Decorating My Heart With His Joy

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Holy Baby, come to set us free. In love descending, in love never-ending Your care for souls from here to eternity.  We are awestruck at Your majesty and how You love and come to rest today and every day in You.

 

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro © 2016

Outside cold rain pouring down. Certainly in the mountains it is snowing. Unusual rain. Unusual temperatures. Actually a sense of autumn. I love the rain and its coolness and wish it could be thus every year.

Normally in our part of Northern California, October is hot and dry (long after we are ready for autumn rain and cooler temperatures) and November is temperate, often still too warm to feel like autumn completely dry. It is not common to have lots of rain in autumn or for the temperatures to feel like fall. Our autumn is usually one of bold and bronze colors but not of the cooler temperatures usually associated with how   one imagines the season should be.

This year we have autumn. Unusual rains and cooler temperatures in October and now a rainy, cold Thanksgiving. And the Holy Spirit is reminding me of His message in the rain and storms.

Oh, Lord, thank You for autumn and with the faith of being Your child, I say thank You, Lord, for storms which bring Your water into the spiritual deserts of hurting, dry hearts so seeds long thought dead can finally sprout and Your new life can come forth!

We received devastating news about someone we love the day before Thanksgiving.

As in everyday there is a choice to be made. Is God truly God or is He not? In my twenties I lived ten years in the place where I didn’t see how God could be real. Yet during those years when I chose to be absent from Him, I was dying without Him. No joy. No true peace. I was floundering to figure things out on my own and to make sense of it all even while I tried to stand resolute, firm and brave. But I was on a faulty foundation.

I returned 25+ years ago to faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord (the perfect representation of Father and the One who requested the Holy Spirit for us). This means by definition of faith, I do not have HIM all figured out. Yet, I have been witness to repeating, increasing evidence of God at work especially through what seem to be the worst circumstances. He never fails to work through all things to bring for the breakthrough, life and LIFE.

We are broken, imperfect humans, living broken, imperfect lives where we often make unwise choices which can lead to horrible consequences for us and those around us.

And though with us providing His blessing through all things, God’s greatest gifts are eternal in nature and He uses what we consider life’s worst to get others as well as us in position to receive His eternal blessings (which begin now).

The unusual rain is impetus to keep listening for what God wants. In addition, also in this unusual rain I sense His promise. It is His promise of restoration, increased life and LIFE if we will stay the course and seek to walk in His specific will.

When we first became aware of the direction things had actually taken for the one we love, it was Christmas Eve 2015 for me. The Lord nudged me that this revelation was part of my Christmas gift. At first, this just seemed cruel and unlike God. That is, until we recognize once again that it’s often through these things which seem so awful, that He is bringing His gifts. Through the storm, He is answering prayers and growing our spiritual muscle. We receive the gift of increased intimacy with Him while He is about the deep work of answering our prayers. This is because often when we have prayed for someone, only He has down the depth and expanse of what is needed to answer these prayers.

I have prayed what I call, “The Ugly Prayer” for those I love:

“Lord, take the ones I love wherever they need to go in life in order to come into the fullness of what you have for them and so they can walk out the God-given assignments You have for them.”

I meant it when I prayed this prayer even though I was completely aware that what I was praying for would not be answered by everything being easy and positive for those I loved. It would mean pitfalls and exposed weak spots which He would then lovingly tend to and shore up on Him the Rock and right foundation.

I could not pray the other prayer which was always so tempting: “Lord, protect the ones I love from everything which could harm them and let nothing bad happen in their lives.” This was not a prayer the Lord could answer the same way. Here remains earth and not heaven. There will be no escape from difficulties. Answer to this prayer would not bring us into the potential richness God had for us–into those blessed places where we must choose to let Him be God and grow us or not.

We live in a broken, fallen world with broken, faulty people who will affect themselves and others in ways which are not always right or good. Here will never be heaven. Ever. Human wisdom and way fails over and over through all generations.

