Monday, December 21, 2015

A Step in the Write Direction--December 21, 2015--Christmas devotion

A Step in the Write Direction
December 21, 2015

Update:  Had a good week. Finally got cards out (usually try to get them out by Dec. 1, but not this year (Christmas letter at end) and sent out packages—again a little late. Praise that our daughter and granddaughter who just moved back from Texas both got jobs at local schools. Other granddaughter still looking (she enjoys working with animals) and son-in-law looking for church or staff position at a church….On Wednesday we all saw the Zoo Lights at the Phoenix Zoo. Beautiful! One tree alone had 48,500 lights….I don't have a big tree (not much room in a mobile home), but have a flat one that hangs on the wall and twinkles, plus small Nativity sets on the divider, lighted electric candles in the window, and a Nativity set in the front yard that lights up….On Friday our family took flowers to my husband's grave at the Veteran's Cemetery, then picked up my sister on the way back and drove around looking at the Christmas lights in Mesa. Saw the neighborhood in Gilbert that won the $50,000 prize for the best decorations in the U.S. (was on TV the other night). Bumper to bumper traffic, but pretty to see….Wishing a Merry Christmas to all of you, and a blessed New Year!!

Thought for the Day: Christmas isn’t about how big the tree is or how many presents are underneath it. It’s about who’s gathered around it.
Song for the Day (for you who are tired of the holiday hustle and bustle):
Come, all ye weary and oppressed,
O come and I will give you rest;
I’ll bid your anxious fears depart,
For I am meek and lowly in heart,
For I am meek and lowly in heart,
And I will give you rest.
Ye that labor and are heavy laden, come to Me,
Come, come, come, and learn of me.
My yoke is easy, my burden is light.
My yoke is easy, my burden is light.
Come, come, come, and I will give you rest.
            “Come Unto Me,” Eliza E. Hewitt

Laugh for the Day: Four-year-old to her two-year-old sister: “Let’s play Christmas. I’ll be Santa Claus and you can be a present and I’ll give you away.”
Writer’s Tips:                                   Final Advent Devotion

Running for Help

Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened That it cannot save Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear (Isaiah 59:1).

It was the day before Christmas and our eight-month-old daughter, Janet, had a temperature of 104 and a croupy cough. This was just another of the series of events that had plagued her since birth. “Colic,” the pediatrician pronounced at our newborn’s piercing screams. “She should outgrow it in three months.” Four months later he said it could be a six-month colic.

Her crying had no pattern. Sometimes she would wake up screaming. Other times she would be playing, and without warning, she would break into a scream. Then she began losing weight, and at seven months, a specialist diagnosed her with a kidney infection. She also had symptoms of cystic fibrosis.“She might not live till kindergarten,” our doctor told us somberly.

Now this crisis. Our regular doctor was getting married that night so we took Janet to a friend’s pediatrician. It was noon when I walked into the office.

“I’m sorry,” the nurse said. “We’re closed.”

“Please,” I pleaded. “I know my baby has pneumonia. Her temperature’s 104.”

Her voice grew louder. “I said we’re closed!”

Just then I saw the doctor in the hallway. Bursting through the door I ran up to him. “I know you’re already closed and it’s the day before Christmas, but please, can’t you look at my baby. She’s so sick.”

He reached out his hands, took our baby, and held his stethoscope to her chest.“Call the hospital and reserve a bed,” he instructed the nurse. Then he told me, "She has pneumonia.”

So instead of celebrating at home with her brother, our little girl spent her first Christmas in the hospital in an oxygen tent.

I was so glad I ignored the nurse and insisted that the doctor see her. (P.S. This daughter is now married to a minister and has two girls of her own!)

Do you have a need this Christmas? Whether it’s physical, financial, or spiritual, God’s Son came to this earth to meet that need—and to bring life. Don’t let anyone stand in your
way. Run to Him today and tell Him, "I need help.”

Jesus, thank You that Your hands—those same hands that were nailed to the cross—now reach out to me in my time of need.

Goodrich Christmas Letter – 2015

     What I’ve Experienced This Year:
     “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints (Psalms 116:15).
·         Said good-bye to 10 friends, including 4 from our church, 3 neighbors—2 we’ve
 known since 1974, 2 from my hometown, and an extended family member.

·         Had mold removed from mobile home, which also required tearing up carpeting and replacing with laminate tile. Have to admit, I like it better.

·         Replaced air conditioner (which went out on a 115-degree day).

·         Daughter Patty and I both in the hospital with pneumonia and both tore rotator cuffs.
I got by with injections, but she had surgery and was off work 10 weeks. Is back now
on light duty at the hospital where she and Robert, our son, work.

·         Robert was off for 6 weeks with a heart problem, but tests turned out okay.

·         Daughter Janet, son-in-law Ned, and granddaughters Heather and Lindsay moved to Texas in June, BUT they moved back to Arizona on December 6. Lindsay
completed her first semester of college, and Heather will go back to attending Nazarene Bible College on-line.

·         Hardest of all, however, was on March 7 when I said good-bye to Gary, my husband of almost 55 years after complications from a fall in the driveway in which he split his spinal column open. He had a five-hour surgery, then 24/7 kidney dialysis, feeding tube, breathing tube, oxygen, etc. He was one of the kindest, godliest men I’ve ever known!

What I’ve Learned This Year:
“Jesus Christ the same yesterday; and to day and for ever” (Hebrews 13:8).
“Be strong and of a good courage, fear not…for the Lord thy God…will not fail thee, 
nnor forsake thee” (Deuteronomy 31:6). There has not been a time this year when I
hhaven’t felt God’s presence and an unbelievable peace!

“A friend loveth at all times” (Proverbs 17:17), and I’m especially thankful for my friends—
uknown and unknown (on Facebook)—who prayed for our family daily!

As Kirk Franklin’s song says, “With Jesus I can take it. With Him I know I can stand. No matter what 
may come my way, my life is in Your hands.”
II’m looking forward to 2016 and pray it will be a good year for all of you.

Donna Goodrich.

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