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Christmas To-doers List 2017, Day 3: Watch

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Christmas To Do-ers List

Day 3: Watch for Him

“Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.” Luke 2:8

Day in. Day out.

Looking. Watching. Waiting. Shepherds in the fields faithfully caring for their sheep. Diligence is their watchword.  Always searching for the finest pasture, the best shelter, and the freshest water.  Looking, watching, and waiting, day in and day out. Night after night. Until one night. O Holy Night!

“For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

Faithfulness in their daily work allowed the shepherds to see Jesus. Had they not been diligent in their mundane tasks, they would have missed the angel’s message,  and they would have missed Jesus. Shepherds watching for the Good Shepherd.

Look. Watch. Wait.

The same thing we do for Jesus.

Look for Jesus this Christmas season. Watch for glimpses of Him as you go through  your ordinary days. Wait for Him to act. Chores, tasks, errands, and suddenly He’s there—teaching, comforting, directing, healing, and loving.

  Watch for Him in your everyday chores and holiday tasks.

Look. Watch. Wait.Watch Day 3jpg

The same thing Jesus does for us.

Jesus constantly looks out for our best interests and watches over our every concern. He waits to draw us into closer relationship, greater trust, and deeper faith. Stolen moments in the crush of the day. Precious minutes at His feet in the rush of the season. Day after day, silent night after silent night.

He looks, watches, and waits for you.

Action Points:

  1. Look for Jesus today. Notice the blessings He sends your way and then look for ways to be a blessing to others.
  2. Watch for Jesus today. What is He trying to say to you? What is He telling you? What does He want you to do differently this Christmas season?
  3. Wait for Him. Jesus is calling you to rest in heavenly peace with Him. Tarry with Him for a few moments. Get your Bible, turn to Luke 2 and listen to the beautiful music below. Wait for Him to restore your soul.

How will you watch for Jesus today? How will you make time to wait for Him? Please leave a comment in the Comment section below on how you plan to watch for Jesus, or how you saw Him today.

Did you miss a day? Don’t fret, just click on a link below.

Day 1: Believe Him

Day 2: Make Room

Watch for Him.

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Christmas To-Do List, 2017: Day 1, Believe

Christmas To Do-ers List

Day 1: Believe Him

“Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.” Luke 1:45

Blessed is she who believes.

It was an ordinary day for Mary, one like any other. Chores to accomplish, tasks to finish, water to fetch, meals to cook and a wedding to plan. But, God interrupted the ordinary and asked Mary to do something extraordinary … believe Him. We might scoff and think how hard is that? Anyone can believe God.

But do we?

Do we believe God for anything beyond salvation?

Believe Him.

When Mary chose to believe God, it changed everything, her past, her present and certainly her future. Mary’s choice to believe God was a true test of faith. In order to accept God’s plan for her life, Mary needed two miracles. One miracle to start a life (she knew not a man), and another miracle to save a life — hers. Despite the seemingly impossible circumstances, Mary believed Him.

To believe or not to believe.Day 1 Believe jpg

God, in His infinite wisdom, does not force us to act. The choice is ours—we can believe or not. But for some reason, God will not implement certain actions unless we choose to believe Him.

Believe like Mary.

Live Mary, believing God changes everything about our past, present and future.  What do you need to believe God for today?  Your marriage … your health …  a job … a child … forgiveness? Because of the cradle and the cross, you can believe.

What if you live today as is if you believe what God says? What if you live today as one truly forgiven? What if you dare to live as a person who is called by God?  What would it look like to believe Him today? What actions would you take? What words would you say? What decisions would you make?

Action Points:

  1. What has God said that you need to believe? Choose something from the list below.

    1. You are beautiful.
    2. You are chosen.
    3. You are gifted.
    4. You are loved.
    5. You are forgiven.
    6. You have purpose.
    7.  ____________ (other).

Today, choose to believe God over the wisdom of the world,  the advice of friends, the counsel of your own heart and the lies of the enemy.

What are you believing God for today? Please record your goal in the Comment section below.

Believe Him.

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For your listening enjoyment this Advent season, please click on the link below.

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Christmas To Do-ers List, Day 8: Go Tell About Him

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Christmas To Do-ers List

Day 8: Go Tell About Him

“When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.” Luke 2:17-18

The night started out just like any other.

At dusk, the shepherds settled themselves and their sheep in for the night, on the alert to possible attacks.  

Once the shepherds had gathered their wits about them and understood the angel’s message, they ran to Bethlehem to find the Savior. And find Him they did.

