The Lamb

Live nativity dramas fill the Christmas season. I love them. I love the warmth, the holy joy and the reminder of who this is all about. And I know that I am not the only one who feels that way. I close my eyes now and say a quick prayer. Jesus fills my heart and my mind. At this very moment I can imagine Him actually enter with a crowd at an outdoor nativity play. Come, imagine with me…

He did it with no fanfare at all. Truth be told, the big fanfare to come…ah, that special coming will reveal itself another time and the whole world will see Him. But tonight, well tonight Jesus looks just like you or me. I refocus on the nativity scene and see Him inhale this offering. The celebration that began in the heavens well over 2000 years ago continues still in the hustle and bustle of this night. How it pleases Him. It is His private gift to be with His children as they remember Him.  Watch Him with me…

A sweet ache pierced His heart as He caught the arm of an old man who stumbled as he tried to calm the nativity animals. Jesus gave the man a quick hug and walked to the side of the seating area. He leaned against a tent post to watch everything. He didn’t want to miss anything at all. He chuckled at the children’s squeals and antics waiting for the drama to start. Two pre-school kings ran into His legs and made everyone laugh as they continued to barrel through the crowd – determined to play, at the play!

Jesus enjoyed the twinkling lights, the costumes, the music, and the Star of Bethlehem high above the wooden stable.  He loved it all – and He loved them.  Jesus walked up the aisle and shook hands, hugged those around Him, and greeted everyone like His family.  No one knew anything was different tonight. Old people, young people, married people, single people, church people and passersby stopped and entered the tent looking for a place to sit. Everyone was eager to watch the drama unfold. After all, everyone wanted a reminder in this busy season of what it was really all about. Christmas is so hectic, so media driven, and so commercial.

Suddenly Jesus turned and headed to the far edge of the tent where a woman was sitting by herself.  Her head was lowered so her hair shielded her face.  He came around the row and sat beside her.  No one else saw the tear overflow as she closed her eyes, but Jesus did.  He quickly reached out and caught it as it rolled off her check. He also saw the bruises she hid underneath her makeup and the wedding ring lying in the bottom of her purse. Quietly He breathed a command to His angels concerning her, to guard her in all her ways.  How He loved meeting them at the place of their need.  Then He stood and walked outside.

Behind Him the lights dimmed and the drama began. It was time for Him to go, but He wanted to visit the extra animals not needed for the play first. He knelt down to hold them.  He grinned as they all tried to get to Him. He noticed a little lamb behind the others and stepped through the herd to pick it up.  About that time He heard the angels in the play proclaim His birth. He walked to the edge of the stable door and watched as His children honored Him by laying baby Jesus in the manger.

He felt His heart sing a song that only He knew. He shifted the lamb to His left hand and raised His right hand to run it across the top of the door frame.  He wanted the world to get it. He wanted them to see that tonight wasn’t really about Him, it was for them. Christmas was simply the beginning of Easter. And it was all so that He could be with them always. As Jesus turned to walk away, He glanced back at the blood that only He could see wiped across the top of the door frame.  With a smile He leaned down and whispered to the little lamb that He held, “I was born to be you little one.  I AM the last sacrifice.”

He put the lamb down, glanced up and was gone. There on the ground by the lamb was a gift tied with a large red bow.  On the gift tag it read – All my love, Jesus.

From me to you this Christmas season, open and receive all your gifts with love.  Especially the one that Jesus gave you.

Merry Christmas,

Patti Corbello Archer

December 13, 2015

 

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2014 Christmas thoughts…with love

I remember.  I remember you Jesus.

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I don’t just look at a Christmas tree and see the twinkle of decorations.  While I love the glitter of holidays and sharing joy with family and friends, I never forget you.  How can I not fathom that you left your crown behind and stepped out of heaven and into skin to lay in a manger made of wood and straw.  You weren’t a new gift to the world.  You were the prophesied hope of the world.  You came to show us the way to love beyond skin and fleshly things.  You opened the door to your spiritual world so that one day we could lay aside our skin and join you.  But for now we celebrate Christmas…in hopes of that tomorrow.  It is unreal that we use a tree to decorate when your last crown and breath on this earth was on a tree.  But life has its peculiarities.  So for me, and for all that love you, I pray that when we look at our Christmas tree – that the top has a spiritual crown that resonates within our hearts.  A powerful reminder of the true gift and the true promise of love and a sincere Merry Christmas.

Patti Corbello Archer

December 14, 2014

My Christmas card to all of you.  Blessings…

 

Let’s go Ziplining! by Patti Corbello Archer

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Checklist:
Helmet – check
Harness – check
Double harness – check
Gloves – check
10,000 lb cable – check
Trust in Jesus – check
Sense of humor – check

At almost 55 years old it amazes me that I would be willing to Zipline. Now it doesn’t mean that I would zipline over something that scares me, like say, a cave of bats, a million bees, a volcano, a forest fire, or Indiana Jones’ cave of snakes; but I would love to zipline over something amazing and gorgeous.

