The Dark Christmas Tree

I walked downstairs this morning into the darkness of the living room. The Christmas tree sat in the corner engulfed in the darkness. There were no more presents under the tree and it seemed as if the beautifully decorated tree had no purpose and should probably be taken down and put back in the box to be stored in the garage.

After all the work it took to put the Christmas tree up I told myself to turn it on and enjoy it for just a few days longer. I walked over, flipped the switch and watched as the dark corner was bathed in a soft beautiful glow. The golden ornaments sparkled and the once dark corner took on a shimmer and glow that warmed my heart.

Just looking at the Christmas tree shimmering in the golden glow reminded me that the long gone presents that were stacked under the tree were not the real gifts we received at Christmas. We have received the promise of Christmas.

If I could wrap one gift that I want everyone to have it would be the promise of Christmas. Oh sure, we love the earthly traditions of Christmas, the gathering of family, an abundance of good food, presents, tinsel, glitter and ornaments. But those things are short-lived and often disappointing adornments for the calendar day of December 25th. The real promise of Christmas, the one that is available to each and every one of us lives year around and isn’t dependent on someone buying it, wrapping it and putting it under the tree. The real promise of Christmas is about a promise God made to mankind years ago, a promise of salvation.

 The real promise of Christmas is all about our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

So when I walk into the dark room with the dark Christmas tree, I am not sad and depressed that the presents are gone and the promise of Christmas is over. I flip that switch and watch as the soft glow lights the tree and reminds me that the real promise of Christmas is alive and strong. The real promise of Christmas lives in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

So go ahead, flip that switch on the dark Christmas tree in the corner. Watch as our Lord’s Holy Name is lifted up, glowing for all to see. Let each Christmas light remind us that Jesus is the light of the world.

 Rejoice, for this is the season of hope and promises and it does not end when the tree is taken down.


Dottie

……………and so I ride

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Another New Year’s is upon us and as I am looking in my closet I am thinking to myself, time to kick this “getting back in shape” project up a notch.

Then I felt kind of silly as I am also thinking to myself, just what do you think is going to be different this year than every other year? What makes January 1st any better for commitments than any other time of year?

How many times have I started something and two weeks or a month later (ok more like a day) decided it is just too hard and quit?

It is interesting to me that I get the same result no matter how much planning I do or don’t do.

I guess maybe I should check my motivation for embarking on a healthy lifestyle. Am I doing it because clothes come in cuter styles in the smaller sizes and if clothes are smaller it stands to reason you can fit more of them in your closet! Right???

Thinking through this some more I am realizing that this is probably not the best motivation in the world.

Am I working to pay my credit cards off just to be able to buy more stuff? Am I paying them off just to get more available credit which will allow bigger and better shopping sprees? Or maybe I have read enough to know that having high credit card balances is not a very smart move and I don’t want to appear foolish.

I guess what I am trying to say is that maybe the reason I have not been successful with resolutions in the past is because those resolutions are pointless unless I have the right motivation. I have a sneaking hunch that if I make a resolution to get healthy and do it to honor God the power will lie in the honoring God and not the resolution itself.

I have never before turned over my resolutions to God and worked towards results for His honor. I have never before made Philippians 4:13 my resolution mantra. I bet if I honor God by taking care of my body instead of honoring myself and my vanity that my healthy lifestyle would quickly follow.

So I will honor God with my whole heart and soul, my whole life in fact. I want to bring glory to my Father in everything I do.

Dottie

…………………..and so I ridetumblr_n1z51sfRpw1rhr6kfo1_500

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I am guilty, I admit it. I get caught up in life, I forget to be thankful, I wallow in self-pity and play the oh poor me card to often. My heart gets heavy with the realities of life.

I forget that I have received the greatest gift possible.

Happily, I am up to my ears in Christmas. This is my favorite time of year. I love shopping for  the perfect gift for those on my Christmas list. I love cooking the old familiar foods that make the holiday “our Christmas” I want to make sure Christmas is as special to those around me as it is to me.

This year I want to dig deeper, to get to the real meaning of Christmas. We have all heard the saying “Jesus is the reason for the season” so often in fact that I am not sure we have taken the time to delve into what that really means.

It takes me back to the beginning. Joseph and Mary had to travel to Bethlehem to register. She was pregnant, tired, and probably desperate to find a place to rest.

Joseph inquired at an Inn, only to be told there was no room. So with great compassion the innkeeper gave them what he had, a place in the stable.  Not the ideal situation but he offered what he had. If not for the willingness of this innkeeper to give them a place in the barn, Jesus would have been born on the street.

It seems pretty generous.

I don’t know though, what if the innkeeper had known that Mary was about to give birth to The Savior of the World, the Son of God, The King of all Kings? Did the Innkeeper look back days, months or years later and say to himself, Why didn’t I try harder? Why didn’t I make room in the inn?  Maybe, just maybe the innkeeper only gave Joseph and Mary enough to feel good about helping and didn’t do all he could in the situation.

Is that what I do with Jesus every single day …………………only give Him enough of myself to make me feel good but not at all what God is asking me to give? He is knocking on my heart, there is no doubt about that, but am I giving Him the best I have to give, or just enough to make me feel good?

Am I giving Him all I have to give, does every fiber of my being crave the presence of the Most High or am I simply doing just enough to make myself happy………………..considering He alone can set me free………………….am I doing enough, am I settling for hor d’oeuvres when I can have the whole feast?

The Christmas Story

A virgin conceives,  Bethlehem, a crowded inn,  a birth in a stable, a King wrapped in rags and laid in a manger,  shepherds , a star in the east, wise men , gifts of gold, incense and myrrh, a gift of life.

The rest of the Story

Love, Calvary, crucifixion,  a cross, it is finished, a tomb, , an empty tomb, victory.

The real story

He did this for you, He did this for me.

Dottie

O Holy Night