Marisa Shadrick's Blog

Finding quiet strength in Jesus Christ

Share Jesus at Christmas

 © Lightstock

Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt,

so that you will know how you should respond to each person.

Colossians 4:6 New American Standard Bible

Christmas Traditions Open Doors

This week, I decorated my Christmas tree. A well-worn box contained handmade ornaments. Each ornament told a story, but the story I wanted my two-year-old granddaughter to understand would be hard to tell. How do you communicate Jesus to a toddler distracted by tinsel, lights and colorful ornaments?

Goodwill

 © Lightstock

“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

Luke 2:14 New King James Version

Hearts are often receptive to learn about Jesus during the Christmas season. But busyness leaves little margin for unexpected opportunities. I recently learned how to show goodwill amid the bustle.

Prince of Peace

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6 New American Standard Bible

Is your neighborhood decorated with inflatable holiday characters? These air-blown figures display a miniature version of the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade, but come morning; front yards look like Mr. Grinch murdered our holiday friends. Heaps of unrecognizable characters lie motionlessly deflated on the ground. Sometimes, holiday pressure releases a Grinch virus that kills our Christmas cheer and deflates our elated hearts.

I’m sending my weekly post a day early to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours!

View More: http://capturethestory.pass.us/marisa

 

I’ve included a beautiful video, from around the world, expressing a heart of gratitude–even during hard times. (You’ll need a tissue.)  

If you have a prayer request this holiday season, share it in the comments below. I’ll be sure to add you to my prayer list. 

Give Thanks

Thanksgiving brings our high-speed life to a pause. We ponder and mentally list our blessings with gratitude. But if we’re struggling and plodding through disappointments, frustrations, and even persecution, learning how to change a bad attitude into gratitude can be difficult but not impossible.  

Trust

By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way

and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night.”

 Exodus 13:21 New International Version

 

The Bible is full of true stories proving God guides ordinary people like you and me. But, what does it mean to be led by God in the 21st century? How do we recognize God’s direction?

A Little is Enough

A Little Goes a Long Way

We may think our little contributions or random acts of kindness aren’t enough to impress God.  After all, when you think about the great men and women of the Bible, it’s hard to include yourself in the “faith” hall of fame.

Even words uttered in prayer may momentarily seem static when fleeting thoughts scream, all I can do is pray! 

Your Opinion Matters

I have a huge favor to ask of you. Would you complete this 20-question survey so I can tweak and improve my blog for 2015?

 

First Complete the Survey:

The survey will be active between October 10th – October 26thUse the scroll bar to answer all 20 questions.

 

Make a Wrong-Right

 Istockphoto/Yuri

Repentance is a Miracle

“Sah-we, mommy,” whispered my eighteen-month-old granddaughter. Tears rolled down her face.

An apology can be difficult, but for Audrey, it was the first time this toddler realized she had offended her mother.

My daughter and I had decided to take Audrey to the library. It was her first visit and the closest thing to an amusement park. She was mesmerized by the colorful display of books, toys, interactive computers, puppet stage and miniature chairs that brought the adult world to her size.

Young woman in warm clothing stretching her arms on the beach

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

Ephesians 6:12 New American Standard Bible

The Toastmasters’ speech contest began. I was the first contestant.

I had given many club speeches, but this contest was different. I remembered my first and only competition where I was disqualified for exceeding the allocated time– by a few seconds.