Gifts

“I have nothing to give but my heart so full and these empty hands.”

Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

Ever noticed a little thrill when you get a package in the mail or by a delivery service? Do you feel a sudden urge to grab a box cutter, scissors, or in a pinch just use your fingernails? The last one is a thought that horrifies the owner of my local nail salon, but sometimes you just can’t wait to open it, especially when you don’t know what it is. You tear back the tape and rip back the cardboard flaps and ooh and ah even if it is something mundane like a new duster. But, how often do we lay aside the contents, sometimes leaving it in the box it arrived in, and forget about it until we find it again a month later?

There is the thrill of the new and the excitement of the unknown in opening the package, but what good is our new arrival if it sits buried in a corner unused. This year I made it a goal to try and begin using a gift or package as soon as I get it. I don’t always achieve it but I am trying to do better. As a matter of fact, just this morning I found a purpose for a new journal I received at Christmas. I had set it aside looking for the right time and project and I found one on journaling about the cross in preparation for Easter. Since I just re-found another gift, Andrew Murray’s The Way of the Cross, I thought it was a sign.

But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.

Ephesians 4:7

We are all given gifts from God when we accept Christ as Lord, spiritual gifts. It sounds great. You know it’s there, but you don’t take it out of the box and use it. So, what good is it? Spiritual gifts were meant to be used. They have a purpose.

For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ

Ephesians 4:12

We are supposed to be using our gifts to help others. As Christians we are part of the body of Christ here on earth. Our gifts are how we function in the body. If we don’t do our part, the body may keep moving, but it is hindered from reaching its full potential.

So, break out the box and see what’s in there. There are studies and tests to help you figure out what your gifts are, but I dare say that you probably already have an idea. The key is putting the gifts to work. Look around your church and your community and I am sure you will find a need that you can meet.

Start with prayer. God is more than willing to give us an assignment if we will only ask. But you still have to take action even if it is only to raise your hand. You will be surprised what the Lord can do with a willing heart. Come to God with a full heart and empty hands and He will use them in ways we can’t even imagine now. God has already done His part. Now it’s your turn.

So, what’s in the box?

Drink Deep

A little learning is a dang’rous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely sobers us again.

Alexander Pope An Essay on Criticism

In the yarn shop where I work, we have two peace lilies. Since we are closed two days straight, sometimes the plants don’t get watered, and we find them wilted and limp. However, within a few minutes of a healthy dose of water, they perk up and stand tall and lush. It’s amazing what a good drink of water can do. It’s even more amazing what a drink of living water can do for you.

For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.

Jeremiah 2:13

The peace lilies don’t get a say in where they get their water; they are at our mercy. We, however, can choose where we get our water. In biblical times, there were at least two sources of water: fountains (springs) and cisterns. Of the two, a spring was the preferred source because it flowed continuously from underground, while a cistern was merely a temporary holding of rainwater and was subject to the elements. The Israelites had not only chosen the cistern over the springs, but they had chosen a broken cistern that literally could not hold water.

Spiritually speaking, people do the same thing. They chase after the broken things of this world: knowledge, money and power. Eventually, all of these things will fail. We need to go to the source of unending fountains of water if we want to be truly satisfied. We also need to drink deep of the water. Unlike the lilies, we need more than just a sip now and then. We need continual glasses of water to keep us spiritually healthy. How do we do that?

He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

John 7:38

First, we have to believe and have a relationship with Christ the source of living water. Then, we need to keep the pipes clear through prayer, Bible study, and worship. It’s not just a sip either. It’s a life dedicated to following Christ’s example, which takes effort on our part. It’s not a 6-week program; it’s a life-long journey. We need to take long drinks so that we can be spiritually prepared to be his hands and feet in the world. He wants to use us for His glory but we are of no use if we are dehydrated.

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

2 Timothy 2:15

So, let’s stay close to the source and take deep drinks so that we can thrive no matter what environment we find ourselves in. The world cisterns won’t hold water, but we know where the true source of life is found and need only to ask and we will receive all we will ever need.

