The Christmas season is a time full of never ending to-do lists. It’s so busy, that we often rush from one thing to the next without taking in the importance of Christmas. Cissie Graham Lynch (@cissiegrahamlynch) encouraged attendees at The Cove’s Women’s Christmas Luncheon to pause and praise God in the midst of trials. This year, don’t rush by the Nativity; don’t rush by Mary; and don’t rush by Jesus. Instead, take time to reflect on the gifts we have and enjoy this Christmastime. #FearlessPodcast For more resources and additional episodes visit




welcome back to another episode of

fearless and this is the last episode of

the year which is really hard to believe

but this past weekend I was in Asheville

North Carolina speaking at The Cove the

Billy Graham Training Center which of

course is one of my favorite places to

visit uh it’s a special place for my

family and I but I wanted to share with

you what has been on my heart about what

we can learn from the life of Mary I

know so often that this is a busy time

of year and we can Rush by everything

and my prayer just been not to rush by

the Nativity not to rush by Mary and not

to rush by Jesus this Christmas season

and I wanted to share with you the four

disciplines we can learn from the life

of Mary that might not come natural to

our human Spirit good

afternoon it is so fun for me to come I

call this home North Carolina because as

my brother said I live in uh Southwest

Florida Fort Meers Florida with my

husband and three children so when I

come home to North

Carolina I feel like I can breathe but

especially coming to The Cove I think

anybody in my immediate family and my

extended family we would say this might

be one of the most precious places to

our family um as you learn this was The

Envision my grandmother had and for me

when you go around the Cove you

definitely see her touches and just you

see her through everything so I love

coming home to The Cove I love being

with my Aunt Gigi we ate lunch with her

and she has us all laughing I often say

that Gigi um is probably the most like

my grandmother when it comes to the

personality she’s the most fun always

has you rolling and just there’s a wit a

quick wit about her and that was the

thing about my grandmother she always

just had such a great sense of humor

and so I love spending time with my

family my brother and my

sister-in-law and I will say it’s also a

little bit intimidating coming back and

having family in the audience and being

on the stage that my grandfather spoke

and I believe some of our time’s

greatest teachers have been on this

stage so this is a special place for us

but we’re here and it’s

Christmas and um this always just seems

to be crunch time we’re rush rush rush

rush rush I don’t know about you but for

me this week has just been I should say

the last few weeks rushing and I can’t

seem to get caught up I told my husband

we he was gone to Alaska working with

Samaritan’s Purse this week we passed by

for 30 minutes at the

airport and we um we got one kiss in the

parking lot and I just said why am I not

a woman that can keep it all

together and I don’t know about you but

I’m sure there’s some ladies in here

that have have everything wrapped and

you’re already ready

but there might be some of you who’ve

come today that this is just one more on

that never ending to-do list that we

have at Christmas time and especially as

moms um right before I got here my kids

had a party to go to my little girl’s

present didn’t show up I’m insta carding

I don’t know if you know I don’t know if

they have that here in Asheville but

they can deliver in 30 minutes to your

house and I’m having it wrapped before I

go to the airport it’s just like things

we have to think about that my husband

would not dare think about but he’s many

wonderful things but I needed

today I needed to come here I needed to

come through the gates of the

Cove to breathe I don’t want to rush by

the Christmas season I love the

Traditions I love the excitement I don’t

want that sense of panic that we got to

get it all done I don’t want to rush by

the Nativity I don’t want to rush by

Mary I don’t want to rush by

Jesus to think that the Son of God left

the Throne of Heaven Heaven whose arms

wrap around the world and Hold Us in his

arms he came down as a baby to be held

in the arms of a teenager and I don’t

want to rush by that so we’re here today

and I’m so excited to be with you ladies

that you would decide to come here today

to spend with me my Aunt might have

elevated me a little bit higher than I

deserve I was sitting upstairs thinking

Lord why I just I feel very humbled to

be here on this stage so thank you let’s

uh begin with prayer Lord I um

we come today as so many of us might be

weary we might be tired there’s some

that maybe have everything put together

and already done but Lord we’re coming

time to spend just a couple of hours

with you to worship you to spend time

with you we don’t want to rush by that

Nativity this Christmas season that we

would have our hearts quiet to hear your

