A December Tradition, The Book of Luke: Chapter 1

So much of this chapter made my heart smile. A barren Elisabeth was not just given any child after years of being barren, but a child with a special touch from God. “15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. 16 And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. 17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” The Lord gave beyond even what they could have expected or prayed for! Then in verses 30-33 we find her cousin Mary being given absolute favor in the eyes of God as she finds she will conceive Jesus, “30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. 31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. 32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. You never know where or when God’s favor will touch you!

As I read verse 41, “And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:”, my heart leaped with happiness watching the story of our Savior unfold and reading the testimony of these two women. Elisabeth says in verse 45, “And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.” And Mary responds, “46 ¶ And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, 47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. 48 For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.” There is a lesson to be learned here. They didn’t question the blessing. They excepted it and gave praise for it! Zacharias goes on to be filled with the Holy Ghost in verse 67 after his son John is born. What an amazing first chapter to kick off this tradition. Thank you for joining me, I look forward to the days ahead. 💛 ~ Chelle, #f8ithgal

1 Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, 2 Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; 3 It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, 4 That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed. 5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife [was] of the daughters of Aaron, and her name [was] Elisabeth. 6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. 7 And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were [now] well stricken in years. 8 And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest’s office before God in the order of his course, 9 According to the custom of the priest’s office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. 10 And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense. 11 And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. 12 And when Zacharias saw [him], he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. 13 But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. 14 And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. 15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. 16 And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. 17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. 18 And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years. 19 And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings. 20 And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season. 21 And the people waited for Zacharias, and marvelled that he tarried so long in the temple. 22 And when he came out, he could not speak unto them: and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple: for he beckoned unto them, and remained speechless. 23 And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house. 24 And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying, 25 Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on [me], to take away my reproach among men. 26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, 27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name [was] Mary. 28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, [thou that art] highly favoured, the Lord [is] with thee: blessed [art] thou among women. 29 And when she saw [him], she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. 30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. 31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. 32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. 34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? 35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. 36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing shall be impossible. 38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her. 39 And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda; 40 And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth. 41 And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: 42 And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed [art] thou among women, and blessed [is] the fruit of thy womb. 43 And whence [is] this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. 45 And blessed [is] she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord. 46 And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, 47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. 48 For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. 49 For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy [is] his name. 50 And his mercy [is] on them that fear him from generation to generation. 51 He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. 52 He hath put down the mighty from [their] seats, and exalted them of low degree. 53 He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. 54 He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of [his] mercy; 55 As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever. 56 And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house. 57 Now Elisabeth’s full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son. 58 And her neighbours and her cousins heard how the Lord had shewed great mercy upon her; and they rejoiced with her. 59 And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father. 60 And his mother answered and said, Not [so]; but he shall be called John. 61 And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name. 62 And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called. 63 And he asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, His name is John. And they marvelled all. 64 And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue [loosed], and he spake, and praised God. 65 And fear came on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings were noised abroad throughout all the hill country of Judaea. 66 And all they that heard [them] laid [them] up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be! And the hand of the Lord was with him. 67 And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, 68 Blessed [be] the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, 69 And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; 70 As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: 71 That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; 72 To perform the mercy [promised] to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; 73 The oath which he sware to our father Abraham, 74 That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, 75 In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life. 76 And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; 77 To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins, 78 Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, 79 To give light to them that sit in darkness and [in] the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. 80 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel. ~ Luke 1

A New Christmas Tradition: Reading the Book of Luke

It is December and most people are counting down the days until Christmas. I read something interesting last month about the Book of Luke that makes counting down those days more meaningful and interesting. The Book of Luke has 24 chapters. If you read a chapter a day from December 1 through Christmas Eve on the 24th, you will wake on Christmas Day having read the entire account of the birth, ministry, sacrifice on the cross, and resurrection of Jesus. We all know you can’t believe everything you read. I am praying and looking through the Book of Luke, Father guide me if You would have to blog this for 24 days while calling my Uncle, for a Luke “fact check”. Does Luke really give the entire account of Jesus in 24 days?! It would appear he does! 33 years of Jesus life condensed into 24 chapters to highlight the greatest man to ever live, die, and live again for all of mankind. Yes, this is an awesome new Christmas tradition that I want to share with all of you! 💛 ~ Chelle, #f8ithgal

A Migraine Intense Day

The aura’s that precede the migraines are growing in intensity and duration. Today’s was certainly no exception. This precursor left me in haze that had me functioning from sheer instinct. There were things I needed to get done, so I pushed on. I’ve started to use the stop light as a scale to my function and for my pain, I had read an article on it. While I’m in the yellow zone, I proceed with caution. I spent much of the day dangerously close to red. Red is of course, stop. Laying in a dark room, no action. In the yellow zone today I fumbled around, dropping things. Focus, just focus I kept telling myself. I just couldn’t focus *** sighs ***. It’s so frustrating when the pain starts to consume so much of you that you can’t even think straight. But even before this place, the auras had my thoughts completely jumbled. I felt a tear trickle down my cheek as I realized the migraine was looming and this was only the beginning.

