The Woman Speaks

Women are not to speak in church at all. Women are definitely not allowed to teach men anything. The only males they can teach are little boys. Once a boy hits puberty, he can no longer have a woman teacher in Sunday School. He is a man now. This same boy can be taught in public (or private or Christian) school by a woman and no one loses their mind. He can have women professors in college. He can have a woman boss. But in church, man reigns supreme and women need to just shut the heck up.

This is biblical, right? I mean, right? It’s what Paul writes, isn’t it? And we all know Paul is like next to godhood. His writings in 1 Corinthians 14 and 1 Timothy 3 dictate the silence of women, at least that is what I have always been taught. I’m sure many of you have as well.

Let women keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, but let them subject themselves, just as the Law also says, and if they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home, for it is improper for a woman to speak in church.

Let a woman quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man but to remain quiet.

I Corinthians 14:34-35 and 1 Timothy 2:11-12, respectively

These passages have no doubt been beaten and belabored to death in recent months. But please, allow me to throw my hat into the ring as one late to the party. Let’s talk about church first, shall we? Let’s define it biblically, okay?

For where two or three are gathered together, I am there in their midst.

Matthew 18:20

This verse in Matthew comes just after Jesus tells the disciples how to deal with offenses done against them. (You can read it all in Matthew 18:15-20.) Church is not a building but it is the whole body of Christ. It is comprised of individual believers. Anytime believers meet together it is church. So anytime believers have a meal with other believers it’s church. If believers meet out shopping or going for a walk, at a concert, etc it is church. But we don ‘t live like that. We live as if the church is simply the four walls of a building with Church in the name. “I attend this church. Which church do you attend?” So we translate this passage in light of that viewpoint. Women cannot talk inside the four walls of a church.

Except even this is not practiced truly. Women speak inside the church walls all the time. Women speak to men inside the four walls of a church all the time. And no one bats an eye. Women speak and teach in the church. Children and women only. “Because that’s what the Bible says.” I beg to differ. I am not intelligent nor eloquent enough to lay out the reasons. But I will show what Jesus has been revealing to me about Himself and His dealings with women.

Jesus revealed Himself to women first on many different occasions and in varied ways. A real quick rundown of some.

  • Mary heard from the angel, Gabriel before Joseph. God chose to reveal Himself to a woman before revealing Himself to her betrothed and before revealing Himself to any in Israel.
  • Jesus chose to reveal His identity as Messiah to a woman before revealing it to the disciples. He told the Samaritan woman, “I who speak to you am He” (John 4:26) This was after speaking with her and bringing the conversation around to church and worship. She confessed to hearing the rumor of a promised Messiah who “will declare all things to us” (John 4:25)
  • Jesus chose a woman, a woman who had been demon possessed, to first reveal Himself post-resurrection. According to His plan and purpose, Mary Magdalene arrived at the tomb early on the first day of the week. She saw the stone had been rolled away and she hotfooted it back to town to tell the disciples. She was the one who followed Peter and John as they entered a footrace to the tomb.
  • Jesus chose Mar Magdalene to be the one to look into the tomb after Peter and John left. (Left to go find the resurrected Jesus? Nope. They left to go home.) He chose for Mary to see the angels and then turn around and see Him. He veiled her understanding until He spoke her name.
  • Jesus chose Mary Magdalene to be the first apostle. She saw Him first post-resurrection and she was the first one He sent. And where did He send her? To give men a message. But not just any men. His men. Men who had faithfully followed Him throughout His ministry. The message she was to give them? In short, she was to instruct them. Jesus could have shown Himself to them. He could have appeared at the tomb behind Peter and John and told them to go back and tell the other disciples He lived and where to meet Him. But He didn’t. I can’t emphasize this enough. He purposely chose a woman. He purposely sent her out. He purposely sent her to instruct men, His men. Believing men.

So let’s go back to Paul. He writes, what I believe is at least tongue-in-cheek, that women are not allowed to teach or even talk in church. He even says “just as the Law also says.” The Law meaning, of course, the Mosaic Law. Only the Mosaic Law does not say this. Anywhere. It’s not there. I believe it was considered a law at the time in the church. This was not a law handed down by God, but rather was a law handed down by men. It was, in short, tradition that had morphed into another law that governed behavior.

