Mary, Did You Know

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. A day to spend with family and friends and thank God for all the blessings in the past year. It also officially starts the Christmas season.

I love this time of year. The weather turns crisp to cold. The snow starts to fall. (Although I haven’t always been a fan, seeing snow through my sons’ eyes makes me appreciate it again.) We have time spent with family and friends. I love the smells and even the cooking, decorating the Christmas tree and drinking hot chocolate. And I love the music. I’m not sure that the handful of weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas are long enough for me to get my fill of the music.

So today is starting our Holiday addition of Worship Wednesday. “Mary Did You Know” seems like a really good place to start. And the Pentatonix version I included above is an amazing cover of the song.

I remember holding both of my boys for the first time. It is an amazing thing to hold your baby for the first time. To look down at that little life that you created. To know that you are responsible for that little life. It is amazing and terrifying, all at the same time.

I can’t even begin to imagine what Mary must have been thinking that first Christmas. As she sat there in that stable, surrounded by hay and animals and looked down at the Baby in her arms. Of course, she knew she was holding the Son of God. She knew where this amazing gift she had been given had come from.

As she looked upon the face of that sleeping Child, could she have even begun to imagine the things He would do? I love the line in the song “when you kiss your little Baby, you kiss the face of God.” As she bent and held the sleeping Child to her chest and placed a kiss upon His forehead, did it cross her mind? Or did she just sit in awe of this Life that had come from her?

I believe that all babies are amazing and all babies are a gift from God, but Mary was holding a baby that was ACTUALLY God. And I am sure as she looked upon the Baby, she knew He would do great things. However, I can’t imagine she could have known how great or the sacrifice that sleeping Child would give.

As you begin this holiday season, take a moment and think about that mother and Child. Think about how amazing that moment must have been. So amazing that the shepherds went out and told all about the Child and Luke 2:19 says, “But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.” Even Mary couldn’t know how amazing it all was going to be.

So amazing that 2000 years later we would still be talking about that night in the stable.

 

Mary Did You Know

Mary, did you know that your Baby Boy would one day walk on water?
Mary, did you know that your Baby Boy would save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your Baby Boy had come to make you new?
This Child that you delivered will soon deliver you?

Mary, did you know that your Baby Boy will give sight to a blind man?
Mary, did you know that your Baby Boy will calm the storm with His hand?
Did you know that your Baby Boy has walked where angels trod?
When you kiss your little Baby you kiss the face of God?

Mary did you know?

The blind will see
The deaf will hear
The dead will live again
The lame will leap
The dumb will speak
The praises of the Lamb

Mary, did you know that your Baby Boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary, did you know that your Baby Boy would one day rule the nation?
Did you know that your Baby Boy is heaven’s perfect Lamb?
The sleeping Child you’re holding is the Great, I Am.

You can find all of the Worship Wednesday posts here.

To Be Like John

There is a ridiculous amount of quizzes on the Internet these days. They cover everything from what 80s hair band are you to what 90s tv character to what decade should you be living in to what Disney character are you. They are everywhere, and if you are on Facebook, your news feed is probably full with the answers your friends have gotten.

More often than not, I just scroll past these posts. Sometimes I’ll see one that seems so silly I can’t help but click on the link and spend the five minutes to see what result I get. I follow that up with just closing the screen, feeling no need to share the results with the rest of the world.

This week one caught my eye. It was “Which One of Jesus’ Disciples Are You?” I couldn’t help myself. I went to the website and took the quiz. And even stranger than me going and taking the quiz, I’m going to share the results with you.

Lets be honest here. Off the top of my head, I cannot name all 12 disciples. And even if I could come up with all the right names, I couldn’t tell you something about all of them. I know Matthew, the tax collector, and Judas, the betrayer. There’s Peter, the fisherman, and Thomas, the doubter. The list of disciples I can name concludes with John, who wrote Revelation, his brother, James and Peter’s brother, Andrew. The names that I had to look up are Philip, Bartholomew, Jude, Simon and James.

So I took the quiz. According to it, I’m most like John. Here is the summary:

 

Like John, you are a deeply spiritual and emotional person. You are a keen observer of relationships and personal character, often seeing connections and patterns that others miss. You are an imaginative dreamer with a strong grasp of spiritual matters and the purpose of human existence. You can also be extremely dedicated and loving.

