O Holy Night

O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour’s birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, the night when Christ was born;
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!

The thrill of Hope is sweeping through my weariness this morning.

The words to this, one of my all time favorite Christmas carols, revives my spirit in this weather which is usually sparkling white, but is dull and dreary,

The Divine of heaven touched the drudgery of humanity that Holy night, for that moment became Holy when Holiness emerged from Mary’s womb.

When we experience the divine in all situations, when we need Him most, those too become holy moments.

God used that great wondrous Holy Night to clearly show us He would always reach down to His people.

Nothing would hinder His drawing near.

God enfleshed.

God with us.

Emmanuel.

The reason for the season.

Christ came for the masses, for everyone!

What a divine, Holy Night indeed!

In case you too need an audible reminder of the wonder of that Holy Night, Point of Grace has a wonderful version of these divine stirring words which you can watch & listen to here.

May He rekindle your desire to worship Him this Christmas, as we seek Him afresh each day, in each holy moment.

Let the wonder of who He is steep deep within, and cause you to fall to your knees as you #praiseHymn again!picsart_11-24-06.18.46.jpg

Historical Background:
Placide Cappeau de Roquemaure, wine seller and poet, penned these lyrics in 1847. His friend Adolphe Charles Adams who had attended the Paris Conservatory of Music composed the tune.

 

 

turn Him loose

Turn me loose,
turn me loose,
I gotta do it my way
or no way at all…
-Loverboy, 80s & 90s rock band

When the road gets tough, our reactions reveal what is under the surface within us.

There are three ways we respond when the storms are swirling and the waters rising…

1. We let them swallow us, and drown us in our wallowing.

2. We freak out, stress out and run around like Chicken Little screaming the sky is falling.

The first two because we can’t take our eyes of our circumstance or situation. We forget how much bigger God is than our current battle, and we don’t walk in the confidence of Heaven. We turn ourselves loose from the possibilities God has waiting for us.

The last one is what our Abba hopes we will do.

3. Drop to our knees, open wide our arms, and pour out our praise as we seek our Deliverer.

Reaction 1 occurs when we hide away from community, and continually focus on the negative.

Reaction 2 happens when we can’t sit still from the weight of what we were never meant to carry on our own.

But reaction 3?

Falling to our knees in worship is the supernatural opposite of our natural tendencies.

And what God not only longs for us to do, He modelled for us in Jesus.

Jesus as a young teen felt drawn to His Father’s house, to sit at the feet of the rabbis and soak in the Word.

Jesus fell to His knees in prayer before He began His ministry, feeding on the Word instead of food while in the desert place.

Jesus went off to solitary places throughout His ministry to connect with His Father, sometimes with others, as He sought direction.

Jesus prayed so intently as He made His intention known to be willing all the way to the cross, His sweat dripped off Him like blood drops.

Why do we think we don’t need to follow His ways when things get rough?

Part of it I think is our North American & European culture geared for comfort and pleasure.

We have lost the daily stressors which other countries still walk with. Hunger and thirst for physical food. Desiring a roof over their head. Clothes and shoes.

God Himself is our shelter.
Our provider. The very Word we are to feast upon.

We have access to the Kingdom of Heaven as His chosen family members, Beloved.

Don’t allow your temporary circumstances cause you to forget where and to Whom you really belong.

Let’s stop belly gazing and wallowing when times get tough.

Let’s halt our panicked screaming to the world while in the trenches.

Let’s retrain our natural tendencies for those of His Kingdom:

Press in for all our Father has for us.

Invite Jesus to reign over all of your life.

Begin to ask Holy Spirit to reveal what He needs you to know in the here and now.

Rest in His promises.

Praise who He is.

Trust His heart is for you and it will all work itself out for His glory, and your good.

Keep repeating these acts of faith every day, through all things.

Turn God loose over the situations, and watch how He shows Himself strong on your behalf!!
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let His praise break out

Are you letting your chains break your praise or is your praise breaking your chains?

-Word of Life Church

Yesterday I almost let my praise be swallowed by my circumstances.

Almost nothing frustrates me more at work than technical difficulties, especially after several hours spent getting them resolved.

I was so irritated by the problem, I momentarily lost my peace.

Then i realized if He is with me at all times, He is with me even in those technical difficulties.

Even when all I want to do is lay my head down on my desk and cry.

Not only because I had had it with the tech problems, but because I have had it up to here with myself allowing my peace to be swayed by outside circumstances. Again.

God reminded me through a song and an image that He was with me. Right then and there.

Those few precious moments, only a blip in my day, were enough for me to grab onto Him for dear life and restore my perspective.

It doesn’t take much to cause us to slip, and it takes even less for us to be restored to solid ground.

It takes believing in the Rock, and resting in Him through all coming our way.

