Immeasurably More Love by Sonya

“Through Christ may you know the love that surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.”Ephesians 3:19-21​

This Christmas season I want you to take these verses to heart and believe them. These verses really help to understand Christ’s love for us, and how deep God’s love is for us, to have His son born on Christmas to show us that. There is nothing we can do or say that will keep us from Christ’s love or make Him loves us more no matter what. Knowing Christ’s love for each of us will help you understand how Great God’s love is and it is so much greater than what we could ever imagine. This can be hard to comprehend, and I am in that season where it is difficult to think how God can love us so much just as we are. I mess up all the time and have a hard time loving myself and so my vision is blurred from how God sees me.  But when I look through God’s lens, and He tells me I am His daughter, His masterpiece, and His love is unconditional, I see that nothing I do or say will make Him view me any differently. Wow, that is mind blowing and as humans we have a hard time understanding that. Our flesh gets in the way of truly believing how much God loves us. ​

Understand God’s love through His Son this Christmas by realizing God loves us first and He loves you more than anyone else. Also God’s love is eternal and will last forever and His love is unconditional no matter what you do. Lastly His love is immeasurable.  We can’t ever put into words or describe the love He has for us because it is so remarkable. So remarkable in a way that God sent Christ to come to earth on Christmas, so He could die for us and that we could have everlasting life with Him. How amazing is this and I want to understand that kind of love this Christmas. Who is with me? Our identity needs to be rooted in Christ and fully understanding His love will set us free. Are we ready to receive the greatest Christmas gift? God’s love is immeasurably more than what we could ask for with no strings attached. ​

I have loved you with an everlasting love, therefore continued my faithfulness to you.”Jeremiah 31:3​

Now that you receive the love, go out and spread His love to those around you and let the Christmas spirit spread everywhere you go! Wishing you a Merry Christmas!

Photo Credit: Free Pik

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things by Bombi

The holiday festivities began about a month ago here at work. A week before Thanksgiving we found ourselves lined up for a huge pre-Thanksgiving lunch, when someone muttered, “I can’t wait for the holidays to be over. Every year it’s the same thing, it gives someone a reason to be a huge jerk.” At that moment I thought about how much I disagreed with that statement. With that, my idea for this article was formed.

So here’s a short and sweet one to put some positive words out there. When Thanksgiving and Christmas come each year, sure I have those memories of the hard stuff of past Christmases, and I’m missing loved ones that have gone before me, but more than anything I have some favorites that come up and outshine the darkness. Here they are:

A few of my favorite things:

  1. The holidays have a way of bringing people together. You might not be near the one you love this season, but look around, you’ll see that there’s probably a reason why you are sitting by that co-worker at the holiday party, or why there’s an extra seat at the table because a family member is missing, maybe it’s time to ask your neighbor to come on over and hang. They could be lonely and in need of some good company and cheer.
  2. Yes our vulnerabilities can come out during this time of the year depending on where we are in life, but this can be good too. Take a seat and try watching a great movie like, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” The story of a man who gave all away and in the end reaped a reward far greater than he ever imagined is great food for thought.
  3. This is a great time to be thankful and reflect on all that God has done for you. So it’s been a rough year worldwide but didn’t He keep you? So you might have been in the line of fire from some relationship situations, but didn’t God grant you the perseverance? No matter what life season you are in, this is a great time to stop and thank God for all He has done and a great time to reflect on ways you can bless Him and His people within the upcoming year.

Well, that’s a few of my favorites. Whatever yours are, from my family to yours I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a blessed and prosperous new year!

Photo Credit: ID 66303004 © Pavel Ivanov | Dreamstime

 

This Is Us by Trish

One of my favorite shows right now is the popular TV hit, “This Is Us.” I love it because it shows the good, the bad, ugly and authentic snapshots of family.

It is inevitable that at some point during each episode I will have a personal moment where the tears flow (not stream but flow) down my face. The transparent and raw emotions experienced within the various family dynamics hit me to the core. Yet the more I watch this show, the more real it becomes to me that no matter the dynamics or situations, “it is what it is” and the family we see is what they have chosen to make of all life has dealt them.

I consider my own personal family dynamics in my home. My dream was to be married at a young age and have children immediately. My “plan” was to then adopt after having a couple of biological children and then spend my years on the mission field. I was 37 years old when I got married and my bonus daughter made me an instant mom and within one year of trying to learn the ropes of this parenting thing, she was out the door and off to college. In one year I was a newlywed, step-mom, a daughter in law and experiencing love from a set of parents who were still married to one another, saw my mom transition to heaven and then looked up at my husband realizing we were empty nesters, all in one year.  Nothing happened according to what I had planned but everything according to His plan.

You see, we as a society can spend so much energy on perfectly planning the details of our lives and if we’re not careful, we will find ourselves in a state of disappointment and frustration when “life” happens instead of our plans. But then you have the incredible opportunity to look up and see who is by your side and choose to honor the gift in what is your family. For me that includes biological family, my incredible family by marriage and then the family that the heart chose and not DNA. I realize there are good, bad and yes some ugly parts that we have gone through but THIS IS US and for every person that makes “us” complete is a treasured piece of my life that makes it so beautiful.

This Christmas, celebrate those in your life who make up your “Us” and don’t focus on what doesn’t matter but rather who matters.

Photo Credit:ID 62272784 © Wavebreakmedia Ltd | Dreamstime

Christ News To Share by Sonya

 

Think about this, what do you do when you have great news to share and you can’t keep it to yourself? It could be like a job promotion, engagement, and an honor or award you received. This news is hard to just keep secret and you must share it to your family and friends so they can celebrate with you and experience the fullness of that joy in what you’ve achieved. Do you feel that same with the news of Christ born this Christmas? Do you get overjoyed and excited and want to share with everyone around you that He is born and He is the gift of salvation?  Is it the same or is it two different things sharing God’s word and love?

This news is not just a story, but also the truth of God’s word that brings hope and light to the world and we should be more than excited to share that with all we come in contact with. Not saying you have to shout it out but to truly be an example of God’s light and bring love to all that you come in contact with. Taking the time to do that will bring each of us the fullness of His joy and peace this Christmas and will take our minds off our to-do lists and our own needs. Sharing Christ’s news through our actions or words focuses us to see what truly is important this Christmas season and how that story of a little baby born in a manager isn’t just a fun story to share, but a life-changing message to share with others. Be bold in sharing this news as Romans 1:16 says, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.” This message of Christmas has power and, by sharing it, can change lives to know they have a perfect Savior that came for us to give us life. Now that is exciting news to share and to not keep it in!

Photo Credit:ID 77578872 © Sherah Martin | Dreamstime