GRIPPED – An 85 Word Story

Photo by Mike B on Pexels.com

They are travelers gripped by thought,

lost in their worlds of introspection.

They sit, frozen in time and space,

which once moved freely for them.

But day by day they grew exhausted, 

Their bones tiring from the burdens they secretly bore.

Emotions and struggles hide behind their sculpted eyes,

forever creating stories of who they were, 

where they were going,

and all they had lost along they way.

Resting chins upon their palms cry from their solid souls.

They are weary travelers from this world.

Today’s word is GRIP. Use it in any tense you want, but whatever you write must be 85 words exactly. Have fun! Ping back to this page for the challenge or leave your piece in the comments.



After hitting my deadline for the my first cover letter, book proposal and sample chapters, here are a few things I have learned:

1. I am tired of reading my book. Seriously, I can’t tell you how many times I have read it now. I am not even going to look at it for an entire week. I need a rest

2. It was much more difficult to do the above than I ever expected, but I have wonderful, encouraging, prayerful followers and friends who kept reminding me that I could do hard things

3. The enemy’s voice is way louder when you are trying to do something you feel God has led you to do, like high-pitched, annoyingly, obnoxiously loud. Stay in prayer.

What journey it is!


What a Week!

Wow. It has been one week since I posted about needing accountability and it has happened in more areas than I intended.

First, my board in the kitchen where I post my weight and minutes I have exercised stares at me. It doesn’t mock me in a Gilbert Gottfried voice like I thought it would. No, it whispers to me the gentle reminders I need. I still don’t know if my husband and daughter even pay attention to it, but it’s there. Way out in the open.

Secondly, after discovering that I have a slightly dislocated rib in my back and getting it set right by my chiropractor, I now have another person to be accountable to. The doctor will be checking in to make sure I am doing the appropriate exercise for complete healing.

Thirdly, I got some interesting lab results back and although the results explain part of my issues with weight and how I have been feeling, they don’t explain away everything. So, now I am accountable to this doctor as well.

Finally, I started working on my book proposal to a literary agent I am very interested in. This is a completely daunting task and I really want to take the (somewhat) easier way out and just self-publish, but that isn’t what I am called to do. I have someone helping me with this and I am accountable to them to do it.

Mainly, though, I am accountable to God.

In all things.

PS. I have lost two pounds this week. That may not sound like much, but it is a giant step on this accountability journey.

A reminder: If you want to follow my writing adventure for my first Christian novel, follow me on Facebook at Raelyn Pracht, Author. Sometimes I’m even funny on there.



If you recall from my previous post, I need accountability. I am terrible at policing myself, so I needed a way to make others have expectations of me.

To recap, I am trying to lose weight. It is more about feeling healthier and stronger than it is about the way I look. I also do not like the way my clothes fit. Not at all.

My first step to accountability was to post on here that I needed it. By the way, this is a pretty scary thing to do.

My second step to accountability was something I did this weekend. We have a dry erase board up on in our kitchen where we used to write down what we were having for dinner each night. Since our schedules have bee crazy lately, we are on our own for dinner except for one or two nights. Therefore, we are not using this board any more.

Instead, I decided to use the board to write down my weight and the amount of time I spent exercising. My husband and daughter may not pay attention to it, but for me, seeing it there gives me the accountability I am looking for. The board itself and its empty space for the day puts an expectation on me that I need.

Interesting how something so simple may be just what I need.



Okay, so this post has nothing to do with writing. It all has to do with accountability.

I am reading this fascinating book by Gretchen Rubin called “The Four Tendencies.” In this book I have discovered that I am an OBLIGER. What this means is I am excellent at meeting other peoples expectation, but pretty much fail at meeting my expectations of myself.

To overcome this, I need accountability. If other people have expectations of me, I have a better chance of succeeding.

For years, I have been trying to lose weight on my own. I don’t have the money to pay for a diet plan, so I want to use this platform as a place for my accountability.

I am turning 50 at the end of the month, and frankly, I have gotten to the point where not only do I not like the way I look, but even more importantly, I do not like the way I feel.

I want to feel better. I want to be healthier. I want to lose weight.

Thank you for being my accountability partners.


