Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Day 25 - Christmas

“Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”
~ Luke 2:11-14

Merry Christmas, friends!

Today signals the end of Advent season - the end of the season of anticipation of the Messiah's appearance on earth. However, as Christians, we know there is more to the story. Christ will be returning to this earth again. So even as we celebrate this day of His birth, I look ahead - forward to the day of His next arrival.

Luke 12:35-37
“Be dressed for service and keep your lamps burning, as though you were waiting for your master to return from the wedding feast. Then you will be ready to open the door and let him in the moment he arrives and knocks. The servants who are ready and waiting for his return will be rewarded. I tell you the truth, he himself will seat them, put on an apron, and serve them as they sit and eat!"


Let's stoke those lamp fires today as we anticipate that reward. Blessings ~ Rachel

Advent Day 24

Today is Christmas Eve, the last day of the Advent season which culminates with the birth of Christ.

All month I've been saying when I think of Advent, I think of a big wooden door like found on a cathedral, a monastery, or maybe an ancient inn. And I imagine Jesus on the other side of it, knocking. In Revelation 3:20 the Lord says, “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends." That never fails to catch my breath.

In Revelation 3:8 He says, “I know all the things you do, and I have opened a door for you that no one can close. You have little strength, yet you obeyed my word and did not deny me."

So ... knowing all the things I do (and fail to do), God opens that door, crosses the threshold, and sits to eat with me as friends each day. Simply because I welcomed Him.

Does it catch your breath too?

My prayer for today is that I will obey God's Word and not deny Him access to any part of my heart. And I will write in my gratitude journal: Thank you, Lord, for opening the door I am too weak to pull fully open on my own - and for reassuring me that it will never be closed again.

Here's the last of the Advent readings. However, I will post tomorrow morning as well so stop by if you have a minute to spend online before or between Christmas activities. Merry Christmas!

Mark 1:9-11 (NLT)
One day Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee, and John baptized him in the Jordan River. As Jesus came up out of the water, he saw the heavens splitting apart and the Holy Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice from heaven said, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.”

Luke 1:31-33 (NLT)
You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!”

Advent Day 23

When I think of Advent, I think of a big wooden door -- like maybe one found on a cathedral, or a monastery, or maybe just an old ancient inn. I imagine Jesus on the other side of it ... knocking.

Revelation 3:20
- “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends."

As I imagine further, my heart beats faster. I picture a key turning the lock ... I hear the lock release ... then I see the knob beginning to turn, and I know that it is the hand of my Lord turning it from the other side. I realize I'm about to come face to face with Him. Can you feel the excitement? That's what Advent is all about!

Christmas is almost here! And that typically means tempers and expectations are running high. Let's be sure and treat one another with kindness this week. James 5:9 says, "Don’t grumble about each other, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. For look—the Judge is standing at the door!"

Today's advent readings:

Luke 2:40 (NLT)
"There the child grew up healthy and strong. He was filled with wisdom, and God’s favor was on him."

Zechariah 9:9 (NLT)
"Rejoice, O people of Zion! Shout in triumph, O people of Jerusalem! Look, your king is coming to you. He is righteous and victorious, yet he is humble, riding on a donkey— riding on a donkey’s colt."

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Advent Day 22

When I think of Advent, I think of a big wooden door -- like maybe one found on a cathedral, or a monastery, or maybe just an old ancient inn. I imagine Jesus on the other side of it ... knocking.

Revelation 3:20 - “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends."

As I imagine further, my heart beats faster. I picture a key turning the lock ... I hear the lock release ... then I see the knob beginning to turn, and I know that it is the hand of my Lord turning it from the other side. I realize I'm about to come face to face with Him. Can you feel the excitement? That's what Advent is all about! Here are today's readings.

Luke 2:38 (NLT)
She came along just as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph, and she began praising God. She talked about the child to everyone who had been waiting expectantly for God to rescue Jerusalem.

Micah 5:2 (NLT)
But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village among all the people of Judah. Yet a ruler of Israel will come from you, one whose origins are from the distant past.

Advent Day 21

When I think of Advent, I think of a big wooden door -- like maybe one found on a cathedral, or a monastery, or maybe just an old ancient inn. I imagine Jesus on the other side of it ... knocking.

Revelation 3:20 - “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends."

As I imagine further, my heart beats faster. I picture a key turning the lock ... I hear the lock release ... then I see the knob beginning to turn, and I know that it is the hand of my Lord turning it from the other side. I realize I'm about to come face to face with Him. Can you feel the excitement ... can you anticipate the beauty? That's what advent is all about!

