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It would have been logical to expect God to tear open the Heavens and descend to Earth in majesty and power on that first Christmas night — but He didn’t. Instead, on that quiet night in Bethlehem, a virgin mother lay her newborn Baby in a manger designed to feed cattle. The lowing cows, the sweet-smelling hay, and the dark sky illumined by a magnificent star provided the setting. Humble shepherds joined the carpenter husband to witness the miracle and praise God.

The most significant drama of the centuries was unfolding — the drama of salvation that would ultimately take this Child to the cross.

Truly, God works in mysterious ways. The wheels of His mercy and justice move quietly, but they do move. The birth of Jesus Christ — the Son of God, our Savior — went unnoticed by the vast majority of the world that first Christmas night, but no event in human history was more significant. May His birth — and all it means — not go unnoticed in our lives!

Billy Graham – Hope For Every Day

Burden bearer

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Jesus is your burden bearer. He does what no one else can or will do. Please turn your heart to Him before it’s too late.

Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28 NLT)

Lesson from Its A Wonderful Life

Bob Welch

I’m the answer to your prayer. That’s why I was sent down here. — Clarence the Angel, after George tells him “I got a bust in the jaw in answer to a prayer.”

When George Bailey sidles up to Martini’s Bar on Christmas Eve, he’s at the lowest point of his life. In the span of only a few hours, he has:

(a) learned that the Bailey Building and Loan has lost eight thousand dollars just as the state’s bank examiner shows up;

(b) all but threatened to kill Uncle Billy, who has apparently lost the money;

(c) estranged himself from the people he loves most, Mary and the kids;

(d) heard from old man Potter that a warrant is out for his arrest; and

(e) had his desperate plea for a loan turned down by Potter, the man with whom his family has struggled for decades.

Against that backdrop, he’s had enough drinks to cause Martini’s assistant, Nick, to soon ask if he wants a ride home. An obviously concerned Martini will ask why George is drinking so much and encourage him to go home and spend Christmas Eve with his family.

But first, George does something he admits he does not want to do: he prays. “Dear Father in Heaven,” he begins. “I’m not a praying man, but if You’re up there, and You can hear me, show me the way. I’m at the end of my rope. I… Show me the way, God.”

Whereupon a man next to him at the bar, a Mr. Welch (no relation), learns that he is George Bailey and proceeds to coldcock him with a right jab in defense of his wife the schoolteacher, whom George had berated on the phone. As he composes himself after the knockdown, George mutters, “That’s what I get for praying.”

No, what he gets for praying is Clarence — and a new lease on life.

In the movie’s opening scene, the angels Franklin and Joseph are hearing the prayers of townspeople — Mr. Gower, Martini, and Ernie — and family members: George’s mother, Mary, Janie, and Zuzu.

“A lot of people are asking for help for a man named George Bailey,” says Joseph. But it’s clear that the angels have heard the prayers of George, too, and know his muddled mind-set. Franklin knows, for example, that George will be standing on that snow-swept bridge at 10:45 p.m. and “thinking seriously of throwing away God’s greatest gift” — “Oh, dear, dear! His life!” chimes in Clarence. He couldn’t have known that based only on the prayers of the others. And in George and Clarence’s first conversation, as they dry out in the bridge tollhouse, the angel is up front about why he’s come.

“Your lip’s bleeding, George.”

“Yeah, I got a bust in the jaw in answer to a prayer a little bit ago.”

“Oh, no, no, no, George, I’m the answer to your prayer,” says Clarence. “That’s why I was sent down here.”

Not that George buys into that without some very serious proof on the part of Clarence; he has the doubt gene of the disciple Thomas. But after George is shown life without him having lived it, after nobody recognizes him, after Mary runs away from him and Bert the cop fires shots toward him — he comes to his second moment of desperation, the first, of course, being the bar scene. And what does he do?

He prays again. “Clarence! Clarence! Help me, Clarence. Get me back. Get me back. I don’t care what happens to me. Only get me back to my wife and kids. Help me, Clarence, please! Please! I want to live again.”

And what happens? The snow begins to fall. Zuzu’s petals return to his pocket. And hope returns to the soul of a man who, only a short time earlier, was prepared to commit suicide. That, not the punch from the schoolteacher’s husband, is George’s answer to prayer: the will to live again.

We’ve all been on that bridge of despair at some point in our lives. The answer isn’t looking down at the waters below, but looking up at the heavens above.

“Mom, we have to see Peter Pan Live on ‘Firsday’ – Please!”

Here’s the blog……

Taking it a Step at a Time

DC loves Peter Pan. (If you are not yet aware of this, please read “Second Star to the Right and hang a left”)

He has just discovered that NBC will attempt a live performance of  Peter Pan (Peter Pan Live) this Thursday night. It is already written on the calendar so there is no way out of it. I was required to add it to the calendar the moment he saw the commercial.

Last year, I suffered through “The Sound of Music Live” and I was really hoping to avoid “Peter Pan Live” this year. Yes, I knew it was coming but I remembered that they released the “Sound of Music Live” DVD in time for Christmas last year, so yes, I pre-ordered the “Peter Pan Live” DVD this year because no, I don’t want him to miss out on it altogether, I just really didn’t want to have to watch it myself as he watches his DVD’s in…

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Peter Pan Live Postmortem

Just finished watching NBC’s Peter Pan Live. I was amazed. This has all the makings of a smash hit for NBC….. I will take the slack from my friend Vickie (who blogged about her son’s fascination with Peter Pan yet he fell asleep). Twitter was afire with people slamming NBC for their mistake of bringing a classic to LIVE TV. I loved it!!! Bravo NBC. You have a new tradition for Christmas. Live musicals. Way to Go!!!
My star of the night is Alison Williams (last name sound familiar? She’s NBC News’ Brian Williams’ daughter). She took the role of Peter Pan and literally flew with it!!!

Relatively unknown? Not after tonight!!!!!

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The wonder of it all

Tonight is gonna be amazing. NBC is gonna tackle Peter Pan LIVE with little known actress Allison Williams in the title role, and theater and acting powerhouse Christopher Walken as Captain Hook. I’ll post my review later on this weekend.

Friendships

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Friendships are essential. They build keys that are well….. Essential. God placed you, my IG and blog friends, in my life for a very important reason. Thank you for your love support kick in the pants when needed and for just being there for me. I realize you are people too.

May God give us friends who love share and reap in the benefits of grace.

I formed your plans long ago.

I often think ” who formed my plans?”

Was it me? No. It was God.

Today’s verse….

Yahweh, Youare my God; I will exalt You. I will praise Your name, for You have accomplished wonders, plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness. (‭Isaiah‬ ‭25‬:‭1‬ HCSB)

Declares that God made our plans long ago “with perfect faithfulness”! We need to stop planning all this for ourselves and let God plan for us. It would be a lot better.

Lord help us to rely on your plans and timing for our lives. In Jesus name I pray amen.

Marvelous Grace

Grace.

That Marvelous aspect of God that enraptures many and reaches all.

Grace is defined as …”the love and mercy given to us by God because God desires us to have it, not because of anything we have done to earn it….” (Thanks Wikipedia)

Today’s verse…..
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. (‭Ephesians‬ ‭2‬:‭8-9‬ NASB)

….is the key to living in Christ. We are not saved by works (v. 9) but are saved by Grace through faith in Jesus Christ.

In closing I would like to share an acrostic I thought of:

God’s
Riches
At
Christ’s
Expense = GRACE

Lord Jesus thank You for the marvelous grace that washed my soul clean. May we turn to it again and again in times of need. In Jesus Name I pray, AMEN