Saturday, December 26, 2009

What a wonderful Christmas we've had here!

I just wanted to stop in and say hi. My sister, Kelli, has been here for a few days with her husband, Stephen. This morning, we did a little photo shoot - we have a good time together, and it's been a sweet time with her!
Proverbs 15:30 says, "A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones." Thank you, Kelli, for bringing joy to my heart!

Be blessed, dear friends! :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Happy Holidays! And yes, I mean that!

Photo taken at Gaylord Opryland Hotel's exhibit, ICE: A Charlie Brown Christmas, 12/7/09

I am really tired of all the warring that goes on this time of year over "Happy Holidays" vs. "Merry Christmas"!!!! So, I'm going to give you MY thoughts on it. Whether you find something to think about or not, I'm leaving totally in the Spirit's hands. But it's gone SO far lately, I HAVE to speak up. :)

So. Is it "Merry Christmas" and ONLY "Merry Christmas" for you? I hope you'll take this post in the spirit it's meant; it's been brewing in my heart for a while now. :)

There are several things I hear around this time of year about how people are trying to force "Merry Christmas" from our society, and we can't let this happen, and how dare they! Dear ones, I am here to tell you that, while it does matter what YOU celebrate, it doesn't matter what someone else says to you!

First, let's tackle the famous "Don't use Xmas - it takes Christ out of Christmas!" The truth of the matter is, the letter X is formed the same way as the first Greek letter of "Christ". It's been used since His ascension by believers to represent His name. "Xmas" doesn't take Him out of it, dear one. :) I promise! Google it, see what Wikipedia has to say.

Word studies are VERY interesting! Here's another one I hear: "Happy Holidays" just means they're being politically correct, trying to include ALL religions at OUR special celebration!

I'm trying really hard not to be sarcastic, but two things come to my mind. First of all, "OUR celebration" has become so commercialized that it really isn't "ours" anymore - and what do you expect retailers to do? If you're trying to make money, why would you exclude anyone?? It doesn't make sense - and honestly, it makes me cringe when I see so much nastiness abound about this subject. I believe in taking a stand about what I believe - but trying to force the rest of the world into doing what one group wants much less BELIEVING what I do, just isn't going to happen. As a matter of fact, it turns more people away. And I don't think that's what Christ wants from us. Do you?

The second thing is, let's look at this word, "holiday". Yup. It's from HOLY DAY. Wikipedia again: A holiday is, in the English-speaking world, a day designated as having special significance for which individuals, a government, or a religious group have deemed that observation is warranted.

Let's see. The government observes several days during this season. That would make it "holidays", wouldn't it? Seems like it.

The only way that "Happy Holidays" becomes a bad thing, in my opinion, is when it means "Merry Christmas" is not allowed. Then it's not an inclusionary thing, but an exclusionary. So, if a store will not sell anything with "Merry Christmas" on it, or allow "Christmas carols" to be played over its loudspeakers, then I think there's a problem. But it IS a holy day for Christians, is it not? How, then, can being wished "Happy Holidays" HURT YOU???????????????????? The person saying it doesn't mean it as a bash to you, do they? I don't think so, for about 99.75% of the people who use it as a greeting. Heavens, even *I* use it! I use the plural - and include New Year's in the wishing. You don't think I mean to block your Christmas, do you?

:) I hope what I'm saying makes sense to you so far!

Biblically, there is no imperative to celebrate the coming of Christ. If you look at the history of "Christmas", it might surprise you -it's widely held that the Catholic church couldn't suppress the pagan worship on the Winter Solstice, so it was decided to change the celebration from pagan to holy. There's a LOT of interesting information out there, if you decide to go looking!

The bottom line, for me, is this: I CHOOSE to use December 25 as the day to "officially" celebrate Jesus' birth. But unless it lives in my heart ALL YEAR THROUGH, it's just another day. Unless I am daily striving to die to myself, and my selfish desires, and show the world the love God showed in sending His Son, Christmas doesn't really matter. Why on earth would anyone want to celebrate the Christian's holy day when they are treated with ridicule and contempt over WORDS?

Please, dear one, hear what I'm saying: actions speak SO MUCH louder than words. This HOLIDAY season, take the opportunity to share WHY you believe Christmas is true. Share the AMAZING LOVE that made the holiday celebration-worthy. Meet someone's need, and watch their hearts open to hear what you have to say, IN LOVE.

Glory to God in the highest!
And on Earth, peace! Goodwill toward men!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, dear one. You are SO loved! Let His love light your day!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Modern Lesson!

(Please click on the photo; Kenn took it, and I played with it. It's a really sobering look!)
Hi!! Are you enjoying your Christmas season? I am - we've got dear friends here from Oregon, and they've been here less than 24 hours and we've already had a great visit!!! :D HOPEFULLY, we'll get a picture of us together soon.

Now, then. My sister, Kelli, sent me this today - THANK YOU, Kelli!!!!!!!!!!!! I REALLY loved the story, and thought that perhaps we could ALL take something from it.


The man slowly looked up. This was a woman clearly accustomed to the finer things of life. Her coat was new. She looked like she had never missed a meal in her life. His first thought was that she wanted to make fun of him, like so many others had done before.

