Behold The King!

Behold the King!

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

The winner of the Receiving God’s Love Bible Study is quietspirit!

Merry Christmas!

Book Review: Heaven In Her Arms by Catherine Hickem

“God’s personal selection of Mary to be the mother of His Son is worthy of our faithful attention.”
~Catherine Hickem
I have to admit when I first saw the title of Catherine Hickem’s book, Heaven in Her Arms- Why God Chose Mary to Raise His Son and What It Means For You, my interest was peaked. I have always been drawn to the faith of this unassuming, young woman of the Bible who has through various denominations been deified, defended, glorified, minimized, scrutinized and idolized. 
As for me, I knew if there is one lady in scripture who could teach me something, it is Mary.
Mary, the Mother of God.
Mary, the Maidservant of The Lord.
Mary, the humble Jewish girl.
Mary, the wife of Joseph.
Mary the Virgin Mother.
Mary, the tender, submissive, faithful mother to Jesus.
Mary, a woman who both inspires, intimidates and baffles.
Mary, an Icon.
Indeed, I had no problem being drawn to this book, like a moth to flame.
But here is the clincher. 
I did not anticipate that this would be the most encouraging book
 I have ever read on motherhood.
Catherine’s years of experience as a licensed psychotherapist, 
background in social work balanced with solid doctrine and faith mingle 
together to birth wisdom, truth and inspiration for Moms.
She peels back the skin and helps us connect to the real life lessons and invaluable truths that unfold in scripture in the life of our heroine. She empowers us in our calling and equips us with wisdom that is translatable to our unique circumstances. 
Catherine’s book is full of quotable quotes and I found myself  carried along into the life of Mary, in the stable, in the synagogue, at the Wedding of Cana and at the side of Jesus throughout His life and ministry. 
So often we look at the life of the disciples. The twelve.
Yet there is much to learn from this young girl, chosen by God.
So often she is either made holier than intended or dismissed due to a variety of misunderstandings and misguided perceptions.
Mary is no more than the Mother of God, but she is also no less.
As Catherine states in the Prologue-she is worthy of our attention.
I believe you will gain a deeper appreciation and understanding of Mary through this well written book.
I especially want to invite moms to check this fine book out.
Catherine excels at speaking to the hearts of moms who have children who have unique challenges as well as those who want a closer connection to God with regard to their role as a mother.
“God is always looking for a woman who will let Him come in and redeem her past mistakes, heal her heart, and make a new future for her family”
~Catherine Hickem
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
I review for BookSneeze®

Coming Back To Mary

Kissing the Face of God by Morgan Weistling

 Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!
Luke 1:45 

 Which character in the Christmas story is speaking to you this year?

The mall was crowded. The lights and glitz assaulted her eyes and mind from every direction. Her heart was heavy. It was almost Christmas. She felt empty as she walked from store to store. She longed for the aching in her heart to stop. She knew about God. She knew about Jesus. Yet, it all seemed long ago and faraway. She knew the story. She knew the birth. Yet, in this moment, in this place, it seemed as distant as a star. She thought about the star. She pondered the story. Yet she had not emerged new. She felt old. She looked through the glass display case. She longed to take hold of something she could not comprehend. But what was it? She had no name for it. There was no place for Hypocrisy and Religion in her life; that couple who had married and conceived lies. She longed for authentic faith. But she couldn’t believe. Why, she wondered? But God knew. She continued to look at the sparkling jewels. Shiny, whispers of  light. They were pretty and distracting. She lost herself in the beauty and colors of the stones, gems and trinkets. As she walked around watching everyone busy themselves with shopping, she wondered again in her mind. Mary. Favored by God. The more she knew, the less she understood. With child. Unmarried. Good news? She did not get it at all. It bothered her. It was the stirring of the birth of faith in her heart.
She wondered about Mary’s faith. How could she believe? It all seemed scary and unknown. How was it that Mary was able to have faith in the reality of it all? I mean it is so clear in hindsight. But hindsight was not what Mary had, after all. But, faith is what Mary displayed. Quiet confidence and trust in The Everlasting. It was this faith that she could not comprehend that drew her deeper into the query. It consumed her. Even now as she looked for a tiny cross to encourage herself, to gain hope again. A gift for herself from herself, to bring her back to the tiny seed of faith that was planted and crushed so long ago.

But, it was almost Christmas. 

She asked the jewelry salesgirl to see the cross. It was at that moment she saw a medallion with Mary on it. She inquired of the salesgirl who immediately retrieved it. “I would like to have it, please”, she said.

She put the medallion on the chain around her neck.
It reminded her of something she remembered from childhood.
Something good but lost.
She left the mall with her mind swirling.
I want to believe, she thought.
In her mind she thought about the young virgin.
How could she believe?
By outward appearance and reality Mary’s world would be turned upside down.
Love did that to Mary.
But what was accomplished through Mary,
because of her faith in God’s divine plan,
 is etched out in history forever.

After all we know that “history” is really all His Story. 

Early in my Christian walk, it was Mary’s life who God most used to draw me into a deeper, 
trusting relationship of faith with Himself. He used her humility, simple faith, and example to lead me to the feet of the King of Kings, her Son, My Savior and Lord-Jesus Christ to the Glory of God the Father. This Christmas I consider her again and more so now that I am further along in years, and faith; Having had my own life turned upside down due to the Lord’s plan or my own sin and foolishness, yet still finding Him faithful and true in it all. This year I am coming back to Mary and the sweet, beautiful, simple faith, that birthed the faith in a manger that I hold in my heart today.

 For my eyes have seen your salvation, 
 which you have prepared in the sight of all people, 
a light for revelation to the Gentiles 
   and for glory to your people Israel.”

Luke 2:30-32

Lord Jesus, I thank you that you have given everything we need for hope and salvation in your perfect plan and wisdom. His name is Jesus and at His name alone, every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord of all to your Glory! Amen.

I am blessed and grateful to be linking up for the first time with Bonnie over at Faith Barista

What Child Is This?

Haste, haste to bring Him laud, The Babe, the Son of Mary.

This morning I went to church per usual. Sunday, after all. Hurrying, to gather some goodies for my Sunday School boys. Hurrying, my morning resistant daughter out the door on time…which usually is an exercise in frustration for all parties. Hubby got to miss out on this morning’s musings as he was working. Hurrying and last minute details that always seem to rear their little heads on Sunday morning, like gremlins. 
Peace. Be still.
We rush into church. Surprise! You mean we are not in the nursery this Sunday?
 I couldn’t recall, so figured just better pop in and check! 
 Oh, very good, we can just slip quietly into service. 
The hurrying.
Peace be still.
It is good to give thanks to the Lord.
Here I am on Sunday.
Another week behind me.
Another week ahead.
Worship Him and Know He is God.
Today I was brought to tears by one of the most eloquently written Christmas Hymns. 
I was reminded of how much I need that little one who came in the manger.
The words ministered to my soul. Again.
My heart is humbled.
My hurrying exchanged for humility, grace, and awe.
The powerful history of Truth, entering time.
The power of the amazing truth shared in a beautiful song.

Sing it anew today, will you?

What child is this who laid to rest
On Mary’s lap is sleeping
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet
While shepherds watch are keeping

This, this is Christ the King
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing
Haste, haste to bring him laud
The babe, the son of Mary

Why lies he in such mean estate
Where ox and ass are feeding
Good Christian fear, for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading

So bring Him incense, gold, and myrrh
Come peasant king to own Him
The King of kings, salvation brings
Let loving hearts enthrone Him

This, this is Christ the King
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing
Haste, haste to bring him laud
The babe, the son of Mary

Words by William C. Dix 

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