Thoughts on 1 Thessalonians 5:18

By practicing these verses in the little things of life, little disappointments, little frustrations etc., we are building our faith and storing up for when the big things happen in our lives. We have then made it a habit  of thanking the Lord and looking for the blessings and it is much easier to do than if we had not put these verses to practice in the small things.

I think Psalm 50:14-15 speaks of this:

“Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving (could a sacrifice of thanksgiving possibly mean giving thanks when we don’t really feel like it or see how we could possibly do that) and pay your vows to the most High; (can paying our vows possibly mean to give obedience to God and his word when we don’t really fee like it only because He tells us to) and then call upon me in the day of trouble and I will deliver you and you shall glorify me.”

This verse is so true. When we store into God’s bank our thanks and praises prior to the great need in our life, we have built an account so to speak and the promise is that he will then deliver us, and the best part is that we will want to glorify Him.

November 2nd reading from God at Eventide: “The stored wealth of the Spirit of Jesus Christ. The giving out of that spirit-wealth. The supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ. This, My Spirit, must be absorbed, not in a moment of emergency, but in the quiet alone times, so that from this store all help and strength can be supplied….The mistakes my followers often make is that they rely upon this supply being ready for them to claim from Me at need, when the claim should have been made before, and My Spirit in all its fulness has already become a part of them…My Spirit is not a Spirit of Rescue alone. It is both Builder and Strength, making of my follower that stronger soldier ready for the emergency or strong to avoid it, as the need of My Kingdom may demand.”

When we sometimes think, “Oh the Lord could not possibly mean that. That is either too simple or too hard”….. These verses are good to remember when we either don’t understand or don’t agree with the verse as it is stated.

Isaiah 55:8-9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own insight….”

Proverbs 14:12 “There is a way which seems right to a man, but it’s end is the way to death.”


Saying Goodbye Again

It has been a few months since we said goodbye to our sweet Papa. The days and weeks surrounding his death were filled with so many tender moments, happy memories, tears, and goodbyes. Our family gathered in Papa & Grandma’s cozy home daily to hold his hand, eat meals together, and support each other. I can’t help but feel that Papa’s final days reflected what his life was all about… Jesus & family. He instilled in each of his children a love of God and a love of each other. I was blown away daily by the way my parents, aunts and uncles cared for Papa and each other during those final few weeks. It was a true testament to his character and the way he led his family for so many years.

One of the main characteristics people highlighted about Grandma Rosy after she passed away was her gift of sharing God’s word. She blessed others and led them to Christ through prayer, leadership, bible studies, and small conversations. Her heart for Jesus touched people all over the world. But what I think is often forgotten about Rosy is that she was introduced to Jesus by Papa. It was his faith that led her to a life changing decision that would impact their 5 children, 14 grandchildren, 17 great grandchildren, and so many more. Papa continued the legacy of his parents, Melvin & Palma, by instilling the love of Christ in his family and raising them to know Him personally. And I see this legacy continue today in the way my aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings, and parents choose to live their lives daily. Whether through serving at camps, going on mission trips, praying with their children each night, or donating resources, everyone has found a way to keep the legacy alive.

Saying goodbye to Papa also meant saying goodbye to Grandma Rosy again. When Grandma Rosy passed we still had Papa to hug and spend time with. We could visit their home and see the decorations she had lovingly placed on the shelves, the photos taped to the fridge, and the flowers growing in the garden. All reminders of her memory and impact in our lives. But now we move into a new season of loving Grandma & Papa from afar and in our memories. We have each pulled little treasures into our homes, hoping they will help make the memories last and bring bits of each of them into our lives daily. Even the files of bible studies I collected from their house still smelled like Grandma. But even more than the physical reminders of their presence, we have the greatest gifts of family, friendship, and faith. So when I’m missing Grandma & Papa most I will follow their example and lean into my relationships with God and my family.

Thank you Papa for taking sweet Rosy to church with you so many years ago. Thank you for teaching my dad about Jesus, boats, and godly parenting. Thank you for loving your wife and children in a way that will impact generations to come. Thank you for creating memories, praying fervently, and loving each of us individually until the very end. We love you. 

