Wednesday, December 26, 2018

The New Year Is Almost Here

First I want to say that we hope all of you had a wonderful and blessed Christmas, filled with love and joy.  We hope you spent the time with loved ones and experiencing the true meaning of Christmas.  I believe that celebrating Christmas without honoring the birth of our beloved Savior Jesus Christ would be empty and sad.  Many people go deeply in debt buying over priced gifts for their loved ones, and still don't find any true joy in the holiday.  Some people wear themselves out making elaborate meals that are rapidly consumed without even giving thanks to our Lord for the food, or the hands that prepared the food.  Lots of people went to sleep last night wondering why they did all of that, and feeling nothing but exhaustion and sadness.  Are you one of these tired, unfortunate people?   

Wouldn't it be great to start the New Year off with a resolution that could bring you REAL joy for the rest of your life?  Do you usually make the same, hopeless resolutions that we all make, and break before the end of January? Most of us resolve to lose some weight, or eat a more healthy diet, or get more exercise, or save more money, but in a few weeks we give up on our resolutions.  Failing to keep our resolutions only makes us feel worse about ourselves.

There is a resolution you can make that will bring you true joy.  None of us will ever get into Heaven based on our own deeds.  We are Human and as such we are ALL sinners.  Only Jesus was perfect, and He came into this world to save us. He was born humbly, and He lived to teach us and show us the way.  He died on the Cross to pay the price for our sins. All He asks of us is that we love Him and accept Him as our personal Lord and Savior.  But He can't be our PERSONAL Lord and Savior unless we actually take the time to KNOW Him personally.  Pastor Bob here at Wilderness Lakes preached a very moving and important message at church this past Sunday (December 23rd).  The title of his message was
"Wise Men Still Seek Him".  It pains me to admit that there was a time when I didn't think I needed Him in my life.  I was even a little afraid to commit to a relationship with Jesus.  I thought I would get into Heaven by being an honest and kind person.  I was wrong.  I was totally dead wrong.  I have learned that I need Jesus in my life every single day.  I feel very sad for anyone who does not know Jesus as I do.  Going to church every Sunday is not enough.  To have a real relationship with Jesus you need to read the scriptures and fellowship with other Christians.  We need to learn the meaning of His Word.  I would hate to wake up in the morning without KNOWING that Jesus is watching over me.  I already know that I can't make it without His help.  I know that there are many intelligent people who think they can get along on their own.  But those who are truly WISE know that Jesus is the Truth, and The Light and the Way.  Wise men, and women still seek Him, because He is the source of true joy.  He is the promise for our eternal Salvation.  Many of you have lots of unanswered questions, but Jesus IS the answer.  Be a Wise Man or Woman, and seek Him now.

God bless each of you now and as you go forward into the New Year.  Open your hearts and invite Jesus into your life, not just on Sundays, but every day.  If you give your life to Him, you have no idea how much your life will improve.  With Him in the center of your life, everything changes for the better.  

Happy New Year!  Now for a few pictures I would like to share with all of you.Here is our little Christmas tree with an owl that my dear friend Diane brought to me.  On the right is our cute Santa!
 Here are Tony and the two Jims, and Diane is on the right.

We saw these when we went 
out for a drive around the 
park Friday night.  There were lots of other nice decorations, but it's not easy getting good pictures in the dark.

This is Sean, he is one of the rangers here at the park.  He obviously loves the Christmas season.  On the right is Sean on Christmas day.  Too funny!!!

 This is the beautiful Christmas card that shows Tony & his dog Woody.  On the right is an amazing owl that Diane hand painted for me.  I really love it.  I was blown away when I saw it.  She is such a talented artist.  😊

Well, that's all for now.  Best wishes to all of you.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Only One More Week until Christmas

It seems like I must again begin with an apology for letting too much time lapse between entries.  Somehow, there are just not enough hours in the day for all that I expect to do.  Since my last post, we have kept quite busy.  We were up at Silent Valley from November 8th until December 7th, then ten days at Thousand Trails Palm Springs and yesterday we returned to Wilderness Lakes in Menifee for a three week stay.  
Do you remember the cute picture of a Chihuahua in a pink sweater dress and hat that I posted last month?  Based on seeing that I tried to buy Millie a sweater and hat on that order.  Although it was described as a size that would fit her, the hat and sweater I ordered were so small it fit Diane's smallest Chihuahua, Daisy.  Here she is wearing it.

