Alive Remains the Manger Scene

christmas guest post series on devotional diva 2014[Guest post by Rebecca Lamarche: Rebecca also blogged recently, but when I received this beautiful poem from her, I knew it had to be the final post in this Christmas guest post series! Merry Christmas, everyone!]

 

 

 

 

 

ALIVE REMAINS THE MANGER SCENE

Sweet Baby Jesus asleep on the hay
With reverence I kneel down before You today
In worship and prayer, tears fall from my eyes;
For You’re God – yet and infant – with soft gentle cries.

I wonder – were Your infant tears shed for me?
Because of my sin, and the great penalty
That I could not, on my own ever pay?
Were they tears of compassion that first Christmas Day?

Please take from my hands the gold that I bring,
It’s the honors I’ve taken for every good thing
That I’ve done or I’ve said or I’ve given away;
For these trophies are Yours, Little King in the hay.

Please take from my heart this frankincense, too,
For all of life’s pleasures – for me – come from You;
My dreams, my adventures, my thanks raised in song…
The passions of love come from You all along.

This myrrh…this You’ve already taken from me:
The grief of my sin that You bore on that tree.
The sapling You planted and watered and fed
So that it would be sturdy to hold You up dead.

Sweet manger scene – the world celebrates
The King of all Kings, the Greatest of Greats!
And so as I, too, lay me down now to sleep
I ask, Baby Jesus, my soul You will keep.

Yes, I lay that down too at the foot of Your bed,
The hay in the trough where Your mom lay Your head.
As she shivered, she wrapped You up warm in her shawl
With the love of a mother – most tender of all.

I wonder: was she extra gentle and kind?
Knowing that one day Your hands men would bind,
As they whip You and beat You and mock Your great Name?
Did she shiver with dread until that cold day came?

I wonder what Joseph felt holding Your hand?
Did he question how he would teach God how to stand
For honor and righteousness?  Teach Jehovah to pray?!
Yes, what were his thoughts as he stared at the hay?

The shepherds that trembled with fear, then with awe,
How their hearts must have swelled as they gazed at the straw!
Were they young boys who grew up to meet You again?
And to bow down once more, when You both were grown men?

Or were they weathered and old? Downtrodden by life?
Did they rush breathless home to tell children and wife
That first Christmas Story, as they gathered round
Their meal, talking of the great Gift they had found?

The Magi who saw the New Star in the sky
Quickly packed up their camels and left by and by.
Did they hear from the trade routes what travelers said?
The Messiah King’s birthplace an animal’s shed?!

Did their dreams dance to music they never had heard:
What meaning…this star? This vision? This Word?
Their hearts must have pounded with joy in their chest
When they found You – by this time – a toddler at breast!

The first Gentile converts; they believed You were King
Over all earthly Kingdoms, redemption to bring.
The Messiah!   For ages, this hope to be free!
And here by this young girl – his mother – was He!

Did they understand the true worth of their treasure?
That their gifts would outlive them for time without measure?
For centuries later, someone just like me
Would bow near a manger scene on bended knee.

And offer my Savior, the God-Babe, in the hay
The very same gifts that they brought Him that day:
The gold of my trophies, my incense of prayer,
the myrrh of my life I present to You there.

Then HARK! I hear angels announcing again:
“A Savior is born in the hearts of all men
Who will simply believe He’s Redeemer and King…
And on bended knee just their faith they will bring!”

rebecca lamarche on devotional divaAs an Author and  Bible Teacher, Rebecca Lamarche hangs her cowgirl hat in beautiful Austin, TX.  She has a passionate faith, undaunted by life’s many challenges that have made her road steep and rocky at times.  She walks in intimacy and power with Jesus, shepherding women through healing, deliverance and wholeness through her ministry, Spirit Alive Women.  Her new book,I BORROWED DAVID’S HARP is a collection of personal worship psalms and stories, much like David, who sang his experiences in poetry and praise​ to the God in whom he placed his trust.

This guest post is part of the first-ever Devotional Diva Christmas guest post series entitled, “The Gifts God Has Given You.” This is the final piece in that series.

