Showing posts with label baby jesus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label baby jesus. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Faith

Jesus was born in a humble manger to a young woman who trusted God.

When I think of the miracle of Christmas, 
my faith grows and my love for Jesus increases.
I'm thankful Mary loved God and trusted His plan.


 

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Hope

I am so thankful we have hope in Jesus.
When the world seems bleak, the Lord of Lords offers hope of new life
and hope of peace and freedom in this life.

He is the hope of the world!




 

Saturday, December 10, 2022

Tuck Hope in Your Heart

 Luke 2:19

But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

So many memories flood my heart at Christmas.

I confess. I put my Christmas tree up the day before Thanksgiving, this year. We were going to my sister’s house for the holiday, so no one would be visiting us. After I had prepared the food I was taking, I had time to set up the tree. As I fluffed the silver branches, I remembered when Tim brought home this beauty. He knew I wanted a silver one and went on the hunt for it.  The tree has been with us for ten-plus years.

Each year as I adorn it with ornaments, the memories I’ve stored in my heart come to life. As the wrapping comes off of each bauble, I remember the person or occasion associated with the decoration. The first felt ornament I made, in sixth grade art class, still hangs on my tree. Along with our Christmas tree, decorations from my childhood adorn our home. With each one the thought of Christmases past tugs at my heart.

Imagine a young woman who an angel declared pregnant by God, traveling to another town at nine months pregnant, and giving birth to the King of Kings in a stable. Instead of being terrified or embarrassed, she treasured and embraced her experience. As a mom and a person who cherishes sweet memories, I love reading that Mary treasured and pondered what happened in her heart.

I’m sure those memories helped carry her through the death and resurrection of her Son.

Even as I contemplate the memories attached to my tree, I cherish the nativity ornaments that tell the story of the Savior come to earth as a babe.

Jesus brought hope to a dark world. Even as we navigate the chaos, hold on to the hope and tuck it into your heart.

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

The Star

When I go outside with Rosie May in the evening, I look at the stars. 
On a clear night, they twinkle and shine and remind me of the star over Bethlehem.

They fill me with joy as they remind me of Jesus.


 

Saturday, January 8, 2022

Look to Jesus

Proverbs 15:30
Light in a messenger’s eyes brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.

I tucked Christmas away.

Every year, our home is donned with Christmas displays, trees, and memories. I usually pull out all the treasured ornaments and d├ęcor around Thanksgiving. By early January, I'm ready to take down the beauty of the season and store it away for another year. Wednesday morning, the 4th day of January, I unhooked the ornaments from the tree, wrapped them, and placed them in the Christmas tote. Once the baubles were packed away, I unwound the purple beaded garland, then pulled the plug on the lights, the last remnant of the holiday. When the colorful bulbs turned off, I felt a little tug of sadness. Those little twinklers brought me joy.

When they glowed in various colors, they reminded me of why I celebrate His birth
Shades of pinkHe came as a sweet babe
GreenHe's everlasting
YellowHe's the light of the world
RedHis blood shed on the cross
Blue—everlasting life in heaven

Proverbs 15:30 reminds me to put my sadness away and remember the true light. Jesus came to earth to bring hope. His good news offers peace. When my heart is at peace, the rest of my body feels better.

As Christmas is put away and the new year begins, I choose to look to Jesus as the source of my joy and peace. He loves me more than I understand. I'm a broken human being filled with hope because the King of Kings who came as the only perfect person, loved me enough to die a harsh death on the cross, then gloriously rise to life.

Jesus is grace. He forgives and loves like no other.

Begin this new year looking to Jesus.

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Her Firstborn Son

Luke 2:6-7
While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

When a baby is placed in my arms; I feel giddy. 

Twelve years ago, on December 22, Sara gave birth to our grandson, Elijah Duncan. He spent his first Christmas in the hospital with his mom and dad. When we stopped by on the twenty-fifth to celebrate the holiday, we found him swaddled in his baby blanket and cuddled in his mother's arms. I couldn't wait to get my hands on him.

What a blessing that Christmas was.

Imagine the wonder Mary felt when she held baby Jesus. As a mother, I know what incredible joy a new baby brings. Consider thisthe baby Mary held grew to be the man who became King of Kings, the One who sacrificed His perfect life to forgive sin. Because of Jesus I have the hope of heaven. All He asked of me was to believe, have faith, repent, be baptized, and obey.

Every day I seek Him and ask Him for guidance. The Holy Spirit gives me wisdom and clarity, but my part is seeking, listening, and obeying. I love Jesus and thank Him for forgiving my sins and loving me so much.

As we celebrate this beautiful season of love and giving, focus on the One whose life started as a babe in a manger and grew to be the man who would give his life for us all. The words, "Jesus loves me this I know," come to mind when I think about Jesus. He loves us and wants us to love Him and believe in Him.