It is also thought that women were viewed as disruptive. Maybe some were. The verse in 1 Corinthians 14 that immediately precedes Paul saying to let the women be silent, addresses an issue in the body. Chaos reigned. Confusion ruled the assembly. Paul writes that “God is not a God of confusion but of peace.” I am not going pretend to have studied the culture of the Corinthian church and cannot speak to that. All I know is context is key.

There is a church I have attended on a few occasions and in this church is a man who is of sound least it appears that way. Before the message gets under way, he is observed quietly speaking with others in the sanctuary, with coffee cup in hand. But once the pastor begins the message this man begins shouting out words and phrases. To be sure, they are “Christian” phrases, but are nonetheless disruptive.

I attended a Christian concert a few years ago. This concert did not take place inside the four walls of a building with Church on the side but it was, nonetheless, a church. The man directly behind me was extremely disruptive. He kept reaching forward to grasp my arms in an effort to make me raise them. He shouted out words and phrases at such an alarming rate and decibel level the musician called him out on it. It did not stop the man. I was preparing vacate my seat in search of someone in charge who could escort the man out when there was an intermission. The man did not return to his seat. It’s possible he left voluntarily and it is also possible he was told to leave. I don’t know. I share these experiences simply to show women are not the always the ones who bring disruption to worship.

Let’s move back to discuss the church. My family often shares a meal with friends from church. This, by definition, is a church. So if women are not allowed to speak in church, any time I have a meal with another family of believers, I cannot speak. I must sit in silence. There could be no “please pass the mashed potatoes” or “please pass the salt.” There could be nothing but silence as the men are allowed to speak. How crazy would that be? But if we are going to be dogmatic about what Paul wrote, we have to take it to this place too.

I have begun praying for Jesus to open my eyes, to let me see Him and read His words with fresh eyes. He has been faithful to do just that. I want to get rid of any preconceived ideas and notions about what the passage is saying and listen to His voice reveal His truth.

One of the most amazing things He has brought to light is simply the powerful role of women, His women in His narrative. He first revealed His identity and deity to a woman. A woman was His first apostle. He sent her to instruct believing men. We have allowed traditions to dictate church life long enough. I want to say this next part with grace but I fear it will come out and sound harsh. Weak m men, men fearful of losing their felt power and authority, have devised this and blinded the eyes of weaker men in an attempt to silence women. Women who love Jesus and are empowered by Him to proclaim His word to men and women. For His glory.


Laying it all Down on Our Mt. Moriah

“that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death…but whatever things were gain to me, those I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord,”

Philippians 3:10, 7-8

The first sentiment is easy and very churchy. It’s what we think we’re supposed to want, to say and to mean. It’s all well and good until He starts taking things and we start losing those things we hold so dear. Then counting our dearest treasures as rubbish in view of the surpassing value of knowing Him, suddenly it isn’t so easy. It’s hard. It’s brutal.

Dying to self and denying ourselves is never easy, except on paper and in our head. Move that to a heart thing and we find out we are incredibly selfish and, quite frankly, we don’t really trust and believe Jesus. We don’t believe He is good because if He was truly Good He would know how much we need that. You can name your own that, possession, relationship, person, job, treat, pet, position, it’s a need and you feel entitled to it. He’s good if He takes what you’re willing to freely give, the things on the fringes of your heart. Those are easier to let go of than the gifts you treasure.

One of the hardest things to give up is the very thing you know He gave you. You’re facing your own Mt. Moriah, you have the wood, the knife, the altar is there. But where on earth is the sacrifice?

It’s living in you. It is the very thing you’re holding onto with a death grip. It is the thing you know deep in your marrow that He gave you, He told you and now you’re having to die to yourself. You have to lay it all down on that altar, not knowing if there will be a ram caught in the thicket by his horns.

You pray and pray that this cup, this cup of affliction and suffering, this cup of pain and loss when you’ve lost so much already, will please pass from you.

But you’re still holding that cup. The cup that burns in your hands and you’re looking around, wanting someone, anyone to come and take that cup from you. You’re dying for someone to rescue you and heal your burning hands.

But still you’ve got the cup.

You know in your soul as the word reverberates in your mind that Jesus says “Die to that thing. Kill it. Deny yourself. Pick up your cross. The very cross you said you’d gladly bear and bear it all the way to the death. The very cross you want someone else to take, pick it up and die on it. Die to the very thing you want more than life itself. “

Because only in the dying do we live. Only in the losing are we found. The only way out is the way in. The way to life is the way to death.

So sacrifice it already. Surrender it and yourself in tears if you need to. But give it and your anxious heart to Him. No guarantees and no bargaining. Just simple trust.

One Word 2019

A number of years ago it was popular to choose a word to focus on for the coming year. It was a word you would hope to be characterized by at the end of the year.

I have shared a time or fifty of my non-conformist ways and so it should be no real surprise to you that I did not immediately jump on the bandwagon, choosing a word willy-nilly. The words I chose were simply words that I kept encountering. At every turn I was confronted with the word Joy one year and another it was grace.

After a sweet conversation with Jesus, I was convinced the word for my life would be Joy, and there was no reason, no real need, to ever again have a word for one year. I slowly began collecting anything with the word, Joy, on them.

In the words of Marie Kondo, they brought me joy. Immense Joy.

This year I began noticing people again choosing a word or two for their year. And I thanked Jesus that I had a word for my life. And that I was made a non-conformist.

Then He spoke. One word.


My heart questioned, not from unbelief, but it seemed a strange word for Him to speak to my heart.

“I have called you by name, you are Mine!”

Isaiah 43:1

The word He chose for the year is so multi-faceted. It is a pronoun showing ownership.

But it is also a noun. As a noun these two definitions have piqued my interest,
1. A subterranean passage under an enemy position.
2. A rich source of supply.
These are to definitions I’m definitely going to be thinking on over the next few months.

It is also a verb and these two definitions jump out at me.
1. To dig under to gain access to or cause the collapse of an enemy position.
2. To extract from a source.

My identity is simply this. I am His. He has called me by name and I am His. In this I get to mine the depths of Him. In Him I have a secret, underground passage under the position of my enemy. As I mine His depths, enemy held positions in my life collapse.

His life, His supply is endless. We could mine the depths of Him every day for the rest of forever and we will never exhaust our supply of Him or His riches.

So, be encouraged, dear Reader, He is more than adequate to meet your needs. His riches and His life do not end, there is nothing you will experience that will be beyond the riches of His source, His Life. Plunge yourself deeply into Him, mine the depths of His life and grace.

Sacred in the Surrendered

As this year draws to a close, many people are looking back to see what they accomplished in the previous twelve months. They’re hoping to see that they fulfilled some purpose. There was a reason, a need, for them. They also are looking ahead to see if their life will have purpose and meaning in the next twelve months.

We all want our life to mean something, to count for something. Too often we fear it doesn’t. We fear we have real purpose in life, so we have to grab it by the horns with gusto and search out our purpose for breathing.

Could I tell you something?

Jesus. Always was. Always is. Always will be. We exist for His pleasure. He has a plan and a purpose for every person. No one is born apart from His plan.

Each one of us is born on purpose and with a purpose that God designed for us. He purposes our birth, our death, and all the tiny moments in-between. He did all of this planning and purposing before the foundation of the world. It is His life that wills and works in us to fulfill His plan.

It’s all about Him.

Through our surrendering to Him–His Life in us–He works His plan and purpose according to His will in us. He has made so we don’t have to find our purpose, our passion. We just need to surrender our lives to Jesus on the altar. He, then, works in and through us freely.

So all of our lives; every facet, every component, every minute detail, is sacred. Nothing is secular, everything is sacred because everything is about Jesus. There are no secular jobs for the indwelt believer.

Every thing becomes sacred in surrender to the Savior.

In our strength alone, everything we deem sacred becomes secular. When we muster our own strength and minister in that place of self, we say, in essence, “it’s okay, God, I’ve got this one”, our ministry has ceased to be ministry and has become simply our vocation and no longer sacred.

The difference is Jesus.
The difference is always Jesus.
The sacred becomes secular when Jesus is relegated to the periphery.
The secular becomes sacred with Jesus at the center of it all, doing it all.
The secular becomes sacred though surrender;
The sacred becomes secular through self.

You were born on purpose, with a purpose according to the plan of God. He knew exactly when you would be born, He knew your struggles, your strengths, your joys, your sorrows. He knew all of you intimately before the world was created.

If you are indwelt with the Life of Jesus, you don’t have to worry and fret, or work so hard to discover your passion, your purpose. You just have to surrender to His Life in you. He will accomplish His purpose through you and in you. He knows what His plan is and He knows what your year will bring. He knows the high points and He is intimately acquainted with each of the low points already. He is already there. His plan and His purpose for your life will be revealed as you surrender.

