Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas 2015

The evening had come on the day her little darling was born.  She cradled Him in her arms as her husband gently and quietly asked if she was hungry. She smiled and replied, "A little, but I just want to look at him and hold him for a little while more.  Look at how beautiful he is, and how his eyes sparkle!  Look at his tiny fingers and toes!  Oh, I'm so in love with this little one already!"

Her husband smiled and brought her a warm drink and made her comfortable.  They both stared in awe at the miracle of God's work.  They named him Jesus as the angel told them.

"And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins." Matthew 1:21

Merry Christmas and God's blessings for a joyous and prosperous New Year!

(From "From My Heart to Yours" by Deirdre Tolhurst)

Monday, December 21, 2015

Glory to God in the Highest!

"Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.  Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.  For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
       “ Glory to God in the highest,
         And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.”  And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.  Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child.  And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds.  But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.  Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them."
Luke 2:8-20

Can you imagine being one of the shepherds that holy night?  Can you imagine taking care of your flock (as this Child would one day) and being interrupted by an angel of the Lord?  And then a 'multitude' of heavenly host appear and in heavenly choir sing praises of glory to the Lord?  Can you imagine the depths of wonder your soul would experience?  In the light of the stars and moon and in the glory of the angels, you must be unbelievably scared!  But you are told to not be afraid but instead to know that a Savior is born and He will take care of you forevermore!

So after the angels disappear, imagine standing there in the field with your sheep and your friends and wondering what was going on!  Your life is changed completely!  You didn't see just one angel, as Abraham and Jacob did, you saw a multitude of heavenly host!  A multitude!  How do you catch your breath after that?  After the honor that was bestowed on you to be a witness to such a miracle!

And then you do what they told you and you journey to the cave that houses an infant who will save the world!  How do you even comprehend all that?  You see His young mother cradling the Savior of the World and His earthly father watching nearby, protecting them both.  You fall on your knees and you worship the Babe.  You tell about what the angels told you, and you see His mother listening intently.  What an amazing honor to be chosen to be one of the first to see this and to bring a message from heaven to Mary!

You know how when we see a newborn baby we always marvel at the perfection of their lips and their eyelashes and tiny fingers?  Can you imagine seeing Jesus just hours old?  Knowing, because the angels told you, that He would save the world?  That He was the King of kings?  Do you dare to touch His little hand so that His fingers rest around yours?  What would it be like to touch the Son of God? 

Dear Reader, we can touch the Son of God anytime we want to!  He is in each one of us.  He is in your wife, your child, your husband, your friend, your co-worker.  He is in the guy down the street that doesn't bring his garbage can up right away.  He is in the homeless, he is in the downtrodden, he is in the teacher, the fireman, the executive, the secretary, he is in us!  Bless someone today with a hug.  If that is too uncomfortable for you, than bless them with a smile right from your heart!  Think of that person as Jesus, your Savior!  Love your fellow man; today do something extra special for someone you don't know.  Let the angels sing, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, goodwill toward men." 

Have a beautiful Tuesday, and God bless you today and always.  Wrap yourself in the miracle of Jesus' birth!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Dear Child of Mine Has Been Released!

Dear Reader,

I am so pleased to announce that Dear Child of Mine, An Heirloom Devotional for the Unborn Child has been released at WestBow Press

It took over three years to get to this place, and I have learned so many things along the way, the most important being that I had unknowingly made the pictures I wanted for the gestational ages an idol!  What a terrible thing.  It was so subtle, as are most of the devil's lies, that I didn't notice for 18 months while the book sat in a drawer.  One day the Lord took me aside, so to speak, and asked me why the words He inspired me with weren't good enough.  I was under the false impression that the pictures from inside the womb that I wanted were what would give God glory and make the book sell.  I put something man did before the beauty of God's very own words!  Not only was I astonished at the subtlety of it, but ashamed, convicted, and humbled. He forgave me and I moved on. 

I rededicated my life to Christ on the 28th birthday of my salvation. I asked God to give me the Holy Spirit gift of faith for a present.  Although I didn't change immediately, my faith has grown considerably, and my hope is restored.

Writing this devotional, something I don't think I would ever had tried to do, brought healing to my heart and restoration for a relationship lost.  I am now planning my marketing strategies to pregnancy centers, maternity homes, and churches across this great land of ours. Babies need to be prayed over long before they are born.  And they need to hear those prayers while they grown in the womb - first with spiritual ears and then with physical ears.  Jesus is right there in the womb with that baby! His finger is the first one that sweet innocent child puts his little hand around!  It is His voice that first says, "I love you, child", and it is He who forms and perfects every bit of that child's life. What a glorious thing - we know our Savior before we know anything else! 

But unfortunately, the moment of birth into this world brings with it a cloud of forgetfulness about the beauty and love and peace that surrounded us for nine months.  I believe though, that Jesus has placed His memory in the child's heart.  The scripture readings he will hear later on in his life will be familiar to him.  He'll have a tugging on his heart that something is missing until he turns once again to the Sustainer of Life, his Creator and Redeemer. 

As the mother writes her own notes on the provided lines, she is leaving an heirloom for the child and her descendants.  She will write things that she may never say later on. It is something her child will cherish its whole life!

My husband and I were blessed on Thanksgiving with the news that our daughter is pregnant once again!  The sweetness of God cannot be described.  My husband and I are now writing in the book that I wrote for my first grandchild, almost three years ago. We don't know how long our time on earth is, only God knows that, so we want our grandchild to know us--our likes and dislikes, our hopes for its future, our dreams and memories. And as we read it each morning we are in agreement with our daughter and son-in-law in the prayers we pray. There are 241 powerful devotions to bless the baby with.  It's more amazing than I can say!

So if you are pregnant or know someone who is; or if you'll be a grandparent, please get this book as soon into the pregnancy as possible and begin what will be the greatest gift you could give that unborn child--your heart!

Have a glorious and joyful day!