My life has been a series of ziplining anyway. While it may not have been on an actual cable, it has been adventure and risk nonetheless. I look at some people I know and their lives seem to have been such a steady, even keel pattern; i.e., same spouse, same friends, same haircut, same house, same job, same church, and same routines. It doesn’t mean life doesn’t throw them a curve with money, health, or age, but in general, yesterday’s face will be recognizable in tomorrow’s face for many of them.

I can’t say that for me in a kazillion ways. While my joy and grateful heart in “steady” is in the face of my son, his growing family, my family, and my God, there has been a whole lot of change, adventure, hardship and kaleidoscope seasons for me as a woman.

I think that I have been every physical size known to females – except a few. And some of them I forbid to release under the fluorescent light of a dressing room lol. I have had various colored hair and actually auburn is my favorite – but age seems to prefer silver. I have woken up to 2 different faces as husbands and the thought of a 3rd gives me a real eccentric sense of humor.

I have been Church of God, Catholic, Baptist, and Non-denominational with a strong seasoning of Pentecostal. I am really glad that I have now received just Jesus’ definition of faith.

My favorite food is everything from drive thru, to leftovers, to sandwiches, to fried, and to healthy food. I will eat it all – hungry or not. I reject that spirit of appetite!

Working through the years has been a conglomeration of developed skills. I have handled money, prescriptions, hospital patients, insurance clients, angry vehicle customers, the sick, the grieving and the hurt in ministry, as well as emergency calls as a deputy in dispatch and the inventory and policy police in my current position. Through it all I have handled the phone, the phone and the phone lol.

I don’t like to gamble with money but I guess that doesn’t mean I don’t mind gambling with my health since I have standing appointments in all fast food drive-thru’s. I have more dates with my doctor now but I am about to change that! I don’t trust men easily. I guess with rape, divorce 1, divorce 2, pastoral abuse, and social media make believe relationships, that is certainly understandable. I guess when I get out of the shower and stand looking in the bathroom mirror I should just continue to be grateful that I still retain treasure troves full of love, faith, a sense of humor and an ability to begin new seasons.

I miss wearing good looking tight jeans, high heels, never tiring energy and having a man hold me in his arms and dance… but I love my time to write, my journeys with Jesus in inspirational creativity, holidays and watching my granddaughter grab the world with everything she has got.

I might not have experienced everything wonderful but I have experienced life. And it isn’t over…it is just a new season…
…….

Jesus helps me buckle into the zipline harness and puts my helmet on me. I pull my gloves up and laugh. I ask Him if He is sure the cable is strong enough to hold me. He yanks my hair sticking out from under my helmet and says, “Come on, I’ll beat you to the other side!” A Rocky Mountain valley and 3 lakes litter the ground below us as we took off.

Wheeeeee!

Patti Corbello Archer
June 1, 2013

Reflections…with Love

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Like you, I can’t help but embrace this season as a time of reflection of where I have been this year, but more importantly, where I will be going.  This has been a kaleidoscope type of year.  It has been a mixture of tears, laughter, victory, challenges, illness, healing and basically redefining much of what my life consisted of for a long time.  Wow.  I have…

So many blessings. 

So many opportunities. 

So much family.

So much love. 

And so much Jesus.

I am so excited.  Can you tell?  I don’t have to redo yesterday and tomorrow is still being created uniquely for me.  It is like watching 2012 fly away like sand in the breeze but yet, instead of seeing what is gone I see the treasure than remains.  That’s it!  It has been a treasure hunt of a year!

Just like the precious stones in the foundation that Jesus promises in the new Jerusalem to come, are the jewels in the days ahead – for me – and you.  Let’s whisper to Jesus.  Ask Him what He has for us.  Plan for new always – but be sure to keep care of our current valuables.  Remember His word….be faithful over a few things and He will make you ruler over much.   Matthew 15:21

Glory Hallelujah!  Increase!!  That reminds me.  I want to increase my knowledge.  You know, read books about things I don’t know for one thing.  I just checked out a knitting book at the library.  Yep.  I am going to learn how to knit so that I can create beautiful gifts and keep my hands occupied.  Let’s face it.  If I am holding a knitting needle I can’t hold snacks!  Smile.  I feel called to fast.  Not because of the flesh but just because of what God has put on my heart as spiritual intercession for others.  See, there are many ways to love on others and that makes me very happy.

Take me on a love journey this year, Jesus.  Wow me.  Wow all of us. 

In Jesus’ name,

Patti Corbello Archer

December 31, 2012