Good morning, dear friends,
I celebrate this morning. I had a good day yesterday. I was able to make Christmas cookies with my kiddos, I was able to make dinner, I was able to help clean up. It was huge. I kept stepping back and wondering who is this here? I am grateful. My parents came yesterday and we were together. It was a good, good day. My children gave me gifts yesterday. Long hugs. Speaking on my behalf, understanding how the medical issues for me work, finding a Christmas box that had special items, standing around in the kitchen and just looking at them, covered in flour..wanting this moment to last.
In the midst of all the beauty and chaos, I worry. How? Why? When dizzy spells come or jolts of pain, I sit and wonder. I realize my focus is not where God has asked me to be. I worry about finances. I worry about my kids. I worry. God’s presence is the greatest present. My battlefield is my mind. Can you relate? When you are focused on you, you become the focus. When you take your eyes off yourself, remember Bible verses that are special to you, that God has given to you as gifts or begin to pray silently for the one who is in front of you in the grocery aisle, or for your family, or whatever God has in front of you..the newspaper, the emails, the Facebook messages.
Or just ponder the wonder of Him. Look out your window. Praise Him. Sing praises. And what happens to me when I do this? My mind shifts. I can enter back into the beauty and chaos of my life knowing He is with me. Emmanuel. God with us. He is with me, now, in the stillness of this morning, with a little dog by me. I sip my coffee and I have peace.
There is a song we all know well, Joy to the World. My favorite verse usually is skipped..everyone knows the first verse, right?
No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.
I asked my kids what that meant. We sing it, but what does it mean? Where is the curse not found on this earth?
No more let sins and sorrows grow…My worry, your worry, my sin, your sin…we are free. Jesus came to set us free. Free! Do you hear me? I have a chance today to throw my hands up in the air in praise and worship to the One who has set me free.
I found a quote from Abraham Lincoln...
“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.”
Thorns are yucky. Yet I think our 16th president was on to something. Instead of pondering our thorny lives, we can pause and give thanks for all the roses.
My thankfuls today: (won’t you join me? I am not stopping until…)
42. I’m really thankful for yummy cookies sitting on my shelves.
43. I’m thankful for good health..even when i don’t feel good..I know.
44. I’m thankful for a clean puppy who groans in her sleep and always looks like she is smiling.
Psalm 98: Oh sing to the Lord a new song,
for he has done marvelous things!
His right hand and his holy arm
have worked salvation for him.
2 The Lord has made known his salvation;
he has revealed his righteousness in the sight of the nations.
3 He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness
to the house of Israel.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation of our God.
Salvation, deliverance! What glorious words. He has remember HIS steadfast love to the ends of the earth have seen the salvation. So our focus cannot be on worry and fear, look for His salvation, His deliverance as far as the curse is found, Jesus’ blood has set us free from that curse. Sing a new song for He has done marvelous things! What has our God done? Start your own list of thankfuls.
“ Years ago, Isaac Watts wrote “Joy to the World,” the well-loved hymn often sung during this busy Christmas season. Ironically, Watts never intended his hymn for Christmas use. Instead, he simply intended to paraphrase the words of Psalm 98: “Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth . . . for he comes. . .” (vs. 4, 9).
Amidst his poetry about Christ’s second coming, however, Watts also provides fitting words for our Christmas frenzy: “Joy to the world! the Lord is come . . . Let every heart prepare him room.” Prepare him room-significant words for any time of year. Yet perhaps we need to hear them the most at Christmastime, when so many things can distract us from our faith.” (Center for Church Music)
I love this quote. The Lord is coming again. He has come. Prepare Him room.
Psalm 98: 7 Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
the world and those who dwell in it!
8 Let the rivers clap their hands;
let the hills sing for joy together
9 before the Lord, for he comes
to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness,
and the peoples with equity.
Watch the world around you. See how creation cries praise! Marvelous. Joy. Dear friends, please don’t allow the whispers of our enemy to rob you of the joy of knowing His peace. Especially now. Right now.
Pray on. Pray on.