IT’S TRUE, GOD CHOSE YOU!
As I watched The Nativity on my television that day~
I saw the angel come to Joseph.
Come to Mary.
Speaking to their hearts~
”Don’t be afraid.”
Words of assurance.
This was God.
He would be born of the Holy Spirit. Messiah and Savior of the world.
I saw His birth. I saw the manger. I watched His earthly parent’s faces filled with joy and love for this Child Who meant the world to them.
I saw the gift of Christmas.
My heart pondered the ones God had chosen to raise the Savior of all mankind. The parents whose house Jesus would live and be raised in.
They must’ve been so special for God almighty to choose them.
Why did God choose Joseph?
Why did God choose Mary?
God answered me that day.
He whispered words to my heart that brought tears.
I chose you too Charisse.
I chose you for my Son to live and dwell. Every day He is there with you because He has been born in you.
That day, so many years ago, someone showed me God’s words of incredible love. Someone read me the Christmas story and told me that baby, grown into a man, died on the cross for me. He took my sin on Himself so that I could be justified and forgiven. The Holy Spirit spoke to my heart. I was no longer afraid of death. Christ was born in me and every day since that day He lives in me, and with me. There is nothing that can separate me from Him and His love for me.
I am not special. I have done nothing, not one thing to deserve this. Yet God chose me, because I am His and He loves me.
And He loves you.
God’s gift of His Son is for you as well. The gift of being born again.
The gift of everlasting life.
The gift of Christmas.
Just as the angel spoke to Mary and she in turn had incredible faith to believe that the Messiah would live in her~
God is speaking to you.
Have faith and believe that He can live in you as well. He can live in your heart and life every single day and one day receive you into the home He has prepared for you in heaven.
No fear of death any longer.
You can be His manger.
You can be His home here on earth.
You can be the light of His star that leads others to Him.
Not because you are special.
Not because you are good enough.
Not because you go to church.
But only because of God’s love.
Only because of Jesus and His sacrifice on the cross.
Don’t be afraid.
God’s words give us assurance.
By faith believe and accept God’s beautiful gift today.
The gift of a baby~
The gift of Jesus~
The gift of Christmas!
YOU CAN CHANGE THE WORLD
I know it’s cliche, but what if we really did choose to live every day as if it were our last?
What if we had to go through the exact routine today that we went through yesterday
not telling anyone it was our last day here on earth.
Knowing that when we laid our heads on our pillows tonight and closed our eyes, we would wake up in heaven.
How would this change how we chose to live? How we looked at our loved ones and treated them? How we lived our lives in front of those we work with, knowing that today was the last time to share our Savior with them?
We wouldn’t worry about tomorrow because we would know there would be no tomorrow.
Today would be so much more important to us.
We would cherish every single second with our loved ones, with our children. With our spouses.
We would make time for family because we would know we didn’t have any time left.
We would put our phones down and try to teach our children as much as we could, knowing we wouldn’t be here tomorrow.
We would love on our spouses deeply, and be so forgiving of so much.
You know where I’m going with this.
Preachers have preached on it often~”What if today was your last.”
When we hear that, we usually tend to think outside the box of reality. All the extravagant things we would do our last day on earth.
But think about having to stay inside the box of reality. Having to live out your day today not changing a thing except for how you view it, and then how you act and react ~because that view is drastically changed.
And yet God tells us-
We aren’t promised tomorrow.
Psalm 90:12, Matthew 6:34
We aren’t supposed to worry. Matthew6:25-34
We’re supposed to love on our children and train them up in the way they should go. Proverbs 22:6
We’re supposed to forgive and love our spouses and each other as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it. Ephesians 4:32, 5:25
We’re supposed to be a living testimony for Christ in all we do or say.
We’re supposed to find the joy of Christ in everything. Every single second.
John 15:11, I Peter 1:8, Philippians 4:4,
Romans 14:17, Psalm 16:11,
Just as if today were our last.
This December lets choose to live every day to the fullest, with a different view.
To cherish every single second and not allow the Christmas chaos to change our perspective.
To view each day as a beautiful gift from God and strive to share that present with everyone.
Let’s determine to be thankful for Christmas and focus on Christ~just as if we will be seeing him tonight.
A drastically changed view can drastically change the world.
Through Christ alone and for His glory we can change the world.
One day at a time.
AN UNPLANNED PREGNANCY
Two of my four children were planned. Our first was a happy, yet unexpected surprise for me.
Our third was a different story,
but one with a very happy ending.
We lived in Connecticut at the time and my OBGYN told us that everyone born before 1965 should get vaccinated for chicken pox and measles, especially if we were planning to get pregnant. The disease could be deadly for a baby in the womb. He advised I get the vaccine at least a month before conceiving, with strict orders that I NOT get pregnant.
So I did.
We were extremely meticulous in obeying the Doctors orders, but as careful as we were...accidents happen.
I freaked out. Mike freaked out. We both freaked out.
The Doctor said “DON’T get pregnant”...
But I did.
And I freaked.
The doctors kind of freaked too.
They advised abortion.
They advised tests to see if the baby would be born with deformities and if these tests were positive, they advised termination.
This was our miracle baby.
