Monday, December 23, 2013


OK, so I just got a new phone.

I had owned my previous phone for like 8 years (maybe even longer) – it was definitely "new" in the Jurassic Age, for sure.  (Scientific name - Phonius Dinosaurus).

But, it was time to upgrade – way past time to upgrade.

And, my family helped me with the whole process.  I opted to get a phone made by a certain *fruit* company.  

This phone required a significant *learning curve* for me.  I stayed up until 1:30 AM that first night, learning how to navigate my way around on my touchscreen!  However, I was never alone.  If I longed for the voice of humanity, I had "an intelligent personal assistant" to talk to.  (She's very polite, by the way!)

But, one of the best features was discovered a few nights later, when a late-night call arrived requesting - well, you know - "Face-to-Face Time".

I accepted, and was instantly treated to the sweet faces of my youngest son, and my precious grandbeagle, Marty.  Marty was wearing my son's eyeglasses!  (Poor Marty – that sleepy dog was subjected to more shenanigans as the conversation went on…)

Oh my goodness, how I laughed!! 

I have to admit, it was pretty cool being able to see their faces, live and in real time.  However, I do pity them having to see ME in my fuzzy pink robe, with my hair askew, wearing no makeup, and my reading glasses perched at half-mast!

I got to thinking about it the next day.

About how God always found a way to talk to His people.  He chose representatives like Moses.  He employed priests.  He sent judges and prophets and kings.

He called John the Baptist.

But, at some point in time, in God's perfect timing, He decided to do something more.

God decided that it was time for some "Face-to-Face Time" with His people.

You know, that's what the manger is all about for me.  It's about God choosing to come face-to-face with His people.  Live and in real time.

Have we lost the impact of this??

You know, I just love the image of the Lord as a knight in shining armor, coming to rescue us out of the darkness of this fallen world!

But, the fact that He humbled Himself to come as a baby stops me in my tracks.  He didn't just rescue us, He rescued us as one of us.

I can vividly remember each of my sons when they were first born. They were so tiny, and helpless, and fragile.  I remember being so very afraid that I would accidentally do something to harm them.  

To think that the Master of the Universe deigned to come to this world in the form of a human baby is amazing.  Humility doesn't even really capture it.  It's sorta like you or I becoming a gnat! 

So, I'm thinking about "Face-to-Face Time" this year.

I'm thinking about Jesus' eyes.

How His tiny, unfocused baby eyes greeted the world He had created.  How His child's eyes saw the wonder of it, even though it was a broken and fallen world.  How His adult eyes focused unflinchingly on His mission to save that same sad world.

How His swollen and beaten eyes closed in death on a Cross meant for me.  How His eyes full of Life, now resurrected and living in eternal glory, are continually watching over me.

Why do I forget that?

I think I'm like everyone else.  I think we lose focus at Christmas because that's what the enemy does.  He takes a good thing and twists it around.  I have known people who are proud of their *busy* – and activity can become an idol.  

And sometimes, the moments of *winter* that cloud our lives make things a little blurry.  Sometimes our hearts just feel overburdened and weary, and our perspective suffers.  Sometimes life has a way of snowballing on us. Sometimes we're caught in an avalanche of difficult circumstances and painful suffering...

But, we would be wise to stop and be still.  

I am reminded of how quiet and unobtrusive the manger was.  The world hushed at the sight of a newborn sleeping.  

A newborn who arrived because God had something BIG in mind!

He desired "Face-to-Face Time" with His people.  

He wanted them to see Him up close and personal.  He wanted them to know that He cared.  He wanted to experience what they experience, so that they would know that He understands.  He wanted to touch them, to talk to them, to eat with them, to fellowship with them.

He wanted to die for them.

No longer can we ever deny the fact that God is a God of love.

A manger, a cross, and an empty tomb shout out the unending, undeniable, and unchanging truth of His love.

Because of that, I can cling to the sure knowledge that my friend, Jesus, walks every step with me.  He is always by my side.  

And, He has promised that this life is not the end of the story.

He came to this dark and fallen and broken world to write a new ending.

An ending in eternity with Him.

