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Presents for Jesus--by Wendelijn Sloof

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“They came into the house and saw the young child with Mary, his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Opening their treasures, they offered to him gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.” (Matthew 2:11 NIV)

When the wise men came into the house, the first thing they saw was Jesus and then Mary.  They worshipped Him and then offered the first Christmas gifts ever! And what a remarkable gifts they were to give a little baby. Even more remarkable is the deep meaning of each gift. We, too, can follow the wise men’s example in giving Jesus the same gifts. Let’s take a look at each of the gifts.

Gold represents the majesty and dominion of Jesus as a KING. Frankincense depicts the symbol for prayer and offering showing Jesus as HIGH PRIEST. Myrrh is very expensive, used for embalming, and is a bitter herb used during the Passover meal. (Not your typical baby shower gift!) Myrrh represents suffering and sacrifice showing Jesus as the LAMB.

The Gold is Jesus’ FUTURE reign as King of K…

Erector Sets--The Gift of Regifting

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Do you regift? Be honest!  How many times have you received a gift; then recycled it into a gift for someone else?  There are a few ways to look at this habit:  A)Tacky, B)Eco-Friendly, or C)God Ordained.

Perhaps it would be tacky to regift that presidential chia pet.  'W' is so four years ago.  It might be considered eco-friendly if it is a fruitcake.  Goodness knows those take up a lot of landfill space and are not biodegradable.  However, have you ever considered that a certain type of regifting might actually be God ordained?

Let me explain.

Hubby had a selection of, shall we say, antique toys.  Okay, okay, they were antiques because they were his 'special friends' back in the 70's.  In this secret cache of toys, lay hidden treasures for little boys from 0 - 100: a genuine mark one Erector set, first run Legos, Fisher Price adventure time jeep, pontoon boat with attachable Fantasy Island water plane, a real ee gauge train set with transistor control, a log cab…

Speak Life!

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Encourage! Send Light! Build Up!



Life or Death Choice: How to Operate a Mouth

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Do you gossip?  Let me ask that another way.  Do you speak life over and into people or death?
Over the past few weeks, the Lord has been speaking to me about how I use my words.  Specifically, He's been challenging me about every word that comes out of my mouth. In fact, I can see my friend Heather's acronymn for the word THINK.

Robin, is what you are saying Thoughtful?
Robin, is what you are saying Honest?
Robin, is what you are saying Inspiring?
Robin, is what you are saying Needed?
Robin, is what you are saying Knowledge?

I must be honest, as much as I want to be a channel of Jesus' peace, sometimes this God-Fearing woman gets the blues and just lets loose.   Vile, deadly things come out of my mouth.

Anger. Jealousy. Unforgiveness. Impatience. Gossip. Slander.

What does God say about that?

Out of the mouth the heart speaks. Oye vey. Curses...Death.

However, there are days, even weeks, when I am walking and shining the light , singing God's praises, and speaking life…

The Dust Girl

In today's high speed, low drag world, people are prospering, but at what cost?  As we speed along doing what WE want to, how many people are affected by US?  What happens to the most vulnerable people, children?

With selfishness as a culture, our kids are hurting.  We are programming our next generation to repeat our mistakes, if they live that long. 

Neglect, verbal, mental, and physical abuse knows no demographic boundary.  Look at some statistics.

"Up to 24 million people of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder (anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder) in the U.S." 1"Adolescents in general seem to be at an increased risk for self-injury, with approximately 15% of teens reporting some form of self-injury.In addition, there seems to be a higher risk for self-injury among college students than among the general population, with rates ranging from 17% to 35%." 2  "77% of students in the U.S. hav…

