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My First Christmas in Heaven

I see the countless Christmas trees around the world below, 

With tiny lights, like heaven's stars, reflecting on the snow.

The sight is so spectacular, please wipe away the tear.

For I am spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.

I hear the many Christmas songs that people hold so dear.

But the sounds of music can't compare with the Christmas choir up here.

I have no words to tell you the joy their voices bring,

For it is beyound description to hear the angels sing.

I know how much you miss me, I see the pain inside your heart.

But I am not so far away, we really aren't apart.

So be happy for me, dear ones. You know I hold you dear.

And be glad I'm spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.

I send you each a special gift from my heavenly home above.

I send you each a memory of my undying love.

After all, love is the gift, more precious than gold.

It was always most important in the stories Jesus told.

Please love and keep each other, as my Father said to do.

For I can't count the blessings of love He has for each of you.

So have a Merry Christmas and wipe away that tear.

Remember, I'm spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.

                                                                   

                                                                                   ~Angela Hospice of Michigan

 

 

Finding Your Mission

 

 The Missions Team is looking for two new members to help support:

  • - Hope and Literacy (reading education in Haiti)
  • - Wycliff Bible Translators
  • - Ethos 360 (formerly New Tribes Mission)
  • - Cuban pastors
  • - Operation Christmas Child
  • - Florida United Methodist Children’s Home
  • - Deltona Presbyterian Church Food Pantry, which distributed 1,195 bags of groceries in the month of November to 379 families with 1,337 household members.

“It’s such a good feeling to support the needs of communities in our own backyard,” says Pat Price, who has served as Team Leader for the past two years

“We meet on the first Tuesday of each month,” Pat adds. “Whether you have five minutes or five hours, the Missions Team will provide opportunities for you.

Thanksgiving Moments

 

I really like Chris Tiegreen’s take on Thanksgiving. He says, “Thanksgiving is more than a day – it’s a lifestyle. It should last longer than a weekend”.

Below are some encouraging/inspiring/interesting thoughts picked up from wise people and a lifetime of observation.

  • Thankfulness is an act of humility – you’re dependent on much grace and provision by God and others – you’re not self-sufficient.  Your God is drawn to and loves a humble heart!
  • Thankfulness is the strongest anti-depressant I know of.  This time of year – the holiday season – brings back memories, grief, longing, loneliness and isolation for many.  Simply stating your gratitude out loud – even if only two or three things – can change your mood for the rest of the day.  In the days of my deepest despair – I recall how often I have been blessed without deserving one bit of grace.
  • I learned a positive attitude (optimism) works for the best most of the time.  I know as a fact that a negative  attitude (pessimism and thanklessness) attitude works toward defeat all the time.
  • Gratitude is a power prayer!  You get more from God by thanking him than by begging him.  Thanking him in prayer in advance for something he has promised but not yet  given is a profound statement of faith.
  • Appreciation changes your perspective – it means the glass is half full not half empty.  If you were to put on the scales of life the number of blessing your received compared to the number of bad days or events  - how would the scales tip?  Count every breath, count every heartbeat, count every “I Love You”, count every time you’ve been forgiven, count every time you forgiven someone on the blessings side of the scale. 

 I love you all more than words can express and I am giving “Thanksgiving” to be your pastor, shepherd, friend, confidant and brother in Christ.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Pastor John

Veterans Day

 

 

I became eligible for the Vietnam draft in 1974.  A few days after getting my draft card,  the draft was suspended.  I remember being thankful that God had “spared me.”   A few years later I tried to join voluntarily and they wouldn’t take me.  Now as a senior citizen, I recognize that I have a reasonable degree of guilt for both being “spared” and not being accepted.

It’s not that I agreed with every military engagement our country has made – it’s that I have such great respect for all that did serve, no matter the circumstances.  Some of those circumstances are unimaginable to the vast majority of us.  Some of us have never been away from home, much less sent to foreign lands  and seas to do battle.  In years when there has been no war, still soldiers did their part; serving and being ready at a moment’s call.  My ancestors fought in the Civil War, WWI, WW2.  My family served in  Korea, Vietnam and Desert Storm and two family members are currently on active duty.

I could never adequately express my gratitude for what they, and veterans of every era, have done for  our country and the cause of freedom and liberty around this globe we call home.  We stand and salute you for your service. Thank you isn’t enough – but thank you.

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