Happy December to you!! This month can overflow with festivities, activities, pressures & responsibilities on the back drop of celebrating Jesus’ birth. So I like to have some fun with the premise of looking for Jesus, everywhere.
With this premise in mind, I’ll be blogging about looking for & finding Jesus throughout this holiday season. Some blogs will be playful & kind of dorky, but the challenge I put before you & me is to keep looking for Jesus, a central priority, in this busy & demanding season. Love the reason, Jesus, and manage the season
Three members of my family lean toward the loud side of volume & two of us not as much. Of course when I was a teenager, there were the normal moments of loud & intense but as I age, I find that often what I most relish is found not in noisy & frenzied. Instead, it’s entirely astounding what a person can experience walking alone at night in some rain or gentle snowfall. I also find that the moments of quiet that I give to God during any given day have great volume & application in my day to day living.
In a season that has the potential to be full of high octane demands, full on loud & overflowing with busy, let’s pay attention to keeping some quiet & still in our daily living. Doing this can help us to hear the gentle, affirming & inviting words of Jesus, whispering into our hearts & throughout each day. Let’s turn up the volume on Jesus’ voice by turning down the volume on the demands of a potentially frenzied holiday season
It’s interesting that we call today Black Friday & the day that Jesus died Good Friday – arevealing choice of adjectives for these respective events.
Today is when lots of people do some Christmas shopping & the retail industry attempts to lure us with discounts, sales, bargains, etc. For many people, today is indeed Black Friday, a day to denote financial difficulties. On a more introspective note, Black Friday can often be an indication of black thinking: darkness in the mind about how we see ourselves, our achievements & value, various relationships, external expectations, etc.
Instead of thinking of today as Black Friday, let’s celebrate that Jesus is the Light of the world & He has come into human existence to remove the darkness from our lives
My mom started memorizing Bible books when I was about 8 or 9. She was so excited about the memorizing thing that she made a house rule for us that for every 30min of TV watching, we had to memorize 2 verses in Proverbs. My brother memorized like 7 chapters & I quit watching tv because I didn’t think it was worth it.
Now that I’m more mature, I’m into the Bible memorizing thing, albeit slower than molasses in winter. Here are some advantages of doing the Bible memorizing thing:
Hiding God’s Word in our heart helps us with the not sinning thing
I find that various Bible verses pop into my mind at really strategic times, often giving clear direction or helpful strength
Reviewing my verses is a better decision at 2am than getting stressed out about various stuff that’s out of my control
Bible memorizing is good brain work
There are heaps & heaps of great advantages to keeping our minds in Bible memorizing mode
Cooking a turkey has the potential to be a dance with disaster. I know this to be true, based in years of practice & research. But this year is likely to be different, probably. I say this because of not only years of practice & failures but also because of preparation.
I’m learning that I can avoid lots of disasters with a little bit of preparation. For example, Gideon in the book of Judges, avoided various disasters because he walked a path of preparation with God. Seems to me that God primed Gideon for his massive victory over the Midianites through extensive preparation: angel visitation, tearing down an altar to idolatry, fleece adventures, people screening & even eavesdropping.
I may not always enjoy the preparation process but I certainly like the outcomes better than the results of poor preparation. Let’s be careful not to belittle the process of preparation
Mice look for some place warm in the Fall & they sometimes find their way into our house, like this year. So my husband sent me off to Walmart to get the normal mouse removal accessories & they’ve been strategically placed around our kitchen for maximum impact
In this adventure, I’ve learned that one of my offspring, who will again remain nameless, has a mouse phobia . Imagine our fun to learn about this new opportunity to be playful or mischievous depending on how your frame it.
This child is quite jumpy with the whole mouse thing, even though there’s a clear size & intelligence advantage. In some respects, the devil is kind of like a mouse, looking to sneak his way into our thoughts & scare us at unexpected moments. Just because the devil can roar doesn’t mean he’s a lion – 1 Pet 5:8. Let’s be careful that we don’t let ourselves be intimated by the enemy of our soul. Reject the mice spice ,)
“How come all these awful things have happened?” Ever ask God this kind of a question? I think probably everyone alive has asked God some variation of this question & the Bible shows people asking God the same stuff.
I’m reading about Gideon & I seriously appreciate his honesty with the angel at the beginning of their conversation: If God is with us, how come all this stuff has happened to us? This was in reply the the angel’s salutation, “The Lord is with you, valiant warrior”
Gideon’s initial behavior & words didn’t really confirm that he was a valiant warrior & if we are honest, there are lots of times when our behavior & words don’t express that we are valiant. Nevertheless, God knows our substance & potential so God speaks to our true self rather than the smokescreen insecurities we wear. Not only does God call us by our true identity but God also helps us know who He is, as Gideon acknowledges when he experiences God as the Lord our peace in Judges 6:23-24.
So let’s make it a premium value to be honest with God so that we can honestly know God