"The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion — to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair."~from ISAIAH 61 Bible verse for this Blog

APOLOGY to READERS who followed a SEARCH to HERE & didn't find it

On July 18, 2017, I drafted almost 3000 blog posts that I had published since 2008 when I began blogging, rather than edit each one. So if you clicked here from somewhere else and ended up with the post unavailable or error, I am sorry but this is why. It'd be too much work for me to go back and fix them. There's an explanation on 7/19/17 as I'm still learning.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Ending 2019 EMBRACED ...

yet still



finding there is still so much to


It truly is an endless list when you spend a full year
One Word

all that
opens up
lays before you
revealing in your life
so much that you can focus on
and really learn to

You discover so much more with God
as you're

"...A Time to Embrace and a time to Refrain from Embracing..."

Ecclesiastes 3:5

however this was not my focus of "embrace"

As you glance through even just this past month of December, you will notice that I found much "to embrace" during Advent, that had nothing to do with the meaning in the Ecclesiastes verse - I took time to EMBRACE Advent in a new way where weekly there was a theme of EMBRACING Hope, Peace, Joy, Love, leading up to Christmas Day, EMBRACING JESUS - perhaps, at this point, you might want to look back at my blog post where I defined "EMBRACE" and without specifically planning this, I ended up precisely where I wrote ... the "Ultimate Embrace" being that which is with Jesus! 

This is where my One Word has led me to...the arms of Jesus, and realizing it will not end at the strike of midnight of 2019 but continue on into this new decade of 2020 and moreso, on to eternity and God will continue to show me so much more I can EMBRACE in every season, in this earthly life and concepts that I have "EMBRACED" this past year like Gratitude, Silence, Worship, Being Transformed, Being Called, Hurts & Heartache, Trust, His Fullness, Spiritual Discernment, Contentment, and many more without any blog post, were encountered afresh, with a new sense of awe and wonder, because I leaned into EMBRACING HIM - JESUS - in every one of them and how much that drew us closer in our relationship, in His Word and other places I was reading, He was and is more present, as I was, and more aware of His EMBRACE throughout this journey this past year. 

I found out how really aMazing it is to EMBRACE Grace through Jesus and with Jesus, as His EMBRACE allowed me to hold on completely and grasp old things in a new way, depending on His clasp in His arms to see me through, many a night and many days, with fondness and a much greater scope - becoming a cause now which I gladly was ready to face and take up, knowing that Jesus is with me (us) every step of the way, even if or when we fall or fail, He so there and ready to EMBRACE me (us) - how much more can One Word do? To come to a place of EMBRACING the surrender of every part of every thing to and with Him. Finding there is so much to EMBRACE; and the value of EMBRACING and being EMBRACED cannot be any greater than when Jesus is the One, who EMBRACES me and who I EMBRACE ever so dearly, ever so nearly, ever so clearly ... an EMBRACE that is lasting! 

Hold on - there is much more of a Heavenly Embrace coming! I can't wait! and how I want to be sure my earthly embraces are not wasted. That every soul still matters, every prayer still counts, every promise is true, every one of us need Jesus! 

[We certainly should be trying to be more like Him, transformed to being what He desires and plans, and enough of the ways of this world, how we sadly are speaking, writing (derrogatory comments to other children of God, believers), acting in such a manner toward one another ... not reflecting His image at all as His Church]. 

So for 2020, I will continue to EMBRACE God's Promises and keep Praying for more of Jesus, and more accepting Jesus & His Way, His Truth and His Light in the darkness around this world. 

know how much

...but sadly
we are not finished
we are not ready

is not finished
with us



"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." Philippians 4:8

and then
this way


There is still so much more to this
One Word

{this was only the beginning}
I was aMazed at how often this One Word showed up 
this past year when I was not looking for it.

