Loving One Another

Archive for December, 2012

Let Us Pray


In the wake of the horrendous events in Newtown, Connecticut yesterday, the Rev. Jean Johnson in Ennis, Montana sent this prayer to her friends. Thoughtful and well-written, it is worth sharing.

Let us pray…………
Loving God,
you are nearest when we need you most.
In this hour of sorrow we turn to you,
trusting in your loving mercy.
Your love cares for us in life
and watches over us in death.
We bless you for our Savior’s joy in little children
and for the assurance that of such is the kingdom of heaven.
In our sorrow,
make us strong to commit ourselves, and those we love,
to your unfailing care.
In our perplexity,
help us to trust where we cannot understand.
There are days when the burdens we carry are heavy on our shoulders and weigh us down,
when the road seems dreary and endless,
the skies gray and threatening,
when our lives have no music in them,
and our hearts are heavy with pain
and we have lost courage.
Flood the path with light,
turn our eyes to Your promises,
tune our hearts to brave music;
gives us a  sense of companionship and community;
quicken our spirits
that we may be able to encourage all who journey with us on the road of life.
Write Your blessed name, O Lord, upon my heart,
there to remain so indelibly engraven,
that no prosperity,
no adversity,
shall ever move me from Your love.
Be to me a strong tower of defense,
a comforter in tribulation,
a deliverer in distress,
a very present help in trouble
and a guide  through the many temptations and dangers of this life.
In the name of Jesus the Christ we pray………….   Amen.
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Life is a series of events and people that enrich and magically define your life. It’s fun to write about them. It’s also fun to capture them in pictures. Have you tried putting them in a Hallmark Smilebox? I love this program. It has so many templates and options. Try it!

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The BEST Christmas Gift


The BEST Christmas gift doesn’t come in a box. It isn’t hidden in your Christmas stocking. It needs no wrapping paper or bows and it won’t cost you a thing except a little time.  It’s an act of kindness that can come only from you.

I received the BEST Christmas present yesterday. Christmas is a couple of weeks away, but this gift will last until then – in fact, it will live in my heart forever!! You can give this kind of gift to someone today.  It was a note from a former student. Eva was my first grader in 1980. I have moved 1,200 miles from her, but she cared enough and took the time to find me. Paraphrased, her note said, “I found my calling. I love teaching. In addition to teaching first graders, I am teaching Spanish two nights a week at the local college, and I am working as a mentor for beginning teachers. Thank you for being so instrumental in helping me find my calling…”

Eva was a bright and promising first grader who came to school as an English as a Second Language student. She spoke Spanish at home and in her neighborhood. She was making such great progress when at Christmas time her parents wanted to pull her out for a couple of months.  Seasonal workers, they returned to Mexico each year to spend the holiday season (plus some) with Eva’s grandparents.  I offered to have Eva live with me rather than missing so much learning during this crucial time in her developmental stage. Her parents, seeing my concern, recognizing the truth of my fears that she’d slide backward academically if she missed that much school, decided to cut their intended stay. They returned in early January. I was able to take my wonderful first graders on to second grade and by the end of the next year, Eva was an A student. It was a winning duet: supportive parents, and a bright and eager mind. It’s a caring, concerned teacher’s dream. I stayed in touch with Eva through her continued schooling and joyfully attended her college graduation. What a privilege!

But, the frosting on the cake was the BEST Christmas present ever –  thirty-two years later. She took the time to contact me. My heart is so warmed by Eva’s acknowledgement and her success. Thank you, Eva! May God continue to bless you as you are a blessing to others!

You can send The Best Christmas Gift  today! A note, a phone call, a text message, “Thank you for making a difference.” Isn’t that what life is all about?  Give someone a lift. It won’t cost you anything more than a moment of your time. Merry Christmas, friends! Be a blessing!!

My Christmas Letter


Each year for the past couple of decades, I have sent out a poem with my Christmas cards, a rhyming Christmas letter that summarized the events and blessings of the past year. I enjoy Christmas letters from my family and friends. Do you? This year I have decided to forego the poem. Instead, my cards contain a picture of Bob and me with our two adult children, taken last February at our 50th wedding anniversary party. The old cliche’, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” applies here. I’ll write a personal note on each card, but for family and friends who have watched us grow through the years, this photo speaks volumes.

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My Christmas Letter

We are living letters
To each other,
Sharing the beautiful story
God is writing with our ives.
Through the Holy Spirit,
By the grace of Jesus Christ,
Our stories are a testimony
Of God’s love alive in us.
We are living letters
To a hurting world,
Sharing hope and peace
Found only in our Lord.
Smile God’s blessed message;
Give your world a dose
Of the healing love of Jesus.
Be the balm to soothe
The souls of those who need it most.

We are living letters.

Merry Christmas, dear friends!

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