If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts... Hebrews 3:15
My mom was a wonderful cook and she insisted that I learn to cook when I was young. She would say, “Supper doesn’t just appear, somebody needs to do the work and if you’re old enough to reach the top of the counter you’re old enough to do the work!” Now before I tell this little story, I have to point out that I could only reach the top of the counter because I was standing on a chair! I was in the first grade and she thought she’d start me out with something simple…biscuits. Let me also point out that Bisquick was NOT involved in this lesson! I’m still not sure what happened (probably because I was 6) but the biscuits I made were probably even too hard to be used for a puck in a professional hockey game! I’m not sure there has ever been a harder biscuit made!
I was in church last Friday and the kids began to sing. A few words of the song hit my heart like a truck and barreled through my ears like a freight train. The words that got me said, Lord take the hardness from my heart, roll away the stony part, heal me with a love that’s true… I’ve sung that
song dozens of times and it never got me like that… God was tapping me on the shoulder. I thought about it all day and still not being clear about things I decided to stop in church after school and just sit in the silence and see if He could help me figure it out. I closed my eyes and immediately saw a bright, colorful, vivid picture of…get this…the stone rolled away from the tomb of Jesus. I just love it when God whaps me upside the head like that. I think His message was, “Sheri, I can’t show myself to you with that big ‘ole rock covering your heart! I want your WHOLE heart so ask me to roll it away!” I realized that my “stony part” was keeping me from trusting Him completely…it’s the thing that stands in the way…the thing that I think I can carry all by myself leaving His schedule clear to work on things like curing cancer or restoring world peace. Not true! I can’t move it alone! Neither could the women at the tomb on Easter morning, moving that stone away took the power of the Risen Christ. The good news is He’s here to roll back the stones covering our hard hearts so He can reveal His glory to and through us.
Well, I’m here to tell you that my stony part is as hard and useless as those biscuits I made when I was 6! This scripture passage says clearly, if today you hear his voice…well I heard it loud and clear! He pointed out my hardness five times in the month of January in very profound ways and I tried to ignore Him. Then dog gone it, 230 kids started singing that song last Friday with their beautiful, pure, innocent voices and I realized after my Friday afternoon chat in church that I couldn’t leave that stone there any longer and I certainly couldn't move it on my own. It’s taken me almost a week to write this post because I wasn’t sure I had the guts to put this in print, which is really kind of silly because my “stony part” is right there for everyone to see…it’s all my pudgy ,squishy little rolls and dimples. I can trust and follow God to do all kinds of things like speak, teach and write but I don’t seem to have enough faith to know He’ll help me tackle this out of balance relationship I have with food. I keep tryin to roll that stone away all by myself but one quick glance can tell ya how that’s workin for me!
When I wrote my New Year’s post I set out to change my lifestyle and take hold of my health in the year leading up to my 50th birthday. Well, I promptly gained five more pounds and in total exasperation scribbled in my prayer journal…God, make this your problem not just mine…show me how to honor this body you created so I can do the work you have for me in this life. Since that day, I have had 5 links to stories written by authors and women I respect all pertaining to exactly that request. Each time I read one, I was mildly motivated but still that hard heart said things like “it’s too hard” or “God loves me just the way I am…I am wonderfully made”. That statement is true but I was completely using it as an excuse not to fix the problem. The last two articles were the ones that tied it all together and made the bells and whistles go off last Friday when the kids sang. One was a column that bluntly pointed out the cold hard fact that no matter what you’re trying to accomplish you simply have to “do the work!” and the other was about getting nothing if you do nothing. During the month of January I have been praying for and following the adventures of the very wonderful Lisa Hendey, founder of Catholic Mom.com as she embarked on the Whole30 challenge. (Whole30 challenge, whole9life.com) I remember thinking…NO WAY could I do that. But every time I turned around I would see or hear something more about it. I have also read, seen or heard several times this month, if you’re doing something new, different or substantially challenging in your life, tell everyone so they can pray for you, support you and hold you accountable.
