Coffee Quotes: Jump Start Your Day Inspirations

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Who doesn’t like a fresh cup of coffee in the morning after a long-night’s sleep? I can answer a resounding “yes” to that. Every morning like clockwork, I begin my day by making a cup of hot, brewed black coffee to wake up my mind and my soul. A time to be spent looking over the day’s list of things to do, but better yet, a time to reflect upon God’s direction and inspiration for the day.

“The Best Time of Day for Coffee Is…
…breakfast for a jump start
…mid-morning for inspiration
…lunch for good measure
…mid-afternoon for a restart
…dinner for a conversation starter
…evening for a happy ending.” Quote from: “Thank Heaven For Coffee and Other Little Pleasures.” Published by Barbour Publishing Inc.

God can speak to our hearts in a still small voice even in the midst of drinking coffee and/or tea. We just need to be aware of His presence in what we are doing at the moment.

Psalm 37:4 (NIV) says, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”

May you feel “plugged in” to His voice today.

Blessings,
Yvonne

Nana’s Corner: Christmas 2016

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This is officially Christmas week and it is half over. Today my daughter, along with her dad and I, took the two grandsons off to Woodbridge, VA where we ate at a Denny’s Restaurant and then stopped by Hobby Lobby for some last minute gifts.

There were numerous cars on the road and even Denny’s was very busy. In fact, it took a lot longer to get our meals than normal. Guess everyone was out shopping and got hungry so they all stopped to eat as well!

It was a fun morning and Gryphon, and I got to watch the movie, “Minions”, in the car on the way up and on the way back. We also enjoyed the Christmas decorations and lights that adorned outside houses and businesses. The baby slept most of the time on the way up, in the restaurant, and on the way home. Gryphon fell asleep just before we got home but awoke after we went inside, and he didn’t want Nana or Pap (as he calls Roger) to leave either. So sweet to watch him interacting with his Pap!

In the hustle and bustle between shopping, parties/dinners, and additional church services this week, it is easy to forget that “Jesus is the reason for the season.” Does Christmas come but once a year? Technically, it does to many people during this time of year. But let us not forget to celebrate and be giving throughout the entire year as well. We need to support and encourage each other all year long and not just during one week in December.

Let us continue to show the love that God has shown us not only to our friends and family in the new year, but may we also be made aware of the needs of those around us and show them love and kindness throughout 2017 as well. May you feel blessed as you open up your hearts to others. Jesus taught us to “love one another as He loved us” and may we also do the same.

Blessings,
Yvonne

Mary’s Journey (From Ordinary to Extraordinary)

Since the Advent season began on Sunday, November 27, our pastor has asked for volunteers to speak on each of the Sunday mornings leading up to Christmas Sunday morning about specific Bible characters who have had a special impact on leading up to the Birth of Jesus Christ. Last week my husband, Roger, spoke about John the Baptist who was born to Zechariah and Elizabeth. John’s life would “prepare the way” for our Lord Jesus Christ and His ministry.

This past Sunday I spoke about Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and want to share some insights into her humble life with all of you.

INTRODUCTION

. Mary is the best-known female character in the Bible and, of course, everyone knows her as the “Mother of Jesus”.
. In Matthew 1:16 her name appears in the geneology of Matthew–“…and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called the Christ.”
. It has been told that she was a peasant woman, a young adolescent, and probably poor, from the descendant of Aaron (priests).
. Her parents and/or siblings are not mentioned in the scriptures, but it is assumed that she came from a Godly home of devout Jews–she lived in the Village of Nazareth.
. During Mary’s time period, it was a Jewish custom that girls were not trained in the Holy Scriptures but were trained to run the household; however, as seen in her praise to God in the “Magnificat” or “Mary’s Song” in Luke 1:47-55, Mary was well-versed in scriptures.
. Mary became betrothed to Joseph, son of Heli and a descendant of King David, at a very young age. Although we don’t know the exact age that she was pledged to be married, the minimum age for girls to be betrothed during this time period was 12 years old, and this generally took place one year before the marriage which was legally binding and could only be dissolved by a legal divorce.

