Christmas all year long

I wish Christmas would last all year long. People are so nice and accommodating this time of year. God asks us to be that way all year long. Loving one another as ourselves. It doesn’t have to cost a lot either. People spend thousands of dollars trying to get just that perfect gift. A lot of times the gift is set aside and forgotten anyway.

We can do so much all year long. Take time to appreciate everything in your day. The beautiful world around us. God made it just for us. How he gives us our daily bread each day, he helps us all throughout our day, and always does what is best for us. Pay attention to everything around you. The secretary at work has a new haircut, let her know you noticed. Debbie’s dress is cute, tell her. Appreciate people you meet, talk to them.

Do nice things for people. Hold the elevator, the door. Smile and say hello. Invite someone to coffee, or bring them a coffee. Show hospitality by inviting someone over for dinner tonight. Offer to mow a lawn for an older neighbor. Bake cookies for someone.

Spend time with someone who seems lonely, or visit a relative. Write a letter, write a poem, you never know how much that could mean, especially to loved ones. Going the extra mile to make someone feel special. These things don’t cost a lot of money but can mean so much to people around you. It makes life fuller for us and for others.

Giving is so much better than receiving. If more people tried harder to be friendly to those around them the better our world would be. I saw on tv the other day how a woman who missed her flight and was forced to spend the night at the airport waiting for another flight. She got over being upset. She decided to get people to dance with her. It started out slow but really caught on. She took pictures and posted them. They went viral.

It only takes one person to start a chain reaction of love. So let it begin with you.

A Cheerful Giver

“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7. NIV

This is the time of year for giving. The reason for this is simple. It all started thousands of years ago. In a small town in Bethlehem. God sent his one and only son as a tiny baby to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph. He was a descendent of King David and many other important people. God spent many years building a family line that he could make his very own. This was a very important family. One he would be with forever.

This was the very first gift the gift of eternal life. He loved us so much that he gave up his only son for us….

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whosoever believes in him shall have everlasting life.” John 3:16. NIV

So that we all could be with him forever. The gift that gave life. Because of this gift we should also have the heart of our father and choose to be a giver. For it truly is greater to give than receive. Science has proven what God knew all along. Giving produces joy in our hearts. The more we give the happier we feel. All of God’s ways really are for our best.

So give with all your heart and give all year long. It is the best way to keep joy in you life. Make it a way of life. The best thing you can give away is a smile. It is free and reaps the best results. As you give it away you will get o back. It is hard to be mean to someone giving you a smile.

Give to people everywhere you go. Give compliments and caring words. Show interest in others. These are all inexpensive ways to give. There are always reasons to give financially too. The more you give the more you receive. It’s the law of sowing and reaping.

The law often of sowing and reaping says if you sow kindness you will receive kindness, or if you sow discord you will receive discord. The more you give financially the more you will be blessed financially. You cannot outgive God just try.

So be a cheerful giver and your life will be full and overflowing.

What Thanksgiving means

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16 NIV

It is so simple yet so wonderful, the God that made this awesome world and everything in it. All the people in it for generations. He loves every one of us so much the he wants to spend eternity with us. In that perfect place where there is no hate, no evil, no prejudice, no pain, only perfection forevermore.

God is such a loving God that he had to make a way. You see you like me, everyone, has sinned and we deserve nothing but punishment. God is perfect with no sin and can not be around sin. That did not stop him from making a way. He needed a perfect sacrifice, one with no sin. His son. His one and only son would come to this earth, born of a virgin, and live a perfect life. He had all the temptations and difficulty we have.

He was born to a very young family struggling to make it in this world in a difficult time. When he was born they were away from family in a place where there was no room for them. They had to deliver their baby in a stable, with animals, and the smell of manure. They had only a feeding trough to lay their son in. Quite humble beginnings for the King of the world.

He had people trying to kill him from the day he was born and they would eventually succeed. But while on this earth he would be perfect doing all that his father would do. Showing his great love and compassion to everyone he met. Teaching them how to live a full and abundant life.

While he was here he healed many people even bringing people who had died back to life.

“He was despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows; acquainted with grief: we hid our faces from him, he was despised and we did not esteem him. “. Isaiah 53:3 NIV

When he was condemned he did not open his mouth to complain or protest his innocence. He gladly went to the cross for you and for me. He looked ahead to that day when we would all be together in that perfect place. One big family. That gave him the joy to make it through all that pain and abuse.

It was a gift for every man. Many would reject that free gift but to all who believe it meant life forever . All we need to do is believe. Believe he came and died just for us. That he died on the cross and three days later rose from the grave victorious.

If you believe in your heart and ask God to forgive your sins and make you brand new he will and will take you to heaven when you die. If you do not ask for forgiveness it is the same as rejecting God. You will forever be apart from him. Apart in the lake of fire where you will burn forever with all of those who reject God.

Accept him today and live a life of gratitude for all he did for you. Show him how much his gift meant every day he gives to you.

