Thursday, December 26, 2013

All Is Well

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. –Psalm 28:7

The reflections of Christmas 2013 linger on even as the day has come and gone.  The wrapping paper torn away, a few cookies and candy canes remain and the wilted holiday greens are evidence that we indeed had a celebration. Christmas Eve service always delights with the familiar carols sung and the message of Jesus’ birth warms the heart with His Everlasting Love. My grandson sat though most of the service and that in itself was a Christmas miracle! All is Well!

But what if everything in your life is not well? People that experience the loss of any kind or hardship this past year may have lost their sense of the holidays.  Christmas may represent sadness rather than joy.  My Dad’s favorite carol was “Oh Holy Night”. Every time I turned on the radio, walked into a store, went to church, I heard that song. Over and over again. Even though he has been gone for 4 years now, it could have been a painful memory for me. Yet I chose to celebrate that song and each time I heard it, I said, “Merry Christmas, Daddy” as though he was right there beside me. 

We have choices as to how to approach the things we must face. Some folks walk a tougher path that we do. We must encourage and lift them up because next year they could be the ones lifting us up in love. Being there for one another at all times. Our attitude and faith are the keys. Believing in God for good in all things will strengthen us. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

Happy New Year!! 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Best Gifts


But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.   -Galatians 5:22 


It’s the week before Christmas and all through the house are Christmas lists, presents to be wrapped and last minute items to shop for. Oh, the busyness of it all! The hustle and bustle of the holidays is in full swing. At least, that is how it used to be for us. When our children were little and grandparents were able to travel, it was a large festive time with everyone enjoying overall abundance, prosperity, sharing plans for the future and sharing gifts from under the tree. Now, things are just different. Everyone was spread out for many years and now we are all back together again…that is our Christmas blessing this year! And now, Christmas is no longer measured in material things, but in health, gratitude and joy…as it should be.


The Bible talks of the fruits of the spirit in today’s scripture. I believe God is impressing on my spirit that while material things are nice to give and receive at this time of year, there are greater gifts awaiting us. If Christmas is truly about Jesus then the gifts that are the most important are those that Jesus lived by that are mentioned in the scripture: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. Oh how our homes and extended families, our friendships and the workplace would benefit so much if we all practiced these virtues. I think we could start with just picking one of these to focus on. To have joy in our heart. To find peace within and share it. To have patience with ourselves and those around us. To show kindness and to be good to those that are hardest to love. To be faithful to our families and relationships. Offering a gentle touch and a kind word when we can to all. Above all exercising self-control with our actions, behavior and words spoken. We can’t wait for everyone around us to treat us this way. It begins with us.  All I have to do to be motivated to live with the fruits of the spirit as my compass is to think of the people whose countenance and personalities I am drawn to.  And they are the ones that take time, love unconditionally, forgive easily, laugh heartily and in all they do God’s Light shines for all to see.  I want to be one of those people.  I believe that it is true that what we give will be given back to us. The biblical law of reaping what you sow.


Some gifts can be wrapped with bows and set under the tree, but the fruits of the spirit are a reflection of God’s heart and Jesus’ life and they are available to us. If you had a fruit tree and it didn’t bear any fruit year after year, you would certainly get rid of it and replace it with one that was fruitful and productive. Many of us are not bearing fruit right now. And that doesn’t reflect the goodness of God and it speaks poorly of us. Today I will consider it a blessing to be given this roadmap for living, loving and being. Thank you God for these gifts!!