Happy New Year’s Eve


It’s the day before a year that will be filled with lots of change. It’s the day before a year when one daughter who has been raised up in the way she should go will be leaving home to pursue God’s purpose, passion, and plan for her life. It’s the day before a year when another daughter will be heading off to college and getting to play collegiate soccer after graduating her senior year. It’s the day before a year when the house will only have one child left and our son will get the experience of being a teen and only child type of experience. So needless to say there will be a lot of changes in how our house is going to be and feel. God help us enjoy every day we have with our kids. God help us to focus on what is important to you as we prepare for and go through these changes throughout the year. God help us to live our lives in ways that will point our kids towards you and will bring you the praise, the honor, and the glory. Lord, help me I pray to Be The Dad you created me to be for Your purpose, Your plan, Your honor, and Your glory. Seasons are changing and we need to be ready. Seasons are changing and we need to get prepared. Seasons are changing as we move from a home of 5 to 4 and after a few months 3 and after a few years down to 2. Seasons change! So let’s enjoy the one we are in and prepare for the one that is coming so that we can make the most of it for the glory of God!


THE ONE YEAR DAILY INSIGHTS 
WITH ZIG ZIGLAR AND DR. IKE REIGHARD
FOR DECEMBER 31ST


SPRINGTIME FOR THE SOUL


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘For lo, the winter is past, The rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; The time of singing has come, And the voice of the turtledove Is heard in our land.’

Song of Solomon 2:11-12

Let’s look for additional context and details by expanding the verses and using the Amplified version:

‘“I am the rose [of the plain] of Sharon, The lily of the valleys [that grows in deep places].” “Like the lily among the thorns, So are you, my darling, among the maidens.” “Like an apple tree [rare and welcome] among the trees of the forest, So is my beloved among the young men! In his shade I took great delight and sat down, And his fruit was sweet and delicious to my palate. He has brought me to his banqueting place, And his banner over me is love [waving overhead to protect and comfort me]. Sustain me with raisin cakes, Refresh me with apples, Because I am sick with love. Let his left hand be under my head And his right hand embrace me.” “I command that you take an oath, O daughters of Jerusalem, By the gazelles or by the does of the field [which run free], That you do not rouse nor awaken my love Until she pleases.” “Listen! My beloved! Behold, he comes, Climbing on the mountains, Leaping and running on the hills! My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag. Behold, he is standing behind our wall, He is looking through the windows, He is gazing through the lattice. “My beloved speaks and says to me, ‘Arise, my love, my fair one, And come away. For behold, the winter is past, The rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth once again; The time for singing has come, And the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. The fig tree has budded and ripens her figs, And the vines are in blossom and give forth their fragrance. Arise, my love, my fair one, And come away [to climb the rocky steps of the hillside].’ ” “O my dove, [here] in the clefts in the rock, In the sheltered and secret place of the steep pathway, Let me see your face, Let me hear your voice; For your voice is sweet, And your face is lovely.” “Catch the foxes for us, The little foxes that spoil and ruin the vineyards [of love], While our vineyards are in blossom.” “My beloved is mine and I am his; He pastures his flock among the lilies. Until the cool of the day when the shadows flee away, Return quickly, my beloved, and be like a gazelle Or a young stag on the mountains of Bether [which separate us].”’