The shepherds surely shared with Mary and Joseph about the angels’ visit, and unable to contain themselves, they lost no time in sharing this hot-off-the-presses news about the baby King they found in a manger with anyone who would listen.

Jesus has that effect on people. He likes to stir things up. When the sacred intersects the ordinary, spectacular things happen. The lame walk. The blind see. Sinners are forgiven. Addictions are broken. And angels sing—and not just for Jesus’ birth. Luke 15:10 tells us that whenever another soul is won to heaven, heaven celebrates.

What About Us?

Tell about Jesus this Christmas

Tell about Jesus this Christmas

Perhaps your story isn’t as flashy as a million-watt sky filled with angels. But the reality is, you’re a different person than you were before Jesus, and that is a story that deserves to be told. In the way only you can tell it. Never underestimate the power of a changed life to reach others.

Like the shepherds, be alert to those God has primed for your story. As a matter of fact, pray for God to send those who need a word from you. Let’s look at a few ways to share:

  1. Practice your story.Write down a 1-minute version of your story. Your life before Jesus, your conversion and your life after Jesus. And share it when God opens the door for you to do so.
  2. Give tangible help. Bring a meal to a family with a new baby or to a family going through a hard time. Pray that God opens a way for you to share with them, either now or in the future.
  3. Volunteer to teach a class at your church or lead a neighborhood Bible study. Both children and adults need to hear that Jesus loves them enough to have died for them.
  4. Write out your story longhand or on your computer so that future generations of your family will have a copy. You never know when your story will be able to reach through time to influence others.

Mary and I appreciate you joining us over Advent for this series. Be looking for our New Year’s podcast over the next week. Merry Christmas to your and your family!




Christmas To Do-ers List, Day 7: Serve Him

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Christmas To Do-ers List

Day 7: Serve Him

36 “Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity; 37 and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. 38 And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.”

Luke 2:36-38

There are over 120 miracles recorded in the Bible. Memorable deeds, acts of bravery and great faith which are recorded for all eternity in God’s word: Moses parting of the Red Sea,  Peter walking on water, David slaying Goliath. Saints brought down walls, survived fiery furnaces, raised the dead and healed the sick.

There is one woman we must remember,

Anna the prophetess. Remember her miraculous deed for the Lord? I didn’t either at first. What did Anna do?

She fasted and she prayed.

For over eighty years, she lived in the temple and served God.  Eighty years of fasting, praying and serving?  That’s a miracle.

What did Anna pray about?

Serve Jesus this Christmas

I imagine as Anna was constantly in the temple, she saw many people come with their sins and their sacrifices. Perhaps some with tears and anguish mingled on their faces.  It would not be unlikely to assume Anna watched and  prayed for these people as they worshiped.

I also think Anna spent much of her time praying for her nation and for the coming Savior. Because she was constantly in the presence of God, her heart was tender to His sudden appearing with His mother and father, Mary and Joseph.

The heroes of old listed above were blessed because they saw the hand of God in their circumstances. Anna, after a lifetime of service, was blessed to see the face of  God in her Savior Jesus.

Action Points:

  1. Who needs a little help today? Perhaps an elderly neighbor needs help wrapping presents, baking cookies or shoveling snow. Be the hands of Jesus and serve a neighbor.
  2. Who in your family needs a little help today? Does your spouse need help with a chore or their to-do list? Does another family member need encouragement? Be the hands of Jesus and serve your family.
  3. Pray and ask Jesus to show you someone who needs help today. Be looking for opportunities to share the love of Christ. Be the hands of Jesus and serve a stranger.

Please comment on how you plan to serve other today.

Serve others by serving Him. Merry Christmas.

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Please enjoy the Christmas music below.




Christmas To Do-ers List, Day 6: Protect Him

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Christmas To Do-ers List

Day 6:Protect Him

 Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.” Matthew 2:13
Often times, Joseph’s role in the Nativity is overlooked. But God chose Him just as carefully as He did Mary. Had Joseph been any less the humble, prayerful, courageous man he was, Mary and Jesus would have been in serious trouble.
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 If Ever There Was a Righteous Man …

 First of all, we see in Matthew 1:19-25 that  Joseph is a righteous man. When he finds out Mary is pregnant, he could have made a spectacle out of her to protect his own reputation. He does not want to disgrace her, however, so he decides to divorce her quietly.  Before Joseph can do this, God sends an angel who explains through a dream that  Joseph should not be afraid to take Mary as his wife. Even though he surely knew his reputation would be in tatters from the village gossip, Joseph does exactly what the angel says. We see the tangible hedge of protection he casts around Mary and her unborn child.
When King Herod orders a census, Joseph packs up a very pregnant Mary, and they set off for his hometown of Bethlehem. Joseph’s next test comes upon arrival in the city, which is packed to capacity and beyond. Mary is already in the active stages of labor, but every inn Joseph frantically inquires at has no room. In the knick of time, one innkeeper offers an animal stable, and Joseph becomes midwife by ushering Jesus into the world.
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Joseph is the type of man you want around in an emergency.