DETERMINATION (Two Sentence Story): “On the Edge of Wit’s End”

Write a Two Sentence Story with the theme of DETERMINATION. You can use any form of the word to inspire you and any photo. Please drop your story in the comments and/or link back to this page.


He was determined to power through, trampling on the wildflowers of hopelessness under his feet. Winds of life nearly sent him over the cliff, as he teetered on the edge of wit’s end.


All I Want for Valentine’s Day

Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger on Pexels.com

“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.”

Psalm 51:10



Collapsing underneath the weight of despair,

He offers life for her dry bones.

Shattered pieces fall under fragility-

Broken and lifeless,

He holds her.

His exhale fills her lungs.

She inhales the Breath of Life,

and breathes again.

©2023 Raelyn Pracht



About three years ago, I stepped over my fear and onto faith while creating this page. I wasn’t sure anyone would care what I had to say. My friend told me that if I could reach just one person then that was success.

I don’t know who needs to hear this right now but this is for you –

Fear is a liar.

Don’t let it stop you from sharing your work with others.

Don’t let the fear of rejection from agents, publishers, or even readers win.

Step over the fear and onto the faith

Fear and self doubt nearly kept me from creating my page.

But I stepped out in faith and I am so glad I did. Otherwise, I would have missed out on this wonderful community.

FAITH is what led Peter to step out onto the water.

FEAR is what caused him to begin sink. (Matthew 14:22-23)

Fear is a liar.



What’s your goal this week?

I am continuing to go through and find the moments that I can change from telling to showing. It is not easy!



This is my favorite mug. I use it every time I write. My main character also happens to use this mug. What a coincidence!

Write a 13 word story about it. Below is the sentence from my book:

Vivian Richards held her favorite coffee mug between her palms embracing its warmth. 


FLASH FICTION: Death of an Artist

January 2, 2023, prompt: Write a story about a sabbatical in 99 words (no more, no less). Who needs one or has had one? What kind of tension could a rest create? Where can a break take your story? Go where the prompt leads! Click here for details.


“Sabbatical? Are you serious?” She dropped her half-smoked cigarette into her styrofoam cup—the bitter black coffee inside extinguishing its power.

“Get away from work. Go somewhere. Stay home. It doesn’t matter.” Dr. Shelley leaned forward. “Just put the paintbrushes and easels away.”

Jayne puffed angry air out her nostrils. 

“I won’t see you again until you do.”  

Jayne knew Dr. Shelley was serious. She didn’t mince words. That’s why Jayne liked her, plus, she too was an artist. 

She lived.

She understood.

The mental death of an artist was slow and excruciating. 

And Jayne’s gravestone was already being written.

Written for the 99-word flash fiction challenge hosted by Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch.


WRITING PROMPT WEDNESDAY: 35 Word Photo Prompt Challenge

I have decided to try something different in 2023 and spend Wednesdays inviting others to enjoy a Writing Prompt either based on a photo or a word (or even something crazy, like the name of a recipe. Who knows what my mind will come up with?)

For this week’s Writing Prompt, please write a 35 word story based on this photo.

Photo taken by Raelyn Pracht 2021

Post your story in the comment section here or follow me on Facebook at Raelyn Pracht, Author and post it there. Feel free to post a link to your blog if you would rather do that!

Here is my story:


Abandoned, but certainly not forgotten. The gift was anything but. The painted porcelain face and the humble clothes mask something sinister underneath.

Something which clings to the heartbeat of whoever possesses it.

Now, it waits.



This first Monday of 2023 finds me working on the fifth draft of my first ever novel.

It has been an experience that dances between exuberating and frustrating.

However, I find motivation through fellow writers, bloggers, and established authors.

I came across this quote by Terry Pratchett on this, the first Motivation Monday of 2023.

It is so simple, but so powerful . . . and true.

For those of you working on your first drafts, it’s a great reminder.

It’s also a great reminder when we continue our work because we flip the switch and tell the reader the story.

In 2023, I think I will do Motivation Mondays. Most of them will do with writing, but I won’t promise that all of them will.

Please consider following me on Facebook at Raelyn Pracht, Author



This was written for a writing prompt where you had to use the word “Cheers”. I thought it was appropriate to repost since we are near New Years Eve.


She was the last one to raise her glass and the only one not to take a sip. 

He was the only one who knew why.

