Counting Our Blessings 2015

This morning my husband and I went out to watch the first sunrise of the New Year. It’s a little tradition we have.  We’ve watched the New Year’s sunrise, every New Year’s morning for over a decade.  But this year, the sky was shrouded in clouds.

Faith 2016

We couldn’t see the sun coming up.  I was disappointed, but I knew, in this orderly universe God created, that even though I couldn’t see it rising in the East, I knew that behind those clouds was the sun, shining as brightly as ever.

As I watched the horizon for any trace of sunshine, I was reminded of things I’d prayed and hoped for this past year.  As I thought back over the events of 2015,  I could see that God was moving in our lives …(you know hindsight is 20/20)….even tho at the time I couldn’t see.   Somewhere, behind the clouds of my life,  the God I serve was moving.

I wrote most of this post sitting in the car “watching the sunrise.” (that I couldn’t see)   And on the way home, I handed what I had written to my husband to read….then we started counting our blessings of 2015. The list went on and on….for us, for our children, for our extended family, our jobs, our home,  for our friends.  We were amazed at our list. Wow.

Of course the year had its share of difficulties. Growth doesn’t take place on the mountain top….it’s in the valleys that growth takes place. Although trials are no fun… looking back we could see that by placing our faith in Him, we made it through. That increases our faith.

I’m glad the sun wasn’t shining for us to see this morning…it made me start the new year off by looking back and seeing what God did for us last year. I was encouraged to realize that God was faithful in the big things,  as well as the little things. In the good times and the difficult times.

Were all my prayers answered? No, not at all… But seeing what God has done in the past, increases my faith for the future…that He will continue to work,  as He has promised.  It’s good to know we can be confident in the new year, that whether we see it or not, God is actively involved in things that pertain to us. He has promised that  

“He will accomplish everything He is set forth to do in our lives”. Isaiah 55:11

So for us, looking back and seeing God’s hand in our lives strengthens our faith. And that’s a very good….because…. the more our faith grows,  the more we please Him. 

“Without faith it is impossible to please God.” Hebrews 11:6

So dear reader, I pray you know God is blessing you this year, even when you can’t see it…

I pray you know it’s Him.

Every Good and Perfect gift is from above. James 1:17

And I wish each and every one of you a very Happy New Year!

 

Why Jesus Rose from the Dead

Resurrection garden

Christ the Lord is Risen, today! I love having this reminder of the true meaning of Easter beside my back door. Nothing says who Jesus really is more than seeing the stone rolled away. Death couldn’t hold him back.

My husband is always full of insight, even when he doesn’t know it…One day he asked me if I knew why Jesus rose from the dead?  Of course I go into some discourse starting in Genesis…:) about it being God’s plan for the redemption of mankind…etc, etc…he said….but do you know why death could not hold him in the grave? And what he said is so simple, yet I’d never put these thoughts into words… He said:

“The wages of sin is death and Jesus never sinned, so death could not hold him.” I just looked at him stunned and amazed at the simplicity and truth in those simple words.

And you know what? Jesus took our sins…all of our sins, the nasty, dirty, rotten, sinful things we have thought and done or that have been done to us…and dumped them at Satan’s feet. Because they all originated with him and they belong to him and Jesus just gave them back to their original owner…

The Bible says Jesus is “the author and finisher of our faith.”  Craftsmen and builders put the finishing touches on their work…and when they are done, they clean up all the debris and trash, sweep the floors clean and dump it all in the garbage so the house is presentable to the new owners.

That’s what Jesus did for us…he, by the Holy Spirit, called us… making him the author…or the one who authorizes our salvation….and then he put the finishing touches on us and got rid of our trash, to make us presentable to God.

Jesus, the Bible says, made a public spectacle of satan. In front of all the minions of hell, Jesus showed him just what all the heartaches and ruined lives and hurt and pain he caused people on earth, was worth. Jesus took our sin and dumped it all at satan’s feet. It was nothing but garbage. Jesus gave it all back to its rightful owner.

