Despised Ones Are Invited and Welcomed by Jesus

They were unwanted, unappreciated, and unnoticed by society. Despised, disapproved, dirty. Yet God knew them by name. He wanted them. He appreciated them. He noticed each and every one. He even chose them to be the first ones to hear the awesome news of our Savior’s birth.

Shepherds lovingly kept their flocks safe from thieves and wild animals and guarded them from straying and getting lost. Yet society regarded them with contempt. Their occupation was despised. They were denied civil rights of holding a judicial office or being a witness in court. Jewish leaders even commanded no one should buy by-products of their sheep or goats directly from them. (“Shepherd Status” by Randy Alcorn)

They were continually reminded of their insignificance. They must have felt so worthless at times. Yet the King of all kings regarded them from on high. He gave the message of HOPE first to them, not to the high-ranking officials, the rich, or the famous.

The darkness of night robbed them of light, and yet God knew exactly where the shepherds were. He sent an angel and the sunshine of His glory. So glorious that it terrified them. The angel said:

“Don’t be afraid, for look,
I proclaim to you good news of great joy
that will be for all the people:
Today a Savior, who is Messiah the Lord,
was born for you in the city of David.
This will be the sign for you:
You will find a baby wrapped snugly in cloth
and lying in a feeding trough.”
Luke 2:10-12 HCSB

Then suddenly, a vast heavenly choir joined the angel in praising God:

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and peace on earth to people He favors!”
Luke 2:14 HCSB 

What an exciting message! The shepherds hurried to see their Savior with their own eyes. Where? Not in a castle or a palace, but in a stinky stable. Not wrapped in royal robes, but swaddled in tattered cloths.  Not lying on sheets of silk, but in an animal’s feed trough. But by faith, the shepherds saw their Savior, their Rescuer, their Peace-Giver.

Do you feel unwanted?

Jesus says, “Arise, My darling, My beautiful one, and come with Me.” (Song of Solomon 2:8-10) We are beautiful in His sight. He was born for us and invites us to hope in Him.

Do you feel unappreciated?

Jesus recognizes our worth. He was born because He values us so highly. We are precious and honored in His sight, and He loves us so deeply. (Isaiah 43:4)

Do you feel unnoticed?

Jesus notices us! We are wonderfully created by Him. His thoughts towards us are precious and can’t even be counted. He sees us, no matter where we are, even in the darkest of nights. He knows the innermost pain in our hearts. (Psalm 139)

Praying the Greatest Gift May Fill
Your Hearts This Christmas and Always!

“Unto Us”
by J.J. Heller

“Love wrapped in swaddling clothes
Born to bind up our wounds
All
Weary souls will rejoice
When they hear the good news…”

Thank you all for visiting this year. I appreciate each of you, whether or not you comment. You remain in my heart and prayers. God knows who you are, each and every one. He cares about every little detail of your lives. He invites you into the hope, healing, and freedom that is only possible in Christ Jesus.
I hope to post again on January 2, 2018! Meanwhile, never forget how special you are in Jesus’ eyes!

No Giant Is Too Big For God

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Do you sometimes feel like you are battling giants? Like you’re constantly retreating? Like you’re just too weary to fight anymore?

There can be so many giants in our lives, can’t there? I can’t begin to name them all, but two biggies for me this past week were discouragement and fear.

It’s hard not to be discouraged when the continuing battle of chronic illness gets me down. My body attracts bugs so easily, so I often catch the viruses flying around. They usually succeed to wreak havoc in my bronchial tubes. My husband came down with a nasty one the week before, and I begged God to please keep me from getting sick again. He had different plans. But even as I knew it was starting in my body, I felt God whispering, “My child, haven’t you asked me to deepen your trust in Me? Let go and surrender your way into My way of making it happen.” Sometimes God doesn’t give us our way, but He helps us to have peace with the plan He chooses.

Then there’s this year’s presidential election. Discouragement and fear looms in many hearts. Many have been belittled and trampled upon. Deep hurts remain in women, minorities, and the vulnerable like the handicapped, etc. People who need to be loved, respected, and accepted just as they are. People who need grace, support, and healing. People who are just as precious in God’s sight as the next person.

Our hearts may droop in discouragement and freeze with fear. But God is still in control of the giants in our way. We are never alone. We have God on our side, and He will never, ever fail or abandon us! So let’s keep moving forward, one step at a time. Remembering that God cares about each and every one of His unique creations.

What giants are looming over you and intimidating you? Taunting you with lies that victory is impossible? Blocking the way forward in the path God has chosen for you?

“You keep track of all my sorrows.
You have collected all my tears in Your bottle.
You have recorded each one in Your book.
My enemies will retreat when I call to You for help.
This I know: God is on my side!”
Psalm 56:8-9

David said to the Philistine,
“You come against me with sword and spear and javelin,
but I come against you in the name of the Almighty,
the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.”
1 Samuel 17:45

“So be strong and courageous!
Do not be afraid and do not panic before them.
For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you.
He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
Deuteronomy 31:6

Lord, You are Almighty and You are still in control, no matter what happens in our hearts, our lives, our world. But oh, Lord, sometimes we get so discouraged, so worried, so afraid. We cry to You for help, because anything is possible with You. Help us to truly believe You have already gained the victory over the giants of sin and death and Satan, and no giant in our lives is too big for You. You know the giants in each of our hearts, some hidden from human eye, but never from You. Thank You for loving us so much and counting it a delight to care for us. Please remove all uncharitable thoughts from our hearts. Help us to treat others with love and kindness as You have treated us. Help us to trust in Your love and power and grant healing in each of hearts.