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Extending God's Gift of Grace

extending god's gift of grace on devotional diva christmas guest post series 2014[Guest post by Carla Gasser: Carla submitted this piece when I was scheduling for this series, and although she didn’t intend to be a part of it, I thought her story of God’s grace was perfect for the series. As God gives grace to us, we should extend it to others!]

I had an interesting conversation with one of my sons (whose name I will graciously withhold) at breakfast this morning.

I was asking why he was wearing the same khaki shorts for the third day in a row.  He started complaining that he had no clean shorts because “someone” had not washed them.  Excuse me?   I held my breath while slowly counting to ten in my head and then calmly replied: “Well, why doesn’t “someone” sort and bring his dirty clothes down to the laundry room?”  And then he said it.  Yes, he did.  Four little words:

“IT’S NOT MY JOB.”

Oh, really?  To most of you moms out there, those are fighting words, and I had to do everything in my power not to go completely off on him.

I had a choice.  A teachable moment.  An opportunity.

I also had a lot of laundry to do (obviously!)…

I have four children and have been primarily a stay-at-home mom for over 18 years.  I have done a lot of laundry.  A lot.  You could say it is part of my job (although no one has ever dared until today!).

My boys, who are now teenagers and play many sports, can take up to 3 showers a day.  It is not difficult to imagine how much laundry that creates.

One day while folding seemingly endless pairs of underwear, my youngest child ( and my only daughter) came into the room and saw the piles stacked high of just underwear.  For fun, for kicks, for laughs (ha ha), I asked her to count them.  37!  Yes, 37 pairs of just underwear!  Although math is not my strong suit, I pulled out my calculator…I just had to know.

37 divided by 3 boys=about 12 per boy.  Let’s see…I did a load of their clothes about 3 days ago.  More math….ugghhhhh!  I guess that means that each boy went through 4 pairs of underwear per day.  Seriously????????  I called a family meeting to discuss the situation.  That was several months ago…and the laundry saga continues.

Back to this morning and my response to my son.  A few years ago, I would have given him a ten minute lecture, refused to do his laundry for a week, and taken away his phone (I think I threatened at least one of those things today!).

I also would have been angry, bitter and resentful.  I would have sulked and thrown myself a pity party.  I would have called my husband at work and ranted for several minutes about how he needs to get “his son” under control.

But today I chose differently.  

Maybe I am getting soft in my old age, maybe I am tired of fighting the same laundry battles, maybe the sunshine lightened my mood.  I don’t really know.  But I think it has something to do with grace.  

God’s grace.  His unmerited favor toward me which he unconditionally extends every day. The same grace that covers me even though I say “It’s not my job,” when He asks me to do something.  The grace that was graciously extended to me when I was lost, broken and not even remotely looking for God.

In the book of Ephesians, Paul tells us:

“But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!”   ~Ephesians 2:4-5 (New Living Translation)

The older I get, the more I appreciate and realize my desperate need for that kind of grace.  And maybe the more willing I am to attempt to extend that same grace to a strong-willed son who needs it as much as I do.

P.S. I did all the laundry (and there were only 17 pairs of underwear!)

carla gasser on devotional divaWhen not teaching, writing or speaking, I am most myself as a wife and mom living in Hudson, Ohio with my four very active children and my husband of almost 25 years. I enjoy serving in the women’s ministry at my church, mentoring young women, and volunteering in the local public schools my children attend.  I try to blog weekly and about how my messy, imperfect life and God’s amazing love and grace intersect in the most extraordinary ways.  Please visit me AT THE CROSSROADSwww.carlagasser.com

This guest post is part of the first-ever Devotional Diva Christmas guest post series entitled, “The Gifts God Has Given You.” Look for more posts with this theme now until December 23rd!

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Mental Illness is My Gift from God

mental illness is my gift on devotional diva christmas guest post series 2014[Guest post by Linda Svoboda: Thank you, Linda, for bravely sharing your story on mental illness! It’s challenging to accept mental illness in your life at all, let alone call it a gift from God!]

I am so thankful for all the gifts that God has given me, but I am especially grateful for one that He has blessed me with.

Many people would not see it as a gift, but rather a difficult challenge.  Most people have a hard time talking about my gift and don’t understand what it truly is.  However, a few really get it.  They understand that my gift is indeed a truly unique treasure and that I need to share with people what it is all about.

