Merry Christmas! The last day of the year is finally here. Does it seem like it was just yesterday we were celebrating the end of 2010, or does it seem like it was a long time coming? This may seem odd but for myself they are all the same. The journey rolls on and God’s Spirit is now 50 years strong! From the first breath of life cut from the cord of my mother’s womb, it’s been God and me. Yes, he provided people along the way for which I am very grateful, some still with me today both physically and spiritually, some old and some newer; God is faithful! I hope my year-end words of encouragement were in fact encouraging and pray that your new year is filled with more insight, diligence and blessings. Buddha says; “Pay no attention to the faults of others, things done or left undone by others. Consider only what by one’s self is done or left undone.” In thought word and deed we have all done some things and left some things undone, some good, some bad. Our God is a loving forgiving God. He is willing to leave behind whatever needs to be left and He will certainly bring forward those things that continue to enhance our life onward towards the goal. So my final message for the year is this: “If the cord that gives you life isn’t by now, attached to God, cut it off! Start walking attached to the cord of the Spirit of Life and pay it forward. Now go, and have a New Year’s celebration to remember!
Breath of Life; Mother’s Womb; Attached to God
Merry Christmas! Be encouraged! We are almost to the New Year. Whatever is left undone or unaccomplished can always be attended to as the New Year turns. I know from experience that we are often our own worst critics! We don’t have to be so hard on our selves. I myself work on this everyday. I have learned that when we are working earnestly at the one thing that we love, the one thing we understand our purpose to be, we don’t have to wait for others to believe in what we can do. We don’t have to wait for others to validate who we know ourselves to be. The fact that God has given us this gift is assurance that he believes in us and has already validated who we are! By this, we can and should always believe in ourselves and continue to work for the glory of His name. For our own physical, intellectual and emotional wellbeing, it’s very important in this journey to believe. Doubt is a true enemy and will stifle or redirect us at its first opportunity. Believe in your self as a child of God, and no other resolution needs to be made. Let the Spirit of Christmas reign. Live born again, and walk in reconciliation with one another!
Be encouraged; Already validated; Live Born again
Merry Christmas! Today, I want to share another learning experience I believe (at least for myself) takes discipline in Christ to achieve; learning to live beyond what we feel and what we think other people are feeling about us. I have learned to not make assumptions or decisions based solely on what I feel or what I think other people are feeling. When it involves someone we don’t know (or don’t have a relationship with) leave it alone. However, in relationship (or someone you’d like to be in relationship with), always ask for what it is you need to know. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get the answer you want to hear. Be thankful that whatever they have told you is hopefully the truth. However, understand that as our circumstances change so will our truths. What was real for someone yesterday may not be valid for him or her today and completely irrelevant tomorrow. The good news is that God’s truth and the gift of his Love is not only unchanging but everlasting. Let the Spirit of Christmas reign. Forgive and be forgiven!
Don’t be discouraged, Give thanks; God’s truth; Gift of his Love; Forgive;
Merry Christmas! Today being Wednesday, and as we glide into the end of the year, I want to share something to help you get over what is commonly called “hump day.” I give thanks to God everyday for the people and support he has placed in my life. However, it took me a while to learn and remember that Christ alone is our one true mediator! Christ alone is our only redeemer! When seeking instruction and guidance, a good mentor understands (nor do they desire it) that they have nothing to gain or anything to lose by extending their wisdom to help you reconcile your life. While this life has many joys, it also has its share of hurdles, sometimes put in place by people we know, other times by people we don’t know. Mostly, we unknowingly put them there our selves because of the decisions we’ve made. Nevertheless, when struggling to make it to the next “whatever,” I have learned to first seek the one who pioneered this journey of faith and the only one who has perfected it. No authority on earth has reached that perfection. By God’s grace, know that the relationship we choose to have with Christ is what will either get us over the humps, help us to move around them, and on occasion help to dig our selves out from underneath them to reach the side that is redemption, reconciliation and peace. Let the Spirit of Christmas reign. Trust God!
One True Mediator; Pioneer and Perfecter; Peace
Merry Christmas! I know for myself that allowing God time isn’t the easiest thing for me to do, but when I put God first, time is always on my side! God’s word reveals that waiting on the Lord assures us of some kind of reward, whether it is an answer to a problem, strength for our journey, or the jackpot of wisdom in all circumstances. Each of us has our own truth that we don’t always fully perceive in one another. God alone knows all truths and has to work that truth out in each of us. Every day, as we relate to one another we have to allow God time to work in us while he is also working in other people. Eventually, “the Bridegroom will come,” and in the meantime, when he does, always be prepared to move forward and be blessed in the process. Let the Christmas Spirit of faith, hope and love reign!
