31 December 2008

CHOOSE LIFE

December 31, 2008

To President-elect Obama:

As your inauguration day approaches, my heart is burdened with grief at the thought of all that you may do, and all that may happen for years to come as a result. Will anyone be able to change your mind? I hope so, for untold lives depend on it. I am convinced that only God will be able to change your heart, so that is how I, and all those who believe as I do, must direct our prayers. Life is sacred, Mr. Obama. Yours, mine, and our neighbor’s…I mean that tiny, developing life concealed in the womb. Concealed to us, always seen and known to God.

My mind goes back to your passionate speech at a Planned Parenthood event in 2007, and how eloquently you talked about the dreams you have for your daughters and for all the girls of the U.S., stressing that our nation must protect their “rights” and ensure that we don’t go backward to a time when women didn’t have those “rights.” I kept thinking, “Senator, if you have your way, this nation’s daughters won’t have the chance to be born!” That fundamental and genuine right will be taken from them before they ever see daylight.

All this concern for women’s rights seems hollow. It strikes me as profoundly hypocritical that women march and scream and protest and demand this “right” to kill their unborn babies, conveniently forgetting that that baby may be a girl…a daughter…a woman in the making! What about her rights? Is there no equality for women among women?

And I’m not at all diminishing the rights of unborn boys…the future husbands and fathers of our families. They are not expendable any more than our girls are. They deserve to be born. Indeed, we need them to be born.

It’s simply idiotic for anyone to argue anymore that the child in the womb is some lesser form of human and therefore not entitled to live. Modern science makes it impossible to deny the LIFE that exists in that amazing chamber called the uterus. No woman is pregnant without the presence of that life. It’s not an eggplant in there! It’s a human being. Less physically advanced than we who are walking around, but no less an individual. That little person has her own heartbeat, own brainwaves, own fingerprints, own blood supply, own hair and nails, her own personality. She has a soul, and a mission on this earth to fulfill. It is not “terminating a pregnancy.” It is ending a life. There is no pregnancy without the life.

Without the right to be born, the right to life, there are no other rights. Do you really not see that, Mr. Obama?

We, the born, do not have the right to say to them, the unborn, “We will not let you live. You must die because we wish it. It is our right to decide.”

Those who favor abortion want to sanitize the gruesome reality with clinical terms like “reproductive choice” and “freedom” and call it simply a “medical procedure.” What utter nonsense. There is nothing sanitary or simple or clinical about it. I challenge every single person in our nation who supports abortion to be honest enough to read the complete medical description of an abortion “procedure” from start to finish, particularly one done in the second or third trimester of pregnancy. I challenge people to watch one performed. (Yes, I challenge you, Mr. President-elect.)

If you’re going to demand the “right” to abortion then you should have the guts to watch one and read all about what it really entails. Then look me, or better yet, look yourself straight in the eye and say it’s not murder. Say a baby wasn’t just dismembered, burned alive, brains sucked out, and torn to pieces like less than an animal. If you can’t or won’t do it, then you’re intellectually dishonest and a coward. You want to support something you don’t have the stomach to face because you KNOW it’s barbaric. You would never allow a puppy to be brutalized in the same manner.

President-elect Obama, the Freedom of Choice Act that you so vigorously support must not be allowed to become law. Surely, you can see how this ironically-named legislation will declare “Open Season” on the unborn and eliminate all freedoms and rights for those who would choose to protect the child in the womb.

I do not understand how you and so many others in Congress can in good conscience champion a bill that nullifies every legal and occupational safeguard now in place to protect the unborn child and call that bill the “Freedom of Choice.” There is no choice and certainly no freedom for anyone except those who want completely unrestricted abortion up to the very moment of birth. That is not Pro-Choice… that’s Pro-Abortion.

I, too, cherish my daughters, and I want their wombs safeguarded and treated with respect for the miracle that takes place there. I want them to understand how precious new life is, and to have the grace to know that no one has the right to kill a defenseless person just because they may have the power to do so.

It’s not about reproductive choice. It is no one's right to kill a baby. It’s about respect for human life and the dignity of each person God has created. The issue of abortion is the most fundamental issue of basic human rights. You must, sir, defend this basic human right if you truly believe in the foundation America stands on… “that all men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights…that among these are LIFE…”

Be courageous, Mr. Obama. Be honest. Protect the weakest among us, please.

