Friday, December 24, 2010

Celebrating the True Reason for the Season...

It's Christmas Eve today and I read my last blog entry [about God being in control and us being here "for such a time as this"] and this morning I read my daily devotional [by Bonnie Chavda] and this is how it began, "Have you ever stopped to think about the scenes leading up to Jesus' birth in their very human terms? We often wrap the Christmas story in a halo-like glow of wonder and the comfort of knowing the end of the story! But in between the awe of angelic visitation, the shining star and the rich gifts from the Magi, there was an impossible promise, wagging tongues of a scandalized community, a confused fiance, heartbroken parents, a bony donkey's back and a very dirty stable. Mary's blessing came with a lot of contradictions! God's promises are often like that."

Some days it can be difficult for us to understand and wrap our head around the thought of, how even in the midst of difficult and trying situations, God has a plan...and in fact a PERFECT plan. I can't help but think, 'what if Mary hadn't accepted that she was having God's child?' and 'what would have happened if Joseph had dismissed the angel that came to him?' Well I praise God that those scenarios never came to pass for Mary and Joseph were placed "for such a time as this." God obviously perfectly planned who would be "the parents" of His son. Even though the scenario seemed imperfect in so many ways...God perfected it with the birth of His son. He perfectly chose those who would carry out His plan.

I love the fact that we can celebrate this Christmas season with such joy and peace because God's son was born! I pray that your focus this season is to remember the true reason we celebrate Christmas. Enjoy tomorrow by celebrating the birth of Christ.I pray peace, joy, and love over you and yours!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

God is in Control...

yet we must act! It is difficult for us to understand sometimes how both can be true, yet they are. It is just like the story of Esther where God positions her in a place to be able to set her people (the Jews) free. At one point her uncle, Mordecai, comes to her and says, "14 If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?”

15 Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: 16 “Go and gather together all the Jews of Susa and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will do the same. And then, though it is against the law, I will go in to see the king. If I must die, I must die. (Esther 4: 14-16)”

Esther had to act in order to be obedient to what God wanted her to do. In those times, if you approached the King, without him calling upon you, you could be sentenced to death. Esther risked her life to save her people and because of her faith in God [her faith that he would save her], He honored her by not only saving her people, but also by crowning her queen.

I think there are times in all of our lives where we come into situations that we would rather avoid instead of confront. It is in those times that we need to ask ourselves, "has God put me in this place, for such a time as this?" It could be situations in which we must face a hostile audience, confront a friend on a delicate subject, or even talk to family about changes that need to be made. It is in those moments, that you can choose to either obey God or run from Him. I have found in my life...that when God impressed upon me to do something and I haven't done it, He always finds a replacement to do what I never did. Those moments in your life, whether or not you know it at the time, can be the defining moments that God wants to use you to shine His light. It can be those moments in which could mean life or death to someone and you may not ever know it.

A friend of ours shared a story with us that really touched my heart. She spoke of her sister (lets call her Judy) who had passed away and how at her funeral a lady (lets call her Sue) told of how Judy had "saved" her life. Judy was part of a group that helped people with addictions. One night Judy stayed afterwards to welcome a newcomer (Sue) to the group. She spent time talking with her and asking about her situation, etc. Well Sue told how because Judy took time out to talk with her and get to know her...that she decided NOT to kill herself. It seems to me in those "defining" moments in life...we can be a light to those around us.

Remember today to take time to risk yourself, put yourself out there...especially in the difficult moments that you dread. Take action, step out in faith and be confident like Esther. Allow her inspiration to take you to a new level of obedience and faith! And always remember that God is in control and he may have place you where you are "for just such a time as this!"