Am I A Lost Sheep

Hello table family! Come on in out of the cold! It is currently sixteen degrees here and we have about a foot of snow on the ground. So, pull up a chair at the table and enjoy a hot beverage. Let’s pray huh?

   Father in Heaven, we come before You just now and ask that You would reveal truth to us in a new way. Open our hearts Lord and let us here You. In Jesus name, Amen.

       Well, as I sat and had my dedicated time with the Lord the other day, I reread the parables of the Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin, and the Prodigal Son. I’ve discovered some pretty cool things I’d like to share with you.

       This will be a three-part series with the focus being on each one of the parables each entry. We’ll start with the Lost Sheep. Feel free to grab a bible and turn to Luke chapter fifteen.

       We start off with Jesus responding to the Pharisees condemning Jesus for eating with “tax collectors and sinners”. Jesus of course, has a thoughtful reply…

My paraphrase:

       Jesus asks them, “If any of you had a hundred sheep and one got lost, wouldn’t you go and find it?”

       I like to equate this with having say, ten children and if one of them wandered off or got lost, you would certainly set out to find that one! I don’t know of any parent who would say “eh, I got nine more… I’m good.” I’m pretty sure you would want to find that lost child.

       We see in this parable that the Shepperd leaves the ninety-nine (who are safe) to go and look for the one who is lost. Now sheep are not really known for being observant creatures so this poor little lamb likely wandered off and didn’t even realize what had happened.

       Have you ever wandered away from your Shepperd and one day looked up only to realize how lost you were?

       I’ve been in that place. I’m just sort of doing my thing and I look around at my circumstances only to find that I’ve wandered away from my Shepperd and I’m now vulnerable and alone. A perfect setting for a wolf to come in and attack. But then a beautiful thing happens…

Luke 15:5 “and when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.”

       When the Shepperd finds us, He doesn’t just lead us back by the rod. No, He picks us up, thereby protecting us from that wolf and carries us in our weakened state and is perhaps singing songs of thanksgiving for finding His lost sheep.

       Don’t miss that in this parable, the Shepperd comes looking for the sheep. God comes looking for us. He is looking for you. He is looking for me.

       When we are found, He doesn’t scold or punish us, He doesn’t even ask for an explanation. He simply rejoices! He is willing to carry us all the way back. Then He celebrates our return.

       Oh little sheep, there is no place you can wonder that is too far for the Shepperd to go to find you. There is no land or country that He won’t travel too in order to find that lost lamb.

       Please take with you that the Shepperd, AKA, God, is looking for His lost sheep. If you feel lost today, know He is looking for you. If you are praying for another wandering sheep, keep praying… God will find them.

       Sometimes us sheep get distracted and we find ourselves wandering. God is out looking. Listen for the Shepperd’s voice and hear His call. Let Him carry you home. Let Him carry His lost sheep home.   

Am I A Lost Sheep

Hello table family! Come on in out of the cold! It is currently sixteen degrees here and we have about a foot of snow on the ground. So, pull up a chair at the table and enjoy a hot beverage. Let’s pray huh?

   Father in Heaven, we come before You just now and ask that You would reveal truth to us in a new way. Open our hearts Lord and let us here You. In Jesus name, Amen.

       Well, as I sat and had my dedicated time with the Lord the other day, I reread the parables of the Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin, and the Prodigal Son. I’ve discovered some pretty cool things I’d like to share with you.

       This will be a three-part series with the focus being on each one of the parables each entry. We’ll start with the Lost Sheep. Feel free to grab a bible and turn to Luke chapter fifteen.

       We start off with Jesus responding to the Pharisees condemning Jesus for eating with “tax collectors and sinners”. Jesus of course, has a thoughtful reply…

My paraphrase:

       Jesus asks them, “If any of you had a hundred sheep and one got lost, wouldn’t you go and find it?”

       I like to equate this with having say, ten children and if one of them wandered off or got lost, you would certainly set out to find that one! I don’t know of any parent who would say “eh, I got nine more… I’m good.” I’m pretty sure you would want to find that lost child.