"...Everything changes when we understand and fully
God's aMazing design for growing us
and giving us fruitful, meaningful
abundant life."
(from Beth Moore, about her new book to be published Feb.4, 2020)
* my emphasis, not hers, hers might be "flourish"

I will go into



more of God's

aMazing Grace






In 2019, Jesus
I will better
all His Word says
as Promises so that
His Promises
for me & others
in need of


Thursday, December 26, 2019



while finishing

... Knowing God is Holding Me (YouClose

Part 4: 
His Calling to be Transformed
Lysa TerKeurst

Devotions #96 - 100
{publishing now before I've finished 
so that is why it looks so incomplete 
since I'm reading these now from
Thurs., Dec. 26-Dec.30}


96. "The Scribbled Truth that Changed My Life" Acts 3:6

" I will never doubt the power of one woman reaching into the life of another woman with some written whispers of love."


97. "Getting Past My Past" 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

"God truly can take even our worst mistakes and somehow bring good from them."

I am sure that this one is the best one for me, or anyone trying to finish 2019 well

I'll be back to complete


98. "Pushing Past Awkward" *not linked* Galatians 1:10
{*couldn't find this one}

"Appointments and disappointments walk hand in hand."


99. "Life-Saving Truth" Psalm 119:92-93

"The minute we receive Jesus *yeah* to be Lord of our lives, our limited potential can turn into expotential growth."


100. "Called to Freedom" Phillipians 1:6

"Some prisons don't require bars to keep people locked inside. All it takes is their perception that they belong there."


I really do not have any of my own gems of wisdom about "getting past your past" because I would have less difficulties if someone was not throwing it in my face constantly (as a defense or an excuse or a vendetta) ... for I believe in Jesus Christ, I have gotten through and past my past because after it's confessed, God forgets as far as 'the east is from the west' and I've tried to do this as well with Him and the aMazing Grace He bestows on me.

I came across 10 steps (as if 'getting past the past' would ever be that easy) however these are very helpful & basic to begin:

  1. "Accept the past." ...
  2. "Feel your feelings" ...
  3. "Stop Story Telling"...
  4. "Let it go"...
  5. "Forgive" ...
 {oh, if you'd like more info and the rest, please continue with the source this comes from Grace F. blogger at Heartful Habits}

Now I'm sure that you (or I) could have come up with these helpful steps as ones we do 'to get past' however there are some things that are in our past (or most) that have happened so that God really would like to use lessons from our past as we own our history and the lessons learned or yet to learn; yet there are also events in our past that have impacted us that are out of our control and not anything chosen by us, it alters our lives and us (mostly our heart and mind but I'm finding out even our body). We wonder why did God allow this or how does this bring God any glory. We read and believe in God's Word that He works out all things for our good ... and sometimes, at the time, we certainly can't see any good in it or that could possibly come from it, then later in retrospect we notice the good ... the rest of that verse (Romans 8:28) sets up some conditions however, "for those who love" the Lord and "have been called according to His purpose", which is the part of this last section 4 in "EMBRACED ..." says "His Calling to be transformed". It is God's heart and call to all of us to come to Him. Of course, I researched this verse and perhaps you may have questions also about what it means ... among many sources, I have chosen this one as the most concise explanation. To be transformed ... changed. His calling ... I see this as God's constant tug on us to draw close, like calling on a phone or knocking on the door of our hearts. His heart desires us and opens the door whenever we come, of our own free will to acknowledge our need and dependency on Him. Actually it's an interdependency and the best relationship available to each of us. 

There's good and not so good and bad in our past, from evil to very poor choices or decisions with unhealthy outcomes and habits formed that need to be broken. Part of the reason with each passing of every year to a new year, we say 'goodbye to auld lang syne' (lol) and in the past or maybe some of you still do ... make resolutions, which are basically promises to make changes; to resolve a situation, or course of action, firmly deciding to find a solution ... it's really found in Jesus, through God's Word. We need not just do this on New Year's Eve or Day but truthfully each wrong choice, every day, any moment ... choose to EMBRACE a fresh start, leave the past behind and do better. That's our hope! That's our solution! That's the path Jesus wants for us in our journey forward; to hold on to the good, build on the good, get rid of the not-so-good, and eliminate the bad. Yes, we have some issues in our pasts that seem unmoveable and unchangeable and unnecessary and ones we had no choice in ... the scribbled Truth is available to make our lives change and the impossible obstacles possible as we cling to God and all Jesus makes possible!

