Tuesday, December 25, 2012

One Little Light

~  Grace Gift ~ Light
 You are the light of the world - like a city on a mountain, glowing in the night for all to see. Don't hide your light under a basket! Instead, put it on a stand and let it shine for all to see. Matthew 5:14-15
Have you ever driven through the mountains in the middle of the night? There are usually a few houses that are barely visible, hidden among the trees and bushes, high atop the hill. I remember when I was little, my mom and sister and I went on vacations to Colorado from Illinois. We drove all the way there and back, and a lot of the driving was done at night. I woke up one night while were driving and looked up to the top of a mountain to see one little light glowing. But, in the midst of darkness - no streetlights, no other buildings - this one little house, besides the moon and the stars, was the only thing that lit up the night sky. And wow, was it beautiful and amazing. In fact, I think it was one of the things that made me fall in love with Colorado.

When I read this verse, I thought of that mountain and that one little light. It seemed so small and insignificant. I'll bet most of the people around there didn't even notice it. But, it shone so brightly that it attracted one little girl's attention in the middle of the night. And from the back seat of the car, she watched until it was out of sight.

Somehow, that light seemed so special then. And now I realize how inspiring it is. We are to be as that city on the mountain - as small, seemingly insignificant, and unnoticeable as it is, it attracts the attention of those who need it and shows a testimony of who God is. More people than you realize see your faith and are intrigued, inspired, and encouraged. But, more importantly, God sees it and is glorified. Be a light to your city, community, and school. You might be amazed at those who are touched by it.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Sunrises and Sunsets

Grace Gift ~
Sunrises and sunsets

From the rising of the sun to its setting,
the name of the LORD is to be praised

Psalm 113:3

Beside Still Waters

Grace Gift

Love Letters

~  Grace Gift~
The Bible - God's Word. His love letters written to you and me.

 2 Timothy 3:16
 All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness

 I will act as if He loves me . . . deeply and passionately
            as if He will lead me . . . gently and tenderly
            as if He showers me with blessings every day.

I will pray as if He listens. . .
             as if He answers. . .
            as if it matters that I pray . . .

I will read His Word as if it is a love story. . .

 At twilight-time, I sit in the winter garden and I hear the wind like the roar of the ocean high in the trees. He seems to be happy that I am here. He is joy.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Painting Pictures

Grace Gift ~ Painting Pictures

Do not neglect the gift that is in you
If Only I Could Paint What I Wanted to Say

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Grace Gift ~ The Source Of Life

2 Corinthians 4:6
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

The moon has no light of its own; it simply reflects the sun’s light. In the spiritual life it is the same. We have no light to share of our own, but we are able to be reflections of Christ’s light.

When I look up at the moon I’m often reminded of our calling to be “the light of the world” and how if I am to let my light shine at all I must remain close to the true Source of light and reflect his light to others. If we let things get between us and the Source of light we do not offer much of a reflection. It is imperative that we remove anything that hinders Christ’s light from shining on us and from us.

Light In The Darkness

 Grace Gift ~ Light In The Darkness
“For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ,” 2 Corinthians 4:7.
A few years ago I heard a bit of trivia on the radio about which genre of music was most soothing. Listeners called in eager to share their opinions, “Classical of course!” This went on for some time until the results of this particular study were
revealed. The answer? Christmas music.

Some of you who work in retail are gagging just thinking about listening to hours of “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” starting the day after Halloween. But I’m one of those strange people who loves Christmas music, so I heartily agree with this study. It makes complete sense to me that beautiful music that slows us down long enough to stare at Jesus should be soothing, healing even. To allow ourselves to be blown away by the reality of God With Us.

So I have on my best pair of headphones (the awkward big kind you don’t wear in public) and I’m soaking tonight. Soaking my soul with some of my favorite Christmas songs. Right now I’m listening to "What Child is This?"
I've listened to it 3 times, so far.

This. This is Christ the King. Whom Shepherds watch and angels sing.
Haste, haste to bring Him praise.
Can we ever hear it enough? Here He is. Look at Him. Isn’t He beautiful?
This… this is the one we’ve been waiting for. And now He’s here, and nothing will ever be the same.
Do I believe Christmas music is healing? Yes, and any other music that lights up our face with the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

* Listening to the song for the 4th time now....just sayin'.... ♥

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Prayer For A Little Home

                              ~ Grace Gift~

 Psalm 127:1 “Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain.