word to learn from the Christmas story

may you just speak to us in this short

time in Jesus name I pray

amen when I was a kid I thought my

purpose on this Earth was to sing at my

grandfather’s Crusades and to sing at my

dad Franklin Grahams festivals I knew

that was my purpose I’m a 90s kid I uh

listen to Jackie vquez singing at my

dad’s Crusades and at my um like when

Michael W Smith and DC Talk were coming

out and singing at my grandfather’s

Crusades I knew that was God’s purpose

well a little known fact us Grahams we

don’t have that singing app downloaded

in us we cannot sing even down here in

the corner I’m like mouthing the words

because I’m so afraid they were going to

accidentally hit my mic on while y’all

are all

singing Because in fourth grade my dream

came to a stop I was uh cast the role of

just like my dream part in a play

I was Snow White and I had a sing

Someday My Prince would come to somebody

that was anything but Prince Charming in

the corner and my voice and my tune was

anything but all inspiring as I was um

standing in there with the bright light

shining on me and like go Someday My

Prince Will Come and up and down I could

see people giggling I could see my

fourth grade crush just laughing I even

saw my mom and my brother will was home

from college visiting and they were

rolling laughing in the thing my mom had

to stop the car on the way home cuz she

was laughing so

hard so if we’re still talking about

songs I actually still have those dreams

and I start getting sweaty and nervous

that the lights are coming to come on

and I have to sing but I love music I

love songs and of course we all love to

sing songs this time of year um and

whether we can sing or carry a tune um

we’re singing no matter what cuz one

time I was going to try again I was

going to try my dream one more time we

we went Christmas caroling for church I

was in high school and my high school

boyfriend’s sister looked at me and goes

is that you making that

noise so I know we’ll leave the singing

to others but this Christmas season

whether people believe in Jesus Christ

or not they’re singing The Gospel

through so many of those classic songs

and let me ask you I do believe there’s

two types of people in this world one

who turned on the Christmas music

November 1st anybody that turns on

Christmas somebody’s pointing you

already pointing you out November 1st or

it’s a December 1st but even heard

somebody say the other day they don’t

turn it on till the week of

Christmas so I was actually impressed we

were on a road trip the other day and my

husband was turning on the Christmas

music and I told him I said I’m so

impressed with you most men wouldn’t do

that but have you ever thought about

what the first Christmas song

was a lot of us probably think it might

have been Luke 2 when the Angels Came in

the darkness of the night to the

Shepherds to to announce the birth of

Christ but the first Christmas song was

actually before that 9 months before

that and it was Mary it was right after

the angel appeared to her to tell her

that she was going to give birth to a

son and she was to call him Jesus and it

was right after she went to go visit

Elizabeth her cousin who was also

expecting a miraculous birth and to give

birth to John the Baptist and it was

when Mary’s life was turned upside down

when she was thrown a curveball she sang

and it’s in uh Luke 1:47 we’re going to

read it and um I just got a new Bible

and it doesn’t have any markings in it

yet and that’s a very strange feeling

when you open up your Bible and it

doesn’t have any markings in it yet but

in Luke 1 it’s the song of Mary and it

says my soul magnifies the Lord and my

spirit has rejoiced in God my savior for

he has regarded the lowly state of his

made servant for behold henceforth all

generations will call me blessed just

know she she knows that they will call

her blessed she’s not giving the

blessings or a blesser she will be

called blessed for he who is mighty has

done great things for me and holy is his

name and his Mercy is on those who fear

Him those who take god seriously from

generation to generation for he has

shown strength with his arm he has

scattered the proud and the imagination

of their hearts he has put down the

mighty from their Thrones and exalted

the lowly he has filled the Hungry with

good things and the rich he has sent

away empty he has helped his servant

Israel in remembrance of his Mercy as he

has spoke to our fathers to Abraham and

to his seed

forever and what do we know about Mary

we know she was a young girl some say

maybe young as 12 13 14 15 a young

teenager she was not

educated we know that she didn’t come

from a wealthy family she came from this

very small kind of passer by town we

know in John 1 Nathaniel answered him

said can anything good come out of

Nazareth and Philip replied come and see

but what does her song reveal to

us it reveals that her heart was

saturated with God’s word at a young age

she had hidden God’s word in her heart

because the song of Mary is a parallel