So now in the midst of a raging storm, am I going to cower in fear, cry out in panic or give up in despair and become crippled by it? Has God changed? Is He still King over all on His throne? Have any of His promises been nullified?

No, God remains God and faithful. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Therefore, I will remain in Him, gazing at Him, singing His praises. He always has been and remains my singular hope. It is on His strength, power, wisdom, way and promises which I rely. His joy is my strength and in who He is and what He promises is my ongoing joy in spite of what I can see. I will sing His praises through it all and never stop, for I know who He is:

My Lord, You are Victor. You are never done. My Lord, You are Creator and Father who loves those I love even more than I do. My Lord, You are sovereign and nothing thwarts Your purposes. My Lord, Your purpose is eternal union with You because You are love. Heavenly One, Your love is unstoppable and supreme beyond defining. You are always Victor, my Savior and King. You, Lord, are the Shepherd who tends to very sheep. Because You are love, Your searching does not cease. You came to a manger, to show us the Father. Your love never ending, our Lamb and High Priest.

I either believe in Him or I don’t and He has shown me too much evidence of who He is and how He works not to believe. The enemy brings storms to destroy. God uses the storms to usher in His Living Water—Life comes forth through the storms.

So what am I to do? Will I crumble in the face of what I see for these waves are dangerously high? Or will I choose to continue to walk on water as He calls me, with eyes only for Him because my Lord calls me out. When He is resting in my boat will I panic, thinking He doesn’t notice the storm or rely on Him to know and bring it to cease and be still at His proper time (after His objectives have been accomplished).

My goal is to be in His will. My goal is to remain in Him receiving His joy and peace. This means I will choose to rejoice, give Him glory and rely on Him in this place.

The last few years I have decorated for Christmas less and more slowly. It has seemed like something which could easily get out of hand and in our exuberance—actually distract from focus on Jesus who came without worldly decorations or fanfare (even as heaven rejoiced).

But this year, in this excruciatingly hard place, I will walk by faith and as an expression of trust in Him, I will let nothing steal His gift of joy. Therefore as a symbolic expression of trust and commitment to be engaged in the party, I will decorate already today and enter into the celebration of my current and coming King, in thanksgiving for Who He has always been, is and will be.

#ocomeletusadoreHim #decoratingmyheartwithhisjoy #worshipHismajesty #trustintheLordwithallyourheart

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, Accredited Financial Counselor and financial coach with a heart for helping people understand their money and steward it God’s way. 

For more information on books, worship albums, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Fulgaro  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, a 501(c)3 non-profit 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.   

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  

 

Light of the World Devotion and Prayer

IMG_1616by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro

1 In many separate revelations [each of which set forth a portion of the Truth] and in different ways God spoke of old to [our] forefathers in and by the prophets, 2 [But] in the last of these days He has spoken to us in [the person of a] Son, Whom He appointed Heir and lawful Owner of all things, also by and through Whom He created the worlds and the reaches of space and the ages of time [He made, produced, built, operated, and arranged them in order]. 3 He is the sole expression of the glory of God [the Light-being, the out-raying or radiance of the divine], and He is the perfect imprint and very image of [God’s] nature, upholding and maintaining and propelling the universe by His mighty word of power. When He had by offering Himself accomplished our cleansing of sins and riddance of guilt, He sat down at the right hand of the divine Majesty on high (Hebrew 1:1 AMP)

When Jesus was born, the Light of the world came into the darkness, yet few knew He was here. In fact, they were not interested in His arrival. They were too busy hustling and bustling. The King over all kings and the Master of the universe had left His very real heavenly throne and surprised us all by coming not in the clouds, but as a baby born to a poor family which no one noticed.

His fanfare is always ongoing in the heavenlies. The angels in tandem with the creatures around the throne and the saints who have gone before with harps, trumpets, voices and lifted hands alternating with bowed down faces never stop giving him praise and celebrating His Master plan for all who will choose it. The phrase often quotes this time of year is that wise men still seek Him and indeed He is waiting to be sought.

