Looking back at 2019 : Reflection vs Refraction

And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.  2 Cor. 3:18


Wow! Tomorrow is 2020.  I remember as a young teenager in the 1970’s thinking about the future and the promises of a futuristic world.  Flying cars, Jetsons-style living (we do have a robot vacuum).  But not a lot has changed in our own lives.  We deal with the highs and lows experienced during 2019.

Reflection vs Refraction

As we look back on our failures and pains of 2019 I want us to consider the difference between reflecting and refracting those thoughts.  Reflection is when all the light is reflected back from a surface into your eyes.  You see yourself clearly.  In reflecting on the pain issues of 2019 we can allow these thoughts to define and harden our failures.  We can continue to believe there is no hope for improvement.  Refraction is when light passes through a surface or is directed away from your eyes.  The full image is not reflected back to us but passes through the surface or is reflected away.


He takes our failures and pains and lovingly, works in our hearts to help us grow past the pain of another failure into repentance, acceptance of forgiveness.  The Holy Spirit walks with us and daily helps us move past the fallen traits and uses the experience to build endurance and faith in Christ.


Philippians 3:13-14

13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.


From “My Upmost for His Hightest”

Security from Yesterday. “God requireth that which is past.” At the end of the year we turn with eagerness to all that God has for the future, and yet anxiety is apt to arise from remembering the yesterdays. Our present enjoyment of God’s grace is apt to be checked by the memory of yesterday’s sins and blunders. But God is the God of our yesterdays, and He allows the memory of them in order to turn the past into a ministry of spiritual culture for the future. God reminds us of the past lest we get into a shallow security in the present.

Our yesterdays present irreparable things to us; it is true that we have lost opportunities that will never return but God can transform this destructive anxiety into a constructive thoughtfulness for the future. Let the past sleep, but let it sleep on the bosom of Christ.

Abrams calls on God after a failure

I read in my devotions this morning about Abram taking his wife to Egypt because of the famine.  Sarai was very beautiful and Abram thought he would be killed if they knew they were married. So he lied.  Sarai was taken by the Pharaoh. But God intervened and saved Sarai. Abram was exposed by Pharaoh for his lie.  They left Egypt and camped in Bethel.  With that failure fresh in his memory Abram sacrificed to God and called on His name.  Instead of reflecting this failure he called upon God and that sinful failure was a refraction and not a reflection on Abrams future.

Meditate on these scriptures:


Lamentations 3:22-23 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning;  great is your faithfulness.

2 Corinthians 5:17  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

Philippians 1:6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Psalms 51:10-12  Create in me a pure heart, O God,     and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.  Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

Titus 3:5-7  he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,  whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior,  so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.

Get ready to shine your lightnside for 2020!

Don’t get stuck reflecting on your past failures and problems.  Allow God’s word, His grace, Christ’s Blood, and the Holy Spirits’ power be a refraction to those failures and use them to strengthen your walk with Christ in 2020.

Wisemen : Seek, Follow, Find

We saw His star and have come to worship Him.


Matthew 2:1-2  After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “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.”

Matthew 2: 9-11 …and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him…

God attracted the Wisemen with a HOPE

The wise men from the East (also known as the Magi) were followers of stars.  Some historians believe these were the same company of wise men that Daniel was put in charge of in  Daniel 5:11.  These men were astrologers (forbidden by God Daniel 4:4-8; 19).  It was out of their seeking the stars that God called them.  How many people seeking answers and hope in many different and sometimes sinful areas that God is calling them.

A star, a song, an observation, trouble, pain,  someone’s life?  What caught your eye to seek something more from God.  How did God place in you the thought of seeking a savior or challenging you to some deeper walk or service to Him?

Truths about the Wisemen we can use

Some truths concerning these wise men that we must consider as we seek to fulfill the calling of the Holy Spirit to come and see in a new way Christ the Lord.


The Wisemen were already searching…


Historians tell us the king of the Medes had been dethroned because of poor leadership and the Wisemen were looking for a new king.   In this searching for a new leader in the stars God allows a supernatural star to appear that gets their attention.  Something begins to spark in their spirit.  “This could be a sign of a great King”.


The Wisemen left their comfort to follow the star.

I wonder how many Wisemen saw this star but decided not to follow?  It is one thing to be attracted in your heart of something Godly.  But it is a different thing to decide to follow this inward desire.  The wise men followed without proof except for a belief that God was calling them to something wonderful…a new King.  To follow a new path you must sacrifice some normal routines.  You must place effort in this new path and push against the normal desires to return to your comfortable habits.


