The excellency of our God—Amid the cold of winter

Look what I found this morning!

A substantial snow—by Alabama standards—blanketed the Birmingham area yesterday. This morning, while there are icy road issues in some places, the snow is still powdery, white, and beautiful as it covers everything!

I have heard that the rose is considered the most “perfect” of all flowers. So, since Jesus is absolutely perfect in every way He is often referred to as a Rose.

Isaiah 35:1-2 came to mind:

The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them,
And the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose;
It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice,
Even with joy and singing.
… They shall see the glory of the Lord,
The excellency of our God.

While the snow in Birmingham has covered everything and it looks pure, white, and clean, the dirt is just covered up. That’s what we try to do sometimes, isn’t it? We try to clean up or cover up our sin, and fail. The Good News for Christ-followers is that Jesus Christ took our sin and the wrath we deserve upon Himself.

Look at the picture again and you will see the dirt showing throught the breaks in the snow.

The rose here, although a deep pink, seems to represent the shed blood of Christ through which we have been saved from our sin and futile attempts to get ourselves cleaned up.

The green stem represents the stem of Jesse (Isaiah11:1 KJV) which points to Jesus coming to earth and living as fully God and fully man. I’ve heard it said that leaves represent God’s truth, which is the Holy Spirit-inspired Word of God that makes us a new creation—gives us new life in Christ!

A wonderful old by Robert Lowry comes to mind, Nothing But the Blood of Jesus

What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Oh! precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

And, of course, one of my favorite Christmas Carols—and sadly not very well known by many Christ-followers today— also comes to mind, “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming.”

Following are the first and second verse lyrics (go online to hear this beautiful carol):

*Lo, how a Rose e’er blooming
From, tender stem hath spring!
Of Jesse’s lineage coming
As men of old have sun.
It came, a flower bright,
Amid the cold of winter,
When half-gone was the night.

This Flow’r, whose fragrance tender
With sweetness fills the air,
Dispels with glorious splendor,
The darkness ev’ry where.
True man, yet very God,
From sin and death He saves us,
And lightens every load.

There is a beautiful arrangement “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming/The Rose**” by Craig Hella Johnson (find it online to listen). The ending combines this carol and song painting a beautiful image of Jesus Christ, our Savior!

Just remember in the winter far beneath the bitter snows
     From sin and death he saves us,
Lies the seed that with the sun’s love, in the spring becomes the rose
     And lightens ev’ry load.

*Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming, Words: 15th Century German; st. 1, 2, translation Theodore Baker, 1851-1934; stanza 3 translation Harriet Krauth Spaeth, 1845-1925
**The Rose, Amanda McBroom, Lincoln Mayorga

Devotional for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the New Year

If you don’t already have your copy of Glimpses of the Savior: 31 Meditations for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the New Year get yours now!

This time of year we get busy preparing for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the New Year, and all too often we forget the real meanings of these celebrations. As Christ-followers, we can guard against this by focusing our hearts on God’s Word.

Thanksgiving is a time to give God thanks; Christmas is the celebration of the birth of the Savior; the New Year brings new beginnings. This devotional book contains thirty meditations for that purpose. Begin using the book the week before Thanksgiving and it will carry you through into the New Year.

 

The Ultimate Gift of Christmas

purple-christmas-gift

Today on “Think on These Things” we will be discussing “The Ultimate Gift of Christmas.”

 

THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD is THE ULTIMATE GIFT—JESUS CHRIST!

We will be discussing the difference the Ultimate Christmas Gift, Jesus Christ, makes in our lives on a day-to-day basis.

ToTT logo

Live-stream, listen, or watch at 2:00 PM Central.

Live-stream at: gleniris.net

Listen locally on WGIB 91.9 FM or:
92.3 FM – Springville
101.5 FM – Columbiana
106.1 FM – Moody / Odenville
106.1 FM – Jasper
107.9 FM – Tuscaloosa

 

Prayer Study Guide

prayer-study-guide-coverI am excited to share the cover of Prayer Study Guide—Companion to Prayer: It’s Not About You.

My lifelong friend Harriet Michael wrote an awesome book, Prayer: It’s Not About Me. When I received my copy last May, I began marking it and thinking about how to teach the book to a study group. The Prayer Study Guide is the compilation of the reading and homework assignments this group worked through.

(Harriet co-authored Glimpses of the Savior: 30 Meditations for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the New Year with me.)

It will be available in January 2017 on Kindle and in paperback from Amazon and most bookstores by request.

Is your heart prepared for Christmas?

Thanksgiving is over, yet we should have a thankful heart 365 days a year. Now we begin thinking, is your heart prepared for Christmas?

