Take Refuge

Searching for Jesus

So, how’s your holiday season going so far? Tree up? House decorated? Presents starting to stack up? Travel plans made?

Odd how a season meant to bring us so much joy can feel like the world’s longest to-do list. Sigh.

For the next 90 seconds, let’s escape from all the craziness and take refuge in the Lord and in His Word. This is what Christmas is all about. This is what matters.

Let all who take refuge in you be glad;
let them ever sing for joy. 
Psalm 5:11

Take a deep breath. No, really. Breathe.
Think about the magnificence and the greatness of God.
Consider the many blessings He has poured into your life.
If you feel the urge to smile, do so.
Now you’re ready.

Let all who take refuge in you be glad; Psalm 5:11

Let all who take refuge in you be glad;…  Psalm 5:11

Never mind climbing onto Santa’s lap and telling him what we want for Christmas. Let’s climb onto our heavenly Father’s lap and rest in His loving arms.

Because what we really want for Christmas is peace, contentment, and deep joy.

And so, we run to Him “for protection” (CEV), we “take shelter” (NET) in Him, and put our “trust” (AMP) in Him. Only then can we “rejoice” (ASV) and “be happy!” (NET)

All the Christmas gifts in the world pale in comparison to God’s greatest gift: the pleasure of His Son’s company forever.

let them ever sing for joy. Psalm 5:11

…let them ever sing for joy. Psalm 5:11

We’re talking “always” (CEV) and “forever!” (CEB) Not one sacred day, not one special month, but every day of every month of every year “to the age” (YLT).

Christmas is our chance to show the world that Jesus came for them. He is the reason we “celebrate” (CEB) and “party” (MSG) and “break out in joyful song” (VOICE). His goodness inspires us to “shout for joy” (ASV) and “sing out loud” (CEB) and “rejoice and triumph” (GNV) and “make full out joy without end” (WYC).

Right now, in your heart and mind, put aside everything that hinders your joy and run into His sheltering embrace.

Lord Jesus, protect us from our own foolish desires. Keep us from spending money we don’t have on things we don’t need. Let our entire focus this season be the gift of You. Help us sing for joy so others may hear and wonder at Your goodness.

“Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’” (Matthew 1:23 NLT)

Matthew 1:23

Three books you might consider for gift giving: A Wreath of Snow, The Women of Christmas, and my new Parable Treasury for children.

Your grateful sister, Liz
P.S. Focus on the Family invited me to share my heart about Elizabeth, Mary, and Anna: The Women of Christmas. As time permits, take a listen.

174 Responses to Take Refuge

  1. Debbie December 2, 2015 at 3:57 pm #

    God revealed to me two things that I need to give up. I’m am going to work on it.

    • Missy December 2, 2015 at 4:37 pm #

      Serenity is what I truly seek this season. And the only way to receive this gift is finding refuge in Him. His Joy, His Peace, His Love is found deep in our heart. Not in the chaos of the holiday hustle and bustle.
      And because of Him and these gifts He’s given to us, we can be His much needed light to our family, our friends, to our neighbors, and to those who so need to see and feel His light!! Be the gift of Serenity to those in need.

    • Quelle December 2, 2015 at 4:48 pm #

      It would be so easy to get sucked into the Christmas storm once again! Stop…Breathe…Remember….Rejoice…Worship!

    • Catherine December 2, 2015 at 4:57 pm #

      He’s reminded me that God with us means God with ME. How blessed am I? I’m so thankful that I have the real meaning of Christmas in my life everyday and He does bring joy.

    • Doris December 2, 2015 at 4:58 pm #

      I have been stressing over a situation and after reading this I felt God’s peace flood over me!

    • Sue December 2, 2015 at 8:21 pm #

      The best part of the Christmas season does not come wrapped or decorated with tinsel.

    • Andrea December 2, 2015 at 8:40 pm #

      Peace, joy and deep contentment…what I’ve been striving for all year! I need to remember to climb in His Lap and give over all the worries and concerns I order to have those things.

    • Patty December 2, 2015 at 9:58 pm #

      My dad went to be with the Lord on December 4, 2010. A friend’s mother took her journey this week. Jesus is the greatest gift ever, without Him life has no meaning or purpose. He never leaves us and supplies our needs at the right time.

    • Diane Korsten December 2, 2015 at 11:46 pm #

      Learning the balance of solitude and activity in my spiritual journey.

    • Pamela December 3, 2015 at 10:23 am #

      I am really trying to stop, listen and really ponder what Christmas really is. It is so easy to get pulled into the hustle. We had a Hanging of the Greens service on Sunday and the calm and simplicity was so amazing. It really helped me stop and breathe and really worship the reason for the season. Really trying to focus on Jesus and what Mary must have been thinking. Thanks for prompting us to consider what the season really is about.

    • fran fink December 4, 2015 at 8:38 am #

      I learned that I need to seek Jesus Help for there are many things in my life that need to go, and I can not do it by myself, and my need for HIM is so great. Jesus will help me by His Holy Spirit as I worship and praise HIM. thank you Liz. blessings to you always.

    • Barbara December 4, 2015 at 10:05 pm #

      In such a hectic time, when things don’t go just the way we plan, there’s a peace just sitting in His Presence and feeling “relief”. He is our refuge..rest in HIM.

    • Nora Gail December 5, 2015 at 10:27 am #

      As I see the image of the Christ Child tangled in the strand of Christmas lights, I am reminded to let light shine on the Light of the World, and not to allow Christ to simply become a tangle in my Christmas.

      Also, I want God, whom I’ve invited into my heart, to find His dwelling place there what we are reminded to search for; contentment, joy, and peace. It is wrong of me to overcrowd His dwelling place with my worldliness.

      And, my thanks to Ms. Curtis Higgs for allowing God to use her in so many powerful ways.


    • Traci W December 10, 2015 at 7:17 am #

      Breathe. What an excellent reminder. And to keep Jesus at the center when everything else seem so crazy. The vision of crawling in God’s lap makes my heart happy.
      Thank you for that visual and this time to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas.

  2. Laurie Diggins December 2, 2015 at 3:58 pm #

    Let all who take refuge in you be glad;. . .ALL includes every-one who chooses to make the Lord their refuge. We are not disqualified by age, race, income level, state of mind, works, or the size of the gift. I choose to trust the Lord and am accepted because of what Jesus has done on my behalf. Glad tidings!

  3. Renee Schultz December 2, 2015 at 4:07 pm #

    It is not just our own busy schedule that steals our joy at Christmas time, but I find others around me that are stressed can steal my joy. It is a constant choice to not get sucked into their drama and have it affect me. Being a loving and helpful friend or co-worker, and showing them the peace and joy that can be found in giving our troubles to Jesus should be the goal. Like you said Liz, What is Christmas without peace, contentment and joy?

  4. Roksanna Stephens Anderson December 2, 2015 at 4:09 pm #

    Thank you for this sobering blog …I needed to take this 90 second pause to pray, to contenplate on how blessed I truly am having Jesus in my life. I need to keep my focus on Him, relax, and live in His gracious arms.

  5. Joanne December 2, 2015 at 4:11 pm #

    Good to hear. God is good.