As I sit in church this morning, I’m going to look around at all our friends and think about how new and clean and pretty everyone is today and remember, …the stone was rolled away because Jesus never sinned. He lived a perfect life for me…because I certainly couldn’t.

Thankfully, we don’t have to pay for our sin and we don’t have to carry the load of guilt anymore. We only have to accept the gift of God, His son, and believe Jesus died and rose again, for us.

It’s Resurrection Sunday and the stone is rolled away!

Christ the Lord is Risen Today!

Alleluia!

Tell Me the Story of Jesus

tell me the story of jesus

Want the Christmas Message in a nutshell?  “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”   That was the voice of one crying in the wilderness, John the Baptist.  This baby, Jesus… the one we celebrate this week,  came to Earth for one reason only. To die for your sin and mine. [Read more…]

Celebrating the True Meaning of Christmas

new baby Jesus

I don’t know about you,  but I struggle each year to be sure Jesus doesn’t get lost in all the tinsel. It’s so easy to get caught up in the decorating and hoopla of the season. And I love the decorating…and the hoopla!  But our culture and world is so materialistic and secular that it’s easy to ‘run out of time’ so to speak,  and Christmas is over and not once was Jesus front and center. [Read more…]

Better Unto Me Than Silver

money

One Christmas Season,  when I was a little girl, probably 7 or 8 years old, my mother promised me a silver dollar if I’d memorize  Luke 2:1-14….the story of the birth of Jesus. It was a Saturday morning and I loved Saturdays because it was the only time I could ever crawl into my parents bed. My mama raised me by Dr. Spock and he said no children in the bed and so there were absolutely no children in the bed…except on Saturdays! [Read more…]

Building a Nativity Creche

nativity creche finish

I love when our grandchildren see our Christmas Tree for the first time each year. No matter how old they are…it’s always a treat to see them dazzled by the ornaments and twinkling lights. Awww, who am I kidding? My husband and I are just as bedazzled by the tree the first time we step back and look at it. It’s just so pretty! I love seeing the tree for the first time and I love seeing the children see it for the first time, too!

But what I love even more is when they see my nativity scene and find baby Jesus. In hushed and awed tones they whisper, “Look. [Read more…]

Scientific Proof Bible is Real and True

Genesis Book & Sky

You’re going to love this….

There is a well known scientist, Herbert Spencer. (He lived in the 1800’s and was a great proponent of Darwinism. He was first to  apply survival of the fittest to humans.)  He determined, that in order for anything to be categorized  according to scientific  examination, it had to fall into at least one of the following categories:  Time, Force,  Action, Space and Matter. [Read more…]

Happiness is God’s Will for Us

Young joyful woman in spring field

A couple of weeks ago I was wondering whether or not God wants His people to be Happy. I found that He certainly does. So much so, that Jesus devoted a whole sermon on just exactly how we can be happy! Another word for happy is blessed.  I think it’s safe to say that happiness is God’s will for us! [Read more…]

The Day I Looked for God and Saw Him

the day I looked for God

Yesterday began with tons of uncertainly. I had to leave town for a visit that potentially could cause all sorts of hurt and hard feelings.  I dreaded making the trip, but had put it off as long as I could. I had to go.  And then I hate to leave town. My husband depends on me for support and he too, has several things going on that have caused him sleepless nights.   I knew he needed me here for encouragement and even though he knew I wouldn’t be gone long, it made for a long day for him. As I drove out of town I began to pray for the Lord to watch over things at home, to give him peace of mind for this day and grant me favor with my most unpleasant task. [Read more…]

How to Find Happiness

how to find happiness

This week, with all the talk swirling around Victoria Osteen’s comments on the idea that God wants us to be happy ~ for our benefit, not God’s… I decided to do a study on happiness, from a Biblical point of view, and see what God really says about it.  Do you know what I found? A whole chapter devoted to happiness!  It begins: Blessed is the man….also translated “Happy.” God obviously puts a great deal of emphasis on how to find happiness.  He didn’t want us to be mistaken about what happiness is. [Read more…]