We all want to be more. More than we are at this moment, more than we dreamed we would be, more than enough. And it is not easy. All you can do is what is in front of you at this moment. Striving to be the best YOU you can be is not a bad thing, but the person you are right now might be the person you are meant to be. God often has to remind us to be still and to trust in Him, when things are not progressing or going the way you expected, when you are not reaching beyond your own expectations it can be hard to calm down and remind yourself that you are okay as you. God will grow you when He feels you are ready to grow. Trees don’t complain when they are a few branches short of how large the wished to be or when they have a smaller ring count than the tree next to them, they simply grow in God’s time and that is what we have to do. Wait on the Lord. Be still and know that I am God- Psalm: 46:10
We as humans tend to used descriptive language often. We say things we have built or roads we have taken are drenched with our sweat or our tears. When we redid our house I often said it was coated in my blood from the two or three minor scrapes I received while working on it. Drenched, coated. What if our lives were drenched and coated, not with blood, sweat and tears, but with prayer? What difference would we see? I once heard a mission planter say that he truly saw the difference come when he began to pray. He worked on his own for awhile, but then he started to coat everything in prayer and that was when things began to happen. My grandpa is a prayer, no matter what we do, before we do it he prays. It may take time but in a bit you see that exact prayer come true and crazy things that shouldn’t be possible start to happen. I used to think it was because he is a retired pastor and God just hears pastors better, but I found out after trying his technique that it is simply because he pours himself into a thirty second prayer before doing anything. His weakness in the moment gave God room to show His strength, so grandpa eventually got to a place where instead of becoming stuck and needing God to bail him out, he just handed it all over to God in the beginning and watched God work. If we drench our days, familys, selves with prayer we will see things begin to change. It may take time, but it will happen.
Little bright lights floating in hollow shells. Searching for a true connection. Is hope in the number on your friends list? Is Faith in the stars or the sun? Is love in a box or a crate on your door step? Where does the light go to find home? How does the shell become filled? It sees another light and reaches for it but it flutters away in fear. You see, most soul lights are afraid of eachother. They fear being known, being seen, being exposed, they fear growing too bright and being criticized so they flee from eachother. They flee and stay dim. But there is a soul light that reaches relentlessly, the original light that refuses to give up. It sees the little soul light reaching for someone to love and it runs to it, wrapping the dimming light in it’s own exuberant glow the original light causes the wandering soul light to grow bigger and burn brighter. Faith, hope, love and happiness all resides in the light that empowers the soul light. Some dim lights flee from the blaze, others see it and draw near and are caught by it and begin to burn brighter themselves. The light continues to spread and to refuse to give up. It’s bold and bright and warm and takes in all the lights that draw to it, filling their shells with light until the whole being glows.
You know that soul lights are us, that the original light is Jesus, and that the bright burning soul lights are the Christians. Without Him we all remain dim, but with God we can burn brightly and fill this world with joy and light and hope through Jesus.
Burn on little soul light and don’t give up.
Jesus isn’t a little bird trying to fly away from you, He’s a man who is there for you to trust and lean on- a solid rock on which to stand. He’s not fluttering by and have to try to catch Him, He’s standing there with His arms open ready to embrace you.
If you know nothing else about the Bible but the fact that God sent His son to earth as a human baby to be stripped, beaten, spit upon and killed by the people He loves so much; if you know that a man tempted by sin but pure enough not to fall into it died and took the keys out of the devil’s hand and freed the captives from hell and ascended to Heaven, and you know that He is waiting for you to come to Him so Heaven can be yours too, then you know the greatest grace, mercy and miracle in the whole book. He wants you so come to Him.
Jesus was brave. We don’t often use this word for Him, certainly not during Christmas, but He was brave. He was scared, of course He was, but that didn’t stop Him. He was sick with fear at the Garden, He was in agony at the cross, sometimes I wonder if as a crying baby in a manger He was crying for the future and what was coming to pass. Don’t say that a baby couldn’t know those things, that weight was His reason for being here on earth- He was born to die. He knew what was coming yet He spoke anyway, He knew what it would cause yet He healed and prayed for people and loved the rejected, and prepared for what was coming. From the Manger to the cross Jesus was brave. I can only hope that in this dying world that wants to kill off anything that is still alive, that I will be brave too. Just like Jesus.
Fly free souls and know that He is coming again, this world is not ours, this death is not ours, this pain is not ours, because of a baby born under a star in a barn in a small town called Bethlehem. That baby was called Emmanuel, and He is still with us today.
