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Our Emmanuel is Already Here

Read it! John 21

Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.

(vs4)

Think it through

Many of Jesus’s followers had a hard time recognizing him after the resurrection. Isn’t that weird?

Mary thought he was a gardener. The two disciples walking to Emmaus were kept from recognizing him until after he broke the bread. The seven disciples on the fishing boat didn’t know it was Him, even with his familiar request to throw their nets to the other side of the boat.

They couldn’t see that their Savior, Jesus, was right there with them!

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When Someone Asks, “Are You Still…?” and You’re Not

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others,

as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

-I Peter 4:10

 

This fall, I was enjoying the pumpkin farm when a woman reached out and tapped my shoulder. “Mrs. Upton?” she asked. “You used to be my teacher. I’m…”

“Lindsay!” I said. I often wonder about some of my favorite “kids,” and Lindsay is definitely tops on that list. It was so good to see her, and a little strange!  I taught high school math right after I graduated from college, and there really isn’t a huge age difference between me and those kids anymore. They’re all grown up, with careers and homes and children of their own.

I met Lindsay’s adorable daughter, and she met my children. She said to them, “Your mom was my teacher! She was such a great teacher.” Then she looked at me and asked, “Are you still teaching?”

I felt bad saying “no.” I only taught high school for four years, then I spent two years tutoring, then we moved and I stopped teaching altogether.

Or did I?

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Real Random Acts of Kindness

Random Acts of Kindness are here to stay, and that’s a good, good thing.

There are movies about them. There are books about them. Just type “random acts of kindness ideas” into Pinterest and you’ll see what I mean!

What’s interesting to me is that the whole RAK movement as been largely secularly based. So many people out there are looking for ways to show love, receive love, and focus on love in their lives… and that’s great.

 

But what they really need is Jesus.

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Rejoicing in Success

The Lord your God is with you,

the Mighty Warrior who saves.

He will take great delight in you;

in his love he will no longer rebuke you,

but will rejoice over you with singing.”

—Zephaniah 3:17

 

Today I looked at my five year-old with undisguised admiration. I’d taught him the rules of an “Ages 8 and up” game called Monopoly Empire, and he was quickly picking up its nuances and strategy. In fact, he’d just beaten me fair and square.

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How to Make Chore Passports for Kids

Every mom’s spirit gets cluttered with chores sometimes. 

We love taking care of our families, but we can hit our limit.  We face yet another lunch to pack, or bed to make, or pet to feed, and something inside us rebels—can’t someone else do this, just this once?  After all, part of our mommy job is to teach our kids to take care of themselves and their belongings, right?  Absolutely.  And as Christian Moms, we want to challenge our kids to help us out before our spirits get cluttered and overwhelmed!

One summer, I challenged my “big” kids (then 5 and 9 years old) to learn some new life skills by presenting them with Chore Passports.  I explained the process to the kids and they were raring to go.  Suddenly, they were excited it was Laundry Day—they couldn’t wait to put away their clothes and fold the towels!

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The Closet Clean-Out

How is what you’re wearing right now affecting your spirit? 

Maybe you’re in your jammies, all comfy and cozy.  Maybe you’re dressed for work, classy and confident.  Maybe you’re home with the kids, pretty and prepared for the day.  On the other hand, what you’re wearing may have you feeling frumpy, frazzled and frustrated.

We don’t fully enjoy each day when our spirits are cluttered with doubts about our outfit and general appearance.  Christian women want to be happy and confident about what we’re wearing so our joy in Lord can shine through!  But for that to happen, we have to get rid of the “just OK” clothes in our closet—those clothes that are distracting us from the great outfits we can put together.

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Will Heaven be…Boring? (Hint: the answer is no!)

Read it! Revelation 22

And they will see his face, and his name will be written on their foreheads.

And there will be no night there—no need for lamps or sun—

for the Lord God will shine on them.

And they will reign forever and ever.

(vs 4&5)

Think it through

I’m excited about Heaven—like, really excited. Sometimes I can’t wait to be with Jesus and see what it’s like there.

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Doing the First Half of the Job

Read it: This is an update on Walking the Roof with King David, Day 7.

You may want to go back and read it here!

 

Thinking it through:

In my “Don’t Wimp Out on Jesus!” post, I told a story about attempting to witness to a medical technician during a long procedure. At the end of the post, I vowed to write her a note and invite her to church. Well…

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When it’s Hard to Wait

Read it! Psalm 33

We wait in hope for the Lord, He is our strength and our shield.

In Him our hearts rejoice, for we trust His holy name.

May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in You.

(vs 20-22)

Think it through

When you’re a kid, it’s hard to wait. To wait for dinner, to wait in line, or to wait for Christmas.

When you’re an adult, it’s harder to wait. To wait to make that purchase. To wait for that call from the doctor’s office. To wait for dreams to come true and hopes to be fulfilled.

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The Never-Ending Story

Read it! Ruth 4:18-22

Salmon the father of Boaz,

Boaz the father of Obed,

 Obed the father of Jesse,

and Jesse the father of David.

(vs 21-22)

Think it through

Ruth married Boaz and had a beautiful baby boy. They loved each other and built a life together. Naomi was joyful again. End of story, Amen.

At least that’s what Ruth must have thought. As she lived the rest of her life, I’m sure she looked back on her time of struggle with thankfulness, and maybe a little nostalgia mixed in. The dramatic part of her story came and went, and she probably thought that was all God had in store for her.

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