Praying For You This Christmas Day

I pray you are vividly aware of the glorious presence of our Savior this Christmas. My message today is grounded in Romans 12:15

Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.”

I know many who are experiencing great joy today and others who are feeling low and lonely. Whether you find yourself at either end of that spectrum or somewhere in between, I am thinking of you and praying for you today.

Rejoice with Those Who Rejoice

If you are rejoicing in the fellowship of family and/or friends this Christmas day, I rejoice with you. When we recognize the fulfillment of the prophet’s words from so long ago, we can’t help but rejoice. Our Immanuel is with us always.

Mourn with Those Who Mourn

If you are mourning the loss of a loved one, a relationship, a job, or something else dear to you, I mourn with you. It can be hard to be bombarded with the merriment of the Christmas season when our hearts are hurting.

My prayer for you is you’ll remember our God is full of compassion and all-sufficient grace. Lean into his comforting strength this Christmas Day. Remember the words the Holy Spirit inspired the apostle Paul to pen in 2 Corinthians 12:9:

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

 

Your God is All-Sufficient

As we wrap up a year that has seen both chaos and celebration, uncertainty and confidence, and all manner of history-making, life-changing events, I pray you’ll remember we worship the One who is both on His throne and at the same time with us in our hearts.

Isaiah’s words declare God is both willing and able to provide for our need. He is truly our Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.

He is sovereign and yet so very personal. Jesus Christ loves so completely that though, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness (Philippians 2:6-7).

And the babe laid in a manger that first Christmas day, is the Messiah laid in the tomb some three decades later.

And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.”

Philippians 2:8-11 NIV

This is the One we worship this Christmas Day. May you be blessed by his presence with you today! Merry Christmas!

LauraSignatureBlog

Can you believe its already the THIRD week of Advent? I know you’re busy so I’m keeping it super short today.

Just wanted to share this little (less than a minute) video I made for you. Hope it brings a little joy to your heart as we reflect on the reason for our joy this season: Jesus, the King of Kings.

Merry Christmas,

LauraSignatureBlog

 

 

Feel free to share it if you like it. Maybe someone you know needs a little joy today.

P.S. Need a last minute easy gift? Print out these pretty lyrics to the full hymn, Joy to the World, and pop in a frame. Easy-peasy!

Send me that artwork, please!

More FREE Advent Resources for You. Enjoy!

Plus an opportunity to get 4 free personal coaching sessions with me in 2017!

I pray you are having a peace-filled week this second week of the Advent season. I’ve got a little something for just about everyone this week:

Resources for Advent Week 2: Peace

Inspiration from the Scriptures

If you’re wanting some inspiration, you’ll like the Scripture verse image. If you want to spend a little more time meditating on this verse (and the surrounding verses) check out the Coloring Page I’ve made for you down below.

luke-2_14

5 Simple Steps to PEACE if You’re Anxious

If you are feeling anxious rather than peaceful (very common this time of year), grab the cheat sheet with the summary of 5 simple steps to PEACE and replace your worry with worship. Click on the image or button below to grab the PDF.

Get your Step-By-Step Guide

Stressed out?

Download the coloring page I’ve made and spend a few minutes meditating on Luke 2:9-11.

Coloring is no longer just for kids. There is mounting scientific evidence it reduces stress in adults. According to Dr. Joel Pearson*, a brain scientist at the University of New South Wales in Australia, concentrating on coloring an image may facilitate the replacement of negative thoughts and images with pleasant ones. Try it! Click the image or button to get your coloring page.

SEND ME THAT COLORING PAGE!

Need Some Help With Challenging Relationships?

Is the thought of spending time with some challenging people got you dreading an upcoming event? You’ll want to grab the Boundaries Cheat Sheet and 7 Step Process for Solving Your Boundary Problems. I’ve got some tips to help you prepare for those office parties, family gatherings, and neighborhood get-togethers. You also might like my previous posts about boundaries and dealing with those who know just how to push your buttons.

Get your FREE Boundaries cheat sheets!

Are you beginning to make plans and set goals for 2017?

Then you will want to attend this free training by my mentor Michael Hyatt. They’ve added some more times because the sessions are maxing out, so I recommend registering ASAP to get a spot!

bye2016-webinar

I’ve enjoyed and found so much value in the past two years of Michael’s course 5 Days to Your Best Year Ever! In fact, Matt and I are going a step further this year and taking a day this weekend to create our Life Plan (using Michael’s book Living Forward). This will give us even more perspective and clarity on our goals so we are ready to dive into Michael’s course 5 Days to Your Best Year Ever when it starts later this month.

