Source of Christ-mas JOY

Holy One, You are the Source of our joy. Magnificent and wonderful, all the hard things pale in the Light of Your eternal plan. All I want to see this Christmas is You. By focusing on You and what You have done and how You did it and reflecting on what You promise to come, I sense Your joy in Your giving and You give me Your strength. Lord, thank You for Your love. Thank You for Your care. Thank You for Christmas and the reason You came. I have hope and can look forward only because of You. Thank You for holding me close when human means of celebration hurt. You are all that I want and all that I need. In Jesus' name, Amen
Holy One, You are the Source of our joy. Magnificent and wonderful, all the hard things pale in the Light of Your eternal plan. All I want to see this Christmas is You. By focusing on You and what You have done and how You did it and reflecting on what You promise to come, I sense Your joy in Your giving and You give me Your strength. Lord, thank You for Your love. Thank You for Your care. Thank You for Christmas and the reason You came. I have hope and can look forward only because of You. Thank You for holding me close when human means of celebration hurt. Show me how You want me to commemorate Your birth this year and give me Your peace in it. You are all that I want and all that I need.  I look to You for all direction and comfort. In Jesus’ name, Amen

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro © 2015

Most of us who call ourselves followers of Jesus already know Christmas is not about presents, or gathering with people we love, decorations, lights or Christmas trees. Ultimately it is not about kindness to others or even a baby in a manger. Christmas celebrates and commemorates God come down to earth as one of us while remaining fully God and living with us, then dying and rising again to life everlasting in order to reveal the true nature of our Creator, Father God, open up the Way (His Way) and show us the Way home.

This is a way of restoration. We all need to be restored. We are born without the ability to live out our destiny with and through God, Who created us. We were not created to “get” from Him (though He provides all things to us), but to rely on Him and give to Him.

This is the feast of Christ (“Christ-mas”): that the Lord God, knowing we could never achieve it for ourselves, demonstrated His incomprehensibly infinite and unconditional love for us by being born, living and suffering unjustly until His death in order to ransom us from captivity in a temporal, fallen world. We celebrate freedom from this life being all there is. We celebrate the gift that death at His appointed time has become the door for each of us into ultimate fulfillment of all His promises instead of a bitter end and defeat of all for which we had hoped.

This is what we celebrate. The rest is mere trappings we have chosen to add to it.

So what, if we don’t want to set up a Christmas tree?! So what, if we don’t feel like parties, decorations, baking or celebrating our current life? While these can be very special additions to Christmas, they are not the core. Christmas is a celebration and commemoration of the birth of hope into our world. Jesus’ birth was the beginning of the Lord visibly fulfilling His greatest promise to us: never to leave us or forget us here, but to provide for us the way to the eternal home which He always intended for us.   Christmas reminds us that because He was born, He showed us the Father. He demonstrated His unfathomable love by going to the cross before we ever knew Him or pledged allegiance to Him. Selfless. Giving. Forever. Love. From Him. For us. Christmas is the hope of the Resurrection for our future and the promise of Pentecost where He remains with us through the Holy Spirit leading us today.

Candles and lights remind us of the Light of hope, truth and love which He is, shining into our darkness. Evergreen trees brought inside in winter remind us of never-ending life, which is His promise because of Jesus. Red reminds of the blood Jesus selflessly, sacrificially shed to give us this eternal life and green represents the combination of His restoration and the LIFE to which He invites. The gifts we give and the kindness we pursue are supposed to represent the overflowing outpourings of love we have for Him because He loved us, which we shower on others because we have deep inner need to pour out for others because of how He has done for us.

And yet, kindness as an expression of our love for Him in light of His love for us has no season. And none of the trappings we associate with Christmas are essential.

The core of Christmas is simply Christ. Christ celebrated. Christ adored. Thanksgiving for what He has done and will do with a focus on eternal more than temporal.

If you enjoy all the trappings we associate with Christmas then enjoy! If you find yourself in a place in life where this does not fit, then do not feel obliged and do not allow anyone to cause you to feel obliged. Be kind and just say “no”.

The essential is Christ.

Sit at His feet. Ask Him whatever you want. Tell Him you wish it weren’t so. Cry your tears and remain with Him.

May it be the most beautiful, significant season of celebrating His coming ever. Here is not our home. Let us truly celebrate the One who is our hope because He is the One Who came and is coming again. LIFE!

END

NUGGETS OF GOD’s WISDOM

God’s Wisdom is more precious than gold.
This blog by Elizabeth Fulgaro helps readers discover God’s way versus the world’s one “nugget” at a time. 
http://www.ascendinworship.wordpress.com
 

Elizabeth Fulgaro is a wife, mother, writer, inspirational speaker, worship leader, composer, singer & recording artist.  She is also a Certified Financial Planner and Accredited Financial Counselor with a heart for helping Christians understand and steward their finances God’s way. 

For more information on books, worship albums, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Fulgaro or to schedule her to come speak to your group please visit  www.elizabethfulgaro.com . Music can be purchased and audio clips heard at www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro and on itunes.

Elizabeth also posts brief devotions and prayers on Facebook on her page: Spiritual Armor and Ammo where you will find more posts of God’s truth and His way to help you stand strong against the battles of this life in which we all find ourselves.

