Faye Bryant

Become a new person today!

Are you sick and tired of the way your life is going? Have you been running this railroad too long and you’re ready to jump off – but you don’t know how or what the results will be?

I understand. I’ve been there.

If you’ve never accepted the free gift of salvation through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, pay attention. This could be your day to escape the chaos and enter peace.

If you know Christ as Savior, pay attention, your mixed-up, messed-up life can be fixed.

Earlier in the letter we know as 2 Corinthians 5, the apostle Paul talked about how he had previously viewed Jesus – from a human standpoint. Makes sense, since Paul WAS human. Then he says, “How differently we know Him now!”

Sounds like some growth through intimacy happened along the way. Intimacy of being together, talking, listening, silence in the presence.

It means surrender.

Ooh, we do NOT like that word, but if we’re going to see our challenges answered correctly, it’s what we must do.

We must surrender our need to be in control.

We must surrender our old ways of thinking.

We must surrender our wills.

We must surrender everything, turning all control, all choices, all beliefs over to the care and control of Jesus Christ.

This is what being IN Christ looks like. Less of me, mostly Him.

When we do that, we start to look different. Our faces, previously contorted with fear and anger become peaceful. Our bodies are no longer a bundle of tense wires and dynamite ready to be set off. Our hearts have a compassion we wonder it’s origin – we may have never felt that before.

When we choose to surrender being in us and surrender to be in Him, we become all new creatures. We don’t look or act like we used to. We don’t talk or believe like we used to.

We’re so different, people notice.

Believer, when is the last time someone noticed you are different? Give up. Let go again and let Jesus hold the reins of your life. Give up. Surrender ALL of you.

Seeker, are you ready for a new and improved you? Give up. Just give up trying to run your life and prepare your future. Look at Jesus. He was born of a virgin (how is that possible???), lived on this earth without ever stepping out of God’s will.
He healed the sick and lame. He turned lives around from horrendous behaviors to godly ones. He was unlawfully tried, convicted of something He never did. He was tortured until He was unrecognizable, then forced to walk to the hill called Calvary or Golgotha, sometimes carrying the heavy beam of a criminal’s cross.
He was nailed to that cross, even though He was innocent. The only sin (wrongs according to God) He bore there were those of mankind. All humans. You and me.
He was mocked and ridiculed until He died. He was buried and on the third day, He rose again. By doing that, He conquered death and the grave. After appearing to over 500 people, he rose up into Heaven.
He lived and suffered that heinous death for us, you and me. All so we could shed our ungodly ways and surrender to Him. The benefit is life forever with Him in a special place prepared for us. What we leave behind is a forever without any trace of God. A forever without love of any kind, without any moments of joy or happiness. A forever with noise and many, many others crying out in pain and disgust. A forever filled with the unrelenting worst behaviors we’ve ever seen and even worse than that.

If you want to have Life, choose to follow Jesus. Choose to accept in your heart that what He did, He did for you. Surrender you to Him and see how much you change. And how much you change the world around you.

We all have moves we need to make today. I’m asking God to show me what areas of me I haven’t surrendered to Him. I want to completely be that new creature He designed me to be.

Coffee, Bible, Journal.

Created for Jesus

When I had to travel to Chattanooga a lot for medical reasons, I started listening to Moody Radio. There was a show for children that talked about Jesus the Creator. The first time I heard that I did a double take.

See, I was thinking of Jesus as only coming along when he came to earth. I knew He was God, but I think in my mind I had these lines drawn that God the Father did the creating, God the Son did the saving, and God the Holy Spirit did the guiding, training and correcting.

Talk about a mind shift!

Colossians 1:16 brings us face to face with this truth. And a much bigger one. Let’s look.

God made everything through Jesus – in the heavenly realms and on earth. All things, everywhere. It blows our minds to think He created Satan, but He did, along with all the other angels. Knowing this can help us realize that age-old enemy of our souls isn’t the opposite of God, he is a created being like you and me. We really can resist him!

God created the kingdoms, thrones, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. All of them.

Everything other than the triune God was designed and created by God, through Christ. Can you wrap your mind around that?

And that last sentence of the verse? “Everything was created through Him and for Him.”

