December 23, 2016 – Fighting Back
I’ve watched so many people just give up. Bogged down by illness, disease and depression, they just withdraw from life, living in their little box, not looking out at the world. Pain, prescription side effects, the feeling that no one understands what they are going through, the feeling that no one cares often causes them to draw into themselves, causing their spirit, their will to live to fade, most often without them realizing it.
My younger sister and I feel this may be what happened to our older sister. This may be why, two days after they said she was better, two days after they took her off life support and she was breathing on her own, two days after they started the paperwork to send her for rehabilitation, she started having breathing problems and was gone in twenty minutes. We believe, because she had suffered so many years from so many afflictions, because she felt that most of her family, her sons had deserted her, that she no longer had the spirit or will to go on.
As I get older, it seems that I develop more medical and physical problems. Chronic migraines, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, depression, PTSD and side effects from medications take a daily toll on me. Bouncing between pain and the effects of different medications often make my day less enjoyable. But I don’t, I won’t give up. I have too much to live for. I’m fighting back. Today I am thankful the Lord gives me the will and the strength to always fight back.
December 24, 2016 – Reading
Each morning I read from the Old Testament and the New Testament. I’ve read the bible from front to back several times, several different versions. As I read it, I understand it more and more. I have always been a reader. I love to turn the pages of a book and get lost in the story or adventure I am reading. There is just something calming and relaxing about it.
I tried a few times to read books online and it just wasn’t the same. Often my head would start hurting or my eyes would start getting blurry. Books have a unique smell to them, especially when you find an older or antique one. You can smell the dust, the aromas of the places that book has traveled to.
When I was young, during the summer, I would read a book a day. I would literally walk from our home in Pueblo, down to the grade school and back with my nose stuck in a book. My feet knew the route and I knew exactly when I needed to stop to cross a street. When I ran out of books at home, I would go to the library and get a stack more. When I was at school, I got awards for reading the most books in one grading period. I have always loved to read and today I am thankful that reading was one of the desires the lord instilled me with.
December 25, 2016 – Christmas
Families around the world gather together today to celebrate Christmas. In many homes there stands a tree decorated with glistening baubles, bright lights and silver tinsel. Underneath there are brightly colored, wrapped presents for each member, including the family pet.
In the kitchen mom is busy cooking the ham or turkey, the vegetables and other sides and whipping up those favorite pastries that everyone loves. The television might be on with news about Christmas in various parts of the world or old time favorite movies like “It’s a Wonderful Life” or “Miracle on 34th Street” or maybe the little ones are watching “Frosty the Snowman” or “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer”
In some families, the presents were opened early this morning and many children are running around oohhing and awwing over what they received. Some Churches opened because Christmas fell on Sunday this year and many families got up, got dressed and attended church before coming home to unwrap their gifts..
It’s one of the most celebrated holidays in this earth’s history. It is a time when family and friends come together, to spend time with each other, to celebrate the last year, to remember those who are no longer here to celebrate with us and to celebrate those who are still with us.
Many hearts are saddened by that empty chair at the end of the table, or that Christmas gift under the tree that will remain unopened. Mothers go off to the kitchen to shed their silent tears because they don’t want to ruin the festivities for the rest of the family members and gifts. Fathers, wives, sons, daughters may wander into another room for a few moments of sorrow over the loved ones who can longer celebrate with them.
Dinner is served, everyone is seated and someone will say the prayers. It is good to gather together as a family, to forget problems and differences for a few moments and just concentrate on the present, on the fellowship and love that this day brings.
Let us never forget what this day is really about. It is the birthday of our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ. It was the day that God sent his son down in human form, to suffer and die that we might be forgiven of our sins, that we might attain eternal life in heaven with the Father and the Son.
He was brutally whipped, beaten and hung on a wooden cross as the final sacrifice for the sins of man, and it is only through accepting, obeying and loving him that we attain eternal life with him. Think about this, if he hadn’t been born today, if God had not sent him as the final sacrifice, we would still be slaughtering cattle, goats, sheep, and birds as sacrifices to God.
But those sacrifices didn’t mean a thing other that a way to show us we had sinned and as an atonement for those sins. It was a way for God to teach us obedience. God didn’t need burnt cattle, sheep, or goats from us. He just wanted our obedience, our faithfulness and our love. So as you celebrate with your family and friends today, remember the sacrifice of the man that was born on this day. Today I am thankful to celebrate Christmas, the birth of Jesus Christ.