As we proceed through the final days commemorating the gift of the birth of Jesus, let us continue to make time daily to pause and breathe Him, contemplating Jesus in spirit and truth—our Light of the World who leads us home. Let’s pray:

Light of the world, You came into the spiritual darkness which we naively thought was truth and fullness. But You loved us too much to leave us in that which was not Your best for us. You loved us too much to leave us without a future and a hope for without You we had no way to overcome the ultimate end in physical death and no way to live life now well. You knew that for which You created us. You knew You had created us to be with You forever, where death is not the end, but the threshold to our true destiny where there will be no more problems, illnesses, grief, sorrow or injustice.

This is the hope of Christmas: that You came, lived, died, rose and sent Your Spirit to be with us until such time as You are coming again. This is our proclamation of joy which is not just declared during times of happiness, but is our abounding, unchanging joy regardless of circumstances. This is what the world must know even as we bow before You individually to adore.

Light of the world, we cannot get through this life without You. As we go into the new year we need You lighting the one and only true path moment by moment which leads us back to You. Nothing really belongs to us. We are not in control; You are. You are all power, wisdom and knowledge. You are all Love.

God with us through the Holy Spirit, You help us to love well even as we dwell in Your love when we bow and submit. The fruit of Your Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control working for us, then through us.

Emmanuel, You are the life which is Light. We bow and adore. Thank You for Life. Our existence here can be very hard. Our hope is the future inheritance that You have kept in heaven for us and blessed, treasured reunion with You and all who we miss so much.

Lord God, we look to You! We wait for You like the ancient Israelites and like Anna and Simeon in the temple. We hear the Word You have come and like shepherds who believed the angels, and wise men who believed the prophecy of the star, we rise up to seek You and follow. Nothing else has value once we have encountered You, our King. Your Light fills the darkness with hope. Each step You illuminate for us. We are no longer lost but found.

On this 6th day of Christmas, we thank You for the meaning Your birth infuses into every single day and how this encourages us, beckoning us onward as we enter yet another New Year. Thank You for today and every day which was, is and each one which is to come until that blessed promised day of ultimate reunion. In Jesus’ name, Amen

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
 

   

Contributions for Eagles Nest Foundation , Inc.
www.eaglesnestfoundation.org

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

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  

Christmas Is Not Always Easy

Joy to the world! You have come! Let all heaven and nature sing!  In You we live, move and have our being. Only through You and the understanding You give us of the temporal nature of this temporary life and the ongoing spiritual battle where evil desires to destroy and remove good (and Good) forever, can we understand our lives. Thank You for special time with others if that is Your plan for us this year. But more than anything, thank You for the Gift You were and are to us. You are the reason we celebrate Christmas for at this time we choose to remember that no matter what we are going through You love us, are with us and are leading us to that sweet place where there is no more pain and no more tears and we are with You where our joy is complete forever.  Light of the world, continue to help us to see You and never lose sight of You and Your precious, blessed, "splendiferous" way.  Praise to YOU, Lord Jesus Christ for in You and by You we greet all we know joyously with Merry CHRISTmas!  In Jesus' name, Amen
Joy to the world! You have come! Let all heaven and nature sing! In You we live, move and have our being. Only through You and the understanding You give us of the temporal nature of this temporary life and the ongoing spiritual battle where evil desires to destroy and remove good (and Good) forever, can we understand our lives. Thank You for special time with others if that is Your plan for us this year. But more than anything, thank You for the Gift You were and are to us. You are the reason we celebrate Christmas for at this time we choose to remember that no matter what we are going through You love us, are with us and are leading us to that sweet place where there is no more pain and no more tears and we are with You where our joy is complete forever. Light of the world, continue to help us to see You and never lose sight of You and Your precious, blessed, “splendiferous” way. Praise to YOU, Lord Jesus Christ for in You and by You we greet all we know joyously with Merry CHRISTmas! In Jesus’ name, Amen

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro © 2014

Despite all the societal hype about what Christmas should look like, Christmas is not always easy. In fact, for many, Christmas is a time of year which by focus on the pictures of perfect families, beautiful decorations, gifts and abundantly set tables consistently is like salt rubbing in open wounds or that which rips off scabs and inflicts pain from loss, grief or injury anew.

