Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Jesus Calling: December 20

When I joined the ranks of humanity, born into the humblest conditions, My Glory was hidden from all but few people. Occasionally, streaks of Glory shone out of Me, especially when I began to do miracles. Toward the end of My life, I was taunted and tempted to display more of My awesome Power than My Father's plan permitted. I could have called down legions of angels to rescue Me at any point. Imagine the self-control required of a martyr who could free Himself at will! All of this was necessary to provide the relationship with Me that you now enjoy. Let your life become a praise song to Me by proclaiming My glorious Presence in the world. 
John 2:11
English Standard Version
This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.
 
Luke 23:35-36
English Standard Version
35 And the people stood by, watching, but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!” 36 The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine 

Psalm 92:1-5
English Standard Version
1 It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
    to sing praises to your name, O Most High;
to declare your steadfast love in the morning,
    and your faithfulness by night,
to the music of the lute and the harp,
    to the melody of the lyre.
For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work;
    at the works of your hands I sing for joy.

How great are your works, O Lord!
    Your thoughts are very deep!

Thoughts on December 20, 2018
Today's reading reminds me that the Jesus we have before us is not always the Jesus that people want. Jesus, on this earth, was a man of humility. He didn't answer His accusers maybe in the same way that Hollywood would script it. He remained humble and He remained a servant. His death and resurrection were his mission. His focus was redemption and saving me and you and bridging the gap between us and God that we are incapable of bridging (though we still try and try, but remain unsuccessful). On this earth, he lived as a man and took on the pain of a man. Yes, he could have gotten out of it but He didn't. And yes our Praise of Him should be present even more than it is. By Grace, through faith, we are united and have peace.

My Prayer on December 20, 2018
Lord, as I inch toward Christmas Day, I hate that getting gifts bought, wrapped, and mailed often is my mission and then I want to sit back and enjoy the day. But I want to thank you for providing me that enjoyment. I don't deserve it. I never will. But you continually show me that you are in the redemption business and You will always shower Your love on me to free me both now, today, and for all eternity to Rest with You. You have Lord made me glad by Your work and the works of your hands I sing for Joy. O How Great are your works, O Lord! O How Great. Keep me focused on those works as I work, as I enjoy, as I receive gifts, as I give gifts, as I gather with people I love, as I walk by people I don't even know. Lord, I need You and need Your strength in me. Thank you for saving me. I'm still not understanding why you saved me but I'm not going to focus on that, but instead focus on praising Your name.

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Note: The devotion and scriptures are from author Sarah Young. If you haven't already, please purchase the book and support the author.

Also, bookmark https://bibletags.blogspot.com/2019/06/jesus-calling-366-days.html to have an easy link to the entire year of these entries.

118 comments:

  1. Thank you Lord for sacrificing your life so I can live eternally in Your presence, loving you and praising you.

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  2. Holy Child to Teacher and Miracle Healer, who dealt with frustration and pain along the path to becoming the Redeemer of all. How humbled I become when I realize my present circumstances don't leave me ridiculed and put to an unjust death. Thank you Lord for forgiving me of my sin. Amen

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    1. Great statement of faith, MadFox! Your circumstances do not dictate your end though they try. The love of God writes the outcome of your story just like it did with Jesus. Carry on, you are in good hands.

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    2. Wonderful truth MadFox! Thank you!
      Amen Bob! He is the Author of our lives and the Finisher of our Faith. And we are in the Best of Hands through it all. Hallelujah!

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  3. The Church continues it’s meditation on the birth narrative; today, the glorious story of the annunciation to Mary (Luke 1:26-38). St. Augustine said, “Mary conceived Christ in her heart by faith before she conceived Him in her womb.” That is why you and I are here, so that Jesus is conceived in our heart so He may be born to this world through everyone of us. “We are Your servants, O Lord, let it be to us as You will.”

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  4. Merry Christmas,

    We would not have such in this world if it wasn't for you bring born onto the world. It's all about you,And we are so blessed for you being our Lord and Savior

    Onto thee a child is born,and his name is Jesus

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  5. god help me πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™

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    1. Agreeing in prayer knowing God will honor your request and help you! I have the Holy Spirit to pray for you in ways I do not know how to pray. Susan

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  6. What a POWERFUL devotion this morning! Yes, Glory to You Lord Jesus! You have all power and authority and could have commanded army of angels to rescue You, but no, You chose to walk in the will of Your Father so that I am set free! My heart screams this morning saying, THANK YOU JESUS!!!!!!! THANK YOU for loving me this much to suffer so that I can have and enjoy a relationship with You. Thank You!
    I praise You with this song:

