Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is bittersweet for me. I lost my mother to Breast Cancer in 2006. Though she fought breast cancer for two years her sudden death was the result of septic shock. She walked into the hospital on her own and was gone in three days.

Her death was hard for me because it was so sudden but also because I was in China at the time. I came home from an awesome time ready to share my trip with her because she would have gone too had she been feeling well enough. I even had souvenirs for her.

When my flight landed my family met me at the gate. I noticed that everyone looked horrible but I thought it was because it was late and they were tired. My world stopped when they told me that my mom had passed a couple of days before. Initially, I was numb. I didn’t really get it. Then my head started to hurt. I remember going into the bathroom and telling God that I would get him through the funeral. I wouldn’t leave him then. After the funeral, though, all bets were off.

I stayed with my grandparents that night. I think I only slept for an hour and a half, partially due to jet-lag and partially due to the fact that my world had just been turned upside down.

My family was sad but I was confused. Part of me kept wondering if there was a mistake or if this was some kind of horrible joke. We talked about funeral arrangements, which had already been started. The reality didn’t hit me until I was driving with my family from my house back to my grandparents’ house. My uncle was driving my mother’s car and that’s when I realized that she was gone. I can’t even describe the pain. It was so violent that I couldn’t even cry.

The next few days were surreal. There was a funeral. Lots of people came to the house. There were flowers and cards and Thank You cards to send out. Then there was emptiness.

The pain was so maddening that we had to get away. My aunts, my cousin, my best friend, and I took a trip to Orlando — in July. It was great to get away and have a change of scenery. Going to such a busy place was somewhat therapeutic. There were tons of things to do, even if we chose to just hang out in the pool. That time helped me get through.

The next few months were difficult. The next few years were difficult. I eventually went to graduate school. It was really cool that my mother and I had visited Tulsa when she was still alive so I had memories of her in Tulsa that I could relive as I drove around.

I had a new city and a very challenging master’s program but it was still hard. It’s still hard nearly seven years later. I cry as I write this. My life has never been the same since losing my mother. It never will be. The pain never goes away. It changes, but it does not go away. It’s not always raw and violent. It is not always on the surface, but it is always there. It surfaces when it wants to, sometimes very unexpectedly.

One thing that has helped me through the last seven years was the overwhelming sense of pride that I have for her. My mom was an extraordinary woman of God. She loved people. She organized a feeding program at our former church. She started a bible study for teenage mothers and helped them get prom dresses when they needed them. She was active in our church. Her coworkers loved her and cried as hard as we did at her funeral. During the whole time of funeral and visiting I was filled with pride. I was so very proud of my mother.

I miss her. Every day. I still see her in my dreams and it is the most comforting thing in the world (usually). On occasion she is sick in my dreams and that completely ruins my day. Usually, though, my mommy is alive and well in my dreams and it is wonderful.

My mother was fearless. She was brave and strong so I try to be those things too. I have a lot to live up to as her daughter. But I have such a privilege of being her daughter. And it’s that feeling of pride and honor that gets me through difficult days.

I love you Mommy!

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Christians and the Environment – Thoughts on Earth Day

The word “environmentalist” evokes images of tree-hugging hippies passing joints, tripping on LSD, and talking about free love. This image is just a stereotype, but it is a prevalent one. The environment seems to be one of those topics that Christians are silent about. The Church seems to have little to say about the environment.

I believe that we, as Christians, are called to take care of the planet and all its life forms (animals included!). I believe that every Christian should be an environmentalist. Two very important reasons come to mind:

God is Creator and he declared all creation good. God took great care in creating our world and the various forms of life. He created the heavenly bodies and the features of the earth. He created the birds, the fish, the animals, the plants, and he created humans in his own image. He declared that all of it was good. God carefully created the perfect conditions here on Earth to support life. God cares a great deal about his creation. So should we. If for no other reason we should care about it because he does.

We are entrusted with the care of this planet. God put Adam in charge of the earth. Adam was to work the ground and keep it. That was Adam’s job from the beginning: to take care of God’s creation.That task has passed to us. As people made in the image of God we should be taking care of the earth and all its inhabitants.

Since we should be actively taking care of the earth why are so many Christians content to ignore the environment?

Apathy. I believe that a lot of Christians just don’t care. We are so concerned with getting dinner on the table that we have no time to think about the environment or animal rights. Many Christians will happily go about their everyday business without giving the environment a second thought.

Overwhelm. We have other problems. People are going to hell. Who cares about the rainforest? We do. The fact that we are busy and that we have other problems does not excuse us from doing our part to care for and protect the earth. We can, and should, be addressing the many problems of our day.

We are entrusted with the care of this planet. Therefore, we should all be doing everything we can to care for it. We should be recycling. We should be using stainless steel water jugs and using cloth grocery bags. We should be supporting merchants that care for the environment. But more than anything, we should unite our collective voices to tell the world that we care about the environment. We cannot afford to keep silent. Silence on important issues is the reason that the church has become irrelevant.

Speaking out, followed by taking action, is the only way to get back on the world stage. We have been silent for too long about the environment, animal rights, hunger, human trafficking, and human rights. Because we have been silent the Church is seen as a group of people that think about Jesus and nothing else. We gather in buildings on Sunday to hear sermons and go back to our lives unchanged (rather than evoking change around us).

It is time for the Church to take a stand on important issues. We can’t continue to believe in a false dichotomy, where we can either address spiritual or social issues. We are called to do both. So this Earth Day think about what you, your family, your community, and your church can do to take care of the earth and to raise awareness about the care of the planet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Resurrection

Luke 24 is one of the most triumphant chapters in the bible. It tells about the resurrection of Christ. It is nothing short of amazing. Even as a 21st century reader familiar with the story, Luke 24 is still an emotional whirlwind.

The chapter begins with women, hearts heavy with grief, going to the tomb of Jesus to anoint his body. They arrived to find the stone rolled away and the tomb empty. Two angels appeared to them asking why they sought the living among the dead. The angels reminded them that Jesus foretold his death and resurrection on the third day. Remembering Jesus’ words they went to the disciples to deliver the good news. The disciples didn’t share their excitement. They didn’t believe them at all.

Later, two of the disciple were traveling on the road to Emmaus and discussing all the recent events with heavy hearts. Jesus appeared to them and joined the conversation while hiding his identity. The relayed to him all the recent happenings in Jerusalem. Jesus’ response is classic: “O foolish ones, slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” He then explained the scripture to them, telling him how all the scriptures about him had been fulfilled. The disciples urged him to stay with him and he did so. As they ate together that night Jesus broke the bread.When he blessed and broke it they realized that it was Jesus and he disappeared. They got up and went right back to Jerusalem to tell the eleven disciples.

While they were talking Jesus appears in the room. The see and touch him and they share some food. Jesus then opens their minds to understand the scriptures. He then charges the disciples to proclaim the forgiveness of sins to all in the name of Jesus, beginning in Jerusalem. He blessed them and was carried into heaven. From then on, the disciples worshipped and were continually in the temple blessing God.

Luke 24 tells a story of triumph but it also tells a story of unbelief. The disciples had been told what would take place and yet the did not believe. I can almost feel their grief. Then there is the wonderful news that Jesus upon seeing Jesus. They thought it was over, but everything changed the instant Jesus appeared. He had conquered death and hell. He rose! One beautiful thing about this chapter is that it doesn’t end with the news that Jesus rose from the dead. We read about his interactions with the disciples and his instructions to preach the gospel. Even better, the bible goes on to tell about the early church and how we are to live as followers of Christ. What the disciples thought was the end was only the beginning. History was forever changed and life would never be the same.

The disciples had no idea that this would happen. The didn’t believe. Unfortunately, I am often among the foolish ones — slow of heart to believe all that God has promised. I see promises in the bible but I wonder if God will really do what he says. Will he deliver me this time? I am even slow of heart to believe all that God has spoken to me personally. Why are we so reluctant to believe? The problems of life loom large and we lose sight of the promises of God. We also lose sight of the faithfulness of God.

I believe that is the real message of Easter: God is faithful. He promised from the Garden that he would redeem humanity. He foretold that he would rise from the dead, and so he did. God is faithful to do all that he says no matter how improbable. We can be forgiven and healed and empowered. We can live lives of freedom because God is faithful.

As Easter approaches, I look forward to commemorating the resurrection of Christ and celebrating the faithfulness of God.

Rest and Refreshment – Getting The Most From Your Weekend

Weekends seem to come and go way too fast. By the time you finally get into the swing of things it’s time to go back to work. If we are not careful the entire weekend can be filled with activity, leaving us tired and irritable on Monday. This makes the work week seem even longer.

