Reason for all of our Joy and Hope at Christmas!

See the sidebar for the places I Iink up with sometimes.

The Lord Gives Us Victory!

Are you prepared for enemy attack?

Here in the middle of all the preparations and even in the quiet of our hearts, our enemy, the devil, can attack with weapons that bring us down by way of feelings of insecurity, overwhelming stress, worry, or fear. We lose our hope and joy so quickly,  we are overcome, and often unprepared for the battle. We feel all alone and scared. 

I was recently studying the Bible narrative of Elisha and his servant in 2 Kings 6:15-23. Elisha’s servant got up in the morning to find them surrounded by enemies, and he was full of fear. Elisha immediately asked the Lord to open his servant’s eyes so that the servant would be able to see that there were more with Elisha and him than with the enemy. The Lord did just as Elisha asked and the servant saw all of the horses and chariots of fire with them.

I learned, as I studied this, that horses and chariots symbolize divine power and the fiery nature of them signifies a divine presence.

Satan uses the circumstances of life and our areas of weakness for his benefit. He wars against us, overpowering us when we least expect it.

This story of Elisha made me realize that at the first sign of enemy attack, as I recognize Satan moving in, I need to pray as Elisha prayed for his servant. I need to ask the Lord to help me see the Lord’s power and His presence standing with me. I need to seek to be equipped to operate in His power, kingdom power. 

“… greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. ” 1 John 4:4

Satan knows our weak spots. It is often when we get too tired, feel lonely, angry, or hungry that we are even more vulnerable to his attacks. During the holidays we have extras added to our to-do lists and we grow weary in the busyness. We need to be alert as to how we are feeling, and be vigilant about standing strong in the Lord. The battle doesn’t stop because it is the holiday season. Satan doesn’t take vacations.

Our enemy wants to defeat us all the more as we seek to prepare for and celebrate our Savior’s birth. Remember to stay strong in the Lord, moment by moment, throughout this season.

Remember the Lord’s power and presence are with us to help us and defend us. We need only call on Him. He is able to give us victory against all of the feats of the devil. 

 God Victorious, help us to see, know, and rely on You to supply Your power and make Your presence real to us in the times we feel attacked or in a weakened state. We want our lives to bring You glory as we celebrate the wondrous gift of Jesus. Help us to not be defeated, but rather to overcome with Your kingdom power. In Your victorious name I pray.  Amen. 

The Lord gives us victory in our battles, remember to call on Him. HE IS ABLE TO DO MORE THAN WE CAN ASK OR IMAGINE!


 

How Will You Wait?

Advent is a time of preparation.

We prepare for Christmas in our homes.

We prepare for Christ in our hearts as we remember His birth.

There is waiting in the midst of the preparation.

We wait for gifts we ordered online to come in the mail.

We wait for the day to put up the tree.

We wait for the right time to get our baking done.

We wait for the best sales to complete our shopping.

We wait to see what special gift our loved ones will surprise us with.

There is much anticipation as we wait, whether at Christmas or any time in life.

Waiting for the perfect gift, waiting for God to bring about that transformation, waiting for the answer to our prayer, whatever it is, waiting is hard.

Isaiah 64:4 tells us something special about waiting, specifically about waiting for God. It says:

Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.”

God acts on behalf of those who wait for him. He wants us to wait for Him. It is when we wait for Him, and when we do not try to grab the gift before it is given, that He acts on our behalf. It is when we wait that He brings about His best plans and intentions for His children.

I want to share 4 things to remember as you wait for the Lord. We, His children, look to Him with hope and anticipation as we pray and seek His will. We desire to see Him work on our behalf.

As you wait:

1. Wait with expectation.

2. Amble forward, have slow feet.

3. Involve yourself in serving Him.

4. Trust His timing.

Wait with expectation.

When you wait for the Lord to work on your behalf, wait with expectation. His promises are real, look for Him to act. It seems that when we aren’t expecting God to act, we aren’t really believing in the possibility of what He is able to do. The apostle Paul tells us in Ephesians that the Lord is able to do more than we can ask or imagine (see Ephesians 3:20). So, why wouldn’t we wait expectantly?

Amble forward, have slow feet.

When we wait for the Lord to work we need to amble forward, move with slow feet. It is too easy to want to try to manipulate and maneuver things into place ahead of the Lord. But take it slow, don’t rush to make it happen. When we go ahead of God we always end up with trouble. He, in his perfect wisdom, has it all under control. He knows what needs to take place in order to make it happen.

Involve yourself in serving Him.

While you wait fix your heart on serving Him. Show your love for Him by honoring Him with your service. Waiting doesn’t mean sitting idle. It doesn’t have to be a time of growing impatient and being filled with anxiety about the outcome. You can find great satisfaction in waiting on Him as you wait for Him.

Trust His timing.

While you wait, don’t fret, rest in His love, and trust His timing to be perfect. He knows exactly what you need, and exactly the precise moment you need it. He is our perfect God, He is our Father who gives good and perfect gifts. Why would we expect anything less? He gave us Jesus, the Savior of the world, our Redemption and Hope. He will not disappoint.

God’s gifts to us, His work on our behalf, always bring about deliverance, new hope, and the perfect fulfillment of His plan for our lives. We must only wait.

How will you wait?