Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Devotional 89 Christmas Obstacle

"When you get up on the wrong side of the bed, choose the wrong route to work, or push the wrong button, be ready with a word of worship. Sovereign Lord, do whatever You like. You are in control." Secret Strength by Joni Eareckson Tada

Daniel 2:20, 21 "Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, For wisdom and might are His. And He changes the times and the seasons.."

Psalm 31:15 "My times are in Your hand..."

I have a little automated toy mouse - furry and gray. When wound up it races across my wooden floor twirling its black tail and making clacking noises.

My great niece who is a year and a half is afraid of it. At first I tried to get her used to it, to tell her it would not hurt her, it was just a toy. But then I thought I could use this to my advantage.

I do not let her go in my laundry room because my husband stores his art paints on the floor. I would invariably forget to shut the door because I use it so often. And she would invariably discover the open door and find it a great source of entertainment to get Aunt Carol to chase her out. So one day I placed the little furry mouse in the door way.

Voila! I could go in and out with laundry but my niece would not step foot across that door way. She would stand several feet a way staring at the mouse and complain until I came out.

That was an obstacle I put there by my decree with a purpose that was good for both of us. Now my niece did not feel like it was a good purpose. It was keeping her from something she wanted. But in my mind it was keeping her safe.

So are the obstacles that God places in our lives. They are always for a purpose. Our times are in His hands. If a change needs to be made in our schedule, our job, our finances, our family, God can bring about obstacles that get us moving and looking in the right direction.

If things seem to be going wrong this Christmas----not enough money for the gadgets, not all the family will be able to gather, weather does not cooperate, a flat tire on the day of travel, to ill to enjoy the holidays, a death, or a quadriplegic as Joni Eareckson Tada was---do as Joni suggested in the quote at the top. Worship! Because your Sovereign Lord is in control of even this.

May Christ be your joy this season.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Devotional 88 Christmas Resolve

"I shall open my eyes and ears. Once every day I shall simply stare at a tree, a flower, a cloud, or a person. ...I shall joyfully allow them the mystery of what C. S. Lewis calls their 'divine, magical, terrifying and ecstatic' existence." Clyde Kilby, professor at Wheaton College...Oct.22, 1976

Psalm 19:1 "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork."

The above quote was from a lecture given at Wheaton College by Professor Kilby who actually gave 10 resolves that he was determined to live by. This was resolve #6. This is the one resolve I wish to practice for the month of December.

I resolve to pause each day and look at the beauty of Christmas. To see in it the divine magic and wonder of God coming to earth.

When I have been busy cooking and cleaning, I will stop for a moment and go outside (whether raining or snowing, blowing wind, or frosty sunny) and I will breathe in the crisp air and look up and thank God.

On days I spend playing with a child I will look at their sparkly eyes and rosy cheeks and kiss them and thank God for such a creation as babies and children. For our Great God and Savior was a child.

When I hear Christmas music while busily shopping I will stand still for a moment and really listen to it even as others whip around me. For Psalm 100 says "Come before His presence with singing. Know that the LORD, He is God;"

When I light my candles I will say: "Lord Jesus, You are the Light of the world, come to save sinners such as me."

When I rub shoulders with friends and family and enemies, I will (as the quote above suggests) see them with a little more terrifying, ecstatic, divine magic as a creation of God for a purpose. Just as in the Christmas story the shepherds, the wise men, and even Herod played a decreed, divine role given by God.

So I resolve to pause, look, and listen. Will you do that with me? In your busy schedule will you allow for a little magic? Today the heavens are declaring the glory of God!

Luke 1:46 "My soul magnifies the Lord, and spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior."