Sow & Gather

Advent2015

Treasure God's Word - John 14:27

Advent 2015, scripture memory, PeaceMarci AnthonyComment

Is it sweet, salty, spicy, cold, hot? Terms you might not consider when you are reading God's word. God calls us to hide, treasure and taste His word. Join the contributors and readers of Sow & Gather in tasting and memorizing God's word this week.

Memorize it |

I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.   John 14:27

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Gather with us by clicking the Comment link at the beginning of the post and leaving your comment or prayer on this verse.

How A Change In Perspective Takes Us From Lost To Found

Advent 2015Marci Anthony2 Comments
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Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will fulfill the promise to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. In those days, Judah will be saved.  Jeremiah 33:14,16a (NASB)

In June 2001, I was joyously engaged and only a few days from being married to the man I loved. After a whirlwind of planning and bucket loads of stress, it was finally time. I drove to downtown Dallas to pick up my fiancé and parked at a little lot where I could walk to his office. He worked in a massive 787 feet tall building with sixty stories. The impressive structures distorted my directional senses so when I exited the parking garage on the wrong side, I didn't realize it was a different route. About twenty minutes into the journey, I ascertained I was hopelessly lost.

I was certain I could retrace my steps back but the more I tried, the more twisted I became. I passed fancy shops, wealthy people, then vagabonds, and desperate people. Fear gripped me, and panic rose up inside swallowing my hope. Hours had passed and by now I knew my fiancé would be wondering what had happened to me. Crying started deep in my chest and I shook uncontrollably. Then I had a thought. If I could only see the building in the right perspective, then I might be able to find my way.

I had hope.

I walked until I was on the outer limits of the downtown and began the long trek around the circumference of this area. Finally, the buildings lined up and I found where I was supposed to be and also found my wonderful man. A few days later, I walked down the aisle and said an "I do" that has lasted twenty-five amazing years.

Similarly, this life causes a hopelessness with its tall demands that confuse us. We try so many ways to get to God but get twisted in our own efforts to find Him. Perspective is what we need, God's perspective. We are desperately lost and need His help. Though Jesus Christ was born a tiny baby, He came with a purpose. He came to find us. We must choose to believe that we have sinned, that sin has a cost, the cost is death, death must be satisfied, and Jesus made the payment by dying. When we ask Him to forgive us and choose to trust His death for us, He makes us right with God. That is the perspective where we are found and God sees us as His.

This is a hope that will not disappoint.

Dig Deeper |

Jeremiah33:14-16; John 14:6; I Corinthians 15:3-4

Additional Liturgical Readings For The First Week of Advent |

Psalm 25:1-10; 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13; Luke 21:25-36

Action Item |

Take time to remember and dwell on what it cost Jesus to come as a baby and live and die on the cross.

Prayer |

Father, thank You that You had a plan from the beginning on how to save me. Thank You for sending Jesus to come to earth to live and die so that I might be made right with You.  Please help me not to forget what it cost You to pay for my life. May Christmas this year remind me of the hope that I have in You. In Jesus name, Amen.

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Gather with us by sharing your "Action Item" or "Prayer" by clicking on the Comment link at the top of the post.

This post is part of the 100 Happy Days Linkup and the #livefreeThursday linkup with Suzanne Eller.

Advent 2015: Christ Is A Life-Bringing Wind

Advent 2015Marci Anthony2 Comments
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Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; for You I will wait all the day long. Psalm 25:5  (NASB)

Dear Friends,

For the next four weeks, the contributors at Sow & Gather will be celebrating Advent, a practice often observed in the liturgical church. Advent means the arrival of a notable person. Since our lives are lived between the events of Christ's birth and His coming again, the writing will be focused on these two occurrences. We will spotlight four aspects: 

  • Week 1:  Hope that creates anticipation at Jesus Christ's birth and His second coming;
  • Week 2:  Peace secured at these events that brings rest;
  • Week 3:  Joy that cannot be lost, and
  • Week 4:  Love that will not fail. How should Christ's birth compel us to live knowing He will return?

We hope you will join us each week to prepare your heart as we enter into the Christmas season. Below you will find the first of a series of three on hope.

February. A deep winter month for Arkansas and as much as I enjoyed the snow we received, I always looked with anticipation towards March. For February with its stiff yellow-brown grass and trees that looked like a standing pile of sticks only spoke of death. But March, yes, March had a different voice. It brought a beautiful, spring zephyr (a soft, gentle wind) that would blow across the fields whispering with the hope of renewed life. Zings of energy would pulse through me as excitement built because I knew what was coming. An explosion of green that captured the eye and had a story to tell.

Every day I journeyed up the rolling hills at our home in the Ozarks. As I peeked out across the sprawling terrain, I looked with hope for the first signs of vibrant green. Haunting questions of doubt would enter my mind. Would those trees bud again? Would the grass sprout and grow?

Hope bubbled up in me to meet every doubt. God can! Slowly, the vista changed daily. The trees that held not one leaf budded and grew hundreds. Grass that once was brown grew new life blanketing the hills. Day-by-day the differing hues of green were telling God's fascinating narrative of the life He brings out of what once was dead. 

On the side of that hill, as I stretched my arms high to praise God where only He could see, He taught me a very profound lesson. He taught me the truth of my salvation. He was the God who could awaken my dead places to sweet joyous new life. As He opened my eyes to His creation, He opened my heart to the possibilities of His redeeming power. 

There is hope.

Because Jesus was and is and is to come He can use me in spite of my past mistakes. He can cover me just as the grass blanketed the earth. I do not have to live in a spiritually dead February.  My life can speak of a zephyr of Christ that is the hope of abundant life.

Dig Deeper |

Psalm 25:1-10

Additional Liturgical Readings For The First Week of Advent |

Jeremiah 33:14-16; 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13; Luke 21:25-36

Action Item |

Do you doubt that God can use you in spite of your past? Ask God to show you how He is making you new and how He wants to use you as a story of His great power to save.

Prayer |

We praise You Lord for Your salvation. Thank You that when we wait on You, You reveal to us who You are. Open our eyes to the possibilities of Your great plan for us and how we can be a story that speaks to those around us of new life. Prepare our hearts as we look to the birth of Jesus and remind us of the significance of this event. In Jesus name, Amen.

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Gather with us by sharing your "Action Item" or "Prayer" by clicking on the Comment link at the top of the post.

This post is part of the "What Joy Is Mine - Monday Musings" Linkup and #RaRa Linkup at Purposeful Faith.