For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6, NLT
Merry Christmas Friends,
I want to share with you some exciting news and give all the glory to God because it is through His favor and love thatFirst For Women Magazinehas published an article about my “Christmas Miracle” devotional. It was freelance writer, Diane Nichols who after reviewing hundreds of stories, stumbled on my “Christmas Miracle” devotional, written over three years ago, on my website. Diane has told me that finding my miracle story was like finding a needle in a haystack, but as soon as she read my story, she knew it was the one for their December issue. You can pick up your copy of my story in First Magazine (page 42) at your local grocery store or newsstand throughout America and Europe.
The thing is friend, if God can do this for me…then what will he do for you? It is my prayer that you will have a miracle filled Christmas this year!
Here is the full, expanded version of “My Christmas Miracle” published in 2006
“My Christmas Miracle”
As the Christmas season beckoned at my door, I could not help but reminisce about the memories of Christmas past. A lot of my flashbacks revolve around running to abuse shelters from my stepfather who was physically abusive. Even when things seemed calm on my home front, I could always count on the never-ending drama within my family to spice up the holiday season. Holiday drama and my family seem to go together like macaroni and cheese. While the majority of my early memories could put anyone in therapy, I did think about one Christmas that still puts a smile on my face even to this day.
It was the Christmas that my aunt, uncle, and cousins drove 12 plus hours in the sleet and snow to be with us during the holidays. I was in sixth grade and I still remember the smell of burning wood in the fireplace and the amazing meals my mom prepared. But, the best part of that Christmas was a present I received. To the outward eye it appeared that my aunt gave me a game, “Stop Thief” by Parker Brothers, but it was much more than that.
You see, that evening my family gathered around the dining room table and played until the wee hours in the morning. The entire room was filled with laughter as we chased the fictitious thief all over the game board. As an abused child who later nearly took her life at the age of 15, I held onto the laughter of that night during some of the hardest times in my life. The memory of that Christmas is still with me today. I am not sure when it happened or which state I lived in at the time, but I lost my most prized game, “Stop Thief.”
Now in my thirties, I decided it was time to replace my favorite game. My research uncovered that Parker Brothers no longer makes the game, and to my dismay, “Stop Thief “ is now considered a vintage game! My husband suggested that I attempt to locate the vintage game on E-Bay. I held my breath as I typed in the words “Stop Thief” on the E-Bay website, and there it appeared before my eyes, not only one, but several “Stop Thief” games were being sold that very day. I placed my highest bid, and to my surprise, won the game. I eagerly anticipated its arrival, and just three days later it was placed at my front door in Atlanta, Georgia. I opened the package, pulled out the game and saw my very own handwriting on the front cover that stated, “I love Michael Jackson” in red ink. The memory of using my brand new ink pen with multiple ink colors flooded my mind and I remembered choosing red because Michael Jackson wore a red leather coat in his Thriller video. Tears filled my eyes as I realized that I had not just received any “Stop Thief” game, but my original game from my childhood.
It was a miracle and I knew who had done it for me- my sweet Jesus. I had known of His love for me, but the fact that He found my original game that I had lost a long time ago is beyond amazing. God led a stranger in Illinois to end up with my game, sell it years later on E-Bay, and then have it delivered several states away to my front door. That shows me the restoration power of God! Joel 2:21-26 talks about how God will restore the years the locusts have eaten. I don’t know what you may have lost over the years; maybe the locusts of life have stolen from you as well. I encourage you to ask God to restore unto you things that you have lost. God is able to not only restore former things, but He always brings things back with increase beyond its original state. Jesus truly is the restorer of all things lost. After all, we once were lost, but now we are found.
Prayer: Lord, I declare that the enemy must give back everything he has stolen from me! I proclaim that 2010 will be a year filled with the restoration power of God. I ask that you restore my body, my mind, my spirit, my relationships, my family, my reputation, my finances and anything else needing the restoration power of God. I love you Jesus and it is because of your love that I believe 2010 will be a year crowned with Your goodness and dripping with abundance (Psalm 65:11).” Amen.
“For to you is born this day in the town of David a Savior, Who is Christ (the Messiah) the Lord! And this will be a sign for you (by which you may recognize Him): you will find (after searching) a Baby wrapped in a manger. Then suddenly there appeared with the angel an army of the troops of heaven (a heavenly knighthood), praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest (heaven), and on earth peace among men with whom He is well pleased (men of goodwill, of His favor).” Luke 2:11-14, AMP
What is Christmas anyway? Is it presents and Santa Claus? Is it sending and receiving Christmas cards and cookies? Is it seeing the Nutcracker and Rudolf The Red Nosed Reindeer? Is it green bean casserole and eggnog? No, Christmas is about the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It is a day to remember the greatest gift given to man – Jesus. Jesus is our redemption and it is through His life, death and resurrection that we are saved, healed, forgiven and made the righteousness of God and that is something to be merry about friends!
