Tag Archives: Luke

Advent is here!

Hi Everyone!

I just wanted to pop in and let you know I am sharing a picture a day of things that bring me joy for the month of December.  Check it out on Instagram and Facebook and Twitter! Join in by posting your own joyful things and hashtag #yestodecemberjoy so I can find you!

I thought I’d share some advent thoughts and ideas and goodies with you as we enter into the season.

I just downloaded on the Kindle for Advent: “Preparing for Christmas” by Richard Rohr.  It’s a daily devotional and it’s about $6 on the Kindle.  It’s so good it’s hard for me to read just one a day! A little excerpt: “We can also use other a words for Advent: aware, alive, attentive, alert, awake are all appropriate. Advent is, above all else, a call to full consciousness and a forewarning about the high price of consciousness.” I love the way Rohr purposely writes to take us “beyond the sentimental understanding of Christmas to a more adult, mature message of the Incarnation of God in Christ”. Yes please, give us some meat.

Today we heard about John the Baptist. We learned about Zechariah and Elizabeth who so badly wanted a baby and could not get pregnant. Then finally, God said they will have a baby! YAY! Prayers answered, High fives all around! The Word says, “many will rejoice because of this birth for he will be great in the sight of the Lord”. It’s all really miraculous because he and Elizabeth were OLD. They thought their time to have a child had passed. But God…

What desires of your heart have you “given up on”? What are you no longer believing is possible?

There is so much to talk about in this story but I one thing our pastor said today is that “Whatever God has given you was not meant to stop with you”. Hmmm…

See, it turns out that Zechariah and Elizabeth’s dream was also part of God’s plan. It just had to happen in His time. And what was given to them wasn’t just for them, it was for all of us.

Which brings us to another question. What has God given you that maybe you have been hoarding? Keeping to yourself? Thinking was just for you?

Maybe you have a talent, a treasure, an idea, a child, a marriage, a relationship, an opportunity…that can lead others to Him. All we have and all we are is part of a bigger story. It is not meant to stop with you.

Makes you think, huh? What does God want me to do with all that He has given me? What will my legacy be?

Luke 1:68-79The Voice (VOICE)

Zacharias: May the Lord God of Israel be blessed indeed!
For God’s intervention has begun,
and He has moved to rescue us, the people of God.
And the Lord has raised up a powerful sign of liberation for us
from among the descendants of God’s servant, King David.
As was prophesied through the mouths of His holy prophets in ancient times:
God will liberate us from our enemies
and from the hand of our oppressors!
God will show mercy promised to our ancestors,
upholding the abiding covenant He made with them,
Remembering the original vow He swore to Abraham,
from whom we are all descended.
God will rescue us from the grasp of our enemies
so that we may serve Him without fear all our days
In holiness and justice, in the presence of the Lord.
And you, my son, will be called the prophet of the Most High.
For you will be the one to prepare the way for the Lord
So that the Lord’s people will receive knowledge of their freedom
through the forgiveness of their sins.
All this will flow from the kind and compassionate mercy of our God.
A new day is dawning:
the Sunrise from the heavens will break through in our darkness,
And those who huddle in night,
those who sit in the shadow of death,
Will be able to rise and walk in the light,
guided in the pathway of peace.

 

Is it Your Lucky Day?

 

I went to the library the other day. I needed a book to help me escape, to “not think”, a place to go other than the political news shows and the internet.  I wanted to laugh.

I walk into the library and ask the woman at the front desk…”I need a fun book, where should I look?”  She pointed me over to the newer best sellers.  I saw books about politics and Steve Jobs and ….ugh.  I knew she didn’t get what I meant.  I started to feel a little lost and then she shouted out…”Oh, a YLD book came in!”  I didn’t know who she was talking to so I asked, “excuse me?” She said, “A YLD book came in!” with a big grin on her face.  I said, “What’s a YLD book?” and she said, “It means, it’s YOUR LUCKY DAY!!!! ”

Woo hoo!  My lucky day!  BRING IT!  She explained that these YLD books are never available and if they are, well then, no doubt about it…it’s your lucky day!

