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Thinking about Christmas🎄and “The Chosen”

Last night my husband, sister in law and her daughter and I went to see “The Chosen Christmas Special.” I knew there would be a lot of glorious music and singing and a new episode from the unreleased season 3 would be debuted. Everything Dallas Jenkins and his very talented crew put together is incredible so my expectations were high. And none of us were disappointed. I encourage you if you have not, to WATCH The Chosen – however you can! It is available on YouTube, on Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, Android TV, Chromecast, etc. OR by downloading the free Chosen app and watching there. ALL the episodes are available to watch absolutely FREE. And they will change what you thought you knew about the disciples, the Christmas story and even Jesus, Himself. Let me know what you think!

What does Christmas mean to you? To many of us it means a lot of pressure and stress to perform, to shop, to plan events – to attend events – to buy the perfect gift, on and on it goes. And regardless, most of us suffer from at least one of the above. I wonder what the God of Christmas, the Lord born in a manger, thinks of all this. “The Chosen Christmas Special” had a very impactful scene of Joseph cleaning up the stable so Mary could lie down and have her baby there on the filthy straw-strewn floor. Not like any other “religious leader” for sure. So as we decorate our trees and houses, plan our events, buy the gifts (on and on it goes~) I encourage you to REMEMBER the King who came into our world as a baby, through a virgin, born in a filthy stable in humility into the real world – for us. For you. And add this bit of powerful Light to the darkness of our world.

… Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matt 5:16

Let there be light. . .

Thankful and Grateful

Butterfly Moment

I am thankful for you. Yes, for you! Writing and painting are both solitary undertakings and I cannot do this with any expectations of result. So I want to take a moment to express my appreciation to those who have followed me on this journey and let you know how much your encouragement means to me. Your presence in this moment means a lot to me. May the Lord truly bless you.

We are in a season of thanksgiving and yet the reality of giving thanks gets lost in the recipes, the cooking, the parties, and the Event itself. I would like to get very personal and share public and heartfelt praises to our Lord who allowed me to know, love and trust Him. SO many don’t even believe He exists, let alone that He cares deeply about what they care about. I am humbled that You allowed me to not only know You, but to love and trust You. I realize this is a truly invaluable gift, and I am eternally grateful. I thank You, Lord, for my life. I had many years that were very painful, yet even in the most difficult of trials, You were always as close as a prayer. I am now in a season of great joy and blessing. We know from Ecclesiastes that there is a time for every purpose under Heaven. I THANK YOU, LORD for Your presence in my life — for my husband, our family, our church, and our many beloved friends. We are blessed beyond measure.

Sarah Young in her wonderful book, “Jesus Calling,” says “Hallelujahs” are the language of Heaven. What a beautiful song a Hallelujah can be as the angels of heaven sing along! 🎶. I invite you to be still in this moment. Find your hallelujah and sing it to Your Heavenly Father – even if you are unsure of the words. He knows your heart.

“It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8.

Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:25,26

Give Us This Day

When Life Gets Hard

God won’t give you more than you can handle…” Odd, I can’t seem to find that verse in the Bible. I’m guessing Job would take exception to that cliche. So would Joseph. Paul certainly did. “We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself…” II Corinthians 1:8 Why would God allow him to experience hurt more than he could handle? Read on. “…so that we might not rely on ourselves but on God.” II Corinthians 1:9 Truth? Cancer is more than you can handle. So is infidelity. So is caregiving. So is rejection. So is death and loss and grief and prodigal children and 101 other life struggles. God doesn’t expect YOU to handle it. He expects you to hand it over to HIM. He doesn’t want you relying on your strength, but on His. If we keep walking around thinking “God won’t give me more than I can handle,” we’re setting ourselves up for heavenly disappointment. Good news? He beckons for your burdens, “Cast your cares upon Me…” I Peter 5:7 You will never know relief until you do. For this hard place, I have Jesus! –courageouslivingbooks.com

I take no credit for the powerful words written above. But these words really resonated with me so I saved them. The only credit I could find appears as Courageous Living Books, so I gratefully acknowledge them for this message. When I first read this a few years back I was struck by the many cliches we tell ourselves. The writer of these words referred back to some seriously impressive heroes of the faith to point out that no, we cannot always handle what life throws at us. We were never created to be that self-sufficient. We need Jesus! He is our hope, our Rock and Redeemer. Our hope lies not in ourselves but in the God who is always waiting to carry our burdens and set our feet on solid ground. The Apostle Paul said, ”But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair.” 2 Cor 4: 7, 8. We are the jars of clay, but the power to make it through comes as we reach up to God in prayer seeking His power and His presence to help us through, often one painful step at a time.

I paint a lot of paths, probably because one of my favorite Bible verses (maybe one of yours as well) comes from Proverbs 3:5, 6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Thank you, King Solomon, for your wisdom that resounds through the ages. I may not know what lies in the distant future or even what decisions I may face tomorrow, but I acknowledge the One who knows all things. And it is to Him I entrust the outcome.

Lord, this world is often very hard! We are discouraged at every turn it seems. We truly want to do this life WELL and receive that powerful word from You at the end of our life, ”Well done, good and faithful Servant!” So we acknowledge we struggle and admit we wrestle with fear and uncertainty. We confess we are often faithless — but You, O Lord, are eternally faithful. We have no strength or wisdom in ourselves, but You promise not only wisdom, but your strength and power, if only we’ll ask it of You. So we ASK, Lord! Help us to REMEMBER and to RELY on You when the going gets hard. We can’t do life without You.

“Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even

youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭40:28-31‬ ‭NLT‬‬

SURPRISED by JOY!

WHERE ARE the ornaments? Look up top under HOME DECOR, then HOLIDAY ORNAMENTS. Here is a link. There truly is something for everyone. Be sure to use SLIDER BAR to adjust the size of the image! Please message me if you have any questions.

There are no container ships involved in this process, so if you order soon, you will have these to decorate your tree and gift to your friends.🎄

Thankful to share with you🎨

STARS HEARTS OVALS TREES BELLS STOCKINGS
Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4