    Let the glory of the Lord
    Rise among us
    Let the glory of the Lord
    Rise among us
    Let the praises of the King
    Rise among us
    Let it rise

    Let the songs of the Lord
    Rise among us
    Let the songs of the Lord
    Rise among us
    Let the joy of the King
    Rise among us
    Let it rise

    Ohh, ohh ohh
    Let it rise

    Let the glory of the Lord
    Rise among us
    Let the glory of the Lord
    Rise among us
    Let the praises of the King
    Rise among us
    Let it rise

    And, let the songs of the Lord
    Rise among us
    Let the songs of the Lord
    Rise among us
    And, let the joy of the King
    Rise among us
    Let it rise

    Ohh, ohh ohh
    Let it rise

    Let the glory of the Lord
    Rise among us
    Let the glory of the Lord
    Rise among us
    And, let the praises of the King
    Rise among us
    Let it rise

    And, let the songs of the Lord
    Rise among us
    Let the songs of the Lord
    Rise among us
    And, let the joy of the King
    Rise among us
    Let it rise

    Ohh, ohh ohh
    Let it rise

    Yes JC family, no matter what you are facing, trust the ONE who walked in obedience to His Father's will to set us free and let the PRAISES of the LORD RISE among us!
    JESUS is His name! GLORY to the KING!

    Blessings and Peace to all. Standing witb you and believing for God's BEST!

    MAPLEWOOD NJ


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    1. That was just so beautiful dear Maplewood! Blessings and peace to you dear Sister.

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  7. Thank you, Jesus, for everything! Your sacrifices are beyond understanding in my mind, but I am truly grateful for them. I am blessed and humbled to be one of God's children.

    I am saying prayers for each member of this JC Family. May each of your intentions be heard. As we are in this Christmas season, let us continue to reflect on the wonderful blessing Jesus is for ell of us. He has gone through so much so we can each live. Let us continue to pray and carry out His Good News.

    I haven't gotten any decorations out this year and haven't purchased gifts due to life circumstances. Jesus, please help me to continue smiling humbly as I remember and reflect on all of your sacrifices. My goal is to get out a nativity scene today and display it proudly as I reflect on blessings. Amen. CO

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    1. My thoughts this year are less is more. Perhaps that might be a good policy for you this year as well. Less allows us to embrace truths rather than be lost in busyness. It allows us to see the significance of the season rather than making the season the significance.

      I ran across this quote this morning by G. K. Chesterton...
      One sees great things from the valley; only small things from the peak.

      My prayer...Through this valley, in time, you will see great things.

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    2. Excellent Keith, Thank you!

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    3. I like Keith's idea- less is more.
      CO- you have a lot on your plate this year. It's ok not to decorate if you don't want to. On the other hand, it might lift your spirits too. Peace to you and yours. Your family is always in our prayers.

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    4. CO. Understand the holidays catches up to us all so quickly it seems as we age! I'm like you and still in a long season of challenge and last year did no lights, etc. This year I got them all up and Suzanne R. may be right, it could lift your spirits...it did mine! still plenty of time. One blessing already, our RN daughter was going to have to work Christmas eve and fly out Monday. Some sweet co-worker took her shift and so she is now at home thru Christmas day. A surprise she told us last night when we picked her up at the airport! Godspeed CO and all here, praying for His provision in the weeks ahead for you CO.

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    5. Beautiful Keith. Less is more. Sweet little baby Jesus, our love, our hope, our faith, greatest gift of all.

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    6. Thank you all very much! I agree with less us more. I love the quote about seeing great things from the valley; it resonates with me. I also think getting at least a little out will help uplift my spirits. I need to turn to Jesus today and ask for help with the motivation. My tendency is to retreat when I am feeling overwhelmed and a bit hopeless. Sharing on here and reading comments and reflections gives me hope. Thank you!

      MadFox- what a wonderful Christmas blessing; makes me smile for you!
      Happy to hear your heat is working again, Sassy Mom. I'm joining the others in storming the heavens with prayers for Debbi!

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    7. In preparation for Jesus' birthday celebration, we put nativities and lights on display @ Dec 1, earlier this year than we have in decades. Sang SHINE JESUS SHINE! I laughed at myself and felt better knowing I refuse to let satan ruin Jesus. birthday celebration. Since we are still in covid avoidance mode and won't come into contact with anyone, I bought no gifts. Lots of firsts for us. But first, Jesus...

