I have recently been blessed to be able to assist with worship leading at a local church in my community. The way we were even introduced to each other was really a God-thing. It was through a mutual friend and something I was definitely NOT looking for. When I first met with the pastor and his wife and heard about their needs, I could easily see where I might be able to help them. With my role at Worship Team Training, I thought for sure I could just come alongside them, assess the situation with their music program and advise them on some possible solutions and continue on with my journey…Right!

Then the pastor, who has no problem being direct and to the point (totally my way to communicate, saves on words and no second guessing), asked me if I would be willing to come be a part of their team there by leading their music ministry. I laughed; that was so funny to me. I was actually looking for a job to try and support my music ministry, but I was not looking for a Worship Leader position. It would tie me down too much and inhibit my ability to travel with the ministry work I had planned. I told the pastor I needed flexibility with my music ministry and traveling, that’s why a worship lead position wouldn’t work for me. The pastor didn’t balk. He said he said he had nothing BUT flexibility and would be willing to support my music ministry and travel schedule. What? I laughed some more and said, “I don’t want to hear you say that you are flexible. Thank you.”

Seriously, what was God thinking? He knew that my need for flexibility would be my only concern in considering something like this. I was fairly content with where I was at with another church in my community. It’s obvious to me that the pastor and God must have had some kind of conversation before we even met in person. I really did ask God in my mind, at that moment there in Starbucks (with the pastor and his wife across the table from me), “Uh, what are you doing here, God? This wasn’t what I was envisioning. Care to fill me in?” I literally was speechless. So I did the next best thing. Yes, I could consult!

I settled with the pastor and his wife that I would come visit their church after returning from my grandfather’s Memorial in Atlanta to assess their needs to see what I could do to help. And I did just that. Let me tell you how much I wanted to get out of my seat that Sunday and go up there and help the pastor’s sweet 14 year-old daughter, who was bravely leading worship all by herself (with her Dad singing). I REALLY wanted to help! I know God was so blessed by what they were doing to help lead the congregation out of the pureness and genuineness of their hearts. I wanted to be a part of that kind of heart. I looked around and looked at the members of the church. Could I leave the current church where I was at and start all over again? I answered in my heart with a resounding, “Yes!” I could sense His heart and what He was calling me to do for this church. I knew He had equipped me with all the skills I needed. I needed to go and follow in obedience.

A big challenge has been set before me (literally right into my lap). But God knows what He is doing, and I know He can do it. He will lead me. And I know I am up for the challenge. I led for my first time with the church, last Sunday. It’s not easy jumping into something that you are unfamiliar with and I am sure the congregation might have felt the same way, not knowing what I might bring to their church. We both had to trust that we were concerned about the same things without knowing each other yet. It takes a lot of hard work to ease into something to make sure everyone feels safe about where you are going.

Sequim Valley NazareneThe big picture for me was that I could go out of my comfort zone for something difficult, instead of making my life comfortable sitting in a chair in the back of a church (well, not all the way in the back, but close enough). My eyes are wide open as I go into this, but they will be half-closed as I look beyond the challenges and trust in God’s goodness to provide for every need as I follow His leading. God sees us for who we are in Him and He is not content to leave us where we are at, but to continue to grow and shape us into His image. The image that we were created in to begin with.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9 (ESV)

I am choosing to love and embrace what is difficult, because there are greater rewards ahead than this earth can ever give us, and I know my life is not my own (even though I still battle with my own selfish desires). After all, didn’t God choose to love me and embrace me in my “difficultness”?

Rick Elias jObHave you ever been in a jOb kind of way?

Quite a few times in my life, I have been. Even the last couple of years have been quite a painful struggle to step forward in faith to God’s calling in my life. Sometimes I have brought my own suffering upon me. Other times it has been beyond my control. The latter have been my jOb moments. I can live life with my suffering more when I know I have caused it, but when someone or something else has caused harm to me…it can become unbearable.

