Friday, December 30, 2011

Top Blog Posts for 2011!



We are looking back at WRIM Blog reader favorites for 2011. If you missed them the first time around, we hope you are blessed today!
The weeks leading up to Thanksgiving 2000 were a time of profound emotion for Larry and I.  While overwhelmed with gratitude for an experience of remarkable community support, we had also just been told that our 2 1/2 year old daughter Carly had Angelman Syndrome. The news ripped our hearts. Continued here.
I'm excited to share a really fun story today. It will take a little setting up but stick with me because this will kick your week off with a big smile. Have you heard? Story is all the rage these days. Everyone is talking about it. Your story. My story. God's story. Continued here.
This is a very difficult update for me to write. Ordinarily, we would post something of such a personal nature only on Carly's Care Page. But I felt prompted to share our need for prayer more publicly at this time.  Continued here.
Pulling dead flowers from the gardens one afternoon last week led me to tears and a couple days of raw emotion.  I knelt by the phlox and day lilies praying ... Continued here.
We drove to Springfield, Missouri and back to Minneapolis for Thanksgiving. It involved almost 24 hours driving and required a certain amount of caffeine. My usual “drug” of choice is green tea but that would have triggered too many stops. After peering into the cooler at the gas station for a moment, I decided on a Pepsi Throwback.  Continued here.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

FINDING GLORY Wednesday

Circumstances of this life frequently fail to make sense to us and we can be tempted to lose hope. After all, it is easier to quit hoping for better days than risk being disappointed. Yet, the Bible teaches that there is always reason to have hope. We can always be assured that God’s work and wisdom are accomplishing something valuable for the good of those who love Him and, most of all, for glory of His own name.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21

When have you been tempted to give up hoping for something but been surprised when God used the situation for something good in ways that you didn’t imagine or expect?

These “Finding Glory Wednesdays” posts are an online discussion series based on the books Finding Glory in the Thorns and the companion Finding Glory in the Thorns: Group Discussion Guide by Larry and Lisa Jamieson. For more information about Finding Glory Groups, visit http://www.findingglory.com/findingglorygrou.html.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011 from the Jamiesons!



If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, 
God lives in them and they in God. 
1 John 4:14-15 
 
May the awe and joy of Immanuel carry you and your family right into 2012!

Larry & Lisa

 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

FINDING GLORY Wednesday

Today’s scriptures and discussion question are:
Then the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. The shepherds went back to their fields and flocks, glorifying and praising God for what the angels had told them, and because they had seen the child, just as the angel had said.  LUKE 2:17 and 20  
There was a man named Simeon who...eagerly expected the Messiah to come and rescue Israel. That day the Spirit led him to the Temple. So when Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord as the law required, Simeon was there. He took the child in his arms and praised God, saying, "Lord, now I can die in peace! As you promised me, I have seen the Savior you have given to all people. He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel!" Then Simeon blessed them, and he said to Mary, "This child will be rejected by many in Israel, and it will be their undoing. But he will be the greatest joy to many others." LUKE 2:25, 27-32, and 34 
Anna, a prophet, was also there in the Temple...She was a widow, for her husband had died when they had been married only seven years. She was now eight-four years old. She came along just as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph, and she began praising God. She talked about Jesus to everyone who had been waiting for the promised King to come and deliver Jerusalem.  LUKE 2:36-38
From the very first Christmas, as a result of worshipping Jesus, people were spurred to enthusiastic action while experiencing joy and peace.  What has your worship of Jesus caused you to DO or FEEL this week?
For more information about Finding Glory Groups, visithttp://www.findingglory.com/findingglorygrou.html.
Today's reflections are copyrighted excerpts taken from Finding Glory in the Thorns: Group Discussion Guide.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Praise

"Joseph, it's time," she said.
Her gentle whisper brought his eyes around.
His look was filled with fear
But strength showered through as joy poured down
His cheeks.
Saying...

Praise our Holy God Most High
For giving us Your Son today!
How can we ever thank You, Lord?
Your Son,
You sent,
for me!

As wind blew in the stable door
Her loving arms did soothe the baby Jesus' cries
Her heart was filled with love
And the joy that sparkled in her eyes
In praise.
Was saying...


Praise our Holy God Most High
For giving us Your Son today!
How can we ever thank You, Lord?
Your Son,
You sent,
for me!


How can we tell the world today
Our Savior, Christ, was born on Christmas Day?
His words were filled with peace
And the love flowed from His palms and feet
For them.


Praise our Holy God Most High
For giving us Your Son today!
How can we ever thank You, Lord?
Your Son,
You sent...
Oh!
Praise You, Holy God Most High
For giving me Your Son today!
How can I ever thank You, Lord?
Your Son,
You sent,
for me!

Words and Music, Copyright © 1983 Lisa McDougall (Jamieson)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

FINDING GLORY Wednesday

Our faith is anchored in the Bible — a book that is so much more than just a historical record of God’s activities and purposes. It is the inspired words of God. It is given to us with all power and authority to penetrate our soul and reveal the truth.

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

How have you experienced the Bible as “living and active” in your life?

These “Finding Glory Wednesdays” posts are an online discussion series based on the books Finding Glory in the Thorns and the companion Finding Glory in the Thorns: Group Discussion Guide by Larry and Lisa Jamieson. For more information about Finding Glory Groups, visit http://www.findingglory.com/findingglorygrou.html.