Psalm 27:4 - One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.

Here are today's advent readings ...

Luke 2:28-32 (NLT)
Simeon was there. He took the child in his arms and praised God, saying, “Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace, as you have romised. I have seen your salvation, which you have prepared for all people. He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel!”

Jeremiah 23:5-6 (NLT)
“For the time is coming,” says the Lord, “when I will raise up a righteous descendant from King David’s line. He will be a King who rules with wisdom. He will do what is just and right throughout the land. And this will be his name: ‘The Lord Is Our Righteousness.’ In that day Judah will be saved, and Israel will live in safety.

Advent Day 20

When I think of Advent, I think of a big wooden door -- like maybe one found on a cathedral, or a monastery, or maybe just an old ancient inn. I imagine Jesus on the other side of it ... knocking.
Revelation 3:20 - “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends."
As I imagine further, my heart beats faster. I picture a key turning the lock ... I hear the lock release ... then I see the knob beginning to turn, and I know that it is the hand of my Lord turning it from the other side. I realize I'm about to come face to face with Him.
Can you feel the excitement ... sense the anticipation? Can you imagine the beauty you are about to see? That's what Advent is all about!

Matthew 2:10-11 (NLT)
"When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh."

Isaiah 53:12 (NLT)
"I will give him the honors of a victorious soldier, because he exposed himself to death. He was counted among the rebels. He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels."

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Advent Day 19 - beauty of it all

Welcome if you're coming over from my published devotion today.

When I think of Advent, I think of a big wooden door -- like maybe one found on a cathedral, or a monastery, or maybe just an old ancient inn. I imagine Jesus on the other side of it ... knocking.

Revelation 3:20 - “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends."

As I imagine further, my heart beats faster. I picture a key turning the lock ... I hear the lock release ... then I see the knob beginning to turn, and I know that it is the hand of my Lord turning it from the other side. I realize I'm about to come face to face with Him.

Can you feel the excitement ... sense the anticipation? That's what advent is all about! Can you imagine the beauty you are about to see?

Psalm 96:6
- Honor and majesty surround him; strength and beauty fill his sanctuary.

Psalm 27:4 - One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.

"Advent" is the Latin word for "arrival" ... referencing the arrival of Christ in the world at Christmas, and later at the second coming. I'm posting advent readings here through Christmas Day, so I invite you to join me for the last week of readings. Does your family do anything special to "observe" or celebrate advent?

Matthew 2:9 (NLT)
"After this interview the wise men went their way. And the star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was."

Isaiah 53:11 (NLT)
"When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied. And because of his experience, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins."

Advent Day 18

When I think of Advent, I think of a big wooden door -- like maybe one found on a cathedral, or a monastery, or maybe just an old ancient inn. I imagine Jesus on the other side of it ... knocking.

Revelation 3:20
- Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends."

As I imagine further, my heart beats faster. I picture a key turning the lock ... I hear the lock release ... then I see the knob beginning to turn, and I know that it is the hand of my Lord turning it from the other side. I realize I'm about to come face to face with Him.

Can you feel the excitement ... sense the anticipation? Can you imagine the beauty you are about to see? That's what Advent is all about!

Psalm 24:7 - Open up, ancient gates! Open up, ancient doors, and let the King of glory enter.

"Advent" is the Latin word for "arrival" ... referencing the arrival of Christ in the world at Christmas, and later at the second coming. I'm posting advent readings here through Christmas Day, so I invite you to join me for the last week of readings.

Matthew 2:7-8 (NLT)
"Then Herod called for a private meeting with the wise men, and he learned from them the time when the star first appeared. Then he told them, 'Go to Bethlehem and search carefully for the child. And when you find him, come back and tell me so that I can go and worship him, too!'”

Isaiah 53:10 (NLT)
"But it was the Lord’s good plan to crush him and cause him grief. Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have many descendants. He will enjoy a long life, and the Lord’s good plan will prosper in his hands."

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Advent Day 17

When I think of Advent, I think of a big wooden door -- like maybe one found on a cathedral, or a monastery, or maybe just an old ancient inn. I imagine Jesus on the other side of it ... knocking. My heart beats faster. I imagine a key turning the lock ... I hear the lock release ... then I see the knob beginning to turn, and I know that it is the hand of my Lord turning it from the other side. I realize I'm about to come face to face with Him.

