Say cheese and pose for a Christmas snapshot; pucker up and stand beneath mistletoe with your sweetheart! The greenery gives us extra incentive to express our affection and create new Christmas memories.
I’m glad I don’t need to wait until December rolls around to smooch with my sweetie. It would be sad to have to depend on something found hanging from trees to create a romantic mood. We can steal kisses anytime.
Christmas is a time of great celebration! Why not share a few holy kisses? “Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace be to you all who are in Christ (1 Peter 5:14 NAS).” We are one big happy family and we are free to sprinkle kisses on those we hold dear.
Optimism is a rare characteristic in our world of stark reality and disappointments. We become cynical and dark clouds conceal the possibilities that lay before us. I am the proud wife of a man whose favorite phrase may be, “It has potential.” Together we view a rundown shack; I see devastation but he sees a dream.
I proudly serve a God who looks beyond our failures to potential. Peter talked the talk but tripped over his faltering feet as he failed to walk the walk. The man who boasted of never deserting his Lord blundered and betrayed him. Jesus saw past the Big Fisherman’s upcoming pitiful performance to potential. The Holy Spirit would transform Peter from deserter to devotee. He would return to encourage and lead others.
“I have prayed that you will not lose your faith! Help your brothers be stronger when you come back to me (Luke 22:31 NCV).” Jesus prayed for Peter, shining rays of mercy and grace revealed potential beneath a man who would soon cower in fear. The Lord would call Peter to serve as caretaker of the flock. He proved his love for the Master through service and ministry and faithfully fed the lambs and sheep. Jesus is an eternal optimist….
His name is wonderful; his blessings are without number and words cannot express our thankfulness and praise. Children love to share the latest news with their friends; as God’s children we can be just as eager to praise him in prayer and brag on him to others.
How can I find the right words? King David, writer of many of the Psalms had the gift of expressing what I feel. I share his emotional highs and lows, questions and confidence, desire his honesty and intimacy with the Father.
“Praise the Lord! Servants of the Lord, praise him! Praise the Lord’s name. May the Lord’s name be praised now and forever. May the Lord’s name be praised from where the sun rises to where it goes down (Psalm 113:1-3 ERV).”
In the days of large families, guest rooms were a luxury only for the wealthy. Hosts vacated their room for out of town visitors and slept on the sofa. Today many middle- class homeowners have sufficient space for the family and a guest room as well. If unexpected company drops by, the host needs little time to present a warm welcome in the designated room.
Imagine the role of preparing a guest room for the Lord Jesus… “Say to the owner of the house he enters, ‘The teacher asks: Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples? He will show you a large upper room, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there (Mark 14:14-15 NIV).”
Praise and prayer prepare the way for Jesus to enter the guest room in our hearts. He dwells in our adoration; confession through prayer removes sins residue, allowing Christ to enter a cleansed home. We must not occupy his room, be sure to leave the door open and leave the light of his word inside. We have the privilege of preparing a guestroom for the King of Kings!
Recently I discovered I was a day late on paying our electric bill, like a flash across my mind I wondered if we neglected to take the check to the local office. I had given the payment to my husband Norm as he was running errands one day a week or two earlier. He simply forgot to drop it off.
He handed it back to me and I dropped it in my purse, which we both know is akin to the black hole in the universe. I thumbed through the contents and found it hiding in the midst of necessities and a collection of crumpled checkout store receipts. There was a grace period before cut-off of power but I had to pay a small penalty for my tardiness.
I never cease to be amazed at God’s amazing grace. There is no grace period; there is grace…. Period! I cannot earn my salvation, nor can I lose it. Christ purchased it; He ransomed me. I owe everything to God’s gift of grace. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God-not because of works, lest any man should boast (Ephesians 2:8-9 RSV).” I urge you, please do not neglect to receive His grace.