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    8. Keith, Your post is so applicable to 2020!
      I like less is more. Less of me and more of Christ, who increases as I decrease!
      Showers and showers of blessings are being prayed for my wonderful JC Family!

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    9. Keith, the quote has my attention again this year.
      I ran across this quote this morning by G. K. Chesterton...
      One sees great things from the valley; only small things from the peak.
      I have climbed to mountain tops and hiked in valleys amongst God's most beautiful creations. I am grateful for my eyes that see and the light returning with the seasonal change. I am grateful for a wonderful evening last night experiencing an amazing display of the garden of lights in Redding, CA with the littles. Awe and wonder, beauty bright! Thank you Jesus, for this new day in love and light with you. Blessings JC family!

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    10. That is so true Keith and we all know how clearly we see the Lord from the valleys. Less surely is more. Spending today making ornaments with my daughter in love. Pure contentment to be bringing joy and peace to her busy life.
      Amen Brie, Less of me and more of Christ.
      Audra, Amen to that we have been blessed in our lives to see the beauty of the Lord in His creation. As an artist I can really relate. God bless you all!

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    11. Less is More! Still true! Rid ourselves of worldly attachments. Focus on foundational Hope, not fools hope! Amen

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  8. My house is usually 70 when I get up. Not this morning, heat pump stopped working at 67. The last time I called it was 2 weeks. My friend called her repair and they came the same day. Please pray I can get repair service soon. I am thankful I have gas logs.

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    1. Praying! I can't stand to be cold. God speed.

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  9. Peace be to you and yours CO. I feel your pain through your writings. We are praying for you. Jesus is holding you so very close and guiding you. Save us Savior of the world for by your cross and resurrection you have set us free.

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  10. God, because You are with me and in me, I can have joy in every season of my life. As I go about my day, help me to remember Your love and promises, which are the source of all my joy. The Bible says that Christ came so that I may have life and enjoy it to the fullest. I pray that I would do just that. Lord, lead me into Your presence now so that I may receive an overflow of Your love, enough to be a blessing to those around me. Thank You, God, for loving me. I know that in seeking and serving You, I will find all the peace, joy and fulfillment I could ever ask for and more. Let all the glory be Yours, Lord. In Jesus' name, Amen.

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  11. Requesting prayer for My daughter Debbi who is having contrast CT Scan procedure on stomach and pelvic area at 3 PM today. It is now almost 9:30 AM my time. Prayerfully this is the last of 3 different tests done to properly diagnose her problem. She has been upset, awake and crying all night.

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    1. Prayers for Debbi. I know how unnerving it can be when you don't know what is causing your pain. Mine was caused by a medication for diabetes called Jardiance. Severe stomach and pelvic pain.

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    2. I will pray for your daughter, Debbi, with all my heart and soul. Lord have mercy on her. Sassy Mom you are a tower of strength with great faith. Jesus we trust in you.

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  12. Sassy Mom, Debbi is and will be in my prayers before and at that hour. It shall be we'll!

    Maplewood NJ

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  13. I neglected to say outside temp is 27. Repair people will be here before lunch. Heat pump is least of my concerns, Debbi's procedure is more urgent. All prayers are appreciated, thanks warriors.

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  14. His Presence is the present. Thank you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, three gifts nested in One! Good tidings to all, Audra

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  15. Thank YOU JESUS!!!! Heat pump is working.

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  16. O Key of David,
    O Opening gates to God’s eternal Kingdom:
    O Come and free us prisoners from our darkness and into Your Light!
    O let our new life become a praise song to You.
    O let Your streaks of Glory shine so freely and brightly through us, that they proclaim Your Glorious Presence to all the world. Amen.

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  17. Dear God,
    Please cover my JC Family and each of their dear ones with Your Holy Comforter tonight and every night. Take away their pain and sorrow and replace it with Your Presence.
    I'm praying on the Night Shift tonight for all of us. Please feel free to let me know if you have a special request.

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    1. Amen and thank you for the blessings and protection. Thank you Father for taking good care of my dear JC Family, lift them in their sorry, strengthen them in their weakness and pump your joy and peace into their day and night. Amen.

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  18. Father, thank You for giving us another blessed day on this earth to praise You and spread Your word and ways to the world. What an opportunity You have given us to tell others how wonderful and amazing You are. So thank You Jesus and let heaven open up to us by the praises we all sing. Hallelujah and Amen πŸ™. Praise the Lord continually and always.

