Well, we got a day behind. Linda and I both had a weekend filled with difficulties, two birthday parties, (one HUGE one for our dear friend Liz, for her 40th birthday....Happy Birthday sweetheart, hope you were surprised and it was happy!) and complicated family relations, (pray for Linda and her family) so we got a day behind. Now we could just skip it, or read two days in one, but we figured that we wrote the book, and there is no 'hard and fast rule' for when to finish, so we decided that it would be ok just to forge ahead and be a day behind. So for all of you that are up to date, we appologize, but we also give you permission to take a day off if you need to. In fact, right here and right now, we want to give you permission to take as long as you need to complete the 12 Days of Christmas! In fact, if you take until Valentines Day, that's ok with us. Just get something out of it that you can take into this year. That is our hope and prayer: That God would use this to help you to dedicate yourself to him afresh this year, and you would carry that into all that you do this new year.
Our pastor spoke on that this morning. He was speaking on Luke, and ended with a story about Bill Bright, the founder of Campus Crusade for Christ. Our pastor was meeting with his son, and was telling him what a great influence Bill Bright had had on him, and what a great man he was. Bill's son told our pastor that his father had wanted to go to Hollywood and make millions, but God had different plans. God changed his life, and Bill says that there are 2 things that made him the man he was. The first was spending time with God daily. The second was to dedicate himself afresh every morning. He did it like this:
(Paraphrasing) Lord, I dedicate myself to you today.
Guard my eyes that I will not look at anything that would displease you today.
Guard my ears that I would not listen to anything that you would not want me to.
Guard my mouth that I would say only the things that you would say today.
Guard my hands and feet that I would do and go to the places you want me to today.
Guard my heart that I do not let anything unworthy of you into it today.
Guard my home that I would represent you and not let anything harmful into it today.
Then our pastor finished up with Mary and Joseph. What an incredible responsibility they had to 'raise' the son of God. Imagine Mary's thought at that. I wouldn't want that responsibility! How many of us would feel like we could let Jesus come into our homes and stay with us? Could he watch what you watch? Could he read your books on the shelf? I won't go on because I am not the Holy Spirit in your life, and that is his job, but you get the picture. Suffice it to say that I felt convicted. And I am sure we all can think of some area that could use improvement. The point is, we have been entrusted with these precious children and they look to us for guidance. Let us be on our knees and guarding our lives, hearts and homes so we can be what he needs us to be for our families. And I just have to say that I am so thankful that his blood covers all my sins so even though I find that I am so unworthy, God looks at me through the blood of Jesus and my sin is washed away! Hallelujah!!!
We will be reading through the gospel of Luke this week so that is what I will be blogging about. So if you want a head start, read the first two chapters tonight or tomorrow. And let me know what God says to you. I know that if you read it expecting him to show up, he will!
Visit our website at www.12daysbook.com it is never too late to learn what the 12 days of Christmas is all about!!