Monday, December 23, 2013

The Light of Christmas!

With all the hustle and bustle of trying to get ourselves and our house ready to be gone for several weeks right before Christmas, I haven't taken the time to do a blog post.

But,

today I had a desire to write and share some thoughts with you. One of my Christmas gift projects involved going back and reviewing and remembering.  This was such a moving experience for me and I pray that the recipients of this gift will be blessed, to at least some degree, because of it.

With that reference and things that have transpired personally and to others around me lately, I wanted to share with you some thoughts.

What happens when we are in the DARK places?

The Bible never uses the word "IF" when discussing problems, and difficulties.  NO!  Those writers, Peter especially speaks of "WHEN!"  Dark places are inevitable!

But,

what we do and how we handle those dark times is what Christmas is all about.

Dark places are not fun places, are they?  They can be scary, uncertain places.  We feel confused and completely disoriented.  No, not fun places at all!

The pastor of our Michiana family recently lost his nephew to suicide after being involved in a lifestyle of darkness.  That family is distraught.  A very close family friend was charged with exporting child pornography.  His very promising future is destroyed.

People are hurting!  People are in pain!  People are disappointed!  People are in dark places!

What do we do WHEN this happens to us?

We seek the LIGHT!

Light always dispels darkness!

Jesus, speaking to people around Him said,
“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

That's it!  When we are surrounded by darkness, we are to seek the source of ALL LIGHT!  Jesus Christ!

He came into this dark, ugly world, full of sin and evil, and brought LIGHT!  Angels came with a great display of light to announce His coming as a tiny babyIt was the light of a bright star that told the Wise Men of His coming and it was this star that led them to Him.

"Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting light;
The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight." 

It is that everlasting LIGHT in our lives, made possible because God chose to send His Light to die for us on the Cross, that the world needs to see.

It is the LIGHT in our lives that this dark world is desperate to see.

It is the LIGHT in our lives that gets us through the dark places when they come.

"Arise, shine for HIS LIGHT has come!"

May you know and personally experience the LIGHT of the World this Christmas Season!

Merry Christmas to your house from mine!
 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Selfies, Christmas Cards, Explorers & Loyalty

Joyce, you gave us some interesting things to ponder this week for

1. According to Oxford Dictionaries, the 2013 word of the year is 'selfie'. Your thoughts? When did you last take a selfie? Do you post them online somewhere?  Do you prefer to be in front of the camera or behind the lens?

I do not like to take selfies.  I took one the other day and it was a great shot looking up my nose.  I much prefer being behind the lens.

2. Will you send out Christmas cards this year? If so, are they ready to go? If not, are you glad or sad about leaving that tradition behind?

Good question.  The boxes of cards are on the counter and the Christmas address list is on the desk.  Now, whether the two shall meet, remains to be seen.  I like to receive cards, but am not excited about sending.  Selfish?  Or just something that is easy to put off doing?

3. Do you trust easily?

Yes and no.  I am a bit of a skeptic by nature, I think.  But, I want to believe the best in people.  I don't have any problem trusting those I know and love, trusting my Lord and Savior, but I do often question the motives of others I may not know well.
 
4. Pine-cinnamon-peppermint-vanilla (as in sugar cookie)...of those listed, which one is your favorite December scent?

Cinnamon
 
5. Did you do more talking or more listening yesterday? Was that by choice or necessity?

Does an even exchange count?  We had lunch with dear friends who were in town on business and we had a good time of catching up and sharing.  I think it was very well balanced.
 
6. What's the last song that got stuck in your head? Sorry if it's back there now :  )

Yesterday I made a reference to the Southern Gospel song sung by Steve Green, "Find Us Faithful," and I'm still hearing it.
 
7. Which world explorer (in the whole history of the world) would you most like to have traveled with, and why?

I've thought about this question and just don't have an answer.  There must have been amazing experiences as places on this earth were discovered and explored, but I really can't think of any explorations I would have wanted to participate in.  Times, living conditions and travel would have been extremely difficult, and I just don't think that is something I would have enjoyed.  I shall continue to be grateful for these brave men and enjoy the bounty of their hard work.
 
8.  Insert your own random thought here.

I made a major decision this week!  I decided to get rid of the good, old, well-used, cookie sheet that was a wedding present from 48 years ago when really practical gifts were given.  It still bakes the best biscuits.  Four to be exact.  But, it is ugly.  Is that reason enough for replacing an old friend?  Well, it hasn't been enough of a reason until now.
A friend gave me a Pampered Chef catalog and my fickle heart was swayed by the beautiful, large round stone cooking sheet found on page 10.  Actually, my DIL has one that she has used for years, so I was really already leaning in that direction.
 But, there is something really sad and disloyal about throwing away an item that has served you so well for all those years.  It faithfully baked biscuits, cookies, toast and whatever it was asked to do for our children and their friends; visiting family members; special guests in our home; and then during the empty nest years, just Dick and me.

I was strong though and after tossing it into the garbage barrel, I didn't look back and second guess myself.  I marched right back into the kitchen and introduced myself to my new favorite cookie sheet and made a commitment to be faithful for another 48 years.

HAVE A GREAT WEEK! 

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