to Hannah’s song in first

Samuel so she had known the scriptures

that she hid it in her heart and it was

also her

reaction to when life threw her a

curveball that she was not expecting

that she was able to sing at a young age

she also had a um a generational

understanding of the faithfulness of God

she had an eternal mindset set and I

think so often in our generation

especially me as a millennial we don’t

have an mindset of Eternity we live in

the here and we live in the now we’re

quick we want this we don’t have that

mindset of um eternity to come and our

response was she praised him I believe

that it shows us four things in her

response all disciplines that don’t come

natural to our human Spirit our Earthly

disciplines reflect our Eternal


she submitted she served she suffered

and she sang and the first ones she

submitted she surrendered it all to God

Scripture says in her response to the

angel may it be done to me according to

your word and the angel

departed in that um submission there was

such peace in her answer even with so

much unknown um my family and I were

we’ve been recently watching the TV

series on hallmar called When Calls the

Heart are there any hearties in here

there are a lot not swifties we’re

Hardies okay and my son because I’m a

mom I don’t like watching cartoons with

my kids I don’t like watching kids

movies so I kind of find things that I

can enjoy watching that they’ll watch

with me and my seven-year-old son loves

wind Calls the Heart so they’ll on a um

a week night if we’ve done all of our

homework they’ll say win can can we

watch twin Calls the Heart and so

recently on an episode we just watched

the main character Elizabeth just

submitted um a story she was writing the

story of her life and she submitted it

to the editor and it came back with a

lot of red marks and she was offended

and upset and if I talk to any of my

friends who are authors or who are

writers and they’re making submissions

to the Publishers they say they feel

very vulnerable to let go of their story

to let go of control of their story in

order for their story to get out there

and before our story can be told we have

to submit it to God for him to tell our

story it has to go under his submission

and in 2023 submission is an ugly word

right that’s a word we don’t really like

especially for a younger

generation um and especially with women

we really don’t like that word anymore

and I’m not going to DARE go into the

debate of submission and especially in

marriage roles here we don’t have time

for that today but what I’m talking

about today is our submission under to

God and the word submitted comes from

Latin the word um is under a mission sub

meaning under in the Latin misio says

let go to send and we’re all under a

mission and that’s God’s Mission and we

have to fully surrender that to let go

for him to tell his story through us and

through our story

Proverbs 3:6 says in all your ways

submit to him and he will make your path

straight and I guarantee from that

moment from Mary’s point of view when

that angel came to her her path looked

anything but straight she had a rush of

questions going through her head how can

this be what will Joseph do what will my

community say what will my parents say


do but she submitted with a

peace Mary’s submission I love this I

read this this past week Mary’s

submission was to God and it served as

her crowning Touch of her humble

confidence she had peace in that

submission she was confident in that

think about those conversations she

would have had going to her parents and

what that would have been like but she

had the confidence of the peace that she

had when she was fully surrendered to

God because sure she had plans we all

have a lot of plans and those plans

often get turned upside down they get

changed change those dreams get crushed

or they’re broken but God has his plan

when we fully submit it and she gave up

her ordinary life to become a part of

God’s extraordinary plan and submission

doesn’t come naturally to us I believe

it’s something we constantly have to

work on it’s a discipline we have to

work on and there’s different kinds of

forms of submission and different roles

we have in relationships with a spouse

uh with our boss and Authority if you’re

a young one here and you got a coach or

a teacher

there’s different kinds that God is

constantly teaching us it doesn’t matter

how old you get we’re constantly still

learning those disciplines of submission

and letting Go full surrender to God

because I can tell you how often

especially in this past year I really

wrestled with God battling it out in

some private prayers with a lot of

questions that I had and it’s like the

song I surrender all and all to him I


give her mission was in recognizing the

sovereignty of God and her need for a

savior which led her to serve him

wholeheartedly so the second one leads

us to she she served another discipline

that doesn’t come natural to many of us

and Mary’s simple response says I am the

Lord’s servant may your word be