  6. Brenda Williams December 2, 2015 at 4:14 pm #

    God came to give us peace. Not more tighter schedules, not more rush, rush, rush! Let’s remember the “Reason for the Season” and take a minute to rest and enjoy this sacred time.

  7. Cher Carlson December 2, 2015 at 4:14 pm #

    He showed me that when I run to Him is when I actually will find my joy!

  8. Billie Conrad December 2, 2015 at 4:15 pm #

    This is a wonderful devotion…I am sharing it!

  9. Dale December 2, 2015 at 4:16 pm #

    I realized that I have not taken the time to relax and place Jesus at the top of my list..

    Thank you so much for your insight and inspiration!

    Have a safe and blessed Christmas Season…

    And always remember … “Jesus is the Reason!”

  10. Linda Eldredge December 2, 2015 at 4:21 pm #

    The Lord has caused me to “take refuge” in Him this week due to an acute case of bronchitis. I needed to reflect on Him and stop being so busy! It’s worked! Three days of being unable to do much of anything got my attention. I thank Him for reminding me that He is the reason for the season. Blessed be His Name!

  11. Linda Komondy December 2, 2015 at 4:22 pm #

    Thanks for this reminder that we should be joyful ALWAYS, not just at Christmas and the best gift we can give is to share Christ’s love with others. We don’t have to spend one thin dime to do that either, which relieves the stress of the season and gives us more time to focus on sheltering in Him and being joyful.

  12. Tina Parsons December 2, 2015 at 4:23 pm #

    God has clearly told me I must Trust Him and follow the path He has placed before me even though it makes no sense and is beyond scary for me. It is the absolute last thing I would ever choose to do but He has asked me to do it. I know I must obey. I know He has a reason. I know He is with me. It is still hard. Obey and trust I will because I have faith in Him. I choose each day again to obey. I struggle each day. And each day He is there with Grace sufficient for me. I must go. God help me obey your will in my life.

  13. Allison December 2, 2015 at 4:24 pm #

    Christmas is our chance to show Jesus came to bring them salvation stuck in my head! How can we do that if we are busy stressing out over how the World celebrates?! It is good to remember it is a time to rejoice in the salvation God has sent us through His Son, not focusing on meeting our obligations and make everyone happy.? Thanks for the reminder!

  14. Kathy December 2, 2015 at 4:24 pm #

    Shape worries into prayers, so God is the focus, not the worry. Worries are temporary. Worship is eternal.

  15. Cindy Lynn Sawyer December 2, 2015 at 4:26 pm #

    I’ve had a lot of worries this last month and, for some reason, have been dealing with fears. I broke my arm and needed surgery. The helplessness, pain, lack of sleep and ability to do much of anything has taken a toll. And I feel silly because I know others deal with so much worse. Plus, I start a new job on Monday … both exciting and scary. But I took a moment and followed your direction: “Right now, in your heart and mind, put aside everything that hinders your joy and run into His sheltering embrace.” That makes all the difference in the world. Thank you!

  16. Lois Grohmann December 2, 2015 at 4:31 pm #

    Thank you for this message today. I sit here watching coverage of the shooting in San Bernadino, California. How sad it is to have this happen at all, but especially at this time of year when we should be focused on God and the precious gift of his son.

  17. Sandra Platt December 2, 2015 at 4:31 pm #

    I felt myself relax as I read this. It has already been crazy, and I have a to-do list that is ridiculous! Your phrase, “peace, contentment, and deep joy.” made me almost homesick. I am slowing down. Thank you!

  18. Jean Higginbotham December 2, 2015 at 4:33 pm #

    In the “busyness” of the season, joy comes in watching as the driver in front of me pauses long enough to give a few dollars to the homeless man standing on the corner; a sweet elderly lady paying for the groceries of the lady in line in front of her whose card was declined; the young man who helps a handicapped person load their groceries in their car and declines a tip; the Walmart customer dropping a bag of groceries in the collection box; and the grandchild who asks to earn money to buy Christmas presents for a family in need. I am so reminded of the inherent goodness in most people not just at Christmas but year around. God gave His only son so that we could have eternal life. We can never out give God. We love because He first loved us.

  19. Michelle December 2, 2015 at 4:33 pm #

    This Christmas has been hard because of deathes and bitterness… the idea of being glad and finding refugee is something I’m longing for. Thanks for the timely word. You (and ourh heavenly Father) are certainly encouragers.

  20. Retha December 2, 2015 at 4:36 pm #

    Oh how God’s timing can be almost comical! I have struggled with Christmas this year more than I have in the last 17 years since my momma passed away. Yes, Yes, Yes – everything looked like one humongous TO DO list and I had nothing left in me to accomplish one single thing on that list. I informed my family there would be no tree this year and you would have thought I committed a crime. NO TREE! You have to put your tree up – that is the best part of Christmas. So I drug out my 17 year old tree that has seen better days and hated it. None of the “pre-lit” lights worked anymore. I hated it. I am only 5 Ft tall, why in the world do i need a 7 1/2 Ft tree? So I purchased a lovely 6 1/2 Ft tree (at least it was lovely on the display) Got it out of the box, in the stand and two of the bottom branches fell completely off. Long story short – two more trees later I found one just right. But the thought of decorating it was daunting. No one will know from the outside there is not one single ornament on that tree as long as it has lights, who cares. And so the tree stood there bare and naked for 3 whole days. I decided to put all the boxes of decorations back into storage, but opened one to see if my tree skirt was in it. An ornament caught my eye and I thought – that one would look lovely on my new tree. So in the box came and as I held up each ornament I asked myself, “Does this bring me JOY this year?” If it did, on the tree it went. If not, back in the box for another time, another season. Needless to say – not a cluttered up, full tree of pretty things this year. But the ones that are there fill my heart with JOY and precious memories.
    God in his most loving way was showing me that my tree does not have to be cluttered with tons of stuff to be pretty and meaningful. And neither does my life. God is pruning my life this season – not everything is my job, not everyone’s problems are mine to solve and even some friendships are being pruned. For the first Christmas in a very long time, God is teaching me to breathe. To breathe in HOLY, to breathe in JOY and to breathe in the Glory of His Amazing LOVE. No TO DO List will ever achieve that for me. May all of our hearts and homes this year be Full of Jesus and less Stuff. Merry Christmas Liz! Thank you for such a timely writing.

  21. carolyn crail December 2, 2015 at 4:38 pm #

    We always need God’s all encompassing love. Our refuge is there we just need to ask. Free …it doesn’t get any better than that!

  22. Suzanne Horne December 2, 2015 at 4:40 pm #


    Through many years, God has inspired me through you! You are a breath of fresh air –

    I am giving my 3-4 year old Sunday School class “The Parable of the Pinetree” as a Christmas present this year!

    I use not only the Pinetree but also the Lily and the Pumpkin in appropriate seasons to help teach them God’s love and plans –

    Thank you for being obedience to God’s direction in your life –

    I know I keep going on but I think when I did your Bible study (Bad Women) it left a lasting impress in my life –

  23. Vickie Crews December 2, 2015 at 4:41 pm #

    I needed to hear this today. The good thing is that God was reminding me that He still has this.

