A Golden Gift for Our King

Gold, frankincense and myrrh. These precious prophetic gifts were presented by the Magi to Jesus as a young lad. They were not gifts for Jesus to play with. They were gifts foretelling roles He would fulfill.

Today we give our attention to gold.

The Magi had been following a star for approximately two years trying to find the newborn king of the Jews. Throughout their journey, they carried these costly gifts. Joseph may have later sold the gold to pay for their trip to Egypt.

Gold represented Jesus as king. The gift of gold was symbolic of Jesus’ divinity. He was God in the flesh. Son of God and son of man.

Gold was a valuable commodity. It was a precious metal. Gold represented riches and royalty. However, Jesus’ royalty differed from what people expected.

Let’s see how and when Jesus was considered a king.

Throughout their journey, the Magi were looking for a king. They asked in Matthew 2:2, Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” I doubt that they expected to find their king in a little home in Bethlehem. The house certainly was not a royal palace.

This past Sunday we observed Palm Sunday – the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. John 12:12-15 says, “The next day the great crowd that had come to the Feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. They took palm branches and went out to meet Him, shouting, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the king of Israel!’ Jesus, found a young donkey, sat on it, as it is written, ‘Do not be afraid, O Daughter of Zion; see your king is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.’The people referred to Jesus as king. But, did they really understand His kingly role?

Pilate asked Jesus if He was a king. Their conversation included the following words from John 19:36-37. “Jesus said, ‘My kingdom is not of this world.’ ‘You are a king then!’ said Pilate. Jesus answered, ‘You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth.’” Although both Jesus and Herod talked about a king, they had different understandings of the word. Jesus was a messianic king while Herod was referring to a political king.

John 19:2-3 says, “The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and put a purple robe on Him; and they began to come up to Him and say, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’” Jesus was not crowned with a kingly crown. He was mocked as a king while He walked the road to Golgotha.

Jesus hung on the cross. John 19:19 says, “Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.Jesus did not fit the Jews’ ideas of their coming king. They rejected Him.

Fast forward to our present day. We are now waiting for Jesus’ return. Selections from Revelation 19:11-13,16 describe Jesus as our coming king. “And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, . . . on His head are many diadems; . . . He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” When Jesus comes again, He will be riding a horse, not a donkey. He will be wearing a royal diadem, not a crown of thorns. His robe will declare Him to be King of kings and Lord of lords rather than a hand written note saying King of the Jews.

Let’s see how gold applies to us.

Jesus tells us in Luke 17:20, “The coming of the kingdom of God is within you.” Can we comprehend that God’s kingdom is in us?

In II Timothy 4:8, Paul talks about a crown of righteousness that we will be given. James 1:12 tells of the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love Him. I Peter 5:4 says we will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.

These are three wonderful crowns awaiting us, but they are not golden crowns placed upon our heads. These are crowns that will not tarnish or perish. They are heavenly rewards that God promises those who are faithful.

What are we to do with our crowns? The elders give us our answer in Revelation 4:10-11, “the twenty-four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.’Let us express our gratitude to the Lord and worship Him by laying at His feet any honors or possessions we acquire. It is all about Him!

Remember gold, frankincense and myrrh as you celebrate Resurrection Sunday in just a few days.

I conclude with the words of All Hail King Jesus by Jeremy Riddle. Sing with me if you know the melody.

There was a moment when the lights went out
When death had claimed its victory
The King of Love had given up His life
The darkest day in history
There on a cross they made for sinners
For every curse His blood atoned
One final breath and it was finished
But not the end we could have known

For the earth began to shake
And the veil was torn
What sacrifice was made
As the heavens roared

All hail King Jesus
All hail the Lord of Heaven and earth
All hail King Jesus
All hail the Savior of the world

There was a moment when the sky lit up
A flash of light breaking through
When all was lost He crossed eternity
The King of life was on the move

For in a dark cold tomb
Where our Lord was laid
One miraculous breath
And we’re forever changed

All hail, King Jesus
All hail the Lord of heaven and earth
All hail, King Jesus
All hail the Savior of the world
All hail, King Jesus
All hail the Lord of heaven and earth
All hail, King Jesus
All hail the Savior of the world





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A Gift for Our Savior

Gold, frankincense and myrrh. This is the second week we are looking at these valuable gifts presented to Jesus by the Magi. Each gift portrayed a purpose and position the little boy Jesus would grow to fulfill.