OVERVIEW OF OTHER PLACES IN SCRIPTURES WHERE MARY IS MENTIONED

. Luke 1:26-38: Mary was visited by the Angel Gabriel and then she visits Elizabeth for three months.
. Matthew 1:24 and Luke 2:1-7: Both gospels tell about the Birth of Jesus–Mary and Joseph traveled to Bethlehem per the decree by Caesar Augustus for the census, and this is where Mary gives birth to Jesus.
. Luke 2:21: Jesus is presented in the temple at 8 days old to be circumcised and is blessed by Simeon.
. Luke 2:41: Feast of the Passover each year–During one of their travels when Jesus was 12 years old, his parents were returning home, and it was discovered that Jesus had stayed behind so they went back to get him. In VS 48, Mary tells Jesus that she and his father had been anxiously searching for Him; and His reply in VS 49 was, “Didn’t you know that I had to be in my Father’s house” but they did not understand.
. John 2:1-11: Wedding Feast in Cana—On the third day of this celebration, the wine ran out. Mary asks Jesus for His help and He turns the water into wine.
. John 19:26: Crucifixion–Jesus sees His mother and says, “Dear woman, here is your son” and to John, His disciple, He says, “Here is your mother” so John cared for Mary the rest of her days.
. Luke 24:9: Resurrection–Mother of James (Jesus’ mother), plus Mary Magdalene and Joanna run to tell the 11 disciples that Christ was risen.

OTHER CHILDREN OF MARY AND JOSEPH

. In both Mark 6:3 and Matthew 13:55-56, it mentions Mary’s other children: James, Joses (Joseph), Judas, and Simon, plus two other sisters (whose names are not mentioned).

THE BIRTH OF JESUS FORETOLD IN LUKE 1:26-38

. VS 26-28: The Angel Gabriel greets Mary telling her that she is highly favored by God (favor means gaining approval, aceptance, or special benefits or blessings).

. VS 29: Mary’s reaction was that she was troubled and afraid. BUT as we continue to read the rest of their conversation, we get a better picture into Mary’s character. She exhibits a:

Humble Heart:

. That God had chosen her to carry His Son.
. She probably thought to herself: Who am I that God would think so highly of me for this blessed event. After all she was not wealthy or noble, but just an ordinary young girl and a chaste virgin.

Willing and Open Heart:

. She listened to what the Angel told her about what was going to take place and how the Holy Spirit would come upon her and she would be with child.
. She then accepted and trusted God and she was willing to be used by God

Obedient Heart:

. Mary was an obedient follower of God. God didn’t look at her outward appearance or her circumstances, but He knew her heart and that she would be obedient in what He asked of her.
. The Angel tells Mary about her cousin Elizabeth and how that even in her old age, she was going to have a baby (now in her sixth month).
. And in VS 37, the Angel concludes his time with Mary by saying, “For nothing is impossible with God.”

Servant Heart:

. Mary was a woman of faith and in VS 38, she said, “Let it be to me as you have said.” (If God said it, then I believe it mentality.)
. Mary proves that she is humble, willing, and obedient to become God’s servant and believed God’s destiny for her life.

MARY’S VISIT WITH ELIZABETH

. After Mary’s visit with the angel, she goes to the hill country of Judea to visit with her cousin Elizabeth to see for herself that Elizabeth was with child.

. Luke 1:40: says that when Mary greeted Elizabeth, her baby leaped in her womb and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In VS 42-45 Elizabeth confirms to Mary that which would take place in her own life: She was chosen to carry the Son of God and would be blessed among all women.
. Mary then begins to praise God.

