Resolution Opportunities

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.” ~Edith Lovejoy Pierce

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May you always shine http://www.aliaindrawan.com/always-shine/

Monday Words for the Soul~December 30

On this last Monday of the year…

bring me to the cross

…may silence and peace always accompany you…

~~~

Francois de Fenelon quote from the book 100 Days in the Secret Place

A year’s worth of words for the soul

a word from The Sponsor~December 29

Ephesians 3:20 has been my focus verse for 2013.
(gently click on the picture if it appears too small)

Ephesians 3:20

Now all glory to God who is able through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.
~Ephesians 3:20

The story of the power of this verse in my life during 2013 remains in the pages of my journal.
For now.
But I will tell you this for now…

There is power in God’s word.

I encourage you to ask God in prayer for your verse for 2014.
Your word from your Sponsor.
He has one for you…or twoor more.
Because of Grace…He is a God of the Abundant.

~

2013 words from The Sponsor

(photo by Helen Teague)

This Weekend~December 27~wishing you trust without borders

On this last Friday of the year…I am wishing you trust without borders

trust without borders

Gently click on the picture to listen and listen again…the words are true and becauseofgrace, they found themselves to this blog from M.W. in our office…

Hillsong United performs “Oceans” from the album ZION live with RELEVANT Magazine in Tampa.
ZION available on iTunes.

Be Merry

be merry

Be Merry…Be the Gift. Because of Grace, you can… Be the Comfort.

The good news is you can handle your expectations

Please Remember: This nativity had an object in mind. That object is you and me.

You might be someone’s Christmas miracle

Because you are mine! Your interest, kind comments, and emails are gifts. Thank you!

Because of Grace

If you run out of people to pray for, please pray for our emergency personnel, our soldiers, and those who continue to wait for their Christmas miracle.

And, my favorite video, courtesy of Jim McShane~~~Trans-Siberian Orchestra – Christmas Canon

Merry Christmas!

Words for the Soul~December~ 17 Verses for Christmas

lighted tree17 Bible Verses to Read on Christmas Eve, Christmas Morning… or today! :)
~~~

Isaiah 7:14 ~ So the Lord himself will give you this sign: A virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and she will name him Immanuel [God Is With Us]. (God’s Word Translation 1995)

Luke 1:26-38 ~ In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.”

 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God.”

 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her. (NIV 1984)


Matthew 1:18-24 ~ This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”—which means, “God with us.”  When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.

Isaiah 9:6-7 ~ For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this. (NIV 1984)

Isaiah 35:4-6 ~ Say to those who have an anxious heart, “Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you.” Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy. For waters break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert; (ESV)

John 4:10-12 ~ Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”“Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?

Isaiah 40:1-5 ~ Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.  A voice cries: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” (ESV)

Isaiah 40:9 ~ Go on up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good news; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good news; lift it up, fear not; say to the cities of Judah,  “Behold your God!” (ESV)

Luke 2:9-15 ~ And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

 “Glory to God in the highest,  and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” (ESV)

Micah 5:2 ~ But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah,from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days. (ESV)

Matthew 2:3-6 ~ When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:“‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’” (ESV)

Luke 2:4-7 ~ And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. (ESV)

Isaiah 49:6 ~ God says: “It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.”


Isaiah 49:13-16
~ Shout for joy, O heavens; rejoice, O earth; burst into song, O mountains!For the Lord comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me.”
“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me. Your sons hasten back, and those who laid you waste depart from you.

Isaiah 53:1-7, 9, 12 ~ Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

 Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.


Hebrews 1:1-2
 ~ In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.


Ezekiel 34:11-16
~ “For thus says the Lord God: Behold, I, I myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his sheep that have been scattered, so will I seek out my sheep, and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. And I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land. And I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the ravines, and in all the inhabited places of the country.  I will feed them with good pasture, and on the mountain heights of Israel shall be their grazing land. There they shall lie down in good grazing land, and on rich pasture they shall feed on the mountains of Israel. I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I myself will make them lie down, declares the Lord God. I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, and the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them in justice. (ESV)

Merry Christmas!

a word from The Sponsor~December 22

Isaiah 43:2

When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze. Isaiah 43:2

~~~

More words from The Sponsor

This Weekend~December 20~Go for 1+1=1

 

To be humble, to be kind.
It is the giving of the peace in your mind.
To a stranger, To a friend
To give in such a way that has no end.

We are Love
We are One
We are how we treat each other when the day is done.
We are Peace
We are War
We are how we treat each other and Nothing More

To be bold, to be brave.
It is the thinking that the heart can still be saved
And the darkness can come quick
The Dangers in the Anger and the hanging on to it.

We are Love
We are One
We are how we treat each other when the day is done.
We are Peace
We are War
We are how we treat each other and Nothing More

Tell me what it is that you see
A world that’s filled with endless possibilities?
Heroes don’t look they used to, they look like you do.

We are Love
We are One
We are how we treat each other when the day is done.
We are Peace
We are War
We are how we treat each other and Nothing More

Song lyrics from “Nothing More” by The Alternate Routes

Monday Words for The Soul~December 16

You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in You. ~Augustine, 400 AD

 

a word from The Sponsor~December 15

For He is our peace…” ~Ephesians 2:14

Ephesians 2:14

He is the embodiment of our peace, sent once and for all to take down the great barrier of hatred and hostility that has divided us so that we can be one. ~Ephesians 2:14

Peace on Earth and He is our Peace