Being bi-polar is my gift.

You may wonder why I see being diagnosed with a mental illness as a blessing from God.  It is, and I would like to tell you why.

Before I was diagnosed at age 16, I knew that God loved me, and that His son Jesus died for me, but I yearned for a deeper walk with Him.  I didn’t know how to talk to Him.  After I was diagnosed, I started spending time with Him.  One of my favorite places to be with Him was a lake a few blocks away from my house.  I would go there after school and just talk to Him while I walked with Him.

I found myself just pouring out my heart to God, and I knew He was listening to me.

It was so peaceful being by the water and hearing the birds sing as they flew above me.  I loved the crystal clear lake and I enjoyed feeling the sunshine on my face.  I did this nearly every day, and I just treasured the time with Him.

I remember asking God, “Why?  Why am I bi-polar?  What’s going to happen to me?  What about my future?  I’d love to be a wife and a mother someday, but is there anyone that would want to marry me?”

I just felt God saying to my heart, “Trust me.  I have a plan.”

So I trusted and waited.  And God did some amazing things.  I graduated with honors from both high school and college.  I taught pre-school for a few years, as I love to be around kids.  I loved being involved at church, and I enjoyed hanging around some wonderful friends.  I learned how important it is to stay on my medicine, and how valuable Christian counseling is.  I experienced how awesome exercise is to relieve stress, and understood that I really needed to take care of myself.  Proper nutrition really helped me tremendously!

However, there was a longing in my heart to be a wife and a mother.  My Mom and Dad prayed with me that God would bring a wonderful godly man into my life, and He did!  Kevin and I married in 1998, and he truly is a blessing from God.  He has been there for me when I was sick, and we’ve had many awesome years when I was well.  I am so thankful for him.  We began praying for a child when we were dating, and God has answered that prayer twice.  We are so thankful for our 2 precious beautiful children.

I want to tell everyone that God does hear our prayers, and that our God is the God of miracles!

He has taken a very difficult diagnosis at an early age, and turned it around for His glory.  I have friends that have struggled with mental illness and I’ve been able to share with them what’s helped me.  The greatest gift that He gave me was not only to have a mental illness, but also to have the chance to fellowship with Him in my sufferings.  Being able to have a deep relationship with Him and loving Him and knowing that He cares for me and my family is indeed a huge gift. 

I have realized that knowing Jesus is the greatest gift of all.

Even though it came through a difficult situation, I now realize that He indeed had a perfect plan.  That perfect plan was for me to know Him and that is by far the greatest gift He could have ever given me.

 

linda svoboda on devotional divaLinda Svoboda is so thankful to have an awesome husband and two beautiful children. She is a children’s book author, and loves to read Christian historical fiction. She loves going  on long walks, and enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She feels blessed to be able to share her story with you.

This guest post is part of the first-ever Devotional Diva Christmas guest post series entitled, “The Gifts God Has Given You.” Look for more posts with this theme now until December 23rd!

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My Extra is Someone Else's Everything

my extra is someone else's everything on devotional diva christmas guest post series 2014[Guest post by Jo Ann Erwin: Jo Ann just recently posted in November, but I couldn’t turn this wonderful post from her away for our Christmas guest post series! I love the story of the widow in Mark & Luke, and Jo Ann’s story of how her extra was someone else’s everything is a great thing to remember at Christmas.]

On two occasions I have heard someone say “that is too good to just give away.” When I heard it, both times, I immediately thought of the widow who gave all that she had.

Mark 12:42-44  And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.   And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all THEY did cast in of their abundance: but she of her want, did cast in all that she had, even all her living. 

This story is told twice in the Bible, once in Mark and once in Luke.  This is such an important lesson that God made sure it was in there twice.  The nameless widow, that gave all that she had, and gave selflessly, was brought to the attention of Jesus’ disciples and written about in the Bible.

Luke 21:3 And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all.

She gave her all.  Now that’s trust. That’s faith.

I am not suggesting you give everything that you own away.  But let me tell you a story about my recent experience.

I decided it was time to clean out my closets.  The first area I tackled was my coat closet.   Yes, the dreaded coat collection:  More coats than any one person can ever wear in one lifetime.