How Do You Surrender?

It seems so simple and easy to just say, “all you have to do is surrender”. It is almost like saying, “All you have to do it sacrifice your firstborn.” It often feels that wrong and scary too.

Surrender comes as we lean into, press into Jesus for deliverance from our strongholds and then we walk in the freedom He brings.

I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.

Romans 12:1

And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.

Matthew 10:38

Surrender means death. When the Germans surrendered at the end of World War 1 and 2, their surrender said they were dying to their plan, their desires. They were admitting their defeat and weakness in the face of the stronger opponent. They laid down their weapons, and agreed to the terms of peace.

That is what we do. We die to our own will, our own desires. We confess to Jesus that our strength is weakness apart from Him. We acknowledge we have believed and lived lies about ourselves and Him.

It is in that place of hardest surrender that He takes over and we are set free. Free to be the people He created us to be in Him. He brings the plan, the purpose, the passion; He changes our secular into our sacred.

The Joy of Being In the Bubble

Why is it that where we need to be is so rarely where we want to be? I had spent the better part of the early morning hours driving to a conference I did not want to attend. Even the lure of seeing an old friend was not enough to make me want to travel that highway. Jesus dictated that trip and everything I heard, everything I learned that day.

The speaker, my friend, shared truth about our bubbles. We all have one, our own personal bubble of space. We determine who gets in and who must stay outside.

We bring some people in our bubble but relegate them to the periphery, they’re in but not all that close. There are those that are in our bubble and we have vacuum-sealed them to our side because we always want them close.

But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been  brought near by the Blood of Christ.

Ephesians 2:13

We have been brought near, in a close embrace by Jesus. Dear reader, feel His arms snug around you. Lean in close, close your eyes and listen to His heartbeat.

That very heartbeat once ceased to beat as He literally loved His enemies to death. You were one of those enemies.

Jesus is the Joy, He is the peace, He is the Hope of Advent. He is the All of everything. All we need is Him and in Him.

Our flesh is the enemy and it is evidence of the enmity with the Holy God. It is not the devil but it shows there is one and he is alive and well on planet earth. He knew the way to infect man was not in his soul but through his flesh and he could, by infecting our flesh, infect our soul with sin. He infected us with his insatiable disease of prideful selfishness, and it passed to all men.

Infect and affect the heart of one man and your inflict pain and affect the heart of God.

There was one Man, made of flesh but not one of us. He was touchable by man, yet untouchable and untouched by sin. The enemy try though he might, was unable to infect this Man of flesh with his evil.

This Man in His flesh, abolished the wall of division among Jews and Gentiles but also between the Holy God and all mankind. He brought peace because He is peace.

In Jesus we are all in His bubble and not a one of us is relegated to the periphery. We have all been brought near by His blood. There is no fear of rejection, of being relegated to the periphery or expelled from His bubble because He never rejects those who are His. We might could choose to relegate ourselves to the periphery of His bubble, we live in Him but He is not our life. He is just one small part of our life and we’re still very much in charge, running the show and in control.

Dear precious reader, I cannot speak for you, but I want to live smashed up to Jesus’ side. I want to hear His heartbeat as it beats out a cadence in my eardrum. I want to be so close to Him no one can tell where He ends and I begin. Because He doesn’t end and I don’t begin. It’s all Him and His life.

We keep people, Jesus included, on the periphery of our bubbles, or outside our bubbles because we are afraid. We want so desperately to protect our hearts from hurt, pain. But our own attempts at protection fail, they only build strongholds and make vows we cannot keep.

Surrendering to Jesus is the only way to protect our hearts from anguish. But in Him our hearts will still break, but we’ll just lean in closer, inviting Him into all the hurting places and we will know the Joy and the freedom of His healing. We will find the love and life our hearts long for.

Jesus does not, Jesus will not reject. He will not relegate to the periphery. If you are in Him, indwelt with His Life, you are forever in His bubble. You get to determine the closeness, smashed to Him, so His heartbeat beats out a cadence in your ear. Or you can decide you’re better at being god than God is and keep yourself on the periphery. You’re in but not really, not fully.

The only way to know fully Joy in Advent is by jumping in with both feet, surrendering all to Him.