Elizabeth is the Founder of Eagles Nest Foundation which provides spiritual support & encouragement to military and military families as well as those in physical and emotional battles (such as cancer, long-term illness) as well as those grieving a loss.    For information email elizabeth@eaglesnestfoundation.org or visit www.eaglesnestfoundation.org  

The Deer on the Hill (and Carols At The Capitol)

Lord, we come to adore You
Lord, we come to adore You, Victor Savior and King.  Heavenly host declared Your coming.  We gather today to sing.  We declare who You are. Every promise is true. We rejoice in what You have said, in who You have been and will always be. Heavenly King, we adore You. Yes, forever.

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro © 2015

The date was Saturday, December 14, 2013: the first Carols At The Capitol gathering. I had spent the night at our Placerville home to be closer to the state capitol, Sacramento. The Lord called me out on a walk shortly after dawn. The air was cold, frost covered the little valley like a light blanket of snow. It was spectacular. The path crunched under my feet. Ice decorated the leaves on nearby blackberry vines like lace. I watched as the flock of swans rose from the reservoir on their daily flight around the area, the newly risen sun tinging their wings with cream-colored gold. At the conclusion of the walk just before I went back inside, the Lord prompted me to turn around one last time at the back garden gate. He nudged me to point my camera up the adjacent hill. I thought it was to be positioned to take a photo of the still rising sun through the trees. However, at the moment my camera was in place, a doe came forward on the slope above and into view. Her warm breath condensed into puffs like steam as it came forth from her nostrils. We stood staring at each other.

In that moment I realized that though December 14, 2013 was Carols At The Capitol to me, to the Lord’s creation it was just another day—and this was a good thing, it was a God-thing. We place varying degrees of importance and value on different days. To the Lord they are all of equal important—of great importance. Each is to be savored and simply lived trusting Him and thus in His peace.

There was some nervousness which accompanied the first Carols At The Capitol. All we wanted was the Lord’s will and we had worked so hard to create what we hoped He wanted. Would anyone come? Would it be what He had wanted? Had we heard Him correctly?

The deer on the hill. The swans in morning flight. Blackberry leaves frosted with frozen lace. An inner sigh.

There was no pressure in this day. There was to be no pressure in any day. It didn’t matter if anyone else came. It was His will for us to be there. And so we would be. Period. We would make our imperfect, childlike offering of Christmas worship on the steps of the state capitol. To our Lord this would be like any other day. He was simply looking if we would obey.

He had asked for us to simply come and offer Christmas carols as worship—to come seeking Him like the Wise Men. No more. No less. Simply….Simply that. Simply worship. Simply joy. Simply peace. All from Him as we did it for Him.

There was no concern or pressure necessary. It was simply our task for the day.  His task. It was to be bliss, not worry in every regard.

If we just came and offered the Christmas carols as worship, as He had seemed to be asking, He would bless it according to His promises. As He had promised my friend (and Founder of Carols At The Capitol), Andrea, if we would worship Him with Christmas carols at the seat of human government, entering the gate into the courts of the highest place in the state, then He would bring us a righteous leader. Was it righteous leader or was it the Righteous One as our Leader?

Recently, in discussion with Andrea’s daughter, Alanna, it has seemed clear He meant if we would simply go seeking Him like the Wise Men and make our offering of Christmas worship, then He would inhabit our land with more of Himself because by our worship we would be welcoming Him (inviting Him to have His way with us no matter who was in government).

Today, we gather again at state capitols to sing Christmas carols as worship to Him with one voice–not only in California, but in other states as well. Andrea worships from heaven, already in the presence of our King. We come seeking this true King, whose Kingdom is not of this world. We come to adore Him, to acknowledge Him as our true Leader, to give Him our hearts and our lives, pledging allegiance to Him by acknowledging what He has done and will do. Christmas carols. Christmas worship. Simply. Our hearts full and overflowing with joy because He came, lived, died, rose and is coming again.

Christmas was the beginning of the fulfillment of all His promises. We begin with Christmas worship to invite Him to be the Righteous Leader over all of us again, and to sovereignly influence the minds of those who govern to rule His way in love, fairness and justice.

All creation is constantly declaring His glory. All the time. Every day.  No matter what.

We join creation and sing. Christmas worship. We declare Him with hearts filled with joy. And we thank Him for another day to declare Him and live in His perfect provision and care until our days here are done and He takes us home.

NUGGETS OF GOD’s WISDOM

God’s Wisdom is more precious than gold.
This blog by Elizabeth Fulgaro helps readers discover God’s way versus the world’s one “nugget” at a time. 
http://www.ascendinworship.wordpress.com
 

Elizabeth Fulgaro is a wife, mother, writer, inspirational speaker, worship leader, composer, singer & recording artist.  She is also a Certified Financial Planner and Accredited Financial Counselor with a heart for helping Christians understand and steward their finances God’s way. 

For more information on books, worship albums, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Fulgaro or to schedule her to come speak to your group please visit  www.elizabethfulgaro.com . Music can be purchased and audio clips heard at www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro and on itunes.

Elizabeth also posts brief devotions and prayers on Facebook on her page: Spiritual Armor and Ammo where you will find more posts of God’s truth and His way to help you stand strong against the battles of this life in which we all find ourselves.

Elizabeth is the Founder of Eagles Nest Foundation which provides spiritual support & encouragement to military and military families as well as those in physical and emotional battles (such as cancer, long-term illness) as well as those grieving a loss.    For information email elizabeth@eaglesnestfoundation.org or visit www.eaglesnestfoundation.org