He watched her, quietly and uninvited, from across the room. She looked beautiful in the long, fitted, red gown. Her toffee brown hair draped around her shoulders, hiding her scarred, yet tantalizing neckline.

She smiled at the gentleman talking to her. Mustering out a fake giggle at something she perceived as witty, she lightly touched his arm.

She turned, locked eyes with the man across the room, and dropped her glass of champagne.


FRIDAY FIRST’S: First Paragraph of Chapter 8 (where you meet Eliza)

Eliza Jaynes stood on the front steps of what was once their dream home – a four bedroom, Cape Cod in an upper class neighborhood. With her arms folded tightly across her chest, she stared blankly at her husband. She watched as Jack put the last piece of his furniture into the back of  the truck. He gave the ropes and bungee cords a hard tug, double checking their security. Jack knew full well they were secure. He was buying time, trying to delay the inevitable.



“O little town of Bethlehem
How still we see thee lie
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight”
-O Little Town of Bethlehem

“At the same time, it is a new commandment that I am writing to you, which is true in him and in you because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining.” 1 John 2:8

The words of this song practically represent an image of a beautiful winter landscape on a Christmas card, perhaps designed by Thomas Kinkaid. It’s a peaceful scene of Christmas night in a small, sleeping village filled with dark, quiet streets. The only thing lighting the landscape would be those silent stars going by. It’s a painting of serenity.

Is that really how it was, though? Did the people of Bethlehem lay their heads downs and sleep in heavenly peace that night? Up until then, Bethlehem was a violent place ruled by Davidic kings. There was hope, though, given to the people by the prophet, Micah. Micah prophesied that God was going to raise up a new Davidic king from the city of Bethlehem (Mic 5:2). Thus, Bethlehem was the place where David’s reign began and from which a new Davidic king would again come.

When they laid their heads down they had fear. They also had hope. They knew a King was coming who would save them. They didn’t know when. Can you imagine what it would be like to lay your head down at night with fear and to wake up knowing that your hope has come? That night they went to bed, not only in the darkness of the landscape but also in their personal darkness. In the morning, they awoke to a new light…an Everlasting Light. This Light would shine on them calling to them to bring their hopes and fears to meet it.

The Everlasting Light…bringing its shine to all the world over 2000 years ago and will continue to shine its light on each and every one of us today.

“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.” Isaiah 60:1


Lord, thank You for the Light…the Everlasting Light that we can bring our hopes and fears to. Help me share and shine my light for others to see. Amen.


“Away in a manger
No crib for His bed
The little Lord Jesus
Laid down His sweet head”
– Away in a Manger

“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

Allow me to play on words here – to separate “away” into “a way.”   It’s important to remember the great significance of the birth of Jesus. The baby who lay humbly in the manger. The baby who would lead and be the way to the Father and to eternal life.  

Jesus is the greatest gift we could ever receive  – a true, tangible representation of God’s love.  His birth represents an invitation to all of us to become children of God and heirs to the kingdom.  It is one of the many promises of God to us.  We are His children. The kingdom belongs to us through Him.  We are invited to be part of it in every way. We can share in the joy of His birth and share in His glory. Jesus Christ, our brother, was given to us as a gift for our salvation.  He is a sign of God’s perfect love for us-His children.  As Josh Gilligan says in his version of this song, “the hope of man is born today.”  He is our hope. He is the way, the truth, and the life.

Just as Jesus extends the invitation to us, we extend an invitation to Him.  We invite Him into our hearts. We ask Him to lead our way through this world. In John 14:2,  He tells us that His “Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?”  We are invited to live with Him there. The invitation was manifested that night in the manger. Extend the invitation to those around you. It is the greatest and most important invitation you and I will ever receive and the most important one we can give.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16


Lord, thank You for sending the way, the truth and the life. Thank You for the gift of Your son. May He continue to lead us down a path of righteousness. Amen. 



“This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and Angels sing
Haste, haste, to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.”
– What Child Is This

“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14

Although the birth of Jesus was foretold by Isaiah, many people did not picture their King, their Savior, their Leader, to come in the form of a baby. They wanted someone who would rule for them. They expected someone of strength and power. Their visual expectations did not match who they received. However, they received exactly who they wanted – someone of strength and power. He just didn’t come in the form they expected.