“Is not your fear of God your confidence, and the integrity of your ways your hope?” Job 4:6

We can get overly confident in our salvation at times and start to wear it as our badge of courage (or humilty, which in essence becomes pride), faltering towards being wise in our own eyes. At this time of year, I chose the theme of suffering because there are so many out in the world today that suffer. Especially during the Christmas season.  And it was our Savior, Christ Jesus, who came for those who are needy and suffering (even those that don’t know how needy they are).

Don’t you think God suffered by limiting Himself to a human form? The beautiful babe in the manger is our God with us in all His glory, humbling Himself to endure human physical limitations, to come to a lost and hurting world of people to redeem mankind by suffering on a cross. He endured it’s scorn and shame for all of our sins, once and for all.  And the beauty of it was, that He lifted Himself out of the depths of the earth to glorify Himself again (there you go, my Christmas sermon for you). In other words, God knows suffering more than any of us.

jOb suffers greatly as God allows Satan to approach him with tragedy after tragedy. So much so, jOb becomes extremely depressed and believes the only answer to his suffering and pain is death itself and he longs for it. In fact, jOb says he loathes his life because of his suffering. He questions God, “make me understand how I have gone astray”. jOb knows he has been righteous before God in following the laws and commands. He has been a man of integrity. He can’t figure out why God will allow this.

In the same way, we can question, “God, why did you allow this to happen to me? What did I do wrong that made me deserve this?” We can’t seem to find the answers for why. In fact, jOb even thinks he must have sinned in order to deserve such calamity to the point of feeling sorry for himself and having his own pity party. I have heard people say this about others who have suffered, but they couldn’t be any further from the truth. It’s wrong thinking to believe that bad things happen to godly people because they have sinned. Nope. God is sovereign. He causes the rain to fall on the just and the unjust.

In trying to understand why God would do this, jOb makes a decision to complain from the bitterness in his soul. He even goes so far as to try to liken God as a “joy killer” that any man would bring upon another man. And he begs God to leave him alone, so that he could find some happiness somewhere in the days that he has left.

“because God has loosed my cord and humbled me.” Job 30:11

No matter how humble or righteous through Christ we think we are…we can still be brought lower by a Sovereign God. Let pride bring us low every time. jOb was righteous in his own eyes, even though by our standards he would have seemed like a devout and humble believer of our day. When I find that I accept God as Sovereign in my life, it frees me up to stop worrying about things that seem so unfair to me and it silences my argument before God. I am quieted by His righteousness…and His love.

Maybe your lyre needs to be turned to mourning and your pipe to those who weep?

“But it is the spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty that makes him understand.” Job 32:8

“God is mighty in strength of understanding.” Job 36:5b

Is there something we can learn by being in a jOb kind of way?

If you have been hanging in there with me by reading this long blog, let me get to why I was inspired to write it. There is a new CD out by Rick Elias that I just have to share with you. It’s called jOb. I love it. I love it even more so, as a mental health counselor, because hurting people need real music that can speak to their soul and human condition. It is raw in it’s musical talent and lyrics as it depicts the story of jOb. You can’t help but ache with jOb as you listen. It strikes a chord in my own heart for the times that it has ached and still aches. It is real music. Real pain. Real suffering. And I feel like I am crying out with jOb (or possibly even Rick), “Help Thou my unbelief, lest I fall away”. I, too, am in awe how He still loved me anyway.  God “undoes” us, so that He can finish His work in us. “Father you know me, the seed of your creation, made in your image with little indication of my poverty.” (Rick Elias, Help Thou My Unbelief). The moment we realize our depravity…is this not the way God shows us humility?

“Behold, God is great, and we know him not; the number of his years is unsearchable. For he draws up the drops of water; they distill his mist in rain, which the skies pour down and drop on mankind abundantly.” Job 37:26-28

When It All Came Down has to be my most favorite song of the album (you’ll have to listen to it to see why) and I confess, I cried when I heard A Kind Of Brilliance. I think Rick had a kind of brilliance when he wrote it. It reminds me of myself and the woman at the well. Searching for water in broken cisterns. I need the water that is overflowing and full of life that will never leave me thirsty again. Quite frankly, I love all the songs on this CD and I want more of it. (Sidenote: you can purchase jOb at Rick’s website).

