As Christmas Day…
Category Archives: Women
As Christmas Day approaches, my thoughts turn to Mary. I realize the timing is not right . . . Jesus was not born on December 25. Mary and Joseph did not travel through cold snowy weather. But whatever the actual date, we know the travel and delivery took place. Let’s think about that.
We put Mary and Joseph on pedestals because they were the chosen ones, lifting them above other mere mortals. However, just because God chose Mary to bear His Son doesn’t mean He absolved her of all that went with that responsibility.
Mary was pregnant out of wedlock. She endured shame, disgrace, and likely threats of being put to death for her sin. Undoubtedly friends and family scorned her, turned their backs on her, talked about her, and verbally abused her.
We have no reason to think Mary’s pregnancy was free from morning sickness, backaches, weird food choices, roller-coaster emotions, swollen feet, tremendous weight gain, and fatigue. Joseph missed that first trimester, but he still had to deal with all that came with the remaining six months.
Like any first-time expectant mom, she had to be overcome with fear. Am I eating the right foods? What should I do differently? What will it be like? Will it hurt? Who will help me? What if I can’t do this? What if something goes wrong? What if something is wrong with the baby? What doctor will help me?
Joseph had his own concerns. How can I protect Mary? I’ve never done this. What will I have to do to help her? Can I provide for a family? Is this baby really and truly from God?
Mary was chosen because she was highly favored. The angel told her she was blessed among women. He didn’t say her life would be easy. I am blessed, but I still have to work, cook, clean, shop, and do life. I too have God’s favor – He is alive in me – but I get sick, have colds, endure the fears of cancer, get bruises when I bump into furniture, stub my toe, and occasionally fall down.
Do I believe Mary was a strong woman? I believe she was as strong as any young woman pregnant for the first time. I believe she went through everything I went through in my pregnancy, maybe more (my pregnancies were pretty easy and mostly nausea free). I believe God was with her as He was with me. I believe that even though she knew she carried God’s Son, she still wondered what He would look like, if He would be “normal,” and what others would think of Him.
By God’s grace, Mary brought into the world the most wonderful gift, a Savior who would save us from our sins. He came to save His own mother and earthly father, His earthly siblings and extended family, His childhood playmates, His school mates, His friends . . . as well as those who mocked Him, who constantly reminded Him of the indecent nature of His arrival, who refused to play with Him, who continued to shun His parents, and all who rejected Him. He came to save me.
The song asks, “Mary, did you know?” The answer is a simple no. She didn’t know. She was a scared, young, new mom with a responsibility thrust upon her to raise God’s Son. While that thought was never far from her mind, I’m sure the everyday stuff that goes with raising a boy took priority over the fact that He was God’s Son. She had no idea what that meant, what He would do, how He would act, or what would be different about Him.
She was just a mom . . . in need of a Savior. Thank God, He came!
Joni Owens is children’s pastor at New Life St. Louis in Bridgeton, Missouri. She is also the editor of the Toddler, Kindergarten, and Beginner Word Aflame children’s curriculum. Her favorite jobs are being a happy wife to Randy, proud mom of three, and delighted grandma of the most adorable eleven grandchildren.
(From: PURE Newsletter – UPCI Ladies Ministries)
The Annual 30 Days of Prayer and Fasting
For several years we have embarked on 30 Days of prayer and fasting to begin the new year. We invite you to join with us again starting January 1, 2017, to pray together in one accord. The theme for 2017 is “Greater”.
In this Prayer Connect, we have links to download a printable copy of the new guide. There is also a link if you would like to order the rack card from the Pentecostal Publishing house for yourself or your church.
We want to request that all involved with WNOP would set aside several days of fasting and special prayer interceding for a strong sense of the need for prayer to prevail throughout our fellowship. Focused prayer and fasting will unify the body of Christ and the end result will be earth-shaking revival and great ingathering of souls for the kingdom of God.
Have a blessed week.
(Information from wnop Newsletter)
Información en español
Los 30 Días Anuales de Oración y Ayuno
Durante varios años nos hemos embarcado en 30 Días de oración y ayuno para comenzar el nuevo año. Los invitamos a unirse a nosotros nuevamente a partir del 1 de enero de 2017, para orar juntos en un solo acuerdo. El tema para 2017 es “Mayor”.
En este enlace de Oración, tenemos enlaces para descargar una copia imprimible de la nueva guía. También hay un enlace si desea pedir la tarjeta de la Pentecostal Publishing para usted o su iglesia.
Queremos pedir que todos los involucrados con el WNOP dejen de lado varios días de ayuno y oración especial intercediendo por un fuerte sentido de la necesidad de que la oración prevalezca a lo largo de nuestra confraternidad. La oración enfocada y el ayuno unificarán el cuerpo de Cristo y el resultado final será revivir la sacudida de la tierra y gran cosecha de almas para el reino de Dios.
Que tengas una semana bendita.
(Información de wnop Newsletter)
Her colleagues called her “Registered Nurse” and “Colonel Potter”; I called her “Mom” and “Prayer Warrior.” As a nurse, she knew how to give orders, fill out charts, and administer tender, loving care. Most importantly, she knew how to pray and to wait for God’s answer. I remember one pivotal time in my life when Mom, blending the characteristics of both nurse and prayer warrior, taught me key principles of prayer, preparation, and praise.
When I was twelve years old, I spent a few days recovering in the hospital after my tonsillectomy. Everything seemed fine; but Mom had been praying and listening to God, Who had warned her in a dream that I would need to go to the operating room a second time. Of course, she did not frighten me by sharing the information with me then. Instead, Mom continued to pray and to trust God. She stood upon the promise of God’s Word: “Casting your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (I Peter 5:7).
Although the Prayer Warrior trusted God, the Nurse understood that certain preparations needed to be made. Mother, knowing she could not be with me all the time and leave my younger sister alone, hired her friend who was a private nurse to stay with me overnights at the hospital. The Bible teaches in James 2:26 that “faith without works is dead.” Mother’s faith in God was manifested in her practical preparations. When my stitches broke, causing a major hemorrhage, I was not alone. God was with me, and a nurse was with me. After the second surgery, I awoke to see my Mom’s caring face and to hear her comforting words, “Jean, you are going to be fine, dear.”
Through her actions and attitude in the midst of crisis, Mom taught me that the value of prayer and preparation is enhanced by the power of praise. Although she gave thanks to the doctors, nurses, and other hospital staff who took care of me; she reserved the highest praise for her Lord Jesus Christ. The testimony she shared with her colleagues about my surgeries revealed to them a loving and caring Savior who also manifestedHimself as the Master Healer. Through the example of her mother, a twelve-year-old child learned to give praise to a God who loved her and took care of her.
Although Mom passed from this life to heaven earlier this year, her legacy continues. The lessons that my mother taught me when I was just twelve years old still provide strength and endurance in my life as a missionary today. I thank God for giving me a mother who taught me the priceless principles of prayer, preparation and praise.
Note: Jean Tir has been involved in missions work for over twenty years in Slovakia, starting under the AIM program, then progressing to appointment as an Intermediate and Career Missionary. She and her husband Steven Tir are now appointed to represent both the nations of Slovakia and Serbia. Jean loves reaching out to people in Eastern Europe, especially as a Ladies Ministry leader and as a Bible school instructor.
(From: UPCI Ladies Prayer International Newsletter)