Can you feel the excitement ... sense the anticipation? That's what Advent is all about. "Advent is the latin word for "coming" or "arrival." Here are today's advent readings:

Matthew 2:5-6 (NLT)
“In Bethlehem in Judea,” they said, “for this is what the prophet wrote: ‘And you, O Bethlehem in the land of Judah, are not least among the ruling cities of Judah, for a ruler will come from you who will be the shepherd for my people Israel.’”

Isaiah 53:9 (NLT)
"He had done no wrong and had never deceived anyone. But he was buried like a criminal; he was put in a rich man’s grave."

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Advent Day 16

When I think of Advent, I think of a big wooden door -- like maybe one found on a cathedral, or a monastery, or maybe just an old ancient inn. I imagine Jesus on the other side of it ... knocking. My heart beats faster. I imagine a key turning the lock ... I hear the lock release ... then I see the knob beginning to turn, and I know that it is the hand of my Lord turning it from the other side. I realize I'm about to come face to face with Him.

Can you feel the excitement ... sense the anticipation? That's what Advent is all about. Here are today's advent readings:

Matthew 2:3-4 (NLT)
King Herod was deeply disturbed when he heard this, as was everyone in Jerusalem. He called a meeting of the leading priests and teachers of religious law and asked, “Where is the Messiah supposed to be born?”

Isaiah 53:7-8 (NLT)
"He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth. Unjustly condemned, he was led away. No one cared that he died without descendants, that his life was cut short in midstream. But he was struck down for the rebellion of my people."

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Advent Day 15

When I think of Advent, I think of a big wooden door -- like maybe one found on a cathedral, or a monastery, or maybe just an old ancient inn. I imagine Jesus on the other side of it ... knocking. My heart beats faster. I imagine a key turning the lock ... I hear the lock release ... then I see the knob beginning to turn, and I know that it is the hand of my Lord turning it from the other side. I realize I'm about to come face to face with Him.

Can you feel the excitement ... sense the anticipation? That's what Advent is all about. Here are today's advent readings:


Matthew 2:1-2 (NLT)
Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.”

Isaiah 53:6 (NLT)
"All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all."

Advent Day 14

When I think of Advent, I think of a big wooden door -- like maybe one found on a cathedral, or a monastery, or maybe just an old ancient inn. I imagine Jesus on the other side of it ... knocking. My heart beats faster. I imagine a key turning the lock ... I hear the lock release ... then I see the knob beginning to turn, and I know that it is the hand of my Lord turning it from the other side. I realize I'm about to come face to face with Him.

Can you feel the excitement ... sense the anticipation? That's what Advent is all about! Here is today's advent readings:


Luke 2:21 (NLT)
"Eight days later, when the baby was circumcised, he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel even before he was conceived."

Isaiah 53:5 (NLT)
"But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed."

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Advent Day 13

When I think of Advent, I think of a big wooden door -- like maybe one found on a cathedral, or a monastery, or maybe just an old ancient inn. I imagine Jesus on the other side of it ... knocking. My heart beats faster. I imagine a key turning the lock ... I hear the lock release ... then I see the knob beginning to turn, and I know that it is the hand of my Lord turning it from the other side. I realize I'm about to come face to face with Him.

Can you feel the excitement ... sense the anticipation? That's what Advent is all about! Here is today's advent readings:

Luke 2:20
The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.

Isaiah 53:3-4
He was despised and rejected—a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care. Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins!

Friday, December 12, 2008

The power of animation


My daughter is a tween-ager who actually likes many vegetables ... carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, green bell pepper, corn and more. (My strategy was to take my kids to the pool all morning when they were little, let them swim until they were starving, bring them home and place a tray of fresh cut veggies and ranch dip in front of them. They would scarf it up!) However, she has maintained after trying them several times that she does not like tomatoes, zucchini or colored bell peppers.

Yesterday, knowing she wouldn't be home for dinner, I made my first ever batch of ratatouille. If you don't know, that's a veggie stew of onion, eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes and red bell pepper. When she arrived home from play practice and found out we had that, she begged for some. I put a bowl in front of her, expecting her to look at it and change her mind. She ate the whole bowl and asked for another.

That, my friends, is the power of Disney's animated movie Ratatouille, which she loves. If you haven't seen it - even if you're an adult with no kids in the house - I can recommend it. But I can't promise it will get your kids or your husband to eat veggies!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Advent Day 12

When I think of Advent, I think of a big wooden door -- like maybe one found on a cathedral, or a monastery, or maybe just an old ancient inn. I imagine Jesus on the other side of it ... knocking.