Hope Continues

I finished my hope notebook this week. I also finished a couple of projects, so I deemed this Finish it February. My goal is to finish some of my works in progress this month, which include projects around the house, knitting projects, writing projects, and even reading projects. It’s time to settle down and get things done. However, I have realized that one thing should not be finished: hope.

Day 36

24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? 25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it….28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:24-25, 28

We continue to hope with patience because we know that God only wants for us to have the best life. When we join with him in His will for us, then we can know that He will take whatever happens and use it for our good. Sometimes it’s not immediately clear what God is doing and some things we may not understand this side of Heaven, but we can know that He is at work and we can trust Him to handle whatever comes our way.

Day 37

And Joshua said unto them, Fear not, nor be dismayed, be strong and of good courage: for thus shall the Lord do to all your enemies against whom ye fight.

Joshua 10:25

When we hope in God, we don’t have to be afraid. We can be strong and courageous because of His Spirit within us. When we are in His will, he will fight our enemies for us. He never stops fighting for us.

Day 38

But I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more.

Psalms 71:14

Every day we have hope because the Spirit lives within us. When we focus on that hope, then we have more to praise Him for than ever before. Each day we have new reasons to praise Him. Praise also renews our spirit and centers our focus for the day to come.

Day 39

And thou shalt be secure, because there is hope; yea, thou shalt dig about thee, and thou shalt take thy rest in safety.

Job 11:18

Hope is also rest. We can be assured that no matter what is going on around us we can rest in safety in the arms of Jesus. The Lord is able to save us from trouble, but even if he doesn’t, He will go with us through it. We can trust Him with our future.

Day 40

For the final day of my 40 Days of Hope Notebook, I made a picture with all the scripture references. 39 references to why we have hope even in times like these. All we have to do is open up the Bible and we will find reasons for hope.

As my hope notebook project (#Myhopenotebook) comes to a close, my hope does not. I continue to hope because God is not done yet. It doesn’t end until, like the song says, we all get to Heaven. In the meantime, we continue to hope and rest in God’s promises while we wait to see what He will do next. Life is full of ups and downs but it is a great adventure when we live it in this hope: the mystery of Christ within us, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27).

Hope is Confident

I was aggravated this morning because I couldn’t seem to get everything together to write my blog post last night or this morning before my dental appointment. I wanted it all taken care of so that I wouldn’t have to think about it when I got home. The dental appointment ran late, so it was past time for lunch when I finally left, and I still had to stop by the vet’s office for cat food. I was working my way into a pity party on the drive home because the dentist had suggested a crown to go over the filling. I was just getting caught up from last year, and I had several other debts still to pay. Would I ever get ahead?

Before I broke into tears, I decided to distract myself by thinking about what I could do, which was plan out my blog and my hope notebook project. I had somehow chosen the same verse twice for the notebook, so I was one short for my 40 days. I got an idea for the 40th day as I was driving along, and in the process I remembered that God was my hope, so I could be confident that He could handle whatever comes. All of the events of last night and this morning led me to the truth God wanted me to know: He is enough.

Day 29

The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.

Lamentations 3:24

Day 30

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:

1 Peter 1:3-6

Day 31

The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.

Psalms 147:11

Day 32

Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.

Jeremiah 17:7

Day 33

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

Philippians 1:6

Day 34

For the needy shall not always be forgotten: the expectation of the poor shall not perish for ever.

Psalms 9:18

Day 35

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Isaiah 40:31

As I reviewed the verses from this week, I saw God planting seeds of hope all along the way. Today was kind of like a pop quiz to see if I had learned my lessons this week. In the midst of the temptation to whine, the scriptures came back to remind me that hope is confident because it comes from a God who cannot fail. While the road will not always be easy on this journey called life, we always have a good traveling companion in the Holy Spirit and the destination is worth the struggle.

When you are tempted to wallow in pity, take a moment to list the things you have to be thankful for and it will improve your mood exponentially.  Then give that list of problems to God and ask Him to show you what to do. Sometimes that might be to just “wait upon the Lord” and sometimes it might require something on your part, but if you stay in His will, it will all work out to His Glory.