For me, the only answer is to return to the true meaning of Christmas. The birth of Christ was not accompanied by great feasts or frenzied calendars of seemingly endless preparations or pressure to find and wrap the perfect gift. The miracle was uncomplicated and for the most part unseen. It was natural daily life of supernatural proportion and implication. A poor young woman accompanied her husband to Bethlehem in obedience to the call for a census and though they could find no place for lodging gave birth to her Son and laid Him in an animal feed trough for she had no cradle.  The angels alerted the shepherds who had to choose to leave their work to go worship Him and the wise men also left their normal pre-occupations to seek out the newborn King they believed had come. Though supreme King over all things–natural and supernatural, physical and spiritual– and Creator of the universe, no one else knew He had come.

Christ was born and by His life, death and resurrection opened the door for reconciled relationship for each of us with Father God so we could receive our destiny in Him and through Him for eternity for which He created us! He promised blessings to those who followed Him even during this temporal life! However, He did not promise a life of ease or without problems.

The people of Israel were waiting for a Savior who would save them from earthly injustice. Instead, here came a King who would bring them through the trials of this fallen life, but not eliminate those trials. Here remains earth, not heaven. But Jesus made heaven possible. Jesus gave back our future and hope to those who would choose to follow. Jesus became Emmanuel—God with us—not just through eternity, but now as well so that when we struggle it is with Him at our side along with His promise to bring something good from it. Earthly governments are not overrun by Christ; individual hearts become filled to overflowing with the reality of God so that we inherit life with Him forever following this temporal existence and His love begins to flow through us to change the world within its existing ignorant structures.

Christmas is not about the tree or the gifts or the feasts, family or guests. Christmas is about the coming of God into our world to open the door home and lead us there Himself. This is what we sing about and it is in this rejoice. Everything else, while it can be nice, is like a piece of wrapping paper which is pretty today, but the day after Christmas seems to have turned gray and is ready to be thrown out. This is Christmas joy! True joy is not found in that which is passing away…true joy is in the hope of who we are to Him and what is yet to come!

In order to survive and even thrive at Christmas we need to focus on the Gift Himself who provides His hope, love, direction and care not just during December but throughout the year. Christmas is a time to remember, revere and focus on Him. It is time to give Him the glory He is due by announcing to the world, death is not the end and injustice will not be victorious because we serve an eternal supernatural supreme King.  And when times have been hard and not what has been desired we are to cling exactly to these promises.

Indeed this year our family will gather. There will be gifts under a decorated Christmas tree. I am baking special cookies which it seems I only take the time to make at this time of year. But there are two separate dynamics at work here. There is the dynamic of choosing this time of year as one to gather and enjoy each other’s company and there is the dynamic of setting aside time to quietly remember the One who came and gives us all hope for the future we cannot provide for ourselves where there will finally justice, only goodness, joy and endless reunion without pain or sorrow. So MERRY CHRISTMAS, everyone. Jesus came, lived, died, rose, ascended, sent His Spirit who is with us now through the good and bad which will be and we are all on our journey home.  May you sense His presence with you through at all as He blesses you and keeps you, as He makes His face to shine upon you and offers you His peace.

Note: By the way this does not mean I am sad. For us it is a blessed, bliss-filled Christmas abounding with thanksgiving. But there are way too many others I know for whom Christmas is not easy and will not be. There needed to be something written which acknowledges this and points to the true essence of Christmas, away from what we have added to it, in order to help the time be blessed and perhaps in some small way more meaningful enjoyable again for all of us every year–no matter what. Merry Christmas all!