Face-to-Face Time.

With the Almighty.

Now THAT is a happily ever after!!

GOD BLESS - this is a wonder-full CHRISTmas! 

Gracious Lord Jesus, thank You for what You did when You became one of us. The love that it took to stoop so low is beyond my comprehension. Thank You for dying as a man, so that You could raise each one of us believers to Your glory one day.  Your love is more than I can comprehend.

I can't wait to see Your face…

Away In A Manger 

"For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.  God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him." (John 3:16-17, NLT)

What does *Emmanuel* mean to you this Christmas?

Some final thoughts (from the Word of God!):


Yet a ruler…will come.
And He will stand to lead His flock with the LORD'S strength, in the majesty of the name of His God.
He will be highly honored around the world.
And He will be the source of peace.
(From Micah 5)

For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine.
For a child is born to us, a son is given to us.
The government will rest on His shoulders.
And He will be called:
Mighty God
Everlasting Father
Prince of Peace.
His government and its peace will never end.
(From Isaiah 9)


The virgin will conceive a child!
She will give birth to a son, and they will call Him Immanuel, which means "God is with us."
(From Matthew 1)

"Don't be afraid, Mary…for you have found favor with God!
You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus.
He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High.
And He will reign…forever; His Kingdom will never end!"
And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born.
She gave birth to her first child, a son.

Glory to God in highest heaven,
And peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.
(From Luke 1 and 2)

So the Word became human and made His home among us.
He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness.
And we have seen His glory.
(From John 1)


Then everyone will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds with great power and glory.
And He will send out his angels to gather His chosen ones from all over the world – from the farthest ends of the earth and heaven.
(From Mark 13)

For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God.
Then we will be with the Lord forever.
(From 1 Thessalonians 4)

I am coming soon.
Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take away your crown.
(From Revelation 3)

Look, I am coming soon, bringing my reward with me to repay all people according to their deeds.
I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.
(From Revelation 22)


Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne and from the Lamb!
And He who sits on the throne will give them shelter.
They will never again be hungry or thirsty.
For the Lamb on the throne will be their Shepherd.
He will lead them to springs of life-giving water.
And God will wipe every tear from their eyes.
(From Revelation 7)

Praise the name of the Lord!
Praise Him, you who serve the Lord.
Praise the Lord, for He is good.
Your name, O Lord, endures forever!
(From Psalm 135)

AMEN! Come, Lord Jesus!

May the wonder of a starlit night,
The power of our Savior's might,
The glories of His merciful love,
Bring blessings to you from above.

Wishing each of you and yours a very Merry CHRISTmas!

Linked today with:

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!


  1. OK... I just have to say that you are one precious lady. To be so full of God to be able to write a post like this and know that it is not just something you do, but because of who you are. What a beautiful gift the Lord has bestowed on you to be able to come up with this post ...just from getting a new iphone. I am in awe of your insight and beyond blessed by your words and the simple truth of this post. Thank you for putting THAT baby in the manger in this perspective. I am so thankful that I came upon your blog this year, friend. You are truly God's instrument. Have a wonderfully blessed Christmas, dear Sharon!

  2. You know you got me to thinking about Jesus's eyes. Will they be filled with love, pain, or what? Does he remember the pain on the Cross? Will he be disappointed in me? Will he just love me? Phew great thoughts. Merry Christmas. sandie

  3. I love that image. Being a visual person I think His face and eyes is a good focal point in life. After all He is our El Roi, the God who sees. I need that reminder to look back into His eyes because He is always watching over me. Merry Christmas to you Sharon! Love, Rachael @ Inking the Heart (linking after you at Hazel's)

  4. I love the idea of your husbands star with the holes punches and that you keep on on display. Congratulations on a new phone with all the trimmings. I value your sharing with us here at "Tell Me a Story."

  5. Merry Christmas to you and yours, Sharon! How cute with the new phone too. I do appreciate the learning curve, LOL, but neat about the face to face time with your son and Marty! I know that was deeply appreciated!

