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A is for Adam

When my daughters lived at home, we celebrated advent with a Jesse Tree. It’s an old accustom dated back to the medieval times. With symbols, the story of Jesus’ ancestry is told from Genesis to His birth, crucifixion, and resurrection.

Using this idea, I’m going to attempt to combine the Jesse Tree with the alphabet challenge.

A is for Adam

The woman saw that the tree was good for food, pleasing to the eyes, and the tree was desirable for gaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened and they knew that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves. (Genesis 3:6‐7)

Creativity on the Loose

Creativity on the Loose

God created all that was and is from nothing. And He saw that it was good. On the sixth day, He created man in His image. He called the man Adam and gave him dominion over all other creatures in the air, sea, and on dry land. Adam named the animals and loved them. But he was lonely. So God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep then formed a mate for him. Adam called her Eve. The couple enjoyed the perfect world God had created for them. They also enjoyed God’s companionship. He visited them every evening and walked through the garden with them.

God had given Adam and Eve one rule to live by—Do not eat from the tree in the center of the garden, which was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. All other vegetation was permissible for them. Nevertheless, Eve found the fruit of the forbidden tree enticing and the desire to be like God even more tempting. So Satan disguised himself as a serpent, luring Eve into eating the fruit. She, in turn, convinced Adam to join her. Immediately, they saw that they were naked and hid themselves from the Lord. Because of their disobedience, God cast them out of the garden. He cursed the serpent, the land, and the couple. At the same time, He promised to send a redeemer to rescue humans from the curse.

During the next 25 days, we discover the steps God took to fulfill that promise.

You can read the events of the creation and Adam and Eve’s fall in the first three chapters of Genesis.

How about you? What reminds you of Jesus that starts with the letter A?

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

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M is for Man

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)

The Word Became FleshContinuing the alphabet challenge, I chose Man for my M-word.

The first sin occurred out of Eve’s desire to be like God. Since then, humans have attempted to become gods. The pharaohs of Egypt claimed to be gods. Some religions, to this day, foster the idea their priests are deity or descendants of gods. Even within common households, one or the other spouse insists on god/goddess-like treatment. Everyone around the person on the pedestal must cater to the majesty’s every whim. And the “most-high” never takes the blame for their own misconduct and certainly would never step down from their throne to serve someone else. Self-centeredness defines the ways of the gods.

Nevertheless while many humans try to achieve the position of a god, only one God stepped down from His throne to serve humanity. Jesus Christ, not only humbled Himself by putting on the flesh of man, He took the punishment of all our sins upon Himself. After He died, He rose again—in the flesh (1 Timothy 3:16). Jesus fully God … fully Man, sacrificed all He had and was to give us all we could ask for.

How about you? What M-word describes one of God’s attributes to you?

See you in a twinkling,
Brenda K. Hendricks

L is for Lamb and Lion

Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed.” (Revelation 5:5)

The Lamb and the Lion

The Lamb and the Lion

While waiting on his mommy at the doctor’s office, three-year-old Eli walked with me, exploring the halls of the hospital. I picked him up so he could see out the window. He wrapped his arms around my neck and said, “Yes, carry me,” an unusual request from that active little fellow. I relished the opportunity to snuggle him.

At home, the little lamb in Eli often sleeps while he chases the dogs, jumps off the furniture, and otherwise, terrorizes his mother. He’s a healthy, happy boy. We all understand healthy, happy boys run, rip, and roar. Not a problem. But then, the lion in the child shows up. And Eli not only roars, he attempts to add biting, hitting, kicking, and wrestling to the mix. Of course, the little cub finds himself in time out. Meanwhile, I scratch my head, wondering what happened to the little lamb.

We all have “lambs” and “lions” within, waiting for a cue from us as to which we’ll release in any given situation. It seems to be part of human nature.

Even so, can there be two animal natures less alike? A lamb—meek, vulnerable, dependent—relies on a shepherd for his very existence. However, a lion—independent, fierce, murderous—prowls around, seeking those he may devour.

Both characteristics fit most people at one time or another. Even the gentlest people have “lion” moments. Likewise the most ruthless person has a “lamb” moment every now and the. When we consider Jesus’ attributes, we often hear Jesus referenced as the Lamb. And that’s how we prefer to think of Him—meek, loving, and sacrificial. Nevertheless, the Bible also refers to Jesus as the Lion of Judah—a mighty force, a consuming fire, THE CONQUERING KING. When He returns, Jesus will be prepared for war and will destroy all those who oppose Him. If you don’t know Him, the thought should strike fear into your soul like the breath of a lion on your neck.

How about you? What “L” word comes to your mind that describes Jesus?

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

K is for Keeper

The Lord is your keeper … (Psalm 121:5 AMP)

My Wedding Day

My Wedding Day

Continuing the Alphabet Challenge, I’ve chosen Keeper for my K word.

