christmas

  • How They Missed The Christ in CHRISTmas!

    We despised him and rejected him;
    he endured suffering and pain.
    No one would even look at him--
    we ignored him
    as if he were nothing.
    ~Isaiah 53:3 GNT

    Did you see the Hipster Nativity Set this Christmas?

    hipster nativityEarlier this week, the news reported how it’s the talk of Christmas 2018.

    The camera zoomed in showing the 3 wise men as Amazon Prime Deliverymen on Segways with presents in hand, the shepherd as a young guy missing what’s going on as he’s busy posting on social media with his 100% organic, gluten-free feed-eating cow and sheep in a Christmas sweater sitting by his side.  Next, they showed a man-bun boasting Joseph taking a selfie of himself with Mary posed in a little risqué outfit with her t-shirt off the shoulder, bra-strap and a little more showing.

    Oh ya, baby Jesus was in the solar-paneled manger too, but the newscasters weren’t really talking about Him.

    The discussion surrounded whether or not it was appropriate to have a nativity set with updated “characters”.  One man on the street was interviewed commenting how he felt each generation depicts the nativity with their own cultural relevance or some other hogwash like that. It’s questionable what nativity set that guy’s been putting out each Christmas but ours have always portrayed people in clothing suiting the era when Christ was born with baby Jesus wrapped in swaddling cloths.

    This modern-day version of the nativity wasn’t an issue for me, although I wish they had made Mary a little more modestly dressed, I actually thought it was clever and could be a good conversation starter but what bothered me was how a whole segment of the news could actually be discussing the scene of Jesus’ birth and yet He wasn’t the focus.  In fact, Jesus was barely mentioned.

    They completely missed the Christ in CHRISTmas!

    Other’s Who Can’t See The Forest For The Trees

    For centuries people have been missing the Christ in CHRISTmas.

    Scripture is full of verses talking about the hope of Israel; a coming Messiah, the savior who would bring peace to those who followed Him.  Jewish Rabbis and faithful Hebrew people have studied the Tanakh (Old Testament) and made lists of what they thought the Messiah; the Christ would be like and how they would recognize Him from any other good person. As Christians, we have accepted Jesus (that’s the English version of His name), to be the fulfillment of all the ancient prophecies.

    I’ve also come to understand through reading Joe Amaral’s book, The Story In The Stars how Jesus also fulfilled God’s prophetic power point in the sky: displayed through the constellations God designed at creation; from the virgin woman Virgo to the Aries ram.

    How My Brain Works

    But if your brain works at all like mine, you’ve probably wondered, Why, if Jesus was the Messiah God gave, then why are there Jewish people today still searching for the Christ?  So, were we wrong or did they miss their Messiah when He came… and why did they?  As you can see, I was probably one of those toddlers who drove their parents’ crazy asking, “But Why?” The Bible does teach that when Jesus was born; as those original style nativity sets depict, lived on the earth as a carpenter and then became a miracle-working minister many Jewish people and Priests did follow Him1, but not all.

    I could never understand how Hebrew people today weren’t able to connect-the-dots left in the Old Testament to ascertain the truth of Jesus’ identity, that was until my friend shared this YouTube video called The Forbidden Chapter in the Tanakh where a young Jewish guy in Israel explains how after Jesus lived, the Rabbi’s took Isaiah 53 out of the Scripture listing, read by Jewish people.  This portion of Scripture is the prophet Isaiah’s most detailed record about the coming Saviour.

    For the first time in my life,

    I understood how Jewish people could miss Jesus being the Christ of CHRISTmas.

    As I watched the video (shown below), my faith of Jesus as Lord and savior of my life was strengthened.

    At the same time, this news brought on such a deep sense of sadness to recognize how millions of Jewish people for over two centuries have missed out on knowing Jesus as I do because their eyes have been blinded from the truth.

