A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

 

A home with a little dust and a lot of laughter will win the heart of God…  every time!  – Unknown

MERRY CHRIST-MAS EVE!!!

Jesus, the Light of the World,

As we celebrate Your birth . . . . may we begin to see the world in the light of the understanding You give us.  As You chose the lowly, the outcasts, and the poor to receive the greatest news the world had ever known, so may we worship You in meekness of heart.  May we also remember our brothers and sisters less fortunate than ourselves in this season of giving.  Help us to embrace a comfort Christmas instead of a commercial Christmas.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

We’ve attended the parties and hosted a few…  we’ve designed and decorated and shopped and wrapped and worked like crazy to make memories.  So…  here we are.

Let’s say a little prayer that the Lord will bring to mind anyone we have problems with – that we will somehow be able to forgive them, or ask them to forgive us for transgressions.  Let’s focus on LOVE on this last Sunday of Advent.  There’s nothing more important to our Lord than love – for Him and for each other.

1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 
2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 
3And everyone went to their own town to register. 
4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 
5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 
6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 
7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. 
8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 
9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 
10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 
11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 
12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” 
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” 
16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 
17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 
18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 
19But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 
20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.  – Luke 2:1-20

I hope and pray you are enjoying a COZY, COMFORTABLE CHRISTMAS.  Comfort is followed by joy, remember?  Live in the moment today and let your mind wander to all the wonderful Christmases past…

Did you know that reminiscing helps you stay warm?  It gives a sensation of well-being that actually warms your heart and body.

Nostalgia can lead to the physical sensation of being snug and cozy.  – T. Wildschut, Ph.D.

I’m interested in a cozy, comfortable Christmas followed by the joy that Jesus brings.  I’d like to share with you some of my favorite Christmas photos.

New Image

 

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Christmas 1971 (2)

 

Christmas 1971 (3)

 

Christmas 1972

 

CHRISTMAS 1983

 

CHRISTMAS EVE 1982

 

CHRISTMAS EVE 1983

 

CHRISTMAS IN THE 1970'sThat last photo…  that’s the one that makes tears well up.  Look at all those Christmas cards from friends and family!  There’s just one stocking – for their one and only child – yeah, that’s me.  That is home and always will be.  Home is where we all want to be on Christmas day.  These photos are heart warming and provide great comfort to me, which is followed by coziness and the joy of the LORD.  There is just one thing that will be better yet…

https://youtu.be/fwBIUC0deLE

What a wonderful day it will be when I get to heaven and we celebrate for eternity! 

I love this beautiful poem by Lucinda Berry Hill:

Before I say good-bye, I want to share this writing from John Minton.  I hope it blesses you as it blessed me!

