Friday, December 27, 2013

Back to the Favor

In a few days we’ll welcome in a new year. Reflecting back, what kind of year was 2013?

How closely did I keep track of all the events, changes, disappointments or celebrations that have come and gone over the months?

It wasn’t until reading my Facebook page year end review that I really took stock of what has been happening in my life in 2013.  Looking back I can see where the Lord’s favor has brought me through situations where nothing else would have.

The television evangelism world was saddened by the home going of Paul Crouch several weeks ago.  Reading the comments online about his life I clicked on to an interview he had made last December.  Mr. Crouch said that looking back on his entire ministry he could see the favor of God opening doors while closing others.  Every path he took he clearly could see God’s hand in each move, when in past times it was questionable.

These Things

There have been more times than I care to admit that I have questioned God and wondered why “these things” were happening to me.  The passage of scripture that I have posted on my refrigerator is one that I lean on often. 

Without this point of reference I could easily waver and lose faith, but it helps keep me grounded so that I stay in God’s favor during those times when I question what He is doing in my life.

“I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.”

The New King James version says it like this:

“I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.  Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD!” (Psalm 27:13-14)

When we left our home state there was no way I could see that it was God’s plan for us.  Why would we have to leave everything and everyone we loved when things were just getting started? 

It wasn’t until 2010, six years after leaving home that I would begin to realize that God was indeed behind what looked to be heartbreaking events. 

As we learned to lean on the Lord and trust Him as our source for everything, “these things” that were tests and trials were actually points where God was trying to elevate us into new areas of faith.

The more people we met and talked to the more we recognized it was God moving on the hearts of man to bestow favor, kindness and generosity toward us.  It was God acting on His word because we were willing to follow the call on our lives.

Ain’t God Good?

There was an older lady of faith that had difficulty in breathing and was on oxygen.  No matter what she was going through at the time she would say, “Ain’t God good? 

I would look at her and wonder how can she say that, especially when I knew the rundown condition of her home, her lack of finances, poor health and being a widow.  Yet, she always found a way of praising God, and seemed to come through every trial victoriously. 

What did this lady know that I didn’t know about God?  Why is it that people seem to give her stuff all the time?  Mrs. Pierce learned about trusting God as her source and praised Him during the storms of life as well as in calm times.

She believed God’s promises and called them to His attention. I remember her doing it in prayer services, while we listened and learned about the favor of God on a person’s life.

God was good and that was it.  Anything that passed her path didn’t matter, because God would work it out for His good and hers.

We started professing the same thing in our church and as one would call out “God is good,” someone else would answer saying, “All the time.”  It didn't matter what was going on at the time.  Someone else or even the Pastor would shout out, "God is good," even in the middle of a sermon or song.  The congregation would respond "All the time."

Once you really get that down in your spirit, it’s easier to believe that something good is going to come out of this horrible situation that you might be experiencing. 

This is one reason why the apostle Paul told us to hold fast to our profession or confession to the words of the Bible that we speak.  Our profession leads to our belief or unbelief.  Changing the way you think in your heart will change the way you act to the tests in life.  Learning to respond to situations with confessions printed in the Word of God really does change the outcome of circumstances when you believe.  (Reference "Hold fast")

We need to simply confess the word and profess it on a daily basis.

The Goodness of God is Real

Our confession of the Word will take root in our soul when we do it every day.  When we believe God's Word is real, it will work in our lives.

Believing God at His Word will bring the manifestation of blessings and favor we need to carry out the plan He has for our lives.

In order to fulfill our task, we must have God's favor and blessings on our life.  We cannot complete our journey without it.

Last week our car needed more “healing” as I call it.  On Monday we needed to get some final details finished for handing out gifts on Tuesday. 

While we were at the grocery store the car began having major issues.  It had been making a noise and turned out to be the water pump.  It was so bad we prayed our way home.

These problems caused my husband to lose work and pay on Monday and Tuesday.  Instead of getting upset, with a smile on my face I simply said, “OK, Lord, how are you going to make this up? What are you about to do?”

The next morning when my husband was leaving for work there was an envelope with $40 in it on our front porch.  We were totally surprised by who turned out to be the giver, but not by what God had done to move on the person’s heart to do it. That made up for the time he missed on Monday, but what about the entire day on Tuesday, plus all the expense of the parts?

