Wednesday, December 18, 2013

LIVING WITH JOY - Francis Chan

OK, this is a whole sermon. That may not seem like something you feel like listening to right now. We are all so used to quick quips and 2 minute videos. This is more than that. I really hope you will listen to it, though. Give it a chance, please.

Just click it to play and sit down and listen. You deserve a break. Or, take your computer, IPad or cell phone while you go clean up your kitchen or dust your living room or while you are driving in your car, playing Candy Crush or addressing your Christmas Cards (something I've not yet done but I don't want to be worrying about it). I really think that if you listen to this, even if it is a bit in the background of your day, you will be enriched. Let me know what you think.

A Walk down Christmas Memory Lane

I was looking at some of our Christmas decorations last night and I realized many of them are sweet reminders of their givers. Let me show you.

This star was a gift from some church friends.

 I guess I don't know where this one originated but I think  it came to us
from Mike's Mom. It was one that Mike knew from his childhood and that makes it special.
I am really appreciative that it has held up over time
(and that I haven't squished it).

Ben made this one for us.
Wasn't he a cute little guy?
This one is all the more special as Ben is far away
from us this Christmas.

This is one of many hand-painted ones that originated in Harlowton, MT and were
give to us by our friend, Evelyn. She gave us a new one each Christmas we lived there
and she even continued sending them to us for several years after we moved away.
Evelyn is gone from this Earth now but she is not forgotten!

When we moved from Harlowton to Alamogordo, NM we made another friend who
purchased fancy ornaments from Hallmark for us each year. This was one of my favorites.
Her name was Laura and she also has moved on from this life.
Our memories of her make us smile.

Sam also gave us an ornament featuring his own sweet little face.
For the record, that was the year he tried trimming his own hair.
Even so, he was pretty cute!

I really like this rag angel. Our friend, Kim, gave it to us about 15 years ago.
Kim was a young mom who volunteered to babysit Sam when I first went back
to college. She was very sweet and so generous with her time. We went on quite a few excursions
together with our little kids. She was always ready to have some fun!
The last time I talked to Kim she handed the phone to her husband so he
could tell me about the rare disease she had developed, the one that was robbing 
her of her personality and eventually her life.

Well that was mean of me to start out with a happy-go-lucky type of post 
and then to throw the sadness of loss in your face. 
I feel kind of bad that I did that but I wasn't really expecting to take that turn myself! 
Sometimes my posts take on a life of their own.

Even with the sadness of loss, I am so grateful for these and so many others
who have been a part of our lives over the span of many Christmases.
We've been blessed.

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