Now I’m going to go slurp some tea until feeling returns to my lip and work on my hope notebook. Today’s verse is especially timely and I am excited about the finale next week. Stay tuned to #MyHopeNotebook and remember that as long as we have God, we have a hope that give us confidence.

Hope is a Promise

The tracking information on my package said “Delivery by 8 pm today.” I went out in the dark with a flashlight to check. It was not there. I looked for it again the next day, but it was still not there. I rechecked the tracking, and it had changed delivery dates to the following day. I was beginning to lose hope that it would ever arrive, but it finally came by the end of that week. Given the state of things, it really isn’t surprising, yet it was still disappointing. This is a broken world, so we often lose hope because of broken promises; however, when we trust in God’s promises, we always have hope because he will never fail us.

I have been drawing the scripture references randomly, so I can see God’s hand directing the choice of these verses, especially when you look at all of this week’s selections together:

Day 22

But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

1 Corinthians 2:9

Day 23

And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

Romans 5:5

Day 24

The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints. Ephesians 1:18

Ephesians 1:18

Day 25

Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.

Malachi 3:16

Day 26

For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope….Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.

Romans 15:4,13

Day 27

Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word.

Psalms 119:114

Day 28

Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

Isaiah 9:7

God has prepared unimaginable good things for those who love Him (Day 22). He put his love in our hearts through the Holy Spirit (Day 23). He has called us, and we will receive the riches of his inheritance (Day 24). God hears those who fear him and will put them in a Book of Remembrance (Day 25). He gives us patience and comfort through His scriptures, and fills us with joy and peace through the power of the Holy Spirit (Day 26). He is our hiding place and shield, and we have hope in His Word (Day 27). What God says, He will perform (Day 28).

We have hope through the promises of God’s Word, and His Word never fails. So, whenever you are feeling hopeless, let the Word of God and His Holy Spirit minister to your heart for they are the source of all hope. Let’s spend more time meditating on the scriptures, and less time worrying about things only God can handle. Then let’s leave those things in His capable hands.

Hopeful: It’s an Attitude

It’s the little things that can make your day, but it is also the little things that can wreck your day…if you let it. My hope Bible study this week seems to be on attitude. Don’t get me wrong, I can get an attitude, but it’s not always the right one. The scriptures this week give an example of how we should respond to life given the hope that we have.

Day 15

Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

1John 3:2-3

We should purify ourselves. If we are Christians, we are purified by the blood of Christ on the cross, but we still live in a fallen world. We are faced with situations on a daily basis that can send us down the wrong path. So the first key word is PURITY.

Day 16

But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

1 Thessalonians 5:8

The next key word is SOBER. Sober is more than just not drinking alcohol or taking drugs. Have you ever heard the phrase “sober as a judge”? To be sober is to be calm, temperate, and earnest. Noone wants to come before a judge who is either silly or prone to outbursts. We want someone who is calm and serious so that they can judge the situation fairly. From the looks of social media, I think all of us could do with a little sobering up.

Day 17

Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

Titus 2:13

LOOKING is the word that jumped out at me from this verse. When you have hope, you are expecting something. In this case, we are expecting the appearing of Christ and the renewal of the entire world. Let’s not let evil in the world take away our hope. Let’s keep our focus on Christ, and share our hope with the world.

Day 18

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Revelations 21:4

The key word here is NO. There will be nothing bad in Heaven, so we have a hope for a better future. Therefore, we should remember that this world is temporary, but eternity awaits full of good things for those who believe.

Day 19

The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.

Zephaniah 3:17

MIDST is the keyword here. I almost chose mighty, but we know God is mighty. What we need to remember is that He is in the midst; He is in us through the Holy Spirit’s presence. We are not alone.

Day 20

Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;

Romans 12:12

There are actually three key words here: REJOICING, PATIENT, CONTINUING. There are several scriptures that tell us to rejoice. If nothing else, we can rejoice in our salvation, but I think if you try you can think of many more things worthy of rejoicing over. Patient is not an easy one, but if you are rejoicing, it is easier to be patient in times of trial. Continuing means we don’t stop; we keep going. As we keep going forward for Christ, we continue to pray. Keeping in constant communion with God helps to keep our battery charged and our hopes high. All three keywords also represent actions as well as attitude. What can we do today that will bring out these attitudes?