Videos from Papa’s memorial service: VIDEO




Editors Note: “Several more files of bible studies were collected from Grandma & Papa’s house and they will slowly be added to the site. My hope is that this website can be a place to reflect, find resources and honor the memory of Grandma Rosy & Papa”.




Enjoying Life…..Along the Way

Editors Note: Re-posted on Grandma Rosy’s 86th Birthday. I love reading this because I can picture her happily going about her day… a morning quiet time, coffee with a friend, a visit from family, a long afternoon nap, and cozy evening with Papa. I think it will always feel like yesterday that she was with us, praying for us, loving on us, and bringing so much joy. To this day I still have moments where I long to pick up the phone and call her for a verse on anxiety, mothering, or an encouraging word to pass along to a friend. Sometimes I will run into someone who wears her perfume and I get a flood of sweet memories all at once. I miss her table settings, her scratchy hand writing, the way she licked her finger before turning a page of her bible, and all the special moments we shared together. But for now I will enjoy watching my daughter Rosemary play and smile to myself each time I call her “Rose-bud”. I will savor moments with my aunts, who each remind me of Grandma in their own way- their laugh, their hands, their hospitality, their baking, their humor. And I will give Papa an extra long hug each time I see him. Happy Birthday Grandma… you are loved and missed as much as ever!

After I have committed the day to the Lord and asked Him to establish my plans, especially when its a day of errands and seeing many people, I ask the Lord to help me to totally enjoy each visit and each errand. Not to be in the attitude of “I want to get this over so I can move on to the next thing”, but to keep my mind totally on the moment and the person and enjoying it and not just trying to get it over with. When I am able to do this with the Lord’s help, the day is so much more fun.

Knowing that the day is in His hands and that I will accomplish what He wants me to accomplish that day. It’s fun to take a little surprise breaks and give myself little treats on these busy errands days too. It might be bringing a book along and taking a little reading break in the Safeway parking lot, or having coffee at Target just to enjoy people watching, or having a real cup of tea at a tea shop. Talking to the Lord along the way the whole day. Asking Him to direct me to the right store and the right purchase so I don’t waste time.

Ecc 2:22 “What has a man from all the toil and strain with which he toils beneath the sun? For all his days are full of pain, and his works is a vexation; even in the night his mind does not rest.”

John 10:10b “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”

Ex. 23:12 “Six days you shall do your work, but on the seventh day you shall rest.”

Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

May we all learn truly what it means to “rest in God”. Amen

I Am Special

Because of:   Psalm 139:4           I may boldly say:       I am Uniquely Designed 

Jeremiah 31:3                                              I am deeply Loved

I John 3:1                                                      I am a Person of Value

Phil. 1:6                                                         I am a Person in Process

Jeremiah 9:24                                              I am Designed for a Purpose

I Peter 5:7                                                      I am Under God’s Constant Care

Eph.1:4-5                                                       I am Fully Known yet Fully Accepted

Isaiah 43:21                                                  I am Given an Assignment 

Psalms 55:22                                                 I am Continually Sustained

Joshua 1:9                                                     I am Accompanied by God

Deut. 7:6                                                        I am Someone Very Special 

I Peter 1:18-19                                               I am God’s Redeemed Child

John 15:16                                                      I am God’s Responsibility

Jesus, I like who I am because it was your idea.

Help me to find adventure in my uniqueness, and not want to be who someone else is.

God, if I lose sight of the fun of being me, then your dreams of what I can be in the world die.

Always help me to remember that this is your way of being creative.





The Precious Present

Psalm 118:24 “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

Don’t look BACKWARD: Phil 3:13 “…Forgetting what lies behind.”

Don’t look FORWARD: Matt 6:34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the days own trouble be sufficient for the day. ”

But look UPWARD (today): Isaiah 26:3 “Thou dost keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee.”

What if I don’t have things to rejoice over this day?

1 Thessalonians 5:18 “Give thanks in ALL circumstance.”

Romans 8:28 “All things work together for good, with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose.”

Romans 8:38 “For I am sure that neither death not life not… nor THINGS PRESENT… will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.”

Romans 8:18 “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”

We must learn to trust the Lord each day, for our needs for that day!

Matthew 6:11 “Give us this day, our daily bread.”

Exodus 16:4 “Then the Lord said to Moses, Behold I will rain bread from heaven for you, and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day….

