Mary: A Lesson for the Ages

 

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In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David.  The virgin’s name was Mary.  Upon arriving, the angel said to her: “Rejoice, O highly favored daughter!  The Lord is with you.  Blessed are you among women.”  She was deeply troubled by his words, and wondered what his greeting meant.  The angel went on to say, to her: “Do not fear, Mary.  You have found favor with God.  You shall conceive and bear a son and give him the name Jesus.  Great will be his dignity and he will be called Son of the Most High.  The Lord God will give him the throne of David his father.  He will rule over the house of Jacob forever and his reign will be without end.”

Mary said to the angel, “How can this be since I do not know man?”

The angel answered her: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; hence, the holy offspring to be born will be called Son of God.  Know that Elizabeth your kinswoman has conceived a son in her old age; she who was thought to be sterile is now in her sixth month, for nothing is impossible with God.”

Mary said: “I am the servant of the Lord.  Let it be done to me as you say.” (Luke 1:26-38, NAB)

Mary was a teenager betrothed to an older man, Joseph.  Her life was all planned out, and then the Angel Gabriel visited her.  Mary didn’t believe she was anything special, so why would God chose her for this special job.  Besides, this news would destroy her well planned life.  Joseph wouldn’t want to marry her now.  But, Mary didn’t consider any of this.  Instead she responded in faith, and God guarded Mary’s reputation by sending an angel to Joseph.  Mary and Joseph quickly wed and did not have sexual relations until after the child was born.

 

After Jesus was born, for the next 30 years he lived with his family.  Jesus had a normal childhood, because Mary’s vision of his identity was clouded by God.  So Jesus grew up with a home and siblings provided by Mary and Joseph.  When he was old enough he even carried on his foster father’s carpentry trade.  When Jesus did finally begin God’s work, Mary and his siblings were puzzled and uncertain about His ministry, but Mary continued to live in her faith.

 

Everyone should have faith like Mary.  Through her faith she glorified God.  Mary’s simple faith and readiness to do God’s will was a testimony to her faith.  Each of us is given our own unique gifts that we are to use to glorify God.

 

Two necessary things are needed for doing great things for God.  The first is God’s responsibility.  It is a work he undertakes on your behalf.  “I repeat, it is owing to His favor that salvation is yours through faith.  This is not your own doing, it is God’s gift; neither is it a reward for anything you have accomplished, so let no one pride himself on it.  We are truly his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to lead the life of good deeds which God prepared for us in advance.” (Ephesians 2:8-10, NAB)  In Ephesians we are told our salvation is through the work of Christ and a gift from God.

 

The second requirement is a willingness to serve God in whatever way He chooses to call you.  Mary stepped out in faith in response to God, and experienced great joy and suffering because of it.  Her joy came in the birth and life of Jesus Christ.  Her greatest suffering came with the crucifixion of Jesus, but the joy returned with His resurrection.  She lived her life in the presence of Jesus.  Mary like many of us was an ordinary woman who had a commitment to her call, and because of her commitment God blessed her.

 

Questions to Ponder:

 

  1. What is my commitment to God like?
  2. Would I be willing to sacrifice my life to do God’s work?

Excerpted from Women of the Bible: A Study by Christina Weigand

 

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Buy Links

Amazon Print: https://www.amazon.com/Women-Bible-Study-Christina-Weigand/dp/1461042666/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1481034420&sr=8-3&keywords=Christina+Weigand

Amazon Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Women-Bible-Study-Christina-Weigand-ebook/dp/B00X19HRW6/ref=sr_1_4_twi_kin_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1481034471&sr=8-4&keywords=Christina+Weigand

Barnes & Noble Print: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/women-of-the-bible-christina-weigand/1121859402?ean=9781461042662

Sir E. Robert Smythe has arrived

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Today is the release day for Sir E. Robert Smythe and the School Bully. It is the first book in the Galactic Safety Ambassadors series for middle graders. I am really excited to have Sir E. Robert and his band of safety ambassadors visiting from the planet Gwill to help children navigate through the perils of tweendom.

Their first mission is to help Paul and Nathan solve a bully problem without getting hurt.

 

sir-e-robert-smythe-and-the-school-bully-3Nathan and Paul have a bully problem. Billy, the school bully, has chosen them to be the target of his aggression. Paul, along with Sir E. Robert Smythe of the Galactic Safety Council, discovers the root of Billy’s issues and strives to convince the bully to change his ways.

When Billy runs away from home, Paul goes after him. Billy’s dad, the cause of Billy’s anger, finds the boys and threatens them. They are rescued but not before each are injured and Billy’s dad escapes.

During their recovery they learn more about each other and face Billy’s dad once again. Can they overcome their differences and confront the bullying going on in their school before someone gets seriously hurt?

Stay tuned for more about upcoming books in the series.

Link to FB live https://www.facebook.com/chris.weigand/videos/vb.1443501972/10207328361834308/?type=3&theater

Buy links:

MuseItUp Bookstore: https://museituppublishing.com/bookstore/index.php/new-releases/sir-e.-robert-smythe-and-the-school-bully-detail

Amazon Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Robert-Smythe-School-Galactic-Council-ebook/dp/B01M0ONOUB/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sir-e-robert-smythe-and-the-school-bully-christina-weigand/1124754418?ean=2940153517872

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/sir-e-robert-smythe-and-the-school-bully

 

Hide it in Your Heart Coloring Book

Myrria is doing something a little different today. Our friend Annie Douglas Lima has published a coloring book. Myrria and I took a look at it and are really excited to share it with you.

More than just a coloring book, this inspirational activity book will help you relax, unwind, and enjoy some creative fun while hiding God’s Word in your heart. 
The 35 separate verses and passages are printed in colorable word art with decorative borders, blank on the back to make them easier to remove and frame or display, if desired. Each one is accompanied by two different activities or puzzles featuring the verse or key words from it. 

Hide it in Your Heart is an ideal Scripture memorization aid for Christian schools, homeschool programs, Sunday schools, or your own personal use. Children and adults will enjoy learning, practicing, and meditating on these artistically presented verses from the New International Version Bible. 
 
Proceeds from the sale of Hide it In Your Heart will be donated to www.Christar.org to help provide a translation of God’s Word for a particular people group in East Asia who do not yet have the Bible in their own language.
 
Here are a few sample coloring and activity pages from Hide it In Your Heart. If you’d like to color them or complete the word puzzles, click here to access a PDF that you can download and print.
Hide it In Your Heart is available in paperback on Amazon. Click here to order your copy for $8.99. 
HOWEVER, you can get it for 15% off if you order it here on CreateSpace with coupon code JZBVVBH8The code can be used an unlimited number of times and will not expire, so feel free to order as many copies as you like for family and friends. Hide it In Your Heart makes a great gift for anyone who enjoys word puzzles, coloring, or God’s word! 
You’re welcome to share the code with others, too.
Happy coloring!

 

About the Author:

Annie Douglass Lima spent most of her childhood in
Kenya and later graduated from Biola University in Southern California. She and
her husband Floyd currently live in Taiwan, where she teaches fifth grade at
Morrison Academy. She has been writing poetry, short stories, and novels since
her childhood, and to date has published thirteen books (two YA action and
adventure novels, four fantasies, a puppet script, five anthologies of her
students’ poetry, and a Scripture coloring and activity book). Besides writing,
her hobbies include reading (especially fantasy and science fiction),
scrapbooking, and international travel.


 
 
Connect with Annie Douglass Lima online:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sign up for author updates and receive a free ebook of “interviews” with characters from her fantasy series: http://bit.ly/LimaUpdates