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Day Two: The Gift of Vision

 

“Write the vision and make it plain on tablets; that he may run who reads it.” Habakkuk 2:2 (NKJV)

Another translation of this verse says it this way: “Write my answer on a billboard, large and clear, so that anyone can read it at a glance and rush to tell the others.”(The Message)

This verse makes it very plain that God has a vision, not just for the Body of Christ, but also for you and me.  If this verse is not proof enough to persuade you, here’s another one that is more specific in meaning: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jer. 29:11) If there has ever been any doubt in your mind as to whether or not God has a plan for your life, you can banish that doubt now.

God gave Mary a vision – she was to be the mother of the Savior of the world. Put yourself in her place. Just imagine how she felt. Awestruck? Afraid? Nervous?  Can you see this young teenager in your mind? What would you do if an angel of the Lord appeared before you to give you God’s vision and plans for you? Would you agree? Or would you look around the room to see who the angel was speaking to because, surely, it’s not you. But it is you. You are the only one in the room. He loves you enough to want only the best for you.

When Mary questioned the angel who brought the news, she was not doubting—just curious. “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” (Luke 1:34). The angel explained to Mary that it would be by the Holy Spirit and went on to say, “For with God, nothing is impossible.” (vs. 37). Mary accepted God’s vision for herself: “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be done unto me according to your word.” (vs. 38) She never doubted, never questioned whether or not the angel had visited the right person. She believed and moved forward in the vision.

God gave Jesus a vision. He was to be the Savior of the world. He was to live on earth as God-made-man for 33 years, die on a cross for the sins of the world and rise again in three days. Jesus didn’t balk, protest or do anything that would have indicated a lack of obedience. He went willingly into cities and countries preaching the gospel of Christ. He went willingly to Gethsemane. He went willingly to Golgotha and He went willingly to the grave. But God’s vision for Jesus did not end at the grave. Three days later, the vision continued as Jesus rose from the grave, triumphing over death, and the vision was completed as Jesus ascended into heaven.

God has a vision for YOU.  If He has shown you that vision, be obedient and walk in it. If He has not shown you the plans He has for you, ask Him to share it with you. In His time, He will show you His vision and it will be better than anything you could ever ask for or think.

Abba Father, thank You for the vision – the plan – that You had for Mary and for Jesus. Thank You for the vision You have for each one of us. I pray that You will give us courage and help us to walk boldly in that vision with confidence in You and Your plan for our lives. Amen!

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Day One: The Gift of Waiting

Several years ago, I wrote a series of blogs titled “The Gift Of . . .” for the Advent Season. I decided I would not post them this year and give you all a break, but when I read them over, God reminds me these are His gifts from Him – to us. So, for those of you who have read them, I pray that God will reveal something brand new for you in each post. And for those of you who are reading them for the first time, I pray that God will speak to you every day as you unwrap His gifts.

 

 The Gift of Waiting

But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. Is. 40:31

The above verse is one of my favorites. I use it frequently in my blogs, in counseling and in encouraging myself. I will mention how some Biblical translations use the word “hope” instead of “wait” and that hope can be used as an acronym for Heart Of Peace and Expectation.

More often than not, when we are waiting on the Lord to answer our prayers—to give us wisdom and guidance about a situation we face, to see His healing manifested in our own body, or that of a loved one—there are lessons that God wants us to learn. Perhaps He desires for us to grow in grace and mercy. Maybe He wants us to learn to be more patient. Or He wants our relationship with Him to grow deeper. It could be that the timing is not right for His answer to be known. Regardless of why the answer has not come, there is a reason we are waiting.

Advent is a season of busyness. We go to this party and that gathering, we sing Christmas carols, shop till we drop, bake and cook. I think we have lost the fact that Advent is a season of waiting. We are so busy running from one store to another, one party to another, we have forgotten that Advent heralds the coming of Christ. Just as an expectant mother anticipates, prepares and waits for nine months the arrival of her newborn, Advent is a period of anticipating, preparing and waiting for the birth of our Savior.
It is my prayer that in some way, these remaining devotions that you will read during Advent will help you to slow down for a few minutes each day and remember the Reason for the Season. As we look forward to the remainder of the Advent season, may the birth of our Savior renew in you a Heart Of Peace and Expectation.