I like how God is spot on to ask jOb to step up to the plate as he questions jOb…be a man, and I will show you who is in charge! “Where were you, Job, when I laid the foundations of the earth?”, “When the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?”…kind of wakes you up to reality.

I think God must love jOb’s honesty and boldness to tell him to even approach, even in his arrogance. It reminds me of Jacob wrestling with God and then God putting his hip out of alignment so that Jacob never forgets who is in control. Likewise, I think God asks us to step up to the plate and be bold enough to speak our minds so He can show us who He is and then we find out (we really have no argument at all).

To be sure, God, cares for the broken-hearted. He just has interesting ways of showing His compassion that is so unconventional to a worldly understanding.

“He delivers the afflicted by their affliction and opens their ear by adversity.” Job 36:15

I am listening, God…

About Rick’s CD, jOb:

I think it’s important to have good music that speaks to the soul when it aches. “Mourn with those who mourn”. Romans 12:15b If you have been in a jOb kind of way, Rick’s new CD  jOb, will be a true comfort and balm for you. You are not alone. There truly are no strangers at the table of suffering: loss of a job, a home, loved ones, a marriage or significant relationship, searching to end the pain with whatever one can find…you can truly relate to jOb in this album and ache alongside him. This CD reminds me, I too, am not alone and it lifts me in a way that reminds me that the One who made me, knows me so well and knows how to reach me. Traveling with a person in their journey of suffering can help to bring them back to truth.

In evaluating the musical aspects of the album, I hear sounds of the Beach Boys, Joe Walsh, Billy Joel, and other classic rock from the 70’s and 80’s that I am wracking my brain over and can’t think of just off-hand. I guess you could say it is eclectic, which creates it’s own appeal to me. There is also some great acoustic guitar and really cool electric guitar distortions. I love Rick’s honest vocals and melodies; he is true to himself as a writer and musician.  I believe this album goes back to Rick’s time with Rich Mullins and it will make you miss Rich (well, it made me miss him). Such great Ragamuffins! Nothing like REAL music. I highly recommend this album and you have to get it! 😉 Thank you for your gift, Rick!

*Read another great comprehensive blog and review of Rick’s new CD here from Craig Daliessio: http://shinnyandshavings.blogspot.com/2013/11/rick-elias-job-re-posting-my-review.html

It was the reason why I bought the album!

May the Year 2014 reveal to you God’s Sovereign Grace!

Love, Jen

Ever had that moment where you knew you were supposed to be somewhere, but everything was working against you to get there? I did, just this last weekend. I was supposed to work with my boss at Worship Team Training (WTT) at the Christian Musician Summit Northwest (CMS), but his son got really sick so he had to cancel. I thought, now what should I do? I couldn’t imagine not being at CMS Northwest this year, so I asked the planners if I could volunteer. Yes! I could! So now I could go.

On Thursday night I met with Dave Cleveland who was doing a Guitar Boot Camp that day at the conference. Dave played on a couple of songs off my new album that we are working on, and one of the songs was guitar driven, that I really wanted to learn some basics for. Dave told me to email him the mp3 of the session track and he would give me some pointers the next day. After leaving, I got in a car accident. I rear-ended someone and then someone else rear-ended me. The front of my car was pretty smashed up, but I thought since it was still drivable and the headlights still worked, I would attempt to stay for the weekend instead of driving the 2-1/2 hours home.

As I drove to the conference that morning, a thought crossed my mind. What if something was trying to keep me from being present? The spiritual warfare I had been experiencing the last year and even more so this last month with my website getting hacked twice, made me think: I needed to just show up and look beyond the trials. So I went in on Friday morning, determined to see what God would have in plan for me, even though my car was smashed and I could be dealing with possible whiplash.

Yep. God had a plan. I was blessed to meet and spend some time with one of the Nashville Session Players, Blair Masters, who played keys on a few other of my songs. Then later that evening after Dave Cleveland and band performed, we were all hanging out at the merchandise table. We were joking around about how they could be my band and tour with me. So I got Nashville Session Playersa picture with the guys for fun. We are all connected through my producer Eric Copeland, as they frequently track in session for a lot of the independent artists that hire Eric through Creative Soul to produce their projects (myself being one of them).

