Monday, December 10, 2018

A Christmas Wish List

By: Joanne Viola


I went through my teenage years listening to Amy Grant and Kathy Troccoli music.  It should not come as a surprise that one of my favorites Christmas songs is on Amy Grant’s Christmas CD. I have loved this song for years. Even at other times of the year, this song speaks to my heart.
"Here’s my life long wish, my grownup Christmas list. Not for myself but for a world in need."
More than ever before, I am more aware of the brokenness which is in our world. In our lives. And it is into our brokenness our Savior broke into on that first Christmas. Or perhaps He broke open our brokenness.
"No more lives torn apart, that wars would never start and time would heal all hearts."
Time does not heal all hearts. But the Babe in the manger did come for that very reason.

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” (Psalm 147:3)

 He, Himself, dresses our wounds, and bandages our hearts so we do not hemorrhage.
"Everyone would have a friend."
It is at this time of year, loneliness is most on display. May those who are alone experience the truth that we have a friend that sticks closer than a brother (Prov.18:24). The Life born in the stable came to bring life and to call us His friend.
"Right would always win and Love would never end."
Right will always win. One day He will right all wrongs. And in the meantime, we keep loving others. Loving Him.

"Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.”
(1 Corinthians 13:7-8, ESV)

Perhaps our Christmas Wish List should look more like this: 

“He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8, NIV)

What are you desiring this Christmas?


In His Love,
Joanne
Photo by DiEtte Henderson on Unsplash
 
 

Sunday, December 9, 2018

A prayer for peace...



This is part three of a Sunday Soul Food series on peace.
For part one click here.
For part two click here.
A prayer for peace-

Father God,

I thank You that you sent Jesus, my Prince of Peace, so that I can have peace with You.  I want to walk in love and unity with You. I know that I cannot have true peace within if I am walking in resistance or disobedience to Your will and your ways. If there is anything in my thoughts, words or deeds or in the affections and desires of my heart that is robbing me of the peace that You want me to have, please show me what it is. Bring everything within me to into obedience to You and Your ways so that Your peace can rule my heart, mind and life.  Forgive me, cleanse me and cover me with the righteousness of Jesus that I have been given in exchange for my sin. 

Father, I also want my home and family to be filled with Your peace.  Fill my home with Your peace and presence.  Let it be palpable to all who enter my home.  I pray for every family member to come into alignment with You and Your ways so they, too, can walk and live in peace.
Prince of Peace rule in my home and family. Rule in me. I want a whole and peaceful life.

Father, I ask this in the name of Your Son, Jesus.  
Amen.


still following,

Friday, December 7, 2018

Finding Peace Despite Broken Relationships at Christmas




By: Sarah Geringer


Are you suffering from a broken relationship right now?

I'm dealing with a few of them, and if we were having tea together in real life, I'd let you in on the details.

Suffice it to say, my broken relationships threaten my inner peace.

I'm not ignorant of our enemy Satan's schemes. Ever since I returned from a mountaintop experience this July, I feel like I've been under spiritual attack. Since relationships matter so much to me, I'm sure that's why they've been targeted.


But I'm not letting the enemy have the upper hand, even though I'm hurting.

The enemy wants to destroy your peace by messing with your relationships. Christmas seems to be the perfect time of the year for the enemy to launch fiery arrows into our relationships. He'll do anything to distract us from the real reason for the season: Jesus.

We can choose to wallow in the heartache of broken relationships, or we can reach out for God's peace.

God is showing me I can find peace in the midst of the problems. He's showing me to own my part but not take on the other person's responsibility. In fact, that very habit has gotten me in trouble over the years. When I take responsibility for other people's happiness, my peace is eventually destroyed. People-pleasing never leads to peace.

In his quiet way, God is showing me that I can only control my own behavior and actions. I can't be responsible for the way anyone else feels. Also, if I need to confront them, I can't count on getting a pleasant reaction--no matter how well-planned, well-worded, and well-timed my confrontation may be. They may retaliate or even start a relationship war. I can't stop them, no matter how much I care.

God is teaching me that though my broken relationships cause me pain, I can find peace in his presence, anytime and anywhere.

I can trust that he will never let me down, shut me out, manipulate me, criticize me, or use me.

I can trust him to speak to me through his word, through Christian friends, through sermons, through songs, and through books. And I can hear his loving voice through prayer, all day long.

I can trust him to value me, treasure me, cherish me, listen to me, and uphold me. I am his precious child, and in his presence I find peace in abundance.

Do you know God will do the same for you in your broken relationships? He is waiting for you to come to him, with arms open wide.

I'll close this devotion with these words of Jesus. 

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not be afraid." John 14:27 NIV


I hope you will meditate on Jesus' words each time a relationship problem threatens this Christmas. God is ready to give you peace if you surrender your broken relationships to his loving care.

If you want to share feedback on this post, please leave a comment below. You can always share at my site if you have any trouble leaving a comment here.

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Have a wonderful weekend!

