Monday, December 31, 2018

My Best

My journal entry for December 29, 2018, reveals an ongoing struggle I have in regard to writing. I know God called me to write, and I do write almost every day. Yet, because I fear that my writing isn’t as good as the writing others do, I rarely post and/or submit my work.   

After I’d confessed my sin of disobedience and cried out to God for help, He answered in an immediate and surprising way. Here’s how:

When my husband, who had no knowledge of what I’d written in my journal while we'd sat together in the sunroom, asked Google Home to play Christmas carols, the first one up was “The Little Drummer Boy.”

“Turn it up! Turn it up!”


“I need to hear every word,” I replied.

I listened, wide-eyed with wonder, because I realized God was speaking to me through the words written by Katherine Kennicott Davis in 1941. Her song is about a fictional lad who’d been invited to see the Christ-child. As he noticed the fine gifts others were bringing the Baby, the boy also wanted to give the King a gift but felt he had nothing that was good enough.

In a flash of inspiration, he asked, “Shall I play for you?”

Mary nodded.

The lad played his best for Him.

The Baby smiled at the little drummer.

Happy tears filled my eyes as I realized that Christ continues to delight in even little gifts gladly given to Him by those who love Him. I am now resolved to give Him my best, even though my best is not as impressive as the best of others, for I understand that He happily accepts whatever I am able to offer Him. 

To listen to the entire song, click here.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

More, So Much More

When our grandson Bailey (age 17) visited recently, I showed him some digital photos I’d taken of other high school seniors so that he would have a better idea of what kind of senior photos he’d like me to take of him.

After we’d discussed potential places and poses for his pictures, I showed him a sampling of the pictures I’d taken of him through the years. As I clicked quickly from one to another, Bailey seemed to grow up before our eyes.

I said, “Bailey, I can’t believe how you’ve grown!” He nodded and grinned shyly—and a bit proudly—as we enjoyed those few minutes of witnessing his transformation from toddler to teen. "You can easily do things now that you could only dream about doing when you were much younger."  

Bailey has become more, so much more, than he or we ever imagined. And, God willing, there is more, so much more, ahead for him as he transitions from high school to college, to career, to....

Thinking about that reminded me that Christ is more, so much more, than a tiny baby whose birth we celebrate at Christmastime. His full potential was within Him even then; but, as He grew, those around Him observed more and more of the awesome person He was becoming. Those of us who never saw Him with human eyes have “beheld His glory” by reading His story that’s in the Bible. 

Yet, even the most articulate people who wrote the words in the Bible could not adequately tell of the greatness of Christ. But what they do say compels us to worship Him and to praise Him. The more we learn about Christ and the more we experience His presence with us, the more we realize that He is more, so much more, than we realized when we first heard of Him. Thus, Christ becomes sweeter and sweeter to us as the days go by.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created...all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together...." (Colossians 1:15-17, NASB).

Monday, December 10, 2018

Loving and Giving

Note: Below is an excerpt from a newspaper column I wrote in 2001. I'm sharing it again since the idea it expresses remains true for today.

In a Christmas card I received last year, a friend had written, “Every year I like to sit down and re-read the cards I received the Christmas before.” I decided to do that, too.
After re-reading a card from one of my first employers, I paraphrased its message and used it as the introduction for this year’s annual Christmas letter. 

Throughout the year, 
but especially at Christmas, 
we remember the special people in our lives—
the wonderful people 
we’ve been privileged to know and love. 
The people with whom we’ve had good times. 
The people who’ve helped us during difficult times. 
The people who’ve been thoughtful and caring. 
The people who’ve touched our lives
in ways we will not forget… 

Following the writing of that introduction and the re-reading of all the cards, I realized anew this simple yet profound truth: 

A heart that loves, gives.

The special people in my life have done exactly that, as has God who “so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16, New Living Translation, emphasis added).

Love—whether that of God's "love gift" of a Savior or the love of others expressed in diverse ways—is the perfect gift for everyone!