So that was fun enough in and of itself and I was really glad I didn’t get discouraged from the car wreck and go home early. My neck and shoulders started getting really sore that night. Dave had asked me if we could do the guitar instruction the next day instead when he had more time, so that was no problem for me. I decided on Saturday morning it would be a casual sweats day, so I dressed down and drove to the conference.

Before I got out of my car, I checked my emails. In there was an email from Dave asking me if I would be willing to join the band for his 11:30 a.m. workshop that day. He wanted to use my song Deep Into You that they had tracked in session as an example for how to work together as a band. My first email reply was “Seriously?” (my anxiety meter went up). Dave had to write me back and say “please”…etc. Of course I had to say “Yes!”, even though I felt so inadequate and unprepared. After all, I had just recorded vocals on the song a month before and hadn’t event performed it live yet. And another little voice was antagonizing me saying, who do you think you are? You are just an obscure nobody.

I thought to myself and I spoke to God…this is why You wanted me to show up this weekend?” I knew His answer was yes. Then I had my Moses excuses for Dave…”but Dave, I wore sweats today”…”Dave, you are really making me stretch out of my comfort zone”… additional excuses went through my brain (even the fact that it was being live-streamed on internet land with me in my sweats -geez!), but I didn’t burden the guitar hero with them. I mean… c’mon…. this is THE Dave Cleveland asking obscure, small-town girl, me, to sing with him and these incredible session players for his workshop. I didn’t want him to change his mind! Craziness.

But I heard these words…just show up, God’s got it covered. I took myself and my anxiety out to my smashed up car, now doubling as a rehearsal studio and practiced my song over and over again. I finally showed up at our meeting time… and then while on stage as we were prepping, I fell over a floor wedge monitor before going out there to sing. I had a huge goose egg under my knee cap.

Now if anything could take care of my anxiety, a date with my face on the floor was the perfect distraction! Nerves totally cured! By the time I went out to sing with the band, the only worry on my mind was being embarrassed at falling over on stage and wondering if anyone saw it. And then… I was in the most surreal moment of my lifetime, as I listened to the band play my song live behind me, while I sang it… oh yeah, I showed up. And that was all God asked of me. He orchestrated everything else out to the way it was supposed to go and I had to be open and steadfast. To be firm and not let my faith be shaken by a car wreck or falling flat on my face, literally.

I thought of King David in his shepherd days. He showed up every day to tend to the sheep and to protect them from the wolves and other dangers. That was his job and he did it well. He was obscure. The last of all the brothers, and never considered once by his father or brothers to be a possible choice for Samuel to anoint as the next King. But God was equipping him out in those fields for something far greater. There are many of us who are “obscure” like David the shepherd boy. We go about our lives every day, working hard at where we know God wants us at and we just show up. And it is highly likely that God will lead us to even greater things, because we show up every day in what we think are monotonous tasks but He is waiting to see if we are going to be faithful at them. While we may dream of bigger things to come, we stay in the present.

Our God is a God who is never surprised by anything, but He surprises us by using the ordinary to do extraordinary things.

So, if ever there is a doubt in your mind as to whether you should be somewhere, consider going about your plan and just show up. Even if obstacles are thrown at you (sometimes these obstacles are legit and you need to respond to them). However, they may be trying to get you off course and keep you from experiencing something greater that God has in store for you and for someone else who will be blessed by your faithfulness in showing up. After all, it’s not about us. We are the conduit of His love and mercy to others, so just show up!

“For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16: 7b, ESV

 

 

Having just spent the last couple of days intentionally in God’s creation, I wanted to share a reminder that I always seem to get whenever I am out in it.

I live in one of the most bMost Beautiful PNWeautiful places of the country in the Pacific Northwest (I think – although, Alaska was possibly more beautiful when I lived there). Quite frankly, I see beauty in God’s natural creation wherever I travel. I always find something beautiful about the place I am at, even if it is not necessarily a place I want to live in.