Since that didn't work, I ended up knitting Millie a red hat and scarf.  And I found an adorable red and white sweater for her.  Then I decided to knit hats and scarves for Diane's two dogs, again in red.  After that, I did a scarf for our dog Willie, but Jim had to try it on too.

I think Willie wears it quite well.
But Jim is still a hippy at heart!  😃  LOL.

Then I knitted a scarf and hat for Diane and a scarf for her hubby Jim.  Not to be left out, I made a red hat and scarf with red and white fringe for me, with an owl decoration, of course.

I also made one just like it, but in blue and white with owl trims for my sister Donna.  I sure hope she will like it.
Once we got set up here in Menifee, we had to set up our Christmas decor.  Beginning with a wreath trimmed with a white owl.
 I bought the wreath at the Dollar Store, and added the red trim and the white owl.  On the right are two wine bottles I made into centerpieces but I ended up selling them to someone who liked them.

Here is Millie in her Christmas dress, actually it's one of four she has.  I forgot she had one and ordered another, then I found one at Wal-Mart. After I bought that one, I discovered that we  had another one we bought LAST year, so she is really set for Christmas this year.  LOL, another senior moment I guess.
Here is our Christmas owl flag.  So cute.  I found this picture I took a short time ago of our Millie with Diane & Jim's two girls.  We tried three times to include Willie in the picture, but he wanted no part of it!  

Many of you have probably seen our beloved nativity before, Feliz Navidog, but here it is on our mantle below the TV set.  It combines our love of everything about the true meaning of Christmas, and our love of dogs.  How could it get any better than this?????

Unfortunately, Christmas time can be very difficult for some people.  People who are alone or in poor health might be depressed.  I have read that suicides increase between now and the New Year.  Since Christmas and New Year mean so much to me, it saddens me to think of others who are hurting this time of year.  Someone (I don't know who it was, so I can't give credit here) who was much smarter than I am once said that suicide is a PERMANENT solution to a TEMPORARY problem.  I try to understand what could ever drive one to ending their life, but it is very difficult for me because I am optimistic that things WILL get better.  Maybe seeing others who are so very happy this time of year only intensifies that person's sense of hopelessness.  

I realize not everyone has extra money to donate to the many worthwhile charities that need money this time of year.  However, all of us should be able to find a few minutes to reach out to people who might be alone and depressed.  Maybe you could invite someone to come to your home for a Christmas holiday meal.  You might offer a shut-in some of your time to drive them to a store or just to drive around to see all the beautiful holiday decorations people put up.  

I just heard of someone who died in Georgia, and was not found for over three weeks.  It's hard for me to imagine that no one cared enough to check on that person for that long.  Please be mindful of those around you.  Maybe you could take a gift basket of non-perishable foods to someone who doesn't have a lot of money for food.  You might even include a few pieces of fresh fruit.  If the person has a pet, don't forget to get food or treats for their pet too.  A gift card makes a great present.....IF the person has a way to get to a store to spend it.  Please check on your neighbors, especially those who are elderly.  If you live in a  cold climate, please check to make sure older people have their heat turned on and working properly.  Little acts of kindness could be the difference between life and death for some people, and will make you feel better too. 

Last but surely not least, please try to be a little MORE patient and kind to the people you meet as you rush around getting ready for holiday parties and travels.  Try to realize they may also be stressed out with all they want to do in this last week before Christmas.  Smile, and wish them a joyous Christmas and a very happy New Year.  It doesn't help anyone if you get angry or rude to others.  Please try to remember the reason for the season, and share a little love with everyone you meet.

Merry Christmas to one and all.  Here's wishing you the very best this Holiday season, and a happy, healthy and prosperous year ahead.  We know you will be blessed with all that our Father in Heaven knows you really need.  God bless you and yours.