Monday, December 19, 2016

TheTwelve Days of Christmas defined...

Here is something I came across from an old email from my mom....from a Christmas long ago......she loved this song and loved this definition of each of the verses!!!

"There is one Christmas Carol that has always baffled me.  What in the world do leaping lords, French hens, swimming swans, and especially the partridge who won't come out of the pear tree have to do with Christmas???  This week, I found out! 
From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly.  Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics.  It has two levels of meaning:  the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church. Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality which the children could remember.

The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.
Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testament
Three French hens stood for Faith, Hope and Love
Four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John
Five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament
Six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation
Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit - Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhorting, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy
Eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes
Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit - Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-control
Ten lords a-leaping were the Ten Commandments
Eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples
Twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostle's Creed."

So, there is your history lesson for today!  This knowledge was shared with me and I found it interesting and enlightening.  Now I know how that strange song became a Christmas Carol - so pass it on if you wish!  The composer is unknown yet it is considered a "Traditional" carol.

Merry Christmas to Everyone!!!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Longings of our heart....

Longings of the heart.  Do you have one?  A yearning that won't go away?  A craving that won't be fulfilled?  A desire for something you cannot quite put your finger on?   Most of us do.
This time of year has all the festivities spreading out like wild fire!  The seeming happiness all around us seems to glow!!!  Yet, is our heart longing for something?  Yearning?  Thirsting?  Aching for something more?

Joni Eareckson Tada wrote a beautiful book years ago called: "A Christmas Longing."  Joni is a quadriplegic who writes with a pen in her mouth.  I hope you will look up her book and read it.  Absorb it's wisdom.  Cherish the thoughts that she shares.
She touches on what our hearts are missing....longing for...a plan behind the pain that is in our lives.  A way to fill that hole right smack dab in the middle of our hearts.  In the middle of the holidays.  In the middle of the festivities. 

Yesterday,  we celebrated Thanksgiving with our families and friends.  I hope you felt gratitude swell up from deep within for all the blessings we have!!!  It is such a wonderful, heart-warming tradition here in the USA and I hope that each of you had someone to celebrate and give thanks with and for in our life.  Could you relate like the Pilgrims in 1620 who stood on the shore and celebrated the bounty they had?  Again, I hope so!!!

Yet, with all that wonderful - did you have a longing that couldn't be quenched?  Is there something deeper that you are longing for to fulfill?  What pilgrimage are you on right now?  Are you missing someone who is gone from this earth?  Are you wishing you had a someone special in your life?  Are you struggling with a job or a boss that you cannot stand?  Are you running from something you don't want to face???  Are you concerned about our country and the world so much that your heart hurts?  Is fear fueling your thoughts?  Does despair have a hold on you?

If so, there is a well that is SO deep that it never runs dry.  Never.  Would you like to know where
you can find that living water?  John 4:14 says:  "Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks from this well will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst.  Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."  Think about that!!! Never thirsty again....that's the kind of well I want to drink out of!!!

Would you like to know where your soul can yearn and pine, your heart and flesh can cry out and be fulfilled?  Read Psalm 84.  It flows with the river of life!  "How lovely is Your dwelling place, O Lord, Almighty!  M soul yearns, even faints for the courts of the Lord;  my heart and my flesh cry out to the Living God!  Even the sparrow has found a home and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young...."  Wow - how beautiful!!!

Take a long, slow walk through the woods this weekend and be consumed with nature.  Creation.  Beauty all around.  There are no words needed because the God of the Universe is the ONE who created all that beauty.  He created  that hole in each of our hearts!  The shape and depth is exactly the size of God's incredible love!!! He longs to have you turn to Him.  Trust Him.  Rely on Him.  Depend on Him.

That longing in your heart is God calling your name.  Isaiah 40:26 says:  "Lift your eyes and look to the heavens; Who created all these?  He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name."   I have a note in my Bible next to this verse for my dad.  He was so very lonely after my parents divorced in 1973.  I watched him pine away.  He longed for relationships with all four of us kids, yet never quite could bridge that gap once the divorce happened.  He had a God-shaped hole in his heart and did not even realize it!  He longed for that hole to be filled every day.  Reflecting back on his life, I don't know if he ever asked God into his heart.  He was raised Catholic, so I know he knew who God was, but asking God into your  heart and relying on Him is completely different than knowing there is a God.  I pray each of you reading this will ask God into your heart and don't allow that longing to linger....