I’ve been tryin to roll away this stone for a couple decades and now I realize it’s the thing that’s standing between God’s will for my life and my stubborn, selfish nature. I have no choice but to do the work so He can take away the stony part and heal me with His true love. I’m tellin ya though…this is going to be a battle extraordinaire! It involves bad habits, attitude, stubbornness, a wee bit of self-pity and a chubby woman who LOVES potato chips and chocolate. This Whole30 challenge is a doozey but I believe I’ve been led to this spot at this time for a reason. I’d appreciate your prayers…I’m sure there will be times during the next 30 days when I think even those biscuits I made when I was 6 would taste good. So beginning February 1st…let the stone rolling commence!
A Seed To Plant: Take time this week to sit in the silence and ask God to show you the stony parts that need to be rolled away in your life.
Blessings on your day!
A new commandment I give to you: love one another as I have loved you." John 13:34
When I was a third grader, Mrs. Depperschmidt was my teacher. I have more memories of that school year than any other elementary year. I learned a lot that year; academic stuff as well as important life lessons. Mrs. Depperschmidt taught us how to spell her last name (no kidding, it was a spelling word) she taught us how to multiply, how to write proper sentences and how to say ‘sit down and be quiet’, in Spanish. She taught me how to be kind and concerned without being a ‘mother hen’ and she made me feel like a brilliant reader even thought I was nowhere as good a reader as my friend Penny. I remember wanting to be more like both of them. Mrs. Depperschmidt often shared stories of her experience as a 4-H exchange student in South America. I thought that made her the bravest woman I knew; she even had 4-H business cards with her picture on them. That made her famous. I wanted to be just like her when I grew up. I’m blessed for more reasons than I can count and having a long list of wonderful people like Mrs. Depperschmidt influence my life is the reason.
It seems everywhere I turn lately I am bombarded with gun control and other similar political arguments. I have to admit that I am not a politically minded person so it makes me pretty nuts. I should also add that I’m the woman who would walk a mile around a situation to avoid a conflict or argument…it’s just how I’m wired I guess. Several days ago I was feeling a little flustered about the whole situation and I saw a quote that said, ‘the solution to the problem is not gun control, the solution is teaching and DEMONSTRATING the value of human life.’ Sometimes we can’t see the forest for the trees! Is it an oversimplification; maybe for some. Is it simple Christian logic; you bet your boots it is!! In about 20 words we find our mission…the Gospel mission…Jesus’ mission. It’s the Great Commandment in different words. If we don’t pay attention we’re going to get ourselves in a really big pickle!
One of the biggest reasons Mrs. Depperschmidt had such an impact on my life, and probably the life of all of her students, is that she valued us. She respected the way each of us was creatively made by God. If we were
to make a list of all the people who had a positive impact on us, most of the
names on that list would be there because of the way we were treated by that person. We each have the capacity and the responsibility to teach and demonstrate the value of human life. It happens one soul at a time…one kind action; one generous deed; one unselfish gesture…that’s how it starts. Twelve simple men without specialized backgrounds, training or credentials set out to spread the Word and Promise of their good friend Jesus…and those twelve simple, virtually unqualified men absolutely changed the world. We are called to follow in their footsteps. We, in many ways are just like them; faithful, humble, unqualified friends of Jesus who simply HAVE TO set out on a mission to spread the message and change the world. The peace and love of the Father are the qualifications we need. Luckily, we have all been equipped with both…now let’s get to the business of sharing them…it’s impossible to be disrespectful of life if love, peace and respect are the pillars of all we do and say. When you get up out of your chair and start you mission, don’t forget to look back and thank some of those people in your life who valued, respected, influenced and inspired you, then go return the favor by doing what they did!
A Seed to Plant: Be diligent about the way you value and respect others through your words and actions. Remember especially to value and respect those folks in your path who are difficult to get along with!
Blessings on your day!