THE GOSPEL IN A NUTSHELL
Gospel means good news. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the good news of what Jesus did in order to save our souls from death and hell. It is a REVEALED Mystery which was kept secret since the world began. If it was revealed before it happened then Satan would have kept The Lord from being crucified. Here is some of this mystery that I see in a nut shell…Jesus came to earth in flesh and blood just like ours. Born under law. He was the public man. He represented the whole human race. God considered all of us to be in Him so that we would personally benefit from everything He did. In the beginning we were all in Adam’s loins in the form of His seed so that when Adam sinned we sinned too. We were partakers through him.
Because of the Virgin birth Jesus was holy and without sin., and without a sin nature. So because He came in our bodily likeness and in the stead of each of our individual persons, and because we were considered by God to be in Him, therefore when He flawlessly obeyed the Law, SO DID WE. We were partakers of every righteous act that He did because we were in Him. Now check this out….When Jesus sanctified Himself we were actually sanctified as a result because we were in Him and part of Him.
I, Paul, have been called and sent by Jesus, the Messiah, according to God’s plan, along with my friend Sosthenes. I send this letter to you in God’s church at Corinth, believers cleaned up by Jesus and set apart for a God-filled life. I include in my greeting all who call out to Jesus, wherever they live. He’s their Master as well as ours!  – 1 Corinthians 1:2
 Take a good look, friends, at who you were when you got called into this life. I don’t see many of “the brightest and the best” among you, not many influential, not many from high-society families. Isn’t it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, chose these “nobodies” to expose the hollow pretensions of the “somebodies”? That makes it quite clear that none of you can get by with blowing your own horn before God. Everything that we have—right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start—comes from God by way of Jesus Christ. That’s why we have the saying, “If you’re going to blow a horn, blow a trumpet for God.”  – 1 Corinthians 1:30-31
What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole.  – 1 Peter 1:3-5
Jesus said, “Marriage is a major preoccupation here, but not there. Those who are included in the resurrection of the dead will no longer be concerned with marriage nor, of course, with death. They will have better things to think about, if you can believe it. All ecstasies and intimacies then will be with God. Even Moses exclaimed about resurrection at the burning bush, saying, ‘God: God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob!’ God isn’t the God of dead men, but of the living. To him all are alive.”  – Luke 20:34-38
We are children of the resurrection (think about that).  
 Ok, now comes our ascension. We even ascended to Heaven with Him.
 It wasn’t so long ago that you were mired in that old stagnant life of sin. You let the world, which doesn’t know the first thing about living, tell you how to live. You filled your lungs with polluted unbelief, and then exhaled disobedience. We all did it, all of us doing what we felt like doing, when we felt like doing it, all of us in the same boat. It’s a wonder God didn’t lose his temper and do away with the whole lot of us. Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, he embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on his own, with no help from us! Then he picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah.  – Ephesians 2:1-6

I, Paul, am under God’s plan as an apostle, a special agent of Christ Jesus, writing to you faithful believers in Ephesus. I greet you with the grace and peace poured into our lives by God our Father and our Master, Jesus Christ.

The God of Glory

3-6 How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He’s the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.

7-10 Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we’re a free people—free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free! He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need, letting us in on the plans he took such delight in making. He set it all out before us in Christ, a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth.

11-12 It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.

13-14 It’s in Christ that you, once you heard the truth and believed it (this Message of your salvation), found yourselves home free—signed, sealed, and delivered by the Holy Spirit. This signet from God is the first installment on what’s coming, a reminder that we’ll get everything God has planned for us, a praising and glorious life.

15-19 That’s why, when I heard of the solid trust you have in the Master Jesus and your outpouring of love to all the followers of Jesus, I couldn’t stop thanking God for you—every time I prayed, I’d think of you and give thanks. But I do more than thank. I ask—ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers, oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him—endless energy, boundless strength!

20-23 All this energy issues from Christ: God raised him from death and set him on a throne in deep heaven, in charge of running the universe, everything from galaxies to governments, no name and no power exempt from his rule. And not just for the time being, but forever. He is in charge of it all, has the final word on everything. At the center of all this, Christ rules the church. The church, you see, is not peripheral to the world; the world is peripheral to the church. The church is Christ’s body, in which he speaks and acts, by which he fills everything with his presence.  – Ephesians 1

That’s where we sit right now in Christ.  God has gathered us together and hid us in His very presence like a hen gathers her chicks under her wing for protection.  This is a glimpse of the Gospel of our salvation that if a man or woman believes from the heart, will make them righteous by believing it.  We are to be unshakable in the faith.  A faith that rests in the truth of this message that was delivered to us by angels and by God Himself.  It’s a faith and belief in the truth that God has already saved us in this prescribed way. And so we just rest and forever rejoice in this wonderful free salvation that He has ushered in for us with everlasting shouts of joy. The Bible says that God has reconciled us. It says “BE YE RECONCILED TO GOD. Reconcile means to “restore friendly relations between“, so just be the friend of God that He now says that you are. That’s what it means when He says “BE YE RECONCILED” .just be the reconciled friend that He says you now are. PRAISE GOD! I’M RECONCILED!!! I’M GODS FRIEND!!! In a nutshell, in order to be saved, all we need to do is just accept God’s offer of friendship and just be friends with Him.

18-21 The Message that points to Christ on the Cross seems like sheer silliness to those hellbent on destruction, but for those on the way of salvation it makes perfect sense. This is the way God works, and most powerfully as it turns out. It’s written,

I’ll turn conventional wisdom on its head,
I’ll expose so-called experts as crackpots.

