Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Over the past few year RJ's school has done a clothing/toy drive for the children in the Appalachian Mountains. The particular area we go to is a very special place to our family. It started with RJ wanting to bring Christmas to one child. This turned into a mitten tree so that the children will not have cold hands. Today, it is a full blown coat and toy drive that brings much joy to everyone involved. Due to the volume of items that are donated, U-Haul generously donates one of their trucks for us to deliver the items. We are very appreciative of this. Tomorrow, we will load the U-Haul truck and drive to Haysi, Va. Its a long and beautiful drive. I am looking forward to seeing my beloved mountains again. I can't wait to hug the children and watch their faces light up as the Hope of Christmas is brought to them. A place that it seems the world has forgotten will see that they are in fact loved a great deal by a wonderful place in NY called Portledge School. We are thankful for our sweet boy who has such a big and tender heart. This season is to be about giving. It truly is a joy to give. God is good.
Monday, December 11, 2017
Tonight was the 5th and 6th grade concert at RJ's school. RJ was very excited about the concert. We thought every did great. RJ looked like he was going to cry and we asked him later why. He told us that they made about 20 mistakes. He was upset because he wanted it to be perfect. We explained to him that when performing before a live audience, no one knows if you make a mistake. Just enjoy yourself and when you make mistake, keep on going and finish the song. RJ has perfect pitch, so I am sure he heard all the mistakes. These things bother him. Regardless, they all did a good job and we were happy just to be there to see our boy. They are all growing up quickly. Tonight was a peaceful night and I'm grateful for it. We had another bomb go off in NYC today. By God's grace it didn't do what it was supposed to do and there were no deaths. Hold your loved ones close to you. Cherish them, you don't know what tomorrow holds. God is good.
Sunday, December 10, 2017
Yesterday, we had a good amount of snowfall. We had a good time playing in the fresh snow. Thankfully, it was not enough to cancel The Lamb Of God concert taking place. Due to the extreme interest, we only had tickets for the Saturday Evening concert. Our family from NJ were going to come and join us, but due to the weather, they were not able to come. My husband volunteered as an usher, while RJ and I scored front row seats. My nephew Ross is in the play this year as well as my brother in law Tim. The concert has a drama interwoven through out. The singing was magnificent and the actors did a great job. Most of all you could feel that Jesus was there. He is the reason for this season. I'm thankful and appreciate all the time and effort that is put into this production. I'm once again amazed at the talent that is in our church. It really is a good concert and I would say as good as something you would see on Broadway. Actually, I say it's better, because the peace of God is there. The concert is free and I'm glad it's this way. If they charged, families would not be able to come. The best story every told is about a baby born in a manger who grew up to be the Savior of the world. I'm so thankful this is not just a story, but truth for me and you. God is good.
Friday, December 08, 2017
This past Thursday Night, Bro. Joe Ferragamo taught a lesson on "Necessity Of Forgiveness". His main text was taken from Mathew 18:23. It's natural for it to be difficult sometimes for us to forgive others. There is a strong attitude in the world today of being unforgiving. People want an eye for an eye. You hurt me, I hurt you. Many times you can hear someone say they don't get mad, they get even. When you have unforgiveness towards a brother or sister, it hinders your relationship. This takes a foothold on your life. It's necessary to forgive if you call yourself a Christian. We read in the Bible about a King and his servant. The servant owed the king a great debt. The king decided to forgive the servant. Later a fellow servant came to the forgiven servant and was not able to pay their debt. The forgiven servant did not respond with mercy. When the king heard of this, he was very angry. We owe God and unpayable debt. If he forgives us of our sins, we must be willing to forgive others. Jesus died on the cross to deliver us from the bondage of sin. Forgiveness is a act of pure grace, it restores relationships. It's not always easy to do and we need God's help at times to give forgiveness. When we are offended and do not want to forgive, we must realize that one day we will offend someone and want forgiveness. We are not perfect and we make mistakes. When you forgive you set yourself free. Holing a grudge, doesn't hurt the person, it hurts you. Forgiveness is willing to give up the desire to fulfill the score. You let it go. Give it to God and let him take care of it. We need to seek mercy and not justice. It's a choice that we make, to forgive or to hold a grudge. Sometimes deep hurts can overcome us and we have a wounded spirit. Many times this is done by someone you have a great deal of respect for or it's someone you love. This is something that is hard to bear. You can't handle this without God's help. You will know you have forgiven the person when you can say their name without being upset. You can pray for them and mean it. You no longer want them to pay for what they did to you. There are four steps to forgiveness. In prayer talk to God about the person and situation. Ask God to help you to forgive. Then ask God to forgive the person of what they did to you. Third, forgive yourself, let it go. God already forgave you. Last, release any resentment you hold against God. He allows things to happen. Trust God and remember he does work all things together for the good. We have a choice, we can forgive or not forgive. The choice you makes has consequences. One can lead to peace or literally physical distress in your body. When you forgive others, God forgives you. When you do not forgive others, God will not forgive you. We will all need to be forgiven of something some day. Forgive it sets you free. God is good.
