Monthly Archives: December 2011

Are You Starting the New Year with a Purpose

I’ve been thinking about time alot this week. Starting a new calendar is a big deal. I love having a clean planner, dates stretch out fresh with possibilities. No appointments scribbled out yet and no reminders of my problem with procrastination or promptness, just clean white pages waiting to be filled.

Did you know that God cares about time?

I did a search of the use of the word “time” in the NIV Bible, and discovered that it is used 888 times. The first verse which includes the word “time” is in the Book of Genesis, the first chapter, where in verse 5 it says:

God called the light “day,” and the darkness He called “night.”

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Walking Forward In Hope

As I slowly begin to pack away all that is Christmas, my thoughts move towards the coming year. It will be a year full of promise, full of life, full of dreams come true. How do I know this?  Because God delights to give me good gifts. The new year and all that it holds has already been written. It’s just up to me to walk forward with confidence, laying hold of the promises that He has already prepared for me.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

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Unwrapping Jesus

I’ve been busy unwrapping the gift of Jesus this week. When I think of that babe, having just been born, laying in a manager, wrapped in swaddling clothes, I think of all of the rich love and goodness that envelops Him. And I take a moment to unwrap each one, taking in the goodness and allowing it to seep deep into my spirit. Here are just a few of the gifts I’ve been unwrapping this week.

“And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:12)

He is wrapped up in light.

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Who’s With Me – I’m Going to Jingle

Okay so I’m not literally going to jingle.

Have you ever noticed the expression on a three year old’s face when they sing Jingle Bells complete with jingling percussive accompaniment? Priceless smiles and joy-filled enthusiasm!

Now I know you have looked at your calendar and realized that Christmas is l just a couple of days away. There is a lump in your throat and a feeling of panic beginning to settle over you. Relax! I’m here to share a secret I wish I had learned years ago. You may or may not believe me, it all depends upon how you are wired.

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Parole for Christmas

I don’t know what I was expecting. World peace? The end of poverty?

But when I asked the six felons at the table around me what they wanted for Christmas, they responded in unison. “Papers!”

“Papers?” I naively asked.

“Yeah. Parole papers,” the one closest to me explained. “We want to be home for Christmas.”

Half of the men at my table were in the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary prison ministry degree program. (Yeah, I know. It’s a mouth-full.) I questioned those three again. “But what about your degree? If you got out on parole-” They stopped me before I could continue.

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God’s ways are not our own

One of my favorite “remember when” stories is when my daughter was 3 years old. It was our first Christmas in a new house and she was beginning to grasp the idea of Santa leaving presents on Christmas.

I walked into her room early on Christmas morning to find her sitting in bed crying. “Santa didn’t come,” she said. I didn’t understand until she looked around her room and said, “He didn’t leave presents.” We hadn’t explained where she would find the gifts, so in her mind, if she didn’t see them, there weren’t any. We showed her the gifts by the Christmas tree, and she realized Santa had come, just like mom and dad promised.

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The greatest gift, not in a red suit

My kids don’t know who Santa Claus is.

They watched all the children running to get in the “sit-on-Santa’s-lap” line at the Christmas tree lighting. They saw him at Walmart. To them, he’s a large funny looking older man with a white beard and red coat. They don’t get it.

My husband, thinking it might be wise to do a little explaining, tells the “legend of Santa Claus” — that kind old man who brings toys to boys and girls. He leaves out the bit about the elves and the reindeer. Still, their interest in the man in the red suit lasts only a few seconds.

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Love letters

Some of my most prized possessions are letters written to me by my husband back when we were dating. When we first met, we lived an hour apart. Then later, I went off to college, three hours away. In the days before cell phones and text messages, letters were the best way to keep in touch. I looked forward to receiving those letters and read those words, written with love, to me.

Written words make more of a lasting impression; they grab our attention. And on days when we begin to question if anyone cares, we can pull out those letters and be reminded that we are special and we are loved.

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