Friday, December 9, 2011

It's Marriage Prayer Friday!

Let's pray our marriages into the Christmas season!
A prayer for your own marriage—
IMMANUEL, thank you for revealing Yourself to us and demonstrating Your nearness. During this Christmas season, I ask that you would break through any obstacles in my marriage that keep me and my spouse from experiencing the season with joy as a family. By the power of Your Spirit, please stop the crazy patterns of things like neglect, complacency, criticism, ingratitude, disrespect and lack of healthy boundaries in my marriage. Strengthen our commitment to grace and help both of us to honor, not abuse, each other’s expressions of grace. Increase our capacity for tenderness towards each other. Help us in other practical ways too, Lord. For example, help us to laugh more, express gratitude more, invest more in the relationship, and maintain a Kingdom perspective when we are tempted to sin, be discouraged or get stuck in minutia.  Show us how to experience freedom and joy in our marriage, Lord, so that no day is a grind but every day is an adventure of anticipation in seeing Your presence at work among us.  AMEN
Something to pray for a friend's marriage—
IMMANUEL, thank you for revealing Yourself to us and demonstrating Your nearness. During this Christmas season, I ask that you would break through any obstacles in the marriage of these friends I love — obstacles that keep them from experiencing the season with joy as a family. By the power of Your Spirit, please stop the crazy patterns of things like neglect, complacency, criticism, ingratitude, disrespect and lack of healthy boundaries in their marriage. Strengthen their commitment to grace and help both of them to honor, not abuse, each other’s expressions of grace. Increase their capacity for tenderness towards each other. Help them in other practical ways too, Lord. For example, help them to laugh more, express gratitude more, invest more in their relationship, and maintain a Kingdom perspective when they are tempted to sin, be discouraged or get stuck in minutia.  Show them how to experience freedom and joy in their marriage, Lord, so that no day is a grind for them but every day is an adventure of anticipation in seeing Your presence at work among them.  AMEN

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

FINDING GLORY Wednesday

God’s ways don’t always make sense to us. The experiences and resources He sends our way can come in some pretty unusual packages. Reflect on the scripture and questions below as you consider what it means to surrender to God’s unusual ways.

Now the gates of Jericho were securely barred because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in. Then the LORD said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.” Joshua 6:1-5

Do you now (or have you ever) sensed a prompting from God to follow unusual strategies towards a goal or dream?

What do you think God is asking you to do right now — march patiently and quietly or shout?

These “Finding Glory Wednesdays” posts are an online discussion series based on the books Finding Glory in the Thorns and the companion Finding Glory in the Thorns: Group Discussion Guide by Larry and Lisa Jamieson. For more information about Finding Glory Groups, visit http://www.findingglory.com/findingglorygrou.html.

Monday, December 5, 2011

What? Christmas Time and NO JESUS?


When people come into our home this time of year, the first thing they see is a small nativity scene set up on a table in the front hallway.  There isn’t anything particularly unusual about our nativity scene except for one thing:  there is no Jesus in the manger. 
No, it didn’t get lost over the years.
No, my kids didn’t break it when they were little.
No, Carly hasn’t chewed on it (at least not yet).
Every year when the decorations are brought out, someone in our family has responsibility for hiding the baby Christ child — until Christmas Day.  The empty manger helps re-create the sense of anticipation in our home throughout the month of December.  It’s a fun tradition and a practical one from a spiritual perspective.
In this day and age, when we are part of an impatient culture, it’s easy to miss the opportunity to be still and ponder the anticipation of Jesus’ coming.  There is so much opportunity for worship and to experience joy and peace in this rich season of anticipation!
Life is, in fact, a process of anticipating Jesus’ coming AGAIN.
Revelation 1:8
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”
LORD ALMIGHTY, thank you for being God with me — Immanuel.  I don’t want to live a single day without you and yet I want to spend this Christmas season re-learning what it means to anticipate Your coming. I am so grateful that you came and that you will come again, once and for all.  Please keep deepening my understanding of and appreciation for who You are and for the reality that You are coming soon!  AMEN

Friday, December 2, 2011

It's Marriage Prayer Friday!

Since Larry is out of town this week and I'm keeping the home fires burning with his support only via prayer and iPhone FaceTime, I am falling behind on some things and shifting priorities.  So I am going to quote from a favorite prayer book this week instead of writing from scratch.  The book I'm quoting from was something I found several years ago and it proved very valuable in helping me learn to pray more Biblically for my marriage. I trust it will be a blessing for you today!
Precious Lord, 
Our prayer today is that You will flood our hearts with the light of Your truth. Chase away every dark shadow of distraction, protected sin, procrastination, or disobedience. 
Lord, since the day we said "I do," the future we've been called to share together has been dear to us. But we lose sight of it so easily. We become prisoners of the now—in how we treat each other, in how we spend our time and our money and our energy, in what we think about... 
Some days the destiny You promise just slips into the shadows. But You can turn any darkness into dawn (Amos 5:8). And because we are Your dearly loved children, You ask us to imitate You and exhibit the fruit of the light—all goodness, righteousness and truth (Eph. 5:1,8-9). 
Shine here, Lord! At each step, turn every dark confusion about our purposes and our future into bright light of understanding, as You've promised (Isa. 42:16). Yes, lead us—even in new and unfamiliar paths today—to bring glory to You. 
Amen. 
This is taken from "Praying the Bible for Your Marriage" (page 154) by David & Heather Kopp.

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