    It brings my mind back to the news report on The Hipster Nativity and how people are still blinded from the truth of who Jesus is today.  We can be so distracted by all our stuff the wise men/delivery guys bring, missing Jesus right in front of our eyes like the shepherd or focused on ourselves in this selfie generation. Don’t let that be your reality this year.

    Make 2019 different!

    Don’t let the “trappings of this world” trip you up.  Open your eyes and heart to make room for Jesus, so you don’t miss Him this year!

    Prayer

    Father… My heart aches for a world that seems to be blinded to Your Son even when there are signs of Him all around us. Holy Spirit I ask you to remove the blinders from my eyes and help me see Jesus, Emmanuel… God is with me. Jesus You are here, You’re wanting to be involved in my daily life. I open wide my heart to let you in.  You are my Christ, my savior, my Lord: at Christmas, in this new year and always.  In Jesus Name…Amen


    Isaiah 53 Missing

     

    VIDEO OF JEWISH GUY SHOWING JEWISH PEOPLE ISAIAH 53

    “THE FORBIDDEN CHAPTER”

    In the Tanakh (Old Testament for us).


    If you liked the refreshing in this #SoulH2O devotion, you’ll love my latest Soul H2O Devotional book: 40 Thirst Quenching Devotions for Women.

    #Dare2Share
    Post in the Comment Section below and bolster the faith of someone else!

    DRAWING FROM THE WELL

    1. Isaiah 53:3
    2. Acts 6:7
    3. 2 Corinthians 4:4
    4. Jude 1:3

    ENDNOTES

    1.   Acts 2:41, 47; 4:4; 5:14; 6:7 (Key verse is Acts 6:7)

    YOU CAN OFTEN FIND ME LINKING UP WITH:
    MONDAY
     Monday Meditations – Laura J. Davis, Soul Survival – Donna Reidland,

    TUESDAY Cheerleaders of Faith #RARaLinkup – Kelly Balarie,
    WEDNESDAY Coffee For Your Heart – Holley GerthWord Nerd Wednesdays — Liz Giertz
    THURSDAY Heart Encouragement Thursday – Crystal Storms
    FRIDAY Dance With Jesus Linkup – Susan B. MeadGrace and Truth Linkup – Arabah Joy

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  • My Christmas Message For You

    Well, Merry Christmas my friend. I hope you’re having an amazing time with family and friends! I’ve been kind of quiet these days as I’m getting The 2019 Word Awards program up and running and really wanted to connect with you so I thought a video would be a great way!

    My Video Christmas Message For You

    christmas video images

    Talk to you in the New Year!

    Much love
    ~Sherry
    xoxo

     

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  • What Are You Asking For This Christmas?

    Jesus replied,
    “If you only knew the gift God has for you
    and who you are speaking to,
    you would ask me,
    and I would give you living water.”
    ~John 4:10  NLT

    WHAT ARE YOU ASKING FOR THIS CHRISTMAS?

    After coming home from a missions’ trip just four weeks ago, getting into the Christmas gift mindset is a difficult shift.

    People questioning; What are you asking for this Christmas? In a normal year I find it difficult to give people my Christmas wish, but this year is extra-tough. The reality is, I have soooooo much stuff. We all have so much, dare I say… too much stuff. I feel conflicted like Solomon, struggling to make sense of the justice and injustice in our world.  Trying to enjoy what God’s blessed me with and holding ‘things’ loosely. As a family, we’ve decided to cut down the spending this year and I feel good about that. It just seems at this time of year that everyone around is asking for something, but are we asking for the right things from the right person?

    JESUS AND THE SAMARITAN WOMAN

    Today’s verse is taken from a pretty well-known portion of Scripture where Jesus stops in Samaria at the local watering hole; literally a well, not the neighborhood bar.  🙂  Jesus sits down and strikes up a conversation with a woman who has a history of broken relationships.  Jesus asks for a drink of water.  It’s a weird request from a Jewish man to a Samaritan woman since Jews at that time wouldn’t even use the same cups or bowls a Samaritan had used and that men didn’t just go up to unknown women.