Thursday afternoon a gentleman told my husband that God had blessed his business that year and he was giving everyone that worked there a bonus.  My husband doesn’t work for the man, but contracted jobs for him.  He handed him a $200 check.  The amount covered all the car parts and his missed time.  The verse in Psalm 27 was real in our lives, as we saw the goodness of God in the land of the living.

Favor for Open Doors

Not everything went according to the way we would have liked this year, but I can tell you that God always provided a way.

You may be facing some of the most challenging situations you have ever experienced in your life.  Let me encourage you that God is still in the habit of opening doors of favor to His children.

As you begin the New Year, start it with favor on your mind.  Ask God to show you ways to bestow blessings on others so He can do the same in your life.

5 Things you can do:

1: Look for new opportunities to give where you didn’t in the past.  Places beyond your church where you give your tithes and offerings.  Ask God to show you where He wants you to sow a seed.

2.  Volunteer in an area outside of your expertise so you can truly learn to be a servant (otherwise you may think it is your skills and not God).  Keep in mind though that God does use us in our skilled areas to be of service to others as well.

If God is going to shower you with His blessings, He has to know that you will be willing to be a blessing to others.  We have to be willing to serve, give and bless at all times even if blessings don’t come our way or no one is helping you.  A servant’s heart must be toward God’s will and not their own.  He will exalt you in due time if you remain faithful regardless of the situation or circumstances.

3: Stop looking to people as your source and seek God for everything.  Although He does use people to be blessings, don’t come to expect them from the sources that you relied on in the past.  If we continually go to the same people to bail us out of a situation, then we are depending on them as our source and not God.  We really aren’t acting on faith then.

4: Be willing to walk through the valley with God so He can lead you to the mountain top.  Spend more quiet time with the Lord and get to know and understand His ways.  Sit back and watch Him work out a situation as you fully rely on Him.

5: Believe that the Lord is leading you into deeper paths along your faith journey as He shows you great and mighty things you did not know. (Reference Jeremiah 33:3)

It's time to return to God ... time to go back to His favor so the Kingdom of the Lord can be built.

The year 2014 is the year of Journey.  It will be one that brings great excitement and blessings for those who truly put their trust in Him as their source.  God will open doors of favor, opportunities you never would have imagined and He will take you to places that were not part of your plan. 

Remember ...
 God is good all the time, and all the time God is good!

God Is Good All The Time by Don Moen

Until next time, believe God for open doors of favor in 2014.


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Maybe you don’t know the Living God that I know, but would like to have this kind of favor in your life also.  Click on the above tab “Tell Me” for more information on becoming a child of the Savior.

Content and Image Copyright from Favored1. Do not copy.
Scripture reference was taken from the New King James Bible Version provide by Gateway Bible
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Friday, December 20, 2013

Missed Christmas

Chatting with a few friends they expressed all the activities they had to cram into a short amount of time in order to be ready for Christmas. 

The to-do list seems to get longer each year, leaving hardly any room for rest they confessed.

Later in the week while listening to a radio broadcast, I was reminded of how easily Christians get caught up in the festivities, so much so that we have missed Christmas.

What's on your Christmas bucket list?

Those who celebrate Christmas usually have a run-down of things they want to do for the holidays.  Maybe your list looks similar to this:

Bake cookies, make gift packs for the neighbors (don’t forget the refuse collectors, mailman, barber, etc.). Order gifts online from Favored1 (OK, that’s a plug), make out the cards, get stamps, decorate outside and inside, put up the tree, wrap presents, practice for the Christmas play, choir, office party, get gift exchange gift, Ron’s birthday, groceries …

By the time the list is finished, who has energy to enjoy the holidays?  There’s no “God rest ye merry gentlemen” around my house with so much to accomplish.

Have all these things caused us to miss the true meaning of Christmas?  We spend more time making sure we get the right gift and leave no time for witnessing about the One who is Christ-mas (Christ the Messiah).

Where Did the Day Go?

It’s easy to get caught up in pleasing others or doing things to ease our conscience at this time of year.  Perhaps you go out of your way to do those special things for people and they don’t even notice it. 

Or maybe you’re a person who invites a lot of people over for the holiday by throwing an enormous party, only to have an emotional let-down after it ends.  All your hard work wasn’t appreciated, people came, ate and went home leaving you with the mess as well.

Christmas for you certainly wasn’t “tidings of great joy,” but work, work and more work leaving little time for fellowship or relaxation.  There you were, a by-stander watching Christmas slip away causing you to miss what was right under your nose.

Let me share something with you.  Forget brow beating yourself, people have been missing the real Christmas as far back as the very first one.

How to Miss Christmas, Big Time

I have to admit that I have been guilty of activity overload.  Many years ago my schedule was so full there wasn’t any room left for Christmas. 

As soon as my teaching resumed each September we put up the outside lights. In October we took a 4 day mini vacation to the Adirondacks in New York over Columbus weekend. Baking began and inside the house decorating was next, because I decorated everything! All shopping had to be completed by Veteran’s Day (November 11th), especially things that needed to be shipped anywhere. Birthdays were abundant from that time up until and including Christmas day.

Weekly choir rehearsal, along with the cantata play practice were taking place also.  Teach during the day, college classes 2 times a week for another degree, parties, social events and finally the end of the activities came on December 26th with a big family gathering at our house.  We maintained this ridiculous schedule for years until we realized we had been missing Christmas doing Christian things.

I have watched a lot of people doing religious activities like I was in preparation for the year end celebrations.  Were they doing what I did? Are they missing out on the meaning of the holiday?  Do any of the things really make a difference in the scheme of life?  Have we become like the religious leaders in Jesus’ time and neglected what God is doing around us? These are the things I have begun to question in my own life.

Millions of people will assemble in churches expecting to hear a Christmas message.  What will they receive?  Will the focus be on us or on pointing the lost toward God in hopes that they may come to the saving knowledge of Christ Jesus?

Failing to understand that Christmas is about relationship to God means we have missed Christmas, and if we do that, we have missed Christ.

Those Who Missed Out

The Bible gives us a record of events that took place leading up to and including the Birth of Jesus.  Matthew’s account (chapter 2:4-6) verifies that Joseph and Mary had made the long trip back to his homeland of Bethlehem to fulfill the census ordered by the King.

It’s hard to comprehend that there was a time that the scriptures were not available to all people, but that was the case.  Throughout time there have been religious leaders, history scholars, interpreters of scriptures and transcribers (linguists) of the Holy scrolls who copied the Word of God for others to read.  These men were summoned by Herod for a meeting, because word had gotten back to him about a new king, a Messiah that was born.  Oh no, was he going to be replaced?

Quickly they searched the scriptures and found the prophecy of the prophet Micah (5:2).  It read that a new king would be born in Bethlehem indeed.  The kicker here is that once they had this information, none of them walked the measly three miles from Jerusalem to Bethlehem to check out if the prophecy had come true.

If anyone shouldn’t have missed Christmas it was these “religious” men.  After all, they already believed the prophet and the scriptures.   Besides the shepherds and perhaps some of the people traveling with them, there is no evidence that anyone else came to worship the King Jesus.  Here they believed God, but didn’t follow after Him.  What God was fulfilling in their life time didn’t really concern them.

Is there another?

King Herod the Great
How is it possible for Herod to inquire about the Messiah, get his answer, believe there was a new born King and never find a way to go and actually go see Him?

Matthew 2:7-9 explains what Herod did after he received his traveling visitors known as Wise Men or lesser Kings of other lands. When these gentlemen arrived at the palace they openly asked Herod where the King of the Jews was so they could go worship Him. (Reference)

Herod being a jealous and wicked ruler gave orders that would prevent anyone else including his family from overthrowing his throne by having them all murdered.  He went on to declare that all male children under the age of two be killed just to make sure that no one was left to fill his shoes.  Fear and jealousy caused Herod to miss Christmas.

At the time of his demise another command was put into action. The unruly ruler was so hated that he ordered that leaders be gathered together in the city and had them murdered making sure there would be mourning in the place.  Even though it wasn't for him, it would appear as if it were.  Some of us might think a person like this doesn’t deserve Christmas anyway and got what he had coming to him.

I know it’s hard for us to accept, but Jesus was born to die, and he came to earth for King Herod as well as the shepherds, you and me.

People Like Us

Streets of Bethlehem
Most of the people who celebrate Christmas probably fall into this category.  I know I did. We don’t mean for the major event to go unnoticed, but it happens.  Somehow we become Christmas Martha’s and need for it to be called to our attention before we notice what we’re doing.

Ordinary people going about the business of the day, caring for families, working, attending services and socializing are distractions that cause us to miss worshipping the KING of Kings.

Let me use the owner or inn caretaker that the Bible mentions in Luke chapter 2, during the time of the birth of Jesus.  Bethlehem was hopping with thousands of travelers returning to their homeland to report for a census.  The King of Palestine had order it, so no one was exempt. (Reference)

With the city being jam packed inn keepers (hotels) were up to their ears with guests.  They had the responsibility of tending to patrons, their animals, getting rooms ready, money exchanges, meals, lodging and caring for their own families. 

