Happy Holidays--and Merry Christmas. In Texas, we still have temperatures in the 70's, so it doesn't FEEL like Christmas yet. But we're expecting a cold front any day. (It will be nice to actually use our fireplace!)
In the meantime, we want to thank you for subscribing to Dena's blog and/or our newsletter. We appreciate you so much!
I (Dena) am reading a lovely Advent devotional this year, called Preparing my Heart for Advent by Ann Marie Stewart. It's helped me to slow down and really dig into the familiar scriptures we so often brush past. I've been struck once again by the centuries of silence before Christ's birth, and how many important prophecies Jesus fulfilled. I've also been pondering all the ordinary people God involved in His great plan. After all, the Creator chose to announce the birth first to smelly, dirty shepherds.
In The Jesus I Never Knew, Philip Yancey writes:
"For just an instant the sky grew luminous with angels, yet who saw that spectacle? Illiterate hirelings who watched the flocks of others, 'nobodies' who failed to leave their names. Shepherds had such a randy reputation that proper Jews lumped them together with the 'godless', restricting them to the outer courtyards of the temple. Fittingly, it was they whom God selected to help celebrate the birth of one who would be known as the friend of sinners."
We hope that's encouraging to you, as it is to us. We don't have to be "somebody" for God to speak to us OR use us. Hallelujah!
The Christmas season is a great time to involve your friends and family in reaching out to the poor and needy, and to express gratitude to people who normally don't get a "thank you" for their service. Want some ideas on simple and cost-effective projects--which even kids can participate in?
You might enjoy this article about 12 creative ways you and your loved ones can serve others this December. I wrote the piece for a new women's faith-based magazine where I'm a regular contributor.
Just for grins, here's one of Carey's most-requested songs: a parody of "Blue Bayou" called "Blew By You."
We hope your Christmas is safe and blessed, and we pray your heart basks in the love of God and tunes in to joy.
Photo by Elena Ferrer on Unsplash.