Against all odds, God chose for him to be born.
No matter what
~ he would be perfect in our eyes~ because God had chosen to breathe life into his tiny little soul as I carried him.
Month after month we prayed.
And as that precious baby was placed in my arms and tears of joy spilled down our cheeks, we praised God for a perfect, healthy baby boy. Our only son.
What a beautiful gift from God.
My life was changed that day.
We are human. We our sinful. As careful as we may try to be in obeying all the “rules”, in obeying God’s commands~ we can never be perfect. We can never be good enough. We will always mess up. Sin will always be present.
But there’s still a very happy ending.
We are not an accident in God’s eyes. We are precious to Him.
God loves us so much,
He made a way.
Only one way~
and that way is through His Son.
And through His Son, we can become perfect in God’s eyes.
Born again. Not because of anything we have done, but because of everything He did for us.
Christmas changed history.
Christmas changed our hearts. Christmas changed our destiny.
Christmas changed our lives for eternity.
Christ was born.
He left the glory of heaven’s majesty.
To be born in you.
John 1:14, 3:7
For you, so that God almighty could breathe life into your soul. So that you could carry Him in your heart.
So that your life could forever be changed.
Against all odds.
Against all mess ups.
Against all rules.
Only Jesus~ living in you.
Tears of joy spill down my cheeks as I think of the absolute majesty and wonder of Christ’s birth, that precious baby placed in a manger~for me.
It brings me to my knees.
There will be no other gift this Christmas that can compare to such a Gift as this. The Gift of forgiveness and eternal life from a Father and His Son, our Savior that gave His life for you.
When I ponder the birth of my son and that little miracle placed in my arms~ my thoughts go to that manger in Bethlehem and the greatest, most important Miracle of all mankind.
Fall on your knees with me this Christmas and praise God for His miraculous Gift. Matthew 2:10-11
The Gift that changed our destiny.
A Gift that can change your life today
Titus 1:2, John 3:15, I John 2:25,
Romans 6:23, I John 5:11 & 13,
John 10:28, John 17:3
DON’T LOSE HEART IN THE NOW
It was almost Christmas when our family moved from Ohio to MI to live with my parents.
It had been a long and lonely few months up until this time. My husband had been working out of state all week and I was left alone with our four small children, our youngest being only 8 months old.
We enrolled our kids in the same school my husband graduated from.
It was an exciting time.
Christmas was right around the corner and we were sure a pastorate position would be as well.
All was right with the world. We thought.
God had different plans that year.
It started with Andrea’s teacher informing us that she was extremely behind in her class.
She told us that the class already knew the entire alphabet, but that Andrea could not identify one letter. We were in shock, she had been getting such good grades at her previous school.
Her sweet teacher suggested we start out with flash cards and work with her every night. From the beginning.
I had panic moments. How could I teach her the entire alphabet when she was already so behind? There were many, many long nights. Lack of patience and crying often ensued (from mom and daughter).
It didn’t take long to figure out what was going on. I would hold up a card, Andrea would look at the card, then at me. Directly at my mouth every time. Apparently she had gotten very good at lip reading and instead of identifying what the letter was, she was waiting for me to mouth the word.
She didn’t know the truth, she was only imitating.
Due to some unfortunate circumstances, the next 8 months weren’t easy ones for our family.
There was a lot of praying. A lot of crying. Some fighting. A lot of trusting.
And so much learning.
During that time, Andrea wasn’t the only one learning, I was as well~
Learning to trust God was a big one. Not just with the alphabet incident, but also in the circumstances of life that surrounded us.
Next on the list would be the realization that our children watch everything that we as parents do, in every situation. How we act. How we react. We are teaching them in every moment we live and their little eyes are soaking it all up.
A parent can send their child to the best school, the best church, the best children’s programs, but ultimately as important as all these things are~
God has chosen YOU as the most important person He wants your child to learn from.
YOU have to teach them.
They might imitate the good behavior they learn at church. They might know all the right answers from the lessons they are taught~
but the truth of life’s lessons, the hard lessons, God’s lessons~you’re the one that will teach them that.
They can imitate their teachers or their church leaders, but every single day, every single moment, they are watching you and the truth you are teaching them by the life you are living.
It will be hard.
There will be times that it will be very hard.
There will be panic moments, lack of patience, fighting and even crying.
There will be a lot of praying.
Don’t give up.
Every night for 2 hours I worked with Andrea. It wasn’t easy for either of us. She finally got it. Months later when that pastorate position became available in a little town called Caseville, her teacher told us she was ahead in her class and doing very well.
Twenty Five years later Andrea teaches as a substitute at that very school.
One day, your children will have children. They will teach them the lessons they learned from you, whether they were good or bad.
I know I made many mistakes through the years, mistakes I see my own children replicating at times, but I also see the amazing ways God allowed them to see some of the good too.
It’s very humbling to watch your own adult children.
When the days and nights seem long and hard, you think that day will never come~but it will.
And then you realize it came too fast.
Don’t lose heart in the now.
Stay with it mom.
Teach them. Pray with them. Discipline them but most of all, love on them.
Then, one day watch with a heart that is full, as they do the same.
Psalm 78:2-4, 6-7