The Wreath (#jammed daily devo, day 359)

December #jammed: Grace, gifted.

Day 359, Merry Christmas!

 And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born.” Luke 2:6

Merry Christmas, readers! On this morning, how can we not reflect upon the beautiful DECJAM25baby Jesus? For, as today’s verse celebrates, “the time came for her baby to be born.”

The time came! In the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon lists that there is time for every human emotion and activity under the sun. But what we cannot ever get a grip on is God’s timing. The Author of time will reveal everything in His time.

The Christmas wreath that hangs on my door each Christmas season welcomes everyone at my doorstep into Christmas wonderland. There are baby Jesus’ and Santa’s everywhere! The Halls are Decked! But the intriguing thing about that wreath is it’s circular shape.

It’s a circle.

Christmas kicks off the biggest celebration of the circle of life in all of history. Finally, after an entire Biblical testament of prophesy, Jesus splashes onto the page in the flesh. Right on schedule. Right where God said He’d be. Just how it was supposed to be. We could study the Bible our entire lives and God would never run out of new things to reveal to us through it.

That circular wreath symbolizes everlasting life. In a circle. Whether we are running around on earth or skipping happily through heaven, life since Jesus’ birth means death isn’t the end for Christians. It’s, in fact, only the beginning.

Maybe this is the first time you’ve looked at Christmas this way. Commercialism has had you in it’s grip and you’ve succumbed to the “why are we skipping Thanksgiving for a retail holiday” hum drum. Don’t. Don’t let anything steal away from Christmas. It only can if you allow it to. Because Christmas is Christmas. It’s Jesus. It’s Him coming to earth to live and die for our sins so that we can go to heaven. It’s all about gifts. His gifts. The gifts He gave us. Grace, Heaven, to be in the presence of God, and to live with the power of the Holy Spirit inside of us.

Yes …freak out a little. It’s cool!

The Gospels of Luke and Matthew record Jesus’ birth. You can read them here (LUKE  MATTHEW) if you’re not familiar with the story. Welcome Him in to your Christmas story. Welcome Him into your life. The magic of Christmas never fades when Jesus takes up residence in our hearts.

I’d like to pray for you, specifically, today.

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Father, Praise You for Christmas, and the miraculous circle of new life that began when Jesus came down to earth. His birth means everything to us, and we thank You for sending Your one and only Son to us. Father, there are people reading this today who have never heard or read the Christmas story before. Ignite their hearts as they discover who You are through the birth of Your Son. Help them to ease into conversation with You, asking Jesus to come in and take over their lives …vowing to follow Him all the days of their lives and onto heaven. We praise You, God. Thank you for loving us for who we are, right now, and always. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

 Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Merry Christmas!!!

Megs

Get the #jammed Daily Devo sent straight to your inbox each morning, by subscribing to Sunny&80. 

 

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The Cast Call (#jammed daily devo, day 357)

December #jammed: Grace, gifted.

Day 357: Callbacks.

“And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21 

The story of Christ’s birth tells of ordinary people who loved God, and ended up together DECJAM23on what would be the night that changed the face of the earth forever. Humanity …we long for benchmarks, standards, and qualifications. If we were in charge, the people that were picked to be Jesus’ earthly parents would not have been Mary and Joseph. They were ordinary. And Jesus would not have been born in a manger. That’s too simple …and not sanitary.

Humanity would have had Jesus born unto royalty and into a castle …not in a stable under the stars.

Tryouts. Auditions. We’re constantly having to live up to each others’ standards.

Jesus wasn’t worried about any of them. His appearance was common. His birth was common. His parents were common. Yet, the angels still lit the sky on the night He was born.

Someone once told me that no one else can tell my story. Human life is like that. It’s so intricate and unique, one to the next, that no one story is ever duplicated fully. If that’s not a miracle in and of itself …

We like to compare, thinking it will give us a certain amount of stability to know where we stand. But God knows us all. Loves us all. Jesus knew us all before we were born. Perhaps the greatest thing we can learn from Jesus’ arrival on earth is that greatness isn’t packaged the way we think it has to be. That a humble and quiet life is heard at the same volume as the loud and flashy ones.

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Father, Praise You for Christ’s humble birth, and thank You for loving every person the same on this earth. Forgive us for seeking favoritism and elevation among others, and bless our hearts to receive and give Your authentic love. In Jesus ‘ Name, Amen.

Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Happy Lane-Walking,

Megs

Get the #jammed Daily Devo sent straight to your inbox each morning, by subscribing to Sunny&80. 

 

The Yellow Gold (#jammed daily devo, day 356)

December #jammed: Grace, gifted.

Day 356: True Colors.

“I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills His purpose for me.” Psalm 57:2

The light caught my wedding bands and exposed the yellow gold purging through as theDECJAM22 white gold finish began to wear off again. The wear reflects the reality of life that has settled in long after the magical carriage ride and pretty white dress.

There are days that the light exposes more of ourselves than we want to see. Ten years can pass without a long glance in the mirror, and suddenly we don’t recognize the reflection anymore when we linger a little longer. Time has a way of wearing on the human soul in two directions at once. As the fleeting memory reel runs in the back, the hope of the future runs ahead. Life rarely goes as we plan, but God is never surprised.