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    1. I KNOW NOT WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD?
      I DO KNOW WHO DOES HOLD THE FUTURE!
      The Lord is my Light and my Salvation.
      I am confident that God will save us.
      Thanks to You, Heavenly Father God, We can choose to have a positive, optimistic attitude about the future because we have You. Whether we are in  abased or abounding situations, we can be of good cheer because we know You are near and You have overcome the world. Amen.

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    2. God Bless you Janet and Brie. You are such steadfast bringers of Light to the world. I join you sisters in praising our Lord. I've been inclined to be more of an observer and pray-er lately. I pray for our JC Family every morning and pray as I read through what everyone writes. I appreciate your positive words and I want to join you in proclaiming praise for our Heavenly Father and the comfort and joy of knowing He is always with us. God Bless you and all of our JC Family during this less is more year. I am at peace too with it and know there is another side we will get to. Praise the Lord for Hope and knowing He's got this!! He's on the Throne!! Love you all.

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    3. Amen Janet, each new day is a chance to share His light and His message of hope, peace, joy and salvation. We are Hus hands and feet down here.
      Amen Brie! I’m so thankful He holds my future and I will not be afraid. I am well taken care of.
      We know who holds our future and He has already prepared this day.
      Thanks for the blessings and light you share dear Kathy! Praising Him with you!!

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  19. To Keith and Madfox --- When praying and reading the Word, your two names kept coming to me concerning Isaiah 45:4-5. So I declare and decree this scripture over you, Keith and Madfox:
    "Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low;and the crooked place shall be made straight;and the rough places clean:and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: and the mouth of the Lord has spoken it." "For it is written, He will command His angels concerning you to guard you carefully." Luke 4:10. Great peace and love coming your way. For His Honor and for His Purposes, AMEN and AMEN

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    1. ♥πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™♥ Joining in and agreeing in prayer with you JJ.

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    2. Brie --- I just lift you to The Throne of Grace to be protected and guided this day. I pray for the Lord to defeat stress or anxiety, so you can walk with a lighter load. I pray for you to chew on the sweet things today, and to spit out anything bitter that may separate you from the Lord's Love and Peace. In Jesus's name, AMEN and AMEN Great blessings and love surrounds you!

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    3. JJ, thank you for your prayers and the Word from Isaiah. His peace has indeed surrounded me through the process and I've been blessed by having few side effects. All to His Glory, and with love that has been palpable from JC 'friends' and the support of those in my church, work, and family. THANK YOU, JJ, God be with you, today and always. AMEN.

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    4. Praying with you also JJ. Hallelujah and Amen πŸ™. Glory be to God always.

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    5. Madfox thank you for the words of peace and good report of few side effects. I think of you every day and pray for your peace and comfort. God Be with you and yours!

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    6. Thanks for the lift, JJ.
      It did raise me up and blanketed me with The Holy Comforter.
      I am Getting ready to chew on the sweet things, including chocolate for breakfast! Love to you and our entire JC Family.

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    7. Very appreciated. And thank you all. May His glory be declared by my life.

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    8. Thank you JJ for extending your prayers and casting a wide net. Abundant blessings are the tangible result!

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    9. Thank you dear JJ! Joining in all prayers with my family for MadFox and Keith and I’m trusting in God‘s faithfulness for them and in all our lives.

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  20. Gracious Father, Thank You for JESUS and the blessings and gift of being His! It’s a new day, thank You for fresh anointing.

    “Our Father which art in heaven” (our Loving Heavenly Father who lives in heaven, the One who is all knowing and all powerful).

    “Hallowed be thy name” (Your name is special and we recognize that You are Holy, may Your name be recognized by everyone throughout the world as being the ultimate Holy power).

    “Thy kingdom come” (Let Your kingdom come and let Your perfect will be done both on earth and as in heaven, where there’s only goodness, peace, joy, honesty, and love for one another surround us in our everyday life. And may the fulfillment Your promise return at the end of time and grant us eternal life).

    "Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (May Your grace move us to do Your will throughout our lives).

    “Give us this day our daily bread” (Thank You for giving us all that we really need, but most importantly the Bread of Life).

    “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” (We are sorry for our sins and ask for forgiveness. With Your help, may we also forgive people who have wronged us).

    “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” (Please set up the road blocks and lead us far from the path of all temptation and shield us against all that is evil).

    “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.” (For Yours is the kingdom of Heaven will last forever and will always be Your’s FOREVER).

    May our Lives become a praise and thanksgiving song to God our Father, by proclaiming His glorious wonders and Presence in the world!

    May your Sunday be filled with Blessings, Peace, Restoration and Healing, in Jesus' name.

    Maplewood, NJ

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    1. Amen Maplewood πŸ™. May the Lord bless and comfort you.