By the time Joseph and Mary arrived the rooms were simply gone.  It is assumed that Joseph had the money to pay for a room, but it didn’t matter.  Money or not, nothing was available.

Taking writer’s liberty I can imagine the master observed Mary’s condition.  Being a warm night the animals were still out to pasture and having compassion he offered the empty stable as a last resort.  Who knows, maybe Joseph had to pay for the use of the stall, we don’t know.

What we do know is that the person in charge didn’t have a clue what was happening out his own door.  He was right there in the middle of the greatest event to have event taken place on earth up to that time. Didn’t he hear the angels or shepherds?  How did he miss the glowing light from Heaven or angels declaring the arrival of the baby?  If he saw any of this, don’t you think someone would have mentioned it? 

There is nothing in scripture to lead us to believe this person wasn’t a kind, giving sort.  The reality of it all is that he was too busy and involved with “Martha type things” to notice, and therefore missed the first Christmas.  Do you think he ever regretted it?  Years later did he sell tickets to see where the Christ child was born? 

Back to the Manger

Throughout the entire announcement of the Messiah’s arrival, the Bible records worship as the main focus. Believers in God weren’t surprised by this event, they were expecting it.

John the Baptist’s parents Elizabeth and Zacharias were found worshipping, the angels worshipped when Jesus was born, the shepherds, Simeon, Anna, Joseph and even Mary worshipped the Lord, rejoicing and proclaiming baby Immanuel as the One that was prophesied to be the Messiah. (see Matthew 1-2 and Luke 1-2)

The desire to worship the KING of the Jews went on for two years or more until the Wise Men finally found the babe to offer sacrificial gifts.

It's Time for A New Activities List

In understanding that we have fallen into the trappings the holiday season brings, what can we do to avoid missing the main event? How can we have a "Mary" Christmas in a "Martha" world?

First, start worshipping the King of Kings.

Make sure that you have not left out the Christ in Christmas by creating a new list of things you won’t do this year.  Cross out anything (I mean anything) that will prevent you from worshipping the Lord.  Stop worshipping the activities instead of the Almighty.

Second: Begin by Recognizing Favor

Like Mary the mother of Jesus, begin your holiday with focusing on the new born KING.  Celebrate the gift from God with singing as Mary did, in your home and in church. (Mary’s song Luke 1:46-55)

It’s time to get excited and aware of God’s favor on your life. Mary praised God for favoring her over all others in allowing her to give birth to His Son. 

“Rejoice, highly favored one, he Lord is with you; blessed are you among women.” (Luke 1:28 NKJV)

That’s major!  Think about it, she was chosen over all humans to carry out the task of bringing Jesus into the world. (Luke 1:28)

Third: Fully Surrender to the Call  by Sacrificing Self

When receiving the good news, immediately Mary fully surrendered her life to her Heavenly Father.

She didn’t even question Him or consider the events that would take place causing her to be an outcast in her culture and community.  She sacrificed her life, dreams and desires willingly and felt blessed to be used by God.

What are you willing to sacrifice to God as a thanksgiving offering for favoring you? 

Will you respond to the Lord as Mary did without questioning the assignment that may alter your life forever?  Be it unto me… Let it be according to Your word.” (from Luke 1:38)

You may not realize it, but all children of God are a “type” of Mary.  God has chosen, favored you above anyone else for a certain mission that no one else can do.

He has selected and called you out from among the billions of people ever to have walked this planet to do a special thing for Him.  How do I know this?  God said that He has good plans for “you.”  This must mean something is on His agenda concerning each of His children.

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a (good) future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV)

Stuffing Christmas in with Things

With Christmas right at our backdoor, our lives may look like those decorative stockings we stuff little gifts into if we’re not careful.  

When we concentrate on all the outward things of Christmas, the true meaning of it gets stuffed in with all the non-essentials and is only brought out at the end of the activity.

We can miss Christmas by letting the blessing of the Savior’s birth get packed in with the gifts, decorations, banquets or hoop-la of the season.  Don't let this happen to you.

Make sure all the preparations don’t keep you from going to church.  Join together with fellow believer’s and welcome friends or neighbors to church as you worship and celebrate the birth of the Savior.  A KING is born, rejoice CHRIST-mas is here!

