weebly statistics
Home About Links Contacts Show Show

Abiding Monday – Be a Christmas Shepherd

by Christy on December 21, 2009
category: Abiding Monday

abiding monday “17 Now when they [the shepherds] had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.” Luke 2:17-20 (NKJV)

The shepherds who came to see Christ after His birth understood the importance of His birth and in essence were the very first missionaries for Jesus Christ.  In verses 9-14, angels came to the shepherds and proclaimed that they were bringing joyful news “to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”  The shepherds went and saw Christ and were compelled to go share the good news of Jesus with everyone they knew.  Then to top it all off, they went back and then glorified and praised God.

The shepherds on that first Christmas are a perfect example of what our hearts should look like every Christmas and year-round… hearts that long for the world to know Him and hearts that give God praise for sending Christ for us.  Even when we are trying to focus on Christ at Christmas, it’s easy to get sidetracked from having the right heart.  Make it a point this Christmas, and from everyday forth, to share the good news of Christ’s birth, death and ressurection and then daily go back and praise God for His love and mercy to all mankind by sending Christ for us.  It will give Christmas a whole new meaning for you and maybe for someone who’s heart is ministered to by you.

Lord, please give us the hearts of those first Christmas shepherds.  Let us see Your good works and know who You are, share it with the world, and always come back to give You the praise and glory.  Let Christmas be a time of ministry in our lives and not just a time of gifts, decorations and stress.  Thank you for sending us Jesus and for giving us examples of what You want us to do.  In His precious name, Amen.

Abiding Monday: Meditations on Peace and Reconciliation

by Dawn on December 14, 2009
category: Abiding Monday

momcrowd_abidingmonday2_300x215[1] During Advent, we often hear the word peace:  “Peace on earth, good will toward men.”  “Sleep in heavenly peace.”  “His law is love and His gospel is peace.”  Isaiah 9:6 says, “For a child is born to us, a son given to us.  And the government will rest on his shoulders.  These will be his royal titles: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”  Just by being born, Jesus brought peace to our broken planet.  Hallelujah!

Someone asked me yesterday if I thought “peace on earth, and good will toward men” (on a global scale) was really possible for us to achieve.  I pondered it for awhile and concluded that, no, it isn’t.  Man is fallen.  We are sinful beings.  We can strive for it, but it won’t be here with any form of longevity until Jesus returns.   We discussed how nations are at war, and nations are made up of broken communities formed by sinful people.  Relationships are constantly being torn apart.  The brokenness we have with others is what prevents peace from existing.

So I turned inward.  I started examining my relationships and how Christmas is as good a time as any to get going on some reconciliation.  I know I can’t tackle the entire mountain of brokenness in my life at once, but I can start on one piece.  God has been speaking to my heart this past week that the time has come to approach a friend with whom I have not been spending time.  We had a disagreement in the spring, and our friendship has suffered as a result.  Though we were both in the wrong, I have been closed off in my heart towards her, and the Holy Spirit was nudging me to stop.  I prayed in faith that God would help me approach my friend when the time was right.  For me, making an effort to connect one-on-one again would be an act of faith that God could restore what was broken.

On Sunday morning, I acted vulnerably and asked my friend if she would be interested in hanging out with me.  (I know this sounds very basic to a friendship, but we haven’t done this for 8 months!)  She responded very happily and readily.  I don’t know if the Spirit will lead me to share what prompted my actions (I’m fine either way), but I am glad that this Advent, I will be celebrating Christ’s birth with a very personal thankfulness for His supreme example of reconciliation. 

I hope that you, too, will experience Advent in a personal, redemptive way this year.  Have a wonderful week.

Abiding Monday: Purpose

by Dawn on December 7, 2009
category: Abiding Monday

momcrowd_abidingmonday2_300x215[1] It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.  Ephesians 1:11-12 (MSG)

What great hope this verse gives us!  Have you ever felt like your days just blended together and nothing stood out as being awesome or even remarkable?  I was discussing this idea with my Sunday school friends yesterday and I heard myself saying, “Time seems to go by fast when we let life live us rather than us living purposeful lives.”  (Wow, that’s deep for me!)  I am a wife, mom, friend, daughter, and many other roles – but my biggest role is often forgotten:  I’m a child of God.  Paul tells us in these verses that we are designed with a purpose – and for a glorious life!

