Monthly Archives: December 2014

True Gifts…

christmas-gifts-07  This Christmas Eve I truly have a thankful, joyful heart as I write this – but the past few weeks, few days, have been so hectic between the wrapping and decorating and planning and parties that occasionally I have lost my way on the spiritual path and gotten upset over petty things. So I am reminding myself that Christmas  is for kids (when it comes to presents) and that for us grownups (although we want to remain childlike in our wonder!) our true gifts can be found year-round: the gifts God and Jesus Christ, through the Holy Spirit, gave us to enjoy any time we dare stop to open them. And so my Christmas wish for you is that you find them under your tree and in your heart as promised by Isaiah (11:1-2) “A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him – the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord.” May the gifts of the Holy Spirit – wisdom, understanding, counsel, courage, knowledge, wonder and awe – be yours. ” And I’ll add to that Jesus’ gifts of peace, joy and love. Merry Christmas!

 

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Finding Peace during the Hectic Holidays

White dove in flightThe ISIS tragedies internationally, the unrest in Ferguson nationally, Black Friday shopping craziness at home (that I almost bought into but didn’t thanks to my husband!), family dysfunction and holiday commercialism…we could point to many reasons NOT to feel peaceful, especially during the holidays! And yet, Advent just began yesterday with the first of December and somehow, someway, we are called to focus on keeping a peaceful spirit. But how? For me, I am going to try, during this Advent season, to spend a little more time in the morning and at night in the Word – reading the Bible, praying, meditating. So that when I do go “out there” to interact with others, I won’t get caught up in what I want, or feel anxious and stressed, but focus instead on what I can give to others, and keep a feeling of peace and joy in my heart. It will be hard, I know, and I’m sure I’ll fail at times, but at least this year I’m starting out the first day trying! So my hope is that each of us finds the gift of peace this Christmas, and can give that same gift to others. That’s how Jesus really wants us to celebrate his birthday! He even said so: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled…as the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” (John). Like my character Chessa Richards in my novel, The Peace Maker, we are faced with difficulties, tough people and tough choices. But if we trust in God, I believe we can get through anything with a peaceful heart.

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