Monday, December 6, 2021

For Unto You

 By: Joanne Viola


 

Our world and society has been changing so rapidly the last few years. Certain words have been changed or deleted from our calendars and schedules. Salutations have been reworded to avoid created offense to some.

It brought back to memory one lice from a familiar Christmas special when the poignant question is asked:

“Isn’t there anybody who can tell me what Christmas is all about?”

One of the special memories of Christmas past was when my children and I would snuggle under the covers on my bed, settle in and watch Christmas specials. It never matter whether it was Frosty, or Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer, or Charlie Brown Christmas. It was always a special time.

How can we ever forget Charlie Brown? The little, depressed boy who is in search of the true meaning of Christmas. We even call the small, straggly Christmas tree on the lot, “The Charlie Brown Tree” and we all know what than means.

But it is his haunting question about the true meaning of Christmas which we all remember most.

Thankfully, his little friend, Linus answers:

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
(Luke 2:11, KJV)

Did you know that this line almost did not make it into the program?

“The executives did not want to have Linus reciting the story of the birth of Christ from the Gospel of Luke; the network orthodoxy of the time assumed that viewers would not want to sit through passages of the King James Version of the Bible. A story reported on the Whoopi Goldberg-hosted version of the making of the program stated that Charles Schulz was adamant about keeping this scene in, remarking, “If we don’t tell the true meaning of Christmas, who will?”

(from Wikipedia.com)

And you know what happened when it aired just the way that Charles Schulz created it?

“To the surprise of the executives, it was both a critical and commercial hit. None of the special’s technical problems detracted from the show’s appeal; to the contrary, it is thought that these so-called quirks, along with several other choices, are what lent the show such an innovative, authentic and sincere feeling. For instance, Linus’s recitation was hailed by critics such as Harriet Van Horne of the New York World-Telegram who said, “Linus’ reading of the story of the Nativity was, quite simply, the dramatic highlight of the season.”

(from Wikipedia.com)

May we remember and hold onto the true meaning of Christmas. May we always remember the courage of Charles Schulz as he asked:

“If we don’t tell the true meaning of Christmas, who will?”


 

Photo by Ganapathy Kumar on Unsplash


 

 

Saturday, December 4, 2021

Divine Disruption

We never expect troubles to come. Yet they do. We never expect life to be hard. Yet at times it is. In the troubled times, it is important to keep our focus on God.


I've faced quite a bit loss and pain throughout the last few years. Yet, throughout all the pain, all the loss, all the anger, all the bitterness, all the sadness, and all the tears, I have learned so much about who God is and who I am in Him. I have learned that through everything that comes my way, I can still trust in an Almighty God who is right by my side every step of the way.

In their new book Divine Disruption, Tony Evans -with his four children, Chrystal Evans Hurst, Priscilla Shirer, Anthony Evans, and Jonathan Evans- shares, "Sometimes God allows discomfort and distress because He wants us to move in close to Him." In the past few years of loss and struggle, I have moved in so much closer to God, and to my husband.


Tony and his children openly share of the losses and battles their family faced over such a short time. They teach us how to hold onto our faith through all the heart breaks that come. Chrystal says, "If you get rid of God, you still have your problems." So much truth. The problems will be there, so why not find a way to God and live the problems through a faith rooted in Him!

In Divine Disruption, you’ll walk away with insights on:
Why bad things happen despite a good and powerful God
Persevering in difficult times and experiencing God’s peace
What causes distress in your life—and how to move past it
How to keep your faith from being damaged during tough times 

Divine Disruption is a powerful book from the Evans family. The book is written in a style where you feel like you are literally sitting at the kitchen table with them just chatting. You'll cry. You'll turn your head heavenward and say, "Oh dear Jesus please help." You'll feel God near. And most important, you'll learn how to find faith even throughout life disruptions.

To order a copy of Divine Disruption, click the banner below. To enter to win a copy, complete each task in the rafflecopter below.







Friday, December 3, 2021

Mary's Journey: Letting Go

 


BySarah Geringer 

And a sword will pierce your own soul too.  Luke 2:35 (NIV)

From the moment Mary said, “I am the Lord’s servant” (Luke 1:38), she began letting go, as every mother must do with her child.

Mary let go of her comfort zone when she left for Bethlehem with Joseph.  She gave up a cozy birthplace  for her baby, surrounded by family who would assist with the birth. 

Mary let go of her authority over her adolescent son when they became separated in Jerusalem.  When she found him in the temple, she scolded him.  He reproached her, saying he needed to be in his Father’s house, and she didn’t understand.  Surely it wasn’t easy being his mother, even though he was the most obedient child who ever lived.

