Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘Christmas’

The Fruitful Life


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The Fruitful Life

A fruitful life is a colorful life –
Divided into seven parts each week.
Each part spreads its own seeds
In the places we go to the people we meet.

As the parable told in the Sower of the Seeds,
Some fall on the soil of fertile ground;
But others land in rocky places
Where shallow dirt lets wind blow them around.

We seldom know when we scatter the seeds
What the end result of the planting will be.
All we can do is continue to sow,
Knowing the growth may not be something we see.

A fruitful life is a colorful life –
Spreading seeds in the rain and the snow;
A willy-nilly, free-wheeling fling –
Throwing smiles and good will wherever you go.

Some smiles are returned immediately;
Others take time to sink in.
Some good will is received gratefully;
But some deeds need repetition to link in.

Like a dormant spring bulb
Lying deep in cold soil,
The seeds of your fruit may be waiting
For warmth and water, lest they spoil.

This poem lay dormant for almost a month while Bob & I went on a trip to CA for Christmas and the new year. While traveling, we attended our “old” home church. The sermon was providential. My “sermon notes” in poetic format complete the ideas of my original unfinished entry:

From Pastor Jim Stochl, based on Mark 12:28-31

To each of us is given
A special, unique gift.
Some are teachers, others preachers,
Others encouragers who give us a lift.

A gift in the arts blesses us all,
While service is other folks’ passion.
If music is your special gift,
You need to share it in joyful fashion.

Whether your gift is administration
Or you’re blest with the gift of prayer,
Whatever God has given you in abundance,
Use it to God’s Glory everywhere!

To find and recognize your special gift,
To work for God with all your strength and love,
Is a joy with no expiration date;
So give from your heart for His Glory above.

Amen!

 

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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