How does this happen? I mutter to myself as I am looking them over. Two coats don’t make the cut and have to go. One down-filled coat with a hood, and one black pea coat that I have never worn.

So along with a couple of hooded sweatshirts, the items go into my car, headed for the consignment store.  Won’t hurt to make a little extra money, right?  

But a little voice inside me is saying, “You are going to give these coats away today, just keep going, I’ll get you to where they belong.”  

Soon after, I left home to deliver some Christmas decorations to a couple of friends that had recently lost theirs due to mold issues. Besides, I have too many decorations that never make it out of their boxes each year, so why was I keeping all that stuff?

I made the first drop and no, they didn’t need any winter coats.

Ok, keep going. I thought.

I get to my second destination and am unloading Christmas decorations and she is thanking me as she is carrying her grandson on her hip, telling me that times have been hard for her since she is raising her grandson now.

I pull the last of the decorations out of the back seat and I see the clothes…

“Hey, do you need some sweatshirts?” I ask.

Her reply: “Yes, all of my clothes are too big for me now since I’ve lost so much weight from chasing my grandson.”

Now I see where this is going Lord. Thank you. 

I ask, “Do you also need a winter coat?” Her reply, “Yes, I do not have a coat!”

So when I pulled out the down-filled coat, her face lit up like the Christmas tree lights that she was getting ready to put up.   

“Oh, I have wanted a puffy coat like that!”

Then I pulled out the second coat, and she is almost in tears now. “Oh my, I love that coat too, and I can wear it to church!”

I left with an empty car, and a full heart.  My cup runneth over. I could not believe how my EXTRA was her everything.

jo ann erwin on devotional divaJo Ann Erwin lives in Paris, TN and has raised two college graduates, Melanie and Matthew. She is also mom to one precious poodle-mix named Molly and one high-maintenance cat named Moma Kitty.  Jo Ann volunteers for the local homeless shelter and has for the past 15 years, fully believing that we are all equal in God’s eyes and we all deserve chances through-out our lives to make things right.

This guest post is part of the first-ever Devotional Diva Christmas guest post series entitled, “The Gifts God Has Given You.” Look for more posts with this theme now until December 23rd!

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Peace and Joy

peace and joy devotional diva christmas guest post series 2014 christian blog[Guest post by Rebekah Carrington: Maybe it’s the pregnancy hormones, but this post really tugged at my heart! I know exactly what kind of peace and joy Rebekah is talking about and it’s certainly a gift from God!]

 

There is heaven and earth and then there are some places where the two seem to converge blurring the lines of reality.

One such place is a senior citizens home residing at the top of a hill with a sign that reads Fairhaven. If you are not careful, you will look at it but miss seeing the glimpses of glory and beauty inside just as one can miss the forest for the trees.

For some reason, God gave me a chance to see this place.  To look past the brick, sanitary smell, old carpet, and fading colors on the walls and see the divine occurrences here.

For the enchantment of this home was not in its structure but in the hearts of its residents.

On Tuesday evening, six of us entered the room wearing our favorite dresses and hearts full of anticipation and giddiness. As we stepped foot into the grand room in Fairhaven, it seemed we had stepped back in time as streams of jazz music filled the room, staff members handed out punch and cookies, and residents were dressed in their finest.

We wandered around the room greeting the men and women who were attending this senior prom. I had the privilege of talking with some incredible gentleman who talked about the olden days and shared war stories that painted scenes of air force raids, dancing as the navy ship ported for the evening, and reuniting with their loved ones. There were two men who danced every time the orchestra began to play and they were seldom seen dancing with the same girl.  

Mr. Alvin twirled me around the dance floor and told me about his former days of dancing with his wife. His eyes were soft and his reminiscent tone pulled at my heartstrings.  His friend also was quite the dancer and even despite his back surgery, he was spinning me and once the song ended, immediately went in search of the next available young woman to dance with.

After the song ended, I spotted a woman sitting wearing bright orange and a beautiful necklace. As I knelt beside her chair, she introduced herself as Ollie and from that moment on I hung to every word.  She was an artist, made pottery, and told me of her travels to Germany, Hawaii, Austria, and France.

Ollie informed me she almost did not come to Prom that night but in the last minute, she said she did not “get beautified for nothin’.”