Today, we will look at the message of myrrh.

Like frankincense, myrrh is a natural gum or resin extracted from a small, thorny tree. A myrrh seed is bitter. When broken, the seed emits a sweet fragrance. Myrrh has been used as an embalming spice. When mixed with wine, it can be consumed as a drink. It symbolizes bitterness, brokenness, suffering and affliction.

Myrrh prophetically pointed to Jesus as the Savior of the world. Myrrh was an expensive gift for the Magi to purchase. However, it signified something even more costly – our salvation. It cost Jesus His life.

Jesus referred to brokenness when informing His disciples what He would face after the Passover meal. He used broken bread as a symbol.

Jesus reclined at the table with His apostles. And He said to them, ‘I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before My suffering’. . . . And He took the bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is My body, given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’ In the same way, after supper He took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is poured out for you.’(taken from Luke 22:14-20)

Then came the reality. When Jesus was flogged and beaten, His skin was torn. When the thorny crown was pressed upon His head, the prickly points penetrated His skin. While He hung upon the cross, blood flowed from His hands and feet that were pierced by nails.

Paul echoss Jesus’ words of brokenness in I Corinthians 11:23-25 and adds in verse 26, For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.” We are reminded of Jesus’ brokenness every time we hear these words spoken when partaking of the sacrament of communion.

The Seven Last Words are phrases Jesus spoke from the cross. Two of these phrases are applicable to myrrh and brokenness.

John 19:28-29 records, “. . . Jesus said, ‘I am thirsty.’ . . . so they put a sponge full of the sour wine upon a branch of hyssop and brought it up to His mouth.” Myrrh was an ingredient of this drink.

Matthew 27:46 says, “About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?’ which means ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’” This verse reveals the broken relationship between Jesus and His Heavenly Father. God the Father, perfect and holy, could not look upon His Son who carried the sins of the world as He died upon the cross.

Jesus, who was holy, became broken so that we, who are broken, can be made whole. Romans 5:10 says, For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

Now let’s see how myrrh applies to us today.

Paul says in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.Although Christ was broken through crucifixion for us. there is still an aspect of crucifixion we must encounter. We must be broken, or separated from, our old nature to become new creations in Christ. We must be willing to crucify, or break away from, our fleshly desires. Embracing Christ as our Savior requires us to be broken from our past.

The breaking process may seem bitter but the result will be a beautiful fragrance. We will become the aroma of Christ. (II Corinthians 2:15) We embody both the bitterness and the sweetness of myrrh.

Hear the message of myrrh. Jesus tasted the bitterness and experienced its brokenness. Now the sweetness of salvation is available to us.

A Gift for Our Priest

Gold, frankincense and myrrh – the three gifts of the Magi. We usually think of these gifts in correlation with the birth of Jesus rather than His death and resurrection. However, we are going to look at these precious and expensive gifts from a different perspective as we prepare for Resurrection Sunday.

We will begin by focusing upon frankincense.

The Magi’s gift of frankincense was a prophetic picture of the role Jesus would fulfill as our Great High Priest.

Frankincense is an aromatic incense. It is a symbol of holiness and righteousness. The Old Testament priests used it when making sacrifices. In Leviticus 2, the priests put frankincense upon the grain offerings. In Leviticus 6, it was used with meat offerings.

The priests were from the tribe of Levi. They interceded to God for the people by offering the sacrifices required by the law. However, all the sacrifices only temporarily covered the people’s sins.

Jesus offered the final sacrifice when He became the sacrifice. Jesus was greater than any other priest, so He became our “Great High Priest”.

John 19:17-19 describes how the sacrifice of Jesus was made. They took Jesus, therefore, and He went out, bearing His own cross, to the place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha. There they crucified Him, and with Him two other men, one on either side, and Jesus in between.”

The writer of Hebrews points out several distinctions between Jesus as the Great High Priest and the former Levitical priests.

