Transformation Garden – December 17, 2020

Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me, the Messiah, to preach the good news, the Gospel, to the poor; He has sent Me to announce release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind; to send forth as delivered those who are oppressed, who are downtrodden, bruised, crushed and broken down by calamity. To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, the day when salvation and free favors of God profusely abound.”

Luke 4: 18, 19 – Jesus

Amplified Bible


“The Liberator”

“The love of liberty is the love of others; the love of power is the love of our ourselves.”

William Hazlitt

“Liberty” – The state of being free from control or restriction.


“Liberty is the only thing you can’t have unless you give it to others.”

William Allen White

We have heard a lot about the word “liberty” in the past few years – and what it means.  Politicians and world leaders may define “liberty” one way.  While those bound with chains may define it another.   Abraham Lincoln, who spent a great deal of time in his lifetime working for “liberty for all” in the United States of America, observed, “The world has never had a good definition of the word liberty.”

While our world may have difficulty defining liberty, in practical terms the Bible does not.  No one was more clear on what His work of liberty was about than Jesus, Himself. When He visited the city where He grew up, Nazareth, the Bible tells us that as His custom was, He went to the synagogue on the Sabbath Day and began to read the words penned by the Old Testament prophet Isaiah.  Words that Jesus applied to Himself.

Liberty to Jesus was not about power; it was about the powerful becoming servants.  Liberty was freedom given to the poor, the marginalized, the oppressed, the bruised and those in society who were stepped on.  Liberty was lifting up, never pushing down.

In the most practical terms, liberty in Jesus’ world meant helping another instead of ourselves.

As I was thinking about Jesus coming to this earth as a liberator of all of us, I found a poem, that I feel perfectly conveys the thought of Jesus’ liberty – thinking of others first.  During the rush of this Christmas season, the message contained in this poem, is one that I know I want to incorporate into my life, everyday of the year – not just at Christmastime.

Merry Christmas from Me to You

“Her name is Shon,

She’s due any day.

She works at McDonald’s

For minimum pay.

She has other children—

One, two, and three.

She’s tired, she’s broke,

She has not time that’s free.

Her kids won’t have Christmas

There’s no money to spare,

She’s too proud to ask

With no family to care.

She’s struggled to learn

How to clean and to cook.

She raised her siblings,

And did what it took

To finish her schooling,

Get her GED,

It’s been a hard life;

She’s barely twenty!

So, I’m caught in a dilemma,

You are my friend.

It’s Christmas, I’m shopping,

With little to spend.

We’ve had a great year,

Good times – you and me,

And there’s much for us both

Under our tree.

I can’t spend the money

To buy you more stuff,

When Shon and her kids

Have it so tough.

I bought you this candle,

And gave her the rest.

I fretted and stewed,

But thought is was best

To do it this way.

I know you won’t mind

Because you are loving,

and thoughtful and kind!

Please light this candle

Each day as you pray,

And think of this girl

Who’s not far away.

She needs more than money.

She needs someone to care,

To know that she matters,

Tough life is unfair.

So I’ve given her you,

Through your gift from me.

And all through this year,

‘Neath her Christmas tree,

She’ll know with her heart

That someone is there,

Holding her up

In spirit-filled prayer.

Merry Christmas, my friend,

I hope this will do

Thanks from Shon and her kids.

Love from me – just for you!”

Mrs. Janet Hitchcock


“We thought we knew where to find you;

We hardly needed a star to guide the way,

Just perseverance and common sense;

Why do you hide yourself away from the powerful

And join the refugees and outcasts, calling us to follow you there?

Wise God, give us wisdom.

We thought we had laid you safe in the manger;

We wrapped you in the thickest sentiment we could find,

And stressed how long ago you came to us;

Why do you break upon us in our daily life

With messages of peace and goodwill,

Demanding that we do something about it?

Just and righteous God, give us justice and righteousness.

So where else would we expect to find you

But in the ordinary place with the faithful people,

Turning the world to your purpose through them.

Bring us to that manger, to that true rejoicing,

Which will make wisdom, justice and righteousness alive in us.”

Stephen Orchard

Your friend,

Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus

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