I used to have a teacher that prayed that we would have rest and refreshment over our weekends. For a short while I thought that this was just a nice phrase. Soon I began to see the wisdom of those words. We need to feel rested and refreshed at the end of our weekends. That is what weekends were created for. It is essential that we make the most of our weekends. It is even more important if we work on one or both weekend days. The time that we do have must be spent well to ensure that we go into the work week feeling rested.

With the weekend being only three days away, I thought I’d share some tips for making the most of your weekend.

Protect your time. Don’t take on any commitments you don’t need to. The work week is busy enough. Don’t feel pressure to fill every moment of your weekend too. Leave time for you.

Slow down. Everyone has stuff to do on the weekend. There are things to take care of: laundry, groceries, shopping, cleaning. Some people take on additional activities such as remodeling the bathroom or painting a bedroom. These things are great, but they can take over your weekend if you let them. The key is to limit these activities and take time to slow down. Plan some time where you aren’t shopping or cleaning. Set aside a block of time for rest.

Take a Sabbath. If possible, take a complete Sabbath. If you are not familiar with the Sabbath, it is a day of religious observance and rest. No work is done on a Sabbath. The Jewish Sabbath is Saturday and the Christian Sabbath is Sunday. The Sabbath is a time of rest and connection with God. I will write more on how to observe a Sabbath in a later post.

Silence. Our world is filled with noise and activity. A number of sounds assault our ears each day; televisions, cell phones, conversations, and traffic noise to name a few. Getting away from the noise goes a long way in promoting relaxation. Instead of stressful sounds, try to spend some time in silent reflection.

Quality time. Weekends are a great time to connect with friends and family. Quality time with loved ones can fill us up. Laughter, affection, and connection are just a few things that family and friends offer us. These connections make us feel good and help us to feel purposeful.

Limit technology. Technology is all around us. We have laptops, tablets, and smartphones. We can be connected to the internet almost everywhere we go. These things can be good, but they can also suck up valuable relaxation time. In fact, they can, and often do, add to the stress of our day. To really maximize weekend time we need to pull away from the glowing screen and be present to those around us. We need to be in the moment. We cannot do this with our eyes glued to a screen.

There are many ways to get the most from your weekends. These are just a few. The important thing is that we get the rest that weekends are supposed to provide. In order to do that, we must balance rest and activity. How do you get the most out of your weekend?

 

Productivity At What Price?

I am sitting down to my laptop feeling a sense of guilt and a bit of irritation. I didn’t get nearly as much done this afternoon as I wanted. I feel like I wasted time that I could have used for writing or job hunting.

When I think about it, I didn’t actually waste the day. My aunt fell and twisted her ankle this morning so she couldn’t drive herself to the store. We decided that I would drive her. First, we had a lovely lunch at Cracker Barrel. Then, we went to the grocery store where we got food for the week (including lots of healthy foods). While we were there we met a delightful 93 year old lady who reminded us that the secret to having a good life is trusting Jesus. When we got home we found that the snow plows had blocked our driveway so we then had to shovel a path just so that we could park.

All of these things took longer than expected. I came home feeling so much pressure to get things done that I was momentarily paralyzed. I didn’t even know where to start. The guilt I felt was oppressive. I felt like I had wasted my whole day.

I didn’t do the things that I wanted to do but my day was not wasted. I helped my aunt with errands that she couldn’t do alone. We got groceries for the house. I stopped to take some pictures of the winter wonderland that is outside. I helped my family clear the driveway. All of these things had to be done. So why do I feel so guilty?

I think that the problem is that I am very task oriented. I want to do something. I am not accustomed to going with the flow. I want a schedule and I want to be able to see measurable progress. I want results. I want to write for two hours and then see that I have written 1,000 words. I want to know that I have sent 10 good resumes. I want results that fit my definition of productivity.

How often do we miss the everyday events of life because we are trying to keep a schedule? How often to we miss opportunities to connect with friends and family because we want to get more done? Life is made of little moments. If we don’t notice those little moments, who will? If we are not present for the moments as they happen they will be lost to us forever.

My message today is simple. Choose wisely. My day was not good from a productivity standpoint but it was great from a family standpoint. I connected with my aunt. I made sure that we have ingredients for our meals. I helped to move a ton of snow. I was there for my family today. I chose them.

