Come and See What God has Done!


Come and see what God has done, was the angel’s message to the shepherds out in the fields watching their sheep that first Christmas night. They were terrified as the angel came among them and the glory of the Lord shone around them. The angel told them not to be afraid, for he had brought them Good News that would bring Great Joy, for all people, for a Savior had been born!! Then the angel told the shepherds how they would recognize the Savior that was born; they would find Him wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger

How did the shepherds respond to the angel’s message?

When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other,

“Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.” Luke 2:13-20

Come and see what God has done…

God’s message pierced through the darkness and rang out loud and clear on the hills outside Bethlehem as a host of angels joined together praising and glorifying the Lord. Their words of praise and of peace expelled the shepherd’s fear and brought an excitement to them to go and see the thing which the Lord had told them about. They hurried off, and there, in the town of Bethlehem, they found the Baby; the Good News that brought Great Joy, the Savior of the world!

The shepherds were the first missionaries, the first ones to share testimony about Jesus! Jesus hadn’t said a word, hadn’t done anything but “come to earth.” Standing in the presence of Jesus, seeing what God had done, changed the shepherds and gave them a story they couldn’t keep to themselves! They went and spread the Good News of Great Joy to all the people and all who heard their story were astonished.

The shepherds went back to their work that night changed because they listened to and obeyed the message from God. Their darkness was turned to Light as they went to see what God had done! Their hearts were filled with awe and wonder, and their mouths were filled with joy and praise as they glorified God!

Though you may not see an angel come to you with a message from God or a multitude of angels praising God, God still sends this message to you.

Come and see what God has done…

Come and see Jesus…

The Good News…

that brings Great Joy to all people…

the Savior of the World!

And once you find Jesus, once you see Him face to face, once you experience the presence of Jesus you will never be the same!

Whether you have seen Jesus for many years, or have never responded to God’s message to come and see…I invite you to come and see Jesus as never before! Every encounter with Jesus, every time you set aside the busyness of life to come and see, to “Be still and know that I am God,” you are changed from the inside out.

A great way to have an encounter with Jesus is to read the Bible with a heart that believes and a mind to understand. Jesus is called the Word of God, so when you read the Bible, you gain understanding of who God is. You learn the Good News of all Jesus has done, is doing, and will do. Your fear is turned to peace. You are encouraged by those who have gone before and have seen what God has done. You gain understanding, new perspectives, and greater faith. Your mouth is filled with praise and you have stories that you can’t keep to yourself!

Between the Old Testament and the New testament there had been over 400 years of silence. No one had heard the voice of God. It was into that darkness that the angel’s messages to Zechariah, to Mary, to Joseph, and to the shepherds came shining through. It was into that silence that God sent His Good News of Great Joy, the Savior of the world.

Sometimes you can fool yourself by thinking that because you have a Bible in your house. Because you go to church. Because your family is Christian. Because you have the Light of Jesus all around you, you don’t need to have your own encounters with Jesus. You can be fooled into thinking that since you heard the angels tell about the Savior of the world you don’t need to go to the manger to see Him for yourself. The truth is that until you push away your own fear, leave your own sheep, and hurry off to find the manger, you will never encounter Jesus. You won’t experience His presence, and you will live in darkness and silence.

As the year 2016 comes to an end, and 2017 comes in fresh and new, now is the time for you to

Come and see what God has done…

Come and see Jesus…

To read your Bible,

to pray

to journal

to listen to God

to respond to what He says

to do what He says

for then your mouth will be filled praise as you glorify God and tell others the Good News of Great Joy…

You will be one who brings God’s message of Light into this dark world, breaking the silence with His message of Hope, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord!

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year – and many amazing encounters with Jesus – Wilma

Feel free to share a comment of your encounters! You never know how your story may encourage someone else!

Above: Adriana Vega

A beautifully choreographed dance to the song, Noel, written by Chris Tomlin, performed Christmas Day, at Bethany Church, Wanaque.



Love Came Down at Christmas

When God created the first man He called all of heaven to join Him as He gathered the dust of the ground and formed and shaped Adam with His hands. Jesus, Holy Spirit, and all the angels watched in amazement as God then leaned over and breathed His very breath into man’s lungs and Adam became a living being. The woman too, God took His hands and reached into Adam and drew out a rib with which He formed Eve. All other creation God spoke into being, but man was lovingly shaped by God’s very own hands, created in His own image. Adam received his first breath through God’s own mouth. God placed Adam and Eve in a garden of perfection, the Garden of Eden, where they all enjoyed walking and talking together. Adam and Eve had everything they needed, experienced no guilt, and knew no shame.

