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Looking Ahead

Looking Ahead “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call His name Immanuel” (which means, “God with us”). (Matthew 1:23)

For many generations, through the prophets God told His people to look forward to their Redeemer coming. Then the day came when this “looking forward” was fulfilled. Jesus came.

“So Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for Him.” (Hebrews 9:28)

So now, we look forward, knowing that with certainty Jesus will come again.

As we celebrate this season, let’s make clear that certain hope. There is a secure foundation for you and your children as you trust God for fulfilling all that He promised.

Psalm 8

Meditate. Read. Read again.

Psalm 8 opens with:

“Oh Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!”

Then it ends with,

“Oh Lord, our Lord how majestic is your name in all the earth!”

What do we think as we read this?

Do we understand, “majestic”?

What is in His name?

In all the earth this is the one Name to call “majestic.”

And for today, I want us to ponder the beginning of verse 2, “From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise.”

Your children, even the very young are given opportunity to praise the name of Jesus. This is a very important position for children and a great honor. Let’s be sure they understand the value of such ordaining.

Finding Joy in School We know that our world and we with it are fallen. Therefore every minute may not be joyful. Yet it remains a goal. We are helped toward this goal when we focus on Jesus and what He wants and loves. We continue to teach, to live and to expect our own and our children’s personal growth toward knowing and loving God. We are then rewarded with fulfilling joy. Joy, yes, even when needing to write that paragraph or retake that test.

How does this work? I’m not sure but this I do know: We hold fast to and teach what we do know. God rewards with results.

• God is willing to give us the joy. (Romans 15:13)

• Be patient in trials and pray, pray, pray. (Romans 12:12)

• It’s one of the Spirit’s fruits and the Spirit is in every believer. (Galatians 5:22)

• God wants to answer your prayers making your joy full. (John 15:11)

• Trials have purpose so we are sure they are not useless. (James 1:2-4)

• I can’t keep the joy from me because the Lord is my redeemer. (Psalm 71:23)

And Scripture is flooded with help for finding and maintain our joy. Why not help each other draw attention to joy and see what help you can find in enjoying that fruit in each school day?

A Gift Do you have family or friends for whom gifts are difficult to choose? Me too.

Had you thought of giving a prized book right from your own shelf – with your markings? Or some personal belonging that has a story?

Here’s when and how I learned the value of that idea:

In March 1956, I became engaged to Ralph. My neighbor who lost her wealth caring for her alcoholic brother, wished she could “shower” me with gifts. Sharing her dilemma with my mom led to her following my mom’s advice and giving me something from her cupboard. Years later it was valued at hundreds of dollars.

Moving forward to 2022, my granddaughter was engaged to be married. I gave her that same gift, a Prussian hand-painted bowl, for her engagement gift – along with its story.

Now this neighbor continues to be remembered with gratitude. We don’t know the value now the bowl because it has a far greater value in the lessons it continues to teach us.

So the best gift you have to give may be in your kitchen! Or on your bookshelf!

Celebrate! Recently a young (very young) man and I were discussing what we enjoy –

• daybreak after darkness

• the sound of an approaching train

• my puppy’s welcome home

• the smell of turkey dinner

• the taste of just-out-of-the oven yeast rolls

• the hug of a favorite person

Then we were drawn to celebrate…

Celebrate that God made us in such a way that we had the capacity to enjoy. Then we celebrated some more.

So, the next time you see a dazzling sunset, marvel at God’s creation, enjoy the explosion of color but then pause and also celebrate that God has given you the gift to enjoy the marvel.

Pause now and look out your window. What is there to enjoy? A cloud formation? A child happily at play? Realize that it is God’s gift to you that you have the ability to enjoy these!


Love, Becky

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