The webinar is totally free and packed with practical strategies you can put to use right now! You don’t have to buy anything to attend this master class that will equip you to set and achieve better goals in 2017.

I know the importance of personal coaching in getting you better results, faster and easier than trying to do something great on your own.** So, I’m offering 3 FREE live one-on-one coaching sessions with me in 2017 to anyone who decides to participate in Michael’s full-scale program 5 Days to Your Best Year Ever through my link. That is a $195 value for FREE!

I want to help you make 2017 your Best Year Ever! And I know Michael’s program plus some personal coaching will get you awesome results! So check out that free master class he is offering. There are several times to choose from so you can make it work with your schedule. Register for the FREE Master Class by clicking here.

A Plan for Getting in the Word this Advent Season

If you’re anything like me, you find it helpful to have a Scripture reading plan to guide your time in God’s Word. And in this extra-busy season, I need that more than ever. I’ve made a plan and am happy to share it with you. If you’d like me to email it to you, just click on the image or button below.

Send Me the Reading Plan!

Hopefully at least one of these resources above will help you have a great week full of peace!

P.S. The spots in Michael’s master class are going fast. I don’t want you to miss out of this free goal-setting advice from one of the best leaders and achievers I know.

*http://www.medicaldaily.com/therapeutic-science-ad…

** Check out my Coaching page for more info. You still get a free consultation if you’re a new client plus the 3 bonus free sessions if you purchase Michael’s course 5 Days to Your Best Year Ever via one of my links on my blog. The 3 bonus coaching sessions will be offered after February 1, 2017. The initial free consultation sessions are available via my online booking calendar. If you register for the webinar and decide later to buy 5 Days to Your Best Year Ever you’ll still get my bonus coaching session package free!

Free Resources for Advent!

Today begins Advent! A time of hope, peace, joy, and love! I want to help you connect with Christ and seek his presence during this season. So I thought I’d gather up some free resources to help you meditate on the reason for the season.  Grab any or all of the the freebies below. Just click on the button and tell me where to email it to you.

At-a-glance Calendar of the Christian Year

What is Advent? Good question.

It is the first season of the Christian year. Don’t worry, if you didn’t even know that the church operates on a different calendar year than our secular calendar, I’ve got a little calendar to help you understand the various seasons of faith.

When we familiarize ourselves with the cyclical pattern of the Christian calendar and allow it to form the foundation for our Bible reading and the lens through which we evaluate all aspects of our daily life, we will experience many benefits. In my post, Five Benefits You Can Expect When You Follow the Christian Calendar, I outlined and described five of those benefits.

Here is a quick re-cap of the benefits:

As we observe the different seasons and study their corresponding passages in Scripture, we can expect to:

  1. Recognize the presence of God and the rhythms of our relationship with him in our day-to-day life.
  2. Counteract the priorities and values espoused by the world with those espoused by God.
  3. Be equipped with both the truth and grace necessary to live victoriously in a fallen world.
  4. Unite more closely with the Body of Christ as a whole by focusing on what we have in common rather than on the less essential differences.
  5. Cultivate our understanding and experience of traditions, rituals, and celebrations.

I’ve updated the calendar to reflect the 2016-2017 dates. Enjoy!

Send Me the Calendar!

Scripture Coloring Page to Help Melt Away Stress

There are plenty of stress-triggers this time of year. Take a moment to breathe and meditate on Romans 15:13. Get your markers, crayons, or colored pencils out and let the little kid in you be in the moment with Jesus.

I WANT THAT COLORING PAGE!

Get into the Scriptures

Here is a daily reading plan to help you stay in the Word this Advent season. It features four different passages each day, one each from the: Old Testament, Psalms, Gospels or Acts, and one of the epistles or Revelation. [Updated for 2016]

Read all or just one each day to stay connected to Christ, the reason for the season.

Send Me the Reading Plan!

Extra bonus: Free e-book

This isn’t an Advent resource, but since many of us start planning for the new year during Advent, I also wanted to share this free e-book with you. Michael Hyatt, one of my mentors, asked 30+ high-achieving leaders the following question:

“What is the most important thing you do at the beginning of each year to set yourself up for your best year ever?”

