Tag Archives: Salvation

Ho Ho NO!

2 Dec

There’s always a jokester in the Christmas crowd.

I ran across these (clean) “Dirty Santa” gifts:

  • A book called “Crafting with Cat Hair” giftnotinluded_lolwithgod_energizerbatteries_2
  • A wall-mounted fishbowl
  • An adult “onesie” (footy pajamas)
  • A shirt that reads, “Have You Tried Turning It Off and On Again” (for the technically challenged
  • A “Hooked on Yodeling” CD
  • A Gummy Bear lamp
  • A Zombie survival crate
  • Bacon-themed adhesive bandages
  • And my favorite: “Gift NOT Included” (a box full of batteries)

Gifts are a huge part of Christmas, whether it’s “Dirty Santa” gifts at the office, donations to charities and ministries, or gorgeously-wrapped gifts under the home Christmas tree.

Some of the gifts we receive make us smile. Others make us think, “Ho, Ho … NO!”

  • Maybe the giver didn’t take the time to think about what would please us. Maybe they just didn’t know. 
  • Maybe the giver wasn’t creative—I mean, six years of socks or soap-on-a-rope might not be so welcome. A truly creative giver takes into account our needs, not just what we can check off a shopping list.
  • Maybe the giver was giving “on the cheap.” The Dollar Store can be a great starting point to create a truly special gift. But then again. While some Pinterest ideas are gorgeous; others, not so much.

I’m taking lessons from the Greatest Giver of all time.

1. God the Father knows us inside and out. He knows our deepest yearnings, not just the things we express to others. (Psalm 139)

2. God the Father is creative in giving to us exactly what we need, if not what we think we want. His gifts may not look like much on the surface, because His ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9). In fact, they might look like sorrow or difficulty. But they will deeply resonate with our hearts and teach us valuable lessons we might not learn any other way.

Trials are training! Good gifts!

Strengthening gifts. Gifts that protect us. Gifts that develop our character. Gifts that teach us wisdom and how to trust God more. (Proverbs 3:5-6; James 1:2-6, 12; Galatians 6:9; Hebrews 10:35-36; 12:5-11; 2 Corinthians 12:9-10; Psalm 121:5-8; Romans 5:3-6; 8:28-29)

3. God the Father gave the most expensive gift ever. When Jesus came to earth, it was at great sacrifice, and He was the gift that keeps on giving—for those who would believe. (John 3:16; 1 John 4:14; 2 Corinthians 9:15)

This Christmas, I am taking time to give thanks for every gift I’ve received from the Father’s hand.

I invite you to join me.

Instead of a Ho, Ho, NO … let’s lift up Hallelujahs of praise to the One who so loved us, He gave an indescribable gift. And He keeps giving, and giving and giving.

Write a Thank You note to the Father today… in prayer.

~ Dawn


A Lingering Scent

8 Apr

Had to laugh at this foodie humor:

“We made some changes in our lives. My husband lost 50 pounds and after eight years of being a housewife, I took a Pancakes_MaxStraeten_Morguefilejob in a restaurant. 

“When I returned home after my first day at work, I gave my husband a big hug.

“He seemed to cling to me longer than usual.

“‘Did you really miss me that much today, dear?’ I asked.

“‘No, came the reply. But you smell so much like pancakes that I hate to let you go.'” *


Some scents, we want to linger. Others – like a spray from a skunk – not so much.

My two daughters-in-love are “into” fragrant oils. Sometimes they are used directly on skin, but placed into a diffuser, the essential oils fill the room with relaxing, health-giving scents.

I like the scents vanilla, peppermint and a special oil called “thieves.” Everyone has their favorite scents.

But did you know there is one scent every Christian should delight in?

Paul wrote,

“For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing” (2 Corinthians 2:15, NIV).

Our delight is the pleasing aroma of Christ.

Like a precious, aromatic flower, Christ was “crushed” for our sake, and the scent of His death was fragrant to God.

To those who don’t know the Lord, that odor might seem offensive.

But to those who are touched by the grace of salvation in Christ, it is a precious scent indeed.

And the scent lingers upon us.

We are the sweet savor of our Savior in the world.

We are admonished to “walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Ephesians 5:2, ESV). As we walk in love, His fragrance rests upon us.

What does that look like?

  • We offer forgiveness when offended.
  • We share our blessings with others.
  • We practice kindness, even when there’s little hope others respond “in kind.”
  • We share truth in love.
  • We accept and appreciate a person’s humanity (made in the image of God), though we don’t affirm his or her sinful habits.

In other words, we spread the fragrance of Christ wherever we go, no matter our circumstances. If we don’t, we may be emitting the “stink” of self!

The best thing? As the precious aroma of Christ lingers, people will be drawn to the Lord.

I want to “diffuse” His love to the world, don’t you?

 – * Cybersalt Digest, #3984, 11-8-13

 – Dawn

The Fruit of God’s Love

26 Mar

Sorry. There’s really nothing funny about Resurrection Day. Oh there are lots of jokes about bunnies and Easter eggs, like:

  • Question: How many Easter eggs can you put in an empty basket
    • Answer: One. (After that, it’s not empty anymore!)
  • Question: How does the Easter bunny stay in shape?
    • Answer: Hareobics.
  • Question: What does the Easter Bunny have on his I-Pod?
    • Answer: Hip-Hop!

But jokes about Jesus who died on the cross for our sins and then rose to give us new life?

No. That’s not a joking matter.

But it IS a time for celebration. I can laugh out loud with joy that Jesus overcame death and the evil one and now calls people to new life.

About four weeks ago, I saw a sign at Hobby Lobby that was a play on the old Trix cereal commercial. The sign read:

Silly Rabbit, Easter is for Jesus.

SillyRabbit_EasterIsForJesus_SignSeenAtHobbyLobbyWhile funny—and I did laugh—the sign isn’t completely accurate.

Easter is a secular holiday to celebrate spring; Resurrection Day is “for Jesus.”

(In truth, for the Christian every day is supposed to be for Jesus, but I’m making a point here.)

There are at least two days most Christians hold as sacred and celebrate: Christmas and Resurrection Day (which many still call Easter). They both commemorate something special about the Lord we love. 

It’s been my choice through the years to keep these days special, because in the midst of all the “fun stuff,” I want to honor Him.

Thomas Cotterill wrote these words that remind me why I love this day:

On this auspicious morn The Lord of Life arose;

He burst the bars of death, And vanquished all our foes:

And now He pleads our cause above,

And reaps the fruits of all His love.*

When I read that I suddenly thought: Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, I am a “fruit of all His love!”

Today, my prayer is,

“Thank you, Jesus, for this and every Resurrection Day that reminds us what You did for us! Thank you that I am the fruit of Your love.”

Jesus, God’s Son:

CrossOnBlue_ChristIsRisen_HCTSaves and redeems us (Ephesians 1:7-10; Colossians 1:13-14).

Forgives us (1 John 1:8-10; Luke 24:47; Romans 3:23; 6:23).

Makes us holy (1 Corinthians 6:11; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Hebrews 10:10; Romans 6:18; 12:1-2).

Gives us life with Him now and forever (John 3:16; 11:25-26; 17:3; 1 John 2:25).

Understanding God’s way of salvation isn’t hard, but people are free to believe or not.

The Lord made the way of salvation plain

Do you know Jesus—not just do you know about Him, but are you living in a relationship with Him? If you know the Lord, celebrate this Resurrection Day with joy and peace in your heart!

 – * Hymn: “Awake, Ye Saints, Awake” by Thomas Cotterill.

 – Dawn

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