Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays…

Yeah, I realize I’m a couple of days late on sending out Christmas cards, or maybe I’m really early with my 2015 ones…

This year I hope that you had a great time with friends and family.  I know that for some, this Christmas and the entire holiday season was bittersweet.  Maybe you lost a loved one this year, maybe it’s been a few years without them and this time of year brings back memories, that are hard to deal with.  But now is the time to take comfort in the fact that they are in a better place, they are free from the pain and sicknesses that they were dealing with here.  It sucks for us, and I mean really sucks anytime we lose a loved one.

This is why as much as you can spend real-time with your loved ones.  An I ❤ U, text isn’t the same as taking 5 minutes out of your day to pick up the phone and call somebody to see how their day was and tell them that you are thinking about them.  Take some time also this Holiday season to think about how blessed you are and what you can do for someone else.  Little things that we can change in us, can change things for someone else.  Add an extra $5 or $10 to the tip at the restaurant, pay for the person behind you in the drive thru, buy a gift card for the person behind you in line at the store and just tell the cashier to use it.  It can take 30 seconds to change someones day, don’t do it to make you feel better, think about how you would feel rolling up to the Starbucks window and your order had already been taken care of.  Now pass that feeling along…

Make this a pay it forward Holiday, and see how it feels to give and not receive.  Take time out to spend with your kids, spouse, family, and friends.  Put away the electronics, and spend real-time together.  Your email will be there later, that Facebook post will be readable later, that tweet will be there later, that Pinterest pin will be on 5,000 other boards too.

Thankful, Blessed, and Grateful

20111226-164332.jpgIt’s that time of year again, the time of year that we think back on everything of the past year. We are closing out one year and looking forward to the coming year with its new chances to start over, a new year with new beginnings. For Many people, this is the only time of year they will: make it into a Church, think about others, think about God.
In our society, there are many people who will go to church on Christmas and not again until the next year. This is also the time of year that you can and will hear songs about Christ, in secular settings. Maybe it’s a situation that this is the only time some people see the Christmas Spirit in others. Too many times this Christmas Spirit disappears, if we’re lucky sometime in mid January, or when they get into their car in the mall parking lot. Hopefully it’s not the same person flipping the bird that was just saying,”have a blessed Christmas/have a blessed day.”
But it is this time of year that we do the things that we should do all year:
1. Thank God for all that he does and continues to do.
2. Reflect on all the good things in your life.
3. Give your family your undivided attention.

Every year no matter how bad the economy is, there have always been presents under the tree at Christmas, the heat has always been on, and we have had a warm place to sleep. Now I don’t want to sound sappy, but it’s not the number of presents that are under the tree but the time that you get to spend with your family.

It is this time of year also that we as parents, Christian parents, need to also insure that we are teaching our children that there is more to Christmas than a fat guy in a red suit that breaks into houses and steals cookies, but leaves presents. We need to make sure that we are telling our kids the true meaning of Christmas, about Jesus and the start of his life as a lowly baby.
So during the rest of this year and the coming year, take time to remember the most important things in your life, daily. Let’s head into 2012, giving God the praise and thanks that he deserves for all that he does for us. Find the bright side in any and all situations, because no matter how bad we have it at that moment, learn from these situations.
Live by the old saying of “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger,” but also remember that God will never give us more than We can handle. Take any and all chances that you have to go out of your way to do something for others around you, not for a thank you, or to be one up one them, but buy lunch, coffee, etc. for the person in the drive through behind you, do something for a stranger, Pay it Forward if you will. Do this not for other s to see you doing it but so that you and God know about it. It is the small gestures that, will make large differences in the day of others.

Merry Christmas, good night and God bless.