The Epiphany of the Lord


The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness,

Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low:

And the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain.

And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together:

For the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.         Isaiah 40:3-5


Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.

For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people:

But the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee.

And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.    

Isaiah 60:1-3


In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

The same was in the beginning with God.

All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made.

In Him was life; and the life was the light of men.

And the light shineth in the darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.  

John 1:1-5


Dear God, on this day You remind us that when all seems darkness – You bring Light – the Light of the world – Jesus. You call on us to share that Light. Not just to talk about Jesus but to let Jesus shine through us – to be the hands and feet of our Lord. If we are disciples then all should see Jesus in us – in our actions – in our speech – in everything we do and say – in who we are – every moment of every day.


The Twelfth Day Of Christmas


Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem. Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. Matthew 2:1-2

The wise men from my nativity have been on a journey this Christmas Season. They have made it as far as the cabinet in our dining room – not quite to the stable yet – Jerusalem perhaps? And of course, they are coming from the east. I have four wise men because scripture never tells us how many were in that caravan. There could have been two, or ten, or twenty. We simply don’t know. We do know that they brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Gifts for a king.


God has given us a gift in the Book of Proverbs. Wise words to teach us.

My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee;

So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;

Yea, if  thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;

If thou sleekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;

Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.

For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of His mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.    

Proverbs 2:1-6

Will you join me on a journey this year. A journey to deepen our relationship with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Let us seek His wisdom. Ask God to lead you on your journey. Make it a priority to study His Word that you will know His voice when he speaks to you. I have gotten away from the habit of reading through the Bible each year and I  find that I miss it. But we must read with the right motive. Don’t simply read to check off the required number of verses for the day. Instead read prayerfully, asking God what lessons He has for you in the reading. Chew on the words. Digest the words. Then will you be fed.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do His commandments: His praise endureth forever.  Psalm 111:10


Let me end today’s blog with the words from a hymn I discovered in an old hymnal.


As with gladness men of old

Did the guiding star behold;

As with joy they hailed its light,

Leading onward, beaming bright;

So, most gracious Lord, may we

Evermore be led to Thee.


As with joyous steps they sped

To that lowly manger bed,

There to bend the knee before

Him whom heaven and earth adore;

Wo may we with willing feet

Ever seek Thy mercy seat.


As they offered gifts most rare

At that manger rude and bare,

So may we with holy joy,

Pure and free from sin’s alloy,

All our costliest treasures bring,

Christ, to Thee, our heavenly king.


Holy Jesus, every day

Keep us in the narrow way;

And, when earthly things are past,

Bring our ransomed souls at last

Where they need no star to guide,

Where no clouds Thy glory hide.

William C. Dix, 1837-1898

The Eleventh Day Of Christmas


To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:               Ecc. 3:1

We awoke this morning to a cold gray dawn and the weather man announcing a winter weather advisory. Snow! I pray for those who have to travel or work outside in those conditions but I have to say that I love to see the ground all covered in white. There is a certain stillness in a snowstorm that invites you to slow down and consider the world around you. Make a pot of soup. Bake a loaf of bread. Curl up with a good book. And even as we are in the midst of winter, the violets in my window are blooming profusely, the hint of the spring to come.


The Tenth Day Of Christmas


Before you take another step there’s something you should know
About the years ahead and how they’ll be
You’ll be living in a world where roses hardly ever grow
Cause all I have to offer you is me
There’ll be no mansion waiting on the hill with crystal chandeliers
Then there’ll be no fancy clothes for you to wear
Everything I have is standing here in front of you to see
All I have to offer you is me

Sweetheart I’ll give you all my love in every way I can
But make sure that’s what you want while you’re still free
The only gold I have for you is in this wedding band
Cause all I have to offer you is me
There’ll be no mansion waiting on the hill with crystal chandeliers
Then there’ll be no fancy clothes for you to wear
Everything I have is standing here in front of you to see
All I have to offer you is me

Written by Dallas Frazier, Arthur Owens Sr. • Copyright © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc


All I have to offer You is me . . . .

Those words have been running through my mind for several weeks. At the oddest moments they will appear out of nowhere, seemingly unrelated to what is going on at that moment. But there they are – All I have to offer You is me.

I capitalize the Y in you because while the words are the title of a popular country song that is not what brings them to mind. I’m not thinking of a romance but of a commitment. A commitment to God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. During Advent and Christmas these words come reminding me – nothing in my hand I bring – simply to the cross I cling.

Lord, all that I have is me – my self – and nothing else.

But that is what I give to You.

All of me.

Use me as You choose, whenever You choose, however You choose.

I am Yours.


O Lord, open Thou my lips; and my tongue shall shew forth Thy praise. For Thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: Thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise. Psalm 51:15-17

Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the Lord pondereth the hearts. To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice. Proverbs 21:2-3

For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. Hosea 6:6

But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Matthew 9:12-13

   And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. And the scribe said unto him, Well Master, thou has said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he: And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbor as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices. Mark 12:29-33

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service: And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:1-2

The Ninth Day Of Christmas


But the land, whither ye go to possess it, is a land of hills and valleys, and drinketh water of the rain of heaven. A land which the Lord thy God careth  for: the eyes of the Lord thy God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year. Deuteronomy 11:11-12

We don’t know what the new year will hold but God does and even more important we can trust that whatever comes God is with us. We should greet each day with anticipation, eager to see what God will do.

He leads us on by paths we did not know;

Upward He leads us, though our steps be slow,

Though oft we faint and falter on the way,

Though storms and darkness oft obscure the day;

Yet when the clouds are gone,

We know He leads us on.


He leads us on through all the unquiet years;

Past all our dreamland hopes, and doubts and fears,

He guides our steps, through all the tangled maze

Of losses, sorrows, and o’erclouded days;

We know His will is done;

And still He leads us on.

-N. L. Zinzendorf   Streams In The Desert

We do not know what lies around the bend but even in the tough times we are assured of His presence, providing strength to overcome the difficulties we face. Trust in God to lead you throughout 2017.


The Eighth Day Of Christmas

On this New Year’s Day I am focused on the idea of new beginnings. There is something about a blank calendar that speaks to me of possibilities. What will the new year bring?

As I think of new beginnings I remember the first time I held our firstborn son in my arms. Of course I was very excited. After nine months I was finally holding him in my arms, counting his fingers and toes, those tiny ears, and that little rosebud mouth, and marveling at God’s miracle of life. And then it hit me – I was responsible for this new life – I and my husband. Please God help us to do this right.


Knowing how I felt at that moment I cannot help but think of Mary, finding herself the mother of the Lord. What thoughts must have gone through her mind when the angel gave her the news. Yet she was willing to be God’s vessel. Then she finds herself giving birth in a stable. Did she wonder why? After eight days Joseph and Mary travel to Jerusalem to dedicate the child at the temple. There they meet Simeon who speaks those words not just about Jesus but words for Mary – A Sword Will Pierce Your Soul – what thoughts Mary must have had.

And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother,

Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel;

and for a sign which shall be spoken against;

Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,

that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.         Luke 2:34-35

Even with the stable and Simeon’s words Mary does what she needs to do. She raises the Son of God with God’s help and she is there at the cross when He dies for our sin. We don’t hear any more after that terrible Friday but I believe she must have seen the risen Lord. We do know that Jesus put her in John’s care and we are told that from that day on John cared for Mary in his own home.