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Christmas—truly time for E-motional Devotion. The Father sending the Greatest Miracle of all—Jesus—as a Babe reminds us to let our flow of grateful love find it’s way anew to the manger. For who can resist, at least for a moment, letting go of worldly concerns to take joy in the Presence of Love….and to give our love in return.

“O come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord!”

JESUS — LOVE – came down at Christmas…
Mexican folklore shares how the love of two children reached
out to bless JESUS at the manger scene set up in the
village church. Maria and her little brother were sad at heart
because they were poor and had no gift to bring the Christ child.
They took the long way to church in the vague hope of seeing
some blossoms to give. All they found a few wild weeds along the roadside. The two braved their way to the church with their
meager gift and placed the greenery lovingly around the manger.
And then…bright star-shaped flowers burst forth from the weeds,
becoming the most sparkling gift the Christ child received that day.

The Message of Christmas: Gifts birthed in the heart and wrapped in love bring JOY … and often become miracles for those who have eyes to see. (Remember….miracles come in all sizes and forms! Some might simply be called surprises…like the smile of a stranger that dispels our inner gloom.)

May Christ’s Birthday warm your heart
And encourage your spirit
For though He came as a Babe
He reigns as Savior and King
No matter what circumstances
Or economy bring

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True to form, I had several devotionals started. Started as in not finished. This pattern has long kept writing success at arms’ length. Not completing what I’d begun was part of my protection from rejection.. My Dad bragged about my being smart, but privately sent the message, “Don’t be too smart” lest he feel challenged. So I learned when to ex-press my thoughts and when it was wiser to turn to scribing…or should I say scribbling.
I had no sense in my early years that my jotted thoughts were both my hiding place from disapproval and my training ground for becoming a scribe. (Matt. 13:52)
At the threshold of fresh failure…the Holy Spirit caused me to see glimmers of success!

Recognizing the NEW in the OLD

“Behold, I am doing a new thing…do you not perceive it?” Is. 43:19

When I paid attention, I sensed the Holy Spirit saying, “Look for the NEW in your OLD pattern of not finishing what you’ve started.” So I looked and there was much to see.
I realized that I was at peace, rather than going to pieces because of the several starts. I was seeing that each had promise and all could be put to use; and that I had come to enjoy the process of writing (hey, process means forward movement!). I’m liking what used to be a chore…including editing (that’s major) and there’s more. The leftovers will provide fodder – raw material – for next time.

Why is the NEW hidden in the OLD?

“I have met the enemy…and he is me.” Pogo

My battle was within…and my flesh intended to win. The Holy Spirit cautioned, “Be wise as a serpent and gentle as a dove”…excellent strategy for winning inner struggles. “Wisdom from above is peaceable” and therefore powerful, since peaceful is often seen as weak; easy to defeat…harmless (or so it may seem). (Matt. 10:16, Jas. 3:17)
Like a stealth bomber undetected by radar, the NEW can come in under the cover of the OLD, slipping past the heightened senses of our Self-centered carnal nature. If it were not so, the NEW would be shot down with surprising accuracy…and, sadly, tis often so.

Are you aware of any inner resistance holding you back?

Then you’re ready for a standoff* with your Self* – NO, ready to stand pat* against your Self but in His Strength, not by yourself. (Phil. 2:13) There’s wisdom, clarity re: your strategy, to be had for the asking!

“If you lack wisdom, ask of God and He will give it to you liberally.” From Jas. 1:5

“I love your writing. You really have a way with zingers, but I think what really matters is the life wisdom you bring to the page. You say hard things, but you make them go down like warm apple pie.” David Kopp - executive editor, Multnomah Books

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