Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Christmas Day has come and gone. Can you believe it? Another year is slipping away.
As the door closes behind us on 2016 and we wait in anticipation for the door ahead of us to open, I pray we will walk into 2017 by faith, bold and courageous, completely trusting God with whatever this year holds.
I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your faithfulness over the years in reading these blog posts. Without you, the words from my tiny corner of the blogging world would just be journal entries floating in space, but because you follow or visit from time to time, it's become a place to meet new people, make new friends, learn and to grow up in our faith in Jesus Christ - together.
So, for you I am deeply grateful.
As we turn the corner, something new is on the horizon!
Because of how I'm wired, I love to change things up every now and then. Just ask my husband. He can leave for a few hours and upon his return, the furniture has magically moved around.
We should never be afraid to try something new. A new paint color, the rearranging of a room, a new hobby. The same ole' same 'ole can become stale. So, to stay fresh and up-to-date, I'm moving forward into 2017 embracing something new.
For many years, I've shared my greatest Pleasure (Jesus Christ) with you under the blog title "Pleasures Forevermore Psalm 16:11." I believe, as a writer, this blog space is an extension of who I am in Christ, and I want to extend myself to you in a more personal way through an addition to my blog incorporating more of who Christ has called me to be.
This new element is called a vlog (a blog entry via video) and is titled "The Red Carpet."The reason behind the name will be explained in detail in my first vlog post.
The blog furniture may be rearranged a bit, but the address will stay the same - melanieshull.com.
Consider this your personal invitation to join me on The Red Carpet in 2017. I can hardly wait to meet you there!
Happy New Year!
Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Do you believe in miracles?
A miracle is the impossible which cannot be explained in human terms.
A miracle is the demonstration of God's power; an act of love, mercy and grace.
Christmas is full
And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus." (Luke 1:30-31 ESV)
The angel Gabriel spoke with Mary about her being chosen to be the mother of the Son of God.
Mary's response. The Magnificat. Read Luke 1:46-55.
When the Holy Spirit came upon Mary, overshadowing her with His power and presence, she conceived, even though she was a virgin.
Joseph, already engaged to Mary, considered divorcing her secretly.
But as he considered these things, behold an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:20).
Joseph could have divorced her or had her stoned. But he didn't. He did what the angel Gabriel told him to. He married her even though she was pregnant.
An angel of the Lord appeared to some shepherds watching their flocks out in the fields during the night and the angel said, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." (Luke 2:10-11)
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!" (Luke 2:13-14)
The wise men who studied the stars followed the Bethlehem star for many months to reach the young King.
The angel appeared in a dream again to Joseph and told him to take the baby Jesus and Mary to Nazareth, escaping infanticide.
Miracle after miracle, the glory of God is revealed through the Christ of Christmas.
So you and I can experience the best miracle of all.
When we believe what the Word of God says about Jesus Christ, confess Him as Savior and Lord of our lives, then through the power of the Holy Spirit, God overshadows us with His presence, moving into the womb of our hearts, and new life begins.
The miracle of rebirth.
This is the holy, mysterious Christmas miracle Jesus wants to gift you with if you haven't received Him already. Once you unwrap His gift of love, Christmas will never be the same. It will fill you with awe and wonder that never grows old. And isn't this what the first Advent was all about - waiting for His hope, His peace, His love, His light?
Well, the waiting for the Messiah to come and bridge the gap back to the Father is finished. He has come. He lived in skin. He revealed the Father's heart to us. He was crucified, buried and arose on the third day. For those who believe, Christmas is now about rejoicing. It's a celebration of His first arrival. He has come to seek and save the lost. He has brought all we ever hoped for and more. Not just for a season, but for now and through all eternity.
Now, we wait again. We wait for His return which will be an even greater miracle.
Do you believe? Have you experienced the best miracle of all? If not, don't wait any longer. He wants to create a miracle in your heart today. Receive Him and celebrate with real joy this Christmas.