Learning from the Example of Mary Mother of Jesus

In the coming weeks as Christmas is celebrated, many churches will have nativity scenes and in some plays a living nativity scene. Some will have a young woman dressed up as Mary the mother of Jesus. While the scenes are nice reminders of the first Christmas when Jesus was born, there is an aspect not normally covered, but important to consider. It underscores the faithfulness Mary.

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A bible verse we don’t usually think about at Christmas time is Leviticus 20:10

If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife—with the wife of his neighbor—both the adulterer and the adulteress are to be put to death.

Being engaged at that time in Jewish culture would have basically meant Mary and Joseph were considered to be married just had not consummated the marriage yet. To end the engagement, they would have had to get divorced. So if Mary was found to be pregnant but not by Joseph, she could have been killed by being stoned to death.

Mary would have been well aware of what was in the Jewish law when the angel Gabriel told her she had been chosen to be the mother of the Savior of the world, Jesus. So when Mary responded in Luke chapter 1:

“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

She knew the possible consequences. Mary said yes to God even though the possible consequences were that she could be stoned to death. When she said yes to God’s plan, she entrusted herself, her life, to God to protect her, care for her and ensure the outcome.

Mary is a great example of trusting God knowing there can be adverse consequences.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Food from Students Became Food for the Soul

It has been a semester of dealing with the unexpected every day. To say it has been the most challenging one I have experienced is an understatement. Yesterday morning I woke up tired and feeling like maybe I should just retire already. I felt like this:

I prayed for a while and was brutally honest. I basically said something like, “I feel like just retiring. Show me something if you don’t want me to.” Not the most spiritual prayer I know.

I went to teach my morning class and for the first time ever two students brought me food. I have had students bring me food before, but usually one student every four weeks or so. Yesterday was a doubleheader. 🙂

The green frozen soup is called Pozoles. It is a soup popular among my Mexican friends. It is DELICIOUS. The other is Briyani a rice dish with chicken and other things. It is also DELICIOUS.

Maybe there is truth to the saying the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.

There will be more days ahead that will be challenging, but it is encouraging to know students appreciate a teacher. Food for the stomach became food for the soul.

Elijah was weary once. God’s response was to send an angel to feed him. We read about in 1st Kings 19:

Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep. All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again. The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.”

The angel fed him twice. Two students brought me food. Okay Jesus, I got the message.

Has God shown you something in interesting ways recently?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Why Jesus Came- John Chapter 17

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One verse in John 17 reveals to us why Jesus came. What the end goal of his being born as a human baby was. Why he left his glory in heaven to be born a human baby.

He wants us to be with him for all eternity. John 17:24 says:

“Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.”

Jesus wants all who will believe in him to be with him forever. He wants us to be with him in heaven and enjoy eternity with him. But we should not think of this as merely a ticket out of hell and into heaven. He wants relationship with us an eternal relationship. In the last verse of John 17, Jesus said this:

“Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you  known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”

He makes God the Father known to us not a mere head knowledge but rather intimately knowing Jesus and God the Father. Jesus wants an eternal relationship of love. He wants God’s love to be in us. He wants us to be part of the family.

That is why Jesus came. That is why we celebrate Christmas. Jesus loves us, wants us to be with him as part of his family forever.

I am sharing the video What A Beautiful Name because one line from the song conveys it so well- You Didn’t Want Heaven Without Us, So Jesus You Brought Heaven Down.

The question is do we want relationship with Jesus.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Music Mondays- Thank You Jesus by Hillsong

My fellow blogger Euyadeen of quietmomentswithgodblog.wordpress.com shared this last week. I loved it, so I wanted to share it with you today.

For me it is a good reminder that no matter happens in this life, I can be thankful for Jesus, his love, his grace and mercy. Jesus came to rescue us from from being eternally separated from God. He came to become our Savior.