I think my purposes for day-to-day are pretty well laid out for me.  But lately I’ve been wondering if God is calling me to fit another role.  It’s still in such an ambiguous state that I can’t even express it here.  But I can tell you this:  I am simultaneously freaked out and glad that my significance in this life is ever-evolving as I get older.  All too often I put myself in a timeline – how I think things should play out in my life – and I’m trying to stop that and allow God to speak to me the purpose he is working out for me.  (As for the “feeling freaked out” part, I’m working on that.  I’ve discussed battling fear with you before – I’m trying to put that into practice.)

I share this with you this week as an encouragement.  December is a busy time, but I’m determined to hear God amidst everything else clamoring for my attention.  Rick Warren says, “It takes foresight and planning to live our lives on purpose.”  I’m bringing my specific questions to God and I am asking for His specific answers.  And I am clinging to Psalm 143:10 every day:  “Teach me to do your will, for you are my God.  May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing.”

How do you live your life on purpose?  In what ways has God surprised you?  What are your goals for this holiday season?

Abiding Monday: The Advent Season Begins

by Dawn on November 30, 2009
category: Abiding Monday,Inspiration

momcrowd_abidingmonday2_300x215[1] “Can anything separate us from Christ’s love?  Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or are hungry or cold or in danger or threatened with death?  (Even the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”)  No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.  And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love.  Death can’t, and life can’t.  The angels can’t, and the demons can’t.  Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can’t keep God’s love away.  Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Romans 8: 35-39 (NLT)

We spent some time in the above passage in my Sunday school class yesterday, kicking of a 3-week series on the purpose of Christmas.  I asked each person to spend some time reflecting on the amazing words above, and to share a phrase that stuck with them personally.  The responses were varied and beautiful, and I also shared my own: the repeated use of the word “separate”.

I thought about how that word describes our relationship with God before Jesus enters into it.  Our sin separates us from a perfect, holy God, and only Jesus can bridge that gap.  In taking our sin upon Himself and nailing it to the Cross, Jesus made a way for us to be in relationship with God forever.  Hallelujah for Christmas, the birth of our Savior!

So seeing the word “separate” in the passage from Romans has all new meaning, because of the words that precede it:  “nothing can”!  We are stuck to God like glue.  In the words of a guy in my Sunday school class, God is like this loving, ever-present bodyguard.  That is certainly a nice picture to have in mind when facing the trials of another day – and a great reason to begin celebrating Advent.

I like to think of God not just as a bodyguard, but a gentle giant, one who is completely interested in everything I think and do.  Donald Miller describes it like this (in his excellent, must-read book, Blue Like Jazz):

“Jesus didn’t just love me out of principle; He didn’t just love me because it was the right thing to do.  Rather, there was something inside me that caused Him to love me.  I think I realized that if I walked up to His campfire, He would ask me to sit down, and He would ask me my story.  He would take the time to listen to my ramblings or my anger until I could calm down, and then He would look me directly in the eye, and He would speak to me; He would tell me the truth, and I would sense in His voice and in the lines on His face that He liked me.”

It is this same Jesus that we celebrate at Christmas.  May your Advent season be shaped and colored by the thought that He is your friend, and His love never fails.  Have a great week, Mom Crowd!

Abiding Monday: Why We Need To Be Thankful

by Amanda on November 23, 2009
category: Abiding Monday

abidingmonday This week is Thanksgiving. We know that it is polite and good to be thankful. We strive to teach our kids our thankfulness. But why should we be thankful? What if we weren’t thankful and just took everything for granted?  We can see the importance of thankfulness in Romans 1: 20 – 25:

20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.
24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

In these verses we get a clue as to how the degradation of mankind began – with ungratefulness. Because we have not glorified God or gave thanks to Him He has allowed our selfish desires to take over. As a result our world is full of perversion and fake idols. The tipping point is ingratitude.

Let us be careful in our own lives and don’t forget to be thankful. Thankful not just for His mercies and His creation, but for EVERYTHING. For everything good is created by Him (1 Cor. 8:6).

What things are you thankful for this week? We ask this of our children in Sunday school and maybe we’ll write a blog post or update our Facebook status with our list of gratitudes, but do we really answer this out loud as adults? Write what you are thankful for in a journal this week, in the comments of this post, or on your own website! There is plenty to which we should be grateful!

Next Page »


Blog Ads: