The Gift of Christmas

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I’m sitting in the stillness and the silence of my morning house.  The weekend before Christmas is upon us.  Snow is swirling in the air and it glistens in the sun that is attempting to poke throughout the clouds.  I am soaked in Peace.  I am saturated in the presence of the Sprit.  I think about my week and how I was witness, again, to the Gift of God shining in the most unexpected places.

I sink into my chair, wrapped in the warmth of blanket and fire and hum two of my favorite Christmas songs.  Oh Holy Night and Come All Ye Faithful.  I pause and reflect on the words,

Fall on your knees
Oh hear the angel voices
Oh night divine
Oh night when Christ was born
Oh night divine
Oh night divine

Fall on your knees.  How often I am here.  On my knees.  It doesn’t take a Christmas song to bring me there on a daily basis.

Come and behold Him,
Born the King of Angels;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

Adore Him.  The King of angels.  The King of this World.  The King of Glory.  The King of Kings.  Adore Him..

UnknownTwo songs say it all.  Fall on your knees and adore Him.  Drop to your knees and delight in Him.  Spill to your knees and glorify, exalt and esteem Him.  Not just today, not just for Christmas….this is what is necessary… Every.  Single.  Day.

I pray that the Christmas spirit finds a way to wrap itself around your very heart, all year long.  A Gift.

This week I had the amazing pleasure of sharing this Gift with someone.  Someone who had no hope, no promise, no faith.  That which started as a day to bless others serving a hot Christmas meal with my Life Group at the Food Bank, ended with my heart so swollen, and so in awe of the mercy and grace that God gives us.  The Gift of Love.  The Gift of Redemption.  The Gift of Hope and a Future. Unknown

I saw her sitting alone, and prayed as I approached her for bold, courage.  I prayed silently as I sat, that He give me the appropriate words to say.  That I be only a vessel of his love.  What if I had not listened?  She poured her heart out to me.  What if I had ignored His provoking of my heart?  She spilled every inch of her soul to me.  What if I would’ve talked instead of listening to her words of hopelessness and grief?  What if I hadn’t taken notice to His leading that prompted me to show a simple smile, to take time to sit and have a conversation, to look into eyes that showed pain, to take a hand and hold, and to hug a complete stranger?  How often do I do this?  Pass by.  Hurry on in my day.  What if I had not listened?  This story would have ended differently.  But on this day, as I held the trembling, thin, cracked hands of a complete stranger, He held my hands,  and He had a different plan….  And as I prayed with this sweet, delicate, woman, I felt His presence so powerful, and so strong.  His mercy and grace spilling onto her.  His love splashing around us.  Completely soaked in the goodness and graciousness of God.  And when she opened her eyes, I could see a hope that can only come from one Source.

From a Baby.  From the Lover of our souls.  From an almighty God that loves us without abandon.

The King of angels.  Christ the Lord.  The Gift.

………….Oh Come Let us Adore Him.Unknown-1

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….And We’re Off!

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It’s Friday!  Last minute goodies have been picked up, immunizations (OUCH) have been injected, antibiotics have been picked up!  In 24 short hours we will be boarding a plane for Honduras! Today is packing day!

As this trip has been building so has my anticipation, excitement, and elation.  I am a complete wad of emotion today.  God has a way of doing that to me.  And when you know that this is exactly the will of God, and exactly where you should be beyond a shadow of a doubt…that’s got some power behind it.

I have so much fun talking with people about this trip this past week.   Here are some things I have heard….

“Ya know as American’s we have so much.  But we always want more, always….man, we have so much to be thankful for, and really need nothing more.  We really have NOTHING to complain about, do we?”

So true!

“This is going to give you such a different perspective on life, as you leave the comforts of home (which we often take for granted) and serve in this desperately poverty-stricken area.  You my friend, will never be the same.”

Counting on it!

“Be prayerful about the fact that you may feel a little guilt as you leave your job site everyday, knowing what you are doing for this sweet family (and their current situation)…as you go back to your hotel.”

So true!

“God is going to use you, Greg and your whole team, in such a huge and impactful way.”

So incredibly true!

“You will be so changed by this experience!”

Already have been!

And a quote sent to me by a sweet friend,   “No one grows up hoping someday they’ll be typical. Get back to leading that inexplicable life you were aiming for.”

As I pack, I find myself a little teary-eyed, overflowing with so much thankfulness and joy.  I am grateful that we (our team) are willing to take this incredible leap of faith together.  To reach across geographical and cultural boundaries sharing sensitivity, warmth, love, tenderness, kindness….humanity.  I am praying…

God may every single thing we do on this trip be for your glory.  May the lives of these Hondurans be forever changed by Your love, care and compassion.  And that we are the best representation of that love and compassion.  Keep our teams safe, healthy and full of endurance for this job.  And Lord, thank you for showing me so long ago, to never, ever,  take anything in my life for granted.

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A Whole Different Kind of “cosmetic bag”

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Hammer, check! Tape measure, check! Work gloves, check! Say what…..??

~Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. -Galatians 6:9

~Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.  -Hebrews 12:1

“Christ wants not nibblers of the possible, but grabbers of the impossible.” — C.T. Studd