It is only through the work of God that our hearts can be prepared for Christmas. We must ask Him to prepare our hearts to see Him in and through everything we encounter during this holiday season.

Lord, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will prepare their heart;

Using Psalm 10:17 (above) and a devotional from Glimpses of the Savior by Shirley Crowder and Harriet E. Michael as our spring board for discussion, we will look at what Scripture tells us about how we can prepare our hearts to seek God—during the holidays and throughout the year!

ToTT logoLive-stream, listen, or watch at 2:00 PM Central.

Live-stream at: gleniris.net

Listen locally on WGIB 91.9 FM or:
92.3 FM – Springville
101.5 FM – Columbiana
106.1 FM – Moody / Odenville
106.1 FM – Jasper
107.9 FM – Tuscaloosa

Watch on WAY-TV Channel 40

Thanksgiving Day is Coming

Glimpses of the Savior FRONT cover“Thanksgiving Day is Coming” is a poem I heard my mom recite every November from the time I was very young. I have not found the author’s name anywhere. The poem is the exchange between a turkey and a pumpkin talking about becoming turkey dinner and pumpkin pie.

While we do not have to be concerned about becoming part of some family’s Thanksgiving dinner, we are often very busy with our regular responsibilities, and then add to that the concomitant responsibilities that come with our Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year preparations and celebrations.

This is a great time to get your copy of Glimpses of the Savior: 30 Meditations for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the New Year that my Nigeria MK cousin and I co-authored.

These make great Christmas Gifts! The devotions begin the week before Thanksgiving and take you through the New Year.

Available on Kindle, Kindle Unlimited, and in paperback from Amazon and most bookstores by request.

Prayer: It’s Not About You w/ Harriet Michael

Prayer coverI am so excited that my life-long friend and Glimpses of the Savior co-author, Harriet E. Michael, will be joining us for the next two weeks for discussions on prayer that we are basing on her newly-released book, Prayer: It’s Not About You.

Tune in for an opportunity to win a free copy of Prayer: It’s Not About You that has been signed by Harriet.

In addition to being my life-long friend, Harriet is a committed Christ-follower, who is a Christian writer. In addition to this book about prayer, she co-wrote Glimpses of the Savior, and has had over 200 of her devotionals published.

Read Harriet’s blog about it: What He Has Done For My Soul

Join us as we remain on the topic of “Women in Ministry” by continuing our journey through the book, Paul the Counselor: Counseling and Disciple-making Modeled by the Apostle, edited by Dr. Mark Shaw and Dr. Bill Hines. Chapter 11: “Paul and Women in Ministry” written by Ruth Froese and Shirley Crowder will be the springboard for our discussions.

While some of the discussions will speak specifically to women who work in ministry/church organizations, these discussions are pertinent to every woman who is a Christ-follower.

We will have several women as in-studio and Skyped-in guests throughout this series. You will not want to miss hearing any of these testimonies of God at work in and through the lives of these women!

Live-stream, listen, or watch at 2:00 p.m. Central.

Live-stream at: gleniris.net

ToTT logoListen locally on WGIB 91.9 FM or:
92.3 FM – Springville
101.5 FM – Columbiana
106.1 FM – Moody / Odenville
106.1 FM – Jasper
107.9 FM – Tuscaloosa

Watch on WAY-TV Channel 47

Do you recognize God’s active Word happening all around you?

Special Guest, Harriet E. Michael

Our special guest today on “Think on These Things” is my lifelong friend and fellow Nigeria MK (missionary kid), Harriet Michael.

Harriet, Charlotte, and I will discuss how find Jesus among the Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year celebrations and decorations. Harriet and I will each read one of the devotionals in “Glimpses of the Savior.”

Listen for an opportunity to get a “free” copy of “Glimpses of the Savior.”

Listen or watch locally on WGIB 91.9 FM or WAY-TV chapter 47 at 2:00 pm central. Stream it live at: www.gleniris.net/WGIB

Harriet is a wife, mother, and grandmother. She authored the soon-to-be-released “Prayer: It’s Not About You” published by PixNPens Publishing. She is a freelance writer with numerous published pieces in publications by LifeWay, Focus on the Family, Judson Press, David C. Cook Co., American Life League, Upper Room, and more. Follow Harriet at: HarrietEMichael.com

Glimpses of the Savior

Today Charlotte and I will be discussing how to prepare our hearts to find Jesus among the Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year celebrations and decorations.

We will be introducing a new devotional, Glimpses of the Savior, that I co-wrote with my lifelong friend, and fellow MK (missionary kid), Harriet Michael.

Listen or watch locally on WGIB 91.9 FM or WAY-TV chapter 47 at 2:00 pm central. Stream it live at: www.gleniris.net/WGIB