HOPE*ann*FAITH

Learning to Live , Again, On Purpose.


6 Comments

He Gave … He Came …


He Gave ... He Came ... John 3:16-17

He Gave …
He Came …
John 3:16-17

Give … ’tis The Season.

The Greatest Gift of All.

Christmas … a season of giving. I want to tell you a story. So get that cup of tea {or coffee.}, settle in comfortably.

Are you comfortably? Ready? Let’s begin … =)

God gave us, His children, the best gift we will ever receive. He gave us this gift because He loved us so much He sought to reconcile each and everyone of us to Himself.

This is not my story. I copied the biblical version from Biblegateway.com; because I felt it needed to be told correctly. This story is so very important to humanity and it’s been told and retold countless times that I didn’t want to diminish it with my “version”.

I give to you the story of Father’ giving to us, all.

For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” Luke 2:11-14

Christ’s Birth Announced to Mary

Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”

But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JesusHe will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”

Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.  Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren.  For with God nothing will be impossible.”

Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

Mary, then went to visit her cousin Elizabeth who was also pregnant. They rejoiced in their visit and the magnitude of Mary’s pregnancy. Even, Elizabeth’s child (John, the Baptist) rejoice within the womb.

The Song of Mary

 And Mary sang:

“My soul magnifies the Lord,
And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant;
For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.
For He who is mighty has done great things for me,
And holy is His name.
And His mercy is on those who fear Him
From generation to generation.
He has shown strength with His arm;
He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
And exalted the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
And the rich He has sent away empty.
He has helped His servant Israel,
In remembrance of His mercy,
As He spoke to our fathers,
To Abraham and to his seed forever.”

And Mary remained with Elizabeth about three months, and returned to her house.

Christ Born of Mary

And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.

Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife,who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Glory in the Highest

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.”  And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.  Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child.  And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds.  But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.  Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.

Today, I give you the true story of Christmas. The truth of the season and why we give one another gifts each year at this time. Some would say we are not celebrating Christ’s true birth date, but let me submit to you that it hardly matters to God, the Father or to Jesus, His Only Son, when we celebrate Jesus. It only matters that we celebrate Him and what He did for us …

So this year, I choose to give JOY … Give Joy

The very thing we need here in the earth. The very thing we need here in Hutchland.

JOY TO THE WORLD! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to ALL!

Thanks for reading my dear friends and God Bless You.

ASignature


7 Comments

What I’ve Learned Practicing Silence | Tuesday @ Ten


Welcome. Tuesday is the day I join the writers over on Karen Beth’s blog, Finding the Grace Within for her Tuesday at Ten blog Link up.

It’s simple, be creative with the prompt: writing, art or whatever your craft may be, you have 1 week to create and link up at that bottom of Karen’s page so that others can link up with you. Be sure to visit your “link up” neighbor and spread the joy of connection! Just follow the link above. Looking forward to your post.

Today’s Prompt ….

SilenceSilence …

I used to loath silence, mostly because either there was noisy chaos or absolute silence when I was a child. So I became an adult who required background noise; even if it is white noise; like the sound of the blades for a fan beating at the soft, sweet autumn breeze coming through the window or hitting the floor on a cold winters night.

I dreamed, though, of a silence that feels like my fall blossom photo above. Sweet autumn breezes with the smell of fresh grass and wild flowers. The sun adding a touch of warmth on the breeze and those pretty rainbow dots before your eyes, for the staring at it’s bright, late afternoon rays.

And that, my dear friends, is as romantic as this girl gets. =)

I don’t loath the peaceful silence quite so much anymore; maybe at night when Hutchland is asleep. But there isn’t much loathing of the peaceful kind of silence anymore.

Silence brings scripture to mind, mostly because silence has become a practice of waiting on God.

“The LORD will fight for you while you keep silent.” Exodus 14:14

Some versions say “The Lord will fight for you and you will keep your peace”. Either way this is one of the very first scriptures I latched onto as I began my walk in Christ. Coming from chaos, a true son of wrath, I had to learn to be silent and  peaceful. I had to learn to put down my emotional and mental weapons and allow God to fight for me while I was quiet. Not easy for the tenacious girl that I was, or the tenacious woman that I’ve become.

But I was diligent to learn peace and silence. Or should I say accept peace and silence?

It’s been years and years of diligence and it remains a discipline that I must practice. A friend taught me to disregard my first three thoughts before I reacted with words. NOW that was hard! I possess a quick wit and the skill of sarcasm, as if it were my native tongue; like I said a true son of wrath. I learned though, the art of the action of silence. No words.

I am a wordsmith, I’ve been told, but I no longer use it as a weapon. =) I allow God to fight for me, most times.

My silence, however, is just as effective as my cutting words were. In some of my relationships it has caused some to pause and tread with caution, which allowed me a rare insight into how I affect other,s or not.

I found that silence is a tool in and of itself.

A soft answer turns away wrath,” Proverbs 15:1a

And silence stops it. Eventually.

Being silent has allowed me to find a peaceful place within myself, the act of being, where I can confer with God before I say anything to anyone or any situation. I’ve even found that in that silent, peaceful place I don’t have to respond at all; that my voice is not always needed. That was a hard lesson for this wordy girl. I naturally want to explain or lecture or just be heard.

But SILENCE is sometimes much louder than a voice. It stops people. It raises the hair on the back of my neck sometimes. And other times it seems to expand within me; a peacefulness that I cannot put into words, though it has a name. The Holy Spirit.

