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Monday, November 30, 2009

John the Baptist - Again!

John the Baptist has always fascinated me. From before he was born, he was set apart for a purpose. His father was told as told by Luke - "15he will be great before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb.16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God,17 and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared."

He will make ready for the Lord, a people prepared. That is the phrase that suck in my mind this morning. That was no small task! John lived out in the desert, ate a very strange diet of locust and honey and drew large crowds when he spoke about the coming of the Messiah. I mean, seriously, this guy recognized Jesus in the womb for Pete's sake!!

So, I find myself asking 2 things:
1 - Am I "a people prepared" for the coming of my Lord?
Man! I sure hope so. I don't think any of us can be totally prepared for that glorious event. But I am sure trying. I want to be found as one prepared for His coming on the day of His return. I can hear and feel the Lord beckoning me in different areas of my life to get ready for Him. So, I strive to do just that!

2 - If John was set apart for such important work, and God lives ALL of His children, doesn't it stand to reason that He would set us apart for His important work as well?
I believe He does just that. I hope and pray that every day I am doing the work He has set me apart to do. The work I am uniquely equipped for. The work He will have to divert someone else off their task to complete - should I fail. In order to know what that work is, I need to be like John in one very important way. I need to mirror the heart shown in John 3:30 when he said "He (Jesus) must increase and I must decrease." More of you God and less of me!

So today, I ask once again, "What have you set me apart to do today for your kingdom God?" I hope and pray that you ask the same of Him today. Just think what would be accomplished for the kingdom if we all asked that question daily. Imagine what it would look like if we all were "a people prepared" for His coming. Oh, what a world it would be!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Re-Discovering My Merry Christmas

Christmas used to be one of my favorite holidays. I loved the traditions we had as a family like decorating the house the day after Thanksgiving, buying a new ornament each year for each family member to commemorate the year, celebrating the birth of my Lord! Somehow, over the last few years, the joy of this season has been lost and I find myself wanting to "put away" Christmas the day after it is over. What happened to the joy the season used to bring? Well, I think it got swallowed up by the monster that is my work during the season. I began to be so busy with planning Christmas for everyone else at church that I forgot why I loved to celebrate it in the first place. I lost focus on the real reason for the season in my life. I realized recently that it started to take a toll on my family and I have stolen some of that joy of the season from them as well. What a sad thing to admit!!

So, this year I have decided to turn the corner and reclaim the passion for Christmas I once had. I am joining one of my favorite groups of people, at Ragamuffin Soul, in a 30 Day Holiday Health Challenge. This challenge will focus on 3 areas of my life: Physical, Spiritual and Relational. I have selected my goals and hopefully will get some accountability from both them and you by blogging 2x per week about my progress ( or lack there of). So, below are my goals for your viewing pleasure...

Physical - to walk at least 2x per week and drop my last 5 lbs.
Spiritual - Find 3 more life verses to memorize and be in the word EVERY day no matter how "busy" I am.
Relational - to be "off work" when I am off work. I make time to enjoy the holidays w/ my family and date my husband at least 2x. Company party not-included.

If you would like to read more about this challenge and possibly join me, check it out at . Please let me know by commenting if you plan on getting in on the fun! That way I can pray for you as well.

I think the line in Carlos' blog that really got me is this: "You let your serving God replace your knowing God." I must admit that in the busyness of the season at church, I have indeed done that. So this year, I am determined to really KNOWING God this season and not just being busy for Him. He desires my heart a lot more than He desires the checks on my To Do list.

So, MERRY CHRISTMAS season everybody! May the joy of the the birth of our Lord permeate all you are and do this season!!