I'm really hoping that Max Lucado isn't upset with me for reprinting one of his many writings. He is just a master with words when it comes to putting a Bible story into a perspective that makes one scratch his/her head and think, "wow."
I have come across one of Max's books that has long held a space on my bookshelf. I needed a new devotional that would start my day with a positive thought and this one has filled that desire. So today I pass this story on to you. Hopefully, it will give you a thought to ponder and Max, if this comes across your desk, please note you have full credit at the bottom of the article!
Blessings to all on this Friday! Have an awesome day!
Max Lucado: Gabriel’s Questions
By Max Lucado
Max Lucado Gabriel’s QuestionsGabriel must have scratched his head at this one.
He wasn’t one to question his God-given missions. Sending fire and dividing seas were all in an eternity’s work for this angel. When God sent, Gabriel went.
And when word got out that God was to become man, Gabriel was enthused. He could envision the moment:
The Messiah in a blazing chariot.
The King descending on a fiery cloud.
An explosion of light from which the Messiah would emerge.
That’s what he expected. What he never expected, however, was what he got: a slip of paper with a Nazarene address. “God will become a baby,” it read. “Tell the mother to name the child Jesus. And tell her not to be afraid.”
Gabriel was never one to question, but this time he had to wonder.
God will become a baby? Gabriel had seen babies before. He had been platoon leader on the bulrush operation. He remembered what little Moses looked like.
That’s okay for humans, he thought to himself. But God?
The heavens can’t contain him; how could a body? Besides, have you seen what comes out of those babies? Hardly befitting for the Creator of the universe. Babies must be carried and fed, bounced and bathed. To imagine some mother burping God on her shoulder—why, that was beyond what even an angel could imagine.
And what of this name—what was it—Jesus? Such a common name. There’s a Jesus in every cul-de-sac. Come on, even the name Gabriel has more punch to it than Jesus. Call the baby Eminence or Majesty or Heaven-sent. Anything but Jesus.
So Gabriel scratched his head. What happened to the good ol’ days? The Sodom and Gomorrah stuff. Flooding the globe. Flaming swords. That’s the action he liked.
But Gabriel had his orders. Take the message to Mary. Must be a special girl, he assumed as he traveled. But Gabriel was in for another shock. One peek told him Mary was no queen. The mother-to-be of God was not regal. She was a Jewish peasant who’d barely outgrown her acne and had a crush on a guy named Joe.
And speaking of Joe—what does this fellow know? Might as well be a weaver in Spain or a cobbler in Greece. He’s a carpenter. Look at him over there, sawdust in his beard and a nail apron around his waist. You’re telling me God is going to have dinner every night with him? You’re telling me the source of wisdom is going to call this guy “Dad”? You’re telling me a common laborer is going to be charged with giving food to God?
What if he gets laid off?
What if he gets cranky?
What if he decides to run off with a pretty young girl from down the street? Then where will we be?
It was all Gabriel could do to keep from turning back. “This is a peculiar idea you have, God,” he must have muttered to himself.
Are God’s guardians given to such musings?
This excerpt is from Max Lucado’s CHRISTMAS STORIES: HEARTWARMING TALES OF ANGELS, A MANGER, AND THE BIRTH OF HOPE, published by Thomas Nelson (2011). Reprinted by permission
A couple of nights ago I had a very hard time falling asleep. Seems this occurs mostly when I have a bunch of "stuff" on my mind. Usually it's items that I'm trying to help God solve....you know, in case He needs my help. As I watch the clock go from 1 to 2 to 3:00 a.m. it's with great trepidation I pray that God will take over the situation and allow my eyes to close. And it's only at that point my mind will slowly fade into a resting mode.
I have noticed that other women have a similar situation with sleep patterns. Maybe the frequency of these occurrences are enhanced by age, but I think it would benefit each of us to lay those burdens and concerns down. How is that possible, you might ask? After all, how many of us go to bed with the intention of tossing and turning half the night? My suggestion, and that is all it is, pause. Just simply give yourself permission to pause from the worries, concerns and burdens that you probably are not going to solve regardless of how many sleepless nights you encounter.
So, here's a few ideas that might lighten the load;
1. Go to lunch with a friend(s).
2. Go golfing, play a game of tennis, or dig in the garden.
3. Take a walk on a trail or bike.
4. Pick up a book and read.
5. If you still have children at home, go outside, hook up the garden hose and start spraying everyone in sight. (Be ready to have it done to you!)
6. Forget about who in your life isn't doing what you want them to do. Chances are your concern can either be shared, maybe changing the behavior, or you simply need to let go and let God. Why continue to fret?
