Corruption

Friday would have been President George Washington’s real birthday. Isn’t it odd that even our holidays are all “fake” nowadays? Our first president was such a wise man. The people wanted to make him a king. He declined the offer, thereby setting the framework for a democratic republic to be formed. Then after serving two terms, he declined to run again, setting another precedent of a two term limit on the presidency which lasted until Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who served four terms before the 22nd amendment was passed. This permanently limited the president to two terms. In 1887, a man named Lord Acton wrote to Bishop Mandell Creighton, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”  This has become one of our nation’s most well-known proverbs, but we seem to be forgetting it lately.

     No, this is not a post about overreach by Donald Trump in using an executive order to build the border wall to secure our southern border. This was a major campaign promise the American people elected him to deliver, and it’s absolutely astounding to me that congress would obstruct it, considering it’s such a small part of the overall budget, and they’re spending so much more to do a lot less important things. It’s pretty obvious it’s not really the wall they object to; it’s the president who proposed it.      

     Although we now have term limits on the presidency, we don’t have any such limits on congress, lobbyists, or any of the other power brokers in the business of government. The money these brokers funnel to the candidates they support insures the continuation of this power, whether it’s through senators and congressmen who’ve been there for twenty-five years or more, or through freshmen or sophomore ones they’ve managed to place in positions of influence. Groups such as Planned Parenthood, the Clinton Foundation, and others wield so much more power than we can possibly imagine. With Hillary Clinton, who they thought was a shoe-in, they were certain they could continue the Clinton-Obama dynasty, and thereby continue their power indefinitely. Think about it. If Hillary had won, served two terms, then made way for Michelle and Chelsea, meanwhile adding more and more AOC’s, Omar’s and Tlaib’s, who could have ever stopped them?

     As more and more of the corruption has been exposed behind the so-called Russian collusion scandal, I wonder when it all ends, what will be left standing of our government? The stage is being perfectly set for Christ’s Return. Now that, I can’t wait to see!  

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Love

Love is…

(from 1 Corinthians 13)

Love is patient Even when your toddler disobeys you for the fiftieth time this morning. But that doesn’t mean you let them get away with it. Train up a child in the way they should go, And when they are old, they will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)

Love is kind   Even when your kindness is used by others to enable laziness on their part. But that doesn’t mean we should continue to enable them. If anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat either. (2 Thessalonians 3:10) Love does not tolerate bad behavior. The Bible actually calls that hate. (Proverbs 13:24) The world’s concept of tolerance is completely anti-biblical. Of course, the one thing they won’t tolerate is that truth!

And is not jealous. Yet, God is Love, and we have a jealous God. He admits it. (Exodus 20:5) He is jealous for you, Not of you. That’s the difference. Wanting the absolute best for someone is not the jealousy of the world. It’s the good kind of jealousy, and it’s fine. But beware of the green-eyed monster.

Love does not brag and is not arrogant, It doesn’t need to! For His grace is sufficient and His power more than able to subdue any enemy’s boast.

Does not act unbecomingly; What does that mean? We can’t have a good time at a party? Of course not! We, of all people, have joy unspeakable! We know what’s unbecoming a Christian! He wrote it on our heart.

It does not seek its own. We live in a “me” society. This is a concept completely foreign to our nature. It even goes against “the American Dream.” Does God not love me? Does He value me less than others? No! A thousand times, no! It’s only as I realize His great love for me that I’m set free to love others like this. He’s got me covered! No matter what happens, I’ll be safe in His arms!

Is not provoked, This is where it gets really hard! It’s easy to be kind when others are kind to you. But when they’re hateful?!! It’s so hard not to answer anger with anger! I’ll admit I’m not always there yet.

Does not take into account a wrong suffered  Again, it’s so hard to keep the past in the past. It rears its ugly head when you least expect it, and especially when the past intersects the present on more than one occasion. 

Does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices in the truth; Have you ever been asked to attend a gay wedding? Could you do it? I couldn’t. I cared about the people involved, but the celebration was of sin. Yet, I have been to other wedding celebrations I later felt were just as sinful, because it seemed there was no true commitment whatsoever on the part of at least one of them.  

Bears all things, and this doesn’t mean by going around like a martyr with a long face. It means cheerfully bringing joy to all present.