Jennifer

P.S. Please go to FightFOCA.com and read about this evil piece of legislation, and sign the petition to defeat it. Obama has vowed he will sign it into law as the first act of his Presidency. We must do all we can to stop this. Thanks for taking a stand for LIFE! God bless you!


26 December 2008

Call His Name... ... ...


KING of KINGS, LORD of LORDS, MIGHTY GOD, HOLY ONE, ALPHA and OMEGA, RIGHTEOUS JUDGE, SANTA CLAUS….


Umm, pardon me? What was that? Santa Claus?



I wonder just how often I treat God as though He were Santa Claus instead of the Maker of the Universe. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against the jolly old man in the red suit. I’m a big fan actually, and long may his magical spirit live, but let’s not confuse the EVERLASTING FATHER with Father Christmas.


It seems to this observer that too many of the “God-fearing” folks in our nation fall into this habit of expecting God to be Santa, and I admit I’m sometimes one of them.

We Americans are big on rights and liberties and the freedom to do as we please with our lives, thank you very much! We don’t really want a Sovereign Lord who claims His authority and expects certain things of us. We prefer a plump grandfather whose only stipulation is that we are not naughty but nice. Or worse, we want a sort of vending-machine Being who will spit out the expected treat once we have punched the buttons.

We have dreams and desires and wants and plans, and God better have the good sense to go along with our plans! God is there to fulfill my dreams for my life and to serve me! Oh….wait a minute. That’s not right is it? Hmmm…oh yes, now I remember – I’m supposed to serve Him.

Those names, KING of KINGS, LORD of LORDS, RIGHTEOUS JUDGE…they clearly tell us that God is the one in charge.

He sits on the highest throne, and no one can vote Him out of office or kick Him off the island! I owe Him all that I have and all that I am every single day of my life. And WISDOM knows that my heart needs to praise Him, and my soul needs to be owned by Him. Yet I foolishly resist His authority and deny His Kingship more often than I’m willing to admit.


How silly of me! How stupid of me, actually! (Why do I forget that my life is in His hands whether I acknowledge it or not?) This is no ordinary Sovereign. He does not ask me to do anything more than what He has already done, which is to love…to serve…to forgive…to proclaim…to testify to the truth. He knows intimately well what frail stuff I am made of and promises to supply me with His own strength so that I can carry out the task required of me. This KING truly deserves my perfect allegiance because He perfectly loves me.

To subject myself to His rule is to satisfy my soul forever.


If we are reluctant to call Him LORD, if we are afraid to bow our hearts before Him, could it be because we have forgotten, or perhaps never rightfully understood in the first place, who He is?


He is no tyrant. No egomaniacal, power-hungry, cold-hearted ruler bent on our oppression.

No – His other names are GOOD SHEPHERD, LAMB of GOD, MORNING STAR, PRINCE of PEACE, WONDERFUL, COUNSELOR. EMMANUEL.

He is the King who elected to lay His glory down in order to save His people. It’s “The Prince and the Pauper” on a sublime scale, for our Prince willingly took our place, took our punishment and gave us our freedom…all out of love for us. The reason we now rightfully owe Him everything is that He bought us back with His own blood!


Our ransom was too steep for us…impossible for us to pay. But we are beloved to Him, so the price must be paid!


And it began that holy night in Bethlehem when the ALPHA and OMEGA stepped into time as a child and unveiled our redemption.


We, His precious children, have been rescued from ourselves by the LIGHT of the WORLD. He deserves our faithful obedience and ceaseless praise!

Glory to the Newborn KING!

Merry Christmas,

Jennifer

22 December 2008

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

Words: Hen­ry W. Long­fel­low, 1864.

I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom

Had rolled along the unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

Till ringing, singing on its way
The world revolved from night to day,

A voice, a chime, a chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good will to men.


And in despair I bowed my head
“There is no peace on earth,” I said,
“For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.”


Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men.”



MERRY CHRISTMAS!

JENNIFER


18 December 2008

Innocence Found

I have a confession to make.


