every day is New Year’s Day?

I do love beginnings.  They are so full of promise and possibilities.  They are so full of hope.  Beginnings are a fresh start, a clean slate waiting for me to write anything I want on it.  A clean slate, not yet filled with the mistakes I made yesterday. Beginnings are a fresh snowfall, unspoiled by anyone’s tracks, inviting me to leave whatever footprints I want in the unbroken blanket of white that covers everything in sight with beauty and mystery.

Beginnings are full of second chances and third chances and millionth chances. Beginnings are a chance to get it right, to rectify the wrongs of a different day. Beginnings are a gift, the gift of a do-over.  

Tomorrow will be a new day.  Tomorrow will also be the first day of a new year and the first day of a new decade.  We may pay more attention to tomorrow as a new day because it is New Year’s Day but in truth every day is a new day, a fresh start, a new beginning.  Lamentations 3:21-23 confirms this saying,

“Of this I remind myself, therefore I still have hope: Because of the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed; His compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness.”

I count on that promise from Lamentations.  I count on God’s compassion and mercy never running out but instead being present with me, available to me and actually overflowing towards me.  His love and His compassion surround me new every morning.  My Heavenly Father shows His mercy to me new every morning.  His forgiveness allows me to start each day with a clean slate, full of hope, full of purpose, full of faith, knowing that He will walk with me again today, no matter what the day holds in store for me.

Because of Lamentations 3:23 “They (God’s great love, compassions and mercies) are new every morning;” every day is New Year’s Day.  (well minus the football and time off work)  I don’t have to wait for three hundred sixty-four days to experience another fresh start, clean slate kind of a new beginning.  I can have that experience each day just for the asking.

“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”  (Psalm 51:10)

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”   (Isaiah 43:18-19)

” . . .   I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.  . . . I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.  But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:12-14)

With my Heavenly Father, every day is New Year’s Day.  With each new day I have the opportunity to re-evaluate, to recommit, to reconcile, to resolve anew to live with purpose and with passion for the One who created me.  “For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”  (Psalm 139:13-14)

Each new day is a gift from God, not just New Year’s Day.  “I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.”   (Psalm 3:5)

“All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.   . . .    When I awake, I am still with you.”  (Psalm 139:16, 18)

Lord, I thank You for each and every new day, not just New Year’s Day.  I thank You that Your mercies to me are new every morning.  I thank you for new beginnings, clean slates, fresh starts, overflowing forgiveness and the miracle of Your mercy towards me.

Lord, teach me to number my days aright, that I might gain a heart of wisdom.  (Psalm 90:12)

” ‘Come now, let us reason together,’ says the Lord.  ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.’ ”     (Isaiah 1:18)

every day is a day to rejoice and to celebrate a new beginning; every day is a day full of possibility yet empty, waiting for me to fill it with good things – acts of kindness, words of encouragement, prayers of praise, hands that offer help, ears that listen well, tears for the hurting, comfort for those who mourn,   . . .

“This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”  (Psalm 118:24)

sincerely,                 Grace Day






the BUMP is back – part 2 (or 3?)

yes, it’s true – the BUMP is back!  Well actually the BUMP never left, it is right where it has always been.  It is the warning sign preceding the BUMP that is back, (again) a newer, updated version – bolder and brighter than ever.

I had not walked the golf course in quite a few months, so imagine my surprise when I came across my familiar old BUMP sign painted on the cement path, now transformed into something new.  The once bright blue letters boldly proclaiming “BUMP” had faded over time due to weather and traffic on the path.  Now letters of yellow-gold glowingly, glaringly proclaimed BUMP to all who walked this path.

These letters were painted over the now faded blue letters, but traces of the old blue warning were still visible beneath the new letters, peaking out from underneath the edges of the glowing yellow-gold letters that had replaced them.  I guess someone thought people like myself were no longer paying attention to the BUMP warning, so drastic action needed to be taken.  The warning itself remained the same, it just needed to be re-presented more boldly to get my attention.

