Category Archives: Jesus

From my heart to yours

This has been an odd season. Honestly, I usually enjoy Thanksgiving through Christmas, even the hustle and bustle as too many things make their way onto my to-do list. The fact is, I usually go nuts about Christmas. It is my favorite time of the year. But this year, well…so many things have happened, painful things, that at first I thought there is no way I can enjoy Christmas.

It’s been a reminder that Christmas isn’t always a happy time for folks. Often the loss of a loved one or simply the reminder of a loved one who has long since passed brings memories that are painful. Many, many years ago, my beloved grandmother died on Thanksgiving morning. Often that day brings back sad memories. Often there is a loss of a job that makes the holidays difficult. Several years ago my husband was laid off two weeks before Christmas. It was the same day my beloved dog died. And the same day I received a rejection on a manuscript. Then for others, they may be experiencing an estrangement from family and their heart is hurting. I, too, have felt this. I don’t know your personal struggles, but the painful events over the past few weeks have reminded me that folks are hurting this time of year.

Why is Christmas so painful more so than other holidays throughout the year? No other holiday makes the joy feel larger and the sorrow greater. I believe it’s a spiritual battle. Christmas no matter what others may say is about celebrating the birth of a baby boy sent from our heavenly Father to save the world from sin. The day is meant to bring joy and peace. Yet, so often family strife may create the exact opposite. Or peace of mind may elude us because of sorrow. I believe the Evil One, Satan, wants to steal our joy, our peace, our good will.

Whatever your circumstances are this year, don’t let the Evil One steal your joy. Joy isn’t determined by circumstance. “And my soul shall be joyful in the Lord, it shall rejoice in his salvation.” Psalm 38: 9 No matter what we are experiencing, we can still rejoice at the birth of our savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the salvation He has given us.

So this Christmas season, lift your eyes off your circumstances, off your weariness, off your sorrow, off your anger, and look up. Look toward the one who came to set us free from sin. The one who can bind up our wounds. The one who can heal broken relationships and marriages. The one who can restore us. The one who offers us grace. Look to the Son of the Living God. Emmanuel-God with us. The Resurrection and the Life. The Great I Am. The Word. The Alpha and the Omega. The Savior of the World. The Messiah. The Lamb of God. Our High Priest. Our Redeemer. King of kings. Lord of lords. The Prince of Peace.

Blessings to you and merry Christmas!

The Sky is Falling!

Do you ever feel like Henny Penny (aka Chicken Little) running from news report to news report and feeling like the world is about to end? Seriously, there is so much going on in the world these days between the economy and all the worldwide chaos that it is easy to be afraid, for our families, our children, our country. If you read the news or have recently had difficult news in your own life, then you may be quaking in your slippers. Last week, I found myself flipping from channel to channel on radio and TV for scraps of news. So much seemed to be going on in the world and of course it was all happening 11 years after something that shook our nation—9/11. It doesn’t take much to bring back the emotions of that day.

It’s my aim here on my blog and in my writing to delve deep into the heart and heart issues. Quite often, fear rules our heart. It has mine in the past. I used to make decisions based on fear. Not a good way to live. Then I realized that fear doesn’t come from God. Now, when I experience fear, I tend to head right into that storm. That doesn’t mean I’m jumping out of airplanes or buying a spider for a pet or chasing tornadoes. Not unless God calls me specifically to do one of those things.

A long, long time ago, there were some seasoned fishermen riding in a boat. They should have felt right at home on the water. And yet, a storm blew up around them and suddenly they were scared they were going to die. That had to be some storm, right? I doubt these men were easily frightened. They knew what to do during a storm. But this storm was so big and so terrible that they were forced to turn to the one person they knew could save them—Jesus.

We can’t control our circumstances or calm the seas around us, but Jesus can. When you feel overwhelmed or scared or afraid, turn to the one who can save, the one who does save. One of my favorite passages from scripture is:

And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and among the lampstands was someone like a son of man, dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance. When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades. Rev. 1: 12b-18

This is not a watered down Jesus. This is a Jesus who is strong and in control. Here’s another great description of Jesus: I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. Revelation 19:11-16

This is a Jesus who can handle your problems and even more so the world’s difficulties. Remember: Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and ever tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2: 9-11

If you have been afraid, my friends, I pray today you will reach out to Jesus and experience the peace only He can offer.