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
 

   

Contributions for Eagles Nest Foundation , Inc.
www.eaglesnestfoundation.org

It is the season we remember Christ’s birth. For new original worship music with which to go deeper in Christ through reflecting on Him this blessed season, visit CDBaby: http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro . CHRISTMAS WORSHIP and the newly released CHRISTMAS BELLS CALL TO WORSHIP are available now in CD and downloadable format.  

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

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  

 

Once Upon A Time There Was A KING

Holy Jesus come to earth to make the way for us back to Father, we lift our hands in thanks and bow our faces in reverential awe. Our gratitude cannot be measured. There are no words to describe how amazed we are at Your magnificent majesty, Your supreme perfection and yet Your unending love which manifests in Your mercy and forgiveness and the gift of Your grace through Jesus. Thank You, for coming! Thank You for living to reveal Father and obeying unto death so He could raise You as the first and we could know we are welcomed into our True Family and that heaven and sweet reunion awaits. Thank You, Emmanuel for coming and for sending Your Holy Spirit during this sometimes arduous journey home. You are our hope. You are our future. You are our strength, our shield, our provision and the Source of all joy. You are all that we want and all that we need. Thank You for the Gift of Yourself which is the essence of Christmas. In Jesus' name, Amen
Holy Jesus come to earth to make the way for us back to Father, we lift our hands in thanks and bow our faces in reverential awe. Our gratitude cannot be measured. There are no words to describe how amazed we are at Your magnificent majesty, Your supreme perfection and yet Your unending love which manifests in Your mercy and forgiveness and the gift of Your grace through Jesus. Thank You, for coming! Thank You for living to reveal Father and obeying unto death so He could raise You as the first and we could know we are welcomed into our True Family and that heaven and sweet reunion awaits. Thank You, Emmanuel for coming and for sending Your Holy Spirit during this sometimes arduous journey home. You are our hope. You are our future. You are our strength, our shield, our provision and the Source of all joy. You are all that we want and all that we need. Thank You for the Gift of Yourself which is the essence of Christmas. In Jesus’ name, Amen

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro © 2014

Once upon a time, there was a King who was greater than any other king who had ever been because this King of all kings was also the Creator of the universe and thus He our world and everything in it.  He had neither beginning nor end. He had always been and would always be. Unchanging at all times, He was Truth. He had always reigned supreme and always would.  Most importantly, He did not just love. He was unlimited, unending, unconditional Love. It was and is His essence.

In the time between the beginning and the time which was, the people who He had created to be the object of His love chose another ruler instead of the King because they did not want to submit to the King’s Way. As the treasured inheritance He had chosen and made for Himself, the King had promised to perfectly care for and provide for His beloved people forever. This was His joy and an expression of His supreme love. He would be in them and with them and they in Him and with Him forever. This was the King of the spiritual realm and the physical realm because the physical, natural realm was created by the King in the supernatural, spiritual.

The King loved the ones He had created too much to have them with Him if they chose to follow the way of another and so He let them go, actually banishing them from His presence so they could continue to attempt to live whatever way they chose, a way which did not match His. However, again His love reigned supreme over what His people deserved and He provided for them better than they could provide for themselves.  He put goodness and His loving touch in each of their lives, in a place which should have only contained hardship and sorrow.

How good was this King! How kind! But this was because He could not be different than He was. Thus there was nothing about Him which was not good and so being goodness personified and the only One in whom goodness could be found, the ruler who the people chose to follow, who encouraged each to live whatever way he or she thought best, was not good and there was no goodness in him.  The people the King loved were under the dominion (rulership) of one who held them captive in their own desires to that which was not the King’s best for them, for He knew that for which He had created them.  Some of the people knew this and mourned the loss of their citizenship in the Kingdom of the King of kings. Many others simply could not make sense of lives which seemed like they should be good but so often were filled with so much which was not.