But as I stare at, listen to, feel and absorb all the beauty… God says, “wait…” and I hear Him say… “my children are even more beautiful than all this that I have created.” On the 6th day of creation, when God had created mankind, He said it was “very good”. On all the other days, He said they were “good”. But humans… “very good”…even though in our sin nature we are so corrupt and in need of salvation.

I get seriously inspired by the natural environment around me. I wake up to it every morning right here in my backyard with the view of the mountains and I think of all the things I want to say or write about how wonderful God is and His salvation that He brings. But I must confess, have I looked at people that way? All people? Honestly, not all people inspire me to want to sit down and write a song… or think of how wonderful God is for creating that person. Yet it is so much easier when I look at an ocean, a river, mountains or the lush greenery of a forest. It does not take me long to look at the beauty of creation and be in awe of nature and want to think less of humankind. Such a sad and backwards thinking. I really want to be mindful to reverse that.

“God, help me to see the incredible-ness of your creation in every living soul that You died for; they are most beautiful in all creation. Help me to be inspired to love deeper than I ever have and also more genuinely as one of your own children saved by grace.”

 

 

There is an amazing strength that comes from within when you know beyond a shadow of a doubt whose you are: that you were created for a purpose and how much you are deeply loved.

“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.” Jeremiah 31:3, ESV

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Psalm 139:13-16, NIV

No lie from the Enemy can steal that truth away. You have to see it and really believe it, no matter what life seems to present you with. We may bend with the wind, but we won’t break.Bend in the Wind

It is the One who has carried you through every high gale and storm; He is the One who sings over you joyfully and holds you tenderly in the palm of His hand. The God from everlasting to everlasting!

Don’t you know, you are a child of God?

“The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs – heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.” Romans 8:16-17, ESV

and 

“Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” John 1:12, NIV

This is our positional and eternal truth! It is hard to be shaken from that reality once you get it!

Failure. Who wants to fail? None of us. But the truth of the matter is, we live in a fallen world and we have a sinful nature that wars against us. There is also an Enemy agent at work against us. As humans we are fragile. We are bound to fail. I fail, you fail, we fail each other. But our God NEVER fails us. “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abPoppiesounding in steadfast love. He will not always chide, nor will He keep His anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His steadfast love towards those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does He remove our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103: 8-12, ESV

From everlasting to everlasting… He is God!

When you FEEL like you have failed, when you KNOW you have failed, remember this: “But this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in Him.'” Lamentations 3: 21-24, ESV

Do you cling to Him as Your portion? Then NEVER GIVE UP…NEVER!!!

A prayer of hope: We are so thankful, Lord, that even though we fail You and others, even ourselves, You never fail us. Everything you have said about yourself in Your word is true. You have given us Your gracious Holy Spirit, through our Savior, as a deposit on our hearts to mark us for the day of redemption. We wait for that with eager expectation and in the meantime, we pray that the acknowledgement of our failures and humility that comes from them, continues to reflect Your radiant glory in all Your goodness. Yes, Lord, Your mercies are new every morning! Amen

Yesterday, I wept for Boston.

I did a 12k once and completed 3 triathlons. But I have never run a marathon.

As I heard the news and watched the horror that those in Boston had experienced 2 hours earlier, my heart grieved and I covered my eyes to what I was seeing. My ears heard the screams of innocent people stunned in the aftermath and fear. I cried out, “Why, God?”

Evil has touched our nation once again.

But evil has not triumphed. It lost a long time ago. It rears its ugly head only temporarily to remind us that our lives are precious and not to be taken for granted. It reminds us that people, strangers, healthcare volunteers, law enforcement and others, respond in acts of kindness beyond themselves. We were made for relationship. And we respond in compassion to those in need.

Yesterday, I grieved with all those around the world that were connected to this horrific tragedy and loss of life and limb there in Boston.

