Tuesday, December 24

My Favorite Christmas Story 12/24/13

Taken from my favorite Christmas book,
The Christ Child, Illustrated by Miska and
 Maud Petersham 
     Wishing you a Merry Christmas.  I hope each guest of this inn has a lovely day.  I know I will.

     What is Christmas?  Nope, it isn't about gifts.  It's about one Gift,
Christ.  This holiday is about God's incarnation, dwelling among us, full of grace and truth.  (John 1:14) I know for many this may be an antiquated concept.  But in truth, that's what this holiday was originally about.

     Thank you, for journeying with me this year with your visits. Seven thousand guests have dropped by this month, with over 23,500 visits to the different posts within this inn.  Inspired and cheered, is my hope for you, each time your drop by for a respite from life's demands.  What Christmas gift can I offer?  How about serenity?

      I find it attainable when we do what we can, letting go of the results, entrusting them to the God of our understanding.  Our best efforts for today is good enough. (Courage to Change, p. 9)

     Worry avails little.  I'd rather light a candle, doing something, rather than curse the darkness of despair and trying circumstances.  Constant complaining and fear----where's the growth in that?  You're right, there's none.

     The gift of joy I wish for you.  It's available.  Really.  It's about perspective, how and where we place our thoughts.  My life growing up was difficult, more than you can imagine.  Yet, as you know by now, my life is full of joy, wonder, hope and fulfillment.  This can be your lot, too, for....
  "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he."    Proverbs 23:7
     Perhaps you lack is abundance.  With the economy as it is, we worried about the stability of our future.  While I don't have a crystal ball, nor would use one, I do know who holds the future.  My confidence is in Him. Neither my job nor my paycheck is my provision. God is. Wow.

      However, my faith is NOT in faith.  That's folly.  Blind faith usually is dangerous. I've learned where I place my faith, matters.  No matter how tentative and insecure it may be, when placing my toes on four foot thick slab of ice, as I detect it's ability to undergird me, my trust strengthens.  If I were to see a Zamboni---you know, those truck-like devices that smooth out the ice on hockey rinks---racing up and down the surface, my trust increases.

       On the other hand, I could have all the faith in the world, while stepping on a 1/8th of an inch thick sheet of ice covering a lake.  Fervent faith doesn't prevent me from crashing through, getting soaked and miserable, if not risking my life.

       It is not the intensity of my faith---my faith in faith---but the object in which I place it, that matters.  

       For me, it's been in the God of my understanding, the great "I Am", the God of Abraham, Isaac and Joseph.  He consistently has demonstrated unwavering love, since my youth to this week.  His nature is patient, gracious, full of truth and gentle forgiveness.

      My wish for you this Christmas is you discovering, if you haven't already, the gift of a personal relationship with this loving God.  The Wise Men sought Him, lo, many years ago. May you discover Him, too, is my prayer.

      He awaits you to invite Him to enter your life through the door of your heart, entrusting your life to Him.  You'd discover the peace, joy and serenity if you do.  I know.  I did this as a young man of fourteen.  He has never left since. He has makes it possible to enjoy the rich, peaceful and satisfying life I've had, even in spite of difficult circumstances.

                           May you have a great and gratefuChristmas


1 comment:

Carl H said...

Dear Innkeeper,

On this Tuesday afternoon; the Eve of Christmas, as my time in this nearly abandoned office winds down, I am grateful...

1. For the Birth of Jesus of Nazareth; the Christ, over 2,000 years ago.

2. For the kind, loving and patient heart he taught us all to have toward all women and men of goodwill.

3. For this special time of hope, reflection, joy and celebration with family and friends.

4. For this season of giving gifts; the gift of Jesus that God gave us all, the gift of love and truth Jesus bestowed upon his disciples and humanity, the gift of life our parents gave us, which we in turn have given to our children; our descendants - our lineage.

5. That I was able for the most part, to avoid this month...shopping malls, parking lots, and mobs of anxious (missing the point of the season...) frantic, shoppers!

6. That I could find something beautiful for my wife to wear, even if she never does. She will appreciate the heart behind it; which counts the most.

7. That our 49ers beat the Falcons in the last game at Candlestick, via a miracle of God Himself! Wow, what a nail-biter! We all thought Atlanta would tie it, push us into overtime, and run us down, but...! Someone up there loves Coach Harbaugh, as He gave him an unbelievable 50th Birthday Gift! Now, how to win in Seattle?

8. That I can attend a beautiful Christmas Pageant in Castro Valley tonight at the Neighborhood Church with most of my sons.

9. That I got the Christmas CD's on the stereo last night, we got the tree up, and watched a bit of Polar Express and Prancer.

10. That all is calm, all is bright around our household today, tonight, and in this sacred season, as we (finally) get around to decorating our tree tonight; appropriate in a way.

And finally, as Tiny Tim famously said at the close of Dickens, "A Christmas Carol," "And God Bless Us, Everyone!"

"...Merry Christmas to All, and to All a Goodnight!"

Quotes from the Posts

"I'm mindful that our thoughts affect the words we use, our words influence our actions, our actions shape our character and our character determines our destiny."

From "My Character Determines My Destiny." To read it, please click here.

"Progress not perfection, is better than no progress at all, especially when we're trying to rid ourselves from unwelcome dragons that dwell within the closets of our soul."

From, "Still Learning" which, within four days, became the most popular post
written. To read it, please click here.

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its trouble, but it does empty today of its strength"
From the post: "Life Is Not a Correspondence Program." Click here to read it.

"Even though we cannot control our circumstances, we can control how we choose to respond to them."

From, "Handling Stress and Dealing With an Emotional Bully."Click here to read this post.

"Nope, being busy isn't exciting. Boring is good. Because boring is not boring; boring is being healthy, living a balanced life that has serenity"

From: "Do You Know What It Means If You Are Too Busy?" For more, please click here.