Blessings and God's peace to you,



Photo from Canva.com

Reflection questions:


1. How do these words of Jesus bring you peace today?


2. Which relationship needs God's help and healing in your life?



Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Forgiveness Through His Compassion

By: Jenifer Metzger

Today I am thrilled to have my daughter guest posting for us. Please help me welcome Grace!

I have two guinea pigs named Brownie and Truffle, and they chew on everything! No matter what I do, they chew on everything in their cage. Well, I recently bought them a new tunnel and they loved it! They would constantly run around it; they just loved playing with their new toy. It wasn’t long until they started chewing on their new toy. I couldn’t help but think “You had something great, something you loved, but you had to go and ruin it.” Then I thought “How many times do we do that in our own life? How many times do we ruin something that’s great in our life with our sin, pride, or fear?”


In Proverbs 19:3 it says “People ruin their lives by their own foolishness and then are angry at the Lord.”

Why are we so quick to blame God when something goes wrong in our lives?

Maybe it’s because we fear that if we own up to what we did wrong that we’re going to be punished. But God says, “But if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” {1 John 1:9}

We’re not the first generation who ruined our lives and blamed others. Adam and Eve had a perfect life. They had no pain, no sin, and they were able to walk with God! But they had to ruin it by eating the fruit from the tree of good and evil. And like us, they decided to blame each other and the serpent instead of owning up to their mistakes.

There’s many more characters like that in the Bible and God forgave each and everyone of them.

Today I pray that we remember Micah 7:19 “Once again You will have compassion on us. You will trample our sins under Your feet and throw them into the depths of the ocean!”
‭‭‬‬‭‭‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬
Grace Metzger loves reading, writing, baking, piano, and playing with her guinea pigs Brownie and Truffle and hamster Snickers. Grace teaches the preschool class at her church and is graduating from high school this month.













It is time for the Woman to Woman Word Filled Wednesday Link Up. We 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 in their comments.

On social media, use hashtag #w2wwordfilledwednesday!

Three rules to this link up:
1. Must be a {Christian} faith post.
2. Please link back to W2W somewhere in your post. (Feel free to use our button if you'd like!)
3. Visit and comment on at least one other blog in the link up.


Woman to Woman Ministries

Monday, December 3, 2018

Prepare The Way & The 7th Annual Christmas Blessing Giveaway

By: Joanne Viola

"Let every heart, prepare Him room."

I wonder how many times these words have been sung? How many times have they been written about? And yet I wonder ...

Have I truly prepared my heart?


 Somewhere in the month of October, God began to stir in me the need to prepare my heart to be prepared for the Advent.

To 'prepare', according to dictionary.com is “to put in proper condition or readiness; to get ready by proper assembling”.

"Prepare the way for the Lord's coming! Clear the road for him!"
(Matthew 3:3b, NLT)

Preparation, in this instance, means to clear the way. I have been trying to clear the way by setting time aside each day to think about Christmas and Christmas carols and familiar words.

Preparation takes time and effort and energy. Preparation takes sacrifice.

Zechariah was told about the birth of his son, John the Baptist, by an angel. The angel said,

“He will be a man with the spirit and power of Elijah. He will prepare the people for the coming of the Lord. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and he will cause those who are rebellious to accept the wisdom of the godly." (Luke 1:17, NLT)

 We can easily overlook those words -  We cannot prepare ourselves by ourselves.

He comes alongside of us and enables us to prepare our hearts. It is all by His doing. He makes us ready, prepared, for the Lord. For the day of His coming.

All these days of listening to Christmas music, reading Scriptures telling of the story of His birth - all of it, this entire time ...

He Himself is preparing us to prepare for Him.

Seeing as He does all things well, our hearts can rest assured, we have been prepared. And we will sing, prepared …

"Joy to the World, the Lord has come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing."


In His Love,
Joanne
Photo by Artyom Kulikov on Unsplash

**********

It is time for the 7th Annual Christmas Blessing Giveaway!


We have partnered with thirteen incredible bloggers to bring you a blessing giveaway of $250 in Paypal cash! Here are our participating bloggers, click each name to head over and support them!

Woman to Woman Ministries
Jenifer Metzger
A Delightful Glow
Coupons and Freebies Mom
Newly Us
As For Me and My Homestead
Breakthrough Homeschooling
Rachael Gilbert
Skill Trek
Lesa Dale
Bible Journaling Ministries
Days & Thoughts
A Heart for Your Home
Shari A. Miller, Living to Leave a Legacy

Giveaway Rules: No purchase necessary. Must be 18 to enter. Void where prohibited by law. **Open to US/Canada residents only.** This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed, or associated by Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest. By entering this giveaway, you agree to release Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Woman to Woman Ministries, and all participating bloggers of all liability. Contest ends at 12:01am EST on December 11, 2018. Winning entry will be verified. Winner is randomly chosen by Rafflecopter and will be emailed.

To enter the Blessing Giveaway, complete each task in the rafflecopter below. Be sure to come back each day and Tweet the giveaway for more entries!