Exodus 16:21 “Morning by morning they gathered it, each as much as he could eat, but when the sun grew hot it melted.”

What is the secret?

Phil. 4:11-13 “Not that I complain of want- for I have learned in whatever state I am to be content. I know how to be abased and I know how to abound, in any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger and abundance and want- I can do all things through Him who gives me strengthens me.”

Lesson: Be a more positive person, not a grumbler and complainer and also a lesson on forgiveness.

The more I thought of these I realized how they really are tied together. If we grumble and complain we often have the attitude of not wanting to forgive someone or being unable to forgive ourselves.

First I think we must ask ourselves- “Do we really believe He is ABLE?”

Able to make me a more positive person

Able to forgive me

Able to help me to forgive others

Able to care for my needs

Able to help me give up resentment

We sing, “He’s able, he’s able, I know he’s able. I know my Lord is able to carry me through.”

Jude 24 “Now to him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you without blemish before the presence of his glory with rejoicing, to the only God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time, now and forever. Amen.”

Romans 16:25 “Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ…”

Ephesians 3:20.21 “Now to him who by the power at work within is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, for ever and ever, Amen.”

But do we really believe it? Would we really complain so much about our situations if we really believe that Jesus could change it for us- give us peace in the midst of it- and work it all out for good?

The life verses that I claimed for my family, Romans 8:28 along with 1 Thess 5:18- I think helped me to look on the positive side of things instead of negative.

Romans 8:28 “We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose.”

1 Thess. 5:18 “Give thanks in all circumstance for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

I really think these are companion verses and if used together and really claimed and used they will change your life and your outlook. You begin in every bad situation to think, “this is a good one Lord, how will you ever work for good in this?” And then you begin to look and wonder and your eyes are turned upon him and what he is going to do, and not on the bad things that could happen.

This is what Pollyanna did in the movie and book “Pollyanna”. People make fun of her and her name has been used with a goody-goody person who only sees the good. This is sad because being content is scriptural.

My Becky has claimed these verses with her life and family and is a very positive person and I know some people make fun of her too and call her Pollyanna but she has a beautiful life and family and spirit to show for it. It can be almost a game- looking forward with anticipation to what good shall come from this. Also, Phil 4:8,9 can be very helpful to make us a positive person and looking on the positive side of things. I use this verse in the lesson on worry and Becky uses it in talking about husbands. Even if 95% of things are bad and 5% are good, think on the 5% and the Lord will bless you and your marriage for it.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, do; and the God of peace will be with you.”

We can choose to focus on the 5% good, on the one lovely thing, on the one true thing in the situation and claim Isaiah 26:3 “Thou dost keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee. He will give us that perfect peace as we CHOOSE to look to him, and be positive and then receive his perfect peace”. How can we be grumblers and complainers if we are experiencing God’s perfect peace? Or we can CHOOSE to grumble and complain about the situation and allow a root of bitterness to grow and allow many people- innocent members of our family- to be defiled.

Hebrews 12:15 ” See to it that no one fail to obtain the grace of God; that no ‘root of bitterness’ springs up and cause trouble and by it the many become defiled.”

The Bible talks of complaining:

  • Psalm 77
  • Jude 16
  • John 6:43

We don’t want to be grumblers and complainers. Let us look to Jesus and receive all that He has for us and believe that he is ABLE to change our hearts. Let us look to what the Bible stays about forgiveness. Usually if we are complaining it is because of a person, something someone has done to us, something someone has not done for you. If we are able to forgive that person, would it not stop our complaining about him also.

  • Matthew 5:23,24
  • Collosians 3:12-15
  • Jeremiah 31:34

Let us really try to put these verses to work in our lives- and become the more positive forgiving woman of God that He would have us be.

Finding the Hidden Jewels of Christmas (repost)

The first jewel is the PEARL OF GREAT PRICE – Jesus.

Matthew 13:45-46 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who on finding one pearls of great value went and sold all that he has and bought it.”

The second jewel is the SAPPHIRE

James 1:5 “If any of you lack wisdom let him ask God, who gives to all men (and women) generously and without reproaching, and it will be given to him.”

Oh, do women need wisdom during the Christmas season. So many decisions to make – so many people to TRY and keep happy.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.”

