A New Thing

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  Isaiah 43:19

It’s January 1st the beginning of a new year.   
For most of us, we see it as a chance to begin again, start over, make changes.  
Everyone loves the whole idea of a new beginning, 
having a clean slate wiped free of yesterday’s failures.   
Sadly, by tomorrow or at least next week we will be in the same place we are now.  
Our plans for changes financially, emotionally, spiritually will lie in ruins.  
Failure will rear its ugly head again.   
What happened?  
Who knows? 
Sometimes we want significant changes that aren’t realistic.  
And sometimes, let’s face it, we can’t change no matter how bad we want the change.  
We need God to make the changes.  
As I was thinking about some changes I wanted to make in my life, 
God reminded me of this verse in Isaiah.  
It’s a great verse.   
A great reminder that some changes only come about because of God.  
Last night, as I was thinking about the new year 
and its possibili…

New Years Thoughts

It’s New Year’s Eve.  
The house is quiet, and my mind is slowly reviewing the year.   
Was it good?  Or bad?  
I have to say I guess I don’t know.  
Perhaps it was neither good or bad.  
Or maybe it was both.  
I suspect it was neither.  
There were some high points and some low points.   
Would I want to skip this year?   
No, a thousand times no!  
For from the hard times, I have learned.  
I have learned what doesn’t work. 
In sadness, I have learned to appreciate the people in my life.  
In my failures, 
I have learned to keep trying.  
Perhaps my most significant achievement is that on the terrible days I s survived.  
But mostly I have learned to trust God even when I have no Idea what the outcome will be.  
So, I find the things I need to learn and let go of the rest.  
I’m not taking it into 2019.  
There were good times and cherished memories.  
I will keep them and tuck them away.  
In both the good and the rough times, I am learning to practice gratefulness.  
What will 2019 hold?  
I have no id…

The Gift of Peace

The hope of Christmas was meant to bring peace. 
Yet, “When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.” Matt. 2:3    
Imagine that!  
Herod realizes the prince of peace has been born, and he is troubled.  
It’s simple for us to look back and wonder what Herod was concerned about.  
It’s easy because we know Jesus’ kingdom was not earthly
and most, if not all, of us, have never been the king.  
When you’re the king, you worry about who wants your throne.  
This little bundle resting in a manger stole his peace.  
In fact, he was so bothered by the news that he stole peace from his subjects. 
 Unrest gushes down from Herod to those under him, and now they are troubled too.   
In Bethlehem, however, a baby slept peacefully.  
He was the fulfillment of peace the promise that brought peace.  
Herod had no peace but the baby in a manger, 
he not only knew peace, 
but he was also peace.  
At Christmas, it’s easy to leave behind our peace as Herod did.  
While not too many of us m…

Add Hope

We are now full swing into the Christmas preparations.  
Some are searching for the perfect gift for Aunt Sally.  
They trudge through many department stores 
and browse the internet for hours 
and still, choose a gift card because who knows 
what Aunt Sally wants. 
So, they lose hope. 
Others are decking the halls, the yard, 
the house with a gazillion lights.  
Their yard can be seen from outer space.  
They hope it's enough, 
but they still feel the need to add one more string if brightly colored lights.  
Others are hosting their nineteenth party this year,
they hope it impresses the right people.  
There is baking to be done and plans for a Christmas feast to be made. 
We hope our family appreciates the effort we made,
the time we spent.
All these things can leave us frazzled, tired and even hopeless.  
In the end, we just want Christmas to be over.  
We forget the hope that Christmas brings.  
The certainty of better things to come.  
The assurance of living in a forever home with Christ.  
The c…

There Is Hope

God’s plan came with a promise, 
and the promise brought hope.  
Years before the baby was born the promise was bringing hope.   
They knew that God kept his promises, 
so there was hope.   
In the blackest of nights, 
the words spoken by the prophets were 
a glimmer of light in the distance that kept them going.  
The sign was not yet fulfilled, 
but they knew it would happen.  
That must have brought comfort to the weary souls.  
Then, amid choirs of angels 
and the din of a stable, 
and under the light of a star, 
and the racket of a crowded town, 
God made his entrance into the world he created.  
He came not as an adult but as a baby.  
His birth, as all births do, brought hope.  
But this birth brought hope not just for the parents 
but hope for the hopeless.  
There was hope of being made right with God. 
There was hope that the curse of death would be broken.  
There was hope that things would be better.  
There was hope of living a different life.  
These are the same hopes we have today.  
The baby …

Broken Promises

Well, here it is Thursday, 
and I am finally sitting down to think about writing an advent meditation.  
I promised myself I would have it written Wednesday.  
I failed.  
Life got in the way.  
There were so many things to get done that I completely forgot my promise to myself.  
We have all made pledges either to ourselves or others and broke those promises.  
Broken promises leave us hurt and disappointed.  
Even though everyone breaks their promises, from time to time, 
we all understand that promises are to be kept.  
As Christmas approaches, think about the promises you have made.  
Have you/ I made an effort to keep those promises? 
Maybe it was a promise to pray for someone, 
go to a party with a friend, 
or perhaps you promised to buy that new toy that your child has been begging for, 
or maybe you promised to bake cookies.  
Promises that we made 
without even thinking about whether we can follow through on them.  
The best thing we can do this Christmas 
to relieve stress 
is to consider the p…

God's Promise

The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).  Isaiah 7:14

Before there was a manger in Bethlehem, 
or a silent night, or angels singing God made a promise.
God through the prophet Isaiah said, 
“the virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, 
and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). And through Micah he said 
“But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
    are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
    who will shepherd my people Israel.”
God assured them there would be a savior.  
One thing is sure no word from God will ever fail (Luke 1:37). That means it is a certainty. God never goes back on his word or breaks a promise.  
So when God vowed to send his son, 
it was a rock on which they could rest when they were weary.  
They could be sure it would happen.
God promised.
O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God app…