  24. Laura December 2, 2015 at 4:42 pm #

    God convicted me this week about judging people before actually meeting them and knowing their circumstances.
    This Christmas I want to enjoy my family, friends, coworkers and all the little children who get such joy out of this most blessed season.
    God is the greatest person who has entered my life and I always want to keep him first in my heart.
    Blessed Christmas to all and rejoice in the birth of Christ.

  25. Pam December 2, 2015 at 4:43 pm #

    no to do list here…not putting a tree up….no money for presents….no travel….just my husband and I this year for the first time in many MANY years, andd I’m sure I will be working. But thank you for this time… standing on God’s Word and His promises and praying that you each have a calm, blessed Christmas!!

  26. Jolene December 2, 2015 at 4:43 pm #

    God has revealed to me that my decorating and gift buying has nothing to do with His love for me and why he sent Jesus to be born on earth. I no longer have the need for what I used to believe I needed to do for the Christmas season. I do simple decorations, no gifts, no holiday parties, etc. I just delight in the knowledge of WHY He sent his son, and what I am called to do each December to draw me closer to Him.

  27. Tami December 2, 2015 at 4:46 pm #

    From your sweet prayer:

    Lord Jesus, keep us safe from our own foolish desires. Protect us from spending money we don’t have on things we don’t need. [The Lord has shown me Psalm 119:37 “Turn my eyes from worthless things, and give me life through your word.” For a gal who loves second-hand stores, yard sales and the like, this tall order is easier from my Refuge.] Let our entire focus this season be on the gift of You. Help us sing for joy so others may hear and wonder at Your goodness. –

  28. Amber December 2, 2015 at 4:50 pm #

    Amen! I love the prayer, that our focus would be on the gift of Jesus. Praise God that He is Immanuel “God with us”. My husband and I have been married almost 9 years. The year that we courted we decided we wouldn’t get each other a Christmas present so that we could put all the focus on the Lord. So in all of our Christmas’s together as a married couple, I don’t think we ever got each other a Christmas present. This year I was recently thinking, “is something wrong with me that I don’t think about physical gifts much?”, well that is “receiving” anyway. And then I realized how God blesses us with gifts that are far better than any worldly gift. Praise God that we already have the BEST – Him. 🙂

  29. Naomi December 2, 2015 at 4:51 pm #

    I work retail and this is the busiest time of year. Its so nice to be reminded what Christmas is actually about instead of what the world thinks it’s about.

  30. Sally Jurkowski December 2, 2015 at 4:54 pm #

    Immanuel, God with us. God is asking me to remember that He is the one I should be seeking, not the people we have grown to rely one, especially in the midst of a medical situation. I have asked for prayers, prayed and yet, I still need to remember every moment that He will be available to me when the small things are stressing me right now. All I need to do is ask instead of my human knee-jerk reaction. Oh come, oh come Emmanuel.

  31. Melissa Hood December 2, 2015 at 4:59 pm #

    Liz, you just have no way of knowing how badly I needed this today! My day started off so completely ROTTEN!!! We awoke to a rainy, stormy, dreary day. My beloved dog got loose and was missing. One of our horses got through a hole in the fence and was loose in a neighbors pasture. I had to be at court with my son over a child support dispute at 9am. IT.WAS.ROTTEN…and my nerves were shot!!! We got the horse back home…1 problem solved. Around 9am, I got a call from a neighbor who found my dog…2 problems solved. My son and his ex-wife came to an amicable agreement and all was well…3 problems solved. The rain has stopped, and the sun is now breaking through.
    As all of this “stuff” was going on, I just kept praying, “Lord, be in control…take over all of it…Lord, be in the midst.” I was doing my best to crawl in His lap, but my anxiety was winning. That is, until you urged me to take 90 seconds to stop and breath. To climb into my Father’s lap and rest in Him. WOW…sweet release……. Thank you SO very much for reminding me of this. I pray for God’s richest blessings on you and yours!!! ~Mel~
    PS. As I completed this response, the sun just burst through the clouds and is shining brilliantly…reminding me that THE SON is always shining!!!

  32. jeri December 2, 2015 at 4:59 pm #

    I appreciate the encouragement to Breathe!

  33. margaret brown December 2, 2015 at 5:03 pm #

    I live just blocks away from the terrible shooting here in Colorado Springs. Emmanuel Emmanuel–God with us!
    and may everyone involved in this situation know HIM and Seek HIM
    through this tragedy.

  34. Lynn December 2, 2015 at 5:05 pm #

    I have been forced to slow down this holiday season due to breaking my ankle Halloween night! What seemed like such a problem at first has turned into an unexpected blessing! I cannot tell the number of people that have stopped what they are doing to help me through a door, picked up my food from the counter at the fast-food restarant or asked if I needed any help. I have come to realize that I have spent way too much time running around, busy with my “to-does” and not paying attention to what blessings and needs God has put right in front of me to see! Christmas has always been one of my most favorite times of the year but also a most stressful time just because I think things have to be “just so”, that I have to do all these things and the next thing I know, it’s over before I have had a chance to enjoy it at all! What you….and God!….are telling me is to slow down, appreciate what is & stop sweating the small, unimportant stuff!!! Got it! Love your wonderful messages, Liz!

  35. Karna December 2, 2015 at 5:05 pm #

    I need to stop amidst my busy days,focus on Jesus, & choose joy.

  36. Wanda December 2, 2015 at 5:08 pm #

    I truly experienced taking refuge in God and experiencing He is ‘God with us’ as I underwent a biopsy today. There are more details to share than space to write here but God’s fingerprints were all over my appointment today and without knowing the pathology report at this time, I am at peace just knowing how clearly He revealed himself to me and invited me to rest in Him. I WILL sing of His love forever!

  37. Lina December 2, 2015 at 5:13 pm #

    God revealed to me yesterday (in an older incourage post) that my new word for the new year will be Remaining (in Him) and not worrying, or fretting about next years move. What a breathe of fresh air!

    I feel a John 15:4 year ahead….

    Thanks Liz!

  38. Statia December 2, 2015 at 5:26 pm #

    Reading this post confirmed in me the conviction that I need to leave Facebook for this Christmas season. I find myself getting frustrated, annoyed, or feeling inadequate when I read Facebook lately. I want to breathe in the joy and peace of advent so I need to leave the negative out of it.

  39. Karen Smith December 2, 2015 at 5:28 pm #

    As I am sitting with my mom as her life is slowly slipping away I am filled with joy because I know her final destination. The worldly trappings of Christmas doesn’t hold much this year but the real reason of Christmas does as He holds us both close.

  40. Lisa December 2, 2015 at 5:28 pm #

    I’ve always loved Christmas, but the past few years has been such a struggle for me. I have fibromyalgia and my husband has kidney failure. Extra money has been non existent as far as gifts go. This year, although I’m in extreme physical pain, I’m feeling so much more at peace. I have hope for the future year ahead, and expect good things in our lives. My son and his bride are expecting a baby, (our 4th grand!) God has taught me to trust, and let Him be in charge.

  41. Patricia December 2, 2015 at 5:30 pm #

    The accompanying photos imaged the Truth of Christmas. So easy to forget that Truth in season busyness.

  42. Liz Stephens December 2, 2015 at 5:33 pm #

    Yes, Yes, Yes what I want for Christmas is Peace, contentment and deep joy…I have it in Jesus Christ. I didn’t have to wait until Black Friday or Cyber Monday to get it!!!

