Wednesday, December 31

A Stone of Remembrance

Ebenezer? Who is that? No, not Scrooge. This Ebenezer was a what, not a who. In the Bible, Ebenezer means stone of help. It’s purpose? Let’s see…

At one time in Israel’s history, when they faced the Philistines, Samuel and Israel fasted, prayed, repented, and offered a sacrifice. God answered their plea by confusing and defeating the enemy that pursued them. To commemorate the fact that Israel was victorious and recovered all the territory the enemy had taken, Samuel set up a stone as a marker of remembrance.

When he did this, he exclaimed, “Up to this point the LORD has helped us!” (1 Samuel 7:12 NLT) Samuel, whose name meant heard of God, knew the Lord would hear them and be on their side in the future.

The Lord’s hand remained against the Philistines as peace reigned throughout the land. The enemy never came into the territory of Israel again all the days of Samuel.

Did the enemy pursue you this past year as he did me? In the midst of all the raging storms against my life, God’s hand was evident to me. Did you experience the Lord’s presence with you? I felt His canopy of caring covering me. Were you aware of it over you? Did He provide shelter and sustenance, even if in quantities less than desired? Yes, He did for me.

Through all the contrary times, through sickness, through loss, through poverty, through grief, through trials, through temptations…the Lord has provided up to this point.

May we not halt or destroy God’s plans for the future, for, out of the old, a newness arises through His regenerating grace, creating all things afresh, as God said through Isaiah, “Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” (Is. 43:19 NKJV)

Will there be room in the New Year for the Lord to do a new thing in our lives, or will we be filled with last year’s leftovers? Therefore, let us not carry into the New Year the baggage of regrets, unforgiveness, resentments, failures, ungrateful hearts, or disappointments in others or in ourselves, all of which weigh down our usefulness.

As He stands in the present, He is poised, firmly fixed between the years, His presence casting a shadow over the past year, concealing its troubles, sorrows, and disappointments and transforming all the old…the old attitudes, the old habits, and the old ways, into something new.

As the light of His guidance beams across the New Year, illuminating the passage into the land of the unknown, His road will take you through each dry wilderness to streams of fresh, flowing water.

Will you stand bravely at its threshold, ready, willing, and obedient to follow the Lord, no matter where He may lead? Will your attitude be to enter His portal with thanksgiving, remembering His goodness over the past year, and to ask His blessings over the coming year?

Instead of resolutions, set goals and ask yourself these questions:

* How many lacking souls can I replenish?
* How many heavy-ladened spirits can I encourage?
* How many grieving hearts can I console this year?
* How many lost ones can I introduce to salvation?

To commemorate your year of the Lord’s goodness and your victory and recovery of all the territory the enemy has tried to take from you, set up an Ebenezer stone…the Lord, “The Stone of Israel,” the Rock of your salvation.

May the Lord’s shadow of forgiveness conceal the disappointments and troubles of your year now past, while His light is cast as a beacon of guidance to His safe haven of the days yet to be explored. May His hand be against your enemy and His peace reign all your days.

As “the LORD Himself watches over you,” I pray that the His hand will be upon your household “from the beginning of the year to the very end of the year,” that His comfort and blessings fill every room of your home so that the sounds of joy can be “heard far in the distance,” and that He will “preserve your going out and your coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore.”

May His servants Goodness and Mercy pursue you throughout the days to come.

Have a very happy New Year!

~~Blessings, Lynn~~

Sunday, December 28

New Year's Blessings

To all my sweet readers...

I pray health and peace will greet you and your family at every turn of the New Year. May blessings overtake you, as God’s servants Goodness and Mercy pursue you throughout the days to come.

May the Lord’s shadow of forgiveness be thrown over the disappointments and troubles of the year now past, while His Light is cast as a beacon of guidance to His safe haven of the days yet to be explored.

May the Lord “make you have a surplus of prosperity” and “bless all the work of your hands.” May His eyes be upon your household “from the beginning of the year to the end of the year.”

