Sunday, December 6, 2015

A Jolly Time of Year....or Is It?

We are on that countdown to Christmas; interesting how this time of year has a different effect on each of us.  Our 5 year old grandson’s picture has shown up on Facebook sitting on Santa’s lap.  Meanwhile, his mom and dad are juggling work and family PLUS getting ready for Christmas. 

The last couple of days for us have involved musical programs and times with good friends.  In the next week I will have the great joy and privilege of delivering a message of Christmas hope to a group of women at my church.

It all sounds so jolly….but is it?

Life always presents challenges but there is something about this time of year that brings out the best AND the worst of memories, stresses and joys.

At this very moment I have friends struggling with serious health issues, great losses, financial challenges, marital conflicts and other personal anxieties.  And then there are shootings, political storms and anxiety producing world conflicts.

How depressing you say.  Yes, if our focus is on the world, on busy-ness, on the news and particularly on self.  We Christians, of all people, have every reason to experience great joy, no matter our circumstances. 

In the Biblical story of Christmas (Luke 2), the angel of the Lord appeared to the  shepherds and told them, “I bring you good news of great JOY", etc. That JOY, of course, was Jesus.  Later in His life, Jesus told His followers to “abide” in Him (John 15).

What does it mean to “abide” in Him?  I want to share a very special poem written by my friend, Dean Schoen.  Out of his personal life experiences and his journey with Jesus, came a book of poetry named, Poems From The Crucible 52 for you.  He has given me permission to share. Enjoy….


Abiding in Him


Abiding in Him

Is to rest, stopping

In gratitude to place

Your burden with Him,

To remain without

Rushing away,

By standing clean in

The center of His love,

And following His shadow

Into sweet stillness.


Abiding in Him is to

Stand firm as a reed in

A storm, connected fast

To the cross, to submit by

Melting from alternatives

Into His path.


Abiding in Him is to

Go on setting your course

By the drawing of His love,

To reside, to set your table

And to find your sanctuary

In His love.


My plan, as my calendar fills up to overflowing, is to abide in Him by spending time in God’s Word, making personal time with God in prayer and lifting my eyes and heart upward.  May we all experience the peace that is available through the practice of abiding.

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