    ASKING

    Jesus moves from asking the Samaritan woman for something to reminding this daughter of her value and how God had a gift with her name on the tag; something many people would have assumed the Samaritan woman forfeited with her lifestyle choices. I’m guessing somewhere along the line; this girl believed the lie that she didn’t deserve to ask God for anything. Maybe our Samaritan sister felt unworthy to think God would have something for her? Maybe she felt God let her down, hadn’t answered past prayers and the girl stopped asking?

    Sometimes a lack of asking can be a lack of trust.

    Jesus told this broken girl how she needed to start expecting… to start asking Him for living water. He wanted her to ask for the right thing, from the right source.

    SO, WHAT ARE YOU ASKING FOR?

    Too often we can get sidetracked in North America and ask for things that don’t satisfy our true thirst, and it’s especially true at Christmas time. The holiday to celebrate Jesus is often the busiest time of the year when we spend the least amount of time with Him.

    This year, make your Christmas list, enjoy all God blesses your life with but don’t forget to ask God for the gifts He’s prepared for you.  God has more set aside for your life than you can imagine. He wants you to ask. Don’t let the presents from Him go unopened and unused. Make sure to ask for the right thing, from the right source… God, the giver of all things good has something special for YOU!

    Prayer

    Father…You are so good! Even when I don’t deserve anything you have gifts for me.  I’m so thankful that You want to refresh me, You want to restore me, You want to fill me to overflowing so the effects of my life spill out to others. Help me to see my value, so I can come before You and expect good things. I want to receive all You have for me!  In Jesus Name…Amen


    Soul H2O BookIf you liked the refreshing in this #SoulH2O devotion, you’ll love my latest Soul H2O Devotional book: 40 Thirst Quenching Devotions for Women.

     

    #Dare2Share Post in the Comment Section below and bolster the faith of someone else!


     Drawing From The Well

    1. John 4:10; 7:38
    2. Mathew 7:7-8
    3. James 1:17
    4. Revelations 21:6

    YOU CAN OFTEN FIND ME LINKING UP WITH:
    MONDAY Monday Meditations – Laura J. Davis,
    TUESDAY Cheerleaders of Faith #RARaLinkup – Kelly Balarie,
    WEDNESDAY Coffee For Your Heart – Holley Gerth,
    THURSDAY Heart Encouragement Thursday – Crystal Storms,
    FRIDAY Dance With Jesus Linkup – Susan B. Mead, Grace and Truth Linkup – Arabah Joy, Counting My Blessings – Deb Wolf, Fresh Market Friday – Crystal Twaddell

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  • Twas The Night Before Christmas… {Sherry’s Sermon Notes Series}

    I can’t believe that there’s only six days until The Night Before Christmas!!!

    I hope that didn’t make you panic 🙂  Remember, it’s not about the presents!

    It’s been an amazing journey this year and I’m so thankful for all the connections I’ve had with you! Hearing how God is using the blog to speak into your life, encourage and refresh you has been incredible to hear. I hope you keep commenting on the blog, social media or emailing me!

    Next Monday is Christmas and I’m preparing a special video for you.  I know you might not have time to view it then, but I hope you do sometime during the next week. For now, here’s the last post in my Sherry’s Sermon Notes Series.  

    lakepoint logoThis week’s notes were from today’s sermon by Pastor Michael Bessette from my church, Lakepoint Family Church in little ole Leamington, Ontario.  Friends and I were talking after church about how crazy blessed we are to have such amazing pastors at our church.
    You would never know from our building, to our programs, from the music to the preaching that you were in a small town.  Lakepoint is really high-tech, top-notch, growing church and yet has the most welcoming of atmospheres.  Just last week Geoff Moore; Recording Artist said how he’s travelled to thousands of churches in his long career and appreciated how welcoming our church was.  This Sunday’s preaching by Pastor Michael was such an awesome message that I’m glad I get to share with you!  So, here it goes…

    TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS… {Sherry’s Sermon Notes Series}

    Christmas playThis Sunday’s service is always one of my favorite Sundays in the year; the Children’s Sunday School Concert.  I don’t even have kids in the program and I love it because they’re just too cute!  

