All told, so far we have raised $1625 to help Rob. my brother in law. He got home from the hospital two days ago and was hopeful that he was on the path to health....However. yesterday he suffered severe stomach pain and called his doctor. Twice. The last I knew, the doctor had not bothered to call him back. PLEASE pray for Rob... Pray for healing and a restoration of his strength.
It's Christmas Eve --4:00 AM. Today I have a long list of stuff I need to do. Tomorrow my dad is coming for dinner and I have to put the meal together today so all I have to do tomorrow is throw it in the oven. (Ok. I won't throw it).
Last night I talked to the middle daughter of my good friend in the Philippines. I was able to help them have a good Christmas this year, a respite from desperate poverty. It brought me joy to hear this young lady talk about the ham they bought...which none of them had ever tried before. And she sent me a picture of her little brother with the remote controlled car he got that he had wanted for a very long time. I think that will be my best Christmas gift this year.
My dad is joining us for Christmas dinner tomorrow. It is sad not to have Mom this year....I know she is celebrating the birth of Jesus....right there in Jesus' presence, and she is well and healthy and happy so I cannot selfishly wish her back into her sick, worn out body. I know my dinner cannot compete with her lasagna that she typically made for Christmas dinner...but I 'm borrowing from her the idea of making something that can be prepared ahead of time and done in small increments so as to alternate rest and activity
I wish for each of you the joy of God's Gift to each one of us; that little baby. God in the flesh. Emmanuel: God with us. Think for a while how amazing that is. That the God who formed the earth out of dark space and breathed life into man...put himself into the limitations of a weak, completely helpless baby and allowed his mother to change his dirty diapers and he fell down often as he grew and learned to walk. All this so that God would KNOW us; that he would understand pain and hunger and sorrow and joy. He knew loss. Grief. Disappointment. He knew joy and laughter. He had friends. And friends broke his heart. And then --as we well know--he encountered the greatest test of all: the cross.
All of this, God's plans to snatch us from the jaws of Death and Sin, was encapsulated in the Nativity. The plan was then put into motion that would eventually rock the entire universe: the redemption of mankind and our "admission ticket" to his Kingdom. I hope you know this Lord personally today. I hope this holy-day brings you peace and joy and that the love of God would be born in you today just as his love was born in that stable 2000+ years ago in the body of that small babe.
May God grant you warmth and sustenance and fellowship to enjoy with your families. And if you don't have a family, I pray that the Lord would make provision for you this Christmas and that he will be real to you in special ways....so that you know: YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
God bless you and Merry Christmas!