Thursday, December 07, 2017
Tonight Bro. Joe Ferragamo taught an outstanding lesson on Forgiveness. I had just finished typing the entire lesson on my blog, when it was accidently erased. I have every intention of writing it again. I think it's important and vital to have a healthy life and walk with God. I do think that tonight, I need to focus on asking for prayer. Our Youth Pastor has two people in his life that are facing life threatening situations. His dad just had a life saving heart procedure and is still in recovery. Now, his former pastor Bro. Paisley is in need of a miracle in regards to his heart. The Walkers have been going through so much heartache due to loss of loved ones over this past year and it seems like it's been non-stop for them. I would like to ask that you pray for them. Pray that God will give them strength. Also, once again, my beloved home state is on fire. People I hold dear to my heart are in danger of losing their homes from the California fires. Some have already evacuated, not knowing if their homes are going to be lost. I know it's just a building, but to lose everything and to have to start over, it's not easy. Please pray for peace and protection for those battling these fires. Lastly, this week our church will be having it's annual Christmas Concert. Six thousand people have made reservations to attend. Pray for the cast, choir members and crew. Pray that the story of Christmas will be heard and planted in every heart that attends. Pray that the snow will not cancel any of the shows. Pray that in a world going upside down, that a message of Hope will be heard and received. I will say this. During this holiday season, forgive. Love your family and cherish every moment you have with them. God is good.
Tuesday, December 05, 2017
Bob and I have been married for eleven years. I'm still learning new things about him. For instance, he told us tonight a story of when he was a boy. When they were kids, he and his siblings would hang a sock out the night before Saint Nicholas Day. His mother is German and he was raised Catholic. I had never heard of this and it was nice to learn something new about Bob and other Christmas traditions. When the children woke up in the morning, their socks were filled with treats, many times a tangerine. We decided to add this tradition to our home. We are not Catholic and we do not pray to the saints. We do believe that giving is important and also it's good to know who the real Santa Clause is and where the story came from. RJ was excited to fill someone else's stocking with surprises. We want him to feel the joy in giving something special to others. More important than what you receive in your sock, is that you did something nice for someone else. "Santa" comes to our house every year. RJ is getting older and we want him to start to become the one who gives to others. There is joy in giving in secret, expecting nothing in return. Isn't that was Christ did for us? He was born as a gift to us, so that we could have eternal life. God is good.
Sunday, December 03, 2017
Today was the last regular Sunday Service for the next two weeks. Our Christmas Concert will be full swing on Friday. Today, the children did a great job singing for their Christmas Concert. I enjoyed seeing my boy as one of The Wise Men. Before they came to sing, Pastor Davis preached on," Deity In Disguise." His main text was taken from John 1:1-12. We read that Jesus is the light of the world to every man, women, boy and girl. There are three sad phrases that occur in the book of John. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness comprehends it not. He was in the world made by him and the world knew him not. Followed by, He came to his own and his own knew him not. The God of the universe came and those around him did not know who he was. They did not know that the Emanuel, God with us had arrived. God wrapped himself in human flesh, disguised his deity and came as common man. He was born in a manger filled with hay. The King of Kings did not come as the people expected him to come. He was deity in disguise. The Holidays are upon us. We can become so frustrated with all the shopping and things that need to be done, that we miss out the real reason for this celebration. We need to find a way to make sure that we do not lose sight of who this really is about. Jesus needs to be the center of this season, he needs to be the center every day of the year. Don't be so busy that when he is near you, that you miss him. After Jesus had been born, Mary and Joseph took him to the temple. Simeon and Anna realized who Jesus really was. They rejoiced because they a had seen him. They had waited patiently and were looking for him. Everyone around them didn't even realize who they were seeing. The three Wise Men also knew who he was and worshiped him. The star was shining bright and no one even noticed. They were too busy with all the things they had to do. Have you walked past the stable and not really seen Jesus? Have you been in his presence and didn't even recognize he was right there next to you? If you don't look for him, you will never find him. He is deity in disguise. God is good.