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    2. Wow, you've done it again Maplewood... so eloquently spoken. God be with you and bless your Sunday.

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    3. ♥πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™♥

      ❤️️ πŸŽΆπŸŽΆπŸŽΆ❤️️ A-Amen, A-Amen, A-Amen, Amen, Amen!

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    4. The perfect prayer and your beautiful interpretation added much light to my day. Thanks sweet Maplewood!

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    5. Praying you and your family are feeling well and staying very safe. Have a sweet and special Christmas. God bless you in every little thing. Much love.

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  21. Coming across this site due to tech difficulties with my JC on my kindle has been an enormous blessing in disguise. I am SO grateful for each and every one of you in this family. The comfort, support and love for each other and our Lord is palpable each and every day. Blessings, healing, and God’s awesome grace be upon one and all. What a 🎁 this has been to me (since last year when I was not going to let evil keep me from reading my JC...God directed me here πŸ™ƒ) Have a wonderful Sunday!
    NJS

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    1. So many of us stumbled/ were led in similar ways, NJS. I thank God with you and for you! ❤️

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    2. I am always awed by the Phenomenal Power of God's Holy Spirit to get us where we need to be when we are ready. As our dear sweet Maplewood prayed, Please set up the road blocks and lead us...into Your Kingdom, with Your Power, for Your Glory!

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    3. God works in mysterious, amazing, and powerful ways. Praise the Lord continually and always πŸ™. Thank You Jesus.

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    4. God led us all by the hand to be filled to the brim here in our place of solace and peace where Jesus reigns!

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  22. Bless you, Maplewood. You are a beautiful interpreter. Amen.

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  23. Blessings to each of you this relaxed Sunday. We had our Zoom fellowship and it was the continuation of Peace...so needed.

    Loveconqueorsall, I am praying specifically for you and your family. What a sweet Mom, Grandma and Mother in Law you are to your family. I'm thankful that your Daughter is feeling stronger and that the others only symptoms are no taste/smell, though I pray that comes back in time for Holiday treats! May you stay strong and healthy and protected.

    Praying that for all of us on this blessed Sunday afternoon.

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  24. Sorry can't read everything. Busy with my daughter in law. I am the Christmas elf today. Be blessed and Rest in Him who loves you.

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    1. Enjoy the precious gift of time spent with dear ones, Jeanne!

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    2. Thanks dear Brie! I sure did! I shared my chocolate chip cookies with them right out of the oven and helped Mayra make six ornaments to give as gifts and I was blessed to have fun with my 2 year old grandson! What a special day!

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  25. Father, please open up our eyes to see Your disappointment in us and help us to repent and draw near to You and follow You, abide in Your word, and do Your will and not our own selfish desires. Please forgive us and save us from our own selves Lord. In Jesus name, I pray, Amen πŸ™. Praise the Lord continually and always. All the glory be to God forever and ever. Your will be done.

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  26. God knows the sincerity of your beautiful heart and loves you unconditionally. I love you too

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  27. Most Loving Father, I am thanking You for Your hands of protection that will be on me, the doctor, nurse and anathesiologist tomorrow morning as I head in my procedure. Thank You for working on the me and brining me out safely to once again testify to Your glory! I am going to rest in Your presence tonight and tomorrow morning, trusting and knowing that I have nothing to fear because I am covered in the Blood of Jesus. Thank You for the gift of Salvation! Jesus paid it all for me. I am saved, healed and thankful that You are the ‘Light from on high that dawns upon me, to guide my feet into the way of Peace.’ Thank You Father, in Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

    JC family- I meant to ask for prayers in my 12/20 posting as I undergo a very early morning emergency procedure on 12/21. I know some will get this tonight and prayers will be lifted up for me tomorrow (will repost for tomorrow). Thank you and God Bless.

    Blessings and Peace.

    Maplewood, NJ

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    1. * Error, posted on wrong date (LOL).

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  28. Good morning family of JC. Thank you so much for the devotion today and the encouragement shared. Please pray for me today at 12 am in Kenya (which will be night time in several parts of the us )as I meet my late sister husband , he has finally accepted he needs help with my niece and of course we ( my sisters and I would love to step in. Praying for wisdom and guidance and knowledge through out the meeting. May God give us what we need to bring up this teenager and may the way forward bring glory to God! Amen !

