Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Year's Resolution

Can you believe that 2014 is gone? It seems like just yesterday we were bringing it in. I guess the older you get the faster that things go by is true.

As I look back at 2014 it is filled with some terribly difficult moments. I guess more than moments, but it has also brought me closer to God because He has been the only thing to hold on to in those moments. It has had some fun and exciting moments also. I am sure we all take at least a bit of time to look back and evaluate our year.

It is ok to look back as long as you don't get stuck there. I have noticed when I tend to look back at the good I want to stay right there and not look anywhere else. When I look back at my mistakes or shortcomings I wallow in the mess I have made. Neither one is good.

If I just look at the good I will never move away and grow to move closer to God and know him in a new and exciting way. If I sit and moan over what was wrong I will never lift my eyes to see God waiting for me.

If we take the good and the bad and learn just a tiny bit from them both and then move on not to turn back and gaze at what was past I think that is the best way to start this new year. I can NOT change one thing that has already taken place. No matter how long I gaze or wallow it will not create a new ending. I think Paul said it best:

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. [ Following Paul’s Example ] All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.
Perhaps this should be our New Year's Resolution, to Press On! Remember you are not alone in this, God is in this with you till the end. [He promised to never leave us] I wish you the very best 2015! Happy New Year.
Holley Gerth Coffee for Your Heart

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Such a Small Gift

I am sure that many have been in line behind a small child in a cart that is checking you out.[is that the reason its called the "check-out line"?]   I have the reaction to smile at the child and usually they will smile back. You can get all kinds of reactions, from a shy child that hides behind "mommy" then peaks around to see if you are still there, to the child that is so tired they are spaced out and don't really see you standing there smiling, or the child that sees "stranger danger" and starts to wail. But usually they mirror what they see and smile back.

Once I get the sought after smile, I want more, a giggle, or outright laughter. It sure makes the line go so much faster and makes me feel so happy on the inside. Such a small gift - a smile - but such a huge effect it has on the giver and the receiver.

Last night as my husband came to bed [don't worry nothing crazy here] he reached out and touched my hand. His was freezing and as I took it made the comment you are so cold. As we lay there and held hands soon his was as warm as mine. Such a small gift - a warm hand- but a huge effect on the receiver - warmth shared.

At this time of year things are hectic and running together and sometimes overwhelming. But we need to take a moment and think about the "small Gift" that God has given in the form of Baby Jesus. A King in a small package, The Savior and Prince of Peace was perhaps the smallest gift but oh the huge effect He has had on the world! To all that believe He has given us so much, salvation, to be His child, freedom from fear, and the list goes on. Such a small gift - that Baby Jesus - such a huge effect on the world. Have you met him? He would love to meet you and have a huge effect on your life!
Have a Merry Christmas and check out that "small Gift".

Luke 2:11-12
 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.  This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A Gift

This is the time of year that a lot of us are buying gifts and wrapping them with great expectation of the recipient being thrilled with the present. Have you ever given a gift that was never opened?

I had given a gift that I thought would be well received and the recipient so happy to get it. I waited to hear her joyous news that the gift was the perfect thing that she had been waiting for. I waited, and waited, and waited. But she never opened the gift. She still has the opportunity to open it but, has chosen not to. I was so sad that this well thought out gift is still sitting in her home perhaps tucked away in a closet somewhere. Had I done something or said something to make her not want to open a gift from me? Did she not need a gift that was free? Did she not care about getting a gift? Has she held onto it so long that she has forgotten?

I haven't forgotten! I wait each day to see or hear from her that she has found the gift and opened it and is enjoying it.

I have just gone shopping for another gift to give to another loved one. It was such great fun to pick out the perfect small gifts and to take them home and put them together just so. The anticipation of seeing the delight on the faces of those to receive them was exciting. I informed the loved one that all she had to do was come to my place and I had a bag of goodies waiting. She informed me that she would be there.

Guess what she didn't come. I was disappointed but did not give up. I saw her the very next day and reminded her of the presents and she told me she had forgot but could she come now? YES! She was so grateful for the presents and told me they were just perfect. She excitedly took them with her. She called the next day to tell me again how perfect they were.

