Are You All In?

Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.”

The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God.  What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she has conceived a son and is now in her sixth month. For the word of God will never fail.”

Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her.  – Luke 1:34-38

So imagine with me…an angel has appeared and announced to Mary, Congratulations! You are single and we know you are engaged to be married to Joseph but God has chosen you to give birth to His son.

How would you respond?

Mary asked a very obvious question…Ummm…I’m a virgin, how is this possible?

Good question Mary!  It would probably be the first of at least a hundred questions I would have.

The angel Gabriel went on to explain that she would not only be with child, but that child would be the Son of God.  Mind blown! Continue reading “Are You All In?”

Down But Not Out

When Herod was king of Judea, there was a Jewish priest named Zechariah. He was a member of the priestly order of Abijah, and his wife, Elizabeth, was also from the priestly line of Aaron.  Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous in God’s eyes, careful to obey all of the Lord’s commandments and regulations.  They had no children because Elizabeth was unable to conceive, and they were both very old. – Luke 1:5-7

I’m wondering if you’ve ever had hopes and dreams that didn’t turn out?  A great plan that just never came to be?  I hope you can answer “no” to these questions, but my guess is, if you are breathing, you’ll probably answer “yes”.  Our circumstances may be different but dwindling hope feels the same doesn’t it? 

As I read Luke 1:5-7 I am challenged by Zechariah and Elizabeth’s response to their unfulfilled dreams and likely dwindling hopes. Continue reading “Down But Not Out”

Gratitude List – My Top 10

Gratitude is not my natural disposition.  I sure wish it was!  But, often times I focus more on my have not’s than the many things I’ve been given.  Can any of my friends reading this relate?

Is it easy for you to focus on what you want and yet don’t have?  What you wish your circumstances were in comparison with what they are?  The seemingly unanswered prayer.  The broken relationship.  The health problem.  The lack of resource.  We can find it very easy to be consumed with what we lack instead of giving thanks for all that we have. Continue reading “Gratitude List – My Top 10”

Beyond Me

1 John 2:15-17New Living Translation (NLT). Do Not Love This World

15 Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. 16 For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. 17 And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.

Is this passage relevant to our daily lives or what?  Wow!  After reading it, my first thought is that this passage needs to be in regular rotation for me.  I don’t know about you, but living in this world, it seems we are bombarded relentlessly by all kinds of messages that attempt to influence how we spend our time and attention and the majority of those things have no eternal value.  Continue reading “Beyond Me”

We Make It Difficult

Love others as you love yourself.  Sounds easy enough.  Treat others as you would want to be treated.  Pretty straightforward. 

Christ came to set you and I free, He set us free so we could love one another, so that we could spread His love to those around us who need to feel it and know it, just as we want to feel and know it.  It’s simple really, but we can make it difficult fairly easily.

We make it difficult when we come up with our own plans, when we develop our own agenda and what we want crowds out God’s plan and closes our ears to His voice. Continue reading “We Make It Difficult”

Lessons from the Pain

How do you respond when you feel unsafe?  When you have exposed your weakness in an effort to be authentic, only to get a swift kick in the gut as a “thank you”.

I can tell you what my immediate reflex is.  Shut down mode.  Walls up.  Armor on.

How do you remain open and real in the midst of betrayal?  How do you continue to fully show up and engage when you have been hurt and disappointed?  How do you find a path forward with someone who may never own up to the harm they’ve caused? Continue reading “Lessons from the Pain”

It Is What It Is

Probably one of my least favorite phrases in life has been, “It is what it is”.  I think because I’ve seen it used as response to settling for less or a hall pass for not showing up for excellence.  When details are left unattended, things are seemingly falling apart and that one person just chimes in with, “it is what it is”.  That comment in the thick of things sends me to another stratosphere.  What I feel like I’m hearing is, “deal with it”, “it’s fine, get over it”, “it’s not a big deal, move on” and these notions irritate the life out of me!

Anyone else?  Please say yes!  Continue reading “It Is What It Is”