God knows your name.  Believe it. Relish in the fact that the God of the Universe loves YOU! 
Yes, even you.  With all your scars, flaws, hopelessness, despair and discomfort, He loves  you.  Reveres you.  Cherishes you.  And longs to be a part of your life!  To fill that hole in your heart...

I am convinced that the longing in our hearts is the hole in so many people's hearts and lives today.
They do not realize how much they are loved.  I believe it because I have seen it in so many people around me and even the people I love in my family who are floundering....they long to be loved, to be understood, to matter to others.  My dad was like that - he was a wonderful man who had so much love in his heart and yet he did not feel loved after my parents divorced.  How about you?  Do you feel loved? 

Fill that longing in your heart with God.  Fill it with love.  Ask for His love to swell in your heart so deeply that you cannot contain it!!!  Allow yourself to be loved in the fullest way possible!!!  God's love is real.  It is incredible.  It is overwhelming.  And, it is yours for the asking!!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

From Sorrow to Surprise....

Our world seems to be spinning out of control these days....many people are afraid, lonely, scared and bewildered due to several types of disasters that keep re-appearing in our society:  gun violence, natural disasters such as the raging fires in California, tornadoes, hurricanes, loss of jobs, loss of income, tragic diagnoses with so many types of horrendous cancer, Alzheimer's disease, heart disease, lung disease, Parkinson's, etc. etc. etc.

Sorrow seems to invade our world and displace our peace with fear.  Sorrow is the mental suffering or anguish caused by loss, disappointment and grief.  Sadness comes in waves after the loss of a loved one.  Woe threatens to carry us out to sea.  Regret and remorse fill our heart when we can't "fix" a situation for someone close to us.

How can we deal with all this sorrow, all this pain, all this loss, all this worry?
Well, the Scriptures tell us to "Cast all our cares on Him who loves us."  When was the last time you cast your care to the Lord???  And, just how do we do that?
On our knees....a friend of mine calls them "Knee Prints."  I love that!  My grandfather would never get his knees replaced with implants back in the 60's and 70's because he would not be able to knee to pray at night.  Wow.....his dedication to prayer was and is quite an inspiration to me and have been all of my life.

Prayer, supplication and an old word hardly ever used anymore:  Repentance.  Yep, you got it!  Repent means to turn 180 degrees from the way  we have been doing things and "turning it all over to the Lord."  He is the only one who can "fix" it.
It's a tall order.  How do we admit we have turned from all the good, right and holy things God created for us in the beginning?  How do we admit we forgotten The One who gives us all things?  How do we carry on in the face of all these tragedies?  On our knees.  Humbly and with reverence to a God who loves us and wants so desperately for us to know Him.

One of my favorite devotional books is called Jesus Calling.  Many of my prayer warriors read it on a daily basis.  It hits to the core every single day.  Today's reading for July 25 was beautiful!  I am a bird lover!!!  I feed my birds in the backyard and delight in watching them come to the multiple feeders I have acquired over the years.  It is so amazing to watch these little creatures come to fill their tummies.

Listen to what the author Sarah Young says:

"As you listen to the birds calling to one another, hear also My Love-song to you.  I speak to you continually: through sights, sounds, thoughts, impressions, scriptures.  There is no limit to the variety of ways I can communicate with you.  Your part is to be attentive to My messages, in whatever form they come.  When you set out to find Me in a day, you discover that the world is vibrantly alive with My Presence. (Vibrantly!) You can find Me not only in beauty and birdcalls, but also in tragedy and faces filled with grief.  I can take the deepest sorrow and weave it into a pattern for good.
Search for Me and My messages as you go through this day.  You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with your whole being."

Yes, that's with your whole heart!  God has surprises planted along the way for us each and every day if only we are attentive to His calling.  Look up John 10:27 in your Bible.  Even if you haven't read it for 20 years.  Look up Romans 8:28 in the Amplified Bible.  Wow!  It is amazing!  And, don't forget Jeremiah 29:11-13:  "For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord.  Plans to prosper you and not to harm you.  Plans to give you hope and a future.  Then, you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.  I will be found by you, declares the Lord."