Believe, this Christmas, in Jesus.

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Joy Replaced Fear

Luke 2:9-10
An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people."

I remember sitting in a classroom in the junior high building, my heart pounding with fear.

I'd been absent the day my class took the standard exam, so the teacher sent me to the big study hall, which seemed miles away from my classroom. There I sat, a painfully shy, elementary student, surrounded by teenagers. The teacher stood what seemed like seven feet tall, while the paper and pencil on my desk taunted me. As I started to darken circles on the multiple-choice questions, tears stung my eyes. The teacher, in all of his wisdom, must have noticed my discomfort. He leaned over and assured me everything would be okay. And it was. I don't recall the results of the test, but I took it and evidently passed whatever hurdle I needed to.

My teacher wasn't an angel, at least not that I know of, yet he calmed my fear and gave me courage to finish my task.

When the angel appeared to the shepherds in the field near Bethlehem, the fear must have overwhelmed them. The night was most likely quiet, a few sheep baaing, maybe a breeze, and a snore here or there from dozing shepherds. Then the sky lit up with God's glory and surrounded the mighty messenger. Bless those shepherds' hearts, as they trembled in fear, and the angel consoled them with encouragement and spoke of the most wonderful news.

No doubt the shepherds had heard of the long-expected Messiah, but they never dreamed they'd be alerted to his birth in such an awesome way. With courage and encouragement from the angel, the shepherds listened and followed his directions. And lo and behold they witnessed baby Jesus in his mother's arms.

At the sight of the Lord, pure joy replaced any fear.

This season seek Jesus with the courage of the shepherds and experience true joy.

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

The Best Gift

It's that simple.

Come let us adore, cherish, love, worship Him!

As I celebrate Christmas, I think about the best gift to give Jesus.

On my knees, hands lifted, I offer Him my heart.

What will you give Jesus?


 

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Celebrate with Joy!

Something inside of me sparks when I near the Christmas season. 
I so wish every one could experience the holiday the way I do.

The joy that bubbles over comes from the beautiful baby born in a manger,
 so many years ago.

I love celebrating the One who came to earth to offer grace. 
His grace has saved my life.

Celebrate Jesus Joy!


 

Saturday, December 4, 2021

Faith Before Fear

Luke 1:35-38
The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail.”

“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

I love holding and rocking babies.

In 2009, we were thrilled to find out we'd have three grandbabies born. Max arrived in October, Eli in time for Christmas, and Zeke the following January. Our hearts overflowed with joy as we met each of these baby boys. As a grandma, I fell in love with them, just as I had my own babies. The boys have or will soon turn twelve, and they are lights in our lives. All so different from one another, yet so precious.

The mamas got to share in the joy and challenges of carrying a child, at the same time. Sisters, Sara and Maggie, expected Eli and Zeke with only five weeks separating their birth. What an exciting time for this grandma.

Cousins, Elizabeth and Mary, shared the experience of pregnancy and childbirth. Wow were their circumstances exceptional. Elizabeth was considered old, yet God blessed her with a child. Mary was a young virgin, yet God gave her a baby. Their stories are unusual and perhaps hard to believe. Yet the writers of the Bible tell the stories with clarity, truth, and hope.

I love Mary's humility as she accepts the angel's pronouncement. "For no word from God will ever fail." Her response says it all, "I am the Lord's servant." Mary believed. She trusted God and put her faith in front of her fear because she knew God never fails.

Can you imagine being in Mary's circumstance? Would people ridicule her? Would they punish her? She had more at stake than we might today. The Jewish laws were strict, and she could be severely punished for being unwed and pregnant. But she put her faith before her fear and trusted God with her life.

Elizabeth was old and her husband made mute before John the Baptist was born. Did Elizabeth hide with embarrassment or did she trust? She believed God blessed her, and she jumped with joy. She too put faith before fear.

This Christmas as we celebrate Jesus, put faith before fear and share about the babe who grew to be a man. Not just any man, but Jesus the Savior of this broken world.

Have the hard conversations and talk about the hope we have in Jesus.

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Roll into Christmas

Psalm 100
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.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
   and his courts with praise;
   give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
   his faithfulness continues through all generations.

We've celebrated Thanksgiving, and Christmas is coming.

Another holiday season has rolled around. Thanksgiving Day we were blessed to spend time with some of our family, something we didn't get to do last year. Nieces and nephews have grown by leaps and bounds, as have our grandchildren. As usual on this holiday, too much food went into my mouth, but my goodness it was yummy.

As I looked around the room and visited with folks, I thanked God for the opportunity to spend time together. Something I'd taken for granted before the pandemic. I also loved meeting my niece's puppies and seeing my mom cuddle with one. The day satisfied in so many ways.

