It seems like we spend a lot of our life and a lot of our time trying emulate other people. This may be an attempt to better ourselves; but, many times, it can also be an attempt to blend in with the crowd, to not cause waves or create trouble, or maybe even to just not be noticed. It is easy to feel like “who we are” is not that big of a deal and that what we add to the world would not be missed if we somehow stopped being a part of the world. Once when thinking about this, I came to the word “unique”. The dictionary describes uniqueness as “the quality of being one of a kind.” God created each of us uniquely. We were created intentionally and specifically; and, God placed us exactly where we are for a reason.
Have you ever tried writing or drawing with invisible ink? I recently tried an activity with kids where we painted a picture using lemon juice. Of course, we quickly realized that when you paint with lemon juice, you cannot see the picture being created. Instead, you have to do your best to imagine it and you have do your best to move the paintbrush along the appropriate path. After the lemon juice dries, there are ways to reveal the picture. read more
“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude is more than facts; it’s more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances and failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company, it will cause a church to soar or sink. It will be the difference between a happy home and a home of horror. It’s attitude, and the remarkable thing is, you have a choice every day regarding the attitude you will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past, we cannot change the tick of the clock and we cannot change the march towards death. We cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitables. I am convinced that life is 10 percent what happens to me, and 90 percent how I respond to it.”
–Charles R. Swindoll
We are just days away from Christmas! Many people say that this is their favorite time of year for one reason or another – family, food, presents, special events, snow and mistletoe. And then we have the traditions (and fond memories) of the season’s stories – Santa Claus, Rudolph, and, of course, Jesus.
When was the last time you spent any significant amount of time reading on, thinking about or dwelling on the story of Jesus’ birth. Most of the time we read quickly through the story to get to the birth of Jesus and the promise of a future through Jesus. Occasionally, we dig a little deeper. It amazes me though, as I linger on the words of the story found in Luke 2:1-20. This story includes real people, with real struggles and real needs – not too much unlike things we experience today. Ok, I doubt that any of us have had to settle for letting our baby sleep in a feeding trough. But, there are many struggles that mimic our struggles – being told to do something that is hugely inconvenient or seemingly impossible, being told we can’t have what we think we need, impending life-changing events and health issues just to name a few.
Think about this statement: A baby changes everything. Pause on that thought for a moment. What are you thinking about?
I am thinking about that first night that the first baby comes into this world within a family. From that moment on, life is dramatically different…and life will never go back to the way it was…life forever changed.
From diapers and bottles, to clothes and toys, the landscape of a home changes. From sleepless nights to never-ending loads of laundry and other chores, time now belongs to more than just you. For those that are parents, I am sure you remember that very first night at home with your first child… a bit excited, a bit nervous, mostly clueless, and even a bit scared…now completely responsible for another life…your life forever changed.
And through all of this, a baby teaches us so much…like how to understand a foreign language (some refer to this as baby gibberish) and how to do practically everything one-handed while holding your baby in the other hand. More than anything, though, a baby teaches us a love that we could never have understood without that child…a love forever changed!
And then we have the baby that changed everything for everyone. God’s love. God’s compassion. God’s forgiveness. God’s purpose. God’s grace. God’s hope. God’s peace. God’s joy. God’s gift. Jesus.
A world forever changed!
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