Before his first miracle, Mary must have sensed Jesus could take charge of a situation with his special power.  She told him, “There is no wine,” and he responded, “My time has not yet come.”  She let go well, instructing the servants to listen to him. (John 2:3-4)

Once, when she waited to speak with him, he pointed to his disciples and said, “Here are my mother and brothers.”  Jesus spoke of an ever-widening spiritual family; if Mary ever felt left out, she had to remind herself to let go, again. (Matthew 12:46-50)

Mary’s soul was pierced with a sword the day she saw her son hanging on a cross.  He cared for her in his time of greatest suffering (John 19:26-27), which she didn’t understand.  Mary had to let go of her dreams for her son and decide whether he was really the Messiah.

The last time we see Mary, she is with the disciples after Jesus’ ascension.  What a letting go that must have been—the overwhelming relief of his resurrection followed by the mystery of his departure into the sky.  By that time, Mary had learned to let go beautifully.  It all started with her words, “May it be to me as you have said.” (Luke 1:38)

How does Mary’s example inspire you?

Seeking peace as you prepare for the busy Christmas season? Check out my extensive collection of Christmas-themed blog posts HERE.


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Thursday, December 2, 2021

A Serious Prayer Warrior

In honor of Shari Miller...

A Serious Prayer Warrior by Shari A. Miller originally posted September 9, 2015.

I'm not surprised by much in life anymore.

I'm pretty much accustomed to the fact that if it can happen, it just might, and we need to be on guard more than ever before.

We all know that the end times are upon us. Things that are happening in the world now, we would have never imagined ten years ago.  If the good Lord decides to keep us on this earth for another ten years, I shudder to think of what the world will be like then.

I feel that the enemy is trying to blindside us from every turn. It specifically states in God's Word that during the end times there will be division among nations, friends, and family.

"They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law." - Luke 12:53 (NIV)




When these times arise, God calls us to do one thing above all else, He wants us to be serious prayer warriors.


An event happened to our family over the past week that has made me drop down to my knees and cry out to God for his strength, and help. The event made me ask the question, "Does God allow these things to happen so that we have nothing left to do, but to cling to Him?" My answer is yes. I'm not saying it's the only reason, but I do believe it's a part. 

These times when we are put through the refiners fire call for full out trust and belief in Him that He is right their walking with us every step of the way. We must trust that He already knew this was going to happen and that He knew every little detail from the start.

When these type of gut retching trials hit, the kind that knock the wind out of you and make your whole world spin, we must have utter and complete dependence on Him. We must stand up, or rather drop down on our knees before the Lord and be ready for battle.

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds to Christ Jesus." - Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)

The battles that we face friends are of the spirit realm.  The enemy is working overtime trying to divide and destroy families. We must always be on the lookout, and we must be ready friends. Not only when trials come, but all the time, we must be prayer warriors that will be willing to fight in God's army. 

 "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness
 in the heavenly places."  - Ephesians 6:12

There is so much power in prayer. Please join me friends, lets gather together in prayer and storm heaven's gates to see a glorious change in our families and in this nation. Let's give our whole hearts to the King in prayer as we see a movement happen, like we have never seen before.



Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Renovating Your Mind {Giveaway}

By: Jenifer Metzger

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let
God transform you into a new person by changing the way
you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you,
which is good and pleasing and perfect.
Romans 12:2

Have you ever had the TV or radio or even social media on and been bombarded with voices telling you what you should think? We all have. It is everywhere!

We live in a time where we are continually told what we should think. Every day someone telling us what to say, do, and think. Regardless of how major or minor the issue may be, everyone has an opinion and thinks we should see exactly as they do.

The voices shouting at us from every side can be overwhelming and exhausting. That is when we know we need to go to God.

We are clearly told in Romans 12:2 to stop following the world and let God transform us! We can give our thoughts, words, and actions to Him and let Him direct us in what we really are to think.



In his devotional Renovating Your Mind, Patrick Egle walks us through 365 days of renovation and leads us to a beautiful transformation. He takes us to the Bible to find out what God has to say. Each day the devotion starts with a Scripture verse, then Patrick openly shares experiences and stories that lead us to a place where we can stop copying the behaviors and customs of the world, but instead let God change and transform us.

Through Renovating Your Mind, my daily prayer has become, "Father, help me to do, say, and think things that line up with Your Word and bring glory to Your name, Amen."

If you are ready to renovate your thoughts and transform your thinking, pick up a copy of Renovating Your Mind. This year long devotional will be a great addition to your 2022!



Also, check out this YouVersion 7 day plan by Patrick, Renovating Your Mind! Click HERE.

To enter to win a copy of Renovating Your Mind, comment on the blog by sharing your favorite Scripture when you need to set your focus back on God. One comment will be randomly selected on December 5th and emailed from jenifer@w2wministries.org.












It's time for Share A Link Wednesday! Each Wednesday we invite you to leave a link to your latest blog post in the comments. We still desire to connect women of God with one another and encourage each other in Christ. So grab a cup of coffee or glass of sweet tea, sit back and visit a few blogs. Be encouraged and share your own stories.