My heart is instructed to speak daily the Apostle Paul’s prayer for his beloved Church of the Thessalonians through Advent 2017— on behalf of my children and my children’s children. Will you join me? We cannot fathom the benefit of such solidarity in prayer to Almighty God for a faith legacy in our ensuing generations. May it be a prayer heard ‘round the world!
Make this Advent Season a powerful Pray It Forward season. An do so with confidence in the Sure Word of God. …so is the word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:11)
Meanwhile, I pray for YOU this Advent season— to be fully engaged with the ONE who has been sent and to fully hope in the ONE who will come once more!
A Faith Legacy Advent Prayer
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it. 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
The proof the opposition to Jesus demanded that He was the Son of God, is the very proof I cherish that He is the Son of God—He remained on the cross! If Jesus would have saved Himself he could not have saved me. Thank you Jesus, for enduring the shame, indignity, and suffering of the Crucifixion…what wondrous love! (Matthew 27:43)
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and loose heart. Hebrews 12:2-3.
Deep in their hearts our children are searching for the “Eggstraordinary” Love of God. This Easter take them on an “Egg” hunt that will assure them of God’s personal love for each one of them. The great Truth in their Easter basket is that God allowed His Son to remain on the cross…what wondrous love!
The Crucifixion Account: Matthew 27:32-44, Mark 15:21-32, Luke 23:26-43, John 19:16-27
Mothers are the most influential people in the world and every mother desires in her heart to do what is best for her child. These are two tenets from my book entitled Faith Feedings…12 principles to nourish your child’s spiritual development. My sister, Debbie, and I know these things first-hand. On February 1, 2017 our mother entered the fullness of her eternal rest in the Lord. We are grateful for God’s grace in her living and in her parting. On the eve of that day I wrote the following in my journal…
“This new volume of my life in Christ begins with the ending of our Mother’s life on earth. At 1:40pm surrounded by her family Marjorie L. Leeds passed into the presence of the Lord. The mere fact that I believe this wholeheartedly makes the loss palatable and even joyful. But there is great sorrow in our loss. What a fine design of our Heavenly Father to grant us—Debbie and I—such a wise, strong and stalwart mom. She was fierce in her love and support of family; forgiving in her relationships; tireless in her aid to the needy; ever defensive of the underdog and passionately enthusiastic of her sports teams.
My time of personal caregiving revealed her heart for God and for her beloved. We have all been infinitely more than we could have been because of her presence in our lives. Her legacy is one of faith, perseverance, and excellence in the details of life. Now she rests from her work. Thank you, Mother, for the dogged pursuit of well being in your family and friends. Your model of dedication to marriage and family lives on in the Lord.
By His grace and mercy alone, Your Daughters”
Be encouraged, dear ones, and by all means …continue in the grace of God. Acts 13:43
Did you turn over an old leaf or a new leaf in 2017? Everything in my old body—which is bound for extinction—desires to turn over an old leaf as the New Year begins. Less eating, less spending and less speaking along with more exercise rise to the top of my list. Everything in my new body in Christ Jesus—which is bound for eternity—leads to Turning a New Leaf. Psalm 1 (read on day one of January) inspired my decision. I resolve to be as a tree planted by streams of water which yields fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither…one who prospers (v.3).
Ads for fitness products, health choices, life insurance, safety provisions and financial security are touted on airways and cyber space as beneficial for self-preservation and family well being. None of these compare with being firmly planted in faith in God. Therefore, I purpose to edify my faith in 2017 by seeking to know more of God and less of the things of this world. At the end of the year, it is my guess that I will have also eaten, spent and spoken less and exercised more. Turning a New Leaf is a win win resolution!
But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit (Jeremiah 17:7-8)
The mark of a leaf is dependent on the tree that nourishes it. Trees rooted in Christ produce leaves that live on into eternity. Together let us resolve to turn to God in new ways in 2017. Turn a New Leaf and leave a faith mark in your family, your community and your Nation.
Let me know what New Leaf Resolutions you are embracing this year. I will gladly support your efforts in prayer.
The honesty of the Bible is inspiring. It paints God as God and humans as humans. The Bible reveals God’s love, holiness, and sovereignty. At the same time it exposes the frailty and sinfulness of the human heart. Even the shortcomings of those that God used for mighty kingdom purposes are recorded for all to see. David is an example of one such servant of God. David is referred to in the Bible as a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14). Yet David’s personal history includes immorality and even murder. Nevertheless, God called, anointed and used David for his will and purpose.
At the end of his life King David spoke words of wisdom about God’s view of effective and godly leadership. These Last Words of David are found in 2 Samuel 23:2-4. The Spirit of the Lord spoke to me; his word was on my tongue. The God of Israel said to me: When one rules over men in righteousness, when he rules in the fear of God, he is like the light of morning at sunrise on a cloudless morning, like the brightness after the rain that brings the grass from the earth.
I have been using these Last Words as a prayer over the last four terms of our Presidents and all appointed and elected government leaders. God alone knows the fruit of my efforts. But I know this: the call to pray for those in rule over us is a Biblical mandate. Would you join me in praying that those who govern over America would rule in righteousness and in the fear of God ?
Share this prayer liberally. God alone knows how it will be answered. In the meantime, look for the light of sunrise and green grass on the earth. And Rejoice!
Like a Christmas carol Psalm 100 plays in my mind. I hear it behind the wheel of my car, on my pillow, and in the mall. It rings out with the Salvation Army bell and sounds with the chimes of the churches I pass.
