Stretched

Romans 12:1-2 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing, and perfect will.

The FIBER Co.’s Eyelet Shawl was a joy to knit. The Luma yarn I used is a blend of Merino, organic cotton, linen & silk. A simple 8 row repeat with yarn overs to give it interest and very few purl stitches made this a quick project. But, the beauty of the shawl wasn’t seen until it was blocked. Now, if you aren’t a knitter, blocking is the process of wetting your knitted project and stretching it to it’s finished size. I use a blocking mat and T-pins to hold the stretched garment in place until it is completely dry. The lace pattern on the edges open up showing off the true beauty of the knitted piece.

God is continually molding and shaping our lives. He is involved in every aspect, big and small. But, the true beauty is seen when we are stretched to move out of our comfort zone into God’s zone. Enjoy the process of being stretched as you become God’s masterpiece.

2022

Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.

What are you reading in 2022? I started in Genesis again this week. God’s word never gets old. He shares something new every time I read it. There are several guides available to help navigate reading the Bible. It seems like a big undertaking, but if you break it down into daily pieces, you will be amazed at how easy it is. You will look forward to your personal quiet time with God.

Let his word be the light to lead you through 2022.

Innkeeper

Luke 2:1-7 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 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.

Each of us is an Innkeeper who decides if there is room for Jesus. Let him into your home this CHRISTmas!

The Shepherds

Luke 2:8-20 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

May you experience the joy of the shepherds this Christmas season at the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ the Lord.

Preparing for Christ-mas

Luke 1:11-17 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and. You are to give him the name John. He will be a joy and delight to you, and may will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth. Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God. And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous – to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

It’s Christmastime! The most wonderful time of the year. The preparations have begun. They can be seen in the stores. They can be seen as you drive through your neighborhood. They can be seen in your own home. May God bless you durning this time of preparation as you prepare those around you for the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Thankful

1 Chronicles 16:8 Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done.

Nehemiah 12:31 I had the leaders of Judah go up on top of the wall. I also assigned two large choirs to give thanks.

Psalm 95:2 Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.

Psalm 100:4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.

1 Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 2:14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphant procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him.

2 Corinthians 9:15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Hebrews 12:28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. Thank you Jesus for your abundant blessings. As always, you have given us so many reasons to be thankful.

Falling Flowers

Isaiah 40:8 The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.

Hard frosts have set in and the first snow has fallen this week in Minnesota. The landscape outside my window has changed drastically over the past days. We have raked fallen leaves, hung heat lamps for the chickens and removed all of our flowers. Beauty can be found in every season…. from the green grass and blooming flowers of summer to the blanket of sparkling snow in the winter. No matter how much things around us change, we can find comfort in the unchanging word of our God that stands forever. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. When you are feeling overwhelmed by change, lean into Him.

Natural Beauty

Job 12:7-10 But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.

The Smoky Mountains at the peak of leaf season is God showing off. I traveled to Gatlinburg, Tennessee last week to see this seasonal marvel in person. Well, it did not disappoint. As I hiked through the Smoky Mountains, around every bend in the path was another breathtaking sight. Not to mention the sound of the water trickling over the boulders in the crystal clear creeks which added to the splendor of it all.

Can’t you just imagine the smile on God’s face as he paints the colors of fall. He didn’t need to create such beauty, but he did. He created all of this for our enjoyment. I pray that you are able to get outside today to enjoy the beauty of God’s great creation in nature.

Have a blessed week!

Peaceful Pastures

Philippians 4:4-8 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.

Have you ever had one of those nights where you just can’t sleep because you have so many things running through your mind? Well, I had one of those last night. So, here I sit writing to all of you at 3:00am. It is so easy for me to let the cares of the world overtake my mind and life. And I don’t think I am alone. There is a reason self help books like “get your SH*T together” are showing up on New Your Times bestseller list.

In this world of craziness and uncertainty, it is much wiser to turn to God’s word. Philippians 4 is the perfect road map of how we should live our lives. When we give our worries to Jesus, we no longer have to carry them and a huge weight is lifted.

When I become stressed, I love walking through our peaceful pasture to pray. Where is your happy place? I pray that this week you let Jesus walk alongside you as you think about whatever is true, noble, right, pure lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy. May the peace of God allow you to view the world through Jesus’ eyes. Rejoice in Him!

The Whisper Of God

Psalm 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.

Fall is a wonderful time of the year, but it is also the busiest time of the year with school beginning and other scheduled activities starting up again after the long warm days of summer.

I was blessed to spend the last two weeks with my parents as my mom healed from a surgery. The picture above is one that mom stitched herself and hung above my bed. What a great reminder to slow down enough to hear God.

I pray that you take the time to be silent in this noisy world. That you may hear the whisper of God as he speaks to your heart.