Honestly, I barely looked at the book.  I tore out my library card and tried to get out of there fast before someone tried to steal my book and ruin my lucky day.

Speaking of lucky days…Election Day is November 6th.

November 7th is going to be someone’s lucky day.

I know people are out there saying, “It’s not luck, so and so deserves to be president.”

I get it.  I have an opinion.  I care.  I feel strongly.  I will vote.  Then I will watch and count and try to figure out how my guy can win.  Then I will go to sleep and it will be fitful and anxious sleep.  I will be uncomfortable, flipping channels in my dreams, still counting, still wondering, still hoping.  In the morning we will know.  Maybe.  Or maybe there will be lawsuits and talk of hanging chads.  Oh, never mind, that’s the past…a different time, a different night (week? month?) of fitful sleep.

Here’s what I want to remember.  When we wake up that next morning or whenever we find out who won the presidential election…HALF of the country will be disappointed.

HALF.

50%.

This means your neighbor.

I repeat.  HALF of this country will be disappointed.  Either way.

I have said there are two Americas.

But I’ve thought about that now and I want to take it back.  There is one America.  And it’s beautiful and strong and I am so grateful to live here.  There is one America.

Your neighbor may vote for “the other guy”.  Your neighbor may have a yard sign you don’t like.  Your neighbor may not wave to you in the carpool line on Wednesday.  Your neighbor may have hoped and prayed the night before for the opposite of what you hoped and prayed for.  It’s okay.  She’s still your neighbor.

She’s still your neighbor…the one who brought you a casserole when you moved in.  The one who drove your kids to their activities when you were sick.  The neighbor who gives tirelessly at church or who runs the PTA.  This is your neighbor who you have known for 15 years and always thought was such a good mom and a good friend.  This is the neighbor who knows when to bring wine and when to bring chocolate and she usually shows up with both!  This is your friend.  You love her kids and her husband.  You admire how she handles working full time and raising a family.

Or maybe you don’t know her but have always wanted to.  Maybe she smiles at you when she walks the dog or keeps a beautiful garden that you’ve always admired.  Maybe she works at the coffee shop or the dry cleaner.  Maybe you just see her in passing but she’s friendly and kind.

Maybe she’s the mom that’s fought tirelessly for the kids with special needs.  Maybe your kids have benifitted from her advocacy.  Maybe she’s the teacher who took extra time to help your daughter or the parent who serves on the school board.

Maybe she’s the neighbor that came and sat with you when your mother died or when your child was sick.  Maybe she’s the person you call when you need a hand or a hammer or a cup of sugar.  Maybe she’s the one you call when you just need to talk.  Maybe she’s the friend who invited you to church.

Or maybe it’s your dad.  Your dad who has loved you since the day you were born.  Maybe he can’t even sleep he’s in such a tizzy about the election.  Maybe you are worried about his health.

Maybe it’s the military family down the road who lost a son in the war.  Or maybe it’s a mother whose son is away on active duty now and she is terrified and wants him home.

Maybe it’s your brother whose business has fallen on hard times.  He’s worried about payroll and health care benefits.  He’s trying to survive.

You get the point.  The list goes on.

We are all neighbors.  We are all Americans.

So, here’s my plan for November 7th … smile and wave at my neighbor…no matter who wins and no matter who she hoped would win…because I like her.  She’s a good person…a good American…and we need each other.

God bless my neighbor.  And God bless the United States of America.

 

Romans 13:9 “whatever other commandments there may be, are summed up in this one rule:  ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”

(I love to throw that in wherever I can 🙂 It simplifies things for me when I start to get confused by the external noise. )

Here’s a video/song for fun.  Turn it up people.  Trust me.  Turn it up and remember…we are blessed.

©2012 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™ All Rights Reserved
image of flag from google images and http://cajuncottage.blogspot.com/
youtube video by http://www.youtube.com/user/RavenReality
Picture of book by me.  My lucky day! courtesy of Thomas Ford Memorial Library 🙂