Want to know how Lysa TerKeurst, Dave Ramsey, John Maxwell, Andy Andrews, Jon Acuff, and others answered? Then grab the book while it is available. I believe it will no longer be available after mid-December, so get your copy before it is gone.

bye2016-free-ebook

I’ve already read mine and gained several practical ideas that will help me plan for 2017.  Just click here or the “Get it now” button above to request your free copy.

Hope these resource provide you with tons of inspiration this Advent season! I’d love to hear what you think of them. So leave a comment below and let me know. 

You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Grow in Your Understanding of Jesus with These Reading Plans

Last week, I shared Five Benefits You Can Expect When You Follow the Christian Calendar. Based on how many readers requested the copy of the calendar, many of you want those benefits.  So, this week, I want to provide you with an introduction to the current season as well as point you in the direction of some reading plans that will help you in your quest to reap the rewards we discussed in last week’s post.

Free Reading Plans and Free Calendar

Count on Growing During Epiphany

Epiphany, which was on January 6, celebrated the arrival of the Magi to worship Jesus. Matthew’s account (See Matthew 2) highlights the message that all who are willing to recognize who Jesus is are welcome to come and worship him. This King of the Jews is Savior of all who would receive him.

Depending on denomination, the time from January 6 until Ash Wednesday, is known as the season of Epiphany or Ordinary Time (as in ordinal or order of things). The Sundays are referred to by their order after Epiphany (for example, Second Sunday after the Epiphany).

In some traditions, this season is referred to as Growing Time. Whatever we call this season, the emphasis is on the manifestation of Jesus as God Incarnate and the long-awaited Savior.

An epiphany is an appearance or manifestation of a deity. And the term can also refer to one’s gaining insight into the reality of something extraordinary through something commonplace. The counting of days as the season progresses emphasizes the concept of progression or growth.

During this season, we follow the story of Jesus growing in wisdom and stature from the infant worshiped by the Magi to the pre-teen sitting among the teachers in the Temple astounding all who heard him (see Luke 2:40-52). One of the highlights of this theme of growing in revelation and understanding is the account of Jesus’ baptism (see Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22; John 1:31-34).

Our understanding of who Jesus is continues to expand as we read of his miracles and teaching throughout the Gospels. And the season of epiphany reaches its climax in the account of the Transfiguration (see Luke 9:28-36; Matthew 17:1-8; Mark 9:2-8).

Try it!

No, really. Try it right now! Pray for the Holy Spirit to help you better understand Jesus as you read the Scriptures. Then, click on those links in the previous two paragraphs and read at least one account of each portion of Jesus’ life. As you read, pay attention to what is revealed about who Jesus is.

By focusing our Bible reading on this motif of growing in our understanding of who Jesus is, we are better prepared to reflect on our need for him. We are also better equipped to see just how uniquely and completely Jesus meets our need to be reconciled with our Creator.

Helpful Bible Reading Plans

If you haven’t focused your spiritual growth and Bible reading around the Christian Year before, I invite you to give it a try and see how enlightening it can be. There are a multitude of reading plans which will help you do this. Here are just a few you might consider:

  1. The Revised Common Lectionary (RCL)

The RCL is a three-year cycle of Scripture readings structured upon the seasons of the Christian Year. It is used to varying degrees by the vast majority of mainline Protestant churches in the United States and Canada. The list of readings was compiled by representatives of nineteen different denominations. The RCL differs somewhat from the Roman Catholic lectionary, primarily as to the feast days that are specifically observed by the Roman Catholic Church.

  1. The Book of Common Prayer Bible Reading Plan on the YouVersion App

This plan follows the Daily Office Lectionary found in The Book of Common Prayer (1979) used worldwide by Anglicans and Episcopalians. But one doesn’t have to be a member of those denominations to benefit from the reading plan.

  1. Daily Reading Plan by the American Bible Society.

The American Bible Society has created a nice printable 2015-2016 Christian Year reading plan. It provides daily readings corresponding to the various seasons of the Christian year in a simple format that could be tucked in your Bible.

FREE Seasons of Faith Calendar

Many readers downloaded a copy of the Seasons of Faith calendar I made for you. This calendar describes each season of the Christian year and gives the 2015-2016 [Updated: 2016-17] dates for each season.

If you want to develop your own reading plan, you can review the descriptions of the themes for each season and use a topical Bible to find relevant passages to read. (That’s what I’m doing this year.)

