Family Update

Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Deuteronomy 11:18-19 NIV

God sometimes has a way of working that seems strange to me, and none stranger than the weather during our trip to Texas to be with family over the Christmas holidays. All their plans to show us the sights, were frozen in place by temps that plummeted to 10 degrees on the second day. Of course, for those of you up in Buffalo, that might seem pretty tame, but compared to our Florida weather it felt like Siberia! So, rather than seeing a cattle drive, the lake or a park, we huddled indoors with our grandchildren, and what a blessing those ten days turned out to be. There is no scenery in Texas or anywhere else that compares to their smiles!

Though we did make it out to eat twice, the most precious moments were starting a Bible study program with our special needs grandson, Christmas caroling briefly with them at a neighbor’s house and tickling our youngest bouncy grandson while we watched George of the Jungle! Yes, we slept in bunk beds and had to wait for the bathroom to open up on occasion, but now that I sit far away in our comfortable home, I already miss them! The flights were way overpriced, but the time was priceless. We can always make a few more dollars but we can never replace time that has rushed like the water over Niagara Falls and now is gone forever. Today, in my seventh decade of life, I have no regrets over the financial success I didn’t attain, only over missed opportunities to hug my children, wipe away their tears when they fell down or walk with them once more to the park. But I am thankful for the times when I listened to my wife, put down the newspaper, and went out to shoot hoops with our boys before they were gone. I hope you enjoy a few of the photos of our stay. Have a blessed day everyone!

A Heavenly Echo

Saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” Luke 19:38
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
Luke 2:14 ESV

As Jesus neared Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, it seemed that the world finally understood why He came. But it was not to be and Jesus wept because in the.midst of apparent triumph, He could see could see the cross just ahead and the destruction of Jerusalem in the not too distant future.

And yet for just that single moment the message that the angels had once told the shepherds echoed in the hearts and on the lips of those who loved Him. The same is true in our world this Christmas Eve. With bombs falling in Ukraine and churches burning in Nigeria, it might seem that peace on earth is never to be. Yet in the hearts of those who have not only run to the manger, but have come to love Him, there is a heavenly echo of all that God intends to be one day. Just as surely as the sun will rise this morning, Jesus will return one day. He will sit on David’s throne and all the world will bow before Him. Then the true peace of Heaven will rule and the glory in the highest will shine on us forever. Merry Christmas everybody! May God bless us today with an echo of all He has for those who love Him and rejoice in Him no matter what is happening in our lives. Glory to God who is in the highest and who reigns above it all!

He Knows Your Name!

"To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. John 10:3 NKJV

Does it bother you when people forget your name? Are you offended, or at this holiday season when the song says “There’s no place like home for the holidays.”, are you wondering if there is anyone who wants you around or knows what you are going through? In the chapter just before today’s verse, we are introduced to a blind man who receives a more detailed story than anyone else in John’s gospel (except of course Jesus), but we are never told his name. The disciples asked if he were a sinner and his neighbors just referred to him as the blind beggar. His parents simply confessed him as son, then the Pharisees named him; a sinner. Not one person uttered his name. Maybe he felt invisible, anonymous and rejected. But no matter whether, they knew his name, the most important part of this story is that Jesus did! If we keep reading we find that Jesus came to meet him after he was rejected by others and called him individually to believe and follow. Today, just like that blind man, Jesus has come for you. Jesus wants to spend time with you. If no one else on earth remembers you, this Christmas, remember that Jesus has not forgotten. He is calling you and has come to lead you to come and follow someone who will always remember your name!