I know the holidays, along with joy, can bring stress and busyness.

As I prepare my heart for the Christmas season, I want nothing more than to focus on the reason we celebrate. Yes, I love the decorations, the music, the movies, and the food, but more than anything, I love Jesus and the reason He came.

Jesus fulfilled the prophets' words in the Old Testament by being born of a virgin, in a manger. That sweet babe grew into the man who gave His life for our freedom from sin. He's the reason we celebrate.

As you decorate the tree, thank God for the beauty He createdas you sing a carol, praise the Lord for his love and mercyas you shop for gifts, pray for the recipient and every day, recognize the grace we have because of Jesus. Let's roll from the Thanksgiving season into Christmas with a grateful heart.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Christmas in the Heart

Do you feel it in the air?

Do you feel it in your heart?

The love...
Jesus love came down from God to this world.
The joy...
Joy in the birth of the one who came to walk with us.
The grace...
Poured out on all who believe.
The hope...
Of life eternal with Jesus.

Do you know the good news?

Jesus came to rescue us from ourselves.
To offer the kingdom of God to us.
To give us a way to God, who loves us so very much!

Tuck Christmas in your heart this holiday season.
And share his good news with the world!

 

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Celebrate~Mary

Luke 2:6-7
While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She [Mary] wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

Bumping along on a lowly donkey, nine months pregnant, Mary prepared for the birth of her son, Jesus. She made the journey with her betrothed, Joseph, to the town of Bethlehem where they'd be counted and registered to pay taxes. Towards the end of a pregnancy, most women are mighty uncomfortable. I can't imagine riding a donkey on rough roads and bouncing around. But, Mary's faith trumped her discomfort.

Womanhood arrived early in Mary's day. History determines her to be anywhere from fourteen to seventeen, a child in our culture. Yet her love for God matured and grew in her few years. The angel, who delivered the news that she'd give birth to the Messiah, recognized this young woman's faith.

Mary, being the faithful servant, accepted the angel's proclamation with grace and trust.

Trust plays a huge part in Jesus' birth. Joseph trusted enough to wed Mary.  God trusted the angels to deliver his messages. The shepherds trusted the angels and ran to see the baby. And Mary trusted God with the glorious phenomenon of Jesus' birth.

As Mary bumped along, she must have wondered what came next. But she moved forward as God called her. She birthed the baby in a stable, most likely a cave where the animals were fed and watered. Hopefully, she had clean straw and fresh water. Regardless, Mary welcomed her child with joy that night.  

As you think about the troubles of 2020, the inconveniences, the losses, the illness, think about Mary. In her discomfort and what was likely a troubled time for her, she moved forward with trust and faith. Regardless of what's behind us, let's keep our eyes on Jesus and celebrate the joy of this season.

Stop for a few moments and breathe in the spirit of the season. Capture the essence of joy. Then breathe out and share his hope.

 Who Would Imagine a King sung by my daughter Sara Hatch-

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Rejoice and Reflect

Celebrating Christmas is a bit different this year.

Not as many gatherings, masked up to shop, not enough hugs.

Maybe your family has been hit with illness.

Maybe you work in the medical field.

Maybe you've lost someone dear. 

Maybe your school shut down.

But maybe somewhere, in all this mess, we can search and find some good.

Reflect on time with family, the opportunities to help others, 

the quiet times, the noisy times, and the tough times that made us stronger. 

Rejoice in the love of Jesus as you celebrate the season.


Wednesday, December 9, 2020

A Little Something

Can you guess my all time favorite holiday show?

If you guessed A Charlie Brown Christmas, you are right.
The scene with Linus on stage, reciting the Christmas story brings joy to my heart.
When he drops the blanket while saying "Fear not", 
I'm reminded to trust in the reason we celebrate
~Jesus birth!

Share the joy of Christmas with someone!



 

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Celebrating Christmas~Joseph

Matthew 1:19-21, 24-25
Because Joseph her [Mary] husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

Joseph trusted the Lord.

As a child, I heard the story of Jesus' birth. We learned of the trek to Bethlehem, angels singing, shepherds visiting, and of course Mary giving birth to the baby Jesus. I imagined the animals surrounding the manger, the sheep baaing and cows mooing. But I didn't give much thought to Joseph. In the story, he knocks on the inn keeper's door and he leads Mary to the stable. I knew he was present, yet he disappeared into the background.

What I've learned since:

Joseph was kind, compassionate, and faithful to God. He truly loved Mary. I'm not surprised by any of this. In God's plan to bring Jesus into the world, he chose two people who adored and trusted Him. Joseph and Mary's engagement, as binding as marriage is today, could only be broken by divorce. Rather than expose Mary as pregnant before wedlock, Joseph planned to quietly divorce her and set her free. Otherwise, she could have been stoned to death for adultery.

