Donna...just found your blog...I absolutely love it! And I love your singing! I'm at work right now and it was just exactly what I needed to hear to help me make it through tonight! Thanks for your ministry here! - Robert

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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Today's Devotional: Lines and Longing



Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! - 2 Corinthians 9:15 niv
I’m sitting in my warm, cozy home in front of my beautifully decorated Christmas tree – one of several trees scattered throughout my house. I’m afraid I go a bit overboard with the Christmas décor. The weather outside is truly frightful, as it has snowed since the wee hours of this morning. Since I work at home, I don’t have to venture out into this mess, and for that, I’m thankful.

The meteorologists started warning us about the storm headed our way yesterday morning. Every few minutes, they proclaimed the importance of being ready. They changed the forecast from ‘winter storm watch’ to ‘warning’ as the storm organized itself and seemed bent on making this area its target.

In anticipation of this storm, I power-shopped yesterday. Scowls and angry attitudes abounded. Long lines and a short amount of time to get everything done make even the most serene person ready to snap. For every “Happy Holiday” I responded with “Merry Christmas” – my own way of bringing Christ back into the celebration. But I’m still not completely ready.

Watching the news last night, the forecasters reminded me of preachers I heard as a little girl. “The Lord is coming,” they proclaimed. “You must be ready for His return!”

I’d lie in my bed at night, peering into the darkness. Would He come tonight? Was I ready? A great sense of anticipation and a good dose of fear filled my heart as I tuned my ears for a trumpet blast.

Even now, my heart beats faster when I think of the magnificence of Jesus Christ’s return. How wonderful! How amazing!



In the craziness of shopping, baking, and planning family get-togethers, I forget sometimes that not only did Jesus come as a baby, but died as a young man, and rose as my Savior. One day, He will return for His children, and whether I’m eight or eighty, I’m a child in His eyes. His child. And I’m ready when He is to go Home. I long to be with the One who loves me so.

Now don’t get me wrong – I want to stick around for a while, doing what I can to tell others of God’s love, but I’m prepared to meet Him. Are you ready, or do you cringe at the thought of where you’ll spend eternity?

As you wrap gifts, think of a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes. When you see the Christmas lights, associate their brightness with the Light of the World. And as you stress over being ready for the holiday, ponder whether you’re ready for the Reason for the holiday – the birth, death, resurrection, and soon-coming return of Christ our King. I hope you’ve accepted the free gift from God sent to you - the gift of His Son.

I hope the snow lets up soon, too. I still have some shopping to do.

Prayer: Lord, please help me to remember why I celebrate on the 25th of December each year. I thank You for Your love. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.

*Originally posted on 12-22-04.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Donna...Your devotional was so timely. I spent the day listening to my husband as he called acquaintences to wish them a "Merry Christmas". With each call he expressed his opinion of "Happy Holidays" to the person on the other end of the phone. He reminded each one of the real reason for the holiday and let them know he wasn't about to forget, whether politically correct or not. I am proud of him for taking a stand and letting others know he is keeping Christ in our Christmas!

Shari

Donna J. Shepherd said...

That's wonderful, Shari! Please tell him I stand with him on this issue, and good for him! - Donna

Queen Jaw Jaw said...

It's never crossed my mine to say "Happy Holidays" as opposed to Merry Christmas. Now I do AFTER Christmas, but not before. I cannot believe that people would ever think they needed to do otherwise!

Merry Christmas Donna. Another great message!

Queen JJ

Donna J. Shepherd said...

Thanks, JJ, for stopping by!

Anonymous said...

Great article, Donna.

Have a wonderful holiday.

Carol DeVaney
www.caroldevaney.com

Rhodi Alers de López said...

Donna, thanks for reminding us of the reason for the celebrations. God Bless!

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas Donna,

I'm spending the holidays with my daughter, and her family in a little town in Ohio. The snow arrived last night sometime between 9:30, and 10. At 9:30 there was not a flake, and at 10 there were lots of flakes. We prepared for the storm, and assumed it was all going south. As of this morning it is still coming down. Tonight is the church's Christmas program, which it is doubtful we will attend. The grandchildren were so excited about going, it will be such a disappointment for them.

It is very early in the morning, and very quiet. My daughter, the two cats, and I are the only ones up. My daughter's husband, and children are still sleeping in their warm beds.

This is a Twas a Night poem in modern form:

The children, and their father all snuggled down for a winter's nap.
Their mother, and I are dressed in our flannels, with a cat dozing in my lap.
I on the computer, lost in the world of high tech.
Mother folding the children's mismatched socks, saying, "Oh, what the heck."

What a special morning you, my daughter, and I shared. It is snowing outside, everything is a beautiful white. The children still sleeping, making it a very peaceful morning. My daughter is at the kitchen table folding her family's laundry, I'm setting in front of the computer sharing your devotionals. I showed her your photo, and your biography, in way she, and I know you. Wrapping gifts as wrapping a baby in swaddling clothes was one my daughter, and I could relate to.

The children made an elderly neighbor a Christmas card choosing the verse, Luke 2:12, and my daughter, and I spent an afternoon wrapping gifts. Though you were not here to share a cup of coffee, you were here to share our morning devotional.

The three of us shared a special morning.
Or should it be the four of us?
What an awesome God we serve.
Mary Lou

Anonymous said...

Donna,

I am ready for Him too. I appreciate hearing others proclaim the same. I just finished reading Revelation stoday. I found the timing to be perfect to prepare for His birth.

May God continue to bless you abundantly with your writing career in 2005. Keep your spiritual ears open. I think He's calling you to write a daily devotional book.

Blessings,
Dotsie Bregel
www.boomerwomenspeak.com

Anonymous said...

Donna,

Not only is the devotional great but I love the appearance. It looks very professional and really draws people in. Great use of a good snow storm. I have been using the snowed in with too many kids time to do a little research. I have a little trouble writing in this chaos but researching I can do!

Darlene

Donna M. McDine said...

Wonderful spiritual story. Thanks for sharing!

Warm regards,
Donna

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