  43. Janet Francis December 2, 2015 at 5:40 pm #

    For many years I have grieved because I couldn’t afford to give gifts. But I have learned that no gift can compare to our Savior ‘ s gift.

  44. Susan G. December 2, 2015 at 5:45 pm #

    Thanks for this Liz! This is what I learned…that I need to have…”peace, contentment and deep joy”! I think when we seek these things from our awesome God, that it is then, that we are able to speak life into those around us, especially to unbelievers.
    Blessings to you Liz!

  45. Krista Carver December 2, 2015 at 5:50 pm #

    Thanks for the rap on my head. Thanks for the Psalm 5:11 reminder. Breathing is very necessary this time of year. Trying so hard to not get bogged down, it is so easy to get carried away. God is SO good!

  46. Michelle V. December 2, 2015 at 5:51 pm #

    Thanks for making me smile.
    I love the prayer at the end. A reminder for me to set my heart on things above!

  47. Carol M December 2, 2015 at 6:05 pm #

    You are a gift to us, encouraging, making us smile, and teaching. Thank you so much!

  48. Shirley December 2, 2015 at 6:12 pm #

    Liz, I so much want to crawl up on His lap and just snuggle, to have His
    tender love lavished all over me. I have been so weary from the stress of
    being caregiver, that I just want to curl up with Him and good books and
    read to my hearts content. All the hustle can go, but give me time with
    Him. He so spoke to my heart this morning. He truly is my refuge, and I
    am so thankful, I just can go, sit quietly and let Him breathe on me His
    peace and serenity. God bless you..

  49. Barbara December 2, 2015 at 6:13 pm #

    As a working woman with a family, I feel the stress of Christmas even more. Then to add on top of this year my husband of 34 years had to move into an assisted living home. My handicapped son got married, which added 3 more handicapped people in my life. His wife, her daughter and my grandson. And my handicapped daughter is in a group home. So I’m feeling alone, stressed, exhausted, and very busy.

    Then I read your blog—-breathe, take a breath. Climb up on HIS lap and tell him what you need. Find the peace, comfort and blessings HE has to offer. Wow that just made my CHRISTmas come alive for me. It’s not all about the things the world has to offer. What I really want for CHRISTmas is what he has always offered!!!

    A Blessed CHRISTmas to all!!!

  50. Terri Murphy December 2, 2015 at 6:17 pm #

    Thanks for such a sweet and simple reminder to pause and remember why we celebrate this season. To enjoy it for the real meaning. Thank you. God Bless you and your ministry.

  51. Karla tildahl December 2, 2015 at 6:25 pm #

    I was reminded how much joy I receive as I sing God’s story about Christmas as we prepare our gift of music for the community. Yes one more thing to do but it fills me with joy!

  52. Rachel December 2, 2015 at 6:29 pm #

    Thank you for reminding me to relax and to BREATHE! Breathe in His peace, His grace, and His strength.

  53. Luanne December 2, 2015 at 6:34 pm #

    Thanks, Liz, you were talking to me. I breathed, I smiled. I will remember what CHRISTmastime is all about. 🙂

  54. Sandra Ponsetto December 2, 2015 at 6:37 pm #

    Although I recently quit a job in a toxic workplace, i found myself stewing overy how quickly and easily I had been replaced rather than just feeling the love and protection of the one that led me out of the wasteland.

  55. Judy w December 2, 2015 at 6:42 pm #

    When I think of the love God has showered down on me, I am overwhelmed by the fact that I don’t have enough words to qualify or quantify his love. I’m thankful that he’s told me enough about it that I realize my finite mind can’t grasp it, but I know it exists. If you limit it to just what God did when he sent Jesus to save us, it still applies!

  56. Judith Martinez December 2, 2015 at 6:57 pm #

    With limited space (4 adults, 1 teen and 4 children in a 2 bedroom apt.) and limited resources all of the little things that bring me joy during the holiday season are unavailable to me. I MUST focus on the truth that Jesus came to save us and celebrate that or I’ll get discouraged.

  57. Paula Timpson December 2, 2015 at 7:00 pm #

    Birds praise God daily and when we do we are happy too!
    Thank you God for now and for faith and hope an d Love

  58. Deb Moore December 2, 2015 at 7:01 pm #

    God knew my heart’s need to be nurtured, after being treated badly, indeed, bullied this past week by younger sister. ( she’s 55, I’m 61 ) I was caregiver, with my elderly sweet dad, for our mom as breast cancer surged maliciously, mom died March 6, 2014. In a rate phone conversation, she accuses me of a lie, during the hospice House week. ( I fought to get mom in there, where mom wanted to die. Local home hospice wouldn’t cooperate. Painful time, kept Christlike composure and pressed on, finally mom’s oncologist, after my phone message, turned things for my dear mom. That sister, who I sheltered, ministered love to, with the other, youngest sister, spent awhile accusing and pressuring. I do not remember, what she speaks of. It matters not, to the sisters, the grief each felt that agonizing, long last day of mom’s dying. I’ve been praying for years for my sister’s salvation. They are very close to each other, mock my faith of 29 years. I have peace that passes understanding, we’ve buried a Godly 18 year old son, 14 years ago as a result of a work accident.
    I know my Lord who walkwithme.
    Reading your writing just now, soothed my soul. My spirit, healthy. Soul searching in sleepless nights since the phone tirade. Returning calm to the voice of rage, was not healing. Next day brought fury in text form. I’m thankFull for the babe of Bethlehem, who was present with me, when the supposed offense took place, as I alone set up for mom’s memorial, cleaned up without family help, and all the days since.
    He’s my love, and I am His. Great soul and mind. My deliverer, defender. Savior.

    • Deb Moore December 2, 2015 at 7:05 pm #

      Heart, soul, mind. Typing on tiny phone 😉

      • Deb Moore December 2, 2015 at 7:33 pm #

        He revealed? He’s given me His son, and family in Christ. Sisters who do know me. And, I am not ACCUSED in His sight. Because of CHRIST mas.

  59. Jaime December 2, 2015 at 7:16 pm #

    My husband misses a lot of things due to work. Our son’s first steps. The first board our son broke at karate. Lots of stuff. But his job lets me be a stay at home homeschooling mom so to my husband, it’s worth it. He has some medical issues right now that are keeping him from work. A lot of our friends are, reminiscent of Job’s friends, asking why this would happen at this time of year. My husband and I know the Lord provides (He is in more ways than one right now) and we are grateful for provision and for our time together as a family. We are blessed beyond measure.

  60. Babette Hill December 2, 2015 at 7:26 pm #

    Thanks for the reminder on where my focus needs to be. It is December 2 and I was starting to feel panicked at all I want to get done for Christmas. God gave of himself by giving us his son. Maybe my gifts to family should be the giving of myself during the year by being available for preparing their favorite dishes and being available for spending time with them doing a chore or something fun. This would be more memorable than a gift I fretted over and they didn’t need. Thanks again.

  61. Gina December 2, 2015 at 7:28 pm #

    It’s so easy to take out eyes off Jesus, and forget what Christmas is really about. He came to bring us joy!

