How to Build Something Beautiful in Your Life

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I think many of us who are in our senior years often look back and think of all the things we should have / could have done with our lives. As the years run by, we long to do something that will count, and yet can we? Do we have time left to make a difference in today’s world?

Challenging Sermon

Yesterday in church, the minister quoted from a book by Malcolm Muggeridge titled, Something Beautiful for God. It seems that this worldly skeptical author experienced a dramatic conversion to Christianity because of Mother Teresa’s exemplary influence. He hails her as a “light which could never be extinguished.”

He first interviewed her for the BBC. The interview became so popular that a year later he traveled to Calcutta with a film crew to produce a documentary about Mother Teresa’s work among the poor people of that city. The documentary was called “Something Beautiful for God,” a title which would subsequently be given to his book about Mother Teresa.

One of Mother Teresa’s favorite Scripture verses was “Yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.” She lived and died according to that Scripture. Muggeridge’s book covers mostly the author’s conversations with this Nobel Peace Prize Winner (1979) and contains many of her quotes.

Yet it was not Mother Teresa’s life that yesterday’s preacher chose to draw attention to, but her belief that we each are able to do something beautiful with our lives. Mother Teresa stressed it didn’t need to be something big or heroic.

Mother Teresa’s philosophy in life:

'Everytime you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.' ~ Mother Teresa Click To Tweet

On the same line, she also said,

'I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world.' Mother Teresa Click To Tweet

At the end of the sermon, the preacher urged us to look for the “something beautiful” God has called us to do. If we couldn’t identify it, the minister urged us to look for it. It may be something small, like that little pencil (who, in God’s hands, did a tremendous work for the Lord). But if the Lord has called us to do it, its value is priceless, and its effect will be immeasurable. But if we could already identify it, herein lay the challenge. Were we using it to grow something beautiful? Or were we just seeking to make the best of it?

I was truly challenged and immediately identified two areas where the Lord had called me.

1. He’s called me to write for Him.

I admit I never saw my writing as “something beautiful.” I write the best I can, and produce the most professional work I am able to do, but something beautiful? Is my writing sending a gift to the world? An action of love? A beautiful thing? I find that concept challenging as well as exciting. It increases my desire to write, and to “write to inspire” (my tagline). Not everyone is called to write amazing trilogies or blockbuster movies. Even a “little pencil in the hand of a writing God” can send “a love letter to the world.”

2. He has also called my husband and I to a ministry called Prime Timers

where we seek to reach the over 50’s in our community. We deliberately don’t try to turn it into a Gospel meeting. We’re wanting people to come to the meeting who would normally never darken a church door. For a nominal donation, they receive top rate entertainment, a good morning tea with cakes and snacks, and fellowship around tables. And we see to it that there is something inspirational in each program to point them to God and their need for Him.

Mother Teresa by Manfredo Ferrari

Suddenly, a light bulb went off for both of us.

Is what we’re doing something beautiful? And are we doing it for Him? If the answers to both of those are “Yes,” we’re on the right track.

“There is always the danger that we may just do the work for the sake of the work. This is where the respect and the love and the devotion come in – that we do it to God, to Christ, and that’s why we try to do it as beautifully as possible.” ~ Mother Theresa

How about you?

What are you doing that is beautiful?

I close with one last quote.

'There are no great things, only small things with great love. Happy are those.' ~ Mother Teresa Click To Tweet

After you’ve left a comment, do yourself a favor and click on this link to hear a wonderful rendition of “Something Beautiful” by Bill Gaither.

Even Elephants Communicate

elephants communicate with one another

Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.
(Proverbs 12:25 NIV).

Animals communicate with one another.

From the gigantic elephant to the tiny ant, they “speak” to one another.

Humans too communicate with one another. Our words can lift up and encourage. When spoken at the right time they have great value.

When the wrong words are spoken, or even the right words at the wrong time or attitude, it would be better if they weren’t spoken at all.

Let us ask God to make our hearts and words available to Him, and that we may be sensitive to speak at the right time.

Sometimes it is said, “Christians are the only army that stab each other in the back.”

This ought never to be true. Let us concentrate this week on building one another up and encouraging those with whom we have contact.