Song of Solomon 2:1-17

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Ever noticed how our relationships go through seasons?
  • Ever noticed it in your romantic relationships?
  • Ever noticed it in your relationship with God?
  • When you think of seasons have you ever felt like your relationship is going through Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall?
  • When you went through the season of winter, did you make the conscious decision to press through and keep going even though it seemed like there was very little warmth?
  • Ever considered how the season of Winter when we compare what happens in nature to the plants speaks to the state of our hearts? A season of barrenness.
  • We need to not lose hope because seasons don’t last forever!
  • We need to hold onto the reality that when this cold season passes it will be heading into Spring.
  • Are you looking for signs of spring? Are you looking for the warmth to return? Are you ready for your heart to be filled with hope?
  • Ever watched mature marriages and compared them to a relationship with God?
  • Marriages start with the heat of passion and idealism of pure love.
  • Ever noticed how when the honeymoon ended how reality hit the husband and wife hard?
  • Ever witnessed the reassessment that needed to happen and go through?
  • Ever witnessed how they took on this necessary challenge?
  • Ever seen how they had to rebuild their relationship based on reality?
  • Ever seen how they built their relationship on realistic expectations and good communication?
  • Ever seen it not work out and the marriage turn into an empty shell?
  • In the midst of the winter season, opportunities to have richer conversations appear.
  • In the midst of the winter season, opportunities to have deeper affection appear.
  • In the midst of the winter season, opportunities to have a marriage that flourishes like never before.
  • So don’t lose hope! Lean in and work to make things better! Be on the lookout for signs of Spring and what needs to happen to be ready.
  • Ever had a similar experience when you started your relationship with God?
  • Did you start the relationship with great joy and high hopes?
  • Did you get incredible experiences with God that built up your faith?
  • Did you eventually get to the point of needing to grow in your faith and find yourself in the point of a change of experience facing trials, troubles, and more difficult situations?
  • We you able to grow and mature through these times like James 1:2-4 speaks of and be able to consider them pure joy?
    • ‘Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace]. And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing. ‘
      James 1:2-4
  • Did you find that the more challenging paths caused you to struggle?
  • Did you find that the more challenging paths caused you to find disappointments?
  • Did you find that the more challenging paths caused you to have misunderstandings?
  • Did it challenge your young faith but by pressing in and pressing on found you built a more mature and strengthen faith?
  • Did you find it helped you draw closer to God?
  • Did you find it helped you build a deeper relationship with God?
  • Are you facing a Winter season today? Don’t lose hope! Remember that Winter’s season of dormancy is required in preparation for Spring.
  • Be it in nature when we see Winter come before Spring.
  • Be it in romantic relationships when we see Winter come before Spring.
  • Be it in our walk with God when we see Winter come before Spring.
  • If we develop greater trust when it is cold and dark, we’ll get to experience more love in the warmth of Spring.

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • How have you observed seasons in relationships wtih people and God?
  • In both kinds of relationships, what are some things we can do in winter to prepare for spring?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.”

― William Jennings Bryan

So are you ready to live your life on purpose? Are you ready to live your life with purpose? Are you ready to live your life for a purpose? God created each of us on purpose, with purpose, and for a purpose. So we need to choose to receive it and then start to live it in order to achieve it. Let’s invite God into our lives and ask Him to help lead and guide our thoughts, words, and actions so that we can live out our lives for His glory in Jesus’s name. Let’s pray:

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


As I was considering these a song came to mind and so sharing it here to close today’s post: https://youtu.be/QvHE65nImmM

When someone asks you what season this is, what do you say?


Do you think seasons of the year like winter, spring, summer, or fall? Do you think seasons like what holidays are taking place like Christmas, New Year, Valentines Day, Easter, Independence Day, National Holidays, etc.? Do you think of the season of giving? Do you think a season to sow? Do you think a season to reap? Do you think a season to live?

What context or what location or what person will cause you to give your answer? Does it matter who asks? Does it matter where they ask? Does it matter how they ask? Does it matter what the situation currently is when they ask?

Let’s consider the seasons that are spoken of in the Bible:

  • ‘There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. What do workers gain from their toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him. Whatever is has already been, and what will be has been before; and God will call the past to account. And I saw something else under the sun: In the place of judgment—wickedness was there, in the place of justice—wickedness was there. I said to myself, “God will bring into judgment both the righteous and the wicked, for there will be a time for every activity, a time to judge every deed.” I also said to myself, “As for humans, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals. Surely the fate of human beings is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath ; humans have no advantage over animals. Everything is meaningless. All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return. Who knows if the human spirit rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?” ‘
    Ecclesiastes 3:1-21
  • He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding;
    Daniel 2:21
  • While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.”
    Genesis 8:22
  • And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
    Galatians 6:9
  • He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.
    Acts 1:7
  • He made the moon to mark the seasons; the sun knows its time for setting.
    Psalm 104:19
  • He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.
    Psalm 1:3
  • And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years,
    Genesis 1:14
  • “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
    Isaiah 55:10-11
  • Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you.
    1 Thessalonians 5:1
  • “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near.
    Matthew 24:32
  • Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.
    2 Timothy 4:2
  • For behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. The fig tree ripens its figs, and the vines are in blossom; they give forth fragrance. Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away.
    Song of Solomon 2:11-13
  • Check out more scriptures about seasons here: https://www.openbible.info/topics/seasons

What season is it for you? Are you seeing the signs of the times? Are you living for the season you are currently in? Are you being generous in the midst of your season? Are you ready for the season? As we celebrate the first coming of Jesus with Christmas are you ready for His second coming?


THE ONE YEAR DAILY INSIGHTS 
WITH ZIG ZIGLAR AND DR. IKE REIGHARD
FOR DECEMBER 17TH


Giving Is Living


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”’

Acts 20:35

Let’s look into the context of this and try to get some additional details through the Amplified version.

