Thursday, November 30, 2017

The Christmas Names of Jesus: Wonderful Counselor

by Danetta Kellar

You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. John 8:32, HCSB

There’s nothing like the truth to make me mad. 

Throughout my life, God has sent many truth-speakers to me. They have come in various forms, some like sugar cubes, some like hammers. Some have been strangers and others have been true friends. A few have even been enemies.

And almost every time the truth was offered up to me, no matter its manner, I tried to smile on the outside while brimming over with frustration and resistance on the inside. The truth challenges my comfort. It pushes on walls I have built, and threatens to change the landscape of my heart and life. 

Truth demands I see people. 

Truth makes me evaluate my smug opinions and think harder, differently, from angles I have not previously considered. Truth is, after all, a stone that makes men stumble and a rock that makes men fall, a double-edged sword so sharp that it can divide bone from marrow. (See Romans 9:33 and Hebrews 4:12)

But despite my inner resistance to truth, I hunger for it like a starving child. 

And it has grown me into the person I am today, and will continue to grow me until I stand face to face with Truth Himself one day in heaven.

Truth is the heart of wise counsel, and truth sets captives free to move beyond trauma, abuse, abandonment, and loss.

One of my favorite Christmas names of Jesus is Wonderful Counselor.  

As a follower of the Messiah, I have a counselor at the ready every moment. He walks with me, talks with me, and tells me things about myself I cannot see on my own. He knows who I was destined to be, for He created me. He calls me up higher and higher toward the purpose for which I was made. The love of the Wonderful Counselor leads me toward the best me I can be.

This Christmas, think on the counsel you allow into your life. 

Is it founded in the wisdom and counsel of the Wonderful Counselor, Jesus Christ? Eliminate any counsel that is not, for that counsel does not know you, did not make you, does not see your future. But Jesus does. And he will always, for the rest of your life, lead you toward the truth that sets men and women free.

Dear Wonderful Counselor, lead me in truth this Christmas season and shape me into who I am destined to be. Amen.


Thursday, November 23, 2017

Mambui's Teacup

by Danetta Kellar

The pattern was Old Country Roses by Royal Albert. 

My delicate, fine bone china teacup and saucer were the most lovely items I possessed in the little mud house. We had left our finery behind a year before to move to the remote bush of East Africa to work with the Aduruma tribe.

A friend had brought the teacup and saucer back to me from a trip home to England, and I treasured it. 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Brian's Gift

For Brian and all who loved him.

by Danetta Kellar

His favorite Christmas song was The Little Drummer Boy

And like the little drummer in the song, Brian Elbertson brought his gift to the King, and made Him smile.

This is the story of a gift of unexpected gratitude, given long before its recipients ever became aware. This is an incredible tale of how grace begins to grow before we even know it, and one day shocks us with its beauty.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Extraordinary Miracles

This month I am featuring stories where gratitude has come from unexpected places. Today's story has grown my faith as I have watched it unfold, and I know it will yours, too. #unexpectedgratitudestories

Guest post by Libby McCraw

When I married 26 years ago, I assumed that our married life would follow an ordinary path:  marriage, babies and “happy ever after.”  

I had not considered the fact that God may have an extraordinary path planned for me.  I had not considered that our “happy ever after” may include some dark times that would require me to trust in Him to get me through.  

Thursday, November 2, 2017

The Pearl

God has promised us riches out of darkness, treasures out of secret places. It is this unexpected gratitude in life’s difficult passages that reveals our Lord most clearly. He is the One who calls you and I by name, the One who knows us. Join me this month as I share true stories of gratitude found in unexpected places.

by Danetta Kellar

Deep in the dark ocean, inside the silence of a mollusk shell, an accident occurs. 

A minuscule intruder makes its way into the unsuspecting host, creating an irritation that leads to the formation of a protective sac, called the pearl sac. For protection from the violating bacteria, the mollusk repeatedly pumps the sac with pure calcium carbonate and conchiolin. This reaction to pain creates one of nature’s most exquisite and sought-after gems, the pearl.

Suffering and sorrow can bury the human soul deeper than the darkness of any ocean floor. 

The loss of a child can drown one in such deep pain that no light can be seen. At least for a time.