“. . . we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God. . . . For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.Hebrews 4:14-15

The former priests, on the one hand, existed in greater numbers because they were prevented by death from continuing, but Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently. Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.Hebrews 7:23-25

How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!” Hebrews 9:14

We no longer need to go through earthly mediators. When Jesus died on the cross, the temple’s veil was torn from top to bottom. Jesus restored our relationship with God and we no longer rely upon earthly priests.

Romans 8:34 says, “Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died – more than that, who was raised to life – is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.” Jesus made the final sacrifice. However, His mediation for us continues. Jesus reveals the will of God to us through the Holy Spirit. John 14:26 says, “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”

I John 4:10 sums it up well saying, “This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”

Yes, Jesus embraced the Magi’s gift of frankincense to the fullest by becoming the greatest sacrifice.

Can we apply anything about frankincense to ourselves? I think so.

I Peter 2:5 says, “you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”

Peter adds in verse 9, “You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” We are priests!

Romans 12:1 states, Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God–this is your true and proper worship.There is a sacrifice for us to make. However, we are encouraged to be living sacrifices rather than a gum resin in a bottle.

II Corinthians 2:15 declares, “For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.” Maybe the aroma of Christ that we emit can be compared to the fragrance of frankincense.

Frankincense was presented to Jesus by the Magi when He was about two years old. Frankincense was a prophetic symbol pointing to when Jesus would die on the cross approximately 31 years later. According to Romans 8:34, He now sits at the right hand of God interceding for us as the Great High Priest.

 

 

Presents of His Presence

Yesterday was Christmas. Most of us gave and received gifts. No longer are there brightly wrapped packages under the tree. All the presents have been exchanged. So, how are you today? Is your heart feeling as empty as it looks under the Christmas tree? Psalm 73:26 says, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Material stuff does not satisfy the heart indefinitely. I wonder if we gave and received the most meaningful gift possible yesterday.

John 3:16 says, For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” We may say we give Christmas gifts because God gave. This is good – but do our gifts reflect what God gave? I want to think about this more deeply.

What did God give? He gave His Son. He gave of Himself. He gave Emmanuel – God with us.

What are we to give? We are to give Him. We are to give His presence – not just store presents.

Our goal should be to present (offer) to others the present (gift) of His presence (God with us). God is omnipresent – so He is present everywhere. Jesus assures us in Matthew 28:20, “I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” However, when there is a manifestation of His presence, there is a greater awareness of His nearness.

We are not required to wrap the present of His presence in holiday paper or put it in a Christmas gift bag. However, we can give this gift in two unique ways.

First, we are actually God’s presents to those around us. Jesus says in Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three gather in My name, there am I with them.” Galatians 2:20 NLT says, “My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.” Since Christ lives in us, we share His presence with whomever is in our presence. His presence radiates from within us. The presence of God is often described as His glory. Colossians 1:27 says, “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

Secondly, our prayers are presents to those for whom we pray. Psalm 145:18 says, “The LORD is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth.” We give the present of God’s presence when we ask God to intervene in people’s lives. Philippians 4:19 NLT says, “And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from His glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” Answers to prayer are provided when the Lord is present. His presence is manifested.

Yesterday we celebrated the birth of Jesus. We recognized the fulfillment of John 1:14 ESV, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

Have you received the present of His presence? If not, receive it. Jesus says in Revelation 3:20, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with Me.” His presence is not a gift you will ever want to return. However, it is a gift you will want to give. Remember, His presence is not a gift you can purchase at a store. Ephesians 2:8 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” Although it is the day after Christmas, it is not too late to give this present. You can give His presence 365 days of the year.

The present of His presence is amazing! If your heart is discouraged today, unwrap the present of His presence that He offers you. Psalm 16:11 assures us, in Your (God’s) presence is fullness of joy.

The present of His presence is the greatest expression in Emmanuel, God with us. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! II Corinthians 9:15.

 

 

The Gift

christmas-giftnativity

Gift giving has become very commercialized in our society today. However, I like to think that when I give a Christmas gift, I am following the example of God who first gave a gift. His gift is revealed in Romans 6:23, “the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” John 3:16 explains why He gave us a gift by saying, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” The first Christmas gift was Jesus when He was born in a stable in Bethlehem!