‘However, from Miletus he sent word to Ephesus and summoned the elders of the church [to meet him there]. And when they arrived he said to them: “ You know well how I [lived when I] was with you, from the first day that I set foot in Asia [until now], serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and trials which came on me because of the plots of the Jews [against me]; [you know] how I did not shrink back in fear from telling you anything that was for your benefit, or from teaching you in public meetings, and from house to house, solemnly [and wholeheartedly] testifying to both Jews and Greeks, urging them to turn in repentance to God and [to have] faith in our Lord Jesus Christ [for salvation]. And now, compelled by the Spirit and obligated by my convictions, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit solemnly [and emphatically] affirms to me in city after city that imprisonment and suffering await me. But I do not consider my life as something of value or dear to me, so that I may [with joy] finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify faithfully of the good news of God’s [precious, undeserved] grace [which makes us free of the guilt of sin and grants us eternal life]. “And now, listen carefully: I know that none of you, among whom I went about preaching the kingdom, will see me again. For that reason I testify to you on this [our parting] day that I am innocent of the blood of all people. For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose and plan of God. Take care and be on guard for yourselves and for the whole flock over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you as overseers, to shepherd (tend, feed, guide) the church of God which He bought with His own blood. I know that after I am gone, [false teachers like] ferocious wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; even from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse and distorted things, to draw away the disciples after themselves [as their followers]. Therefore be continually alert, remembering that for three years, night or day, I did not stop admonishing and advising each one [of you] with tears. And now I commend you to God [placing you in His protective, loving care] and [I commend you] to the word of His grace [the counsel and promises of His unmerited favor]. His grace is able to build you up and to give you the [rightful] inheritance among all those who are sanctified [that is, among those who are set apart for God’s purpose—all believers]. I had no desire for anyone’s silver or gold or [expensive] clothes. You know personally that these hands ministered to my own needs [working in manual labor] and to [those of] the people who were with me. In everything I showed you [by example] that by working hard in this way you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed [and brings greater joy] to give than to receive.’ ” When he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all. And they began to weep openly and threw their arms around Paul’s neck, and repeatedly kissed him, grieving and distressed especially over the word which he had spoken, that they would not see him again. And they accompanied him to the ship.’

Acts 20:17-38

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Ever considered what living life in this season Jesus’s way would do to the world around you?
  • Ever considered how Jesus changed the world by the way He chose to live His life?
  • Ever considered how Jesus changed the world by the message He shared to the world around Him?
  • Our human nature seems to conflict with how Jesus calls us to live.
  • Want to be great? Then you need to serve others.
  • Want to raise to great heights? Then you need to be humble and live in humility.
  • Want to be first? Then you need to let others go ahead of you and be last.
  • Want to be significant in the kingdom of God? Then you need to become like children and live with the faith of a child.
  • Want to be filled up? Then you need to be giving and be generous.
  • So we need to stop being so focused on ourselves and be more focused on others.
  • Not to compare or contrast but to serve, the give, and to love.
  • Take a look around or maybe just in the mirror and check out how much selfishness is taking place in this world.
  • Selfishness isn’t for a specific type of person but unfornately selfishness transcends time, race, and societies.
  • Remember how we are to be good stewards?
  • Remember how to whom much is given much is required?
  • Instead of letting the ads tell us what we are missing or lacking, let’s be filled with joy related to all that we have!
  • As we consider going into Christmas, rather than consumerism let’s be focused on Jesus, the birth of a savior, the reality of what His coming brought to this world, and the incredible joy and peace we have by having a relationship with Him and knowing He is coming back.
  • Let’s decide to live out lives open handed so that God can use us as conduits for His resources to better love and serve others.
  • Let’s draw closer to Jesus for our contentment and fulfillment rather than believing the ads that this or that product or service will do the trick.
  • Let’s invite Jesus into our hearts since He fills the void forever and as He spoke we will thirst no more, whereas the temporary filling of the void with stuff fades away over time and eventually causes us to thirst again.
  • So today lets choose to really live by really giving into the lives of others!
  • Let’s give that we can find heartfelt fulfillment!
  • Let’s give that we can experience the greatest thrills of our lives!
  • Let’s give that we can pour into the lives of others who may never be able to repay us.
  • Let’s give not expecting anything in return!
  • Let’s give to the weak!
  • Let’s give to the poor!
  • Let’s give to the sick!
  • Let’s be selfless by not expecting anything in return!
  • Let’s be generous!
  • Let’s live out our lives like our Heavenly Father who has given to us, blessed us, and offers us so much more than this world could ever offer!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • What act of giving or service has brought you the most joy?
  • In what way is it really “more blessed” to give than receive?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Gratitude is a fruit of great cultivation; you do not find it among gross people.