If you haven’t requested your copy yet, it isn’t too late. Just click the image or button below and I’ll email your copy instantly!

Send Me the Calendar!

Help Choosing the Right Study or Plan

If you need a little more help selecting which Bible study or reading plan is best suited for you, check out my guest post over at Life Letter Cafe.  llc-blogger

At the end of that post, be sure pick up the free step-by-step guide to choosing the plan perfect for your learning style and schedule. The post is called How to Enjoy Reading the Bible and Get More Out of Your Time In It. It will help you evaluate those three plans above or any others you might be considering. It will also give you some ideas for where to find reading plans and Bible studies that are best suited for your needs.

How to Enjoy Reading the Bible

How about you? What type of Bible Study or reading plan are you using? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Five Benefits You Can Expect When You Follow the Christian Calendar

FREE Printable Calendar

Have you ever thought of how many different calendars influence our lives? What goes on your schedule at any point depends on which type of year you are focused. For instance, the recent changing of the calendar year on January 1 set off an avalanche of New Year’s resolutions. The fiscal calendar brings to mind budgets, bills, and taxes associated with various checkpoints of time (end-of-the-month, quarters and year-end). And for all of us parents, the school calendar dominates many of our plans. In fact, a look at one’s calendar quickly shows where one’s priorities are. Does the calendar framework you use keep the first thing first? What should be our first priority? Well according to Colossians 1:17-18, first place goes to Jesus Christ! And guess what, there is a calendar framework that is ideal for helping us keep Jesus in his rightful place.

But many people are only vaguely aware (or maybe not at all aware) of the Christian calendar. I’ve decided to intentionally structure this year’s ministry calendar on the foundation of the historical Christian year because of the many benefits it provides. If you’d like to reap these same rewards in your life, keep reading and be sure to grab the free calendar I’ve made you!

Unlock Five Wonderful Benefits By Following This Calendar

If you don’t have a background in a liturgical congregation, you might be unfamiliar, and possibly even uncomfortable, with this calendar. You may hear the word “liturgical” and think ridged, monotonous, arcane rituals. Or, you might just scratch your head and wonder, “So what?”

Or, perhaps you are somewhat familiar with the seasons of the church year. The words Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter are not total strangers to you, but these seem like islands in an otherwise unconnected tide of days, weeks, and months.

A Proven Method for Building Unity in Diversity

The concept of reverently experiencing and sharing the story of Jesus and the Gospel message through a Christian calendar dates back centuries upon centuries to the time of the early church. Yet, no place in the New Testament do we have God commanding set dates and schedules for observing feasts, fasts, and other sacred days as God did for the Jews in the Old Testament.

Thus, there is not one, uniformly adopted version of the Christian year. There are many variations as to the specific dates, vocabulary, and color-schemes associated with the liturgical calendar across the church universal (and even within some denominations). For example, the pattern and dates used by Eastern Orthodox believers differs from those used by the Protestants and Roman Catholics. Even within denominations, you’ll find variations in how the calendar is observed.

However, as I researched this topic, I discovered that despite the many variations, all versions of the Christian year are anchored by the two high holy days of Christmas and Easter. Whatever the date, color-schemes, or names given, the calender lays out a clear cyclical progression beginning with Advent and concluding with a time of growth in our discipleship as followers of Christ as our sovereign King.

Both from my study and practice, I believe you will experience at least five benefits from making the Christian calendar the foundation on which you build your schedule and through which you evaluate all the other calendars fighting for control of your life.

Colossians 1:17-18 NRSV

Five Benefits of Ordering Your Life According to the Christian Calendar

When we familiarize ourselves with the cyclical pattern of the Christian calendar and begin to build all of our others upon this foundational structure, we will experience many benefits. As we observe the different seasons and study their corresponding passages in Scripture, we can expect to:

  1. Recognize the presence of God and the rhythms of our relationship with him in our day-to-day life.

The secular calendar insures we remember to honor our Mother, Father, Sweetheart, Veterans, and so on, but only the Christian calendar keeps Christ front and center. As we purposefully prioritize our relationship with and worship of God, we will more readily be sensitive to his presence and prompting.

The time-tested format provides different perspectives on and opportunities to engage the mysterious yet revealed Emmanuel (God With Us).

