Trek to the Manger (DQ7)

Trek to the Manger Ch 7I was talking with a new friend over coffee the other day, and she shared with me a dream she has for ministry. It started with a picture in her head, and she can actually “see” herself in a very particular place, doing a very specific type of ministry, and it’s so cool! Especially because her vision has absolutely nothing to do with her “real life” as it is today. She’s not trained for it. She doesn’t live in that geographical area. She basically has no idea how to get from point A (today) to point B (the dream). Even still, it’s crystal-clear in her heart and compelling as heck – she can’t shake it.

Sometimes God gives us a glimpse of Heaven and we mistake it for something we can have/do/be on earth. Now, don’t get me wrong! I have no doubt God can equip us to bridge any gap between where we are and where He compels us to go. But some dreams are bigger than this world – our human minds and bodies just can’t handle them in full. So, God gives us a sneak-peek. A taste. Just a sliver of what He has in store. And we’re hooked! Ruined for life-as-we-know-it, but oh-so-hopeful that what we can see with our hearts may one day be revealed to our world-weary eyes.

Tell me this: How has God whet your appetite for Heaven? And where do you see glimpses of what He has in store for you, and for all of His kids?

By the way – if you’re trekking with us and haven’t weighed in on a DQ yet, we would love to hear from you! Just to know you’re there. Don’t be shy! The “reply” option is located below this post when you click on today’s post title and scroll down. If you’re posting for the first time, there’s a delay before you can see what you’ve written. And you can reply to others’ responses, too!

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Trek to the Manger (DQ2)

Trek to the Manger Ch 2You wouldn’t leave home with laces dangling from your kicks, would you? But how many times have you hit the ground running without having tied your spiritual laces in prayer?

Tying your shoes is a matter of practicality. If a shoe is made to be tied, it won’t function properly without tightening the laces.

Tying your shoes is also a matter of safety; the referee will even blow his whistle and stop the game for a soccer cleat in need of a good, strong double-knot.

It’s the same with prayer! Prayer is practical, because our design as human beings requires intentionality to insure that life functions as it should. Prayer is also a safety feature, keeping us from the avoidable hazards created by rushing into life without concern for how prepared we actually are (or aren’t).

Two questions for today, then.

If prayer is the act of tying your spiritual shoes, how might you add this important step to your daily routine during Advent? (Keep in mind that shoe-tying isn’t a time-intensive investment, but it is a critical step in preparing for the day.)

What prayer(s) are particularly special to you? Are there words that you use to draw close to God that you might be willing to share with us? 

To reply, make sure you have opened the actual post for today. To do this, click on the post title (above), then scroll down to the area below the post. There will be a delay the first time you post, so don’t worry if you don’t see it right away!

Trek to the Manger (DQ1)

Trek to the Manger Ch. 1 2017You didn’t sign up for a season of CrossFit, but here we are – at the foot of the Cross and fit-to-be-tied.

For my friends who are committed to taking a Trek to the Manger this Advent season, my first question for you is this:

What challenges do you anticipate this season will bring? 

I’m going to be honest, and I hope you will be, too. The past couple of months have been… rough. As much as I want to celebrate this Christmas, I’m mourning a little bit, too. (Wait. I told you I’d be honest. There’s a whole lot of mourning going on!)

I miss my house.

I miss my friends.

I miss my church family.

I miss the “me” I used to be.

And at the end of the day, it’s going to be a challenge for me to celebrate the Light because all I really want to do is wallow in my loss. Does this make sense? Can I get an Amen? Anyone else there with me?

How about you? What’s YOUR biggest challenge going to be as we move into this holiday season?

Post your comments and thoughts below (and remember – if it’s your first time posting at Pink Shoes Ministries, there will be a delay before your post is approved).

 

Want What You’ve Got! (bandage)

I am seriously digging liquid band-aid!

Red Cross

Red Cross (Photo credit: afagen)

Call me a human billboard, but this stuff works wonders on dry, cracked fingers. I have a terrible time getting band-aids to stay put around my nails where the dry, winter air (and a touch of hand-washing OCD) takes its toll, but a few drops of liquid bandage does the trick every time!