The place where the people now lived was not everlasting.  There was evil, injustice, hatred, anger, selfishness, war and no peace because the spirit of the world who had dominion (right to rule) was by nature completely contrary to the nature of the One True King. As in the times of the Israelites’ captivity under the oppressors in Egypt, the people through the generations cried out for their spiritual freedom. Somehow deep inside they knew they were destined for something more. The yearning within them for it was insatiable and gave them no rest.  Ongoing they let their misery be known as a despairing sigh released without ceasing into the spiritual atmosphere echoing into the presence of the King who was and is love.  They could not understand how their lives could be so hard and there could be so much unavoidable sorry, grief and even death (no matter how hard they tired) when they had heard there was a King who was and is love.

But the King understood. He remembered the choice made by the people’s ancestors to go their own way and follow this spirit who led them contrary to His kingdom Way, which was the only true Way and the Way where true joy, peace, goodness and love could be found (for these things were found only in and by Him) And this King who was by His very nature their Lord (the One who ruled over them still because He ruled over all) loved those He had made too much to leave them in their misery without a way out. He had always heard their cries and He had always planned to answer.

So at His perfectly appointed time, the King sent His Son to dwell with the people and reveal the Truth of who He is and His way and to be a partaker in His ultimate plan which would make the way for all who chose now to follow Him, to enter back into the destiny for which He had made them. Like the story His Son told of the son who went his own way, found it did not work, squandered his inheritance and sought to return to his father’s house, so the King now through His Son’s life, birth and obedient sacrifice unto death, stood on the road with open arms to welcome each of us back if we chose to turn, seek to come toward Him and embrace Him.

In the years to come, as the people who had not understood now comprehended who the Son had been and what He had done opening the way to eternal spiritual reunion with Father who all who would turn and follow, the people also began to celebrate this Gift of hope which had been sent into their misery so that each person knew, the King was spiritually with them in exile and He Himself would lead them home. Each person had only to seek to follow. And they called the festival which celebrated His birth, Christmas—the celebration of the coming of the Christ—the One appointed by the King to come, make the way and lead us back into the Kingdom of the King for which we were created, so that our misery might be lessened and our joy increased now and forever.

Thus people began to set-aside a particular time of year to rejoice in the future and hope the King provided for us through His Son, and to honor Him and all He has done for us, which we could never do for ourselves and could never, ever earn (for it is a Gift). The people chose not to work, making as a time of Sabbath rest and declared it to be a season where we focus on loving one another in honor of the One who is Love and gave back Life with Him to us. This is the reason for Christmas. It is our hope. He is our joy.

All the rest is our human strivings to make this time into something others have told us it should be. Yet, whether we are together with others or alone, Christmas is a time to honor, remember, contemplate and worship the King of kings who desires to give us better and more than we could ever imagine. Christmas is a time when if we allow it by choosing to spend focused time with Him, we join with the rejoicing happening in heaven ongoing and heaven seems to touch earth. And according to His perfect will and plan, as He sees our eyes at rest on Him, revering Him and waiting on His Word, He will give increased gifts to our hearts which will strengthen us for this sometimes arduous journey home which will be touched by injustice, hurt and grief. In this way He can take even that which seems unbearable here and bring something good—something eternal–out of it as He increasingly flows through us in all circumstances to continue to offer His hope through His love to the world.  MERRY BLESSED CHRISTMAS!

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it…14 And The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth…16 For from his fullness we have all received grace upon grace. (John 1:1-5,14,16)

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.  (John 3:16-17)

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
 

   

Contributions for Eagles Nest Foundation , Inc.
www.eaglesnestfoundation.org

It is the season we remember Christ’s birth. For new original worship music with which to go deeper in Christ through reflecting on Him this blessed season, visit CDBaby: http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro . CHRISTMAS WORSHIP and the newly released CHRISTMAS BELLS CALL TO WORSHIP are available now in CD and downloadable format.  

