Selah~Day 218 “And He Shall Be Called…WONDERFUL!”

Isaiah 9:6 states, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulders. And His name shall be called, Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.”

I love this scripture out of the book of Isaiah. God’s perfect plan to save mankind was foretold years before the perfect plan came to earth. Isaiah uses repetition to make it clear that God’s perfect plan of salvation is coming in the most unlikely, lowest of forms…a child. The most helpless, dependent, and needy of mankind is a child. But, Jesus had to come as a child so He could fully live a life that would allow Him to identify with mankind.

Then, we are told that a Son is given. In order to be saved, we need Immanuel, God with us. Jesus was both fully man (a child) and fully God (a Son). From the beginning of time, He was God’s perfect plan of salvation for mankind. Because of this, I love that Isaiah, being guided by the Holy Spirit, writes His first name as WONDERFUL.

When I think about things that are defined as wonderful, my mind immediately goes to the “Seven Wonders of the World.” These are remarkable, fascinating sights that cause many to travel far and wide to see. They are objects of amazement and spectacular sights to see.

What a spectacular sight the manger in a stable in the little town of Bethlehem must have been for the shepherds who left their post in the field on that Glorious night to behold the King of WONDER wrapped in swaddling cloth. I love the fact that God revealed the Good News of His Son’s delivery to the lowest of people. Shepherds weren’t necessarily high-class, but God chose them as one of the first to hear His wonderful news. Why? I think God knew the Shepherds would have room for Jesus in their schedules. I think God knew that the shepherds would hurry to see Jesus and worship Him. I think God knew that the Shepherds would spread the good news of our Savior’s birth.

When Isaiah lists the name of Jesus, he doesn’t state His actual name, but rather gives a list of words that describe His character. These words, Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, and Prince of Peace, describe who He is and what He has come to do for us.

You can never get bored with God. He is an amazement, an awe-inspiring, WONDERFUL God. The more I know Him, the more I realize there is more to know. He fills my heart and mind with amazement and awe. When I think about who He is and what He has done, I stand in awe of Him. The fact that God sent His son from a Throne in Heaven to a Manger in a stable, then wrapped Him in swaddling cloths (what shepherds used to wrap the spotless, perfect, sacrificial lamb) blows my mind with amazement. I am sure it blew the wise minds of the wise men too. This wonder is why they followed the star to find Him. This wonder is why the shepherds dropped everything and ran to see Him. This wonder is why King Herod order for all babies under the age of 2 years old to be put to death. This wonder is why a star moved in the sky and stayed over the place where He laid.

He is Wonderful to me. I love Him with all that I am.

My 27 Thanks:

1. Electricity. When you lose it, you realize how much you love it and need it.

2. Flashlights.

3. A gas fireplace for warmth.

4. Gary and I got ready super quick. It’s amazing how much you lounge around when you have modern convenience. But, take away electricity and heat and you get ready really quickly.

5. Judah thought it was awesome to use a flashlight to move around the house and get ready.

6. Kidz Ministry was filled with warmth and smiling faces. Leaders spent time handing out gifts of love and appreciation to one another.

7. So many people gave me beautiful gifts and cards that expressed their appreciation.

8. Chairs. We removed the chairs from the KidMotion room, so we could have great space for our snowball fight. It is amazing how much organization and order chairs bring to the room. I sure do love those chairs.

9. We have a “new to us” sound board. You can hear out of both sides of the speakers.

10. Robert made a video with a few of the kids as Elves. They loved it and laughed a lot.

11. Our snowball fight was awesome. The kids loved it.

12. The nursery leaders all blessed Starla with a gift. She was so blessed and excited. I love seeing other people blessed.

13. Angela Lewis has such a heart of giving and compassion and bringing people together. She is a born leader. I am so glad she is on my team.

14. My friend, Michelle, is always filling in and helping others out. I am super excited for her Christmas week. She is going to fill her home with lots of family. It will be crowded, but oh so good for her.

15. We were able to tear down and clean up the KidMotion room after a very messy Sunday and still get out of the church by 1:30. It sure is nice to have help. It goes so much faster.

16. Kayla came to church early and helped us make two heaping igloo loads of hot chocolate. The kids loved the yummy chocolate and marshmallow treat.

17. Our power was back on by the time we got home from church. Judah was so excited that he went around the house and turned on every light saying, “Look, Mommy, this light works too!”

18. Every one showed up on time to get ready for the preschool performance.

19. The preschoolers were so excited to sing their two songs in front of the church. They looked so cute in their sheep, cow, and angel costumes.

20. Kids bring people together.

21. The Candlelight Communion service was beautiful. It was executed well too. I love Pastor’s dramatic reading of the Christmas Story.

22. Pastor Tami told Judah that it was only 3 more sleeps until Christmas. When putting Judah to bed, he said, “Pastor Mami said it was only 3 more beeps until Mismas time! I am so excited!”

23. Gary and I got to serve families in communion tonight. We love serving together. I had Gary do the talking for communion with one family. He made me laugh so hard. He was trying to remember the specifics of the script, but it wasn’t quite working well for him. So, Gary says, “When we eat the bread, it is like eating Jesus’ flesh. Okay, let’s eat His flesh.” Oh my…I totally had a “silence of the lambs” moment. It was too funny though.

24. We can laugh about our mishaps.

25. Judah went to bed early. So, Gary was able to put together one of his Christmas presents.

26. Gary is my best friend. There is no one else with whom I would rather spend my time.

27. Only 3 more beeps until Mismas time.

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Selah~Day 217

My 27 Thanks:

1. The roads are wet, but not covered in ice.

2. Judah slept in this morning.

3. We watched cartoons together. He said, “Mommy, I want to sit on your lap.” I love my lap boy!

4. Gary and I finally took sometime to put together our study. It has been a catch-all for stuff. We now have an organized, decorated study.

5. My $13 crate idea that I got from Pinterest turned out great and was a much cheaper alternative to buying book shelves.

6. DIY projects.

7. I saw an awesome Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe on facebook. And, I had all the ingredients required in my kitchen.

8. Crock pot recipes.

9. The soup turned out to be one of the BEST I have ever made.

10. Gary baked 18 loaves of Banana Bread for us to hand out to our Sunday School teachers.

11. Judah loved helping his daddy bake bread.

12. Gary loves to cook…and he is good!

13. We got out to run a few errands and decided to grab a bite to eat at Outback. It was so yummy. I love their new lunch options. It is hard to find a delicious steak meal for $10.

14. Judah and I enjoy coloring together. He loves to help me color my page. And, I am learning to love it.

15. My friend, Holly, got to celebrate her birthday in the Directors Suite at Warren Theater. I am sure she loved Mr. Banks. I am so glad she had a wonderful birthday.

16. Both my maple and crape myrtle seem to be surviving the weight of the ice.

17. Judah has been equally concerned about our trees. I love his sweet spirit.

18. We still have power.

19. Crews who work in horribly cold conditions to try to get the powered restored for those who are without.

20. Gary loves to use his musical talent to bless the Lord.

21. I am hearing stories from all over of people being blessed by others this Christmas season.

22. Zach and Grant came over for a visit.

23. They love to play with Judah and he loves to play with them.

24. Time out is becoming an effective discipline strategy for Judah. Sometimes, he just needs a chill out moment.

25. Judah loved my bedtime story tonight, Frosty vs. the Sun. Even though Frosty lost, he had a great time while he was here on Earth.

26. Judah’s laughter.

27.  Time with my family.

Selah~Day 216

My 27 Thanks:

1.The only plans we have for today are the ones we make for ourselves.

2. Morgan came over to play with Judah. It is so nice that she lives so close to us and can come by for a play date.

3. Abby came over and watched Morgan and Judah so we could do some Christmas Shopping.

4. The weather has been so nice this week.

5. So, the ice storm is not affecting the roads like it could have if the weather had been super cold all week.

6. Gary and I always have fun together.

7. We only had 4 hours of shopping time. So, I went so fast that I broke out into a sweat. It was so fun though.

8. I am able to buy gifts for others.

9. The mall wasn’t too crowded. And, I found some great deals.

10. We ran into Zach and Pastor at the mall. Zach is home for Christmas.

11. We made it home on time for Abby to leave for her family Christmas in Texas.

12. We found Judah a pair of shoes that he actually likes and will wear! Praise God!

13. Judah and Morgan have such fun imaginations. They can turn any environment into a fort, a house, or a jungle gym. Yes, I was controlling their energy, but it is so fun to watch their imaginations take them places.

14. Imagination.

15. Creative Thought.

16. Gary is starting to like fashion and shopping.

17. Judah loves to spend time with me.

18. 99.5% of our Christmas Shopping is done!

19. My brother-in-law, Robert, was hired by Lindsay Fire Department. He is a true example of keeping your dream in front of you and never giving up on it! We are so proud of him.

20. An evening at home.

21. We weren’t able to get Christmas Train tickets back in November. I was so bummed. Tonight was our only available night that we could go to Christmas Train. Well, now I am glad that we didn’t waste money on tickets because with the weather coming through the middle of Oklahoma, we wouldn’t have been able to make it anyway!

22. We all wrapped Christmas presents together on the floor. Judah helped too. And, we didn’t see what we got each other…we were good!

23. I have yet to watch a Hallmark movie that I haven’t liked. I don’t know if it is possible.

24. I have a fireplace that provides extra warmth on these cold winter nights.

25. My car is parked in a dry garage.

26. I have a roof over my head and warm blankets to sleep under.

27. Jesus is the Greatest of all Gifts.

Selah~Day 215

My 27 Thanks:

1. Besides Sunday, today is my last day of work for 2 weeks.

2. Time off.

3. There is always a light at the end of a very busy tunnel.

4. Gary went Christmas shopping for two dirty Santa gifts. Even though I gave him an idea of what to get, he did great picking out gifts.

5. Judah got to play with Morgan and Abby today. He loves having his cousins over to his house to play.

6. They played really well together all day.

7. My sweet friend, Debby, gave me the sweetest Hallmark ornament. It has a special meaning between two friends too.

8.Some of the Kidz Ministry team and I are teaming together to provide meals for the Mosley family this week. Both mom and dad Mosely had surgery. It feels so good to serve others.

9. We had an awesome Creative Meeting today. Lots of discussion and we are already planning Easter 2014.

10. Miss JaQuisha and Miss Mindy made Judah a superhero cape. It is a super creative idea. Judah loves it.

11. Judah pretended to be a superhero all day today. I love pretend play.

12. Pastor Ted bought us all suckers from Sees candy. It was amazing.

13. Some of my family ended up getting Christmas Train tickets for tomorrow night. It is such a fun experience and I am so glad they get to go.

14. Cherryl, one of my teen leaders, sent me an email today informing me of her inability to serve during a scheduled time. Her email was so appreciated and well-written. She takes her position in kidz ministry seriously and always wants to do a great job. She is growing up to be such a mature, Godly young woman.

15. The kidmotion team got together for dinner at Johnny Carinos. It is so nice to hang out away from a church activity.

16. Johnny Carinos let us have a nice, big, private room.

17. Our service for a large party was exceptional.

18. We played dirty Santa. It was the quickest dirty Santa I have ever played. Not very many of us wanted to steal.

19. Madi Gramling came over to our house to watch Judah. I am so glad he got to spend the evening at home.

20. Madi is so good with kids. Judah loves her. I am so glad she is old enough, super responsible, and super kid friendly.

21. Gary’s Christmas present arrived in the mail and it looks better than I ever expected.

22. Pleasant surprises.

23. The entire Kidz Ministry team blessed Gary and I with a giftcard to a Spa Resort. I still can’t believe it. We are so blessed and so honored to serve with them.

24. They all signed a card for us and said the sweetest of things.

25. Christmas Cards.

26. Gary told me I looked beautiful tonight.

27. After a very busy production season, I am finally caught up with my 10k reasons journey blog.

Selah~Day 214

My 27 Thanks:

1. My sparkling gem devotion was exactly what I needed to read for today.

2. God always seems to deliver what you need to hear at the right time.

3. God designed a perfect plan for me.

4. The blueprint for life that He laid out in the Bible always leads us to success.

5. When you BLESS those who speak ill will of you, you release God’s power and anointing to work on your behalf.

6. Judah is always happy to see me and greets me with a big smile and an even bigger hug.

7. My job requires me to get out of the office at times.

8. I had to run lots of errands for Kidz Ministry and the weather was beautiful.

9. Gary, Judah, and I enjoyed a lunch break at Pei Wei.

10. Natasha let me borrow her Sam’s card. She has such a sweet spirit. She is always willing to help someone out.

11. It’s Christmas. People should be prepared for crowds and long lines at checkout. I have been in front of some of the crankiest¬†and rushed people. I am so glad that I prepare my mindset for the environment I am choosing to walk into and I don’t let stuff ruffle my feathers.

12. Gary took my car and washed it for me.

13. I have a vehicle and it is paid off.

14. Judah took a great nap today. He has been so tired and I am so thankful that he had the opportunity to rest.

15. Abby and I accomplished great work together.

16. She learns quickly and loves to be efficient.

17. Wednesday Night kids was super fun tonight.

18. We had a great time playing Christmas ABCs together.

19. Kids get so excited when playing games. I love their energy and excitement.

20. My girls group helped us make over 200 snowballs for Sunday’s big snowball fight.

21. The kids are super excited for this event on Sunday. Snowball Fight and hot chocolate.

22. The youth snowball fight was a huge success. I loved seeing all the kids covered in flour! It seemed to be such a fun time and super messy.

23. The Sweeten Family blessed Judah with a light saber sword. He loved it. They made him feel so special.

24. Judah thinks he has to wrap everything and put it under the tree for Christmas. I love how he is trying to process and understand this whole Christmas, and wrapping, and presents.