My heart beats faster. I imagine a key turning the lock ... I hear the lock release ... then I see the knob beginning to turn, and I know that it is the hand of my Lord turning it from the other side. I realize I'm about to come face to face with Him.

Can you feel the excitement ... sense the anticipation? That's what Advent is all about!

TAC - awesome story!! Thanks so much for posting that. Gratitude and generosity are truly where its at! I've been writing about this in a chapter for my book these past few weeks... and doing a little paying it forward myself. :) I'll have to check out the revolution site.


Pamela - the advent calender pictured below is from Starbucks. They have them in my local cafe. I bet you can order it from their website too.

Now on to today's readings.

Luke 2:17-19 (NLT)
After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often.

Isaiah 53:1-2 (NLT)
Who has believed our message? To whom has the Lord revealed his powerful arm? My servant grew up in the Lord’s presence like a tender green shoot, like a root in dry ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Advent Day 11

Welcome if you're visiting me from my friend Karen's blog where she is doing 12 Days of Christmas and today I'm featured. I'm giving away a Starbucks gift card so pop over there to enter!

When I think of Advent, I think of a big wooden door -- like maybe one found on a cathedral, or a monastery, or maybe just an old ancient inn. I imagine Jesus on the other side of it ... knocking. My heart beats faster. I imagine a key turning the lock ... I hear the lock release ... then I see the knob beginning to turn, and I know that it is the hand of my Lord turning it from the other side. I realize I'm about to come face to face with Him.

Can you feel the excitement of it? Can you sense the anticipation? That's what Advent season is all about!



Even my beloved Starbucks has put out an advent calendar this year. I don't have one but I understand its filled with chocolate.


Luke 2:15-16
When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger.

Isaiah 52:13-15
See, my servant will prosper; he will be highly exalted. But many were amazed when they saw him. His face was so disfigured he seemed hardly human, and from his appearance, one would scarcely know he was a man. And he will startle many nations. Kings will stand speechless in his presence. For they will see what they had not been told; they will understand what they had not heard about.

Advent Day 10

When I think of Advent, I think of a big wooden door -- like maybe one found on a cathedral, or a monastery, or maybe just an old ancient inn. I imagine Jesus on the other side of it ... knocking.My heart beats faster. I imagine a key turning the lock ... I hear the lock release ... then I see the knob beginning to turn, and I know that it is the hand of my Lord turning it from the other side. I realize I'm about to come face to face with Him. Can you feel the excitement of it? Can you sense the anticipation? That's what Advent season is all about!

"Advent" is the Latin word for "arrival." This month I'm posting some short daily advent readings that refer to Jesus' coming. I love today's two verses!


Luke 2:13-14 (NLT)
Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying, "Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”

Isaiah 42:1-3 (NLT)
“Look at my servant, whom I strengthen. He is my chosen one, who pleases me. I have put my Spirit upon him. He will bring justice to the nations. He will not shout or raise his voice in public. He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle. He will bring justice to all who have been wronged."

Advent Day 9


When I think of Advent, I think of a big wooden door -- like maybe one found on a cathedral, or a monastery, or maybe just an old ancient inn. I imagine Jesus on the other side of it ... knocking.My heart beats faster. I imagine a key turning the lock ... I hear the lock release ... then I see the knob beginning to turn, and I know that it is the hand of my Lord turning it from the other side. I realize I'm about to come face to face with Him. Can you feel the excitement of it? Can you sense the anticipation? That's what Advent season is all about!

Karen, thanks for sharing those scriptures on angels with us in your comment. Many years ago I studied up on angels, including reading Billy Graham's book on the topic. It was then I decided to avoid buying things with the cute little cherub type angels - I like the warriors.

Luke 2:10-12 (NLT)
...but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”

Isaiah 40:10-11 (NLT)
Yes, the Sovereign Lord is coming in power. He will rule with a powerful arm. See, he brings his reward with him as he comes. He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart. He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Advent Day 8


When I think of Advent, I think of a big wooden door -- like maybe one found on a cathedral, or a monastery, or maybe just an old ancient inn. I imagine Jesus on the other side of it ... knocking.My heart beats faster. I imagine a key turning the lock ... I hear the lock release ... then I see the knob beginning to turn, and I know that it is the hand of my Lord turning it from the other side. I realize I'm about to come face to face with Him. Can you feel the excitement of it? Can you sense the anticipation? That's what Advent season is all about!

