Peace On Earth

 

The armies of heaven
sing praises

the sky fills up
with song

glory to God
in the highest

here’s the Peace for which
you long.

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You establish Christmas.

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“The Savior – yes, Messiah, the Lord – has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize Him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”

“Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others – the armies of heaven – praising God and saying, “

‘Glory to God in highest heaven,
and peace on earth to those with whom God
is pleased.’ . . .

“(The shepherds) hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. After seeing Him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. All who heard the shepherd’s story were astonished, but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often.”

Luke 2:11-19

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Image from The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp, page 253.

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Published in: on December 25, 2018 at 7:19 am  Comments Off on Peace On Earth  
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Limitless Love

 

All the places
inside

we’re busy
on that night

but Love came down
anyway

drawing us out
to His Holy light.

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You establish limitless love.

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“At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Riman empire. (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. He took with him Mary, his fiancée , who was now obviously pregnant.”

“And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped Him snugly in strips of cloth and laid Him in a manger, because there was no lodging available to them.”

Luke 2:1-7

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Image from The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp, page 241.

Published in: on December 24, 2018 at 6:48 pm  Comments Off on Limitless Love  
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With Us

 

 He is with us
He will save us

He won’t leave us
on our own.

He will save us
He is with us

stopping at nothing
to bring us home.

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You establish an intimate relationship with us.

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“This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Soirit. Joseph, her fiancée, was a good man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly.”

“As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. ‘Joseph, son of David,’ the angel said, ‘do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name Him Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

“All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet:

‘Look! The virgin will conceive a child!
She will give birth to a son,
and they will call Him Immannuel,
which means “God is with us’ “

Matthew 1:18-23

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Image from The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp, page 229.

Published in: on December 23, 2018 at 7:11 am  Comments Off on With Us  
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Receive

 

Let it be to me
as You have said

I receive You
oh I receive

the gift of You
growing inside

I believe You
oh I believe.

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You establish the gifts of receiving and conceiving.

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“In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. Gabriel appeared to her and said, ‘Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!’ “

“Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. ‘Don’t be afraid, Mary,’ the angel told her, ‘for you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His ancestor David. And He will reign over Israel forever; His Kingdom will never end!'”

“Mary asked the angel, ‘But how can this happen? I am a virgin.’ “

“The angel replied, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and He will be called the Son of God. What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she has conceived a son and is now in her sixth month. For the word of God will never fail.’ “

“Mary responded, ‘I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.’ And then the angel left her.”

Luke 1:26-38

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Image from The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp, page 217.

Published in: on December 22, 2018 at 7:44 am  Comments Off on Receive  
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Prepare

 

John shouted
prepare the way
clear the road
and baptized the weary

so we can walk
hearts ablaze
into our King’s
light and glory.

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You establish preparations.

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“In those days John the Baptist came to the Judean wilderness and began preaching. His message was, ‘Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.’ The prophet Isaiah was speaking of John when he said,

“He is a voice shouting in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord’s coming !
Clear the road for Him!’ “

Matthew 3:1-3

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Image from The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp, page 207..

Published in: on December 21, 2018 at 4:54 am  Comments Off on Prepare  
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His Presence

 

The miracle
of Christmas

is birthed
again and again

when someone receives
the gift of God

His presence –
Jesus with him.

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You establish the miraculous.

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“Zecharia and Elizabeth were righteous in God’s eyes, careful to obey all of the LORD’s commandments and regulations. They had no children because Elizabeth was unable to conceive, and they were both very old.”

“One day Zecharia was serving God in the temple, for his order was on duty that week. As was the custom of the priests, he was chosen by lot to enter the sanctuary of the Lord and burn incense. While the incense was being burned, a great crowd stood outside, praying.”

“While Zecharia was in the sanctuary, an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the incense altar. Zecharia was shaken and overwhelmed with fear when he saw him. But the angel said, ‘Don’t be afraid, Zecharia! God has heard your prayer. Your wife, Elizabeth, will give you a son, and you are to name him John. You will have great joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the eyes of the Lord. He must never touch wine or other alcoholic drinks. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before his birth. And he will turn many Israelites to the Lord their God. He will be a man with the spirit and power of Elijah. He will prepare the people for the coming of the Lord. He will,turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and he will cause those who are rebellious to accept the wisdom of the godly.”