Believes all things, Does this mean we’re supposed to believe the moon is made of cream cheese? Duh! No! But the Bible has been proven true over and over! Written over millennia, with over forty authors, it tells one cohesive story—His story! Archaeology and even science have proven it true time and again. You can take it’s truths as the gold standard.

Hopes all things, My daughter Kara’s favorite word was hope. She even spent her last walking day giving patients at the hospital flowers with messages of hope from the Bible. At that point, she hoped to live, but her ultimate hope was in Jesus. 

Endures all things. Endurance is the mark of a true Christian. It’s faith, hope and love that lasts until we take our final breath, and then ushers us into the presence of our Savior.

Love never fails. We’ll fail. We’ll never reach perfect love this side of the veil. But praise God Jesus did. His love paid my ransom, and His love lives in me. I just have to let Him take control.

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Assurance

      Since the new year, I’ve visited my regular doctor for a check up to renew my blood pressure prescriptions, had a mammogram and bone density scan, found out from the bone density scan that I have osteoporosis, so returned to my regular doctor to plan a treatment for that, gone to a dermatologist to examine a couple of suspicious places on my legs, and found that those places were just fine but I had three others she deemed suspicious, so she did biopsies, and sure enough, two of them were more basal cell carcinomas so she’s going to do a “scrape a burn” on them next week. In the meantime, I have another appointment with the eyelid specialist who took the carcinoma off of my eyelid last summer for a follow-up exam tomorrow and a colonoscopy on Thursday. Folks, this getting old stuff is for the birds!  

     Of course, since my grandmother died at 42, my mom at 62, and my daughter Kara at 27, you could tell me I’m blessed to be almost 69, and you’d be right. I am blessed. But I’d be blessed either way, because I know my future is secure in the arms of Jesus. What a wonderful gift that is! I love that old song, “Blessed Assurance, Jesus is mine, O what a foretaste of glory divine.”

     My daughter Kristina says I have trust issues, and she’s right. I do. I’ve been betrayed far too many times in my life by the people I trusted most in the world. Yet, I have no such issues whatsoever with my Savior. He’s been right there beside me every step of the way. His presence has sustained me through the divorce of my parents, the deaths of close family members, my own divorce after 40 years of marriage, and Kara’s death. During her illness, several times He gave us visible proof of that presence in such a way I could never again have a doubt He was real, and He cared.  

     Kristina sells insurance. Selling insurance is really selling peace of mind. You’re buying a piece of paper that says if you wreck your car, or a thief comes in your house and steals everything you have, the company will repair or replace your car or your valuables. But if you were killed in that car accident, what good would that insurance do you? None. Yes, they’d pay your family a sum of money, but as they say, ‘you can’t take it with you!’” On the other hand, assurance is eternal. It’s not just for this world. In fact, it’s realized at that moment we pass from this life to the next. When Kara died, we spread her ashes at Roaring Run, a waterfall in Virginia. When we came down the mountain, nine butterflies were feasting on those ashes. It was a beautiful sign to me she was looking down from heaven, transformed just like those butterflies. On Mother’s Day, a beautiful rose bush bloomed in my back yard. It had never bloomed before. These gifts from God were more assurance of His loving care and presence. I have the peace of mind that passes all understanding, and cannot be bought with money, only with the precious blood of Jesus Christ.

     If you don’t have this assurance, and want it, please contact me. I’d love to show you how you can have it too.

God bless you.

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Education

Sunset from Deer Stand by Bill Culbertson

     Well, it’s a beautiful day in sunny, not-so-downtown Dacula. But schools are closed for a “digital work day” because of “possible” snow. Not a flake in sight that I’ve seen. Being from Virginia, this is so strange to me! My kids went to school when there was six inches of snow on the ground, and the buses were on “bus routes” that didn’t come within four miles of our house! And the school was 4 ¼ miles away! I remember going to school when the bus slid all the way down Cherry Lane! Nothing stopped school short of blizzard conditions! Sometimes, if the snow was really coming down, we might go home an hour early. To call it off before a flake has even fallen seems absurd! Why would they do this? The thought is, they didn’t call it off. They had a digital work day from home. CJ had his assignments done within half an hour. I hope he does more work than this in a day when he does go to school. If not, that’s another subject for discussion.