We have a loving, living vivacious God who wants nothing more than to comfort that sorrow in your heart and in your life.  Will He "fix" it and make it go away?  No, not most of the time.  He works in mysterious ways and sometimes He works through the sorrow in such a way that we never would have imagined.  He weaves a pattern so incredibly good and beautiful from the deepest pain.  We cry.  We despair.  Our hearts our flooded with anguish.  We want to give up or just go away.  And then, something unexpected happens.  A light shines on  that dark cave we've been hiding in.  We come us for air.  We grow.  We learn.  We feel love flooding that cave where we never thought we could come out of.  We remember our loved ones smile.  Their laughter.  Their habits that we start to do now.  Their way of making our life better. We remember the happiness they brought to our life and want to pass that on to others.

How can He create something good out of something horrendous?  Because He is God.  He loves us so deeply.  He cares for us.  He created us.  He provides a way in the desert for us.  He parts the Red Sea. He leads us through the valley of the shadow of death and takes us to life everlasting.  He sets Eternity in our hearts.

Knee prints.  Ever try them?  If not, try it and pray!  He is listening and has been all along.
Then, watch what happens to your heart and the heart of those you pray for when you truly give it all to Him. The surprises will amaze you.  Sometimes they are in the tiniest things that are almost overlooked.  A smile.  A hug.  A card.  An text or email sent at just the right time.  Laughter with a friend or a sister or brother.  A phone call when you thought you were/are totally forgotten.  A book.  A cup of coffee with someone you haven't seen in a long time.  A neighbor who touches your life and leaves her footprints on your heart.

Knee prints.  From sorrow to surprises.  Every day.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Witnessing young love...

Have you ever been in love?  Has your heart ever felt like it was shooting stars?  Have you ever walked on air or felt like you were dreaming?  Have you ever touched the moonlight and felt like you were holding heaven in your arms?  I have.  And, I just witnessed it this past weekend with my nephew and his new bride in Ohio....

There is a beautiful song that Celine Dion sang back in the 1990's or in early 2000 called:  "Have you ever been in love."  I used to listen to it over and over and over again as I drove down Shawnee Mission Parkway to the Plaza while my hand reached up through my moon roof on my car.  I felt like I was touching the moon and stars....I was in love.  A rare kind of love that only happens once in a lifetime as the fairy tales tell of and yet it was real.  A kind of love that makes your heart sing and you really do feel like you are walking on air!

Way back in the 1950's musical world, Rogers and Hammerstein composed a song from The King and I production called:  "Hello, Young Lovers."  It's all about a person who witnesses a young couple whose parents don't believe they should be in love and yet, their love is unstoppable.  And, reflecting on his/her own experience of love, they knew that kind of love in their life.  Here are a few of the words from that song:
"Hello, young lovers, whoever you are, I hope your troubles are few;
All my good wishes go with you tonight, I've been in love like you.

Be brave, young lovers, and follow your star,
Be brave and faithful and true.
Cling very close to each other tonight, I've been in love like you.

I know how it feels to have wings on your heals, and to fly down a street in a trance.
You fly down the street on a chance that you'll meet, and you meet not really by chance.

Don't cry young lovers, whatever you do,
don't cry because I'm alone.

All of my memories are happy tonight, I've had a love of my own,
I've had a love of my own like yours, I've had a love of my own."

Ahhh....yes, the hopeless romantic in me is alive and well!  And, I hope somewhere down deep in your heart and soul that you have experienced this deep, abiding kind of love for someone.  It is truly amazing!!!

My prayers are that Devin and Danielle will continue to deepen their love for one another through the years and grow stronger together every day.  I pray that they will ask the Lord to help them each day to love, honor and cherish one another and to keep the precious love that they just committed to in marriage on June 25, 2016.  I pray that they will rely on the Lord to hold them together for the next 50-60 years so that they will never let the cares of this world or the trials and tribulations they will encounter tear them apart.  Ever.

Weddings are a sacred occasion, a joining together of two lives being witnessed by all who attend.  As this summer rolls along, if you have an opportunity to attend a wedding, I hope you will pray for that couple and their love.  Pray that they will indeed ask the Lord to be the third cord or strand between them that will hold them together forever.  It is a sacred love.  One worth holding on to and fighting for....all the days of your life!!!  Congratulations, Devin and Danielle!!!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Disapproval, disappointment, and then, discouragement???