Young Mamas – This is a time to make traditions

Mama-in-laws – This is also a time to break traditions

But young mamas remember also that the way you treat your parents especially during this holiday time is the example you are setting for your children and the way they will treat you when you are a grandma.

The third is a BASKET OF JEWELS – The Fruit of the Spirit

Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…”

Don’t give up the Fruit of the Spirit for the Fruit of your Labors.

For the Following:

The most beautifully decorated house

Magnificent outdoor Lights

Hand made gifts for many

All kinds of baking

All uniquely wrapped gifts

Beautiful Christmas tree

Friends for dinner

The special day planned perfectly!!

Have we given up the Fruit of the Spirit and become:





Unkind – especially to those in our home.

Selfish – thinking of what WE desire for a perfect Christmas.

Unfaithful – to basic principals of our faith, in order to celebrate Jesus’s birth


Uncontrolled – with our credit card, our temper or our eating.

In John 10:10 Jesus said, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” He did not say “He came” to make us a nervous wreck in December trying to celebrate his birth.

In Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus said some wonderful words, that I think can be especially meaningful for women during the Christmas holiday. “Come to me all who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Is your burden heavy? Especially right now during these days before Christmas? If so, perhaps you are carrying more than Jesus would have you carry. Maybe some of that burden is of your own doing not his? If so, take him at his word and “Come to Him” and find rest for your souls. Don’t let the cares of the world, the delight in riches, and the desire for other things, enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. (Mark 4:19)

The last jewel I shall call a DIAMOND.

Our “diamond” can be found in Psalm 62: 5-6 “My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.”

And it is to help us in “unfulfilled expectations”. Hidden deep in the Christmas story is a message to help us with this. Sometimes our life is not as we expected it would be:

My husband has faults I never saw before marriage.

Married life just isn’t what I dreamed as a child.

I thought children were a reward from the Lord, sometimes mine feel like a punishment.

I studied years to have this position job wise, and now it seems empty.

I had such a happy marriage and never expected to be a widow so young.

I thought the senior years were supposed to be ‘golden’. Mine aren’t, I don’t have enough money to travel and am lonely.

How can the Christmas story help us with these expectations? What did the Jews expect? They expected a King who would execute justice and righteousness in the land. The reality was a baby born in the manger.

They expected a King to deliver them from Roman rule. The reality was that Jesus came to deliver them from their sins.

What did Mary expect? A messiah, but not to be the mother of the Messiah.

Can we be like Mary and say, “For with God nothing is impossible.” Luke 1:37 and verse 38, “let it be according to your word.”

Can we believe the words also of Elizabeth in Luke 1:45, “And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”

If you have found the Pearl of Great Price then you claim Romans 8:28 with assurance. “We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose.”

If you don’t know the ‘Pearl of Great Price’ you can be praying this simple prayer. If you do, this will be the most joyous Christmas you have ever experienced!

References to explain this: Romans 3:23-24, Romans 5:8-9, Romans 6:23, Romans 10:9-10, Romans 10:13, John 1:12, 1John 1:9, Isaiah 61:10

Christmas: Celebration not Survival

How to make Christmas a time of celebration and not a time of survival…

The one most important and vital things we can do is this: Have a quiet time with the Lord, either in the early morning or the night before, BUT for the new day coming. Asking directions, asking for creative alternatives, what to do in all problem areas. HE WILL HELP YOU. Give him a chance.

James 1:5 “If any of you lack wisdom let him ask God, who gives to all men/ women generously and without reproach and it will be given him/her”

Ask confidently- claiming this promise- believing in your heart he will give you ideas and direction.

James 1:6 “But let him ask in faith- with no doubting- for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.”

As you enter this Christmas season are you feelings driven and tossed? Driven by your own desires for a perfect Christmas? Driven by traditions of your family and tossed by what your own children want and the desires of your husband’s family? Only Jesus can give you peace!

Isaiah 26:3 “Thou dost keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee.”

Read Isaiah 30:15-19. Part of it says, “In quietness and in trust shall be your strength.”

Oh, try to do what the Lord tells us to do. See if His promises are not true.

Psalm 34:08 “Oh taste and see that the Lord is good! Happy is the man who takes refuge in Him.”