     Honestly, I think it’s simply because they can close now. Federal rules used to say to receive it’s money, schools had to be open for 180 days for at least six hours a day.  It’s like there are no rules or standards anymore. Everyone is supposed to pass. No one should be “left behind” even if they can’t or won’t do the work. If that’s true, what does it matter if the kids go to school 180 days or 175? Make that 165, if they miss the allowable 10!   

     From what I’ve seen, many kids (and now adults) can’t spell, do simple math, understand history, or even write grammatically correct sentences. I’ve gone through line at McDonalds, and my bill been $4.25, so I gave the cashier $5.25. She stared at me like I’d lost my mind, and finally said, “You gave me too much.” When I replied, “I know. You can give me back $1.00,” she didn’t know how to react.  My kids had a couple of teachers in elementary school who were just as bad. Some of the notes they sent home would make me weep. These were the people who were teaching my kids? If they couldn’t spell or use the correct verb form, how in the world were they going to teach my kids the correct one?   The result of all the chaos is that we now have people being elected to Congress who don’t seem to have the first notion about the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, or have any idea of what a democratic republic is or how it’s supposed to function. Not only that, but many graduating seniors can’t or won’t hold responsible jobs because they seem to think it isn’t necessary. They think we ought to owe them a “living wage” simply for their existence. They never had to work hard at school to get passed along, so why should they work hard as adults? They expect society to continue to support them without any effort on their part. Unemployment rates are at all-time lows, but able-bodied young adults still collect welfare checks. It’s beyond sad! It’s deplorable! Yes, Hillary, some things are deplorable, but not the ones you seem to think!

     Anyway, rant over. Sorry, folks. God bless you!     

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Right to Life

We hold these truths to be self- evident; that all men are created equal, and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, among these the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness—The Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776

Last Friday, hundreds of thousands gathered in Washington, DC to protest the more than 60 million babies who have been denied this “unalienable” right to life since Roe vs. Wade. Science clearly shows life begins at conception. Heart beats are detectable as early as six weeks. Brain waves are present and measurable by the end of week five. And babies react to pain before they are twenty weeks along.

Today, many more thousands of us will be gathered in downtown Atlanta, and all over the nation, for the same purpose. The annual March for Life is to tell our lawmakers we’re not oblivious to the slaughter. We care, and we want to put a stop to it!  We are blessed in Georgia to have many lawmakers who agree with us, and have joined the cause. I praise God that our president and vice-president are also pro-life. But it’s not enough, and it won’t be as long as our babies are still paying the price for this tragedy!

My daughter was born sucking two fingers. Those little fingers were almost raw from the suction. She was not only physically alive, she was emotionally alive. Doctors told me she’d probably been sucking them the entire pregnancy. That need for emotional comfort gained by that little habit had helped her endure what had been an extremely stressful pregnancy for me, and apparently was for her as well. The day I found out I was pregnant, I found out I’d lose my job at the end of the month. About a week after I did lose the job, my husband had major surgery, and was hospitalized for the rest of my pregnancy. My daughter was not simply a clump of cells. She was alive, and she was worried about all the emotional stress her mom was enduring at the time.       

My granddaughter was born at twenty six weeks. She weighed three pounds, and I swear, at least half a pound of it was smile. I never saw another baby smile as much as she did. Her grin was literally ear to ear, as if she was proclaiming to the world, “Yes, I made it!” The weird thing was that other than needing her lungs to develop a little more, and to gain some weight, she actually had fewer problems than many of the other babies who were further along.  

The Book of Luke tells us that John the Baptist leaped for the first when Jesus neared. There’s no doubt he was spiritually alive. Physically, emotionally, and spiritually, life does begin at conception. Actually, even before; God says, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.” He knows His children, and loves them. Why can’t America love her children again? Or, at least stop murdering them?  

Every mother knows the child inside her is alive! She knew it the moment she felt that first swift kick. The “clump of cells” argument is simply a way to ease the conscience, and put away the guilt. It won’t fly anymore, and Planned Parenthood knows it. Science proves them wrong. So, they focus more on “a woman’s right to choose.” Half the time, there’s another woman in the equation. What about her rights? If it’s a boy, what about his rights? And first among these is the Right to Life!

