His Treasure

“Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant on the lookout for choice pearls. When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it!”  Matthew 13:44-46 NLT

In the above verse, Jesus is telling His own story.

The story of a man who found something so precious, that he happily sold all he had and paid the price for it.

Whatever your day looks like, I pray that today you stop for a minute and realize that your Savior sees you as a priceless pearl worth leaving heaven and all His rights for.

The reason He came to earth as a babe to redeem the treasure that is worth the high price He paid on the Cross- YOU.

You are His treasure.

Peace

“For I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” ‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:11‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Instead of replaying past moments or creating perfect scenarios in your head of the near future, let it be what it will be. 

Enjoy the imperfections of this day and those to come.

Know that everything “being perfect” will not create the feeling of fulfillment you are looking for.

You are looking for love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness…. and these are fruits of the Spirit (not fruits of the season). 

May you be filled with the Heavenly Peace of God’s Spirit as you walk among the complicated chaos of the humans around you.

Gifts And Talents

“Each person is given something to do that shows who God is: Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits. All kinds of things are handed out by the Spirit and to all kinds of people!”
1 Corinthians 12:7 MSG

As gift-buying is in full swing, I want to remind you that God has already given you precious gifts to give to others this year that you don’t have to buy.

Gifts unique to you and that are meant to be given.

God has given you the talents of your hands, the strengths of your personality, and the driving passion of your heart. He has given you spiritual gifts to bless others with. When you do, God uses you to reveal Himself to others.

It is not a prideful thing to use your gifts for the glory of God, that is what they are for. 

What gifts has God given you? 

Who are you going to give them to today?

Present Tense

God IS with you.

Present tense.

He does not reside in the past although He will heal it.

He is not waiting to show up for you tomorrow. 

He is here with you.

Now.

Right where you are.

“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).

Matthew 1:23 NIV

Jesus is the gift of God with us and the miracle of the present Presence.

God is with you and He desires to have a conversation with you all day long.

May you be filled with the presence of the present God through Jesus today.

Half Way There

Yesterday, my husband and my oldest child (now a young man) climbed into the small attic space above the garage and brought down all our Christmas decor. We unpacked the paper mache Nativity that we have had for over 25 years, some wonderful hand me down decorations from my Mom-in-law’s amazing Christmas stash along with 3 fake trees in boxes ready to be put together, fluffed and ornamented. About an hour in, I was overwhelmed. Boxes everywhere. Random bits of Christmas fodder here and there with wisps of the tissue paper floating around.

I took a break.

I looked around and thought about what could go where and what could stay packed.

Just a few more weeks and Christmas Day will be upon us.

It is so easy it is to get overwhelmed with all the things to do and prepare for.

But before I finish decorating the house, I’m going to take a minute to prepare my heart.

To remind my overwhelmed self why Christmas is and what Christmas is.

Christmas Day a day to celebrate love and relationship.

Jesus is God’s gift of love for the sake of relationship with you and me.

To restore it.

To reconcile it.

To renew it.

Jesus was born for this.

He who was from the beginning became flesh so we would know God.

Christmas is a reminder and a celebration of this truth. 

As I sit in the middle of the mess and ponder the power of God’s love for me, I am encouraged.

I sit in gratitude.

I whisper, “thank you” for the gift of Jesus.

My house is only half way there but my heart is all filled up with the Christ who came to love me today.

“But whoever did want him, who believed he was who he claimed and would do what he said, He made to be their true selves, their child-of-God selves.” John 1:12 MSG

Where ever you are in your preparations for Christmas, my prayer is that your heart would be filled with the wonder of living loved as a child of God through the gift of Jesus.

Just This Minute

It is about 9:30am in the Grasso household and I’m having a quiet minute. Instead of cooking the full Thanksgiving Meal, we ordered out. Thank you Bob Evans (the restaurant) for cooking for me. Just a couple days ago, we took our friends of over 20 years to the airport to fly to Africa to be missionaries. Our house has been filled with laughter and tears, tantrums (mostly from the 5 year old) and joy, wonder and appreciation of what we call divine friendships that last a lifetime.

Now the house is quiet and feels empty.

So, I wanted to take this minute – this one right here and say how thankful I am for you. Yes, you.

Thank you for opening up this email, clicking the link and reading my blog. Over the years we have met over coffee, in my office, in a service, a Retreat or only digitally and I treasure each one. 

Thank you for each text, reply or comment. It is how I connect with you and know you are there. I am amazed at what God has done in you and through you since we first met. You have grown and stepped out in faith. You’ve let God move in you and through you to touch others. Thank you for joining with me on this journey and giving me permission to speak into your life. My prayer is that every post encourages you in the pursuit of your purpose and helps you authentically connect with God’s Word so you can truly thrive in your relationship with Him.

I am thankful for each one of you. 

Have a wonderful and very happy Thanksgiving Day.

“You need to know, friends, that thanking God over and over for you is not only a pleasure; it’s a must. We have to do it. Your faith is growing phenomenally; your love for each other is developing wonderfully. Why, it’s only right that we give thanks.” 2 Thessalonians 1:3 MSG

The Ebb and Flow of Emotions

Your emotions are a gift, not a curse.

They are the colors of the soul and a part of being human.

They are indicators and gauges, letting us know where we are emotionally and what is going on inside.

They are a gift for you to experience, not a guide for you to follow. 

“Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.”

Isaiah‬ ‭26‬:‭4‬ NIV

Feelings will ebb and flow but Jesus’ love for you is unchangeable.

His love is the truth you can build your life on and the guide for you to follow today. Ask Him to help you understand why you feel the way you do and then ask Him to guide your next step. He is the rock that will not be moved and His faithfulness will not end.

How To Deal With Change

“I the Lord do not change.” Malachi 3:6

Seasons change.
Children grow.
Jobs come and go.
We grow and change.
Sometimes the seasons of our lives change gradually, gently.
Sometimes life brings a storm that strips you bare and changes the season overnight.

With all this change all around, how do we manage?

He is our anchor in the storm,
Our guide through the wilderness,
Our peace in the chaos,
Our security in the economy,
Our friend in the darkness,
Our God clothed in light.

Everything else will change, but He will not.

May you find rest in the refuge of the unchanging love of God in this Holiday season and in whatever season you are in. 

Wonderful and Terrible

As we head into Thanksgiving Week and then Christmas right after, I want to remind you that the holidays can be wonderful and terrible at the same time. 

As much as they create opportunities for new memories, they also bring reminders of old ones. 

Moments of joy and thanksgiving are often mixed with sadness and loss. 

I want to remind you that the ancient wisdom of Ecclesiastes says that there is “a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,” and sometimes – all at the same time.

This year, give yourself permission to feel all the emotions this time brings.

Walk with Jesus through them, acknowledge them, embrace them. Grieve if you need to.  When you take time to mourn, you make room in your heart.   

Walking with Jesus during this time means you are more fully present in it than you have ever been before.

May you fully embrace and be fully embraced by Jesus as you experience this holiday season with Him by your side. 

Happy Monday!

Don’t Let Worry Control You

“Do not fret”.     ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭37:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬ 

This is a command, not a suggestion. 

Why?  Because fretting or incessant worrying steals your focus, burns up your energy and leaves you with a crispy attitude. 

The word for fret is “charah” in Hebrew. 

It is a word picture of something that to burn until something is charred. 

It means to be kindled with a spark of anxiety or worry then whip it up into an inner frenzy.

It means feeding worry until it is a voracious fire in your soul that burns long and hot. 

What is the best thing to do when a spark of fear ignites a frenzy of anxiety? 

Take deep breathe and quiet down before God.

“Quiet down before God, be prayerful before him. Don’t bother with those who climb the ladder, who elbow their way to the top.  Bridle your anger, trash your wrath, cool your pipes—it only makes things worse.”

Psalm 37:7-8 MSG