May blessings fill every room of your house and the sounds of joy be “heard for a great distance.”

~~Blessings, Lynn~~

Friday, December 26

Safe at the Last

Today's devotion is taken from the old devotional book God At Eventide. The Lord says...

"Safe amid storms, calm amid a world-unrest, certain amid insecurity. Safely through the year.

The only safe way is the sure way of Divine Guidance. Not the advice of others, not the urgings of your own hearts and wills. Just My Guidance.

Think more of its wonder. Dwell more on its rest. Know that you are safe, secure."

~~Blessings, Lynn~~

Used by permission.

Tuesday, December 23

A Christmas Word from the Lord

Today, I share with you a message from the Lord to me some time ago. I pray that it will touch your heart this Christmas and bless you...

“My dearest one,

This is the season for giving thanks for the greatest Gift ever given, My One and Only Son, Jesus Christ. In Him is to be found all the gifts of the Spirit. All His gifts are truly yours, if you are truly Mine. You must present yourself as a gift given humbly to Me. This is the great Gift Exchange. Only when your heart is truly given to Me can this exchange be utterly completed.

The Holy Present was first given and made His home in a lowly manger in a barn. The Holy Present is now given to make His home in the hearts of men, but His home still needs to be a humble dwelling place. This Holy Present cannot live in a place where man wants to be the ruler. There can only be one Ruler of each heart.

The Gift was given in order to bring peace into the heart of the recipient, but only when one gives all of oneself back to the Giver can this Gift Exchange take place and peace be found.

Peace came that Holy Night and filled the world with wonder and joy. Its Light not only illuminated the entire sky but it also lit the way for the entire world to be saved, if they would only have eyes to see.

Remember this Christmas, when all the presents are under the tree, that the Greatest Gift of all drew His first breath of life in a manger made from a tree, and drew His last breath of life on a cross made from a tree. So, when you look at your Christmas tree this season, see it as a cradle of love and a display of agony; both held the true Gift, the Gift of Life.

He came into this world as the Gift of Life and gave back that Life as a Gift to all mankind.

Oh, My children, do not miss the true Spirit of Christmas, My Gift to you. Whether you have presents under the tree or not, the True Presence shall be alive in your heart, if you will just receive your True Gift.”

May all who read this know the joy of the True Gift of Christmas...Jesus!

~~Blessings, Lynn~~

Thursday, December 18

The Checkout Lane

With the parking lot full, finding a space was almost impossible. Shopper after shopper filed in the store’s front door, lists in hand, and most lacking the Christmas spirit.

The checkout lanes stretched halfway through the store. As angers were on the verge of erupting, loneliness carved a swath through the throng of shoppers, fighting for a place in each line.

“Why don’t they have more checkout lanes open?” complained one shopper.

“I don’t know. This is so depressing,” grumbled another nearby.

Each lane had its share of Grinches and lonely hearts, each moaning over all the congestion. In one lane stood a mother with three small kids in tow, all whining and wanting everything in sight.

In the next lane stood another mother with her three little ones, all in a joyous mood. Six year-old Olivia asked her mother, “Mommy, why is everyone so grumpy?”

Lowering her voice so others wouldn’t hear their conversation, she whispered, “I’m not sure, dear. I think everyone is in a hurry and they don’t know the meaning of Christmas.”

“Don’t they know it’s Jesus’ birthday?”

Trying to shush Olivia, she lowered her voice again, “I guess not. Some people just don’t know.”

“Well, why don’t we tell them?”

“I don’t think this is a very good time, dear.”

“Why not, Mommy? Didn’t you say it’s always time for Jesus?”

“Well, yes, I did, but…”

“Well, let’s tell them.”

Overhearing their conversation, those standing near this family began shifting their weight from one foot to another, uncomfortable as to what they might hear next.

The mother began to silently pray, “Oh, Lord, if You desire others to know it is Your birthday that they’re supposed to be celebrating, then please resolve this situation.”