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Faux-Christians

My daughter asked me to buy her a white poinsettia for Christmas. CJ and I went to three different stores, but couldn’t find one I liked. It was rather late in the game, I guess you’d say, and they were all kind of bedraggled and droopy. Besides that, they didn’t really look white. They were extremely yellow, and I knew they wouldn’t match her robin’s egg blue décor.
But I found a beautiful blue one that I thought would be perfect. I was right. She loved it. She’d never seen a blue poinsettia before. Neither had I. Now, I knew from the start it wasn’t really blue. It had been painted blue. They hadn’t made much attempt to disguise the fact. In fact, they’d sprayed it with blue glitter glue to enhance it even more.
However, as I was cleaning this week, I noticed that the poinsettia is losing its color. Those yellow leaves are starting to show, kind of like when I used to try to dye my hair. The gray roots would make their appearance sooner rather than later.
I wonder if that’s how it is with today’s faux-Christians. What’s a faux-Christian, you may ask? It’s a person who may go to church week after week, but Christ hasn’t seemed to make any change in their life at all. My son refers to them as the hypocrites. They may live with their boyfriend or girlfriend, smoke dope, drink excessively, or any one or more of the “7 deadly sins”, and they aren’t about to give up their pet vice. Or they may simply be an angry, bitter person, or love to gossip, or anything else they consider too minor for God to care about, but that isn’t the way He sees it. To Him, sin is sin.
Yeah, I know, none of us is perfect, and we won’t be perfect until Jesus takes us home. We’re going to struggle against this flesh until the day we die. But that’s just the point, isn’t it? If we’re truly His, we struggle. We don’t just sit back and say, “Oh, well,” and continue on in our sin. We want to be everything He wants us to be. I know I have several areas I need to work on this new year. I don’t want to be considered a faux-Christian by anyone, but especially not by my Heavenly Father. He has a special place already assigned for those. And I don’t want to go there. I don’t think anybody in their right mind does.
God bless

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Memories

      What is it about this time of the year that makes people want to look back, not just on the year that’s gone before, but also all the ones long gone? Social media is especially full of questions right now asking us to reflect on our childhood. This can be nostalgic, or for many of us, extremely painful. So why do people insist on dredging old memories up? The “good old days” weren’t necessarily great for everybody.

     But some seem to think they were. I suspect it’s because we all tend to view the past colored by lenses of a few events that were either wonderful or extremely painful. If there were enough of the former, we tend to think it was always that way, but if there were too many of the latter, it doesn’t really matter how many good things happened, we have an extremely hard time counting our blessing and remembering those things for all the pain that distorts our thinking. Does that make sense?

     Very few people’s memories are all bad or all good. Life happens to all of us. No one has a charmed life that’s perfect all the time. It doesn’t work that way.   People die, divorce breaks up families, illnesses rob of precious time with loved ones, or overwhelming financial crises may cause separations no one expected, etc.. I tend to think though that one big thing makes the most difference of all.

     If we had parents who stayed together and loved each other, and loved us fiercely, all kinds of bad things could have happened, and we’d still think we had a wonderful childhood. We were poor a church mice most of the time when my kids were small. They had very little in the way of material possessions. But they all claimed to have a good childhood. They were all well into adulthood when Wade and I divorced. And I’m pretty sure every one of them knew that their mama loved them with every fiber of her being.

     On the other hand, I wasn’t poor. I can’t complain of ever not having the things I needed. But I have very few fond memories. My parents divorced when I was sixteen, but I think I’d been expecting it to happen any day for most of my life. In a way, it was a relief when it finally did. Probably more importantly, I also never believed they loved me. Now I know my dad did, but just didn’t know how to show it.    

    I guess the point of this post is to remind parents to love each other and to love your children fiercely. Besides teaching them to know and love Jesus, it’s the best defense you can ever give them against Satan’s arrows. His most successful weapons against us as adults are the seeds that were planted in our memories as children. Be sure to plant lots of good seeds in 2019. Your kids are going to need them as they grow up in this chaotic mess we live in nowadays.

God bless you!  

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Blessings

     Welcome to 2019! Can you believe another year has come and gone? Was it a good one for you? My friend Krystal gave me a jar for Christmas last year to count my blessings, but I can’t honestly say I made much use of it. Maybe I should remedy that right now.

     I sold my house. That’s the biggie. I got almost twice what I paid for it less than ten years before. Another biggie. This allowed me to get out of debt and put a good portion of the money into an annuity, so I don’t feel nearly as desperate financially as I did a year ago.