What are the promises we as women can claim everyday but especially this moth to help us through Christmas?

Proverbs 16:3 “Commit your work to the Lord and your plans will be established.”

How? Sit down- in a quiet place- no one else around- with a cup of tea or coffee- and have a chat with the Lord. Have a pen and paper ready.

Make a list of the all things you have to do….for the day… the month… the things that are making you feel pressured regarding Christmas. THEN give the list to the Lord. Commit your work to the Lord.

“Lord this is all I would like to do for Christmas. Please show me what I am ABLE to do, as a blessing to my family and not making them crazy. What can I eliminate? What can I do in any easier way? Show me Lord. I will listen. I need your help.”


Proverbs 16:9 “A mans mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.”

Proverbs 20:24 “A mans steps are ordered by the Lord.”

Then Listen- TO THE STILL SMALL VOICE, joy down ideas that come.

I Kings 19:11-12 “………….But the Lord was not in the wind… But the Lord was not in the earthquake…..But the Lord was not in the fire…… And after the fire A STILL SMALL VOICE.”

Learn to know that still small voice. It comes with practice. We can claim the promise that we will know His voice. He has promised!

John 10:27 “My sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow me.”

John 8:47 “He who is of God hears the words of God. The reason you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”

(Do you really know him? Is he your personal savior? None of this will work for you if you are not His. If you do not know Him and would like to, ask a friend to pray with you to invite him in. What a Christmas gift to yourself this Christmas! Or just pray yourself.)

Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make straight your paths.”

“Oh Lord, I acknowledge that you know what is best for me and my family. I acknowledge that you are wiser than I am. Please now take these jumbled plans and make them straight. Make them easy. Make them joyful. Oh, Lord take my burden. “

Psalm 56:22 “Cast your burden on the Lord and he will sustain you.”

Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me all who labor and are heavy laded and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me; for I am gently and lowly in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and MY burden is light.”

Is your burden heavier than you can bear? Then perhaps it is not the burden the Lord would have you carry, as he has promised that HIS burden is light.  What are your burdens? Are your desires greater than your time, energy, and budget? Are you being pressured by certain relatives and friends? Are you short of money? Are memories of past Christmases- good or bad-keeping you from enjoying the present Christmas? Whatever your burdens- Give them to the Lord. Go over each one with the Lord. You will be amazed and more likely will say, “That was simple- why didn’t I think of that?”


Hidden Lessons from Christmas (repost)

What hidden lessons can we learn from Christmas? Our expectations are often different from God’s, just like it was with the Jews prior to Jesus’ birth.

The Expectation: The Jews expected a King. Mary expected a Messiah.

Both represent power. But the reality was that Jesus was born in manger. Luke 2:11 & 12 “For to you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you; you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.”

The Reality: Jesus came to deliver the Jews from their sins. God used Mary to bring forth the Messiah.

How can we apply this to our lives? Do you have certain expectations for…. your husband? kids? home? lifestyle? job? ect…

The reality of these expectations is often different than what we had planned. What can we lean from Christmas to help us with the reality of our expectations? Are we sometimes disappointed as the Jews were disappointed? What did the Jews do? Who came to know the truth?

Some looked for God’s plan in the midst of disappointment. They didn’t look just at the outward circumstances but BELIEVED GOD. They focused on the hidden jewel in the manger stall. They found power and purpose in that little baby. When the reality of your expectations doesn’t look at all as you dreamed- When your husband has flaws you haven’t seen before… When your children disappoint you…. When your physical home will not be featured in a magazine. What can you do?

Look beyond the circumstances. Look for the hidden jewel.

Psalm 127:3 says “Sons and daughters are a heritage from the Lord, and the fruit of the womb a reward.”

Can we respond like Mary in belief when there are times those children do not seem like a reward but more like punishment? When my first child, Becky, was born I knew nothing about being a mother. I was raised an only child and had never been around babies. Also, I was given no training prior to her birth as to what to expect. When she arrived, she had severe colic, volatile vomiting, and slept very little. She would sleep for 45 minutes and then cry most of the day. I remember crying out to the Lord, “What have I every done to deserve this?” Then as this baby grew into a beautiful girl, inside and out, she became a child who loved the Lord. And then she began being my great helper and helped me raise the other children. She was a great example for the other kids to follow and I cried out to the Lord “What have I ever done to deserve such a child as this?” That was truly a great lesson to me that God only gives us good gifts.