Hunger and Faith for the unknown blessing from God.

As the Wisemen followed,  I am sure a growing hunger in their hearts kept them pushing through difficult, frustrating and seeming slow progress toward the goal.  But the star reminds them of the promise and the internal  reward of fulfilling their hunger to find this new King.  On they went…looking up…pushing away the thoughts of turning around.

Wisemen tested

Sometimes you cannot see the star…tested.  “Where is the King born?”  The Wisemen were tested.  Not always seeing the star they begin to ask others and the ruling king about the star and the baby king.  Of course, no one saw the star and the whole town was troubled by their questions. (Matthew 2:3 “ When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. )

But the Wisemen still believed and looked up and soon the star reappeared and led them to the child Jesus.


And when they saw Him…

Their lives were forever changed.  They worshiped Christ and gave gifts.  Something was also birthed in their heart that morning.  All because they noticed something from God in their searching for more.  The path leads to the source of all hope, peace, forgiveness, and future.

Is God trying to get your attention?

Are you a wise person?  Have you noticed something attracting your spirit to seek something new in Christ?  Maybe you do not know Christ by something is pulling at your heart to travel toward this calling.  Make the trip.  Take the challenge.  Follow the star.

To find something new in Christ the Holy Spirit calls.  You must decide to follow this hunger.  Let it grow in you.  Give up something comfortable to seek this desire.  Maybe it is more prayer,  bible reading.  More church commitment.  Whatever it is, leave and follow this calling.  Fight the battle to quit.  The path will lead you to a miracle of a deeper knowledge and experience of Christ.  You will find your treasure that will brighten your lightnside .


Merry Christmas

When Mary spoke…the baby leaped for joy.

Luke 1:41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.

How many times has Mary talked to Elizabeth?  Over the years probably hundreds of times. But this time,  when Mary spoke,  the baby leaped for joy inside Elizabeth and she was filled with the holy spirit.


When was the last time you heard someone say something and inside you felt joy leap inside?  At a wedding or birth.  A young child singing their first song on stage.  Someone’s testimony freed from addiction.  A soldier coming home and surprising family. You felt hope, honor, joy, or respect.

Many times when I see the flag of America being honored by the military and the jets fly over I feel proud, honored,  patriotic because of the bravery and sacrifice of our men and women fighting for our freedom.

“But when Mary spoke…the baby in her womb leaped for joy and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.”  Why?  A savior is born.  Jesus signed up for battle against darkness.  He came to fight death.  He came to offer life through His sacrifice.

Hope and Joy leaps in our hearts.


On the road to Emmas. Luke tells of the risen Jesus walking and talking with two men about the death and resurrection of Jesus using the Old Testament prophecies.  After breaking bread,  Jesus revealed Himself to them and disappeared. Luke 24:30-32 NIV

When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. [31] Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. [32] They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”

It is the same at Christmas time.  Jesus came as a baby.  Jesus the Son of God,  Jesus the equal with God, Jesus who was with God at the beginning of creation,  entered into service to bring freedom to mankind.


Consider these verses and their reactions  Luke 2:8-20 

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest heaven,

    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.


God sent Jesus to set us free from addiction, depression, hopelessness, and the bondage of sin.  We were captive by the sin we allowed in our lives.  Satan and his demons continued to tell us lies and set up traps to keep us hopeless.

A Savior has been born to you

Something leaps in my heart about the goodness of Jesus.

Allow this Christmas season your heart and spirit to leap and hearts burn as you hear or read the story of Jesus as He came to set us free.  Let the patriotic spirit rise up in thanks as the Christmas story is told.  This truth will cause a joyful, grateful lighnside.

Hopeless and stressful?

If this Christmas season you are feeling hopeless and overcome by stress, read this story of Jesus in Luke 1&2.

Jesus has come to set you free from hopelessness and to heal your heart.  He entered this world to fight for you.  Christ has won the battle over sin for you.  You only need to believe in Him and ask Christ to come into your heart.  Ask Him to forgive you of your sins and to begin a new work transforming your life.  You will immediately feel a joyfulness in your heart.  Find a good church to help guide you and encourage your growth.

Luke 2:11 NIV Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.