The hazard that is the BUMP had not increased nor changed in any way – just the warning had been updated.  The old warning had become familiar and faded, commonplace, no longer commanding the attention necessary to deliver a heads up to the unsuspecting walker or jogger.

This got me to thinking – as I begin this New Year are there warnings I need to update so that I once again take notice of them?   Have I learned to ignore certain warning signals rather than give heed to what they are telling me?

One such warning comes to mind immediately.  I have been driving with my tire pressure warning light on for more than a month now.  I got so tired of taking my car in, that I have just ignored this warning light and kept on driving.  It no longer gets my attention.  I am used to it.  It has become normal.  (just like the blue BUMP warning became normal, but the new glowing yellow-gold BUMP got my attention today.)  The message hadn’t changed, I just needed to notice it once again and make the necessary course correction.

Do I need to update any warning signs for the new year?  What warnings have I stopped paying attention to as I go about my day?  Maybe something like, “danger-failure to forgive may damage your relationships” or “beware-hatred is hazardous to your health.”  How about “look out for liars – don’t believe everything you hear.” or “proceed with care – selfishness and greed may be harmful to your heart” or “caution – entering gossip & slander zone.”  or  “enter at your own risk – bullying practiced here.” or “cannot be held responsible for outcomes occurring apart from prayer”  or “danger – casting of stones may occur without warning.”

All these warnings are meant to give me a heads up as to what lies ahead, giving me a chance to adjust my attitudes and behavior thereby avoiding the negative if not dire consequences that awaited me if I continued on with my unforgiveness, or hatred or selfishness or any number of things.

Ephesians 5:15 puts it to me very clearly, warning me to “Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.”

Maybe I need to revisit and to repost the warning signs in my life that keep me from veering off the path that God has for me.  Things like the warning to “lean not to my own understanding but in all my ways to acknowledge God, and let Him direct my path.”     (Proverbs 3:5-6)

If any of God’s warnings have become too faded and too familiar maybe I need to repaint them, to rewrite them on my heart anew so that they will again get my attention before it is too late, before I encounter the BUMP.

warnings like “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!”  (1 Corinthians 10:12)

or Jesus’ warning to “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.  There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.  What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.”  (Luke 12:1-3)

that warning is as clear as the glaring yellow-gold BUMP letters on my walking path for sure!

so is this one, “But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”   (Matthew 6:15)

and this one, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.”    (Philippians 2:3)

“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked.  A man reaps what he sows.  The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”  (Galatians 6:7-8)

“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”  (Proverbs 4:23)

this is possibly the most profound warning of them all, to have my heart right before my Heavenly Father.  To have a heart able to recognize and receive His compassionate warnings to me –  warnings meant to protect me and to guide me.

To this end, I desire that God keep my heart from becoming stony and give me a heart of flesh.  God’s words are living and active, though they may become familiar, their power to warn and to protect me doesn’t fade with time, circumstance and weather, like the BUMP warning did.

My BUMP warning was intentionally made new again.  I want to be intentional about renewing God’s warnings to me as well, by revisiting His word and letting it teach and transform me all over again.

“I have hidden Your word in my heart that I might not sin against You.”  (Psalm 119:11)

sincerely,        Grace Day







when He comes again

we are on the eve of our annual celebration of the night when Jesus was born – the night when the Word became flesh and made His home with us for a little while, the night when the angels sang, the night when time was torn in two.  That night the universe stood still, pausing to hear a baby’s cry – a light had come into the darkness and the darkness would never overcome it.

Such was Jesus’ entrance upon the earth that He had created all those years ago. It wasn’t a grand entrance by anyone’s standard.  Jesus came as a helpless baby, born in a small village, to poor parents – His birth went mostly unnoticed by an unsuspecting world, except for His parents who had things explained to them by an angel, the shepherds who were also notified by an angel, and the wise men who were watching for His arrival.  The rest of the world went on as if nothing special had happened.  They had no clue that the promised Messiah had come.

