Happy New Year

img_1753.jpg

Philippians 3:13-14  Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ.

Do you have any goals you hope to accomplish in 2019?

In Michael Hyatt’s book Your Best Year Ever, he talks about turning your dreams into reality by writing smarter goals.

SPECIFIC – Take the time to identify and write down your specific goal.

MEASURABLE – Make your goal measurable, so  you know when it has been accomplished.

ACTIONABLE – Use strong verbs when writing your goals – take action as you move forward toward your goal.

RISKY – Stretch yourself to move out of your comfort zone to reach your goal.

TIME KEYED – Use a calendar when setting your goal. Break it down into smaller time segments.

EXCITING – If you are passionate about your goal, it will be much easier to achieve. Work toward something you love.

RELEVANT – Choose goals that are relevant to your life. Don’t choose a goal for the sake of adding another thing to your To-Do list.

God Bless you as you work SMARTER in 2019. May you press on toward the goal God has called you heavenward in Christ.

Advertisements

Merry Christmas

family snowshoe

Merry Christmas from our family to yours.

God bless you all as you wait with anticipation for Jesus’s celebration!

John 1:1-34  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. The word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John testifies concerning him. He cries out, saying, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.” From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ . No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.

Now this was John’s testimony when the Jews of Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Christ.” They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” He answered, “No.” Finally they said, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.” Now some Pharisees who had been sent questioned him, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, for the Prophet?” “I baptize with water,” John replied, “but among you stands one you do not know. He is the one who comes after me, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.” This all happened at Bethany on the other side of the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.” Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on who you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.” I have seen and I testify that this is the son of God.” 

Hallelujah!

img_1730Revelation 19:1  After this I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting: “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God.”

She did it! She graduated with honors from Colorado State University with a business degree. I couldn’t be prouder! It was just 4 years ago that we visited this beautiful campus when she decided to make Colorado her home. It was a wise decision and she has learned so much during her time here. But, now she is coming home to live closer to her family! I will be singing the Hallelujah song the entire 14 hour trip back to Minnesota!

Hallelujah! Hallellujah, our girl is home! Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God.

A quote from the commencement service that stuck with me was “a great leader is a great giver”.  Some of the greatest gifts can not be wrapped. God gave us the greatest gift of all.

God gave us the greatest gift of all. Hallelujah! A savior is born. What will you give this Christmas season?

 

Are We There Yet?

Star

Matthew 2:9-11  After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. 

This weekend, I had the privilege of traveling with three wise men….. My husband and two sons! We embarked on a journey from Minnesota to Iowa, through Nebraska, Wyoming and finally into Colorado where we will attend our daughter’s college graduation. Even though our sons are 27 & 30 years old, about half way through Nebraska the question every mom who has ever been on a road trip with children has heard – “Are we there yet?”

The Magi or Wise Men in Matthew followed a guiding star to Bethlehem to see the infant Jesus. They traveled for days asking, “Are we there yet?” The wise men were determined to reach their destination – Jesus!

May God be with you as you travel through advent, a time of expectant waiting and preparation for both the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas and the return of Jesus at the Second Coming.

You are almost there! Continue to follow the star leading you to Bethlehem’s treasure.

O Christmas Tree

 

o christmas tree

Luke 2:7  and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

In 2004, Pope John Paul called the Christmas tree a symbol of Christ. This very ancient custom, he said, exalts the value of life, as in winter what is evergreen becomes a sign of undying life, and it reminds Christians of the “tree of life” of Genesis 2:9, an image of Christ, the supreme gift of God to humanity.

The tree was intertwined throughout Jesus’ life. At his birth, he was laid in a manger built from a tree. At his death, he was crucified on a cross built from a tree. To learn more about the incredible life of Jesus, read the entire book of Luke. There are only 24 chapters in Luke. If you read one chapter a day, by Christmas, you will have studied the life of Christ and be prepared to celebrate Jesus’ birthday!

O Christmas tree, o Christmas tree
How lovely are thy branches
O Christmas tree, o Christmas tree
How lovely are thy branches
Your boughs so green in summertime
Stay bravely green in wintertime
O tannenbaum, o Christmas tree
How lovely are thy branches
Let us all remember
In our gift giving and our merriment
With our family and friends and loved ones
The real and true meaning of Christmas
The birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ

O tannenbaum, o tannenbaum
How lovely are, are thy branches
O tannenbaum,…

As we begin the advent season, remember to keep Christ, our tree of life, at the center of your Christmas. He is the reason for the season!

Christmas Puzzles

Puzzles

Romans 8:28  We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

One of the items on my Black Friday shopping list every year is a jigsaw puzzle for both of our moms. I am not a puzzle person, but my mom and mother-in-law both enjoy the challenge of putting a puzzle together. They sort through the pieces handling each one individually to make sure it is right side up. Then begin with the outside pieces and work inward until all the pieces are in place creating a picture more beautiful than the one on the box.

As we move into the Christmas season, it feels like there are so many pieces that need to come together before Christmas morning…. the tree, the decorating, the baking, the cards, the shopping, the wrapping, the parties. How will all of the pieces come together?

As you move forward one step at a time, one piece at a time, know the hand of God will put all the pieces together with Christ at the center of your puzzle.

May your Christmas puzzle be a beautiful one this year!

Give Thanks

1 Timothy 4:4-5  For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.

How will you spend your Thanksgiving this year?

We will be traveling to my sister’s house, to celebrate with my parents, sisters and their families as well as all of our children. I feel blessed beyond measure! It feels like a little piece of heaven on earth, when family comes together to eat, laugh and catch up on life.

We have had years when our extended family wasn’t able to come together for Thanksgiving. On those years, we enjoy hosting Friends-giving with others in our community unable to be with family. One of those years, we volunteered to serve at a community Thanksgiving dinner. It was one of our favorite Thanksgivings.

This Thursday, no matter where or with whom you celebrate Thanksgiving, thank God for the community of people he has placed in your life. People are the greatest blessing of all.

As you quickly move from your turkey dinner into Black Friday it would be the perfect time to start a gratitude journal. Every night before you go to sleep, jot down two things that you are thankful for and at least one person that you are thankful for.

Receive all God has given with a grateful heart.

Happy Thanksgiving!