So where can you find someone truly wise, truly educated, truly intelligent in this day and age? Hasn’t God exposed it all as pretentious nonsense? Since the world in all its fancy wisdom never had a clue when it came to knowing God, God in his wisdom took delight in using what the world considered dumb—preaching, of all things!—to bring those who trust him into the way of salvation.

22-25 While Jews clamor for miraculous demonstrations and Greeks go in for philosophical wisdom, we go right on proclaiming Christ, the Crucified. Jews treat this like an anti-miracle—and Greeks pass it off as absurd. But to us who are personally called by God himself—both Jews and Greeks—Christ is God’s ultimate miracle and wisdom all wrapped up in one. Human wisdom is so tinny, so impotent, next to the seeming absurdity of God. Human strength can’t begin to compete with God’s “weakness.”  – 1 Corinthians 1:18-25

HE presents you holy – NOT YOU!

16-20 Because of this decision we don’t evaluate people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong, as you know. We certainly don’t look at him that way anymore. Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. We’re speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you.

21 How? you ask. In Christ. God put the wrong on him who never did anything wrong, so we could be put right with God.  – 2 Corinthians 5:20-21

All that’s left is for us to decide whether or not to be friends with Him.  If we do, He will send His Holy loving Spirit to live in our hearts which proves that we are His and that we are His friends.  And it will guarantee our entrance into His Heavenly Kingdom – Into the glorious celestial city…Because God has taken away everything bad that stood between us and Him, we are able to hold our heads high no matter what happens and know that all is well, for we know how dearly God loves us, and we feel this warm love everywhere within us because God has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love!
Thank you so much, brother John!  We wish you and yours a cozy, comfortable Christmas filled with warm memories and the joy of the Lord!  Let’s all have the desire to share the love of the Lord with those we meet.  ❤
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A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

We have inexpressible JOY…  you know what the world is asking right now???  They’re asking, “How???  Why???”.  Those who do not accept Christ Jesus and His precious Holy Spirit into their hearts and lives, do not understand inexpressible joy.  It’s only by accepting Christ Jesus by faith into your heart and life that you can experience a joy that can not be explained.  It’s better felt than telt…  because I can’t explain it with words.  Words are not adequate – but true faith in the Lord and Savior Christ Jesus is how we experience His amazing joy, love, grace, and mercy.  And He rewards us with these things because He longs to have a relationship with His creation.  He wants to love us and for our love and faithfulness in return.  Sometimes our faith gets tested…  major big time!

You know about the fires in California, right?  Take a look at this photograph – everything around it is in ashes, but this cross still stands!  What a wonderful reminder that no matter what is being destroyed in our lives, Christ and His cross can never be destroyed if they are in your heart and life!  When I saw this picture, my eyes filled with tears and once again I prayed for the folks there whose homes are being destroyed.  May they have the joy of the Lord along with His strength and wisdom through this situation.  I pray God will bless them with everything they need – and I pray that God will bless with some wants as well.

We don’t follow a list of rules and get zapped by lightning if we step out-of-bounds.  We are obedient to God because we love Him and are so thankful for the horrific sacrifice that Christ made for us on the cross at Calvary.  He took the sins of the world – past, present, future – on His shoulders!  We are saved from an eternity in hell.  There is a reason we should love the Lord our God with all our hearts, souls and minds.  As the years go by and we see His marvelous works in our lives, we just love and trust Him more and more!  This is how we get the inexpressible, undeniable, precious JOY of the Lord.  What does the joy of the Lord do for us?  Why do we cherish it so much?  Well, a verse comes to mind:

The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.  – Psalm 28:7

He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy.  It sounds like a GOOD thing to me – doesn’t it sound like a GOOD thing to you?  No matter what is going on in your life, the Savior of your soul can be trusted to make a way and provide answers.  The way and the answers may not be in your time, but believe me when I say, there will come a time when you look back and say, “Oh, now I understand God’s timing in that situation!”  That’s why the longer you trust God, the stronger your faith gets.  You’ve seen so many ways God has helped you in the past – so you know without a doubt that He has all the problems in the present and the ones coming in the future under control.

