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Christmas from the Cottage-by-the-Sea, #44, 12/18/15

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Abba Father,
Sitting beneath the blankets,
On the deck last night,
From across the harbor,
Far enough that sounds don’t carry,
I watch as the boat parade passes by.
Ships all lit up like constellations,
Go silently passing along,
When suddenly angel after angel appear,
Then shepherds and sheep look in awe.
Mary picks up the child and offers,
To let the shepherd hold Him.
He’s a tired, older man, stooped over,
Who holds Jesus and weeps,
Lifting Him with reverence to the sky.
And as the ships pass into the dark,
I’ve witnessed in modern technology,
Your history over 2000 years ago,
It brings me alive as I see that night,
We can reach 1000’s more with,
The same old story,
Even if the delivery is new.
                         dfav 12/18/15
—Donna

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Christmas from the Cottage-by-the-Sea, #43, 12/16/15

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Abba Father,
There’s a rhythm in the ocean,
Slap of waves upon the sand,
Crash of water on the cliffs,
Lap of the Sea against the pier,
I close my eyes to better hear it,
No part of me feels any fear…
Nature, has its own music,
It’s own song, if we but hear.

Then I hear the groan of beams,
Reinforcing the caves dug out depths,
The slight tightening of the fence,
The straightening of the rails,
All the wood of the stable,
At the approach of the Messiah trail,
Making sure it is at its best,
No appearance of being frail.

No one thinks how God already knew,
The stable where His Son would lay,
And prepared the wood, earth and stone,
To be Christ first, if temporary home.
And in God there’s no accident,
Each item chosen, it did not roam,
It met its challenge strong and secure,
As the Sea water hits and makes foam.

In God there is no second best.
                                dfav 12/15/15
—Donna

Christmas at the Cottage-by-the-Sea, #42, 12/14/15

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Abba Father:
The simple donkey.

What of the donkey?
The one Mary rode into town?
Weary from travel and,
This city he now sees.

The Inn would have meant separation,
But the Donkey must have,
Tugged on the reins,
Did he know God had other preparation?

His steps must have quickened,
When the stable he saw,
The perfect place for them,
Near where privacy thickened.

Did he carefully stand guard,
Until the birthing was finished?
Was he first at the manger?
First to kneel, though physically hard?

Simple donkey often in the fields,
Carefully followed his Master’s voice.
Doing his job as best he could,
Part of the plan with God’s seal.

The simple donkey.
                                          dfav 12/14/15
—Donna

Christmas at the Cottage-by-the-Sea, #40, 12/10/15

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Abba Father,
Looking at this figurine scene,
The stable, Jesus, everything,
My eyes are caught by shepherds crook,
The hunger in their eyes, that look,
At all the wonder that it took,
To send the angels out to them,
Calling them in to Bethlehem to see,
Christ the Lord, Messiah, King,
They’ve come without a single thing,
No incense, perfume, golden ring,
Among societies poorest sect,
You sent the angels with message clear,
Glory to God, get up and go,
In Bethlehem you will see and know,
Bedded down in a stable with Holy glow,
Lord, God Emmanuel for you to worship,
In a place you will feel at home.
Perhaps that is the lesson there,
Christ is always where we need Him to be,
Stable, mountain, palace, sea,
All the while maintaining His dignity.
Only a God who is truly great,
Will meet us where our hearts are.
                                         dfav 12/09/15
—Donna

Christmas at the Cottage-by-the-Sea, #39, 12/08/15.

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Abba Father,
It is difficult to imagine,
What those animals must have felt,
When Joseph prepared a space,
For Mary to bring forth the Messiah,
Among them and the way they smelt.
It just wasn’t normal,
It just wasn’t right,
For stables to be bedrooms of Kings.
Bring forth the purest, Holiest thing,
Even on the most desperate of nights.
But, they welcomed Him with dignity,
Squashed in together to make Him room,
Awaited His cry with firm assurance,
Bowed down before their Creator,
When He came forth from Virgin womb.
It just wasn’t normal, it just wasn’t right,
But it sure did occur in Bethlehem,
While party-goers partied,
And fathers stood watch,
The animals welcomed the great I Am.
                          dfav 12/08/15
—Donna

Christmas from the Cottage-by-the-Sea, #38, 12/7/15

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Abba Father,
Praise to You O King of Kings,
Master, Lord of everything.
See and hear Your humble servant,
As her heart strives to sing.
I long to have You soothe my soul,
Ease the pain of angers sting.