A King is Born - Ron Kenoly.wmv With Lyrics

Until next time, favor King Jesus with worship.

What's New this week: Why Christmas
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Maybe you don’t know the Living God that I know, but would like to have this kind of favor in your life also.  Click on the above tab “Tell Me” for more information on becoming a child of the Savior.

Content and Image Copyright from Favored1. Do not copy.
Scripture reference was taken from the New King James Bible Version provide by Gateway Bible
Image credit: Google Images or Dreamstime Creative Common License.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Those Crooked Stamps

Peeking out my porch blinds I can see my husband trying to shovel the car out of the driveway. … looks like no one is going anywhere in a hurry … not on this Saturday afternoon anyway. 

The town is shut up tight.

It’s beautiful with all the snow.  Things look so peaceful and calm.  Quiet, I love how quiet it is.
With a sweeping glance from left then right of my view, I can see my neighbor Mike a few houses down. He is shoveling his truck out from the snow and ice.  Maybe he’s getting ready to go to work.  Sad to see Bob’s house empty; can’t believe it’s already been 2 years he’s been gone.  Guess the Morgan’s won’t be back for a few days, at least until after the snow slows down. 
Hmm … that’s unusual. Mike just waved without stopping to chat.  He didn’t even ask if we needed a ride somewhere. Hope everything is OK.
I Wonder
Do any of us really know what the other is going through right now, at this very moment in their life?  I wonder about that, especially when I stop to look at the crowd around me. 
Have you ever sat in a department store or any place for that matter, and just observed?  What exactly is going on all around you?  What are people doing … where are they going … is everything all right in their world? 
If we thought about it I suppose it would be depressing.  Maybe that’s why people don’t get involved much anymore.  I wonder.
What Tweaks Your Bud?  You know, what things really bother you?
Later in the day I had a chance to talk to my sister.  So much has happened in her world that it’s not always easy to find God’s favor.  We were talking about the holidays and Christmas cards.  I love getting cards and hanging them up in my home.  People aren’t sending them like they used to in the past.  “Everything” is going up they say.  Cards aren’t on the priority list these days.
Sis shared with me the last Christmas they were together.  Her husband was in the hospital undergoing treatment for cancer and other related things as a result from the medications. 
While he was there he asked my sister to get the cards finished so they could mail them out that week.  Not having a moment to spare with work and taking care of him, she decided to bring them to the hospital so they could do them together.
One of the things that tweaked her bud was the fact that he never put a stamp on straight.  That really annoyed her, especially when he did it with their wedding invitations one year earlier.  Now he was doing it again, only this time it was worse.  Stamps weren’t just crooked, but all over the envelope … in the middle, top, upside down … they looked awful. 
This time she didn’t hold her peace like she did with the wedding announcements.  When she finally expressed her feelings about the crooked stamps his reply was, “I don’t care about the stamps. I’m trying to stay alive!”  Quickened by the Holy Spirit she quietly replied, “You’re right.” and never again mentioned the way he applied a stamp to anything.  It didn’t matter anymore.
Time went by and …
Our conversation was lengthy as we discussed work, gift shopping, family, her friends and especially holidays.  As I conveyed my own feelings and gave words of encouragement, she didn’t realize that her words were giving me strength the whole time.
Moving back to the cards, she paused and her voice grew softer as she mentioned the receiving of one in the mail that day.  “I miss those crooked stamps.” 
A simple card with postage made her remember that it’s the little things that make the biggest memories.
Crossing Over
GG (left) and Mocha
Our hearts were heavy that night.  Neither my husband nor I got much sleep as we were tearfully watching a little four pound rescue cat slowly slipping away.  His tiny kidneys had failed, but love was keeping him here.  He wasn’t diagnosed correctly until a few weeks ago, due to the fact that it’s hard to detect this in a young cat. 
We had prayed for God’s mercy and were waiting to see what would happen.  Another cat but much older, was undergoing the same medical treatment and was responding.  The two of them were “juiced-up” and fed together several times a day. 
They were enjoying all the attention and getting special food to boot!  Neither ate very much, because the smell of food to a cat with kidney failure makes them nauseous so they actually starve.  They both tried so hard to eat something, but sores on the tongue make it difficult to swallow. It’s often a symptom of kidney disease in animals.
After treatments I would try to hold each cat, but for G it was too painful.  We ended up taking away the bed and used boxes with lots of warm fleece blankets to keep them warm. Heating pads were not an option because of the medication. In their weakened state they often couldn’t use the potty and wet right though the linens several times a day.
G was sitting right by me with his head facing the back of the box.  He tried to turn around, but had no strength.  I knew why.  He had begun crossing over.

