Monday, December 21, 2015

KEEP THE FAITH!


During this holiday season, giving is what we'll be doing most. Weeks before Christmas, we'll  have sent beautiful cards with sweet sentiments to everybody we know and love. Shiny bright presents under the tree will be tagged for our moms, dads, children, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and a multitude of dear friends. Delectable foods will be shared with company, countless toasts of holiday cheer wishing all health and happiness will be made, and warm embraces will be given as family and friends head for home.

As the old saying goes, "Giving is better than receiving," and I couldn't agree more. But the one precious thing we have and need to keep especially during Christmas is your faith. As Christians we believe that God sent His beloved Son, Jesus, into the world so that all mankind will be redeemed. No greater gift has ever been given before! And it is this gift that we must hold on to throughout all the days of our lives.

Millions of folks will attend Christmas services to comemorate the birth of Christ. They will kneel before the Nativity and thank the Lord for blessings they've received throughout the year. They will pray for those souls who have left this world and ask that the dearly departed enjoy the heavenly bliss promised to all of us. They will implore the New Born Babe to guide them through the pain and suffering that visits everyone at one time or another, and they will beg for the courage to walk through the Valley of Tears with hope for a better tomorrows.

The older I get, the need for material things lessens more and more. If you asked me what I wanted for Christmas this year, I would say peace and happiness for my family, friends, and most importantly, for the world. And as time passes, I look back and see that faith has been the most treasured gift I've ever received. I was born into a family who valued their belief in God above all else. We enjoyed many years of prosperity and good health. During those periods, it was easy to believe. But we also endured painful events of loss and deprivation. We could have easily raised our fists to heaven and denounced the existence of God. Yet by keeping the faith, our family prayed harder, drew closer, and weathered the storms of life together.

Personally I have gone through times when I felt it would be better to leave this world than to be a burden to my loved ones. It was only because of my faith that I chose to move forward and conquer my demons, and I'm so very happy I did. A number of my friends couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel and made a different choice. If not for my faith, I could have easily made the same decision.

During this holiest of times, give generously, spread Christmas joy to all you meet, and celebrate your blessings with good food, good wine, and good people!

Just remember to KEEP THE FAITH!