Jesus arrives — in secret, emptied and poor


Merry Christmas.

It’s a boy!

I hope you have enjoyed our advent season preparing for the arrival of God the Son on earth:

Jesus as a secret

Jesus as emptied

Jesus as poor

This month’s reflections have been meaningful to me and I hope they were to you too. Takeaways for us from December are as follows:

Like Jesus, are we willing to grow in secret?

Do we crave to be noticed? Do we strive to be noticed? Are we content to live and obey in anonymity? Is it enough that only God sees and understands us, and no one else has to for us to be okay?

Like Jesus, are we willing to live emptied?

Have we poured out all of ourselves to Him? Have we invited Him to reveal His best for us instead of what we think is best?

Are we holding on to anything at all besides Him? If the answer is yes, will we let it go? If the answer is no, are we willing to pray that He continues to show us anything else so we can let go of that too?

Like Jesus, are we willing to live poor?

Poverty has has three meanings for me this year from our December reflections. First, are we poor in spirit like Matthew 5:6: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Second, are we distancing ourselves from financially poor people? (Are you friends with any poor people?) Third, is it okay if God’s best for your life is that you become financially poor or stay poor? As I stated HERE last week: Jesus asks no more from us than what He did for us.

Our Savior arrived!

This week a college friend of mine died. She was my age, and when she celebrated Thanksgiving with her family this year she had no idea she would get sick and die before Christmas. She is celebrating with Jesus today.

Folks, the promise of Christmas is not a fairy tale.

Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Till he appear’d and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary soul rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!

Oh, holy night, hymn

We were born separated from God, “in sin and error pining” until He appeared. Hallelujah. God, through His Son, offers a relationship with Himself and gives us access to the power of His Spirit we can live a life that displays God’s character.

The offer is there for the taking.

None of us knows what tomorrow will bring. Tend to your soul. Let your weary soul rejoice in the hope of eternal life. My friend, Dawn, knew Jesus and lived for His purposes. I watched her share His love freely whether or not people thought her beliefs were valid. Today, her faith in the unseen has now been proven true.

Jesus, thank you for coming to earth in flesh to live with us for a while and then die for our eternity.

Amidst family and friends, presents and wrapping paper, food and naps, let’s not lose sight of the best gift of all. Jesus.

From my home to yours,


Picture Explanation: Dawn (L) in 2017 with our friend Michelle. Everyone who knew you will miss you and we were each blessed to have your life intersect with ours.

© 2022 by Oaks Ministries. All rights reserved.

If you are interested in being contacted about participating in a One Gritty Blink Bible study in 2023, click on the Oaks Ministries link below and contact me by email. Let’s focus on things that count for eternity!

6 Responses

  1. Merry Christmas my friend. Thank you for all the inspiring messages that you sent to us. I look forward to them every Sunday. Be blessed and stay warm. ❤

    1. Thank you for being out there. I am hoping we cross paths in 2023. I sure miss seeing you. Merry Christmas to you too, my friend.

  2. I’m so sorry to hear about the unexpected loss of your college friend, Laurie. May the Holy Spirit bring comfort to all loved ones grieving.

    I attest to the quality of Laurie’s studies, including the content of One Gritty Blink! In these days when suffering is all around us, joining with like-minded believers is a great way to fix our eyes on things eternal!

    1. Life is hard for all of us. May He continue to teach us how to respond with patient endurance. I am so glad God wasted no suffering.

  3. Laurie, this was a great post with your December thoughts brought together as well as your sobering and sweet thoughts about Dawn. Thank you for the photo of Dawn and Michele. I cherish them both, and look forward to the day that I meet Dawn again in Paradise – in One Gritty Blink!

    1. Thank you for the kind words. I had the best advent season of my life in 2022, reflecting on our Savior. Yes, Dawn’s swift passing certainly added urgency to the reason for Christmas. One Gritty Blink and we will be together again, but I want to live well until then.

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Planting and Watering

I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes growth.

1 Corinthians 3:6

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