“Gabriel’s visit to Mary issued the heavenly Father’s invitation.  And the things the angel said were laden with hope for Mary’s world and for glory to fill the future.  Listen to these phrases because the things angels say give us a clue to God’s way of thinking when He calls us to His purposed plan for our lives.

  • He will be great. (Luke 1:32)
  • The Lord will give Him the throne. (Luke 1:32)
  • Of His kingdom there will be no end. (Luke 1:33)

I can’t urge you strong enough to let these words settle into your won soul because, like the Mary miracle, they also are a genre –  a “kind” of thing God does.  Although they were spoken of Jesus whom Mary would bear, the truer-than-ever truth today is that this same Jesus has come to dwell in us. And the purpose of His entry is not only to abide with us, but also to extend His kingdom through us.

So many dear believers only think of this “extending” in terms of religious duties, accepting Christian disciplines and trying harder to “be good.”  Thus, attempting to master our limitations and trying to cultivate self-discipline becomes a wearying effort at spiritual achievement.  But our Father’s plan is to birth Christ’s life in us, not demand His life from us.

I have an angelic “word” for you about this, the same one spoken by the shepherds: “Today a Savior is born to you.”  There’s a new life resource available for every new day, and a new challenge, too.  God wants to reveal His “surprise” workings at new dimensions of joy we couldn’t have thought possible.  Whether you’re seeking to respond to overcome an old problem that has caused stress for you, I invite you to “listen to the angels.”

This Mary-miracle approach to growth and victory isn’t painless or problem-free – having babies never is.  But it is alive and aglow, filled with joy, rather than with juggling the metallic pieces of a “Do-It-Yourself Christian Kit.” God’s surprise ways are superior to our best efforts at anything  – even trying to live for Him.  He is in the life-begetting, birthing business because it produces sons and daughters, not robots.

The Good News of the gospel doesn’t end with our new birth.  It continues by announcing the possibilities of periodic, additional surprise babes – birthing of blessing making possible new growth, and always through the power of new grace.  Such a life-flow to us, in us and through us changes things around us as we find:

  • Release from life’s most besetting sin, as habits are broken and forgiveness drives out our guilt;
  • Brightness shining in life’s darkest corners, as love beams in and drives out fear;
  • Provision unfolds for life’s deepest need, as God’s abundance drives out want;
  • Strength flows to focus on life’s weakest point, as divine enablement drives out failure;
  • Health springs forth at life’s sorest place, as the Healer Himself begins to drive out pain.

From “The Mary Miracle”, by Jack Hayford



A merry heart doeth good like a medicine… Prov. 17:22

Here are some mixed up Christmas titles: Can you figure them out?

  1. Approach, Everyone Who Is Steadfast
  2. Are You Experiencing Parallel Auditory Input?
  3. Celestial Messengers From Splendid Empires
  4. Creator Grant You Cheerful Thoughts, Noble Sirs
  5. Delighted Days Off
  6. Ecstasy Toward The Orb
  7. Embellish The Corridors
  8. The Event Occurred At One Minute After 11:59 PM-Visibility Unlimited
  9. Hail Nativity Conifer
  10. Hey, Minuscule Urban Area Southwest Of Jerusalem
  11. I Auditorily Perceived Clapper Containers At The Peak Of The Yuletide Season
  12. I Observed A Trio Of Vessels Returning From Yachting
  13. Listen! The Foretelling Spirits Harmonize
  14. A Melodic Composition Reverberates Through The Atmosphere
  15. Musical Clanging Objects Composed Of A White Malleable Element
  16. Our Desire Is Your Yuletide Cheer
  17. Ovine Caretakers Supervised Their Charges In The Period Past Twilight
  18. The Primary Carol
  19. Proceed To Broadcast This From A Much Higher Elevation
  20. Quiescent Nocturnal Period
  21. Removed In A Bovine Feeding Trough
  22. Seraphim We Aurally Detected In The Stratosphere
  23. The Slight Percussionist Lad
  24. Song Of Joy From Harmonic Hollow Metallic Devices
  25. What Offspring Abides Thus


Need some hints? Here are the real names of the titles listed above.

However,they are in alphabetical order, not in matching order.


  1. Angels From The Realms Of Glory
  2. Angels We Have Heard On High
  3. Away In A Manger
  4. Carol Of The Bells
  5. Deck The Halls
  6. Do You Hear What I Hear?
  7. The First Noel
  8. Go Tell It On The Mountain
  9. God Rest You Merry, Gentleman
  10. Happy Holidays
  11. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
  12. I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day
  13. I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing In
  14. It Came Upon A Midnight Clear
  15. Joy To The World
  16. The Little Drummer Boy
  17. O Christmas Tree
  18. O Come, All Ye Faithful
  19. O Little Town Of Bethlehem
  20. Silent Night
  21. Silver Bells
  22. There’s A Song In The Air
  23. We Wish You A Merry Christmas
  24. What Child Is This?
  25. While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks By Night