You, my friend, are part of everything. You were created THROUGH Jesus and FOR Jesus. YOU.

When you look in the mirror, remind you of this truth. Especially when you don’t like what you see. Matter of fact, consider writing on your mirror, “Created through Him for Him” so that every time you look at your reflection you see those words.

Think about that, dear broken one. You are NOT meaningless. You are NOT useless. You do NOT just take up space and use air. You ARE a special design, made by God through Jesus for Jesus.

You are His masterpiece – a work of His design to be shown off by Him for His glory. Picture God showing you off saying, “See my daughter here? Isn’t she beautiful? See how she helps my children understand love? That’s my girl! She is revealing Me to them!” or “Do you see my son here? Isn’t he something? Look how he is helping widows in their grief by taking care of things around the house their husbands did. That’s my boy! He is revealing Me to them!”

When we realize this fact, that we’re created through Him for Him, our perspective can change permanently. We can stop wandering aimlessly through life merely existing. We can live and live in the purpose for which we were designed.

Ready? Speak into the heavenly realms unseen by human eyes:

I am created by God through
Jesus Christ. I am created for
Jesus Christ.

Say it again. Draw that line in the sand telling the enemy you know who you are and he can go fly a kite. Doesn’t mean he will. He may double down and attack you more. Stand in the truth. Stand with THE Truth.

Say it again. And again. Say it until you believe it to your core.

Go ahead, there’s no better day to start than today.

Coffee, Bible, Journal.

Merry Christmas!

May we celebrate and follow the manger-born King today and every day for the rest of forever.

Merry Christmas from The Comfy Chair With A View.

There’s NO Way!

3F27398B-2FD1-4AAA-BB89-B679B5428807There is NO way!

No way a woman who never had sex could have a baby. Thousands of years of biology prove that!

Yet Mary did.

Now, I say that from a position of faith. I believe every word of the Bible, even when I don’t like some of them. There are those who don’t believe it because, you know, biology.

This one fact is crucial to the salvation story. This is how Jesus entered the world sinlessly.

As a kid I thought it was the sex that was sinful so because there was no sex He was sinless. It’s not that at all.

God said that sin entered the world through Adam. He was with Eve when the serpent convinced her to eat and didn’t do anything to stop it, and he could have said no to her offer. For whatever reason, God laid that at Adam’s door and sin was passed down through man ever after, and even now because, you know, biology.

So, in this act of virgin birth, Jesus was not tainted by the blood of sinful man. He lived without sin, yet carried all sin of all mankind for all time to the cross.

God had Isaiah tell of this virgin giving birth over 400 years before it happened to give the people a clue as to Who that baby really was. Maybe 400 years let people forget, maybe they just didn’t believe Isaiah’s prophecy.

They missed it. You know they whispered in the streets the moment young Mary’s belly started showing signs of her pregnancy. There was no way she could be pregnant without having been with a man! Poor Joseph – or had he jumped the gun and taken his bride before it was time? The heads wagged along with the tongues as they missed the miracle.

Believer, let’s be different. Let’s realize the miracle over biology and recognize Isaiah’s words came true.

Let’s choose to see the miracle instead of missing it.

And you? Yes you. The one who is all in turmoil because your home isn’t decorated to look like a Hallmark movie, your gifts aren’t wrapped, your shopping isn’t done…. remember THIS is the miracle of Christmas. It isn’t pine boughs wrapped around the banister just so, it isn’t the perfect tree, it isn’t red and gold and silver.

Give yourself a break. Seriously.

Yes, I do understand. You want to make Christmas brilliant for everyone.

You know what, though? Your friends and family want time with you, not the tinsel. They want to see you happy, not worried if you got the right wrapping paper to match the tree and theme.

So today, give you a break. If you have more gifts to buy, but you have no idea what to get, realize that gift cards aren’t horrible. If you’re giving them to younger people, make the card part of the gift by including a note that it can only be spent on the shopping date you take them on. Then you get to make a memory and they get what they truly want.

And if you’re not up to making the whole turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce meal, put out your best dishes and enjoy pot roast or fried chicken or cold cuts. It’s about the people around the table enjoying each other as they celebrate the coming of the Messiah.

Stop striving my friend. This holiday is all about the sinless child born to take your sins and give you peace and rest.

