All I want for christmas is you!
Written by Donna Butler
Your names declare Your prodigious glory
Your word proclaims Your phenomenal character
Your promises are evidence of Your steadfast love
And, Your answers affirm Your caring devotions toward us
You are unquestionably all that You profess to be
And exponenetially more than we could ever understand You to be
Your plans are infinite arrangements
That the greatest symphony could barely mimic
Your thoughts are as expansive as time
We could not even begin to comprehend, but You graciously explain
Your arms tenderly embrace us, yet engulf us in Your protection
Your written expressions are endearing with healing balm
And just as precise to surgically remove whatever is defiling
You attentively listen and compassionately respond to our prayers, our cries, our songs
You sentimentally inhale the sweet aroma of our humble sacrifices
You warmly look upon us as a Shepherd overseeing His sheep
You are our loving Daddy, yet omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent
You are the great I AM
You are God Almighty
AND, You love little ol’ me!
You are my amazing gift!
the reality of Christmas
Written by Susan Stedman
I have a confession to make. I have not put up a Christmas tree or done much of anything to celebrate that holiday since 2009.
When I was a little girl, Christmas meant so much happiness and peace that I looked forward every year to not just the 25th, but the whole month of December. It wasn’t the presents, even as a child, but it was the way that my family seemed to make an extra effort to get along.
We spent each Christmas at my Mema’s house. She decorated every free surface of her house with red, green, and gold Santas, reindeer, angels, candles, a plastic nativity scene and so many beautiful gifts in colorful wrapping paper. Everything twinkled. My favorite thing to do was to lay on my back underneath the Christmas tree and watch the lights flicker and reflect off the glass ornaments. I could do that for hours. As I think of it now, tears keep blinding me from seeing the computer screen.
It was magical. The whole spirit of Christmas seemed to be alive in every person’s heart so that arguing, disagreements, and bad feelings were put aside, at least for this day. My mom and dad, who fought daily, put aside their animosity so that we could have peace and calmness for this day. When I think back, that was my best gift of all.
This month, we cleaned out a storeroom that we had ignored for years. In my effort to forget Christmas, I gave away every one of the decorations I had held onto, some from my childhood, in the hopes that one day I would want to celebrate again.
Tonight, I popped onto YouTube. Tomorrow is December 1 so I should have expected Christmas videos. This one featured Christmas commercials from the 60s and 70s, the years when my best Christmas memories originated. I started to cry immediately. Others had commented about having the same feelings.
I thought about my grandparents – my Grandaddy has been gone for more than a decade now - but my Mema is ninety-one and she has decorated her whole house just like every year. A beautiful white tree with red ornaments, snowmen everywhere, and her best Christmas china placed on her huge dining room table, just waiting for her family to come see her on Christmas Day. She felt that our gift to her was a day without loneliness. I was ashamed again. I told her just a few days ago that I didn’t care about celebrating Christmas. It wasn’t the same. I didn’t want to walk through her house and look at all the decorations she took pains to place.
I must write her a letter now to tell her how wrong I was; she can’t hear me when we talk on the phone anymore. I need to apologize to my daughter for stealing Christmas from her. It has nothing to do with our society or a dysfunctional family. It is because I forgot what Christmas was truly all about. The greatest gift in the history of history was given to our world on this night when God sent His Son as a tiny, innocent baby to grow up and spread love and peace to all, and then to die for our sins so we don’t have to, if we only believe. That is the true meaning of Christmas. Not about what you see with your eyes, but what you feel and believe in your heart. Susan Stedman 11/30/22
A Lost Art
Written by Donna Butler
The art of giving thanks has been lost at times. We forget to appreciate the little things and complain when it doesn’t fit what or how we think it should be. We say thank you sometimes just out of obligation without genuinely appreciating the time someone took to do a kind deed for us. We also take grace, be it from God or people, for granted and feel like we don’t have to say thank you because it is “owed” to us. If we actually got what we “deserved”, would we be thankful then? Gratitude just takes thinking outside of yourself. Remember…THANKS!
Think Humility Appreciate Name Kindness Savor
Think about the time, expense, thought, and cost/sacrifice of the gift or action done specifically for you. Remember, the person did not have to, they chose to.
Philippians 4:8 NET “…whatever is true, whatever is worthy of respect, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if something is excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things.”
Humility is a modest or low view of one's own importance. You are not God. We don’t deserve all the praise and glory. We need to remember that and be humble.
Proverbs 11:2 “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.”
Appreciate means to recognize the full worth of… It is a verb which means there needs to be an action behind it.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
Name, say the person’s name and the item or deed that was done in your thank you. Make it specific and meaningful.
Luke 6:31 “And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.
Kindness is a character trait. Enough said.
Colossians 3:12 “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”
Savor is a characteristic of taste, flavor, or smell, especially a pleasant one. Whatever we get is a blessing. So take time to savor the little things.
Colossians 3:17 “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
Whatever the case, being thankful has to be intentional…Just take time to give thanks.
Written by Melvina Jordan
For every sacrificial cranberry, jellied or whole.
For warm butter & dinner glasses clinked in unison.
For every late cousin, uncle, aunt, niece, nephew & friend.
For every child told to “stop running” or “sit down.”
For every inedible rejected new potato salad recipe.
For every leftover that filled lunch boxes for weeks on end.
For every angry neighbor whose parking spots were taken.
For every ball game & lost bet placed under a table.
For every last minute run for cinnamon, nutmeg or milk.
For every vacant place at every table where grandmas, grandpas & loved ones used to sit.
For every rehearsed & spontaneous prayer before we carved.
Lord, I'm grateful... for Thanksgiving.
Nothing missing, nothing broken in our hearts.
Lord, we remember.
Oh Give Thanks!
Written by Lori Henson
"....giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in the Kingdom of Light…"
Oh to give thanks- it is so necessary this time of year. When we live a life of thankfulness in the Lord, what will that do in our lives?
Thankfulness provides a definitive trust to our heart. This means we can walk in the authority of what God can do. That kind of confidence in turn brings health to us and affirms who we are in Christ. Is this not nourishment to our souls which is our mind, will, and emotions? The Lord is kind to all and this kindness pours out through us to others. Finally, living a life of thankfulness plants the roots of stability of the Lord into our hearts. Therefore, let's make this time of year a meaningful time with family and friends. May we realize the necessity of giving thanks this season and beyond.
About Rays of Light:
Whereas most blogs are from one writer, these posts are from a variety of authors and styles. These scribes all attend our Kingdom Writers group. We pray our passion to share God's love through writing will encourage you today!
Our writers group meets every 4th Tuesday Night at 7PM in person and/or via zoom. Let us know if you would like to join us.