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The Next Thing

Every night I curl up in bed with my Kindle or a paperback book and read until I can’t keep my eyes open.

Recently I was reading Take Three, from the Above the Line Series by Karen Kingsbury. Keith, one of the main characters of the book, had just received devastating news. His life, which an hour ago was brimming with excitement and promise, seemed headed for disaster. He and his wife were alone in their living room, and the story goes like this:
He leaned his head against hers and remembered a sermon a year ago, something he’d forgotten until now.

“Remember what Pastor Hastings said awhile back?” Keith’s voice held a calm that he still didn’t quite feel. “He said sometimes life gets too complicated to figure it out on your own. When that happens, God has to do the figuring.”

“Mmm.” Lisa eased her arm around his waist and pressed her body close to him. “I remember.”

“And while God does the figuring, there’s only one thing we can do.”

He felt Lisa smile. “The next thing.”

“Right. We just do the next thing and let God reveal the bigger answers.”
I stopped reading. I thought back over times when my life had become so complicated that I had no idea what to do. Like the day I heard the doctor utter the words, “You have cancer. And I don’t think they’re going to be able to get it all out.”

My prayer, uttered in the recesses of my mind, was “Dear Lord, help!” I instinctively did the next thing and headed for home. My husband was there to greet me.

“How did it go? Everything okay?”

“No. I’ve got cancer.”

Our lives had hit a wall. Suddenly everything was so complicated. How would we survive?

We hugged. And we prayed. But although our prayers brought a measure of calm, no heavenly voice told us what to do. So we did the next thing. We phoned our sons. Then we phoned my brother and asked him to tell my mother. We phoned the medical aid to get clearance for surgery. Then we made supper.

It all seemed surreal. All we could do was move forward, one hesitant foot in front of the other. We took the following step. Did what had to be done. Kept doing the next thing. And somehow, we survived. God brought us through. Today, over sixteen years later, we look back with wonder and joy.

Joseph, the colourful character in the Old Testament, was thrown into a pit by his jealous brothers. He must have wondered what his future held. He was no longer able to make plans. He became a slave, and he rose in rank. He held an important position, but then he landed in jail through no fault of his own. He couldn’t figure out what God wanted of him. So he did what he had to do. He saw guards and other prisoners in need, and he stepped forward and helped them. One step. Then the next. Eventually he became the second highest ruler in Egypt. He saved the nation, and his brothers and father, from starvation. But he did it one step at a time.

As you step into a new year, and everyone around is wishing you “a Happy New Year!” perhaps you are really facing a wall. Are you wondering how you will ever get out of the mess you are in? How you will survive the year? It doesn’t need to be a cancer diagnosis. How about your finances? Are the bills far higher than your bank balance? Your career? Do you face unemployment? Your family? Is there a relationship that needs your attention?

Stop struggling. Hand it over to God. Leave it up to Him. And while He’s doing the figuring, you do the next thing—whatever that may be. Before you know it, God may have opened the way for you. Perhaps this time next year you will look back and marvel at how you survived. It may only be a tiny step. You may not see how it will help. But do the next thing.

And thank you Karen Kingsbury for this thought-provoking lesson! It all goes to show the power of a good story.

The Unfinished Story

“You have to come and speak to Bridget! Your unfinished lesson last week in Sunday School so upset her.”

The words of the frustrated mother on the other end of the phone took me by surprise. “Unfinished?”

What could be wrong with her cute little daughter who sparkled with the joy of living? She had seemed happy enough in class last week.

Over the past four weeks, I had been telling my Sunday School class of eight and nine-year-olds the story of Jesus’ last week on earth. As a story-teller I had put myself into the scenes, bringing out the drama and tension as far as I thought was wise for such young children.

The previous Sunday I had taught them about the crucifixion, ending at the point where Jesus had died. Unfinished? I suppose so, but only so that they’d be keen to come back the next week for the sequel.

I was careful to tell the story as simply as possible, not wanting to scare the children with the gory details, but at the same time I wanted them to understand that from a human point of view, Jesus was dead. After all, how would they appreciate the incredible miracle of the resurrection if they didn’t accept He had first really died. I ended on a positive note—I thought.

“That’s not the end of the story!” I assured them. “Come back next week and hear what happens next!”

