Prayerful reflections

Days of prayer renew things that have gathered some cobwebs. In my heart a reminder: The bottom line, God knows it all and is still in control of it all. Liking it, or not liking it, must not determine the level of our commitment of obedience to Him. Our actions, our words as believers should demonstrate we are seeking to glorify Him, as we follow the examples of Jesus. The one sure place to know what those examples really are – The Holy Bible. Study it for the wealth of knowledge God has given us. How to survive, with love, in a world of chaos. If you’ve had the news on at all in the last year you know that is a major task we are faced with.

The world is full of professing Christians that seem to bear little of the fruit of the Spirit. Am I guilty of that? Sadly, I shouldn’t wonder about that, I should know, but here I am, asking. The reality is, when we don’t demonstrate the fruit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness) how is anyone to understand the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives? Understand the fullness of a relationship with Almighty Father God? Understand the depth of love that led Jesus to sacrifice himself for us, so we could be with him in eternity?

God is a loving God and a just God. Accountability is required. A judgement Day is coming. Personally, I want and I need to know that the one I’ve dedicated my life to is all powerful, all loving, and expecting me to follow, for my own well being, the directions found in the Bible.

He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God?
– Micah 6:8 NKJV

We all have fallen short of the glory of God. Good news is, we don’t have to stay there. We may have the same challenges, the same heartaches, but in the midst of any or all of it we have a Friend that stands right there with us, through it all. He offers not only grace, but mercy. He will, if we ask, keep us on track, or get us back on track.

In today’s online devotion, one of our pastors talked about returning to our first love. I’d been thinking of that earlier in the week. Keeping close to the joy we once had in doing the Lord’s work. Trusting Him. Believing Him. Returning to what we had walked away from.

The world is not what it was yesterday. Last week. Last month. Last year. Change seems to be speeding up faster and faster. If my foundation is not solid in Christ, the speed of chaos could either blow me away, or crumble the weak foundation I might have made for myself.

I can’t do the things for the Lord that used to bring me such joy. It’s not physically possible. But I can be kind. I can smile. I can share what He has done in my life. I can love. I can forgive. It doesn’t seem a lot, but I feel his smile each time I step outside of myself and am obedient to doing what He has shown me to do.

Some days are very hard. He knows that. Didn’t he have a Gethsemane moment? But there is hope. This life, this world, is not home. Hanging on to that, knowing what lies ahead, is a game changer.


Sharing a few words to myself on this day of reflection reminding me whose I am, and whose I am not. Be blessed my friends. – Vicki

He has come!

It is cold in northwest Missouri this Christmas morning. Wind chill makes it below zero. The daylight is appearing, clear and crisp. No snow on this Christmas, but, that’s okay. The cold makes it feel like Christmas. And, I pray for those to the north and east who are dealing with a variety of dismal weather on this holiday.

George C. Scott is on the television as Scooge, I’ve had a couple hours of news, and finished up the last of my Advent devotions early this morning. It is Christmas. For believers, that means more than Santa, and gifts, and the many traditions that are wrapped around the holiday.

Celebrate is an interesting word. It can bring up any number of visuals in the mind, but for me, it is a quiet recogniztion of the impact the birth of a child had on the entire world, no matter what date it is celebrated.

However you choose to celebrate this day, I hope you know the depth of love that led to the coming of Jesus. Years ago when I was on a worship team, we used to sing a song that said “Celebrate, Jesus, Celebrate.” Simple, to the point, and oh so true.

Be blessed on this day, my friends!! And, Merry Christmas!!!! – Vicki

Behold…

Amid the COVID concerns, the political concerns, the economic concerns, I am reminded that, as a believer and follower of Jesus, I must never forget the sheer enormity of this season we use to celebrate His coming. With His coming, prophecies of the old testament are fulfilled. The precise details are breathtaking. The insight into what we will face, more importantly, who we are, could be terrifying. But for Jesus and what His coming meant for anyone who chooses to, by faith, accept Him and His lordship. This is a beautiful world, despite what we’ve done to and with it. A day will come when we will have so much more because of a Love so powerful it propels us into its presence. A love that compels us to share with others, offering them the same love we experience.Celebrate all that Love has brought you to and through. We’re on this journey together, and the enormity of it is breathtaking.Emmanuel, God is with us. Praiseworthy, indeed.

Advent

I looked at the calendar this morning and realized two weeks from today is Christmas. It has definitely been an interesting Christmas season for this believer.

I made myself decorate a little, knowing that Christmas would come and go and I’d have no public celebrations. I’m not much of a decorator anyway, but I didn’t want to totally ignore the season. I take seriously the COVID-19 suggestions for people with health issues, which I fit the description of more than one, so I’m staying in my apartment. The lockdown in my building is not as severe this time as last time, so I have been able to visit, at social distances, with a few neighbors and still have groceries delivered. If I do that on a specific day and time, I usually get the same delivery man, who is kind and gives me a short visit from the hallway. I hadn’t had anything delivered for a while, and I had some brought in on Wednesday, and he told me it had been long enough that he was beginning to get worried about me. Tell me that doesn’t make even a loner feel good.

The greatest part of the Christmas season, maybe in a more significant way this year, is my additional focus on the Advent season. I have chosen to do three daily Advent devotions, and it has been encouraging, providing me with things to think about and pray about. One devotion is on a church app, by John Piper. Another is from Dallas Theological Seminary, where I’ve taken some free online classes and another from the American Bible Society. Each a different viewpoint of the truth of this season of waiting on Christ. If you aren’t doing an Advent devotional, you can find ones that aren’t long if your time is limited, and they are well worth the additional focus on Christ’s coming. You still have two weeks to enjoy them.

I’m on a self-proclaimed vacation this week, so I have the time and am enjoying the devotions in addition to my usual routine. The holiday is a break from writing. I finished the first draft of my second novel, and after I’ve been away from it for at least a week, I’ll go back and start the second draft rewrite.

So, the only writing I’ve done this week is part two of the short story on the website, and this blog, more accurately, a letter to my friends.

One thing I want to leave with you today is from one of today’s devotions. We tend to think of Advent as waiting on Christ to come, and yes, it is. But, have you considered that in this season, Christ is waiting for you to come? Without that very personal connection, the season is just another tradition.

Have a blessed day, my friends – Vicki