fulfilled and in our society and our

culture service without the expectation

of any in return can be an afterthought

at most um and sometimes maybe something

greatly avoided and it seems like even

for those that their careers in the

service industry now some people seem to

resent it maybe especially after a

postco world I mean unless you’re at The

Cove of course we have service with a

smile but I can guarantee you all of

y’all have recognized that the service

quality and the service industry has

gone way down there’s a little local

cafe or actually it’s a national Cafe I

go to quite often and it’s kind of my

mission to see if I can get some of

these young girls to smile you know you

ask them for something and they kind of

look at you

like fine I’ll get it that’s what she

said to me the other


so but I read this Christmas story of a

woman who was struggling in life she had

just uh suffered severe loss in her life

and due to that loss she had severe

anxiety and depression and on top of

that she had some health

issues and it was around the Christmas

time so of course that’s all magnifying

during this season those feelings and

her phone rings and she picks it up and

it’s his neighbor her neighbor and she

says or he says look

outside and he had strung a strand of

Christmas lights from his house across

the street to her house and said you and

I are forever connected and left a gift

of cookies at her front door

and because of that act of service the

whole uh neighborhood down the street

connected the lights going back and

forth and it lightened her Darkness it

was that moment of service that gave her

just that fulfillment that she wasn’t

alone and I’ve often been asked

especially after my grandfather passed

away what have I learned from my family

the most and I’ve often said one of the

greatest things I’ve learned especially

from my parents is service I grew up

under the umbrella of Samaritan’s Purse

which is our mission to go serve those

around the world who are in the ditches

of Life serve them in their greatest

need of what that is because it’s in

that moment when you serve somebody and

their greatest time of need and you

don’t have to go across the world on an

international trip with Sam Mar’s person

to serve but when you serve your

neighbor or a friend in your church or a

widow in your church or somebody that

needs it there’s no greater way to show

the love of Jesus to build that

relationship ship to show them the hope

of Jesus and my family’s taught that or

has taught um my brothers and I that I

was just watching my brother I’ll

embarrass him here for a moment that

during the two lunch Services he’s in

there cleaning the tables with the staff

and that’s not to Pat us on the back

that is something I’ve tried to instill

into my children that we’re here to

serve because that’s what God has

commanded us to do that every summer uh

my family and I go to Alaska my husband

works with samar’s purse he works on a

church build in some Villages but I take

my children it’s called operation heal

our Patriots and people ask why do we do

that summer after summer and for like 6

to eight weeks and I said because it’s

my only time that I get to serve where I

don’t have to have a camera in my face I

don’t have to have a microphone I don’t

have to prepare a speech but I get to

serve I get to serve with our volunteers

and there’s no Ser my family’s also

taught me there’s no Services beneath me

you know I my dad at a young age had a

shoveling snow and cleaning toilets at

samar’s purse and to this day I’m with

our volunteers cleaning bathrooms

serving coffee washing wherever the need

is and I love to do that and I love to

teach my kids

that in Matthew 20 we read about the

mother of James and John and she had a

wish and she went to Jesus and had this

wish she that she wanted her sons on the

right and the left side of Jesus into


kingdom and and Jesus responded that

just as the son of man did not come to

be served but to serve and to give his

life as a ransom for many that Jesus

makes it clear there’s nothing greater

nothing more Christlike than

surrendering Our Lives to serving others

and I’ve learned too that service just

doesn’t bless others God doesn’t just

command us to serve

others but service can also heal our own

hearts that I think so many times when

we’re in our own trials um whether it’s

anxiety and depression or whatever we’re

facing with marriage or with loss or

financial issues that sometimes we can

get so caught up in our own grief that

we’ve lost sight of anybody else around

us and that that can drown us and I’ve

learned um when I was in high school and

in college for about three years I

struggled with an

addiction and I just I prayed over and

over and Lord just wouldn’t heal me from

that addiction he wouldn’t free me from

that bondage and I took a semester off

from college and I went and worked in

Thailand in a baby’s home and anything

about an addiction it’s self-serving

it’s self-centered because you wake up

thinking of yourself first thing in the

