Christmas Angels

April 30, 2019 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Humorous

By Kathy Carlton Willis –

As a child, I longed to be the angel in our church Christmas play. Everyone said Mary was the coveted role, but I disagreed. Mary had to wear pregnancy belly covered by a drab gown. She endured a bumpy camel ride, hung out with the stinky animals in the stable. (At least she bore Jesus in a stable home!) She had few lines. In contrast, the angels wore glittery costumes complete with wings. They got to fly and sing. They had a recurring role in the play. And they were the ones who delivered the good news!

Let’s think about how the folks in biblical times responded to the visitation of angels.

First, Gabriel visited Zacharias. Through his story we learn God breathes hope into the stale air of impossible situations. Does anything seem hopeless to you today? God is the expert at taking impossible situations and turning them into blessed possibilities.

Second, Gabriel visited Mary. Mary’s was a response of faith. Even though Mary couldn’t understand everything, she willingly trusted God. If we walk with God, there will be times He asks us to do the incredible. Even though we don’t know the end result we need to step out in faith.

Third, An angel visited Joseph. That night an angel told Joseph he would need to be faithful to Mary regarding this suspicious pregnancy. Joseph obeyed, and brought Mary home to be his wife, trusting her word. And with that decision he became the earthly father of the Son of God.

Fourth, the angels visited the shepherds. Theirs was a response of praise. These weren’t ordinary shepherds. In that time unblemished lambs were sacrificed in the temple as sin offerings. The temple authorities kept this flock in the hills surrounding Bethlehem. It’s fitting that the news of the One who would be a sacrifice for all was announced to those who tended these sacrificial sheep.

What is your reaction to learning of Jesus? Like Zacharias, do you entertain doubts? Are you speechless or dumbfounded when it comes to the things of the Lord? Perhaps, like Mary, your reaction to the news of Jesus is true worship and humility. Maybe you are obedient to God’s direction in your life, like Joseph. Or perhaps, you come to God with fear and trembling, willing to follow, like the shepherds.

AUTHOR QUOTE: However you come to Jesus, this Christmas season, come to Him!

“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!’” (Luke 2:13-14 NKJV).

Today’s devotional is by Kathy Carlton Willis, Christ-servant, wife to Russ, editor, publicist, certified CLASSeminars speaker and faculty member. Kathy Carlton Willis Communications encompasses her many passions. Kathy’s tagline captures her essence—Light & Lively: His Reflection/Her Laughter. Schedule Kathy for a speaking event or contact her firm for promotional assistance. KCWC gets jazzed shining the light on God’s writers and speakers.

Christmas Carols

April 29, 2019 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Worship

By Kathy Carlton Willis –

I don’t know about you, but for me, Christmas celebrations would not be complete without music. I love hearing Christmas songs in stores while shopping. The music uplifts me and it feels like I’m floating on air—transported to a different time and place without problems and trials.

At home I dig out all of my Christmas music. They include Windham Hill and Manheim Steamroller. I also have a peppy “Christmas on the Border” CD featuring Texas Blues, Hot Country, and Mexican Salsa-style Christmas tunes! And of course I have many of my favorite artists’ Christmas albums.

Churches also celebrate this sacred holiday with music. Most of our services have Christmas hymns and Christmas specials. Our children perform Christmas musicals. Children, music, and Christmastime—all of my favorite things!

I find myself humming Christmas tunes throughout the season and longing for an opportunity to join a group in Christmas caroling. I started caroling as a Girl Scout in third grade, and have caroled in some fashion almost every year since then.

Christmas music was a part of that very first Christmas. The angels sang, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” I can’t even imagine what it was like to hear the angelic choir as they sang. But we can sing a different kind of song than the angels. The angels knew the Christ-child as the Son of God who dwelled in heaven prior to His earthly birth. But we can know the Son of God as our personal Savior, something the angels will never know.

Don’t you think that gives all of us something to sing about? Joy to the world, the Lord has come!

PRAYER: Author of Christmas, sing Your songs into my heart that I might sing Your songs to others this holiday season and throughout the coming year.

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:14 KJV).

Today’s devotional is by Kathy Carlton Willis, Christ-servant, wife to Russ, editor, publicist, certified CLASSeminars speaker and faculty member. Kathy Carlton Willis Communications encompasses her many passions. Kathy’s tagline captures her essence—Light & Lively: His Reflection/Her Laughter. Schedule Kathy for a speaking event or contact her firm for promotional assistance. KCWC gets jazzed shining the light on God’s writers and speakers.

Attitude of Gratitude

April 26, 2019 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Life Topics

By Kathy Carlton Willis –

Thanksgiving Day, as celebrated in the United States, is today. What a great way to kick off the holiday season leading up to Christmas! One of the greatest reasons of all to give thanks is because we have the gift of Christ from our Heavenly Father. God’s unconditional love allowed Him to give up what He held most dear, His perfect Son, to provide a way of salvation for His created humanity. What better timing then, for Thanksgiving and Christmas to go hand in hand.

When we think about it, we must admit, we are so blessed. Even families enduring great hardships can find something for which to be thankful. In fact, it is an attitude of gratitude which will transform a downcast spirit into a countenance radiating joy. Others may not even realize the trials you are enduring because your shoulders are not weighted down and there’s still a spring in your step. Happiness depends on happenings, but joy comes when we focus on all the reasons we have to be grateful.

