The Shepherds Watched Their Flocks and Sitting Among Friends #54

And there were shepherds residing in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks by night. Just then, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid! For behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people: Today in the City of David a Savior has been born to you. He is Christ the Lord! Luke 2:8-11

A shepherd’s job was to watch over the sheep. Watch the flock, so by night they would be safe. But this night was different. The message they received was unlike any other. A host of Heaven’s angels singing the praises of the Glory of this Newborn King.

It surely was a sight. The angel’s response was, “Do not be afraid!” The fear quickly turned to joy because they went straight to see all they had been told and when they found Jesus, wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger, they ran through the streets praising God.   

The sheep they watched were blemished. In some way, imperfect. To see the perfect lamb must have truly been a sight for their watchful eyes.

We are those blemished lambs looked upon by our Good Shepherd (John 10:11) and because of that, we needed the perfect sacrifice to come and take our place. 

We needed our relationship restored. Before Jesus came the only way to be forgiven for a time was through a sacrifice. That was never enough and was never meant to be. God needed a solution to be available for all and for all time. Because of our sins and blemishes, our relationship with God was broken and the only answer was through Jesus. 

I am always amazed when I think of Jesus, leaving His perfect home, coming as a newborn babe. The most vulnerable state of a human’s reality. The dependence on others for our mere existence. Yet, God chose for that to be the path to accomplishing His work.  

Not only was His path, to take on a human body but to take on the hardships of human life. To come as a servant. To be born in such a lowly place as a stable. To be laid in straw, in the manger, wrapped and covered only in swaddling clothes.

Why would God leave His Heavenly home to do all of that for me? For you? Love!

Love came down. Wrapped in those swaddling cloths. Wrapped in the protection of His Loving Father. Wrapped in the plan to save us and set us free. His arms wrapped up tight so one day they could be opened wide to welcome home His prodigal children.  

For me? For You? Love!

The reason for Christmas, so the Shepherd could one day look His blemished sheep in the eye and see us as His perfect children. Through the cross, through the His loving sacrifice, Jesus.  

Emmanuel, God has come (Isaiah 7:14). He came to be with us. I love that He is willing to be a with us God. To show His power and love through the miracle of His One and Only Begotten Son.

For God so loved the world, that He sent His One and Only Son, that whoever believes in Him, will not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16

Whoever chooses to believe in God’s only Son, whoever chooses to turn their life and trust over to Him will not perish. You did not choose this life but you can choose where you spend your eternal life.

God came, took on the form of a man, it’s why we celebrate Christmas, so you and I could choose life.   

While the shepherds watched over their fields that night….

Emmanuel came to be the God with us. Will you choose to Believe this Christmas?

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This week's featured friend is JoDitt Williams from I had the privilege of having JoDitt guest blog with me this week. She is sharing 6 Keys to Delighting in the Lord. She is also sharing her new Coloring Book full of beautiful verses to color. Hop over to her post and download sample pages. Thanks for being with us, JoDitt, I am glad you are here. 

Thanks for joining us and Sitting Among Friends

WOW! Thank you all for coming here and for the 40 Amazing posts from last week. This party has been wonderful and it is thanks to you, friends, who link-up with us and those who stop by and read and SHARE! Thank you!

You all are amazing writers who share Family and Faith, DIY's, Recipes, Photos, Giveaways, Homeschool and more. Many of you have amazing journeys of faith and I praise the Lord we are able to connect here!

There are easy share buttons to your left or at the bottom of each post (mobile) and after you link-up. Thanks for sharing! 

Thanks! From all of us at  #SittingAmongFriends
*** Joining Us Here? You are welcome to join me on Pinterest and Pin to Our Sitting Among Friends Blog Party Board where I will be happy to re-pin posts to my other boards. *** 

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Six Keys to Delighting In the LORD by Guest Blogger JoDitt Williams

Psalm 37:4 is one of my favorite Scriptures. It says “Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (ESV)

When I first heard this verse, I thought to myself, “I would love for the LORD to give me the desires of my heart! But I’m not really sure what it means to delight myself in Him.” So the LORD began to show me and teach me what that means.

Delight, according to Mirriam Webster, means to take great pleasure in. Here is a word picture the LORD showed me to help us understand better…

Think about how a young woman who is recently engaged delights in her fiancee. Or how a parent takes great pleasure in their child. And especially how a grandparent delights in their grandchildren. (As a new grandmother, I am well qualified to describe this.) What do they do?