  1. Counteract the priorities and values espoused by the world with those espoused by God.

Intentional journeying with Christ through the trials and triumphs of his story disciplines us to avoid the lure of instant gratification, hedonism, and pursuing our own personal agendas at the expense of heeding the call to self-denial, sacrificial service, and the taking up of our cross to follow Jesus.

As one whose been in a life-long (and often losing) battle for self-control, I’m looking forward to the rest of this year-long trek with Christ producing a harvest of that particular fruit of the Spirit. Of course, I realize I’m probably in for a season of pruning before I see that harvest.

  1. Be equipped with both the truth and grace necessary to live victoriously in a fallen world.

As we regularly and deliberately abide with Jesus, we will better recognize our need for him. And in truly experiencing our need, we better appreciate and enthusiastically receive what our Savior provides.

The framework of the liturgical calendar prevents us from skipping over the uncomfortable parts of Christ’s story (and our own) so as to hang out in the less challenging events, Scriptures, and doctrines. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never grown when I was comfortable.

  1. Unite more closely with the Body of Christ as a whole by focusing on what we have in common rather than on the less essential differences.

Instead of seeing our brothers and sisters in other congregations as “the competition” for church attendance and tithes, we will recognize and embrace the reality of our shared head, Christ Jesus.

As we come together across denominational lines to worship, serve, and glorify God we will gain new appreciation and affection for one another. And in the process of doing so, we may find our faith deepened and enriched by taking the time to listen to why and how others do and think differently on the less essential aspects of the Christian faith.

  1. Cultivate our understanding and experience of traditions, rituals, and celebrations.

For example, the Christian calendar provides a lens through which the many and beautiful facets of the Lord’s Supper and Baptism become apparent. Consider how our hearts will be quickened in a slightly different way as we receive the bread and cup during Lent as opposed to during the Christmas season.

We will become more conscious of how the various themes, stories, events, and people of the Bible fit together in one overarching story of the redemptive work of God in Christ.

How I’ll Be Using the Christian Calendar on the Blog

Actually, I’ve already been using the calendar to inform my choice of topics for my blog posts. So you may not notice much of a difference. Since the ministry officially began in late 2013, I’ve struggled to stay ahead of my deadlines. This year, I’m doing more intentional planning for my editorial calendar. It just makes sense to be guided by the traditional liturgical pattern.

By sticking to the historical framework, I will better cover the whole of Scripture. At times, that will no doubt prove more challenging than just writing whatever happens to be on my mind that day. However, I have no doubt the Holy Spirit will reveal new things I need to work on and areas in which he wishes to help me grow. Hopefully, the process will serve you well and we can all grow together as we experience the benefits listed above.

Get A Handy Printable Calendar

I’ve created a calender for you to print out and keep at your desk, on the fridge, or wherever you generally do your scheduling.

On one page, you’ll find the seasons and special days along with their themes explained. On the second page, you’ll find the dates specific for the 2015-2016 Christian year. [FYI, this is now updated to show 2016-2017 dates!] I’m using this as I plan my blog content and classes. I hope you find it helpful as you make your plans, too.

If you’d like me to email you this calendar to print (or to keep on your phone or computer as a PDF), just click on the button below. I’ll email your copy instantly!

Send Me the Calendar!

And the winner is

Last week I asked for your help in selecting the cover for my newest resource. I’ve designed a Sermon Notes journal with many helpful features for recording and retrieving key insights and Scripture references. It will be available in both paperback and spiral bound versions and it could also be used to take notes in a Sunday School or Bible study class. I just couldn’t decide on a cover.

So, I asked my readers and social media followers to help me out. The votes are in and the as the chart below shows, Navy/Silver won with 51% of the vote!
voting results

FYI, a few people left me notes and even an invitation to coffee but didn’t leave a name in their survey comments. So I don’t have a way of identifying and contacting you. If you left me a note in your survey response, please shoot me an email and I promise to respond!

Thanks for your help! I’ll be sending the book to the publisher later this week. If you’d like to learn more about the book or to be notified when I start taking pre-orders, please just click the following button! I’ll send you a coupon code for a special pre-order discount!

Get Coupon Code!

 

 

Do You See the Love the Father Has Lavished on You?

FREE Scripture Memory Verse Printable and a Stress-melting Coloring Page

In this final week of Advent, we contemplate the love the Father has lavished on us! This week also marks the final memory verse for those of us who participated in the Scripture Memory Team. We have intentionally chosen and meditated on twenty-four verses this year. As we have read, studied, and stored these words in our hearts, we have grown in our experience of and understanding of God. I’ve chosen 1 John 3:1 as my last memory verse this year.

