Tuesday, December 27, 2022

THE BIGGEST STORY BIBLE STORYBOOK by Kevin Deyoung (writer) and Don Clark (illustrator)!

I am so excited about the Bible Greg bought me for Christmas, THE BIGGEST STORY BIBLE STORYBOOK by Kevin Deyoung (writer) and Don Clark (illustrator)!  

It is beautifully designed. Every page has incredible color and artful design. It reminds me of a modern designed Christmas card with bold colors and geometric designs.

I am looking forward to seeing how they have told the stories. Based on what I can tell it will be an excellent resource that captures a good story summary that could easily be told to any age group with the intent to help the hearer grasp the bigger narrative not necessarily the details.

This is a Bible translation that is meant to be experienced through the visual reading while listening to someone read or as you read.

The visual cues in the artistry will help with story recall and internalization.

It provides simple overview that will wet the appetite for more. 


Monday, December 19, 2022

God has a plan

Have you ever been in need, but not been able to find a person or place that could help? It feels so discouraging. It makes you feel unseen. It is a scary place when we feel we have no one to help us.

In today's Christmas story, Joseph and Mary have traveled a long distance from Nazareth to Bethlehem for the census. It was time for the baby to be born, but there was no place for them to stay. I cannot imagine how scary and lonely that felt even though the heard clearly from God. 

But God was orchestrating His plan. His son would not enter the world in a nice hospital or fancy birthing center. Simplicity started early for the Son of God. 

I don't know about you, but my experience in driving to the hospital was full of great aniticipation and anxiety even though I knew I had a full hospital staff waiting to help with the process. Lol. Greg and I knew where we were going to get help. Mary and Joseph did not. Oh my! Maybe this made it easier for them to keep their trust in God and not people or circumstances.

In the end even though there was no "inn" for baby Jesus to be born in Mary ended up holding all that happened as dear in her heart.

Jesus was born and she wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and placed Him in a manger. This was a sign declared by the prophets long ago. God was on the move even when people could not see it. 

Some journeys must take us to the place where the only person we can trust to help us is God. We may not feel He is orchestrating His plan, but He is and once we make it through we, too, can be like Mary and hold all things dear in our hearts.

Christmas Story: Baby Jesus is born

In the end even though there was no "inn" for baby Jesus to be born in Mary ended 

Sunday, December 11, 2022

VA Visit a Blessing

 Who sets appointments at 8:00 am for senior adults? The VA! 

The thought of getting all of us out of the house by 7:00 am on Friday morning made me so anxious. It takes alot to get four grown adults on the road. So I prayed. We talked about it for days. We prepped early. Mom gathered all the necessary items. Aunt Jane got everything in its place. I rose and did my quiet time even earlier because I am a better human when I read my Bible and pray before the day begins. I asked friends to pray.

The morning came and I was reminded of those first few months after having Mikayla. I felt so overwhelmed by the simplest of tasks like going to the grocery store. I once cried in a parking lot because I thought I can't do the groceries and watch Mikayla. But then GOD!

GOD loves to show up even when we are praying by faith and moving forward knowing it might not work out. And then it does.

Our morning happened and we did it with a beautiful rhythm of each of us doing our part. It was peaceful and we got out the door by 7:00 am. Miraculous in of itself.

As I dropped off Papa, Mema, and Aunt Jane so I could go park the van on the very cold morning, I had this beautiful image waiting for me inside the VA. When I saw them I couldn't help but gasp in utter joy! Look at how beautiful they are! My three little/big humans! 

I literally called out from the door so all could hear, "You three are sooooo cute!"  

A doctor passing by said, "I thought the same thing!"

We all laughed. 

The VA shined on Friday. One because of these three, but then because of who the VA is! We have been ti the VA enough times that I am able to call out doctors and nurses by name. I am blown away by their gift of mercy, grace, healing, and dignity. They give so generously! 

What I thought was going to be a very hard and stressful morning ended up being a day of great blessing and laughter.

Reflecting on the blessings of family and being together. We are so blessed by this season.

Saturday, December 10, 2022

Finding Value

"Our women stand taller because they know the Bible stories for themselves. It makes them confident. They feel seen and heard." This was shared with me in a culture where it is positional and culturally unacceptable for women to be valued.

As I read about the ruler who came to Jesus because his daughter just died and the woman who dealt with a blood flow for 12 years, I keep thinking about my friend's words because I see that Jesus cares (Matthew 9:18-26).

Jesus cared about a Roman ruler's dead daughter and was willing to go touch her so she could rise up. And even though no one knew of the bleeding woman's boldness to just touch the fringe of Jesus' cloak for healing, Jesus knew and cared.

In both of these situations, Jesus saw the person, heard their pain, and healed them. 

What if it isn't about perfect healing but about being seen, heard, valued, touched, and known? 

What if it is about courage, hope, and peace? 

What if it is about being bold and willing to go to Jesus and seeking Him? 

What if it is about surrender and trust?

Daily, I have the privilege of watching the gift of going to Jesus and how it gives all of these and so much more. 

What are you seeking Jesus for in your life? Are you going in boldness to Jesus? 

Or do you have something that you are too afraid to go to Jesus?

Did you know that the Roman Ruler asking for help from Jesus was positionally and culturally unacceptable? But he did it.

Did you know that the bleeding woman had already spent a fortune to find healing and as a woman it was positionally and culturally unacceptable for her to touch or talk to Jesus? But she did! 

Both were granted healing. 

Do you think they knew their value in Jesus eyes? 

Do you think those around them noticed their faith and confidence? 

We are told the report went through all the district about what happened.

Beloved, Jesus sees you. Jesus sees your family. Jesus sees your people. Jesus sees your nation. Jesus even sees the ruler's daughters and the woman on the street no one notices. Go to Him. Share your need and let Him speak life into you.

Be bold! Go to Jesus even when it is positionally and culturally unacceptable! 

Shalom y'all!

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Obedience Builds Hope

Sometimes hope is born through obedience. We don't like the idea that our obedience will birth hope. Especially, when our heart is broken. Sometimes, we beg for the miracle, but it doesn't come. In some situations the miracle is found in the person who keeps moving forward doing the right thing even when it hurts. Consider Joseph. He modeled obedience that builds hope.

Maybe you are in a situation right now that requires obedience and it is not easy. Ask God to help you take the steps of obedience that will build hope. 

It may not be easy but taking courage and moving forward like Joseph did in marrying Mary is what gave us the Hope of the world. 

Who will grow in hope today because of your obedience? Do not be afraid. Take your steps of faith in o evidence knowing God has plans that we may never see but will give hope to many.

Thursday, December 1, 2022

What reasons do I have to rejoice?

As I pondered over the question, "What reasons do we have to rejoice?" I started a list of truths about God. I tried to summarize with Creator, Savior, Character and Word, but then I had to add Promises, relationship, and provision. I realized that was not sufficient, I then wrote future, path, faith, hope and love. Surely, that is enough. No, I needed to add peace, wisdom and His Name. Then I realized I could never make a list long enough to cover all the truths I know of God that are worthy of praise. My heart dances at His goodness and that He is unfathomable and yet so knowable. I am so glad my leadership word for the year is rejoice... "For my heart rejoices in Him, because I trust in His Holy Name!" (Psalm 33:2). What truths of God do you need to rejoice over this day?

There are many responses to God's Gift of a Son