  62. Peggy C. December 2, 2015 at 7:29 pm #

    God has revealed to me that He is all that I need at all times and to depend on Him. It is now time to slow down and take in all that He gives to me daily. To stop and observe this beautiful time of the year. Have you noticed how beautiful the sunrises and sunsets are now. I am blessed because I am a child of God and He loves me even though I am not worthy. His Grace is sufficient?

  63. Sonja harpe December 2, 2015 at 7:37 pm #

    I keep trying to put everything in God’s hands and remember He is control. Your devotion is a reminder that God is my refuge and He is in control.

  64. Betsy December 2, 2015 at 7:40 pm #

    I smiled at the reference to the long to do list. I have several of them all over the place. Thanks for reminding me that Christmas is for JOY.
    (P.S. when I tuned in to Focus on the Family on Monday and you were there, I was excited and felt like a friend was visiting.)

  65. Donna Potts December 2, 2015 at 7:44 pm #

    My faith has been renewed in mankind in Wal-Mart of all places! I serve an AWESOME God! He tells me be still and lisen for him! Well, I was able to witness it tonight right in Wal-Mart. The place I dislike the most. Ethel the checkout lady was sharing her life with me. She has been married 50 years and her son has a kidney stone. She is so worried about him because he can not afford to get the stone blasted. I empathized with her because I know what it is like to suffer from kidney stones. I told her I’d pray for him. Then a man from the next checkout counter finished paying came over tapped Ethel on the shoulder and gave her his business card. He whispered I’ll do your son’s surgery for him. Ethel broke down crying and so did I. My God know what I need just when I need it! Praise the Lord! Keep Ethel, her son and the wonderful, caring Doctor in your prayers this Christmas season.

  66. Linda Pierson December 2, 2015 at 7:51 pm #

    As I read this devotional, the horrific events in San Bernadino CA are playing out on the news. Only God can provide the peace we need in these times. Thanks, Liz, for the timely reminder.

  67. Debbie Salmonson December 2, 2015 at 7:54 pm #

    Thank you, Liz , for your beautiful words. Always reflective this time of year. I appreciate your insight and I usually forward your devotions to my Bible Study Small Group of ladies. Last year, our Bible Study has a Book Club and we read The Women of Christmas. So beautiful and inspirational. We loved it!

  68. Angie N December 2, 2015 at 8:24 pm #

    REST — Breathe — be content where I am today — celebrate Jesus everyday, not just one!

  69. Caroline December 2, 2015 at 8:33 pm #

    Liz, thank you for this message today and Season’s Greetings to you and yours. This message resonated with me to be still, breathe and enjoy each moment. I do not need to rush around this advent season…I need to recognize and mediate on the gift of Jesus when he came as a babe. Merry Christmas. Love, Caroline

  70. Patricia December 2, 2015 at 8:36 pm #

    I’ll be honest with you, today was not the best of days for me at work, so I eventually took the Holy Spirit’s leading and glorified God in that situation. Something I’m not used to doing–praising Him in the bad things. Good things, yes! Bad things, no! But I got that nudge and I finally obeyed, and eventually I felt His peace that surpasses all human understanding. It didn’t happen right away because I was struggling with the situation. I’m not sure I like that word “struggle”, but I’ll chalk it up to yet another lesson from the Lord. My God is my rock and my fortress, nonetheless, and His love will endure forever.

    Christmas will come and Christmas will go. I don’t stress about the holidays as I used to because when you think about it, it’s a man-made holiday. And we’re not even sure if Jesus was born in December. But the fact remains–He WAS born; He lived; He died and rose again, and He will return! In the meantime, through the good and the bad, I need to praise Him every day. Lord, I need you more now than ever!

  71. Jeannie December 2, 2015 at 8:43 pm #

    The pleasure of Jesus’ company forever.

  72. Teresa Collett December 2, 2015 at 9:02 pm #

    Your comment, “Protect us from spending money we don’t have on things we don’t need,” really struck home with me. Too many times I have tried to please family and friends by buying gifts I could not afford and they really didn’t need either. I’m learning, with the Lord’s help, to give gifts that show my love without falling into that old trap. This year I am buying some pizza for lunch for a couple of my co-workers at school!

  73. Pam A December 2, 2015 at 9:44 pm #

    Forever sing for JOY!! Joy my favorite word and such a good reminder for this time of year…. forever…. what does that look like…. I can only imagine… Joy- Pam

  74. Brandi Luiz December 2, 2015 at 9:48 pm #

    God is so good. His timing through the words you share give peace, contentment and courage to many of us. The pause right now, take a deep breath and focus on God and His goodness. …just stops us…..right where we are…needing Him to hold us and take refuge in Him.

  75. Nora Key December 2, 2015 at 9:50 pm #

    To be thankful for my blessings and the gift of Jesus, to not stress over a long to do list but enjoy the season and share love(not expensive gifts) with family and friends.

  76. Linda December 2, 2015 at 9:56 pm #

    Stop and Breathe. God has been so good to me. He loves me even when I’m having a horrible day and want to cry. He has shown me that through Him I can do anything. I have only bought 1 gift so far and not planning on going overboard. I want to spend this year worshipping God and the birth of His son and to be with my family.
    Merry Christmas.

  77. Stephanie December 2, 2015 at 9:56 pm #

    Liz, I love how you incorporate vocabulary from many different versions of the verse, giving it a new flavor!
    This is a verse on which I will be focusing….Rejoice!!!

  78. Ann Blomgren December 2, 2015 at 10:18 pm #

    The reminder that Christmas is our opportunity to show the world that Jesus came for them is so important . with all the frightening events happening, this good news is so important. may God help us to be faithful to share the good news.

  79. Debi Detroyer December 2, 2015 at 10:19 pm #

    We’re talking “always” (CEV) and “forever!” (CEB) Not one sacred day, not one special month, but every day of every month of every year “to the age” (YLT).

    In this study this is what spoke to me most. It’s not just about the Christmas season, I’ve learned over the years the hustle and bustle of this magnificent season isn’t worth the stress I used to put on myself. If your too busy to spend time with God, your too busy. To me, everyday is a time to celebrate Christmas, everyday is a time to worship our Lord and Savior, He is always here for me, I accept his gift of peace, contentment and joy and when times are tough, I take refuge in His loving arms knowing His promises are true.

  80. sandy December 2, 2015 at 10:39 pm #

    Thank you Liz for your encouraging words. As I took a breathe as you said I felt al concerns leave. The most important thing about Christmas is Jesus birth. All the other stuff is just added tinsel.

  81. Guenet December 2, 2015 at 10:40 pm #

    Emmanuel. What a blessing to know and celebrate every moment and any place that god is with us. What we need is just a desiring heart.

  82. Jennifer C December 2, 2015 at 11:45 pm #

    I am always wanting to bring God into my breathing and meditation exercises ( anxiety combatants?). When I read “Breathe. Think about the magnificence and the greatness of God.
    Consider the many blessings He has poured into your life.” I thought yes! This is it! This is how I can bring Him into this practice daily. Thank you!

  83. Sue Peterson December 2, 2015 at 11:49 pm #

    The LORD continues to show me that He is our only HOPE and we must share it with others taking advantage of the season to share the REASON for HOPE!

  84. Kandi December 3, 2015 at 1:35 am #

    I must wait patiently for the Lord. God has perfect timing. Be thankful for everything, always.