Expectations. As humans, we are full of expectations. We expect people to do things a certain way. We expect specific things to happen at times we have appointed. It’s no wonder the people expected their Savior and Messiah to come in the form of a strong King. I doubt any one of them pictured a baby! Yet the promise of God was fulfilled . . . just in an unexpected way,

We, on the other side of His birth, have a better understanding of why He did have to come this way. It was the only way. Afterall, He was fully God and fully man. He came into the world humbly, lowly and in the weakest form possible.

God sent His only son to save us. God saw His suffering, sinful people and sent us His perfect love and mercy. He sent His son to share in our joyous moments and our suffering. He sent Him in fully human form so we could identify with Him, but also know Him as fully divine.

“And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” Luke 2:12


Lord, thank You for sending this fully human, fully divine baby to us. Thank You for sending this lowly, and weak baby into our world of darkness, so He could fully walk with us in the light. Amen.


A Lesson in Gift Giving

This year we were hit by some unexpected bills. This made us have to really cut back on Christmas. It has been hard not buying gifts for the people I would love to buy gifts for. However, it also left me re-evaluating my whole approach to gift giving.

Throughout the year, I would see gifts in stores or things to make , but wouldn’t buy them or make them because I needed to wait for Christmas. However, after this year’s experience, I am going to change that. Starting January 1, when I see something to make or buy, I will do it.

How much more fun and exciting would it be to receive a gift at some random point in the year just because somebody thought you would like it? Or because it reminded them of you?

There is a benefit to me in this approach too. It will cause me to pay more attention to the people I love, making note about what they care about, the things they are passionate about, and the things that cause them fear or anxiety.

I believe it will make me a better wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, coworker, neighbor, dog owner, writer, baker . . . and the list goes on.

This is my new plan for 2023.

I am just sorry it took until now to put it into action.



“O ye beneath life’s crushing load,
Whose forms are bending low,
Who toil along the climbing way
With painful steps and slow;
Look now, for glad and golden hours
Come swiftly on the wing;
Oh rest beside the weary road
And hear the angels sing.”
– It Came Upon the Midnight Clear

“Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

I have listened to many versions of “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear” and I have only found one that included the third stanza above.  I find this stanza to be more meaningful than the others. It recognizes how we live in a world which makes us weary – in lives that can weigh us down with crushing loads. These loads are heavy on our shoulders, bending us low. The longer we carry them, the harder it becomes to keep going. Each step becomes more painful and we become slower under the weight.

Yet, we can rejoice because help comes swiftly if we ask. We can be overwhelmed with the burdens we carry and feel too weary to even look and listen for God. In the last two lines of the stanza above we are reminded to “rest beside the weary road and hear the angels sing.”  Notice that Edmund Sears, the lyricist, doesn’t say “rest on the weary road”; no, he wants you to remember that you don’t have to be on the road.  You can rest beside it, Jesus says in Matthew 11:28 to come to Him when we are weary and burdened.  Come to Him before we get on the weary road and He will give us rest.

“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.  Even youths grow tired and weary,  and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord  will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles;  they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”  Isaiah 40:29-31

Lord, when I am weak and weary, help me turn to You. When I am overwhelmed with the loads I carry, help me turn to You. Help me to look and listen for You, God and rest beside those weary roads I walk upon. Amen.



“O come, O come, Emmanuel,
and ransom captive Israel,
that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appears
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to thee, O Israel.”
– O Come, O Come Emmanuel

“For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people.” 1 Timothy 5:7

The lyrics in this hymn are some of the most powerful and beautiful things I have ever heard. You can see that the overwhelming theme in this song is freedom. It is strange to associate freedom with the Christmas season, but the reality is that is why Christ came – to free us.

Christ was born to bring us victory over death and over Satan. It is only through Christ that we will have victory over the grave. Death’s dark shadows and misery are gone! He fills the world and us with His light. Until we accept Christ as our Savior, death still holds us prisoner.There will be no freedom.

The hymn says to come and “ransom captive Israel”. We are Israel. We can be held captive by so many different things: our sin, temptations, addictions, flaws, and death. Jesus came to ransom captive Israel – to ransom you and I. Without Jesus we would be held captive to law, death, and darkness. He came to give us freedom from all the darkness that can hold us and keep us captive. Victory can only come through believing in Christ,

REJOICE! He is born to set us free! Rejoice in your salvation!

