The Gift of Life

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My daughter just finished writing a blog post and quoting Habakkuk 1:5, regarding the work God is doing among us right now.

https://juliechristinepalin.wordpress.com/2016/03/02/foolishness/

Things we wouldn’t be able to grasp if he told us about them. Our lives are just a fragment of the big picture.

The verse was a reminder that God is still in control, even when things don’t make sense, even when we lose friends, and family to death, at what seems to be the strangest of times.

Eccles. 3:1,2 tells us “There is a time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven. A time to give birth and a time to die…”

For our family friends who just lost a wife and a mother in an accident, these words at first glance probably do not bring much comfort.

If we stand back and look at the big picture we see the gift of life God gives us all, and the gift of sharing our lives with others, the privilege parents have, through their love,

which brings more life (children) into this world, and the circle continues.

I thank God for our friend’s mom, and the time we had with her. Her leaving us at this time gives us opportunity to reflect on what we will do with the rest of our life, for however long we are here.

Let us humbly, and gratefully live the life we have left to the best of our ability, in peace with one another, and in God’s strength.

In the quiet of a home away from home, I kneel to pray.

Some of my appendages are walking in other time zones, breathing in different climates, watching the world through unique eyes.

As I lift their names up one by one I see their faces. I imagine the palm trees, and feel the heat radiating through her skin.

I see the cobble streets and damp London air swirling around him.

Here in the city I see a young mother resting with her child in the early morning hours, with another in her belly, getting in those last few seconds of shut eye that will carry her through the day and the night.

I see two men side by side with their hammers and frost in their beards.

This Christmas I ask for strange but wondrous gifts for them. Presents that first came wrapped in stars, and teeming waters.

I pray they will hear their Creator, and see him all around them.

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse (Romans 1:20).

I pray that they will hear their Savior’s words…

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6).

I pray that we together, a family – whether near or far – will always acknowledge him, accept His mercy that came as a child in a manger, surrender to His authority, and become disciplined agents of His love.

 

“..in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:6).

My heart wells up within me, with great joy because….

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11).

 

Mom/Cindy

 

 

 

Shopping with HEART and making SMART choices at Christmas Time.

Shopping with HEART and making SMART choices at CHRISTMAS time.

  1. Make your large purchases with small business, and your small purchases at big box stores. That way you are spreading the love around where it is needed the most.
  2. Buy second hand for yourself when you can, and treat yourself to a brand name product once a year (if you absolutely have to).
  3. Write and wrap gift notes for others, and then buy the actual product after Christmas when it is half the price. The amount saved could be given away to a neighbour, or charity.
  4. Decide to watch programs over the holidays that have zero violence.
  5. Boycott watching anything with guns or shooting.
  6. When you realize that means you can’t watch anything – go outside for a walk or call up a friend, and make a snowman together.
  7. Instead of playing a computer game by yourself, get together with a friend and play a board or dice game.
  8. Shut your phone for off for a whole day, and listen to your family. No cheating.
  9. Instead of giving someone money, give them your time and attention.
  10. Invite someone over for tea and dessert, you don’t always have to cook a fancy menu.
  11. Write a list of people you want to get to know in the New Year, and write an annual intentional date on the calendar.
  12. Support home grown talent by buying their music.
  13. Promote purchases and not pirating.
  14. Smile and make a point of wishing everyone you see a “Merry Christmas” (out loud, and not under your breath).
  15. Make time to look up inspirational vignettes on youtube, like Linus’s recitation about what Christmas is all about.
  16. Set up a nativity scene on Christmas Eve.
  17. Purchase a special Children’s Christmas book each year to read on Christmas Eve, even if all the children are grown up.

Have fun adding to this list. Make it your own. And may we truly strive to uphold what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8 and 9).