  85. Leana December 3, 2015 at 2:29 am #

    To be honest? I didn’t want to finish reading your study today; I wanted to just sit like a petulant child and fuss, because it’s the first year without my Dad.

    I wanted to grumble and groan my way through this holiday season, instead of taking a deep breath and realizing that as much as I’m missing my Dad, he’s in Heaven – he’s celebrating The Savior’s Birthday, WITH THE SAVIOR!

    Now, I know that I’ll still have my moments of sadness as I get reminded of this or that, but I can take a deep breath and smile and remember that ‘This is the day The LORD has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it’… and I’ll be glad that my Daddy can spend this Christmas the way it should be spent – in the arms of The Savior 🙂

    Thank you and Merry Christmas Liz!!!!

  86. Val December 3, 2015 at 5:34 am #

    Climbing up into Fathers lap is what I want to do every day to feel His strength , His peace and His joy. This past year has been a roller coaster ride for our family and I woke up today not knowing if I could make it one more day so I went searching for ençouragement and found it in this blog. Thank you!!

  87. Maria Smith December 3, 2015 at 5:54 am #


    This is exactly what I needed to be reminded. On Thanksgiving day, my Mom in Japan was diagnosed with cancer, and yesterday she was operated on. Through the storms of doubt, fear, desperation and panic, and unable to be there with her, I forgot that she has the same Father who loves her as He does me. And He is greater than any cancer!!!!

    I just need to breath. And go through all the Christmas programs that I am in charge with ( I’m a music teacher. ) On this Christmas, the Lord is teaching me the real meaning of Christmas into the depth of my heart: God-With- Us. Doesn’t matter if she is across the Atlantic. He is with her. In that I can rest.

    Thank you for reminding me of this.

    God bless you!

  88. Gaylon Warner December 3, 2015 at 5:56 am #

    Not only at Christmas but every day I am reminded of God’s daily provisions, not only for my food, as man does not live by bread alone, but I receive strength, comfort, peace, wisdom for situations I face, and hope by reading His Word. Reading our Bible is how God speaks to us, it IS His Words to us. And we are called to share the gospel with others so they can have a peace in the midst of their storms, not only at Christmas but every season of their life.

  89. Pam December 3, 2015 at 6:39 am #

    Every Christmas I have this vision for Christmas of the perfect Christmas everyone together, everyone getting along. The perfect meal. Finding that perfect gift for everyone on my list. This year I am putting my expectations aside and focusing on the real reason for the season. We already have the perfect gift of Jesus and his perfect love for us,

  90. Joy December 3, 2015 at 7:15 am #

    Thank you for this posting about the real reason we celebrate Christmas! I am not a natural gift giver so I struggle each time Christmas comes around to feel the true meaning of it all admist trying to figure out what to get our 4 children as gifts. Especially in this world full of “stuff”. Thanks for the wonderful reminder to take a deep breath. And appreciate Jesus.

  91. Gabriela December 3, 2015 at 7:29 am #

    The hustle and bustle of the season and the pressure to do it right sure can steal your joy, can’t they? What a blessing that God doesn’t care about the outside, He cares about your heart. He wants you to rest in Him and find joy. Thank you for the timely reminder that He is the only light and comfort we need. It is our joy to share that Light and Joy to others, so that they can know His Love, forgiveness, peace and comfort. I pray that the Lord will comfort and bring rest, and especially bring joy to all who need it this season.

  92. Laurie Peace December 3, 2015 at 7:40 am #

    Oh, thank you for the timely reminder! It was exactly what I needed to hear today. Breath in…breath out…rest in Him. Yes!

  93. Kathleen December 3, 2015 at 7:43 am #

    How sweet to sit at our Great God’s feet and meditate on the awesome gift of His precious Son! It cause my heart to melt, be at peace and rejoice in His great love for me!

  94. thalma December 3, 2015 at 7:44 am #

    So glad for all your insights, you have a wonderful way of making Scriptures real to me. God has given you a wonderful gift , please continue to share. Isn’t God wonderful!!!

  95. Shawna December 3, 2015 at 7:51 am #

    As I read your words this morning, I stopped and closed my eyes and just took a deep breath. And another. And another. Thank you for the reminder to just breathe in His presence and let His love wash over me. My hurried morning found grace.

  96. Sunshine December 3, 2015 at 8:01 am #

    God’s Peace & Presence…my focus for this advent season. Oh to stop $breathe Him in! Thank you, Liz

  97. Lora Leftwich December 3, 2015 at 8:08 am #


    I absolutely love the way you crafted the statement, “All the Christmas gifts in the world pale in comparison to God’s greatest gift: the pleasure of His Son’s company forever.”(a very tweetable statement)

    The pleasure of shopping for and giving gifts, the pleasure of preparing meals and hosting guests, and the pleasure of watching my grandson find gifts under the tree with his name on them are all an exciting time for me, some of the sweetest of moments I get to enjoy.

    BUT, sweet as these moment are, they do pale to the encounters I have with “His Son’s company.” When a new scripture wows me for the first time or when I see His protective hand in that 20/20-Aha-hindsight moment, or simply reflect on His love, forgiveness and L-O-N-G-suffering over me, it is a pleasure like none other. It speaks of how Jesus has me in the palm of His hand, yesterday, today and tomorrow. The deepest, truest sense of His presence is my eternal pleasure. “The pleasure of His company…” is exactly what the gift is Lizzie. Oh thank you for highlighting this beautiful gift, this one may be just for me today, “The pleasure of His presence…” (Smiling and giddy like a kid on Christmas morning)

  98. Nancy December 3, 2015 at 8:09 am #

    As I prepare to decorate today, I will stop to breathe and to remember we are celebrating the birth of our Savior. Joy and Love are the gifts he has given us. I pray I will continue to breathe as the decorating continues – pushing joy and love to the front and pushing stress and frustration to the back. Thank you for the reminder – it came at the perfect time!

  99. Name Cristin December 3, 2015 at 8:13 am #

    This devotional inspires me to share more with everyone that Christmas is about Jesus, our healer, deliverer, and ultimate answer to all the world’s problems. It inspires me to always focus on Him, shine the light of my conversations and attention and actions on Him to point the way to others.
    Lord, use me and Holy Spirit, lead and guide me to help others find you, the true and eternal gift of Christmas. Amen!

  100. karen bishop December 3, 2015 at 8:27 am #

    God has given me peace even though my daughter will not come around and refuses to let me see my 4 grandchildren.

  101. Mandy December 3, 2015 at 8:27 am #

    God has revealed to me that it is okay to take time. To not be so wound up in the Christmas traditions, but to focus more on Him this season.

  102. Janette December 3, 2015 at 8:30 am #

    This is a great reminder that we need every year. We need to take make the holiday about the Reason for the season!

  103. Tammy December 3, 2015 at 8:33 am #

    Thanks for the reminder to slow down, stop the insanity, eliminate the excess and just rest in the joys of Jesus! I am Blessed!

  104. Sunshine December 3, 2015 at 8:55 am #

    Thank you once again for a word spoken (or read!) at the right time. I’m about to go Christmas shopping and feeling overwhelmed. My focus is back on God and the Reason we celebrate. Thank you!