Thank goodness the angel gave Joseph the low down on God's plan. On hearing the angel's words, he could have run the other way. Joseph could have laughed in the angel's face. Instead, he chose to trust God's plan. His faith overcame his fear.

This year the holidays don't seem the same. Some traditions may not happen. Gatherings may look different. Illness may hamper plans. The sadness and stress of 2020 may drag us down. Yet as we celebrate Jesus' birth, let's delight in the Lord with faith like Joseph. He tossed his fears aside and trusted in God. If Joseph could do that in his circumstance, surely we can too.

I pray as we head into the Christmas season, we consider Joseph's faith and his trust in God.

Click to tweet: Faith like Joseph 

Saturday, December 21, 2019

The Sweet Peace of a Baby

Luke 2:29-32
Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant [Simeon] in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation [Jesus] which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.”

I love holding babies. My daughters, grandbabies, nieces and nephews all cuddled in my arms. There sweet fragrance after a bath was the best perfume. The soft coos and even loud cries brought joy to my heart.

Now imagine being Simeon..

Simeon, a devout, old man who lived in Israel, was blessed with the promise that he would see the Messiah before he died. While in Jerusalem, where Mary and Joseph traveled after the birth of Jesus, the Holy Spirit prompted Simeon to visit the temple. Lo and behold, he met Mary and Joseph. When they saw Simeon enter, they placed baby Jesus in his arms. He cradled him and rejoiced.

Simeon's heart rejoiced with peace because he'd laid eyes on the one who came to save the world from sin and give life to those who follow him. Imagine being Simeon, holding sweet baby Jesus in your arms. Oh the joy!

We may not be able to hold that precious babe in our arms, but we can invite Jesus in and hold him in our hearts. At this time of holiday chaos, rest in the peace of the Savior we celebrate.
Open your heart and invite him in.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Those Shepherds Couldn't Stop Talking

Luke 2:15-18
When 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.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 

On December 22, 2009, our grandson Eli was born. Oh how I rejoiced at this sweet little bundle of love. I told my mom and dad, my siblings, my friends of this beautiful boy who would fill our hearts with joy. You see, I was excited. I wanted all to know that Eli was born. On Christmas day, Tim and I had the privilege to celebrate not only Eli's birth, but Jesus as well. We trekked to the hospital to share the day with Elijah Duncan and his mommy and daddy. What a wonderful Christmas that was!

The shepherds, those men on the hill visited by the angels, ran to find the new baby. The one who would change the world, lay in a manger waiting to meet these awestruck men. Once they'd laid eyes on that sweet little babe, those shepherds couldn't stop talking about him. They told everyone they saw about the miracle of Jesus' birth.
What are you talking about this time of year?
I hope amid the busyness of the season we talk about Jesus. His birth. His life. His truth and grace. Let's be like the shepherds and tell everyone about the King.



Saturday, December 7, 2019

Appearance With Purpose

Luke 2:8-14
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, "Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. -KJV

Imagine you are resting on a grassy hill surrounded by sheep, bleating for your attention. You raise up to check on your charges. Without warning, an angel appears. Your heart races, you tremble and fall back to the ground. You look around at your buddies, their mouths are hanging open, their staffs dropped with a thud. But the angel isn't bothered by your awe. He's made an appearance with a purpose. His announcement will change the world. "No need to fear. I've got great news for you. Jesus has been born. He's in a manger just over the ridge. Go meet the Messiah."

You stand in reverence and nod at the angel. About the time you try to wrap your head around the glory of Jesus birth, a choir of angels burst into song.  "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."

You clap your hands together in praise, pick up your staff and head to see the King. Oh what a glorious night!

Angels visited shepherds, every day workers who smelled like animals, and announced the birth of Jesus. What a privilege for the caretakers of sheep to be the first to kneel before the one who would change the world. 

We may not be shepherds on a hill, but we are called to kneel before Jesus. Take time to praise the one who came to earth as a babe, then gave his life for our sins. He is the King of grace and hope.

Oh What a Glorious Night-Sidewalk Prophets

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Lion of Judah

When I turned the calendar to December, I was pleased to see a lion on the page. Why? Because the king of the jungle reminded me of the King of my life. 
Jesus is called the Lion of Judah in the book of Revelation. 
Born into an every day family, in a stable with animals, and shepherds as his first visitors, Jesus grew from a tiny baby to a man who triumphed over death. 

As you celebrate the season of Christmas, spend time thinking and praying about the one who gave his life. The Lion of Judah knows us, understands us, and reaches toward us with a pure love that's beyond imagination.