I knew Gene was a keeper from the onset of our relationship. That’s why I married him. Turns out instead being my keeper, he became my keeper. He keeps me happy by entertaining my creativity. He keeps food on the table—not only through working, but also by cooking most of our meals. He keeps me healthy, insisting I take my vitamins. He keeps me entertained with his sense of humor. He keeps me secure with his strong arms in a comfortable house. Yep, Gene is definitely a keeper by both definitions of the word.

 

Jesus Seeks the Rejected

Jesus Seeks the Rejected

Jesus is also a Keeper. For what He has done for me on the cross, I’ll keep Him in my heart forever. He is also my keeper. He keeps me safe and secure in His everlasting love. He keeps working on me to create a Christ-like image in me. He keeps me on the right path so I won’t sin against Him. He keeps forgiving me when I stray off that path. He keeps watch over me at night so I can rest. He keeps the sun, moon, and stars on course so I can enjoy another day. Yep, Jesus is definitely my Keeper.

How about you what K word do you use to describe our Lord?

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

J is for Jealous

 Be careful not to forget the covenant of the Lord your God that he made with you; do not make for yourselves an idol in the form of anything the Lord your God has forbidden.  For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God. (Deuteronomy 4:23-24)

Continuing the Alphabet Challenge, I chose Jealous for my “J” word.

Hunter loves our grandactives. He gets excited when they visit. He plays with them and allows them to crawl on him and use him for a pillow. Yep, it’s all fun and games until I pay attention to one of the children. At that point, Hunter gets jealous. He demands my undivided attention, especially when other people enter the house or call on the phone.

Although Hunter’s got a good handle on it, he’s not the only one in our house with a jealous streak. The grandactives all do their share of “Bee, hold me.” “Bee, watch this.” “Bee, come here.” “Bee, I want … .” All of their demands stem from their desire to have my undivided attention. They’re jealous.

Then again, I must confess I, too, have my own “green-eyed monster” to learn to control.

Jealousy is one of those traits we all abhor. We correct our kids. We chastise ourselves. We work pretty hard to overcome the nasty self-centeredness that leads to jealousy—a most intolerable sin.

But wait …

God says He is a jealous God. What’s up with that? He cannot sin. Is there such a thing as righteous jealousy?

Apparently, there is. God becomes jealous when we flirt with other gods and put earthly pleasures before Him. He calls it idol worship. He wants all of our love, affection, and allegiance without exception. He wants us to devote our lives to Him, to worship Him alone, and to seek His face daily. He wants our undivided attention when we come to Him in prayer. He has the right to such demands. He is our Creator, our Sustainer, and our Father.

Since He is my Father, I think I have inherited His jealous streak. But unlike the Lord, I have to check mine and be sure I’m jealous over righteous things—like the time I spend with Him, and the time I spend with my family.

How about you? What “J” word comes to your mind when you think about God? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks


I is for Impartial

“Now let the fear of the Lord be on you. Judge carefully, for with the Lord our God there is no injustice
or partiality or bribery.” (2 Chronicles 19:7)

Continuing the Alphabet Challenge, I chose Impartial for my “I” word.

“Mother always loved you best.” The punchline of Tommy and Dick Smothers always got a laugh from their audience. Maybe because it hit so close to home. Parents are often accused of showing partiality to certain children. In our family, my mother showed favoritism toward my older sisters and my brother. Of course if you asked any of them, they’d tell you she favored me.

The truth, for most families, is the obedient child receives rewards while the rebellious child reaps consequences. Godly parents are impartial. They offer the same rewards and consequences to all their children. Each child choices which course he/she takes, thereby, determines whether he/she receives favors or punishment.

And we’re the same way with our Heavenly Father. We rebel. We turn our backs. We refuse to obey. Then we accuse God of showing partiality. But God offers mercy and grace to all who will come to Him with a repentant heart (2 Peter 3:9).

How about you? What “I” word comes to mind that describes God?

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

H is for Helper

So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (Hebrews 13:6)

Continuing the alphabet challenge, H if for Helper:

Pray for HelpIn preparation for the PA Renaissance Faire, I’m making fairy princess wings and dragon wings. And my grandactives volunteer their help without hesitation, pulling out the pins as I instruct them. Acquiring help for certain projects comes easily, especially when you have volunteers.

However other tasks, I stubbornly work on myself, refusing to seek assistance—like the day I decided to strip the paper off my living room walls and replace it with a fresh coat of paint. The endeavor turned out to be almost more than I could handle. I got the project finished by myself. But it took about three times longer than I thought it would. Through the ordeal, I learned a valuable lesson … I can’t do what I did thirty years ago, or at least not so gracefully. Bottom line: there’s no shame in asking for help.

Most of us trudge through life in much the same way too headstrong to seek help. We take on unnecessary struggles, stress, and heartache that way. If the Lord is our helper like the above verse suggests, we should call out to Him for help before we find ourselves “waist deep in tacky strips of steamed-off wallpaper.” Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit as our comforter, guide, and yes, helper (John 14:16-17, 26; 15:26).

I don’t know about you, but I’m learning to ease the stress in everyday life by asking for help early in the morning.

How about you? What H words come to mind that describe our God?

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks