Sunday, December 30, 2018

Living Life Well

This year my Mom turned 90 years old. Certainly this is a gift from God. No amount of clean living and vitamin supplements can guarantee you to live to 90. But if you are going to live that long, Mom is showing us how it is done.

I remember many people warning me, “don’t get old” but not Mom. Oh she has some health struggles and aches and pains but she never lets them get in the way of real life. She is always going to meetings, luncheons and trips with the several clubs she belongs to. She recently joined the chorus. She is constantly redecorating her home. Recently while she was planning her next decorating project, Frank said to me, “When is she going to stop? She acts like she is going to live forever.”

And I replied, “So far, it’s working for her,” and it is.

A few years back we discussed when a woman should let her hair go gray, as both of us have hair as white as snow. I asked when she would let her hair go gray, at age 80? Or at age 90? At the time she said 90 but I guess not. 
Yes, I am inspired by Mom’s example. She is going to color her hair, apply her makeup, slip on her high heeled shoes, wear her red dress, attend every party and eat the dessert until Jesus calls her home.  

But even better than her outside beauty and vitality, is what is on the inside of Mom, in her heart. With Mom, we were always confidant of her love. It was never because of what I accomplished, whether I agreed with her or not, or if I was being naughty or nice. Mom loved me because that was her way. She loved us because love came naturally to her. She forgave us because that was what love demanded.

Our pastor recently talked about raising children and how we have them for only 18 years. Mom would disagree. Mom said once you are a mother, you are always a mother and never stop teaching, encouraging, giving to and serving your children. And that’s what Mom did for her children, grandchildren, and now great grandchildren. Her one regret is not having more of them to lavish her love on.

Thank you, Mom for showing me how to live and love life to the fullest. May Jesus help me to be just like you when I grow up.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

The Babe, the God-Hero

Christmas Morning.

My life totally changed 31 years ago. I woke up that Christmas morning and the nurses brought me a beautiful baby with a red cap in a large Christmas stocking.

And then six months later, You came, Beloved and invited me into Your love. You change everything.

2000+ years ago You came in the dark of night, to a far-away land, hidden and yet in plain sight. Humble, poor and helpless, yet mighty and glorified.

A Babe lying in a manger.

But You would not stay hidden, You would come out of hiding to heal and teach and serve. You would die for us and be raised because death could not hold You. You brought peace and yet also a battle that still rages.

You are invisible again, except through us, we must proclaim You.

Christ is the Lord! Oh praise His Name forever!
His power and glory evermore proclaim!

We must not give up our hope in You to heal us, our family, our nation, our world. You will continue to build Your gathering of followers and the gates of hell will not prevail against us!

You will prevail, our Jesus, God-Hero, Prince of Peace!

Give us courage to continue to praise and proclaim Your Holy Name, Your Kingdom, Your Peace! 

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Asleep on the hay

Precious Baby Maya and Gio 
Away in a manger, no crib for His bed
The little Lord Jesus lay down His sweet head
The stars in the sky look down where He lay
The little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay

You left Glory to be lain in a pile of hay. You trusted a poor teenage girl and a young man to carry You, feed You, bathe You, care for You in every way.

You could have came to us in any way You wanted but Your choice was to become a poor helpless baby born before indoor plumbing, air conditioning, and cell phones.

You were God. More powerful than a hurricane. Wiser than anyone who ever lived. Holy and perfect in every way. Yet You laid it all down, left it behind and trusted Mary and Joseph, knowing they were frail and flawed.

You are more precious than the thousands of dollars I carried clutching in my pocketbook last week to pay cash for the car repair. More precious than the big party I fretted over as the last guests called requiring the altering of my carefully crafted seating plan. More precious than the millionaire houses that burnt in the recent raging fires. More precious even than the sweet sick friends I am praying for, although they are so very precious to me.

So precious, Holy God, Savior of the whole world and yet You trusted Your very life to them. You entrust Your gospel to us.

Why can’t we trust You then, dear Beloved? You showed us how to trust. Let me remember You did it first, You did it for us. You trusted us when You knew we could not be trusted.

Let me trust You because we know we can.

And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. (Luke 2:7)