       We see in this parable that the Shepperd leaves the ninety-nine (who are safe) to go and look for the one who is lost. Now sheep are not really known for being observant creatures so this poor little lamb likely wandered off and didn’t even realize what had happened.

       Have you ever wandered away from your Shepperd and one day looked up only to realize how lost you were?

       I’ve been in that place. I’m just sort of doing my thing and I look around at my circumstances only to find that I’ve wandered away from my Shepperd and I’m now vulnerable and alone. A perfect setting for a wolf to come in and attack. But then a beautiful thing happens…

Luke 15:5 “and when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.”

       When the Shepperd finds us, He doesn’t just lead us back by the rod. No, He picks us up, thereby protecting us from that wolf and carries us in our weakened state and is perhaps singing songs of thanksgiving for finding His lost sheep.

       Don’t miss that in this parable, the Shepperd comes looking for the sheep. God comes looking for us. He is looking for you. He is looking for me.

       When we are found, He doesn’t scold or punish us, He doesn’t even ask for an explanation. He simply rejoices! He is willing to carry us all the way back. Then He celebrates our return.

       Oh little sheep, there is no place you can wonder that is too far for the Shepperd to go to find you. There is no land or country that He won’t travel too in order to find that lost lamb.

       Please take with you that the Shepperd, AKA, God, is looking for His lost sheep. If you feel lost today, know He is looking for you. If you are praying for another wandering sheep, keep praying… God will find them.

       Sometimes us sheep get distracted and we find ourselves wandering. God is out looking. Listen for the Shepperd’s voice and hear His call. Let Him carry you home. Let Him carry His lost sheep home.   

Informational Announcement

Hey all! I’m so sorry for the late post. I want to tell you all about the event I’m part of on Facebook called the “Virtual Christian Business Expo”. It is an awesome on-line event with over thirty venders. There are teas, art, make-up, authors, musicians, speakers, handmade journals and so much more! I want to take this opportunity to invite you to check it out. In runs from now until February 20.

       There is giveaways and book signings galore! I too will be doing a give-away! Just head over to Facebook and search “Virtual Christian Business Expo” to get in on the fun. If you follow me on social media, I’ve shared a couple posts there as well. See you at the Expo!!! Oh, and I’ll see ya next week here at the table with our regularly scheduled chat!

That Unneeded Tool in the Toolbox

Hi and welcome on in! The table is set and ready. Let’s pray together…

   Father in Heaven, please help us to glean from these words the message You have for each of us. In Jesus name, Amen.

       Most of you know that my husband is a master carpenter. He has many many tools that he uses for various jobs. Of course, not every tool is needed for every job. He knows which tools are needed at each job and takes those along with a few extra things just in case he might need them after all.

       Well over the years he has upgraded, scaled down, or just reorganized his tools according to what season of work he is in at the time. There are also tools in his toolbox that he needed frequently once upon a time. Then there came a time that he didn’t need them as much and those tools found their way to the bottom of the toolbox.

       He knows they have served him well and he knows he will someday need them again so he holds on to them. They will always be valuable to him.

       I’ve been feeling a bit like those unneeded tools lately. My Son moved out last July and my daughter has one foot out the door. I know this is the natural progression of life and it’s a good thing to watch your children spread their wings and fly.

       But you see, I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for the last twenty-one years and to be perfectly honest… I don’t know how to be anything else. My kids don’t need me like they used too.

       They needed so much from me through their growing up years; meals, snacks, dressing, bathing, homework, emotional support, advice, friendship strife, broken hearts… now, they are grown and don’t need these things from mom.

       It feels bitter sweet. I am grateful they are equipped to move into the next phase of life, yet I’m not quite ready to let go. As they tout their new toolboxes with their own set of tools, I remain at the bottom. Underneath the shiny new tools sits the old trusty but rusty tool. But you no what brings me a little comfort? I’m still in the toolbox.