“But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.” Psalm 13:5


Lord, thank You for sending Your son to save me from my captivity. Help me remember that I have victory over the grave and have freedom from anything trying to hold me captive in this world. Lord, I rejoice in You! Amen.



“Come, Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.”

-Come Now Long Expected Jesus

“For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from Him.” Psalm 62:5

For many people, the end of the year is welcomed with open arms. For a lot of people, this past year, in particular, has been a difficult one and maybe the struggles of the year don’t seem to have an end in sight. Many are looking forward to not only an end but also a new beginning. 2023 can’t come fast enough.

Just a couple of years ago, I could not wait for the new year to come. I had such an emotionally draining year and the troubles were relentless, so I looked forward to the new year. The new year meant a fresh start. It represented a new beginning where I could be released from all the burdens that plagued my family and me. I was so engrossed in the troubles and fears, I ended up being blind to the rest I could have been finding in Him.

Here I am in 2022, finding myself in the same situation. Yet, as I listen to this song, I am reminded of the One who came to release us, free us, and provide a place of rest.

Perhaps you are finding yourself in the same place right now. We don’t have to wait for the new year to get a fresh start. We can find it today. Just as the people of His time waited for the long-expected Jesus to come and free them, we do not have to wait. He is here. He has come to release us from our fears and sins, to free us, to give us hope and rest in the shadow of His wings. We can lay our burdens at the beautiful feet of Jesus.

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Lord, I am labored and heavy laden. Let my rest come from You. Help me to give my fears and sins over to You and rest in Your hope alone. Amen.


Responding with Faith

“Angels we have heard on high
Sweetly singing o’er the plains
And the mountains in reply
Echoing their joyous strains”
– Angels We Have Heard On High

“In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.” Luke 2:1

It was the ultimate birth announcement. Christ was born!  It was the greatest news these messengers could ever share. The message was so powerful that it forced a response: the mountains replied and echoed the angels’ delight. The shepherds responded differently, though. In the song, they react with fear, confusion, and the question of why?

 “Why are we singing, praising, celebrating?”  The angels then told them about Christ being born.

The shepherds left for Bethlehem to see what the angels were talking about. Even with a host of angels delivering this message they still had to see for themselves. We can be just like those shepherds – having to see to believe. Faith is believing even though we cannot see. Faith is our response to the angels’ message. Hebrews 11:1 says that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 

Just like the intensity of the message of Christ’s birth, faith demands a response.

How are we responding today?

“For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.” 1 John 5:4


Lord, help my response to Your wonderful gift be my faith. Help my faith grow stronger in You every day. Help me trust and place my hope in You and Your plan for my life. Even when I can’t see the steps ahead. Amen.



“All Thy works with joy surround Thee
Earth and heav’n reflect Thy rays
Stars and angels sing around Thee
center of unbroken praise”
– Joyful,Joyful, We Adore Thee

“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” Luke 2:13-14

Every time I read the Christmas Story I cannot help but think of the joy surrounding the birth of Christ. The joy that surrounded Jesus surpassed humans. It extended to all of His creation.

I love the visualization of the lyrics in the song “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee” that say: Stars and angels sing around Thee. I was thinking about these lyrics as I looked up at the night sky. The sky filled with stars, which I look at today, is the same sky which sang out joyful praises on that glorious night.

Jesus was, and is, the center of unbroken praise in a broken world. No matter our circumstances or even the world, all His work surrounds Him with joy. We are His creation. We are called to praise and adore Him JOYFULLY.

Even in the book of Revelation, the last book of the Bible, we are reminded of this joyful adoration:
“And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying,
“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” (Rev. 13)

The joy we have surpasses all of our circumstances. Our praises and adoration for Him must continue unbroken. We can join in with all of creation who has sung His praise, echoing from His birth to today and forevermore. May we be lifted up to the joy divine.

“Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!” Psalm 100:1-2

Lord, I praise You. I adore You. I will joyfully come to You daily and entrust my life to Your plan. To You be the blessing and honor forevermore!


Do You Know What I Know?