morning you go to bed thinking of

yourself the last thing and when you

work in a baby’s home you don’t have

time to think of yourself the the first

thing I was doing was waking up thinking

of those children and going to bed

thinking of those kids and I realized

over the course of those three months

that God had freed me from that he

healed me when I began began to serve

him and not thinking of

myself that Mary knew she surrendered

her life for life of service to God and

the responsibility of raising the Son of

God and that she had an unwavering Focus

to serve him even if it would lead or

not if when it would

lead to suffering and that leads us to

the third one that she

suffered um just recently I was in Italy

with uh my family my dad was speaking

and we went to visit the Vatican and I

had been there a few times and we went

into um St Peter’s Basilica and I know

sometimes you can get in there it can be

overwhelming um and Mary can tend to be

idolized when you go into some of those

places and a lot of times I can just

walk by you look at it it’s beautiful

learn the history of it but there’s a

marble sculpture there when you go and

it’s the

Peta and it’s the sculpture of Mary

depicting Mary holding her son Jesus

after he would have come down from the

cross on

gotha and I just sat there and reflected

on what her life meant when she

surrendered it she served but that she


suffer she suffered physically think at

a young age I mean I have a 10-year-old

girl I can’t imagine in a couple of

years her going off with her fiance


birth in a cave this is a young girl

that was taken away from her family she

had never been intimate with a man and

for us women let’s think about for a

moment she wasn’t giving birth with her

mother next door her side or with um a

lady in her community and her Village

she was giving birth with Joseph next to

her side with a man that she had never

been intimate with at a young age and

I’ve often reflected on that and I think

about the Temptation I know we don’t

read about it in scripture about the

temp temption that Mary would have

faced but we know that Satan tempted

Jesus so we’ve had to attempt Mary and I

often think while she was in that cave

maybe she had just given birth and she’s

holding the Son of God in her arms and

it’s dark that you know Satan because

Jesus was here on Earth you know Satan

began to hover and what are the Whispers

he told her what was he saying you’re


worthy you’re not capable of raising the

son he’s not the Son of God he’s not the

Messiah he’s not here to redeem the

world he can’t do that you have him here

in a cave in a feeding Troth so I think

of those things that as the mother of

Jesus just the spiritual warfare she

would have had but think about the

reputation she would have suffered think

of all the women gossiping in town about

this lady and what would have been I

believe it probably wasn’t till the

first miracle at the wedding Feast when

Jesus turned the water into wine and she

was probably like come on this is my

time prove to them that I’m not lying

prove to them you are the Son of

God but you think of a mother’s devotion

and there’s some of you here in this

room that have lost a

child and there’s some of that you have

walked with your children with

sicknesses that maybe you’ve spent days

and weeks in a hospital with your

children a pain that is so

great and often think is how sweet is it

that we serve a God that knows that pain

that he’s lost his own son that he’s

walked through that but I think of


Devotion to be in

Jerusalem to watch your son be hated

before the

world to take the cross of her sins on

him to go for the c or the world to

spread his arms out wide to surrender

his own life for you and for me for her

his mother what that would have been

like to watch your son go through

that that was suffering that she endured

a lifelong but her mind was focused on

eternity and on the cross and what God

had called her to do that even

Simeon um who was prophesizing he was a

devout godly man that was promised that

he would see G the Messiah before he

passed away he said this child is

destined to cause the falling and rising

of many in Israel and to be a sign that

will be spoken against you so that the

thoughts of many hearts will be revealed

and a sword will pierce your own soul

too and in that moment she learned you

know that song Mary Did You Know oh she

knew she knew she had learned that her

child’s life and his mission would fill

her future with intens pain and

suffering both as a mother and as a

disciple and as as his disciples you and

me we will have

suffering and it’s painful to walk

through those times and for Mary that

was her double-edged sword that pierced

her soul I know some of us that maybe

we’re going through a season of

suffering maybe you’ve just come out of

this seasoning of suffering and if

you’re not you might be going into uring

one and we do all we can right it’s not

our human nature right all these are

against our natural we don’t want to

suffer nobody wants to suffer we will do