     I moved in with my daughter Kristina. Kristina bought a lovely new home only about two miles from where I lived before. She bought it with the intention of me moving in with them. It has a lovely room and bathroom for me on the first floor. All the other bedrooms are upstairs, so it gives me the perfect amount of privacy, and hopefully, they feel the same. I think I do a pretty good job of minding my own business and staying out of theirs.  I do share my downstairs bathroom with family and guests, but that’s no big deal either.

     Kristina has a large family, but the idea was that only Nathan and CJ would be living in the house with us. It started that way in May and continued so for most of the year, but hasn’t quite worked out that way for the last couple of months. Families are a blessing, but they also can be…what shall we say? Oh, well. We’ll see what 2019 brings. Just kidding! My family is a great blessing to me!

     God has also blessed me with great friends at this time of my life. I’d never been much good at making many friends, and it didn’t help things much that I’d never really been a part of an adult Sunday School class because I’d spent my entire adult life teaching children in Sunday School. It wasn’t until Krystal came along that I’d ever had a female best friend as an adult. Now I have several close friends, and I love it! Most Friday evenings I watch movies with Kitty Cruze and Jean Arnold. I often have lunch with Liz Marbut and Betty Lumpkin. I ride to ACFW meetings with Ruth Trippy, and have several other friends who truly keep this old gal from getting down in the dumps!

     He’s also given me several works to do to keep me out of trouble. I co-teach a Connect Group with Linda Jenkins, and co-teach Level 3 of ESL with Dodie Carte. I teach on Monday night, and she teaches the same class on Wednesday night. This has allowed me to be a part of the Hebron choir which practices on Wednesday nights at the same time as ESL. I hadn’t realized how much I’d missed singing in a choir. It’s something I’d done for most of my life! I started singing in choir at Ramsey Methodist Church in Richmond, VA when I was four years old! I loved singing in the Hebron Christmas program this year. I wonder how many Christmas programs that makes? I’ll bet I don’t have enough fingers and toes to count them all! Every single one was a blessing!   

     I also tutored an adult ARW student on Tuesdays at Gwinnett Tech. He wants to get his GED. He could barely read when we started. His reading has improved tremendously, but we still have a ways to go before he’s ready for testing. But even though it’s extremely hard for him, he does have the will to learn, and the determination to keep trying. I admire that in him. Isn’t it funny how we think we’re trying to be a blessing to others, but they’re the ones who bless us?

     Other than this blog, I haven’t done a whole lot of writing this year. My biggest blessing as far as my writing goes was being able to go out to Oregon to the Rubart Writing Academy. I made several new friends there, and we’re all encouraging one another to go for our dreams in 2019. With that in mind, I hope to indy-publish Not Alone, the third book in the Windspree series by late spring. Please pray for me to get the things I need to get done to meet this goal. I also have another novel, A Time to Laugh, about half finished. I already know the ending to it, but I think I need some kind of a funny subplot to make it work. I just don’t want it to be stereotypical or slapstick. It’s about the Eastern band of Cherokees during the time of the Trail of Tears. It’s way too intense. Please pray for the Lord to show me what it needs.

     My biggest blessing of 2018, and every year of my life since I was a little girl when I first met Him, was that I’ve known that I was Not Alone. He was right beside me every step of the way. No matter what was going on in my life, whether I could understand it or not, I knew He loved me; He cared what was happening, and He wouldn’t forsake me no matter what! That was the joy I carried through 2018, and my hope and expectation for 2019 and until His return!

     God bless you and yours. Happy New Year.   

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Gifts

     Merry Christmas, and God bless you today and always. Christmas is a time of giving and receiving many gifts, most of which, hopefully you’ll love, and a few you’ll probably want to return to the nearest store that’ll take it back.

     It’s been a beautiful Christmas season for me. I’ve rejoined the choir after a layoff of almost ten years, and that’s been a wonderful joy for me. I have figured out why many older people don’t like contemporary music. I could never figure it out until I was in the choir again. It’s because in most contemporary songs, the sopranos don’t have the melody. They have a much lower pitched harmony. The basses or tenors carry the melody, but of course in a much lower octave than we’re used to. Therefore, there is no high soprano like we were accustomed to in the past. The hard part for me is I’ve never had to learn to sing harmony, so I naturally hear the melody notes. I’m learning though. It’s good for me. What’s that got to do with gifts?