"Leave me alone," he growled..... To his amazement, the woman continued standing. She was smiling -- her even white teeth displayed in dazzling rows.

"Are you hungry?" she asked.

"No," he answered sarcastically. "I've just come from dining with the president.. Now go away."

The woman's smile became even broader.

Suddenly the man felt a gentle hand under his arm. "What are you doing, lady?" the man asked angrily. "I said to leave me alone.

Just then a policeman came up. "Is there any problem, ma'am?" he asked..

"No problem here, officer," the woman answered. "I'm just trying to get this man to his feet. Will you help me?"

The officer scratched his head.. "That's old Jack. He's been a fixture around here for a couple of years. What do you want with him?"

"See that cafeteria over there?" she asked. "I'm going to get him something to eat and get him out of the cold for awhile."

"Are you crazy, lady?" the homeless man resisted. "I don't want to go in there!" Then he felt strong hands grab his other arm and lift him up. "Let me go, officer. I didn't do anything.."

"This is a good deal for you, Jack," the officer answered. "Don't blow it."

Finally, and with some difficulty, the woman and the police officer got Jack into the cafeteria and sat him at a table in a remote corner. It was the middle of the morning, so most of the breakfast crowd had already left and the lunch bunch had not yet arrived.

The manager strode across the cafeteria and stood by his table. "What's going on here, officer?" he asked."What is all this, is this man in trouble?"

"This lady brought this man in here to be fed," the policeman answered.

"Not in here!" the manager replied angrily. "Having a person like that here is bad for business."

Old Jack smiled a toothless grin. "See, lady. I told you so. Now if you'll let me go. I didn't want to come here in the first place"

The woman turned to the cafeteria manager and smiled. "Sir, are you familiar with Eddy and Associates, the banking firm down the street?"

"Of course I am," the manager answered impatiently. "They hold their weekly meetings in one of my banquet rooms."

"And do you make a goodly amount of money providing food at these weekly meetings?"

"What business is that of yours?"

I, sir, am Penelope Eddy, president and CEO of the company."


The woman smiled again.. "I thought that might make a difference."

She glanced at the cop who was busy stifling a laugh. "Would you like to join us in a cup of coffee and a meal, officer?"

"No thanks, ma'am," the officer replied. "I'm on duty."

"Then, perhaps, a cup of coffee to go?"

"Yes, ma'am. That would be very nice."

The cafeteria manager turned on his heel. "I'll get your coffee for you right away, officer."

The officer watched him walk away. "You certainly put him in his place," he said.

"That was not my intent.... Believe it or not, I have a reason for all this."

She sat down at the table across from her amazed dinner guest. She stared at him intently..

"Jack, do you remember me?"

Old Jack searched her face with his old, rheumy eyes. "I think so -- I mean you do look familiar.."

"I'm a little older perhaps," she said. "Maybe I've even filled out more than in my younger days when you worked here, and I came through that very door, cold and hungry."

"Ma'am?" the officer said questioningly. He couldn't believe that such a magnificently turned out woman could ever have been hungry.

"I was just out of college," the woman began. "I had come to the city looking for a job, but I couldn't find anything. Finally I was down to my last few cents and had been kicked out of my apartment.. I walked the streets for days. It was February and I was cold and nearly starving. I saw this place and walked in on the off chance that I could get something to eat."

Jack lit up with a smile. "Now I remember," he said. "I was behind the serving counter. You came up and asked me if you could work for something to eat. I said that it was against company policy."

"I know," the woman continued. "Then you made me the biggest roast beef sandwich that I had ever seen, gave me a cup of coffee, and told me to go over to a corner table and enjoy it. I was afraid that you would get into trouble. Then, when I looked over and saw you put the price of my food in the cash register, I knew then that everything would be all right."

"So you started your own business?" Old Jack said..

"I got a job that very afternoon. I worked my way up. Eventually I started my own business that, with the help of God, prospered.." She opened her purse and pulled out a business card.. "When you are finished here, I want you to pay a visit to a Mr. Lyons. He's the personnel director of my company. I'll go talk to him now and I'm certain he'll find something for you to do around the office."

She smiled. "I think he might even find the funds to give you a little advance so that you can buy some clothes and get a place to live until you get on your feet. If you ever need anything, my door is always open to you."

There were tears in the old man's eyes. "How can I ever thank you?" he asked.

"Don't thank me," the woman answered. "To God goes the glory. He led me to you."

Outside the cafeteria, the officer and the woman paused at the entrance before going their separate ways.. "Thank you for all your help, officer," she said.

"On the contrary, Ms. Eddy," he answered. "Thank you. I saw a miracle today, something that I will never forget. And..And thank you for the coffee."

Have a Wonderful Day. May God Bless You Always and don't forget that when you "cast your bread upon the waters," you never know how it will be returned to you. God is so big He can cover the whole world with his Love and so small He can curl up inside your heart.

When God leads you to the edge of the cliff, trust Him fully and let go.

Only 1 of 2 things will happen, either He'll catch you when you fall, or He'll teach you how to fly!

The power of one sentence! God is going to shift things around for you today and let things work in your favor. If you believe, send it. If you don't believe, delete it.

God closes doors no man can open & God opens doors no man can close.. If you need God to open some doors for you...send this on.

Have a blessed day and remember to be a blessing....