I’m assured that whatever comes along in my life, God and His precious Holy Spirit will pour out His love, peace and joy on me.  When we are fully trusting in the Lord, it’s not a superficial happiness that we’re given, but it’s joy that lasts in our lives regardless of the circumstances we find ourselves in.  That’s why it’s called inexpressible – and to the world, I would go further and say they think it doesn’t exist.  Ah…  but if you know the Lord, you know better!

I want to show you a photo of JOY!!!  This is Madi, and I hope her middle name is Joy, but I’m pretty sure it isn’t..  If I ever get to meet her, she will be JOY to me!  She’s such a bright, shiny star and lights up any room!

I’VE GOT THE JOY, JOY, JOY, JOY DOWN IN MY HEART! DOWN IN MY HEART TO STAY!

Have faith, children of God.  Keep praying and keep showing the world the joy that God gives you to share.  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

This ol’ world doesn’t feel peaceful right now, does it?  What is your idea of peace?  If I was to ask you what you think of when I say the word PEACE, what would you say?  Is peace the absence of conflict?  We hear so much talk about inner peace these days.  I guess the question I have about that is…  where is the source of your inner peace?  Do you gain inner peace by sitting cross-legged in the center of a tranquil atmosphere with your hands up with thumb and fingers held in a certain position, as you chant and empty your mind of everything?  Is that the way to obtain peace?  You do know that at some point, you have to stand up and get back to your real life, right?  Yeah – that’s the problem.

What if I told you that when God raised Christ from the dead, He left us a fantastic gift?  Of course, when Christ, the Son of God walked on the earth – He was there and available to the people, which was wonderful.  God is so good to us, because after He raised Christ from the dead, He left us His precious Holy Spirit!  The Holy Spirit of God is our source of peace!  He is our source of hope and joy, love and He is our conscience!  We pray to God, through Christ – for help from His sweet Holy Spirit.  Peace really IS an inside job!  That’s why Christians can say we are IN the world – but not OF the world.  Yes, we have to stand up and get back to our lives too – but we know without a doubt, our source of peace will always be with us.

On this second Sunday of Advent, may we be reminded of the peace within us – and be thankful to God for it!  God’s Holy Spirit, given to us by God Himself so we would not be left alone once Christ ascended to Heaven, will help us be more like our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  We will have the fruits of the Holy Spirit as we lean more on Him in prayer and by reading Scripture from His Holy Bible.

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.  – John 14:27

I have a question – and maybe someone reading this blog can get an answer for me.  Do you remember when Sean Hannity ended his show by saying LET NOT YOUR HEART BE TROUBLED – ???  Why did he stop doing that?  I mean, I don’t care if he quits throwing the football around – but I really was bummed when he stopped saying LET NOT YOUR HEART BE TROUBLED.  Sean, if you’re reading this (yeah, right – he reads my simple little blog.  LOL!) – we need to hear your words of comfort once again.  Please start saying that to us again.  I don’t know if it helps anyone else who watches your show – but it helps me.

Sean Hannity has a facebook page – go to it and ask him to start ending his show with those words again.  Let him know we miss hearing it.  When you enter your comment, there will be a message that says that basically the folks who “filter” through his mail will read it – so I don’t know if it will help to give him several messages – but hey – it’s better than doing nothing – at least I think so.  😉

My facebook friend, Brenda Sue Adams, took this sweet photo of her granddaughter, Aylen. Doesn’t this just say it all? Let’s all strive for PEACE ON EARTH and GOODWILL TOWARD MEN. Peace to you and yours always! ❤

Have a Merry Christmas!

LET NOT YOUR HEART BE TROUBLED.  PEACE ON EARTH, GOODWILL TO MEN.  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

I love Christmas so much, especially as a Christian!  As far as I’m concerned, Christmas lasts all month-long and rightly so since we have so much to celebrate!  We need a whole month to celebrate the reason for the season, Christ Jesus, our Lord and Savior!  God’s plan was for His Son to be born in a lowly manger, to be the path to salvation and everlasting life for every one of us.  If that isn’t the greatest HOPE of Christmas, I don’t know what is!