Jesus Loves the Little Children

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My son asked me about orphans today. "What is an orphan, Mamma?"
"Gabriel, You know. You tell me. What is an orphan?"
"Someone whose Mommy and Daddy was killed. Mommy if I was an orphan nobody would take care of me." , he responded.
"Well, what does Jesus tell us to do with widows and orphans?"
No answer...silence...crickets...
I went on, "Gabriel, Jesus tells us to help orphans, to take them in and love them. I know two people who love orphans and are looking for a little child who needs a mommy and daddy."
"Really?"
 "Yes, their names are Adam and Colleen."
"What do they look like? Are they tall?"
"Yes, they are tall and thin and very loving. They are going to adopt a boy or girl and name them Noah or Hope."
"I think they should name the girl, Olivia."
 "Well, no, it will be Noah if it is a boy and Hope if it is a girl."
 "Okay. I guess."
 "Do you want to pray …

No Quarter for the Enemy

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Wake Up!  Left and right, our foe overruns us.  The enemy wriggles under the gap in the wire.  Once inside the perimeter, he sets up his tent.  Unnoticed, he pushes further into our territory.  Silently and unopposed, he lays a foundation for permanent shelter.  Brick by brick he erects the walls for our prison. In Satan's economy, a temporary shelter like a tent is a foothold. A permanent shelter like a brick watch post is a stronghold.  The longer he stays; the more he builds.   Siege ramps, walls, turrets, stronger gates, and a deeper moat.  Suddenly, he's up sized from a small outpost to a dark tower called a fortress.  Militarily, a fortress on a hill gives him the advantage because: He can see the opposition coming.   Gravity gives him the advantage. It takes more energy for us to fight uphill. Energy spent going up hill reduces our resources to resist. Once we are tired, he easily takes us captive. Our captivity is the net effect of our sin. S.I.N.  We hate that wo…

I Love You This Much

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Step parent situations cause jealousy as they divide our children's affections.  It's one thing to call a step parent by a pet name or a first name, but when you give them the moniker of "MOM" or "DAD"....oh how it pierces the heart of the real Mom or Dad.

Another soul render is the prodigal child, ever running away, never looking back to see you straining your eyes in the distance to see their return.  Your arms wide open and empty waiting... waiting...waiting for them to just glance back and consider changing  directions.

How many situations do we get ourselves into because we don't see Him?  He is pained by the afflictions that we ensnare ourselves in.  He is pained by our ignorance of his existence and great love for us

God is always pursuing us. He is there with his arms wide open.  He SEES us.  Blindly, we go about our business and don't notice his outstretched arms.  His forgiving, loving arms are yearning to hold us again.

How many other…

Watchmen, To Your Posts. Watch, Wait, and Pray for the Pouring Out of the Spirit.

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Just a couple of songs and a prayer today that are on my heart.

Lord,

Great and merciful Savior.  We, the body of Christ, join together in singing praises to you. We join together to beg you to usher in a pouring out of the Holy Spirit. Bring revival to this dry, parched land.

God show us the depths of our sin that prevent us from being in your presence.  Holy Spirit convict us that we might again be walking in the light as Jesus is in the light.

Flood the streets with the Living Water.  Bring your Spiritual Rain.  Let the thunder and lightening from the Spirtual Rain wake the slumbering church! 

Assemble the watchmen on your wall, Lord.  In Jesus Name, Amen.





Today's #JoyDare-3 Gifts Loved

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Have you heard of Ann Voskamp, author of the Joy Dare and  One Thousand Gifts?  Perhaps you've read her blog "A Holy Experience?"  I aspire to be a light in the darkness of her magnitude.  She inspires me daily to practice gratitude and participate in joy.  These are gifts that don't just happen to us.  They are blessings we get to reach for, try on, and frolick in.

Today's Joy Topic...Three Gifts Loved

Casey Nicole Harvey, the eldest, a sprite, a free-spirit, an aching hope for return, proof of unconditional love... NO. MATTER.WHAT.





 Ashley Jean Nolan, the middle one, the actress/drama queen, the comedian, the Disney princess, proof that it is worth the chutzpah to keep trying even when it is hard.


