Archive | Advent

Messy Miracles

Messy Miracles | 3dlessons4life.com


“Then Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I do not know a man?’  And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.” –Luke 1:34-35 (NKJV)

“Don’t let them see you cry,” my professor stated sternly as he scribbled his signature on my student teaching form. My well-laid plans to work with a small middle school class had disintegrated due to a scheduling conflict. Instead, I’d stand in front of a large class of rambunctious twelfth graders. I felt like I’d just been asked to swallow an elephant. Why did God allow me to be placed in a role that was beyond my capability?

This was the first of many “bigger than me” assignments. I quickly learned that God wasn’t really concerned with my capabilities. All He required was a willing vessel. His glory was best displayed in impossible situations.

When I read the Gospel accounts of Gabriel appearing to Mary, I like to imagine how I would have responded. By all standards, this young virgin girl is an unlikely candidate to help save the world. I am not sure I would have been overjoyed to accept the role of unmarried pregnant girl who will be shamed and possibility stoned by her community. Instead of celebrating her betrothal surrounded by the affirmation of her family, Mary’s life becomes a complicated mess.

God’s ways are so often beyond our limited understanding. Mary moved forward in the direction God was leading with unquestioning surrender. Her acceptance of this painful assignment birthed hope for the entire world.

The Almighty loves to transform messes into miracles. This Christmas, rather than worry about circumstances that are out of our control, we can choose to trust that God is working in unexpected ways. We can purpose to worship and look forward with expectation.

Like Mary, your willingness to partner with God through the messy just might change the world.

 

 

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Something to think about…

 

I’m sharing “Messy Miracles” with like-minded friends at Faith-Filled Friday.
“Messy Miracles” was originally published at Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale’s Daily Devo.

 

Linkup

Have you written something thought-provoking, challenging, encouraging, or inspiring lately? Link it up here! For best results, write the title of your post in the name box. 🙂

As a courtesy, please link back to 3-D Lessons for Life in your post. Grab and share the Thought-Provoking Thursday button to spread the word. Use #ThoughtProvokingThursday to share your post and connect on Twitter.

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5 Ways to Make Jesus Known This Christmas

5 Ways to Make Jesus Known This Christmas | 3dlessons4life.com

 

Christmas is almost here! The tree is up. The carols are playing. I am making a list of presents and checking my list twice to make sure I don’t forget anyone.

In all the hustle and bustle of Christmas, I don’t want to forget the most important thing on my to-do list.  My job is to share the story of Jesus with those who have yet to receive Him. Every day, I rub shoulders with friends and family who desperately need salvation. How am I going to invite them to come to Bethlehem and see the One who is Savior of the world?

I’m sharing “5 Ways to Make Jesus Known” over at Missional Women.

To read the rest of this post, join me here.

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Gloria in Excelsis Deo

Gloria in Excelsis Deo | 3dlessons4life.com

 

Come to Bethlehem and see
Him whose birth the angels sing;
Come, adore on bended knee
Christ, the Lord, the new-born King.
Gloria in excelsis Deo.

 

This morning, I got a text message from a friend announcing the birth of her son, Milo.  He arrived unexpectedly early during the wee hours of the morning in spectacular fashion shocking both his parents. God loves to surprise us.

The birth announcement of Jesus Christ was also unpredictably wonderful. A blaze of light and glory broke through the dark night as a choir of angels declared the Messiah’s arrival to an astonished group of shepherds.

When we see the glory of God first hand, the response is always awe and wonder. Our hearts are filled with praise.

Warren Wiersbe calls this our “theology” transforming into “doxology.” Doxology comes from two Greek words: “doxa,” which means “glory,” and “logos,” which means “word, say, saying.”

When you know who God is, the natural result is an outpouring of speaking His praises.  Paul exemplifies this in Romans 11:36 when He declares: “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen.”

This Advent, we can join the praise party with Paul and the shepherds by shouting out God’s glory to the watching world…

I am sharing “Gloria in Excelsis Deo”

at LoveGodGreatly.com today

as part of their Advent Study God With Us.

To read the rest of this post, join me here.

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Christmas Heart

Christmas Heart | 3dlessons4life.com

What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
if I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.