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    1. Praying with you Min that all will go well with your meeting with your late sister's husband. May the spirit feed you all the words you need to share, and guide the whole conversation to good. Speak with love and the wisdom and understanding from above. Remember God forgives so we must also forgive. I know that it may be a painful situation because you loved your sister so much. But God will be leading you and comforting you throughout it all. Thank You Father for this in the powerful Name of Christ Jesus our Risen Lord.

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    2. God loves the child so much that He will be guiding things in the right direction to give her all she needs, and also a chance to strengthen her strength of faith and her trust in God.

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    3. Joining in prayers with you Jeanne. Our Father in heaven, looks down upon us and places people in our lives that are needed to be there.Let Your heavenly guidance and wisdom help Min Ahadi move forward as she teaches this child in life. In Jesus name, I pray, Amen. Peace be with you.

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    4. Joining warriors Min in prayer for these matters.πŸ™πŸ’•

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    5. Min, I was just watching the 700 club. It told of an incident that happened in Kenya to a young wife & new mother named Agnes. Her hubby was killed just hours after she gave birth, leaving her & family with no means to survive. 700 club set her up with a store in Kenya to be able to sell goods to provide for her. Just wondering if you've heard of her plight. God is so good.

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  29. Min Ahadi - Echoing your prayers for wisdom, guidance and knowledge to assist your brother in law with his daughter. Praying God's blessing on this meeting and he is receptive to your suggestions.

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  30. Fourth Monday in Advent

    Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD? And who shall stand in his holy place? Those who have clean hands and pure hearts, (Psalm 24:3-4a (NRSV))

    Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. (Matthew 5:8  (NRSV))

    In a few days it will be Christmas Eve. Churches will open the doors wide to let in the largest crowds of the year.  There is such a peacefulness about Christmas Eve in church, singing carols, hearing the Story again, lighting candles that leads the most nominal believer to make the effort to be in worship. 

    You will be there because it is not a nominal activity for you.  You will be there because you have gone beyond going through the motions. This is not a once in a year event for you; it is a regular practice of yours.  You ascend the hill of the LORD, i.e. you make the effort to worship, as an exercise of faith. But some may misinterpret the verses above to think one must be ‘squeaky clean spiritually’ to go to church or worse, to think others must be.  Phillip Yancy once told a story of being a part of a ministry in the ‘red light’ district of Chicago. Upon bringing a woman to a conversion experience, he encouraged her to seek a church to continue in her new found faith. She responded, “Why would I want to do that, they will only make me feel bad about myself.” No, we don’t have to be sinless in order to be worthy to be in church because if that were so, no one should go to church. The essence of the pure heart spoken above is having a singular desire for the LORD, a desire that is above all else.  This side of heaven, I will never be sinless, but I continually become less sinful as my heart sheds its luv for earthly things and seeks but one thing above all else, the love of the LORD for me and to love the LORD as if the LORD is the only thing to love. In a word, it is to adore Him.

    The opening hymn on Christmas Eve is most often, O Come, All Ye Faithful, first written by John Francis Wade in 1743 and later translated into English by Frederick Oakeley. The refrain amplifies how to come on Christmas Eve or any worship for that matter. 

    O come let us adore Him is the posture of a pure heart which desires to wrap one’s heart around Him and to desire Him above all else.  In doing so, one has captured the spirit of this great carol.  As you look forward to participating in Christmas Eve service, come to adore Him and for the many others who are there but once a year (and they’re sitting in your seat), welcome them in love which will warm their heart so they may come to adore Him as you are.   

    O Come All Ye Faithful - The Five Strings
    https://youtu.be/XI2c9yptr4U

    With love, Bob

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    1. Amen Bob! Thank you for your encouraging words and enlightenment. God bless!

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    2. Amen thanks Bob. Yancy is right. It's churches that need to be full of the unsaved getting saved, and the Christians need to be outside in the streets (highways and byways), witnessing to the unsaved, inviting them in. How come it's mostly the other way around?

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    3. Bob, just have to say that each of the musical pieces have shared have given me goosebumps. Thank you.

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    4. Amen! The video had the perfect mixture of an innocent child's voice, an adult's voice and a beautiful choir singing harmony that really moved me. The best part was the ending when it ended on the word, COME. Amen! Come let us adore Him.

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  31. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many." (Mark 10:45). Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, (Philippians 2:5-9). For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. (Hebrews 4:15).

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    1. He is the greatest High Priest because His reign is forever and He has lived and been tempted and tried just as we have been. He is a High Priest who understands our broken and weary hearts intimately and perfectly.

