Just Simple Times

Every journey begins with that first step!

Month: December 2018 (page 1 of 2)

My Christmas Wish!

What is your wish for Christmas?

Christmas time is that one time of the year when most all children make their wish list for Santa, and answer the question asked by their parents and grandparents and others.   What would you like for Christmas? 

But what about all the adults in the world?  What do we as adults want and wish for this Christmas Season?

If I was asked that question, my list would be long, probably longer than a lot of the lists some children write. 

You see, I would wish for people to truly see and know the real meaning of Christmas, and understand it with all their hearts.   The gift from our Heavenly Father God, of his Son Jesus that was born to a virgin named Mary that was foretold to her by an Angel, sent from God Himself.  

How, when Joseph was troubled over Mary being with child;  an Angel came to him in a dream to tell him his betrothed is with Child by the Holy Ghost.  That she was still the virgin Mary, that he loved and was going to marry, and not to be ashamed because she was carrying the most precious baby of all time ever and ever, Jesus.

How before all this took place with Mary and Joseph an Angel came to Zechariah while he was in the temple burning incense and worshiping, and told him that his wife Elizabeth who was barren and up in years would have a child and that they should name him John.  Yet Zechariah doubted and he was struck mute before leaving the temple and could not tell the people outside the temple what had taken place inside.

How when Elizabeth,  who was in her sixth month of pregnancy, was visited by Mary who was her relative and as they greeted one another the baby Elizabeth was carrying, who was to be named John leaped in her womb, in the presence of the unborn baby Jesus, Mary was carrying.  How both the women shared of the joys of their foretold pregnancies of John and Jesus.  Oh, how wonderful that visit must have been!  Can you just imagine the excitement the two women must have shared?

How there was a census for the first time ever, and each person had to travel to the homeland of their forefathers. So Joseph and Mary left their home in Nazareth and traveled to Josephs homeland which was Bethlehem since he was of the lineage of King David.  Can you imagine how many people were there in Bethlehem, just imagine if all your family gathered in one place at one time?  There would hardly be any room.  That is what happened with Mary and Joseph, there were so many people that there was no room for them in the inn.  

You know they were tired they had traveled a long way, Mary was pregnant and they needed a place to rest for her and her unborn baby who was coming ever so soon.  So they went to the stable, among the hay and the animals to rest and stay, since there was no other place for them in the little town of Bethlehem.  And that is where the most precious baby ever was born.  In a manger in a stable in the town of Bethlehem among the animals.  Don’t you just imagine that the animals too must have sensed it was a joyous event to be celebrated?

So joyous that God had a star shine so brightly over Bethlehem that shepherds living in the fields watching over the sheep saw it, and knew it was so special and came to worship the baby, Jesus.  How the three wise men knew of it and traveled a great way following the star as well to see the precious baby Jesus, bringing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh?

That’s what my biggest wish for Christmas is!!!! 

That people would know the real reason we celebrate Christmas is because of Jesus, the Son of God, being born to a virgin named Mary and her betrothed Joseph, in a little manger in a stable in Bethlehem, under the bright and shining morning star, that led the shepherds and wise men to come and worship him bearing gifts.  

But you see, the most important gift, the real reason we share gifts, is because our Heavenly Father gave the people in this world, every person every generation from that day forth the greatest gift of all that first year of a census.  

He gave us the gift of His Son Jesus, as a baby, who grew and lived and taught and did many wanders and performed many miracles and was even baptized in the river Jordan by Elizabeth’s baby John, that leaped when Mary and Elizabeth greeted one another.

Jesus is the real reason for this season we call Christmas.  It’s not the toys and gifts and decorations and food and all the rest, its a celebration of thanks for the greatest gift ever given to man, the gift of God’s Holy Son, Jesus.

So as you celebrate Christmas where ever you may be, my prayer and wish is that you know, not just in your head, but in your heart, this most precious gift of all, Jesus, the Saviour and very best friend of all that truly know Him!!!!!

Oh, my other Christmas wishes on that long list I mentioned in the beginning, it’s quite simple.  

I wish for joy in peoples hearts, smiles on their faces, a kind word to a stranger, help for a person in need, peace, and goodwill to everybody.  Honest to goodness peace that can only be found from that most precious first gift of Christmas…. Jesus!!!

Merry Christmas to one and all, may God’s blessings and peace shine upon us and our families one and all!

 

 

 

What happened to “Merry Christmas”?

Do you remember when Christmas time came around, the greetings and the words used by most everybody was simply “Merry Christmas”?

What happened?

Today, you hear people say “Happy Holidays” or “Seasons Greetings”.

Or a lot of times when you see Christmas written somewhere it is Xmas……… (really, are you kidding me)

Where did we go wrong?   What on earth possessed us to take Christ out of Christmas? 

Why have the majority of people in this world lost their mind, turned to the world, and their hearts turned cold and selfish and unfeeling?   Oh my, simply oh my!

My heart hurts for these newer generations that are raised by liberals, socialists, and nonbelievers; and there are so many, oh so many… how very sad. 

 I think the time of the true meaning of Christmas has sort of ended with my generation, and my children’s generation.  I pray that some of us will stay true to God and Christmas and continue to pass it on to our future children and grandchildren.  Were losing the Christ in Christmas, and that’s a crying shame, an honest to goodness crying shame.

Today’s society seems more wrapped up in life and the what’s in it for me mentality.  For example, I’ve heard the words “Why should I spend my money on them, they don’t get me anything?”

People wake up!!!!

Christmas is not about me mentality.   Haven’t you ever read the Bible, don’t you know the Lord says it is more blessed to give than receive?    That doesn’t mean costly gifts and going in debt.  It can be something as simple as a card, or sharing a few minutes with a passerby, stopping to share a smile and a “Merry Christmas.”,  or a hug, or a visit with your neighbor.  

