Wednesday, December 23, 2015

5 Traits you need to be "Highly Favored" by God

highly favored
 "I can never be like Mary. She is the mother of Jesus!"
Is that what your brain screamed inside your head when you read Five Traits you need to be "Highly Favored" by God? You may be more like Mary than you think. Mary was an ordinary girl with an extraordinary purpose. No, we will never be the mother of Jesus but we are definitely part of his spiritual genealogy making it possible for us to be "highly favored" by God. According to my understanding of Scripture, here are five of the traits we need:
  1. Be a Virgin. Luke 1:27 ".....and the virgin's name was Mary." Impossible, right? Not exactly. If you have experienced rebirth through Jesus, you are a virgin. You possess the pristine untouched, untainted, flawless spirit of Christ. You are adorned in your bridal gown awaiting your bridegroom.
  2. Pay Attention to God's Messenger. Luke 1:28-29 "And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him..." Can you imagine if Mary had ignored the angel that particular day? Hebrews 13:2 assures us there are angels among us if only we would entertain strangers and be aware.
  3. Fearless. Luke 1:30 "And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary..." Now, this was a situation stirring up some fear. Mary was in an unconsummated marriage; PREGNANT! I understand why she might be afraid. She trusted, believed and delivered to the world a savior. 
  4. Be Inquisitive. Luke 1:34 "Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?" It is okay to ask some questions, even of God. He doesn't expect us to accept status quo, rather, he instructs us to make sure we are following his commands. I John 4:1 "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world."
  5. Be Obedient. Luke 1:38 "And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word..." Mary accepted her calling with grace and humbleness.
No. We are not Mary. We are not the mother of Jesus. But, I am his child. Are you? And, who doesn't favor their children?

Seeking His approval,
The Happy Handicap

Friday, December 18, 2015

Hanging by a Holiday Thread

christmas ornaments
I've had a stressful few days. Too much to do with not much time to get it done. Can you relate? Lisette wanted to play yesterday. I stopped everything I should have been doing and played! I forgot my pending folder to share an hour with my precious granddaughter. We can never relive that day or hour. Day 747 of her life and Day 19046 of my life are gone, but the joy of that half hour is imprinted on our memories forever.

As I lay pretzel-shaped on a narrow step (because she wanted me to), the ornaments on my Christmas tree caught my attention. My new polka dot balls hang by a twine thread. I pondered how each ornament needed help getting hung on the tree.They need support from their thread or hanger to keep them on the tree. And, occasionally an ornament falls off the tree. If the fallen ornament isn't picked up by someone and rehung, it lies helpless under the tree until rescued and replaced.

We are so much like the ornaments on a Christmas tree. We need help and support. We can convince ourselves that we can go it alone, but God didn't think so. Genesis 2:18 says "And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him." Some days I feel like an ornament hanging by a thread vulnerable to the smallest ripple of life. I create my own susceptibility to destruction by refusing help. Do you?

Have you ever been looking at your tree when, for no apparent reason, an ornament falls to the ground? I have. I can hear the hurt as the ornament scrapes through artificial tree needles. We are no different. Sometimes, for no known reason, we lose our support and hit bottom. Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."

During this Christmas season, take a new look at your tree ornaments. They are beautiful yet helpless. Do you know anyone in this condition? Acts 20:35 I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. In other words, don't leave someone hanging by a thread.

Feeling ornamental,
The Happy Handicap

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Your Christmas Chord

christmas heart
I know just enough about music to NOT play the piano well. I can read music fast enough to produce the melody of a song leaving out notes making the music sound empty. I consider myself musically reckless!  I feel a little "under the gun" writing this particular article today with my daughter being a music educator. Alas, I hope you enjoy this brief music lesson.

There are four types of music chords; major, minor, augmented and diminished. I want to talk about the first two, major and minor. Major means greater. Minor means lesser. Chord structure sets the tone of a song. For example, major chords produce generally happy sounding songs while minor chords are used to create a dark or sinister mood in a song. Then, there's timing which also plays an important role in a song's personality. I'll not go there because I can see Sloane shaking her head and nervously screaming "NO!!". My timing is brutally off, all wrong according to music theory and Sloane!

Hark the Herald Angels Sing is written in a major chord. The song is upbeat and happy.God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen is written in a minor chord. The song is serious with an almost unhappy sound. You can hear immediately the vast difference between major and minor chord structure in these popular Christmas carols. Consider this music knowledge and examine your heart this Christmas. Is your heart singing a major tune, happy and joyous or is it moaning a minor song with despair and darkness? Your heart song matters. People can almost instantly know the condition of your heart by the words that flow from your mouth, thus, the song you sing.

Philippians 2:2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord (a chord), of one mind. See, you know more about music than you thought. Chords hold major importance on our most minor days!

Majoring in Heart,
The Happy Handicap

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Mom-ism Monday #16

wizard of oz scarecrow

My Mom always says I don't have any common sense. I'm beginning to believe her. As I age, I find I do weird things, can't remember nothing and generally complete tasks differently than I used to. I even said mom-ism #16 about myself last week!

I've never known exactly what "If you had a brain, you'd set up with it!" means but I deduct it means, If I had any smarts, I'd be so proud, I would sit up in amazement with my brain? Take it however you like. The old saying is funny! Have you heard it?

Some of the frequent things I do that causes me to wonder if I have a brain:
  • Hunt my glasses when I have them resting on my head
  • Freak out because I've lost my cell phone and I'm talking on it
  • Put something up so I'll know where it is and can't find it
The other day I was cutting out letters to sew my granddaughter's name on a table runner. I threw the letters I had just cut in the trash while cleaning up. This made me wonder if I have a brain anymore!

wizard of oz scarecrow

Leave me a comment and share one absent-brained thing you do!

Setting up,
The Happy Handicap