I have called you by your name and you are mine. Isaiah 43:1
There was a little first grade boy who decided one day that he no longer liked the name his parents gave him, so he picked a new name. It began the day he started writing his name on all his papers with the capital letters ‘ZB’. As his teacher sat down that afternoon to correct the day’s work, she was a bit puzzled but it didn’t take long to figure out who the mystery student
was. First thing the next morning she called ‘ZB’ up to her desk and asked if he might be willing to explain. He very politely told her that his parents had made a mistake and given him the wrong name so he decided to fix it himself and just start writing the name he had chosen. She said sweetly to this completely serious little guy, “Sweetheart, you can’t just change your name. That has to be done by an official person.” He shook his head and said, “Oh, I get it. So, can I go talk to the principal right now to change my name or should I wait till recess?” Holding back her laughter, she sent him down to visit the principal right away. The principal welcomed the visit and began by asking the little guy, “So, how did you come up with this new name?” The little boy said, “Well that’s easy! I just picked a cool name that would tell everybody what I’m good at.” The principal looked at the letters
‘ZB’ and said, “I’m not sure I understand.” With all the pride one smile could
hold, the little boy stood up and said, “I’m a fast runner so my new name is
Zooming Bullet! I just write ‘ZB’ because all those other letters take too long to write and I like to be fast.” The principal sent him on his way promising to make a phone call to his mother to discuss it. ‘ ZB’ raced back to class very content and the principal just sat at his desk and laughed harder than he had in weeks as he pondered what he might call himself if he could choose a new name.
From the moment we are knit in our mother’s womb, we are named by the God who created us. I am a firm believer that there is divine influence as
Christian parents name their children. There is usually a strong story to our names whether we are knowingly named after a Saint or given a treasured family name, there is usually a reason. Do you know who you are named after and why? When Dave and I were picking names for our children we picked the middle names first. Each of them bears the name of a powerful Saint and a family member who we hoped would provide a strong example
of faithfulness and goodness and in all three cases were heavenly saints themselves. Kevin, our oldest has the middle name James. James is the name of my father’s cousin who was killed in WWII. I shiver every time I read the telegram from the US Navy informing the family of the bomb attack on his ship. James is also the name of my mother’s brother who died of Leukemia at the age of 16 and finally, it was the name given to my older brother who has attributes too many to type! His name has a history of strong, brave, faith-filled men. Jason, our second son has the middle name Richard. Richard was the name of Dave’s brother who left this earth far too early but who lived each day with a huge spirit! Shannon, our daughter is named after my mother, Barbara. Her legacy could take up a whole blog itself!
I truly believe God knew them by name before they were born! It is absolutely amazing how our children resemble the characteristics of the people they were named after. Kevin looks like and shares so many of the same interests and mannerisms of my older brother sometimes it gives me the chills. When Jason was little he was the proud owner of a huge stubborn temper…the same temper and stubborn streak that used to cause his Uncle Richard to hold his breath and pass out. In both cases that temper mellowed into a strong confidence. As for Miss Shannon I have begun to discover that she is all of her grandmother’s greatest attributes bundled into one lovely person! Is it a coincidence, I don’t think so! If God loved us enough to create us so wonderfully and perfectly he wouldn’t leave our name to chance…He had a hand in that too.
We are His and He knows our name! He knows who we are and we will never be lost! I often wonder what my name says about me and I wonder what God thinks about the life I’m living under the name He gave me
A Seed to Plant: Find out the story of your name if you don’t know it. Take some time to think about your name and the memories and impressions you and your name will leave with others when you are absent.
Blessings on your day!
But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. Psalm 13:5
I had a dream the other night that involved coming face to face with Jesus. It probably stemmed from something I heard on the radio earlier in the day about meeting Jesus and thinking about what you would say to Him. So there I was in my cozy bed and the sweet image of me walking toward Jesus filled my dreamy mind. Here’s where the dream takes a big twist…instead of speaking to Him the well-crafted words I had practiced in my mind, Jesus looked at me, raised an eyebrow and spoke first. He simply looked into my eyes and said, “Sheri, just shut up and trust me!” I have to tell you it left me more than a little bit rattled. I had this whole tender, powerful, loving scene cooked up in my head and what I got was a straight, blunt, bottom line directive delivered with the tact of an older brother instead of a loving Father. The whole scene stuck with me like a license plate for several days and then it all began to make sense.
