A young woman was faced with an incredibly phenomenal, beautiful, and yet gut-wrenchingly hard assignment – to mother the Son of God. Unless inspired by the Holy Spirit Himself, no one would believe this woman was impregnated by Him. This story oozed perceived scandal, one that should have led to her death. How did this woman survive such a weighty commitment?
Browsing Category: Faith
Upon asking the Lord for refreshed eyes and heart to understand the deeper truths of His divine conception, I am marveling at the Lord’s work in humble people. His direction this year in studying the Christmas story has highlighted the sacrifice and reward of being a follower of Jesus, no matter the cost.
This first takes you and me to the incredible story of Joseph, Mary’s betrothed, in Matthew 1
Matthew 1 is a common list read around Christmastime as it significantly marks the end of one covenant and the beginning of the other. It’s like a pause of breath takes place, the blackened silence in a scene change, before reaching the climax of the show.
Majority of us who have gardened or farmed most likely have not wept while planting seeds. In fact, it’s usually an exciting time and one filled with great anticipation for the harvest to come.
We’re finishing up harvest season here in Ontario and awaiting the snow covered fields to lie dormant until spring.
Maybe you haven’t wept while farming, but I’d guess you might have spiritually. It can be tough work, especially when the harvest seems so far away. and uncertain in some things.
Hold on! There’s reason to rejoice even in the waiting.
Mainstream messaging has been talking about the importance of self-care for years now. We’ve realized that running full throttle trying to “chase the American dream,” is exhausting. We can’t have it all. So, we need to take care of ourselves or we’ll fall apart. Maybe if we put ourselves first, we’ll be more successful?
But there’s another side where others talk about the importance for self-abandonment. We’re told as Christians that we have died to the old way of life and embraced the new way in Christ.
Do you embrace one way over the other? Which way is best?
Have you been in this kind of situation before? You’re working hard at something. You’re excited to see it develop, but each time you make headway, something happens to seemingly set you back? Discouragement sets in and you try whatever you can to keep going? How do you overcome the discouragement in order to persevere toward the victory?
News close to home and around the world is heavy. There are so many who are hurting and grieving tragedy.
Your own mind is filled with responsibilities and thoughts of people who rely on you, even if only in prayer.
While feeling heavy and giving so much of yourself to all the needs, it is common to experience burn out. Often, this is because you fall into a pattern of giving of yourself instead of the overflow of God through you.
This is why it’s important to know if you’re guarding your heart or not. It doesn’t mean guarding yourself against any kind of bad news or ignoring it. In fact, you can more actively step into hard situations when you’re guarding your heart in the right ways.
Let’s explore how to do this.
Do you think you’re creative? Why or why not?
Whether you think you are or not, you’re creative. You were made to create. It might not be in the traditional artistic ways you might be inclined to think, but creativity flows into everything you do. It could be through your work, your hobbies, relationships, etc.
Why? Because the God who made you is creative and you were made in His image. Therefore, you were given His attribute of creativity.
When you realize you are creative, then you need to discover there’s value in everything you create, especially when you invite God into the process.
You’ve been hurt. It’s a bold statement but I can say it with 100% certainty because everyone has. You live in a sin-filled world where people hurt others, whether intentionally or unintentionally, all the time. It’s hard when this happens. Your trust of that person diminishes. If you break communication with him or her, that’s the last memory you’ll hold of that relationship, which shapes your understanding and image of him/her.
How do you restore your heart in moments like this? Is it possible to redeem that last memory?
There’s a project at Michael’s family store that I quite enjoy getting involved with the last couple years. In one particular area, I had set a record of calendars bound within an hour.
Unbeknownst to me though, a threat arose! My brother-in-law had been practicing to beat my record and was inching closer to take the champion title!