Christmas is proof of that.

Christmas was always the plan.

Jesus was born at the time, place, and in the care of the people God planned. God is a planner. God is prepared. Today’s verse allows us the freedom to cry out to Him when we are lost. When we don’t recognize who we are anymore, in the mirror’s reflection or inside of our own minds.

“God who fulfills His purpose for me.”

He will fulfill His purpose for us.

When we can feel it happening, we cry out in praise and celebration. When we’re at a frustrating crossroad or in a pit of suffering, we cry out in need of our Healer to pull us through.

Just as sure as that baby boy breathed His first earthly breath right on time in that manger, our lives will fulfill the purpose He places us here for.

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Father, Praise You for lifting us up over and over again. Thank You for brushing off our shiny surfaces and loving us for who we are, all dulled and worn out underneath. Forgive us for wallowing or becoming discouraged as we get older. Bless our hearts to feel Your comfort and Your encouragement. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Happy Re-coating,

Megs

Get the #jammed Daily Devo sent straight to your inbox each morning, by subscribing to Sunny&80. 

The Presents (#jammed daily devo, day 355)

December #jammed: Grace, gifted.

Day 355: Christmas presents …and limits.

“Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.” Matthew 2:11b

“He came! HE CAME!!!”DECJAM21

The piles of presents under the tree and the magical looks on my kids’ faces as they ran down the stairs will be etched into my heart forever. It was a gift to us to be able to give to them more than they needed, expected, or could imagine.

Jesus received gifts from the three kings. Today’s verse tells us that they opened their “treasure chests.” They gave the best they could to the King who would give them more than all of the treasure on the earth could ever compare to.

When I looked up the definition of “treasure,” I found three separate ways to define it. Appropriate, because gifts …treasure …can be defined in so many different ways and at different angles.

treasure- a (1) :wealth (such as money, jewels, or precious metals) stored up or hoarded; (2)wealth of any kind or in any form: riches. b: a store of money in reserve.

In one part of this definition, wealth is defined as “in any form” and/or “money.” How do we measure our treasure? Is it something we can store up, earn, or use as currency? Can we trade it, simply flaunt it for what we (and others) know it’s worth statistically?

treasure- 2:something of great worth or value; also :a person esteemed as rare or precious
A chipped glass that used to have a match from a best friend who’s no longer on this side of heaven … It has a friendship quote etched in the glass. Ironic that one broke, and she’s gone now. Treasure.
“Be a leader,” he instructed me over and over. He’s no longer here, but his words …his life in pursuit of his Savior …are as real as they ever were. Treasure.
treasure- 3:a collection of precious things
Anything with a handprint on it gets tossed in the “save” box. Pieces of wrinkled up paper with stories they wrote about their family, or their Jesus.
Treasure. The refrigerator is littered with artwork, and the office is piled high with memories.
Treasure.
The wise men, as they were called, realized that no treasure they gave the King of Kings would be enough. They were wise, after all. But they still gave their best, brought their best, and before they gave anything at all …they worshipped Him.
Christmas is Christmas. The baby boy who came to earth. Who was the Word and is the Word. The greatest Gift of all time. Humanity is always striving for more …treasure. No matter how much we give, we will never out-give the Giver.
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Father, Praise You for loving us. Thank You for giving to us extravagantly, and forgive us for letting commercialism steal any meaning from that baby in the manger. Bless us to pay the love of Christmas forward, extravagantly. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Happy Stepping,

Megs

Get the #jammed Daily Devo sent straight to your inbox each morning, by subscribing to Sunny&80. 

The Mom (#jammed daily devo, day 354)

December #jammed: Grace, gifted.

Day 354: Aim for average.

Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. Luke 2:29 NLT

Motherhood is ridiculous. It completely changes us from the inside out. The outside DECJAM20starts falling a part, and the inside grows more rapidly than our emotions can keep up with. Every concern about what society wants to squeeze the outside of us into disappears when the inside catches a glance of the reason(s) we’re able to claim motherhood to begin with.

Imagine the lessons Mary learned as the mother of the Son of God. She was still just a mom! A very special person, but just a mom. A faithful servant, chosen by God. She just said, “OK” to her God. Few of us know exactly how much children will change us until they get here. I can’t imagine Mary knew the grand scope of the way her heart would be moved by heaven from the manger to the cross.

The most important part of motherhood is being there, and she was. From His birth to His death on the cross …from one pendulum of pain to another, she was there. How was she there for Jesus? Just like we are there for our children. God purposely places our children in our care.

Do we, as mothers, know how much like Mary we are?

By simply saying, “OK” to God, each day of motherhood, we are honoring Him and guiding them to His feet.

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Father, Praise You for Mary, and the wonderful example of Motherhood she gives us. Thank You for motherhood. Forgive us for allowing ourselves to drown in the sheer hardship of if, and embrace the purpose that You laid in us. Bless us to guide our children to Your feet, and to teach them to listen to Your voice over all others. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Happy Stepping,

Megs

Get the #jammed Daily Devo sent straight to your inbox each morning, by subscribing to Sunny&80.