Christmas used to be simple and focused on the true meaning of Christmas,  Jesus being born, the star over Bethlehem, the shepherds guarding their sheep, the three wise men that followed that star to see baby Jesus and brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, to worship Him.

Why because Jesus was the true meaning of Christmas, the Angels foretold it and the people believed and followed.

So why on earth if Christmas began with Christ being born and those first gifts from the wise men given to Jesus born in the manger in a lowly stable, why on earth are people taking CHRIST out of Christmas?  

We all so need to ponder this so very badly.  I make a point to say “Merry Christmas”   I always have, I always will.  It doesn’t matter if I’m in my fifties or my nineties, it will always be “Merry Christmas” to me.

It breaks my heart, I greet just about everybody I see or talk on the phone with and the words I share are always “Merry Christmas”.

But do you know only about 2 out of 10 will say ‘Merry Christmas” back?   I have heard Seasons Greetings. I’ve heard Happy Holidays.  I’ve heard you too.   And I’ve even heard bye, or worse yet silence, and the phone being hung up, or the person just walking away.

I so wish this country would turn back to God, and the true meaning and Spirit of Christmas, not just for now, but for every day of the year.

Christmas is supposed to be a joyous occasion celebrating the birth of Jesus, with peace and goodwill to all mankind everywhere.   Every person, every nation, everywhere.

I pray that each and every one of you remembers this and shares in the true meaning of Christmas, and offer kindness and goodwill to all, and celebrate Christmas with peace, love,  and joy for all!

Merry Christmas to one and all, wherever you may be, I pray you have a very Merry Christmas!

Christmas Cards

Does anybody send Christmas cards much anymore?

It seems to be getting a thing of the past for so many.   Since technology has become so popular it seems to be Christmas emails and electronic Christmas cards, more and more instead of a real card delivered in the mailbox.   

Christmas cards, you see boxes of them in the stores; Inspirational, Santa, winter scenes, cartoon characters, cards of all kinds.  The post office still gets Christmas themed stamps every year for the customers. Yet, it doesn’t seem like there are near as many sent as there once was. 

I first started sending Christmas cards in 1982, back then it was just one little box to the immediate family.  Grant, they were much cheaper then, and stamps were way less expensive.  But what started as just a few cards being sent that year to the immediate family just seemed to increase each year.    Before I knew it, I was buying 3 or 4 boxes; then 6 or 8 each year.   

I’d sit for hours the weekend before Thanksgiving going through my address book, making my list of names, addressing envelopes, signing cards and getting them ready to mail the day after Thanksgiving.   

 I absolutely love it!   I love thinking as I’m filling in that person’s name and address that they will have a smile on their face when they go through their mail when it arrives, I wonder about them, sometimes a quick prayer for them or I’ll think of a special memory as I fix their card.  I’d like to think it brings joy to both of us each time.

Do I expect one in return?    Goodness no, the Lord says it is more blessed to give than receive.     When you give anything, even a card,  with love and sincerity it does their heart good and yours also.

The years have brought along a lot of changes to my Christmas card list.  There’s those that have passed on, moved on, got married, got divorced, grew up with families of their own, new Church friends, new coworkers, the annual lists seem to change each year.   But that’s okay, change is part of life. 

Last year I started fixing cards for the seniors and children,  I so enjoyed that.    My granddaughter and I  spent countless hours one weekend fixing over 600 cards with stickers inside each and decorated with all the little Christmas stamps, and signed, yes signed with both our first names in red markers, boxed and off they all went to St. Jude’s Children Hospital in Memphis Tennessee.  

Then we fixed over 400 more and visited a few nursing homes in Cleveland passing out cards in person.  That day was very bittersweet, emotionally trying.  We met so many wonderful folks, some made us laugh, some brought tears.  But oh what a joy we had overall, her and I passing out cards, saying Merry Christmas, sitting with a few, hugs here and there, it was a remarkable day that neither myself or my granddaughter will never forget.

But it had its moments! You never know what’s going to be on the on the other side of a door, until you knock and step inside.   And even though we went to bring cheer to each person, well some of the folks were…. well… they just couldn’t understand.  I guess to them there was this strange woman and girl coming into their room that they did not know.  Neither of us never ever want to scare or startle somebody.    

So this year, I still delivered cards to seniors and shut-ins and the homeless.  But it was simply a drop off to the managers for them to give to all the residents. We still got to share a card and hopefully bring a smile to many many faces, but they each received them from a friendly face they are used to seeing.   

But I pray each and every card brings a smile, maybe a  fond memory of a Christmas long ago.  Because after all isn’t that what Christmas is all about?

Jesus being born, and peace and goodwill to all mankind.   There’s still a couple of days for mailing a card or two, it won’t take any time for just one or two cards and cost very little, to bring a smile to somebody’s face.

Maybe do like I do, I always get a few extra boxes and simply write Merry Christmas on the envelope with a red marker, sign it with a kind quote, or my first name and just give one to people you come in contact with.  The mailman, the UPS, and FedEx folks, the people at the drive-thru window when you stop for coffee, or tea or a bite to eat, random people as your out walking in the store, the cashier as your checking out, a stranger you pass along the way, maybe even the person pumping gas next to you.  There are people everywhere, some so very lonely, so think about it.  

There are so many ways to spread Christmas cheer, so why not try a card? 

You never know, as one little man in a nursing home told me last year with tears in his eyes. ” Thank you so much, this is the first card I ever got.” 

Don’t that choke you up and bring a tear or two?

 

So go out and smile and say “Merry Christmas” to a few folks, pass along a card, it will do both your hearts good.

From my heart to yours… I want to wish you a very memorable blessed Merry Christmas!          

                                                                              

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