Gabriel Ian Jones, the baby birdie, lover of pink,  the own little him, proof that God gives us gifts even when we are at odds with him.
Thank you, Lord for the gifts you placed in my life.  I surrender them to you. I know that you are watching over them, wooing them to …

Surprise Blessing & Transformed Life

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I was in a high hissy melt down and phoned my husband, “Babe, we will be absolutely out of money at the end of the month.I have no idea how we will pay for two mortgages.I cannot ask my parents for another loan.I feel so stupid for moving before we sold that house.” He didn’t know what to do.The phone hung in the tense silence between us.After what seemed like an hour, I blurted out a phrase our pastor had used on Sunday, “God does things when we pray that He does not do when we do not pray” Chris broke his stillness, “Why don’t we try that?”So, we prayed.We prayed a prayer of desperation.We plead, “Remember you said for us to Trust in you with all our heart and commit our ways to you and you would make our path straight and our way smooth? Proverbs 3: 5 – 6 NIV.Lord, we do believe you watch over us more so than the sparrows, but we don’t know what to do (Matthew 6:26 – 27 NIV). Please help us.Amen.” We were both weeping as we hung up the phone.
A week or so after that, a friend calle…

Not Looking for a Hiking Partner

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After the second marriage disaster, I had nowhere to look but up.I turned my life over to God. Slowly, steadily He started putting the pieces of me back together.It was not because I deserved it, but most definitely because God is a good and loving Father who binds up the wounds of the brokenhearted (Psalm 34:18 NIV). He cares for His children even when they are far off the road and are completely covered in mud in the ditch.He lifted me out of the mess and put me on a path to come closer to Him.(Psalm 40:2 NIV). Sometimes, He will put people in your way to help you on the journey.
When I wasn’t ready or looking, the serious, good-looking guy that had dumped seventeen years earlier waltzed back into my life.We started meeting.Once we went out on a Sunday morning.At the time, I felt conflicted because I really needed and wanted to go to church.It was the only place I could feel God’s healing presence.Going on a date instead of to church that Sunday made me feel like I had missed a dose …

The Cupcake

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When I needed a break, I didn’t turn to God.I tried to do it on my own.All of my efforts fill up the void and find rest in human men ended in ashes.When my second husband proposed, it was easy to say ‘yes’. He was stable, a good provider, a reasonable daddy replacement, and funny.I reasoned with myself that it didn’t really matter that he wasn’t my idea of a romantic or that we had any mutual interests.He met the minimum requirements on the “Mr. Right” checklist.
Off to the wedding chapel I went.This time, however, I stopped by the liquor store on the way to the altar. I laughed all the way through the vows.Really!I know it’s definitely something out of a bad romantic farce, but it’s true.I think the situation comedy type of a relationship we had seeped into the womb as the baby cooked.
Ashley Jean Nolan came on the scene with equal parts of drama and laughter in the delivery room.As I was pushing her out, the placenta abrupted.The calm, cool doctor turned three shades of green, grab…

A Prayer Answered

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Motherhood and Wifedom is the greatest adventure that I have ever inadvertently set out on.When I was a little girl, I never dreamed of being a wife or a mother.It wasn’t on my radar screen.I was more interested in climbing trees and pretending to be Elvis.Mommydom was not an expectation I had for myself.Up until three years ago, I didn’t really buy off on the whole concept. Responsibility, guilt, and shame overshadowed the joy of being a momma. It never occurred to me that I might raise my station from woman at the well to noble Proverbs 31 mother and wife.It would take a miracle.That’s the funny thing about God. He’s in the miraculous transformation business.Let me explain.
When I graduated high school, I had my heart broken by a good looking, serious type of guy.From that point on, I certainly didn’t want marriage or kids.I had my life planned out.I thought, “I’ll go in the Air Force, go to college, get the degree, go to work, make a bunch of money, and maaaaaaaaaybeeeeee consider …