Saturday, December 3, 2016

The government shall be upon His shoulder...


In this verse in Isaiah 9:6 we see Old Testament prophesy fulfilled as well as prophesy yet to be seen.  Over two thousand years ago, the angels rejoiced as a Child was born unto us.  On a specific day in human history the fullness of time came and the prophetic word came to pass.  Jesus Christ was born in the flesh.  We can now experience the reality of having a living and vital relationship with our Father God because of the coming of the Son of God on our behalf.  We can now enjoy having God as our Wonderful Counselor, our Mighty God, our Everlasting Father, our Prince of Peace.  But what about "the government shall be upon His shoulders"?  As evidenced by the recent divisive election here in the United States and the resulting unrest, we are still living in the painful "not yet" of that prophesy being fulfilled in our reality.

There will come a day, when Christ will return, not as a baby, but as a Mighty King.  He will come to planet earth, make the wrong things right, and restore and redeem God's beautiful creation.  The kingdoms of this world will become the kingdoms of our God and of His Christ and He will reign forever and ever.  Hallelujah and Amen!  Our hearts long for that day, don't they?

And yet, while I long for Him to rule and reign on planet earth, how often do I still resist His rulership in me, in my life?  (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, December 4th, at Woman to Woman Ministries where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)



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Friday, December 2, 2016

Friday Favs....Christmas Entry

Welcome to my home, all decked out for Christmas!  Today I'm going to show you the Christmas-y touches I've added to the entryway.  In the photo above, the front door is to your left.  So, it you were coming in my front door, this antique window that I turned into a coat rack would be on the wall to your left.
The tartan scarf was purchased in Edinburgh, Scotland when we visited there a year ago.  The little mittens were knit by my mama for one of my girls when they were little.
Looking straight ahead as you come in my front door is the large entry into the dining room and kitchen.  To your right is the arched entry into our living room.  On this small wall between those two entrances sits my antique library table with an antique wooden cubby sitting on it.  In the wooden cubby I have my collection of vintage santa mugs along with some of my vintage clocks.  On top of the wooden cubby is part of my collection of Universal China's Woodvine pattern.



I hope you enjoyed this sneak peek of my Christmas decor 2016.  I'll be showing you more of my Christmas decor in the next couple of weeks!

It's Friday, friends!
Have a HAPPY, HAPPY Friday
and 
a SAFE and BLESSED weekend!


         1aaadoveladygfairy006    

TidyMom
Shabby Art Boutique

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Accessible God...


When our youngest grandson was born I decided to keep our decades old fragile ceramic nativity set packed away.  I purchased this child's wooden nativity set because I wanted it to be accessible for our grandson to touch. I wanted him to be able to handle these symbols of the reason for the season as we read and talked about the in real life events they represented.

In the best news that ever was or ever will be, God was made accessible to you and I when Christ was born. He is "Immanuel", God with us.  The thought is mind boggling.  The Creator of all that we see, the One Who had no beginning and has no end, the Holy, Perfect, Righteous God became flesh and blood, became one of us, so that He could be with us and we could be with Him.

As I journey through this Advent season, culminating in the celebration of Christ's birth on Christmas Day, I want this season to be more than just a time to rejoice that on a set day in human history, in the fullness of time in God's eternal plan, His Son was born as a human baby.  I want this season to be a celebration that He is God with me in my here and now, in the everydayness of my ordinary life.  I want to experience His nearness in my reality, in the early morning quiet with my cup of coffee and Bible and in the busyness of my day as a ministry wife, mama and nana.  Yes, Christ came at a specific time in history, but He is still coming, still showing up in my here and now.  I want to be more aware of that this advent season.  I want to be accessible to the presence of the One Who became accessible for me.


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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Make a wish!

Our youngest granddaughter turned five yesterday! I've always found it challenging to find the right camera settings to be able to capture the blowing out of the birthday candles without using a flash.
I am pleased with how they turned out this year.  Boy, did she have a hard time blowing those five candles out!  It took her several tries.  Meanwhile, our youngest grandson, aged two, kept chanting, "Make a wish! Make a wish!"

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Monday, November 28, 2016

Thanksgiving week gratitude...


Thanksgiving week is over and the Advent season has begun.  During Advent we remember the long centuries of waiting for the Promised Messiah. On Christmas Day we celebrate the reality that when the fullness of time came, God really did, on a specific day at a specific time in human history, send His own Son in human flesh as the perfect sacrifice for our sins.  Whether our circumstances are currently peaceful and carefree, or challenging and worrisome, for this we can daily, should daily, give thanks.  We are God's by creation and His though the redemption that His Son paid for us on Calvary.  We are adopted as God's own through His great love, by His unfathomable choice to sacrifice His Beloved Son for His beloved children.  Praise and thanksgiving be His forevermore!
****************
Since 2009 I've been counting my blessings thanks to the prompting of Ann Voskamp.
 I continue to count my thanks
piling up gratitude day by day
in my journal.
(and capturing some of my blessings via my camera or iPhone)
#9179-#9201

11-21-16-
-putting up the Christmas tree!
-homemade spicy butternut squash soup
-my granddaughter's writing that if she was a Thanksgiving turkey she would move to South America!