Thus ends the words of wisdom for today. This stems from the fact I just enjoyed lunch with two friends I don't get to see and visit with very often. Both are Christians and we have so much in common including a bunch of concerns. We left our luncheon feeling rejuvenated and those particular matters we brought with us weren't even solved. The load is so much lighter when we place it where it belongs...in the Hands of God!
Just a little shout out....if you have read one of my books, or attended one of my retreats and would like to write a review, I would welcome your feedback! Just go to the site below!
Thanks a bunch and God bless!
A few words of wisdom from one of my favorites, Max Lucado:
"If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent an educator. If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist. If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist. But since our greatest need was forgiveness, God sent us a Savior."
Taken from the book, When God Whispers Your Name, 1994
I have always loved gardening and working in my flowers. It's something about digging in the dirt that is relaxing and gratifying. However, I find this enjoyment is becoming more of a task of late (note before and after pictures below). Well, maybe I should clarify this isn't something of late, but a realization I have noticed over the past year or so. It unfortunately has to do with....and I whisper in a small, still voice "age." I've never been a person who knows the meaning of slow down. In fact, I could clean my entire house; four bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, and all the trimmings in one day and still have enough energy to mow the lawn with a push mower! Yep, that's me...unstoppable! I would continue with soccer practice carpools until it was time for bed and fall to sleep in minutes getting ready for another day!
But as time as pushed forward there are now achy bones, sore muscles and the growing mindset if I don't enjoy it anymore, I'm done with it, so call in the recruits, dial up the lawn boys while I hit the gym. Getting older is actually more fun when you adopt a mentality of "just call someone else to do it." Of course you might soon find yourself at the door of a box store saying, "Welcome to Walmart" due to the extra expenses that weren't tallied in the budget before Medicare and Social Security were your mainstays, but who knows? Maybe you'll find yourself on a bowling league with your Walmart buddies if your elbows can deal with the weight of the bowling ball. Bottom line, my fellow aging friends, enjoy the life you have because none of us know what's around the bend. Be happy for the activities and hobbies we enjoyed and investigate new possibilities. I'm sprinting and body pumping at the Y these days and hubby and I are looking into a line dancing class. You gotta keep moving!
Seems like a while since I've posted a blog. I guess when you're older and celebrate your birthday the events of one day turn into a week of being a bit laid back! With all kidding aside, I am blessed to be entering into another year of writing, speaking, teaching and doing whatever it is that the Lord has for me. Last year was great, but I'm looking forward to working even harder and hopefully being a little more organized with potential projects!
I've made a point of desiring to take this website to the next step, but I have to tell you what happened this past week. I tried my hardest to engage in what the younger generation are using for their businesses called "hosting" with a web designer. With that in mind, I decided my website should have a new domain name to accompany this "new look." I was excited especially since I had the option for my readers to enter their email addresses and receive my blogs as I write them.
Well, folks, after an intense 48 hour period of attempting to make it all work and viewing several tutorials, I became so thoroughly confused and realized what young people deem easy really isn't for this aging Gramma. It actually was hilarious as I called the company support line at least eight times in a very short period of time. Most of these employees had various accents that I couldn't understand, but often I was met with comments such as, "I will send you a tutorial that explains step by step what you should do, it's easy;" "It takes a few minutes for it all to upload, if it doesn't upload soon, give us a call back;" "Didn't I talk with you earlier?" Yes, you did talk with me a few minutes earlier, but evidently the instructions given previously did not compute!
Technology...you love it and then you desire to toss it out an open window and go back to pigeon carriers. Let's think about this....you attached a note to the pigeon and somehow he knew exactly where to go to deliver his message! No questions, no misunderstood instructions and no tutorials! Joking aside, in this age of ebooks and newspapers online, I hope you take a moment this summer to actually pick up a book, get yourself a bookmark and curl up in a chair or under a tree in a hammock and allow your mind to paint pictures of the characters and places the author has described. Engage your imagination and go on an adventure!
Gary and I recently returned from a quick trip to Lake Norman, NC, one of our happy places. After an intense tax season for Gary and several teaching/speaking opportunities for me, it was nice to just stop, sit and enjoy inactivity for a few days. Gary and I enjoy all of the ways in which God has blessed us with opportunities of service; however, to sit in a rocking chair while sipping coffee on the deck, watching the water ripple on the lake...now that's priceless!
I pray that each of you find times of rest and relaxation in the coming months. Summer seems to lend itself to longer sun times for leisurely walks, ice cream at your favorite shoppe, bike rides, pool times and possibly a vacation to the mountains or beach. Whatever your preference, take along your Bible and favorite devotional and give the glory to the One who made it all!
God bless, my friends!