Thursday, December 21, 2006

Merry Christmas

Many of you know that this has been a year of much joy and celebration in our family over the birth of our first grandchild. That has been our big blessing this year and it continues to be. Babies are such a delight, and of course most of the last twelve months have been filled with first the anticipation of, and then the arrival of, this precious gift from our heavenly Father.

But what words can I find to express my thankfulness for the best gift of all, which was given so many years ago? The baby that came then came into circumstances which were much humbler than that of our granddaughter and of most other babies born in this country. During these days of holiday excitement and much spending, let’s reflect on that child who came. Let’s remember who He was, God in the flesh. Let’s think about the lowly manger and the stable and His willingness to become a helpless little human being. Let’s not forget that He was a King and was altogether holy, but yet came to us in the very way that He did and for the very purpose that He did. Every day, let’s try to never lose sight of the fact that this little infant grew up and accomplished what He did with His life and in His death. Then, all of you who know Him, rejoice and celebrate with me!

Best wishes for the season to all!!!

Once in royal David’s city
Stood a lowly cattle shed,
Where a mother laid her Baby
In a manger for his bed:
Mary was that mother mild,
Jesus Christ her little Child.

He came down to earth from heaven
Who is God and Lord of all,
And his shelter was a stable,
And his cradle was a stall:
With the poor, and mean, and lowly,
Lived on earth our Saviour Holy.

~Cecil Frances Alexander, 1848

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Threads of His Weaving

Just stopping by quickly, here. Once again, I know several people going through difficult times and they are on my heart. Streams in the Desert is one of the best devotionals to read in the midst of trials, and I thought I would post today's poem for anybody who may be struggling with life right now. But it's a good reminder for us all:

The shuttles of His purpose move
To carry out His own design;
Seek not too soon to disapprove
His work, nor yet assign
Dark motives, when, with silent tread,
You view some sombre fold;
For lo, within each darker thread
There twines a thread of gold.

Spin cheerfully,
Not tearfully,
He knows the way you plod;
Spin carefully,
Spin prayerfully,
But leave the thread with God.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Thanks Joni

His lord said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things…” Matthew 25:21

I don’t know if any of you have read Joni Eareckson Tada’s book of devotional readings entitled More Precious Than Silver, but if not, I would wholeheartedly recommend it. I gave this book as a Christmas gift to my daughter a few years ago and earlier this year I borrowed it back. I’ve been thoroughly enjoying it off and on since then.

Anyway, the December 6th entry really hit home today. It was entitled “Faithfulness” and so much truth is packed into it. I can only go into a little here, but Joni was speaking about those godly folks (and we all know of some) who serve the Lord with little reward on this side of heaven. Pastors of small congregations, missionaries in jungle villages, elderly saints in nursing homes, and teenagers who maintain their integrity and purity are all given as examples in this sweet little writing.

We all know folks like these, who quietly do their service for Christ, with very little recognition or “success.” But get this: As Joni says, “Success isn’t the key. Faithfulness is.” I’m sure glad to be reminded of that, aren’t you? Keep on laboring friends! Someday we’ll hear that “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Did you hear me, weary mothers? Did you hear that Sunday school teachers? How about you who are tenderly and kindly caring for an aging parent, with little help or relief? How about those of you caring for a sick or handicapped child? And the many grandmoms who are consistently and tirelessly praying for your children and grandchildren? What a reminder! Someday, we’ll hear that “well done.” Keep pressing on!