    After the play, Pastor Michael had us all laughing by telling a funny little story about trying not to catch a ‘man-cold’ from his son Levi.  When he switched from sharing this cute, but disgustingly gross story about his son’s cold to sharing how his father has battled MS for over a decade, Michael made the segway into his sermon with this statement:

    “Unfortunately sickness & suffering is a reality of this world.”

    TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS…

    Michael connected us to the people in the Christmas story by comparing what the people were feeling in three different cities on the night before that first Christmas to how closely we experience the same today.  He shared how so many people allowed these feelings or mindsets caused them to miss seeing that their saviour, the messiah had come so we wouldn’t miss His return.

    “Much like they were waiting for a Messiah 2000 years ago…
    Once again we are waiting for Jesus to come.
    We celebrate His birth this Christmas,
    but we’re also anticipating His return.”

    I’m going to give you the briefest review of his points that will help you see how alike you are to the people who were around when Jesus was born.

    Sermon Notes

    1. Twas the night before ChristmasIn Rome…The People Were:

    Self-Sufficient & Self-Consumed.  

    Rome had everything; a strong leadership with Caesar Augustus, strong economy so they could take care of their own needs.  People lived to fulfill their selfish desires in every area.  Rome ruled the world so they weren’t aware of the coming saviour.

    People in Rome missed Jesus because they weren’t looking for Him.

    Luke 2:1-7

    “The Romans missed when Jesus showed up
    on that first Christmas night… 
    it’d be a real shame
    if we settle for living our lives
    unaware of his return.”

    2.  Twas the night before Christmas In Jerusalem…The People Were:

    Hopeless

    The Jewish people had been waiting so long for God’s promised Messiah that they gave up hoping any more.

    People in Jerusalem missed Jesus because they gave up looking for Him.

    “We may lose faith, but He is always faithful. I don’t know how much longer it’s going to be that you have to walk through what you’re walking through… I don’t know how much longer it’ll be until His final return… but I do know our rescuer is on the way. The date is circled on God’s calendar. We may not know when it will be, but He does. Jesus came, and Jesus will come again.”

    BUT…at least two people In Jerusalem didn’t give up hope! Because Simeon and Anna kept believing, they saw the fulfillment of the promise in the Messiah’s birth.  Simeon and Anna didn’t miss Jesus.

    You can read more about Anna’s Story: HERE

    Luke 2:25-38

    3.  Twas the night before Christmas…In Bethlehem…The People Were:

    Preoccupied

    People were scrambling around to clean their homes and prepare them for visiting relatives or travelling to their hometowns.

    People in Bethlehem missed Jesus because they were too busy.

    Only the Shepherds had enough margin in their schedule to hear from God and followed to find the Christ-child that first Christmas night.  These men who took the time to gaze up into the stars didn’t miss Jesus.

    Luke 2:8-18

    “I wonder how many of us have become so busy with unimportant things,
    that we’re in danger of missing the essential thing?”

    ~Pastor Michael Bessette

    “The harder it is for you to slow down and make time to encounter Jesus,
    the more desperately you need to do just that.”
    ~Pastor Kyle Idleman

    “The first time Jesus came, a bunch of people missed it because they had given up hope, were unaware or simply too busy to notice.

    Don’t let that be the case for you when he comes again.

    And when he does return, it will be different. Because the first time He came, He came in weakness; when He comes again, He will come in strength. The first time He came, He came as a servant; when He comes again, He will come as a ruler. The first time He came, He came as a baby in a manger; when He comes again, He will come as a mighty king. The first time He came, Jesus came to die; but when He comes again, the dead will rise back to life. The first time Jesus came, He came as a lamb; when He comes again He’ll come as a lion. The first time Jesus came, the world barely noticed; but when He comes again — every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord.”