When applied, this new twist on wound care bathes the affected area with antiseptic and then dries to seal the injury so that it can heal. It doesn’t sting. It doesn’t crack. It simply coats, covers and protects. For my moisture-challenged digits, liquid bandage is a beautiful thing.

Living with athletes pretty much guarantees that injuries happen. From the vicious strawberry earned while sliding into second base (wearing shorts without sliders) to the attack of brutal blisters from a new pair of cleats, my household is no stranger to woundedness. We rarely Want What We’ve Got while feeling the pain from yesterday’s game or workout, but the old adage is absolutely tried and true: It goes with the territory.

Sure – most injury can be avoided! Just take a seat on the bench and stay out of harm’s way.

Lots of folks choose to live life like this, avoiding the risk of injury by sitting back and watching others get hurt. We create band-aids to protect ourselves from heartache, disappointment and discomfort, but these homemade seals leak and get wet and fall off far too easily when exposed to the storms of life.

When gauze and tape don’t cut it and we find ourselves exposed to painful words and circumstances, some of us lash out at others – seeking, in some insanely justified manner, to cause hurt to the ones who’ve injured us. The problem is, while in these seizures of misery, grief and retaliation, the innocent become our victims, too.

Jesus knew what it was like to be hurt by the angry words and bitter actions of others.

“People insulted him, but he did not insult them back. He suffered, but he did not threaten anyone. No, he let God take care of him. God is the one who judges rightly. Christ carried our sins in his body on the cross. He did this so that we would stop living for sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you were healed. You were like sheep that went the wrong way. But now you have come back to the Shepherd and Protector of your lives.” 1 Peter 2:23-25 (ERV)

Christ chose to stand up to the bullies of this world by standing down; opting for the eternal protection of His Father over the temporary safety offered by earthly allies. It was an ugly battle, and there were wounds, but the balm of restoration flows freely from the hand of God like so much sealing, healing liquid bandage.

You are in pain – He knows that.

Your wounds are deep – He sees them.

You may not want the cuts, scrapes and bruises that you’ve got, but you’re in good company. Jesus had them, too.

Daily Questions: In what ways are you wounded? What stings? Bleeds? Cracks? What kind of wound-care are you receiving, and how is that working for you? What does your life need to be coated with? Covered with? Protected by? Are you ready to receive your healing through the wounds suffered by Christ? Do you want to be well?

 

Trek to the Manger Reading Schedule

2014 Trek to the Manger Reading Schedule

Welcome to the Trek! For those who wish to travel together, a reading schedule is provided below! As you seek the Light and ways to lighten your load during this Advent season, I hope you will make time to interact with others who are taking this journey, too. Click here to access the Trek to the Manger homepage, then go all the way to the bottom of the page where you’ll find the Reply (comment) section!

Godspeed!

  • Nov. 30 – Chapters 1-3
  • Dec. 1 – Chapter 4
  • Dec. 2 – Chapter 5
  • Dec. 3 – Chapter 6
  • Dec. 4 – Chapter 7
  • Dec. 5 – Chapter 8
  • Dec. 6 – Chapter 9
  • Dec. 7 – Chapters 10-11
  • Dec. 8 – Chapter 12
  • Dec. 9 – Chapter 13
  • Dec. 10 – Chapter 14
  • Dec. 11 – Chapter 15
  • Dec. 12 – Chapter 16
  • Dec. 13 – Chapter 17
  • Dec. 14 – Chapters 18-19
  • Dec. 15 – Chapter 20
  • Dec. 16 – Chapter 21
  • Dec. 17 – Chapter 22
  • Dec. 18 – Chapter 23
  • Dec. 19 – Chapter 24
  • Dec. 20 – Chapter 25
  • Dec. 21 – Chapter 26-27
  • Dec. 22 – Chapter 28
  • Dec. 23 – Chapter 29