Yes, it is hard to deal with distractions. Yes, your To Do list will be screaming in the back of your mind. Yes, you may have to deal with guilt when everything doesn’t go exactly as planned. Yes, yes, yes. But you may also experience a moment you would not have otherwise had. I would never have gotten those lovely pictures if I had been chained to my laptop all day.

We have to choose. How will you spend this moment? This hour? This evening? This day will never come again. What will you do with it? Choose wisely.

Simplifying Your Morning Routine

I really hate mornings. I am a natural night owl and getting up before 9:00 am is a painful experience.  Surely hell is a place where it is always morning.

However, we live in a culture where a lot happens in the morning, with many starting their business day at 9:00 am, if not earlier. What is a night owl to do?

Since I have to function in the morning, I want my morning routine is be as simple as possible so that I can get through it quickly:

Here are some ways that I simplify my morning routine.

Proper nighttime preparation. This one is huge. A morning that goes well is  dependent on proper preparation the night before. Do as much as possible before the morning even begins. Pick out clothes the night before. Make sure you have what you need. Morning is not the time to discover that you have no clean underwear. Check these things at night and plan accordingly. Take your shower at night so that there will be one less thing to do in the morning.

This also includes packing your bag or backpack, or your kids’ backpacks. Have all the books and papers you will need packed away and have that bag waiting for you in the morning.

Get to bed on time. Most people don’t factor this into their morning. However, if you don’t get to bed on time you are more likely to oversleep which will wreak havoc on your morning routine. Everything will be rushed, and most likely, less efficient.

Leave the TV off. When I was growing up my mother would allow me to watch TV in the morning. If I was taking too long though, she would turn it off. I couldn’t focus on the task at hand with the TV on.

Though I have grown up nothing has changed. I cannot be effective with the TV on. The TV is very distracting. It compels you to watch it. Often you get so caught up in a program or the news that you sit and watch even when you need to be doing other things. Be proactive. Unless there is inclement weather and you need weather and traffic updates, don’t touch the TV.

Keep everything in one place. This one is key. You shouldn’t spend your morning searching for your face lotion. I have a train case that I keep all my toiletries in. That’s where I go for my facial cleanser, lotion, floss, etc. Keeping everything together minimizes sleepy searching.

Automate breakfast. I try to fix breakfast before bed too. The Yummy Life  has some great recipes for overnight refrigerator oatmeal. If this doesn’t interest you then have something ready on hand that you can make quickly. I like grits and often have them in the morning. Fruit is also a good option.

Plan lunch. Where I work taking lunch is really the only option. Having to fix lunch adds stress to my morning. I try to think about lunch at the previous evening’s dinner and pack some away if necessary. It is great to have some cans of soup on hand to take to work. Bonus points for healthy soup choices!

Simple beauty regimen. Makeup is great for going out on Friday night, but it is out of the question most mornings. I opt for simple hairstyles that won’t take much time. Usually, I only apply lipstick in the morning. If I have extra time I will apply eyeliner and mascara only. This is the extent of my beauty regimen. On weekends I usually have time to do full makeup if I want to look extra cute. I don’t dedicate too much time to makeup.

If you choose to include makeup in your morning routine, be prepared. Have all of your makeup and brushes together. Create a simple look that can be done in only five minutes. Get some key colors that work well together and create a look that can be worn with just about anything. Also, have a default look that you can always rely on just in case you get up late and don’t have time to be creative.

With proper preparation, mornings can be smoothed out. Keeping it simple in the morning decreases my stress level and sets a good tone for the rest of my day. How do you keep it simple in the morning?

Who Do You Want to Become in 2014? (How to do a Life Plan)

This post is a bit of a departure from my normal topics. I decided to write on it because the timing is perfect. We are a month into 2014 and it is a great time to evaluate how we are doing on our goals and visions for the year.

I love Anthony Robbins. Love Anthony Robbins. I feel like he has good insights and he is very motivational. I spoke with an Anthony Robbins life coach at the end of December and he really changed my thinking about how to go about creating the life you want.

I shared my goals with the coach and the first thing that he instructed me to do is focus on what I know. Focusing on what you don’t know is not helpful. If you look at successful people you find that they took action based on what they knew.

The coach urged me to think about the following:

VISION – What do I truly want?