1. They notice the little things their loved one does that others may not notice. And these things bring them joy, even though the same deeds might frustrate others. For instance, a grandmother absolutely loves it when her grandchild sings, dances or performs in some way for her, even if the performance is far from perfect. Then what does the grandmother do? Of course, she claps and thanks the child for performing for her.

2. They notice the little things about the person they love that make them unique, like a bride who notices the way her “man” walks, or a mom who notices that her baby always sleeps with her hands above her head. And they praise them for those traits.

3. They notice the likes and dislikes of the person they delight in. And they seek to please their loved one by giving them what they like. For example, my mom is so great at picking out gifts that me and my 3 siblings will love, because she knows what each of us like and don’t like.

4. They give that person they delight in their time and attention. Think about how young couples in love just cannot get enough of each other. They just want to be together all the time. They pay attention to every word their loved one says, and every deed their loved one does.

5. They use their creativity to show the person they delight in how much they love them. Consider the elaborate and extravagant lengths some men go to in order to propose to their bride-to-be. This also reminds me of all the silly (and creative) things my husband did with our children when they were little, just because they enjoyed it, and because he enjoyed hearing them giggle and squeal in delight.

6. They don’t care what other people think. I can promise you, I don’t care what anyone else thinks or says about my grandchildren. I think they are wonderful and no one can convince me otherwise. Furthermore, I don’t care if anyone thinks I am silly or foolish for making funny faces at my infant granddaughter or for wearing the bright, glittery eyeglasses my 9-year-old granddaughter and I made out of paper.

So let’s take these things we observed about how people delight in another person and use them as keys for how we can delight in the LORD.

Key #1 - Notice things God does & thank him for them
● Don’t just notice the BIG things God does, like healing someone from cancer or delivering someone from an addiction to drugs.
● Notice all the small things he does too.
● When a song comes on the radio and ministers to your heart exactly what you need at that particular moment, take notice. And thank God for it.
● Notice the fact that you were able to remain calm when that person cut you off in traffic this morning. Then thank God that he is working in your heart and helping you walk in peace.

Key #2 - Notice things about God’s character & praise him for who he is
● Make a list of God’s character traits.
● Whenever you are reading the Bible and come across a verse that says, “God is…”, add that to your list.
● Spend some time just praising God. Use words from your list to praise him for who is is.

Key #3 - Notice what God likes and what he doesn’t like. Then do what he likes.
● Search God’s Word to find out what he likes and doesn’t like. Here’s a couple Scriptures to get you started:
● God loves a cheerful giver. (2 Corinthians 9:7 ESV)
● There are six things that the LORD hates, seven that are an abomination to him… (Proverbs 6:16-19)

Key #4 - Give God your time and attention
● I used to think that I could not really hear God very well or discern what he was saying to me. The problem was not in my ability to hear but in my ability to listen. I needed to learn how to listen and to pay better attention.
● I have found that writing things down, and even drawing or doodling on paper, or creating Scripture graphics on my phone, helps me to pay better attention to the things I find God saying to me through His Word.
● I have also learned that God loves the times when I have “quiet time” and give him my undivided attention, but he also loves when I look for him and talk with him throughout my day, noticing the little things he does and paying attention to the little “nudges” he gives me.

Key #5 - Don’t be afraid to get creative
● Being creative doesn’t mean being a talented artist. It means using your imagination to come up with new ways to love and serve God.
● Look for ways to use activities you already enjoy to help you delight in the LORD. For instance, I enjoy drawing, and coloring, and writing down my thoughts and prayers. So I created a devotional coloring book and journal so that I (and others who also enjoy these things) can enjoy coloring Scripture art while meditating on God’s Word.

Key #6 - Don’t be intimidated by how others delight in the LORD
● Maybe you have seen some of the creative ways that some women are “journaling” in their Bibles and you would like to try that. Don’t feel like your pages must look just like the amazing photos you have seen on Pinterest. The goal is not perfection. The goal is an enhanced relationship with Jesus. If your version of Bible journaling helps you achieve that, that’s all that matters.

To be clear, these are not rules or commandments. But they are keys that have helped me to delight myself in the LORD. I hope they will help you too.