Now, more than two thousand years later we are celebrating Jesus’ first appearance on earth even as we wait expectantly for His promised return.

But when Jesus comes again, it is going to be very different from His first appearance here.  I learn something about what to expect in Acts 1:9-11 where I read, “After He (Jesus) said this, He was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid Him from their sight.  They (the disciples) were looking intently up into the sky as He was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them.  ‘Men of Galilee,’ they said, ‘why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen Him go into heaven.’ ”

“Look, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of Him.  So shall it be!  Amen.”   (Revelation 1:7)

” ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’  At that time men will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory.  And He will send His angels and gather His elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.”  (Mark 13:24-27)

Not many people living at the time of Jesus’ birth were aware of His arrival on this earth.  But when Jesus comes to earth again, no one will miss the event.  It will be impossible to do so.

“For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.  After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.  And so we will be with the Lord forever.”   (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)

Jesus said He would come back for us, “And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am.”  (John 14:3)   That’s a promise I can count on.

Christmas is the celebration of Jesus’ first appearance on earth, we remember how God took on flesh and lived among us for awhile.  We remember that He also took on our sin, paid our price with His death and secured our eternity with Him when He rose from His grave on the third day.

Jesus has told us that He is coming again.  But this time no one will miss His arrival.  When He comes again He will wipe away every tear, He will end all our suffering and He will set all things right.  When He comes again He will bring His peace to rule over our constant conflicts.  When He comes again He will bring His reconciliation into all our relationships.  When He comes again He will bring His healing into all our infirmities.  When He comes again His light will vanquish our darkness permanently.  When He comes again His righteousness will prevail and His justice will rule.

When He comes again   . . .   no one will miss it – everyone will see it together  . . .

“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief.  The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.   . . .  That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and elements will melt in the heat.  But in keeping with His promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.”  (2 Peter 3:10-13)

When He comes again   . . .

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.  . . .   I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them.  They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God.  He will wipe every tear from their eyes.  There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’  He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ ”  (Revelation 21:1-5)

When He comes again   . . .

“But we know that when He appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”    (1 John 3:2)

When He comes again    . . .

”  . . .  we will all be changed – in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.  For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.”    (1 Corinthians 15:51-52)

When He comes again    . . .

sincerely,        Grace Day







Secret Santas ARE real!

at least that’s what my sister tells me – and she should know – she recently had an encounter with one!  I recently wrote a post about this very thing, this very phenomenon, entitled “Secret Santa – secret service” but it was only a dream that perhaps such persons still existed.  Now I know that they are alive and well and on the move among us, all because of what happened to my sister.

She had taken her class and another class of special needs children to the mall to see Santa, have their pictures taken with him and eat lunch.  It was a school field trip for students who don’t usually get to take many field trips.  They were eating lunch in the food court of a busy mall, no small undertaking considering the differing ability levels of each child, necessitating lots of support and assistance from the teachers and the aides who were with them.

As my sister was watching her coworkers interacting with the students, she was thinking how patient, caring, and attentive she saw them being to the students in their care.  Suddenly a man came up behind her and asked if he could give Starbucks gift cards to her and to each of her coworkers.  He said he had been watching and admiring how they treated each of the students in their care with such dignity and compassion.

My sister accepted his kind gesture, but when she turned around to thank him again, he had vanished!  She wondered if he was real, but the gift cards were very real.  Not only that, but later when she and the others opened their gift cards there was also a twenty dollar bill in each one!

Dear readers, this was such a fun and inspiring story, I just had to share it with you!  This is truly right hand – left hand giving at its best, truly undercover without blowing your cover stuff, truly top secret, secret service, a mission accomplished maneuver.

He got in, he assessed the situation, fulfilled the objective, and made a clean getaway. No one knows his name, he didn’t leave a business card or anything to link him to the scene of the good deed, he won’t be able to deduct his generous gifts on his income taxes, he won’t be recognized in a newsletter or at an awards banquet – he is truly a secret servant – his anonymity the measure of his success.