anything we can to avoid it or to keep

our children from

suffering and I know in times past

especially I’ve been very open since

giving birth to my last child um just

about my past year and there are many

times that I felt like I was surviving

and not

thriving and just as I know I want to

remind you as

women in Isaiah a verse that I’ve clung

to is that the Lord will continually

guide you and satisfy your desire in the


places he will be with you in the desert

he will be with you in the suffering he

will guide you and it says and give

strength to your bones you’re not just


to survive you’re going to thrive he

will strengthen your bones in those

moments of those scorched places and you

will be like a watered garden and like a

spring of water whose Waters do not

fail you will be a spring that

overflows she submitted she served she

suffered but her response is she sang

She praised God and praising God is Not

based on our feelings or emotions it’s a

command in Scripture

and it’s common throughout scripture we

probably have some of the many

scriptures that are our favorite that we

cling to about praising God we sing

about them there’s approximately 250

declarative statements and commands

about praising God through

scripture Psalm 150 says let everything

that has breath praise the Lord 2 Samuel

therefore I will praise you Lord among

the Nations and I will sing the Praises

of your name we’re commanded to praise

him in the good and in the bad American

Pastor James H Brooks told of visiting a

friend’s house and hearing the music of

a bird singing and it was not the

ordinary sound of chirping instead it

resembled the strains of a lovely or a

lovely Melody at first Brooks didn’t

know where it was coming from but when

he glanced around the room he saw a

beautiful bullfinch in the cage and the

lady of the house explained that it had

been taught to sing that way at night

night the teacher would repeat the notes

time and again until the bird was able

to mimic them but this was only possible

because it was dark and the bird’s

attention would not be diverted and I

think how often do our sweetest songs

come out of the darkness of the night

when God is teaching us something I

think of scripture and all the beautiful

songs that David wrote when he was in

the those deepest valleys I often think

if you have a bucket of water and you

hit this bump in your life or if you hit

a bump you’re going over the water

what’s going to come out of the bucket

water yeah it’s not a trick question

water’s going to come out of

it and I think too if we’re going down

the road in our own life and we hit

something catastrophic or we hit a bump

in our road something turned our life

upside down something just came out of

nowhere and and kind of rerouted our

route what comes out of us what do what

do the people around us see is it anger

is it cursing is it resentment is it

bitterness is it

jealousy what is it that people see

because scripture says in Matthew for

out of the abundance of the heart the


speaks and I was just on the phone with

a dear friend of ours and he has

cancer and it’s amazing every time I get

off the phone with he and his wife

they’re just joyful they’re filled with

joy that he talks

about even in these moments going to the

doctors and the appointments these are

opportunities to tell the nurse and the

doctors about Jesus and that often they

think something’s wrong with him because

he’s filled with so much joy in these

moments that I think we can all learn a

little bit from our friend Buddy the elf

I got an older group in here I don’t

know if you know who Buddy the elf is

maybe you got grandchildren and you’ve

watched the Christmas classic elf but he

says the best way to spread Christmas

cheer is

singing thank you you got it is uh

singing for all to hear and we are to be

singing so loud in this dark world that

we’re in that that’s how we stand out in

this dark world is that we sing the

praise of God we sing his goodness we

tell people about it you smile you have

joy when you’re in that Ser or you’re at

a restaurant in that service industry

doesn’t have a smile you praise God that

the world is to see that that’s how

we’re to stick out in this world she

sing from an eternal

perspective she sang not because of

certainty of the coming of days but the

certainty of God’s

grace she sang with the confidence of

the might of who her God was and that

she was able to sing with strength

one of my favorite Bible verses is in


11 it says those who know their God will

be able to stand in strength and take

action first we have to know who God is

to be able to stand in strength and take

action and in the world that we’re

living in and the culture that we’re

facing we have to be able to take action

we’re going to have to be able to stand

in strength but first scripture says in

Daniel chapter 11 that we have to know

who God is is Mary for her to be able to

sing those Praises she knew who her God

was why because she had hidden God’s

word in her

heart and I think often we tend to we