I’m 37 years old, and I still believe in Santa Claus.

Okay, I suppose that’s not entirely accurate. My heads knows that Santa isn’t real, but my heart refuses to accept it. I’m pretty sick of my head lately, so I’m going with my heart.


I watched The Polar Express tonight with my daughters,

and they weren’t the only ones giddy with excitement. They weren’t the only ones mesmerized by the magical train as it sailed across the ice toward the North Pole. They weren’t the only ones who cheered out loud when Santa held up the silver bell and announced, “The first gift of Christmas!”


I was completely caught up in the thrill, the wonder,

the delight…the MAGIC.



I caught myself smiling from ear to ear and felt my heartbeat quicken with anticipation. For a while I forgot how old I was, and I felt lighthearted. I felt like a child again.

And then, oh…reality reemerged. I’m all grown up, with worries and responsibilities, and problems I can’t solve. My fleeting moment of childlike joy was fading.

But I am a stubborn woman and sometimes that works to my advantage. Tonight is one of those nights. I have decided that I will not surrender my childlike joy. I’m not handing it over to grown-up reality and you can’t make me!

I’m going to cling to that feeling of wonder like my toddler clings to my leg when she doesn’t want me to leave. I want that sense of delight engraved on my brain with rainbow sprinkles. I’m going to pretend I’m a child again this Christmas.

Jesus likes children.

Jesus likes children so much He came to us as a child. He left explicit instructions about how we are to approach God if we desire to enter the kingdom of heaven. We are to “become like little children…” Trusting. Unpretentious. Joyful. Innocent.

That’s what I’m missing with such a profound longing…my innocence. That’s what I was reminded of while watching a magical movie with my girls. (Sigh) I miss my innocence.

Susan Ashton sings a great song about this called Innocence Lost.

“Lullabies and pennies in a wishing well

Sad goodbyes to friends of make-believe

A love so pure, a treasure

Now buried in the sea of me

Milton lost his paradise

Dorothy lost her way

Vincent lost his sanity

Thomas lost his faith

Hoover lost the second time

Sigmund lost his friend

Me, I lost my innocence

And I want it back again”

I understand that I will never be five years old again, but I desperately want some measure of that childlike innocence back again. I want unadulterated joy and wonder, the kind that makes me dance
and sing out loud.

Maybe that’s part of what Jesus meant when He told us to become like little children. Humble in spirit, yes, but also innocent in heart and excited in our faith in Him. After all, He’s everything we ever could and ever have wished for! He came true!!

And tonight as I got lost in my childlike detour, I realized something wonderful. My mind and my heart were rushing with thoughts of Him. Even better than the fantasy is the reality! I was tingling with joyful anticipation of Christmas day, not for the sake of presents brought by Santa, but because I can hardly wait to celebrate THE GIFT.



It seems this indulgence in make-believe has caused me to recognize all over again -- but with purer eyes – the JOY of Christmas! JESUS came as one of us; born a poor, helpless infant…He whom the universe cannot contain now sleeps cradled in Mary’s arms.


There will be plenty of days ahead to turn our attentions toward the serious business of life, but for now, I say it is time to be filled with childlike awe and wonder and joy for the gift God has given us. It is time to recapture some of our innocence again, and linger there for awhile.

Emmanuel…God is with us…the angels are singing GLORIA! I think I’ll join them.

14 December 2008

A Prayer for Unity

One of my prayers for the year 2009 will be for Christian unity.

It is a sad and terrible testimony to an unbelieving world when God’s own people cannot get along with each other. In fact, it makes all our preaching tone-deaf and useless. I do not have the answers for all the important differences that exist between Christian denominations, but Jesus surely does, and so I will be praying for His Spirit to lead and guide and bring us closer together in true charity.

Toward that end, I offer my little thoughts to my friends in Christ and I pray you will know it comes from my heart with deep love and true respect. It is my feeble attempt to advance the cause of understanding and fellowship .

As a Catholic Christian, I have often had to explain my faith to other Christians who mistakenly believe that I don’t have a “personal relationship” with Jesus and so I must not be saved! Most of the time, they are well-meaning and kind, and I have been blessed by many wonderful, rich friendships with these fellow travelers. I cherish the good relationships I have with my Protestant brothers and sisters, and I continually learn from them and take inspiration from them.