Allowing God Time; When the Bridegroom comes; Make preparation
Perhaps for some, Christmas was only yesterday and I pray that everyone had a wonderful day. Before I get back into my meditations on the daily reading I’d like to bask in the Spirit of Christmas a little longer. I believe the quote from the Spirit of Christmas Present in Dicken’s A Christmas Carol says it all. “We Spirits of Christmas live the whole 365!” So at least for this week, everyday I will greet all readers with a Merry Christmas! I have to admit I had a head start on the holiday itself because I began the weekend with a 50th birthday celebration that lifted my spirit with grace and appreciation for the life God has given me. I realize that with all the challenges we face in life, holding on to the hope can sometimes be the toughest. As we draw closer to this year’s end, I hope to encourage others this week with a head start on the Spirit of Christmas into the New Year and share some of what I’ve learned on my life with Christ.
Today, I’d like to share that I am assured of one thing; God, family, friends like family, friends and so forth in that order. Give thanks and always put God first. Some might say this is a no brainer, while others don’t think much about it. However, the discipline we have in our relationship with God is imperative. Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4). Be aware that if you do this, the more you delight yourself in God, the more your heart will desire Him! Anything else He gives is a blessing.
“Mortal! We Spirits of Christmas do not live only one day of our year. We live the whole three-hundred and sixty-five. So is it true of the Child born in Bethlehem. He does not live in men’s hearts one day of the year, but in all days of the year…” (Spirit of Christmas Present from A Christmas Carol, 1951)
Live Christmas everyday! No one is ever too old. No one is ever beyond hope. Change can happen and redemption is always at hand! Merry Christmas and God bless us, every one!
“The only thing you have left at the end of the day is family, and we your family.” Complete with fried chicken, macaroni & cheese, ham, collard greens and a soul train line to the tune of Marvin Gaye’s “Got To Give It Up,” This Christmas is my contemporary favorite. With all the familiar character lines and all the right music it shares the hopes, joys and struggles faced by many families today. It’s been four years since everyone in the Whitfield family was home for Christmas. Like most families there are several stories to be told, but all the elements of love, care and understanding remain in place. Before everyone goes their own separate ways, This Christmas has provided another opportunity to laugh together, cry for each other, and love one another in the way that is unique only to them. Family really is what it’s all about. It takes shape in various ways and is no longer traditional as we’ve known it in the past. Families can be any combination of relatives both immediate and extended, several generations, long time friends and some friends more recently. Families are the people who are there for you. More importantly, family keeps it real because it’s not always their responsibility to tell you what you want to hear. Every family has its own way but always at the end of the day your family is what’s left. I know for myself it’s always been a blessing.
“Mother let me send him my crutch, who knows, he made need one and this I made myself.” Amahl and the NightVisitors (1955), a made-for-television, Opera in one Act, is for me perhaps the most meaningful holiday story. Amahl, a crippled child with a vivid imagination and his widowed mother struggle to survive when three kings bearing gifts and looking for a place to rest, visit them. The kings have been following a star that will lead them to a child who doesn’t need the gifts they bring because they’ve heard that love alone will build his kingdom and the keys to his city belong to the poor. As Amahl and his mother begin to understand who this child is to be, Amahl with his limited mobility is willing to let go of the one thing on which he has depended through his life. Without hesitation he reaches to give the crutch to the kings and immediately begins to walk. We often create our own crutches in life. Sometimes out of necessity, other times out of fear. There comes a time when we have to let them go so that we don’t become paralyzed by them. If we can find the strength to believe in the one gift that we’ve all been waiting for, our faith will soon reveal that the gift has already been given.
“Every Who down in Whoville liked Christmas a lot, but the Grinch, who lived just north of Whoville – did not. The Grinch hated Christmas – the whole Christmas season. Now, please don’t ask why; no one quite knows the reason. It could be, perhaps, that his shoes were too tight. Or it could be that his head wasn’t screwed on just right. But I think that the most likely reason of all… may have been that his heart was two sizes too small.” The opening lines of How The Grinch Stole Christmas (1966), my favorite childhood Christmas story, never ceases to amuse me. To this day I enjoy the rhythm and rhyme of a Dr. Seuss tale. While I do know of people who hate the Christmas season, I can’t say that I know of anyone who hated Christmas Day. As for Whoville, while a child it was a wonderful fantasy, a place where life is as simple as it gets. Today it could even be considered what we call koinonia, a kind of Christian fellowship. One that doesn’t break down because its foundation is not built on physical objects but rather mutual relationships. I suppose if one looked hard enough Whoville could be Anytown, USA, or at the very least Anytown has the potential to be a Whoville. I believe at the heart of the matter, is that Grinches can’t steal the joy, hope and love of Christmas that we hold dear and firmly within, and fortunately for our sake that is all we are asked to carry forward to begin.
“He puzzled and puzzled till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. Maybe Christmas, he thought… doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps… means a little bit more! “