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

Really…I’m Just Trying To Be a Blessing!

Next week our church is going to hold their services in the park with a potluck to follow.  Every year we do this, I am reminded of a funny story the first summer I was with this group.  Jim and I had been recently married and I was in the “get to know everyone” phase of my new church.  We were each supposed to bring a dish to share and  I decided to make a fruit salad.  They are easy, fool-proof and very impressive to the eye with all of the great colors of summer.  When I got done mixing it, I put it in the refrigerator for the night so we could take it and run the next morning.  I was so excited to have such a pretty dish to share with my new friends!

The next day, we got everyone ready and out the door we went with our beautiful fruit salad!  When we got to the park, I put my bowl on the table and popped the lid off to add a spoon.  In unison, you could hear Jim and I gasp as he quickly shoved the lid back onto the bowl.  We both nonchalantly headed to the parking lot with our salad.  Much to our dismay, there were these brown things all throughout the salad.  We couldn’t figure it out at first until it was explained.

One of the kids, unbeknownst to me, was concerned about the fruit getting too hot out in the summer heat as we waited to eat.  Just trying to be a blessing, they decided to help me out.  They decided that in order to stay cold, we would need ice.  Instead of normal ice cubes though, they decided to make them from root-beer of all things!  Too funny!  There Jim and I were, tossing little brown ice balls to the ground wondering if we should just scrap the salad all together!  Since the ice hadn’t had much time to melt, we went ahead and took it back to the table once we pulled all of them out.  We had to warn people of the issue just in case.  How embarrassing!

Have you ever had a situation like that where you just wanted to help but it wasn’t appreciated?  I felt bad for them as I am sure they were proud of what they had done to help.  Perhaps they just needed to think it through a bit better.  However, in a kid’s mind, root-beer ice cubes would be awesome!  LOL!

I know when I write my blog, I have good intentions.  I pray.  I write.  I sleep on it and pray again.  I tweak, tweak, and tweak.  Then I post.  Some might not understand why I do this and others might not appreciate my efforts.  However, this blog is a ministry to me and I take it seriously.  It is a venue that God gave me to share things He lays on my heart to hopefully bless others.  I know some of you are blessed because you respond and tell me that you are.  I know that others are reading my words but I never really know if it “tasted” OK or not.  Others, leave comments of disagreement…they find  remnants of root-beer ice-cubes, so to speak, I guess.

One would think I would be upset if someone doesn’t agree.  But, no, I’m not.  I’m excited that something I wrote made someone stop and think.  I am happy to be questioned because it makes me have to go to the Bible and confirm what I’ve written.  It’s kind of like a “quality test” before the “picnic”.  I am confident by the time that I publish, the words I have written are those that God wants me to share.  Could I be wrong?  Most certainly!  I am human.  However, I never take it personally if someone disagrees with my message of truth.  As long as I am earnestly praying and writing, I feel that God will bless my efforts.  It is not my message that I try to convey; rather, I try to teach others about the relationship I have and they can have with Jesus.

So if you read one of my messages some day and gasp; before throwing out the things that disturb you, stop and think about it.  Pray about it.  Question me if need be.  Know that I am writing with only the spirit of being a blessing and not to hurt or embarrass you.  My hope is that my writings, or fruit salads if you may, are pleasing to the eye as well as tasty nourishment to your soul. 

Thanks for reading and for your feedback.  If we all just keep moving forward toward the prize, God will take care of the details.  I count it a privilege to write and have readers like yourselves who read.  God has blessed me greatly through this ministry.  I can only hope you are blessed too.

Have a great week…and don’t forget to be a blessing!

Hebrews 10:23  Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.

A Surprise Homecoming—A Christmas Miracle!

Wow, I did not expect a Christmas anywhere near as special as this year’s just even a week ago.  As most of you know, my oldest son has been in Afghanistan this year and was not expected to be home for Christmas.  I had accepted that fact and was trying to still enjoy the holiday with the other 6 kids and 4 grandkids that were home.  Friday night we headed to my sister’s house for our annual get together with our families.  We were enjoying good food and catching up with each other when all of a sudden things changed.

My daughter-in-law arrived and told us all to be quiet that she was getting my son on the phone.  When he got on the phone, they handed it to me.  I started talking to him, but it wasn’t sounding like the normal “drive-through” tone that conversations from Afghanistan were supposed to sound like.  The next thing I knew, he was walking through the door!  How exciting was that?!  Totally caught off guard and in shock, I was elated that my family would be together for Christmas!

We had brought Christmas gifts for my son’s wife and kids but since I had no idea he would be there, I had sent his gifts to Afghanistan for him to have in time for Christmas.  He always loves Christmas and gets excited about opening his gifts.  I felt so bad as he had nothing to open as everyone else opened up theirs all around him.  I just didn’t know, so I wasn’t prepared.

I started thinking about this and about the day when Jesus comes back.  I pretty much expect my heart to be racing just the same as it was Friday night, a little bit of shock and awe, and then I started thinking…will I be prepared?  Will I have a gift to offer Him?  What will that day really be like?

Then I quickly realized, the story will be the same.  It’s not about the physical gifts I give.  My son’s gift that night was the fact he was able to be with his family and essentially be the Christmas miracle of the year!  I suspect Jesus will feel the same way.  He is the only Miracle we need.  He doesn’t want our stuff on that day, He wants us.  We don’t have to have gifts wrapped and tucked away for that special day and time, we just need to be ready with the gift of ourselves.  By that I mean that we need to have accepted His gift of eternal life and be living every day as though it was the day of His return.  For by living our lives for Him, we are earning our jewels for our crowns that we will lay down at His feet when the time comes.  Those crowns and jewels will be our symbol of our life lived for Him–our gift so to speak.

The Bible says in Matthew 24 (NKJV),

36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven,but My Father only…

42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming…

44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

When that day comes, it won’t matter the type, size or grandeur of the gifts we have to offer such as those the wise men presented at His birth.  The only thing that will matter is our relationship with Him.  Have we accepted Him as our Savior, served Him, loved Him, shared Him, and cherished Him while in this life on earth?  Just as my son’s homecoming was a huge surprise, so will that of my Savior’s be as well.  I think I had a little taste of the joy that may be present on that day this weekend.  I suspect though that nothing can compare.

Are you ready for that day?  Have you given Him your life?  Are you working on a relationship with Him that will far surpass any physical gift you can conjure up to give?  In reality, the only gift He wants is you.  I am not a musician and I certainly cannot sing.  However, I like this song that I found to remind us the day when we will lay our crowns at His feet…our gift of our lives lived for Him…our offering to our Savior.  Enjoy and I’ll see you next year!

http://youtu.be/6DZSjWW57mQ

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