have this picture this image of Mary

sometimes that we’ve seen oh we don’t

have a nativity well there’s a nativity

out there and she might be kind of Meek

and mild and very delicate and I think

just quite the opposite of her I think

she was a tough lady she she had to be

for what she endured she was full of

grace she was of course full of truth

but she just had this like grit with her

and I often want to encourage women

because sometimes when you can be in

women’s ministry or you go to women’s

events that sometimes we can tend to

bond over our

traumas and kind of our weaknesses that

sometimes I can go to these women’s

events and everyone can kind of be

crying and emotional because life is

hard life is hard and we are to have

women in our lives that we can go to

that we can talk about those issues with

and those things that maybe we have in

common but we’re also as Believers

called to stand in

strength that we’re not to to live in

our anxiety and our depression and talk

about the we are to sing of his goodness

because he has been so faithful when he

sent his son Jesus to this Earth for you

and for me and a little side note when

I’m talking about we are supposed to

have women right after when Mary found

out she was to give birth she went to

visit her relative

Elizabeth and Elizabeth who was also

expecting a miracle Elizabeth encouraged

her we’re to have Titus two women in our

lives for the younger women in here you

need to find some older ladies you can

learn from and for the older ladies that

are in

here don’t stop letting God use you in a

mighty way he’s got a purpose for you

and one of those purposes is investing

into some young women in your church or

in your community in your family to

build that relationship with because it

was for Mary it was after she went to go

visit Elizabeth and she receive that

like affirmation that encouragement

that’s when Mary was able to sing and to

sing her song that maybe somebody in

your life needs encouragement so maybe

you’re the one to do the

encouraging maybe you need to go out and

encourage somebody this Christmas this

holiday season the year coming

up but let me ask you what happens when

we don’t feel like

singing what happens when we don’t feel

like praising

God I believe we have to do it out of

obedience we have to do it out of those

disciplines in life these disciplines

that we’ve learned from her we have to

have disciplines in our life Tammy Joe

Schultz she was a Navy fighter pilot um

she was also the pilot I don’t know if

you remember a few years ago the

Southwest uh airflight something went

wrong with the engine and a blade hit

one of the windows and it decompressed

and she’s the uh Woman pilot that safely

landed the plane but she says habits on

a good day are our instincts on a bad

day that we have to have these

disciplines in our life and as I just

said last year was a tough year for me

my heart can still be tender when I

think about

it um I struggled in all three of my

pregnancy with partum depression I don’t

use depression and anxiety as two words

to describe me but that’s something

that’s come and all nine months of all

three my pregnancies and yes I do

believe those words can tend to be

overused in our culture and our society

but for nine months it’s a pretty dark

time for me especially with this third

one and it was a road that I had to walk

by myself um and sometimes we’re called

to walk and I know that loneliness and

isolation those can be tens of suffering

and especially Christmas season for some

of us that can be

magnified but even in my own home I

think of my poor husband and some of the

things he didn’t know how to handle me

he would just put his arm like this and


like what’s wrong with

her and it was for nine months and I

would be quite embarrassed up here if I

was to tell you some of the prayers that

I would pray to God and the things that

we would have to battle

out but God was faithful just because I

didn’t think he was answering my prayers

or maybe because I didn’t think he was

near me that doesn’t mean he wasn’t that

means often sometimes he’s even closer

than we think he

is that I felt so alone that there was a

song The Breath of Heaven that we sing

often at Christmas and for me when I was

sitting in that hospital room because

it’s amazing as soon as I give birth

it’s gone I’m okay it’s I’m a whole new

person a 180 it’s like that darkness is

lifted but before that it said I’m

waiting in a silent

prayer and I’m frightened by the load I

bear in a world as cold as Stone must I

walk this path alone be with me now and

so for those nine months I didn’t feel

like singing I didn’t feel like praising

but I had to do it as a discipline and

out of The Obedience of my heart of who

God was ladies when you don’t feel like

opening up the Bible you open it up at

an obedience and you read it when you

don’t feel like praying that’s when you

get on your knees and you start praying

even if you don’t have words to say

there’s sometimes like Lord I’m here but