Coffee, Bible, Journal.

_______________________________
© 2019 Faye Stoeffler Bryant

What about the wise men?

How many wise men were there who visited the Christ child?

Where were Mary, Joseph, and Jesus living when the wise men visited?

How old was Jesus when they visited?

I am so glad you asked these questions!

Did you know scripture doesn’t identify how many wise men were on the journey to find this new King? It simply tells the gifts they laid before the King. We tend to think of there were only three gifts, only three men. It could have been three who brought gold, three who brought frankincense, and three who brought myrrh. Or more. Or less. All we know is the scripture uses the plural for “man” so there had to be at least two.

Do you see in Matthew 2:11 where it says these wise men entered the house? They didn’t enter a stable out back behind an inn. It would seem that Joseph and Mary had found a house to stay in – whether they rented it or were staying with people – but it was no longer the stable. They were still in Bethlehem, though, that’s where the star led the men.

We tend to think that all of what we call the nativity happened in one night, but scripture doesn’t support that. Luke 2:6 says that while they were in Bethlehem for the census, the time arrived for Mary to deliver her baby. It would seem to be in the first hours or days of their arrival in town because their search for lodging yielded only a stable behind an inn.

We’re used to the census papers arriving, we fill them out, and send them back with little interruption to our lives. Not so when Augustus required this census of the entire Roman Empire. Everyone had to travel to their ancestral home and stay there until the official Roman census taker came though and counted, then dismissed them to return home. So it makes sense that after the baby was born and the shepherds had made their visit, the couple had more time to look for something besides a motel room, and found a house.

The book doesn’t say how old Jesus was at the time for this visit, but we can pick up some clues.

The wise men were most likely astrologers who had watched the skies for years. They told Herod they had seen the star then began their journey to see and worship the King. A journey from the Far East wasn’t a quick trip. It is likely it took over a year, maybe closer to two. We see the evidence of this in Herod’s order to kill all the boys in and around Bethlehem two years old and under in hopes of killing this usurper of his throne.

Also, in the scriptures about the wise men, we don’t see references to a baby, but to a child.

All that’s great clarification to know, but really, let’s look at this in a different way.

The night of Jesus’ birth, angels and a star appeared to Jewish shepherds. The Jewish Messiah had arrived. BUT the same star appeared to heathen Gentiles in a far off land, too. God was already setting up the acceptance of Gentiles into His Kingdom. God even spoke to these non-Jews giving them instructions to go home by a different route.
He was planning for you and me even then.

The response of these men was worship. They weren’t satisfied with just going to see the reason for the star anomaly, they took precious and significant gifts for Him. They followed the star, lay the gifts before the child, then bowed in reverence to Him. And they heard from the Lord.

These wise men weren’t thrown into the story to even out the number in the crèche, they were included to reveal the fact that God loves all mankind.

Let’s dig deeper into the Word to discover the truths we may have glossed over in the past.

Coffee, Bible, Journal.

Why do good deeds?

Many of us who are followers of Jesus are pretty good about doing good deeds.

There are some, however who do it to be noticed. There are some who may not do so blatantly, but they make sure everyone knows that THEY did THAT good deed.

Some plan out their good deeds, making sure to do them when the most people will see them.

Then there are those who go into good-deed stealth mode, like the fellow I know who mowed the yard of a couple for several months without them knowing who was doing it. The man was quite ill and the woman overwhelmed with just getting him cared for. The fellow with the mower worked to come and go when the couple was gone. When he was “caught,” he was able to explain that the Lord told him to help, so he did.

The things we do are important, but the why behind them, in God’s eyes, is much more so. He even instructs givers of tithes not to do so under compulsion with griping.

He doesn’t just want our hands and feet, y’all. Those who don’t know Him will feed the poor and help widows and orphans.

GOD WANTS OUR HEARTS.

Every teeny-weeny particle of our hearts.

When our hearts are fully turned to Him, we see where good deeds need doing and we do them, caring only that God is glorified through them.

Christmas season is huge on the good deed scale. We get filled with the Christmas spirit and help everybody. Maybe it’s time we are filled with the Holy Spirit and do as God leads all the time.

Okay, now I’m going to sit down and examine me and my motives for helping people. I might need an attitude adjustment.
Anyone else?