    ~Pastor Michael Bessette

    It’s my prayer that you take time this Christmas season to be aware of God’s presence…place your hope confidently in God’s promises and Christ’s return…slowing down your pace enough, so your heart can hear His voice.

    PRAYER

    Father…I thank-you for this reminder to open my eyes so I can see Jesus.  I don’t want to live independent of you Jesus; thinking I can take care of myself.  I know I need you!  Let my heart be filled with hope and long for You, my soon coming King!  In Jesus Name…Amen.

    Drawing From The Well

     

    1. Luke 2:1-7
    2. Luke 2:8-18
    3. Luke 2:25-38

     

    pastor michael
    Watch: A Kids Christmas – Dec 17 2017
    – Michael Bessette
    {Sermon Starts at 35:26}

     

     

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  • Christmas Message 2016

    MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONEWe’re off celebrating Christmas with my family right now but I wanted to send you all a Christmas greeting.  I hope you know how much I value you.  I love hearing from readers and how God is using the #SoulH2O devotions to refresh your spirit.  I’ve heard such positive feedback on my CELEBRATING THE WOMEN IN THE CHRISTMAS SERIES that I’m thinking it should be a book???  Oh so many ideas 🙂

    (Click on the title if you missed reading the series)

    See below for pictures from some of my Christmas events this year. from Toronto to Winnipeg!

    [tweetthis remove_hidden_hashtags=”true”]Praying God’s Presence is rich in UR <3 this Christmas so U have faith to believe in His Promises![/tweetthis]

    GOD BLESS YOU ALL!

    ~Sherry
    xoxo

    CALVARY TEMPLE WINNIPEG – REKINDLING FRIENDSHIPS AND MAKING MANY MORE!
    http://www.ctwinnipeg.com
    CHURCH ON THE QUEENSWAY: TORONTO, ON – 480 Crazy FUN Girls!
    http://www.thechurch.to
    WIMM Canada EVENT – BURLINGTON, ON
    http://www.wimmcanada.ca

    RADIO RECORDING WITH MY CHRISTIAN WOMEN IN MEDIA FRIEND LISA BURKHARDT-WORLEY FOR HER SHOW WITH ANOTHER FRIEND DONNA SKELL.  THE SHOW IS FROM DALLAS, TX BUT WE TAPED IN THORNHILL, ON.
    https://www.atimetodream.com/discography/show-host/

    BY BESTEST FRIENDS!  
    This picture was taken at My friend Kevin Pauls’ SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS Special in Hamilton, ON.

    If you’ve never gone to a SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS event, you haven’t experienced Christmas as you should!  Check out Kevin’s site and sign up for his mailing list so you can attend next year!  It’s like a Bing Crosby Christmas Special, but better!
    http://www.kevinpauls.com

     

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  • Celebrating The Women of The Christmas Story – The Senior Citizen

    See the INTRODUCTION FOR THIS SERIES in the #SoulH2O post two weeks ago Celebrating the Women of The Christmas Story  The series is talking about how each of the #ChristmasWomen were:

    CARRIERS – OF THE PROMISE & PRESENCE OF GOD

    THE MIDDLE-AGED WOMAN – ELIZABETH was the first Christmas Woman celebrated.  I talked about how she protected the promise of God.  Last week celebrated THE TEENAGER – MARY discussing how she was willing to be inconvenienced to carry the promise and very presence of God, Emmanuel: God with us. 

    Read on to learn about our last Christmas Woman everyone’s been wondering about…

    THE SENIOR CITIZEN…

    CHRISTMAS WOMEN-ANNASince I’m totally breaking my format for #SoulH2O devotions with this series, I decided to share the whole of Anna’s story with you (a whopping 3 verses) because so many of you have commented or sent me messages saying you can’t wait to see who the Senior Citizen is.  This lets me know that many of you don’t know who she is, so you probably don’t know her story and she’s absolutely a woman worth celebrating!