There are many things upon my mind,
So many questions why.
What purpose have these horrific things?
How many tears can one person cry?
Stripped of every dignity and voice,
Even wings now to weak to fly.

Christmas is but days away,
I think of the baby Jesus in the Nativity,
Praying, Lord, I were more like You,
Seeking a bit of Your creativity,
To express the joy I want to feel,
Still facing these realities.

O “let there be peace on earth,
And let it begin with me… ”
Still my anxious heart and soul,
Cast Evil far from me…
Flow through me Holy Spirit,
In our Cottage-by-the-Sea.

Release in the Words from You,
Words You’d have me say…
Help me sow seeds of hope and love,
Be it night or be it day…
I see artistic ability as another form,
To spread the Gospel another way.

My questions can be shown in color,
The loss of Love, mother, brother…
Fear can make an appearance too,
But You Abba Father…
I pray You, be pronounced completely,
To be spoken softly but heard much louder.
                          dfav 12/7/15
—Donna

Christmas in the Cottage-by-the-Sea, #37, 12/3/15

PEEK AT THE INNKEEPER

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Abba Father,
Far as I know no one did record,
The innkeepers name whose stable,
Mary, Joseph and Jesus did use.
We don’t know his business address,
But on the night of Jesus birth,
This man’s role he’s remembered for nonetheless.

For he turned them away from the Inn,
He offered them shelter in with his livestock,
So his was the stable where Christ was born.
Nameless, faceless, motivations unclear,
Was it compassion that moved him?
Or a cold, unnamed fear?

God used him whether he knew it or not.
If for one thing I could be remembered,
Be I nameless, without any personal detail known,
I’d like it to be that moved by God I shared,
Was His hands, His feet, even His heart,
Providing for someone assurance Christ cares.
                                           dfav 12/3/15
Amen
—Donna

Christmas from the Cottage-by-the-Sea, 12/2/15

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Abba Father:
As You pull aside the nights drapes,
With Sonlight vividly about to appear,
I’m thinking of a Bethlehem morn,
When Joseph watched in awe and fear.

Joseph had a personal relationship with You,
He read, studied and lived Your Word,
He listened to You even if he didn’t understand,
He acted as You said, without hint he found it absurd.

He showed courage to face adversity,
His reputation ruined as Mary’s too,
Everything he had and loved he willfully gave up,
Not out of love for Mary only but for You too.

This Christmas give me Joseph’s devotion,
A relationship so close You spoke He obeyed,
Who knew better than Mary what Jesus would endure,
And what parenting Your Son would have entailed.

This Christmas let me be like Joseph,
Let me decide to follow You and do,
May my heart receive Your Holy Words,
And be devoted completely to You.
                                       dfav 12/2/15
Amen
—Donna

A Lesson in Leadership

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King after King of the Israelities compromised with the world,
And “…did evil in the sight of the Lord…”
Over and over this in the Old Testament was read,
Making it harder to fight heart to head.
They forgot what they risked was so real,
Imagined their intentions weren’t clear,
They’d rather leave what is right behind,
Than have the whole truth brought to mind.
King after king sat on the throne,
Further and further from God they did roam.
Today we’re no different if I give it some thought,
Its not individuals for which we should have sought.
Instead it’s cleaning up our lives,
Beneath the Blood of the Lamb that has survived.
King or pauper, old or young,
The facts will surely be loudly sung.
But in the end, Christ will have won.
When that day comes and He appears,
And we rise with Him and shed our fears.
We’ll answer for our leadership,
Like the kings in the Old Testament and their ego trips.
Will what you do be followed with pride?
Or will it be preceded by God Himself asking us, “Why?”
               d.f.a.v.  5/14/15
—Donna.

BIBLE

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Read the Bible through many times.
Each time something different grabs my mind.
Like how the Old and New Testament fit together,
Or God’s love for us goes back and forward forever.
The names of people, places, things,
His hand is visible in the design of everything.
Ichabod, Rufus, Noah the girl stood out.
God is love but sin isn’t tolerated, no doubt.
The holiness, sacredness, mystery and wonder,
The Word indeed sweeter than honey creates deeper hunger.
Oh, so much I’ll never understand,
He was fully God and fully man.
Let me study and apply His Word morning, noon and night.
God’s Word, my steady guiding light.
d.f.a.v. 4/9/15
—Donna