     That’s one of the hardest things in life to learn, isn’t it? The things that I like, that are easy for me, aren’t always what’s best for me, or at least, what’s good for me. My grandson always wants to eat junk food, but that isn’t what’s best for him. We struggle to make him realize he has to eat good food to grow strong and healthy. He fights us hard all the way on that lesson.

     I wonder if we aren’t the same way with God’s gifts. He always wants what’s best for us, and sometimes, like any good parent, He has to make us eat our vegetables. We’re more like the toddler at Christmastime, staring at that stocking full of candy, and determined to devour the whole thing in one sitting. Patience is never a human characteristic. It’s only developed as a spiritual fruit through many trials and tribulations. Singing melody is easy for me. Singing harmony takes hard work, but it’s worth it.

     God does give us many, many gifts, both physical and spiritual, and if we claim to be His, He expects us to use them for His honor and glory. But again, like the kid at Christmas, we’re more likely to hoard them, and not share them with the world, as we were meant to. After all, that takes work.  If we have a voice, good or bad, we’re meant to make melody, at least in our hearts. But it’s not just about singing. 

     I think about Olympian Eric Liddell (Chariots of Fire). God made him a runner, so he ran to God’s glory. I’m a writer, and my goal this year is to develop that skill in the best ways I can to reach as many people as I can with the message that God loves them, and cares for them. They’re not alone. He’ll never leave them or forsake them. And He’s gifted them in so many ways! But all they can see is the hard stuff. I understand that. I’ve been through a lot of hard stuff of my own. But think about it this way, a diamond can only be formed by placing it under lots and lots of pressure for a long time. Maybe God intends us to be a diamond for his kingdom. Or maybe we’re just meant to be a little pebble, but we’ll never find out until we put ourselves out there to find out.

     Whatever the gifts are God gave you, are you using them to the best of your ability for His kingdom?  This Christmas let’s honor God by receiving His gifts and putting to as much use for His kingdom as possible. After all, His greatest gift was Jesus. Look how He used His gifts. It certainly wasn’t easy for Him, was it?  But He did it because He loved us.  If we know Him and love Him, let’s share those gifts with others.     

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Goodbyes

 Well, it’s almost time to say goodbye to another year. This has been a crazy one with a lot of ups and downs. It started last Christmas with us having to say goodbye to one pastor, Rev. Kevin Miller, and now this Christmas, we have to say goodbye to another one, Rev. Derek Spain, who has led our Sunday evening traditional services, and is so dear to our senior adult hearts. God bless you, Pastor Derek. We will greatly miss you! Please pray for Pastor Derek as he seeks God’s will for the next phase of his life!

In between, we’ve lost a couple of other pastors, and just this month, we’ve welcomed our new lead pastor, Dr. Landon Dowden. I’m sure his former church is missing him just as much as we miss Kevin and Derek and our other pastors who’ve found  new places of service. Please pray for his church as they begin the process we’ve been going through for the last year.

I have friends who have been missionaries in Africa for the past several years, who’re coming home, not just for Christmas, but permanently. Their goodbyes to the Christian community they have made there is bittersweet. Please pray for Ryan and Christy Campbell and their family as they make this transition.

As a church, we’ve also faced the loss to death of several of our senior adult leaders. I especially mourn the loss of Mrs. Helen Steele, one of the kindest and most knowledgeable teachers I ever met. This lady was a true prayer warrior.

As children, we’re devastated by the loss of a dear pet. Actually, I know many adults who have exactly the same experience when faced with a similar loss. Pets can become family members. Sometimes I think though, those early pet losses are a preparation of sorts for the loss of grandparents, parents, or other family and friends, which will surely come later.

In life, we face many goodbyes, some of them much harder than others. Whether it’s as simple as selling our home like I had to do this year, or something much, much harder, like saying goodbye to a spouse or child through divorce or death, which I’ve also had to do in recent years, the one thing we can always count on is that God is always right there beside us. He promises to never leave us or forsake us, and He keeps that promise always. That’s why Christians have the one thing no one else in the world can ever truly have—hope! Our goodbyes are temporary. They’re not forever. Jesus is forever. He’s the Alpha and the Omega. He understands our sorrow, and He can give us a joy and peace that passes all understanding. So no matter what we face this Christmas season, we can say Hello to the Prince of Peace and welcome Him today. He’ll never say goodbye.

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