  105. Sue G. December 3, 2015 at 8:58 am #

    Jesus IS the reason for the season and He’s all we need! It’s so easy to get caught up in the craziness…thank you, Liz, for this awesome reminder. What a great devotion to start the month as we prepare to celebrate Jesus’ birthday!

  106. Dala Lawrence December 3, 2015 at 9:04 am #

    “Right now, in your heart and mind, put aside everything that hinders your joy and run into His sheltering embrace. ”

    This is so comforting to know, everyday of the year; not just at Christmas time, I can run into His sheltering embrace. To know that He is always there. I can feel His loving arms giving me a hug. Immanuel – God with us.


  107. Diana Wilson December 3, 2015 at 9:12 am #

    I love this because why settle for a fairy tale when we have a true KING!

    Let all who take refuge in you be glad;… Psalm 5:11

    Never mind climbing onto Santa’s lap and telling him what we want for Christmas. Let’s climb onto our heavenly Father’s lap and rest in His loving arms.

  108. Kathy December 3, 2015 at 9:13 am #

    Thanks for the devotional, I love the thought of taking refuge in the midst of the craziness.

  109. Ammie December 3, 2015 at 9:20 am #

    God with us…when you really stop and think about this it is truly so awe inspiring. We are so lowly and yet the maker of all the Earth loved us so much that He came down to us because He knew we could not come up to Him without His gift…grace, salvation, love eternal…God with us, so we could one day be with Him.

  110. Jan Peach December 3, 2015 at 9:31 am #

    I have learned to take refuge in Him on a daily basis and He deserves the very first part of my day. With out that time with Him I am a bundle of nerves. The song “He deserves the glory and the honor” kept rolling over in my mind this morning. I rest in Him…

  111. Holly D December 3, 2015 at 9:38 am #

    I am reminded to shut out the world’s craziness and keep abiding in Him! Silent Night, Holy Night! Thank you, Liz!

  112. Sara B. December 3, 2015 at 10:01 am #

    Thanks for the reminder of what it’s all really about.

  113. Pam Erselius December 3, 2015 at 10:08 am #

    I read, “putting aside things that hinder my joy” and wonder why I don’t do that more often and so I plan to do so. And I’ll replace it with putting my focus on Jesus as the gift. It’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown!

  114. neva December 3, 2015 at 10:15 am #

    Remembering Who is the star of the season, Jesus. With the busyness of the Christmas season, it is easy to lose my focus on Jesus. Stress and anxiety take over. One way for me to end each day and reconnect with Jesus, is to look to the heavens and the multitude of stars. Remembering the first Christmas-the birth of the One Who is the center, the Star of the season, Jesus Christ my Lord and Saviour.

  115. Jackie December 3, 2015 at 10:43 am #

    He is really all we need! Finding Him in all the hustle and bustle of the season is what’s important. Thank you for always pointing us to Him.

  116. Mona December 3, 2015 at 11:59 am #

    Refuge and courage – they seem opposite and yet we have to have courage to take refuge and refuel and restore ourselves.

  117. Loretta Rice December 3, 2015 at 1:05 pm #

    God has shown me to look for the joy in everything. There is joy in doing the household chores, going to work and realizing I have far more to be thankful and joyful for than I know! I am realizing the joy to be had!!
    Thank you, Liz!

  118. Kathy Toebbe December 3, 2015 at 1:17 pm #

    What a great reminder of how blessed I really am.

  119. Jill Faulkner December 3, 2015 at 1:35 pm #

    As the director of the local domestic violence shelter serving the Green River Area Development District (7 county area in Kentucky including Owensboro), God shows me every day how blessed I am. In my studies this week I learned Hallelu means all authority and praise. Jah (Yah) means God. How great it is to say Hallelujah recognizing that He is the authority and deserves all the praise.

  120. Adele December 3, 2015 at 1:49 pm #

    As I ran into His sheltering embrace, I sang to Him, out loud, O Come All Ye Faithful. It’s so amazing how singing to Him refocuses my mind back to Jesus, the very reason we are celebrating!!

  121. Pamela December 3, 2015 at 1:59 pm #

    The Lord has shown me that in a world that seems like it’s gone crazy and makes you feel out of control,that He is the one constant source of peace. He alone can make us to be happy no matter our circumstance. All we have to do is to keep our eyes and our focus upon him.

  122. Kathleen Sojka December 3, 2015 at 3:09 pm #

    Wonderful words to keep in mind during some health concerns but the joys are many! Two of my grandchildren will be coming this weekend for our traditional sugar cookie decorating. Life is good and I am so blessed.

  123. Vicki Johnson December 3, 2015 at 3:23 pm #

    What do I want for Christmas? To climb into my Heavenly Father’s lap and rest. To rest from fear, anger, greed, and too many more burdens to number. I want the rest that surrounds me with peace, joy, and delight in knowing and pleasing Him.

  124. joy nolan December 3, 2015 at 3:45 pm #

    Just taking those 90 seconds to focus on what is really important. JESUS. My whole day changed to being more positive.

  125. Mary M. December 3, 2015 at 4:23 pm #

    “Lord Jesus, keep us safe from our own foolish desires. Protect us from spending money we don’t have on things we don’t need. Let our entire focus this season be on the gift of You. Help us sing for joy so others may hear and wonder at Your goodness.” Thanks for the reminder, Liz!

    It’s so easy to put my focus on “doing” rather than being. I need His grace and strength to lay down my thoughts and plans for the “perfect” holiday and rest in His abiding presence and love. This is my prayer for the coming days and weeks.

  126. Helen Lynn December 3, 2015 at 4:43 pm #

    Abiding in Emmanuel moment by moment, loving each devotional thought that reminds me that He came to BE WITH US, living in us. I will sing of His Love forever

  127. Debbie Johnson December 3, 2015 at 5:06 pm #

    God has been so good to me.
    He has revealed to me that I need to focus more
    on Jesus & His Love instead of worrying so much
    about getting the grandkids & the kids just the right
    thing for Christmas. I worry so much about getting
    something that compares with what others get them.
    I need to be more concerned that we ALL remember
    to celebrate Christ’s Birth – not them!!!
    Thanks so much Liz for all that you do to serve our Lord
    and remind us to let some things go.

  128. Pam D. December 3, 2015 at 5:18 pm #

    I have not felt joy this Christmas season. Mostly because I am focused on checking off that “to do” list to make Christmas perfect! Now is the time to take a moment to remind ourselves of why we celebrate. Find time with Jesus and finding rest to recharge. This is where I think I will find Joy this season.

  129. Jeana Miller December 3, 2015 at 5:39 pm #

    I do take refuge in the LORD. What I realize is that I should be singing for JOY. Always. Forever.

  130. Carolyn Milnikoff December 3, 2015 at 6:13 pm #

    Over the years I’ve eliminated all the busy-ness of Christmas so that I can experience peace. Yet the Adversary does all he can to rob me of that. I’ve learned that all I really need to do is fall back into my Savior’s loving arms to find the place of peace he provides. Joy is mine for the taking!! God is Good!!

  131. Michele December 3, 2015 at 7:44 pm #

    Lizzie, He reminded me to be discerning. We so often take for granted that others know and understand His word and trust their interpretations. He reminded me that it’s my responsibility to read the word and pray and listen for His voice!

