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It’s a Mindset

It’s a Mindset

For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace. 
Romans 8:6

IMG_7181tamiPeace.  Ahhh.  Peace on earth. Even better.  Peace in my home.  NOT!  Oh Lord, let there be peace on earth … and let it begin IN MY HOUSE!

I promise I’ve not been eavesdropping on your conversations with the Lord!  I’ve had my own!

In this day and age Christmas is packaged with everything but peace.  Some have lots of joy and happiness; others battle through depression and sadness, but few have peace at Christmas. Let me share with you something the Lord showed me.

“Holiday for Her” is our church’s largest women’s ministry event. The first year Debra Spaugh (another ZooKeeper team member) and I were responsible for pulling this monstrosity together, it was an administrative nightmare.  We had prayed, planned, prayed and then prayed some more!  Everything was coming along better than we’d anticipated, but I woke up on the day of the event in sheer panic. A Scripture came to mind, and though I couldn’t give you the address at the time, I prayed what I remembered: set my mind on life and peace. Almost immediately, the Holy Spirit whispered in my heart, “It’s your job to set your mind. It’s My job to give you life and peace.” It made perfect sense!

So often we ask God to do things for us that He’s called us to do first. We can’t put our lives on auto-pilot and expect to be filled with life and peace. Setting our minds is a discipline. When I’d rather think about everything that could go wrong, I must choose to think about who God is and what He will enable me to do. When I’d rather think about the annoyances that come along with any project, I must choose to think about the blessings and lives that can be changed for all eternity. When I’d rather come up with that perfect sarcastic remark to make my point, I must choose to think good, true, pure and lovely thoughts. When I’d rather think that Christmas is just too much trouble, I must choose to think of ways I can use this season as a springboard for conversations about Jesus.  See how this works?

Oh Sister, I completely understand the frustrations this season can bring, but let’s determine to set our minds on the things of the Spirit. Then His job is to give us the life and peace we so greatly desire.

Running the race,


“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”

Luke 2:1-21 The Christmas Story


And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. 
(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) 
And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. 
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) 
To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. 
And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. 
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 
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. 
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. 
And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. 
And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. 
And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. 
And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 
But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. 
And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them. 
And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called Jesus, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

On behalf of the writers of The Daily Dose of Encouragement,

Merry Christmas to all!

How Close Are You to the Christ Child?

How Close Are You to the Christ Child?


So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.  He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.
Luke 2:4-5, NIV

Map_Holy_LandchelHow far is it from Nazareth to Bethlehem? About 100 miles. Not far by car or tourist bus. Pretty far by foot. Very far if you’re nine months pregnant.

Did you know there’s no biblical evidence that Mary, the mother of Jesus, rode a donkey? Chances are good that she walked. Ever since my first child was born on December 20, I’ve claimed Mary’s trip to Bethlehem ranks as one of the great miracles of the Bible!

In addition to physical barriers, Mary also had to overcome cultural barriers. Nazareth was in Galilee while Bethlehem was in Judea. And travelers to Judea usually went around Samaria to avoid the half-breeds who were detested by the Jews.

Mary had to overcome gender issues. She would have as her “midwife” a man with whom she’d never been intimate. How embarrassing! How frightening, as well. Would she not have welcomed a female companion, especially one who had given birth before?

In her willingness to be God’s servant (Luke 1:38), Mary overcame all of these barriers. She gave birth to the Christ child, heard his cries and coos, and wrapped his little body to keep him warm—for your sake and mine. Then she rested—the King of Kings nestled at her side.

How far are you from the living Christ? What barriers do you have to overcome to keep Him near and dear at your side? What obstacles keep Him away? Perhaps, like me, your degree of closeness to Jesus may have more to do with distractions than physical distance.

Resolve this Christmas Eve to put all else aside and welcome Christ—anew and afresh—into your heart today.