Olivia bowed her head and thought for a moment. Then, a very soft, little voice began to sweetly sing…

“Away in the manger, no crib for a bed,
The little Lord Jesus laid down His sweet head;
The stars in the sky looked down where He lay,
The little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.”

Silence fell on the checkout lanes. All that could be heard was the whirring of the cash registers. No one said a word.

Then, that sweet little voice began to sing again…

“Joy to the world! The Lord is come;
Let earth receive her King;
Let ev’ry heart prepare Him room,
And heav’n and nature sing,
And heav’n and nature sing,
And heav’n, and heav’n and nature sing.”

Just as a place was made for baby Jesus to be born so many years ago, a place was made for Him in the checkout lane. Smiles erupted across the stone-cold faces of the Grinches. Peace swept across the store, carving a swath through the crowd of shoppers and banishing loneliness, and the Grinch, from the checkout lanes.

May the Lord bless you with a special Christmas.

~~Blessings, Lynn~~

Sunday, December 14

The First Christmas Carol

What is one of the best elements about Christmas, aside from the obvious of Jesus’ birth? The presents? The tree? The food? Nope! For me, it’s the music!

I love all the Christmas music. So many wonderful carols have been written over the years. Do you know which one is truly the original?

It’s the Song of Mary, which is called the Magnificat and it is found in Luke 1:46-55.

Mary’s song starts out with these beautiful words in verse 46, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.”

I don’t think we fully understand what magnifying the Lord means. The Old and New Testament words mean essentially the same: to grow, to make great, powerful, or important, promote, praise, increase or enlarge, esteem highly, lift up, exalt, extol, and so on.

The English dictionaries define ‘magnify’ as to increase in actual size, enlarge, exaggerate, amplify, intensify, to extol, praise, glorify, to make seem more important, and so on.

Did you catch those last three? Praise, glorify, to make seem more important.

As the result of our praising God, we enlarge His image and His power, intensifying them more than our circumstances. The disciple John said it most succinctly, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30 NKJV)

I know there are things you praise God for - your family, your friends, your home, your job, but do you thank Him for the things you have that millions of people around the world do not have? Like your haircut, your toothpaste, your nice, hot shower, your mattress, your shoes, your make-up, your razor, your TV (which is questionable!), your car, your cell phone, your computer, your dishes, your washer and dryer, your dishwasher, your refrigerator or even the little bit of food you may have in it?

We are so much more fortunate and blessed than two-thirds of the world, and yet, we whine when our new shoes pinch our feet!

Paul commanded the Ephesians to sing spiritual songs and to make music to the Lord in their hearts. He knew how to do that despite his circumstances.

When the stream of joy dries up and disappears, do as Paul told the Philippians to do as he wrote from a Roman jail, saying, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I say, rejoice!” (Phil. 4:4b NKJV)

The one rejoicing unlocks the dam built by negative thoughts, words, and circumstances. He waters that dry, rock-bed stream and joy flows once again, for he “will have rivers of living water flowing from his inmost heart.” (John 7:38b Phillips)

The impetus for regaining that joy is not triggered by material things given to the flesh but by praise given from the heart.

The hosts of heaven, praising God, ushered in the birth of Christ, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (Luke 2:14 NKJV) If Christ lives within you as your Saviour, do you sing of His glory as Mary did? Do you sing praises to magnify His presence as the angels did? What kind of music does your life make to the Lord?

Being thankful is easy when everything is hunky-dunky, but the praise that emanates from a pain-ravaged heart, which presses on despite sickness or loss, is the sweet-smelling sacrifice of holy incense that rises to the throne room and lingers at the Father’s feet. This is the sweetest praise of all, for it is based on the love of the Lord.

Sing any tune, make up any words, but sing to your Beloved. Sing the praises of the One Who deserves them. It will make a difference in your attitude and in your circumstances.

I know many are having great difficulties this season, but do your best to sing along with Mary and me. May the Lord bless you immensely as you sing the first Christmas carol…

“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.”

