Tuesday, December 24, 2013


I watched one of my favorite holiday movies, a Christmas Carol.  I love the 1938 versions.  One thing I always take away from the story is how Ebenezer Scrooge had more than those around him in during an impoverished period in London, but he was the meanest and most miserable person.  He was so unpleasant that his name goes down in history to represent the worst in people when given to someone.  He was such a miser with money that he misused the money by not using it.

We rarely remember that he turned his life around and made amends with others at the end of the movie after being visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future.

Ebenezer Scrooge became repentant after a chain of events occurred.  He first fired his loyal employee, Bob Cratchit, who has many children, one, tiny Tim, who was very ill, and a wife.  Bob holds no grudges even after receiving the harsh news of Mr. Scrooge’s decision.  Instead, in the spirit of hope and belief in the holiday spirit, he goes home spends all his earnings to provide a memorable Christmas for his family, not knowing what the future would hold.  I love at the end how Scrooge talked back to the future ghost, telling him that these things he saw can be changed if he alters his behavior.

Are we a scrooge? Are we blessed to have things but forget to have compassion on others?  Are we holding on to blessings that were intended to share and bless the lives of others around us?  Should the ghost of Christmas past visit us to show us how we became so unpleasant?  Would our Christmas present ghost show that no one finds pleasure in being in our company because we’re mean and unforgiving?  If we chose to continue, our Christmas future ghost would also show us headed down a road similar to Scrooge of separation and doom.  Just as Scrooge turned his life around, we too, can change our future.

During the season we should remember that we all have received the best gift; the gift of life from Christ.  Love and blessings are only good if they are shared and given away.  It’s an odd thing that the more you give of these, the more you get them back.  If you don’t have the money like Scrooge or any gifts under the tree to share, we can be innovative and give the gift that never grows old, we can give ourselves.  Remember, Christ gave himself to us as a sacrifice because of His love for us.  Let’s sacrifice a little of ourselves to help others.  Let’s not be a scrooge this season, let’s show love.  Give the gift of love, give a little of yourself to someone. 


While I sat in the garage looking at the boxes of decorations and Christmas tree in a box, a flood of emotions swept over my soul.  I look back and painfully remember all the people and things so dear to me that I lost.  I began to sink in my spirit because the loved ones I shared my life and heart with are no longer here to bring me joy on Christmas morning.  Christmas was always my favorite holiday.  It’s a time when memories are made and family and friends gather near.

As I drove through the neighborhoods and saw the beautiful decorations and listened to the holiday tunes on the radio, emptiness came over me.  I didn’t feel the same when I watched Charlie Brown or White Christmas on television.

Many of the traditional things that marked this season, my personal favorite, the Christmas tree, will not be observed this year.   The old traditions are no longer significant and I am forced to create new ones.  There will be no smell of peach cobbler cooking in the kitchen or that secret present to open on Christmas morning.  There won’t be a fire in the fireplace as we sing merry Christmas baby or jingle bell rock.  I asked all my loved ones to let me be alone this Christmas to seek God’s face, who alone could heal and help me this holiday.   The worst emotion to me is to be in a room filled with people but still feeling all alone in the world. 

The song, Silent Night, Holy Night came on the radio and my heart began to burn.  How selfish and blind I had been.  Christ is the reason for the season.  He is the gift that keeps on giving.   

There was no Currier & Ives setting around the manger where Christ laid and He wasn’t welcomed with opened arms.  His mother and father were on the run from an angry King that sought to kill Him and hid in a manger where He was born.  There was no smell of spices and rum cake; there was the smell of sheep and oxen in their nostrils. 

Yes, I had lost loved ones and my life is forever changed, but the real reason for Christmas is Christ who loves me the best and has never left my side.  He has shown me an undying love by giving me the gift of redemption. 

Let’s regain the real meaning for Christmas, by first putting Christ back in our celebration.   We look for gifts to give our loved ones that would enhance their lives and bring them joy.  What better gift than to give them the gift of the knowledge of Christ, their Savior.  Share with them the true story of Christmas.  When times get hard and the storms of life begin, the X-box game machines and diamonds won’t bring them peace or help solve their problems, only a relationship with Christ will accomplish this.  Deck the halls then go tell it on the mountain and over the hills that Jesus Christ was born.

Saturday, December 14, 2013


A friend and I had been trying to find time to get together for several years.  When she called me one day recently to ask to meet, I was having such a challenging week.  I decided it was more important to rearrange my entire day’s appointments.  I will be eternally grateful that I did, and here’s why.  We caught up on the happenings in our lives and laughed while we ate with such gusto, the waitress came to our table several times to check on us. 

My friend gave an account of how her morning began that warmed my soul.  She shared that she too, had a busy day lined up.  In the middle of preparing to go out to her various appointments, God spoke to her and said to contact “Chris” and arrange to meet today.  She went down the list of things she had to do in her mind, but, being obedient, she sent me the text around 6:30am. I’m glad she was obedient and that I changed my day, to hear those words.

That may not mean much to you, but when I put it into perspective, it means the world to me.
It excites me that God would specifically speak my name to someone and for them to do a kind act towards me.  God knew the challenges I was having and that encounter of laughter and kindness, with a true friend, made a great difference in the rest of my life.  During trying times, you must be very careful who you surround yourself with.   I’m glad to have such a friend in my life, one who recognizes and obeys the voice of God.

You see, I’ve been far from perfect and made my share of mistakes.  Life’s obstacles and hardships, in unfamiliar territory, can make even the strongest stumble sometimes. If anyone should have been angry and not speak my name after giving me chance after chance, it’s God.  

Are you facing hard times, an unclear way, or have you made a few mistakes?  Then join the human race and repent and seek God’s face.  He promises to forgive and to restore us and stand by us forever.  Has God placed someone on your heart and you’ve put off contacting them?  This is your chance to call them and let them know that you and God are thinking of them.  It could make a world of difference in their life.  There are times in life when we all need encouragement and know that God still cares and remember our names.