Through the child, the angels are made known

I don’t begin to know how or why, but I do know that my little granddaughter, Kaylee (the one who lives with us now) sees angels!

The first time I realized that she saw angels was one night – the middle of the night! – when she climbed into bed with her Papa and me.

See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven. (Matthew 18:10)

As she lay between us, squirming like crazy (while we tried to get back to sleep), she talked as though it were the middle of the day instead of the night! Then she began describing the angels she saw flying around her. I thought she might be frightened, so I said, “It’s probably your special guardian angel, Kaylee. Everyone has a guardian angel!” She wasn’t frightened.

“There are lots of angels, Nana. See?”

I didn’t see them. I just kept encouraging her to go to sleep!

“Close your eyes, Kaylee. And go to sleep, honey.”

She did close her eyes. “I can still see them, Nana.”

I turned toward her. She opened her eyes and said, “There’s one on your nose, Nana.”

 

At breakfast, I encouraged her to “rethink” the events.

“Your were dreaming about angels last night, weren’t you Kaylee?”

“No, Nana, I didn’t dream about angels. I saw angels!”

I tilted my face, smiling, “You were just kidding about the angels, weren’t you, Kaylee?”

“No, Nana. I really did see angels!”

 

Similar episodes have since occured, both in her own bedroom, as well as ours. But the episode that amazes me the most occured one night when many angels flew around the room. By this time, I had learned to pretend I was sleeping while quietly, I enjoyed her descriptions. She described the many as perhaps forty, which was more than the few at a time she had previously recounted. Suddenly, these forty angels stood perfectly still, forming a wall. 

Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve us? (Hebrews 1:14)

I waited. Finally I asked, “Are they flying around again?”

“They’re still not moving, Nana. They’re holding still on the wall they’ve made.”

A few minutes passed.

“They’re flying around again, Nana.”

Have you not put a hedge around [her] and [her]household and everything [she] has? Job 1:10

The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them. (Psalm 34:7)

I don’t know the danger that was coming our way at 1 am that morning, or why those angels formed a wall of protection around us, but I prayed, “Thank you, God, for showing me, through the innocent eyes of my child, your awesome protection upon our family.”

From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. (Psalm 8:2)

 

Really, Christmas is . . . (Things I’ve Learned about Christmas)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas is for kids.

The innocence of believing in a Santa Claus.

Believing that someone cares SO much that he wants to bring you a gift. (Seems to strengthen the heart toward loving God, the one who cares SO much that he gave the gift of Jesus.)

Kids laugh and sing at Christmas.

They anticipate the school party and Christmas morning,

are excited to see a gift added under the tree,

love decorating cookies,

want snow.

Christmas is for kids.

 

Christmas is for adults wanting to be kids,

wanting to give and receive,

remembering Christmases past,

tearing up when we hear, “I’ll be Home for Christmas” or “There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays,”

understanding the meaning of “heavenly peace.”

It’s a time when we actually look at strangers and say, “Merry Christmas.”

Christmas is for adults wanting to be kids!

 

 

 

Christmas is for the believer!

Knowing about redemption through the sacrifice, the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, we then look back on the birth of our Lord and realize how awesome it really is!

His birth!

The King’s humble birth. In a manger.

The King’s perfect birth. He had to be born of a virgin; otherwise, he wouldn’t be the perfect lamb of God – the spotless lamb. And we see that little baby for who He really is – the Savior of the world – the one who saves us!

Christmas is for the believer!

 

But  most of all, Christmas is for the unbeliever, the one who does not yet know Christ as Lord.

After all, this is why Jesus came. This is why He was born to a virgin. He was God in the flesh. He came for us!

We who need Immanuel — “God with us.”

He came for us!

We who are lost in our sin and need a Savior.

For us!

We who are blemished; therefore could not become or offer a spotless lamb of sacrifice.

For us!

His birth was prophesied years before. (Isaiah) Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call himImmanuel.. . For unto us a child is born,

to us a son is given,

and the government will be on his shoulders.

And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. . . We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

If you have not yet believed with your heart and confessed with your mouth (prayer) the Lord Jesus (Romans 10), let this be the Christmas season that you become a Christian, a believer of the “little Lord Jesus” who “lay down His sweet head” and later lay down His life for you.

 

So, you see, Christmas is for the unbeliever, the one who does not yet know that Christ is Lord!

Because He is the good news!

 

Things I’ve learned in the last week . . .

Things I’ve learned in the last week or so.

~~ ~~ ~~

1) Perils arise, but God is still God.

He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

He loves,

   He cares,

      He comforts,

         and He heals.

~~ ~~ ~~

2) People care.

They pray;

   they bring food;

      they write notes;

         they send gifts;

            they call;

               they send money;

                  they give hugs.

Sometimes  I’m surprised to experience this care.

Then I realize again that I don’t know it all.

~~ ~~ ~~

3) Pain is real, no matter what.