Follow that star that burns so bright, flee from it dark night, onward my feet and chase after it, there is something about it that I need but don’t have yet. Faster and faster, don’t slow down now, what’s that up ahead? It seems like a crowd. Braying sheep press close to the walls for warmth, a glow comes from inside, almost invisible because of the star’s great light. Feet you may sting and knees you may tremble but don’t turn back now, press through the wooly crowd, see you are not the only one who trembles – they all are at the presence here. So much power from someone so little and dear. He coughs in the cold and His Mother wipes His soft cheek, He is who the star drew me to, its Him whom I seek. Sleepy eyes turn and look my way, I back up, I am afraid. I am so dirty, so lowly so raw, I fall to my knees in the damp straw. A soft nuzzle tickles my toe, a little lamb has joined me as he escapes the cold. Fearless it lies against my knee. Now I get it, now I see. He is so perfect as He lies there unmarked, someday for sins He will be scarred. I can sit here dirty and blemished and broken, in the presence of one so pure, only because He will be broken for me and then my soul will be clean once more. Only because of His perfection do I stand a chance, only because of the love in His feet and Hands. I can walk away, soft lamb in my arms, because the lamb in the manger will shatter the dark. I will always seek Him, star or no star, because He is someone I need, He is hope, He is God.
They say we are all hiding or running from darkness. Darkness within us, darkness around us, just the dark in general. They say that is why when winter comes we tend to light candles and plug in our Christmas trees- to drive away some of the darkness. Maybe that is true, maybe not, but the permeating darkness is very real. I like summer. Long days of sunshine, lighting when it rains, full brilliant stars (though are stars these past few winter nights have been pretty amazing), in honesty the Christmas tree lights are about the only thing that keeps me happy in the midst of the darkness of winter. Though I do enjoy the brisk nights when the stars are shining and I’m out with my horse and we are the only living things awake in our yard, that’s a pretty spectacular feeling. The difference is that summer darkness is shorter and it’s warm, where winter darkness is long and cold so it’s not as enjoyable. Sort of like the darkness in our souls. A long- cold darkness. A darkness there since birth. The darkness of being without a savior. They say light brings joy, isn’t it fitting then that our Lord would come to earth in a quiet manger under a brilliant -bright star? And that when the Angels appeared there was a bright light, some Bible translations say it was blinding. When the one who would drive out darkness and give us joy and hope came to earth He was the cause of so much light that the light is still remembered so many years later. We who are striving to flee from darkness already have the hope of a brilliant and blinding light- One that is warm and loving and full of hope- I call Him Jesus, some call Him Emmanuel, others call Him Yeshua, or Rabbi, or Abba, Friend, Teacher. No matter what name He is going by He will always be our Savior and He is here to bring light to our darkness.
What combats hate?
And love is stronger than hate.
However, love is a heavier weapon to carry.
It’s easy to hate because hate is all emotion, it doesn’t even take thought to accomplish hate- but love is an action, you have to work at love. Love says ‘you did wrong by me, you brought me low and left me abandoned- but I still love you.’ Love is not an emotion. Passion is an emotion, like is an emotion, love is an action.
There are plenty of people who I have seen show love to people that they don’t like. I have seen a pastor be torn apart by a devil sent destroyer and yet that same pastor went and visited that destroyer when he was hurt and in the hospital. Why? Because as much as that man caused the pastor to feel a sense of dislike deep in his stomach due to the man’s actions and lies, the pastor still loved him. Jesus still loved Judas even though he betrayed Him.
Paul prayed for his prison guards when he was waiting to be executed.
Joseph wept for his brothers who has sold him as a slave.
You can’t tell me they liked them at those moments, but you can see clearly that they loved them.
Love is a heavy weapon to carry and takes great effort, but it also delivers a more powerful blow.
For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son, so that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life- John 3:16
The Bible is full of things we should can be thankful for but I feel this verse is the best to highlight today, Jesus didn’t just come for Christmas, He didn’t just come for Easter, He didn’t just come for Sunday, He came for every day of your life. We can be thankful that He has surrounded us with His love everlasting and know that He will never leave us nor forsake us. Today and every day He is our truth and our reason to celebrate.
Happy Thanksgiving! Love the VanBeeks❤
What are two things you are Thankful for today?
We as people always want to give back. We want to give back to our neighbors, our co-workers, our family, our friends. So of course we want to give back to God. But we can’t. We can repay a cup of coffee with a cup of coffee, or having our grass mowed by baking some cookies or so on… but how do we give back to God?
In giving fully of ourselves. But is that enough? It is to God.
But say In full measurement of the ‘equal gift calculator’ do they add up to the same? No.
Think of it like this.
Your dad buys you a new CD. You’re eight years old and super excited and want to give him something in return, so you run to your room and grab your second favorite Super Star doll and give it to him as a present, what is a grown man going to do with that doll? From anyone else he would probably tell you politely that he doesn’t want it and you should keep it, but you are his child and thus are special, so what does he do? He takes it to work, puts it on his desk and when people ask about it he says with a smile, “my daughter gave it to me”.
We want to give back to God because He gives us so much, we have nothing to give Him that He wants except our hearts, but we still dish out things that we think will make God happy, even though it’s like a little girl giving her dad a doll, God still smiles seeing us trying so hard to give to Him. Our gift will never equal His, it can’t, but the giving we try to do makes Him smile because He loves us.