“Said the shepherd boy to the mighty king
Do you know what I know
In your palace wall mighty king
Do you know what I know
A child, a child
Shivers in the cold
Let us bring him silver and gold”
-Do You Hear What I Hear

 “but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,” 1 Peter 3:15

This song is a beautiful example of what sharing the hope and love of Jesus with gentleness and respect looks like. The song builds with the smallest and weakest, a little lamb, being told of the Good News. The message continues to be told throughout the song where a mighty king is being told, not by another person of royalty, but instead by a shepherd boy. Not only does the shepherd boy actually get away with speaking to the king, but the king listens!  Then the king shares the message with the people everywhere and asks them to pray for peace.

There are so many beautiful things you can take away from this song, especially from the history of it. It is not a very old song. It was written in October 1962 during the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis to be exact. People were living in fear and dread. I can only imagine the lack of hope they had. The writers of this hymn were not only sharing the hope of Jesus, but also a prayer for peace.  

In times of darkness and turmoil in this world, or when we feel hopeless in our own circumstances, we can feel like we are the “smallest and weakest.”  That is when we need to stay in the Word, stay in prayer and focus on the hope that has been shared with us. In turn, we must also be the “night wind,” “the little lamb, “the shepherd boy,” or the “mighty king” and share the message of hope and pray for peace for others and the world.

“And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.” Mark 16:15


Lord, give me a spirit of evangelism;  a willingness and comfort to share the gospel and the hope that can only be found in You. Amen.


Called to Serve

“In his master’s step he trod,
where the snow lay dented.
Heat was in the very sod
which the saint had printed.
Therefore, Christian men, be sure,
wealth or rank possessing,
ye who now will bless the poor
shall yourselves find blessing”
-Good King Wenceslas

“Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward them for what they have done.” Proverbs 19:17

“Good King Wenceslas” is an interesting Christmas carol because it doesn’t mention the birth of Christ or the Nativity. In fact, the song is actually about a Duke from Bohemia. History tells us that this man was known for his kindness. The song shows an example of this.  

Here the king is watching a man gathering wood, an obvious poor man. Instead of just looking and making a note of it, he engages in conversation. The king asks where he lives and then sets out to help this man by providing him flesh, wine, and logs. The weather is harsh and his paige grows tired. The king tells him to step inside of the footprints he has made and that will make it easier. His master’s steps will help guide him. So, “in his master’s step he trod.”

Our King, our Master, has walked before us. His footsteps have set the path to the places and the people we should serve.  During this time of year, giving and serving seem to be easier and expected. As followers of Christ, these two important acts should always be on our hearts.  Afterall, Jesus tells us that He came to serve, not to be served.  This was how He lived. This is how we are to live. Let us put our feet inside His footprints and follow His lead.

“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.” Galatians 5:13


Lord, help me to serve humbly and to serve in love, not just during this Christmas season, but daily. Amen.


Go and Tell

“Down in a lowly manger
Our humble Christ was born
And God sent us salvation,
That blessed Christmas morn:
Go Tell It On The Mountain,
Over the hills and everywhere;
Go Tell It On The Mountain
That Jesus Christ is born.”
– Go Tell It On The Mountain

“You who bring good news to Zion, go up on a high mountain. You who bring good news to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah,  “Here is your God!” “ Isaiah 40:9

Go and tell.

This was told to the shepherds on that glorious night. It was told by Jesus later to His disciples in what is called “The Great Commission.”

Go and tell.

 It’s not a suggestion. It’s a command – an action we are called to take. More importantly, though, it is one we should be excited about taking. Our savior is born!  Jesus, born on Christmas morning, to save us from our sins through the love of the Father who sent Him. This isn’t news we should only share during the Christmas season. This is news we should be excited about shouting from the mountaintops every day of our lives!

We were given a great gift, a miraculous gift over 2000 years ago on that blessed Christmas morn. Why wouldn’t we want to share it?  Jesus came to save us and  dwell among us until it was time for Him to go be with the Father. We need to celebrate Jesus not just for a season, but for the rest of the time we are here in this world. 

The world needed Him. It still needs him. We need Him. So “Lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid!”

Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.” Matthew 28:16


Lord, help me to share the good news of You, the beautiful Savior, not just during the Christmas season, but all throughout my life.  When I can’t share it with my words, help me to share it by my actions. Amen.



