Give yourself for Christmas

The scripture for today, December 24 (12/24), is Luke 12:24 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0000-BK 1-StarSong-Cover-new-Medium“Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn, yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!”

In many nations right now, things are financially strained. Luxuries? No. To be able to live until tomorrow? Yes.

Which is more valuable? To impress men or impress God? A life dedicated to things impresses men. A life dedicated to doing good things impresses God.

I know of a group of believers in Jesus recently in an African country who had to flee soldiers who were after Christians. They had to run immediately upon sight of the soldiers. No time to pack anything. Just run.  Escape. Run. Escape. 

To get to true safety, they had to walk a hundred miles. What did they eat?  Grass. Leaves from bushes. Tree roots. But they made it. They made it to safety and the loving, protective arms of other Christians.

Today, instead of a luxury, can you send that money to people in parts of the world who are struggling to stay alive? Struggling to stay safe because they are Christians?

Consider the ravens.


PS ~ Those of you with children, and you cannot get them much for Christmas: Write IOU’s to them and put each one in a box. Wrap each with typing paper if you don’t have Christmas paper. And with a red or green crayon, draw a ribbon on top. What’s on the IOU’s? “One hour of coloring with you.” “One hour of playing ball with you.” “Three hours of hiking with you.” “Two hours of baking cookies with you.” Give yourself for Christmas!

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You lean my head on your shoulder

Pearls Cover-Palms-300dpi-MediumNo matter what corner of the world I occupy, you are there.  Though clouds encompass my corner, you look through them and whisk away the shadows.  Though mountains rumble in my corner, you whisper, “Peace!  Be still!” and they obey. Though I am sinking in watery mire in my corner, you reach down and pull me out, wash me, and make my soul as white as snow. I can never escape you, nor do I wish to. You are my God and love me fiercely.

Sometimes, Lord, I face something I cannot face. I feel bewildered and weak. I feel broken. Paralyzed. It is then that you come to my rescue while I rest.  You take care of the problem in your own way. Sometimes I have fears that haunt me and I cannot get rid of them. I dread falling asleep at night because those fears fallow me even there. It is then that you come to me and protect me under your wings. Sometimes I am just so tired, I can hardly move. It is then that you sit beside me, lean my head on your shoulder, and wipe away my listless tears. You are my Friend, my Helper, my Father.

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But when, Lord?

The scripture for today, November 29 (11/29), is Matthew 11:29f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

Applied Christianity“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Ah, Lord Jesus. I am so weary worn.  It seems everything that could ever go wrong in my life is happening right now. Just when I think I have one problem at least partly under control, another raises its ugly head. Or should I say Satan raises his ugly head?  Satan, why are you doing this to me? It is you who is causing all the diseases and problems at work, and the car wreck and progressive blindness.  Was it you who set me up in that posh job which you knew was never popular in the company and would only cause me grief? Was this new house I bought with my pay raise worth it after all?

I am so tired. Help me, God.  I don’t know which way is up anymore. God?  I’m calling for you. God? Don’t you even care?

“Let’s trade, my child. I’ll take your burdens, and you take mine.”

But, Lord, I do not understand. What could your burdens possibly be? You’re all comfortable in heaven.

“My child, my burden is to reach out to everyone and tell them how much I love them. My burden is to take their burdens on my shoulders. You can do it too. You can write encouraging messages to my children every day. You can open up the newspaper and pray for everyone in it by name. You can call someone who is depressed like you and sing them a sweet song.”

But when, Lord? When would I find time?

“Use your brooding time, your crying time, your anger time. Let loose of them so I can brood, cry, and be angry for you. Remember, it’s a trade.”

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Until you give me laughter and peace again

0-Joseph-Cover-Kindle-MediumLord, I am like the sheep that walk around afraid to drink from troubled waters, so you lead me to where the waters are calm and peaceful. When I cannot see you, I am afraid to follow a stranger, so you keep me confined so I am safe until your return. Though I walk around with no concern for possible dangers, you are right there with me to make sure I do not fall into that danger. Sometimes I become restless and fearful if I sense a storm is coming close. Then, Lord, I hear your heart singing to my heart, it calms me, and I lie down and rest in you.

The sun is shining, the frost is heavy, it is very cold out there, but I am inside warm, snuggled up, thinking, meditating and watching for the birds to discover the corn I put out for them. Ah, my Lord, I am tired these days and a little depressed. But I thank you for these times when I stop everything, back off, and contemplate. I know it is often at such times that we take a good look at ourselves selves, try to see ourselves as others do, and make changes for the better. So, I thank you for this little bit of unhappy time when I can learn better who I am and how to be more and more like you. And then, may I wait patiently until once again you give me laughter and peace again.

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Changeable, Enchanting and Delightful

0-Cover-MediumMy Lord, you think of everything ~ four seasons and different climates for a serendipity off change. Trees without their leaves show me their shear strength ~ tall and bold, standing strong after storms, holding snow on their shoulders, even when it turns to ice.  Reaching toward a gray sky from a stark earth, undaunted, sometimes for centuries. The trees I see out my window were seen by people before the invention of automobiles and airplanes and pre-prepared food and washing machines.  Standing sentry. Standing strong with a heart to live yet longer. Lord, you are that way and more. Even when you seem stark to some people, you are strong and have a heart to live forever. I praise you for all you are.

It is mid-November. We had a big rain yesterday, and suddenly there are no leaves on the trees. Before the rain they had leaves. So now they are going to sleep as the trees rest a while. I thank you for periods of rest. And for color indoors from paint and dye and the food harvested last month. And the warmth of the indoors to keep me until summer blossoms returns. How interesting and exciting you made our enchanting, delightful, changeable world. Thank you.

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