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

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  

 

Prophetic Word: Come Spend Time With Me

Lord, we are so grateful that You call us to come away with You. Majesty, Ruler of the Universe and Creator of all, how we are in need of Your love, power and guidance. So often things here do not make sense, how we desire to lean on You more. Teacher, You alone are the Way, Truth and Life, we look to You alone and trust in Your promise to lead us, especially through the rough and dark places which otherwise seem to overwhelm us. You are our Anchor and our Rock and we are so grateful that You invite us to be in You, our Refuge where even in the worst situations You lavish upon us Your love and care, as You accompany us on our journey back home to You forever. Truly, truly in You we find life. In Jesus' name, Amen
Lord, we are so grateful that You call us to come away with You. Majesty, Ruler of the Universe and Creator of all, how we are in need of Your love, power and guidance. So often things here do not make sense, how we desire to lean on You more. Teacher, You alone are the Way, Truth and Life, we look to You alone and trust in Your promise to lead us, especially through the rough and dark places which otherwise seem to overwhelm us. You are our Anchor and our Rock and we are so grateful that You invite us to be in You, our Refuge where even in the worst situations You lavish upon us Your love and care, as You accompany us on our journey back home to You forever. Truly, truly in You we find life. In Jesus’ name, Amen

Christmas is the season when we contemplate the love of God and stand, kneel, celebrate and bow in awe that GOD Most High would come to us so we can return to Him.  He is calling for us to spend time with Him. He has always been calling. This can be one of the most difficult times of year to set aside time to be with Him and yet, it is the most essential. This morning as I sat quietly with Him reading the Bible, He downloaded the following “word”. It does not condemn but is pure love.  May it bless those for whom He intends it.

Please also remember as you read, that when the Holy Spirit “downloads” a word, it either will resonate with you or it will not.  No one prophetic word is for every person. But there are some for whom God had intended this.  I am human and imperfect.  Please always pray before you read and as you read. And this is my prayer for you: ”LORD, please lead each reader perfectly and cause them to receive and remember, only that which is from You for them.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.” ~ Elizabeth

I call you Martha. I have called you to be Mary. Stop. Breathe. Breathe Me in and breathe Me out. Spend time one-on-one with Me. You run and keep on running, but that is not My pace for you. That is not the pace for which you were created. There are seasons like the farmers’ season of harvest when the days must be so full. But this is to be a season, not a lifestyle.

I see you under the burdens you carry. I see you. How I long to remove these from you. But My way is first to remove them from the inside out. There is a mental battle which must be fought—a choosing to press in and learn My way so that you can wield the sword of My Spirit which is the Word of God, which I gave you as your offensive weapon in My spiritual armor so you can stand before the enemy’s schemes.

But you cannot wield for you inner and outer protection and fight back with that which you have not learned how to use. You must spend time with Me. It is a choice.

How I long to teach you My way and share with you the hidden greater things for these are the true jewels. How I long to help you if you will but come to Me for My yoke is easy and My burden is light. How I long to care for you My way, but you must choose enough to trust and to listen and to spend time with Me when I call you.

Closeness with Me where you experience the contentment, peace and joy I have for you even now, is found as you seek Me and seek Me more for you will find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.   You will find Me and in the deeper revelation of My Truth and My way in My love your joy will finally be complete for in My joy is your strength.

My joy is always pouring forth as an aspect of My infinite incomprehensible love. My joy is the knowing that victory is Mine. It has always been Mine. What the enemy intends for evil (and the evil which pours forth is more than an intention. It is real.) I have already overcome. And I Myself, sovereignly take all these horrid things and in due time I use them to strengthen you, to draw you close to focus you on the truth of eternity even now and to focus you on the very real battle here in our midst where I win but desire to work through you to help usher in My victory. (It is the victory which Jesus already won.)