Your storm may be relational. It may be technical. It may be emotional. It may be sudden or take a long time brewing.

It doesn’t matter.

Whatever the circumstances which are trying to chain you down, God’s for you. He’s got you.
He’s with you.

Because of who He is and what He has done, we can continue to praise Him through and in all circumstances. Always.

May you praise Him loud and proud, no matter what, always. May the chains of fear and timidity break off and forever be broken off of you as you lift His Name higher above every situation you encounter.

Allow who He is to rise up from within you and proclaim His Kingdom over your life. In every situation. In all circumstances.

Watch Him break your chains as He releases Himself mightily on your behalf!

He is worthy of our praise, and wants us to walk into the full freedom He has for us bear on earth.

Let His praise resound and hear the snapping of the chains trying to keep you down. Your freedom matters to Him, and He has given you a mighty weapon to add to your arsenal. It may appear to be redundant or miniscule compared to what you are facing, but He is sooo much larger and mightier and holier and stronger and freeing than we can imagine or see encased in our humanity.

Raise His praise, Beloved, and watch in awe at what He will do when you lift Him above all things!

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look up

When I feel low, its usually because I have taken my eyes off of God.

When God is in His proper place, and I acknowledge how big, strong, mighty my God is, I can’t help but look up to Him.

Focusing on the problem makes it block out my view of God. It doesn’t mean God is not in the picture.

I was at a training course, where the teacher shared a part of someone else’s story.  A young man was crying out to God in a drug trip to reveal Himself. All the man saw was a tiny distraction, which led him down a tormented path for years.

When he finally went for healing and freedom, he asked God to reveal where He had been in the room at that exact moment.

God did.  He completely filled the room.

We can miss the bigger picture and how big our God is (as far as our finite minds can grasp an infinite God) when we narrow our focus.

When we limit our vision to what we think we should see, instead of seeing whatever God wants us to see.

Himself, reigning over all, no matter what we see going on around us.

We serve the one and only God, who is seated on His throne:
the Creator of all we can see on our earth, in our universe, and beyond.
the Savior of all people, who has never and will never stop reaching out his arms to them, us.
the Healer of all brokenness and wounds within us.
the Provider of all good gifts
the Guide who shares all wisdom, knowledge and discernment to all who seek and ask
the King who reigns forever and ever
and so much more!!!

In light of who He is, we need to remember He is greater than all we will come across:

The enemy who is being and will be defeated.
Those who hate and harm us.
Painful situations caused by sin & selfishness.
All disease, mental illness & sickness.
Losses and grief.
Broken hearts.

Today, I am reminded anew to lift my eyes up, and keep them focused on God, not how I may be feeling.

I will look up.
I will proclaim God reigns over everything happening in my life.
I will choose to put my hope in the One who gave so much for me.

Its never too late to look up.

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brave?

For the last 24 hours, I have been hearing the words ‘brave’.

Watching the Disney movie reminded me that we can be brave in hard circumstances when we know we are loved.

Hearing the song “Make Me Brave” by Bethel reminds me exactly who the real brave one is, and it isn’t me.

At least, not on my own.

On the outside, I may appear, as many of us do, to have it all together.

On the inside? A whole other story!

Usually I am trying to rely on my own strength and ability, and when I do so, I fail to make it anywhere close to bravery.

More like a chick who won’t leave her shell, content to hide where it is safe until trouble passes by.

The trouble is, trouble never passes us by for long.

On the flip side, God knew we would have trouble, and designed us to be brave.

He did, honest.

But it’s not brave the way the world defines it.

It is bravery despite the world.

The world says:

“Grin & bear it.”

“Be a real man”

 “That’s not something a women should do”.

” Take it or leave it.”

“You can go your own way.”

God replies:

“I am more than enough for whatever you are facing.”

“A real man or woman  follows My call & purpose for their life.”

“Listen for My voice.”

“I will never leave you or foresake you.”

There is a path that leads to life, and another leading to death.

Which road you choose determines where you end up.
The fork in the road between the two paths?

It’s shaped liked a cross on purpose.

It is time to make the decision.

Live brave.

God is calling us out beyond our comfort zones. The cliff ahead may seem daunting, the waves rushing to crash against the shore.

Knowing God is with me is enough to remind me it’s because of Him I can be brave.

Knowing how much her mother loved her was enough to make Mereda brave when it counted.

God loves us so much Jesus laid down His life for us.

Jesus was able to be brave when it counted, knowing it was part of the plan which brought Him to earth, with the purpose of showing us just how much He loves us.

God can do no less for you and I.

In fact, He is just waiting for us to come to Him, so He can love up on us.

It is that love, and knowing what He has for us to do, that together makes us brave.

Its up to me, to you, to choose…

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