My Christmas Memories…

My favorite nativity scene on our mantle.
My favorite nativity on our mantle.

I am really stepping out of my comfort zone this time with a video.  It’s easy to hide behind my words that I get to go over and perfect every little thing.  But here I am…because I love Jesus…putting it all out there for the world to see!  I am sorry it’s a little longer, but I hope you’ll get a cup of coffee and sit around the fire with me while I share what’s on my heart this Christmas season!

Click here for the video of My Christmas Memories

Tell The World About Jesus…No More Excuses!

Image courtesy of digitalart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of digitalart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

We were heading to our usual Saturday morning breakfast when we drove by a sign that read, “Christmas (It said, “XMAS,” but I prefer not to spell it that way) Parade Cancelled Today.”  I quickly responded to the sign and said, “That’s exactly why I don’t build floats!  You just never know when your parade is going to be cancelled!”  It was funny at the time and we laughed as we headed onto our exit towards the restaurant.

Some of us actually live our lives that way.  Let me explain. I was in Wal-Mart last Saturday after we had just had a lot of snow the day before.  I was by myself doing some Christmas shopping.  Being alone, I was more aware of others’ conversations because I had no one that I was conversing with myself to distract me.  I saw families shopping together having a lot of fun running up and down the aisles and holding up items from across the department seeking approval from one or the other.  I saw mothers with their grown sons, helping them pick out clothes for a girlfriend or wife.  I heard one little boy let out a growl as his father announced at the entrance of the toy department that they were NOT shopping for him that day!  Sometimes, even if I buy nothing, the shopping experience is worth the trip!

The most intriguing comments were what I heard in line, though.  There were probably three different conversations mentioning that they were not going to do something on Sunday because they were expecting more snow like what we had fall on Friday.  They were cancelling events for weather that had not even come yet!  At least the parade had a rainy day as an excuse to cancel.

As I have mulled this over now for about a week, it hit home when I saw the parade being cancelled.  Many of us live our lives and make our decisions on what we think might happen instead of what is reality.  If I were a float-maker and thought that my parade might be cancelled someday because of rain, I would probably never make another float.  If I decided on Saturday night that since it might snow on Sunday, I should stay home, I might never go to church on half of the winter Sundays.

We often use weather and other possible situations to keep us from doing what we know we should or from doing what we were created to do.  I’m convinced; it’s just part of the human condition.  Admit it…we all love a snow day that excuses us from responsibility and allows us a pajama day if we’d prefer.

However, at this Christmas season, I don’t think there should be any excuse to keep us from inviting others to church or talking about our relationship with Jesus Christ.  This is His time to shine.  Just like the saying goes, Jesus is the REASON for the SEASON.  As Christians, we have the perfect opportunity to share Him with those who don’t have Him in their lives.  Most everybody is open to talking about Christmas!  So what if it rains? Tell someone about Jesus!  If you get snowed in, go ahead…tell someone about Jesus.  If your parade gets cancelled…no worries…tell someone about Jesus!

What is God telling you to do that you’re making up excuses not to do it?  Well God, I’ll do that tomorrow.  I’m kind of busy today.  God, they will think I’m weird if I ask them to come to church.  I don’t think they’ll still be my friend if I tell them about Jesus.  I’m too tired.  My car won’t start.  I have too many other responsibilities…the list is endless. I’m sure you might even have a few to add to my list.  We all have them, do we not?

If we live our lives in the what ifs mode and worry about things that never happen, we will never be able to complete the work God has created us to do.  My prayer is that we will each take time today to seek God’s voice in our lives.  Then when we think we know what He wants from us, I pray that we will push forward no matter what the forecast in our minds might tell us.  A life lived with no regret is a full life.  Just say “NO” to anymore excuses!

Don’t miss out on the season.  You’ve got ten more days…what are you going to do?

Mark 16:15  He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.

I think this song says it well…click here and see.

What Gets You Excited?

My grandson and I anxiously awaiting the new arrival!
My grandson and I anxiously awaiting the new arrival!

Last week, my daughter had  another baby, giving us our sixth grandchild!  It was certainly an exciting day!  His big brother and I were in the lobby waiting for them to announce the birth.  He said, “Grandma, I am so excited, I can hardly hold it all in.”  He’s been working hard in first grade learning self-control and it was so funny to hear his struggle as I could certainly relate.  I, too, have a tendency to get excited about things and sometimes lose control.  I remember the day I realized I had fallen in love with Jim.  I couldn’t believe what had happened and  I just had to tell him.  However, it didn’t just come out in a simple, “I love you.”  I thought about it all day and struggled with how and when to tell him.  Then all of a sudden, it just blurted out, “I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU!  We still laugh about it.

Talking about getting excited, with Spring just around the corner, I am finding it hard to contain myself.  Last week we set our clocks an hour forward and now we are having more light in the evenings.  I’m really loving that!  When we start getting more sun and the flowers start to bud, I literally come alive.

Grandchild, #6!
Grandchild #6!

Isn’t a new beginning refreshing?  We have new babies and they’re oh so cool. What an awesome miracle they are to everyone involved.  Then we get a change of seasons, at least here in Ohio, and we get excited about the newness of the world around us.  First Spring and then Easter comes.  Easter reminds us of the most important new beginning we can have.  You see, for those who will believe Jesus’ death on the cross was the sacrifice for their sins, confess their sins of their old life, and ask Him to come into their lives as their Savior;  they get a new beginning.  The old life is gone and the new life begins.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the fact that we have a Savior that gives us a new beginning…a chance to do things right.

Who do you know that needs a new beginning?  Maybe it’s you!  Say a prayer today for you or someone you know that needs a change.  God is so willing to give you the strength to get out of the rut you’re in and give you a new start.  He doesn’t care what you’ve done, where you’ve been or who you are.  He just wants you to be His.  He wants you to experience the excitement of a new life in Him!  He wants to bless you with a new awareness of the world around you; just as though you were a child again.  He LOVE, LOVE, LOVES you!  Knowing that I am loved by the Creator of the Universe and Most High God, I get excited!  So excited I can hardly hold it all in!  I hope by now, you’re excited too!

In fact, now that we’ve been reminded of how exciting a life with God can be, this is a great time to invite those you know need a little excitement in their lives to church.  Easter will be here in just a couple of weeks.  Easter and Christmas are the two holidays even non-Christians will say, “Yes,” and attend.  Start making your invitation list today.  If prayerfully done, God will bless and guide you to those who He knows need a change of season!  If it’s you, here’s your invitation.  I’ve planted the thought, now you go find a local church you feel God is calling you to attend.  He will be faithful to lead you there as well.  All you have to do is ask!  If you’re local, come to church with me!  We’d love to have you.

In the meantime, I’d love to hear your stories of  your new beginnings.  I’m absolutely positive I am not the only person who has exciting God stories to tell.  Won’t you be a blessing and share?  All of you wannabe bloggers who haven’t done it yet…here’s your chance!  Give God some praise and share it with others to encourage and excite them in their walk with Him.  Thank you all for being such a blessing to me.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE you all!  Have a great week and don’t forget to go out and be a blessing!

1 Thessalonians 5:11(NIV)  Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

Psalm 5:11 (NKJV) But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; Let those also who love Your name Be joyful in You.