A few moments later, a girl with a microphone and sashes in hand got up and announced the Prom Queen and King. I looked at Mrs. Ollie and she was clapping.  I bent down and said “Mrs. Ollie did you hear?” She told me she didn’t have her hearing aids in and could not hear the names but she was happy.

I laughed as I looked at her innocent and genuine smile and said “Mrs. Ollie, they called you! You won Prom Queen!”

You would have thought she won Miss America with the shock and wide smile that spread across her face. Two girls came and put a sash on her and gave her red roses. She looked at me and motioned for me to bend to hear her. As I did she whispered, “My son will be so proud”.

Tears began to form in my eyes as I stood amazed that something so simple and seemingly small brought so much joy and sense of accomplishment. As a dental student there came and talked to us, he grabbed Mrs. Ollie’s hand and asked if he could be honored to dance with her. As I watched her smile as she swayed I could picture her dancing in heaven in the presence of the Lord she loved. She looked like an angel on that dance floor. 

I learned much from these wise men and women. Each with their own stories, adventures, and personalities.  I could feel the presence of God in that place and even those who were seriously sick or confined to a wheelchair had so much peace and joy that could only come from Him.

rebekah carrington on devotional divaRebekah Carrington is a recent college grad and wife who now resides in Tennessee. She loves spontaneous adventures and traveling around the country, being outdoors, and drinking copious amounts of coffee. She loves walking out this journey the Lord has for her surrounded by a beautiful community of people.

This guest post is part of the first-ever Devotional Diva Christmas guest post series entitled, “The Gifts God Has Given You.” Look for more posts with this theme now until December 23rd!

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God's Gift of Faithfulness

faithfulness of god devotional diva christmas guest post series 2014[Guest post by Dawn Wilson: This is exactly what I had in mind when I created the idea of this Christmas series. God’s faithfulness truly is a gift, and ultimately everything we receive is from Him!]

 

God’s gift of faithfulness is an ongoing blessing.

When I was a young woman, I traveled all over the United States with a brand new revival team, Life Action Ministries. I arrived at the team proud and self-sufficient, and it didn’t take long for me to realize I was a “Phony Baloney” Christian. I trusted Christ—for real—and set out on a life-long adventure with Jesus.

During those first days with the revival team, I saw God’s Spirit working in people’s lives—calling believers to repentance and obedience, restoring families, changing churches. I was thrilled to be part of such a powerful ministry.

But I struggled with the meager $10 the ministry gave to each team member. It was all the leaders could afford to give at the time.

Other team members received help from parents or friends, but I didn’t; and I soon lacked practical things needed on the road: toothpaste, deodorant, hair spray, nylons, makeup, feminine supplies, breath mints, and thank you notes.

I scrimped and made wise choices, but I was getting desperate. I considered leaving the team. “But Lord,” I prayed, “didn’t you call me here?”

Now I believed God provides where He calls—the leaders told me that—and in my heart I believed God cares for His children. But I didn’t know how far I could trust my Heavenly Father. I was still praying wimpy prayers, not the confident prayers a child of God should pray.

I felt like a homeless person, lacking so many things. So my prayer one day was a bit panicky, a bit bold: “Lord, you know I don’t have these things. I’ve watched you provide spiritually for people in the churches where we’ve shared. Won’t you please provide some practical things for me too?”

Then I listed all my needs to God.

The next week our ministry traveled to Florida, and another team member and I stayed at an elderly woman’s home. I met our home hostess at the church. She was sweet, but I groaned inwardly, thinking the lady was probably poor and we’d have a tough week.

But her home was comfortable, tidy and so cheerful with lacy curtains and flowers on the table. She offered us a refreshing glass of water and led us to our room.

I stood in the doorway of our room, totally surprised. My lip quivered and I burst into tears.

I saw lovely, big gift baskets on each of our beds. To my surprise, it contained everything I’d prayed for—even the thank you notes. And there was also some not-prayed-for chocolates! In  the bottom of the basket was a $20 bill in an envelope, just in case she’d forgotten something.

I can’t tell you how overwhelmed I felt as I prayed with tears, “Oh, Father God, you are so good to me. I’ve never had to trust You this way before. Thank you for Your goodness. Thank you for your faithfulness.”