Being Thankful

This being the season for thankfulness I thought I would write about what we really should be thankful for.
Think back in time to a formless void world where all there was was God. He had a plan. He wanted to have someone to talk with and love. Someone to relate to and to enjoy life with. Someone to love him back. Not someone who would automatically love him but someone who could decide on their very own to love and want to have a relationship with him.
First he would have to create an environment for that creation to dwell in. Some place perfect. Light and dark, night and day, come around every day without fail, season after season. He set the world in motion and the sun. Everything works perfectly for 365 days and then starts over. We never get too warm or too cold to survive. Clouds come and go and the earth waters itself.  
Plants of millions of different colors and varieties were placed here just for us. Flowers with awesome fragrances. All seed bearing to continually renew themselves over and over again. Some of the most beautiful scenery imaginable. Deserts, tundra, snow covered hills, jungles. Such variety.
Now think of all the different creatures in the sea and in the air. How about all life on the earth. Every animal, insect, creatures too many to comprehend. These were all given to Adam to enjoy and rule over. He was given the opportunity of naming them all. Talk about an unbelievable gift.
And he made man in his own image. He was so awesome to create all this just for us. It wasn’t just sufficient but mind blowingly awesome if you really think about it. He made us with everything we would ever need to survive and live awesome lives. Someday he would give us some of the knowledge he had to create things for ourselves.
Everything we would need to create for ourselves was growing around us, deep down in the soil, or in the air over us. He gave us the knowledge to make things happen. He gave us dreams to see fulfilled. He taught us so much about the world we live in.

He showed us things he made to cure sickness and taught us about the human body.
Our bodies are so amazingly made so precisely that it has taken thousands of years to discover. We still don’t know it all. God does though. He has helped us discover our planet in so many ways. We have been to the moon. Built aircraft that is able to carry so many people and equipment yet can still climb to altitudes and speeds unheard of. Ships as big as football fields that float around the world.
Yet with all knowledge he still wants to have a personal relationship with each one of us. Who am I in the grand scheme of things? Why would he want a relationship with me? He has placed his spirit inside of me. My life can never be full and I will always be searching for something until I have that relationship with him.
He knows me and what is best for me even though I don’t always know it myself. He knows the full picture and knows everything that will happen in my life.
I am so thankful each morning that he has given me a new day to discover and I will never take that for granted. He has done so much for me that I could never show him how much they mean to me even though I try.

Keep Your Eye On Eternity

Keep thinking of where you will be forever when this brief life is over. If you accepted Christ as your King and serve Him only, he îs preparing a wonderful place for you in His kingdom. There life will be perfect, like you could never imagine. No more pain or sorrow because we will have perfect bodies. Young forever and ever. That’s more than our minds can fathom. Let me give an example of the opposite.

Imagine you are falling in a black hole. So dark it’s like you are wrapped in darkness. You keep falling because there is no bottom to this whole. You are burning up but your body is never consumed. You can hear screams and cries that make your stomach turn. The smell is awful like that of sulfur. It’s so strong that you are overcome and your eyes are burning. Well that’s just a taste of hell and it lasts forever and ever and ever.
You don’t want to go to a place like that. No one does but the road to heaven is very narrow and few persevere till the end. On the other hand the road to hell is wide and many end up there even some who thought they were saved. It is easy to end up there.. There will not be comradery in hell, it is utter isolation.
Be careful little eyes what you careful little ears what you hear, touch, taste, feel. These are all ways you can fall from grace. As Christians there is nothing we can’t do but all things are not good for us. It’s true He will never leave you nor forsake you. But he can not keep you from walking away from Him. He has given us free will because he wants us to want to do all we can for him.
If you truly love Him you will be like Him. Loving and serving others because He loves them more than you do. You will hurt inside for someone you know who is heading for hell. Many may know God but even demons know him and flee. You will know them by their fruit. It’s what comes out of a man’s heart that counts to God. He knows all our thoughts and deeds nothing is secret from Him.
He knows if we have turned bitter by not forgiving others. If you don’t forgive them Jesus cannot forgive you. You must obey his commands, but do you know them? Do you read His word daily. Those who persevere till the end and don’t grow tired of doing good will be rewarded. No one says it will be easy. You need to lay down your life and follow Him, no turning back, no turning back.
Don’t let pride destroy you. The enemy will try to deceive you into believing that you always deserve more than you have. More money no matter how you get it. More love- That man loves you more than your husband and will make you happy. You deserve whatever you want so just charge it. We can get in so much trouble if you listen to the enemy. God knows just what we need and will give it to us.
If Jesus wouldn’t do it, don’t do it. Treasure every minute that you have on this earth. Remember it counts for eternity . The more you give the more you receive here and on the other side. Don’t do it just for what you can get, but because you love God’s people like he does. He wants you to enjoy this lîfe as best you can.

Losing Someone Dear

Losing a family member or close friend is hard. Knowing they are a Christian and destined for Heaven should be a real blessing. But it is still hard and devastating. That person was in your life, you could see them, touch them, see them smile and laugh. That takes a lot of time to deal with. And you never forget the love you shared. All they ment to you.

