Only Jesus Remains– 74.Shiny New Christmas

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro copyright 2020

Oct 22 to Jan 6 reflections from an upcoming book for tending hurting hearts at Christmas

Gray and ordinary-dull. This is what January seemed before.  The first month of the new calendar in Northern California is the true begin of winter. It rains. Where we live there is not even anticipated snowfall to beautify.

Yet, there is oft-overlooked, important beauty in daily-ness.  A God-given rhythm. Drudgery-ordinary is a myth. There are only days spreading out from here to our individual crossovers to eternity filled with great God-purpose. The one who is love loving us in our messes and messiness and still leading, guiding, comforting, healing and directing us to be His love more to the next one in ways He knows are needed.

The different sort of everyday beauty is a visible aspect of the ushering in of the kingdom of God brought by Jesus. Already at His birth, Jesus demonstrating this.  He came into time and space not just to die, but to show us how to live. In so doing, He turned culture on its head. To make holy and belonging to the Lord every second of every day and not just Sabbath. Beyond December. Every day. Every moment. They all belong to Him. For His purposes and not our own. Moments kissed by His omnipresence and carried forward by His omnipotence as we journey one more moment, one more day towards the forever-life with Him. At which point the opportunity to be His active ambassador here will be over.

A life dedicated to God, led by the Shepherd through the land, to be a specific instrument of His good. Where, because of this assignment, we can choose to skip like little lambs through all moments. Instead of perpetual down-trodden-ness. Excited for what is to come because, in the ordinary, God’s extraordinary is always there bubbling up from the foundation level—whether we recognize it or not. Our true-life view is no longer looking at January to December, but from today unto eternity. He is giving us the larger, actual, overriding narrative arc.

The music begun through the Christmas season should not stop. There is resounding of song ever rising before God as pleasing, celebrating, rejoicing incense in heaven. All creation is declaring His glory. We join creation and sing. For His glory. For His glory! To live by His Spirit so we shine like His stars, which He uses to provide the beginning of the light and direction on cold winter nights for yet others. When we know and when we don’t know. By Him at work through us because we are present to Him and God-aware. He causes us to be present to them. Less by what we necessarily do and more firmly by how we are, because we are grounded and founded in Him.

Certainly, buffeted by life’s storms, but strongly anchored. We know who we are to Him. We know who we serve. We understand reality here which is less, yet which is also blessed as it is leading to eternity there with Him.

His peace, then, like a river flowing through.  Our comfort. Our Rock. Our safe place and His Spirit moving and moving more. Our God connection increasing as we continue to choose to gaze at Him. We come out of Christmas more convicted to let Him use our everyday however He wants for His greater temporal and eternal plans for all people like Joseph did. Just daily obeying and doing the work laid before him and God working extraordinary (unfathomable) greatness through this.

Every life matters. Every life. At all stages. Purpose. God-purpose. Beloved. For more of His beloved. God working through the many. Every vital part of His Body fitted together the way He designed it. For such a time as this. This is your moment. This is your now. It won’t come again. To shine for God. To be a cleaned-out, ever-cleaner lamp through which His Light, living in you, shines to the world. To the one next to you. In revealing the reality, He is both spiritually (and sometimes supernaturally) in very tangible God-driven bits of practical love for the ones God places before you and on your ever-more-God-seeking heart. God-instrument. God-following life. Life of inner joy, peace, and His light still shining and shining more into a still-darkened world.

For such a time as this. For such a time as this! From now through eternity. Selah! What is the Holy Spirit saying to you?

Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts, heaven and earth remain at all times filled with Your glory and I am in abject awe.  Holy is this moment, too, for it also is from You. Holy. Holy Lord. This moment and every moment because You are in it. Every moment is Yours. Every life. In You, we live, move and have our being. Since I belong to You and so does this very moment. Purify my heart yet more, my Beloved. Move in me, Holy Spirit, this moment and every moment to come to do Your bidding for Your people for Your perfect will for Your glory.

The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness of it, the world and they who dwell in it.

For He has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the currents and the rivers.

Who shall go up into the mountain of the Lord? Or who shall stand in His Holy Place?

He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted himself up to falsehood or to what is false, nor sworn deceitfully.

He shall receive blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation.

This is the generation [description] of those who seek Him [who inquire of and for Him and of necessity require Him], who seek Your face, [O God of] Jacob. Selah [pause, and think of that]!

Lift up your heads, O you gates; and be lifted up, you age-abiding doors, that the King of glory may come in.

Who is the King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.

Lift up your heads, O you gates; yes, lift them up, you age-abiding doors, that the King of glory may come in.

10 Who is [He then] this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory. Selah [pause, and think of that]! Psalm 24

SONG Recommended: SHALOMSo You Sent Your Son album

ONLY JESUS REMAINS PODCASTS

SHINY NEW CHRISTMAS PODCAST

If you are just joining in these reflections, read the Introduction here to learn what these are all about.

for mini-devotions subscribe or connect on Facebook at Spiritual Armor and Ammo .

Author: Elizabeth Fulgaro

I am a God-seeker--a Jesus-worshipper--a Holy Spirit follower. I create songs, devotions, prayers, books and Bible studies to give words with which to get to know God more. For you. Its for one-on-One encounter unto transformed, transcendent living. This is not my vocation. I am not professional. I am a real, ordinary person just looking to do what God put me here to do. (You have a unique purpose too.) So I am called to the work. It is not my income source, but my gift to those who find it blessing. Eagles Nest Foundation sponsors all projects for you. The result: pure, clean spiritual nutrition to feed that deep insatiable spiritual hunger which eventually overtakes each of us and galvanizes you to the life God has for you. This life is purposeful. Exceptional. You--yes, you--are called to something greater and more satisfying in His service. So it is hoped you'll try this spiritually dense nutrition and find it to be a personal blessing. However, the goodness of God-following doesn't stop there. He uses those who seek Him to be His love and care (justice, mercy, advocate, kindness) very tangibly in the lives of those around you. Not by your power but by His. His ideas. God ideas. Not just good ideas. To be part of changing the world, if you will let Him. You learn to just follow where He leads. That if you listen, He will teach you to hear His voice and then when you obey His inner promptings you will become His incredible hands and feet in this hard world. These materials will help! They will help you aim your life towards God in a way you never look back. You will not be the same. He will become the River in your desert spaces and you will become a conduit of this same River of refreshing, replenishing Water of Life to others. Find a prayer. Pick a blog post. Read a book. Be led deeper into the Bible. Select a song which resonates and use it and use it again to go close and ever closer to the God who longs to draw you near. Oh, and don't be tempted to think I'm a crazy over-spiritualized loony...My background is financial planning and counseling. Almost 40 years of it. To choose to believe in God is not to leave practicality and reason behind, but to learn that there is that which goes beyond it and includes it, unto true life fulfillment beyond all your dreams for the one who keeps seeking Him. I am a third generation Californian. I am a person to whom family means everything. The only priority higher is God. The foothills of the Sierra Nevada are my home. It is here the 1849-1856 Gold Rush is still glorified. Easy money? Actually only for the few. Even though I was raised in the Church, it took me ten years of doubting God even existed to realize that without Him, no matter how much of this life's "stuff" is accumulated, I actually have nothing. To come to know that all those who chased after gold are dead and all those who still chase stuff will be dead. That's when I became a God-seeker. Looking for that more. And Eureka! (This is California's state slogan and means I found it.) I found God...or rather, I discovered He was there and had been there waiting for me to look for Him the whole time. May you discover more of Him for you, greater flourishing life and greater flourishing for all in the world as well. God bless you! ~Elizabeth

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