Day 21

His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

Matthew 25:21

The keyword is FAITHFUL. God just wants us to do the best we can with what we have for His service, no matter how small. If we do that, then we have JOY.

Our attitude is in direct relation to our focus. When we keep our focus on Christ, then we have hope. When we have hope, our attitude changes for the better. So, let’s try for a hopeful attitude because the world is in need of hope today more than ever before. #MyHopeNotebook

Fear Not!

Fear. A knot forms in my stomach, I clench my jaw, and I feel the world closing in around me. I want to run and hide, but where? Then, I remember the safest place to be, so I go there and find peace and comfort. Where is that, you might ask? It is the presence of God through prayer, Bible study, and worship.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

1 John 4:18

The enemy’s two biggest weapons are fear and anger. When we listen to the world, all we hear is a good dose of both of these. When we are under spiritual attack and sometimes verbal assault, we have a defense: the sword of the spirit, the Word of God. It is a source of comfort and the only effective means of routing the enemy. We need to remember that is not people we fight against but a spiritual battle (Ephesians 6:12). Spiritual battles require spiritual weapons, so use the Word of God as a source of comfort and a means of taking down our spiritual enemy, Satan, and sometimes we are our own worst enemy.

My readings for #MyHopeNotebook this week emphasized that we don’t have to fear because we have hope in God:

Day 9: The Lord is everywhere.

They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.

Isaiah 11:9

Day 10: I will not be afraid because God can defend no matter how great the size of the enemy.

Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah. But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head. I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah. I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me.I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about.

Psalms 3:2-6

Day 11: When we desire the things of God, we will be full of life and firmly planted like a tree.

Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.

Proverbs 13:12

Day 12: With God all things are possible if we believe.

Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.

Mark 9:23

Day 13: We don’t have to fear because we have hope in his mercy.

18 Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy; 19 To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. 20 Our soul waiteth for the Lord: he is our help and our shield. 21 For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name. 22 Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.

Psalms 33:18-22

Day 14: We don’t have to fear because no matter what happens God will take us through.

But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

Isaiah 43:1-2

Trials will come. That is a given; however, we don’t have to fear because God is with us. When you feel the fear or anger creeping up on you, turn off the news and social media and open the Word of God. It is a refuge of comfort, peace, and power over the enemy. While you are at it, don’t forget to grab the shield of faith because the Sword will do you no good if you are wounded by the enemy’s darts. Put on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6), and let perfect love cast out fear. Then let the peace of God fill you so that it overflows into an angry world.

Fear not!

Our Only Hope

Near the beginning of the original Star Wars movie, Luke Skywalker finds a message from Princess Leia in which she states their dire situation and begs for Obi Wan Kenobi’s help. She ends it by saying, “You’re our only hope.” Ironically, it is actually Luke Skywalker who becomes the hero along with a motley crew and not Ben who saves the day. Today we face our own situations and are looking for a hero to save us. Unfortunately, we too are looking to the wrong hero.

I started a project I call 40 Days of Hope (#MyHopeNotebook) in which I searched out 40 scriptures on Hope. Each day I draw one, hand write the scriptures, journal and post a picture. I think what the world needs right now is hope; however, they keep looking for it in all the wrong places. The following are the scriptures I drew for the first 8 days:

Day 1

To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

Colossians 1:27

Day 2

10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: 11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

2 Peter 1:10-11

Day 3

In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

Titus 1:2

Day 4

Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.

Psalms 16:9

Day 5

For surely there is an end; and thine expectation shall not be cut off.

Proverbs 23:18

Day 6

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

Jeremiah 29:11

Day 7

Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)

Hebrews 10:23

Day 8

I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope. My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning. Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the Lord there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption.

Psalms 130:5-8

If you notice, not one time did God say trust in political leaders, political parties, or vaccines although He may use them at times. He says trust in Him, hope in Him, have faith in Him. He has a plan for you that no one can change. We just have to wait for Him to work. It is often easier to say than to do, so maybe you should take a moment and write some of these verses out yourself and post them around the house or make your own notebook. Each time you feel stressed or hopeless take it out and meditate on the verses. When we shift our focus in the right direction, everything else will fall into place in His time.

