Thursday, December 23, 2010

Mary – Mother of Jesus – Take 2

Good morning, afternoon, or evening – whichever is the case for you when you read this post.  It’s morning for me right now, and I am up WAY too early for a day off.  But, I had some writing things, some laundry things, some clean up things, etc that seemed to be poking me asking, “Are you awake”.  Finally, I mumbled the usual, “I’m up now” response and decided to get up and get moving.  I tossed a load of clothes in the washer and now here I am.

I hope you had an opportunity to read the post I sent you to yesterday.  If so did you enjoy MaryBeth Whalen’s “Pondering and Peaceful“?  I hope it blessed you as much as it blessed me.

Yesterday was a crazy busy day for me, but I lassoed a few moments to read another post by a blogger friend of mine.  There’s quite a bit of chatter and clicking of keyboards about Mary this Christmas season.  Maybe it’s because sometimes we inadvertently diminish her role in the story of Christ’s birth.  To me, she said the second most powerful “YES” of all times, falling right in line behind Jesus’ “YES” to the cross.  Wow!  That’s what I’m pondering this morning.  🙂  Thank you Jesus for saying YES!

So the ladies are  tapping into her courage this season and uncovering some amazing lessons we all can use.  (You know the sisters have to stick together! lol…)  I told Wanda, of The Watered Soul, that as I’ve read these posts on Mary, from different writers, I’ve enjoyed seeing how the Spirit of the Lord leads each person to see something fresh or from a different angle.  So today, I’m sending you over to Wanda’s place.  Her post from Tuesday is entitled “Favor Has Its Own Cost“.  I absolutely loved the insight she received about the favor of God resting on Mary.  Yet we all know it couldn’t have been all nuts and berries for a teenage virgin girl, engaged to be married, but somehow ending up pregnant.  Those had to be rough waters, indeed.

So, I’ll close here, and you head on over to Wanda’s to read “Favor Has Its Own Cost“.  It’s a pretty short.  I promise you, it took me 3 minutes to read.  I’m sure you have 3 minutes to take in an encouraging word from the heart of God, delivered through one of His faithful daughters.  So pick your 3 minutes and GO!

Wise, Virtuous, Valuable,

 
P.S. Don’t forget to stay tuned for upcoming news regarding my little bloggy home.  🙂

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Mary – Mother of Jesus

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas” (sing with me) “everywhere you go”!  Or is it “everywhere WE go”….  “everywhere I go….  Nahhhh, that doesn’t sound right.  Oh well, you get the picture.  Fact is Christmas cometh, and it cometh pretty fast!!!  LOL…  Are you ready?  I’m as ready as I will be.

This year, I officially figured out that I don’t like Christmas shopping.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy buying gifts for those I love, but I DON’T enjoy feeling the pressure to buy gifts for each and every one of them all at one time!  OMG, it wears me out mentally, because I am SO not a good at selecting gifts.  You know how some folks just seem to always know how to buy the PERFECT gift?  Yeah, those people.  Well, I’m not one of them, and it makes me stressful!  If I’m stressed out then chances are I have truly taken my eyes and thoughts off the true meaning of this season.  I’m spending more time trying to figure out the perfect gift for my dear sisters or mom and dad who, chances are, won’t remember what I gave them this year, this time NEXT year.  *sigh*

So needless to say, I’m re-thinking how I’ll do Christmas gifts next year.

But I digress…

This week, I was supposed to share a post about Mary, the mother of Jesus.  The verses I wanted to use were from Luke 2:18-19.  For the past weeks, I’ve been sitting in on small groups with the middle school girlies at church.  If you read my last post, “Out of the Mouths of Babes” you remember they were discussing, a couple of weeks ago, the shepherds role in the account of the birth of Christ.  (If you didn’t, you can click here or on the title to play catch up and read a cute little story about the girls.)  At home, I began reading Luke chapter 2, and my heart was tugged on verse 19.

Luke 2:19 NASB – “But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart.”

Now you will have to read a few verses prior to verse 19 to find out what Mary was treasuring in her heart, but I’m hurrying, because I don’t want you to hang out with me today.  Today, I want you to jump over to a post by Author and Proverbs 31 Ministries speaker, MaryBeth Whalen.  As it turns out, the Proverbs 31 devotional from yesterday was written by her.  It was about our beloved Mary, and get this.  The same words that tugged on my heart apparently tugged on her heart, as well.  They were just from a later verse, Luke 2:51, but her post – “Pondering and Peaceful” – is such a timely word for many of our hearts this season.