  132. Melanie December 3, 2015 at 7:53 pm #

    Such a breath of fresh air reading this week’s study! I’d like to push back the hustle and bustle and find true Joy in celebrating the birthday of our Lord and Savior. Happy Birthday Jesus!

  133. Kim G. December 3, 2015 at 11:36 pm #

    Christmas is the time to share the greatest gift….Jesus!
    A good reminder to slow down, focus on people instead of presents, and ask Christ to love others through me!

  134. kate December 3, 2015 at 11:52 pm #

    I am so often distracted by what I physically see- Chasing squirrels as we say in our household. Thanks for the opportunity to re-focus on the important things!
    Merry Christmas!

  135. kate December 3, 2015 at 11:52 pm #

    I am so often distracted by what I physically see- Chasing squirrels as we say in our household. Thanks for the opportunity to re-focus on the important things!
    Merry Christmas!

  136. Linda H December 4, 2015 at 7:07 am #

    Love any verse that has the word “refuge” in it. I want to run and lean on His everlasting arms. It gives a place to find peace and joy and all other things grow dim. I want to have that focus this Christmas and the true meaning of this time.

  137. Shirley December 4, 2015 at 1:35 pm #

    Hi Liz

    I seem to get caught up in ME and forget the true meaning of Christmas is Christ… Its ALL about HIM… Thank you for ALL your devotionals .. May we keep our eyes on the true gift JESUS…

    Thank You

  138. Alana Morgan December 4, 2015 at 2:59 pm #

    Hi Liz…..

    Happy December!

    Your words reaffirm for me that our TRUE comfort is always in the arms of Jesus! Thank you.

    May your weekend be full of blessings.

  139. Trisha McBrayer December 5, 2015 at 7:39 am #

    I have learned that I need to run away from things in this world that take our focus away from God. The stress of rushing and checking things off of our to do list is constant, but when we seek & are connected to Jesus, we can find joy, peace, and reassurance in him! What a beautiful gift that is!

  140. Jeanne Lawton December 5, 2015 at 8:03 am #

    Last week I was out running errands and felt no joy in the season. Thanks for reminding me of His love for me!

  141. Becky Brinegar December 5, 2015 at 9:17 am #

    I was reminded to be happy with all my blessings and not worry that money is tighter this year! God is great!!

  142. Susan Eaton December 5, 2015 at 9:50 am #

    After loosing my soulmate last Thanksgiving, this last year has been a struggle to find peace, joy or contentment. It was difficult to think thru the numbness.
    Several times this past week, I have been reminded of His continued presence with me and that He Knows! First by a He Knows devotional from a friend I had tucked into my Bible, a blog post about He Knows then posts of Immanuel-God with us.
    My peace, joy and contentment comes from our Gracious God. I have crawled into His lap and loving arms to find my peace and healing!
    Thank you for your wonderful words!

  143. Sherry Callaway December 6, 2015 at 9:17 am #

    6 months ago I found myself raising my 15 year old grandson after being an empty nester for along time. My life has been turned upside down. God has revealed to me the grace I have to give him in the trying times. Grace comes from my love of Christ because my adam spirit does not want to be very graceful in the tough times.

  144. Angela December 6, 2015 at 2:35 pm #

    Why do I run after “things” when I should be running to the Creator of all things! I need to stop fretting over having the “perfect” Christmas and start enjoying the many blessings I have!

  145. Jodi December 6, 2015 at 9:20 pm #

    This is exactly what I needed at this exact moment. It felt good to just breathe and finally smile about this blessed Christmas season. I am going to take at least 15 minutes every day until Christmas and just listen to God.

  146. SarahO. December 7, 2015 at 12:15 am #

    I’ve learned that even though I’m constantly looking for joy and peace at Christmas I can still forget that Christ is at the center of it. I don’t have a lot of “rush” this time of year but I lack focus and need to work on that.

  147. Shirley December 7, 2015 at 4:53 am #

    God is with me ALL the time. In every situation I can talk to Him. Immanuel…God is with us! How aware are we of that very fact? I can see His hand in my life and shudder to think of life without Him. Thank you for your posts. ??
    God bless you and yours. Happy Birthday to our Lord and Savior!!! THAT’S what it’s all about.

  148. Debbie Boone December 7, 2015 at 7:59 am #

    God’s free gift of salvation is my wish for my two sons this Christmas. Patience I am learning!!!!

  149. Jean Ward December 7, 2015 at 8:32 am #

    “Because what we really want for Christmas is peace, contentment, and deep joy” – This is what Christ wants for us peace, contentment, and deep joy but we often search for this by rushing to make sure our house is decorated, our gifts are perfect and fail to look at the real reason for the season. Why can’t we really focus on the real reason for the season?

  150. Kelly Hope December 7, 2015 at 9:47 am #

    So simple and yet so meaningful. Jesus is teaching me to run to Him for refuge first before I run to others. I love the imagery of climbing into our Heavenly Father’s lap…very comforting knowing He always stands ready to hold us no matter what we’re going through.

  151. Sylvia Babb December 7, 2015 at 5:18 pm #

    Even though I am a grandmother now, I am still His child.

  152. Angie K. December 8, 2015 at 11:03 am #

    God reveals to me time and again His love and forgiveness.

  153. Michelle Murphy December 8, 2015 at 1:33 pm #

    I am a type A personality with never ending lists – especially this time of year. There are definitely times I feel the need to hide – instead I need to take the time to “take refuge” with the one who brings peace. In an imperfect world, the only true perfection is found in Christ – may we all seek and find that peace this season!

  154. Janet December 8, 2015 at 5:51 pm #

    What God has revealed to me is putting thing in perspective, realizing what is really imortant.

  155. Joanna December 8, 2015 at 7:40 pm #

    As a single mom of a now 19 year old, I’m so used to fixing problems , depending on myself, difficult to admit or ask for help. I know I need to take refuge and am asking God to show up in big ways in my life. This time of year can be stressful and lonely when you ponder on the things you wish were different ,….an intact home for my son to grow up in, a spouse to,share life with, Lord help me to take refuge in you.

  156. Gena December 9, 2015 at 1:02 pm #

    So much has been going on in my life these past few months… so much that all I can think about is when will this year be over?! But, His Word and His promises remind me that no matter what year, or where I am, or my circumstances, HE is in control and the only one and thing that matters. Thank you Lord for coming to us and being our refuge and our strength.

  157. Karen December 11, 2015 at 12:29 pm #

    My husband and I were just talking about enjoying our lives instead of being stressed out all the time. Looking forward to what is going to do for us is something that spoke to me today. Thank you.

  158. Jo December 15, 2015 at 3:41 pm #

    Thank you so much. This post helped refocus me on the Peace and Love Christmas brings. A much needed reminder this year.

  159. Cheri W. December 15, 2015 at 3:54 pm #

    Liz, thanks for the encouraging words. This year seems to be a mixed bag of feelings for me about the season. I have, however, realized that no matter how crazy the world gets around us, Jesus loves me as I am , for who I am. Imperfections included. Through my husband (a gift from God) He shows me what true love really is. I know that God is always there and that He made me a beautiful mess! Now, just breathe! Merry Christmas!