They had all left laughing and shoving each other, racing to be the first out the door. I tried to remember if Bridget had been among the happy gang of hooligans. I couldn’t remember.

When I arrived at her home, her mother came out to greet me. She told me how her daughter had returned from Sunday School distraught. When it came to saying her prayers that night, she didn’t want to say them. “Jesus is dead!” she sobbed. Nothing her mother could say would reassure her. Aunty Shirley had said Jesus was dead, so He was dead.

What was the point of praying?

Why say grace at mealtimes? Jesus wasn’t there any more. After several days of trying to reason with the child, her mother decided to get me over to sort out the mess I’d created by telling an unfinished rendition of the Easter Story!

I sat outside in the garden nursing a glass of cold lemonade as I told the little girl the next part of what happened that first Easter. I watched as she narrowed her blue eyes for a moment. Suddenly I saw a spark flash in her eyes as they widened in amazement.

“You mean, he’s alive?”

“Yes, He’s alive,” I assured her. “And He’s watching over you right now. He loves you so much.”

As I took my leave of the precious little girl and her relieved mother, I marveled at the reality of that child’s faith. When had I last been broken-hearted over the torture and death of my Lord? Had I become so used to the Easter story that I’d got used to glossing over the details?

How I rejoiced that I’d been able to assure Bridget that Jesus was very much alive. I resolved there and then never to leave Jesus hanging on a cross “until next week’s thrilling instalment.” Never again would I leave the story of Jesus unfinished!

Yes, Jesus died. He died on that cruel cross for me. But the story didn’t end there. He’s alive!

Be Still!

“Be still and know that I am God.”

Psalm 46:10

 

This morning I awoke and lay in the semi-darkness, allowing the peace of the early morning to flow over me. “Lord,” I prayed silently. “Thank you for another day. Please help me to spend it as you want me to.”
Even as I prayed, my mind skipped ahead to the frantic schedule that lay ahead. An appointment with a lady who wanted me to be her mentor, singing in a scheduled concert, speaking at a meeting, finishing off a series of commissioned devotional messages for an overseas publisher, continuing work on my book, writing my next devotional blog for ICFW, walking the dog, making meals, oh yes, and finding time for my amazing husband. I knew, even in those early pre-dawn minutes that it wasn’t all going to happen. There wouldn’t be enough hours. A sense of panic started to claw its way up toward my throat.
Help me to spend it as you want me to.  Was this how he wanted me to spend my day? Perhaps it was, but not in the frantic rush I already anticipated. If God wanted me to do all these things, He would supply the time. If there wasn’t enough time, then something had to be dropped. But what?
I have long since learned the phrase, “God first.” Before I put my foot to the ground, I had to spend time with God. To make contact with Him. Otherwise my day would be a mess.

 

As part of my daily Quiet Time with God, I am currently reading The God who Sees You,” by Tammy Maltby. She takes the verse I’ve quoted above and turns it around. “Be still and know that I am God” becomes “Don’t be still – don’t know God.”

 

When I first read this, I decided to print it out and stick it on the shelf above my computer desk where I would see it every time I sat down to work. Perhaps I need to stick it all over the house. Why? Because it is so easy to become too busy, to get caught up in the crazy schedule that faces me most days and to overlook the most important thing of all – to be still and know that He is God. Not the person I will see later today. Not the concert. Not the dog. Not even my husband. There will be time for all these if they are part of God’s plan for my day. But they are not God. He is God. Be still!

 

I don’t know who first conjured the life of the typical retired person. You know the picture. For the person over a certain age, life becomes so quiet and serene it’s boring. The woman sits and soaks her feet while she lovingly knits for her grandchildren and listens to her favourite radio programme. (Oh yes, she typically still multi-tasks, but at such a gentle pace.) I have to admit I haven’t met too many of those ladies! Wait. I don’t know any. But that’s the picture I used to have of retirement. The man on the other hand sits on the stoep and watches the day go by, usually with a pipe in his mouth – or he’s reading the newspaper.

 

What bliss. Or is it? Is that really what God would want of any of us? I can’t see Jesus sitting on the stoep reading the newspaper, can you? (Forget the pipe!)