A couple of years ago I heard a great speaker say that upon waking each morning; before the feet even hit the floor, that you should pray sincerely the following words, “Lord, I give you this day, come into my heart and change me drawing me closer to You.” Great advice and I do as he suggested daily, but I’m not sure how sincere or expectant I am about it. I offer those words and then think about the ways I want Him to change me and draw me near. I often try to make things easy for God and do His work for Him. I have a picture in my head of how my life should look and how I will serve and what my blessings will be. I have it all boxed, wrapped and packaged neatly for God and going through the motions of that prayer each morning sometimes feels more like a confirmation than an invitation. No wonder Jesus put things in such plain English for me!
That silly dream has caused me to reflect quite a bit! The hardest part of truly trusting the work of the Lord in my life is accepting His plan even if it is hugely different than mine. You think by now I’d realize He does much better work than I could ever imagine doing myself! My mind has been flooded the past several days with examples of how He took over and did really cool stuff when I did as Jesus suggested in my dream…just shut up and trust! I think one of the biggest surprises has been this blog. Today’s post marks the 7th month of Joyful Words. Prior to June 15th, the only thing I was writing was my grocery list! Who knew…uh…God did! There have been so many Sunday and Wednesday nights I’ve stared down at this laptop and thought…hum…I got nothin! Each time that happens, I surrender, ask the Holy Spirit to send me something folks need to hear and poof…there is a post! This blog has been a huge blessing to me and I thank all you who read it and offer your encouragement. Believe me when I say your comments and feedback are a blessing and they keep me writing. This is completely the work of trusting a loving God because I have no training or
background as a writer. On all my “bucket” lists NEVER did “become a writer” appear! It kinda makes me giggle because I think if He can do THIS with ME what else could He do if we just trusted Him????
Trusting in the will of the Father is an amazing thing. I keep thinking about that dream and wondering how many other areas of my life I need to “shut up and trust” Him with. Perhaps I need to get out my prayer journal and do my own homework assignment today.I hope you will too!
A Seed to Plant: Make a list of those things in your life that you need to surrender COMPLETELY to God, trusting faithfully in His will.
Blessings on your day!
Your light must shine before others that they may see the good
that you do and give glory to God. Matthew 5:16
Have you ever been in the dark…I mean REALLY dark…the kind of
dark where you can’t even see the hand in front of your face? That’s certainly not a place I like to be! My older brother used to think it was hilarious to walk by my room and flip off the lights leaving me in the dark. I always hated that, which is probably why he did it so often! That darkness always caught me by surprise and the instant absence of light made me feel a second of panic.
We were all created in the Image and Likeness of God, which means His light, is a part of each of us. It was a gift given free of charge just for being created by a loving Father. Our end of the deal is to share that light with others. This crazy world we live in has no shortage of dark places, people and situations. I don’t’ think we can wish them or even pray them all away but we sure can let our light shine on them.
What does your light look like? Maybe you’ve never really even given it
much thought. Well, there’s no time like the present to tumble that thought
around in your head for a while. Maybe your light is the gift of patience, understanding or compassion. Maybe you’re that person who can offer wise counsel, prayer or laughter. You might even be that person who can fix something, cook something or help arrange and organize something. Sometimes our light dispels someone else’s darkness and we don’t even realize it. If you aren’t sure what your gifts are, ask those close to you. God makes no mistakes when He arranges our days and the people that cross our path. We have dozens of chances to share our light every day. It could be through a polite gesture like holding open a door or by listening intently as people speak to us. Even something as simple as a warm smile can shine light into someone’s dark day.