Coffee, Bible, Journal.

Victory is more than winning.

VICTORY!!!

Hurrah! Our team won!
Yay! I accomplished that huge goal!

The victory the Apostle Paul was talking about was much different, much bigger.

Before these words, Paul had written this oft-quoted words, “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”

Then he wrote, “For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power.”

THAT is the victory we have through Christ Jesus. The victory over sin that leads naturally to death. Only something or Someone incredibly powerful could interrupt that natural progression, and that’s exactly what Jesus’ sinless life, torture, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension did.

Not only did He interrupt that progression,

He crushed it.

When we choose to walk in the Way and follow the Truth, He is and gives us Life. He washes us absolutely clean of all our sins … even THAT one. Yes, that one, too.

Under the Law, sin is powerful and victory over it unattainable. Through Jesus, we are able to walk on the sin that previously defeated us. We can march up that unscalable mountain and plant the flag of victory right on top. NOT because we’ve done anything special, but because Jesus did.

Now, we can’t get too cocky about this, thinking we’re all that and a bag of chips. We. Didn’t. Do. It.

“If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall.” 1 Corinthians‬ ‭10:12‬ ‭

“Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.” Galatians‬ ‭6:1‬ ‭

Once we have our victory over sin and death, we have to be careful to keep our eyes on the One who handed that victory to us. Otherwise, we’re going to run ourselves right back into the thick of sin. Our eternal life will be secure, and nothing will ever separate us from God’s love, but we will remove ourselves from His presence.

If we will rest in the Truth of our win over sin through Christ, trusting Him to protect us and guide us in our everyday walking-around life, our battle is won. When we take the reins and try to do it on our own …

Let’s take a look back at the things Jesus’ sacrifice has rescued us from. Maybe spend some time today thanking Him for that rescue and praising God for it.

No more cowering at the thought of sin, Believer. You are the VICTOR! Now to walk like one. You can do it, just hold tightly to the Savior.

Coffee, Bible, Journal.

Another Daily Musing from the Comfy Chair with a View

All three formats of “Elaina” hit #1 new release on Amazon.

I am amazed, excited, astounded, and most of all grateful.

 

Where did we learn to love?

Where did human creativity come from?
The Creator of all things.

Mankind looked at creation and recreated drawings and statues and dolls and much more.

Where did human love come from?
The One who loved first and best.

God loved mankind even before He breathed life into Adam and formed Eve from Adam’s rib. He lovingly made all the parts a person would need, preparing them for life.

God made each person in His image, placing a great need for Him in all.

God showed His love through guidance and protection. He provided needs known and unknown.

Sounds like a loving parent, huh?

God revealed what love looks like so we could love, too.

Love is so much more than a feeling. It’s a choice. When people decided against God, He could have just mashed them, destroyed them. But He didn’t. He loved them. He gave them the chance, time and again, to choose Him. He chose to love the unlovely.

We feel emotional love well up in us at times – when we see our new baby, or our beloved spouse – but love is much more.

Sometimes we need to choose to sit right there next to the person whose aroma is less than pleasant so they will feel included.

Sometimes we need to give our time to visit with those who have less than we do. Not just hand them a meal, but talk with them.

Daily we need to do a better job of welcoming those who are different than we.

God showed us what love looked like and it’s a LOT more than the warm fuzzies. That’s the love we should be striving for.

Let’s make the choice today to love like Him and look for the opportunities to do so. Then, let’s DO it! Just jump in heart first and choose to demonstrate love to each person you meet.

Small ways…
• note your server’s name and use it. Ask them questions about them.
• thank the cashier for being there
• invite a marginalized coworker to join you for lunch, even if it’s just in the break room
• visit your neighbor with goodies that you stay to share as you converse
… as you choose to love, you’ll find ways to do so that fit in your everyday walking around life.

And the amazing thing is, you’ll reap benefits you never imagined.

Ready? Let’s do it!

Coffee, Bible, Journal.