So now I sit here with just the sound of that fan, it’s been warm these last few days here at the Jersey Shore, and the soft breathing of Buster at my feet and find I’m finally content with silence. I can finally curl up in it and listen to all those sounds that actually make up silence. The singing of birds gathering to train for the journey south (we call them town hall meetings, Hubs and I.), the distant whooshing sound of the cars passing on the main road a block away, even the crickets and Hazel, the beagle, barking for the joy of being outside, next door.

The symphony of today’s silence.

It all allows me, finally, to be able to sit and wait on God, in every circumstance of my life.

Silence is no longer lonely. It is quality time with Father, hashing out this journey I walk with Him. It is time to ponder the blessings and enjoy my life no matter what is going on.

Silence is Peace; and Peace is a person. Jesus. So I’ll end this here and …

Be still, and know that He is God.” Psalm 46:10

Thanks for reading!

Andrea

Andrea

Just for a smile here is Buster … my sweet pup.

Buster.

Buster.

Tomorrow begins the 31 Days of writing challenge!

Click my button below and it will bring you to my 31 Day page. Where I will put the links to each of my 31 posts, making it easy for you, my dear readers to find them throughout the month.

On this introductory page are the links to the two different challenges that I will be participating in. Follow those links there for the rules and the themes if you want to use them.

 

31 Days Journey to Healing

31 Days Journey to Healing

Tuesday @ Ten

Tuesday @ Ten

 


2 Comments

The Grace provided in Serenity ♥


few words thursday …Good Morning my friends.

Today I will attempt to describe where I am in regards to Serenity … if you’ve been here on Thursdays before you know the route … if not, WELCOME and feel free to join me … simply click through my surf photo for the (non) rules!

In an earlier post(s) on one or the other of my blogs I have wondered, stressed over or delved into SERENITY. In a recent post I defined it.

Quietude … a condition of the mind, a peacefulness with the status of one’s being right where they are …

There are slogans a many that some will recognize and identify, while others will recognize without knowing the origin of the phrase. Like a comfortable form of de ja vu they will know that they know where to slogan came from, but it will escape them for the moment…

Time takes time…

Pain before Serenity…

Be where you is…

First things first…

We have a choice…

God could and would if He were sought…Sobriety then Serenity…It’s a selfish program…

These are the ones that struck me between the eyes this morning.

I woke up to God re-wording Reinhold’s prayer for me:

God…Has granted me the serenity to accept the things that I cannot change…He has granted me the courage to change the things that I can … and He has granted me the WISDOM to know the difference.

[God could and would if He were sought…] Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33

[Sobriety then Serenity…] For me it is the Sobriety of Mind … I must work each day [time takes time…] toward sober thinking. Then and only then am I granted, GRACED with COURAGE and WISDOM.

For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

… a sound mind, self-discipline, good judgement…sobriety of mind!

I just found this!!! It has me a bit excited and now I must find this particular bible …Douay-Rheims Bible

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear: but of power, and of love, and of sobriety. 2tim1:7

[It’s a selfish program…] For me this one is important because of the world’s view. While the world, society, is into entitlement and hedionism to the enth degree … if a thing is about IMPROVEMENT it is considered “selfish”.

I am entitled to live and indulge as I please as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else. Right? I am justified in my vengence and revenge if I have been wronged. Right? … society sees these as inaliable rights! When these are rooted in selfishness and self centeredness. The world view tells this society that these are entitlements, rights, yet somehow they are NOT selfish.

Yet, let me improve myself. Let me seperate myself out to recover from the confusion and choas of [my] life. Let positive change and boundaries take hold; changing who I am, and I instantly become …

SELFISH and SELF INVOLVED and SELF CENTERED

When I call out to God in my trial He will only focus on what it is in me that needs fixing!

The disturbance in me … is me!

When I call out to God, begging Serenity … begging Peace … He requires that I fix something in me.

SO… YES … IT IS a self program.

LIFE is a selfish program … Spirituality is a selfish program …

For my life to be about Christ [because it isn’t about me … it IS about Jesus] I must focus on recovering, repairing, fixing the disturbances in ME.

Reinholds prayer is beautiful and cathartic. Yet, when one [I] comes to a place of truly knowing God one must see that the wording is wrong.

When I woke this morning I realized as this prayer whispered it’s request in my soul, my Spirit [My Holy Spirit] rose in me and whispered sweetly …

” Child, I HAVE granted you these things, by the GRACE of MY ONLY SON. Now… take hold of them. Grasp them and embrace them, they are my gift each day.” ~ GOD

How do you seek serenity? What would give you peace today love?

May you know Peace today … the Person Peace … may He walk with you on this path!

God could and would if He were sought…May you find Him now. 🙂

Blessings Loves

 

 


1 Comment

Few Words Thursday is Visiting …A Woman’s Heart …


Happy Thursday Loves!

My FWT post is written over at A Woman’s Heart today…and it isn’t short…however, many of the Words are God‘s so maybe the ones that are actually mine are few?…But don’t count on that…

I would love it if you would join me, today, in writing your heart…after all this a Writer‘s Prompt…and the rules…well they are FEW… 😉

So join me for my post: Called to Peace –  A How to Heal a Heart Post…on Thursday.

We are called to peace, by God. His is a covenant of peace, with us and in us.

Thursday Partners: Please go visit and show some love!

1. Holly @ Withoutado…an OUTSTANDING POST! Philemon

Blessings Loves

Blessings Loves

Few Words Thursday