But unfortunately I’ve also been the recipient of scorn from a few who acted as though Martin Luther invented Jesus, or the cross was Calvin’s idea. They accuse me of “idol worship” and other such insulting nonsense. Thankfully, those folks are few and far between.

I readily admit I’m no theologian. I admit I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer. But in my simple mind, this is one way I can explain why I am a Catholic Christian.


I stand before an image on a great wall. It is dark all around and all I can see is this one central image. Magnificent doesn’t even begin to describe it – it completely pierces my soul with its beauty and power. It takes my breath away. My heart is full with awe and love and I am so overwhelmed with emotion I fall to my knees. I know I am in the presence of divine majesty, and I bow my head and weep with joy. I cannot contain the flood of praise that has taken me over.

Gradually I begin to notice light in the room…brighter slowly, until I see little by little that there is much more on the wall around the central image. When the moment comes that I can finally see it all, it once again leaves me breathless! The wall is alive with color and texture and depth and dimensions I’d never imagined. It suddenly creates a complete picture that words could never describe, and my soul is bursting with excitement!

It is wonderful beyond telling! It is the story of salvation and grace and forgiveness, told in a thousand different ways yet in one, unified song. As I stare, unable to absorb the awesomeness of it, I come to understand that no matter where my eyes wander, no matter what corner I look at, every inch of the picture on the wall mysteriously leads me back…to the center. Suddenly the image in the center is in even sharper focus. I cannot explain it, but my mind, my heart, my soul is continuously drawn back, over and over again, to the image which first captivated me. Everything else around compliments it, bows to it, directs to it, and glorifies it. It is the center, the heart and soul of the story which I am now forever part of. It is, of course, Jesus.


Christ alone is my Lord and Savior. Christ alone is worthy of my praise, honor, and worship. Christ alone shed His blood for my sins, and it is His grace that sustains me. Christ alone is everything…


The blessing of the Church for me is the texture, color, and dimension it adds to my walk with Christ. The history and stability of apostolic leadership, the ritual and tradition that helps lay my foundation and aids my worship when I am feeling “dry” or empty, the sight of candles and the smell of incense, the kneeling down and bowing of my head that involves my physical body in the act of worship, the prayerful assistance and encouragement of all the saints and angels in heaven, the love of the Blessed Mother, and the ultimate source of my life and faith, the body and blood of Christ in the Eucharist. Through all of this I am folded into an eternal family of believers on earth and in heaven... one seamless church.

None of the Church’s gifts ever detracts or distracts from the central image: Jesus Christ. All glory belongs to Him, and everything the Church does is to honor Him as the Son of God, Savior of the world.

I’m a Catholic Christian…a daughter of God…a follower of Christ…a lowly servant of the Most High…a sinner needing a Savior…a sorrowful child seeking comfort in her Father’s arms…a sister, a wife, a mother and a friend.

My prayer is that our Heavenly Father will gather us up in unity and love for one another, and love and service to a lost world desperately searching for the light we have already found.


“O come, Desire of Nations

Bind in one the hearts of all mankind

Bid Thou our sad divisions cease

And be Thyself our King of Peace!

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!”

The time of His birth is drawing ever near…may He find us all waiting joyfully, peacefully together. All praise and honor to the newborn King!

Merry Christmas,

Jennifer

13 December 2008

Blog Awards!

What a fun day this has been in Blogland!

My little baby blog has been given a kind award by my dear new bloggie friend, Sandy Cooper at
God Speaks Today
. When I was trying to create my blog page, the Lord led me to find Sandy's blog and I began furiously emailing her asking "HELP!" and "How did you do that?" I'm afraid I pestered her. She patiently answered. Then it was, "Sandy! It's not working! Help!" And she'd explain things to computer-idiot-me, and in the end, thanks to her, I created the page I wanted. She was a gentle friend to a total stranger, and that's why I love her. I have also come to admire and respect her greatly as I've read her blog and discovered that her faith has been sorely tested, and found to be true.

So this is my first blog award!


Description of award:

"These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."


