Today was the morning to open presents at our house. Branson and I popped straight out of bed, eager to fix pancakes, hot chocolate, and open presents. As we waited on Dad and sis to wake up, Branson couldn’t resist going to his stack of presents, shaking, feeling, even smelling what was inside. He knew one package was legos just from how it sounded, and the others he took guesses at, only to get a smile and shrug from me.
While I waited, I did a morning quiet time, and the verse of the day was Isaiah7:14: “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” In this instance, the prophets and all of the Jewish world were waiting to open their present. They were watching for that long awaited gift from God, The Savior of the world.
As I watch the kids open presents this morning, I hope to remember the true gift that we opened when we invited Jesus into our hearts. When that box gets torn open, out comes grace, peace, patience, forgiveness, hope, love, kindness, goodness, and an eternal promise. If you haven’t opened that present of salvation yet, I pray that you, like Branson this morning, would sense an eagerness in your heart, not to open physical gifts, but to unwrap a spiritual blessing that will change your life forever.
Go to Jesus like Branson did with his packages this morning…..feel him out, study him, ponder what’s inside, and then open up the greatest gift anyone could ever give; eternal hope and salvation.
Merry Christmas to you and yours.
As Christmas approaches, you have to sense the anticipation that the wise men felt as they anxiously awaited the birth of the new King. With The 30 Day Gift, we have waited, and waited, and waited for the first shipment of journals; and after over two years of work, they finally arrived! There were so many boxes, we were thankful to have these two strong cowboys offer to pick them up and unload them! I have boxes of books covering the walls in my house, but it is the happiest I have ever been about such clutter! I want to thank everyone for your love, encouragement, support, and mostly, your prayers that have gone into this project. I looked at all the boxes and realized that when every journal in my living room is completed, it will be about 150,000 prayers going up on behalf of others! I wait, just like the wise men did, in eager anticipation to see God's plan unfold before my very eyes.
Sam and I took the kids to see the movie The Star, which was a wonderful movie. There is nothing that touches my heart more than my kids getting to hear the true message of Christmas. However, it wasn’t just the kids who received a message… I definitely did too! At one point in the movie, Mary and Joseph are traveling to Bethlehem for the census, and on the trip, they have a broken wheel on their cart. Out of frustration, Joseph cries out, and asks God, "Why?". Why all these problems if I’m on a journey for you? Why roadblocks, speedbumps, and busted wheels?
You know, we’ve experienced the same things with this project. While we know this is the journey God put before us, it has not come without detours. When the road gets windy, or I have a broken wheel kind of day, I have to check my focus. Is it on the problem, or is it on Jesus. When I see Jesus before the problem, I find peace, optimism, and hope. When I see the problem before Jesus, I feel defeated and discouraged. The same is true for all of us. It’s easy to focus our attention in Josephs case, off the star, and on the broken wheel; off of Christ, and on broken relationships, hurt feelings, financial woes, busy schedules, and so much more. It’s this time of year we need to adjust our view finders, and put that Christmas star back in our direct line of sight.
Psalms 112:7 “They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the LORD to care for them”.