As I talked with my sister she had no idea that I was in tears, but still hopeful that little G would be alright.
Morning came and my husband gave him his medication and IV under the skin treatment.  GG (that’s what we called him) didn’t move.  
This application was extremely difficult with no skin to really grasp to insert the needle.  His skin was so thin that sometimes the needle shot through to the other side with the liquid squirting out all over the table.  It was as if there was this tiny creature in plastic wrap covering a handful of bones that were somehow connected. 
Nestled in a fluffy, green fleece blanket, within a few hours G’s journey was completed.
Impartation of Favor through Grace
My sister didn’t know what happened until the next day.  She asked me why I didn’t say anything.  I explained to her how God’s grace sustained me so that I could be able to minister to her at that moment.
In turn, she ministered to me, helped me to laugh and I felt blessed that God allowed me to be a part of His plan (even in the difficult things).  Those crazy crooked stamps stuck with me the rest of the week.
In my devotional time I came across this passage from 1 Peter 5:10 in the Amplified Bible.
“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace (Who imparts all blessing and favor), Who has called you to His (own) eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will Himself complete and make you what you ought to be, establish and ground you securely, and strengthen, and settle you.”
Those words from the Lord gave me life, renewed hope and strengthened me so I could be a blessing to someone else in order to establish His plan in my life.  It didn’t stop what I was experiencing, but God’s grace was sufficient (enough) to do what it needed to at that time. 
but My Grace ...
“But He (Jesus) said to me (Paul), My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you (sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully); for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in (your) weakness. 
Therefore, I will all the more gladly in my weakness and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me! (2 Corinthians 12:9 Amplified Bible)
Caring for “hospice” animals is difficult, but my sister was also in pain emotionally dealing with patients on a daily basis that are coping with what her husband endured for a season. 
Seriously, how does one stay strong day after day working in the same hospital, with the same doctors, going in the same rooms that her husband was in for their last Christmas together? It’s by God’s gift of grace applied when and where we need it that sustains us through it all.
The clients didn’t know what my sister was experiencing in her heart, they had no idea she was a new widow.  To them, she was “staff.”  It would take the impartation of God’s favor on both our situations to keep our faith from wavering.
Who Really Knows?
Yesterday my husband shared with me about a female intern that was, how do I put this?  Well, she was bald. The first thing that came to my mind was, “Is she sick or in treatment?”  Why else would a young woman not have her head covered in this cold weather?  He didn’t know, but said he wasn’t about to ask. 
I wondered about her world and if she was just being fashionable, making a statement or maybe she really was ill.  Were the “stamps in her life” in her reality crooked, and did it matter?  We never know, do we?  No, but thankfully Jesus does. He is fully aware of every situation, every moment of every day and ready to dispense grace on His children.
Words of Beauty that Bring Life
Over the weekend I had a lot to think about in my own “crooked stamp” world.  Through all the testing, trials and sorrow the rainbow of blessing still hung over my dwelling.
With each gift of a new day I asked the Lord, “Who do You want me to encourage during this holiday season?”
Is there someone who needs to hear wonderful words of life to help them get through difficult circumstances they may be facing at this particular time of the year?   
Not everyone is having a holly jolly Christmas season, for various reasons whether they are believers or not.  My neighbors had no idea of what was going on behind our doors last week, and I only knew what they had shared with us. 
The same goes for everyone you meet throughout your day, whether it is at work, in the store, the doctor’s or at the post office.  “Crooked stamps” are going out all around us, but do we notice.  Even more, do we care?
The heart-to-heart I had with my sister last week didn’t stop there.  It continued all week through conversations I had with others. 
Word seeds of hope and joy were scattered far beyond my own place, and planted all over the world by word of mouth, messaging or the Internet.
Someone is in need of a grace hug today; it may even be a family member. Will you be the one to give it with beautiful and wonderful words of hope that bring life? 
Be more understanding, show compassion, be slow to judge and ready to help. 
With the snow, work, home and care giving of animals I haven’t gotten my Christmas cards mailed, but I plan on it.  Grace hugs or seed words of encouragement may be in those cards, and you know what? I may even have some go out with crooked stamps! 
Wonderful Words of Life [Live]
Until next time, thank God for His imparting favor through grace!
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Scripture reference was taken from the New King James Bible Version provide by
Gateway Bible