God made each of us to be something wonderful. We are the ones who settle for mediocrity and keep our light hidden from those who might need it. We get one pass through this earthly life and it should be our mission to leave a bright mark! Today hundreds of people from this community will gather to celebrate the life of a 14 year old boy who left an incredible mark on this world and who let his light shine so bright we all felt its warmth. People like Trent really live this verse from St. Matthew. Everyone reading this blog today can probably think of a few people they know who live or lived their life in a shining, beautiful, inspiring way. The best way to respect and honor these great folks is to imitate them; to let Christ's light shine through us like they did.
Some days I feel like my older brother turned off the lights and I’d like to scream…”Hey, we need a little more light please!” If we all tried harder to live like Trent and brave, faithful people like him, imagine how much better this world would be. Perhaps, if enough of us woke up every day with a desire to live these words from St. Matthew, it might get so bright everyone could see their way to Christ.
A seed to plant: Make a list of your gifts…ask for help if you need to.
Pick one or two things from your list and decide to use that gift to shine your light into someone else’s darkness
Blessings on your day!
…and a little child will lead them. Isaiah 11:6
I tried to put together some joyful, light-hearted words for today’s post but quite honestly it was just too hard. Light and lifting words didn’t come like they usually do because like everyone else in this town and the terrific little towns around us; my heart is just too heavy today. For those readers from far away, you’ll need to know that Saturday a young Saint named Trent started his journey to heaven. He’s on his way home, but the rest of us are feeling the hole left by one of the most courageous, contagiously happy, faith-filled 14 year olds you could ever have the great blessing to meet. It’s easy to sink to the depths of our heavy hearts and wonder where God is in all this! It’s easy to feel cheated and angry. None of us want to explain to our children why a small community should have to bury not one but two teenagers in a 14 month time span. It’s just all so very hard but yet as Christians, we know darn good and well that this is when God does His best work. We know as Christians that when our journey on this earth ends, a life that is absolutely glorious, peaceful, beautiful and amazing begins. It is so magnificent we as humans can hardly even imagine it. We believe that and we take comfort in that...especially this week.
I heard a person say yesterday, “Why a child?” It immediately made me think of this verse from Isaiah. When Trent first began his battle 3 years ago, there was a benefit breakfast for him and the number of people who came formed a line for hours that went out the door, through the parking lot and far down the sidewalk. At many different stages in his battle, Trent or one of his parents would call the school and ask for prayers on the day of a test or treatment and 200 kids would stop whatever they were doing to pray. One night last summer hundreds of people parked in a hayfield and gathered in Trent’s back yard to pray a Rosary with him and his family. He was so very young but yet captivated and gathered a spirit of prayer and faithful hope that was larger than life. One little boy united and strengthened hundreds with his faith and his courage.
Trent’s life forever changed so many. His enthusiasm and his strength and his constant request for prayers strengthened the faith of us all! The days ahead will be difficult indeed, but like Trent, our hope is in Christ. Our strength is in God’s love and in our compassionate, loving support of each other. The greatest tribute we can make to Trent and his family is to truly be led by this Child of God; led to a life lived with greater faith and hope in God; led to a life steeped in prayer and led to a life humbly trusting in the God who made us.
A seed to plant: Hold the ones you love a little tighter today, say a prayer for all parents who have lost a child and ask God to show you where a child might lead you.
Blessings on your day!
“Cleanliness is not next to godliness. It isn't even in the same neighborhood. No one has ever gotten a religious experience out of removing burned-on cheese from the grill of the toaster oven.”
When Erma Bombeck died, a good friend of mine mailed me an article about her life and scrawled across the article in marker were written
the words, the job is open! I loved her work, I loved her faith but mostly I love the way she could make us laugh about the ordinary “stuff” in life. She
was all about helping her readers see the value in the most powerful antidote to the woes of the world…laughter.