I am super excited to share this link with you! JoDitt is giving Seeking God readers a sampling of her new coloring book. Before you go, follow this link to download a sampling of her new book! Delight In the Word of God

You can also find JoDitt here at JoDitt Designs and connect with her on social media
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JoDitt Williams is an author, speaker, licensed artist, blogger and Etsy shop owner with a goal of brightening her little corner of the world and helping others do the same. Whether she is creating art using traditional methods or digitally, her style is always colorful, cheerful and charming. She hopes that her Scripture art will cultivate delight in the LORD and in His Word. JoDitt has a passion for encouraging, uplifting and inspiring women to live a life full of joy, while gaining victory over fear. That’s why she teaches a weekly Bible study class for women in her community, and blogs at about hiding God’s Word in your heart. JoDitt and her husband of 28 years are empty-nesters, who have traded their house for an RV and their horses for a Harley. They, as well as their two married children and three grandchildren, call Texas home.

Mission: Lead the Way and Sitting Among Friends #53

Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth had waited years for children. They were both very old and Elizabeth was not able to have children. Zechariah was a priest. I would like to bet that for many years they had made their requests known to God. If only they could have a child. If only God could grant them that small request.

This was to be Zechariah’s year. As a priest, one thing they would eagerly wait for was to be chosen as the priest to enter the Holy of Holies in the temple. This would have most likely been a once in a lifetime opportunity.

To stand before the very mercy seat of the Lord, what an honor! It would probably not be a far-off guess to suggest that not only did Zechariah do his priestly duties but didn’t waste this opportunity to make his requests known.

If it was not a verbal prayer, it certainly must have been one on his heart because as the worshippers were praying outside, an angel appeared before Zechariah to settle this very matter.

The angel said to him that his wife would bear a son and they were to call him John. There are so many things we could draw out of this story but I want to draw our attention to this boy John.

The one whom Jesus said, of all who have ever lived, none is greater than John the Baptist. We often know him for his role as baptizer but his role as leader and messenger were his very calling.

The prophet Malachi spoke of him and his role hundreds of years before he was born. "Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming," says the LORD of hosts. Malachi 3:1(NLT)

I am always interested in knowing what this can mean for us? If the Bible is written about someone else in a different time, what does that have to do with me? In everything, show yourself to be an example by doing good works. Titus 2:7a (BSB)

John the Baptist was sent to go before the Lord to make a way for Him. We can look as his good works as an example of faith in action. He had a mission. Make a way for the Lord. John was working for a hope he had not yet seen but one he set his faith in.

We can certainly look to the example of John.

He gave up the comforts of the world to complete his calling. John wore clothing made of camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. Mark 1:6 (NIV)

He was teaching the people repentance, turning to God and then baptizing them.  Before he came, John the Baptist preached that all the people of Israel needed to repent of their sins and turn to God and be baptized. Acts 13:24 (NLT)

When questioned about who he was, He pointed to Jesus. John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet: “I am a voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’” John 1:23 (BSB)

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. John 1:29 (BSB)

“I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.” John 1:34 (BSB)

He stepped back and allowed God to take the glory instead of himself. As John was completing his work, he said: 'Who do you suppose I am? I am not the one you are looking for. But there is one coming after me whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. Acts 13:25 (NIV)

He continued the mission even through suffering and giving up his own life.

How often, for the sake of our calling or for the mission to further God’s kingdom do we even like to get a little uncomfortable? John was a great example of someone sent to fulfill his job and lived it out to the end.

John was faith in action. He pointed people to Jesus. He exalted Him as Lord over all. He taught people the way to repentance and turning toward God and 

He stepped back so Jesus could step into His proper place.

Leave us some encouragement below. 
What do you think of the story of John? Do any of the parts make you uncomfortable? 
Does any of it spur you on to make some changes in your own thinking or mission field? 
What part of John’s life do you think we can look to as an example? 
Give us some of your ideas of how we can walk out our faith. 

Looking Forward to Christmas? Here is a really fun link! It is a list of Christmas songs and Bible verses to reflect on. The 12 Praise of Christmas. 

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I would love to connect with you on social media! 
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Magnify No Other Name & Sitting Among Friends #52

I almost missed our meeting here today. Last night, I fell asleep reading to my kids. I know this may sound ridiculous to most bloggers but I write the night before I post.

Which means after the kids are asleep, I take to the computer and begin my “work”. Last night, that didn’t happen until I was suddenly awoken singing “Magnify no other Name.”

When I am slammed wide awake in the middle of the night, I am often time reminded of the story in Esther, when King Xerxes is awoken in the night and can’t sleep.

