And it's a White Christmas in Alabama!
Merry Christmas to all my friends far and near!
Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her.
In the Middle East, men usually represent their families in any official or legal matters. Why did Joseph take Mary with him to Bethlehem for the registration? The easiest explanation is that he was unsure what might happen to her if he left her in Nazareth without his presence to protect her. It behooves us to see Joseph as a hero of the story without whose courage and understanding of the prophets there would have been no Christmas story to tell. (Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes: Cultural Studies in the Gospels, Kenneth O. Bailey, p.46)The picture of Joseph, protector of his bride, is a new one to me. Mary was known in Nazareth - known as the one who was with child while betrothed. Not an honorable position; recall the taunts of those in Jesus' own hometown, "Isn't this Mary's son?" What could have happened to her - the supposed unfaithful one - without her faithful husband's protection? Recall the Old Testament penalty for adultery. . . . . .
God gives all of his disciples the same amount of limited amount of time each day, and a host of choice points. Those choice points are tests: how will you react and respond to the people and situations you encounter today in a world full of sinners? The results of our reactions and responses to the tests shape us and others. That’s how God sanctifies us, and forwards His amazing plans. God gives all of His people others to love each day as part of His training process. But, to only a chosen few of His children, God gives homeschooling. We homeschooling moms are assigned a very limited number of people, who matter to us greatly, to love. Being imperfect, we often fail. Being our Father, God knows what He’s up to. He’s changing us into the image of Christ by the perfect means for each of us individually. If you are homeschooling because of a call of God on your life to do so, then this is the context in which you are to walk out the primary commands of God: love Him and love your neighbor as yourself.
Awake! Why are you sleeping, O Lord?And - interestingly enough - we've had enough conversations with friends lately that have made us realize that the Ugly Head of Perfection needs to be soundly beaten back from our midst. Enough conversations where the other party expresses with wonder, "You too?" and there is a fellowship in the pain and confusion, a sweet embrace of the reality that says yes, we are hurting and yes, we are broken, but God - He is sufficient.
Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever!
Why do you hide your face?
Why do you forget our affliction and oppression?
For our soul is bowed down to the dust;
our belly clings to the ground.
Rise up; come to our help!
Redeem us for the sake of your steadfast love! (Psalm 44: 23-26)