Someone may think your problem is not that big, but it’s big to you!

So it’s big to God.

I’ve learned to recognize the intensity of other’s problems.

~~ ~~ ~~

4) Many people have much greater burdens than I do.

Some have the Lord to help them through;

    some don’t.

I want to be the hands and feet of Christ to both–my hands extended in love and in prayer and praise, my feet running to meet their needs.

~~ ~~ ~~

5) Being a mother is joyful.

It is also painful.

It involves entrusting your child (and grandchild) to the Lord God. At Christmas, I am reminded how a young, innocent, virgin mother began learning to do just that.

This Christmas, I am observing my beautiful daughter entrusting – day by day – moment by moment.

I am thankful for motherhood and nanahood and a God in whom I trust.

~~ ~~ ~~

6) Christmas is one of the saddest times to suffer and endure.

~~ ~~ ~~

7) Christmas is one of the greatest times to remember why I suffer and endure. And to remember who suffered and endured for me, in my place.

(Look for my upcoming posting: Things I’ve learned about Christmas . . .)

Christmas is joy!

Joy to the world! The Lord has come!

When I was a little girl,

      Christmas was fun! Sleigh bells rang in the dark. Santa’s sleigh tracks were found in the middle of the yard. Early Christmas morning, we three kids woke early, wrapped ourselves in warm bathrobes, and quietly stepped down the big stairway to the living room where we were welcomed by the brightly lit tree enveloped with big, cone-shaped electric bulbs of red, blue, green, orange, and white. Sleepy Mommy and Daddy met us by the tree and then made our day so special! The true meaning of Christmas was imbedded in each fun tradition.

Christmas was fun! And Christmas was joy!

When I was the young mother of little children,

     Christmas was fun! Santa ate the cookies and drank the milk the children had set out. On Christmas Eve, Daddy read the Christmas story from his Bible. Matt, Kristen, and Amber slept in their warm flannels and fleece, on the floor, their heads on pillows under the tree lights. They never heard Santa place the Detroit Lions football helmet, Cabbage Patch dolls, 4-wheeler Big Foot, or Care Bears under the tree, just inches from their sweet, sleeping bodies. One Christmas, when Daddy was out of work and the money was scarce, he made a 4-wheeler track for Matt and a horse stable for the girls.

Christmas was fun! And Christmas was joy!

After the children were grown,

      Christmas was not as much fun any more. And Christmas was not filled with as much joy.

Family gatherings, once a vital part of the season, now had  empty spots, once held by special grandpas, grandmas, aunts, or uncles.

Songs and carols, once heard on the old, blonde 78-rpm player or later on the cassette tape, now brought a lump to my throat and an emptiness to my heart.

Now Christmas was only as fun as I made it for the brief time the children came home. And Christmas was joy only when I forced myself to find joy during those times.

 

But today,nearing the end of the most difficult year of my life, I am reminded through my devotions that Paul tells us to rejoice in the Lord always!

 (Philippians 4:4)

 He prayed for the Colossians to be strengthened with all might, according to God’s glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness!

(Colossians 1:11)

Paul, a man who had suffered terribly, knew the link between joy and strength. We are strengthened with all might and joyfulness.

I need to be strengthened. And I want joy! The new covenant (testament) continues the same promise as the old covenant (testament) — the joy of the Lord is our strength!

(Nehemiah 8:10)

So this Christmas season, I will find the joy that the Lord promises,

and I will let it strengthen me!

I will find joy in remembering my Daddy and Mama and the legacy they left me.

I will find joy in the arms of my faithful husband.

I will find joy in my grown children who love and honor God.

I will find joy in eleven beautiful grandchildren–one wrapped in the healing hands of God and one still in his mama’s protective care, awaiting his March delivery.

And I will find joy in a God who loves me and has granted me unmerited grace, increasing faith, and abundant hope through this year.

 

I will sing, “Joy to the world!”

And I’ll find that joy when I remember that “The Lord is come!”

I will “receive” my “King!”

I will “prepare Him room” in my heart.

And I will fill that room with the joy He promises in His Word!

 

“Joy to the world! The Lord is come!

Let Earth receive her King!

Let every heart ~~ prepare Him room,

and heaven and nature sing,

and heaven and nature sing,

and hea~ven and hea~ven and nature sing!”

Sing with joy and be strengthened!

He will yet deliver Luke . . .

He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.

 2 Cor. 1:10-11

Indeed we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves,

but in God . . .  2 Cor. 1:9

And we do trust in God.

 

 

He’s got the whole world in His hands,

He’s got the whole wide world in His hands,

He’s got the whole world in His hands,

He’s got the whole world in His hands.

 

He’s got little tiny Luke in His hands,

He’s got the Mommy and the Daddy in His hands,

He’s got all the Greene children in His hands,

He’s got the whole world in His hands.