Now, since I'm pretty new to the blogosphere, I'm still meeting and finding the real gems out there. That being said, I've found a few that I think are fabulous, and to them I am passing on the award! I think you'll enjoy these wonderful blogs!


Speaking of the Sweetest Things. Brooke is a woman after my own sweet tooth! I ABSOLUTELY LOVE her blog, and she does the most clever things with text and photos and graphics and all that stuff. (I can only dream of being that inventive!) She clearly has talent oozing out her pores. And the best part of all was discovering that her sweet waters run deep...her heart is full of love, faith, and compassion. Sweet, indeed!

I recently found Elizabeth at So Sweet to be Home...and I felt like she and I would be friends if we met in person. We're both Army wives, and that right there is a special bond. Once you've held down the fort while your husband is across the world fighting for freedom, and you've lived with the daily fear that you'll never see him again, you're initiated into the "club" no woman really wants to join, but is
PROUD to be a member of nonetheless. And I just love her sweet faith and affection for her hubby and her son...I just really like her!

Jenerbug: She's such a crafty girl! And I am... NOT. (sigh) But I can dream... I liked her immediately because we share the same name with the same spelling! She is the only other
J-e-n-n-i-e I have ever met in my life! Instant kinship! And beyond that, she had me in stitches the other day when I read her horror story of dentistry. YIKES!!

And finally, I was blessed to find Donna at Elizabeth's Journey. I could tell immediately that she's a woman of deep faith. She posted a poem called "The Ragman" that reduced me to a puddle of tears. It was extraordinary. Hers is a blog I will read slowly and carefully and come away enriched.

It has been such a blast entering this new world and finding all these terrific new friends. I am so blessed by all of you, and I'm humbled and very thankful to have you come and read my thoughts and then share yours with me.

Thanks again, Sandy, for honoring your pestering bloggie friend this way!

Have a blessed Advent season everyone!
Jesus is coming soon... let us stop and dwell on this "unspeakable gift" and then prepare Him room in our hearts and our homes!

The peace of Christ be with you,
Jennifer

08 December 2008

One Thing for Christmas

Everyone's asking -- "what's on your Christmas list?"

Even my children are making a list for Santa. I can't help but envy them the simplicity of their lists. I delight in their innocent childhood joy over a doll or stuffed animal or some other toy they're wishing for.

My own heart is filled with less childlike desires, and after careful consideration, I have boiled my "list" down to one thing. One big thing. Only one thing I want for Christmas this year...

I want to stop wanting.

Wanting breeds discontent.

Wanting infects my mind with delusions of inadequacy.

Wanting unsettles my spirit and poisons my heart with "If only..." and "What about me?"

Wanting distorts my vision, or just plain leaves me blind.

(Sure, there's wanting material "things." The seductive lure of STUFF is almost inescapable, and at Christmastime, it's disguised as gift-giving...yikes! But that's way too easy. By now we should all know that "stuff" doesn't fill the hole in our hearts or our lives.)

I'm talking about something much more important, and more difficult to pin down.

I want to stop wanting things to be the way I think they should be.

Stop wanting a different talent than the one I’ve been given.

Stop wanting a different place at the table than where I’ve been seated.

Stop wanting God to work in my life the way I think He should, to accomplish what I’ve decided would be good for me or my family.

Stop wanting more from God instead of more of God.

This is the insidious way the wanting poisons my spirit, my relationships, my view of my life, my response to my heavenly Father. It's a deep, unspoken, almost subconscious expectation I have for my life.

The problem is my desires are self-centered, not God-centered. I secretly want to experience some blessing or ability someone else has… and why shouldn’t I? What’s wrong with me that I can’t have/achieve/receive what that person has? And so, the wanting grows…

Remember the lessons of the potter and the clay? Perhaps the disease of discontent finds its roots there. “You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay! Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘He did not make me’? Can the pot say of the potter, ‘He knows nothing”? Isaiah 29:16



And again in Romans 9:21… “But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?”

Mother Teresa has inspired me to make a radical shift in thinking. “He can do with me as it pleaseth Him, without even a thought of consulting me. I just want to be His own little one – if He so wants, otherwise I will be happy to be just nothing and He everything.” Come Be My Light

If God so chooses me to be a lowly pot used only for common, unseen tasks, it is His right. Who am I to demand otherwise? I have no right to expect nobility or applause or credit for myself, if He has chosen commonness for me. He has still given me everything by virtue of grace and the cross. If He gives me nothing else, ever, it must be alright with me. I must be happy to be nothing and He everything.


