As Christmas gets close I tend to reminisce and, like many in my age bracket, wax philosophical about the “good old days.” I do miss my mom and dad, and Christmas at Grandma’s, etc. But this morning I am struck with how many things I am grateful for today that we didn’t have just a few short years ago. I am grateful for modern transport that has enabled travel to places I could only dream about when I was a kid. I have friends in places like Panama and Nepal and Germany and Mexico and Costa Rica. Thank you, Jesus! I am grateful for modern medicine, goofy as it seems sometimes, because it allows me to have friends who have survived cancer and heart disease. I actually heard a doctor say, “We’re gonna put in a stent, but don’t worry, it’s a simple procedure.” That was science fiction not too long ago. Thank You, Jesus! I am grateful for the internet and cellphones. I communicate instantaneously with people around the world. I can read and listen and learn in ways unheard of 20 years ago. Maybe more importantly, I can get the Gospel to people I can’t touch with my hands. That is truly important. Thank You, Jesus!
Most of all, I am grateful that I have wonderful friends and co-laborers. 35 years ago all my friends were really acquaintances who occupied a proximate barstool, or whom I had to tolerate because they worked with me. Now my life is rich with connections to men and women who love Jesus with all their hearts. Many have given selflessly to help us in our pursuit of the plan of God. That is amazing. Many who are closest to me have made a commitment to lay down their own lives in the service of the Gospel around the world. They are those, “…of whom the world was not worthy.” (Hebrews 11:38) I am privileged just to know them. Thank You, Jesus!
Scripture Reading: You will be blessed in every way, and you will be able to keep on being generous. Then many people will thank God when we deliver your gift. What you are doing is much more than a service that supplies God’s people with what they need. It is something that will make many others thank God. The way in which you have proved yourselves by this service will bring honor and praise to God. You believed the message about Christ, and you obeyed it by sharing generously with God’s people and with everyone else. Now they are praying for you and want to see you, because God used you to bless them so very much. Thank God for his gift that is too wonderful for words!
(2 Corinthians 9:11-15 CEV)
Somebody Said: God’s gifts put man’s best dreams to shame. Elizabeth Barrett Browning
To each of you whom God has placed in our lives, Judy and I pray His highest and best to you and yours. Thank you for being a part of God’s grace to us. Merry Christmas!