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Sunday, December 3, 2017
Richard Returns to Blogging
Hi all! It’s been a while since I’ve posted a blog…it’s been an extremely busy fall, including a 10 day mission study down in Bolivia in mid-November. I’ll include a shot or two of some of the beautiful scenery I enjoyed there. Let me tell you, just that short time down there provided ample evidence that God is on the move in that country! I met some great people, and some very impressive and dedicated pastors and missionaries while there.
I hope you had a good Thanksgiving…for many who have suffered a divorce in their families, we are in the midst of the hardest time of the year. Family gatherings become reminders that your family has been fragmented, often because of the empty spaces at the table where the ex-spouse sat, or where the children might have been if they weren’t over celebrating with your ex. Traditions that had become familiar can seem hollow, or instead of bringing back fond memories, become painful reminders of the loss and disappointment. For some, it is just the opposite…as they experience a sense of opportunity they did not have before to embrace a new future and create new traditions that are more reflective of who they are and what they want their lives to be. It’s just too bad that having new options is something that has was the byproduct of a broken relationship and love that died.
So I have a simple question for you as you enter this holiday season, a question that applies regardless what your family situation is.
Here is my question: How are you planning to make a time and way for you and those you love to remember and celebrate what these holidays really mean….the giving of thanks to God and the day God came to earth as a child in a manger to change lives for all eternity?
Answering that question well is what will determine the real success and joy of your holiday season.
It is so easy to get caught up with the hectic activities, with the mad pace and misplaced priorities, with planning all the things that don’t really matter and then finding that we have no time left for the tiings that really do.
At my church today, the message focused on King Herod and the fact that he was given an opportunity of a lifetime
…the opportunity to see the newborn Messiah,
the opportunity to really worship God,
the opportunity to have his life changed for good with eternal consequences
….but he chose to ignore, reject, and even fight against that opportunity.
That is the same reaction many will give to the true meaning of Christmas and Thanksgiving this year. God will be ignored, invitations to bow before the Christ of the manger will be rejected, and, I am sure, once again there will be those protesting public displays of Nativity scenes in our communities. But for those who decide they DO want to be a part of what God is doing, there is meaningful and eternal adventure just around the corner.
I found it an interesting contrast that, in Cochabamba, Bolivia, prominently and proudly displayed on a hill dominating the city was a giant statue depicting Christ, visible throughout the city. What a great reminder I had at the start of the holidays! What a great reminder those Bolivians have on a daily basis…at least, those who take the time to look up. In fact, there was a fountain and light show by the city’s family park which featured multiple times images of that Christ statue. Imagine THAT happening here in the U.S., instead of the protesting and lawsuits by people who loudly reject the Christmas message of peace, love and God with us.
Well, it’s good to be back in touch again…hopefully my schedule will return to normal and I can post regular blogs. In the meantime, if you come up with a really good way to keep your focus where it should be through the holidays, I invite you to share it here on the blog or facebook page…it might just help someone else who is looking for some answers of their own this year.