Wednesday Whisper ~ Glory to God

When:  The night watch.
What:  Protect the sheep from predators and thieves.
Why:  The flocks outside Bethlehem were reserved for sacrifice at the nearby temple in Jerusalem.

And one holy night, more than 2000 years ago, shepherds were the ones blessed to receive a birth announcement from heaven, witness the glory of God, and hear His angel choir. As the shepherds went to find the infant King, did they try to echo the song they heard? Did they describe and repeat the refrain of ‘Glory to God’ to Mary, Joseph, and Jesus? The shepherds were so jazzed, their praises continued even after they returned (Luke 2:20).

May our hearts join them this Christmas as we, too, celebrate the coming of our Savior. It may be an ancient song, but we can make it new by adding a melody and offering it to the One most worthy. The angels’ lyrics were “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased” (Luke 2:14 New Living Translation). Let’s bring Him our best, and who knows, we may be joined by a behind-the-scenes back-up choir, or at least we can imagine we are!

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Wed. Whisper ~ 9 Months Before Christmas

God had been on earth many times. He had walked in the garden with Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:8), revealed Himself in a burning bush to Moses (Exodus 3:2), and led the Israelites through the desert in pillars of cloud and fire (Exodus 13:21). He had spoken clear messages to the prophets and communicated through numerous visions and dreams, but He had NEVER left His throne in heaven to become a microscopic infant.

How can we comprehend the Creator of all becoming a created being, the King of kings exchanging being worshiped by multitudes of angels for being acknowledged by three people, Mary, Joseph, and Mary’s relative, Elizabeth (Luke 1:43)? Jesus chose to leave behind the blinding brightness of His vast glory to live inside a small, dark womb for nine months and He traded the majestic symphonies of angelic choirs for the songs of His mother (Luke 1:46-55). Why? To demonstrate His immeasurable love for us!

May we pause to ponder the wonder of it all, that God sent His one and only Son as a gift to this world, to every person in this world, because He wants a relationship with us. “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’–which means, ‘God with us.’” (Matthew 1:22-23 NIV)

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Wednesday Whisper ~ Thank God

When reading the title of today’s ‘Whisper,’ don’t view it as a flippant expression of relief, but as something scripture reminds us repeatedly to do. But why? The Apostle Paul calls us to “give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18) Most of us desire to know God’s will for our lives, and here it is, at least a first step, give Him thanks.

God knows that when we pause and give thanks in the midst of overwhelming grief and trials that our heart is lifted and our thinking is transformed. Giving thanks to our Heavenly Father takes our focus off ourselves. Regardless of our circumstances we can thank Him for who He is. We are instructed to “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good” (Psalm 107:1a) and because “He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:57b)

The One who sits on the throne of heaven is truly worthy of our thanks. (Revelation 4:9) May this holiday season begin with our offerings of daily thanksgiving!

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Wednesday Whisper ~ Got Time

Time flies when we’re on our dream vacation and barely ticks by when sitting in that dreaded dentist’s chair. We never seem to have enough of it and always seem to be running out of it! Twenty-four hours a day – that’s what we’ve got. No matter what our economic status, race, gender, or address, we all have the same amount of time in a day.

Romans 13:11 says, “But make sure that you don’t get so absorbed and exhausted in taking care of all your day-by-day obligations that you lose track of the time and doze off, oblivious to God. The night is about over, dawn is about to break. Be up and awake to what God is doing!” Paul also warns in 1 Corinthians 7:29, “I do want to point out, friends, that time is of the essence. There is no time to waste, so don’t complicate your lives unnecessarily. Keep it simple…” (The Message).

Let us be wise stewards of the time we’ve been given, carefully evaluating our use of it, and making the most of every hour, adjusting our priorities and schedules as needed. We have been blessed with a good sixteen hours of awake time. May we do the best with what we’ve got!

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Wednesday Whisper ~ True Freedom

Freedoms vary around the world. Consider what freedoms you have. Are you free to decide what to eat and wear, what work to do, where to go, how and with whom to spend your time? How about the bigger freedoms:  freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom to carry arms? With freedom comes responsibility.

In the beginning, God gave Adam and Eve great freedom. Genesis 2:16-17 says God told Adam he was “…free to eat from any tree in the garden…” except one. And God explained that if they chose to disobey, the consequence would be death, separation from God. Well, we know how that turned out! And don’t blame Adam and Eve. We all continue to step beyond God’s limits.

Thank God He sent Jesus to free us from the power of death. Jesus, though innocent, received the punishment for the sin of everyone and broke the chains of sin that threaten to control us. Freedom back to an intimate relationship with the Father begins by believing Jesus is His one Son. Jesus is the key Who sets us free. “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” ~ (John 8:36 NIV) May you experience true freedom in Him today.

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Wednesday Whisper ~ Quiet Times

As my spouse sleeps soundly, I tiptoe through the bedroom cautiously opening and closing drawers, brushing my teeth in our walk-in closet (not spitting there), and slipping into the restroom to change clothes hoping the door won’t squeak, only to accidentally tap the switch for the noisy fan instead of the light. Oops! It takes so much effort to be quiet!

Stillness is a rare occurrence these days, so having a quiet time with the Lord requires effort and planning. With the busyness of everyday life, it does not happen without purposeful determination.

Even Jesus had the habit of getting up before sunrise and going to a solitary place to listen to and talk with His Father. David wrote in Psalms 37:7a, “Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him.” (NIV) Being still before the Lord allows us to worship and give thanks to the Almighty, to bask in His love and peace, to share our burdens, seek His wisdom, and listen for counsel.

May we set aside a time and place and not miss the most important meeting of our day.  He will be there. Will we?

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Wednesday Whisper ~ Celebrate Order

Anyone still have the notorious ‘junk drawer?’ The front of our junk drawer is filled with desk items and a few small tools, while the back threatens to become a burial ground for odd things seldom used and once there rarely found. Many of us with a junk drawer find great satisfaction in the moments the drawer is actually in order.

There exists a battle in our world between chaos and order. Creation reveals evidence of a God of order. Day/night, male/female, and work/rest were just the beginning. God has provided leaders to follow and guidelines to obey. Our hearts yearn for order. We expect Siri to map orderly directions and we shoppers snarl when our grocery store gets rearranged. Language, math, science, and history all have order. Order is needed in meetings, schools, businesses, and government. The Apostle Paul even advised the church, “But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.” (1 Corinthians 14:40 NIV)

I’m not saying we have to go home and reorganize that junk drawer, but chances are, there is some haunting chaos in our life that needs put in order. Go for it!

As I close, I praise the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End!
(Sounds like order to me.)

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