He Calls Me Beautiful (Guess Blogger)

Today I would like to welcome Jennifer: Today, I am a stay at home wife, dividing my time between taking care of our home, directing church outreach, and blogging about life lessons, joyful living, and Christian values. When I’m not writing, I am typically curled up with my husband, binge watching Netflix, drinking caramel coffee, or snuggling our two cats, Basil and Mocha Rose!
Welcome to our married life! We’re so glad you have chosen to join us as we laugh and cry together in this amazing life adventure!

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“You are beautiful. I know, because I created you.” – God.
I don’t know about you, but it’s easy for me to get caught up in the everyday of our lives. I get so focused on the here and now… on my curves and rolls, on the unmade dishes, on our current situation in life… that I forget to step back and remember just what a miracle this life is. It’s easy to thank the Lord for the obvious blessings in our lives. I thank him daily for an amazing husband. I thank Him for J’s job and our home. I thank Him for our kitty. I thank Him for what He gives, but I rarely thank Him for the miracle of life that He gave me or for the amazing relationship I can have with Him. The fact that the Lord of the universe wants to love and care for me deeply and intimately still overwhelms me to this day. I’ve never deserved His love and grace, and I never will, yet He still offers it. he still pursues me. He still wants me and calls me His beautiful one.

Knit Together
It is easy to forget that we are not here by accident. There was no explosion of atoms that suddenly became you. You did not suddenly decide one day to walk upright and speak intelligently. You were not a mere accident, an “oops” resulting from an unplanned moment of intimacy. The Heavenly Father was diligently at work, setting forth a plan for your life. In Jeremiah 1:5, the Lord declares that He knew you before He created you, and He set you apart for a very special purpose. Before you were even conceived, much thought and planning went into who you would be. In Psalm 139:13-14, the author reveals that the Lord knit him together, a carefully crafted being. He praises the Lord for being “fearfully and wonderfully made.” The word fearfully here does not mean timidly. The Hebrew word used here for fearfully, yare’, means reverently or awe inspiringly. Like an artist, He lovingly designed every intricate aspect of you down to the finest of details, including the tilt of your nose, the slope of your eyes, and the arc of your arch. He wove together your DNA to create the unique and beautiful woman you are today.

The idea of being delicately knit together is one that resonates with me. The planning and design going into each creation is critical. What type of fibers do I use? How much fiber to use? What color combinations? Will my project be practical or merely decorative? How long will it take to complete? Do I need a pattern? I don’t know how many times I have had to tear apart my knitting and start all over again, wondering why I’m even attempting something so complicated, because of a single dropped stitch along the way. God definitely does not need a pattern and absolutely does not make mistakes. He certainly does not drop stitches! The thing about knitted items is they are made from one single strand fiber, looped together in an intricate pattern, to create a something greater than itself. That strand by itself is weak, but once knit into a beautiful design, it is suddenly quite strong. It is durable. It stretches and adapts. It is versatile. It can be made of the most basic wool fiber, rustic and tough, or as airy and soft as mohair. When it comes to the Lord’s knitting, no pattern is ever the same. We are as distinct as the snowflakes. Like Psalm 139:14 declares, His works are wonderful!

Masterpiece
Have you ever looked at something so breathtakingly beautiful and wondered how it can possibly exist? The first time I experienced the Northern Lights, in my Midwestern backyard, I was dumbstruck. Those dancing green lights in the sky were unlike anything I had ever beheld. In that moment, reverence and awe filled my heart for the Creator and reminded me once again, just how big the universe really is and just how minuscule I am in it. Over and over again, the Scriptures reveal the masterpiece that is the Lord’s creation. He Himself proclaims His creation as “good.” This is the same God who spoke the cosmos into existence, who numbered the stars in the sky and knows them all by name. He is the same God who feeds the sparrows and waters the lilies of the valley. He makes all things beautiful in His time. (Eccl. 3:11) His creations sing His praises and give Him glory, yet it is Man that He set apart, distinct from all other creatures. It is Man that is made in His image. Man is His ultimate masterpiece. How can the God who speaks complete solar systems into existence love someone as small and insignificant as me?