"Dear Lord, only You can heal my deepest hurts and use the bad in my life for good. I need You more and more each day. Please continue to work in my life and use me as a light to help those You have entrusted to me." (and remove the ones that are no longer that, making this clear










to move forward





Tuesday, December 24, 2019


Christmas Eve
and Christmas Day
and for
All this year of 2019
into 2020 and
on & on

I will be

Image result for woman embracing jesus

"... The word EMBRACE means more than just accept Jesus as Savior. It means to clasp or hold in the arms; to hug; to surround." ... *source
*from article by Bill Burns, Faith Tabernacle

"It's time to really EMBRACE this God-life."
for the above and the 7 points that follow
 Alyson (blogger) from a 'Beth Moore' study/LPL event

Mark 11:22-24 (MSG)

"7 points on “Embracing This God-Life.”
1. There’s a WORLD of difference between accepting and embracing. Mark 12:30
2. A hug requires an arm, an embrace takes the heart. Colossians 3:9-10
3. Sometimes we have to wrestle our way to a real embrace. (Genesis 32 & 33)
4. Embrace your place in the Gospel story. Philippians 3:12-14  
5. Embrace whatever suffering accompanies your Christ-following. Matthew 16:24-26 (MSG)
6. Wholly embrace the One who has embraced you. Luke 15: 11-32
7. Know there is a time to embrace and a time to refrain. Ecclesiastes 3:5 

"Embracing Jesus"
by John Piper

"The Blessed Embrace"
~ Beth Moore 


I truly was hoping to compose my own thoughts about "Embracing Jesus" but truthfully, this is already late and I'm thinking that both Beth Moore (through Alyson) and her videos also plus John Piper cover this well, & I certainly wouldn't have had better points than these wonderful writers ... and as I think most of you know, Sarah Young also has written "Embracing Jesus' Love" as part of a "Jesus Always..." Bible Study Series. The rest of the "Jesus Always..." title is "Embracing Joy in His Presence." Isn't this exactly what we hope to do coming through Advent to this very night of Christmas Eve? EMBRACE Jesus, Embrace Jesus' Love and Embrace all the Joy we can in His Presence.

I really wanted to have this published in time for Christmas Eve, so that I could wish all of you, a beautiful and Merry Christmas, filled with Jesus and all His rich blessings of Love, for you and yours! {so pardon me for sharing the work of other'sas you and I go about the eve surrounding ourselves (our loved ones) with the joy, love, hope and peace that Jesus brings as we hold on dearly to memories of Christmas Eves in the past and the ones yet to come, but if we have EMBRACED Jesus, from our hearts, it'll be a forever EMBRACE of Jesus for all eternity. Glory to our King! Peace on earth (in our homes and in our nation)! May God bless you, everyone, with the true spirit of CHRISTmas with a "Blessed Embrace" from our precious Lord, Jesus Christ!

~ Love & Peace in Christ ~

Sunday, December 22, 2019




{which clearly is a very short week}

Christmas Eve
{this link is to a Jesuit community site, Creighton University,
which is Roman Catholic,
but really good resource on Advent & an Online Retreat}

The following words are from the beginning and the end of their page:

"The whole purpose of these Advent pages has been to help us find intimacy with God in the midst of our everyday lives.  So we have focused on using the background times of our days to create an interior atmosphere that allows us to wait, to hope, to come into contact with our longing and our desire. ... For all of us, the story behind these days can draw us in, and invite us to bring our lives to the mystery of how Jesus came into this world and why.  Our best preparation for the Holy Night ahead and the Joyful Morning to follow is for us to reflect upon how He came.  He came in the midst of scandal and conflict.  He came in poverty.  He was rejected before He was born.  He was born in a feed trough.  He was hunted down.  And He grew up in obscurity. He did not shun our world and its poverty and conflict.  HE EMBRACED IT.  And HE desires to EMBRACE us today, in this day.  Right where we are. Right where we are feeling most distant.  Right were we are feeling least “religious” or “ready.” * If we let Him come into our hearts to be our Savior these challenging days, we will find ourselves entering the sacred night and morning of Christmas “joyful and triumphant” as never before."

