{re}fresh

Month: December, 2016

Why a Child?

by Mike McKinniss

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Ami Cries” by clappstar under license CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Over dinner earlier this month, my inquisitive wife asked a good question: “Why did Jesus have to come as a baby?”

Astutely, I pressed for more. “Wha?”

She forged ahead, despite me. “What I mean is, why couldn’t Jesus have just supernaturally appeared as a grown man and done his thing? Why did he have to be born like every other child?”

There are any number of responses, none of which were coming to me. I mean, I know Jesus’ humanity and the nature of his birth have kept theologians employed for centuries. But I’m no theologian and I’ve only got 600 words to spend on this post.

Still, I’m mindful that as we swipe our Google calendars to 2017, with all the resolutions and fresh hope that typically accompany a new year, there is one particular lesson from the infant birth of Christ that may be helpful for us. Read the rest of this entry »

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He Has Promised

by Carol Nicholls

amen-by-ericferdinand_flicr-com_564993108_adfeb4330f_CC BY 2.0

amen-by-eric_ferdinand_flickr-com_564993108_adfeb4330f_CC BY 2.0

For all the promises of God in Him (Jesus) are yes, and in Him…Amen..So Be It!    II Corinthians 1:20

“I say what I mean and I mean what I say.” I really live that sentence. It is a fundamental statement of who I am. On the positive side of things, my word is my bond. On the negative side, I can come across as uncaring.

Most of us have strong convictions on some subject, but we rarely know why they are so important to us. In my case the reason is rooted in childhood. Read the rest of this entry »

Posture of Belief

by Dawn Aldrich

Believe by the unquiet librarian_Flickr.com_5215537173_0aff0e9598_CC BY -ND 2.0

Believe by the unquiet librarian_Flickr.com_5215537173_0aff0e9598_CC BY -ND 2.0

“Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her!” Luke 1:45

Believing God’s promises isn’t always easy, especially when He promises the impossible.

I often marvel at Mary’s experience with the angel Gabriel, in the Christmas story. There she was, a simple Jewish maiden, minding her own business, maybe hanging laundry, walking back from the market or drawing water from the well, when suddenly Gabriel greets her as God’s “highly favored” one.

Scripture doesn’t say Mary cowered from his large stature or trembled at the sound of his booming voice. So, not wanting to frighten her, I imagine Gabriel may have seemed a plain man; someone whom Mary would not be afraid. But what did frighten her was Gabriel’s greeting. “Greetings! You are highly favored. The Lord is with you!” (Luke 1:28)

You can fill in the blanks. “Who? Me? Favored? By whom? God? Oh! You must have mistaken me for someone else. I’m just…well, I’m just…I’m only Mary.” Read the rest of this entry »

A Promise: as good as the Promise Maker

by kerriebutterfield

pinky-promise-by-kennysarmy_flickr-com_5723186334_d6d7728e0c_CC BY-ND 2.0

pinky-promise-by-kennysarmy_flickr-com_5723186334_d6d7728e0c_CC BY-ND 2.0

I had a spiritual breakdown eight years ago. Riddled with disappointment and anger with God for not doing what He promised,  I became  weary of waiting for God’s goodness. I couldn’t pray, or if I did, my prayers were filled with bitterness, sadness, and despair.

In the midst of teaching  others that God spoke, healed and saved, we witnessed our friends die of cancer and we struggled financially. I was  doing the “right stuff’ but things weren’t  working out “right”. It wasn’t until after a traumatic event that  I realized all this and I found myself losing hope.

A few weeks later, home alone with my miserable self, I  heard Papa God say to me, “A promise is  as good as the person who makes it. You believe I am good for others, but you don’t believe I am good for you. I want to give you unshakeable faith in my goodness. I am going to astound you with my goodness so that you truly know that I am good.” Read the rest of this entry »

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