Merry CHRISTmas to our Friends and Family!

39 A few days later Mary hurried to the hill country of Judea, to the town 40 where Zechariah lived. She entered the house and greeted Elizabeth. 41 At the sound of Mary’s greeting, Elizabeth’s child leaped within her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.

42 Elizabeth gave a glad cry and exclaimed to Mary, “God has blessed you above all women, and your child is blessed. 43Why am I so honored, that the mother of my Lord should visit me? 44 When I heard your greeting, the baby in my womb jumped for joy. 45 You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said.”

The Magnificat: Mary’s Song of Praise

46 Mary responded,

   “Oh, how my soul praises the Lord.
47 How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!
48 For he took notice of his lowly servant girl,
      and from now on all generations will call me blessed.
49 For the Mighty One is holy,
      and he has done great things for me.
50 He shows mercy from generation to generation
      to all who fear him.
51 His mighty arm has done tremendous things!
      He has scattered the proud and haughty ones.
52 He has brought down princes from their thrones
      and exalted the humble.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things
      and sent the rich away with empty hands.
54 He has helped his servant Israel
      and remembered to be merciful.
55 For he made this promise to our ancestors,
      to Abraham and his children forever.”

Luke 1 NLT

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My Soul Magnifies the Lord 

by Chris Tomlin

Good news of great joy
For every woman, every man
This will be a sign to you
A baby born in Bethlehem

Come and worship, do not be afraid

A company of angels

Glory in the highest
And on the Earth peace among
Those on whom His favor rests

My soul, my soul magnifies the Lord

My soul magnifies the Lord
He has done great things for me
Great things for me

Unto you a child is born

Unto us a Son is giv’n
Let every heart prepare His throne
In every nation under Heav’n


Of His government 

There will be no end
He’ll establish it with His righteousness
And He shall reign on David’s throne
And His name shall be from this day on
Wonderful, Counselor, Everlasting Father 

© 2009 worshiptogether.com Songs / sixsteps Music / Vamos Publishing (Admin. by EMI CMG Publishing) (ASCAP)

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I just can’t stop listening to it!  I just can’t stop singing it!  We have been having quite the worship service here this morning in our home.  I turned on traditional Christmas music and tried to get into Bing Crosby and A Charlie Brown Christmas, but a longing was stirring deep within me.  I couldn’t pause that music quick enough to get over to the cd player and press play on the song you are listening to right now, right here.  When you start to celebrate Christmas the way it was celebrated from the beginning, your insides start to leap like they did within Elizabeth the day she and John encountered the Christ-child for the first time.  Then you find there is no holding back; you begin to worship in the presence of whoever is present because of His Presence!  All of a sudden, right there in your kitchen, over the stove that’s cooking your breakfast, in the midst of husband, kids, and dogs, you begin to “Magnify the Lord…for He has done great things!”  You find you can hardly get the eggs down because dwelling within your midst, is the God of the universe…your Creator…Your Savior…the Christ-child Who was born so many years ago and Who is still Omnipresent…in your house…in your heart!

I may live inside-out for all time after this!

You want to know the part of that Worship that brings me to tears and makes my knees knock beneath me?

Of His government 
There will be no end
He’ll establish it with His righteousness
And He shall reign on David’s throne
And His name shall be from this day on
Wonderful, Counselor, Everlasting Father 

I have no idea why it’s this bridge that breaks me, but break me it does!  Maybe it’s that “there will be no end” or that “He shall reign on David’s throne” or the very mention of His Name “Wonderful, Counselor, Everlasting Father”!  Maybe it’s that me, like the simple woman who carried Her Creator, I realize that the One I’m singing of is not just in my midst, but within my very marrow.  He is shaking my very bones, stirring my soul, lifting my spirit, filling me with His Spirit, overflowing my heart, capturing my mind, and transforming this simple life.  I will never be the same, and I don’t want to be!  I want to walk this Eternal Path right into His Eternal Arms.  I will live for Eternity all my days on Earth because He walked all His days on Earth for my Eternity!

I have many worldly things that I can worry about…if I am living for this world.  But I am not!  My eyes are fixed, my heart is set, my feet are ready, and my mouth proclaims and sings…

“Oh, how my soul praises the Lord.
47 How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!
48 For he took notice of his lowly servant girl,
      and from now on all generations will call me blessed.
49 For the Mighty One is holy,
      and he has done great things for me.
50 He shows mercy from generation to generation
      to all who fear him.
51 His mighty arm has done tremendous things!
      He has scattered the proud and haughty ones.
52 He has brought down princes from their thrones
      and exalted the humble.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things
      and sent the rich away with empty hands.
54 He has helped his servant Israel
      and remembered to be merciful.
55 For he made this promise to our ancestors,
      to Abraham and his children forever.”

(I told you, I just can’t stop!)

May you all know the Merriest of Christmases this year!  May you experience what Mary experienced all those years ago and what I experienced this morning in my kitchen over eggs and coffee.  Wherever you are, Dear Friends and Family, may you know He has done Great Things for us…for you!  May He turn you inside-out and break you open that you may pour forth praises to His Great Everlasting Name!  He is your Gift…not found under a tree but within a woman, in a manger, on a cross, riding on a cloud, dwelling in your heart, and reigning forever for our Eternity!  

 “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. 11 The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! 12 And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”

 13 Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,

 14 “Glory to God in highest heaven,
      and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”

Luke 2 NLT

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Merry CHRISTmas from the Nathan, Anastasia, Christopher, Timothy, Aaron, Hannah, and our Compassion Sister Jenifer

We have been blessed to share 2011 with you and look forward to living 2012 – The Year of “Today is the Day” – with you!