Don’t just give a mechanical answer (write a book, lost 30lbs) for this question. No. Dig deeper. What will these mechanical things give you? Take some time and meditate on this. Think about what you really want in life.

PURPOSE – Why do I want this?

Once you know what you want, you need to know why. If you don’t know, you won’t follow through. There must be a BIG why. This is called leverage. Why do I value this? What will my life look like when I have this?

ACTIONS

What are the actions I need to take to make this happen? Determine 2-3 action steps. Any more will overwhelm you. Make your actions steps reasonable.

GOALS

In order to be successful, you need a mile marker. You need to know in 30 or 90 days that you are on track. These are your goals. Is your goal to pare your wardrobe down to 50 items in 30 days, complete a manuscript in 3 months, or lose 30 lbs in the next 6 months? Your progress lets you know whether your actions have been effective.

Most focus on the bottom two: actions and goals. That makes a glorified To Do list. The majority of your efforts should go to Vision and Purpose.

The actions and goals change as you go along. Vision and purpose rarely change.

Putting the four areas together is the process of creating a life plan. This is something that you will use every day.

In order to make your dreams reality, you need to make a decision. You need to draw a line in the sand and say “I am going to do this – with everything I have.” If you’re not willing to do that, then you need to get a new vision.

So far, I haven’t had much success in 2014. I have been writing, but I haven’t been eating well or exercising (due to injury). I was thinking about this as I wandered around Target this weekend. I am not hitting my goals because I haven’t been taking action. I haven’t been taking action because I haven’t been using my life plan. That is the key: keeping the vision in front of you.

If you haven’t thought about your life and goals this way I urge you to try it. Take some time and really create a life plan that reflects what you want.

Tell me about some elements of your life plan in the comments.

Act

I have to admit: I am a collector. I especially love to collect books. I recently found yet another magazine about getting your writing published. Counting the one I just bought last week, I have five such magazines. I have a few things published, but I would like to do so much more. I have collected a lot more information about publishing than actually doing work to get published. This makes absolutely no sense.

Likewise, I have been collecting vegan cookbooks for far too long. I have recipes. Sometimes, I have ingredients. But I don’t make any of those recipes. Why am I not taking action?

I think it’s because gathering information makes me feel like I have accomplished something. I bought a book. See? I’m making progress.

The only problem is that getting more information is not progress. Getting books about writing will not get me published. Only writing will. Similarly, getting vegan cookbooks will not make me a vegan. Only making the necessary changes will.

Sometimes we can become so obsessed with getting more information, even when we haven’t bothered to act on the information we already have.

Apparently, this is not a new problem. And I am not alone in not doing what I know God has instructed me to do. The bible talks about people hearing but not implementing what they hear. James says that those that don’t follow hearing with action are deceiving themselves (James 1:22).

That is exactly what I have been doing: deceiving myself. In this case, I am deceiving myself into thinking that by gathering information I am doing what God wants me to do. The key is the doing. The key is to take action. I will never know everything. Ever. At some point I have to put into practice all that I have learned. Learning is great, but information is useless without action.

It is so easy to deceive ourselves into believing that information and action are the same.  God wants me to write and he wants me to change my diet in a big way. Collecting information about these things is not the same as taking action.

 

Start

Sometimes the hardest part is just getting started. Sometimes the initial step is the hardest. It is very easy to stand back and see all that you need or want to do and feel overwhelmed. I have a million things I’d like to write: books, articles, blog posts, journal entries, and the occasional poem. It’s easy to look at this list and feel paralyzed by indecision.

I have found, however, that the best approach is to just start somewhere. What is one small step that I can take today that will help me on my way? Identify one small step to take right now. Remember, you can always build on it tomorrow. But choose a small step and take it. You then have something to build on. It’s okay to start small. As long as you start.

 

No Pressure

I know one of the things that stops me from starting is the pressure to be perfect. I experience this with the thought of becoming vegan. I fear that I will slip up and have an egg and that will make me a bad vegan.

At breakfast this morning my friend just removed that pressure from me. She said that progress may look like two steps forward, one step back. It’s not a straight line. The road to success might be jagged but it is headed in the right direction.

Similarly, I feel like my first draft has to be perfect.  I can sit staring at the blinking cursor paralyzed with fear of not choosing the perfect word. As of late though, I have been learning to let myself do a crappy first draft. The first draft is just a start (there’s that word again). I will have the opportunity to revise and make my work better.