With the message written in the between (where I have ...), we might have a better grasp of EMBRACING LOVE, because we will read about what "some of us" experience in our lives these days leading to Christmas and these few days that now precede our celebration of Jesus' LOVE on Christmas morn. No greater LOVE!

 still there are 5 days in the book
"Come and Behold Him"
TPT, by Brian Simmons

{so I'll have to read all in 3 days or omit the last ones}

is coming
I have the
to unwrap
(and so can you)

{as the above *boxed words in green share}


Day 1 The Faithful, Steadfast, Never-Failing Love of God
(Psalm 89:1–4,19–26)
Day 2 The Hero-God Who Saves the Day (Luke 1:67–79)
Day 3 The Loyal God Who Loves by Remembering Us
(Luke 1:70–75)
Day 4 Have You Heeded the Warning of Jesus’ Paul Revere?
(Luke 1:76–77)
Day 5 Do You Know How Much God Loves You? This Much!
(Luke 1:78–79)"

Brian Simmons, Come and Behold Him (The Passion Translation): Advent Devotional (Kindle Locations 56-67). BroadStreet Publishing 

what more needs to be said then 1 John 4:16-18 & John 3:16:
God is Love
God LOVES us
(even before we love Him)
and that
Perfect love casts out fear
Psalm 136:23-25 declares:
... for His steadfast LOVE endures forever...

"...God, I need a hero this Christmas season, and I know of others who need a hero too. I pray that You would be for me and for them what Zechariah prophesied— a mighty Savior, come to rescue me and put my broken, busted world back together again. Amen (day 2)

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, I thank You for the ministry of John, who lovingly prepared the hearts of people to receive You as Savior and King. Help me make room in my life for You, my Savior, this Advent season. Amen. (day 4)

My holy Hero-God, thank You for breaking in upon the world in holy visitation two thousand years ago, all because of Your deep, deep love for us. Amen. (day 5)

Advent Christmas Eve Prayer
Almighty God, You have given Your only-begotten Son to take our nature upon Him, and to be born this day of a pure virgin: Grant that we, who have been born again and made Your children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by Your Holy Spirit; through our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom with You and the same Spirit be honor and glory, now and forever. Amen."

I hope to have another blog post on
which in part is

Pray: Father, I realize that Your mission is all about love. You love us so much that You gave us the most precious One in the universe, Your Son Jesus Christ.
This season is the season of giving, but it can also be tainted by selfishness, greed, and despair. Keep us away from the thieves that would steal the message and joy of Christmas. Surely You taught us to love one another!
from Lifeway's devotion
"Living a Life of LOVE!"

Sunday, December 15, 2019






...The third candle is pink and symbolizes Joy. It is called the “Shepherd's Candle,” and is pink because rose is a liturgical color for joy." 

{in last week blog post,  the source where I shared this from 
had "shepherd" written as "shepard" - I apologize}


Now I don't know how your year has gone, or how your Advent or Christmas season is going, and I won't assume yours is like mine, or busy as most people at this time, but that's one blessing of aging, or family not near to gather; however, somehow that takes away from some of that contagious Joy ...

Anyways, I am so thankful that no matter how my year has gone or this season is going; Advent helps me to focus on these 4 themes/virtues: Hope, Peace, Joy and next week's. As much as I needed PEACE this past week after how my first week went with HOPE (seemingly quite hopeless once again, as I fought what the enemy tries to destroy, take away and rob me of these treasures far too often - not this season, he won't and he can't, not this year, not anymore, ever. I'm done or better yet, he's done). I'm tired of battling against this. I'm done with not having JOY (and the others) present in my life each day. There is no reason for it. I EMBRACE Jesus and HE embraces me.

This is why I believe or think as we prepare our hearts each end of the year for Jesus, reflect on our past year, truly repent for not allowing these to be prominent in how we intentionally live a Christian life, and change the world around us, right at home, right in us, that we miss out on this season's purpose when we don't show Hope, Peace, Joy ... I am so glad that we pause to let these seep into our lives and fill us to the brim each year, so it can't help but overflow as we get ready to begin anew. 

