To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.
Don’t throw my ashes to the wind which chills the bone, don’t let it in; that old blower who tosses about aged trees as stormy seas shout. Let butterfly wings flutter my ash in golden garden gates that flash.
Don’t hold my ashes when we’re apart. Instead, tuck memories in your heart walk through a lush, green wood long; seek the warming sun, hear bird’s song. In His great Light, that’s where I’ll be; my constant prayer that you’ll join me.
Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, And your justice as the noonday.
Most people like new stuff. From the youngest of six children to the poor man with a rusty vehicle; there is that longing for new clothes or a new car. New stuff is all around us tempting us to BUY! Stores, stores and more stores filled with spanking new objects.
I did a search on animals that like shiny things. This is what I found regarding why crows like sparkling things: “The same reason humans collect shiny things. It marks their territory, shows hunter/gatherer skills, and improves the possibility for breeding with other crows. You will find that collecting shiny things is also learned behavior.” Magpies and raccoons are noted to be attracted to bling too!
With all this in mind, let’s approach a new year with seeking shiny new ways of drawing closer to God. If we are strengthened spiritually, we will shine the light of Jesus even more. Maybe it’s time to find a new time or way to study the Bible. Perhaps, someone’s prayer life is suffering. What about taking a walk and talk with the Heavenly Father. Ask Him to show you a new way to grow in Him. Let’s learn something new. Amen!
He gives snow like wool; He scatters the frost like ashes;
I must go through the wood again: to gentle meadow, drowsy sky; to trek about powdery drifts. To feel ice sprinkled about my face, my feet dance atop the stiff snows; as December’s chilly wind blows a song much like young babe’s cry.
I must go through the wood again: snow as down upon a thistle. To feel crunch in cumbersome boot, sweet chick-a-dee on thorny branch, far from wild mountain’s avalanche. It’s here I come to visit cold to face it with steps strong and bold to hear land wail, wheeze and whistle.
I must go through the wood again; it’s there the Christmas trees grow wild, where child’s laughter can still be heard; past private, prickly empty nest where song birds no longer find rest. Winter’s lost tales are often unspoken in lingering steps, unseen cloak veiled; as a child ages… like the evergreen.
Magnify: “And Mary said: My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.” Luke 1:47
How can you magnify the Lord toady as you rejoice in the knowledge of your salvation? “… for there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord”. Luke 2:11
Humility: “For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; for behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.” Luke 1:48
Humility is a difficult quality, however we have the strength of the Holy Spirit, “The humble He guides in justice, And the humble He teaches His way.” Psalm 25:9
Holy: “For He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name.” Luke 1:49
Do we understand the power of His righteousness granted to us on the day of our Salvation? We have been renewed by the blood of Christ and should, daily, call Him holy. “…and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:23-24
A Servant’s Fear: “And His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation.” Luke 1:50
Fear is a strange thing. Sometimes burdens draws us to the point of seclusion from the world. However, Mary’s prayer was not out of that type of fear, but the fear which carries abundant respect to God and a heart to want to serve Him. “If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.” John 12:26
Meekness: “He has shown strength with His arm;He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He has put down the mighty from their thrones, And exalted the lowly.” Luke 1:51-52
I believe Mary exhibit meekness in her character. There is nothing more beautiful than a gentle spirit in the life of any woman. Think of your sisters who love Jesus and follow God closely. Do they not show the meekness which is available to each of us if only we are willing to receive this gift? “…rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.” I Peter 3:4
Those in Need: “He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent away empty.” Luke 1:53
We can’t follow Christ on our own; although we try. Is it our ability to nurture which gets in the way of seeing our own neediness? Or maybe it’s Eve’s boldness and drive forward attitude which allows us to think we are filled with our own richness; even in faith. God wants us to call on Him; to ask Him to fill us. “The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth.He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them.”Psalm 145:18-19
Helper: “He has helped His servant Israel, In remembrance of His mercy, as He spoke to our fathers,to Abraham and to his seed forever.” Luke 1:54-55
God speaks to each of us. Our focus should not be on the things of the world which tears us away from a healthy relationship with God and His Son Jesus Christ. He is our HELPER; truly believe in that truth. “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39
Remain: “And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her house.” Luke 1:56
Ladies, slow down. Bath in the Word of God. Be assured He knows far greater than you as to your life: past, present and future. Not sure what He’s doing? Be like Mary and look to God and His great promises! “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” Psalm 46:10
And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.
For weeks many have been lulled by those traditional Christmas songs which stir memories. They travel with us as we transition from place to place. Often, they set the stage for our family gatherings. And when our weary heads hit the pillow, we are comforted by the music of Christmas.
Is it the declaration of the coming Messiah that brings peace to our hearts during times of uncertainty? Or, perhaps, the memories of a mother humming “Silent Night” before we knew many nights would not be silent, but filled with pain and grief. So many wonderful songs are attached to out past.
Music can soothe our souls and bring hope. The night the Savior was born, there was a mixture of emotions. Uncertainty for a young mother, fear and trembling for a field of shepherds, frustration for an inn keeper and joy for heralding angles; so many reactions to the birth of a King.
The Good News of the Savior’s birth is still celebrated, but what greater a celebration we can look forward to is in Jesus’s return one day. Focus on He who will come to gather His saints. May there then be “Joy to the World the King has Come”. Until then, “Oh Come, Let Us Adore Him”!