    The Prophecy of Anna

    “Anna, a prophet, was also there in the Temple. She was the daughter of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher, and she was very old. Her husband died when they had been married only seven years.  Then she lived as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the Temple but stayed there day and night, worshiping God with fasting and prayer.  She came along just as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph, and she began praising God. She talked about the child to everyone who had been waiting expectantly for God to rescue Jerusalem.”                                                   Luke 2:36-38  NLT

    Anna is the last of our Christmas women.  She was the only woman who didn’t carry a physical baby in her body, but there is no doubt in my mind that she carried the promise and presence of God to the people in her day.

    Anna knew what it was like to face hard times.  She was widowed at a very young age and never had any children. During Jesus’ time women who weren’t married didn’t hold much value in their society so this fact lets you in on how “unimportant” Anna could have seemed to many in her day, but Anna was a prophet.  She spent her days serving in the temple, worshipping God with fasting and prayer.  It was out of this lifestyle that she heard from God and shared His messages to His people.

    There’s so much that sticks out in my mind about Anna, but the words waiting expectantly from Anna’s life-story just jump out at me and Christmas really is a time when people are found waiting expectantly.

    WAITING EXPECTANTLY

    For centuries children on Christmas Eve have hung stockings by the fireplace and struggled to fall asleep with nervous anticipation of what Santa will bring in the morning. My kids were no different than the masses.  In order to help my kids be able to fall asleep on Christmas Eve I started a tradition where they were allowed to open one gift at bedtime.  That gift was always a pair of new pajamas and a book.  Not the most exciting gift, but it created the atmosphere I hoped for.  Brandon and Shelby would change into their PJ’s and were allowed to read their new books before lights out.  The PJ’s made for nice pictures on Christmas morning and the books helped them fall asleep.

    Waiting expectantly on Christmas Eve is pretty simple for kids since they know the next morning is Christmas day and they can see wrapped presents under the tree. The way Anna and others waited expectantly for the promise of God to be fulfilled wasn’t so easy.  Anna had been waiting for about 60 years.  She was doing all the right and good things while waiting but she had been waiting for oh so long!  She never gave up hope waiting for the promised Emmanuel, the Messiah…JESUS to come.

    Maybe you’ve been waiting a long time for your promise.  Maybe you feel like too much time has passed and you need to “move on” or “give up”.  I pray Anna’s story restores your hope and gives you faith to believe.  Know that at Christmas and always, God keeps His promises and fills you with His presence while you wait.

    Prayer

    Father…I thank You that you’re not like Santa doling out gifts I don’t need.  You make promises to me and fulfill them in Your perfect timing.  You know exactly what I need and what’s best for me.  Help me to trust You and Your timing.  May I live with a special expectancy this Christmas carrying my Promise from You and Your Presence within so I can share it with the world when my promise is ‘born’.  In Jesus Name…Amen

    ANNA CARRIED THE PROMISE AND THE PRESENCE OF GOD…I WANT TO BE LIKE HER.

    If you liked the refreshing in this #SoulH2O devotion, you love my latest Soul H2O Devotional book: 40 Thirst Quenching Devotions for Women.

    #Dare2Share
    Post in the Comment Section below and bolster the faith of someone else!