King David also pondered this question. In Psalm 8:3-4, he asks, “What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him?” The Hebrew word for mindful is zakar, meaning to remember, to mention, or to think on. It is easy to get caught up in this life and forget that the Lord not only made us, but takes the time to dwell with us, and more profoundly, dwells in us through the Holy Spirit. David used the Hebrew word paqad, “to visit”, implying more than the polite occasional guest, but to seek, to want, and to enjoin to. We are set apart, above all of creation, to be companions to the Living God. Isaiah 43:7 declares, “Everyone who is called by My name, whom I have created for My glory, I have formed him, yes, I have made him.” He goes out of His way to pursue us. He showers us with blessings and shows us His love and His thoughts for us. “How great are your works, oh Lord, how profound are your thoughts.” (Psalm 92:5) Like a groom thinking on his bride, the Lord’s thoughts are always turned back to us.

In fact, you are cherished…. yes, YOU are cherished by the Creator of the universe, who delicately placed each individual star in the cosmos. You were chosen, sought after, and called. You were bought with a price, the blood of His perfect Lamb. You are His precious child, adopted into the Royal Priesthood, not a step, foster, or half child, but a full heir with His Holy Son, Jesus, and a daughter of the Most High King. You are dearly loved, unconditionally, beyond any human comprehension, a love from which you cannot be separated. You are His beloved, and He takes joy in you. You were made in His image, meticulously knit together in the womb, and anointed, set aside for a holy purpose. You are God’s workmanship. He calls you holy, righteous, and blameless. He adorns you in His robes. You are broken, yet He transforms you and makes you into a new creation. You are complete in Him. You are His servant, His bride, and His temple. By His grace, you are justified and sanctified. You are not merely an unworthy dust speck in the vast cosmos. He calls you His friend, for you are His.

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Joseph Accepts Jesus as His Son

Matthew 1.pngThis is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about. His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins. All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet. The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, they will call him Immanuel (which means “God with us”) When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lo0rd had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And He gave him the name Jesus.                                                           Matthew 1:18-25) NIV

I wanted to take a moment to consider the faithfulness of Joseph. We hear a lot about Mary, and rightly so. She was, after all, the mother of Jesus, the only person constant in the life of Jesus from the cradle to the grave. But what do we know about Joseph? In all the New Testament he never utters a word. Yet, he’s one of the principle figures in the Christmas drama. And so, let’s take just a moment to give Joseph his due. Tradition has it that Joseph was a simple man of an honorable trade: A carpenter from Nazareth. Sometimes you see Sunday school pictures showing him in a wood shop making furniture. But “carpenter” in Joseph’s day referred to a wide range of trades. Joseph could have just as easily worked with metal or stone, as with wood. The regional capital, Sepphoris, was under construction during this time, and it was within walking distance of Nazareth. It’s possible that Joseph was one of the stone masons there.
In any case, craftsmen worked with strong shoulders and callused hands. They were educated by apprenticeship. Their place was respectable but not on one of the higher rungs of the social ladder. Remember the flap in the synagogue in Nazareth when Jesus preached his first sermon? The elders raised their eyebrows and asked, “Isn’t this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judah, and Simon?” (Mark 6:3).Jesus’ father was neither a rabbi nor a scribe nor one of the civic leaders. He had but two qualifications to play a part in the Christmas drama – he was a descendent of David and, for whatever reason, he was God’s choice. In this regard, I like to think that Joseph is someone with whom we can all identify – a common man who dared to be obedient to God’s will for his life.
His place in the Christmas story, of course, is that of Mary’s husband. According to Matthew, Joseph and Mary were “betrothed,” but not yet married. William Barclay explains that there were three steps in a Jewish marriage: The engagement, which was often arranged by the parents through a matchmaker when the boy and girl were children; the betrothal, which was a formal ratification of the marriage-to-be, usually done a year before the couple was married; and the wedding itself, which lasted a whole week, at which time the marriage was consummated. During the betrothal, the couple was legally bound to each other so that, if the man died before the actual wedding took place, the woman was considered to be a widow. They were actually referred to as husband and wife, though they refrained from having sexual relations. And then, in one further act of faithfulness and obedience to God, Joseph publicly named the child. Matthew says simply, “he named him Jesus.” In so doing, he claimed the child as his own and gave him the benefit of a noble ancestry, making him a descendent of the house of David. Because of the faithfulness of Joseph, Jesus would have a father and Joseph would have a place in the drama of God’s salvation.

Grace and Peace to you My Friends