Why You Are Not A Mess

A few weeks ago I was browsing my Twitter feed somewhat mindlessly reading when I saw another one of those tweets. You know, those tweets that sound spiritual but they just hit you wrong. They might be a true statement at first glance but there is just something not quite right about it.  You’ve seen the statement before, you might have believed it but now it’s sitting on your heart like bad pizza.

There’s something wrong with that tweet. You might not know what, but it’s just not right, not right at all. You try to read further but you just can’t get past it, you find yourself scrolling back up to it and nope, it’s still not right.

You might do this a time or fifty before you distract yourself by doing something else, like the church bulletin for example, or maybe scrubbing the toilet. As you’re scrubbing away this message keeps taunting your mind, you’re mulling it over and over. Your mind is mauling it like a dog mauls a bone.

Then when it hits you, you sit back wondering why on earth it took you so long to realize that the reason the statement seems wrong is because it IS  wrong?

“I am a {hot} mess, yet deeply loved by God.” 

It’s wrong because it is a lie.

It’s like one of those questions on a personality quiz, “are you this and/because of this?” Your answer might be yes and no, or no and yes. One part is very true, but the other part is not even remotely true.

The only part of the sentence that is true is “…deeply loved by God.” That part is truer than true.

As believers in Jesus we are so adept at Christianizing lying to ourselves. We say things about ourselves to ourselves and others that sound really, really good, but are, in fact, really, really bad.  We lie to ourselves because that is what we hear from others. They lie about who they are and who we are. We believe them and so we perpetuate the lie with our own mouths.

People! This should not be.

You might be wondering why I don’t like the statement, “I am a mess, yet deeply loved by God.” I mean, it sounds good, it sounds right. It sounds humble. It sounds holy. It sounds true.

But it isn’t. You see, “I am a mess” is an identity statement. You are telling everyone who you are, and who you are is a mess.

No. Who you are is not a mess.

Why do I say that and how can I say that? I don’t even know you. That is true. But I do know Jesus. I know His nature.

I know He is not a mess. Not even close to a mess. He is the furthest thing from a mess.  And to call yourself a mess is a lie and it denies the power of the cross and the power of the Blood of Jesus that was shed for you.

I know you are not a mess because I know Jesus is not a mess. If you are in Him, His Spirit, His nature, His Life dwells in you. In your flesh, in your sinful state before coming to His cross to receive His grace and His nature freely bestowed on you, you are very much a mess. You are without help and without hope.

But you are not. Because you are in Him.

Do you want to know what else you are?

  • You are chosen. (1 Peter 2:9, John 15:16, Colossians 3:12, 1 Thessalonians 1:4)
  • You are holy. (1 Peter 2:9, Colossians 3:12, Ephesians 1:4)
  • Loved and beloved (1 Thessalonians 1:4, Romans 5:8, Jude 1)

This list is by no means exhaustive. You are so much more than you think, so much not a mess. You’re chosen, you’re adopted, you’re declared Holy, blameless, you’re sealed in Him and with Him.

This is your identity! And your identity matters. Because you will walk out whatever you believe about yourself.  So choose now to believe the truth.

And the truth is; in Jesus there are no messes, only messengers with messages. Don’t give the wrong one, to yourself or to others.

The Rebellious Martyr Living in Me.

This is real. This is raw. This is a prayer from the heart.

Jesus, there is a martyr living in me today. That bit of ugliness has risen it’s head and breathed it’s putrid breath in my face. And I embraced it as a long-lost friend. It didn’t come alone, it brought a friend with it–rebellion. They worked together with my full consent to derail my thoughts and crucify Your people in my thoughts and mind today. 

This was a sin, Jesus, and did not reflect Your Life in me, nor did it allow Your Spirit room to work. But instead it worked to silence Your Spirit that lives in the sons of obedience, this sin that lives in the hearts of those bent on disobedience and destruction. I allowed rebellion and the martyr to take your place and elevated myself above You.

Even now, Jesus, rebellion is rearing it’s ugly head in me. My self–my flesh–wants to keep me trapped here in disobedience and rebellion, making me their slave. They used to play nice and offer protection, but now they simply demand my service to them. They promise nothing but heartache and trouble if I don’t. 

But, Jesus, Your voice speaks to me the truth. That trouble and heartache are promised if I do give in to them for one more second. You have set me free–FREE–from their chains that used to keep me stuck here in this pit of hard. 