However, like John, you may have a fierce nature. Like a true “Son of Thunder” you may be prone to believe that your spiritual intuition elevates you above others. You may see yourself as morally superior to those less spiritually attuned than you. This is a side of yourself you must temper with love and understanding.

Your role as a disciple of Christ is one of a visionary or prophet. You speak the truth as you see it, even if it can’t be proven or isn’t popular. Others may see you as mystical or possessing a connection with Christ that goes beyond their comprehension. Yet, in your most honest moments, you know that your greatest strength lies not in your love for Christ, but in His love for you.

Bonus– The Biblical woman who beat matches your personality is Mary sister of Lazarus and Martha.”

 

I read through the summary, and it felt pretty accurate. I am deeply emotional and spiritual. I am a dreamer. I am dedicated and loving. I absolutely speak the truth as I see it even if it can’t be proven or isn’t popular. I definitely know that my greatest strength comes for Christ’s love for me.

On the other hand, I would be shocked if anyone saw me as “mystical or possessing a connection with Christ that goes beyond their understanding.” And I certainly hope I don’t see myself as being morally superior to others.

I do love the bonus at the end with my female counterpart being Mary, sister of Lazarus and Martha. Mary infuriated her sister as she sat at Jesus’  feet listening to Him teach rather than helping get thing around. (Luke 10:38-42)  Mary used expensive oil (or perfume) to wash Jesus’ feet and used her hair to dry them.  (John 12:1-8) She is the believer that I would like to be.

 

But back to John. You can see his emotions in the books of the Bible he wrote. The gospel of John includes some of my favorite Bible verse, including 11:35, “Jesus wept.” and 21:25, “And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen.” And maybe the best description of Jesus, 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” And, of course, the most well-known Bible verse, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

John was one of only three disciples who were with Jesus when He brought Jairus’ daughter back from the dead. (Luke 8:40-56). It was John whom Jesus told to care for His mother. (John 19:25-27) John is repeatedly referred to as “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” (John 21:7) And it was John, with Peter, that went into the tomb that most amazing Sunday morning and found Jesus gone. (John 20:1-10)

John also wrote first, second and third John. The first being a defense of Jesus as false prophets filled the early churches. It is filled with examples of Jesus’ love for us and how we are to love each other. “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ but hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?” (1 John 4:20)

Through out the book, John refers to the readers as “little children” for Jesus told us we must have a childlike faith to enter the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 19:13-15) and because we are all children of God. “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)

The second and third epistles of John are both just a chapter long. They are written to specific people (although second John is address to “the elect lady and her children” and the is much debate about who she is). They are filled with love, truth and warnings against false prophets. I would definitely recommend you all read John’s three letters.

John also wrote the final book of the Bible, Revelation. It is the book of prophecy of the end of times. John was trusted to share with all of us what the end will look like and the knowledge that no matter how bad it gets, that Jesus always wins. When the hour comes, victory is His. Revelation also serves as a reminder to us that Jesus is coming quickly so we must be prepared. “He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming quickly.’ Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20)

So I would be very happy to be John-like in my faith and my actions, although however “John-like” I may be I doubt anyone has ever had that thought. It was fun for me to take the quiz and then to take the time to really dig into the biblical information we have on John. Honestly, there is only one disciple that I wouldn’t want to be identified with.  You can find the survey here and I’d love for you to come back and share your results in the comments if you do take it.

I’ll leave you with the words John used to close Revelation, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.” (22:21)

 

 

 

Let Him Dream For You

It’s been a rough summer around our crazy little house. Although we are normally happy and mostly healthy, we’ve had some rough times. I’m a little sorry I used Laura Story’s Blessings for last week’s Worship Wednesday. It would have fit perfectly with our week this week.

I talked a little about how our vacation was not all we wanted it to be, about how so many things had gone wrong. We thought getting sick was the last bad thing that was coming out of the camping trip. We were wrong.

We had a 10 month old puppy who we took camping with us. He enjoyed it all but the fireworks for the 4th. Last Thursday as we were all finally recovering, our puppy started throwing up. Saturday morning we learned that he caught Parvo, and he had to be put to sleep.