This secret servant brightened the day of my sister and her coworkers, blessing them with something unexpected, the monetary gift, yes, but more than that an acknowledgement that someone saw, recognized and appreciated the very special work they do each and everyday with the very special students they are privileged to teach.  That day in the mall, my sister and the other teachers were not invisible!

“Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Gather in heaven.  So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men.  I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.  But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret.  Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”    (Matthew 6:1-4)

long live Secret Santas, secret servants, secret agents of good in this world!

sincerely,      Grace Day











a ritual to remember

that’s what rituals do you know, they help us to remember things or events that we don’t want to forget.  Birthdays, for example, we celebrate them every year, our own and those of others.  Lot’s of rituals and traditions are associated with this celebration such as cake, candles. wishes, presents and even a song specific to the occasion.  Why do we do this?  To remember the day we were born?  are we afraid we’ll forget?  and just what are we celebrating?  another year of life?  gratitude for another person’s presence in our life?  in essence saying to them, “I’m glad you were born!  let’s celebrate!”

We usually celebrate the birthdays of those still living, but we do celebrate the birthdays of some famous people who have long since left this earth.  Of course, those celebrations may get merged together, as with Presidents’ Day, in memory of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington.  Do we really remember them and what they did for our country?  or is it just a day off from school and work with not a thought as to why?  What’s the point of the celebration or ritual if it doesn’t cause us or help us to remember what it is that we are celebrating and why?

Have you ever been at a birthday celebration where someone just “came for the cake”?  Or maybe they gave themselves away during the singing of the birthday song, when they didn’t know the name of the person to whom they were singing! If that isn’t a clue that they have no idea what or who they are celebrating, I don’t know what would be.

Christmas is a birthday celebration.  It is a ritual of remembrance that seemingly is celebrated all over the world, across many languages, nations and cultures. Christmas is the ultimate birthday party bash.  It has not just one birthday song, but countless carols written over the years.  It has not just one cake, but cakes, cookies, pies, candies, treats of every kind imaginable.  And candles?  Candles are not just on a cake, they are everywhere you look.  In windows, in churches, in homes, inside and outside, candles light up the darkness.

And presents?  Retailers live for Christmas!  They count on people buying gifts, multiple gifts, so many gifts as they participate in the birthday celebration of Christmas.  Ironically, we give these gifts to each other instead of to the person whose birthday we are celebrating.  This is quite the twist on the usual custom of bringing and bestowing gifts on the person whose birthday party we are attending.

But what if we don’t know whose birthday everyone around us is celebrating?  Or we know whose birthday it is, but we don’t really know (or maybe aren’t crazy about) him or her?  Do we just go for the cake?  Why should we miss out on all the good food, the presents and the fun just because we don’t exactly know what all the fuss is about?  We don’t exactly know what’s so special about this person, who was born so long ago (two thousand nineteen years ago to be exact) that the whole world still takes time off to celebrate and to remember His birthday every year.

Why?  Could it be that Christmas is more than just another birthday party? another reason for cake and candles and time off work?  Why is Jesus’ birth more celebration worthy than any other?  The answer to that question unlocks the key to the true meaning of Christmas which often lies hidden underneath piles of presents or it gets lost in the frantic scramble to prepare the party.  So much so that we no longer remember Who we are celebrating.

So we celebrate without the remembering.  And when we do, we find the party leaves us empty, more empty and unsatisfied than we were before we attended the party.  We attend but we never even meet or spend time with the guest of honor, the Person whose birthday it is.  If there is nothing for us to remember, there is no reason for us to rejoice.  We have nothing to celebrate.

If only we realized that we are all invited to Jesus’ birthday party, that we all have cause to celebrate His birth because He came for each and everyone of us!  Jesus is God’s gift to the world.  There are those who refuse God’s gift but no one is excluded from God’s invitation to come to the party, to meet and to know and then to celebrate His Son.

