Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Joy of Celebration Begins!

Last evening, I arrived home at around 7:00 p.m. after purchasing a few last minute gifts for my family. I left the house at 11:00 a.m., with every intention of getting home much earlier in the day. But as it turned out, I was gone for 8 hours! Eight precious hours that should have been spent more wisely. Oh well, at least I got the chance to meet my daughter and share lunch out at a restaurant with her. It was probably the first real meal that she has eaten since getting her wisdom teeth extracted on Thursday. My advice? Don't have anyone in your family get their wisdom teeth out around any holiday season! I lost four days of decorating, shopping, and preparing for Christmas Day as I helped nurse my daughter and watch movies with her. After all, caring for her at this time was more important. No need to go into the details of her pain and suffering. Due to the office being closed, we had difficulty reaching her surgeon by phone until yesterday to get some answers to several questions we had about her recovery. Though we felt guilty about doing so, we finally called the emergency number provided by the answering service. However, the surgeon was kind enough to call during his trip to Disneyland with his kids!

My daughter is much better now and improving each and every day. Thank God!

When I looked around our house last night I realized that all we had on our Christmas tree were the lights. There was one Nativity scene set up, but no Christmas village. My favorite Nativity set was still in one of the boxes that line our hallway. I haven't even found the stockings which are to be placed above our fireplace! I mentioned to my husband that we must be one of the most dysfunctional Christmas decorating families ever this year! No outdoor lights were put up at our house while most of the rest of our block have gorgeous lighting arrangements neatly in place. At least I put the wreaths on our two front doors!

Today will be spent finishing some of the decorating and wrapping gifts. It won't be the usual amount of holiday decorations, but the most important ones will finally be set up.

Just before turning the multi-colored lights off of our tree last night, I thought that despite our lack of decorations around the house this year, our love for the Lord and our celebration of His birth will not be minimized. After all, He is the Light of the world and the focal point of tomorrow's celebrations. Despite what the secular world wants people to think, Jesus is the reason for the season!

I have a decorated hand painted sign up that reads, "Keep Christ in Christmas." It is a constant reminder to us about what is truly important during this holiday season.

The birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ changed history forever. His birth, life, ministry, death on the cross and bodily resurrection to life is the true hope that we have in this world filled with turmoil. Faith in Him and the realization that He keeps his promises demonstrates to us that we can place our full trust in him! He will never leave nor forsake us! All that had been prophesied about him in the Bible before his first coming has been fulfilled! We now await for him to return and take us unto himself at the Rapture - which will occur in the blink of an eye!

As born-again Christians, there is nothing to fear about what man will do to any one of us. Though we are mocked, disparaged, hated, cursed, discriminated against, persecuted, and even killed for our belief in Jesus Christ, NOTHING can take us away from his eternal protection for our souls. When we die (or are killed), it is a fact that Jesus has taken each of us away from evil. The world is filled with evil, but we are to have no fear of those who would kill the body. Our eternal souls are in the caring arms of Jesus Christ - FOREVER!

While driving home last night, I heard a portion of a repeat broadcast of an interview between Sean Hannity and Anne Graham Lotz. The subject of death came up and Sean mentioned that "he's not ready to go just yet." He wants to see his children grow up, marry and have their own children. He's not done with all he needs to do and wants to do on this earth. Many people feel the same way, of course. But we don't know how many days the Lord has given to each of us. Any one of us could die tomorrow. Or, perhaps we will live to age 90! We just don't know. However, if you (and I) would live each day as though it was our last, what would you be doing? That's a great question to answer!

Anne Graham Lotz mentioned the Scripture verse that tells us how beautiful heaven will be. She compared our lives here on earth like being in the foyer of a great cathedral. Compared to the awesomeness of the cathedral, the "waiting area" before entry into the beauty of that place can't compare. It is a good analogy as to what it might be like entering into eternity.

But no matter how beautiful we could imagine heaven will be, seeing Jesus Christ and being with Him forever will make the "place" pale in comparison. After all a house is not a home without the people whom you love - and who live in it - sharing that home with you...Amen?

It is Christmas Eve! The joy of celebration begins! God bless!


Susan Smith said...

Christine said: “NOTHING can take us away from his eternal protection for our souls.”

The Lord shields us completely from everything that is not in his good will and purpose. We can rest assured; nothing can touch a life that is not from God.

We may not understand, but Jesus the Messiah reigns over all the earth. Praise his name!

Have a wonderful holiday Christine. Much love from the East coast to the West coast here in the United States of America, one nation under God. (ss)

Kevin said...

Hi Christine,
I still have some Christmas decorations sitting around as well! I'm not sure where the time went... I hope in the next coming year I can find a nativity scene that I really like!
Anyway, I hope you and your family have a great Christmas.

jeleasure said...

Happy Christmas!

Christinewjc said...

Hi Susan!

Merry Christmas!

Jesus told us that "in this world you (we) will have trouble." But his promise following why we should "take heart" is because he has "overcome the world!"

What a blessed promise! That realization is the peace that surpasses all understanding."

Despite what man would do to us, we know that our eternal relationship with Christ is secure.

Enjoy a blessed Christmas Day Susan!


Christinewjc said...

Hi Kevin,

Thank you for the nice Christmas wishes to me and my family. Appreciate it.

I know that the nativity scenes available in the stores are not quite biblically accurate. The wise men showed up when Christ was older. However, the fact that they brought the gifts of frankincense, gold, and myrrh is very significant.

My favorite nativity scene is one that I got over 20 years ago from a home demonstration company called "Christmas Around the World" - or something like that. I wonder if they are still in business?

Enjoy your celebration with family and friends!


Christinewjc said...

Hi Jim!

Thanks! Merry Christmas to you and your wife!

I like your new page and have included it my links.

God bless you!