Job 19:23 – 24 “Oh that my words were written, oh that they were inscribed in a book! Oh, that with an iron pen and led they were engraved in the rock forever.” (ESV)

       My husband may not need his old tools on every job, but he keeps them in the toolbox in case he needs them… and you know what? He is always grateful he still kept that old trusty tool in the toolbox.

 I pray the tools I’ve given my children will be helpful and that they find value in using those old tools. I pray the words I taught them will be engraved on their hearts forever. I pray that their mom tool will still be kept in the toolbox even if it’s only needed now and then.

       I just want to be used by God in whatever capacity He has in mind. I’ll just be here in the toolbox if anyone needs me…    

I Did not Want to do What God Asked

Hi everyone! Welcome to the table friends! I have a confession to make to you all. But let’s start with prayer…

   Father in Heaven, I pray that You divide this message several ways for each of us to receive what You want us to receive. In Jesus name, Amen.

       So, I have a question for you… was there ever a time you knew God has asked something of you but you fought that calling? How long did you fight it? Well, I have a confession… I have been fighting something God has been asking of me for many years.

       I most definitely feel the call to write and preach God’s word when invited. But there is another calling I’ve been avoiding. I actually felt this calling back in high school, but I didn’t know the Lord then so I wouldn’t have labeled it a “calling”. It’s something I wanted to do then and now it’s come full circle and I consider it a calling today.

       I’ve always been the kind of person who wanted to think outside the box. I didn’t ever want to do the things in life that others expected me to be able to do because of my blindness. I always seemed to want to do what others didn’t think I could or should do. This of course is referring to a career or job. This is assuming others thought I’d be able to do anything in the way of a career. Well, I knew that I would fall into the expectant category of working in the field of disability so I fought that for years. That’s changed recently.

       I have had a passion to be a voice for the disability community when someone feels they have no voice. To be an advocate for fair treatment. To fight for the ones who don’t think they can fight to be treated with dignity and respect.

       I’ve had many many situations in which I was talked down to or disregarded when it became obvious that I was blind. I don’t want this to happen to other members of the disability community.

       But you see, this is the very thing I fought against for years. The expected career path in the disability field. However, I am reminded of a bible verse that changes my thought process on this…

Colossians 3:23 – 24 “Whatever you do, work heartily as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” (ESV)

       You see friends, if our calling is from the Lord, then we are serving the Lord and it doesn’t matter what “men”, AKA other people, expect us to do. Now this doesn’t mean we simply cast aside a boss’s expectations in a job or ministry leadership requirements or our daily tasks within our home. But if you are fighting a calling from God because of how it may look to someone else, then I hope you will consider the words in these verses.

       I am moving forward with the knowledge that God is calling me and I’ll build my career path with tools that He will equip me with. He will also equip you my friend, with the necessary tools needed for you to follow His calling for you! I’d love to hear the ways you feel God is calling you now, drop a comment and share what your calling is. Blessings dear friends and I’ll meet ya at the table again next week.   

Feasting on Junk Food?

So, we are here in the middle of January, how’s the new years resolutions coming? Oh, you know the one about eating better and getting healthier? Well, I’ve had a bit of a revelation on this matter.

       Welcome to the table! Get comfy and let’s start with prayer…

   Father in Heaven, would You speak to us in these words and help us to see Your message within. In Jesus name, Amen.

       One of the enjoyable things about the holiday time is all the goodies we don’t normally have around the house. Fudge, candies, cookies, chocolates… In my family, we have a tradition of having “Bake Day” about a week before Christmas. Some of the ladies in our family will bring a few recipes and their ingredients and we just bake all day. We then divide up all the sweets and each take home several Christmas tins full of sugary treats. Oh my… these treats keep us in dessert heaven for the whole Christmas/ New Year’s celebration! Oh, and don’t even get me started on all the yummy hot coco flavors that come out at the holiday time.  

