Worship

Tonight was about the worship. It wasn’t about the bank accounts having issues, or the kids needing help. It wasn’t about the work that needed to get done or the food that still needed to be made. Tonight was about bringing who I am faults and all to the cross. Christmas brings hope, wonder, and joy.

Christ was borne in a stable and placed in a manger, because there wasn’t a place available for his parents to lay their weary heads. His mom had to give birth where animals slept, ate and lived. She had to trust that Joseph would keep watch over her while she gave birth. She had to trust that the animals that were living in the stable were gentle enough that when she was in the full pains of labor they wouldn’t get antsy and try to step and move around her. When Christ was borne his parent’s were poor, and far from home and all things normal and comfortable to them. There wasn’t a doctor nearby and hospitals were not a thing. When Christ was borne Mary and Joseph had each other but more importantly they had God who was watching over them and helping them every step of the way.

The shepherds only had themselves to offer as worship, after being woken by the great multitudes of angels, they left their flock (their livelihood) to follow some distant star in search of a child. A child that most likely looked like other children borne in that same town and night. The shepherds had to trust in God that they would find baby Jesus and that while they were gone in the search of him, that their sheep would be cared for. God calls us like he called the shepherds to give all we have and to trust that in every situation He is in control and will provide and watch out for us. This even means watching over stinky sheep.

While I sat in church tonight with my hubby and my youngest child, the worries and frustrations that I have had on my heart were fighting hard to keep hold of my attention. Our pastor wanted to read to us from the Psalms before we started the singing. He read from Psalms 117 which reads: Praise the Lord, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples. For great is his love for us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord. In so many situations complaining and worrying are the first things we want to do. We are programed to see the negative before the positive, and even seem to remember the bad times over the good times. What we have forgotten and have overlooked is that we were made to worship. We are always in search of something to worship whether it is ourselves or the next fad. We want people to know what it is we find important. Psalms 117 tells us we need to Praise the Lord, that’s it. He is who we need to worship.

When I have been overwhelmed this week the last thing I wanted to do was worship. I wanted to complain, eat chocolate and cry. I forced myself to open my devotional. As sad as that sounds it was a forced situation. As I would read, and then look up the Bible verse associated with the devotion, the stress didn’t magically melt away, the worries and frustrations were still there but they were put in their place: At the foot of the cross. When I was reading the Bible my life didn’t get easier but I did have peace. I worshiped Christ by giving of my time though reluctantly at first. When our church announced that there would be a worship night I knew I needed to go, even if it was just me. I needed to be put in my place as well.

Most of the songs I knew and the ones I didn’t know I let wash over me as I just sat and listened. I was able to worship with my time and my voice. The pastor ended the service with a prayer and as we sat and shared time with others eating the cookies provided it was awesome to look around the room and see the various people present. There were some I knew better than others but they all came with worries and frustrations on their hearts and they all decided that for tonight they would be there for the worship. Until next time:

Remind yourself that the majority of what’s stressing you out today won’t matter a month from now. Shake it off, reset, and bring your attention back to what’s important. Bring it back to worship.

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Help keep Living Joyfully a place where hope abounds and people can find ways to see the joy around them

Help keep Living Joyfully a place where hope abounds and people can find ways to see the joy around them

Help keep Living Joyfully a place where hope abounds and people can find ways to see the joy around them

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Rae’s New Shine Children’s Book, great Christmas gift!

One day Rae woke up and felt different. When she looked at the people around her they seemed to “shine brighter” than she did. When she finally prayed about it and asked her mom for help, she realized she didn’t know her own worth. She didn’t believe in herself and felt dim compared to others. Once she started to see she was talented and worthy her shine came back.

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