1 John 3:1 NIV

The world (and me too if I’m not careful) can lose sight of what we celebrate at Christmas. The focus can easily become Frosty the Snowman, gift-buying, and over-indulging in special holiday treats. When that happens the hope, peace, joy, and love that flow from the appearance of our Savior can fade into the background. The world doesn’t recognize the real gift now just as it didn’t recognize it that first Christmas either.

My prayer for you is that you will experience Jesus this Christmas season, not as a religious icon, but as a real and loving God with you. It is my hope that you will see what great love the Father has lavished on YOU through the coming of Jesus.

When God humbled himself and entered into our world as a helpless, poor, and vulnerable infant he showed his willingness to sacrifice his place of glory so as to be Immanuel, God with us (Matthew 1:23). And when he let the world reject him and crucify him, he showed the extent of his love for us.

He did on our behalf what we could not do for ourselves: pay the price of our sin. The one and only Son allowed himself to be alienated from the Father so that we could be reconciled to the Father. That is LOVE!

Optimized_1John3_1

May you experience and share that love this Christmas and into the new year.

 

Click Here to Get Your Printable Verses

Melt Stress & Meditate on Scripture

Coloring is no longer just for kids. There is mounting scientific evidence it reduces stress in adults. According to Dr. Joel Pearson, a brain scientist at the University of New South Wales in Australia, concentrating on coloring an image may facilitate the replacement of negative thoughts and images with pleasant ones.

So if you’re feeling some stress this season, I’ve made you an Advent coloring page. Try it. Click on the image below and I’ll email you a copy.

john-1_14-coloring-page-merry-christmas

I WANT THAT COLORING PAGE!

How can I help you reach your goals next year?

Please leave me a comment or shoot me an email and let me know what your goals are this new year and how I might be able to help you achieve those! I’d love to work with you as your Christian life coach. What’s a life coach? Learn more by clicking here.

Don't forget to tell me...What are your goals (or challenges) for 2017 and how could I help you with those? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Bringing You Good News of Great Joy (And a FREE Gift!)

Super-Short Devotional Video and FREE Artwork of Joy to the World Lyrics

In this third week of Advent I’m praying you are able to experience joy! Regardless of your circumstances, I pray you feel Christ with you in the midst of whatever is going on in your life right now. Because I know if you do, He will make it possible for you to find hope, peace, and joy. And I’ve made a little (about 40 seconds) video to help you prepare your heart to receive your King! I hope you enjoy it. And if you haven’t yet finished your shopping (like me!) then today’s free gift may come in handy for you. Or you might like it for yourself as a reminder to prepare room in your heart (and schedule) for the coming King!

Want a quick and easy gift for someone (or yourself)? I’ve created a decorative print featuring the lyrics to Joy to the World. I’ve even included simple step-by-step instructions to print, trim, and matte on cardstock to pop into a standard 8×10 frame! Easy-peasy!

Optimized_JoyToTheWorldFreebie

To get it, just click the button below and I’ll email you the artwork and instructions instantly!

Send me that artwork, please!

I’m meditating on Luke 2:10 this week as I contemplate the joy of preparing for our Savior. I hope you’ll share the graphic/verse below with your friends on social media! You may also want to share the video and freebie as well! The more the merrier!

If you aren’t already following me on Facebook or Twitter, just click the links or buttons above the post and like/follow my page. There you’ll see various different versions of these graphics to make it easy for you to share. You can also use the share buttons below the post! And if you’re not on social media, you can share by emailing the post to your friends!

Thanks for helping spreading joy this season!

()ptimized_Luke2-10

How about you? What helps or hinders your experiencing joy? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Behold the Glory of the One and Only Immanuel

Freebies Galore! Scripture Memory Verse Cards, Advent Coloring Page & Additional Study Resources!

With all the Christmas activity, I thought we might just take a few minutes to stop and reflect on the reason for our celebrations. It is so easy to get wrapped up in the gift-buying, party-hosting, and all the extra cooking, cleaning, and busyness that sweeps into our lives at this time of year and miss the miracle in the manager. The theme of Week 2 is Peace. And as it coincides with the week to choose my next memory verse for this year, I chose to focus on John 1:14. This verse beautifully expresses how we are made at peace with God.