Jesus’ birth is the most extraordinary event in human history.  Long foretold by prophets like Isaiah, the Israelites had been waiting centuries for their promised Messiah, the One who would deliver them from all their suffering and oppression. Only problem is, when Jesus was born, they did not recognize Him as their promised Deliverer and King.  They expected God to send someone with position, power and prestige to rescue them, someone who would arrive with great fanfare and earthly pomp and circumstance.

Jesus’ birth contained none of those elements.  It was the opposite of what they were expecting.  Born in an obscure location, to poor parents who had nowhere to stay, forcing them to spend Jesus’ first night in a stable with the animals, Jesus’ entrance into our world seemed less than noteworthy.  (well, except for the angels talking to the shepherds, one spectacular star, and some kings from other countries traveling great distances just to see and to worship Him – otherwise pretty routine stuff)

Why celebrate Jesus’ birthday every December 25th?  What is it we need to be reminded of once again?  That God came down to live among us for awhile?  That He kept His promise to send us a Savior?

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.   . . .   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 1:1, 14)

“She will give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.”     (Matthew 1:21)

Those are two pretty incredible things for us to remember, and when we do recall what God did for us when He sent Jesus, we most certainly have reason to celebrate.

Simeon understood this.  Simeon was a man waiting for God to send the Savior that He had promised His people so many years before.  In Luke 2:28-32 we read what Simeon had to say when he encountered the baby Jesus in the temple courts, “Simeon took Him (Jesus) in his arms and praised God, saying: ‘Sovereign Lord, as You have promised, You now dismiss Your servant in peace.  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.’ ”

Jesus had come into the world and the world would never be the same again. Simeon knew this.  I know this too.  But it seems I need to be reminded or I forget just what it is that I am celebrating when I celebrate Jesus’ birth.  Because you see, the baby in the manger became the Christ on the cross.  When I celebrate Jesus’ birth, I am also remembering and celebrating His sacrificial death on the cross and His victorious resurrection, conquering death for all time.  That’s a lot to celebrate!

When I celebrate Jesus’ birth, I am celebrating the lifting of the law, the tearing of the curtain, the forgiveness of my sin, God’s gift of salvation, God’s presence come to live with us and then in us, sealing us for the day of redemption.  Christmas is a time to remember, to reflect and to rejoice over what God did for us in sending Jesus.  I experience in Jesus’ birth the fulfillment of God’s promise to mankind, God’s faithfulness and God’s inexplicable care for me and for each one of us, in providing the sacrifice for us as He did for Abraham on that mountain so long ago, so that I can be reconciled to Him.

Christmas is a birthday party celebrating Jesus’ birth and the whole world is invited.  No one is excluded.  The rituals surrounding Christmas – presents, lights, trees, carols, nativity scenes,  all are to help us remember who and why we are celebrating.  And it is when we take the time to really remember, that we are filled with joy at what God did for us that night.

“Heaven came down and glory filled my soul”, the song says.  That night, heaven came down in the form of a newborn baby and His glory filled the sky and the unsuspecting, slumbering earth as well.

“An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord.  This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’  Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests.’ ”   (Luke 2:9-14)

The birthday party that is Christmas is our ritual of remembrance.  It is for us to remember, rejoice and share our joy with a hurting world.  They need to know the good news of Christmas.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”   (John 3:16)

“For unto us a child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be upon His shoulders.  And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end.  He will reign on David’s throne and over His kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.  The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.”  (Isaiah 9:6-7)

sincerely,          Grace Day




















oh Lord . . . give me . . .

Lord, give me ears to hear –

to hear Your gospel proclaimed – Your living words reigning down from heaven –

rising up from the deepest deep

echoing from mountain top to mountain top –

Your living words whispered in the morning mist –

sung by every star that fills the universe.

give me ears to hear Your Holy Spirit speak   . . .

give me ears to hear the cries of those You would have me serve.

Lord, give me eyes to see –

to see the beauty with which You have surrounded me,  to see

Your Presence in my every circumstance,

to see You when I am surrounded by darkness,

to see the people you put in my path, to see those individuals invisible to this world but known so well to You, because You count them precious in Your sight,

to see You above all else.

