God grant you the light of Christmas, which is faith;
the warmth of Christmas, which is love;
the radiance of Christmas, which is purity;
the righteousness of Christmas, which is justice;
the belief in Christmas, which is truth;
& all of Christmas, which is Christ.
--Wilda English

Sunday, December 7, 2014

It's All About Jesus

I don't know about you, but I am saddened by what Christmas has become.  People know that Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Christ. Even people who don't believe in Him know this.  I was born in the 50s & fondly remember people wishing each other a Merry Christmas, & large nativity scenes displayed in the windows or on the grounds of various businesses.

The PewResearch Religion & Public Life Project published a report today that shows people who consider themselves to be Christians make up 78.4% of this country's population.  More than 3/4 of the people in this country claim to be Christians!!!  So why do we suddenly have "holiday trees" rather than Christmas trees?  Why are people wishing each other a "Happy Holiday" rather than a Merry Christmas?  Why are businesses no longer able to display nativity scenes?  Why do schools now have "winter breaks" rather than Christmas breaks?

Last year parents of children attending the Ralph J. Osgood school on Long Island, New York, were outraged when at the school's Christmas concert, the children sang the beautiful carol Silent Night with ALL references to Christ's birth removed.  I've been listening to the radio & have heard about this happening elsewhere.  What is going on here?!?!?  A nationwide radio station is broadcast here & they start playing Christmas music 24/7 right after Halloween.  I kid you not.  I listened to them off & on for a year or two after moving here.  I knew something was missing, but I couldn't quite put my finger on it.  It dawned on me last year.  No real Christmas music.  No Silent Night, no Joy to the World, no Oh Come All Ye Faithful ... nothing like that.  Nothing about the real meaning of Christmas.

The focus of Christmas for too many years has been gimmie-gimmie-gimmie.  Christmas for many people is kicked off by standing in a mile-long line on Black Friday just so they can elbow, shove, & trample each other to get a flat screen TV for $200 ... for themselves!  Christmas commercials encourage buying expensive gifts for friends & loved ones, or worse, gifting yourself!  I saw a Christmas commercial a couple years ago with the catch phrase "Don't you deserve it?"  Another commercial encouraged people to "Do something nice for yourself!"  Sad.  Oh so sad.  

John & I watched a Christmas movie the other night called Guess Who's Coming to Christmas. The family of 4 ... father, mother, son, & daughter ... have the tradition of buying only one gift for the one person in the family whose name they draw out of a jar.  There is a $10 spending limit on the gift. They have this tradition so they can focus on Jesus during the season, not on what they want or what they are going to get.  I indicated to John that I thought this was a nice tradition.  He thought so too.

Jesus is not only the reason for the season ... he is the ONLY reason for the season & the reason for every single day of our life.
Just a little something to think about   : ) 

Saturday, December 6, 2014

I'm Here ... & a Note to Gisela

This photo has nothing to do with this blog post.  I just thought it was pretty   : )

I've been a bit overwhelmed lately & it has kept me from responding to emails & for that I deeply apologize.  I am going to try to start catching up in the next couple of days.  Please bear with me.  

I received a comment on my last blog post from Gisela in Nebraska who wants to exchange Christmas cards with me.  Gisela, you are a no-reply blogger & I am therefore unable to contact you.  If you still want to exchange cards, please email me.  My email address is on my profile page.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Christmas Cards - Anyone Want to Exchange with Me?

While looking online for a nice photo of a display of Christmas cards, I found this one.  Not as big a display as I had in mind, but wow!  I don't know whose house this is, but I want to be her when I grow up!  What a wonderful snowy view she gets to enjoy!  I can just see me sitting in my recliner across from that window, a cup of tea or hot chocolate in my hand, looking at all that snow!  I wonder if she appreciates it?  Maybe she longs for a home in The Devil's Playground.  I wish I knew who she was.  Maybe we could work out some kind of trade!