 

At the same time, perhaps we need to bring back the stillness. Even a little. Can we not find a space in each day, somewhere, to be still. Maybe, like me, the best time to find that time is before the day even starts. Before I put on the bedside light and acknowledge that the day has begun. “Thank you Lord for this new day. Help me enjoy it for a few minutes before I get into the busyness. Help me be still and know that you are not only God – you’re my God.”

 

Will you join me? Today? Schedule a few minutes of stillness into your frantic schedule, and you know what? I think we’ll both find we achieve more. At the end of the day, we will be able to say, “Thank you Lord for this day that’s just gone by. I spent it as you wanted me to.”

 

Give it a try, and then come back and share how it went. Did you achieve less? Or did you get through more? Don’t be still – don’t know God. Makes you think, doesn’t it?

Sikhona!

The angel added [to Hagar], “I will so increase your descendants that they will be too numerous to count.” The angel of the LORD also said to her: “You are now with child and you will have a son. You shall name him Ishmael, for the LORD has heard of your misery. He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers.” She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me.” Genesis 16:10-13a NIV

A common greeting used by the Zulu people in South Africa comes in two parts. The one person says, “Sikhona!” and the response is “Sawubona!” Sikhona literally means “I am here to be seen,” and Sawubona says, “I see you.”

What a powerful greeting! How often do we give a casual and meaningless “Hi!” or ask “How are you?” The traditional response for that question is, “Fine thanks and you?” I have to confess there have been many times that I have hoped that is all the person will say. I really don’t want to be there for the next ten minutes while he or she tells me exactly how they are!

Yet what a difference we could make to someone’s day if we took a lesson from the Zulu folk. If we were to look each other in the eye and admit, “I am here to be seen!” and hear the other person assure us, “I see you.”

Hagar was Sarah’s servant. Because Sarah was infertile, she ordered Hagar to sleep with her husband Abraham and give him a son. (No pressure!) The son would then be Abraham’s heir.

No sooner was she pregnant, when Sarah started to ill-treat the girl, and eventually Hagar could take no more. She ran away into the desert – an extremely dangerous place for a pregnant young woman.

Suddenly, an angel appeared, and brought her a message from God. Hagar apparently had some spiritual awakening as a result of this angelic visitation. She was so excited, she gave Him her own personal name, Lahai Roi, meaning The God Who Sees.

All of us have a heart-felt need to believe there is someone who sees us. Who really notices us. Who understands and who cares. We want to feel appreciated and affirmed. We long to be valued and celebrated. How great to know that God always sees us!

Whatever word or greeting we choose to use when saying “Hello”, how good it will be if we think about the person and convey that powerful message. “Hello. You are important to me . . . because I see you.”

OVER TO YOU: This week, try to make each greeting, no matter how brief, convey a powerful message. Just a warm greeting, a nod or a smile can say to them, “I see you! And I care.”

Bye for now! Sawubona! I see you!

Time Out? You’re Joking!

In the New Testament of the Bible, Jesus says, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matt1:28 KJV)

Eugene Peterson, who wrote The Message version of the Bible, puts the verse this way: “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest.”

Do these words bring tears to your eyes? Do you feel a deep ache at the thought of a “real rest”? Yet rest is not a luxury. It is an essential part of our make-up. If we don’t rest voluntarily, we will become ill—and rest will be forced upon us.

Have you ever stopped to read a book and been consumed by guilt? Do you sometimes sit down with a cup of your favourite beverage and gulp it down before anyone sees you? Have you switched your PC screen for a “quick game” of Solitaire, which may not have been all that quick after all? Do you sometimes want to scream at yet another interruption from those demanding children? (Yes, those same ones you wanted so badly and love so dearly!)

My friend, don’t succumb to the lies from Satan, “If you stop work and take a rest during the day, you are weak and lazy,” he’ll tell you. “What will people think if they see you taking a break?” “A whole day off? Don’t be ridiculous. You can’t afford to take time out.”
God, the Almighty Creator, needed rest. He worked for six days—then he took a whole day’s break. If God needed time out, I guess I do too. And you.

Sydney Harris said, The best time to relax is exactly when you do not have the time for it.