Lord, give me a mind –

to learn Your living words and thereby learn of You,

a mind to study and gain understanding from Your word,

a mind that seeks Your wisdom.

Lord, give me a heart –

a heart ready to receive Your words,

a heart willing to embrace You –

a heart where Your word can live and grow down deep,

give me an undivided heart, a heart wholly Yours –

a heart healed by Your sacrifice on the cross,

a heart made clean and new by Your blood, the blood You bled on that cross for me.

Lord, give me feet –

feet firmly fitted with the message of Your gospel,

feet ready to run, carrying Your Good News to those who have never heard,

feet ready to stand firm against the devil’s schemes,

give me feet that are “swift and beautiful” for You, as the hymn says.

Lord, give me hands –

hands that move only “at the impulse of Your love”, as I have sung so many times –

hands of healing, hands that reach out to others, hands that hold onto others’ hands even as they hold out Your hope to those who are hurting –

let me be Your hands to this wounded world, even as You hold me fast in Your own tender, Almighty hands.

Lord, give me a voice –

a voice that praises You all day long,

a voice that shares Your message of life with each and every soul,

a voice that encourages, a voice that comforts, a voice that proclaims Your love to the lost, Your hope to the hopeless –

a voice that gives You “thank offerings” without pause,

a voice of contrition, a voice of confession, a voice of repentance, a voice of compassion, a voice of rejoicing,

a voice that never ceases to lift up Your name.

“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.”   (Psalm 150:6)

“Let them sacrifice thank offerings and tell of His works with songs of joy.”  (Psalm 107:22)

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.”  (Psalm 51:10)

“Stand firm then,   . . .  with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.”  (Ephesians 6:14-15)

“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’ ”     (Isaiah 52:7)

“Ears that hear and eyes that see – the Lord has made them both.”  (Proverbs 20:12)

sincerely,            Grace Day




the power of a preposition

Oh Lord, save me FROM myself, BY Your grace, THROUGH Your Son, Jesus, FOR Your good purposes.  Help me to be IN the world but not OF the world, let Your Holy Spirit reign IN me and OVER me, walk WITH me THROUGH my trials,  may I rest UNDER the shelter OF Your protective wings, may I abide IN You and You IN me.

I think two of my favorite prepositions are “IN” and “WITH”.

“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the One who is IN you is greater than the one who is IN the world.”  (1 John 4:4)

Jesus told us to, “Abide IN Me, and I will abide IN you.  No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must abide IN the vine.”  (John 15:4)

“To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ IN you, the hope of glory.”   (Colossians 1:27)

“You will keep IN perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts IN You.”  (Isaiah 26:3)

”  . . . for IN You my soul takes refuge.  I will take refuge IN the shadow of Your wings until the disaster has passed.”   (Psalm 57:1)

“Yet I am always WITH You; You hold me by my right hand.  You guide me WITH Your counsel, and afterward You will take me into glory.”  (Psalm 73:23-24)

“So do not fear, for I am WITH you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.”  (Isaiah 41:10)

”  . . . Be strong and courageous.  Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be WITH you wherever you go.”  (Joshua 1:9)

“If anyone loves Me, he will obey My teaching.  My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home WITH him.”  (John 14:23)

the last thing Jesus said to His disciples was, “And surely I am WITH you always, to the very end of the age.”   (Matthew 28:20)

Christ IN me and Christ WITH me!  Two truths revealed through the power of the preposition.

“But now IN Christ Jesus you who once were FAR away have been brought NEAR THROUGH the blood of Christ.”  (Ephesians 2:13)

what truly, astoundingly good news this is!

sincerely,    Grace Day





what’s The Word ?

just what word are we talking about?  the word on the street?  word of mouth? the word of the day?  a word to the wise?

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  . . .  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 1:1, 14)

There it is! – found in those words from John – the definition of, the explanation of, the revelation of – Christmas!