So please go. now. read.  Click the title below or click here to head on over to the Proverbs 31 site to read the devotional.  If you’d like, you can jump over to MaryBeth Whalen’s own blog –  Cheaper by the Half Dozen – to let her know you checked out her Tuesday, Proverbs 31 devotional.  Even though her blog site says she’s on vacation for a few weeks, I’m sure she’d be blessed by the comments.

I truly enjoy Lysa Terkeurst and the ladies of Proverbs 31 Ministries.  I’m like their invisible little mentee.  I learn so much and receive so much from reading their posts, yet they never see me! LOL….

Ok, so go! now! read! be blessed!  I was!

I have some other news to share about this little blog place I’ve called home for the past year or so, but I’ll share that later.  Stay tuned.

Merry Christmas sisters!!

Wise, Virtuous, Valuable,

 

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Dying to Live

John 11:5 – 15 NASB – 5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus6 So when He heard that he was sick, He then stayed two days longer in the place where He was.  7 Then after this He said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” 8 The disciples said to Him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone You, and are You going there again?”  9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world.  10 “But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.”  11 This He said, and after that He said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I go, so that I may awaken him out of sleep.”  12 The disciples then said to Him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.”  13 Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that He was speaking of literal sleep.  14 So Jesus then said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead,  15 and I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, so that you may believe; but let us go to him.”

I was dying.

At times it felt like a physical death; I was  just that “sick”.  A message was sent to Jesus about my sickness, but He hadn’t shown up yet.  Where was He?  Was he going to come check on me, touch me, heal me?  Life seemed to be slipping away; I could feel it.

I was dying.

I was beginning to suffocate, being strangled by grief’s cold clammy palms around my neck.  Everything was so confusing.  Choices that seemed right yesterday seemed wrong painfully wrong today.  I was lied to, abused, and left for dead.  Money was gone.  Loved ones walked away.  New, pseudo friends slowly were now flaunting the vibrancy of their true colors.  Old friends invoked their right to remain silent when I desperately needed them to speak LIFE!   My dreams seemed only a draw bridge away, but suddenly, without warning, someone raised the bridge.  Now I was forced to find another route to the other side.  Once crystal clear vision was now blurred.  Nothing was certain.  Nothing was stable.  Nothing was real.

And I was dying.

Many around me were like the disciples surrounding Jesus.  They thought I was merely “sleeping” and assumed I would “recover”.  They didn’t realize how bad it was.  They didn’t realize I was slipping…. away….  But someone ran to tell Jesus about my sickness.  Though it seemed He tarried a very long time…(*sigh*)… He finally came.

But, in the meantime…I died.

When you’re in the middle of death, it’s not likely that you think about the fact that there’s life on the other side; Lord knows, I didn’t.   I mean for those of us who are followers of Jesus Christ, we believe that He rose after His death.  We believe that His spirit lives within us.  We believe He died so we could live.  And we believe that when we physically leave this earth, we will live eternally in heaven.  But very often, before we meet that physical death, we die 100 times over emotionally and spiritually.  Relationships die; jobs die; loved ones die.  Oh but when Jesus shows up….  Life returns!

There’s so much meat in the passage of scripture above, but as I read it I had two reactions:

1.  I wondered what Lazarus was thinking during all of this.  We know he was dying, but was his mind alert?  If so, what were his thoughts?  Did he know that his sisters sent a message to his friend, Jesus, to tell Jesus of his illness?  Was he wondering why it was taking Jesus so long to come see him?  Had he hoped to see him before he died?  Heck, did he even KNOW he was dying??  Did he know he may have to die but he would live again?

2.  I found myself reflecting on my life.  I flashed back to a time when life stretched me far beyond what I felt were reasonable limits.  I didn’t think I’d ever return to my original form.  It was all part of God’s plan.  He allowed me to become so weak in mind, body, and spirit – to seemingly die – so that He could command new life to enter my body.  I’m not supposed to return to my old form.  My death brought new and increased capacity for life.  He could have come swiftly, but I know the Lord tarried as I was dying so that when He arrived and called me forth into a new life, everyone would believe.  I would believe, and He would be glorified.

Jesus told the disciples in verse 15 “and I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, so that you may believe“.  Wow!  He was speaking to His entourage, those who were with Him all the time.  Yet He knew that there were still those among them who didn’t believe.  Hmmm….  Was that me?  Is that you?

For some reason, this post feels like a bit of a ramble.  It didn’t, at all, go in the direction I thought before I began writing.  I hope somehow it speaks to you.  If not… well, maybe this one was just for me….

Wise, Virtuous, Valuable,