       As much as we enjoy these sweet treats and special times of the year, we simply couldn’t feast on these things exclusively and expect to be nourished. Our bodies need protein, grains, fruits and vegies to keep us healthy.

       I thought about this “getting healthy” resolution that inevitably comes around every January. Why do we make this commitment at the turn of the year? I suppose it’s just the mindset of a brand-new year so make a brand-new commitment. We want to feel better, look better, and have more energy for life. Well… how about our spiritual life? What do we consume to be healthy in our spiritual life?

       Do we spend the majority of our time consuming the news and all the negativity it has to offer? Do we binge watch the latest Netflix series? How about the latest podcasts that serve to stir up conflict and dissensions?

       Maybe feasting on that kind of junk food isn’t so good for our spiritual lives. It doesn’t nourish us with what we need to be spiritually healthy and strong. We need the Living Water to hydrate our souls. We need the Bread of Life to fill us up.

John 6:35 “Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life, whoever comes to me shall not hunger and whoever believes in Me shall never thirst.’” (ESV)

       The things we sometimes feast on in our daily lives don’t nourish us but can actually deplete us. But Jesus seeks to feed us with His food. Spending time with Him daily, texting a prayer or bible verse or even a thoughtful word to a friend who is hurting or checking in with a neighbor are much more nourishing things to feast on.

       Instead of flicking through Netflix, try Flipping through the pages of God’s word. Grab a great book designed to help you grow in your spiritual journey. Perhaps subscribe to an uplifting podcast that serves to inspire you.

       How about spending a little less time on social media so as to not feel beaten down from everyone’s Pinterest worthy homes and lives? That’s a trap that can really make us feel less than. It simply doesn’t feed our souls with good nourishing sustenance.

       Jesus has so much more filling, soul-sticking spiritual food for us to enjoy. It leaves us filled with peace and comfort, hope and strength, joy and happiness. It is a kind of food we couldn’t grow, can, preserve, or cook up. It is only served by the one who IS the bread of life. Feast on Him and the life-giving nourishment that He offers!

       Make it a new day’s resolution to eat healthier spiritual food!  The good news is… you can’t over eat!!!

Our Greatest Weapon

Hey all! How is everyone doing these days? Lot’s of things happening right now huh? Are you feeling a little overwhelmed about what has been going on in our nation, our cities, our neighborhoods, our homes, our own personal lives?

       As a blind person, it can sometimes feel like I can’t do as much as I would like to do for others. Mostly in the ability to bring a meal to someone when they are hurting, take someone on their errands who may not be able to do them alone, drive across town to visit a friend who needs a shoulder to cry on…

       However, there is one thing that I can do that my disability cannot prevent me from doing and no matter anyone’s circumstances, they can do it too! That’s praying for and with someone. Prayer is our greatest weapon. We are in a spiritual war zone and we need to arm ourselves. Prayer is that most needed weapon.

       With that said, our discussion today will be a prayer. I’ll start and please feel free to comment with your own prayer or please let me know how I can pray for you!

       Father in Heaven, we come before You Lord with hearts that may be heavy or discouraged. We bring our fears and failures to You Father. We bring our desires and needs to Your throne. We bring our praises and thankfulness to You as well oh Lord. You have seen the turmoil going on in this nation Father and we ask for peace. You’ve seen the conflict in our streets and homes and we ask You for guidance. You know the tension and stress in our own hearts Lord and we ask for resolution. Father we need You! Step into all these situations Lord and settle them in ways that only You can. Help us to show You to others by example and share our love for You with them. Lead us Lord so we may serve You better. In Jesus name, Amen.

       Okay, it’s your turn… let me know how I can pray for you as well as dropping a prayer here to encourage others with…      

The Pain Is To Much

Have a seat at the table my friends! I’ve removed the Christmas center piece and its now winter décor that races my table and dining room. Purple lights and silver and purple snowflakes are on my dining room tree. The table has a black and white buffalo plaid scarf masquerading as a table runner down the center. Black chargers sit waiting to cradle a dinner plate and invite table conversation. Join me? Let’s pray…

   Father in Heaven, would You open our eyes to see You here in this message? In Jesus name, Amen.