God send us a little home; To come back to when we roam.
Wooden floors and fluted tiles; wide windows, a view for miles.
Red firelight and deep chairs; small white beds upstairs.
Great talk in little nooks; soft colors, rows of books.
One picture on each wall; not many things at all.
God send us a little ground; Tall trees stand 'round.
Homely flowers in fertile sod; Overhead, Thy stars, O God.
God bless thee when winds blow; Our home and all we know.
~Florence Bone

I Rest

                                ~ Grace Gift ~
 David wrote:
"And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn." (Luke 2: 7)

I rest my eyes on the manger and that is it. . .I rest.
Somewhere quiet
beyond the seasonal hyperventilation,
 debt-inducing gift gorging,
 selfish inclinations,
I rest me here.

Be Still And Know

                                       ~ Grace Gift ~
                                      Knowing He is God

Be still. . .
and know that I am God.
   ~Psalm 46:10


 Grace Gift
~ Peace~

 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father,
Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government
and peace
   there will be no end.
~Isaiah 9:6-7

Little Dates

                                 ~ Grace Gifts ~
                                 Little Dates

Psalm 127:3 

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.

Love Enough To Give Away

                                         ~  Grace Gift ~
                                        Love Enough To Give Away

                           This Christmas Ill give You my heart,

I’ll give You the gift of my mind (1 Cor. 2:16). Rather than filling my mind with things that keep me from growing closer to You, I’ll fill it with things that are good, and pure, and true.
 I’ll give You the gift of my heart (Mark 7:21). Through compassion, love for others, and refusal to give in to the ways of the world, I’ll let my heart be transformed by the power of You so that my life will be a blessing to You.
I’ll give You the gift of my witness (Acts 20:24). Instead of walking in fear, I’ll walk in the boldness of my calling and tell others the good news about Jesus.

 I’ll give You the gift of my love (Matt. 22:37). Refusing to love the world, I’ll replace that desire with the yearning to place You first in every aspect of my life.
 I’ll give You the gift of my faith (James 2:18). Living out what I claim I believe, You will see that my deeds match my proclamation. Moving from lip service to actual service in Your kingdom will be my living creed.
Those are some of the gifts I plan to give God this Christmas. How about you? Have you made your list yet? Isn’t it time that we gave God our very best?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Quiet Heart

~ Grace Gift ~
A Quiet Heart 

“How will this be?” Mary asked the angel.
~Luke 1:34

"Do you understand what is going on in the invisible real of your life with God? Do you see how the visible things relate to the hidden Plan and Purpose?

"Let it suffice you, as it sufficed Mary, to know that God knows.

"If it is time to work, get on
with your job.

"If it's time to go to bed, go to sleep in peace.

"Let the LORD of the Universe do the worrying."

~Elisabaeth Elliot, Keep a Quiet Heart

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Heroes And Hope

 ~ Grace Gifts ~
Heroes And Hope

Psalm 40:2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.

Like everyone else, I watched in horror as the waves swept over the northeast. Destruction and chaos.
Families everywhere were jolted out of "normalcy" and the comfort and security of the homes and communities they once knew. They were thrust suddenly and unwillingly into the darkness and despair of loss. 
As horrific as the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, it seems as if trouble  hits all our lives in some form of tragedy—the death of a loved one, a dreaded medical diagnosis, the loss of home and property, or the loss of your job... you are experiencing your own Hurricane Sandy storm. You may feel as if your whole world has been turned upside down, and wonder how you can possibly survive the loss. In times like these, you can feel very much alone.
But you are not alone. In the midst of unspeakable sorrow God is with you. Even if you do not feel Him near, God is there. He promises to never leave you alone. Therefore, wherever you are, God is. He is with you before, during, and after "the storm," never losing sight of you, or your suffering. Even as you ponder how you will begin picking up the pieces of your life, God is there … loving you beyond understanding, holding you up, and making a way where it seems there is no way. Reach out for Him today. He is a very present help in times of trouble.

Hurricane Sandy
 2 Samuel 22:5 "The waves of death swirled about me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.

Sandy Surges Across Northeast Causing Flooding and Power Outages 
Psalm 69:2 I sink in the miry depths, where there is no foothold. I have come into the deep waters; the floods engulf me.