That was all Adam and Eve knew; perfect love, truth, and intimacy with God, their Creator.

Until the day evil entered the garden…

Satan, the liar, brought to God’s creation another voice.

Another choice.

Satan had also enjoyed the presence of God. Lucifer, as he once was called, was created by God, a beautiful covering angel who worshipped God and walked upon the fiery stones of heaven. But one day evil was found in Lucifer. One day pride rose up in him and he wanted to be worshipped instead of the worshipper he was created to be. He wanted to be like God. And because God will not share His glory with any other, Lucifer was cast out of heaven, down to earth.

And so, it was this same evil that came into the perfect Garden of Eden.

That same lie, “you will be like God…”

The lie that says, “Is God really worthy of your worship? Wouldn’t you rather be worshipped?”

The lie enticed…

The lie was embraced…

The lie replaced the truth…

The lie brought disobedience to God’s command…sin

Sin brought guilt and shame.

Sin brought death to the relationship between man and his Creator.

That evil, that sin nature, has been passed on to all God’s creation.

But God so loved the world…

God had a plan from the beginning, when sin first entered man. That plan was to restore relationship, and to defeat the enemy, the liar, Satan.

There in the Garden of Eden God set His plan into motion and there is a Crimson Thread that runs through the Bible that shows God’s love for His creation. It was a plan of redemption so that the relationship and the fellowship that God intended for His creation would be restored.

Love came down from heaven on Christmas Day!

The prophet Isaiah spoke of a child, a son that was to be born. He would be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. He would rule with fairness and justice, forever. The Lord of heaven’s armies would make it happen! (Isaiah 9:6-7) Isaiah spoke of this 700 years before the birth of Jesus. God gave His people a promise, a hope, that He had Good News that would be to all people.

In God’s perfect timing.

When the world was dark and God’s voice was silent…

On that first Christmas night I believe a holy hush fell upon heaven, as all joined together and waited in suspense, in anticipation, to see the Wonder of Love sent down to earth!

Love that would once again breathe life into God’s creations that had died that day in the Garden of Eden.

Love that would restore relationship between God and all whom He lovingly created with His own hands.

Something new and different was about to happen. God’s Love was about to be demonstrated in a miraculous way. The Love of God was about to come to earth, to take on flesh and blood, to live among the people.

Jesus came down at Christmas, born to bring us Life!

“That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”Luke 2:8-12

God’s Love is Good News!!

God’s Love casts out all fear!!

God’s Love brings great joy!!

Why the shepherds? Why were they the first ones to hear the Good News? Those who were outside and alone on a cold dark night, doing a menial job, away from the warmth and comfort of home?

In many ways the shepherds represent all people. Sin has kept us outside, and alone in the dark of night. Sin has kept us away from the warmth and comfort of a relationship with our heavenly Father.

God’s Good News is for all people!

You may be in a cold, dark place,

You may feel alone, even during this time of “Happy Holidays,”

You may be far from the warmth and comfort of family and friends.

“The Word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood…What came into existence was Life, and the life was Light to live by.” John 1:14,4 MSG

Christmas! The Love of God come to earth as a Babe in a manger. The Light of God come onto this dark world. The Life of God given to all who believe. This Christmas may you know the Good News that came to the shepherds on that first silent and holy night…Good News of Great Joy, a Savior is born, He is Christ the Lord! No longer a Babe in a manger, but the Savior of the world who now sits at the right hand of God the Father. He no longer knocks on the doors of houses, but on the doors of human hearts, longing to be welcomed inside to bring Love, to bring Light, and to Live with you forever!

God comes to say to you,

“Hear the Good News of Love come down at Christmas! For I so loved you that I sent My One and only Son. If you believe in Him you will not die, but you will live and have Life with Me forever! 

Thank you for joining me on this journey through life to learn the ways the enemy means for harm, but that God intends for good!!  May you realize the amazing good God intends for you in the Love that came down from heaven as you celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!! – Wilma






Lessons from the Living Nativity


The moment the Living Nativity came together with all the cast gathered around a baby doll laying in the manger I was in awe of how God had once again kept His Story alive. I realized that what seemed a simple script, roughly cut and sewn costumes, and a stable made from left overs and scraps of wood, held within  it the wonder and awe of God come to earth!

What I have learned is that God doesn’t mind the simple script, after all, it is His Word being proclaimed. And I don’t think He minds the roughly sewn costumes, because they are similar to the swaddling cloths He was wrapped in. And I’m quite sure He really likes the creative way a soccer goal is transformed into a stable.