25. Judah acts more and more like his daddy.

26. Ava Hatton has done an incredible job organizing and executing the Angel Tree project.

27. Several families were blessed big time tonight through the Angel Tree Project.

Selah~Day 213

Monday, December 16

My 27 Thanks:

1. Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens. I am learning this important truth and putting it into practice.

2. God is giving me opportunities to be quiet and realize that I don’t always have to share my opinion.

3. The Lord knows the intent of my heart. As long as I please Him, I am good to go.

4. I had a great morning phone conversation with my friend, Amy Hoover. She always brings such encouragement and fun to my life.

5. Mike McCall blessed the entire staff with FREE 10-Minute neck massages.

6. My massage was so relaxing and nice. Even 10 minutes of relaxation can do a body great good.

7. Angela was back at work today. She has been out sick for a while and it was so good to see her back in action.

8. Abby has hit the ground running. She is so eager to learn, excited to apply all of her schooling, and ready to change the world one kid at a time.

9. Gary came up to the church and helped me put the FINAL “wrap” on Christmas production.

10. I was able to leave work early to attend Judah’s school Christmas program.

11. It was his very first stage appearance. He was TERRIFIED. He didn’t move, blink, or possibly breathe the entire time he was on stage. And, they put him front and center. I wanted to go and rescue him, but made him suffer through.

12. At Judah’s school, they memorize scripture, sing songs to Jesus, and learn Bible stories everyday. The foundation for every part of their education is built on the Word of God. I love this preschool.

13. The staff at Antioch are precious. Judah’s teachers are so amazing and kind.

14. The program was super cute and we all laughed a lot! Wow, there is a lot of laughter in my life.

15. The staff Christmas party was the best ever this year.

16. The Stuffed Olive closed their restaurant and made it available only to us.

17. The food and service were exceptional.

18. Kayla came up with the best games. It was so nice to see a majority of the entire staff participating. Those who game together, stay together! Ha Ha Ha

19. One of the games led to a marshmallow food fight. Throwing marshmallows at Brandon and Pastor Ted was a highlight to my year! All in fun, All in fun.

20. The owner of the Stuffed Olive recorded our marshmallow fight and put it on facebook. I am really glad she thought it was hilarious too. We CLEANED it all up as well.

21. Gary and I had a great evening hanging out with adult company.

22. We enjoyed conversation with new and old friends.

23. Laura, my sister-in-law, kept Judah for us. He loves hanging out with Aunt Laura and Morgan and Abby.

24. They took him to Wal-Mart and he picked out Christmas presents for Gary and me. I am so excited to see what he picked out.

25. Bedtime snuggles with my sweet Judah.

26. Sleepy Time Tea. It works and is so soothing to my throat.

27. My mind is NO longer laying awake at night crossing t’s and dotting I’s concerning the production!

Selah~Day 212

Sunday, December 15th

My 27 Thanks:

1. I get to teach kids about Jesus.

2. My team is equally excited about teaching kids about Jesus.

3. Wise men still seek Jesus.

4. There is always more to know about God.

5. My heart longs to know Him more.

6. The historical facts in the story of Jesus’ birth are so amazing. I love studying this true miracle of God.

7. Abby is officially serving in kids ministry once again!

8. Lori Rowin is an amazing Preschool Director. And, she is on my team!

9. Lori always has a smile on her face. She hates cold weather even though she is originally from Wisconsin. But, even when it is really cold, she is smiling.

10. We got out of church before 1:00.

11. We were able to go home for a couple of hours before heading back to church for our final run through and performance.

12. Every one was on time for our final run through.

13. The run through was flawless. We were in the ZONE!

14. My in-laws have been superb in helping us with Judah during this busy week of production schedules. They kept Judah at their house for several days, so he didn’t have to live at the church. Huge Blessing!

15. The tech booth is usually a stressful place for me; but, I had a blast with the guys tonight!

16. I saw many new faces in the crowd tonight.

17. I saw some familiar faces too. The events of the season always bring people home.

18. The energy of the crowd was so high tonight. Lots of laughter filled the room.

19. We almost lost focus in the tech booth because we were laughing so hard.

20. Final production went so well!

21. The actors took some liberties and added some improv lines. It was hilarious and added so much spunk to the piece.

22. People who love to laugh bring a smile to my face.

23. People from all walks of life, and both young and old, offered sweet accolades about the production.

24. Paul let me use his in-ear buds. They were so soft and comfortable.

25. I didn’t have to run lyrics and call cues tonight. Israel rocked it on Pro Presenter.

26. Kayla and Leslie gave us an incredible cast party at the end. The food and fellowship were both awesome.

27. Jesus is the reason for EVERY season. And, I celebrate Him everyday.