— Samuel Johnson
Samuel Johnson QuotesSamuel Johnson Biography

As we continue through December we have finished the readings of the Tanakh and I thank Sefaria for their resources in helping me to see the Old Testament in a new way and my friend Lionel for having shared this tool with me. As we kicked off December the idea my wife brought up came to mind about going through the book of Luke (who was a doctor) which happens to have 24 chapters so that we can read one a day and complete it in time for Christmas. To get as many details from this I am going to use the Amplified version to try and grasp all the details Luke gives us to consider and learn.

So today we will read Luke 17:

‘Jesus said to His disciples, “Stumbling blocks [temptations and traps set to lure one to sin] are sure to come, but woe (judgment is coming) to him through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone [as large as one turned by a donkey] were hung around his neck and he were hurled into the sea, than for him to cause one of these little ones to stumble [in sin and lose faith]. Pay attention and always be on guard [looking out for one another]! If your brother sins and disregards God’s precepts, solemnly warn him; and if he repents and changes, forgive him. Even if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times and says, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him [that is, give up resentment and consider the offense recalled and annulled].” The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith [our ability to confidently trust in God and in His power].” And the Lord said, “If you have [confident, abiding] faith in God [even as small] as a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree [which has very strong roots], ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea’; and [if the request was in agreement with the will of God] it would have obeyed you. “Which of you who has a servant plowing or tending sheep will say to him when he comes in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat?’ Will he not instead say to him, ‘Prepare something for me to eat, and appropriately clothe yourself [for service] and serve me while I eat and drink; then afterward you may eat and drink?’ He does not thank the servant just because he did what he was ordered to do, does he? So you too, when you have done everything that was assigned and commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy servants [undeserving of praise or a reward, for we have not gone beyond our obligation]; we have merely done what we ought to do.’ ”

While Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem, He was passing [along the border] between Samaria and Galilee. As He entered a village, He was met by ten lepers who stood at a distance; and they raised their voices and called out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” When He saw them, He said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were [miraculously] healed and made clean. One of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, glorifying and praising and honoring God with a loud voice; and he lay face downward at Jesus’ feet, thanking Him [over and over]. He was a Samaritan. Then Jesus asked, “Were not ten [of you] cleansed? Where are the [other] nine? Was there no one found to return and to give thanks and praise to God, except this foreigner?” Jesus said to him, “Get up and go [on your way]. Your faith [your personal trust in Me and your confidence in God’s power] has restored you to health.” Now having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He replied, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed or with a visible display; nor will people say, ‘Look! Here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For the kingdom of God is among you [because of My presence].”

Then He said to the disciples, “The time will come when you will long to see [even] one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. They will say to you, ‘Look [the Messiah is] there!’ or ‘Look [He is] here!’ Do not go away [to see Him], and do not run after them. For just like the lightning, when it flashes out of one part of the sky, gives light to the other part of the sky, so [visible] will the Son of Man be in His day. But first He must suffer many things and be repudiated and rejected and considered unfit [to be the Messiah] by this [unbelieving] generation. And just as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be in the time of [the second coming of] the Son of Man: the people were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, they were being given in marriage, [they were indifferent to God] until the day that Noah went into the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. It was the same as it was in the days of Lot. People were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building [carrying on business as usual, without regard for their sins]; but on the [very] day that Lot left Sodom it rained fire and brimstone (burning sulfur) from heaven and destroyed them all. It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed. On that day, whoever is on the housetop, with his belongings in the house, must not come down [and go inside] to take them out; and likewise whoever is in the field must not turn back. Remember [what happened to] Lot’s wife [when she looked back]! Whoever seeks to save his life will [eventually] lose it [through death], and whoever loses his life [in this world] will keep it [from the consequences of sin and separation from God]. I tell you, on that night [when Messiah comes again] there will be two [sleeping] in one bed; the one (the non-believer) will be taken [away in judgment] and the other (the believer) will be left. There will be two women grinding [at the mill] together; the one (the non-believer) will be taken [away in judgment] and the other (the believer) will be left. [Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other will be left.”] And they asked Him, “Where, Lord?” He answered, “Where the corpse is, there the vultures will be gathered.”’