    You can often find me linking up with:
    MONDAY Monday Meditations – Laura J. Davis,
    TUESDAY Cheerleaders of Faith #RARaLinkup – Kelly Balarie,
    WEDNESDAY Coffee For Your Heart – Holley Gerth,
    THURSDAY Heart Encouragement Thursday – Crystal Storms,
    FRIDAY Dance With Jesus Linkup – Susan B. Mead, Grace and Truth Linkup – Arabah Joy, Counting My Blessings – Deb Wolf, Fresh Market Friday – Crystal Twaddell

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  • Celebrating The Women Of The Christmas Story – The Teenager

    TWA Winner Seal StickerThis post:
    Celebrating The Women Of The Christmas Story – The Teenager
    Post was Shortlisted for The 2017 Word Guild Awards in the Category of Article — Inspirational/Devotional
                                     and WON !!!!!Word Award WIN 2017 _Mary Teenager

      This post was also featured on the #GraceandTruth #Linkup by Aimee Imbeau


    See the Introduction for this series in the #SoulH2O post Celebrating the Women of The Christmas Story and the devotion on the first Christmas Woman, THE MIDDLE-AGED WOMAN – ELIZABETH discusing how she protected the promise of God.  The series is talking about how each of the #ChristmasWomen were:

    CARRIERS – OF THE PROMISE & PRESENCE OF GOD

    Read on to learn about today’s Christmas Woman…


    THE TEENAGER – MARY

    And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her..”
                                             Luke 1:38  ESV

    For most of my life I’ve had a skinny, scrawny type of frame.  My ankles and wrists are not much bigger than a small child’s, but that all changed when I was pregnant.

    This picture was taken the night I went into labour with my son Brandon.  I’m not sure if my hair or pregnancy belly is larger???  I will say there was a shadow behind me from that cheap camera I owned.

    Being truthful, I don’t think there was anything left small on me at that point.  My feet were swelled, my lips felt blown up, my face was puffy…nothing was comfortable anymore.  Sleep seemed unattainable.  Trying to find a comfortable position with a yoga ball attached to my tummy was impossible.  How I gained over 50 pounds for a baby who was just 9 pounds 9 ounces doesn’t make sense (if it weren’t for all those bacon-cheese hotdog cravings I fulfilled).

    I can attest to the fact that carrying a baby was inconvenient, uncomfortable, stretching, tiring and yet…the most wonderful time of my life!

    MARY – The Pregnant Teenager

    I imagine it was similar, but a whole lot more inconvenient for Mary. Teen pregnancies aren’t often easy.  There’s a certain stigma High School aged girls face when they announce they’re pregnant.  I doubt Mary had it in her school planner to get pregnant, especially by someone other than her fiancé.

    How do you explain it to your family and friends that ‘you’re not pregnant because you’ve done something you shouldn’t’, it was because you allowed the God who created the universe to use your womb?

    Nothing about Mary’s pregnancy was convenient, comfortable or easy; yet this teenager accepted God’s plan for her life with the words,

    “I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”

    No, but God don’t you know how hard that is…don’t you know what that will cost me…don’t you know what people will say…don’t you know what Joseph will say…he may leave???

    Mary The TeenagerMary was carrying the promise and the very presence of God – Emmanuel, God with us inside her womb and it cost her. 

    Carrying the promise and presence of God isn’t convenient, easy or comfortable, but it will be the most incredible adventure of your life; if you yield to God’s will, done God’s way.

    It’s impossible to carry a baby without getting stretch marks but oh, it’s so worth the scars.  Be like Mary; willing to be inconvenienced so you can carry within your heart the promise and the presence of God, so that through you the world will see Emmanuel, God is with us!

    [tweetthis]MARY CARRIED THE PROMISE AND THE PRESENCE OF GOD…I WANT TO DO THE SAME. #ChristmasWomen[/tweetthis]

    Prayer

    Father…I’m overwhelmed at the thought that YOU want ME to carry Your promises and Your presence to the world.  I don’t feel worthy and I’m afraid of the cost.  I’m sorry for trying to take the easy-way-out. I open my heart and my life to You.  I’m willing like Mary to carry Your promises and Your presence, so the world may know YOU, no matter the cost.  In Jesus Name…Amen

    [tweetthis]I’m willing to be inconvenienced to carry the promise and the presence of God to this world! [/tweetthis]

    If you liked the refreshing in this #SoulH2O devotion, you love my latest Soul H2O Devotional book: 40 Thirst Quenching Devotions for Women.


