Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Mary, the mother of Jesus, is amazing. She is amazing because of God. God gave her the strength to live a life full of indescribable joy and indescribable heartache. None of us can comprehend the courage she needed. No one can comprehend being the parent of God. However, Mary is not God, she is not Jesus, you cannot get to Heaven by praying to Mary. Jesus Himself tells us that He is the only way. THE ONLY WAY. Please know that while Mary should be honored, she should not be an idol and she cannot be a replacement for Jesus. He is the WAY…follow HIM and He will make your paths straight.
I know I keep saying this, but God is bigger. Corny as it may sound if life is going to throw us lemons, God is the ultimate lemonade maker. I pray that blessings pour out of the struggles that everyone is going through. It won’t take away the pain, but may show the purpose for the pain. Or at the very least, which is still amazingly great, we know He is with us through the pain.
Yesterday was Joshua’s birthday. It is a tough time of year for me. It is also a wonderful time of year for me. I miss my little guy terribly, but I love Christmas. Conflicting emotions. My husband, the best one ever, took my kids out for a “secret mission” yesterday and they came back bearing gifts of balloons, ice cream and cards. (The ice cream set me off on my emotion eating, which I had been controlling so well…but I digress). It was the perfect gesture. I cherish my family…I truly couldn’t be more blessed by them!
In the midst of sadness sometimes it is hard to find the joy…God allowed them to make the joy very apparent yesterday and I am thankful for that.
My heart still aches for my family and friends who are in so much pain right now, but it also sings with the joy of God’s blessings that I don’t want to miss through the tears.
I love Christmas! Obviously first and foremost I love Christmas because of what it is. Christmas is nothing less than the birth of my Lord and Savior. Without His perfect and precious birth, we would be nothing. Without His life begun, He could not have laid down His life for my sins and there would be no hope in this world. We are nothing, there is nothing, there would be nothing to have faith in or hope for…without Him we would all be sentenced to eternal death. Not only did He do all of that for me and you, but He has showered me with blessings of life, love, family, food, shelter…and on and on. I also love Christmas because, as you all know by now, I adore being with family and friends. I enjoy gathering around sharing food and fun memories while making new memories. It is a special time filled with traditions.
The enemy does not love Christmas. In fact, He knows that we are saved because of the birth of Jesus Christ. I think that is why there is so much pain at Christmas sometimes. He attacks people at their weakest at a time when they are praising the One who saved them. He attacks and tries to turn their vulnerability into a reason to distrust God. This is when we need God the most! He will not let us falter, He will not let us down, He does walk through every joy and every sorrow with us.
Hanging the ornaments on our Christmas tree each year is bittersweet. There are ornaments that were meant for Joshua. There are ornaments from people that are no longer here…that died too young. There are bitter memories along with sweet ones. My parents just attended a funeral of a great man who was attacked by cancer. His family knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is celebrating Christmas with his Savior this year, but each Christmas will have a scar as they remember the husband, father, brother and friend that they lost. My friend just was served divorce papers this week, a friend who has done nothing but try to save her marriage as her spouse has thrown it away. Another friend is facing her third Christmas without her husband at home. Life is tough and it seems to get harder at the times when we think we should be untouchable. Satan may attack, he may even win a few battles, but we know that the Lord is the ultimate victor. We know the end and He has already won. Don’t lose hope, don’t lose faith, put your trust in the One who is with you each step of the way. Celebrate Christmas and have joy in the Lord!
I am a prayer warrior. I don’t say that to pat myself on the back or to condescend myself that I can’t do it on my own. I say it because I cannot do anything on my own. I am nothing without Christ. And because He loves me, He asks me to pray and bring myself to Him each day; to leave my heartaches, my sorrows, my joys, my triumphs, my everything at the cross. It is all His already, it is just for me to let go and give back to Him.
Jesus Himself spent a great deal of time in prayer. Jesus tells us throughout the Bible to pray, to come to Him, to ask in His name.
He doesn’t promise us sports cars and diamond rings. He doesn’t promise us that life will go on the way we want it to simply because we pray. He does promise He will walk through life with us, share in the joys and carry us through the sorrows. And, He does promise that if we pray in His name according to His will, our prayers will be answered positively. My husband and I have been greatly blessed to see Him answer our prayers with a resounding yes in terms of our children’s health before they were born. We have also been blessed when the answer was not the one we wanted and He carried us through the pain.
Even if His answer is “no”, “not yet” or “not in this way” it doesn’t mean His love is any less. Rather, His love is more. He knows the final outcome, knows the plan, knows the hurt and lives through all of it with us. Each time we pray, we come closer to our Lord and Savior. Even if your prayers begin with one word, just His name, each time you come to His feet, you will grow closer and He will guide you more. I encourage each of you to ask Him today to help you to pray more and more each day and thank Him for listening, for being and for loving.
The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.
The LORD is far from the wicked but he hears the prayer of the righteous.
If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God
Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.
2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.