The message of this song fits so well with what Christmas is really all about. Jesus came to be our Savior. That is why he was born as a human baby.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

How to remember God’s promises — Always finding the silver lining

I have this picture on my phone as the lock screen saver. Dominque and Jesse, May 2018, photo by Marcus Jackson This is one of the maternity pics from when I was pregnant with my son. Secondary infertility is something that makes me really nervous. I try not to worry but now that my son […]

How to remember God’s promises — Always finding the silver lining

Are You Ready?

Are you ready? That simple three word question that at times can be annoying such as being asked are you ready repeatedly about evening plans. That simple question can cause anxiety such as when I ask students if they are ready for a test.

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The same question may elicit various responses when someone asks- Are you ready for Christmas? It is only 26 days away from Christmas. Christmas the holiday that tends to bring out the best or the worst in some people. Christmas the holiday that some people go crazy shopping for.

For me it is easy. I simply go online and order things for people. I don’t decorate since I live alone. I am usually invited to a friend’s home for dinner and no one ever wants me to cook which is hard to understand since I have mastered the popcorn setting on my microwave, 🙂

Christmas is the time we celebrate the 1st coming of Jesus when he was born as a human baby to become our Savior. That brings up another question which is about his 2nd coming.

One day, a day no one knows when it will be, Jesus will return to earth. That day will be a most wonderful day for those who believe in Jesus. For those who don’t it will not be a wonderful day. So my simple question is- Are you ready for Jesus’s 2nd coming?

The way things are going it seems to be getting closer each day. For me, it is a day I look forward to. It is a day that will mean the end of war, disease, and so many other problems in this world.

Are we ready? We can become ready by placing our trust in Jesus as our Savior, by believing he is God the Son who died for us and defeated death for us. The good news is that he wants ALL people to come to him voluntarily and receive eternal life just as that famous bible verse John 3:16 says:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

For Unto Us- Birth of Jesus Foretold 700 Years Before

Isaiah was a prophet who lived over 700 years before Jesus was born. His book in the bible foretold many aspects about Jesus. In this brief series, my focus will be on his prophecy about Jesus being born.

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In Isaiah 7:14 he wrote:

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel

Mary was a virgin when she conceived Jesus through the miracle working of the Holy Spirit. In churches we hear the story so often that we can overlook the wonder of this. A teenage girl was chosen by God to give birth to the Savior of the world. Imagine being her greeted by the Angel Gabriel with this news. She was frightened by his greeting but said yes to God. Such faith to trust God. I will explore that in a future post.

The title Immanuel is the first use of this term in the bible. It appears three times in the bible twice in Isaiah and once in Matthew. El was the common name for God in that time. With this word construct using Immanu meaning with us, the promise is that the child, the son, born of the virgin would be God with us.

Jesus is God with us. He is our constant companion. He will never leave us. He said so in Matthew 28:20

And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age

In John 14:18 Jesus said

I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you

I have been in orphanages in poor countries and have seen the hopeless look on the faces of the children. I have also been in Christian group homes for orphans and have seen how the children are raised in love. Orphans cannot care for themselves. They are vulnerable and easily taken advantage of because they cannot defend themselves. Jesus’s promise is that he will not leave us vulnerable, alone, defenseless against Satan. He will come to us.

Whatever situation we are in, Jesus is with us. There is always hope because Jesus is with us. That is especially comforting in these times we live in at present with all the concerns we have.

This Christmas season with all of the negative news swirling around us, let’s keep focus on the true miracle of the first Christmas- a baby born of a virgin to be God with us.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Thanksgiving-The Day After

Thanksgiving Day I spent time with a family who are friends of mine from church. It was a blessed time of friendship, food, and fellowship. After we ate, they introduced me to a Christian Comedian I had not hear of before Tim Hawkins as we watched videos after dinner. I am sharing his parody song about coffee for my fellow coffee lovers.

They sent me home with leftovers, so my day is one of blogging. eating leftovers, and watching college football. My only dilemma is whether to go out to the small nearby grocery store to buy some ice cream to go with the pie I took home with me.

My friends know I con only eat gluten free, so the whole meal was gluten free. It is a blessing to have friends who accommodate dietary restrictions. Before I left, we spent a little time in prayer. Jesus has blessed me with good friends.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.