The stockings were hung by the chimney with care….. Oh right, that’s the Night Before Christmas, not the week before. There is just one week until we celebrate the birth of Christ. We are busy buying and wrapping gifts, assuming they have actually been delivered. We are contemplating the menu. This year, we are wondering who we can actually have to our homes for the celebration. Every year is a year unlike any other, but 2020 has taken this reality to a whole new level.
I am wondering if we need a little Christmas right this very moment. When I was in 9th grade, my school performed Mame for our musical. I was fortunate enough to be in the chorus. It turns out when it comes to singing solo, no sound comes out of my mouth. However, the chorus was the place for me. The song sung about needing a little Christmas comes to my mind on the occasion of thees challenging times. Mame, Angela Lansbury on stage, was looking for something to lift her and her family and “needed a little Christmas right that very moment. Candles in the window, carols on the Spinet.”
Do your feelings follow your actions or do your actions follow your feelings? It is really easy for us to allow our actions to follow our feelings. We think something, it produces a feeling, and then we spring into action. This process can go one of two ways. We have a great thought, it invigorates us, and then we act on it with excitement and happiness. Or, we have a negative thought, a soul-sucking thought, it depresses or angers us, and then we act in that direction.
Or we can decide our actions in advance. We can make a plan for our day, week, etc., go through with our actions, and reap the rewards of faithful completion, or at least progress in our work, think positively on our actions, and feel accordingly. This path requires discipline, planning, and training. It is definitely a more difficult pattern to get into, but one with many rewards.
Do we want to be tossed around like a small sailboat in a fierce storm, or an ocean liner on a well-thought out, ever vigilant voyage? Yes, rogue waves can occur, but they are rare.
Just recently I wrote about taking our thoughts captive unto Christ. This was to be an encouragement to change your thinking, especially when the day begins. Use what you say to yourself first to build yourself up and rely on Christ. Look at it as an experiment, if you will, that you can perform, for free, on yourself. Evidently, continuing this theme shares what thoughts I am having lately. It is a desire to be obedient to God.
I asked my friends on Facebook this morning what 3 words would have described them and their state of mind when they first woke up this morning. There are no responses yet. I asked because if I had to answer this morning, they wouldn’t have been words that I would like to share. They were not necessarily sunshine and happiness, the picture we frequently like to give to the outside world through social media.
We live in a time when some of us, me included, share a lot with the outside world. Perhaps we overshare. Perhaps we share thoughts best kept to ourselves or in a discussion with a close friend or even more, in prayer. Words between us and Jesus.
What words do you think the Older Adults among us would share as their first words when they wake up? I would imagine the range of thoughts and feelings from our more experienced friends are as wide ranging as they are for anyone. Are those words more hopeful? More thoughtful? More wise? More words of woe or words of gratitude and expectancy?
First a great big thank you to everyone who visited our Fall 2020 Virtual 50+ Resource Fair. We hope you feel more informed, enjoyed meeting the Authors, had you questions answered by our “Ask the Expert” Panels, and found new Community Resources who will be there for you and your beloved Older Adults when you need them.
Our Resource Partner Center is growing. Winter Grace Senior Ministries is on a mission to empower and enrich the lives of Older Adults. One part of our mission is fulfilled by sharing resources available in the community that can serve Older Adults. As always, we ask you to take the time with anyone you might do business with to make sure it is a good fit for your needs. We cannot and do not take any responsibility for any relationship you develop with any of these resources or any outcome when engaging their services. Yes, I have to say that and it is sincere. We do our best, but ask that you do your due diligence.
Please visit our Partner Resource Center. There are wonderful people behind each of these logos. If you are in need of other services, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 443-832-3805. We wish to serve you.
We ask you to please visit our articles and subscribe to our mailing list. We have programs in the works. Coming soon is our : “Life of Christ Through Art” It was to be our first Older Adult Vacation Bible School offering, but it is being reworked for an on-line, interactive event! We are looking forward to sharing this program and many more!
There are a lot of ways this COVID-19 pandemic and the response to it have changed us. We have changed as individuals and as communities, and as a country. We have also changed in regard to our care and acknowledgement of those who are older and live around us.
I am sure you have read, and perhaps even experienced, the heart breaking stories of Older Adults who lived in nursing homes passing away. While that is not terribly unusual, that they have passed separated from family is a terrible new reality that many families have suffered through. Hopefully, at the time these precious people were welcomed into their heavenly home they were not alone completely, but with staff of their facility. But they were not with their loved ones.
Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Something on my mind this morning….
The Bible is not filled with only virtuous people. That may or may not be a shocking statement to make. But it is true. Sure there are many who are virtuous and those who become more virtuous as their story progresses. Then there are those who are riding a roller coaster in this regard.
We learn much from folks like Daniel and Ruth, and of course Jesus! We see the obedience of Abraham. We first get to know Noah as being obedient to the call of God to build the Ark, but then we see his post “cruise” less than stellar action. King David, known as a man after God’s heart is an adulterer who sets up the killing of Urriah in battle. Roller coaster? Yep. Peter is another good example of a person in the Bible who rides the righteous roller coaster.
In one of our first homes as a young navy couple, we lived on the second floor in our apartment complex. Of course, there was a third floor. The couple that lived there was not shy about arguing. One of the common lines we would hear from the husband was, “What about me?” And he wouldn’t just say it once. Now, I have no idea what led to him saying that repeatedly, but one thing was for sure. Either he always wanted the focus on him or he felt the wife always wanted the focus on her. Either way, someone was focused on themselves and was mad not everyone else was as well. This argument line happened often enough that 31 years later we still remember it.
What might this have to do with today’s passage? Hold that thought for a few moments please.