Have you ever gotten the 3 D's???  Disapproval.  Disappointment.  Discouragement.

First you receive disapproval of something that meant a lot to you personally, then you experience disappointment due to the outcome and finally you become discouraged and just want to give up.
Does that ever happen to you?

Well, it does to me.  This is a bit of a long blog, so if you don't have time to read it now, put it aside and read it later.....

It is so interesting to watch events unfold that you never dreamed would happen.
Let me give you an example.  This past week at my job, I was called into the clinical manager's office to notify me that someone in our office had a grievance with me.  Whaaat???  A grievance?  For what?  Well, it was for visiting patients in our nursing homes for hospice.  As a marketer for Hospice, my job is to call on the director of nursing, social workers and activity coordinators to get to know them and develop rapport with them.  Each visit, I try to develop a little more of a relationship with one of these key contacts so that they will feel comfortable with me and our company enough to trust us with their patients who might need our assistance with pain and symptom management, end of life issues, etc.

Well, as part of my rounds each week, I stop in to say hello to the patients we currently have on our service.  Just to say hello and see how they are feeling.  I openly tell the patient that I am not a nurse, social worker or chaplain, just a plain old marketer.  We visit for maybe 5-10 minutes and sometimes I leave what I call a "Sunshine" basket of snacks, treats, hand-sanitizer, kleenex, etc.  Pretty innocent, right?  Well, not according to one of our staff.

For over a month now, different nurses, aides, and/or social workers for our office have noticed that I have been visiting our patients in facilities.  Does anyone ask me why I am visiting - what is the purpose of my visit?  No.  Not one person.  Instead, it comes up at a clinical staff meeting as an objection.  Why is a marketer visiting our patients?  Is she trying to stand in as a nurse?  Is she acting as a social worker on behalf of our company?   Is she offering clinical advise to the nursing home staff or giving medicine to the patients?  Absolutely not!  I am just visiting and saying hello.  Offering a piece of kindness while trying to get to know the account better.  Going the extra mile to let the account know that we actually care about our patients and not just to get future referrals, but actually following up to see how our current patients are doing.  This should be a positive, correct?

Well, unfortunately, the person before me in this position, used to go around and act like a nurse and ask the facility to call her instead of our office if there are any problems, concerns or issues.  So, our office manager decides we need to write up a formal "Grievance" to state what my purpose is and what my intentions are for visiting these patients.  I had to sign a formal paper and so did the person accusing me of wrong doing.  Unbelievable!!!  I was so upset I wanted to cry and could not continue to concentrate on my job that morning in the office.

What in the world???  I am actually getting in trouble for being nice?  Has our world gone completely crazy???  How bizarre to have been accused of doing something so right and yet it looked upon as so wrong!!!  Couldn't one person have just asked me:  "Hey Pam, why are you visiting our patients?"  Nope!  Not one person.  My sales manager looked at the operations manager and asked him:  "Do you have a problem with Pam seeing our patients?"  His response was unbelievable.  He said he did not know what my intention was and we needed to set a precedent for this type of behavior so that boundary lines were not crossed in the future.  He was right there in the room with me and acted as if I didn't exist - talking in third party sentences.  Couldn't he have just asked what my intention was a month ago when it was first brought up?  Couldn't the person wondering why I was doing what I was doing just ask me?  Not one of them had the courtesy or decency of asking me what my intentions were.  Not one.

I am completely floored and flabbergasted at the unprofessional handling of this incident.  I had to leave the office that morning as I was so close to tears.  I had to lay it in God's Almighty Hands and ask Him to show me how to  handle my actions and reactions to what just occurred.  Interestingly enough, the Lord came through loud and clear!!!  Two days after signing the paper and putting in our "Grievance Log,"  the person called me late at night to apologize.  She never intended for it to become a grievance and she asked to have it revoked and or just torn up.  The operations manager and clinical practice manager both refused.  The believe we need to keep it on our books for future reference.