Luke 17:1-37

So where are you at today? What season of life are you living? What season of life are you ready for? What season of life are you seeing before you? What season of life is behind you? Are you living a season of giving? Are you living a season of forgiving? Are you living a season of thanksgiving? Are you looking for a way to be able to even consider any of these? Are you ready to invite Jesus into your life to help you get through the season you are currently living in? Let’s pray:

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


Merry Christmas!


There are so many things that come to my mind as I say Merry Christmas today.

Happy Birthday Jesus! – this is the first one, as this is the reason for the season.

Rejoice – this one fits the theme of the day and of my readings post reading through the Bible in a year with The Weary World Rejoices. Also because it is what the angels told the shepherds to do when they told them not to be afraid – “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Glory and Peace in the midst of it all – a day to have peace, find peace, give peace – The angels continued speaking to the shepherds with this information “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

Share the hope, share the good news, share the love! – Once you know the truth, the truth that sets you free then you need to go out and share it, go tell it on the mountain over the fields and everywhere, so that the world will know the name of Jesus and like the people who heard from the shepherds let the world be amazed by our testimony!

It is a season of giving! As prophesied so many years earlier we see how God gave His Son. In Isaiah 9:6 we read:

For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father [of Eternity], Prince of Peace. [Isa. 25:1; 40:9-11; Matt. 28:18; Luke 2:11.]

— Isaiah 9:6 AMPC

God started and created this season by giving! God gave out of love as we read in John 3:16:

For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.

— John 3:15 AMPC

How awe inspiring Jesus is and powerful He is is also prophesied in Isaiah 9:6 when we see the names He will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father [of Eternity], Prince of Peace.

So let’s start the day praising God! Thanking God! Receiving the greatest gift of all, Jesus!


MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU

The Weary World Rejoices:
Bearing Witness To The Truth Of Christ In A Pluralistic, Globalized World

Truth, even the mere notion thereof, is constantly under attack in today’s world. Yet Christ claims to be ‘the truth , the way, and the life’, an exclusive statement that asserts that Christ alone is the way for humanity to be reconciled to God. As Christ’s disciples, we are called to be people of truth—both in word and deed—bearing witness to our glorious Saviour. 

— Bearing Witness To The Truth Of Christ In A Pluralistic, Globalized World

So today’s focus as we read from God’s Word (Day 4):

My Notes:

  • ‘ And Moses said to the Israelites, See, the Lord called by name Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; And He has filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability and wisdom, with intelligence and understanding, and with knowledge and all craftsmanship, To devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze, In cutting of stones for setting, and in carving of wood, for work in every skilled craft. And God has put in Bezalel’s heart that he may teach, both he and Aholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. He has filled them with wisdom of heart and ability to do all manner of craftsmanship, of the engraver, of the skillful workman, of the embroiderer in blue, purple, and scarlet [stuff] and in fine linen, and of the weaver, even of those who do or design any skilled work.’
    Exodus 35:30-35
  • ‘ BEZALEL AND Aholiab and every wisehearted man in whom the Lord has put wisdom and understanding to know how to do all the work for the service of the sanctuary shall work according to all that the Lord has commanded.’
    Exodus 36:1
  • ‘ I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul will exult in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. For as [surely as] the earth brings forth its shoots, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring forth, so [surely] the Lord God will cause rightness and justice and praise to spring forth before all the nations [through the self-fulfilling power of His word].’
    Isaiah 61:10-11
  • God has created each of us with gifts and talents, abilities to be creative as He created us in His image
  • Consider how we can use the arts to speak beauty and truth thru drama, dance, story, music, and visual images
  • Consider how we can use the arts to share the good news of the gospel in truth
  • Consider how we can use the arts to show both the reality of a broken world as well as the hope that comes through the truth of Jesus.
  • Consider how the arts can be used an outreach to the community
  • Our church had a drive thru Christmas this year with COVID and all the restrictions that was incredible. They came up with the moto – You Can’t Cancel Christmas and even picked up youcantcancelchristmas.com
  • Our church has been putting on Christmas productions in a hospitable environment for years so that the community would be able to come in and hear the good news of Jesus through drama, music, dance, stories, and visual effects.
  • Let’s stir up the body of Christ around the world with visions of how we can use the arts to share the gospel with everyone.

Where are you at today? Are you feeling weary? Are you looking for support and encouragement? Are you wanting to get your journey with God started? Let’s pray together.

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


Are you able to see the signs of the time?


