Above All Names – Prophet

And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.”

Mark 6:4

How it must have hurt Jesus that His family, His hometown withdrew honor from Him, doubted Who He was. Mark 6:6 tells us He “marveled at their unbelief.” When we share the Word in Truth and Love, and people look at us blank-faced, perplexed, or even with laughter, we can know that the Savior Himself received the same response! Jesus, the Prophet, came and fulfilled every Word spoken of Him since Genesis, without fail. Yet, it was still difficult for those closest to Him to grasp. Lord, today we pray for all those who do not honor you and those who do not grasp you. You are Prophet, Priest, Savior, and King

The Best Christmas Gift for Your Marriage

My husband entered the room one day last week and asked me this question:

“You like camo, right?”

In my mind I’m thinking,

“Hmm. That’s weird.”

And then I realize, it’s Christmas.

“I like camo, army camo, not leafy camo. No hunting camo. That’s your thing, not mine. And no camo with pink on it. That’s weird. I don’t really like color infiltrating the camo at all, maybe grey or black.”

“What about brown and camo? You like brown and camo, right?

Oh boy. I have to answer this question carefully. He has a little boy hopefulness going on and I have mixed emotions about brown and camo.

“Well, it could be cool. I’d have to see. Do you remember that camo shirt I showed you downtown last week? I like that camo.”

“Ok, good. Yes. Alright.”

Dave leaves the room, while I chuckle over my mug of tea. He’s just the cutest and I love being thought of when I don’t even know it.

There was a time when every year it was an epic decision for us whether we would buy gifts for each other. Pennies were tight, furniture was thread bare, and student loans demanded attention.

But guess what?

Pennies are still tight. Money still needs to be managed. Teenagers eat a lot of food or they die, I’m told. Coats handed down from one kid to the thirteenth at some point wear out, to my chagrin. And all the while my marriage is still there, still constant, still hollering for some attention.

Through changing seasons, locations, and attitudes, I still believe this to be true:

It’s better for your marriage to give your spouse a Christmas gift.

It’s better for your children when you give your spouse a Christmas gift.

Why? I wrote that article for the Concordia Publishing House blog. 😉 Find it here:

The Best Christmas Gift for Your Marriage

Gifts won’t solve marriage problems or wave a magic wand over the way your kids view relationships, but they are a place where I think we often ignore our marriages for other things; a place we gloss over as unimportant.

I also know I could give Biblical evidence for caring for your marriage, psychosocial evidence for what it does for your kids’ future marriages, and all that good stuff, but I can’t make money grow on trees and there’s no rules about how to best care for your marriage. So, you’ll also find some practical ideas for making your spouse feel included and thought of this Christmas season, even on the cheap.

You can hear all about my thoughts in this I Love My Shepherd Podcast Episode:

Please share some ideas of your own for others!

How have you gifted and included your spouse at Christmastime?

Above All Names – Immanuel

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Isaiah 7:14

Not only is His very birth a miraculous paradox, but by His name, Immanuel, Jesus is God with Us. He is this Immanuel, who comes to sojourn with us in our weakness and humility, who takes our sin upon Himself and makes full atonement for it. Not because there was anything in us to make us deserving of His sacrifice or even presence, but His love for us was — is! — so great that He did for us what we could not do for ourselves. He rescued us on Calvary and still rescues us every day by His great love and compassion. Where do you see His rescue in your life? Even when it’s hard to see, we stand on truth – He is our Immanuel – God with us.