But last Saturday night I was humbled as I stood and listened to the simple script, looking at the cast wrapped in swaddling costumes, all huddled together in the hand crafted stable, and I asked God’s forgiveness for my doubts about doing the Living Nativity. At that moment my excuses evaporated into the cold night air at the wonder of God’s Word being proclaimed to all who were there. My doubts seemed so insignificant as I watched the cast act out the Story of God come to earth as a Babe in a manger.

I am reminded that no other words could tell the Christmas Story better than God’s own Words. There is power in the Word of God and as it is spoken into the cold night air it is as seed falling on the hearts of men filled with the love and power to save and change lives forever! The Babe in the manger is the “Word of God” come to us, and because He came, lived among us, died for us, and rose again, we have been given the greatest gift; the gift of life!

“In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God,
and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created,
and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it. He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God. So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.” John 1:1-5, 10-14

I am reminded that Jesus wasn’t born to a wealthy family. His parents hadn’t packed Him a new, finely made outfit to wear when He was born. Love was wrapped in swaddling cloths.

God gave the greatest gift ever given when He sent His Son, Jesus, to earth. Jesus wasn’t wrapped the way many believed the Messiah, the Savior of the world, would be wrapped. His “wrapping” didn’t line up with what they thought their Savior should look like. Things haven’t really changed. Today, many don’t receive Jesus, the gift of God, because He isn’t wrapped the way people want Him to be wrapped. Too often we define the Gift of God by the wrapping we see, rather than by opening up the swaddling cloths and seeing the greatness, the love that lies within!

“In God’s eyes He was like a tender green shoot, sprouting from a root in dry and sterile ground. But in our eyes there was no attractiveness at all, nothing to make us want Him. We despised Him and rejected Him – a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief. We turned our backs on Him and looked the other way when He went by. He was despised, and we didn’t care.” Isaiah 53:2-3

I am reminded that Jesus humbled Himself when He left His throne in heaven and came to this earth. He wasn’t born in a palace, a mansion, not even in an Inn. Love was born in a stable.

“You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.” Philippians 2:5-8

God’s timing is perfect; yet there was no room for them in the Inn. If Mary and Joseph had arrived earlier there would have been room. God could have reserved a room for His Son. It was God’s will for His Son, Jesus, to be born in a stable.

I’m still not sure “How God sees Christmas”, but I pray some of these lessons from the Living Nativity will change my heart and give me a different perspective. May I not be distracted by my expectations or by the expectations of others, Instead…

May I realize the power of proclaiming God’s Word to those around me this Christmas. Holy Spirit, open my eyes to the needs of those around me and give me the boldness to share Your Words of Truth that have the power to save and to change lives for eternity.

May I know the greatness of God by embracing His “Gift of Love” wrapped in swaddling cloths. Jesus, I want to know You more, may I experience Your love, and be filled with Your love, so that I can share Your love with others this Christmas.

And may I have the same humility as Jesus, who came to serve, not to be served this Christmas. Father, Your timing and Your positioning is perfect. May I trust You even when I don’t understand my circumstances. Even when I feel I deserve an Inn and I end up in a stable. May I be willing to die to myself so that Your will is done. May I be willing to lay aside my rights so that others will see You.

Perhaps the best way to describe Christmas is with just one word – Love

“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16


What Does Christmas Look Like?

The snow this morning was beautiful as it blanketedimg_1146 the trees and the Christmas lights and I thought, “Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas.” Snow and Christmas lights…what is it about them that makes it look like Christmas?

What does Christmas look like?

I guess there are many answers to that question, each of you probably have your own definition. Listening to the songs played on the radio station describe about every definition of Christmas possible. Anything from “Santa Clause is coming to town,” to “How many kings stepped down from their thrones?”

How do you describe Christmas? What determines your definition?

The dictionary defines Christmas…”The annual festival of the Christian church commemorating the birth of Jesus; celebrated on December 25, and now as a legal holiday and an occasion for exchanging gifts.”

I find myself drawn to the word “now” in this definition. I find myself torn by this little three letter word…

Christmas, the original meaning, is the commemorating of the birth of Jesus. This is what I want Christmas to mean to me. This is how I want to see Christmas, how I want to describe Christmas.

Yet, this word “now” has me caught up in celebrating a holiday that is all about exchanging gifts.

I have lived caught between these two definitions. While I know Christmas is the celebration of Jesus’ birth. While I have attended many Christmas Eve services and have sung traditional Christmas Carols all my life, I have also made many Christmas lists with gifts I want and I have sung about Frosty, Rudolf, and Santa, who knows everything about me…even whether or not I’m “naughty or nice.”