Last March I lost my three year old grandson to a horrible disease called ‘Tay-Sachs’. He was born a beautiful happy baby boy with no sign of problems. Around his first Birthday he started showing signs of diminished activity. He never learned to crawl, walk or other things for his age. My daughter took him to be tested and we learned the dreadful news that he had this disease and would barely make it to four years old.

This is a very debilitating disease and very few have it. The parents are both carriers and what are the odds of that. But it happened. God made him just the way he was for a reason we will never know. He touched our lives so greatly. He was the happiest, loving baby. He barely learned to say mama but he showed love in his special way.

My daughter quit her job to be with him always. He was such a joy. But he had many problems. Not being able to move, or stretch without help. He was unable to regulate his temperature and had fans and cooling cloths to help keep him cool. His lungs soon began filling with fluid and had to be suctioned out. She was not only mom but his caregiver. She learned to do many things at one time. Having an older brother who loved him and would help out as much as he could helped but it was still mom who did everything. Her husband helped a lot and they did so much as a family. They were determined to give him the best life possible. To show him so much of our country. Let him taste and see all he could in just four years. My daughter never wanted to be away from him.

Then came that awful day, my daughter picked up her older son from school and took him to the lake with grandpa for some quality one-on-one time. Dad got to stay with him while his therapist worked with him. He loved being alone with him but mom was always there. It was going real well until he had a seizure. Then he was gone. One minute thriving the next Jesus took him home. It was such a shock to everyone.

I had to be strong for my daughter. He was with Jesus, with a whole body running around heaven with all his Tay-Sachs friends that had died before him. He was just where he needed to be.
But there was a whole. I tried to be strong and show all the reasons to be glad for him. We had a lovely funeral and memorial. Time moved on and Jesus filled us with peace, but thinking of him still brought tears. My kids got real involved in raising funds for Tay-Sachs research. They are so close to a cure.

While I was at camp this last week a good friend of mine read a poem about her disabled son who had died one year earlier. It was all about her beautiful baby boy that was born deformed and mentally disabled. He meant everything to her and they shared many special times. He loved to be at camp too. All of a sudden I broke. The poem reminded me of my grandson. I began to cry uncontrollably. People all around me were holding me tightly. I didn’t even know some of them. We are all brothers and sisters though.

I will never stop missing him and little things remind me of him. Like sunflowers, we gave sunflower seeds to all at his memorial in memory of him. Now. When I see a sunflower I can think of his smile. I love you Brennan!

He Knows Your Name

I just got back from another awesome week at the Young Life camp at Lost Canyon with my church. This a camp for people with all kinds of disabilities. Some are in wheelchairs with a wide range of handicaps. There are also those with intellectual disabilities who seem perfectly fine but suffer from some sort of brain difficulty. These are wonderful people from fifteen to eighty years old looking to experience new and exciting activities and more time with God. It is a lovely camp with everything you could dream of.  

The camp is more like a resort with lots of rooms apartment style that sleep up to fourteen people per room either male or female. So when you get there you may or may not know your roommates. There is a caregiver that is assigned to you for everything you need for the whole week. They are with you throughout the week.

They take care of all your physical and emotional needs while at camp.
There is a pool and hot tub they also have two awesome super slides to enjoy, whether you walk or not, you can enjoy them. There is a room full of pool tables, a snack bar, coffee shop, store for souvenirs, a gymnasium full of fun, basketball, frisbee, and beautifully landscaped grounds with grass, trees, streams, plants, and even a lake.

At the lake they have a zip line from up the mountain down to the lake. More slides and a huge blob to jump on. Everything is handicap assessable for everyone to enjoy.

A few days into the week God showed me that I was judging people. Something I never would have done intentionally but I was seeing these people with my imperfect eyes. If they weren’t just like me or acting just like I thought they should, I wasn’t trying to get to know them. They might have been older or younger, dressed different, walked different, had tattoos or piercings, were heavier than me, acted different than I.

God has made so many people that are all just perfect in his eyes. He loves them so very much and has wonderful plans for their lives. I don’t know all they have gone through in their lives or the pain they live with every day. Sure we all have disabilities whether you can see them or not. We are all made differently. That’s what’s so great about our world. God knows just why he made you how you are. Everyone has a purpose. He knows exactly what He is doing in each life. God never makes anyone wrong. We are all perfect.

Oh I wish I had glasses that I could put on to help me see everyone through His eyes. When I get to know their story I fall in love with the person and am so glad for a new friend. We sang a great song that says it all.

          I have a maker

          He formed my heart

          Before even time began

          My life was in his hand
          He knows my name

          He knows my every thought

          He sees each tear that falls

          And hears me when I call.

There is more but that just blessed me. He made every one of us just how we are with all our little quirks. We are his craftsmanship made to his design specs. We are perfect! From now on I am going to try to see people through his eyes and get to know them. One can always use new friends.