Interview with Esther Julianne McDaniel

The fact that Esther Julianne McDaniel was able to write 𝙒𝙝𝙚𝙣 𝙈𝙚𝙢𝙤𝙧𝙞𝙚𝙨 𝙇𝙚𝙖𝙫𝙚: 𝘼 𝙎𝙩𝙤𝙧𝙮 𝙤𝙛 𝙇𝙤𝙫𝙚, 𝙊𝙫𝙚𝙧𝙘𝙤𝙢𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝘽𝙧𝙖𝙞𝙣 𝙄𝙣𝙟𝙪𝙧𝙮 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙁𝙖𝙢𝙞𝙡𝙮 𝘿𝙮𝙨𝙛𝙪𝙣𝙘𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣 is a miraculous thing.
See, she is the one who overcame brain injury and she shares about that and much more.

She gives those who care for someone with a brain injury or dementia the perspective of the patient. Very insightful and an excellent tool for the caregiver’s arsenal.

Are you or someone you know a caregiver for a person struggling with brain injury or Alzheimer’s/dementia? Grab a copy and allow Esther’s words to pour salve over your heart and mind and help you understand better the one you serve.

Interview with Brenda A. Haire

Today, I introduce you to Brenda A. Haire, author of 𝙎𝙖𝙫𝙚 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝘽𝙪𝙩𝙩𝙚𝙧 𝙏𝙪𝙗𝙨: 𝘿𝙞𝙨𝙘𝙤𝙫𝙚𝙧 𝙔𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙒𝙤𝙧𝙩𝙝 𝙞𝙣 𝙖 𝘿𝙞𝙨𝙥𝙤𝙨𝙖𝙗𝙡𝙚 𝙒𝙤𝙧𝙡𝙙. The story of her grandmother and her ways of making sure people knew they are valuable is a priceless gift and a true learning experience.

We all know someone who lives with low self-esteem — it may even be ourselves. Share this book with them (and you) today!

Be pure, get blessings

We can see God?

I think this verse can be understood a couple different ways – and I think these two complement each other.

First, if our hearts are truly pure, cleansed by Jesus, kept in line by the Holy Spirit, we will have eternal life with God, seeing Him face to face, living forever in His presence.

Second, when believers keep their hearts pure through confession and repentance before God, we get to see His touch in our world.

The key component to both is that pure heart.

There’s no cleansing that thing outside the blood of Jesus Christ shed for us in Calvary.

No, I do not mean literal blood
spread on the organ inside our
body. I mean it figuratively –
when we accept the gift of God
through Jesus’ torture, death,
burial, resurrection, and ascension.

Do you remember when Jesus washed the apostles’ feet at their last Passover meal (the last supper)? Peter told Him He would NOT wash his feet like a common servant. Jesus said that if He didn’t wash Peter’s feet, he would not be clean. Pete exclaimed that He wanted all of himself washed then. The Lord said the feet were enough.

To me that’s saying our salvation, our full-on belief in Jesus and acceptance of His sacrifice for our sins, is washing the whole person, top to bottom, inside and out.

Then life happens and a stepping off His path causes dirty feet that need cleaning.

John wrote that if we confess (agree with God about the wrongness) those steppings off God’s path for us, wandering outside His will, sin, He will not only forgive us, but CLEANSE us from all unrighteousness.
He washes our feet.

And, what about this “blesses”? What does that mean? Let’s read the expanded text of the Amplified Bible:

Blessed –
happy,
enviably fortunate, and
spiritually prosperous
possessing the happiness produced by
the experience of God’s favor and
especially conditioned by the revelation
of His grace, regardless of their
outward conditions
are the pure in heart, for they shall see God!

Such amazing benefits for keeping ourselves pure – clean in the sight of God. The best of which is seeing God Himself, whether face to face or in the miracles He does here every day.

Let’s get clean today. If you’ve never believed in Jesus’ deity, that He is God, maybe today is the day. If you believe to your core that Jesus is God, that He walked this earth a sinless man, was tortured and crucified for your sins, buried and rose again to life, say so. Believe it in your heart and speak it with your mouth. He will wash you all over.

If you’ve stepped off God’s path for you, please recognize that He has not stopped loving you. You have moved away from Him, but He’s there, a faithful Father, waiting for you. Agree with Him that the things you’ve said or done were wrong, and stop doing and saying those things. He’ll wash those feet of yours and guide you along His path. You can trust Him.

Coffee, Bible, Journal.‭‭