My challenge for you right now is, choose a period of time, or even an entire day, out of the next seven days, and mark it off on your diary or your calendar as “Time Out for Me!” And then stick to it. You’ll be surprised. The world won’t stop turning. You will return to your writing, your work or your family situation with more enthusiasm and inspiration. God took time out. He expects nothing less from us, His children.

Do you wake up each morning and wonder
Why your life seems to keep spinning by?
At the end of the day when the house becomes still
Do you fall into bed with a sigh?

Do you long for the days when your time was your own?
Then feel guilty for thinking that way?
They’re your children, they’re precious, you do love them so,
Yet they need you each second, all day.

Do you wonder if God feels that way when you call?
If He ceases to care what you do?
Well my friend, that’s the wonder, He’s always right there,
He never takes time-out from you.

©Shirley M. Corder 2006

OVER TO YOU: How hard or easy is my challenge going to be for you this week?
Please respond as a comment below.

The Pink Elephant

At this they wept again. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-by, but Ruth clung to her. Ruth 1:14)

Our minister was preaching on Philippians chapter 4, stressing the need to remain “in the Lord” at all times.

Suddenly, he leaned forward and said to us, “I don’t want you to think about a pink elephant. Do you hear me? Please don’t think about a pink elephant. I don’t want you thinking about his large pink ears, his long thick pink trunk, his enormous pink body, or his tiny pink tail. Don’t think about a pink elephant!”

He paused, then smiled and said, “So what are you thinking about?”

The congregation answered with one voice, “A pink elephant!”

He went on to point out the importance of keeping our minds focused on the Lord and on the good things of life. That as we filled out minds with thoughts of “pink elephants” they would govern our thinking. It’s not possible to “stop thinking” about something negative. The only solution is to fill our minds with other, positive thoughts.

In Ruth chapter 1 we read how Orpah and her sister-in-law Ruth commit themselves to following their mother-in-law Naomi back to her old country, Judah. Then suddenly in verse 16, Orpah changes her mind. Why?

Orpah sincerely loved her mother-in-law. She wanted to follow her back to her old country. She was prepared to make the sacrifice and leave her family, her gods, and her old way of life. She said her farewells, and she took the first steps down the road with Naomi and Ruth. But it would appear she couldn’t stop thinking of all she was leaving behind. Her family. Her friends. Her known way of life. She had spent ten years married to an Israelite and with Naomi as her mother-in-law, so she would have been aware of some of the horrors and evil in the Canaanite culture. But it was the life she knew. The future loomed large and frightening before her.

Suddenly she realized she couldn’t go through with it. It was too big a sacrifice. She loved Naomi and she loved Ruth, but the more she thought of all she was leaving behind, the more turmoil she experienced. There were limits to how much she could go through. The farther she traveled, the more difficult it would be to change her mind. She had to make a decision—and so she stopped in the road. “I can’t do this. I need to go home.”

Ruth faced the same issues. In fact some writings suggest that Orpah and Ruth were sisters who had married brothers, making them both sisters and sisters-in-law. Whether this is accurate or not, Ruth clearly loved Orpah, and her decision made things worse. At least when Orpah was part of the adventure it was more bearable. Now Ruth would be the only foreigner headed for the land of Judah. Could she do this without the support of Orpah?

Ruth made a decision not to think about what she was leaving behind. She turned her mind from looking at the pink elephant of Canaan and focused on the future. “Your people will be my people and your God will be mine,”[1] she said to Naomi. She refused to look back, but riveted her thoughts on what lay ahead.

Do you have a decision to make that has far reaching consequences? Is your mind full of regrets or indecision? Do you have cancer or some other dread disease, and you can’t stop thinking about it? Are you struggling with an issue right now? I often do, especially in the middle of the night. I can usually control my thinking during the day, but in those dark hours when I lie awake, I find it more difficult. The more I try to stop thinking about the problem, the more I struggle with it.

Thanks to my minister’s sermon, I now know what to do when this happens. I have to stop struggling to put it out of my mind and rather focus on good things. I need to think about the Lord and all the plans He has for me, then I will automatically stop concentrating on the problem. My mind can only cope with so much at a time. If I fill it with the Lord and His goodness, there is no room for a pink elephant.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Philippians 4:8)

[1] Ruth 1:16

Hezekiah’s Prayer

I recently saw a post on Facebook that said, HELP! Has anyone seen the first month of 2014? I seem to have lost it!