These four weeks focused on Hope, Peace, Joy and ---- are key to our daily living as people who EMBRACE all Jesus is, has and gives to us, with putting Jesus first, Others next, and then You (but don't forget You, because You need to take care of yourself and changes you need, as well as your personal needs so that you can care for others better) - it's all in the package of JOY! Jesus exemplified this in His life, from His birth to His death and even after ... Hope, Peace, Joy and mostly the one for next week. But aren't these all intertwined in our journey with Jesus? 

I definitely am speaking to myself - I need more JOY in me! So I'm looking forward to this third week EMBRACING JOY - no matter what comes in this week or the future, I want Jesus' JOY more than ever 'oozing' from me and through me. Much like our Shepherd when we find Him, the shepherds rejoiced when they found Him. Such JOY! There are many examples of JOY in the Christmas story; from Elizabeth, to her babe (John), to Mary. May this JOY be found in you and me. Reading to seek this JOY.

"Come and Behold Him"
TPT, by Brian Simmons

reading/linking in The Passion Translation (TPT)
this part of the Christmas story from the book of

Day 1 Lord, Do It Again! (Psalm 126
Day 2 Mary’s Head-Turning Response to Her Remarkable News (Luke 1:46–55
Day 3 The God Who Works Mighty Miracles (Luke 1:46–51) 
Day 4 The Story about the Greatest Reversal Ever!
(Luke 1:52-53) 
Day 5 The Never-Forgetting, Always Promise-Keeping God (Luke 1: 54–55)

Brian Simmons, Come and Behold Him (The Passion Translation): Advent Devotional (Kindle Locations 45-56). BroadStreet Publishing Group LLC. Kindle Edition.


*Some good resource articles, in case you need some help EMBRACING JOY:
1) Nine Simple Practices to Embrace Joy
2) The Most Powerful Way to Embrace Joy; Nicole Kauffman
3) 5 Ways to Embrace Joy; Dominee
4) ... Joy after 60; Michele Meier Vosberg 
5) How to Embrace Joy, even When It Feels Hard; Paula Jenkins (she even offers a course on "You & Joy Unleashed") sign me up (lol)



So I share from one of my reading plans at You Version again:

"The second attribute of Christ we see in advent is joy. The joy of the coming of our Savior. Luke 6:23 tells us to “Rejoice in that day and leap for joy”. The word for joy that is used is ‘cara’ which means a calm delight, exceeding gladness, fullness of joy. 

The joy we find in Christ is different from happiness. Joy gladdens the spirit while happiness gladdens the flesh. Happiness is determined by outside influences, or happenings, while joy is an infilling of the Holy Spirit, no matter what may be going on around you. The joy of God is an ongoing pouring in from Him to you. We are joyous during advent because He promised to come and be our propitiation from sin and His promise to come again to gather us to Him for eternity! " ... Illuminate Advent, day 3

"Lord, I need You to do it again! Do for me this season what You did for Israel and for the world when You sent Your Son: rescue me and restore me to (for) my former glory, so that I may return with joyful laughter. Amen." (day 1, "Come and Behold Him", Lord, Do it Again)

Leaps of Joy, Jumping for Joy
with the
10 Lords a Leaping
(in my younger days)
{so I'll just sing for now}

"Finding Purpose, Hope and Joy
through Jesus' Birth"
{another wonderful plan at YouVersion, I'm doing}
Day 15
"Sunday, Joy Comes from God"
to the World

to your world
and to

Sunday, December 8, 2019






Because of the week I had last week while EMBRACING HOPE, I am more than thrilled that this week, I can EMBRACE PEACE ... I really need this! Quite often, the order and themes vary, and Peace is not the one for this second week as the YouVersion reading plan "Illiminate Advent" that I added to last week's, does not have Peace, but Joy... and perhaps you have a different one in your Advent plan. I read this in my search for: 

"what does the 2nd candle of Advent mean?"