Do you see what is going on around you? Are you able to tell what it means? How about the seasons? Are you seeing leaves changing color and falling? Are you seeing flowers starting to bloom? [fall in the northern hemisphere vs spring in the southern hemisphere] How about on a spiritual level? What are you seeing happen in the country? What is going on with the world economies? What’s going on with the world governments? Do you see any conspiracies?

Imagine if God spoke to you the words “Maher-shalal-hashbaz” which can be interpreted as “Hurry to the spoils!” or “He has made haste to the plunder!”. Will you be sensitive to the Spirit’s prompting? Will you be sensitive to what the Spirit says to you? Don’t try to force your way but walk in alignment to God’s will and plan! If He closes a door then know He has something else planned! You can knock to see if it will open, but don’t knock it down because it may be that you need to knock on other doors to find the right one.

Where are you at in regards to your relationship with God? Have you invited Jesus into your heart? Are you on the journey with Him through this thing called life? What will it take for you to jump onboard? What’s holding you back from being all in with and for Jesus? Receive the gift of grace from Jesus! Receive the gift of forgiveness from Jesus! Receive the gift of a hope and a future from Jesus! All you have to do is accept it and receive it!


Today’s reading begins in Isaiah…

Assyria Will Rise to Judah’s Neck

1Then Adonai said to me: “Take yourself a great tablet, and write on it with a man’s stylus: ‘Maher-shalal-hashbaz.’” 2So I took for myself trustworthy witnesses—Uriah the kohen and Zechariah son of Jeberechiah. 3Then I went to the prophetess; and she conceived and bore a son. Then Adonai said to me: “Call his name Maher-shalal-hashbaz. 4For before the child will have knowledge to cry ‘my father!’ or ‘my mother!’ the wealth of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria will be carried away before the king of Assyria.” 5Then Adonai spoke to me further, saying: 6“Because these people have refused the softly flowing waters of Shiloah, and rejoice with Rezin and Remaliah’s son, 7therefore behold, Adonai is bringing on them the waters of the River— mighty and massive— Assyria’s king with all his glory! It will rise over all its channels and spill over all its banks. 8Then it will sweep through Judah, overflow as it passes through, reaching even to the neck! So the spread of its wings will be the full breadth of your land! Immanuel! 9Make an uproar, O peoples— but you will be broken in pieces. Give ear, all you of far countries. Arm yourselves—yet be shattered! Arm yourselves—yet be shattered! 10Take counsel together, but it will amount to nothing. Speak a word, but it will not stand. For God is with us! 11For thus Adonai spoke to me, with a strong hand, warning me that I should not walk in the way of these people, saying: 12 “Do not say: ‘It’s a conspiracy!’ about everything that these people call a conspiracy. You must not fear or tremble at what they fear. 13Adonai-Tzva’ot, Him will you sanctify, and let Him be your fear, trembling at Him. 14He will be a Sanctuary, but a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 15Many among them will stumble, fall, and be broken, snared and caught. 16Bind up the testimony, seal the instruction with My disciples. 17I will wait for Adonai, who is hiding His face from the house of Jacob, and I will look eagerly for Him. 18Here I am with the children that Adonai has given me as signs and wonders in Israel, from Adonai-Tzva’ot who dwells on Mount Zion. 19When they say to you: “Consult the mediums and necromancers who chirp and mutter,” shouldn’t a people seek their God? Should a people consult the dead on behalf of the living? 20To Torah and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because they have no light. 21They will pass this way that are hard-pressed and hungry, and it will turn out that when they are hungry, they will become enraged and curse their king and their God. Whether they turn their faces upward 22or look to the earth, behold, distress and darkness, the gloom of anguish, and they will be driven into darkness.

A Great Light in Galilee

23But there is no gloom to her who was in anguish, as in time past. He treated lightly the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future He will bring glory— by the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan— Galilee of the Gentiles.

–from Isaiah 8

Do you see the light? Will you be light and salt to the world around you? Will you allow the world to hear the good news? Will you be light in this dark world so that people will be able to see the truth? Will you lift up your light so that more is visible? Will you make a difference so that the world can see that there is hope? Will you reflect the light of Jesus to the world around you in darkness just like the moon lights up the sky by reflecting the light of the sun? Will you shine before it’s too late?

Will you point people to the one who can bring true peace into their lives? Jesus the prince of peace! Will you point people who are looking for direction and advice to the one who is given the name of wonderful counselor? Will you align with Him?

1The people walking in darkness will see a great light. Upon those dwelling in the land of the shadow of death, light will shine. 2You will multiply the nation. You will increase the joy. They will rejoice before You like the joy in the harvest, as they revel when they divide spoil. 3For You will break the burdensome yoke and the rod on his shoulder— the war-club of his oppressor— as in the day of Midian. 4For every stomping boot quaking and cloak rolled in blood will be for burning— fuel for the fire.

Prince of Peace

5For to us a child is born, a son will be given to us, and the government will be upon His shoulder. His Name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God My Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace. 6Of the increase of His government and shalom there will be no end— on the throne of David and over His kingdom— to establish it and uphold it through justice and righteousness from now until forevermore. The zeal of Adonai-Tzva’ot will accomplish this.

Warning About Defiance

7Adonai sent a word to Jacob, and it fell upon Israel. 8All the people will know what Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria say in pride and in arrogance of heart: 9“The bricks are fallen, but we will rebuild with cut stones. The sycamores are cut down, but we will replace them with cedars.” 10Therefore Adonai raises up Rezin’s adversaries against them, and spurs on his enemies. 11The Arameans from the east and the Philistines from the west— they will devour Israel with open mouth. For all this His anger is not turned away, yet His hand is still outstretched. 12Yet the people will not turn back to the One who strikes them, nor will they seek Adonai-Tzva’ot. 13So Adonai will cut off from Israel head and tail, palm branch and bulrush in a single day. 14The elder and the man of rank— he is the head. The prophet who teaches falsehood— he is the tail. 15The leaders of this people lead them astray. Those they mislead are swallowed up. 16Therefore Adonai will have no joy in their young men, nor will He have compassion on their orphans and widows, for everyone is ungodly and an evildoer, and every mouth speaks foolishness. For all this His anger is not turned away, yet His hand is still outstretched. 17For wickedness burns like a fire and consumes the briers and thorns It kindles the thickets of the forest, so they roll up in a column of smoke. 18By the wrath of Adonai-Tzva’ot is the land burnt up; The people are as fuel for the fire. No one spares his brother. 19One grabs with the right hand but is hungry, and eats with the left hand but is not satisfied. Everyone will eat the flesh of his own arm— 20Manasseh will devour Ephraim, and Ephraim, Manasseh, both are against Judah. For all this His anger is not turned away, yet His hand is outstretched.

–from Isaiah 9

Do you know the day in which you live? Do you want to know? Have you asked? Will you ask? Do you know who to ask? Do you realize there is an answer? Turn to God and God’s Word!

Make Me Know the Number of My Days

1For the music director, for Jeduthun, a psalm of David. 2I said: “I will guard my ways, so I will not sin with my tongue. I will muzzle my mouth while the wicked are before me.” 3So I became utterly speechless, kept silent even from good, but my anguish was stirred up. 4My heart was hot within me, while I was musing, the fire burned. Then I spoke with my tongue: 5“Let me know, Adonai, my end and what the number of my days is. Let me know how short-lived I am. 6Behold, You made my days mere hand-breadths, and my lifetime as nothing before You. Surely all humanity is but vapor. Selah 7Everyone goes about as a mere phantom. Surely they are making an uproar in vain, heaping up stuff— yet not knowing who will gather it. 8And now, my Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in You. 9Deliver me from all my transgressions. Do not make me the scorn of a fool. 10I am speechless, not opening my mouth —for You have done it. 11Remove Your scourge from me. I perish by the blow of Your hand. 12With rebukes You chasten one for iniquity and You consume like a moth what he finds pleasure in. Surely all humanity is but a vapor. Selah 13Hear my prayer, Adonai, and listen to my cry— do not keep silent at my tears. For with You I am an outsider, a sojourner, as all my fathers were. 14Turn your gaze away from me, so I may smile again, before I go, and am no more.”

–from Psalms 39

Do you realize that no matter where you are at, Jesus can make a way? Miracles go beyond the pages of the bible and are still taking place today! Will you be part of a miracle? Will you be open and available to be a part of a miracle? Will you be willing to respond to God’s prompting and be part of the miracle God wants and needs you to be? Will you ask for what you have need of? Will you seek for what you have need? Will you knock to open up that door to help fill your need? Ask God!