Finally, in Matthew 2:13 Joseph again protects his little family as God sends another angel in a dream Day 6 Protect jpgto warn him of danger, as Herod is diabolically bent on snuffing out the lives of every baby boy in Bethlehem. He bolts up in the middle of the night, gathers his family, and leaves for Egypt.
Through Joseph’s example, we can see the importance of protecting our relationship with the Lord. Had Joseph not been a righteous man who made his relationship with God the biggest priority in his life, this story could have turned out much differently. But as it was, Joseph prayed and believed and had so nurtured his relationship with God, that when God called upon him, he was ready. He humbled himself and he displayed  true grit and courage that helped save the lives of Mary and Jesus. His is a true story of protection, love, and obedience, one that we should emulate.
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How Can We Protect our Relationship with God?

In order to display the grit and courage of Joseph, we need to protect and guard our connection to Jesus.

  1. Make Jesus your top priority. The only way you’ll get to know Him is in the same way we get to know any other person in our lives: by spending time with Him. Show up each day to read the Bible, pray, and listen for the Holy Spirit’s direction.
  2. Be obedient to the direction the Holy Spirit gives you. He is our helper, teacher, and guide. By tuning in to His voice, we will be living under the protection and direction of the Holy Spirit.
  3. Make sure you’re growing and changing. If you’re still at the same spiritual level you were ten years ago, something is not right. We need to be in the process of transformation.
  4. Try something new. Explore a spiritual discipline, such as silence and solitude. Attend a retreat. Try walking through a labyrinth prayer walk (the link contains a search that will locate the ones closest to you.) Just don’t stagnate.

Enjoy the music of the season and let us know your thoughts on how you will protect your relationship with Jesus.




Christmas To Do-ers List, Day 5: Seek Him

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Christmas To Do-ers List

Day 5: Seek Him

“Behold, I send My messenger,  and he will prepare the way before Me.
And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple,
Even the Messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight.
Behold, He is coming,”
Says the LORD of hosts. Malachi 3:1
O come, O come, Emmanuel.
Come Emmanuel, to our homes, to our workplaces, and to our churches. Come Emmanuel to our prisons, hospitals, schools, nursing homes, slums, street corners, and to our hearts. God promises when we seek Him,  He will come.

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Seek.

To seek. In the Ancient Hebrew, baqash, means “to seek, require, desire, exact, request.” Do we seek God in everything we do, every place we go, in every decision we make?  Do we require His presence in order to do life or do we trudge along without Him?
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Seek Him.

Baqash also means “to search for as by touching.”  When do we search by touch? When we can’t see. Tripping through the darkness with hands outstretched to protect ourselves and find our way.  Stumbling because we are blinded by the darkness of our own sin and frailty. Grappling in the shadow of our guilt, hands reaching through the blackness until we grasp the One we seek, the One we long for.  Jesus. Our Emmanuel.
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Seek the face of God.Seek Day 5 jpeg

As traditions states, the Wise Men sought His face, wet with sweat and blood at the manger. We seek His face, wet with sweat and blood at the foot of the cross. So begins our journey with God, a lifetime of searching, seeking and finding as Jesus reveals Himself to those who seek Him.
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Seek the face of God this Christmas.

Most significantly, baqash translates “to seek specifically in worship or prayer.”  The keys to finding Jesus this Christmas: prayer and worship.  In the midst of the merry making, the caroling, the tree and the stockings, remember the reason we’re celebrating: Jesus
Seek His word, His will, His wisdom, His presence,  seek Him through prayer and worship.
Seek Him.

Action Points:

  1. In order to seek Jesus, we must think of places where He may be found. List a few places or activities in which you can meet with Jesus. Pick one to do today.
  2. Jesus can always be found when we seek Him in His Word. Play the beautiful Christmas music embedded below, get your Bible and read Luke 2. Write down what God speaks to your heart as your seek Him.
  3. Seek Jesus while enjoying His creation. Unplug. Leave the phone at home and just listen to Him.

How will you seek Jesus today? Please comment below.

Be a doer of the word!

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