Water Gushing Into The Ground Zero Construction Site
 New York City was hit especially hard. In Manhattan, walls crumbled, the skyline went black and whole neighborhoods were submerged underwater after a record-setting high tide

.Psalm 144:7 Reach down your hand from on high; deliver me and rescue me from the mighty waters

 Water rushes into the Carey Tunnel (previously the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel), Monday night in the Financial District of New York. Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images
Psalm 69:15
Do not let the floodwaters engulf me or the depths swallow me up or the pit close its mouth over me.

Wading Away ~ Oct. 30. 

A man wades away from a house surrounded by floodwater in Bellport, New York.


 Psalm 124:4 the flood would have engulfed us, the torrent would have swept over us

Psalm 124:5 the raging waters would have swept us away.

A man holds his head in his hands as he looks over the remains of burned
homes in the Rockaways. (Keith Bedford/Reuters)
 Psalm 69: 3
 I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I wait for my God.

                               Jersey Shore

Psalm 69:15
Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck.

 Psalm 93: 3
The floods have lifted up their voice,
The floods lift up their pounding waves.

Do not let floodwaters sweep me away. Do not let the ocean swallow me up, or the pit close its mouth over me. 

 Ocean City

As always, among the tragedies Hope can be found!
Hope and heroes. 
For all of the destruction that Hurricane Sandy caused, it also delivered some real-life heroes who showed that despite what is occurring, it really is a beautiful world after all.
He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power. Isaiah 40:29
Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress; my eye is wasted away from grief, my soul and my body also. For my life is spent with sorrow … Psalm 31:9-10a
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and though the rivers, they will not overflow you. … For I am the Lord your God ..." Isaiah 43:2-3

In a desperate fight for survival many people passed through the floodwaters in a frantic search for higher ground. It had to be a frightening experience to wade, and in some areas, swim, through the murky, contaminated waters to save self, family members, neighbors, family pets, and in some cases, total strangers. But in the midst of fear, desperation, and uncertainty many passed through the deep waters courageously, and were eventually rescued and taken to safety.

As you pass through the deep waters of your circumstances, you may be wondering, "Who can rescue me from this?" Be encouraged! Even in the deepest of waters, God promises to be with the one who trusts in Him. He alone can truly rescue you and keep you from drowning. Just as Jesus rescued Peter when He invited him to walk on water in the midst of a storm (see Matthew 14:22-33). At first, Peter trusted Jesus and joined Him on the water, but as soon as he began to focus on the storm, and give in to the fear of it, he began to sink. Still, when he cried out, "Lord, save me!" (Matthew 12:30) Jesus stretched out His hand and rescued Peter.

He can rescue you too. All you need do is take a deep breath of faith, reach out, and take hold of the mighty hand of God. Do not fear the deep, murky waters of uncertainty surrounding you. Though the way seems difficult, and at times impossible, you can be confident in this, "Nothing will be impossible with God" (Luke 1:37).

For He Himself has said, "I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you." Hebrews 13:5
On the day I called, You answered me; You made me bold with strength in my soul. Psalm 138:3
Blessed be the … God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the same comfort which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1

I sought the Lord, and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears. … This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of al his troubles. Psalm 34:4,6

You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in Your book! Psalm 139:16
42 babies were born at Mt. Sinai Hospital during  the storm.
Here is one of them, little Micah.

Jeremiah 32:17  "Ah Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You.

I sought the Lord, and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears. … This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of al his troubles. (Psalm 34:4,6)

Throughout the Bible God makes it clear that our prayers are very important to Him. He loves for us to talk with Him, just as we would our closest friend, and promises to be there for us whenever we call. He says, "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 search for Me with all your heart" (Jeremiah 29:13).

He wants you to tell Him about your burdens, and to give Him all your cares, so that He can bring hope to your heart, peace to your soul, and strength to your life (see 1 Peter 5:7). But even when you're at a loss for words, and don't know what to pray, the Holy Spirit Himself speaks on your behalf (see Romans 8:26). Yet God is not only interested in your struggles. He wants you to talk with Him about everything, from your smallest victories to your greatest fears and all things in between. 

To me, the most important thing is being with Him forever. We never know when this will be our last day on earth... Our last breath breathed... I want to be ready for my Papa when He sends Jesus back here to harvest His Kingdom; a place where there will be no more sorrows, no more pain, no more tears.

Matthew 24:44 Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. 

In Jesus Name we pray,