“Giants Fall”
by Francisca Battistelli

“Don’t you be afraid
Of giants in your way
With God you know that anything’s possible
So step into the fight
He’s right there by your side
The stones inside your hand might be small
But watch the giants fall

We could really live like this
Can’t you imagine it
So bold, so brave
With childlike faith
Miracles could happen
Mountains would start moving
So whatever you may face…”


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New This Month: Links, Quotes, Books & More

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“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,
who comforts us in all our affliction
so that we will be able to comfort those
who are in any affliction with the comfort
with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
~ 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

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Recently one of you kindred spirits shared with me this song and the story behind it. I feel I need to share it with all of you with the prayer that it will give you hope as it did me.

“Wash” by Ilonka

“Something Beautiful” by Ilonka

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Books

  Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence by Sarah Young

JesusCalling“Jesus Calling is a devotional filled with uniquely inspired treasures from heaven for every day of the year. After many years of writing in her prayer journal, missionary Sarah Young decided to listen to God with pen in hand, writing down whatever she believed He was saying to her. It was awkward at first, but gradually her journaling changed from monologue to dialogue. She knew her writings were not inspired as Scripture is, but journaling helped her grow closer to God. Others were blessed as she shared her writings, until people all over the world were using her messages. They are written from Jesus’ point of view, thus the title Jesus Calling. It is Sarah’s fervent prayer that our Savior may bless readers with His presence and His peace in ever deeper measure.” (Amazon Review)

✎ Jesus Today: Experience Hope Through His Presence by Sarah Young

JesusToday“Jesus Today was written during a very difficult time in Sarah Young’s life. Yet the words of Scripture and Jesus’ own Presence were ever near, bringing her hope and comfort for each new day.

Whether you need a lifeline in your discouragement and hurts or are longing for a close intimate relationship with the Lord, you will delight in this new devotional book – a sequel to #1 bestselling Jesus Calling®. It is written as if Jesus Himself is assuring you that He is in control, that He is good, and that a glorious future awaits all who anchor their hope in Him.

Reaching out with peace-filled reminders of Jesus’ Presence from the Word of God, these devotions will intimately, quietly connect you with Jesus, the One who meets you right where you are.” (Amazon Review)

Lord, Heal My Hurts: A Devotional Study on God’s Care and Deliverance

by Kay Arthur

KayArthur“No Matter How Deep the Wounds, God Can Heal Your Hurts.

Everyone hurts. The pain runs deep, the scars never seem to fade, the memories torment us. As a result, our growth is stunted, our walk crippled, our relationships infected. Will relief never come?

Yes — when you put yourself in the hands of Jehovah-rapha, the God who heals! No matter what you’ve done or what’s been done to you, He wants to be your refuge. He loves you. And He offers healing for your deepest wounds.

Discover how God can turn your sorrow into joy in Lord, Heal My Hurts. Let Kay Arthur guide you through the Scriptures so you can be set free from past hurts by the power of God. This powerful, insightful study will minister to you in deeply restorative ways. And these are truths you will want to share with others.” (Amazon Review)

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Hope Harbor

❀ 15 Amazing Promises from God to You 

A gathering of promises by Jennifer Dukes Lee – “Scripture proclaims God’s promises for you, His good plans for you, and His perfect love for you.”

Precious in His Sight: Seeing Me Through Jesus’ Eyes 

“This video series, taught by Theresa Ingram, wife of Chip, helps women understand that they are fully forgiven, deeply loved, and have great worth because of their relationship with Christ. We all spend many hours and days trying to be someone significant, only to realize we often don’t like the person we see in the mirror. Little do we know how precious we are in God’s sight.”

❀ Survivorship: For Survivors of Ritual Abuse, Mind Control, and Torture 

“Survivorship is one of the oldest and most respected organizations supporting survivors of extreme child abuse, including sadistic sexual abuse, ritualistic abuse, mind control, and torture.

Survivorship provides resources, healing, and community for survivors; training and education for professionals who may serve survivors; and support for survivors’ partners and other allies. The organization functions as a lifeline for survivors who may be isolated emotionally or geographically. Through community outreach and training, Survivorship also raises awareness about these difficult issues.”

Nature Retreat

“I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station,
through which God speaks to us every hour,
if we will only tune in.”

~ George Washington Carver

 ➺ 100 Most Beautiful and Breathtaking Places in the World – From Your Amazing Places – “From majestic waterfalls, and lost cities, to mysterious landmarks and natural wonders, here is a collection of pictures which is worth to be looked on.”

 ➺ More Amazing Photography Shots Of Our Beautiful World – 45 Photos – “Our planet is far more impressive than we could imagine. It has the power to build landscapes that amaze us even after seeing them a few times. In this article I have gathered pictures of places in our beautiful world that are simply amazing and must be seen. There are a few man-made places that were too good to be left out.”

 ➺ Crystal Frost Patterns – It always amazes me what unique designs God creates with frost. Here are some shared photos on Pinterest.
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Quotes

❤︎ “If Jesus heals you instantly, praise Him. If you are still waiting for healing, trust Him. Your suffering is your sermon.” ~ Max Lucado

❤︎ “He will heal you my friend. I pray he heals you instantly. He may choose to heal you gradually. But this much is sure: Jesus will heal us all ultimately. Wheelchairs, ointments, treatments, and bandages are confiscated at the gateway to heaven. God’s children will once again be whole.” ~ Max Lucado in Before Amen

❤︎ “Define yourself radically as one beloved by God. This is the true self. Every other identity is illusion.” ~ Brennan Manning

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