Friday, December 31, 2010

An Accomplished Goal In 2010!!!!!!!

"LORD, You establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished You have done for us. LORD our God...Your name alone do we honor."
Isaiah 26:12,13

December 31st!!!  We did it!!!  God gets the glory.  Truly, as the verses from Isaiah 26 above say, anything and everything we have accomplished, HE HAS DONE FOR US!!  HIS NAME ALONE DO WE HONOR!!

In 2009, I read the Bible through in a year using the NIV One-Year Chronological Bible.  In the beginning of this year, my dear friend, Cheryl, lovingly suggested that Jim and I read the Bible in a year with our cherubs.  I LOVED that idea!!!  Thank you, Cheryl! 

Each night after bath time, we would gather to read the day's scripture in the daily Kid's Bible.  There were some nights we would miss, and we'd make it up the following night by reading two days.  There were a couple times during the year we got several nights behind, but we diligently got caught up each time.  Our Kid's Bible even traveled with us this summer to Turks & Caicos, Camp of The Woods (where Jim read it around the nightly camp fire for devotion time with our wonderful friends' families who were with us) and North Carolina.  Throughout the year, meaningful and memorable family conversations from the heart started by reading God's Word together as a family.  We are very thankful. 

So, what was our real goal in reading the Bible in its entirety in a year?  Our heart's desire is to KNOW HIM.  John 17:3 - Now this is eternal life: that they know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.

Our true goal is to KNOW HIM.  By soaking His Word into our hearts each day, we know Him more intimately.  Our prayer for our children is that they love and hunger for God's Word, that His Word is the joy of their hearts, that His Word is their unshakable heritage and that it is passed on through them for generations to come.  Psalm 119:111 - Your statutes are my heritage forever; are the joy of my heart.    

So, this evening as we try to stay awake until midnight to see the fireworks in the sky above our little town welcoming in 2011, we will read together the final entry (from Revelation) in our Day by Day Kid's Bible.  We acknowledge God's goodness and grace in allowing us to accomplish this heart's desire together as a family.  We are again hushed and humbled by His great love.

We are excited to see God's work in the hearts of our children and in our own hearts as parents as we continue steep ourselves in His Word in the new year.  May it encourage us, challenge us, convict us, guide us, bring forth a harvest of righteousness in our lives and bring us His life and light.   

I delight in Your decrees;
I will not neglect Your word. Psalm 119:16

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Womb With A View - Christmas 2010

“And now the LORD says—He who formed me in the womb to be His servant…for I am honored in the eyes of the LORD
and my God has been my strength.”
Isaiah 49:5 

"...just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”
Matthew 20:28

A womb is a sacred place held in the hands of God. As God knits together His precious handiwork, the Creator ordains the days and knows His purpose for His creation. ”For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.” Psalm 139:13-16 (NIV)

Consider the miraculous first offspring of Mary’s womb. "The first offspring of every womb belongs to me…” Exodus 34:19 The One who was with God in the beginning, the One through whom all things were made (John 4:1-4), was now being knit together by our Heavenly Father’s hands as a babe. Why? Because Mary’s womb was a womb with a view. He formed Jesus in Mary’s womb to be His servant, our Savior and Redeemer. Jesus loves the people of the world perfectly and completely. We need a Redeemer because of our sin, rebellion and independence from God.

Jesus’ view from Mary’s womb was both glorious and heart-wrenching. His creation and His people spread out before Him, He viewed the necessity of the cross. With His death and resurrection on the horizon, He viewed the new life that only His saving grace could bring. “…how much more did God's grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!” Romans 5:15 (NIV)

His view from the womb embodied His ultimate view from the cross. Psalm 22 is “A View From The Cross”:

“Yet you brought me out of the womb; You made me trust in you even at my mother's breast. From birth I was cast upon You; from my mother's womb You have been my God.” (vv. 9-10)

The Heart-wrenching View:

“I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted away within me. My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death. Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet. I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me. They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing. But you, O LORD, be not far off; O my Strength, come quickly to help me.” (vv. 14-19)

The Glorious View:

“The poor will eat and be satisfied; they who seek the LORD will praise Him— may your hearts live forever! All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations will bow down before Him, for dominion belongs to the LORD and He rules over the nations.” (vv. 26-28)

The View For Those Still Wombed:

“They will proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn—for He has done it.” (v. 31)

He has done it. His view from the womb: the redemption and salvation of a people whom He loves. His purpose: our new, made-holy life in Him, to know Him. “‘Here I am. I have come to do Your will.’ And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” Hebrews 10:9, 10

"Now this is eternal life: that they know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent."  John 17:3

He did it once for all. As we celebrate our Savior’s birth this Christmas season, let’s consider the sacred “Womb With A View”. With humility, reverence and awe, let’s completely yield and surrender our hearts and life to His view for our lives. Just as Christ was our servant, may we serve Him with surrendered hearts in obedience. “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many." Mark 10:45 (NIV)

Our Savior, thank You that we were and are in Your view since the beginning. Thank you for Your obedience in coming to earth as a babe and then redeeming us by Your death on the cross and Your resurrection. By Your grace and strength, may our lives be marked by humility and obedience, just like You. This is not a prayer we pray lightly, but one we pray with great reverence and trust.  We are humbled that You came to save and serve us. Fill us so that we may be surrendered servants for You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.  

Blessed, Merry Christmas
from our family to yours!

Gabrielle & Joshua (Christmas 2006)
Jesus, thank you for having us in Your view
and in Your heart.  We love you!