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Luke 2:7 KJV "And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn."

The concept of "no room" sits heavy in my gut and breaks my heart smack down the middle. To have to turn someone away - a young girl ready to burst the world wide open. Mary didn't grow up knowing she would be visited by an angel. When she was told she would give birth to a son, a mighty one who saves, she didn't know it would be in a manger - that her expectant body would be turned away. Inns do fill up and like Mary, we sometimes just have to make the best of things.

When My oldest daughter, Faith, turned 18 she needed her 7th open-heart surgery. 6 weeks later, a surgical complication brought us back to Children's Hospital, several hours away on a 2am morning. My support system was depleted. My mother and husband both died earlier that year. But... my child needed care... immediately. So we packed up and drove, just as we had done many times before. Faith needed to be readmitted. They would go back in for surgery number 8.

My friend, Denise, drove hours to meet us. She would care for my youngest daughter, Abby. We knew the drill. Start calling hotels.They would need a place to stay. There was one problem - no room at the inn. We called everywhere within a 60 mile radius. All were SOLD OUT until the following night. Apparently, The New Kids on the Block were in town for a reunion concert and their fan commitment stood the test of time.

The hospital had no sleeping options. The waiting room was not allowed and minor children could not be in the sleeping quarters. I was the only one granted permission to room-in with Faith.

Denise bore every quality of a protective mama bear as they stocked up on hospital pillows and blankets and spent the night snuggled together in our locked van in the parking garage. I paced floors of hospital until morning watching over one child who gasped for air from a failing heart while worrying about another who slept in the arms of a friend because there was no room at the inn.

In these moments we face in life when there is no room, beauty can be found in the midst of hardship. Mary and Joseph were able to hold precious the marvelous birth of Jesus. They also found comfort in the little things. They used all they had to care for a baby that would in return, care for all of us.

No room at the inn. No vacancy

Vacancy is defined as "empty space" The inn had no empty space available for Jesus. Wow, did they miss out. If you have empty space in your life, please don't leave it vacant. Fill it full to the brim with Jesus. Empty space in your heart? Jesus. Or on the flip side, If our hearts are filled with all the wrong things and we don't make room for Jesus, imagine what we might miss.


I ask you to come into our empty spaces. Fill us with your love. Fill us with you. I pray you teach us to keep the light on at the inn. I pray we don't just make space but that we reserve for you the best room there is. I pray we make room in our inn, room in our lives and room in our hearts. Don't let us miss the miracle of you.

In Jesus' name, Amen.

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Luke 1: 29-31 (KJV) And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus.

Sweet is the savoring of a word from God. It heals the ache and lifts the heavy, It sings for joy and raises hands high. It cradles a tired soul with its reassuring love song... Zephaniah 3:17 (KJV) The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing."

How we long for the comforts of his voice.

Mary was troubled. If God sends an angel from Heaven to personally deliver a message, the reason MUST be grand. He knew Mary would be worried, thus the angel immediately said "Fear not, Mary:"

Imagine if every time you were afraid God sent an angel to remind you to fear not?" Would you stand a little taller or walk with a bit more confidence? Would you rest assured? Would you sleep in the haven of perfect love? God didn't send a note. He didn't provide a dream. He sent an angel face-to-face. Is that not profound?

How quickly we forget. We worry. We fear. We tie knots in our guts and sweat over insignificance. It would, after all, be quite nice to have an angel to tell us everything will be okay. But take a look at the message from Gabriel. We have BETTER. God sent Gabriel to Mary, not only to deliver a message, but a message that promised God would deliver a SAVIOR - "A Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6 (KJV)

Our Lord came down with a message SO great, He came as flesh - lowly and true. From the beginning, God has commanded "Do not be afraid" He tells Abram in Genesis 15:3 "Do not be afraid," and repeats the same command over and over. You will find it throughout Genesis. You will hear it in Exodus 14:33 "Do not be afraid. Stand firm..." You will read it throughout Deuteronomy and on to Joshua 1:9 "...Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." A brief bible search will show this reassurance again and again. It can be found in the New Testament in John 6:20, "But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid."