That night the king could not sleep; so he ordered the book of the chronicles, the record of his reign, to be brought in and read to him. Esther 6:1

God had something for him to notice. In those records, it was brought back to the attention of the king that Mordecai, the cousin of Esther, just so happened to save his life. 

I always find it funny when God stirs us in the night to bring something to our forefront. So here we are, 2:30 in the morning to be reminded to magnify no other name.

Here is part of the chorus from the song I woke up singing.

Magnify by We Are Messengers.

Take it all, Take it all away
Magnify no other Name
Open up, open up my eyes
To you

This week tends to be a busy week. Thanksgiving and Christmas right around the corner. We can get overwhelmed with our to-do lists, getting and buying gifts and cooking, cleaning, hosting.

I love doing all these things. (Well minus the cleaning part.)

But the truth is all these things, that can be good can quickly turn to pride, greed, jealousy, covetousness, bitterness, more of me and less of Him.

As we go into this holiday season, may we, not only sing but show the actions of this song. Magnify No Other Name.

We often hear this world is temporary and as believer’s, we know this world is not our home. But we can bring on the misery while living here or we can choose to not forget the mission and magnify no other Name.

There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.  Acts 4:12

God has given no other name that will save us now and for eternity.

I hope God’s praise will be the source of life that flows from your conversations and your activities. I pray that your hearts will flow with the gratitude because of what Jesus did for us on the cross. May the Lord see that God is bigger than it all and may we be a true reflection of who He is.

Have a blessed holiday, my friends!

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I would love to connect with you on social media! 
You can Find Me at the Links Below!

Jaime Wiebel - Facebook | Twitter |  Pinterest |  Google+

This week's featured friend is Jill Hoven from Jill is not only a great encourager of the Word but also teaches through her program MemoryMiders the importance of overall health through soul and mind. I am glad you are here, Jill. I hope you and your family have a wonderful rest of your year.  
Thanks for joining us and Sitting Among Friends

WOW! Thank you all for coming here and for the 78 Amazing posts from last week. This party has been wonderful and it is thanks to you, friends, who link-up with us and those who stop by and read and SHARE! Thank you!

You all are amazing writers who share Family and Faith, DIY's, Recipes, Photos, Giveaways, Homeschool and more. Many of you have amazing journeys of faith and I praise the Lord we are able to connect here!

There are easy share buttons to your left or at the bottom of each post (mobile) and after you link-up. Thanks for sharing! 

Thanks! From all of us at  #SittingAmongFriends

*** Joining Us Here? You are welcome to join me on Pinterest and Pin to Our Sitting Among Friends Blog Party Board where I will be happy to re-pin posts to my other boards. *** 

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Where Jesus Slept by Norma Lewis Review

One of my favorite types of books to read my children are cumulative tales. These are books that build on the story as the pages progress. Each page repeats the previous page and then a new thought or sentence adds to the story. 

I love these types of stories because they promote confident readers. Even if a child cannot “read” the page they feel as if they can. These stories are also a great way for children to see the whole picture come together at the end of the story. 

I couldn't have been more delighted to read the new book by author Norma Davis called Where Jesus Slept. While teaching the story of our king's arrival we slowly gather around the manger scene. 

We see all the pieces of the blessed night when Jesus was born from the angels singing in the fields to Jesus' humble beginnings the night he was born. 

Illustrator Katy Hudson has captured our hearts in the faces and scenery she has so beautifully drawn on every page. 

I enjoyed this book. I would recommend this book to anyone small children. What a great way to tell them the story of when Jesus was born. This book would make a fun way to add a family tradition of reading the Christmas story. With the repetition, your kiddos will be telling you the story in no time!

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He sent His One and only Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. 

Reading Age 4-7

About the Author: 
Norma Lewis is the author of 10 books. She lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with a marmalade cat named Scalawag.When Scalawag isn't busy living up to his name, they both love spending time with her six grandchildren. 

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

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Seek Him First! Today's Bible Reading

James 1:17
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of Lights with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.

It is of utmost importance that you know that Christ died for you. He died for all sinners so that our relationship with Him could be restored.

Because of His sacrifice on the cross we can have peace. Are you seeking more peace today? Peace of the soul can only be given through the redemptive power of Jesus Christ.

I hope that you, too, know the saving grace of an amazing God.
If you have questions about how to know more you can email me at

2 Timothy 1:7