Lord help me. I’m not even sure where these “migraine” blogs are going to lead. Right now there are times I struggle to just get through the day. I’ve noticed my eyes tell the story of where I am with my migraine. Of course I can feel the migraine pulsating behind my eye, but I’ve found I can see a difference in my eyes in the pictures I take. While I’m not sure about a lot, I do know God is still in control and a testimony awaits on the other side of this storm! I’ll keep smiling through the tears and trusting God for the manifestation of my healing to take place in His time. Until then I’ll keep sharing my journey with you and I pray it encourages you to keep going! 💛 ~ Chelle, #f8ithgal

30 Days of Praise and Thanksgiving: Day 30

Day 30: Perseverance

Without God I would have thrown in the towel on this thing we call life a long time ago! There was a point in my life in Colorado where I had seriously hit the bottom. Thoughts of taking my own life had taken over me and the very person who was supposed to love me the most not only encouraged me but urged me to try it in the same method as he had years before… because it had worked so well for him (insert sarcasm). I laid in the floor begging God to just take me home, but God! He had other plans. Your work isn’t finished daughter, it hasn’t even started. Get back up and dry your eyes. “3 And not only [so], but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” Romans 5:3-5

I tell my story boldly now with no shame and no condemnation because God lifted me out of that pit of despair. Almost 2 years later the devil tried to cast me back into that same pit, but my Father reached His hand down in and said not My daughter as He pulled me up out. Breaking free from emotional abuse has been the single hardest thing I have done in my life. Almost every single day I fight to cut one of those emotional binding bands from around my mind. I can’t even explain to you the things that come into my mind. Poppa, I can’t do it; it is just too hard, I sometimes say. He answers, it is I that works through you. “Faithful [is] he that calleth you, who also will do [it].” 1 Thessalonians 5:24 What are you being called to persevere through today? Does it seem larger than you? Goliath was bigger than David. The flood was bigger than Noah. Jesus defeated death, do you really think there is one single thing you are facing that He can’t conquer? Perseverance makes you stronger in a Him and gives you a testimony to draw others to His beautiful light. Keep pressing. “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.Galatians 6:9 Keep persevering! 💛 ~ Chelle, #f8ithgal

❤️ Thank You Father God for helping me persevere! ❤️

For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. ~ Hebrews 10:36

Blessed [is] the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. ~ James 1:12

15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of [our] lips giving thanks to his name. ~ Hebrews 13:15

1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset [us], and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of [our] faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. ~ Hebrews 12:1-2

Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. ~ Revelation 4:11

Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and for evermore. ~ Psalm 113:2

13 I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD. 14 I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people. ~ Psalm 116:13-14

30 Days of Praise and Thanksgiving: Day 29

Day 29: A light for Christ

My daily prayer is, “Poppa, cause there to be something different within me that draws others to You. Allow Your light to shine so bright through me that others know it is the Jesus in me!” I want that light to be so bright that others say, “I want that!” The devil tries hard to snuff out that light. I have so many imperfections and he knows how to play on every insecurity and every weak spot I have. But God. “9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 My daughter, tell them they don’t have to be perfect. All they have to do is come to me. “28 Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke [is] easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 I gave My Son, not for the perfect but for the lost. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” ~ John 3:16

God had me start this blog as an encouragement to His children that had fallen and lost hope, GET BACK UP and to the lost, HE’S CALLING YOU! I’m the most imperfect person you will ever meet. I’ve fallen, I’ve ran, I’ve trusted my heart to the wrong people, but God never let me go. Even today I have migraines so bad I can’t focus and in the midst of the confusion God says your not alone and you tell them they are not alone either! Tears streaming I struggle to write this today with a haze of confusion trying to envelope me. I hear my Father whisper, still my light shines through. Friends, you are not alone. No matter the storm, no matter how thick the darkness, He is the light that penetrates through. On day 29, I am thankful to have the light of Christ on the inside of me that illuminates outwards. Darkness can never again consume me. Thank you for following my blog and allowing the light of Christ to touch you through me. 💛 ~ Chelle, #f8ithgal

🧡 Thank You Father God for Your light that shines out from within me! 🧡

And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; ~ Revelation 5:9

14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. ~ Matthew 5:14-15

For so hath the Lord commanded us, [saying], I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth. ~ Acts 13:47

And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for [the sins of] the whole world. ~ 1 John 2:2

Who can utter the mighty acts of the LORD? [who] can shew forth all his praise? ~ Psalm 106:2

