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He and his wife Cheri make their home in beautiful Phoenix, Arizona
and have six children and six grandchildren they absolutely adore.
David is also an inspiring regular contributor (LifeWriter) here at LifeLetter Café
and is today’s featured contributor to “Find It Only Here On Friday”.
His Café exclusive “A Christmas Prayer for Messengers of Mercy”
can be found below . . BUT FIRST . . the Café thought you just might want to know
how an Encouragement Leader like David “JB” Miller
has been encouraged in his own faith recently.
In his own words …
A career door that had swung open suddenly slammed shut,
leaving my wife and I bewildered. Logic was nowhere to be found
and fatigue had become a far too familiar partner.
We needed to rest, reposition and reset our course towards opportunity next
with limited time and even more limited resources.
Our vulnerability opened the door for His availability and provision.
A reunion with old friends over a scrumptious dinner
filled hungry bellies and warmed souls on fumes.
A home away from home allowed us to catch our breath.
A temp job restocked a thirsty bank account.
Compassionate and generous support from many different directions over many miles
made a return trip back home far more manageable.
Our malaise was over-matched by God’s mercy –
our want had simply become His well.
Immanuel had come close once again to remind us . .
“I’ve got this – you’re safe in My presence – all is well.”
Today’s Find It Only Here On Friday
“A Christmas Prayer
for Messengers of Mercy”
by David “JB” Miller
George Bailey got to a place
of desperation and prayed this prayer …
but if you’re up there and you can hear me, show me the way.
I’m at the end of my rope, show me the way, God.”
Seconds after Jimmy Stewart’s character begged for heaven’s help, life took an even uglier turn. George Bailey gets punched in the face, wrecks his car, gets stranded in the snow and screams out to God,
“That’s what I get for praying.”
Hopeless circumstances were devouring Bailey’s joy and he strongly entertained the idea that it might have been far better if he never had been born – then, and only then, is when God finally showed up.
You no doubt realize …
that many “George Bailey’s” are under the influence of your ministry (some you even know by name, while the majority silently slip right on by) . . and if we were all purely honest, hardly a life is lived anywhere on the planet that doesn’t arrive at least once at a similar point of desperation.
We as Christian Ministry Leaders are wired to reach out to the George Bailey’s in close range with a buffet of Christian ministry “systems” or personal “do’s” – things like support groups, grief seminars, small groups, targeted counseling, topical sermons, self-help books, intervention etc. By default, we all naturally fall into our “Messenger of Mercy” roles, but in God’s unsearchable wisdom, more is always caught than taught and it is our “who” that becomes the primary glue for a soul yearning for hope once again.
While our calling for sure is to faithfully message God’s mercy, it is our own personal encounter and relationship with mercy itself that God desires to be the substance of our ministry.
So my Christmas Prayer for you this December is that God might grant you four kinds of soul-renewing, life-restoring “mercy moments” . . both in the scurry of the holidays and all through the year ahead.
4 Mercy Moments To Treasure …
Remember When You Met Him
Christmas is a season of treasuring miracles – remember your most pivotal personal miracle, when God first became real – when a Savior gave you what you needed instead of what you deserved – and changed the trajectory of your life from lost to found. To do so keeps us centered in gratitude, and gratitude is the only sustainable platform from which can lead and serve others. Mary did and was prepared to respond to a life-altering angelic birth announcement with a “I am the Lord’s servant” mentality, no matter what may come.
“My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant . .
His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.”
– Luke 1:46-48, 50 –
See Him In Your Everyday
In a nutshell, the wonder and awe of Christmas is God choosing to reveal Himself – but not from a distance; rather, from right in our midst. Fast forward 33 years and “so close yet so far” was the headline of the day for the remaining disciples after walking with Jesus for 3 years . . until their eyes were opened. God still reveals Himself in miraculous ways today – how did He show up and provision your life in 2016? If we be intentional about getting off the hurry wagon and come to His table early and often, we give our soul a chance to reconnect with our Immanuel.
“While He was reclining at the table with them,
He took bread, spoke a blessing and broke it, and gave it to them.
Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Jesus ..”
– Luke 24:30-31 –
Embrace Him In His Silence In Your Wilderness Chapter
He won’t spare your sojourn on this planet a trip to and through the wilderness, for He wishes to develop a “sacrifice of love for others” pattern in your leadership and service much like the one displayed in the life of His own Son – this reveals authenticity and keeps your hands and reputation free of a glory-grab. Like the movie “God Is Not Dead 2” states, “The teacher is most quiet during the test.”
“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while
you may have had to suffer various trials, so that the authenticity of your faith —
more precious than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire —
may result in praise, glory,and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
– 1 Peter 1:6-7 –
Give Him Your All
God’s mercy did not hold back but freely and generously give us His ALL – this is THE message of Christmas. We have the assurance of receiving all we need when we allow Him to develop a “pursue one thing” mentality in our soul that stokes our love for the kingdom and glory of God ONLY . . much like what was on display when the angels shouted “Glory to God in the highest” (Luke 2:14)
“’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul
and with all your strength and with all your mind’;
and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’.”
– Luke 10:27 –
“Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness
and all these things will be given to you as well.”
– Matthew 6:33 –
My Christmas Prayer …
in utter shame and spiritual poverty and claimed us as part of your forever family.
Help us to be at rest in Your unceasing presence –
open our eyes anew to the miracle of receiving our daily bread for body, soul and spirit
from Your very hand.
Grant us endurance and the grace to embrace our cross
and to do so free of self-pitying resentment.
And grant us by Your grace a more and more-pure love for your glory alone
that will make us unmistakable and irresistible Messengers of Mercy.
We wish you a very “mercy” Christmas!
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