Christmas is less than two weeks away, and I do not have a single present placed under the tree. I’m exhausted from Thanksgiving and have decided that Christmas just came too early this year. I’d  like a do-over please.

I’m not doing cards (except for one to Joanne. Got your beautiful card yesterday. Thank you!). And, I am thinking about paying someone to bake the Christmas cookies so that I can take a nap instead.

We are on day 8 of the Advent readings, and I forgot to light the candles on Sunday so I just set them on fire them yesterday so that they would look less unused when the relatives arrive this weekend.

Oh, yeah, did I mention that we are starting Christmas early this year? Dinner is apparently at my house on Saturday. (I decided to have it mostly catered.  I will cook the easy peasy corn casserole myself.)

I am feeling decidedly un-ready for Christmas.

How about you?

Now, I know why Scrooge was all “Bah Humbug.” He just couldn’t handle all the hoopla.

So, this year, I’ve decided to be rebellious and just spend Christmas day in my PJ’s. I refuse to put on  a pretty dress or makeup. I am going to eat leftovers on paper plates and have a Holly Jolly time resting.

My heart just can’t handle all the hullabalo.

I don’t want Christmas to be about the perfectly decorated tree or the number of beautifully wrapped presents.

If I don’t have Christmas in my heart, I will never find it under the tree.

This year, I want my heart to be the only present under the tree. I want to offer my weary, ready for nap heart to Jesus.

It’s a good thing He loves broken and needy people. Because I really need Him.

Instead of running ragged on the Christmas treadmill this year, I am going to jump off the crazy train and plop down at His feet in my jammies.

There will be no stockings hung by the chimney with care, but I will be hanging on to Jesus.

I’m going to wrap up my heart in the wonder of Him this Christmas.

 

 

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Something to think about…

 

I’m sharing “Christmas Heart” with like-minded friends at Faith-Filled Friday.

 

Linkup

Have you written something thought-provoking, challenging, encouraging, or inspiring lately? Link it up here! For best results, write the title of your post in the name box. 🙂

As a courtesy, please link back to 3-D Lessons for Life in your post. Grab and share the Thought-Provoking Thursday button to spread the word. Use #ThoughtProvokingThursday to share your post and connect on Twitter.

Check back later to see what other GREAT posts have been linked up! Visit the post immediately before yours and leave an encouraging comment.

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22

Miracles at Midnight

Miracles at Midnight | 3dlessons4life.com

 

All you, beneath your heavy load,
By care and guilt bent low,
Who toil along a dreary way
With painful steps and slow:
Look up, for golden is the hour,
Come swiftly on the wing,
The Prince was born to bring your peace;
Of Him the angels sing.

 

Are you feeling weighed down by darkness right now?  Stand and look up for your salvation is near.

He came upon a midnight clear.

Your midnight hour is the ripest time for a miracle to transpire.

  • Christ will defeat your enemy and pass over you with grace because of the blood of Christ (Exodus 12:21-29)
  • Your Kingsman Redeemer will acknowledge your need and cover you with His protection (Ruth 3:8-11)
  • Your Friend will provide abundantly for your request and open up doors to good gifts for you when you are shamelessly persistent in asking (Luke 11:5-12)

So on the blackest of nights, take your cue from Paul and Silas who sang His praises until their shackles fell off.

Remember the dead of night is broad daylight to our Savior. Rise up to praise Him at midnight like the Psalmist. He’s still in the business of birthing peace on earth and good will toward men. 

At midnight a cry will shatter the gloom:  “Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet Him.” Keep your lamp burningStay awake.

Your mess is the perfect birthplace for a midnight miracle. 

Something to think about…

 

Friends:  #ThoughtProvokingThursday was miraculously born three Decembers ago.  Thank you for joining me here each week to shout out His praises. To God be the glory!  

I’m sharing “Miracles at Midnight” with like-minded friends at Faith-Filled Friday.

 

Linkup

Have you written something thought-provoking, challenging, encouraging, or inspiring lately? Link it up here! For best results, write the title of your post in the name box. 🙂

As a courtesy, please link back to 3-D Lessons for Life in your post. Grab and share the Thought-Provoking Thursday button to spread the word. Use #ThoughtProvokingThursday to share your post and connect on Twitter.

Check back later to see what other GREAT posts have been linked up! Visit the post immediately before yours and leave an encouraging comment.

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