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  32. About the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and began teaching. The Jews therefore marveled, saying, "How is it that this man has learning, when he has never studied?" So Jesus answered them, "My teaching is not mine, but His who sent Me." (John 7:14-16). The fear of the LORD is instruction in wisdom, and humility comes before honor. (Proverbs 15:33). He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble His way. (Psalm 25:9). Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, (Philippians 2:5).

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  33. Heavenly Father, thank You for the greatest gift of all -- You! You humbled Yourself and came to earth as a man to show us how to live and walk in God, and then You died for all our sins, and were buried and rose again to give us eternal life in You. You are so amazing and wonderful. You are humble and loving with such a gentle spirit. Your unconditional love of us is beyond our comprehension. I praise You Lord always. Thank You Jesus. There are no words to describe just how marvelous You are. You are the most high and there is no one above You. Help me to yield my soul to Your Spirit and all that You are doing in my life. Help me to walk in Your ways and to do Your will and not my own. Let my eyes stay focused on You and not on the things of this world. Remind me of Your humble, gentle, loving spirit and help me to strive to be more like You and less like me. Thank You for all my benefits and blessings Lord. In Jesus name, I pray, Amen.

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  34. Dear friends in Christ, I am convicted of a complaining attitude regarding my 3 grandchildren who we have been caring for for 5 days as my son in law and daughter are at Mayo for his heart surgery. I love them dearly but I feel so challenged with their behavior which is more difficult to manage than my 3 kids were. It is more of a reflection on my inadequacies than on them. They have been through so much with a mother who has had cancer and a father with heart surgery and myself with a brain tumor. All of these things were successfully treated, thank God. But the children may have been feeling things and not able to express them except through their behavior, which has been challenging. Thanks for listening. My son in law will be through his covid quarantine and joining us for Christmas Eve. I have so much to be thankful for, and pray that God will keep reminding me of that, and give me strength.

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    1. Remembering you and yours in prayer at this time Ellen.

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    2. Praying dear Ellen for wisdom on your part & a heaping helping of what you need to get these grandchildren under control. Recovery & healing for your family and very Merry Christmas to be had by all! In Jesus' name. Amen!

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    3. Continuing to pray for all of your healing and now for God's Spirit to feed you the words for those little grands of yours. He will give them wisdom to understand that under the circumstances they need to be a tiny bit more understanding and loving to their good grandparents. Thanking God for all the victories He has already given your family and all those He continues to bless you with. Thank You Jesus for holding these dear ones in Your Hand and leading them through the valley and onto the high mountain where they will see clearly in thanksgiving and rejoice because You are their God and loving Father. I love your gratitude dear Ellen. Take it one day at a time in His presence and peace. All will be well because our good God is in charge.

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  35. " I could have called down legions of angels". I love the way Petersen puts it in The Message "God-of-the-Angel-Armies"- it's plural, not singular. That was Jesus at His meekest. A definition of Meekness is 'strength, might or authority reigned in or under control'. He could have destroyed all who stood against Him, there and then, but didn't. For you and me. I am in awe!

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  36. Good morning. I just want to thank you all for this wonderful site. I have been reading your posts for 8 years now. I have been praying so hard but now I realize it was for My will to be done. I so wanted God to heal my marriage. Unfortunately it is not going to happen. I finaaly get it though. I have been seraching and praying for my will and notb His will. His will is that I give glory to Him in my thoughts, words and actions. Unfortunately I just wanted to be right. I wanted to prove this was not my fault. I wanted to prove what my ex did wrong. Why did it take me so long to figure it out? This has been my long, tortuous 8 year journey but now, finally I am at peace. I now have a more personal relationship with Jesus than I ever has before. I am not angry. I am thankful for the journey. In the midst of this storm I have found peace. Jesus died for me when I was a sinner. By grace, through faith I am saved. I finally truly understand. Thank you Jesus for dying for me, a sinner. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life. Thank you all for helping me see the Light!

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    1. Dear Jenna, The Lord was at your side through your 8 year difficult journey but finding Him in the midst of it was the greatest gift of all. You gave Him your heart because He is the Lover of your soul and the Keeper of your heart. Your relationship with Jesus is the most important one in your life. All other things will be added unto you. Your love for Him will endure even until the end of time into eternity.

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  37. Thank you Dear Jenna for sharing your journey in discovering the wondrous power of the cross. How awesome for you to finally bask in the light of His glory. Enjoy! He is Emmanuel! God with us! Amen! Hallelujah!

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  38. Dear JC Family, please pray for my Daughter In Love, Kaity and my Son, Chuck. Kaity is having contractions and my DH and I have the boys, who are SO excited to meet their baby sister. Please pray for a peaceful delivery. She has been recovering for a week and a half from food poisoning and dehydration. Exciting times - also, battle-of-the-mind times. Thank you, God for your Perfect Peace for our whole family. Also, please pray for my DH's protection. The boys have the sniffles and he sure doesn't need that again! Love to all of you. Prayers for you, Min Ahadi and your meeting with your brother. Saw that early this morning and prayed throughout the day b/c I have NO idea of the time change. But, God does! Prayers for you, Jenna - as yours was the last one I read.
    God Bless,
    Norah

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    1. Joining in prayer for a safe peaceful delivery for the new precious life. Prayers for protection from the sniffles for those who are exposed, strength for Kaity during her labor. Prayers of comfort for Norah and Chuck and all those awaiting the birth of the new little one.

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  39. Been praying for that baby to have a smooth arrival and for Kaity to have a smooth delivery. Yes God's peace is still with your family despite all the difficulties. I'm sure your grands have sniffles. Just found out that little 3 yr old Gabriel has NFS or some respiratory virus and so does baby Nathaniel who is 3 mos old. Father, we thank you for guiding this delivery in every way so very soon, everyone's hearts will be overflowing with joy. Heal all these babies too and the whole family's weaknesses in Jesus' Name. Amen

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  40. Oh, thank you, Sassy Mom and Jeanne for seeing my prayers! Just found out Kaity's Mom will be staying with us on Christmas Eve. What a blessing! Made my list and I'll check it twice to get our Guest Room prepped for her to be super-blessed. She is a wonderful woman of God and we are Kindred Spirits in many ways. I'm excited over the many ways our family will bond on Christmas Eve.
    Heading to bed...I know 2 little boys who will want Nonnie's Wafflesin about 7 hours (they are SO special: purchased from Aldi's with butter and Judy's Maple Syrup! - ha ha). Sleep sweet, my dear JC Family. Thank you, again, for your prayers!

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  41. Kaity and Chuck are still at home. Contractions lengthened - further apart but stronger when they do come. God's timing. Wait on the Lord.

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  42. Oh the respiratory virus is called RSV. Thanks for your prayers for little Gabriel and Baby Nathaniel. And also their Mom and Dad, Mayra and Greg. Even Mayra’s parents have it. I pray they will all recover soon. There is no treatment. People usually get better in 2 weeks. But the baby is only 3 months old so the doctor is most concerned about him. Thank You Father for bringing Norah’s granddaughter into the world very soon and giving Kaity a smooth delivery and healing her grands and her family in all ways, and my grands and family and bringing them all back to perfect health. Thank You in the Nane of Christ Jesus our Risen Lord.

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  43. Blessings to you all for Jesus' healing power in the Comings and Goings of the circle of life. I ask, I seek, I knock, I yield... not remembering the order in this moment of sadness. Your timing, not ours, Lord. πŸ™♥️

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  44. All I can do is sing praises to our Great God. His Peace and Grace get me through every day. I was on the phone with my sister and we were remembering all the acts of faithfulness that I’ve received from Him. Such a good Father.
    Be not afraid. He goes before us always. I believe He will continue to show us His faithfulness as we continue to trust in Him. He loves us in our imperfections and even in our crankiness when we try to do too much. But now I am following His lead. No more nights up till 3 in the morning. I need good sleep to heal and to prepare myself for anything in front of me. You all need rest in His presence.
    Decided I will sing at our Wednesday night choir rehearsal even though I don’t feel or look great. God will be pleased if I go and let my little light shine. Loved this from today’s devotion:
    Let your life become a praise song to Me by proclaiming My glorious Presence in the world.

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    1. I'm glad to hear that you're going to choir rehearsal. You are such a bright light for the Lord! You are a wonderful blessing to so many people and so faithful to the Lord. Peace be with you πŸ™.

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    2. Your voice is clear and your spirit is FULL OF LIGHT. You will rock this physical set back and inspire many with your faith beyond outward appearance. Love to you Jeanne!

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    3. Thanks so much dear Janet and Audra. You lifted me high. God is glorified

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  45. Yours, O LORD, is the greatness, the power and the glory, the victory and the majesty; for all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and You are exalted as head over all. (1 Chronicles 29:11).

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    1. Amen to that! You fed me well sweet sister. May God bless you in every little thing!

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  46. Thanks for praying for my friend’s daughter Elizabeth. She got through her surgery and the cyst was very large. They removed it all and thank God they didn’t have to remove her ovaries and Fallopian tubes. She’s home and able to walk down the hallway. Praise Him from whom all blessings flow.

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