Luke 2:8-10 (NLT)
That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people.

Isaiah 40:3-5 (NLT)
Listen! It’s the voice of someone shouting, “Clear the way through the wilderness for the Lord! Make a straight highway through the wasteland for our God! Fill in the valleys, and level the mountains and hills. Straighten the curves, and smooth out the rough places. Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. The Lord has spoken!”

Colorado Dreaming

I had a terrific trip to Colorado. Thank you so much for praying.

The women came with open hearts to the event. We talked about "what smart women can learn from wise men." (Ginny, where did you get your wise men advent calendar? I'd love to have one of those!) From the stage I saw that many were touched ... many have been hurting or struggling... and I hope that many were changed.

It did me so much good to spend the weekend amidst the snow-covered mountains with some really great like-minded women. This time I stayed with a member of the church who lives atop Beaver Creek Mountain. The altitude got to me just a little bit - but not nearly as much as the views! Can you believe this warm-weather, beach-town girl is ready to move to Beaver Creek, CO?! I think I'd better make my way down to the water today and get reoriented.

I so appreciated 5SKIS praying that I wouldn't lose my debit card this time... I didn't lost it. :) However, I did lose my MP3 player on one of the flights home. And I think that's worse because I can't call my bank and have them send me another one with all my favorite songs loaded on it. Wondering how I'm going to make it through my work-out today without some music. Next time I'm going to have to list everything I'm packing and ask you gals to pray over it all!

I think the reason I lost the music player was because I was distracted. I believe I had a divine appointment on that flight. I wound up sitting next to a pilot, who knows Jesus (but not really) and is in the middle of a divorce with a wife who has been unfaithful. They have 5 kids. She is into Buddhism. He is fighting for custody of those kids. Please pray for this pilot. God is drawing him, pray that he will respond and follow. He gave me his address and agreed to let me send him a Bible. That's worth losing an MP3 player, don't cha' think?

I'll get back to posting the advent readings today. Meanwhile, here are a couple more pictures from Colorado. The first is a view down the mountain.

The second is the chateau with the restaurant we ate at on Saturday evening. One of the gals I'd met at the church is an interior designer and had recently remodeled the restaurant - she did a great job.


The last pic is a skier - not me, I'm much more the water skiing type. But the ski lift literally ran right behind the home I stayed at. I could see it from the window in my beautiful guest suite. You can bet I have lots to journal about in my gratitude journal - is anyone else keeping one of those?

Friday, December 5, 2008

Advent Day 5

When I think of Advent, I think of a big wooden door -- like maybe one found on a cathedral, or a monastery, or maybe just an old ancient inn. I imagine Jesus on the other side of it ... knocking.My heart beats faster. I imagine a key turning the lock ... I hear the lock release ... then I see the knob beginning to turn, and I know that it is the hand of my Lord turning it from the other side. I realize I'm about to come face to face with Him. Can you feel the excitement of it? Can you sense the anticipation? That's what Advent season is all about!

Hi Friends. I'm in the Charlotte airport waiting for my connection to Denver. I don't know if I'll have Internet again before Sunday - if I do, I'll post day 6&7, otherwise I'll post it Sunday evening. Hope you have a great weekend!


Luke 2:4-5 (NLT)
And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. He took with him Mary, his fiancĂ©e, who was now obviously pregnant.

Isaiah 9:6 (NLT)
For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Advent Day 4

When I think of Advent, I think of a big wooden door -- like maybe one found on a cathedral, or a monastery, or maybe just an old ancient inn. I imagine Jesus on the other side of it ... knocking.

My heart beats faster. I imagine a key turning the lock ... I hear the lock release ... then I see the knob beginning to turn, and I know that it is the hand of my Lord turning it from the other side. I realize I'm about to come face to face with Him. Can you feel the excitement of it? Can you sense the anticipation? That's what Advent season is all about!

I love what Karen wrote in her comment yesterday about Joseph: "Imagine the awe he must have felt in being the earthly father of a son directly from his Heavenly Father! ... We don't hear much about Joseph in the Bible, but we see the imprint of him in the New Testament all the same. ... Jesus was recognized as "the carpenter's son" in his early ministry. Joseph is the silent witness in the life of Jesus. So many of us are more comfortable in that role as Christians. We don't take the stage, we don't want the limelight, we won't be nominated for awards for our charismatic impact on the world, but we quietly serve, support, and love in the name of Jesus and to the glory of God our Father."

Beautiful point, Karen. It's never about the "limelight" ... it's always about the state of our hearts.