    You can find the full story of Mary’s involvement in Jesus’ birth Within these portions of scripture:

    Luke 1:26-38               An Angel Meets Mary, Jesus Birth Foretold
    Luke 1:39-56               Mary Visits Elizabeth
    Matthew 1:18-25         Angel visits Joseph
    Matthew 1:27              Emmanuel:  God With Us  (Prophesied in Isaiah 7:14)
    Luke 2:2-6                   Mary gives birth to JESUS:  The Promise & Presence of God

    #Dare2Share
    Post in the Comment Section below and bolster the faith of someone else!

    GET READY FOR NEXT WEEK’S #SoulH2O Devotion in the Series THE SENIOR CITIZEN

    You can find me linking up with:  
    Monday Meditations, Cheerleaders of Faith #RARaLinkup, Coffee For Your Heart, Heart Encouragement Thursday, Dance With Jesus Linkup, Grace and Truth Linkup, Counting My Blessings, Fresh Market Friday

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  • Looking For The Wrong Messiah

    “For a child is born to us, a son is given to us…And he will be called…
    Prince of Peace
    …His government and its peace will never end.”
                                                  Isaiah 9:6-7 NLT

    Years ago I heard Joyce Meyers tell about a time she went shopping and had trouble finding her car. After wandering the parking lot a kind gentleman asked if he could help her. They walked and walked the parking lot. When exasperated, she remembered that she driven their other car to the mall! Now that’s looking for the wrong thing!

    Countless Israelites recognized Jesus as the Prince of Peace when he came as that “child born to us”, but sadly too many were blind to the truth that Jesus was their promised redeemer because they were looking for the wrong messiah. Many Jewish people are still looking for a military and political leader1, but I believe the messiah was prophesied as one who would come to bring peace in a different way than they are hoping for. Like the Israelites, we often look for Christ’s “government” and “peace” to change our circumstances, but He wants to change our hearts. We want God to deal with the sin in our world, but He wants to deal with the sin in our lives. The redemption God cares about happens within our hearts. The peace He desires to bring will come as a result of our restored relationship with the Father through all Christ accomplished on the cross.

    We can sit and judge Israeli people as looking for the wrong messiah, but could we be doing the same thing? Do we ever spend all our prayer time asking God to change our circumstances? This Christmas let Jesus be the Prince of Peace over your heart through relationship with Him and it will affect how you view your circumstances.

    Prayer

    Father…I pray that you would help me to see the truth of who You are and why You sent Your Son. I’m overwhelmed to think that the God of the Universe desires to be in relationship with me. Jesus, I thank You for coming as a child to be MY Prince of Peace! In Jesus Name…Amen 

    1 Judaism 101 website. https://www.jewfaq.org/mashiach.htm


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  • How Will This Be?

    “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?
                                              Luke 1:34 NIV

    How will this be? is a question I’ve asked God many times. Maybe you have too? Often when God lets us in on His plans for our lives they just don’t make sense. The facts don’t add up to produce the promise. If anything, the evidence would confirm the promise couldn’t possibly happen.

    Like Mary, we think we can help God see how His plan doesn’t make sense. After we ask How will this be? , we too explain how we’re not educated enough, tall enough, small enough…we don’t have the money, the time or the skills…we’re from the wrong town, family or nationality…we’re too broken, old or young. Mary’s situation was not unlike ours. Sure the details are different, but the question is the same and the promise becoming a reality improbable…barring a major miracle!

    Christmas is a time for miracles! Knowing a baby was born from a virgin should give us hope that the issues blocking our promise being fulfilled aren’t too great. In the words of Elizabeth to Mary, “nothing is impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37)

    Prayer

    Father…help me to believe in miracles this Christmas. My situation may look bleak, but your promises are true. I choose to put my faith in your plans and not look at my circumstances. May I have faith like Mary and Elizabeth to believe for the unbelievable and see it come to pass! In Jesus Name…Amen  

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