I truly hope each and every one of you will have enjoyed a joyous and blessed Thanksgiving by the time you read this. Yesterday Jim made home made dinner rolls from scratch, and I prepared all the side dishes. That means today I only had to make the Impossible Pumpkin Pie, and we put the turkey into the NuWave oven upside down for about 1/12 hours. After that we will turn it right side up for another 1 1/2 hours. Then later I'll put the dressing and mashed sweet potatoes in the oven to re-heat while I cook the vegetables and make the gravy. While doing all this, we are enjoying the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and later the National Dog Show. We really enjoy this holiday, and the chance to relax and reflect on all we have to be thankful for.
First and foremost, we are thankful for our Gracious God who gave His only son for our sins, so those who accept this awesome gift are guaranteed a seat in Heaven. I am thankful for my awesomely wonderful husband, my beloved son Matt, who is an incredible person, of whom we are very, very proud. We give thanks for our good health, our families and friends. We are thankful for being able to make the amazing trip we made all the way to the state of Maine, after going to Horseheads for my 50th high school reunion in July. Later we went down the east coast to Atlanta to see my sister Joan and her family, before heading west again. We got to see my friend Sharon Medlar and her husband Jack in TN, which was wonderful. Finally we got to head back out west before it got too cold, and visited Ric and Wendy in Arrey, NM and Matt and Shannon in AZ , then back here to Southern California. You might have noticed I did NOT mention being thankful for THINGS. Although I am thankful for our motorhome, and thankful that God protected it and us on these many miles of our trip.
We are also saddened by losses. Early this year, we lost our camping club friend Herve Collette. Later, while we were in Texas, we learned of the death of our friend Wayne Scott. In July we found out Sylvia Yazell had died, and last we got a call that our friend Charmaine Weeks had died up in Oregon. We pray for comfort and peace to their family members.
As we pass from this holiday into the Christmas season, I would like to share a few thoughts.
Over the last few weeks, and in the next four weeks ahead, we are bombarded with ads for items that we are told we cannot be happy without, or that we MUST give to show the depth of our love for family members and friends. These things can never make you truly happy. We need to remember the REAL and only meaning of this Christmas season. It is about the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I hope none of you missed out on time you could spend with family today to camp outside Best Buy or rushed away to get to Wal-Mart or Macy's or any other stores that are opening today or very early tomorrow. Like many others, I have always enjoyed the Christmas stories such as the Night Before Christmas, but these must never make people forget what this Christmas Holiday is about. Ric writes a wonderful article that he publishes weekly, and this week he was having trouble with his computer, so Wendy had to finish it for him. I asked permission to include part of it in this blog. Ric said yes, but asked that I give the credit to Wendy, not him. Here is most of what she wrote. I sure hope it reaches your heart the way it did mine.
Christmas season will be upon us. I pray that you remember what the season
is about. I am aware there are those who do not believe in the true
Christ, that is the Christ who is God, came to earth, died for
our sins, and rose back to the throne of God. I am here
to tell you that Christmas is no more about Santa Claus than
Halloween is about the Great Pumpkin. Granted Charlie Browns buddy Linus looks for the Great Pumpkin the same way we looked for Santa as
children. But did Santa appear? Did The Great Pumpkin appear? No.
Halloween aside, Christmas is about the birth of Jesus, Messiah,
Savior. Unlike Santa that brings transient presents, Jesus brings the
greatest gift, an uncondidtional gift. Have you been naughty or nice?
That really doesn't matter. Jesus only asks
us to accept His gift.
The gift of forgiveness for our sins. He accepts us for who we are
and how we are. Not a check list of how many times we told a lie, or hit our sister, etc. Jesus looks at our soul and sees us for what we are,
loves us and accepts us, right there, no questions, WOW, no list only
His love and our bared soul. Just Him and us. As we sit
back from our Thanksgiving tables, and start making our
Christmas plans. My Christmas list has very few things on it.
My families' health and happiness and their relationship with Jesus. For
my friends and aquaintances that are not Chistians, my prayer is that
they would come to that most important relationship they will ever
have. The relationship of unconditional love and acceptance. There is
a relationship of hope, a relationship with the One that will keep us for
an eternity. Santa lasts about as long as it takes to
clean-up and throw out the wrapping paper and boxes. Finally, put the
tree away for next year. I hope there will be happy memories that are
being packed up.
I couldn't have said it better, so I didn't try. Happy Thanksgiving, and I wish you a happy, healthy, and most of all a blessed Christmas ahead. And of course, to our dear friends who are Jewish, we wish you a wonderful Hannukah. I hope I spelled that correctly. Please forgive me if I didn't.