Water to Wine

1On the third day, there was a wedding at Cana in the Galilee. Yeshua’s mother was there, 2and Yeshua and His disciples were also invited to the wedding. 3When the wine ran out, Yeshua’s mother said to Him, “They don’t have any wine!” 4Yeshua said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with you and Me? My hour hasn’t come yet.” 5His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever He tells you.” 6Now there were six stone jars, used for the Jewish ritual of purification, each holding two to three measures. 7Yeshua said to them, “Fill the jars with water!” So they filled them up to the top. 8Then He said to them, “Take some water out, and give it to the headwaiter.” And they brought it. 9Now the headwaiter did not know where it had come from, but the servants who had drawn the water knew. As the headwaiter tasted the water that had become wine, he calls the bridegroom 10and says to him, “Everyone brings out the good wine first, and whenever they are drunk, then the worse. But you’ve reserved the good wine until now!” 11Yeshua did this, the first of the signs, in Cana of the Galilee—He revealed His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.

Yeshua Purges the Temple

12After this Yeshua went down to Capernaum with His mother, brothers, and disciples, and they stayed there a few days. 13The Jewish feast of Passover was near, so Yeshua went up to Jerusalem. 14In the Temple, He found the merchants selling oxen, sheep, and doves; also the moneychangers sitting there.15Then He made a whip of cords and drove them all out of the Temple, both the sheep and oxen. He dumped out the coins of the moneychangers and overturned their tables. 16To those selling doves, He said, “Get these things out of here! Stop making My Father’s house a marketplace!” 17His disciples remembered that it is written, “Zeal for your House will consume Me!” 18The Judean leaders responded, “What sign do You show us, since You are doing these things?” 19“Destroy this Temple,” Yeshua answered them, “and in three days I will raise it up.” 20The Judean leaders then said to Him, “Forty-six years this Temple was being built, and You will raise it up in three days?” 21But He was talking about the temple of His body. 22So after He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He was talking about this. Then they believed the Scripture and the word that Yeshua had spoken. 23Now when He was in Jerusalem for the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name, seeing the signs He was doing. 24But Yeshua did not entrust Himself to them, because He knew all men. 25He did not need anyone to testify about man, for He knew what was in man.

–from John 2

Do you realize how much you have to be thankful for? Do you realize the importance of unity? Do you realize the wisdom you need is available through God?

Greetings

1Paul, called as an emissary of Messiah Yeshua by the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, 2To God’s community in Corinth—having been made holy in Messiah Yeshua, called as kedoshim—with all who everywhere call on the name of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, both theirs and ours: 3Grace to you and shalom from God our Father, and the Lord Yeshua the Messiah!

Thanksgiving

4I always thank my God for you because of God’s grace that was given to you in Messiah Yeshua. 5For in Him you were made rich in every way—in all speaking and all knowledge— 6just as the evidence of Messiah was confirmed among you. 7So you are not lacking in any spiritual gift, as you eagerly wait for the revealing of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah. 8He will also strengthen you until the end—blameless in the Day of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah. 9God is faithful, through whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Yeshua the Messiah our Lord.

Concern about Disunity

10Now I urge you, brothers and sisters, through the name of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, that you all speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and in the same purpose. 11For it has been reported to me concerning you, my brothers and sisters, by those who are from Chloe’s household, that there are rivalries among you. 12I say this because you are each saying, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Kefa,” or “I follow Messiah.” 13Has Messiah been divided? Paul wasn’t crucified for you, was he? Or were you immersed into the name of Paul? 14I thank God that I immersed none of you, except Crispus and Gaius, 15so that no one should say that I had immersed you into my own name. 16(I also immersed the household of Stephanas; besides them, I don’t recall if I immersed anyone else.) 17For Messiah sent me not to immerse, but to proclaim the Good News—not with cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Messiah would not be made of no effect.

Whose Wisdom Is Foolish?

18For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and bring to nothing the understanding of the intelligent.” 20Where is the wise one? Where is the Torah scholar? Where is the debater of this age? Hasn’t God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For seeing that—in God’s wisdom—the world through its wisdom did not know God, God was pleased—through the foolishness of the message proclaimed—to save those who believe. 22For Jewish people ask for signs and Greek people seek after wisdom, 23but we proclaim Messiah crucified—a stumbling block to Jewish people and foolishness to Gentile people, 24but to those who are called (both Jewish and Greek people), Messiah, the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 26For you see your calling, brothers and sisters, that not many are wise according to human standards, not many are powerful, and not many are born well. 27Yet God chose the foolish things of the world so He might put to shame the wise; and God chose the weak things of the world so He might put to shame the strong; 28and God chose the lowly and despised things of the world, the things that are as nothing, so He might bring to nothing the things that are— 29so that no human might boast before God. 30But because of Him you are in Messiah Yeshua, who became to us wisdom from God and righteousness and holiness and redemption— 31so that, just as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast in Adonai.”

–from 1 Corinthians 1