Monday, December 21, 2009

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christa]">[a] the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14"Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."

16So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. ~~ Luke 2:8-20

Like the shepherds, we can glorify & praise God for all the things we have seen and heard regarding Jesus who lives today in our hearts.

I'll return to the blog in January. I pray each of you have a very blessed Christmas and New Year.

Monday, December 14, 2009

What We Don't See

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. ~~ Hebrews 11:1 NIV

For the past week or so, the skies in south Texas have been gray. The gray clouds create a barrier between us and the sun. Without the direct sunshine, it can bring on the winter blues. The medical field has studied seasonal affective disorder (SAD). In the studies they conclude that SAD may be associated by the amount of sunlight.

During the winter months, the days are shorter. Often the changes in weather also cause the day to be darker with clouds lingering around all day long. This combination can cause a change in the chemicals in the brain bringing on the winter blues.

The most common form of treatment according to is to get outside for a minimum of 30 minutes each day and to increase the indoor artificial lighting.

Sometimes, situations in our life hinder us from seeing the Son. The circumstances may cloud our vision where we do not see clearly. Often times, we know in our minds that the Son is on the other side, but we become blue not being able to feel the Son.

Like with the SAD, we need to get outside more. We can get outside our point of view. We choose our thoughts and we can redirect our attention to meeting the needs of someone else during the times we feel stuck under a blanket of clouds.

Though the clouds hinder our view of the sunshine, we know the sun is above the clouds. Most of us have flown on a cloudy day. When the plan rises above the clouds, we can see the sun, so we know it is there.

In our situations, we know the Son is there. He is working on our behalf on the other side of our clouded vision. He knows our prayers and petitions. Let’s get outside ourselves and read the Word to fill our lives with His light. We can trust in Him even though it is what we don’t see.

Monday, December 7, 2009

By God's Grace and for His Glory

By God’s grace, He allowed me to travel and visit a precious friend in the hospital who had surgery last week. What I saw is amazing witness for God’s glory.

Things did not go as hoped and prayed for, but God is in control of all circumstances. Mary’s spirit is strong and she trusts completely in God and what He is doing in and through her life.

A portion of the surgery was not as successful as hoped. They planned to remove all the cancer, but they found some more cancer. She’s been advised she has an aggressive type of cancer. She will be taking six rounds of chemo after being released from the hospital over the next four months. Her recovery time will be much longer than hoped.

The plastic surgeon, who claimed he never had a case fail, is disappointed in the results for he is used to success. Charles, Mary’s husband, informed me the plastic surgeon came to them and apologized. The surgeon doesn’t understand why this happened to them because they are good people. The surgeon said he had patients so mean and the surgery worked, but Charles and Mary are good people. This surgeon lamented with Charles and Mary over what appears to be a failure. Yet, Charles had the opportunity to sit down with this surgeon and explain to him about the Lord, Jesus and that things work out quoting Romans 8:28.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Charles and Mary are praying for the salvation of this doctor and thanking God for the opportunity to witness to him. He visits Mary more often than the standard protocol.

Also, the Lord has sent ministering servants to Charles for he is with Mary alone without family or friends. Christian people he does not know have come to visit him. Yet the bond of fellowship is strong from the people the Lord sent. It was encouraging to hear how the Lord looks after His people as He sent men to Charles to encourage and refresh his spirit and pray with them while at the hospital.

Today Charles and Mary will learn when she will be released to come home. It is a testimony of faith to see the couple who loves the Lord, praising Him for opportunities in the midst of pain. Never once did I hear my friend cry, “Why God?” By God’s grace, Mary is facing her trial with strength and dignity with the glory of the Lord all over her.

I’m thankful I got to hear and witness the testimony from Charles and Mary in the midst of this trial. By God’s grace and for His glory, I trust the Lord has some mighty plans for their lives when they pass this test.

Prayers for Mary, Charles and the salvation of the doctor are appreciated.