Reflections of a Ding-a-ling

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So this Christmas season, I was a proud ringing ding-a-ling for the Salvation Army. I rang mostly at my local Walmart, and let me tell you, oh the things you see.

I saw toddlers and people probably in their 80s and everyone in between drop money into the bucket. It was an interesting time to reflect on how people deal with the Christmas season. Mostly what I saw was people who were in such a rush. What are we rushing to do that can’t wait? Spend money? I literally saw some people every single day come into Walmart. Granted here in Coshocton, Ohio there’s not a lot to do, but come on folks, is this really where you want to go everyday (don’t get me wrong I shop at Walmart too)? Don’t you have family you can (and probably should be) spending time with? If not, can’t you find a place other than Walmart (like a Community or Senior Center)?

We’re in such a hurry. Have to buy. Have to wrap. Have to send. Have to go, go, go. Have to cook, have to bake, have to make. But the only thing we really HAVE to do at Christmas is worship the new born King and be with the one’s we love the most (or even be with the one’s you might not like so much).

But this Christmas season, I had the chance to reflect on what the holiday is really about and about my relationship with Christ. It’s like the Salvation Army says, “Doing the most good”. As we worship and celebrate the birth of Christ, we should be doing the most good.

What does that look like? It looks like this: Adopting a family for Christmas (my church adopted two families), taking the time to visit someone who doesn’t have anybody, stopping and telling someone Merry Christmas or Happy New Year. It looks like helping others, being kind and generous. It looks like sharing the peace that passes all understanding with someone else. THAT is doing the most good.

So from my son and me: Hope you had a great Christmas, and that the coming new year would be a blessed, blessed, blessed one.

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Prayers For Our Teens #10

Used with permission from Mark Gregston.  Visit his site about parenting today’s teens HERE.

 

Proverbs 12.18

 

Sometimes my tongue has brought healing to situations in our home, but sometimes my tongue has damaged my teen’s life.  Lord, help me control my tongue and be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.  Bridle my tongue, calm my fears, and give me Your perspective in the heat of the moment.  Lord, make me wise and help me love my teen and bring him healing, just as You have loved and healed me.

I love You, Lord.

Amen.

Acts of Kindness

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Sometimes it’s easy to forget that there are still good people in this world.  We rush around in our own little bubble world, focused on our own problems, our own wants and needs, and our own lives.  And in doing that we forget that there are other people who are in this world with us.  We turn inward because we have been burnt by other people.  We shut everyone else out because we are sure that nobody else in the world could possibly understand.  We feel that the world is a violent, crass, harsh place to live, where it’s look out for number one first.

But then someone does something kind for you for no other reason than to be generous and loving.  For no other reason than to show the love of God and to be the hands and feet of Christ.  So I choose to keep those rare moments when I experience kindness from someone close to my heart so that I can thaw the coldness of the world in general.

 

How Many Kings

I get tired of the same old Christmas songs, year after year.  And finding good ones that share the true meaning of  Christmas is hard unless you crack open a hymnal.  I discovered this song on Youtube while looking for Christian Christmas songs.  It is by a group called Downhere.  It puts the whole thing into a new perspective.  We focus so much on His birth, we forget just what He gave up to come down to earth to save us.  It’s humbling.

Psalm 63:7

No, you can’t eat this turkey.

Psalm 63.7

 

Psalm 63:7:  You are my help.  Because of Your protection, I sing.

I love this definition of help.  Using the definition, listen to what God is to us.  God can do something that makes it easier for us to do a job, or to deal with a problem.  He aids and assists us.  He can make something less severe for and something more pleasant or easier to deal with.  He can be of use to us, further the advancement of us and change us for the better. He keeps us from harm or loss.  He supervises and supports us because we are smaller and weaker.  And He gives us immunity from prosecution in the form of His Son Jesus.  And because of all of this, we can use our voices to celebrate.