Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

As the sun is setting on this eve of Christmas and we have finished our running and shopping to settle in at home with loved ones, we begin to reflect on our own traditions and the reason for the season. Many celebrate the namesake of Christmas Christ and envision the Christ child born as savior to the world. They picture His mother Mary, earthly father Joseph and the wise men coming to behold Him. It is said wise men still seek Him 2000 years later.

The full picture we have there in what is often called the Nativity Scene is family and friends gathered together. Time with our family and friends and reflecting on the blessings we have in our lives is very important. I was recently in London and went to a Christmas Performance. I remember the Gospel Music Leader saying that we should not focus on the recession or the fact we could not go out and buy our families lavish gifts and prepare big meals. He said we must remember to reflect on the love we have within our family and what we actually have now.

So often we chase after more, bigger and better; flash and glitter. This all will pass away. It is temporary. Next season it is old and out of date. We need to focus on those loved ones that have been placed in our lives. They are there for a reason and they never go out of date.

I could not tell you the different presents I got each year for Christmas (though I do remember my parents loved us and spoiled us, we did not want for anything). The thing that stood out to me then and now was that we were always together as a family for Christmas. We would watch Godzilla Movies and tell jokes and laugh. We always had a good time just being together. It was not about the presents (whether someone brought one or not) it was about the presence of that person at the family gathering.
We cannot pick our family and trust me I know there are no perfect families. What I do know is it is up to us how we treat and interact with our family members. I encourage you to pick up the phone and reach out to your loved ones (especially the ones who do not live in the same city as you). Make your presence (either physically or over the phone) your present to those you hold most dear.

Please also keep our military service members, your local police departments and the victims of the natural disasters and losses that have occurred this year in your thoughts and prayers this holiday season. When you say your Grace over your Christmas meal take a moment to say a word for them.

I also promised I would provide some names of organizations providing relief efforts to the affected region for those of you who wanted to aid the victims of the typhoon in the Philippines. Here is what I have so far:

World Vision international

World Food Programme


Save the Children

Have a Merry Christmas.
Keep warm and stay safe.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Urgent Call for Prayers for the Philipines

Recently areas of the Philipines were hit by a typhoon leaving many dead, injured and sick. Surviving family members are grieving their lost loved ones, homes and posessions. The frontline first responders are working overtime to ensure the stability and safety of the affected people and areas leaving their own loved ones to care for themselves in their absence.

I am asking you all to be praying for everyone affected by this natural disaster. The IAWP has many members from this region. I want them to know we are praying for them and that we are here to help them if they need it.

My local law enforcement prayer group has been praying for the survivors, the families of the lost, the medical and rescue personnel and the law enforcer.

I will keep you posted on the best way you can help the survivors. Check back to my blog in a few hours and I will have resource information.

Stay Safe.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Insearch of Holiday Lights Around the world

"Happy Christmas" I heard one person say to another as I boarded a bus at King's Crossing. "Happy Christmas to you." they replied. I thought "Hummm, Isn't it Happy Holidays OR Merry Chistmas" The unique turn of phrase is always of interest to me. I have to remember I am going to the toilet or the loo here not the rest room or the bath room. Language and the use of phrases are very interesting.

I also asked "Where are the Holiday decorations?" On my train ride from Heathrow to London Center I only counted two houses (which I could see into the windows of from the window of the train) that had decorated Christmas trees. I did not see any candles or multi-color light. By this time in most US cities neighborhoods would be brightly lit with holiday decorations.

So my mission while here is to find the Christmas trees and holiday lights Of London.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Something in the mailbox

Too often we head to the mailbox only to discover numerous letters from our old friend BILL, the bill for power, the bill for heating, the bill for water, bills arrive nearly everyday.

Let's over shadow bill with GREETING CARDS. Let's be the start of bringing back a holiday trend. Let's send out Holiday Greeting Cards; Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanza, New Years... Let's do it.

Let's make the trip to the post drop an enjoyable experience. Send a card stimulating a smile. One cannot help but smile when they receive a friendly greeting in the mail.

Years ago by this time of December most people had mailed off 30-50 greeting cards to family and friends around the country and world. They might include a year in review sheet telling what the family had done during the year and/or a family photo.

Join me. Bring back the joy of heading to the mailbox. Encourage The Smile In The
Box. Send your friends and family Holiday Greeting Cards.

I will be checking my box daily for smiles:

7500 W Lake Mead #440
Las Vegas, NV 89128

I will report back how many smiles I GIVE and receive this year.

Have a great time sending a smile.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Every time I am asked to pray, I think of the old fellow who always prayed, 'Lord, prop us up on our leanin' side.' After hearing him pray that prayer many times, someone asked him why he prayed that prayer so fervently.

He answered, 'Well sir, you see, it's like this.... I got an old barn out back. It's been there a long time; it's withstood a lot of weather; it's gone through a lot of storms, and it's stood for many years.

It's still standing. But one day I noticed it was leaning to one side a bit.

So I went and got some pine poles and propped it up on its leaning side so it wouldn't fall.

Then I got to thinking about that and how much I was like that old barn.. I've been around a long time.

I've withstood a lot of life's storms.. I've withstood a lot of bad weather in life, I've withstood a lot of hard times, and I'm still standing too. But I find myself leaning to one side from time to time, so I like to ask the Lord to prop us up on our leaning side, 'cause I figure a lot of us get to leaning at times.

Sometimes we get to leaning toward anger, leaning toward bitterness leaning toward hatred, leaning toward cussing, leaning toward a lot of things that we shouldn't. So we need to pray, 'Lord, prop us up on our leaning side, so we will stand straight and tall again, to glorify the Lord.'

(This was forwarded to me by an IAWP member. I am sharing it. If you have an uplifting or inspiring poem, story to share please email I to me.)

Happy Holidays