Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas: What does it really mean to you?

Sermon: Sealed God's Promise. This year my son and his finance helped us get our tree up and light up the house. I've really enjoyed it. My Mom loved the season and was a great decorator. Christmas morning when we woke up Joshua had the lights all on..and things were shining. My brother and his family came with us to celebrate with our father....little Josiah understands so much more now than he did last year. My eldest called from Afganistan and I spoke with his wife on Christmas Eve...a niece called from Ohio and a niece wrote a message on facebook. I miss the gathering we always had at at my husbands parents house with all the nieces and nephews. The Christmas party at church is always fun....I miss those that couldn't attend this year. The promise of my Mom in law coming a few days after Christmas warms my heart. I wonder if Pastor has told her that in a few weeks we are getting another Dachshund to add to our pack? Maybe that will be our little surprise.

We spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with family and watched a few Christmas shows. If you asked me what gifts I got...I'd have to stop and think...and contrary to the smart remarks that may come from my friends and family it is not my age. Simply put.... the joy of Christmas doesn't come wrapped in a gift wrapped box or pretty bag. It comes in our heart as we sit at our tables with those we we remember together the one who came...the one who is God With Us.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Isn't the Snow Pretty

Click here Bro. Shane's Testimony and Sunday School
There are some wonderful things about living in the North Country. Some years I can't wait for the snow. This year (and for the benefit of my children it is not because I'm getting old) however, it is seems all to cold. One thing that has been truly fun this year is that we have decorations up. Joshie and Katie helped put up our tree and make the house look festive. They also helped Papa. It was so sweet to visit him today and see him rolling along on his scooter looking at his decorations. He shut off the lights to get a better effect and had me help him get some of the things turned on. Dad is less able to get out and about in the winter but there are still nice things to be expectant about in his life. Each season has good things about it.

Overcoming obstacles of Winter

1. The cold
Cold winter breezes can go right through you and chill you to the bone, yet sometimes the brisk winter air is refreshing. Cold weather can make a person want to hold up in their warm house under a blanket or it can be a part of winter fun that involves outdoor activities.
The trick to getting along outside in the winter is to be properly covered up. Yesterday when I shoveled I had a scarf that I used to cover my ears....heavier socks, gloves, my famous long-johns and of course my winter coat. One of the things we need to do in our Christian walk is to have the right equipment. Sometimes our life can seem as cold as the long North Country winters. We wonder when it is gonna end. Most of know not to be caught without what we need to get along. We have a survival checklist so to speak. In our part of the country we have to make a choice to embrace our environment and prepare for it. The same is true of our life and our journey here on the earth. God gives us a survival kit in his Word. One of the greatest survival tools of the Bible is the helmet of Salvation which guides our mindset. The Word tells us to renew our mind. We are to line our mind up with what God says instead of allowing our culture to dictate how we think. You might not be a winter sport enthusiast, but you can find things to enjoy about wintertime. Like the beauty of snow. Pastor says he wishes the snow (pretty as it is ) would only fall in the yard and miss the sidewalk, road, and driveway.

2. The tendency to hibernate
The cold winters often temp folks to stay inside. The heat of the house feels good compared to the frigid temperatures. While I'm not one to play winter sports...I do like to get out of the house. Some folks hibernate in the cold season...because they are either unable physically to get outside in the winter or they chose to not get outside because they are willing to put their life on hold until spring. My Dad cannot get out as much in the winter. We take him to the Dr. and try to get him out to eat on the transit bus (it has a lift for his Scooter chair) but he is not able to ride his scooter outside with the same freedom he enjoys in the other seasons. It sure would be lonely if he had to spend all winter alone in his trailer. He was just saying how he enjoys the Bible studies and family and friends who come to visit and make those months go by quicker. Even though he is in his trailer more than he'd like he has chosen to continue to enjoy life and make a difference in the lives of others. Life at times can seem like a cold winter and at certain junctures we can be tempted to curl up in our own little cocoon by ourselves. We have to remember in those times to use our survival kit from the Word to overcome. One of the great truths of the Word is we don't walk alone. God made us to need him and to need the love and support of others...He also made us to need to give love and support to others.