“Angels from the realms of glory,
Wing your flight o’er all the earth;
Ye who sang creation’s story,
Now proclaim Messiah’s birth:
Come and worship, Come and worship,
Worship Christ, the newborn King!”
– Angels from the Realms of Glory

“But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 1:20

Angels were sent by God throughout the Bible to act as messengers. They delivered messages to ordinary people who were to become important characters in the Christmas story. It was important for the people not to just hear the messages, but to really listen to the angels for the sake of His plan.  

An angel spoke to the shepherds in the field that night to tell them where to find the newborn king.

 An angel spoke to Zechariah to tell him Elizabeth would have a son, and to call him John because he would be a great joy to many.  

An angel spoke to Mary and told her she had found favor with God and she would  give birth to the son of the God Most High. 

An angel spoke to Joseph and told him not to be afraid to take Mary for his wife.

The common thread in all of these is not t the angels themselves, but their messages. Each one of their messages those many years ago echo into one profound one today – a message delivered to each and everyone of us.  The angels are singing their message to us:  “Come and worship …come and worship…..worship Christ the Newborn King.” 

“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.”  John 4:23 


Lord, I give You all of my praise and worship. Help me to listen for Your message above all the noise of this world. I worship Your holy name, Lord. Amen.


Come Let Us Adore Him

“O come, all ye faithful
Joyful and triumphant
O come ye, o come ye to Bethlehem
Come and behold Him
Born the King of Angels!
O come, let us adore Him
O come, let us adore Him
O come, let us adore Him
Christ the Lord”
-“O Come All Ye Faithful”

“When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.  But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.  The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.” Luke 2:17-20

From the moment Baby Jesus was born we have been called to glorify His name – to worship and adore Him. The wise men showed the first example of this by bowing down and worshiping the newborn King. Our purpose is to do the same. We show our adoration for Him through praise and worship and how we walk in our daily lives.

We welcome the Baby Jesus into the world every Christmas. We praise Him for coming into this world to save us. We glorify Him for conquering death on the cross and redeeming us. We will continue to exalt Him in Heaven. Those are just specific days and seasons. We need to remember to bow down and worship Him every day in between.

The words of this song are a beautiful invitation. We are invited to joyfully and triumphantly, in full celebration, behold and adore Christ the Lord. This isn’t something we should just be doing on Christmas morning, or at church on Sunday, but daily. Our adoration shouldn’t only be spoken, but also expressed through our actions.

So, come all ye faithful . . . let us adore Him.

“Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” Psalm 100:2


Lord, just as the wise men came to adore and behold You, I will do the same. I will do it joyfully and triumphantly – not just during the Christmas season, but throughout the year. Let me worship You through words and deeds. Amen.



“Come they told me, Pa rum pum pum pum
A new born king to see, Pa rum pum pum pum
Our finest gifts we bring, Pa rum pum pum pum
To lay before the king, Pa rum pum pum pum,
Rum pum pum pum, Rum pum pum pum
So to honor him, Pa rum pum pum pum
When we come”
-The Little Drummer Boy

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Colossians 3:23-24

The Little Drummer Boy may be a fictional character, but his story is one of faith, humility, and love. Can you imagine what it would have been like for him? I mean, here there was a newborn King to see. His fellow travelers were bringing their finest gifts and he had no gift that he felt was worthy to give a King. He was expected to bring his finest gifts too, but he was a poor boy with only a drum. He failed to see that the drum was the very gift God had given him. God gave him the ability to present a special gift to the newborn King – one that only the boy could give.

God gives us our talents, our skills, and our gifts so that we can serve Him. He gives us these “drums”. He desires for us to come to Him and play these drums. He wants us to play our best for Him.

When we use the gifts God has given us to serve Him – when we play our drums, when we play our best – He smiles at us too as we follow His will for our lives..

“All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” Luke 21:4


Lord, show me the gifts You want me to use for Your Kingdom. Grant me wisdom and guide me in their use. Amen.


Friday’s First: First Paragraph, Fourth Chapter

Vivian Richards held her favorite coffee mug between her palms embracing its warmth.  The mug, handmade and painted with what she called a mix of goldenrod and mustard, was her favorite possession. She had found the mug sitting unloved, alone and unpopular on the shelf behind the barista taking her order at her favorite local coffee shop. With its retro coloring and slight hourglass shape it caught her eye. The barista more than happily wrapped it up for her most likely excited to have finally pawned it off on someone.

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