May we each learn from the hidden lessons of Christmas, some truth that will help us with the expectations of our life. May we find the hidden jewel in all of our circumstances.

Loving, Laughing, and Listening During the Holiday Season (repost)

I have a very special friend named Sharon Sparling and we have been prayer partners for 32 years. When our children were small we prayed every day over the phone at 9am. Then when I moved to Fox Island and it was long distance we called on Mondays and Fridays. Now since both our husbands are retired and they travel much, we catch each other when we can. But at least twice a year around our birthdays we get together for a long lunch, face to face and really catch up.

I thought of how very much that is sometimes like our relationhip with the Lord. We talk often to each other but often just as if we were talking long distance and had to make it as brief as possible. But how wonderful it would be to just have a day to spend with the Lord, loving Him, and listening to Him, and reminisce over how faithful He has been in the past and the miracles of the present.

I thought of Revelation 2:3-5 in relation to the Christmas season. It says, “I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember then from what you have fallen, repent and do the works you did at first.”

Often in regard to the Christmas season, we are holding up, and enduring but are we “loving, laughing, and listening” with the joy and TOTAL abandonment He would have us do?

John 10:10 says: “I came that you might have life and have it more abundantly.”

Sometimes we get a little mixed up and think it says:

I CAME… that you might have a nervous breakdown celebrating my birth.

Why is it that ONLY women seem to experience this? Children love Christmas and men seem to float through it enjoying it all. Perhaps we are adding some burdens to Christmas that God didn’t intend us to carry. Jesus said, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light”. If it gets heavy, then it is our additions that make it “not easy to carry”.

I CAME…. that you might run up huge bills on your charge accounts in December and try to pay them off all year.

Is there an easier way for you to handle gift exchanges? Have you considered giving less expensive gifts or not so many to family and friends? Have you considered drawing names with your larger family or among the children in your family? Could you stop some gift exchanges that have become a tradition but have lost their original purpose? Perhaps others are thinking the same things and would be grateful for you to the FIRST to bring it up. What about joining a “Christmas Club”? That is a really old fashioned idea, but comes as a great blessing the 1st of November and helps you stay within a certain amount for spending.

I CAME…. that you might gorge yourself on goodies all December and go on a crash diet in January.

Do we use the holidays to eat and gorge on things we wouldn’t eat all year and get “sugar blue” afterward? Could we use moderation even in this area ALSO remembering that self-control is a fruit of the spirit?

I CAME…. that you might drive your family crazy and make yourself a nervous wreck- making the most beautiful gifts and wrapping the most gorgeous packages and decorating the house in the most beautiful way.

We tell our children “your eyes are bigger than your stomach” but sometimes aren’t our eyes bigger than our time? As we see holiday magazines and drool over the wonderful food and decorations and go to bazars and think “Oh, I could make that for $2.00”. And go shopping and think, “I could make that dress for my daughter for $10.00 or that one for myself for $20”. And we begin a night and day sewing and baking and making craft crusade that drives our family crazy. Try to remember it is great to make things, but don’t do it in December. Reserve that time for celebrating with your family and enjoying the holidays.

I CAME….that you might be so busy in December that you have no time to Love or Laugh or Listen. I Timonthy 5:8 says “If anyone does not provide for his relatives for his relatives and especially for his own family, he has disowned the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

Do we sometimes feel that the “end does justify the means” and it doesn’t matter how cross we are with our own family- how many feelings we hurt- how many “leave me alones” we say, JUST SO on Christmas Eve or say everything is perfect. Your house is beautiful and your are all prepared and you smile as you say Merry Christmas to your guests and they are made welcome.

Could this have anything to do with what James is talking about in James 1:7-8 about being double minded? “For the person must not suppose that a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways, will receive anything from the Lord.”

I CAME…. That you might collapse in January recovering from shooting pains in your neck and back and arms because of lack of sleep, overwork and tension- to recover completely in time to start all over again next December.

Is there a better way? Does Jesus have a better plan?

Let us look at how they celebrate the first Christmas.

