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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

For This Reason - A Baby

Mike and I did something unusual and a little crazy for us this past Thanksgiving.  We really hadn't planned to do any Black Friday shopping.  Most of what we wanted to do for the kids was either coming from some online deals and Target.  However...after discovering that Wal-Mart (yes, I cheated on my Wal-Mart ban!) had a bicycle for Bentley on sale for $39...well, yes...Mike and I were in line at the bikes at Wal-Mart at 10 p.m.!  We had a rather nice experience.  After all the horror stories in the news the past few years, we didn't know quite what to expect.  We had Bentley's bike and was out of Wal-Mart by 10:11!!

Then we headed over to Target and stood in a line that was wrapped around the store for ONE HOUR and FORTY FIVE minutes!!  Crazy, I know.  Anyway, as we were waiting for the store to open up at midnight, we had the opportunity to pass the time in conversation with a woman we had ran into at Wal-Mart.  In the course of our conversation the subject of government and the upcoming presidential election came up.  The discussion quickly turned to the hopelessness some feel in regards to our government, the economy, and life in general.

I commented in the midst of our conversation how thankful I was that our real hope was not in Washington or the banks.  After I made that statement, the woman's countenance changed a bit.  The look on her face kinda read, "You know...that's exactly right"!  I don't know who she was and may never see her again, but I pray that Romans 15:13 will be a transforming reality for her and you and me:
"May the God of hope fill you with joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."  (NIV)
I pray that dear woman comes to realize, in a "wise for salvation" kind of way, where her real hope is found.  I pray you will too!  Because, there is hopelessness all over our world today.  Even in the midst of Christmas lights and parties and presents and all this time of year offers, there are some who lack hope.  This hope that can fill us with joy and peace is possible because
"When Mary His mother was engaged to Joseph, before they were married, she became pregnant by the Holy Spirit.  Joseph her husband was a righteous man.  Because he didn't want to humiliate her, he decided to call off their engagement quietly.  As he was thinking about this, an angel from the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, 'Joseph son of David, don't be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because the child she carries was conceived by the Holy Spirit.  She will give birth to a son, and you will call Him Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.'  Now all of this took place so that what the Lord had spoken through the prophet would be fulfilled:  Look!  A virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and they will call Him Emmanuel.  (Emmanuel means "God with us".)"  (Matthew 1:18-23 Common English Bible