       So, we are in a brand-new year and I’ve dragged my same old back pain into 2021. I have had difficulty with my hip slipping out of alignment now and then. I experienced said slipping about six to eight weeks ago. I can usually manipulate it to realign but had been unsuccessful. No matter what twists, bends, counter-pressure, or any other typical maneuvers were simply not working. I tried massaging and hot baths, resting and relaxing, stretching and sitting to try and ease the pain.

       I took pain relievers and essential oils. I lay flat and curled up. I implemented hot showers and heating pads, muscle rubs and vibrating massagers. Nothing… was… working!

       Then my husband asked the million-dollar question, “Have you called John?”

       John is a dear friend who is a physical therapist. He is very skilled at his job and has helped me in the past with this same issue. I sheepishly answered in a low guilty voice, “no”. I hadn’t wanted to admit that I didn’t go to the person who could have helped me when this issue first began weeks ago.

       It was New Years eve morning and I sat in my favorite chair with tears brimming in my eyes. For the past couple of days the pain was so bad I could no longer bare it without help. I have been at my husband’s hospital bedside many times when the nurse came in and asked him what his pain level was like. He would answer sometimes with the number five or so and the nurse determined it was a good number to base giving him his next dose of pain medicine. “We don’t want it getting out of control” she would say.

       Hearing the question “what’s your pain level?” seemed to echo in my mind and I evaluated my number. “about seven and a half”, I heard myself whisper. It was climbing even as my husband made the call to our friend. He agreed to come out and see if he could help me.

John walked me through all the evaluation tests to see exactly what he was dealing with and the contorting began.

       He saw I was out of alignment and began twisting me like a pretzel to get my hip back in. After the third twist, we heard the wanted sound of “pop pop” and I knew it was back in. I felt immediate relief and then a new kind of pain.

       My muscles surrounding the hip and up into my back had been so over worked and off kilter for so long that they, in a manner of speaking, went on strike. They were protesting and arguing and just causing me grief. Why oh why did I wait so long to tend to the pain I was having? I could have saved myself this crippling pain and immobility if I had paid attention to what my body was trying to tell me.

       I wonder if Jacob could have done the same…

Genesis 32:24-25 “and Jacob was left alone and a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket and Jacobs hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him.” (ESV)

       Jacob was about to meet up with his brother Esau after many years of separation. Jacob was filled with angst because he had stolen his brothers’ birth right twenty years before and he was certain Esau would be seeking revenge. Jacob sent ahead many gifts and peace offerings to his brother but still struggled with the anxiety of seeing Esau again.

       He sent his wives and children ahead across the river and was left alone with his thoughts. A man, who we believe was God Himself in human form, came to Jacob and wrestled with him. This was a participatory wrestling match from both men. God allowed Jacob to wrestle with Him and even win a little. But God touched a Vidal area for mobility on Jacob to let him know that He was still God.

       Jacob spent so much time lamenting and stressing about his interaction with Esau that he never even brought the matter to God and asked for council or wisdom. Jacob had done his brother wrong and never really made it right. He didn’t listen to his body that was filled with heartache and pain of the emotional kind and he didn’t take care of the matter causing the pain before it got out of control.

       Had Jacob paid attention to his pain, might he have spared himself the wrestling match that now caused him more pain. Sometimes it’s painful to wrestle with God and surrender our will to Him but ultimately, it’s His will that is best.

       Sometimes we put ourselves through more pain than we need too and for a longer period of time then is necessary. God will remind us who He is but will allow us to wrestle something out with Him. The problem isn’t the wrestling, it’s when we think we can or should prevail over God.

       The wrestling match ended when God touched Jacob’s hip and reminded him who He was. Jacob walked with a limp after that and I believe it was so he could always remember his miraculous encounter with God.