On that note ... Can I ask you to pray for me as I head Friday morning to the mountains of Colorado to take the stage at an outreach event this weekend? I'd appreciate prayers for my travel, for my family in my absence, for my message, and most of all for the hearts of the women who will attend. While it might be me standing up there speaking, I know I can't communicate anything worthwhile apart from the anointing of the Holy Spirit, and the prayer support of those who serve from unseen places. Thanks, friends!


Luke 2:1,3 (NLT)
At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census.

Isaiah 7:14 (NLT)
All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’).

Advent Day 3

When I think of Advent, I think of a big wooden door -- like maybe one found on a cathedral, or a monastery, or maybe just an old ancient inn. I imagine Jesus on the other side of it ... knocking.

My heart beats faster. I imagine a key turning the lock ... I hear the lock release ... then I see the knob beginning to turn, and I know that it is the hand of my Lord turning it from the other side. I realize I'm about to come face to face with Him. Can you feel the excitement of it? Can you sense the anticipation? That's what Advent season is all about!

Debrah commented yesterday: "'Luke 1:15, For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb.' Last month Elizabeth and Mary were the topic of our Women of The Bible Discussion..when I read Luke I was impressed by how involved the Holy Ghost was in the lives of Mary, Zacharias, Elizabeth, John and Jesus. I'd only thought of the Holy Ghost in terms of relationship as being after Pentecost."

Terrific point to bring out, Debrah. It illustrates the fact that one cannot fulfill God's purposes without the help of His Spirit. That's true of even the "great ones" of the faith. Through out the Old Testament when someone was used to advance God's will -- be it Moses, or Samson, or Samuel, or Saul, or David, or Elisha, etc. -- the Bible says that the Spirit of the Lord came upon him. (Check out Judges 14:5-6, Judges 14:19, I Sam. 10:1-10, I Sam. 16:13, II Kings 2:9-15 for examples.)


Matthew 1:20-23 (NLT)
As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet: “Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’”

2 Samuel 7:13 (NLT)
"He is the one who will build a house—a temple—for my name. And I will secure his royal throne forever."

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Advent Day 2

When I think of Advent, I think of a big door -- like maybe one found on a cathedral, or a monastery, or maybe just an old ancient inn. I imagine Jesus on the other side of it ... knocking.

My heart responds, begs even, "please, come." I imagine a key turning the lock ... I hear the lock release ... then I see the knob beginning to turn, and I know that it is the hand of my Lord turning it from the other side. I realize I'm about to come face to face with Him. Can you feel the excitement of it? Can you sense the anticipation? That's what Advent season is all about!

"Advent" refers to the coming of Christ. I'll be posting some short advent readings here through out the season, which runs from the start of December thru Christmas Eve. So if you too want to get intentional about reflecting on the amazing truth that an invisible God became visible to deliver our souls from sin and live among us as our King - join me.

You can also purchase or make an Advent calendar that counts down the days until Christmas. Some allow you to insert little pieces of candy or little scraps of paper with scriptures printed on them. Others have something printed behind the numbered flaps. Grade school kids often enjoy these.

Genesis 22:18 (NLT)
"And through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed—all because you have obeyed me.”

Luke 1:41-42 (NLT)
"At the sound of Mary’s greeting, Elizabeth’s child leaped within her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Elizabeth gave a glad cry and exclaimed to Mary, “God has blessed you above all women, and your child is blessed."

Monday, December 1, 2008

Welcome to Advent


Today, December 1st, marks the beginning of the Advent season. Advent is a Latin word meaning "coming" or "arrival." It's the season to reflect on the coming of our Savior which took place centuries ago with His birth. And it's a season to reflect on the second coming of our King which is yet to fully take place.

When I think of Advent, I think of a big door, like maybe one found on a cathedral, or a monastery, or maybe just an old ancient inn. I imagine Jesus on the other side of it ... knocking. My heart responds, begs even, "please, come." I imagine a key turning the lock ... I hear the lock release ... then I see the knob beginning to turn ... and I know that it is the hand of my Lord turning it from the other side. And I realize I'm about to come face to face with Him. Can you feel the excitement? Can you sense the anticipation?

That's what the advent season is all about! This my Savior, and my King about to greet me.

I'll be posting some short advent readings here through out the season. So if you too want to get intentional about reflecting on the amazing truth that an invisible God became visible to deliver our souls from sin and live among us as our King - join me.


Luke 1:30-33 (New Living Translation)

“Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!”