Words often take on a life of their own, they seem to have a power all their own. But some words seem to pack more of a punch than other words.  Why is that? Maybe it’s because, as mom always said, we need to “consider the source”. Meaning we need to take into account the origin of the words that we are hearing. Still good advice today when I consider how much impact and influence someone else’s words can potentially have on me and over me.

So it was these thoughts that were running through my mind as I pondered the question, “What does it mean to hold firm to the Word of life?”  (Philippians 3:16) First I have to identify just what is the Word of life that Paul is instructing the Philippians to hold onto?

Jesus taught, “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”  (Matthew 4:4)  So it is God’s words that are life sustaining.

Moses recited God’s words to all Israel telling them, “Take to heart all the words I have solemnly declared to you this day,   . . .  They are not just idle words for you – THEY ARE YOUR LIFE.  By them you will live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.”  (Deuteronomy 32:45-47)

In Deuteronomy 32:1-2 I also read about God’s words being life giving words.  “Listen, O heavens, and I will speak; hear, O earth, the words of My mouth.  Let My teaching fall like rain and My words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants.”

God’s words are life to me.  God’s words give me life just like the rain and the dew give life to every living, growing thing.  God’s words are the Word of life that Paul was telling the Philippians not to let go of; they are the Word of life that I must figure out how to hold onto and they are found in His Book, the Bible.

So how do I “hold firm to the Word of life”?  I need to read the Word, to memorize the Word, to know the Word, to recall the Word a thousand times a day, to study the Word, to understand the Word.  I need to obey the Word  “But be doers of the Word and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”  (James 1:22)  –  I need to “Let the Word of Christ dwell in me richly  . . . with gratitude in my heart to God.”  (Colossians 3:16)

so that the Word can nourish me, I need to allow the Word to transform me, to guide me, to teach me, to train me and to sustain me.  The Living Word brings me joy and gives me hope.  The Living Word protects me, it guards my heart and my mind – it arms me against danger.  The Living Word is my weapon of choice against the lies of the enemy.

“Take  . . . the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.”  (Ephesians 6:17)

“For the Word of God is living and active.  Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”   (Hebrews 4:12)

The Living Word keeps me from being conformed to the culture around me while it renews me in my inner being.  “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”  (Romans 12:2)

It is God’s word that renews my mind and keeps me in His perfect peace.

“Your statutes are my delight; they are my counselors.”  (Psalm 119:24)

God’s living Word shows me the way I should go, it helps me not to dishonor the Heavenly Father I love.

“Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.”  (Psalm 119:105)

“I have hidden Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against You.” (Psalm 119:11)

I may be attempting to hold firm to the Word of life but it is the Word of life that sustains me, holding me fast through all of life’s twists and turns.

“The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the Word of our God stands forever.”  (Isaiah 40:8)

sincerely,       Grace Day







the forgotten gift of Christmas

so many gifts under the tree, I wonder how many are there for me?

I open them quickly, one by one –  then I feel kinda sad when I’m all done.

is that all there is?  is there nothing more?  I guess what I want can’t be found in a store.

it can’t be bought and it can’t be sold – I don’t even know its name, if truth be told.

But there must be some gift that could fill my empty space, something or someone -I don’t know the name or face.

the face of forgiveness, the face of love – the face of God, come down from above.

God’s gift to me lay in a manger lowly, the commonplace now transformed by the Presence of the Holy.

God’s gift to me, so unexpected,  This gift of Christmas so often rejected.

the package is a manger, holding a Baby small,  those who accept the present, find the greatest gift of all.

The gifts God gives of hope and joy – are better to me than any new toy.

The manger was full of peace and of light,  full of God’s plan to make all things right.

I was looking for my Christmas gift under the Christmas tree, but I found it right where God had said, it was in the Nativity!

“But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid.  I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord.  This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’ ”  (Luke 2:10-12)

sincerely,     Grace Day

(taken from the book “Looking for Christmas” by Grace Day)