       I have to wonder though, if Jacob had first brought his stress and anxiety and misdeeds before God a lot earlier, could he have spared his long-lasting pain? Friends if you are wrestling with something, bring it before the Lord in prayer. Set it before your heavenly Father and ask for His guidance. Don’t cause yourself unnecessary pain and grief by waiting to see if things get better on their own.

       My hip is back in place and I’m on the road to recovery but it will be a process. If I had listened to my pain and called on the one who could help me in the beginning, I could have spared myself the added pain and recovery time.

       Blessings to you table family and I’d love to hear from you.             

Can I just let it go already

So, table family… how was your Christmas? I pray you found blessings even though it may have looked unfamiliar and out right strange. It was different here as it was the first time in over forty years, we haven’t had a family/friends Christmas Eve party. But I did find peace in the simplicity.

       Father in heaven, help us to always see Your blessings in everything… even the unfamiliar. Open our hearts and minds to receive this message You have for each of us. In Jesus name, Amen.

       Now we look ahead to a new year. I could mimic most everyone’s thoughts and say that 2020 was awful. But I’m choosing to find the blessings in the unfamiliar. I met new people through virtual platforms and that has set me on a path of writing for an on-line magazine that I’m honored to be a part of building. I’ve spent more time with my family and learned to take inventory on what needs to change. I’ve been contemplating how I need to take the reins on my physical and mental and emotional health no matter how it may look to other people. So, 2020 hasn’t been a total loss for me. I pray it hasn’t been for you either.

       I kind of like the idea of a word to focus on for the new year, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, and I’ve chosen my word. “Prepared” or “Preparation”. I desire to look more like the Proverbs 31 woman. Not in physicality but in character. I have also chosen a phrase or mantra if you will. It seems rather cliché but it’s on my heart none-the-less. I have carried with me some things that I simply need to put down or let go. Things that I’ve held on to for FAR to long.

       The fact is that there will be people in our lives who will say hurtful things, do hurtful things, react in hurtful ways… it’s simply human nature. But we have a choice as to how we handle it! It can devour us or empower us.

To devour: To consume recklessly, destructively, or wantonly.

To empower: To give authority to.

       Do you see the difference in definition? One destroys and one builds up. One takes while the other gives. One subtracts and the other adds. You see we can stay in a place of destruction and tearing down and consumption or we can choose to “let it go” and be built up and nourished and useful.

Isaiah 43:18-19 “Do not remember the former things or ponder the things of the past. Listen carefully, I am about to do a new thing, now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it? I will even put a road in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.” (Amp)

       God may be about to do a new thing in our lives but if we are looking back over our shoulders reflecting on all our past hurts, how can we be looking ahead to see what He is about to do? This verse asks, “will you not be aware of it?” In other words, “will you be so consumed by what has happened that you will not be paying attention to what I am doing in your life? The opportunities I have for you?”

       If I can’t let go of hurts, I can’t change, I won’t be able to focus on what God has for me. The fact is, the people who have said those painful things or did painful acts or even pray painful prayers against me; they will never apologize for those things. I have learned things that have changed my opinions and altered how I proceed in my life circumstances.

       The only person it’s affecting by constantly replaying and revisiting these hurts is me… is you. It’s time to take back control over my own thoughts and emotions and how I respond to them. There is only one person who can choose this for us and that’s U S!

       There is another part of these verses that grabs my attention. God says He will put a road in the wilderness and a river in the desert. A wilderness is a wilderness because it is not traveled. There would be no roads in the wilderness. Deserts only receive less than ten inches of precipitation a year; some areas get less than two inches. There are few to no rivers in a desert.

       Where there is no road, God will put a road. Where there is no river, God will put a river. In other words, when there seems to be a lack, God will provide the means.

       If I choose to ponder and squander, then I’m the one who loses. I can spend most of my time and energy pondering the deeds and words of others that have wounded me, then I am subsequently squandering the time and energy God has given me to do better things.