I recognize that the world is desperately trying to take “Christ” out of Christmas. They want us to be “tolerant” while they remove “In God We Trust” from our money, pull out the Ten Commandments from our Court Houses and they want us to be satisfied with the greeting “Happy Holidays,” but friends let’s remember what this day is about – it’s about the birth of Jesus. I know I may be stepping on a few toes about now, but friends, Christmas is my favorite day of the year and I cannot help but shout from the mountain tops, “MERRY CHRISTMAS” & “HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS!” As for me and my house, we will not participate in “Happy Holidays,” nor will you see a big, fat, red-suited man taking over our home…no, as far as me and my house, Christmas is and will forever be about JESUS!!
Let’s not be silent. Let’s not smile and be tolerant. Let’s declare that Christmas is about Jesus!
So from my family to yours:
Happy Birthday Jesus!
O’ Come let us come and adore Him!
Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!
Point to ponder: Do we want our children to believe in the temporary “magic” of Santa Claus or grow up believing in the eternal MIRACLES of Jesus Christ?
If you like this post then I know you will enjoy watching 4 year old, Avery Winter, as she sings Happy Birthday Jesus!
“Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it’s in your power to help them.” Proverbs 3:27, NLT
Who are the real heroes of our day anyway?Is it those with money and fame? Is it those with honored titles and positions? I don’t believe so…the real heroes of our day are people like Leigh Ann Tuohy and our American Soldiers. Below is an article I found about Leigh Ann Tuohy and how the movie, “The Blind Side,” was filmed in order to share with the world how she and her family made a difference in the life of one teen boy…and by the way, if you haven’t seen this movie yet – go see it…it’s the best movie of the year in my opinion!!There is also an opportunity below for you and me to make a difference in the life of a soldier this Christmas…today we can make a difference!
Sandra Bullock: A blessing to meet, portray a real Christian
Associated Press – 12/1/2009 9:45:00 AM
LOS ANGELES – Actress Sandra Bullock says meeting Leigh Anne Tuohy, who she portrays in The Blind Side, showed her there really are some Christians who “walk the walk.”
The film, which opened the week before Thanksgiving, presents the true story of the Tuohys — a well-off white family in Tennessee — who welcome a homeless black youth into their home and then adopt him as their son. That young man, Michael Oher, became an All-American selection for Ole Miss and a first-round draft pick. He now plays for the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens.
Bullock says thanks to the Tuohys, who attend Grace Evangelical Church in Memphis, she now has “faith in those who say they represent a faith.” Getting to know Leigh Anne Tuohy, says the actress, showed her that religious faith can be authentic. “She was so open and honest and forthright,” Bullock shares, “and I said, wow, I finally met someone who practices but doesn’t preach.”
Tuohy isn’t like some hypocritical church-goers she’s known, adds Bullock. “The beauty of Leigh Anne was one of my biggest questions was how people use their faith and their religion as a banner,” she says. “And then they don’t do the right thing, but they go ‘I’m a good Christian and I go to church and this is the way you should live your life.'”
Bullock admits she was wary of Christians before she met the Tuohys. “Whereas…before I was like, do not give me a lecture on how to live my life when I know I’m a pretty decent human being,” says the actress. “I might not go to church everyday, but I know I do the right thing or try to. You’re going to church and you’re still sleeping around on your wife…how are you better than I am? So I finally met people who walk the walk.”
Leigh Anne Tuohy says she hopes The Blind Side inspires more people to help others. “You don’t have to go out and bring a child into your home — that’s not what’s required,” says Tuohy. “But you can do something — everybody is capable of doing something. So whatever your something is, do it well. Make a difference.”
Oher’s mom says she enforces a behavior code when she watches her adopted son play for the Baltimore Ravens. “I had to have a little ‘come to Jesus’ talk with my section at [the] Ravens’ stadium,” she says. “I had to explain to everyone that, okay, we’re going to have a change of attitude. There is a two-drink limit, there is no cussing in this [section]. You don’t know who you’re sitting next to — I’m a player’s mom.”
Now it’s our turn to make a difference….as Leigh stated above, we don’t have to bring a child into our home to make a difference…there are many ways we can impact lives around us. Below is a way for us to make a difference in the lives of our troops this Christmas season. We can send them a free card wishing them a Merry Christmas and thanking them for their service to this Country…let’s do it…let’s make a difference!!!
Tracy became a Christian at the age of 16 and her life was changed forever. She went from being a depressed, suicidal, rebellious teenager to a dynamic leader for Christ. Immediately after accepting Jesus as her Savior, Tracy fought the school board in order to begin a Bible study on school grounds at her high school in Illinois. The dramatic transformation in Tracy's life has inspired many, including her own mother, to give their lives to Christ.