Luke 1:6-17

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Image from The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp, page 195.

Published in: on December 20, 2018 at 6:01 am  Comments Off on His Presence  
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Even Though

 

Even though
there is struggle

no blooms, no fruit
just emptiness

even now
I will praise you

be joyful of
Your tenderness.

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You establish rejoicing in the midst of struggle.

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“I will climb up to my watchtower
and stand at my guard post.
There I will wait to see what the LORD says
and how He will answer my complaints.”

“I trembled inside when I heard this;
my lips quivered with fear.
My legs gave way beneath me,
and I shook with terror.
I will wait quietly for the coming day
when disaster will strike the people who invade us.
Even though the fig trees have no blossoms,
and there are no grapes in the vines;
even though the olive crop fails,
and the fields lie empty and barren;
even though the flocks die in the fields,
and the cattle barns are empty,
yet I will rejoice in the LORD!
I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!
The Sovereign LORD is my strength!
He makes me as sure footed as a deer,
able to tread upon the heights.”

Habakkuk 2:1; 3:16-19

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Image from The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp, page 185.

Published in: on December 19, 2018 at 7:33 am  Comments Off on Even Though  
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For Such A Time

 

For God
so loved the world

He gave His
only Son

for such
a time as this

let’s humble ourselves
and come.

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You establish times of deliverance.

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“Esther told Hathach to go back and relay this message to Mordecai: ‘All the king’s officials and even the people in the provinces know that anyone who appears before the king in his inner court without being invited is doomed to die unless the king holds out his gold scepter. And the king has not called for me to come to him for thirty days.’ So Hathach gave Esther’s message to Mordecai.”

“Mordecai sent this reply to Esther: ‘Don’t think for a moment that because you’re in the palace you will escape when all other Jews are killed. If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for such a time as this?’ “

“Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: ‘Go and gather all the Jews of Susa and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will do the same. And then, though it is against the law, I will go in to see the king. If I must die, I must die.’ So Mordecai went away and did everything as Esther had ordered him.”

Esther 4:10-17

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Image from The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp , page 175.

Published in: on December 18, 2018 at 6:29 am  Comments Off on For Such A Time  
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Oh Little Town

 

Before the world began
You had a plan
to enter in through
Bethlehem.

Though small and obscure
it’s where Peace touched the world
and all exiles were given
a home land.

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You establish the importance of small things.

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“You, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,
are only a small village among all the people
of Judah.
Yet a ruler of Israel,
whose origins are from the distant past,
will come from you on My behalf.
The people of Israel will be abandoned to their enemies
until the woman in labor gives birth.
Then at last his fellow countrymen
will return from exile to their own land.
And he will stand to lead his flock with the
Lord’s strength,
in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God.
Then his people will live there undisturbed,
for he will be highly honored around the world.
And he will be the source of peace.”

Micah 5:2-5

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 Image from The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp, page165.

Published in: on December 17, 2018 at 4:42 am  Comments Off on Oh Little Town  
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Storms of Change

 

Turn around
come back to Me

be resurrected and
made new

for each time
you repent

a storm is calmed
inside of you.

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You establish how I can move forward by turning back.

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“The LORD gave this message to Jonah son of Amittai: ‘Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh. Announce my judgment against it because I have seen how wicked its people are.’ “

“But Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction to get away from the LORD. He went down to the port of Joppa, where he found a ship leaving for Tarshish. He bought a ticket and went on board, hoping to escape from the LORD by sailing to Tarshish . . .”

“Now the LORD had arranged for a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was inside the fish for three days and three nights. . .”

“Then the LORD ordered the fish to spit Jonah out onto the beach.”

“The LORD spoke to Jonah a second time: ‘Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh, and deliver the message I have given you.’ “

“This time Jonah obeyed the LORD’s command and went to Nineveh, a city so large that it took three days to see it all. On the day Jonah entered the city, he shouted to the crowds: ‘Forty days from now Nineveh will be destroyed!’ The people of Nineveh believed God’s message, and from the greatest to the least, they declared a fast and a put on burlap to show their sorrow.”

Jonah 1:1-3,17; 2:10; 3:1-5

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Image from The Greatest Gift, by Ann Voskamp, page 155.

Published in: on December 16, 2018 at 6:32 am  Comments Off on Storms of Change  
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