Sorry ... I got a bit off the subject of my post which is "Christmas Cards -Anyone Want to Exchange with Me?"  I am EXTREMELY late in posting this.  I had actually intended to post a while back to ask if anyone would be interested in a Christmas card exchange group.  No gifts, just cards.  I don't know about you but I LOVE Christmas cards.  I have childhood memories of all the relatives, all the neighbors, & all the business owners in town sending stacks & stacks of Christmas cards.  I miss those days.  I saw someone post recently that they had joined a Christmas card exchange group.  I asked if there was still time for another person to join, referring to myself of course, but I never received a response so I guess not.  So now I'm shamelessly asking ... would anyone care to exchange Christmas cards with me?  Again, no gifts ... just cards.  If you'd like to exchange cards with me, just send me an email with your mailing address & I will respond with mine.  

Next year I hope to be a little more organized.  I also hope whoever lives in the house above with that fabulous view will contact me about a trade  : )

Be Thankful

On Thursday, those of us in the US will be celebrating a day set aside to give thanks to God for all His blessings.  Sadly, many people seem to believe it's just a day to enjoy a good meal, watch endless football games on television, & prepare to "power shop" the Black Friday sales   : (  

I've been thinking all month about God's blessings. Don't get me wrong ... I think about them all through the year.  November, however, seems to make me think about them even more.  Is my life a bed of roses?  No.  None of us have a life like that. We can, however, focus on what's good in our lives rather than what's bad.  And there is always ... ALWAYS ... good to be found in our lives.

This coming Thursday ... while you're stuffing the turkey, baking the pies, setting the table, & cleaning up afterward ... really think about how God has blessed you.  And be thankful.  Be ever so thankful. A thankful heart is the best gift you can give to God, to the people around you, & to yourself.  

I wish you a very happy & blessed Thanksgiving day!   

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Final Eye Update

I apologize for not posting after my Wednesday followup with the eye doctor.  I'm behind in responding to emails & blog comments & my exchange mailings are going to be a wee bit late, but I've been trying to not overdo things.  I was actually given a good report.  Even though I was still experiencing some soreness & blurry vision in the injured eye, the inflammation & scarring were totally healed!  He said I would still experience a bit of soreness & blurriness for a few days, but he felt confident that all would be well.  I was able to stop using all but the steroid drops, & those I could decrease from 4 times a day to 2 times a day.  Tonight will be my final drop ... hooray!  He also suggested I not do any more yard work ... lol!  Don't know if I mentioned it but I injured this same eye in a mowing accident a couple years ago.  I was riding the mower around a small tree ... wearing goggles, mind you! ... when a little branch hit me at just the right angle to push up underneath the goggles & scratch my cornea! This eye doctor has a warped sense of humor just like I do, so we get along really well.  He had a good time teasing me & I laughed right along with him   : )

My thanks to everyone who said prayers for my healing & sent good wishes.  I appreciate them more than you know.

I'm just going to make this a short update.  I'll write about some other stuff in another day or two ... I hope   : )  

Monday, November 17, 2014

Joy Cometh in the Morning!!!!!

Not a lot of joy,
but I'll take what I can get   : )

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Simplicity During the Christmas Season

Technically it's not the Christmas season yet, but yesterday I found myself thinking about all the things I need to do before Christmas gets here, & I suddenly realized that I was starting to feel a bit of stress.  Just a bit.  It occurred to me that if I'm starting to feel a bit of stress, others are probably starting to feel it too.  

When we become stressed, we lose our peace ... & when we lose our peace, we lose our joy.  We often find ourselves focusing on what we have determined to be the season's "Things That Need to Be Done" ... cleaning the house, buying the food, cooking the food, baking the cookies, decorating the tree, decorating the house, buying/making the gifts, wrapping the gifts, writing & mailing the cards, mailing the gifts that need to be mailed, hosting guests (maybe even housing them), visiting family & friends, attending church or school programs, going to seasonal parties, volunteering, etc.  We find ourselves over working, over committing, & over spending.  

How can we have peace & joy during the Christmas season?  Focus on the true meaning of Christmas.  God's Son.  He was born in a simple manger.  He lived a simple life.  Simplicity brings peace & joy.  When you complicate things, as we so often do during the Christmas season as well as during the rest of the year, we block that peace & joy.

I wish you all a blessed & simple week ... & blessed & simple weeks ... ahead.