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Friday, December 18, 2009

A Sign Of The Times


While traveling around town the last few nights, something seemed very different. What is it? Is there something missing some where? The answer is, Yes.

This is the Christmas season, the time between Thanksgiving and the New Year. It is a time of celebration to honor the birth of Jesus, God's only Son. Parties, parades, and special music fill our calendars. Christmas trees, twinkling lights, and .......that's it! Where are all the twinkling lights and yard decorations? Where are the inflatables that were so popular the last few years? Missing. They are packed away in garages and attics, just waiting to make their annual appearance.

2009 has been a year of change happening in our family and around our town. The sagging economy has burdened many in our community. Job loss and cut backs, plus the drop in the stock market have taken their toll on this small town. It is safe to say that the majority of us have had to cut back in many areas of our lives. Less frills and extras; and more savvy shopping and spending have transformed us. Indulgence in things we once enjoyed have been pared down, or eliminated all together.

What concerns me is that people that do not have the means to lavish gifts on their friends and loved ones this year will become downhearted and forget the true meaning of Christmas. (It occurs to me that the previous statement is true as well, especially when people do have the means to lavish gifts on friends and loved ones.) The spirit of giving goes well beyond monetary gifts and frills--giving from the heart, is the best way to honor God's precious gift of His Son. A selfless act to benefit someone else reflects a loving and generous spirit. According to the dictionary, a gift is: something given voluntarily without payment in return, as to show favor toward someone, honor an occasion, or make a gesture of assistance; present.

What kind of gifts do you give? Are they the latest and greatest gadgets money can buy? Or do you give the gift of time to spend with someone? Something flashy to show off to others, or a special deed to help someone out? What is your favorite or most memorable gift that was not monetary in nature, and blessed you enough to remember now? Could you bestow the same kind of gifts on someone else?

God gave us the ultimate gift; His only Son, Jesus.
Jesus was born from a mother chosen by God, just as we were born from our mothers. He gave His only Son so that we can have eternal life with Him in Heaven. What better way to thank Him, than to give the gifts that mean the most--the gifts that come from our hearts.

When I started this post, I asked what was missing. The outward signs of celebration--twinkling lights and yard ornaments--seem to be vacant this year. The question is, are hearts vacant? Do we really understand that no matter what our status in life--whether we have money or do not--God gave us His Son, and we need to celebrate that special gift!

My prayer for you is that even if the outward appearance of celebration is missing this year, that your heart celebrates God's love in a big way. The kind of way that makes sweet memories, void of monetary indulgence.


13 comments:

  1. Last few years I've been donating to causes instead of buying gifts. This year I donated to Kathy's Camp. It was started by a woman who's been battling breast cancer for 10 years...her family wondered if she was going to make it through this week but she's still hanging in there. The camp is for children of parents with cancer. It's a place where they can be with others who understand...
    Know that I'm praying!
    Colossians 3:14-17 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
    Prayer Bears
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  2. Know that you're always in my thoughts and prayers!
    Psalms 28:6-7 Blessed be the LORD, because he hath heard the voice of my supplications. The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.
    Prayer Bears
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  3. Praying hard in Seattle!
    Psalms 46:1-5 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah. There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.
    Prayer Bears
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  4. Continuing to pray!
    Psalms 46:10-11 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.
    Prayer Bears
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  5. On this Christmas Eve look to the only source of true hope, peace, and salvation! Praying!
    Matthew 1:20-23 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
    Prayer Bears
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  6. Know that I'm still here praying!
    John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
    Prayer Bears
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  7. Praying right now!
    Isaiah 63:7-9: I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the LORD, and the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD hath bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which he hath bestowed on them according to his mercies, and according to the multitude of his lovingkindnesses. For he said, Surely they are my people, children that will not lie: so he was their Saviour. In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.
    Prayer Bears
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  8. Here praying!
    Psalm 71:1-3 In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust: let me never be put to confusion. Deliver me in thy righteousness, and cause me to escape: incline thine ear unto me, and save me. Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress.
    Prayer Bears
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  9. Continuing to pray!
    Psalm 71:5-8 For thou art my hope, O Lord GOD: thou art my trust from my youth. By thee have I been holden up from the womb: thou art he that took me out of my mother's bowels: my praise shall be continually of thee. I am as a wonder unto many; but thou art my strong refuge. Let my mouth be filled with thy praise and with thy honour all the day.
    Prayer Bears
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  10. Praying right now!
    Psalm 71:14-17 But I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more. My mouth shall shew forth thy righteousness and thy salvation all the day; for I know not the numbers thereof. I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD: I will make mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only. O God, thou hast taught me from my youth: and hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works.
    Prayer Bears
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  11. These verses give such great comfort! Praying!
    Romans 8:26-27 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
    Prayer Bears
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  12. Lifting up prayers!
    Psalm 3:3-5 But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head. I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah. I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the LORD sustained me.
    Prayer Bears
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  13. Praying in Seattle!
    Romans 5:4-6 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    Prayer Bears
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