Faith

As we shift into the holiday season, I am reminded that we all go through seasons in life. Some seasons are rich in love, some are dry and lonely. Some are fast paced and difficult, while some seasons seem like a breeze.

There are those seasons when your pride is fed or when you’re humbled greatly. Seasons where you’re forced to give it all to God, because you can’t handle it on your own. You were never meant to.

My prayer is that no matter the season you are going through right now and the seasons to come, you would always choose to trust in Jesus. Choose to have an attitude of thankfulness and gratefulness no matter the circumstances. Thanking Him for EVERY season, because it is making you who He wants you to be.

Being content

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Faith, Organization

I have one small box for Christmas decorations. I do not want to feel overwhelmed by the thought of decorating or taking down the decorations after the holiday. I choose to minimally decorate for Christmas because that gives me more time to focus on Christ. (This will most likely change if kids are in our future, but for now this is me.)

If my home was full of nutcrackers and Santas they would drown out the simplicity of our Jesus and His upside down Kingdom. The reminder to serve others, to put them first. For me, less decoration and less clutter mean more time with my savior.

Maybe this isn’t true for you. And I’m glad it isn’t true for everyone, because I love driving by homes with lights and giant snowmen and reindeer in their lawn. I just don’t love that for my home. All the moving parts would stress me out more than they would bring me joy.

So, with minimal decorations or with tinsel in every corner, may we all take the time this season to really think about the baby that was born. That baby who was and is our God. Our God who knew we needed rescued. Our God who chose to come to earth, a humble servant, to walk alongside us messy humans. Who chose to live the perfect life that we could not live, and die the death that we deserved, only to be joined with us again. How beautiful.

A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.
― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

minimal christmas decor for me

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Faith

In the book of John, chapter 8, we are told about a group of men who find a woman committing adultery. They want to stone/kill her immediately. You can read the short passage at the bottom of this page if you are not familiar with the story.

There is a lot we could discuss in just these few verses – like where were these men in the first place that they found this woman? Or, did they bring the woman to Jesus just to test him on the law/Moses? Who did they think they were? But instead – let’s look at the response of Jesus.

Jesus tells the men: whoever has not sinned, please throw the first stone.

After hearing this, one by one, the crowd began to leave. It says beginning with the older ones, the wiser ones. I imagine them loosening their grip, dropping their stones, feeling convicted. Hopefully they walked away and decided to look at themselves before judging others in the future. Hopefully they put themselves in her place, and felt the love of God.

Jesus tells whoever has not sinned to throw the first stone. He could have thrown a stone. He could have thrown a million stones. at her. at me. at you.

But He chose not to. In that moment and on the cross. He took your place. He took my place. He took her place.

How beautiful – just as the men with stones in their hands walked away one by one, Jesus erases our sins one by one: past, present, and future. He took it all for me and you on the cross.

May we “go and sin no more”. Not because of who we are, but because of who He is. Not in our strength, but His. Not our will, but Yours be done, Lord. We are so, so grateful that Your mercies are new every morning. Every second. And they will not ever end.

 

John 8 The Message (MSG)

To Throw the Stone

1-2 Jesus went across to Mount Olives, but he was soon back in the Temple again. Swarms of people came to him. He sat down and taught them.

3-6 The religion scholars and Pharisees led in a woman who had been caught in an act of adultery. They stood her in plain sight of everyone and said, “Teacher, this woman was caught red-handed in the act of adultery. Moses, in the Law, gives orders to stone such persons. What do you say?” They were trying to trap him into saying something incriminating so they could bring charges against him.

6-8 Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger in the dirt. They kept at him, badgering him. He straightened up and said, “The sinless one among you, go first: Throw the stone.” Bending down again, he wrote some more in the dirt.

9-10 Hearing that, they walked away, one after another, beginning with the oldest. The woman was left alone. Jesus stood up and spoke to her. “Woman, where are they? Does no one condemn you?”

11 “No one, Master.”

“Neither do I,” said Jesus. “Go on your way. From now on, don’t sin.”

one by one

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poetry

I enjoy the flowers, until they cause me to sneeze

I enjoy the food, until my stomach aches

I enjoy the relationship, until it’s too complicated

I enjoy the creatures, until they drink my blood

I enjoy the memories, often more than the actual event

I enjoy the wind, but only when I’m warm

I enjoy the ride, until I’m tired of waiting

I enjoy the sunshine, until my skin turns cherry

I enjoy the music, until that song comes on

I enjoy my space, until you’re gone too long

I enjoy the rain, until it floods my city

I enjoy it all, until I don’t.

Convenience

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