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Another Thanksgiving Recipe: Pumpkin Pie Crunch

My mother found this recipe many years ago and it became an immediate favorite that was served every year. When my mom became unable to cook, my daughter, Kim, took over making and bringing this pie. It may sound unusual, but believe me, it’s delicious!

  • 3/4 C cold milk
  • 1 small pkg. vanilla instant pudding
  • 1/2 C pumpkin (solid-pack; Mother used a little more than 1/2 C)
  • 3/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 2/3 C chocolate chips
  • 3 1/2 C Cool Whip
  • 1 graham cracker crust

Mix milk and instant pudding. Let stand 5 minutes. Blend pumpkin, spices, chips and 2 C Cool Whip. Stir into pudding. Pour into pie crust. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Top with remaining Cool Whip.

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RECIPE MONDAY: My Sausage Cornbread Dressing

I’ve had this recipe for so long that I truly do not remember where I found it! I’ve made it every Thanksgiving for many years and everyone loves it, or at least they are polite enough to eat it and not say anything!

  • 1 lb. bulk sausage
  • 4 C Chopped celery
  • 3 C chopped onion
  • 1 C chopped green pepper
  • 1 1/2 t savory dried sage
  • 1 1/2 t thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 can (13 3/4 oz) chicken broth, undiluted *
  • 3 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 3 boxes of Jiffy Cornmeal mix (or 18 corn muffins, made from scratch)

Prepare cornbread and cool.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 pan with butter or Pam.

Saute sausage until lightly brown. Add celery, onion, green pepper, parsley, sage and thyme. Salute 8-10 minutes. Crumble cornbread into large mixing bowl. Add sautéed sausage and veggies. Gradually add chicken broth and eggs and toss lightly. Cook for 1 1/2 hours or until browned and firm. Makes 10 cups or enough for a 12 lb. turkey.

*If I have enough juice remaining from cooking turkey, I will use that instead of chicken broth – or I will combine the broth and turkey juice to have about 14 ounces.

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Book Review: Perchance to Dream: A Holiday Christian Romance

If you follow my blog at all, you know that I love to read. I also love the holiday season. So what better way to kick off the season than by reading a holiday Christian romance story!

JoAnn Durgin’s Perchance to Dream is a wonderful book to start the holiday season! The main characters, Ellie Franklin and Ryan Sullivan, have grown up together, first as friends and then they fell in love. Their lives are not without challenges as you will see when you read the book.

Throughout the book, Ms. Durgin has seamlessly taken us from present day to Ellie and Ryan’s childhood and teenage years by writing their past as  a story Ellie tells to one of the residents of the local nursing home. JoAnn has not only written a beautiful love story, but also a story of strong faith in God, of daily seeking  his wisdom and guidance in all situations, and leaning on Him in the good times and bad.  Through Ellie and Ryan’s story, you will also find encouragement for your daily walk with God.

This is not just a book that leaves you with that “feel good” feeling at the end, it is a book that has the potential to change your life as you take the truths of God presented in this book and apply them to your life. That is why I encourage you to purchase and read Perchance to Dream. Purchase it, because you will want to read it again and again! Click on the cover  below (isn’t it gorgeous) to buy the book on Amazon!

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Book Review: Healing the Lawman’s Heart

Ruth Logan Herne’s Healing the Lawman’s Heart is, as all of her books are, a book you are sure to enjoy.

The lawman, Tanner Reddington, comes into the story with some heavy-duty baggage. And the heroine, Julia Harrison, has her own set of problems. Yet, there is a strong attraction between the two which, of course, grows as the story progresses.

I won’t give away the problems, or the ending, so that you must read the book to find out what happens.

Click on the picture below the link for Healing the Lawman’s Heart on Amazon:

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This is one  book you definitely want to add to your “to be read” stack!