So, Jesus, let me choose to freely praise You and dance in Your Holy Fire the dance of the soul set free. Thank You, Jesus, for opening my eyes to the truth of those thoughts and sins, for making me see them as they truly are, and for telling me that isn’t who I am anymore. For reminding me that I am not my thoughts. I am not my sin. I am not my temptations. I am not my past reactions. 

I am Yours. Wholly. Completely. Fully. Drenched in Your Life, Drowning in Your great Grace.

When Your Hope Dies in Disappointment.

Years ago I would begin my Christmas wish list on December 26th, if I was late. If I was on-time I’d begin it on the blustery cold evening of December 25. I can still picture it. Gifts had been opened, played with, read, set aside for the big Christmas dinner. The world was bathed in the blue light of a winter evening, everything is quiet and still, hushed almost. And I would start to dream. 

Most of what my list comprised of was the gifts I had wanted but not received that Christmas.  All through the year I would edit and revise my list. I would change some of it into a birthday wish list, and then turn it back into a Christmas list. 

Like everyone, I was very well acquainted with disappointment at Christmas. I knew the sting of not getting what I wanted and thought I desperately needed.  

We all know exactly what our heart needs to feel secure and content. We know what we must have to be happy.  When Christmas day, or any day, passes by and yet again we are denied what we desperately need, we feel the sting of hopelessness and loss all over again. 

We can feel the anger rising within us. We hear the whispered voices in our heads that beat out a cadence of “you’re not accepted! you’re not loved. you’re not enough.” And we begin to believe it all over again. 

We have no hope and we’re sure there is no hope for us. We longingly read the verses that talk about hope and we think, “well, that’s nice. Someone has hope.” We might even dare to think, “I hope I can believe this is for me some day.” We are quick to share the hope with someone else who struggles to believe the hope is for them. All the while we reject it for ourselves. 

We try to stop expecting anything for Christmas. We tuck away our greatest desires where no one can see, and we silently weep for what we need. We do not have hope. We say we don’t need it but we do. Oh how we need hope. 

And hope does not disappoint, because the love of GOD has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Romans 5:5

How can that be? How can it be true that hope doesn’t disappoint when we so often feel incredibly disappointed? We feel disappointed by people. They don’t act the way we want, or think they should, they aren’t there for us when we think we need them, they don’t deliver on our expectations. 

We also feel disappointed by Jesus. He doesn’t deliver what we thought He would. He doesn’t deliver on our time schedule. We thought something was a sure thing from Him but it didn’t happen. Our expectations weren’t met. He let us down. He promised freedom and we’re still wrapped in chains, enslaved to our expectations. 

We still deal with strongholds and the holidays can bring them out en masse.  The rest of the year might be pretty smooth, but the holidays are rough and bumpy. So how do we deal with them, those arrows others throw at us, arrows of their expectations, arrows of our own expectations? Are we just doomed to a pain-filled holiday? Is there hope for joy this month?

YES! Yes there is hope! As long as we have breath and Jesus lives in us (which by the way is forever), there is hope. We still must rely fully on Jesus as we respond to life’s bumps and body slams.

We have the option to choose joy, choose hope, why? Because the Love of God has been poured out in our hearts. We can choose to live loved because we are loved.

You are loved with an ever-lasting, never dying, never ending love. Maybe you’ve been disappointed with love, maybe your love has been rejected, maybe you’ve been rejected by one you thought would love you forever. 

Dear reader, please know you are loved by Someone who will love you forever! His love will never disappoint, His hope lives in you through His Life and His Holy Spirit. 


Rejoice with exceedingly great joy!
Emmanuel shall come.
And these afflictions will be seen
for what they are;
light and momentary.
Blessings to make us fit
For our new home.

Rejoice with exceedingly great joy!
For to you is born
A Boy.
He shall rule His people
From their heart.
With His Holy Spirit
Sealed up tight-
He will never depart.

Rejoice with exceedingly great joy!
Emmanuel shall come to thee.
To thee–He shall come,
Guide, Shepherd, Ruler,
Teacher, Friend,
Holy One
He shall come to thee.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Rejoice!
He has come to thee!
Fall down before Him,
Lift your face to Him, 
His Light, His Life
Shines on you.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Rejoice!
In your afflictions,
Emmanuel-God with us-
Has come to thee.

vlg 07/December 2018