With the time line for the puppy’s sickness, the vet was pretty sure he got it while we were camping. And the whole family has just been heartbroken. 2crazylittleboys have been champs, but there have been very hard times through this all. After I took the dog’s cage down, the three of us sat on the couch and cried.

It’s been a rough month for pets around here. At the beginning of May we had 3 fish, a puppy and a cat. Today we have two fish. Our cat died a couple of weeks ago from old age. I’d had her for 14 years. It’s strange there being no animals roaming our house at night.

So now you understand why last week’s song would make so much sense this week. It just fits. I know there are blessings in these rain drops and mercies in these tears.

Since I’m not going to use the same song two weeks in a row, I’ve chosen a song today that gives me great joy. This song fills me with hope. I may not be able to see God’s path for me, but I know He has one and it is great. And it’s Casting Crowns again. I could use their music every week. It’s all so great.

 

Dream For You

Hey, David, I hear you’ve been dreaming
About being a big time shepherd some day
You’re gonna prove your brothers wrong
You’re gonna sing your shepherd song
To the cattle on a thousand hills
But I’ve been thinking

I’m having trouble with a giant down the road
You’re the one who’s going to face him toe to toe
Wipe that grin right off his face
And whip this army into shape
I’m going to turn the nation back to Me
And, David, you’re right about one thing
Your little shepherd songs are going to make the whole world sing
And I’m gonna make you king

So come on, let Me dream, let Me dream for you
I am strong when you’re weak and I’ll carry you
So let go of your plan, be caught by My hand
I’ll show you what I can do
When I dream for you
I have a dream for you

Hey, Mary, I’ve heard you’ve been dreaming
Making plans for your big wedding day
You and Joseph are gonna be
The picture perfect family
Maybe a couple of kids down the road
But I’ve been thinking

Even before time began
I had a picture perfect plan
Of how to save this broken world
Through the life of just one man
I’m gonna send my only Son
And, Mary, you’re the one
You were right about one thing
You’re gonna have that family
And you’re gonna raise the King

So come on, let Me dream, let Me dream for you
I am strong when you’re weak and I’ll carry you
So let go of your plan, be caught by My hand
I’ll show you what I can do
When I dream for you
I have a dream for you

I’m stronger than you think I am
I’ll take you farther than you think you can
You sing and call Me Great I Am
So take your stand

My child, if you only knew
All the plans that I have for you
Just trust Me, I will follow through
You can follow me

So come on, let Me dream, let Me dream for you
I am strong when you’re weak and I’ll carry you
So let go of your plan, be caught by My hand
I’ll show you what I can do

So come on, let Me dream, let Me dream for you
I am strong when you’re weak and I’ll carry you
So let go of your plan, be caught by My hand
I’ll show you what I can do
When I dream for you
I have a dream for you

If you haven’t heard the song, you need to play the video below. The words are so powerful and the music just adds to it with its fast tempo.

I love this song. I can picture David with his sheep. He thought he was just going to be a shepherd. Taking care of his flock was his big dream, proving to his brothers that he wasn’t too small. From his spot on the hillside, he couldn’t see God’s big plan.

David wanted to tend to his flock and God gave him His flock to take care of. God had a dream for David, and it was so much bigger than anything David could have thought up on his own.

And having planned my own wedding, I can imagine Mary, so excited to be getting married. Sure, her planning would have been much different from mine, but a bride is a bride. She would have been excited and probably nervous. She would have had this idea of how it was all going to work out. How could she have even begun to imagine God’s big plan for her life?

She would have thought that she and Joseph would get married, have some kids and live happily ever after, but how much more amazing was God’s plan? Mary became not just a mother, but the mother of The Son of God. There’s no way anyone could imagine that being God’s plan for their life.

As I look at my life, it’s not what I imagined. Sure, I always thought I’d be a wife and mom. But being this mom, this wife? This is so much better than I ever imagined. And having this spot to write these words and then having all of you come and read them? I never could have imagined this.

If we let go of our plans and look to God, where will He take us? He took a little shepherd boy and turned him into a king. He took a young girl and made her the mother of the King. What amazing plans does He have for you and me?

I pray we can all let go of our own plans and get caught in His hand. How amazing is it when we let Him dream for us?

 

 

You can find all of the Worship Wednesday posts here.