Thursday, December 24, 2009

My Dream Team

My dream team will arrive about 11:00 today. Let the festivities begin. My Darlin' husband will read the Christmas story. Then we'll exchange a gift or two. Laughter. Games. Homemade lasagna for lunch. Salad. And desert. Then more desert. Definately something chocolate. (We'll feast on the traditional turkey and dressing tomorrow.) Hope you have a wonderful Christmas Eve. And a Merry Christmas! Sweet dreams, Deb

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Gift to Die For

Designer handbags and jewelry. An iPod Nano with built-in camera. The Stress Eraser. And super, soft pajama pants with adjustable length and drawstring, elastic waist. What do these items have in common? Well, they made it to the top of the 2009 Women's Christmas Wish List! Gifts to die for. According to some sources. Did any of these things make your list? For me, not really. Except the pj's. With the drawstring waist. Because based on the way I've been eating during this Christmas season, I'm going to need something special around my waist in January. And I'm thinking that it won't be my jeans. But anyway, getting back to the Wish List. What I so want for Christmas is a new blog design. Yeah, like with a cute little button. And the "E-mail me" thing. And a Subscribe by E-mail thingy. And of course, a cool header and background page. Something kinda curly, swirly. And blue. My favorite color. Oh, I can see it now. A fabulous gift. To die for, right? Actually, none of these gifts merits that kind of response. But there is a gift worth dying for. And someone has already died in order to make this great gift available to us. The gift is salvation. The One who died is Jesus. I know. This sounds incredible. Unbelievable. But friend, it's true. Our Creator God loves us so much He offers us the most wonderful gift ever given. Salvation through His precious Son. The baby born in a manger. The Promised Messiah. Jesus Christ. No other way has been given for salvation. Only Jesus--Emanuel--God with us--can save us. Now, I know that current culture teaches that you're ok and I'm ok. All on our own. But that teaching just isn't true. The Bible, God's word to us, states clearly that we're sinners. And our sin separates us from the true, living, holy God. And only Jesus can connect us to God again. Without Jesus Christ and the salvation that He has provided, we will die in our sins and be condemned to hell to spend eternity without our loving God. Yes, these are tough words. Uncomfortable. So, let's go ahead and celebrate Christmas. Forget sin. Forget dying. Forget hell. We can't do that. If we do, then we're denying the true meaning of Christmas. We are sinners. We aren't ok by ourselves. We need a Savior. We need salvation. The gift that Jesus died to give. It is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV). Salvation. We can't work for it. Can't earn it. We don't deserve it. It's a gift. From the Father to us. I hope that you get everything that's on your Wish List. Most of all, I hope that you receive the greatest gift ever given. The gift that Jesus died for. Salvation. Sweet dreams, Deb

Monday, December 14, 2009

Miracle of the Christmas Scar

Christmas, a time to celebrate. And remember. Angels. Wisemen. Stars. Sounds familiar, right? But a scar? What's the connection with miracles? Or with the baby boy born in Bethlehem. Well, you see, the baby was born with this scar in His heart. And as He grew so did the scar. Actually, though, the scar existed before God sent His sweet Son into the world. It happened kind of like this: God loved us. So much. Yet we sinned against Him. We didn't want to sin. Not really. Just sort of we did. But Satan. Now that's a different story. No doubt at all that he wanted us to sin over and over and over. Yeah, the battle between good and evil continued. Because in spite of our tendency to sin, God kept on loving us. So much. That He was willing to fight for us. That's how the scar started. In His heart first. His loving heart. Since the beginning of time, God knew about the on-going battle. And about the scar. He saw that the scar could be a life-line. So He sent His only Son. To Bethlehem first. Later to Jerusalem. So that everyone would know about the Father's great love. But from the Son's birth, we all rejected Him. From King Herod--who in an attempt to kill Jesus--ordered the murder of all baby boys two-years-old and under in Bethlehen and in the surrounding districts. To the religious leaders of the day who questioned Christ's teaching and preaching. His authority. His power. His miracles. That He was their promised Messiah. To His own family who misunderstood Him. Once, some family members went out searching for Him to take charge of Him because they thought that He had lost His mind. To Nazareth. Christ's homeboys. They didn't want Him. Not many miracles happened there. To His disciples. You know their sad saga. Remember the garden. Too sleepy to pray. And the trial. How scared they were. To the world. They didn't need God. Thought that they were good enough already. To us. And our many mistakes. Do we have to go there? With each stab of rejection, humiliation, and being misunderstood that our Savior endured, the scar took on the shape of a cross. Like the one that He carried. For all of them. And for me. And you. But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed (Isaiah 53: 5). The Christmas scar. Runs deep. Sacred. Saving. Loving. Healing. A miracle! Abba, thank you for the miracle of salvation. For taking our punishment. For giving us Your peace. Will you take our scars--emotional and physical? And give us peace and healing. In Jesus' name. Amen. Sweet dreams, Deb

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A Different Kind of Christmas

A football player. A beauty queen. A riveting romance that led to marriage. And two children. And thirty-something years of celebrating birthdays and holidays together. But this year, Christmas will be so different for all of them. You see, when their kids were young, she began to have serious health problems. Local doctors referred her to specialists. Her husband drove her to Atlanta. To Emory University Hospital. He would have taken her to the ends of the earth if he thought that would help. So, the doctors diagnosed. Medicated. Operated. Gave hope. She would live, but she wouldn't be quite the same. Almost overnight, the slim, lanky good-looking girl with long, blonde hair. Class valedictorian. Math whiz. Scholarship winner. Warm. Articulate. Dazzling. Outgoing woman. Changed. She gained weight. Lost her hair. Had some difficulties in communicating. She struggled sometimes trying to care of her children. Her house. Her husband. Herself. Over the years, she experienced a few setbacks physically. Probably, spiritually, too. Yeah, she changed. But two things never changed. Never wavered. God's love for her. And her husband's love for her. And she knew that. Her husband could have walked away. Could have looked for love elsewhere. But he didn't. He stayed right beside her. Loving her. Taking care of her. No matter what. It seemed to me that he lived. Ate. And breathed Ephesians 5: 25. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her. This man loved his wife. His woman. His bride. He gave to her all that he had to give. And then some. And, today, in a soft, but steady rain, he buried her. So, yes, December 25th, 2009 will mark a different kind of Christmas for this precious, grieving family. She will celebrate her Savior's birth in a new way. His death. Her death. His resurrection. Her resurrection. His salvation. Her salvation. Face-to-face with Him. Sounds like a party over there. And I believe that her children will gather around their daddy. They will share memories of their mother. They will mourn their great loss. Not quite as much a party here maybe. And although it will be so soon after saying goodbye to her. And still a steady rain in their heart. I pray that they will find the peace and comfort and joy that they need to make it through this season. Will Christmas be different for you this year? Because of illness. The loss of a loved one. The loss of a job. If so, then please know that I have prayed for you. That you will experience the Savior's amazing love and hope during this time. Because it can be tough to celebrate when it's a different kind of Christmas. Sweet dreams, Deb