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Christmas- my feast of grace with Jesus.

I have had a fabulous Christmas. My family has been sharing cooties and we're none of us feeling 100%- so we are having an alternate day to celebrate, eat scrumptious food and exchange presents. I am spending my day in gratitude and reflection upon my God and Savior. I am truly blessed but then every day you are saved is a good day, despite the way it may feel.

It's been a long time since I have written anything on this blog and that's ok as I have been doing other things that required me to be fully present. I needed to wrestle out some answers and distinguish between my propensity to feel sorry for myself and wallow in depression and those things that should make me miserable. In other words I needed to know if I was having a pity party or if I was miserable because I was in sin. I am not so certain I need to share the details of what makes me miserable but once again, I am glad for the pain because it has caused me to move from the place I was to the place I am now. Refinement isn't comfortable but it is comforting.

Where am I now? I am in a place of great gratitude. I am grateful for the hard things in my life; the miraculous times God has saved me, often from myself and my own desires. I am indebted to Him first of all for paying a debt I can never hope to pay. I don't think about that enough. My drive to be perfect leads me away from the one place I need to stay. I need to be mindful each day that there is nothing I can do, absolutely nothing I can give God to pay my debt to him. No amount of devotion nor perfect obedience from this point forward could tip the scale in my favor. God, knowing exactly who I am and how I would sin, chose to save me.

That's what I need to remember when the discouragement comes and the gloom of depression looms. For reasons I can never determine, nor merit, God chose me. He has the right to do whatever he pleases with me, and yet He is pleased to save me. Remembering that puts everything else in a perspective that is biblically-centered and not me-centered. It is encouraging and I am hopeful that God will keep me in this place long enough that when I forget to think biblically, I feel so parched and destitute that I return sooner than I have before. I want to know that I am starving my soul long before my faith fails me and the world begins to look tantalizing to me. I listened to some great words from John Piper. I searched his resource base for encouragement and I found it in this sermon. It is something worth listening to, reading and contemplating.

Speaking of sermons that are worth listening to, here's another one. David King, a pastor who has done much to shape and mold my character, is worth listening to- not because he is an eloquent speaker and exudes charm... in fact, he doesn't give a rip what you think about him as a speaker. This man cares that what he tells you if faithful to the Word of God and that you understand the peril of your soul. This link will take you one of my favorite blogs to read and where you can listen to the sermon.

And with that, I bid you the joy of Christmas and the only true peace we can have.... peace with God. Not an absence of conflict, because that peace is temporal. My prayer is that you have the knowledge that when you lay our weary head down to sleep, it is well with your soul.

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