As 2013 began it was time for a new prayer journal. I don’t think my daughter knew that but I got a birthday gift that was absolutely perfect. Shannon took a composition book, covered it with fabric and added beautiful drawings to the cover and wrote a scripture verse, quote or thought at the top of each and every page. It was a fabulous gift! I thumbed through the pages to see her writing but I vowed I would not peek and read ahead…I’d enjoy the words she picked one day at a time. On the first page, she wrote my favorite scripture verse from Psalm 46…Be still and know that I am God. The next few pages were equally as great but the one from yesterday made me laugh out loud! It said…I love you with my whole butt! I would say I love you with my whole heart but my butt is bigger.
We can get so busy and so worried and so involved in life that we can lose our balance. I am a firm believer that the greatest antidote to life stress is a good hearty giggle! I have a mug at school that holds my pencils and pens and the saying on it reads…if you’re too busy to laugh,you’re just too busy. Easier said than done I know but the giggle in my prayer journal was a vivid reminder that we need to laugh!
When was the last time you laughed? The world is full of stuff that isn’t funny but we still have to find ways to giggle every now and again. I’m going to encourage us all to laugh a little more in 2013. You know what’s even better than a good laugh… sharing a good laugh with someone. I’d like you to add something to you New Year’s “to do” list…find a way to laugh and share a giggle with someone God puts in your path. There is such a lift to the spirit that comes after a great laugh. Life can get complicated. My head swims as I try to figure out the politics and “Christ absent” decisions that seem to pepper the newscasts and headlines. I’m just one simple minded, faith filled woman from a small town so what can I possibly do that makes a difference? Actually I can do two things and each will have an impact. First, I can pray and second, I can laugh. Each of those things reminds me of God’s presence.
We were made to adore God, simple as that. It’s awfully hard to adore anything when we’re knee deep in despair. God is a loving God and He wants to hear the sound of our laughter. So, lift up those worries and trade them in for a good giggle.
A seed to plant: Find a book, a website or a resource of some kind that
can bring a giggle to you each day. If you come across a really funny one, be sure to share it with others. Pick anything written by Erma if you don't know where to begin.
Blessings on your day!
Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26
I won’t pretend to understand the fiscal cliff or all the elements of the president’s health care system nor will I even attempt to unravel the mystery of our national economy. It’s easy to see how folks can get discouraged and suffer from a heavy heart. I realize without a doubt that I am not a wise or powerful woman who can change any of it. But I can, and will, pray about it and do my best to share God’s hope and love and joy in an attempt to keep those in my corner of the world grounded in the one true fact…with God all things are possible. Perhaps that’s exactly what God is calling each of us to remember during these crazy times. And if we look carefully, He gives us signs of His love and encouragement every day.
From where I sat at Mass this morning, I was able to fill my eyes and my heart with so much “good stuff” that I left St. Mary’s Church with a giant smile and a heart that was filled with relief that came from God’s signals, ones that assured me that it’s all gonna be ok! From where I sat this morning, I saw all the things that were “right” in this world, I left feeling very blessed.
From where I sat this morning, I saw the adorable chubby cheeks of a little doll who found her voice. With each happy squeal I was reminded that babies are a signal that God thinks the world should go on. I had a clear view of three other little ones who peeped and squeaked and giggled and wiggled and I smiled because their parents choose life. I saw a sleepy, somber ten-month old light up like the Christmas trees on the altar when she recognized and waved at her grinning Grandma three pews behind her. I watched with a smile as a very patient, kind hearted 3 year old fed her baby sister dry cereal one piece at a time. My heart was warmed when I saw a preschooler singing “We Three Kings” with great gusto even though the hymn book was upside down and turned to the wrong page.
I witnessed the Father’s compassion and love as three pews of family gathered to comfort each other and share the peace of their faith as they grieved and prepared to bury their husband/father/grandfather tomorrow.
Their glances and words to each other united and strengthened them in their faith and in their grief.
I watched an 11 year old boy serve as an usher and proudly walk to the front of church carrying an offertory basket just like a grown man. After Mass I overheard a little boy tell his mom he wanted to go say hello to Baby Jesus and before Mom could catch him he’d made his way to the Nativity Scene on the altar. He stopped briefly to tell the Wise Man Statue that stood eye level to him hello. As I watched him, I noticed a hand-made birthday card lying beside the manger.