Through this gift, Jesus set the example of being born. His birth was unique because His birth was from spiritual life to human life. Jesus was not just born, He was born again into a more limited life. Physical life was a new or second nature for Jesus. In contrast, we also need to be born again but for us it is from limited physical life to eternal spiritual life. We gain a second nature when our spirit is born again allowing us to become like Christ. Through this new life we receive the gift of eternal life. In John 3:6-7 Jesus says, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’” In II Corinthians 5:17 Paul says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here.” When Jesus came to earth as a baby born to Mary, He became a human being. Max Lucado says, “He became like us so we could become like Him!”

Jonathan Cahn says in The Harbinger Companion with Study Guide says, “Every heartbeat is a gift from God.” I like to think about this concept that every time my heart beats, it a gift I am receiving from God. This is the gift of life in its simplest form. As I listen to the sound of my heart beat, I hear Jesus repeating Revelation 3:20, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” I imagine every beat of my heart as a knock of Jesus at the door of my life. I cannot live without Him. I do not want to live without Him. He is the greatest gift I could ever receive.

In the December 2015 issue of Guideposts, Pope Francis is quoted as saying, “God never gives someone a gift they are not capable of receiving. If He gives us the gift of Christmas, it is because we all have the ability to understand and receive it.” God gave us the gift of Jesus and now we have the choice of whether or not we receive this gift. My desire this Christmas season is to receive the gift of Jesus more fully and understand Him more deeply. Jesus says in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Whether it be a gift from God or a gift I give, the person receiving the gift has the option of accepting or rejecting it. When I give a gift to someone, it is my hope that they will unwrap it, use it, and enjoy it. God has the same desire for the gift He has given.

My Reader, I pray that you will accept the gift God gives you this Christmas and that you utilize His gift every day of your life.

Joyfully,
Cheryl
gold apple new

Preparing Heart and Home for Christmas

christmas-preparingThis is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah:
“A voice of one calling in the wilderness,
Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.'”
Matthew 3:3

A voice of one calling: “In the desert prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God….
And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it.
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
Isaiah 40:3-6

As I look at the calendar, I realize that today is the end of November and tomorrow begins December. This means that I can start to focus upon the Christmas holiday. My goal in preparing our home for this sacred season, is to prepare for it in the way the Lord desires. I want to find spiritual significance in each activity my hands undertake in the coming days.

I have quoted the phrase “Prepare the way for the Lord” spoken by John the Baptist as he urged people to turn from their sins and live for God. He was preparing the way for Jesus and His ministry. John the Baptist chose these words that were first spoken by Isaiah almost 700 years before Christ when Isaiah was foretelling a message of forgiveness, comfort and hope for the Israelites who were looking forward to the coming of the Messiah. Today I choose these words to speak to those around me the message of preparing our hearts and homes for the celebration of the birth of Jesus.

christmas-treeAs I decorate the tree, I think about the purposes of the wood from trees relating to the life of Jesus. The wood that was used to build the cattle stall that became the manger for baby Jesus came from a tree. The beams of the cross upon which Jesus died originated as a tree. When I look at the Christmas tree in our home, I want to see more than an evergreen tree with lights and decorations. I want to see the manger where Jesus was born as told in Luke 2:7 American Standard Version, “And she (Mary) gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” I also do not want to be so shortsighted that I forget the words of I Peter 2:24, “’He himself bore our sins’ in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; ‘by his wounds you have been healed.’”

christmas-bakingAs I assemble my recipes for baking Christmas cookies, I am aware that some cookies are soft while others are harder and crispier. I take time to ask myself how can I help those around me prepare their hearts for Christmas? Ezekiel 11:19-20 says, “And I (God) will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them. And I will take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances and do them. Then they will be My people, and I shall be their God.” Only the Lord can do the work within a person that allows one’s heart to be permanently softened and ready to receive Christ into his or her heart. However, I must remember my responsibility of being a positive influence upon the hearts of those around me. Is my witness and way of softening the hearts of the hardhearted? I love to bake all varieties of Christmas cookies with my grandchildren but most of all I want to prepare my family’s hearts to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas.

christmas-candlesAs I place candles in the windows, I wonder how well I am fulfilling Matthew 5:16, “let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” I must be careful during this hectic season that I do not become so stressed out that the light of my life flickers with weariness. I desire to focus upon allowing my actions to be good deeds that glorify God.

christmas-giftAs I wrap gifts that we have purchased for our children and grandchildren, I am reminded of the greatest gift of all. Romans 6:23 says, “the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” If Jesus had not been born in the Christmas manger, He would not have been able to give His life for our salvation. I never want to forget that the reason for this season is that Christ was born so that He could die to give us the opportunity to receive the gift of everlasting life. No gift I purchase can compare to the gift God has given.

