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Archive for November, 2019

From the Bookshelf

Come and Behold Him.jpeg

Come and Behold Him, a lovely Christmas devotional by Julie Lavender and Michelle Cox, was the perfect read to direct my thoughts heavenward as we enter the season.

It’s sweet, worshipful approach toward Christmas helps eliminate stress and reminds the reader of the One in whom the meaning of the celebration resides. While each devotion was meaningful as part of a personal study, young mother’s or grandmother’s with littles might enjoy reading each devotion and adapting each follow-up activity with their cherubs.

Come and Behold Him is certainly one book I’ll plan to read with my teens next year as part of family devotions as we prepare our hearts for Christmas.

I highly recommend it as for family, friends, and personal use. Thank you, Julie and Michelle, for penning this beautiful little book!

 

UnexplainableJesus.jpg

While I’ve read the gospel of Luke many times, Bible teacher Erica Wiggenhorn led me deep into the culture during her 8-Week study, Unexplainable Jesus-Rediscovering the God You Thought You Knew. Several times, I was surprised, taken aback, or amazed by a new realization or fresh understanding of an illustration or experience Luke wrote about.

This was my favorite Bible study of the year and I can’t wait to start the next one. The difficulty lies in making a choice.

 

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_Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you, he will never let the righteous be shaken._

We gathered beneath the morning sun, its shimmering light deceptive in the early autumn chill. Huddling beneath a makeshift shelter, November nipped at fingers as each woman considered the small rock nestled in her hands.

Determined, I scrawled the words across the face of my rock. A particular burden I knew He was calling me to surrender. Give to Him. How many times must I release this to you, Lord, before I leave it at your feet?

Moving to the place where sand and sea meet, I dipped my head in prayer. I believe, Father. Help my unbelief.

Moving to the place where sand and sea meet, I dipped my head in prayer. I believe, Father. Help my unbelief. Then, drawing my arm back, I released the burden–etched in stone–into the depths of the ocean.

I allowed thee solemnity of the moment to penetrate deep. It was impossible to gather that deeply held burden to myself. I couldn’t recapture it. It was lost to me in the depths of an ocean vast and mysterious. Beyond comprehension. Powerful and peaceful.

the one who bore the cross longs for us heave our peace-stealing, joy-depleting cares at His feet.

Joy fluttered in my chest like a bird rising in the air. Hope released fresh in my spirit as I considered what He has done and what is yet to come.

Returning to the gathering place, I noticed other women dotting the shoreline. Some knelt along the ocean’s edge, seafoam lapping at their knees. Others raised arms toward heaven as if celebrating newfound freedom or delighting in a promise shared between Father and daughter.

Eventually, we all met beneath the flapping wings of the beach tent–our church building this beautiful Sunday. Some faces wore expressions of relief. Others joy, anticipation, or triumph.

Stepping forward, one woman spoke.

“I threw my rock into the water, but I didn’t think it went deep enough. I ran out and picked my burden up again. Isn’t that exactly what we do? We give Jesus our burdens and then take them back.”

I imagined my rock. The words I’d written.  How many times must I surrender this to you, Lord, before I leave it at your feet?

Oh, yes. How often have I released this care to Christ only to gather it close to my heart again? Do you, too, scoop up your burdens once you’ve entrusted them to Jesus? Are we releasing our fears, worries, and concerns…but only a certain distance. Then, if He lets us down, doesn’t come through, or fails to arrange circumstances to our liking we can charge ahead and pluck the precious care from His grasp.

Psalm 55:22 reads, “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you, he will never let the righteous be shaken.”

The one who bore the cross longs for us heave our peace-stealing, joy-depleting cares at His feet.

Cast means to “throw forcefully”. Scripture exhorts us to forcefully throw off those burdens that weigh us down. They are too great for us to bear and because of His great love, the one who bore the cross longs for us heave our peace-stealing, joy-depleting cares at His feet.

There is such comfort in the words…” he will sustain you.” We can only fret, worry, or pray over our cares. Sometimes, we can take steps to help manage them, but ultimately we are not in control.

But, God.

God is our support. He alone is capable of meeting our needs and answering the cries of the heart. He alone left heaven to deliver hope and suffered satan’s sting to provide redemption. This is the same God who promises to sustain us regardless of life’s concerns.

Pick up your rock, friend. Write your burden down. Now, throw.

Peace and grace,

Tammy

Mondays   InstaEncouragementsAnita Ojeda, Mandy and Michele, Kingdom Bloggers,

Tuesdays RaRa Linkup /GraceFull Tuesday / Tell His Story/Anchored Abode,

Wednesdays   Worth Beyond RubiesRecharge Wednesday Welcome Wednesday /LetsHave Coffee/Porch Stories

Thursdays Heart Encouragement  /  Tune In Thursday  /Salt and Light /  Five Minute Friday

Friday Counting My Blessings, Faith on Fire, Blogger Voices Network, Grace and Truth Linkup,best-of-the-weekend

FriendshipFriday, 

 

 

 

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