" Reflections  2005 "

Dear Friends and Family,

Christmas is the one time of the year that seems to have us looking back on this last year. For some it brings back good memories and to others not so good memories.

As for Lena and me, it was a year of mixed emotions. My mother passed away the day after Christmas last year, and Lena’s father passed away just three months later is March. Many of you would think, oh what a tragedy to have a parent die during the Christmas holiday, because every year at that time you would feel remorseful over the death of your parent. I would like to share with you what I think about, concerning my family this Christmas season.

When I think of my Mom, I think of all the wonderful times we have had over the years with my family. I don’t just think of Mom and that she is gone or that I’ll never see her again. I find myself looking back on all the Christmas’ passed, with Mom, Dad and my sisters. Christmas was a time of getting together and enjoying one another. It wasn’t just the gifts that made Christmas special. It was the time of being together as a family.

The greatest gift to me was when my Mom and Dad accepted God’s gift to them, when they asked Jesus to come into their hearts. When Dad was dieing he reached out and asked Jesus into his life, and when Mom was in the nursing home just before her death, she asked Jesus into her heart.

You see that is what Christmas is all about. It’s not about us. It’s about God’s gift to us.

He gave us His Son Jesus, and through that gift, He gave eternal life to all that would accept Jesus into their hearts.

Jesus said that He was going to Heaven to prepare a better place for us. No matter how everything looks here on earth, there is a better place prepared for us in heaven. Mom and Dad have gone to that better place. Yes I miss them very much, but I know that I will see them again in that better place called heaven.

Lena’s Dad passed away in March of this year. Her Dad just had his 98th birthday that January. A couple of years ago, he told us that he thought he would live to be 100. A few weeks ago I was thinking about this, and then I remembered Lena’s Dad telling me that because of the war there was a mistake on his birth date. He said that he was actually older and didn’t remember just when he was born. Then it came to me just maybe he did live to be 100 years old.

Lena’s Dad was a mighty man of God and lived so near to God that God would hear his prayers and would answer them. Just before his death he became dehydrated and had to go to the hospital. He was there for three days. The morning of his discharge the doctor had checked him over and had found him in good health. While waiting to be discharged Lena’s Dad began praying. At the end of his prayer he asked God to take this yoke from him. A couple hours later God granted his prayer and he just quit breathing and went to be with the Lord, to that better place that Jesus had prepared for him.

So we find ourselves this Christmas being thankful to God that Lena’s and my parents are both now in that better place that Jesus has prepared for them.

This Christmas Season we would like to extend an invitation to you, to ask Jesus into your heart and when the time comes, you too will be able to go to that better place that Jesus has prepared for you.

If you would like to respond to this invitation just repeat this prayer after me.

Dear Jesus, forgive me of my sins. I’m asking you to come into my heart and change me. I want to become a child of God and live for you from this point forward. I thank you Jesus for hearing my prayer, and for saving me today. Amen.

It’s as easy as that. Now if you prayed this prayer and meant it with all your heart, you have become what Jesus said, ‘you must be born again to enter into heaven’. This is that born again experience that Jesus was speaking about. You are Born Again, and when you die you too will be going to that better place that Jesus has prepared for us.

Lena and I would like to wish you a Merry Christmas, and a Blessed New Year. We pray that God will prosper you with Health and Finances in the days to come.