Don’t Understand, Stand Under

You will conceive and give birth to a son…Jesus. “How can this be?” Mary asked.

Luke 1:26-33 NIV

In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, [27] to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. [28] The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” [29] Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. [30] But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. [31] You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. [32] He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, [33] and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

Mary was troubled

Luke 1:34 NIV “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” It does not make sense.   I have never been with a man.

Mankind wants to understand everything. We watch Doctor Phil or Doctor Oz to understand.  We want to comprehend the mysteries of life and emotion.  We want to know how and why the outcomes of life happens.   If we can just get an understanding then maybe we can better manage events and feelings of our own lives.

obstacle – the need to understand the process.  The need to understand why Godly things will not work in your situation.  We need to process the promises of God in our situations and come up with exceptions of why it may not work. In our life, everything comes through the mind first for evaluation and acceptance or rejection.

This is a human trait.  God gave us our brain and soul to understand.  This is where Mary is in the encounter with Gabriel.  She is told something wonderful that Israel has been waiting for.  But Mary is stumped.  She is a virgin.  All the marvelous promises the angel is sharing are stalled because Mary knows and understands how a baby is made.  She needs to understand what the angel is promising and can’t.


God is beyond understanding.  His powers are beyond comprehending.  Out of nothing, God spoke, and all matter came into being.  And by God’s power, all things are still in existence.  “Matter” is not an accident.  It cannot be explained by chance over billions of years.  God spoke…and it was.  It’s beyond understanding.  You have to disengage your mind and just believe.

By FAITH Abraham believed God even when his body was old and Sarah was beyond the years of giving birth.  They had a son because God said they would.  One of my favorite verses in Abrahams story is Romans 4:18-21

18 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. 20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had the power to do what he had promised.


With God,

You don’t need to UNDERSTAND…

you need to “STAND UNDER.”



When Mary said she did not understand how this could happen, the angel answered in Luke 1:35-38 –  The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.  Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.

And although Mary did not understand…she decided to “stand under” the promises of God. 38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

This power of the Christmas story is not to bring the understanding of how  God works in your life…it is to STAND UNDER His promises and believe.


Don’t try and figure out God works  Just stand under His presence,  worship and believe He is God.  Call upon His name.  He wants a relationship to release His powers and promises. Don’t reason how God can’t work in your situation. Just believe and STAND UNDER His word.  Allow God’s presence to fill your heart.  The fuel of your lightnside is not the mind, it is faith!  Say with Mary,  I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.

Right now,  don’t reason, just ..STAND UNDER  this promise: “unto you is born a savior, Christ the Lord” …Believe.

Visions of Christmas – HOPE

See the CHRIST in Christmas

Observations of Christ in His various vivid images with mankind declares a vision of love and a sacrificial message to us that is more powerful and beautiful of anything our physical eyes have ever seen. Like a bright light remains in your sight after you look away, so too these sightings of Christ continue to shine a likeness of His images in our hearts.

As you read the scriptures (links are included for the complete reading) allow your spirit and imagination to view the following images of Christ in your heart.  Worship and thank Christ for His love, sacrifice, and hope for eternity.

God became a man

Isaiah 9:6 “A child is born, a son is given.” Luke 2:8-14 “Good tidings of great joy to all people…a Savior, who is Christ the Lord…lying in a manger…Glory to God in the highest”

Jesus begins ministry

John 1:14,29 ” Word became and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory…” “John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said “Behold! The lamb of God  who takes away the sins of the world…”

Jesus as the sacrifice for man’s redemption

John 12:32 “If I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.” Isaiah 53:4-11Borne our griefs…carried our sorrows… Smitten by God…Bruised for our iniquities…our chastisement was upon Him… The Lord laid on Him the iniquity of us all…Yet He opened not His mouth…He was cut off from the land of the living…Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him…When You made His soul an offering for sin…He bore the sin of many and made intercession for the transgressors.

Jesus returning to God

Acts 1:8-11You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you…and you shall be witnesses to Me…When He had spoken these things…He was taken up and a cloud received Him out of their sight…two men stood by them in white apparel, This same Jesus will so come again in like manner as you have seen Him go into heaven.


In this season of Christmas let us see again in our soul the different observations of Christ.  Behold the child, man, suffering God, arisen God, coming again God, with us now, today and tomorrow…God.

Let these visions of Christ remain in your heart. It will produce a hopeful peaceful, righteousness and a bright lightnside.