Advent Week 2: Peace John 1:14

And I thought since it was such a beautiful day here today, I’d just step out on the porch and chat with you about what God brought to mind as I reflected on the words in this verse.

As I told you in the video, I’ve made several different freebies for you this week.

()ptimized_FreebiesGalore

Freebies Galore!

Digging in Deeper to John 1:14

If you like to meditate on the Word through studying and listening to sermons and more intellectual pursuits, you’ll enjoy the additional resources I’ve curated for you in this PDF resource guide, Digging in Deeper to John 1:14.

In it, you’ll find links to a couple of sermons on this verse by C.H. Spurgeon as well as some of the online word-study and cross reference tools I use.  Just click on the image or button below to request this PDF and it will be sent instantly to you. You can print it out, but you’ll probably want to view it on your computer or smartphone so the links will be live. Then,  you can click on the links and open the resource.

Send me that Resource Guide, please!

Advent Coloring Page

If you like more of an experiential form of meditating on the Scripture, you might want to get the Advent coloring page I made of John 1:14. As you color in the words and pictures, feel your stress melting away and be aware of Immanuel this Advent season.

I WANT THAT COLORING PAGE!

Scripture Memory Verse Cards

If you’re participating in the 2015 Scripture Memory Team and want the 3 x 5 printables to make a memory verse spiral or just to have memory verse cards you can place around your house, get this freebie. Click the button or image below and I’ll instantly email you a PDF with all 23 verse cards we’ve been working on so far this year.

Click Here to Get Your Printable Verses

 

Whatever freebie(s) you choose, I hope you spend some time reflecting on the amazing fact that the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us! Meditate on his glory as you wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ! (see John 1:14 and Titus 2:11-14)

How about you? What helps you meditate on the Word so you can behold the glory of God and experience his truth and grace? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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A Hopeful Start to the Advent Season

FREE Stress-Busting Scripture Coloring Page

It is fitting the Advent season begins with the theme of hope. As we prepare our hearts for the arrival of Christ, hope is central to that preparation. Biblical hope is not like worldly wishful thinking. Rather it is the confident expectation that God will fulfill his promises. It is not dampened by circumstances or dependent upon our actions. Our hope is grounded in the nature and character of God.

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By the way, I’ve made a special Advent Coloring Page for you. Use it to melt away stress and meditate on the hope of Advent.

 

I WANT THAT COLORING PAGE!

God’s Word Gives Us Hope

The Scriptures reveal we can be certain God will bring to pass all he has promised. Paul wrote of this very thing to the church in Rome.

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.Romans 15:4, NIV

The more we are in the Scriptures the deeper our faith will grow. As we see how he was faithful to fulfill his prophecies related to the first Advent, we can be encouraged that his faithfulness need not be doubted when it comes to the second Advent of Christ.

The Holy Spirit Is a Source of Hope

In addition to the Holy Scriptures, we have something even more personal and intimate and powerful to give us hope. He has given us His Spirit as the guarantee of our full redemption and salvation. The Creator and Sustainer is our Redeemer and Savior.

We are not saved by our works but by His. And in saving us, He makes us new creations and teaches us how to reflect his truth and grace to others. He places His Spirit in us and inclines our hearts to be imitators of Him.

Based on a photo by Alvesgaspar via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

How We Respond

We respond in faith to His grace and mercy. We can face uncertain times because of our certain hope Christ will come again and bring to fruition the fullness of His restoration.

Biblical hope naturally leads to peace, joy, and love. And over the next few weeks, we will explore each of these themes as we prepare our hearts to receive our Lord.

My Advent Prayer for You

So as you embark on your Advent journey, I pray the words of Paul over you: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)

A Stress-Busting Gift

If you need a break from the gift-buying, cleaning, cooking, and all the other holiday activities, grab this free Advent coloring page I made for you.

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As your crayons, colored pencils, or markers glide over the page, meditate on the words of that prayer and let the Holy Spirit fill you with hope, peace, joy, and love this Advent season!

To get your coloring page, just click on the image or button below and I’ll email it to you instantly! And once you’ve finished your work of art, please post a picture of it. You can post a photo on Twitter and tag it with @LauraNaiser. Or post it on my Making It Real Ministries Facebook page.

 

I WANT THAT COLORING PAGE!

How about you? How do you experience hope with regard to God’s promises? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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