A few weeks ago I found myself in a whirlwind of emotions. Our son lives and works in West Palm Beach, Florida. When word that Hurricane Irma was heading his way, I began to communicate with him regarding his plans. He’s pretty laid-back and not risk averse so he was going to wait and see. As things progressed and evacuations were called for, my stress level began to rise. He is on staff at a large church in the area and because they have several campuses in several cities, they were still in the decision process on canceling their weekend services. Our son decided to wait on their final decision before making evacuation plans. Meanwhile I’m reading of gas shortages, traffic jams, hearing stories from friends and families of past “disasters” when trying to evacuate a Florida hurricane. Well-meaning friends and family were calling and texting to inquire about Jacob and his plans. My husband was on the road that week, so I was home alone trying to process this battle of feelings and faith.…continue reading
I enjoy a summer storm. Well…sort of. I enjoy it from the safety of my front porch or back deck or comfortable in my favorite chair with a cotton quilt and a good book. I enjoy watching those summer lightning storms from a place of safety. I’m not so crazy about the idea of riding out a storm in a boat or exposed to the elements. Those movies about boats battling a raging storm in the ocean waters are not my kind of fun! This is exactly where we find a group of men in our passage today—in a boat, in a raging storm with gusty winds, feeling fearful.
Read: Matthew 8:23-27.
But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, you of little faith?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea. And there was a great calm. —Matthew 8:26
Did you notice how Jesus addresses his disciples in this passage —”you of little faith”? Fear is the opposite of faith. Faith is trusting and believing God, taking Him at His Word and walking in the power of His presence moment by moment. Yet, I often find myself fretting and fearful instead of turning to and trusting God with my concerns and fears. I want to be a woman who trusts and believes God and takes Him at His Word in all things.
Read Matthew 1:1-25
What do we learn about Joseph from this passage?
- He is a descendent of Abraham, from the line of David
- Engaged to Mary
- Righteous/just man
- Heard his finance, Mary, is pregnant
- Does not want to disgrace Mary
- Angel appears to him in a dream
- Earthly father of Jesus
What does Joseph SEE?
After learning Mary is pregnant by the Holy Spirit, an angel of the Lord appears to Joseph and instructs him to not fear to take Mary as his wife but to continue with his plans to marry her. He informs him the child she is carrying is the long-awaited Messiah, who will save his people from their sins. He is instructed to name the baby Jesus. This must have been outlandish and unbelievable news for Joseph!…continue reading