       May I encourage you friend to let go of some of those old hurts that only serve to hold you back? Here is three ways to help us let go…

  • Imagine a rope tied to a large bundle of weights and you are having to hold on to the rope. It’s unbearable to hold on to any longer. Simply let go of the rope. Let the weight fall and take a breath of relief. You no longer have to struggle to hold on to the rope.
  • Ask God in prayer to release you of the feelings you may still be having towards the person or situation that is causing you angst.
  • Accept that you may not get the apology or remorse from the person who has wounded you and release the hold that person has on your life. It only serves to hold you back from moving forward and moving ahead.

The bottom line is that if you saw someone or something sitting on top of or holding down a loved one, you would intervene and try to free your loved one from the grips of restraint. Free yourself from those grips! See yourself in the place of that loved one and free yourself through Christ. Will you join me in my “Let It Go” mini-movement for 2021?

       What are some things you want to focus on in this new year? What have you learned about yourself? I’d love to hear from you…

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Hearing the Whispers of God

Good Christmas week to all of you! I can hardly believe Christmas is in just two days! I know it has a very different feel this year and we’ll likely have to adjust our traditions accordingly. Let’s start off with a prayer first before we chat…

   Father in Heaven, I pray for each person who reads this and ask a special Christmas blessing for each of us. Let Your message be heard Lord and let us come away changed. In Jesus name, Amen.

       So here we are right on top of Christmas and all the busyness it can bring. Shopping, decorating, baking, wrapping, card writing…

       I have been busy doing these things too. All but the card writing. I didn’t do physical cards this year. But now that I think about it; this was probably the year it was needed most. Sigh…

       Well my shopping is done as well as my wrapping. Gifts are under the tree and the ingredients for green bean casserole are awaiting me. The hustle and bustle of city side walks and busy side walks as well as decking the halls and jingling those bells, we can get overwhelmed with it all and forget the one person we should be remembering most.

       I woke up very early yesterday morning and decided to stay awake. I had some last-minute little gifts to buy that day and getting things ready for Christmas. My son moved out this year but he will be spending the night Christmas eve at home. This warms my heart to have him home on Christmas morning. I know it won’t be that way for much longer. Sigh again…

       To get an early start on my day, I grabbed my phone to respond to any notifications on social media that came in through the night. I like to try and stay connected with those who connect with me. But as I checked Facebook and then Instagram, it happened.

“Why are you more interested in what others have to say than what I have to say?”

       This was the oh so gentle but wounded whisper of God to my heart. Sigh a third time…

       I desire to encourage others in the Lord so much that it can actually get in the way of my personal time with the Lord. But how can I minister or witness to others if I don’t have a strong personal relationship to draw from?

       I am reminded of the words Jesus spoke to Peter in John 21 verses 15 – 17…

“When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter ‘Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?’ he said to Him ‘yes Lord You know that I love You’, He said to him ‘feed my lambs.’ He said to him a second time ‘Simon, son of John, do you love Me?’ he said to Him ‘yes Lord, you know that I love You.’ He said to him, ‘tend My sheep’ He said to him a third time, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love Me?’ Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time ‘do you love Me?’ and he said to Him ‘Lord, you know everything, you know that I love You.’ Jesus said to him ‘feed My sheep.’ (ESV)

       “After they finished breakfast” is how these verses begin. Jesus fed Peter before getting into the ministry aspect of the conversation. Peter couldn’t “feed” others before getting fed by Jesus first!

       Jesus most definitely wants us to “feed His sheep” but He wants us to get fed first so we have something to feed the sheep with.

       We can’t very well feed our family a Christmas dinner of roast turkey, mashed potatoes, dressing, cranberry sauce, or whatever your family favorites are, without first going to the grocery store to obtain these things to feed them with.

       So, table family, as we prepare to feed others physically this holiday, may we make the time to feed ourselves. May we have spiritual breakfast with Jesus before feeding others. Let’s get to that spiritual grocery store before trying to feed anyone a feast.

May each one of you be blessed this Christmas, however it may look this year. A very Merry Christmas from my table to yours!