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
With these words that have been stored in my heart since childhood, the Lord is calling me to my spiritual Root. I am His and He desires to claim His ownership of my being. He wants Full Custody of my heart.
Recently, I held the door for a woman leaving a local book store. Her expression of gratitude led to a conversation. She shared with me that she had just received Full Custody of her teenage granddaughter and grandson. I acknowledged both the joy of her situation and the hard road that led to such a legal result. Gratefully, I commended this Parent Grandparent for her proactive love of her children. Truly, Full Custody will carry great responsibility as well as great privilege and delight. Truly, Full Custody will change the lives of her beloved.
As we approach our celebration of God’s awesome demonstration of His love for His own, let us consider our spiritual relationship with the Christ-child. Does Jesus have Full Custody? It is a soul searching question for me, and no doubt for you as well. Let us purpose together to give our Heaveny Father Full Custody of our hearts in the coming season and ensuing New Year.
My prayer for you…that God would grant you a legacy of faith for the ages. Merry Christmas, indeed!
How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called Children of God! And that is what we are! 1 John 3:1
All of you for All of Christmas!
The greatest gift from God to all peoples cannot be contained in packaging. Neither can it be tied with a bow. It cannot be measured by inches or valued by currency. The Unwrapped Present of Christmas bears the name of Immanuel which translates “God with us”. Surely, there is no other present so sacrificially given as God Himself becoming flesh among us. Surely, God in His unlimited understanding gifted us according to our deepest need. Surely, God’s Presence is framed by His unfathomable love.
Personally, I am not at ease opening gifts in front of others. Several years ago I was taught a valuable lesson through the young woman my son chose for his wife. A friend of mine honored her with a Wedding Shower. The very first gift she opened was a lovely robe. After rubbing her hand over it with a grateful smile she took the robe out of the box, stood up in front of a crowd of people she did not know and slipped her arms into her gift. The response to her gracious action was audible. As I reflect on this precious moment, I realize that my daughter to be sensed the value of the present given in love. She received it with full honor to the giver.
With great reverence and gratitude for God’s immeasurable love, let us Unwrap Immanuel and give Him full honor in our lives. Let us purpose not to squander Christmas this year. Stand up wth great courage and slip into the gift of His Presence in our lives. Deep in your heart you will know His delight—His Peace. Bring God Into the Moment this Christmas for the sake of faith in your own next generation.
I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness… Isaiah 61:10
God’s Presence is the true present of Christmas. Unwrap Jesus this Christmas.
To view my Christmas List for our children check out my website for my blog post from one year ago.
Merry Christmas is a proclamation of a gift. It is a gift given to you by the giving of God’s Son for your eternal life. Now tell me, is there a greater gift under your tree? Merry Christmas is a two word testimony. It signifies God’s profound love for you as demonstrated in His forgiveness of your sins. Merry Christmas is a banner over you that gives voice to your identity in Christ and expresses the joy of the celebration of Jesus’ birth. I encourage you to lace your Merry Christmas with respect, love and grace and regift it to those God sends along your path today.
Early yesterday when I was writing these thoughts our doorbell rang. As I opened the door I shrugged off my sleep attire and rumpled hair and noticed the driving rain. Standing before me was a postal worker with a box and a soaking wet manila envelope in her hands. She looked at me and said, “I dropped the envelope into a puddle.” At that very instant, the Holy Spirit unleashed my Merry. “Thank you for your honesty and Merry Christmas,” I replied. The ensuing glance between us was quick and rich. As I closed the door, I prayed that our early morning encounter would bring a blessing of peace and joy into her day of service. Certainly, it did so for me!
Kids are extra observant during the Christmas season. Let them observe your faith in action as you give the gift of Merry Christmas in your home and community. It will enliven Jesus in their hearts and give them courage to share the true meaning of Christmas in their own circles of faith influence. I pray that God will Unleash Your Merry in this very day.
And Mary said: My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior…(Luke 1:46).
‘Tis the Season. Make the most of your Merry.
Here are seven reasons why you should attend church with your family on Christmas Day.
1. The Genealogy of Jesus was complete.
2. Mary believed the angel Gabriel.
3. Joseph obeyed the dream.
4. It was tax time in Bethlehem.
5. Herald angels appeared to shepherds.
6. Wise men from the East followed a Star.
7. Ancient prophecy was fulfilled.
Now, if God sovereignly arranged for all these things to be in place for the birth of Jesus on earth, imagine what he could do in your family on Christmas Morning. Bring God Into the Moment. Make a faith statement to your children today. Tell them why you are Marking Your Calendar—December 25th: Attend worship as a family.
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14).
Save the date for a date with the Savior!
If this message is appearing on your screen you are one that shares my passion for faith in the next generation. You are not incidental or random in my life. Rather, you are a precious gift to me from the Lord. Your presence on my screen is purposeful and inspiring. For this, I give thanks to God. On this fourth Thursday of November, 2016, I convey my gratitude to you through the ancient worlds of a man of God who was exceedingly grateful for those God had placed on his “screen”.
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. It is right for me to feel like this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart…Philippians 1:3-7
Indeed, In all my remembrance of you, I give thanks. Check out my prayer for you—Philippians 1:9-11—sometime soon. And by all means, Bring God Into the Moment at your Thanksgiving table. Just ask your beloved what makes them thankful today. You will be delighted with their answers and so will the the giver of every good and perfect gift (James 1:17).