…Return & Exchange Policy

JBA Gift Return & Exchange PolicySo, after giving and receiving some pretty lovely gifts last week, my next mission involved the return and exchange of a few. Those that were either the wrong size or simply uglier in person than they were on the screen, had to go.

As my husband and I mapped out our store-tackling strategy, noted each store’s return & exchange policy and hunted down all of the necessary receipts, we added up the dinero we’d get back and the upgrades we could swap for. As lucrative and worthwhile as all of this returning and exchanging would prove itself to be, it reminded me of an even greater exchange that took place for you and me.

God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21

God allowed and purposed Christ to come to take away death from each of us and, in return, give us an abundant life. Sounds like an awesome exchange opportunity to me. Who wouldn’t want to surrender their junk and receive treasure?

So, today, I’m choosing to take my self-doubt, my anxiety, my condemnation, my impatience, my lack of faith and my timidness to the only One who can replace it with greater things.

What do you need to return in exchange for His acceptance, peace, forgiveness, patience, trust, boldness, goodness and love?

In faith, I encourage you to give it to Him. He already gave Himself for you (Galatians 2:20).

SM.

Jesus be a gift return & exchange policy.
Advertisements

…Gift

JBA Gift
Between my loving husband, caring family and awesome friends, I received such wonderful gifts this Christmas. Between the memories of hosting our first Christmas; the abundance of thoughtful cards and text messages; that cross-body bag that I really wanted; that quality time with my Mommy that I always look forward to; and those gifts that I would have never thought to ask for, I was completely and overwhelmingly blessed. I can only hope that the presents we gave were and will be enjoyed just as much on their receiving end. (They were all quite thoughtful gifts, if you ask me.)

In all of the hustle and bustle of making and fulfilling wish lists in the weeks leading up to Christmas, I recognized true favor. Although there were some frivolous things that I wanted, there was nothing that I needed, and my husband and I were able to freely give.

Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him! Matthew 7:9-11

No matter how seemingly great the material gifts we gave or received during this holiday were, God gave and gives His best, which is the crème de la crème. Each day, He gives us grace and goodness that we do not deserve. Every morning, He renews His mercies. At every opportunity, He’s giving us another (and another) chance…and the breath that we’re breathing.

But, even in the plentitude of His blessings – those we do and don’t even ask for; those we do and don’t even express thanks for – God still desires to give us more.

Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed…There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them…Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit,and He distributes them to each one, just as He determines. 1 Corinthians 12:1, 4, 7-11

In His love, and because we are His, we are entitled to some über-amazing gifts. And, these gifts of the Spirit are the kind of gifts that keep on giving. He wants to distribute them to each one of us, so that we may be a blessing to others.

In this case, it seems that we must receive in order to give. Now that we know, all we have to do is ask.

Let’s ask. And, let’s have the heart to give what we receive!

SM.

…Merry Christmas

Jesus in a manger

SH and I wish you a Merry Christmas! ¡Feliz Navidad! Joyeux Noël!

As you enjoy this day with family and friends, our prayer is that you’ll experience and share the wonders of His love; that you’ll be mindful of the good gifts that He gives us each and every day; that you’ll realize the miracle and meaning of His birth.

Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! 2 Corinthians 9:15

Love,

SM.

…Key to Success

JBA Key to Success

Therefore God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:9-11 ESV

Jesus is one of the most well known, celebrated, noted, renowned, honored and recognized. Believers acknowledge and praise Him for who He is, for what He has done and for the ways He loves us. Non-believers also acknowledge His presence and power, even in the proclamation of His name in vain. Per Philippians 2:9-11, it is no surprise that His name is known and regarded by us all. In the lamest of terms, Jesus’ life exemplifies a true success story. He accomplished (and continues to accomplish) what He set out to do.

Success looks different for each of us. Yet, no matter how we define it, we all strive to attain just that at some point and in some facet. Good news for us is that Paul has given us clarity on the key to success in our own lives: a slice (or several slices of) humble pie.

Do nothing from rivalry, selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Philippians 2:3-8 ESV

God’s response to Jesus’ humility is explicitly defined above (as continued in Philippians, verses 9-11). Lesson learned: humbleness gets things done. Wow! This realization is charging me to reprioritize my to-do list and my development plan.

Want to accomplish a goal? Be humble.

SM.

…Keen Eye for Detail

There have been instances in my life, that in a moment of exasperation, I have definitively made up my mind and proclaimed that “no one knows nor understands how I truly feel!” Whether its the busyness of life that I’ve allowed to overwhelm me while single-handedly trying to save the world; or the tiredness that I may feel from having my hand in every possible thing; or even the sadness that comes to heart while worried about a family member, friend or stranger; at the valley of my thoughts, I convince myself that its just me against the world.

But thank God for Jesus! During one of these dramatic moments of mine just last week, the Holy Spirit simply reminded me that He actually knows and He actually cares.

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Matthew 10:29-31

He knows exactly how we feel. Matter of fact, He knows us better than we feel. He is omniscient. He is aware of every single detail of our lives – whether simplistic or intricate, black and white or gray. And, He intends for each one of those details to yield to an outcome of good (Jeremiah 29:11).

I am so thankful for just this. His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches (and He cares and He loves and He comforts and He provides for and He blesses and He prunes and He parents and He corrects and He takes care of and He woos you and) me.

SM.