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Week Two. Mary and Joseph, Obedience.

An Advent Mini-Minute with Pam

Week Two: Mary and Joseph, Obedience.

Merry Christmas with Jesus, Mary, and Joseph


Sometimes I think there is too much “ME” in me. Do you ever feel that way? Especially at Christmas–when we want so much to be Jesus-centered–we can tend to get ME centered. Overwhelmed. Weary. Busy.Distracted. Bossy. And likely focusing on how everything affects ME personally? Too busy to sit and just BE with our Lord, pondering the significance of all that transpired around His birth. Think of it, God came down. From Heaven. From royalty, to a human birth experience. Powerful! A deep and stunning, love that knows no bounds!

I am right at this moment sitting in a temptation to condemn myself. What about you? My love is so often conditional. And I get busy with tasks. And a bit grumpy.This is all proof that I have not even BEGUN to grasp the details of what my Savior experienced to PROVE His love for me. For you. So, I am so grateful that…

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

Romans 8:1

Mary and Joseph

Yes, sadly, there is too much ME in me. And I have a feeling you are right there with me on this! But…astoundingly, Mary and Joseph were NOT full of themselves. There was NOT too much ME in them. Think of all they must have experienced. Gossip. Criticism. Fear. The vast unknown. They never waivered. The angel spoke and they believed and obeyed. NO ONE had EVER walked that path before. And NO ONE has walked it since then, either!

They knew the Scriptures

Evidently—in view of their responses to their angel visits—they both knew the Scriptures well. What do you think you would have done? Have YOU ever had an encounter with an angel? Would you believe and obey like they did?

Mary believed

When the angel said she would bear the Christ child, her only question was “HOW? How was that even possible, since she was a virgin?”

Joseph believed the angel that Mary was NOT unfaithful to him, but rather had been CHOSEN to be the virgin mother of the Lord. Joseph did not question. These were amazing young people! Even with their pure faith, it must have been difficult living in their community. Do you think other girls were jealous of her? Or do you think maybe no one even believed their story? Put yourself into the story and IMAGINE what it was like. They were real people.

“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: ‘After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with Child of the Holy Spirit.”

Matthew l:18 (NKJV)

Who are Mary and Joseph?

Are we doing a disservice by only making Christmas about a sweet baby in the manger, in a clean stable, surrounded by nice clean animals and shepherds worshiping the newborn baby? I think of a favorite book, also made into a movie “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever”. Every year I read the children’s book and watch the movie. It reminds me how we get it all wrong even performing the Christmas pageant. Pageant preparations and practices are often full of tension. Every mother wants her daughter to play the part of Mary and no one wants to be the angels. Each one wants to have a MAIN CHARACTER part. We portray it as “romantic” and lovely and sweet, when it was anything BUT that! It was difficult in every sense of the word.

They were a poor couple, likely experiencing scorn in their community. Then, leaving their family and all that was familiar, they went to an UNfamiliar place. Giving birth in a smelly barn. No running water. No central heat. No family to give comfort and support. No medication to dull the pain of delivery.

Our Savior came TO us. From Heaven. Mary and Joseph sacrificed all their dreams of what we call a “normal” life.

“But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take you Mary, your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit’ She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins”

Matthew 1:20-21

Week Two. Obedience. Bethlehem

The angel quotes from Isaiah 7:14 to Joseph–that the baby will be named Jesus. Immanuel. God with us. Joseph believed the angel and married Mary immediately. And they obeyed and named the baby Jesus.

Two young people followed their call. Through their obedience, the way was prepared for Christ to bless us. The day Jesus was born was the day Immanuel happened. He is most definitely God with us. Do you believe that? I hope you do.

Why DID Christmas happen?

“You know that He appeared in order to take away sins, and in Him there is no sin…the reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.”

I John 2:5, 8

“…being fully persuaded (assured) that what He had promised, He was able also to perform.”

Romans 4:21

Evangelist Vance Havner

“We are to do more than just be ready. We are to be expectant.”

John Piper

“Eternity waits for our response. Don’t lose this opportunity to make Christmas different this year. How sad if Christmas is just another busy time of year, and we miss the “REASON FOR THE SEASON”. May the Spirit of God use these words to open your eyes afresh to the glories of Christ and give you a new taste of your indestructible joy.”

Immanuel arrived that day. Pray with me.