 

Address the Fear

Another thing that keeps me from starting is fear. Sometimes it’s the fear of failing. It could be the fear of the unknown or the fear of rejection. However, we have to take chances. Some things are learned along the way.  I decided that I was not going to be ruled by fear. Fear is a cruel master. It can make you do crazy things or prevent you from doing anything at all. Either of these can ruin your life. I refuse to come to the end of my life full of regret that I didn’t try because I was scared.  It would be one thing if I didn’t have the ability or resources to do something. But fear is not a reason for not taking action. I refuse to go out like a punk.

It can be hard to take action, especially if it’s something big and life-changing. You feel like the whole world (all your friends and family, at least) will be watching and waiting for you to fail. In truth, some might be. However, you can’t let that stop you because there are others that are cheering for you to succeed. There are still others that will follow in your footsteps. Don’t give in to the pressure and the fear. Just make a start. You can always improve. But you can’t improve if you never start.

My Favorite Websites in 2013

This time last year I wrote about five books that rocked my world in 2012. This year, I’d like to share some of the websites that have been valuable to me in 2013. It’s nothing formal. I simply thought of the websites that I visit most frequently and those that I find most interesting. Here are my favorite websites of 2013:

Goinswriter.com – Goinswriter.com has become one of my favorite sites. The author, Jeff Goins, provides support and inspiration for writers. He has a unique perspective on the writing life and becoming a writer. I find myself going to his site for encouragement, too. His stories about his life are inspirational and he has a way of relating truth in a very disarming way. If you are interested in creating anything, I urge you to check out Goinswriter.com.

SamSpurlin.com – I’ve been reading SamSpurlin’s work for years now. He is one of the bloggers that helped me to embrace minimalism. Sam Spurlin now writes about personal development and positive psychology. I enjoy his posts about productivity and development. His site is definitely worth checking out.

WritingForward.com – This is a great site for writers. The author, Melissa Donovan, posts educational and inspirational articles that have really helped me as a writer. If you write, or want to, visit WritingForward.com.

RelevantMagazine.com – I love Relevant. I subscribe to their magazine but I also enjoy the unique offerings on their website. Relevant is a Christian magazine that fully engages the culture. Because Christians don’t spend their lives in church, Relevant doesn’t restrict its focus to matters of church and Christianity. Relevant also discusses current television shows, secular music, politics, social justice, and all the other aspects of real life. Any time I am looking for something interesting to think about I go to RelevantMagazine.com.

These are the websites that I visit the most. However, there are several websites that I visit on occasion for entertainment, information, or inspiration. Here are a couple:

WaitButWhy.com – This is a site that I discovered through a friend’s post on Facebook. The author has unique viewpoints and I actually find his blog informative and entertaining. The author has caused me to think differently about some things. He has a great post about putting time in perspective. Check it out to see what you think.

ZenHabits.net – This is a great blog about simple but successful life. The author, Leo Babouta, has a great story of how he has changed his life. At one time he was a smoker, overweight, and deep in debt. He simplified and changed is lifestyle and he transformed his life. He lost weight. He has fewer possessions an is a much better place financially. I can usually find inspiration and good information when I go to ZenHabits.

There are so many wonderful blogs and websites that I could write for hours about things I find on the internet. In this post I just wanted to highlight a few of the sites I frequent the most.  They have helped me as a writer and as a person. What websites have rocked your world this year?

 

Thoughts of Christmas

Christmas is here. Two thousand years ago, the day of Christ’s birth was full of hope and beauty. While Christmas has become very commercialized, many take time to think about the message of Christmas.

The past couple of days have been busy with visiting and cooking, but I choose to pause and think about the significance of this special time of year. As I think about the message of Christmas, two things really resonate with me:

Fulfillment of promises. The Old Testament is full of prophecies about the coming Messiah. In the birth of Christ, all of those promises were fulfilled. God has a long history of fulfilling his promises. He has kept his promises until this point and he will continue to do so. The promises that God has made to you will come to pass.

The arrival of hope. So much of the message of Christmas is about hope. Because of Jesus’ coming we have hope for a new life on earth. Because of his death and resurrection we have hope for heaven in the life to come. Because of his promises we have hope for his return.

As you go though this day, take some timr to reflect on the meaning of Christmas. the birth of Christ cnahged the trajectory of the human race.  Let is change your heart as well.

Merry Christmas!