It is a daring prayer to say, and I’m not at all sure I have the goods to back it up, but I think this is the only wanting that will ever be satisfied.

God, grant me a heart that is empty of myself to the point of being nothing so long as You are everything. Then this disease of discontent, this poison of fruitless longing that leaves me sad and useless will be cured. If I want for anything, let it be more of Jesus.


The child in the manger gave me the ultimate demonstration of this Himself.

The Potter became Himself the lowliest pot and filled Himself with my wretched self-centeredness and sin. This is the unspeakable gift of Christmas! Deep, pure, selfless gratitude to the infant King for humbling Himself for my sake -- this is the joy that is the antidote for the poison, and it’s all I want for Christmas.


©2008 Jennifer Hartline

This Week in the Oven....

Kiss Cookies

These cookies are very popular and I've even seen a boxed mix now in stores. I've eaten many of these made by lots of different folks, but honestly, I've never had one that tasted as good as my mom's. This is her recipe. (And now mine!)

2 and 2/3 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup Crisco
2/3 cup peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
unwrapped Hershey Kisses

Cream brown sugar and Crisco, and add peanut butter. Add eggs and beat well. Add vanilla. Add dry ingredients and stir to combine well. Shape into balls, roll in granulated sugar and bake for 8 minutes. Press chocolate kiss in center of each cookie and bake for 2 more minutes. Cool on wire rack.
Once chocolate kiss is completely cooled, these will freeze beautifully.

Photobucket

Have a cookie!
The Cookie Lady

03 December 2008

Full of Grace

One of my favorite things about being Catholic (there are many) is enjoying a rich and blessed friendship with Mary. This time of year that friendship is particularly sweet. Contemplating the endless ways Mary leads my heart to Jesus is in itself a feast for the mind and soul.

Today, though, I was thinking how strange it is that Mary is the source of so much contention and strife between Catholics and Protestants. How is it that arguably the most faithful, obedient, trusting and loving follower of Christ
ever can be such a lightening rod of controversy? What Christian wouldn't want to follow her example?

Can any of us say we would have the faith and courage to do what she did?


Would you?


Would I?





She obeyed at the risk of her own life. Joseph had the legal right to have her stoned to death and she knew it. It's not as though Gabriel told her, "Don't worry about Joseph's reaction. I'm going to explain everything to him."


Her instinct to obey the Lord was stronger than any instinct for self-preservation. From the word "Go" she was only interested in doing God's will completely. The cost did not matter.

Later, she did something much, much harder than risking her own life. She witnessed her son's execution. She did it without losing her faith, without ever breaking trust with God.

Now, I'm not a physically imposing woman. Okay, I'm a total wimp. I probably couldn't punch my way out of a paper bag. But I assure you, if you threaten one of my children, I'll take you out with my bare hands. Period. Now you've made Mama Bear angry, and you're in trouble.

But Mary, so full of grace, walked every inch of the road to Calvary with Jesus and stood at the foot of His cross. She listened to the cursing, hateful, vile wickedness being spewed at Jesus from his murderers (that would be me), and never intervened to stop it. Can you even imagine that? As a mother, could you watch and do nothing while someone brutally killed your child even if you knew it would save someone else? (Someone who didn't deserve it!)

She quietly restrained herself and trusted God to accomplish His plan. She squelched the mother's instinct to protect her child, the urge to trample those who hurt her baby out of perfect obedience, humility and TRUST. She knew God, knew He was faithful and knew she wanted to cooperate with His will.

If that's not a perfect example of loving and serving God with all your heart, soul,
and strength, then I don't know what is.



How amazingly wonderful it is to have such a woman for a friend...a blessed mother...the Blessed Mother. Gentle woman, tower of strength, beacon of faith, humble servant...O, highly favored daughter!
Now I pray that God will enable me to grow in grace and follow her example...

"I am the handmaid of the Lord...Let it be done to me according to your word."

©2008 Jennifer Hartline

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