Hi Everybody!

After a very fun but full two weeks, I’m finally finding time to sit with my feet up by the fire to think and relax.

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I’m a little sore in my chair and I’ll tell you why.  I have this boot camp that I just started  in December (of all crazy things) and it is painful….like outright painful.  Who has time for a boot camp in December?  But I didn’t really calculate that very well and so between the lively events of December, I have been in the park doing push ups and burpees!  

My chest feels like it’s sucking in knives during these early morning workouts and my muscles burn.  I huff and sweat and drink all of my water bottle.  My trainer is building us up gradually but I was at the mushy rock bottom of fitness so it feels like I’m waking up muscles that have been asleep for years.  Even a basic push up kills.  

I am sore.  I am transitioning.

I’m changing from an unfit person into hopefully a stronger and more fit person.  Pain and Sweat.  

I started thinking about Jesus and Christmas and goals and  transitions.  I have these weird leaps of thought and because it’s Christmas and also a New Year well the thoughts commingled a bit.  I am always rethinking my goals this time of year….looking to go from “not so great” to “totally on it” in some area of my life.  Or maybe just the best I can be.  Anyway…

You know that story in the Bible where Jesus is at a wedding and they run out of wine so he turns the water in the jars into wine?  It’s the first miracle…I love His mom in that story too but anyway, I started thinking about that story. Jesus can turn something plain into something perfectly special.

Is that possible for me in 2017?  Ummm, hmmm.  Can He turn water (me) into the finest of wines (the best I can be)?  I started thinking about the water and wine thing and this is what I thought.  

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Jesus tells us that wine equals blood in the Bible ….see Last Supper ( Matthew 26:26). So with that in mind follow me down this mental path for a minute.

In the Garden of Eden, when Eve and Adam fall to sin, God says now you will have pain in childbirth among other things.  Gen. 3:16 So every childbirth, even Mary’s childbirth was pain and a push and a scream and a break of water and blood…..the darkness of a womb and then a burst of transition to light and freedom

and life.  New life, new baby.

Manger scene ornament

 In the Old Testament Exodus 4:8-9, when Moses is facing Pharaoh and trying to get him to let the people of Israel go free Pharaoh refuses.  Slavery is a hard thing for a controlling man to give up and Pharaoh fought to the bitter end to keep his dictatorship with slavery.  God sends powerful messages through Moses to Pharoah to let him know who’s really in charge and we see Moses strike the water of the Nile with his staff and it turns to blood.  Blood. Water.  Blood and water mingle until the blood covers everything.  Exodus 7:17 The Israelites run for their lives and are pushed through a giant transition from darkness, hopelessness, death and slavery to life and freedom.  They even run through the wall of water to get there. New life.

At the crucifixion of Jesus, there were groans of pain from our Lord.  He had been beaten and tortured.  At the end of this agony He cried out “My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me?”  Matt. 26:27 at just the point when the world’s sin would be put on His shoulders and then he passed into death.  When the guard pierced his side to see if He was still alive…out came water and blood, mixed, pouring out.  John 19:34 Why?  A cry of pain and suffering, a transition, darkness for three days in Hell and then risen to light and freedom from His earthly body to eternal power and a throne.   What power.  What strength and obedience.  What a gift….not just a show but a gift.  Eternal life for all.

At the wedding of the first miracle that I mentioned above, John 2:6, when Jesus could have said, “Seriously, haven’t they already had enough to drink?” He didn’t place judgement.  He  was more concerned for the Bride and her family’s reputation and feelings.   Perhaps there was a budgetary issue in the ordering of wine, or more guests than expected.  The story doesn’t say but he didn’t spoil the celebration and relinquish them to the drink ordinary water.  He decides instead to give us a glimpse of His power and what it will mean to all mankind.  

Here, He was at this pivotal moment….unrecognized, on the cusp of fame.  And He decided to send us a message…you and me.  A message into the future.  It’s in code but read closely and you will see it too.  This moment reveals it all. He took vessels of water and turned them into the finest wine to remind us of His royal blood and what His sacrifice would mean for us……the finest blood that would be shed on the cross

Fine wine

to bring the Bride (you and I) to a great feast of celebration in heaven.  He took away the shame for the Bride, Revelations 21:2…..he can take all of our shame.  He is inviting you.  We are all included.  We are all invited, all you have to do is respond.  

I seriously could not make this up and especially since I’m writing this post, I would not tell a lie.  My trainer just text me and asked me if I would be there in the morning for workout.  Do you know what I said?  Yes!  Do you think my body is going to just transform itself?  I have to respond to this invitation and show up tomorrow and every time to get better and better.  It’s a process of transformation.  With Jesus, you instantaneously are saved by His blood when you accept Him and then grow and change in His likeness as you continue to respond to His call on your life by spending time with Him to understand His love for you.  

Water, Blood, Power, Forgiveness, Transition, Transformation to the Best.  If you haven’t had a chance in a while to get into your Bible or you don’t even own one….get in it!  You will find so many cool things and you will unlock so much of what God wants you to know about how much He loves you that you will be jumping up and down.  

What’s in store for you in 2017?  How about some transformation? How about some freedom?  

Here’s a toast to all of you, my readers, may you lift your glass of fine wine this season to celebrate with your family the birth of a King and be reminded that He sends you the Peace of the most powerful transformation available to a human in just one sip of acceptance.  Jesus will take the water that you are and transform you with His love into the beauty that He already sees in you.  He will take hopeless and show you hope, He will be waiting for you at a feast so festive that you will be dancing all night long with the glow of a Bride when you arrive home in a body without limits in heaven.  All you have to do is say Yes.

Merry Christmas, Peace and Joy to the World!

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Best,

Ivy

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