I am currently writing a series of devotions for Scripture Union, for their Daily Bread publication. I am enjoying the opportunity to get better acquainted with some of the kings of ancient Israel.

It was refreshing to read of the godly King Hezekiah who did so much to turn the nation of Judah back to God. However, the king became critically ill and was told by the prophet Isaiah that he was about to die. His reaction was to turn his face to the wall and pray to the Lord. God heard his prayer and granted him an additional 15 years of life. You can read this exciting story in 2 Kings 20 in your Bible or online here.

16 years ago, I received a diagnosis of cancer. My surgeon didn’t expect me to live as long as a year. God gave me an additional 15 years and I’m still doing well. Praise the Lord.

During those 15 years I have become a published author with many articles and stories in print and online, as well as my book of 90 devotions for those in the cancer valley, Strength Renewed. It has been a fruitful time, although I know I could have done more if I’d been better organised.

Unfortunately, Hezekiah did very little with his fifteen years. The one big thing he did do was very stupid. But you can read that for yourself.

Just over a month ago, we were all given 365 new days with the arrival of the year, 2014. Of course, we do not know if we will all get to spend all those days on earth, but is it the number of days that count? Or is it what we do with them that matter? At the time of writing, we’ve already used up 41 of them. Have you used them wisely? Do you wish you could have them back? I seem to have lost many of those days. Where have they gone? I think I would like to start over. But of course, that’s impossible.

Guess the question now is, What will we do with the next 324?

What is the one thing you wish to achieve during this year? Share it with us?

Christmas Greetings!

“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted.” John 3:16-18a The Message

When God says He made us in His image, He doesn’t mean we look like Him. Just take a look at some of your friends. Do they look alike? So how can we all look like God?

No, when He made us in His image, He made us like Him, with the ability to think and reason, to plan and orchestrate, and above all, the ability to be creative. However, where God created the universe out of nothing, we need to use existing material to create new articles.

As writers, we use existing words and letters and probably a computer. Carpenters use wood and tools. Artists produce beautiful pictures with paints and brushes. Dressmakers create clothing out of material using a sewing machine. Whatever you want to create, you use items that are already in existence.

When God created us women, He gave us a special nurturing instinct, so that we could be good wives, mothers, aunts, daughters and friends. When He created men, He gave them the desire to lead and protect their families and be responsible for those around him. He made us “in his image” yet different. He also gave to us all a desire to give to others. Many of us love making things for those whom we love. We want the article to say to them, “I love you. You’re special.”

Sometimes, especially if the recipient is far away and we have to post the card or gift, we wonder if it will really be appreciated. Will our loved one realise it is special because we made it ourselves? Or will they give it a mere glance and throw it to one side? If only we could stick ourselves in the envelope, or wrap ourselves with the gift, so that we could personally deliver the message.

Over 2,000 years ago, our Creator God did just that. He sent us a special message, He sent it with a gift, and He delivered it in person.

The message? “I love you!”

The gift? His only Son, Jesus Christ.

A few people accept The Gift, and allow Him to transform their lives. But sadly, many take one glance and reject both the gift and the message.

God’s Son was a very special person and lived a perfect life—yet He had no home of His own. His friends left Him when He needed them most. He was ridiculed, beaten, and killed in a dreadful way. Why on earth did He go through this? The Bible tells us He did it because of God’s love for us. He did it because we are special to Him.

This year, as you prepare for Christmas, think about how much God loves you. As you spend time getting your gifts “just right,” see how God works to make your life “just right” too. As you put your final touches to your gifts and step back with a sense of satisfaction, picture God’s reaction when He made you. He stood back, and He said, “They are good. They are very good.”

As you buy or make gifts in preparation for Christmas this year, remember the gift and message God sent you, and accept it with all your heart.

PRAY WITH ME?: Lord, thank you for your amazing creation. Thank you for making me a part of it. Thank you for the gifts you have given to me. Most of all, thank you for the gift of Jesus. Help me to accept that Gift, and always to remember that I am special in the eyes of my creator. Amen.