 

And how safe is that!! To be in the hands of God, the Father–to rest in the unmerited, undeserved favor of God! Kristen and Josh are resting in the unmerited, undeserved favor of God! Our entire family is resting in the unmerited, undeserved favor of God!

For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.

2 Cor. 1:20

Will you speak the “Amen” with us? Will you agree in Luke’s healing? To the glory of God. Then we will join to give thanks . . . for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.

I take Luke to Jesus.

Then little children were brought to Jesus for Him to place his hands on them and pray for them . . . Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there. Matthew 19:13,14

I want to take Luke to Jesus. For healing. I want the hands of Jesus on my Luke.

Oh, if I could just touch the hem of his garment~~

if I could only go to Him for healing~~

if I could simply say, “Just say the word, Lord, and my grandson will be healed”~~

But, you see, I can!

I have more power now than those followers had who walked with Jesus. Before He went to the Father, Jesus said, “I am in the Father and the Father is in me . . . I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” John 14:11-14

 

Lord, Jesus, bring glory to the Father through the healing of our little Luke.

Our prayers are powerful! All-empowered with the Spirit of God. Taken to the Father by the very one who sits at the Father’s right hand – our Savior, the Lord Jesus.

I ask in your name.

And His name is powerful! It’s the name above all names! It’s the only name by which this healing comes!

 

I have faith in you.

We pray over him.

We trust God for his healing.

God is mending the gaps in his heart.

God is closing the duct.

God is opening the vessels.

And so I take Luke to Jesus. For healing. And the hands of Jesus are on my Luke.

Luke ~~ Bringer of Light

Before I was born the LORD called me; from my birth he has made mention of my name . . . And now the Lord says–he who formed me in the womb to be his servant . . . for I am honored in the eyes of the Lord and my God has been my strength–“It is too small a thing for you to be my servant . . . I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.” Isaiah 49:1-6

We’ve waited and trusted. In hope and anticipation. Looking for the miracle. Trusting in the miracle. Seeing the miracle. Of healing. Of growth. And of birth.

And now he’s here! Our little(est) baby boy!

His name means bringer of light. Luke Ryan Greene has entered our lives and with him comes the light. The light of life! The light of the future!

This little baby brings light to this Nana!

He is a promise of the faithfulness of God. He is the essence of the continuing heritage God has given our family. He is a reminder of the redeeming nature of an awesome, merciful God who called us out of darkness into his wonderful light!

Little Luke Ryan Greene brings light to my life and to my soul!

She is my Ruth–my Lynette

She wasn’t from Moab. She was from Michigan.

I loved her first – because he loved her.

I loved her next – because she is precious.

She is a giver. She is compassionate. She is talented. She is creative. She can make something beautiful out of a little bit of nothing. And that’s what she’s done in my life. She takes my nothing and makes something beautiful. When I feel like I’m Mara, she reminds me that God has blessed – that God has worked miracles – that we can trust Him.

And she does these things for me.

She is my Ruth — my lovely daughter-in-law, Lynette.

But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me.” When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her. Ruth 1:16-18

 

 

 

 

. . . to have a daughter like my Kristen

She taught me about true faith.

I saw it in her life.

I heard it in her prayers.

Her baby was sick.

I was overcome with worry.
She trusted.
 
I was frightened.
She believed.
 
I spoke words of fear.
She spoke the Word.
 

When is it? That your daughter grows past you in her relationship with the Lord? That you begin to lean upon her–for strength–to lean upon Him?

 

It is a wonderful thing–to have a daughter like that–a daughter like my Kristen!

 

All your [daughters] will be taught by the Lord, and great will be your children’s peace . . . This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord. Isaiah 54:13,17b

…the joy is in having Him so near!

Wow! In our brief study of Romans 5: 1-5, I was overwhelmed by what God taught me through His Word and my study partners. How can we rejoice in suffering? I’ve gleaned from these honest ladies, and I’d like to share it with you:

Amy commented, “It really is JOY. Is it the happy, skipping, life is wonderful, kind of joy? NO. But.. It is the incredible joy of having that intimate, deep, dependence on, and relationship with HIM. When nothing makes sense . . .  when all is dark . . . when all seems lost . . . that’s when His light of peace and JOY penetrate your soul. Yes indeed, there is joy in suffering. The wonderful, incredible joy of holding hands, and being held by our Great, Loving, Compassionate Father.”

So the joy isn’t in suffering – the joy is in having Him so near.

Deb openly confessed from the depths of her heart, “I’m not rejoicing in my sufferings – I’m still waiting to rejoice.”

Why is it worth the wait? Why is it worth the suffering? Because of the end result.

Our passage shows the steps it takes: suffering > perseverance > character > hope.

The end result is hope!

Please read Deb and Amy’s comments in full – see the Bible Study posting, “Rejoice in Suffering? How?”

And  look for our next brief, online Bible Study soon. “The Word is near you. It’s in your mouth and in your heart.” (Romans 10)