In the meantime, just remember: Our hope does not come from masks or vaccines; it does not come from political leaders or political parties. Our hope comes from God and God alone.

Don’t Give Up!

Christmas Eve I was driving home from a family get together when I saw a sign in a yard. It jumped out at me in that weird way that sometimes happens, like God highlighted it for me. There were just three words: Don’t Give Up. It felt like God was speaking to me, but then I shrugged it off and continued on. Since then, that phrase has jumped out at me from a variety of sources including a random movie line, a random song lyric on the radio, and a book I was reading. I decided that God was trying to tell me something, so my word for 2021 is Hope because hope is the reason we don’t give up.

I wanted to start the New Year out with a special 40-day study/project of some kind, and after throwing ideas around, it occurred to me that I could combine a couple of my goals for the coming year into one project: Hope Notes. Every day for 40 days I will draw from a list of scriptures on hope, write out the scripture, meditate on it, journal it, and then post a picture from the notebook on Instagram. This will cover my goals for Bible study, practicing journaling, writing more, stretching artistically, trying something new, and working on growing my Instagram account. Besides, I just think after 2020 we could all use a little hope. So, let’s focus on the good things and start the New Year off right.

To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.   

Colossians 1:27

My first scripture was Colossians 1:27 which couldn’t be more perfect because hope originates in Christ. The reason we have hope is because Christ lives in our heart. Our relationship with Him results in a right relationship with God, so we have hope not only for a future in Heaven but also in our everyday lives.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

1 John 4:18

One of the movie lines that related to the topic said perfect love casts out fear because it brings hope. Perfect love only comes from God because He is the only one who is perfect, so when we are in His presence, there is no fear. The trick is to remember that we are always in His Presence if Christ lives in our hearts.

So, we can have hope everyday and not just because it’s a New Year. In order to reinforce this idea, I am posting from my notebook to Instagram for the next 40 days with the #HopeNotes. I want to cast out the fear that has been hanging over our heads and replace it with the hope we have in Christ. The only way to do that is to focus on God and not what is going on in the news or on social media. If we want the world to change, we have to start with ourselves. Be a force for change and a beacon of hope in a dark world which is “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

The Little Things

It’s the little things in life that make life enjoyable. It’s the little victories or the little surprises that bring us the most joy. A couple of weekends ago my sister and I finally stained the mantle of my electric fireplace. The mantle was a little stained and faded, and I had purchased the supplies for the project over a year ago, but it just never got done. Since I was cleaning it off in preparation for holiday decorating, she offered to help me stain it. It took less than an hour, but the effect was stunning. Every time I looked up at it that weekend I couldn’t help but smile. It was a small thing that brought great joy.

For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the Lord, which run to and fro through the whole earth.

Zechariah 4:10

The scriptures tell us not to despise the small things, the small starts, because they are the beginning of something greater. Every project has to start somewhere even if it is a baby step. It is one more step than we have ever done before, so it is progress in the right direction. Like a father watching his child take it’s first steps, God Our Father takes joy in even the smallest of victories.

Joy – Shepherd’s Candle

God has always been pleased to work among the least of men, or the least in the eyes of the world. When Christ was born in Bethlehem, God didn’t announce it to the leaders. He announced it to the shepherds at work in the field.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

Luke 2:8-11

Why the shepherds? Maybe it was because God knew they would find joy in the arrival of the babe. They were men who spent their lives in nature and among the animals and had learned to appreciate the simple things in life. They also were representative of the common man, and the Messiah had come to earth to save all who would believe, no matter what their station in life.

Little Victories

God is a God of details. Creation is full of tiny reminders of His Glory, from the stars above to the ground below. He is interested in even the smallest details of our lives. He does not despise the little victories. He celebrates with us. So, this season take a moment to enjoy the small things like a peppermint mocha, finding the right present for someone, hearing your favorite carol on the radio, or a purring cat on a cold winter night. Give thanks for the small things and spread the joy.