~~Blessings, Lynn~~

Wednesday, December 10

The Meaning of Bethlehem

Today, we will look at the etymology of…


Biblical names have always held great significance; so, what is Bethlehem’s history and description? This is very interesting.

Bethlehem’s original name was Ephratah, sometimes used in the shortened version as Ephrath (meaning fruitfulness or fruitful land). Located about five to six miles south of Jerusalem, Bethlehem is nestled in the district of Judah (meaning praise).

Tucked in among the fertile hills of Judah, the land of praise, laid this quiet little village, which later became known as Bethlehem-Ephratah and eventually became Bethlehem (meaning house of bread).

In the surrounding fields, a shepherd boy would pasture his father’s flocks and sing them the praises of his God. Much later, heavenly songs of praise would ascend above the fields, filling the atmosphere with angelic voices, welcoming the Redeemer of the world born here.

Do you see anything in all that? If not, look again. The House of Bread dwelt in the fruitful land of Praise! As the lineage of Christ came through the bloodline of Judah, the land of Praise birthed “the Bread of God” from heaven. Praise unveiled the Bread of Life.

David said to God, “But You are holy, O You Who dwell in [the holy place where] the praises of Israel [are offered].” (Ps. 22:3 AMP)

This is where our spiritual food, the Living Bread, dwells: nestled in our hearts’ praises!

May Bethlehem live in your heart, filling it with sweet praise in this season of Christ’s birth.

~Blessings, Lynn~~

Saturday, December 6

Immanuel...God With Us

The Advent season is upon us once again. It comes more quickly each year. I know, I’m just getting old!

Since we’ll soon hear the amazing story of Jesus’ birth being told from the pulpit, I thought we’d take a look at two words from the account: Jesus and Bethlehem. Two seemingly separate words yet intertwined in a surprising way. We’ll look at Jesus today and discover the treasure hidden in Bethlehem next time.

In the Old Testament, God’s name and His presence were virtually synonymous, which was evidenced in His name Jehovah-shammah, meaning the Lord is present or there.

Jehovah-shammah, dwelling on the throne of heaven, lowered Himself to earth to be born in another form, to live personally with His people. His name? “Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Is. 9:6 NKJV)

In the New Testament, Jesus was Jehovah-shammah, as Matthew, quoting prophecy, said of His name, “‘They shall call His name Immanuel,’ translated as, ‘God with us.’” (Matt. 1:23b NKJV)

When Jesus came to be with us, He threw off His robe of celestial royalty and dressed Himself in a tiny, pink suit of humanity, and from the birth-manger to the death-tomb, “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” (John 1:14 NKJV) The original Greek says that Jesus “tabernacled” among us.

That Divine Flesh was known by the name of Jesus, which the Word says is a “more excellent name” (Heb. 1:4) and the “name which is above every other name.” (Phil. 2:9b TLB)

Calling on that precious name has opened the portals of heaven and shut the gates of hell bringing salvation to lost souls, turning away tornadoes, averting disasters, saving the lives of those in car wrecks, healing people of cancer and AIDS, giving the lame the ability to walk, hearing to the deaf, and sight to the blind, delivering those oppressed by demons, and even bringing some back from death’s grip. Dependence on that name is essential.

The last thing Jesus said to His disciples was, “And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matt. 28:20 NKJV)

Jehovah-shammah. Immanuel. God with us. Always!

~~Blessings, Lynn~~

Wednesday, December 3

"And the Word Was Made Flesh"

Advent King in straw-lined splendor,
swaddled gently at mother’s breast,
God incarnate in a pink suit,
not knowing yet His future test.

In the gentle hush of silence,
soothing sounds of cattle lowing,
angel hosts sing Him their praises,
all creation in glory knowing.

Destiny pressing upon His life,
as crossed shadow falls on His face.
The miracle of the manger
now filled with man’s future grace.

~~Blessings, Lynn~~