I don’t know what to say but I’m here

with you and I’m in your presence help

me I need you it’s like the song Lord I


you when you don’t feel like listening

is when you turn on that

um the worship songs and the the hymns

that we all know in our heart that’s

when you do it out of The Obedience of

your heart and I promise promise you

that he will meet you there might not be

in the instant we think and in the

moment we think but his promises are

good his faithfulness is good Mary knew

that Mary knew it she sang of his

generational faithfulness she kept her

eyes focused on it after I was able to

hold my little girl I was able to sing

lighten my darkness pour over me your

Holiness For You Are Holy Breath of

Heaven and all her response es and all

her disciplines of Mary that we learn

from her there was a peace in it all

even with those questions that might

have been rushing through her head at

the time there was a peace in her

response and

singing she was able to sing because she

carried the Prince of Peace she carried

him physically but we who believe in

Jesus Christ as our Lord and savior

carry that peace spirit

and when the angel showed up in the

darkness of the

night they said that that peace was

available to all of

us and you and I we live in a

world there’s not a lot of Peace it

doesn’t seem like but that’s been since

the time he showed up until he comes

again and we can have peace here on

Earth and then one day we’ll have peace

and Eternity with him so I want to

encourage you this Christmas season if

it’s been a year of

struggle that you have these disciplines

in your life that can prepare you for

that moment to sing praises no matter

what is going on your life that we can

have the peace the Prince of Peace

living here that in this dark world that

our light will pierce the darkness

because whatever season you’re in

there’s a song for your season and

hopefully your song is a little bit more

all inspiring than what I was in fourth

grade that you will let God use your

song that has to be fully submitted to

him let go of control so he can tell

your story because like Mary we have to

sing with a laser focus of

Eternity we have to sing with the hope

of Heaven those who believe in Jesus

Christ we have the hope of Heaven that’s

what sep separates us differently from

this world and I think so often as

Christians as I said kind of I believe

our culture is for the he here and the

now we don’t think much in the future we

get uh like I had instacart deliver in

30 minutes that’s about as far as I can

get into the

future but our hope is of an eternity

and we’re not teaching about that in

church anymore we’re not teaching about

heaven and the hope of heaven and that’s

what gets us through the day that’s what

will get us through the suffering we

sing with a life peacefully submitted

out of obedience we sing from a place

knowing that God knows our own suffering

that Jesus Christ himself

suffered and we sing from the only place


can which is from giving your life to

Jesus having him live and guide and

speak and sing into your heart ladies

that we don’t have to sing a song of

fear and discontentment that doesn’t

have to be our soundtrack doesn’t have

to be our Soundtrack This Christmas

season we can sing a Christmas song all

year long it doesn’t have to start on

November 1st or December 1st

and as we read in scripture Mary’s song

it’s called the magnificant it’s the

Latin for my soul magnifies the Lord and

whatever you and I are going through

whatever the season we are in we can

always magnify the

Lord that that is our hope when Jesus

came and as we close

today I want to pray I want to pray with

you I want to know I want to spend time


reflecting that maybe you are in a

season of suffering and it has been

difficult you’re like me that has been

wrestling back and forth with

God maybe you didn’t know why you were

coming here and somebody invited you it

was just one more thing to do on your


list and maybe you don’t have that peace

of Jesus maybe this world and what’s

happening in this world the wars and the

rumors of War Wars It’s frightening to

you but that we can have a

peace that the world cannot have the

world cannot give but only Jesus

can and maybe you’ve just been battling

something that you have to

submit you have to submit to God you

have to give him full control so he can

tell your story so we can Magnify Him

all year long thank you all who have

encouraged me this past year with

fearless and who have listened and even

have shared with your friends and family

many of you have sent me messages of

encouragement and it means more to me

than you’ll ever know but I also

encourage you as I shared in my message

The Cove is a very special place it was

the vision of my grandmother Ruth Graham

and to our family most of us think

that’s the most special place that we

can visit so I encourage you check out

an event it’s great for a week and Away

with your spouse or with your friends we

have conferences throughout the entire

year check out the and Merry

Christmas and Happy New