Preparing the way for the Lord in the way desired by the Lord can be very different from what my mindset can become if I take my eyes off the original meaning of Christmas. My goal is to follow the example of John the Baptist and personally fulfill Isaiah’s prophecy before we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ on December 25, 2016. I definitely want to prepare in the way the Lord desires!

Joyfully,
Cheryl
gold apple new

Birthday . . . Birthing Day

 

free baby%3Today is a milestone birthday for our son. Today is also my birthing day. I remember when the umbilical cord was cut and I was able to hold our son in my arms. I had felt his movement for several months, but this was the first time I could see him and his resemblance of his father. I could count his fingers and toes and not just feel his fist or foot jabbing into my ribs.  There was something very special about the first time I held our son as a unique little being who still depended upon me for food and care. However, the cutting of the umbilical cord was also the first letting go of the son who had grown inside of me for the last nine months. The cord was cut, but I still had my apron strings tied around him and there was a lifeline that existed between our son and me.Greg Ahlquist Headshot

God the Father said of Jesus in Mark 1:11, “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” I wholeheartedly agree with this statement and say to our son, “Greg, you are my son, whom I love, with you I am well pleased.” He now not only fulfills the role of being our son, but he is also a husband and father. By profession, he is an anointed teacher whether he be behind the desk in a school classroom or in the pulpit at church. Truly he is successful both in the natural and the spiritual realms. We are especially blessed by our son this year as he has been named the New York State Teacher of the Year for 2013. The Lord is using him in mighty ways whether he is traveling or speaking or attending committee meetings and conferences.  He is a positive spokesperson for  teachers, students, and education across the state. Psalm 139:16 assures me that God has written all of Greg’s days in His book and these days have been fashioned for him. If I had not been willing to let him become the godly man the Lord purposed him to become, this honor may not have been possible for him. However, whether he received state recognition or not, we are pleased when we see the man of God that Greg is today. It is not because of who I have been as a mother, but who God is as his Heavenly Father that makes all the difference. I am glad I have surrendered Greg’s life to the Lord and have not held him too tightly in my own hands. The truth of Proverbs 22:6 has been fulfilled with our son. “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he shall not depart from it.”

free rope First the umbilical cord was cut, and then gradually I untied the apron strings from being his 24/7 mom. The amazing thing is that as I let these strings be untied, the lifeline relationship between mother and son has become even stronger. According to Ecclesiastes 4:12, “a cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”  Our cord of mother, son and the Lord has not been broken among us. Allowing the Lord to be one strand of this cord has made all the difference in our relationship.  The umbilical cord was purposely made  to be cut while the biblical cord was fashioned to remain intact.

praying-hands-5The best birthday gift I can give to our son is to unclasp the grasp of my own hands and leave him in the hands of God . I need only grasp my own hands together in prayer for him. If I held him too tightly, his life could become stagnant like a pond of water that has no fresh water moving into or out of it. I could squelch God’s grace and stagnate God’s gifts. I must allow God’s grace to flow through Greg. Grace is received, but grace must also be given away.  I annually release our son in order for him to be able to receive the birthright of blessings God has in store for him. I am blessed as I allow Greg to be a blessing.

gift-bow-mfYes, today we celebrate his birthday and we say publicly, “Happy Birthday, Son!” But in the privacy of my heart, I recall the happiness of my birthing day when this special person whom God knit together in my womb, who was fearfully and wonderfully made, made his first appearance into this world. (see Psalm 139:13,14)  I thank God for allowing me to be Greg’s mother. For this reason, I too celebrate today in a personal way.

Joyfully,
Chery
l

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