~~~

More words from The Sponsor

I Will Be Your Left Side

I Will Be Your Left Side

peony flower picture courtesy of Garrett EastmanUpcoming holidays often include plans to return home. Since I live close to my parent’s home I have this option frequently. Sometimes when I return home I regress to my youngest child birth order. With the regression brings a return to the typical youngest child behavior of eavesdropping.

I learn a lot from eavesdropping. I hope you do too. Occasionally, conversations are mundane and routine. But, then there is the mother lode of juicy pieces of information, not yet ready for full broadcast. These conversations are more fun than a midnight sale at Nordstrom.

Recently I overheard a conversation between my dad and his caregiver, Sonny.

My dad is on year 13 of his stroke rehabilitation. When recovery years go to the double digits they earn the distinction of being written with numerals only.His series of strokes left his left-side in a sleepy, limited-functioning state. This requires him to submit to help with moving, transitioning, dressing, bathing, anything that you or I would do with our left side, he must rely on a caregiver to help him do. One day was particularly difficult. Arms and legs were not acting in concert but as free agents. It was during this day, that I overheard Sonny, tell Dad something indeed worth eavesdropping to hear.

Sonny said, “Don’t worry, Bill, I will be your left side today.”

I do not know what else followed in their conversation. I was lost in thoughts of gratitude for Sonny and his expression of care.

“Don’t worry; I will be your left side today.”

Sonny didn’t say, “Help me out, you can do more.” He knew Dad was doing all he could do. Sonny didn’t give up in frustration. He persevered. He did not say, “Lean on me and I will do it all.” He preserved Dad’s dignity and worth. Sonny saw what needed to be done and did it, assuring Dad that he was there as support.

Have you offered anyone your left side? I mean, really offered with the intent to follow-through? This is tough for me because I am the spokesperson for the club with the title, “If I Can Do Anything, Just Let Me Know.” I reached this position after years of membership in the “Happy to Help in Anyway I Can” association. To turn intention into action is the balance I seek.

Sonny turned intention into action. He was acutely aware of another’s needs. He served that day and continues today to serve as a left-side. What a goal and a gift! This holiday season, I wish for you to find ways to be another’s “left-side,” for a minute, an hour, or a lifetime. And, I wish that you will experience the best of the season from all sides!

Helen

My dad,  Dr. William J. Teague lives in Abilene, Texas. Although this was written 10 years ago, becauseofgrace, Sonny is still one of Dad’s caregivers.

Peony flower photo courtesy of Garrett Eastman

a word from The Sponsor~December 8

Ephesians 2:10

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. ~ Ephesians 2:10, nlt

~~~

More words from The Sponsor

Midweek Question~ Where are your accusers?

Who are your accusers?

Jody Neufeld,  talks about accusers in her devotional referencing John 8On My Knees Receiving God’s Grace

Jesus asked the woman in John 8, “Where are your accusers?”

As I read, pictures of faces of those who have accused me flashed, mug-shot-style through my mind.

I settled in with the message of Jesus’ question, “Where are your accusers?” and stopped short with Jody’s insight:

The relentless accusing like the woman experienced also happens in my life. It is the job of Satan to keep the words rolling relentlessly in my head to chip away at my worth. But I have an Advocate and His name is Jesus Christ. He is right there in God’s Throne Room speaking on my behalf. Jesus came down to my level, lived a full life here on earth. He stood tall on that Sunday morning. Death was defeated; the Accuser was silenced. I have His voice in my spirit now. ~Jody Neufeld

Might the most insidious accusers be the one from below and the one from within?

So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.   Romans 8:1 (NLT)

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. ~ Philippians 1:6, NLT

~~~

An additional Romans 8:1 post

Other Questions from Other Weeks

Holiday Flowers for You

Things are very hectic here…lots of checklists without checks beside the items.

My friend Jill had 5 inches of snow last night. We are expecting another drastic temperature dip in the next day or so.

For encouragement, I thought I would post some pretty and vibrant flowers today!

May you have a blessing for each one of these flowers, becauseofgrace!

Stay warm and safe!

vibrant flowers

Picture Source

(and this is my 845th post! thank you for being here with me :)  )

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