Disbelief and discouragement surrounded me...I not only was disappointed that her request was not granted, I was floored.  As I was sitting in a parking lot in Paola, KS reading the follow up email, I literally closed my eyes and prayed to the Lord for His direction.  How in the world should I respond?  Anger?  Disappointment?  Retaliation?  None of the above.  Instead He brought me to an idea that would NOT have been my first reaction!  "Think before you speak."  Whaaat?

THINK is an acronym for:

Is it True?
Is it helpful?
Is it inspiring?
Is it necessary?
Is it kind?

I had just written this acronym down from a poster in one of my accounts that morning.  Perfect timing, don't you think???

So, I wrote this response to the managers and all who were copied on the email:
"Dear so and so,
It is nice to know that doing the right thing because it is the right thing to do brings such notice!  Thank you for the opportunity to grow and learn from this experience."
Smiles, Pam

Yep! Smiles!!!  God gave me an incredible way to handle the situation and disperse all the anger, frustration, resentment and bitterness that was building up in my head and my heart!!!

Lay it down, Pam....Let it go, let it go - just let it go!!!
It is worth letting all the anger and frustration go.
It is worth laying it down and forgiving the person who had a skewed view of my intentions.
It is worth forgiving the managers who needed to make me an example to the rest of the staff.
It is worth giving up my right for retaliation.
It is worth the Peace that passes ALL understanding.
And, it is worth giving God all the Glory for His incredible intervention in my life!!!

How about you?  Would you consider "Thinking before you speak" next time something wild and crazy and very negative happens in your life?  Would you be willing to lay down your anger, disappointment and not become discouraged?

Instead, allow God to show you how to handle the situation.
Allow God to heal your heart and the person who has wronged you.
Ask God to give you His Peace!!!

It is worth it - every step along the way!!!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Take Notice!!!

I have a challenge for us all.  For one month, take notice of the following - one or all of them!!!

1)  WWRT?  What went right today???
2)  Kindness - random acts of kindness - notice them and do them
3)  Acts of Generosity - notice and take part
4)  Profound beauty - notice the amazing sights and sounds around you in creation
5)  What God HAS done for you?
6)  Situations resolved
7)  Positive side
8)  Reflect on God's Sovereignty
9)  Wonders of God
10) I am thankful for ____________

Which one will YOU focus on for the entire month of March???

Blessings abound and surprises await you every single day.........write back what you find!!!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Soup Night Gathering

Soup Night - what a lovely idea!!!  A friend of mine's daughter had a soup night that I went to back in the fall and the idea sparked my interest in gathering some friends at my house.  With the Winter weather creating the doldrums in some people's mind,  I decided to gather a few friends and enjoy a new recipe for Tuscan Bean, Cabbage and Sausage Soup!  (Recipe below.)
It was wonderful - the gathering of some of my favorite people around a table sharing our stories and our laughter was so uplifting and pure fun!!!

Think about the word "gathering" for a minute.  To bring or come together.  To draw about or closer to something (or someone!)  To amass.  To convene, flock, or huddle together.  The birds and geese do it, so why don't we more often???  I know we gather for the holidays, but why not after the holidays?  Why not make it a regular occurrence to gather???  If you haven't had a few friends over in a while, try it!  Soup is simple and easy to fix - you can use your imagination and make whatever you like!  Gather a few friends, add to it a chopped salad and some Ginger ale and/or wine, if you like and enjoy!!!
It is amazing!!!  (Thank you Christine and Rachel for the great idea!!!)

Tuscan Bean, Cabbage & Sausage Soup

2 TBSP. Olive Oil
2 onions, diced
1 (12 ounce) package of Sweet Apple and Gouda Chicken  Sausage (available at Costco)
3 ribs of celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
6 gloves of garlic smashed and/or thinly sliced (I used pre-made minced garlic)
8 cups of Chicken broth
1 cup of dried navy beans, rinsed  (or 1 can of navy beans)
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. dried rosemary
1 tsp. fennel seeds
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 head cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
1 bunch Swiss chard, stems removed and roughly chopped (any greens will work!)
1 TBSP. chopped fresh rosemary

Saute the onions in olive oil and cook/stir about 10 minutes.  Add the sausage and cook/stir 5 minutes.  Add celery and carrots and cook/stir 5 more minutes.  Add the garlic and cook/stir 1 minute.