For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, [then] shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for [such] a time as this? ~ Esther 4:14

Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: and thy glory above all the earth; ~ Psalm 108:5

30 Days of Praise and Thanksgiving: Day 28

Day 28: Free from Expectations of Others

I’ve got this neat thing I do (insert sarcasm) where I constantly try to please others. I do it in every single area of my life. It can be at work, at home, even online for goodness sakes. It is a seemingly never ending task that is also an impossible one. Too many people have learned to take advantage of this side of me. Today’s devotion really hit home. “I have called you to live without the burden of keeping others happy. Don’t worry so much about what others think. If you let their expectations drive you, you will live in bondage to them. Their opinions become like chains, keeping you from experiencing My love.” The 30 Day Praise Challenge by Becky Harling. I thought, “Wow Lord, that is me! Why do I do that, why am I like that?” He said, I’m working the kinks out daughter, I’m changing your mind. That brought tears to my eyes y’all! He’s told me so many times now my mind was bound like a rope, twisted knotted. He’s undoing that damage of years of emotional abuse that has caused this people pleasing mental within me. My focus is changing, it has changed. “For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.” ~ Galatians 1:10 My perception of myself no longer has to be bound up in what I can (or can’t do) for you. I’m sorry, yet not really sorry. It’s no longer about you. It’s no longer about me. It’s about my Father doing a work through me. I felt that in my spirit this morning.

Change is in the air. “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:” Philippians 1:6 My Poppa is working in me daily! Some people are going to like these changes and others not so much. That’s okay, [again] my circle wasn’t meant for everyone. I’m at at place where I need people who enrich the soil around me. If you are constantly pulling the nutrients out and not replacing anything, you are at the very least stumping my growth. In some cases you are destroying the nutrients the Lord is pouring in. Those people have to be uprooted. Not everyone that says friend friend, is indeed a friend. Look at Judas. “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have [it] more abundantly.” ~ John 10:10 I’ve also comes to realize not everyone in your life should be labeled “friend”. You have associates, co-workers, just a whole smorgasbord of people you meet and may even have contact with daily. That doesn’t make them friends and it doesn’t mean they belong in your circle. What kind of fruit are the people in your circle yielding? How are they enriching the soils of your soul? A lot for me to digest today,  but I’m not digesting it alone! It’s funny, as I was writing the end of this I was thinking it might step on toes. My Poppa said write it anyways. Thank You Lord for freeing me from the expectations of others! 💛 ~ Chelle, #f8ithgal

💙 Thank You Father God for freeing me from the expectations of others! 💙

The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe. | Proverbs 29:25

8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now [are ye] light in the Lord: walk as children of light: 9 (For the fruit of the Spirit [is] in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) 10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. ~ Ephesians 5:8-10

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:18

And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them: ~ Jeremiah 32:39

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. ~ Galatians 5:1

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform [it] until the day of Jesus Christ: ~ Philippians 1:6

That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us. ~ 1 Timothy 1:14

9 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and [in] all judgment; 10 That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; 11 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God. ~ Philippians 1:9-11

30 Days of Praise and Thanksgiving: Day 27

Day 27: God’s in Control

The wind is insane here tonight. I watched it picking up throughout the day as I worked. The leaves were swirling through the air and before they could even hit the the ground another gust would seemingly sweep through and have them dangling through the air longer. I thought about my life blowing out of my control over the last several months. My “pieces” seemingly all over the place. I watched the leaves a bit longer. At first glance, one could see chaos and the storm moving in. The temperature was dropping, yes a storm was coming. But as I watched the leaves they almost appeared to be dancing in the wind, they were so whimsical and pretty. You can’t control everything daughter, but you serve the One who can and does. All you have to do is put your trust in Me and those pieces will fall right into place. “5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” ~ Proverbs 3:5-6 I don’t know what you are going through. Perhaps all the pieces in your life are aligned perfectly, but maybe they are slightly scattered or they could just be all over the place like mine were. I’m here to tell you God is in control and He’s lining those pieces up. All you have to do is allow Him to direct your path. Relinquish that control you are trying to hold on to, that control you think you have to hold on to… relinquish it over to The One who truly controls it all. He will never let you down. 💛 ~ Chelle, #f8ithgal

❤️ Thank You Father God for being in control even when I’m not! ❤️

[There are] many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand. ~ Proverbs 19:21

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. ~ Psalm 23:3

7 He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD. 8 His heart [is] established, he shall not be afraid, until he see [his desire] upon his enemies. ~ Psalm 112:7-8

5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: ~ Philippians 2:5-7

By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of [our] lips giving thanks to his name. ~ Hebrews 13:15

[This] I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. ~ Galatians 5:16

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, ~ Galatians 5:22

I am the vine, ye [are] the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. ~ John 15:5