I have embraced many Christmas traditions that have brought the family together;

Choosing and decorating the perfect tree. Baking cookies, and making the gingerbread house covered with icing and candy. Attending Christmas Eve service, followed by all our favorite Christmas foods. Reading the Christmas Story from the book of Luke before opening the gifts…

These traditions are wonderful and provided many great memories.

I am thankful that I have kept Christ in Christmas. I am thankful that many of our family traditions have included the celebration of the birth of Jesus…but there is this word “now” that has me wondering if I have really seen Christmas, truly celebrated Christmas commemorating the birth of Jesus, my Savior, and my King.

It’s not condemnation…but it does cause me to do some heart searching.

How has the celebration of the birth of Jesus, “Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace,” now become a holiday that is about a man in a red suit bringing gifts on a sleigh drawn by eight tiny reindeer? The enemy has subtly replaced the truth with the pleasures and lusts of this world to distract us and blind us.

The celebration of the true meaning of Christmas holds within it the power to change lives for eternity.

“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:16-17

God so loved the world!

God gave!

God saved!

How does God see Christmas?

as Love?

as Giving?

as Saving?

“The people who walk in darkness shall see a great light…For onto us a child is born; onto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulders. These will be His royal titles: Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:2,6

Jesus, the Light of the world, humbled Himself, left His throne in heaven, and came to this earth that was lost in darkness. Jesus took on flesh as a Babe in a manger, fully God, fully man.

Jesus, the Savior of the world, came and walked the dust of this earth, the very dust He created us from, to save us from our sins, to give us  life with Him forever!

This is exactly what our enemy doesn’t want for us. He has been eternally expelled from God’s presence and he means to keep as many of God’s creations from Him as well, distracted, blind, and walking in darkness.

So what better strategy than to steal the very celebration that holds within it the power to shine the Light of Jesus into the darkness, the power of a Savior to save souls for eternity, the power to reveal God has come to earth, Emmanuel, God with us?

That little three letter word, “now” represents the subtle ways the enemy has redefined Christmas. I see that I have conformed to ways the world celebrates the holiday of Christmas.

Busyness keeps me distracted from shining the Light and Love of Jesus with others.

Focused on the expectations of myself and others has me blinded to those who need to know the Saving Power of Jesus.

It is my prayer this Christmas that the Lord would show me how He defines Christmas. What does Christmas look like to Him? How would He have me to celebrate the birth of His Son, Jesus?

To celebrate the true meaning of Christmas may look similar to the first Christmas…

God so loved the world that He sent His Son,

so He sends you and me…

As a humble son or daughter…

filled with His Holy Spirit, God with us…

to shine His Light in this dark world…

to share His Story, the Good News…

for the salvation of many!

Lord, Thank You for Your incredible love for us that sent Your Son to earth as a Babe in a manger! Thank You for the Light that You have shined into our darkness so that we could see our sin and receive salvation through faith in Your Son, Jesus. You have given us the most incredible gift ever given!! Lord, show us how to celebrate the birth of Your Son. Show us how You see Christmas.

Jesus, You came as the Light, but now You have said that we are the Light of the world. Empower us with Your Holy Spirit to shine Your Light into the darkness around us so that others will see and know You, the true meaning of Christmas!

An Invitation…

There is another tradition that our family has had the privilege of doing with friends for many years. It started over twenty years ago when Mark and I gathered our small group families together, put on robes, and read through the Christmas Story. We began at our house when the angel came to Mary. Then Mark lead our horse, Buck, with me on his back up to the barn where we found no room in the Inn, but were given a stable in which baby Jesus, a teddy bear wrapped in a swaddling blanket, was placed in a hand made manger. The story ended by playing, “Mary, Did You Know?” It was the beginning of a tradition that grew as our small group families joined together and made it bigger and better every year. After many years as our children grew older the costumes and props were left untouched in the basement for several years. Then when our daughter, Kayla, was eight, God prompted me to get out the costumes and the props and He breathed life back into the Living Nativity.

Today as I write this I am reminded of the truth of what I just wrote…there is a battle for the celebration of the true meaning of Christmas.

The “now” is always wanting to steal and destroy…

The “now” is always trying to distract and blind…

Every year of doing the Living Nativity there have been battles…

This year is no exception…

The battle of my will.

The battle of no cast.

The battle of no support roles.

The battle of no practices.

I’m so thankful that God fights my battles. That I can look to Him and trust that He will see that His Story goes out.

Its not about having everything perfect,

its about the Light of the world coming into this darkness,

about the Savior coming to seek and to save the lost,

its about God coming to earth, Emmanuel, God with us!


I invite you to come and join us as we celebrate the true meaning of Christmas! The Christmas Story told through narration, drama, and song. Two outdoor, hour-long, performances. Followed with hot chocolate and cookies!