Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Heaviness of Sorrow

I am looking through my quote book this morning, trying to find words of comfort and courage for the day. The world is so filled with sadness.  The lives of precious children have been destroyed by the insane actions of a tortured soul.  Some who courageously stood to protect the vulnerable have given their lives. We have looked into the face of evil and have been speechless at the sight of the unspeakable.  It would be much easier to look away, but we cannot.  We see the pain, we feel helpless at the sight of it, and we lose our breath at the thought of the suffering.  The questions come but answers evade.  We seek to comfort one another with words, but often there are none.  We are faced with the reality that there is no limit to the evil and destruction sin brings into this world.  There is only One to whom we can turn, and we must.

"He had never ceased to be astonished by the weight of sorrow in the world.  'A vale of tears', the poet had called it, and rightly so."  ~ Jan Karon's central character, Father Tim, in "At Home in Mitford"

Friday, December 14, 2012

From the Lips of a Redeemed Scrooge

Honoring Christmas.....being faithful, hopeful, kind, compassionate, truthful, generous, loving, gracious, joyful.  Those of us who love and follow the One whose birth we celebrate strive to honor Him in our actions and attitudes.  Keeping Christ in Christmas is not enough....keeping Him in our hearts and minds every day is our desire.  We fall short, but His grace sustains us. 

Yes, Jesus is the reason for the season, and He is also the reason for the hope we have (1 Peter:3:15).

Christmas Blessings.....more than enough for 365 days!

"I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year..." ~ Charles Dickens ~

Thursday, December 13, 2012

And Again I Say Rejoice, part 2

Wouldn't it be wonderful if our little corner of the world always looked and felt like Christmas?  Perhaps that is up to those of us who carry the hope, beauty and light of Christmas in our hearts!

"The Christmas spirit itself ought to be the mark of every Christian all the year round."
~  J.I. Packer  ~

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

And Again I Say Rejoice!

The sounds and scents and sights of Christmas!  Carollers, poinsettias, twinkling lights, freshly baked cookies, brightly wrapped gifts, beautifully decorated homes, family reunions, laughter, tears, tidings of comfort and joy.  All of these and so much more.  Why?  Because it all centers around hope!

Pick up a newspaper or watch the news and the impact of pain, devastation, hunger, corruption and sin will most likely bring a deep sigh of...what?  Despair?  Hopelessness for this poor world?  But it is Christmas.  And because of Christmas, because of grace, because of God's intervention in the downward spiral of history, because of Jesus.....we have hope restored. 

Light the lights, bake the goodies, invite the friends and family, write the cards, give the gifts, sing the songs, celebrate, worship and rejoice!  Joy to the world....

"This Christmas message is that there is hope for a ruined humanity." ~ J.I. Packer ~

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Meet Me There

I am reflecting on a sustaining truth: God meets us in the hard places.  I am learning that truth and  finding comfort there. I am finding comfort in knowing that He is with me in every disappointment, loss, and painful circumstance...that there is absolutely nothing He cannot see me safely through, a reality that my Pastor reminds us of every Sunday at worship. Life's hardest experiences are lined with grace, and that is the source of strength and hope for which we all hunger, whether we know it or not. The following quote speaks of this so beautifully. It speaks to me today.

"We never know where God hides His pools.  We see a rock, and we cannot guess it is the home of the spring.  We see a flinty place, and we cannot tell it is the hiding place of a fountain.  God leads me into the hard places, and then I find I have gone into the dwelling place of eternal springs."