Father, give us the attitude of expectancy. Don’t let this be an ordinary Christmas. Help us to seek you differently this year. Better. Focused.Thank you for this opportunity to reevaluate the way we enter into this Christmas season. May we look at Christmas through fresh eyes. To remember that Christmas is about OBEDIENCE. Being called to a higher ground of faith and trust in You, our Creator God. You sacrificed so much Yourself, Father. You allowed Your Son to suffer through living as a human person, with all the sufferings and sorrow and even joy that brings.

Lord Jesus, help us to step up into the responsibilities we have each day with obedience and joy. And to keep a proper perspective. This world is not our home. We are only passing through. Bless the work of our hands and bless others through us.

Holy Spirit, in those places where we can represent our Jesus, our Savior, speak to us and give us wisdom. Speak through us so that others will be drawn to Him. Immanuel. God with us. Just like you did for Mary and Joseph, Father. May we, too, be as trusting and obedient. Give us a hunger for Your Word. And for a personal relationship with You.

This week’s verse

“The life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

Galatians 2:20

Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus!

Do you need encouragement in your walk with God?

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Awaiting His shout,

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Leading from Your Strengths Mentor

What If There’s a Cure?

A Mini-Minute with Pam: Do Not Dwell in the Past

Woman with headache
I was unhappy. Nothing pleased me. People got on my nerves. I felt down on myself. I’d made so many bad choices and I was paying the price for it all. I was miserable. I EXPECTED to be treated poorly be others and they did not disappoint.

Would I ever be happy?

As my Dad would have said, “I felt lower than a snake’s belly” and it wasn’t getting any better. I knew the principle that: We become like whatever we focus on and I was focusing on how bad my life was and what a miserable wretch I was. Would I EVER be a mature Christian? Would I ever be happy? It seemed impossible with the circumstances I was enduring.


I had a kinda mindset shift. I simply could not make myself be better. A “light” went on in my spirit.

Only God…

I remember the day I prayed: “Lord, keep me from a complaining spirit.” And it has become a daily prayer. I am still becoming like whatever I mediate on, but my meditation has shifted to the wonders of God rather than the awfulness of Pam.

Do Not Dwell in the Past

Often grumbling is the by-product of something in the past. That was the case for me, anyway. So many betrayals and so much heartache. But…God has something to say about all of that. He has expectations for His children. He expects obedience. It’s a choice, but for God’s “kids”, it’s not optional. He expects obedience because He knows what is best for us. He makes it very clear. He  tells us to not dwell in the past, rather, He says in His word to use His cure…

God’s cure

“Forget the former things; do not dwell in the past. See, I am doing a new thing.”

Isaiah 43:18-19

Making excuses

We might think it is no big deal. But an Anchor devotional got me thinking with this statement: “Grumbling seems like a small sin compared to many. Why should it matter if I complain a little as long as I do the right thing? But like a child who stomps her feet on the way to make her bed, a grumble says NO, even though actions say Yes.”

God’s cure

“Rejoice always; pray without ceasing. Give thanks in all circumstances: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

Philippians 4:6

But, everybody does it

Even though everybody does it, there are consequences. God has some things to say about following the example of the grumbler crowd.

Jesus said, “Do not grumble among yourselves.”

John 6:43

“…Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer.”

1 Corinthians 10:10

“Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the judge is standing right at the door.”

James 5:9

Stating the obvious

It is not a small thing. God is blessed by an attitude of gratitude. I want to make my Heavenly Father happy. Don’t you? Scripture makes it clear that we are to do everything in the joy of the Lord, rather than with a grumbly spirit. And we do that by choosing obedience with a smile. Why? Because attitude matters to God AND to others. God looks at the heart attitude over the outward actions.


Discontent and complaining are like spiritual viruses, infecting others. Complaining against God’s provision is complaining against God Himself.

I think God’s LOVE LANGUAGE is OBEDIENCE. He tells us if we love Him we will obey Him. Let’s make a pact to consciously decide to use God’s cure for the virus of complaining. Join me? Do not dwell in the past, instead, let’s CHOOSE JOY! And walk in it daily!

Let me know how you are doing. Leave me a note in the comments box. Let me know how I can pray for you. To God be the Glory!

God bless you bunches!

Do you need encouragement in your walk with God?

I offer one-on-one coaching and would love to come alongside you to help you become the woman God created you to be.

Let's Connect!
Awaiting His shout,

Christian Life Coach
Leading from Your Strengths Mentor