Saturday, December 29, 2012

Welcome 2013

At the beginning of a new year it is customary to make resolutions for change.  Whether we keep these resolutions or not, recognizing the need for change is as important as structuring a plan to make those changes.

The new year is an excellent opportunity to 'clean the slate'; to ask and offer forgiveness, to mend relationships, to put grievances aside, to leave bad habits behind and choose to start anew.

Then again . . . you may be content with yourself, your relationships and the place where you are.  You may have reason to celebrate the here and now and the bright future you see ahead.

As 2013 begins may you embrace whatever opportunities that afford improvement to you and allows you to make the world around you a better place.

For those who are feeling a bit raggedy, here at the end, or those who need a little hope take a moment to view this story courtesy of  CBS Sunday Morning.

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.  NIV  Numbers 6:24-26

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    Monday, December 24, 2012

    A Special Christmas Message For You

    Guest blogging my Christmas message is the better part of me, my husband, D.  May his words bless you this holiday season.

    While this letter has pictures of 'peace' and 'joy', we know that our world is full of fear and strife.  We grieve with families in Newtown, CT and at the same time pray for the safety of our loved ones.  As Christians we seek a merry Christmas (just like everyone else) but we know full well that Christ did not come into this world because humanity deserved salvation.  Instead it is just the opposite. 

    Christ was sent as a baby, the most vulnerable human condition possible.  He was sent through a woman chosen by God.  Mary, a woman who agreed to God's plan even though it put her in both physical and economic danger, who would experience both great joy and immeasurable heartache as the mother of our Saviour.  Her betrothed, Joseph, would agree only after the angel's convincing, not to follow the ways of the world and divorce his pregnant bride.  Still, hardship and tragedy followed.  They had run for their lives from King Herod.

    God gave us the freedom to cause suffering and peace, fear and joy.  Instead of separating and distancing from our destructive actions, God chose to join us in pain and suffering.  Sending His only begotten son to suffer and die that you and I might have life abundant and eternal, God suffered with us and continues to weep over our sinful actions just as Jesus did over Jerusalem.
    May the tragedies in our world remind us that we are called to be peacemakers and that we are responsible to show the love of Christ to the world.  All too often Christian love has been replaced with worldly hate.  May we, like our Christ, bear one another's burdens.  May we mourn with those who morn and rejoice with those who rejoice. 

    Let us remember this Christmas that Jesus did not come to give us riches and wealth beyond measure as the world understands but instead came to make us holy and right with our father in heaven.  This is the greatest Christmas gift ever!

    May your Christmas be filled with joy and may we proclaim along with the angels who announced Christ's birth, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace on whom his favor rests." Luke 2:14

    May God bless you and others through you this Christmas.  Joy to the world, the Lord has come!

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    Sunday, December 16, 2012

    All I Want for Christmas...

    In the wonder and joy that is the holiday season gift giving can hit a sour note.  Those who rank "Gifts" high in their level of love languages, I'm assuming, find joy in hunting and presenting that perfect gift.  As "Gifts" is not high for me I find it more of a chore than a cheer.

    Companies have made the gift-giving process enormously easy.  The gift box assembles items that are packaged for your convenience; all you add is the wrapping paper.  One trip through the box store's holiday aisles and your gift-giving requirements can be met.

    When L. was in grade school we knew his gift list before he wrote it.  As he aged his gift requests grew more specific and expensive.  As an independent, young man who purchases what he wants when he wants, his gifts have to come from our creativity.  (An onerous chore for the not-so-creative.)

    'Touch' is my love language and for those who share this, as well as those with 'Quality Time', will be as cheered by this article from Science of Relationships: "All I Want For Christmas Is You". 

    As a family, this year we decided to forgo individual presents in lieu of a tasting tour of New Orleans.  This hits the perfect note for each of us at this particular time in our lives.

    Whatever your personal view of gifts I urge you to find the method that produces joy in you because if you are joyous you will give joy.  Don't be the the pivotal point to the phrase "If I'm not happy, no body's happy".

    To all who take time to stop by and read my words I wish you much joy and happiness in the new year.  My wish for our broken and hurting world, "Peace on earth, good will toward men."

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    Friday, December 7, 2012

    Marking Two Decades

    L. is 20 years old today.  We celebrated his birthday early, at Thanksgiving break, today being the last day of classes at UT.  He has plans to celebrate with friends tonight, which is likely preferable, at age 20, than hanging with the folks as we tearfully walk down memory lane.

    It was December 7, 1992 in Louisville, Kentucky.  We were 32 years young, married for 12 years and, me, not being of a modest nature, allowed my mother to video L. as he made his debut.  He doesn't share our continuous awe of the process nor our fascination for reliving it yearly.

    Being an only, and having a writer for a mother, he has always been very gracious about living his life on the printed page.  This may have a lot to do with our shared love for reading and writing that started at an early age.

    In first grade we wrote the first installment of The Logan Chronicles "Errand Day or The Serpent Slayer".  It was a true story that I put into words and a good friend (and excellent artist) illustrated for us.  

    About this same time Harry Potter made the jump across the 'pond' and was becoming quite popular.  We started reading aloud these chapter books and continued through many series together; Redwall, Hank the Cowdog, Mortal Engines, Game of name a few.

    L. excelled in English classes as he penned his own tales.  His love of math and science has him double majoring in Chemistry and Computer Science but he shared some of his writing talent by guest posting his series "Inside the Uni, Outside the Classroom" here, last summer.

    L. has been the subject of many a blog post which will undoubtedly continue, so on this special day let me wish my muse, my literary companion, my son a very Happy, Happy 20th Birthday!