Remember, My Son. Remember Jesus. The enemy had no true power over Jesus for He is Lord! Yet for love of Me, evil happened to Him and it was allowed so I could bring My greater good. I saw. I wept. It was allowed. It was heinous. The greater victory has come forth for all to see.

Be prepared. Understand. The enemy will appear to win but he is a liar. Deceit is his middle name. There is no truth in him and he has no lasting victory for I turn all ashes into eventual beauty because I alone reign in eternity.

Yet this adversary will seek to discourage you, distract you and steal from you all the goodness I have for you even now. Call to Me and I will show you great and hidden things you do not know. When you seek Me, you will find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. Come to Me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon your shoulders for My yoke is easy and My burden is light. Do not worry as the pagans do about what you will eat or drink or what you will wear, but seek My kingdom first and all these things will be given unto you. For I know the plans I have for You—plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. For My love and thus My kingdom are everlasting. Remember My kingdom is not of this world. Once you join My kingdom because you have seen Me, you are no longer exiled to the adversary’s kingdom of the air here. And your destiny is no longer eternal death, but you too become as I, Jesus, was—in the world, but no longer of it. You become My adopted children. You become citizens of My kingdom with all the rights of citizens. This does not remove the evil from this world, but it does allow you to move through it. There will still be pain, sorrow and great injustice. It does not mean I am not there. Listen and I will bring you through. I am Emmanuel “God With Us” and I am there with you now through all of it, guiding and directing. It is why Jesus asked the Father and the Father sent Me, His Spirit. I AM the Master Shepherd. I ensure you have green pastures in which to rest and still waters from which to drink as I lead you day by day, moment by moment on this journey home which will travel through valleys where the shadow is death, sadness and mourning. But you are journeying home and in My perfect timing, which will suddenly seem like a twinkling of an eye, I will draw you fully to Myself.

Until then, if you do not make time for Me, if you do not listen to Me so you can seek to hear Me and follow, you will not emotionally survive the onslaught which is coming. Only in Me are answers. Only in Me.   There is no understanding without Me and since at its root this is a supernatural spiritual battle, you cannot manage this on your own. You need Me because I am God and you are not. The spirits of this world are also supernatural (so greater than your natural capabilities), but I am greatest. I reign supreme. Thus you cannot survive without Me.

Yet if you will simply look for Me, I will bring you through it. Ask to hear and I will teach you to hear My voice for I desire to lead you and use you for My purposes even in what seem like the tiniest things.

Choose to listen and create spaces in your day for Me. I will teach you how to do it. I speak with My peace. I do not contradict who I am. I do not shame. I do not make afraid. I neither condemn nor hate you. But I do speak with truth and you will know it is I if you seek to learn.

I have so much for you. I know the responsibilities you have to get through this life. They are not a surprise to Me, but learn to listen interiorly for My voice for I love you and will guide you through it and will tell you what to do, when to do it and when (and this is more often than you think) to be still with Me.

I am your strength. I am your refuge. I am your source. I am your shield. I am the One who loves you and who created you for My good purpose. I am the One who restores, refreshes and heals. There is hope in no other. Listen and I will teach you how to come and be still with Me and receive all I have for you even now. It will be for you a delight beyond all you can imagine. I love you.

humbly written out as “heard” by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro © 2014

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
 

   

Contributions for Eagles Nest Foundation , Inc.
www.eaglesnestfoundation.org

Christmas is coming. For new original worship music with which to usher in this blessed season & go deeper in Christ, visit CDBaby: http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro . CHRISTMAS WORSHIP and the newly released CHRISTMAS BELLS CALL TO WORSHIP are available now in CD and downloadable format.   For more information about Carols At The Capitol and attending or hosting an event in your area visit http://www.carolsatthecapitol.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 books, worship cds, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Fulgaro or to schedule her to come speak to your group please visit www.holyspiritpress.org  Music can be purchased and audio clips heard at www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro and on itunes.

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