God is Near

Merry Christmas to our friends, and our family. The video below is to remind us all of how Immanuel came to be with us. The message also helps us to strive to be instruments of Christ’s love, to think of others before our own needs.baby jesus

Our economy, new government, and tragic world news threaten our hearts with fear, but remember God never changes, and HE IS NEAR. He is no stranger to what is happening around us, and He is still in control.

Matthew 1:23

From Lloyd and Cindy Palin and family

God is Near Lullaby

images are from http://www.heritagemakers.com

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The Power of a Decision

Growing up, my mother made sure we got to visit all our relatives on a regular basis. Every once in a while Dad would come too.

I didn’t know it then, but family ties have a great deal to do with how we live our lives, whether it is immediate family or extended. As a youngster I looked up to a lot of cousins, and aunts and uncles, especially those who emulated Christ’s character.

I’ve always wondered what the phrase “family ties” means. At first glance you might visualize all your first and second cousins tied to each other, and to you with one big long invisible thread. Or you may think of the less literal interpretation, the genealogy connection.

Lately I’ve been thinking of “ties” in terms of how our decisions affect the ones we love. Our decisions resemble a rock falling into a pool of water. The circular ripples echo outwardly and touch everyone from our inner circle onward. We forget about how people watch and learn from one another.

I believe that is why Jesus taught us so much about love. If we act out of love for God, for ourselves and others, our ripples are going to create joy, encouragement and generally build one another up (in the faith I hope). If we act out of selfishness our ripples can cause pain, concern and genuine discouragement.

What decisions are you making today that will spur your family on to greatness of character? What choices have you made lately that will strengthen your faith and your family’s?

We cannot hope to be the best we can be for ourselves, and our family without help from God. He gives us grace as we grow, and we must extend that same grace and patience, and prayer generously.

Making sound decisions (based on biblical principles) is a challenge. It is easy to give into status quo.

May I conclude with a sincere warning to those people who are near and dear?

Please watch what you say and do, someone’s future faith depends upon it.

It’s Summer Everyday, and Christmas at the Same Time!

This morning I heard a car drive up. I was expecting them. Our children were driving to a wedding in the States, but stopping by first to drop off some items and stretch their legs.

I opened the back door and there she was. Our first grandchild, just one year old, standing between her mommy and daddy’s legs in her pyjamas, blonde curls dancing in the breeze.

Her little finger points and she utters a greeting in toddler jibber jabber. I laugh, and she mimics me back. I watch her teeter in and look around, and think “this has got to be the best way to start my day!”

When our children were born, we kept our heads down and noses to the grindstone, concentrating all our efforts on getting through the sleepless nights, learning all the do’s and don’ts. Now that our grandchild is here, it is like our heads are lifted – heaven has opened, it’s summer everyday, and Christmas at the same time. My prayer list has gotten longer, but my cup runneth over, Oh yes, and my videos, and text messages:)

My daughter reminds me of the toys in the spare room, and I rush to pull them out. Willow follows behind and is delighted to meet her old friend Bear, and Fisher Price Shapes.

I put the coffee on, and pull out a watermelon from the refrigerator, slice it up and watch her Daddy put her in the new high chair we bought. There’s even a bib still hanging there from their last visit. I perch on a chair nearby and marvel at her little fingers, how they pick up, and push the fruit in her mouth. She hums as she chews, and I melt.

They’re back on the road, and the flurry of excitement is now silent and still. I could pick up the toys like I use to, keep the living room all neat and tidy, but instead I’m going to leave them scattered down the hallway. I’ll leave her bib untouched on the table too. Want to keep the moments fresh. Signs of life, signs of joy, and the promise of a bright tomorrow.

God knows just what we need in the middle of our lives to press on towards eternity with purpose and joy!