You know what? God has given us a FREE gift. A gift that has been thought out and is absolutely perfect for you and for me! He loving selected and gave His Only Son for you and me. Do we do like the first person in the story just set Him aside and never accept Him? Or do we do what the second person did, even though the gift was forgotten for a little while it WAS opened and loved.

This is the season for gift giving and God has the ultimate gift waiting for you! Won't  you "open" it?
John 3:16
 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Whose Plan

I was shopping the other day and saw what I thought would be the perfect project for my granddaughter and I to tackle. There were these very cute buttons, Christmas lights, a few funky reindeer, and one Santa going down a chimney. I thought wouldn't it be fun to make a necklace so she could wear it to school! So I purchased them and some of that stretchy elastic to put it all together. Such a wonderful plan!

I had it all laid out in my mind just what it would look like and how we would have fun doing it together. So I asked her if she would like to make a Christmas necklace. She was very excited when she saw the cute buttons placed before her.

We got right to work. She made a pattern with the different buttons first, then we started to string them. It went well but the buttons didn't stay where we wanted so we had to rethink and then start again. This time we put a knot on each button and held them in place. Perfect. It was so cute. I handed it to her and she put it on. Wonderful, or so I thought.

About 2 hours later she came to me rather sheepishly and told me she wanted to give the necklace to one of her little friends. Well, I was very proud of her not wanting to keep it but give her creation to someone else. I told her that was a super idea but what was the problem? She opened her hand and the necklace that we had perfected was now in a ball of knots of reindeer and lights. Santa was so tangled that I couldn't find him.

I tried to hide my distress when she said "Can you fix it Nana?" I told her I would try. It was now a gift after all.

I set to work trying to find an end to try to unravel the tight ball of knots. I worked for about 1/2 hour struggling. I almost made it to Santa, who was the center piece of the necklace, but the last half was not salvageable. I finally gave up and cut each button off, kept the pattern she had set and restrung the necklace to its original look.

We put it on a paper with tape so it wouldn't tangle again and she painstakingly wrapped it for her friend.

I started to think about how sometimes the plans I make in life are like that necklace. They sound perfect, easy to complete, but end up in a "ball of knots". I need to start over and this time go to the Creator and seek his plan. His plan always turns out into the perfect finished project. I need to start with Him first so I don't waste time trying to unravel my feeble attempts.

How are your plans? Are you starting in the right place? God has a plan for you. Why not check it out?
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


We have been in search of a new church family since we have moved here. Not an easy thing to do, replace your "family" with a new one. We have had to do this a few times and it is not something I look forward to because you are constantly comparing old and new. Have you been there?

Well, the pastor had a new take on the Christmas theme, which I am sure is a difficult thing to do as everyone in the listening seats is thinking,  "I know this story by heart" and starts to zone out. He had the stage loaded with giant presents with labels on them. He started with the longest, "EXPECTANCY" the label read. Hmm let's see what he has to say.

He talked about how the Bible tells of the coming Messiah in the old testament. God gives us great details.
Who-Isaiah 7:14
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
Where-Micah 5:2
 “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
    though you are small among the clans of Judah,
out of you will come for me
    one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
    from ancient times.”
Then he went to the new testament and started sharing about the expectancy of Zechariah and Elizabeth, and Mary. As he moved on to the shepherds in the fields I started to get this picture in my head. Let me share with you a little of the expectancy I started to feel myself.
Can you see God sitting on his throne and gathering his angels to give them their new assignment and explain what was about to take place. These are not the kind of angels we see on TV or are painted in pictures, these are the Warriors of heaven that do battle, they are the ones we read about in the bible, the ones that light up the night sky with terrifying glory. Can you see them on bended knee staring at God and hearing for the first time what will happen next. God is going to send Jesus to earth as a child to save the world and their job is to share this wonderful news with those shepherds in the field near Bethlehem. Can you imagine their joy! They listen as the angel chosen to tell the shepherds finishes and they can no longer hold in their expectancy and start glorifying God in a warrior type shout. Well, no wonder the shepherds were afraid, sky lights up, voices singing, shouting, cheering;
Luke 2:13-14
 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
I guess I missed the rest of the pastors words because I was so taken in with the scene in my mind, just imagine the whole thing taking place! I pray you catch the EXPECTANCY of this time of the year.
Please sit back and let this wash over you and enjoy! It is a group called Pentatonix.