Add the broth, beans, bay leaves, dried rosemary, fennel seeds, salt, pepper and stir to mix.  Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer (partially covered) or in a crock pot for 1 and 1/2 hours until the beans are tender.

Remove and discard the bay leaves from the soup, Taste for seasoning and add more salt/pepper to take.  Stir in the cabbage and cook until tender about 15 minutes.  Add the Swiss chard and fresh rosemary and simmer until the chard begins to wilt, about 5 more minutes.  Serve warm with big slices of grilled or toasted bread buttered with olive oil and seasoned with sea salt.


Sunday, January 3, 2016

The Lessons of Pain and Contentment

As we start a new year, full of possibilities, full of promise, and full of opportunities to grow, change and become all that we are meant to become on this earth, I stand at this new doorway and ponder what will be???

How about you?  How was your 2015?  Did you have a marvelous year or was it spattered with challenges as mine was?  I have never categorized an entire  year as "bad" but if I had, 2015 would be in the running.  One challenge after another seem to appear on the horizon and yet with each new query, I found a lesson of love along with the lesson of pain.  

We all have challenges in this life and in this world.  Some are monumental, others may just be annoying....LOL  

So, in the midst of those challenges, where do you find your strength?  How does one possibly come to a point of contentment despite these delays, disappointments, setbacks, etc.?  I believe it comes from a place deep within us.  And, I believe that it comes from God.  Trust. Thankfulness.  And, from a very human standpoint, learning to accept and simply acknowledgment that life is difficult.  (But, once a person realizes that, it doesn't seem so bad!!!)  Everyone comes across things that way heavy on their soul, their mind, their pocketbook.   Everyone.  Not one of us is spared despite outward appearances.
Some people hide the challenges better than others and some wear them on their sleeves, so to speak.
Some people don't have a clue how to overcome the obstacles that clog up their path.
Some people rely on God for everything.  No matter what.  They trust that things are going to work out for the best.  They believe their needs will be taken care of...not all of their wants, but their true needs.

One scripture that points us in the right direction comes from Paul writing from a dark, cold prison in Philippi.  

Philippians 4:11-13 says:
"For I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to be in need and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

If you were in prison centuries ago, would you be able to say this?  Feel this?  Acknowledge this?  
I am not sure I would be able to do so.  I must admit, we are pretty spoiled here in the USA.  Most of us have all that we need.  Food, shelter, family, friends, a bank account, etc.  Yet, we mistake our wants from our needs and get to complaining that we don't have enough.  Or, it's not the right stuff.

Contentment or pain.  Which brings a person more lessons?  Or, can both???  It is definitely something to contemplate as we embark on a new year!!!  May your days be filled with joy and contentment in 2016.  The kind that truly lasts!!!  

Friday, January 1, 2016

God's Amazing YES!!!

As we start the New Year of 2016, I want to share with you this amazing devotion.  It is meant for each and every one of us!!!  ( used by permission by The Upper Room )

God’s Amazing Yes
(By Gregg Bunn, The Upper Room)

            Every day I stand in need of God’s amazing yes.  God does not look at me and say, “Well, you certainly messed up.  You aren’t the kind of Christian,” or the kind of employee, the kind of student, the kind of parent “that I expected.”  God is not indecisive about whether I am worthy of love.  On the contrary, even in spite of my sinfulness, God say yes to my worth.
            To fallen and sinful people, God continually says yes.  God says yes to people that I have not met.  We might shy away from a homeless person or a starving man in Haiti or a woman dying of AIDS in Uganda or a child who rummages through a landfill searching for clothes.  But to all of these and all of us, God says yes.  All of us are created in God’s image; each one of us is valued and cherished.
            By receiving God’s yes in Jesus Christ, I am able to say yes to others and to myself.  In the dark moments of life when I feel like damaged goods; when I feel I am no longer meeting my or God’s standards and expectations; when I feel lost, lonely, or rejected I know without a doubt that God’s unwavering word to me is yes.  And it is the only answer.

Thought for the day:  Where do you hear God’s amazing yes in your life?

Prayer:  Good and gracious God, thank you for your amazing yes!  Amen.

Prayer Focus:  Those who feel not good enough.

(Taken from the Upper Room by permission)
February 5, 2013