Church was packed this morning and from where I sat, God was at work.
The young, the old and everyone in between came because they believe. The sights and the sounds give witness to the“good” that is in this world. The happy giggles and delightful squeals and those who gathered to pray, visit, laugh and share in each other’s lives…that’s my signal that as long as we remember the words from Matthews Gospel…we’ll be ok! We need to go forth boldly and say hello to Baby Jesus, make faces at someone’s baby, comfort others or sing with praise and gusto even if we’re on the wrong page. Those are the ways we remind others that with God, all things ARE MOST CERTAINLY POSSIBLE!
A seed to plant:
Your job this week is to watch for signals of the “good stuff” God is sending
you. They are simple and they are abundant…I dare you…see how many you can find in a day.
Blessings on your day!
…every perfect gift is from above…James 1:17
The new calendars are up, the wrapping, bows and boxes that surrounded our feet on Christmas morning are gone and many folks have breathed a deep sigh and announced that the “holiday hoopla” is over it’s time to “move forward” with our days. But before we hitch up our horses and charge forward, stop with me if you will and let’s take a look backwards at our best Christmas gift. As we celebrate the coming of the Three Kings, or Epiphany, it’s important to know that Epiphany means “to make known” or “to reveal” and the very essence of this celebrations asks us to recognize that Christ was revealed when He came to the world...to US! Whether in the stable as the Christ Child the Magi adored or as a grown man teaching on the banks of the Jordan, we are reminded to celebrate his incarnation; the gift of God to each of us, sent to earth wrapped and packaged perfectly in the flesh of a man.
I think the best gift of Christmas is GRACE. Grace is the free and undeserved gift that God gives us to respond to our vocation to become his adopted children. When we make a list of all the gifts we got for Christmas, we should consider the gift of God’s grace, through Jesus, the best one of all and what makes that gift even more amazing,is that if we thank Him for it and recognize it is free and undeserved from Him, He will multiply the gift daily, even hourly. Talk about something you can’t find at the mall or earn Kohl’s cash for! But wait it gets better…it comes with a guarantee…a lifetime guarantee...His grace won’t ever be on backorder, it will never go out of fashion, it will never wear out. In fact, the more you use it, the bigger and better it gets. The gift of His grace is always the perfect size, goes with us anywhere and is useful in all situations. Quite simply put, God’s grace came to us as a 7 pound miracle with the most humble beginning the mind can imagine but through the simplicity and humbleness of the gift, we are the benefactors of a power and a love strong enough to accomplish absolutely anything.
So what’s the catch? What’s in thefine print? What do we have to do
to cash in on this gift? Ask for it and then share it with others! That’s all there is to it! The more grace you ask for, the more He will give you and every time you share it, more is given both to you and the person you shared God’s grace with. Here’s how it works, if you pray for the grace of patience, He will give you the gift of that grace, then if you turn around and share that patience by attentively listening to someone tell their troubles instead of muttering to yourself about how you’re too busy to listen, then you will be blessed with more of God’s grace and you will have shared the patient love of Jesus with a person who may have needed that love at that very moment in ways you can never know. The gift of Grace is given not just for us to keep for ourselves, but it’s for us to share…that’s what God did with His son Jesus, He shared His son with us to show His infinite and amazing love. Grace is not just our most fabulous Christmas gift, it’s also the first and most spectacular “re-gift” known to man!
The Three Kings presented the Baby Jesus with gifts of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh and John the Baptist shared the gift of the Father’s Holy Spirit with the grown up Jesus at His baptism. Which Christmas gift of grace will you share with the people God puts in your path; will it be the grace of patience, kindness, loving words, courage or faith? If you’re not sure which gift to try out first, just ask Him, He knows and He will be happy to supply you with the gift you need most.
A seed to plant: Before the Wise Men began their journey; they knew precisely what gift they would share. As you begin your journey into a new year, take a few minutes to prayerfully and precisely plan the gifts of grace you will request and share.
Blessings on your day!
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