MAGNIFICANT–MARY’S SONG

. VS 46-55: In this passage, Mary definitely shows that she knows the scriptures. This is a song of strength, trust, obedience, and power to believe that what God said He would do, and what He would now accomplish in Mary’s life.
. VS 48: Mary declares: “For He has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed.” (A humble servant)
. Mary then stays with Elizabeth for three months before returning home, indicating that she was probably there for the birth of John.

CONCLUSION: How can we apply the events in Mary’s journey to our own lives today???

. I Samuel 16:7says: “…The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (Remember this was how King David was chosen)
. When God chose Mary, He looked at her heart, not her appearance or circumstances.

. When God wants to use individuals like ourselves, He is looking at our hearts–our love for Him–and not at our outward appearance or circumstances.

. Colossians 3:23 says: “Whatever you do, do it from the heart for the Lord, and not for people.”
. Mary wasn’t thinking about “what will people think” (especially Joseph), but only that she was highly favored and chosen by God to carry His Son.

. God asks that whatever He asks of us that we do it with our whole heart for Him and not for men AND FINALLY…

. Luke 1:37 says: “For nothing is impossible with God”

. Just as Elizabeth conceived in her old age, and Mary miraculously bore the Son of God–Jesus Christ who would end up bearing the sins of the world and saving us all–they both understood and saw firsthand in their lives that “nothing was impossible with God.”

. SO SHOULD WE: “When God speaks to each of us and we listen to Him, let us all be willing to step out in faith so that He can show us His continued plan for our lives, because “nothing is impossible that God can’t do in and through our lives today for His honor and glory”.
. Just believe and trust Him, and He will guide you on your life’s journey every step of the way!

I concluded my time of sharing about Mary’s Journey by singing “Breath of Heaven” which solidified perhaps what Mary further thought as she traveled to Bethlehem and where she gave birth to Jesus Christ and “laid Him in a manger.”

During this Christmas season, may we find ourselves most grateful and thankful for the blessings that we have received throughout the year and enjoy our precious time with family and friends. And most of all, for the birth of our Saviour, God and King!

Blessings,
Yvonne

Nana’s Corner: Welcome To Our World

Good morning everyone! For those of you who do not know by now, we had another little angel born into this world on Saturday, November 26 at 1:37 p.m.–Gabriel Robert. He was over 7 lbs. and 20 inches long. We now have another grandson to hold, love, and adore just as much as Gryphon!

We are thankful that the delivery went well and mom is doing fine. They are both home now and enjoying adjusting to being a family of four. Gryphon has been a sweetheart. He “secretly” has been placing the little fabric bear that he was given at the hospital in Gabriel’s bed when he is sleeping and lets mommy or daddy know when the baby is crying. When I have been at the house this week, I even noticed a smile from him as he looks lovingly at his new brother. Although naps and general routines for Gryphon and the family have been altered, it will just take a little time for everyone to get back to their normal schedules. This week daddy is home and Gryphon is absolutely enjoying a lot of time with him as well.

Children are truly a blessing from God and many mothers/fathers and grandmothers/grandfathers can attest to that fact. As Gryphon and Gabriel grow up together (two years apart), they will bond as brothers and learn many lessons in sharing and caring for one another as well. I look forward to seeing their interaction as time goes by.

As one of the grandmothers, I am truly feeling blessed today and thankful that I have the opportunity to live close by and enjoy both grandsons at this time in their lives and just wanted to share this eventful moment with all of you.

I trust all of you had a blessed Thanksgiving with family and friends and are looking forward to celebrating the birth of our King as well this month.

This Sunday at church, Roger will be speaking on John the Baptist, and next Sunday I will be speaking about Mary’s journey and her visit from the Angel Gabriel to tell her the news that she will carry the Son of God–Jesus Christ. We are looking forward to being given these opportunities and sharing these two Bible character stories with the congregation as well.

I am also looking forward to sharing with you on future posts about what God is doing in and through our lives, and may you feel blessed and encouraged by what God can do and is doing in your lives today.

Blessings,
Yvonne