...* "The second candle, also purple, represents faith. It is called the “Bethlehem Candle” as a reminder of Mary and Joseph's journey to Bethlehem 
{removed the part on the third candle, shared next week}

... and the one for last week, the First week of Advent:

... "The first candle, which is purple, symbolizes Hope. It is sometimes called the “Prophecy Candle” in remembrance of the prophets, especially Isaiah, who foretold the birth of Christ. It represents the expectation felt in anticipation of the coming Messiah." *

Finally the one we need for this second week:

..."On the fourth week of Advent, we light the final purple candle to mark the final week of prayer and penance as we wait for the birth of our Savior. This final candle, the “Angel’s Candle,” symbolizes Peace. It reminds us of the message of the angels: “Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward Men.” *
{sorry, I added this after this was first published}
Knowing this, might help you better understand the readings chosen from the Bible (God's Word) in some of the Advent plans. As I've already mention, I need to focus on God's PEACE

"... and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:7

as I guard my heart and mind through Christ Jesus daily
continuing to read

"Come and Behold Him"
TPT, Brian Simmons

Day 1 The Promise of the Lord’s Peace— in a Piece of Candy 
(Psalm 85:1–2, 8–13
Day 2 Whether Bad News or Too-Good-To-Be-True News, God Really Can Be Trusted! (Luke 1:5–24
Day 3 Are You a Forerunner of the Prince of Peace? 
(Luke 1:14–17
Day 4 How Could This Happen? (Luke 1:26–38
Day 5 A Tale of Two Reactions (Luke 1:5–38)

Brian Simmons, Come and Behold Him (The Passion Translation): Advent Devotional (Kindle Locations 33-44). BroadStreet Publishing Group LLC. 

For one of the years (2013), my One Word was PEACE and somehow it's remained in me, with me, through all the years (turbulent or peaceful) ... God's PEACE can be totally EMBRACED in the midst of life's storms, even in our daily chaos.

{I knew there was a reason that I was drawn to "Unsinkable Faith" by Tracie Miles, now if only I finish reading it.}

Maree Dee, Embracing Life in the Midst of the Unexpected blog

I'm am sure that EMBRACING PEACE this week will be such a blessing, because God's Word (God Himself) is PEACE and says "Blessed are the peacemakers..." Now, truthfully, I must confess that I am far from being a 'peacemaker' although it is something I treasure and believe in strongly, yet fail daily; however Jesus is faithful to come along side me and bring His everlasting PEACE. 

Each of the daily devotions in this book end with a prayer. In various reading plans and other places, I have found some beautiful prayers for PEACE during this Advent, so I'm sharing:

"Heavenly Father, You are the God who gives peace. This second week of Advent, cause us to remember that because of Jesus we can experience a Christmas free from turmoil and chaos. Regardless of our circumstances or our situations, You offer us peace that passes understanding. ... Father, this second week of Advent keep us in perfect peace as our mind is stayed on the truth of Your powerful love. Thank You for Your mighty, sovereign hand. Help us to trust fully in You and rest in the peace You offer. {to read in full go here}

{there's also links there for the other weeks too}

"Jesus, thank You for coming to bring me peace. I recognize today that I can rest in You, no matter what I’m going through. Whenever fear or heaviness threaten my peace, help me run to safety in You. Lead my spirit into the wholeness that is available in You."

{sample of prayers in this book, "Come & Behold"}

1. "Father God, I thank You for sending us Your promised peace by sending us Your Son, Jesus. May what the Prince of Peace accomplished in His life and death guard my heart and mind from the agitation and distress of this world this Advent season."

4. Lord Jesus Christ, my Prince of Peace, I come to You to tell You every detail of my life, so that "God's wonderful peace that transcends human understanding, will make the answers known to me through Jesus Christ. (Phil. 4:7)

Pour out Your Peace
Lord Jesus
this week
as my

I'll be
Your Peace
each day
in me

Let there be
Peace on Earth
let it begin
with me

To my faithful visitors;
all of you who spend your valuable time here with me
I do appreciate you so much!

Thank you for taking your time to visit!

Love, Sweet blessings & Hugs!