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.  – 1 Peter 1:3-5

There are so many situations that have happened in our world that can attempt to steal our hope.  We need to keep a firm grasp on Jesus’ hand and remember that He is the source of all the hope in our lives!  Let’s start encouraging one another with words of hope from God’s Word.  Let’s begin praying for one another, asking that God send bundles of hope into daily situations.  We don’t know what’s going on in a Christian friend’s life.  Most of us like to keep all the negative things happening in our lives to ourselves – we don’t want to be a “downer” to everyone else.  We should never assume that everything in our Christian friend’s lives is going well just because we’re not told differently.  Let’s ask God to heap blessings on one another!  The blessings from our Lord are the hope we count on every day!

I refer to Christian friends, but you know what?  I have some non-Christian friends as well – and whether they like it or not, I pray for them too!  God hears and answers our prayers.  He knows the intentions of our hearts and He knows the thoughts in our minds as we pray to Him for all people.  His desire for us is to love Him and to love each other.

 

I want to share this truth with you:  In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.  I offer these words of encouragement to you so you can find hope on this first Sunday of Advent.  Because of Christmas, there was an Easter.  Because of Easter, there is eternal HOPE – and He holds us and cherishes us so much!

Let’s celebrate hope on this first Sunday of Advent.  Ask Jesus to hold to you tightly and show you HIS HOPE!  He loves you and wants to do that for you.  ❤

 

 

THE LITTLE DRUMMER BOY

tl-12-25-the-little-drummer-boy

The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.  – Acts 17:24-25

MERRY CHRIST-MAS!!!  I know what you’re thinking…  what a strange Christmas song to talk about on Christmas Day.  Well, I haven’t gone off the deep end…  yet.  Wait, let me double-check.  Nope…  I’ve still got it together!

This is my favorite Christmas carol – and let me tell you why.

The little drummer boy is completely fictional and not biblically based, as we all know; however, that little boy represents us as Christians.  He loves the baby Jesus and wants to give his very BEST to Him.  Why?  The passage in Acts makes it perfectly clear that Jesus doesn’t NEED anything from us, but we NEED everything from Him.  Well, he wanted to give his best because he knew to Whom he played.  We give because we love.  It’s as simple as that.  He loved us first – but we give because of love.

Today I wonder if we give our very best to Him?  In our daily lives, do others see our relationship with Christ?  Do we do for others because they are God’s children and we have a desire to be representatives of Christ to them?

I pray that every day I strive to do something good for someone – EVEN if that something good is praying for a friend.

If you had been in Bethlehem, what would you do?  Would you give Him the very best you have to give?  Just something to think about today – on Jesus’ birthday.

if-i-were-thereMy will, my life, my heart.  ❤

This song reminds me that I need to give my best to Him.  Pa Rum pa pum pum…  🙂

I hope you have a very Merry Christmas!

I’m going to take a little break from writing, but I will be back for the new year, refreshed and focused.  I want to give my BEST to Him…  pa rum pa pum pum.  meerkat-459171__340

This is me when I’m taking a break from writing – except I’ll have a TV remote.

May God richly bless you in the coming year.  I believe 2017 will be the best year yet!  I’m going to rest my brain and my fingers this week, but I’m looking forward to doors of opportunity opening as God leads me to exciting new writing challenges!

Let’s end 2016 with a prayer…  asking our Heavenly Father to prepare our hearts to give the best we have to offer today and in the future.

drummer-boy-prayerOne final note – but it’s important.  Thank you SO MUCH for following this blog and reading it every day.  I hope and pray that something along the way has encouraged and inspired you in some way.  I appreciate those who have followed me on Twitter and facebook.  I pray for you every day.  There are so many needs, but we serve a BIG God – He’s bigger than any problem we encounter here.  Have a wonderful week.  Look for me again on January 1st.  🙂

GOD REST YE MERRY GENTLEMEN

tl-12-24-god-rest-ye-merry-gentlemen

Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.  – Nehemiah 8:10

Today’s post is especially for those of you who wait until the last-minute to finish your Christmas shopping and preparations.  What is the message?  The message is DO NOT DISMAY!  No, that is not a word we use in everyday conversation these days, but it’s worth talking about.  To dismay is to freak out.  Don’t freak out if every little detail is not finished before Christmas Day – it’s still going to be great – trust me.  If you end up at KFC eating chicken out of a box – don’t sweat it – if you are with the people you love most in the world…  it’s good.  It could end up being the most memorable Christmas ever!

Rest…  let’s talk about rest.  Yes, we say rest in peace when someone has died.  We’re not going to rest that completely, okay; however, we need to dismay, worry, freak out less and rest, trust, rely on the Lord more.  He won’t fail to help you in putting Christmas plans together.

How can you rest while you are putting the last-minute touches on your Christmas plans?  Here are some ideas:

  • Listen to praise & worship Christmas music.  There are literally thousands of artists that will reinforce positive Christmas lyrics as you’re driving from place to place today.  Don’t dismay.  Rest.
  • Have some alone time with God before you leave the house.  Ask Him to give you moments of rest along the way.
  • Everyone is different, but sometimes I stop at a coffee shop located near a favorite shopping spot.  I get a cup of something skinny and sugar-free.  I take time to sit and silently pray and have a conversation with God about how I’m feeling – pressured or stressed or happy or sad or whatever.  I love that God is up for a conversation with me anytime I need to talk.  And I try to be a good listener as well.  I feel refreshed and ready to keep going.  I’m at rest.
  • Remember ask God to help you and whatever doesn’t get done must not have been important.  Keep some verses stored up so you can recall them when need to rest and be calm.  Maybe it’d be a good idea to have some in your glove compartment in the car.

    rest-in-his-birth

I love love LOVE the line that says, LEAVE YOUR WORRIES AT THE DOOR.  What door do you go to where you know without a doubt you can leave every care on the doorstep?  I pray that my door is one where anyone can lay their stress and worry on the porch and come inside and feel more rested before they leave.

Even more importantly…  we need to leave our worries at the door of our hearts and ask God through Jesus to take our worries and cares away.  So let’s listen to this great carol.

Do me a favor and stop for a moment, take a breath and say a little prayer of thanks.  God is your strength.  Rest…  and smile.  Christ came for you.  🙂

 

AVE MARIA

tl-12-23-ave-maria

When the Archangel Gabriel appeared to Mary and announced that she would be God’s instrument, so that the Word could become Flesh, he said to her the first part of the Ave Maria.  “Ave Maria, gracia plena, Dominus tecum“, “Hail Mary full of grace, the Lord is with you“, (Luke 1: 28)

St. Elizabeth was also divinely inspired by the Holy Spirit to greet Mary with: “Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventures tui” (Jesus), “blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb” (Jesus).  Luke 1: 42.

Ave Maria translated into English is Hail Mary.  The original words were part of a poem called The Lady of the Lake, written in 1810 by Sir Walter Scott.  The composer Franz Schubert set a prayer from the poem to music and published it in 1826 as D839 Op 52 no 6.  Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?  It wasn’t written to be a part of Christmas…  guess God had a better plan for it.

The song proved to be inspirational, especially Roman Catholics.  A Latin text was substituted to make it suitable for use in church.  It’s been a liturgical staple at Christmas since then.

Here’s a bit of trivia…  On September 12, 1953, tenor Luigi Vena sang Ave Maria at the wedding of U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Lee Bouvier.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Queen of the Most Holy Rosary

Our hands holding roses,
We hold them for you;

Your grace bringing
us the salvation of your Son;
Holy Lady of Heaven,
Blessed Virgin Queen.

Mother of Christ,
Mother most divine;
Hear prayers rising,
rising to you.

Mother of all, Mother dearest;
Caress us with your love,
keep us pure from sin.

Leading us, ever leading
to the arms of Jesus Divine.
O Holy Mother,
Holy Sacred one.

Ave Maria! Hail Mary,
Queen of the Most Holy Rosary

Chris G. Vaillancourt