Monthly Archives: December 2015

The Miracle

12:22:15 SM The Miracle

“Whenever I have seen God’s wondrous work, …the thing that has always impressed me the most was the absolute quietness in which it was done.”   -A.B. Simpson

When God drew His first breath as a human being, it wasn’t to great fanfare or a noisy celebration. nHis entrance into this world was a relatively quiet affair.  It was eventful, yes, in the “Oh my gracious the baby is coming” sort of way.  Painful.  Messy.  Joyful.  It was an ordinary – albeit always extraordinary – birth.

And yet it was also miraculous.  Jesus’  birth marked the first time that God lived within a person.  As a Person.

Thirty-three or so years later, this extraordinary God-man named Jesus was murdered.

Jesus died, but He was not defeated.   Jesus overcame the grave, and the power of evil in this world, and returned home.  And then He sent back a gift to every person willing to accept it:  the gift of Himself.

And so the miracle continues.  Immanuel.  God with us.  God living within us, transforming our ordinary lives with His extraordinary presence.

Don’t miss a moment of it, obsessing about something you think you want, and then trying to figure out how to get it.

The truth is, all you or I ever truly want or need is right here with us, within us.
Loving us.
Healing us.
Guiding us.
Giving us the deep soul-satisfying life that can only come from Him.

A miracle. THE Miracle.  Immanuel—God with us.

What I Want

12:11:15 What I wantby Lydia Floren

Sometimes I avoid God.  I’m not even sure why.  Maybe I am afraid.  Or I don’t want to feel guilty.  Or maybe I don’t want to change.  Or I don’t want to face myself.  I don’t.  I don’t.  I don’t.

What do I want?

I DO want to press past my guilt to forgiveness.
I DO want to be free of my compulsions.
And I DO long to—need to—hear God say:

All is well, Child.  All is well.  I love you right now, just as you are.  Always have.  Always will.  There is nothing you can do that will change that.

I am here.  I am not going anywhere.  There is no need to be afraid.  You are safe.  You are not on this journey alone.

Now come to Me, Dear One.
Step into My love
Receive My embrace.
Tell Me what’s on your heart.
Listen to My wisdom.
First Come.
Then follow.

What I want – what I need – is to be loved.  Only then can I love as He calls me to love.  No need to avoid God.  He is the best thing that ever happened to me!
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Matt. 11:28 NIV

We love because He first loved us.  1 John 4:19

This holiday season, Be loved.  And then Love.  Soak in God’s love and shine!

Celebrating Immanuel – God With Us

12:4:15 Immanuelby Lydia Floren

I made a new friend at a conference last summer, a writer named Letitia Suk.  In her wonderful book Rhythms of Renewal,  Tish mentioned her practice of recording a few things everyday in a thanksgiving journal.  I was inspired.  I started a thanksgiving journal of my own.  (I’m still a bit spotty, but the habit is taking hold.)

As I mentioned last week, it is easy for me to forget to actually give thanks TO God.  In the same way, I can also neglect to give thanks FOR God.  Like the prodigal and his brother, in focusing on the Father’s gifts, I can overlook His greatest gift:  Himself.

So I have an idea for advent:  each time I write in my thanksgiving journal, I will try to include at least one attribute of God that I am particularly thankful for.  For example:

Thank you Father, for

  • Your kindness
  • Your wisdom 
  • Your sense of humor
  • Your beauty
  • Your grace 
  • Your strength 
  • Your consistency
  • Your faithfulness
  • Thank you for the ways I have seen You and known You more this year

Thanking God for Himself.   What a wonderful way to celebrate Immanuel – God with us!

What a wonderful way of welcoming in advent!

Share with us:  What qualities of God are you particularly thankful for?