What did the angels do?

Luke 2:13 tells us- They praised God, saying “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased!”

We too can praise God and give Him glory and bring peace to our family and neighbors and make him well pleased. He is pleased when there is peace.

I shall strive for Peace for Christmas.

Psalms 133:1 “Behold how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!”

How did the Shepherds celebrate?

  1. They listened. Luke 2:8-12 They heard the good news. Oh, that I might listen and really hear.
  2. They went and found Jesus. Luke 2:15-16. Oh, that I might find Him in simplicity.
  3. They shared what they had seen Luke 2:17. Oh, might I share the good news with those who haven’t heard- that they might begin to wonder, and perhaps start on their own search of finding him.

What did the Wise Men do?

They saw the star and followed it and rejoice exceedingly. Matt 2:9-10. Oh, that I  might see the Star of David and that I might rejoice exceedingly and follow the Start of David. Revelation 22:16 “I Jesus have sent my angel to you with the testimony for the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright morning star.”

We often see them saying “Wise men still seek Him.” Let us continue to seek Him with all our heart. II Chronicles 16:11 “Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his presence continually.”

Matt 6:33 “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be yours as well.”

Make a list of the things “you” want to do and then SEEK the Lord and ask his advice.

Are we sometimes like blind pharisees that we are so wrapped up in tradition that we miss Jesus.

What did Mary so?

  1. She was obedient to what was asked of her. Luke 1:38. Oh, that I might be obedient to God and do what He is asking me to do this Christmas season. First listening to get that direction and then moving on it.
  2. She pondered all these things in her heart. Luke 2:19. Oh, that I might take time to ponder. To think of what His birth really meant- to me- to the world- that I might make those quiet moments in which to ponder and restore my soul.

What did Joseph do?

He was obedient and did what the Lord told him, not full of understanding but bewildered and fearful, but he did obey.

Oh, Lord might I obey- even when I am bewildered and fearful. Might I obey this Christmas season and not be fearful- knowing that you are in control.


IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO HAVE A HAPPY CHILDHOOD. If you wish you could have done this as child, or always wanted to do that—DO IT NOW. Become as a little child and enjoy all the little things you wished you had as a child. Matthew 18:3 “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the Kingdom of heaven.”


Do something JUST FOR JOY.

Put a candle or a sprig of holly on your table and give your kids a special hug.

Jump on the davenport or turn a somersault on the lawn. Have some fun.

Have a special date with your husband.

Don’t let this season be a time of “I’ll be glad when its over”. Enjoy each moment.

LOVE the Lord- your family- the people the Lord puts on your heart.

LAUGH- at yourself- with your children and family and rejoice in the Lord.

LISTEN – to your children- to your husband and to others, but mostly to God. Take time to listen.


Helpful When Overwhelmed

  1. Phil 4:6-7 “Have no anxiety, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
  2. What to think: Phil 4:8-9 “Finally brethren, what is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, do and the God of peace will be with you.”
  3. From “God Calling” October 20: “But not only in the great decisions in life accept and welcome My Will. try to see in each interruption, each task, however small, the same fulfillment of Divine intent. Accept it, say your thanks for it. Do so until this becomes a habit, and the resulting Joy will transfigure and transform your lives.”
  4. Proverbs 16:3 “Commit your work to the Lord and your plans will be established.”
  5. Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
  6. From Oswald Chambers “My Utmost for His Highest” for October 21: “There was nothing of the nature of impulsive or thoughtless action about our Lord, but only a calm strength that never go into a panic…. Impulsiveness is a trait of the natural life, and our Lord always ignores it….. Watch how the Spirit of God gives a sense of restraint to impulsiveness…But it does require the supernatural grace of God to live twenty-four hours of every day as a saint, going through drudgery, and living an ordinary, unnoticed, ignored existence as a disciple of Jesus…. We have to be exceptional in the ordinary things of life, and holy in the ordinary streets, among ordinary people– and this is not learned in five minutes.”
  7. More from Chambers October 23: “Once we truly see God at work, we will never be concerned again about the things that happen, because we are actually trusting in our Father in heaven, whom the world cannot see.”
  8. Proverbs 20:24 (Living) “Since the Lord is directing our steps, why try to understand everything that happens along the way.”