Our Savior’s Prayers


For the next few days, as we meditate on our beautiful Savior and on all he did for us through his death on the cross and his resurrection from the grave, let’s consider some prayers he prayed during the last hours before his crucifixion. While you read these prayers of Jesus, ask the Holy Spirit to help you apply them to your own personal life.

 “After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: ‘Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.’” John 17:1

 “‘My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one . . . Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth . . . May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.’” John 17:15, 17, 23

 “‘My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.’” Matthew 26:39

 “Jesus said, ‘Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.’” Luke 23:34

 “And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice…’My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’” Mark 15:34

 “Jesus called out with a loud voice, ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.’” Luke 23:46

 Won’t you join me this Easter in committing our lives into the Father’s hands? A blessed Easter to all!

*Which of these prayers of Jesus most resonated with you today?

*I hope this encore post from April 2011 blesses you today!

 The next issue of Life Notes, my inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in each quarterly issue , comes out in early May. One lucky subscriber (new or current) will receive a gift valued at $20 (shipping included) from Beigetone Soaps and a signed copy of my book to use personally, give as a gift, or donate to a library. Sign-up is free and to the right!

 *Flickr photo by Kimber Photography, Creative Commons License

A Winner Plus My Favorite Christmas Verses

4037699377_b218f58079_zToday’s the day to announce the winner of the Little Christmas Warmth Giveaway—yes, time to make someone a little warmer! The lucky winner who will soon be wrapping her cold hands around a luscious hot drink from Starbucks is . . . Tamra! Congrats, Tamra! I’ll dash to my mailbox as fast as I can (without a one-horse open sleigh!) and send the gift card on its way. Hope it makes your holiday season a little merrier!

For all of you dropping by today, I’d like to pass along the best holiday joy I know by sharing my favorite Christmas verses from the Bible. I love reading all of the passages related to the birth of Jesus, but the verses below have become my favorites. May God’s Word bless you today, friends!

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 KJV

“‘The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’—which means, ‘God with us.’” Matthew 1:23

“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:10-11 KJV

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14

A child. A son. A Savior. The Word. The One and Only. Amen and amen!

*Which of these verses speaks to you in the most powerful way?

*Flickr photo by sakarias.ingolfsson, Creative Commons License

Undone by the Gift of Our Savior

4161935408_9b02a46dd9_zLast year at this time, my husband Don was enduring a season of pain like he’d never known before. On November 15, 2014, he fell roof-high from a ladder and fractured his spine in eight places. He was laid up at home for almost two months before he could attempt a return to a modified work schedule. He needed pain medication on a regular basis for a while. It was rough.

One day during December while I had a favorite Christmas cd playing and “Joy to the World” was wafting through the air, I went in to check on Don and he was crying. He was completely undone by the gift of our Savior.

He said, “He could have come down from the cross. He could have come down. But he stayed. He suffered. For me.” Because of the pain Don had been enduring, the fact that Jesus came to earth to die a painful death to pay for our sins took on a whole new level of meaning for him. Our “Joy to the World” came at a great cost. A cost Jesus was willing to pay.

As we listen to and sing the carols of Christmas this year, let’s listen and sing as if it’s the first time we’ve heard or sung them. Let’s be touched afresh by them. Let’s come undone by the gift of our Savior.

Why not start with “Joy to the World”? I’ll print the words below. Let’s glory in its message together today!

“Joy to the world , the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven, and heaven, and nature sing.

Joy to the world, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.”
*lyrics by Isaac Watts

*Has a carol of Christmas ever taken on special meaning for you?

*Flickr photo by jeffweese, Creative Commons License

Return Trip

“The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.” Luke 2:20

This final verse in Luke’s famous account of the birth of Jesus struck me differently than it ever had before when I read it last December. I’d always thought the phrase “The shepherds returned” meant they returned to their flock, but now I see an entirely different scenario.

If you’ll remember, the verses preceding this one tell how after hearing the angelic announcement of the birth of a Savior, the shepherds hurried off to Bethlehem to find the babe. After they saw the Son of God, “they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child.” (v. 17)

Now if they spread the word, they certainly must have gone out into the community and beyond to tell everyone they saw what they had seen and heard. So when scripture goes on in verse 20 to say “The shepherds returned”, might it mean that they returned to Bethlehem to see Jesus once again?

I think that might be what happened. After they spread the news, I think they may have felt irresistibly drawn back to the Babe. I think they may have wanted to come close to the Savior again. Their return trip might just have been back to Bethlehem instead of back to their flock.

Let’s plan our return trip even now. After we travel to and fro, celebrating Christmas—the birthday of the King—with family and friends alike, let’s make sure we return to glorify and praise our Savior in our daily lives when all the holiday hubbub is over. Let’s return to worship Him year round.

“Come near to God and he will come near to you . . .” James 4:8a

*Flickr photo by rahego, Creative Commons License