The Best Gift

I’ve spent the last few days frantically trying to purchase Christmas presents for my family. It has been difficult, so much so that I still don’t’ know what I’m going to buy my husband. I want to get him the best gift, not just something to spend money but something with meaning. It seems this time of year, more people focus on that same idea; what is best and means the most. It isn’t always easy.

Let’s face it; it often seems more like a money-making machine than a time to give gifts to the ones we love and celebrate the birth of our Savior.

One problem I’ve had with shopping is making sure I’m spending the same amount of money on my husband that he spends on me; this isn’t always possible. Last year he surprised me with new wedding rings, how can you top something so meaningful and beautiful. I bought him a garage door opener.

The big thing about those two gifts, the rings, and the garage-door opener, is that it was something we both wanted. I had been planting the seed for a while that I wanted new rings, not because I didn’t love the set he bought me twenty-eight years ago, but because I had lost stones in that set and they no longer fit. He had been planting the seed for his desire for a garage-door opener for years.

Planting seeds are essential, not only when it comes to gift giving but in every area of our life.  When we plant seeds in fertile ground, it grows into something great. When we are fertile ground, we grow and flourish into the person God has created us to be.

That’s what makes Debbie Johnson’s new book, A Pocket of Seeds so great. It is a one-devotional that plants a seed every day. Each one is more than just enriching your soul but puts the focus on others. With each day, there is a Daily Seed, an action plan to plant the seed of hope into someone else’s life.

Galatians 6:7 “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.”

How are you sowing into someone’s life? What gift are you giving to others that God can flourish in your life? Use Debbie’s new book as a catalyst to plant the seed in those around you and start the New Year off just right.

“What did God whisper to my soul? “Watch me work.” – Debbie Johnson

What is an excellent opportunity to watch God work?

Have a very Merry Christmas.

Talking to Jesus

I’m going through a season. My mother had a stroke, and I went to Florida to help take care of her and my younger siblings.  It didn’t seem like that big of a deal when I decided to go; I’ve always had a busy schedule, so taking on this new reality will be a breeze.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.  I didn’t think about how it would affect me to get up every day, get the girls ready for school, get them to school, go to the hospital, get the girls from school, get supper together, homework, baths, stories, bedtime, wash, rinse, and repeat. I fall into bed every night exhausted, having little or no time for anything other than schoolwork.

Somewhere along the lines, I realized I was missing something vital.  I was missing my prayer time; I was missing my time with Jesus.  In all the rush to get everything taken care of, I wasn’t taking care of myself, and I miss the most vital part of my life because of my new obligations.

I let chaos take precedence over priority.

Even after I realized what was going on, it was still difficult to set aside time to seek the Lord and talk to him like I so desperately needed. So, Jeannie Blackmer’s book, Talking to Jesus, came at just the right time.

            Talking to Jesus is a reminder that prayer is a conversation with Jesus, taking a look at different people in the book of Matthew and their conversations with Jesus.  From the Leper to the Disciples, Blackmer uses a unique way to tell the Biblical story and gives a Personal Response to make the stories more relatable in our modern world.

“No matter how discouraged or disgusted you may feel with yourself, no one is unworthy of Jesus’ touch, no matter what.” – Jeannie Blackmer

Each devotion also has a Reflection section with scriptures to help you talk to God through your situation and an Observation section with questions to prompt you to dig deeper.

We all have real-life situations where we struggle with finding our voice with God.  Talking with Jesus is a great book to help you find your voice and slow you down for a few minutes to spend much-needed time, talking to Jesus.

“One of the great privileges as a believer is the gift we’ve been given to talk to Jesus as our redeemer and our best friend. Pray persistently with faith, thanksgiving, and humility. Pray with others and for others. Pray without ceasing and then watch and listen.”

For your chance to win a copy of Talking to Jesus, leave a comment below; I would love to hear how you make time to talk to God.