Sunday, December 27, 2015

A Step in the Write Direction--December 28, 2015--OK, one more Advent devotion

A Step in the Write Direction

December 28, 2015

Update: I sort of dreaded December 25 this year, my first Christmas without my husband. I thought it would be hard for me, as well as the rest of the family. But it was a good day. It was especially good to have our daughter and family back “home” from Texas. The only tears came from her as she was mashing the potatoes as “that was Dad’s job.” We opened presents, shared some humorous memories, and had a good meal together. Later that evening we watched “War Room.” So we survived! I knew a lot of friends were praying, so that really helped. Don’t ever think that your prayers are prayed in vain. They’re not!...We are really enjoying our new pastor at church. He has a real heart for winning souls, and we’re all looking forward to good days ahead.

Thought for the Day:  (some thoughts from this morning’s sermon, Pastor David Caudle)
·        Am I am better shape with God than I was a week ago, a month ago, or a year ago?
·        Jesus knew who He was and what He had to do. He knew what God’s mission was for Him.
·        God is love, and love listens. Sometimes we’re so eager to speak when God wants us to listen.
·        God’s healing goes as deep as our wounds.

Song for the Day:
We rejoice in the light, And we echo the song
That comes down thro’ the night From the heavenly throng.
Ay! we shout to the lovely evangel they bring,
And we greet in His cradle our Saviour and King!
            “There’s a Song in the Air,” Josiah G. Holland

Laugh for the Day: It was Christmas day, and we had all gathered for the holiday meal at the home of my husband's parents. After dessert, my mother-in-law left the table and returned carrying a bowl filled with slips of paper. Each adult was instructed to take one. Excited, we did so, wondering what surprise she had thought up for us. My slip of paper instructed me to dry the dishes; another person was told to wash them. Others had to do pots and pans. Then, with all the parents out of the way, grandma and grandpa went into the living room and enjoyed their grandchildren (Sheila Heil, The Gospel Greats newsletter, December 22, 2015).

Writer’s Tips:             (OK, one more Advent devotion)

The Year Christmas Was Late (8 years ago)

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (John 14:27) .

December 25—Christmas—and our family gathered around my husband’s bedside in ICU. I set up a tiny tree and a miniature Nativity set, and our daughter hung tinsel and a red bow
around the mirror. We opened one gift apiece, not wanting to tire him out.

On December 27 Gary had surgery. The doctors told us he was “very high risk” and “might not pull through.” Several days later my husband of forty-seven years looked up at me
and said, "I think it’s time.”

“What do you mean?” I asked him, fear gnawing at my stomach.

“Don’t you know what I’m trying to say?”

“I do, but I don’t want to.” I leaned over and hugged him, tears running down my face.

“I’m sorry,” he replied.“I love you more than life itself, but I’m just too tired. It’s time for me to go.”

But it wasn’t God’s time! Ten days later, on January 7, we brought my husband home, and the next day the family gathered again to celebrate Christmas a second time and open the rest of the gifts. This proved to us once again that it’s not the date, but the spirit of joy and peace that the holiday represents.

In his 1927 Christmas message to the nation, President Calvin Coolidge wrote:

Christmas is not a time or a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and
good will, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas. If
we think on these things, there will be born in us a Savior and over us will
shine a star sending its gleam of hope to the world.

Thank You, Lord, for that spirit of hope I have today because of the birth of Your Son, Jesus.

May God bless you in 2016 as you spread the
gospel through the printed page.

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