11-22-16-
-a white haired lady at the grocery store that reminded me of Mama
-fresh balsam candles
-our house full of people praying together

11-23-16-
-the smell of bone broth simmering on the stove
-going out to lunch and a movie with the two oldest grandkids
-"Nannie!"-the way my youngest grandson lights up and says my "name" when he sees me

11-24-16-
-Thanksgiving Day!
-cooking with my daughter and granddaughter
-our son-in-law's yummy deep fried turkey
-oldest granddaughter's pretty table setting
-my sister and brother-in-law, nephew and his family, coming over to have dessert with us

11-25-16-
-more Christmas shopping done, and there were no Black Friday crowds at Marshalls!
-eating leftovers and watching the new PBS Anne of Green Gables with the girls while the boys watched football
-going to bed early and watching the new Gilmore Girls

11-26-16-
-morning blue hour just before sunrise
-Christmas-y flannel sheets
-cheesy Christmas movies

11-27-16-
-worship that lifts up the name of Jesus and Who He is
-God adding to the church
-God's provision

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Saturday, November 26, 2016

Living in peace in the messy realm of "not yet"...


As we wade through the aftermath of, perhaps, the most contentious election that I have known in my lifetime, my heart is craving peace.  Yet, it seems that peace on earth is more illusive than ever.  In our preparations to celebrate Christmas, it might be helpful to remind ourselves that the first advent of the Prince of Peace did not result in political peace.  In fact, that was not even the purpose of Christ’s birth. He was born that His kingdom might first be established in the hearts of men and women.  He came to bring peace within.  While there will come a day when the kingdoms of this world will become the kingdoms of our God and of His Christ, we are all living in the messy realm of “not yet”.  

In the “not yet” realm of unrealized peace on earth, election time isn’t the only season that can be difficult to navigate peaceably.  Holidays can, unfortunately, be another time when peace feels illusive.  Schedules are fuller, budgets are tighter, relationships may be strained by unrealistic expectations and unreasonable demands.  What can we do, in practical ways, to bring peace on earth into our everyday life?  (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, November 27th, at Woman to Woman Ministries where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)


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Scripture and Snapshot





Also happily linking up with the lovely

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Thoughts on this Thanksgiving Eve...


It's the morning before Thanksgiving.  The smell of tomorrow's feast is already filling my house as stock simmers on the stove to add to tomorrow's pan drippings for the turkey gravy.  Thanksgiving day will be spent at our second born daughter's house, but I'll do my part to help her with some of the cooking.

Today, as usual, I woke up early to sip some hot coffee and spend some time reading my Bible and praying. My favorite worship playlist is my background noise.  I've barely left the house since church on Sunday morning due to the remnants of this cold/flu that has sapped me of my normal energy levels.  Instead, I've wrapped myself in the peace and comfort of home and let myself heal, not just from the flu bug, but from the recent death of my mother-in-law, and from the persistent strife on social media.

Perhaps I'm a bit Pollyanna-ish, a bit over optimistic.  I think relational hurts and misunderstandings are something that can and should be talked and walked through. Abandoning relationship is not an option to me. (I'm not talking here about remaining in abusive relationships.)  As a child who's dad, in essence, walked away from me at age nine, abandonment and rejection, either physically or emotionally is about as cruel as you can get.  So, I tend to be extreme in the other direction.  I persist in trying to mend relationship, at times, with others who have no desire to continue in relationship with me.

After the election, on social media, I tried to understand others and be understood by others that voted differently than me and saw the election aftermath differently than I did.  In my attempts to "talk" through things, I made mistakes that hurt others.   While I apologized, I'm not sure it was seen as sincere or as enough.  I'm not sure that my efforts to maintain relationship in spite of still not seeing eye to eye about certain things worked.  I'm still a bit in mourning over this, because, as I said, I'm just not a person who easily lets go of relationship. Those I don't see eye to eye with are still my sisters in Christ.  I still care about them.

As I said, I've kind of hunkered down here in my safe place to let myself heal up in body, soul and spirit.  I've decided to do what I've known was the right thing to do from the beginning.  I'm focusing on making sure that the in real life people in my own sphere of influence are doing ok in this post election chaos.  I've talked to the black and latino members of our congregation, to the immigrants, asking them how they are doing, asking them if they feel anxious or afraid.  Overall, there is not nearly as much panic and fear as the media would have you think. Most respond to me with confidence and trust in God's care and protection.  There's also a measure of trust in us, that we would never sit idly by and watch them be mistreated or abused.

Perhaps, part of my grieving is sensing that God just might be grieving, too, right now.  Surely, the fact that His church is publicly biting and devouring one another grieves Him.  Surely, the fact that we think that Donald Trump or Hilary Clinton or anyone or anything else on this earth could separate us from His loving care and protection grieves Him.  Surely the fact that we are all so hell bent on being proudly identified by our political affiliation, our gender, our race, or our position rather than to humbly accept the truth that no other label or identity will last beyond this world and on into eternity except this one, "Child of God", surely that grieves His great heart.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and the Christmas season is beginning.  For God's sake, for the sake of the one King and the one Kingdom that will last forever and ever,  I pray that you and I can get our acts together as God's children and refocus on the things that unite us instead of the things that divide us. I pray that you and I, each in our own in real life sphere of influence, will go about our Father's business, spreading the good news, making disciples, loving others.  Meanwhile, I pray for God to bless you with His peace, joy and love.  Have a truly happy and gratitude filled Thanksgiving.

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Darling Downs Diaries

USE this for BLOG

Woman to Woman Ministries


Seeking God

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