This morning I was reminded of God’s faithfulness. That darkness is never dark to Him. That I live, move and breathe in Him. My very existence is held in the palm of His hand and all my days here on this earth are numbered. I will never understand on this side of Heaven why some lives are taken, by what seems to me to be, too early. Why evil has to persist long. I will never understand the full extent why we humans have to go through painful experiences in our life: many times by things that are beyond our control.

As I reflected on those who lost so much yesterday, I was reminded of what God has given me. I used the legs that carry me and I moved them. I hugged my son with my arms. I kissed the lips of my spouse who is my best friend. I used my hands to pray and play the songs that I write as a songwriter on my piano. I listened to sounds of the birds chirping from the nearby tree. I looked with my eyes at the creation and at the beauty of a frail humanity that needs a Savior. There are some who never see, never hear, never walk, can’t hug. But I can. I take it for granted.

To all those who have suffered; to all those who didn’t get to cross their finish line yesterday in Boston; to those who were so excited to watch their family, neighbors and friends run such a historic and prestigious race yesterday and then left this earth so abruptly:

“There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells, God is within her, she will not fail, God will help her at break of day. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts, The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah” Psalm 47:4-7

There is a finish line with a prize greater than anything this earth can offer. Be still and know that He is God. He is the One that can bring you your comfort when there are no answers. He has swallowed up death in victory. Evil’s power lost it’s grip when the perfect sacrifice laid down His life for all and brought it back up again. Those of us who remain, we are ALIVE. There is hope in a fallen world. There is One who knows our suffering: Christ Jesus.

This morning I didn’t want to run.Running

But this morning I was compelled to run.

I laced up my running shoes and put on my mismatched running gear.

Because others can’t and I can…

 

Today, I ran for Boston.

 

Peace-2013You know those emails you get with the please forward to 10 people and email it back to the person that sent it to you? I don’t like forwarding or replying to them, but sometimes I read them and think, oh that’s nice, or… I don’t believe that… But this morning I read one and I really liked some thoughts in it, so I thought I would share it:

“If God brings you to it, He will bring you
through it.
Happy moments, praise God.
Difficult moments, seek God.
Quiet moments, worship God.
Painful moments, trust God.
Every moment, thank God.”

I have been through every one of these moments this past year. No matter what happens in life, especially things you can’t change or understand why they are happening, I choose to believe God is at the center of my leaning into Him for my everything to get through these trials. It’s not the praise of man that I seek or worry about. It is the adoration of my Savior that I want to keep front and center. If my life does not reflect that example, then I have failed to show you the best reason of why I live and why He lives for you and me.

Sometimes change requires quietly and boldly moving in new directions. Our paths may intersect from time to time, run parallel or even go in opposite directions, but know that as a friend or family member, you are a gift from God and I love you! Just a little reflection time this morning and wanting to wish you the very best in 2013! Maranatha!

Love,
Jen

In my Advent readings today I was reminded of Simeon in Luke 2:25-32 and a most precious painting I dearly love and wish I owned a copy of by Ron Dicianni of Simeon’s Moment which was inspired by this scripture:

simeons-moment
Simeon’s Moment by Ron DIcianni

“Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said, “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.”

After He was circumcised on the 8th day according to Jewish custom, He was given the name I?sous (what we call “Jesus”) which is of Hebrew origin of the name “Joshua” meaning “Jehovah is salvation.” This was the name that the Angel Gabriel had told the virgin Mary to give to the baby that she was about to conceive. Don’t you just love the intentionality of a name? Jesus is salvation!

I imagine how overjoyed Simeon was as he held the Savior of the world! I really love this print so much because of the expression on his face as he held the precious babe, Jesus, knowing what he knew and the imprint of the world in the background. It brings this scripture alive for me and brings me joy and hope! Jesus came for all of us and Simeon knew it! We too can have that same joy as we come to fully understand the price He paid for us. He had to come to earth as fully God and yet fully man to make it real for us and show us a way back to Himself. He knows we need real life examples to follow. And once we believe by faith, He places His Holy Spirit in us guaranteeing what is yet to come!

He has allowed us to see Him as He came to earth in human form and through this wisdom which has now been revealed to all mankind. Will you accept this redemption in your life? The Savior of the world is calling your name…