I ran to tell our hostess about my prayer and how God used her to answer it.  

But this was much more than a gift from a sweet old lady. The basket proved to me, a girl so new in faith, how much God loved me and cared about my needs. Like all good gifts (James 1:17), the basket was ultimately from my Father God.

In the 40 years to follow, serving with Life Action and several other ministries, God has continued to meet my needs. But that “Faithfulness Basket” was my turning point in understanding God’s faithfulness.

With maturity, I grew to trust the Lord like Paul in Philippians 4:11-12, receiving from Him in times of abundance, but also in times of want. It’s a different kind of faithfulness as God shows Himself strong and sufficient in my times of struggle or suffering.

In time, I understood that Jesus is the Father’s greatest Gift—His greatest provision.

“Great is Thy Faithfulness, Lord unto me.”

dawn wilson on devotional divaDawn Wilson, founder and President of Heart Choices Ministries, is the creator of three blogs: Heart Choices Today, LOL with God, and Upgrade with Dawn. She co-authored LOL with God with Pam Farrel and wrote “The Blessing Basket” in It’s a God Thing. Dawn and her husband Bob have two married sons, three granddaughters and a rascally maltipoo, Roscoe.

This guest post is part of the first-ever Devotional Diva Christmas guest post series entitled, “The Gifts God Has Given You.” Look for more posts with this theme now until December 23rd!

 

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Giving is Possible with God

giving is possible with god anything is possible with god devotional diva christmas guest post series 2014[Guest post by Ifeoma Samuel: I thought this was a great post to kick off our Christmas guest post series, “The Gifts God Has Given You.” Let’s remember that anything is possible with God!]

I am a passionate Sunday school teacher. I love my Sunday school kids, so I call them my kids. I see them as cute little projects in God’s hands. Earlier in the year, God had laid it in my heart to bless all my kids with Bibles. There are quite a lot of them — over 45 in number.

I had look beyond the cost of purchasing these items. Trusting God for a miracle was all I had to do. As I obeyed, God led my feet to someone who undoubtedly gave her heart to fulfilling this assignment.

As I spoke with this person, Lauren, without hesitation God used her and she agreed to help. Other people also made donations. God had people ready and waiting for the go-ahead. There was great grace for the assignment. Alas! It happened.

I learned a big lesson. God had proved to me that if he sends you, He will without fail make all else available. Just trust him and obey.

All my kids received their Bibles. It was a surprise. Their eyes lit up like little torches. There are no words to express how I felt.  This scripture popped up in my head.

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Matthew 25:40

When God nudges you to meet a need, He gives you the provision. Obey and trust Him. He will raise helpers that will gracefully bring that desire to pass.

As we prepare to shop for gifts this wonderful season, I would like you to have this in mind.

  1. Reaching out should be from the heart. Don’t do it to impress people.
  1. God rewards you. God’s Commendation should be sought after rather than praise from people.
And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.
Matthew 10:42
  1. When you give with love, you address a need. You shouldn’t give amiss; it’s like you read the receiver’s heart.
  2. Be a compassionate giver. When you give out of compassion, you give out a part of your heart. People can see the sincerity of your love.
  1. There is joy in giving. When you cheerfully obey the Holy Spirit in your giving, the joy you experience is inexplicable. Nothing gives more joy than seeing your gift mean so much to the person that received.
  1. Your actions and words are of more value than the gifts you bear. A warm hug, tender kisses, kind words, hearty smiles, etc. reflect your thoughts.

There are a lot of ways to reach out to people in this festive season. Step out of your regular routine. This Christmas should not be all about your family and friends. Reach out to the unreached. Give hope to the hopeless. Allow God use you as a vessel unto honour.

ifeoma samuel on devotional divaIfeoma Samuel is privileged to be a woman after God’s heart. She is happily married to her sweet heart, Obiora and serves the Lord fervently in children’s ministry as a Sunday school teacher. She is also a Christian blogger and writer. You can find her blogging regularly at Purposeful and Meaningful.

This guest post is part of the first-ever Devotional Diva Christmas guest post series entitled, “The Gifts God Has Given You.” Look for more posts with this theme now until December 23rd!

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