And why? 1 John 4:18 and John 3:16 tells us.

"...perfect love casteth out fear..."

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."


let us take a moment in gratitude for all you have done for us, for all you have given us and let us thank you for saving us. We, Lord, are in need of saving. We can't do this on our own. May we always seek your presence with open hearts and eyes. May we always remember your sacrifice. May we always remember your love.

I pray in Jesus' name, Amen.

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Luke 1:26-28 (KJV) And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

Imagine getting that call. Mary was a young girl when Gabriel visited - an unmarried virgin. We know what it can be like to hear God's voice. We rejoice when He speaks big and bold. We take comfort in his gentle nudges and wrap up in His still small voice. We reach for his hand when he calls us to walk, but are we truly listening to all he wants us to do? Have we let go of our own hang-ups and simply followed?

How often have we grumbled at the words of patience while we hear "be still and know that I am God," (Psalm 46:10) only to grumble again when asked to act? How frequently have we delayed obedience with the common universal excuses? "But God, it's too scary, But God I don't like conflict, But God I can't handle that." Have we decided we don't have to do anything uncomfortable? Do we cling to the strands of complacency as we barrel through day-to-day motions - filling our hands with electronic devices, filling every waking minute and hour with activities. Do we distort the truth to justify intentions? It is said, "idle hands are the devil's workshop," right? (proverbs 16:27) But what if we are not slowing down to really be present in the moments we are living. What if the activities we are sowing our time in to do not produce spiritual fruit. What if we have forgotten to keep God number one in our lives - before all the rush, before all the activities, before pleasing people, before pleasing ourselves? How can we realign?

The answer, while not popular, is simple. We obey the commands God gave us and spend time in his presence. We must seek his guidance and wisdom and LISTEN to what he asks. It may mean letting go of certain things. It may mean people may not always be happy with our choices. It may mean being truthful when the truth hurts or having conversations we don't want to have. It may take work. One thing that is certain, it will require sacrifice. Matthew 16:25 (KJV) tells us, "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it."

We must be able to say, "Yes God, I'm scared but I will do it."

We must be willing to commit, "I know I don't like it God, it makes me uncomfortable, but that doesn't matter. I will do it for you. Look what you did for me, after all. Those nails in your hand were not comfortable. The betrayal from your friends undoubtedly hurt. The lack of honor and unthankfulness that came your way must have been heartbreaking. Being blamed and killed simply because people couldn't admit their own wrongs must have felt so lonely and scary, what a huge burden to bear. But Lord, because of your sacrifice, we can live forever if we choose your way, thus to you, I owe my life."

We must let go. We must trust in the end game. We must look forward to the prize of race complete when we bask in the light of glory embraced in our maker's arms and hear the words, "Well done, my good and faithful servant."

Sacrifice is not giving up sugar, TV or social media. These are good acts of self-control - a fruit of the spirit that can help us prioritize our time, but TRUE sacrifice is LOVE. It's a willingness to put yourself forward for a greater cause, despite your own reservations, despite your worries and fears, and despite the cost to yourself.

When Mary was called to be the mother to the one and only living Son of God, He knew her sacrifice/Love would be great. She didn't have her baby in the warmth and comfort of a home. She had him in a manger. She didn't know what it would feel like to watch her little boy grow into a man who was hated, persecuted, beaten and pierced for the transgressions of others. Yet, she watched it unfold. She didn't know how it would feel to sit helplessly unable to protect him from the cross. Yet she loved him through it. But because of His sacrifice, because of His love, Jesus died to rise again and He chose Mary to help him carry out his plans.

Imagine how God can use us if we can let go and simply follow.


Thank you for humbling yourself to the most vulnerable level one could humble themselves. Thank you for speaking the truth even though it cost you greatly. Thank you for teaching us and guiding us every day. Thank you for being an example of how to live and how to love. I pray that as you call us forward to work in your honor, that we can be brave. I pray we stay focused on the goal and that we remember that what is lost for Christ is gained. I pray we look closely and examine ourselves and that we listen to your voice as we make decisions, as we engage with those around us, and as we give thanks to the gift you have given us. I pray in Jesus' name, Amen.

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