I know at least two families who read their calendars wrong and celebrated Thanksgiving last week. At first, I laughed at their silly mistake. But then I couldn’t help but realize there is nothing wrong with wanting to hurry up Thanksgiving. In fact, it is one holiday that could change our world, if each of us would have an attitude of gratitude all year long.

Just think what a transformation would take place if we were all thankful. Thankful for our salvation, we’d tell others about Christ. They would become thankful for the gift and have their own spiritual birthday. Thankful for God’s provision, we would share our provisions with those in need. Thankful for friendships, we would get along better with others. Appreciating our families more, we would spend more time together. Grateful for our jobs, we would become the best employees possible.

Can you see how developing an attitude of gratitude could transform our world? It wouldn’t just become a positive place to live. It would become a Christ-filled world.

AUTHOR QUOTE: May this Thanksgiving Day start your own gratitude revival!

“And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow Him. Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness” (Colossians 2:6-7 TLT).

Today’s devotional is by Kathy Carlton Willis, Christ-servant, wife to Russ, editor, publicist, certified CLASSeminars speaker and faculty member. Kathy Carlton Willis Communications encompasses her many passions. Kathy’s tagline captures her essence—Light & Lively: His Reflection/Her Laughter. Schedule Kathy for a speaking event or contact her firm for promotional assistance. KCWC gets jazzed shining the light on God’s writers and speakers.

Thanksliving

By Kathy Carlton Willis –

No, it’s not a typo! Rather than celebrating Thanksgiving once a year, let’s show our gratitude by Thanksliving. Thanksgiving can be a reminder for Christians to daily count our many blessings. As the old song goes, do we really name them one by one? If I were to journal my blessings, I could not find a book large enough to contain the list.

Our Lord enjoys our praises. Psalm 92:1 (KJV) says, “It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord.” God inhabits praise, meaning He is in the midst of praise. How often do we just take Him for granted?

My pastor shared a quote from Shakespeare that says, “How sharper than a serpent’s tooth is an ungrateful child.” He compared the serpent to the devil and the ungrateful child to God’s children who neglect to thank and praise their Heavenly Father. This really hits home. American children have been accused of developing a sense of entitlement. They believe they have a right to receive certain things regardless of whether they act responsibly or show appreciation. Perhaps we, as God’s children, are also guilty of feeling entitled to His blessings. Thankfully, He loves us in spite of our shortcomings. When we realize it is because of who He is, rather than who we are, we can come to Him just as we are and thank Him for the many showers of blessings.

AUTHOR QUOTE: So, this Thanksgiving, I’m going to work more on living a life of thankfulness. Then, I will be ThanksLIVING.

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17 KJV).

Today’s devotional is by Kathy Carlton Willis, Christ-servant, wife to Russ, editor, publicist, certified CLASSeminars speaker and faculty member. Kathy Carlton Willis Communications encompasses her many passions. Kathy’s tagline captures her essence—Light & Lively: His Reflection/Her Laughter. Schedule Kathy for a speaking event or contact her firm for promotional assistance. KCWC gets jazzed shining the light on God’s writers and speakers.

A Chronic Fixer

April 23, 2019 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Worship

By Kathy Carlton Willis –

As I watched a movie the other day, a quote embedded in my mind. To paraphrase, the character said, “Sometimes things need to stay broken. It’s not up to you to fix everything. Your job is to let it stay broken for now.”

That struck a chord with me because I’m a chronic fixer. If I see something that’s not right, I try to solve the problem and make things okay. If someone has a relationship problem, I become the mediator. If there are conflicts, I take on the role of peacemaker. If someone has a physical need, I am the self-appointed provider to meet that need.

All of that sounds good until I realize that I often jump ahead of God and just fix something without asking God if it is my job to repair it. That movie showed me that sometimes we learn more through the brokenness than we do when things are A-okay.

I heard myself saying the other day, “But I just don’t want to see them suffer.” Another Christian reminded me that the Bible speaks about suffering as if it is something with which the believer becomes greatly acquainted during his life journey. Suffering sometimes delivers a testimony of God’s grace, and sometimes it is a schoolmaster of what is important to God. We learn better through suffering, about the heart of God, than we do when things are hunky-dory. And we communicate more with God when we are in a broken place in our lives. So, it’s okay for some things to stay broken for a while. It’s not my job to fix everything. Only God can mend the wounds of a broken heart.

QUOTE: “In my brokenness ~ In my hour of darkness ~ I will lift my hands ~ And worship You ~ In my brokenness ~ In my time of sadness ~ I will lift my voice ~ And praise to You ~ Time stands still ~ As I kneel down before You ~ Life draws near ~ Like waves upon the shore ~ You touch me ~ In my brokenness ~ In these whispering shadows ~ I will lift the pieces ~ Of my heart to You.” Lyrics by David Meece from song, “Brokeness.”

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; He rescues those whose spirits are crushed” (Psalm 34:18 TLT).

Today’s devotional is by Kathy Carlton Willis, Christ-servant, wife to Russ, editor, publicist, certified CLASSeminars speaker and faculty member. Kathy Carlton Willis Communications encompasses her many passions. Kathy’s tagline captures her essence—Light & Lively: His Reflection/Her Laughter. Schedule Kathy for a speaking event or contact her firm for promotional assistance. KCWC gets jazzed shining the light on God’s writers and speakers.

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