    Excellent thoughts about God's face-to-face time that you expressed here. It is amazing how he chose for Jesus to make his presence here on earth and you are right, just like one of us in the circumstance of such a lowly birth. Makes everyone and anyone who wants to relate to him able to relate to him if they so choose.


  6. This is a wonderful analogy, Sharon. So glad you shared your thoughts on FaceTime! It boggles my mind to realize that God--the Creator, Sustainer, and Deliverer--wants to be face-to-face with me! Awesome and humbling!

  7. Amen...such good meat to eat this morning. Merry Christmas...and yes, face to face time with Him!!!

  8. Merry Christmas Sharon! It's been a pleasure getting to know you. :)

  9. AMEN! and glory to the One who makes/made Face-to-face time possible!

    Sharon, I'm speechless ... as I ponder the magnitude of this and marvel at the way you can convert a wonderful new gift of a modern tech phone (which sounds awesome and loved that you, Marty and son had such fun via this)
    into another masterpiece about our Master, El Roi, Emmanuel ... aMazing! From beginning to the end and then you add "some final thoughts" that alone could have been a post from prediction to culmination, His Word, His Promises, a glorious portrayal of His aMazing grace and love ... leaves me with no words just an open gaze into His marvelous face, His tender eyes, His soon to be Glory, and the wonder of it all. Captured by you and an upgraded techie device blessing! Love how you inspire me from your words here to the ones you leave for me, I am blessed beyond this page and the recollection of a "baby" in a manger to a most humbling thought of "God with us" ... yes, Sharon, face-to-face time is indeed precious and priceless! In fact, this is what Christmas brings us, face-to-face with His Glory from heaven to earth to heaven for us, to us, in us! WOW! How do I tell you what a gift you are to me! Thank you for blessing my life with yours and may you in turn enJOY unwrapping the Greatest Gift of the celebration of Christmas with each one of your loved ones, Jesus! May this CHRISTmas be a blessed and merry time for you as Jesus comes to your home and finds the heart so open to receive that Gift! A blessed and wonderful Christmas, my dear Sharon, Hubs, Sons and DIL, Parents and of course, our "snoopy" impersonator, Marty (don't spoil him too much) but enJOY!

    Love, hugs, prayers and PEACE,

  10. Sharon, once again you've taken something common and helped me to see the scriptures in a fresh new way. Hope you and your family enjoy a Merry Christmas.

  11. What a great analogy. Face time with God. Love it.
    I am following you from Winsome Wednesday.

  12. Sharon, love this Advent reflection a-la iPhone. Yes, it is amazing that the very God of this universe dwells in my very heart. May I never take Him for granted!

    Thanks for linking up with Thought-Provoking Thursday! I am always so encouraged by visiting your blog.

    I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, and may your New Year be a fruitful one full of sweet memories. :)

  13. Merry Christmas, Sharon! While reading this, I got to thinking about your pink robe and your glasses at "half mast". You could be describing me, except my robe is blue. But isn't it fantastic that God doesn't care if we don't have our best face on and are still in our robes? He sees straight to our hearts and knows us even better than we know ourselves... What a comfort it is to know that we can come to Him at anytime and have a face to face talk, knowing that He loves us no matter what!

    Blessings, Joan

  14. Beautiful!! Just beautiful!! You will love your new "fruity phone", lol!! It took me a little while to adjust but we young baby boomers are not as technology challenged as they think we are! You will be downloading apps like there is no tomorrow in no time. Playing Candy Crush (not!) and up to 1,000 friends on Facebook! LOL!

    I loved your post. So thankful God wanted face-time with us! Wonderful thoughts today friend. Have a blessed weekend!

  15. Thanks for sharing the prayer at the end of the post! Maybe something all Christians should consider ... after all, our writing is for Him, first and foremost!

    Happy new year ...

  16. Sharon, what a beautiful, creative, well-written post! I look forward to reading more of your thoughts about our wonderful God.
    Donna Reidland, visiting from Heart Reflected

  17. Sharon, I really enjoyed this tonight. Great analogy and since I now rely on "face time" every day to see my husband this really hit me. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas!
    Much love,

  18. Thanks for sharing at Sunday Stillness,


"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

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