Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Dear Moms,
I wanted to give a Christmas Message on my Blog. I decided to use the last chapter of my newest book, devotional, called “LET THER BE LAUGHTER AND A FEW TEARS TOO.” Please read it and pass it on.


As I close this final chapter of this enormous undertaking of my 365 day devotional, “LET THER BE LAUGHTER AND A FEW TEARS TOO,” I can truly give GOD ALL THE GLORY! God, has walked me thru life experiences, then had me share His goodness with all of you. I know that I have already completed the 365 day devotional, but I had to take an oncour, a final bow and end the book with 366 days. God has just put this chapter on my heart and it is the Perfect closing for my book.
Here I sit at a Restaurant, called Panara’s, with my husband Pat,. It is our weekly, Saturday, routine date together, where we plan our week, pray together, and just plain catch up on each others lives. I am writing this in December, during the Christmas season, and I just noticed that there is a poster in Panara’s that reads, “GIVE, RECEIVE, REJOICE!!!.” How Ironic and appropriate as well,. It is truly a confirmation of what I am about to write.
You see God doesn’t just love a cheerful giver, but a cheerful receiver as well. During this Christmas Season I have thought about that a lot. I love to give, and I think about, myself as a cheerful giver. I even give extravolently, at times. I have actually had people say to me, “ Don’t Give To Me Any More.’ I am always baffled by that, so I conclude that they just don’t understand. You see many years ago, God freed me from the world’s bondage of , “GIVING TO GET,” and moved me right into God’s Grace of, “GIVING TO BLESS.” Let me tell you. “WHAT A GRACE THAT HAS BECOME IN MY LIFE.” “WHAT A FREEDOM , AS WELL.” The grace that flows thru me to move in the Spirit of God, to give when He says , “GIVE,” is powerful. If you haven’t experienced it, you just won’t understand it. Yes, years ago, God also spoke to me this Word, “ WHEN YOU ARE BEING PROSPERED, BE GOOD, BE GRATEFUL, AND BE GENEROUS.” It has become MY MOTTO. Now I have no problem praying for prosperity, so I can be used by God to bless others.
Christmas Shopping can become a burden,, especially when shopping for a large family, like mine, but I have a secret to simplify the process. My Prayer Partner, Judy, and I have prayed for years that as we walk thru the stores during the Christmas Season, the right gifts will catch our eye and just pop out at us saying, “BUY ME FOR _________. .” That has been my Christmas Shopping Adventure for some years. To tell you the truth, some times I buy gifts for the most random people, and only God knows WHY? My job is only to stay Prayerful, Seek God’s Face, Listen well and Obey the Voice of His Spirit.
This year, I came to a new awareness, that is , I personally, prefer to buy gifts for the , GRATEFUL OF HEART. I don’t think it is because I need the thank you, because heaven knows that God Blesses Me Back Enough. I came to realize that the gratefulness serve as an encouragement that, It Was A God Thing, not just A Good Thing!! It is so sad when you give to the Grumpy----now you still have to do it as a follower of Christ, because God says in His Word to, “LOVE UNCONDITIONALLY, AGAPE LOVE STYLE.” We must love as Jesus did and not expect anything in return. He died for those who love Him and those who refuse to love Him. ALTHOUGH, this agape love is easier said than done. Loving difficult people is the challenge we face sometimes daily , as our , “SPIRIT IS WILLING BUT OUR FLESH IS WEAK.:”
On the other hand, buying for those who truly appreciate, has become a TOTAL JOY for me. For example, I bought a random gift for one of Our Families Favorite Priests, Father Michael Libinski, this Christmas. In fact, I think this is how God taught me this lesson, that, ‘GOD LOVES A CHEERFUL RECEIVER.” First of all I was shopping at my favorite Store, Ross, and a gift caught my eye. It popped out at me and I immediately knew it would be the perfect gift for Father Michael. Those of you who know Father Michael will agree. It was a Plaque, and even though I usually refrain from buying plaques for people, it was what it said that seemed so approite in this case. It said:
I said to myself, “That is Father Michael. It Is The Perfect Gift.”
I laughed to myself as I put it in my cart and raced to the check out counter. You see I was on my way to meet my husband, Patrick, a Deacon,, at the staff luncheon, at the Church, and I was running late. Getting in my car, I was sure to thank the Lord that I had found the gift in the knick of time.
As I walked into the Church Hall, I was greeted by, who else, but Father Michael. I anxiously gave Him the present . He opened it instantly and began to read it out loud. He too laughed to himself, then remarked, “IT IS THE PERFECT GIFT FOR MY OFFICE.” I could tell, by the appreciation that He showed, that He too knew that God had guided me to select it, just to bless him . To top it off, the next day, less than 24 hours later, I received a genuine thank- you note in the mail.( and I live in Evans, out of town)
When I contemplated on Father Michael’s response , and thinking as well about Christmas coming, I couldn’t help but conclude, that God must feel the same way. I believe God TOO, LOVES A CHEERFUL RECEIVER.I think when we have a grateful heart toward God, it opens the door for God to Bless us some more. This Christmas is a good time to check our hearts. Ask yourself, my friend, “Are we so grateful for all God does for us daily? Do we have a grateful heart or are we a Grumpy Receiver?” Do you ever wonder why some people are so blessed? Watch their response to God’s goodness. Learn from Father Michael. Make it your aim to cultivate a THANKFUL HEART, a heart full of gratitude towards God and towards others.
This Christmas and every day this year, look for opportunities to BLESS OTHERS. Adopt the Motto, “GIVE TO BLESS, DON“T GIVE TO GET.” . Then if someone does bless you, for heaven sakes, BE A CHEERFUL RECEIVER.
My friend, when your cup is full, you are able to spill over and bless the others in your path. When your cup is empty, you want to keep the little you have for yourself. Fill your cup, this year my friend, by spending time in God’s presence. Let Him fill you to overflowing, then you will not be able to contain the blessing that God will pour into you. You will have no choice but to spill over to all you meet. Go into God’s Presence, EMPTY YOURSELF BEFORE HIM and LET HIM FILL YOU. Remember, “WE MUST DECREASE, WHILE HE INCREASE WITHIN US.” Then, “ THE MORE YOU HAVE, THE MORE WILL BE GIVEN UNTO YOU.” In the YEAR 2009, “MAY WE ALL BECOME EXTRAVOLANT GIVERS AND MAY WE ALL BECOME EXTRAVOLANT RECEIVERS.” TO GOD BE THE GLORY!!! FOR GOD LOVES A CHEERFUL GIVER, AND GOD LOVES A CHEERFUL RECEIVER. WHO CAN YOU LOVE INTO THE KINGDOM OF GOD TODAY? GIVE!!! RECEIVE!!! REJOICE!!! ALWAYS REMEMBER, IT IS THE PEOPLE WE MEET ALONG THE WAY THAT MAKES IT WORTH THE JOURNEY!!

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