Happy 9 year anniversary to us! A picture from our first year together as a busy family, and a picture from this weekend as our first quiet year as empty nesters.
Jim says “Write the caption for our train track picture to say ‘The miles we have traveled! Some days were a train wreck, some days were not.’” 😭🤣
I am thankful that most days, the train arrives to its’ scheduled destination, sometimes chugging and sputtering, sometimes right on time, and on those “train wreck” days, that God is always helping to get us back on track!
I enlisted the angelic heavenly hosts’ help this morning. I said “Angels, would you please give me a verse that would glorify God this morning.”
Words began to resonate in my heart and travel in my mind as if the Goodyear Blimp was passing by. I googled the three phrases I saw and heard in my spirit, and this verse came up:
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Luke 2:14
It’s interesting…when I clicked the arrow to see the verse right before it, Luke 2:13, and the arrow after it, Luke 2:15, they both talked about…angels!
Today, would you join me in living out Luke 2:14, in giving God all the Glory He deserves, and BEING the PEACE on earth, and demonstrating GOOD WILL towards men? It begins with each of us. Our thoughts, words, attitudes, and actions.
Where do I go when I need help with these? I ask God for help. I confess, repent, ask for His forgiveness, and then ask Him to fill me with His life-changing power; His Holy Spirit.
Evidence of the Holy Spirit:
Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control.
*I took this picture while we were walking through some Arizona mountains a few weeks back. Something caused us to turn around and look up in the sky. As we did, we watched the last part of this “hook” being formed in the sky. I have never seen something like this before or clouds look this way. There were no planes in the sky at the time. Someone said “An angel is making that!” It makes me think me of a shepherd and his staff.
May God bless us with an increased awareness of His heavenly hosts helping to usher in His magnificent Glory and magnify His Kingdom on earth, and generate eyes blazing for Jesus, our one true Savior. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
I don’t know, but I am thinking this video (link above) may depict the mood of Jesus’ birth more so than what I am used to (3 minutes – worth the watch).
I grew up with the image on the Christmas cards of the peaceful, quiet nativity scene, as to how it all went down that night. But after all, Mary being 9 months pregnant, rode over rugged terrain (maybe contractions had already begun) on a donkey, under the frigid Bethlehem night sky (Google says that Bethlehem’s temperature last night was 42°). Then, no place at the inn, it was suggested that she go to the stable instead. Climbing down from the donkey (no easy feat I am sure while in labor), did her best to walk over the dirt straw floor with the smell of barn animals in the air, to a location in the stable to give birth to our Savior. There was no comfortable bed for her to lie on, no ice chips to ease the thirst from labor, and no welcome drip from the epidural to ease the pain. I’d like to think that maybe since she was giving birth to God’s Son, that it would’ve been a pain-free, easy fast labor. But then again, Jesus didn’t get a pass on His last day on earth, as he walked that treacherous long, excruciating walk to Calvary. All that was sacrificed and endured, was all for of us. The greatest gift in the history of the world; Jesus. The Lamb who would take away the sins of the world, so that one day, we could spend eternity with God our Father, in Heaven.
Matthew 1:18-25 18 This was how Jesus, God’s Anointed One, was born. His mother, Mary, had promised Joseph to be his wife, but while she was still a virgin she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit. 19 Her fiancé, Joseph, was a righteous man full of integrity and he didn’t want to disgrace her, but when he learned of her pregnancy he secretly planned to break the engagement. 20 While he was still debating with himself about what to do, he fell asleep and had a supernatural dream. An angel from the Lord appeared to him in clear light and said, “Joseph, descendant of David, don’t hesitate to take Mary into your home as your wife, because the power of the Holy Spirit has conceived a child in her womb. 21 She will give birth to a son and you are to name him ‘Savior, for he is destined to give his life to save his people from their sins.” 22 This happened so that what the Lord spoke through his prophet would come true: 23 Listen! A virgin will be pregnant, she will give birth to a Son, and he will be known as “Emmanuel,” which means in Hebrew, “God became one of us.” 24 When Joseph awoke from his dream, he did all that the angel of the Lord instructed him to do. He took Mary to be his wife, 25 but they refrained from having relations until she gave birth to her son, whom they named “Jesus.”
Each morning I pull in to what I call the “Holy Spirit Service/Filling Station” for a much needed tune-up and alignment.
Before my day begins, I sit quietly before the Lord. I try to the best of my ability to “humble myself” before the Lord. I give Him all the honor and praise, asking for forgiveness of my sins, and then stating “I can’t God, but you can. Commandeer my body, soul, and mind. Take over. Align my heart, body, thoughts, words and actions with Yours, Jesus.” I ask “What can I do for you today, Lord. How can I be Your hands and feet?” I ask God what He wants me to know and to guide me in His Word/Scripture. I am never disappointed, and feel led to Scripture that He speaks to me with.
During my time in the Holy Spirit filling station, I humbly and gratefully ask for and put on the Full Armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-20), stating each piece aloud and thinking about what each piece means; the Sword of the Spirit, Shield of Faith, Breastplate of Righteousness, Helmet of Salvation, Belt of Truth, and Sandals of Peace.
I then have a 30 minute drive to work in which I continue to pray in the Spirit and declare His praises. When I open my door to my classroom, I get on my knees and give God my classroom, thanking Him for the opportunity to be able to teach another day, asking Him to commandeer me as a teacher so that His Will can be accomplished in there, use me as His vessel, and take over. I pray for my students. I pray for my team, our building, and administration.
I have to do this every day because I am human and fall short, and I can’t, but He can. My true strength comes from the Lord. No matter what is going on around me in this world, it is in Christ that I can find hope and peace.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
I love this picture above for several reasons; the vintage look, that school bus with the American flag, “Phillips” and the number 66. There are 66 books in the Bible. 66 books that can strengthen me and give me answers and peace to help me each day.