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'Our Greatest Need is to Be Still'
by Travis Wiginton
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Not that we should (nor could) isolate ourselves, but one can not read the newspapers without seeing ads concerning the need to prepare for Christmas. It's the same with TV ads as they show things that might make Christmas a more 'festive' time.
Whether it's 'How to prepare foods' or 'How to entertain friends/family' there's an abundance of ideas and advice!

But as I read them, I can't help but think HOW do we have time for all of this...
and still keep the true meaning/spirit of Christmas?

We've enjoyed 56 yrs. of memorable Christmases with our immediate family...
as well as with our church families.

Our search for that special toy that each child wanted would begin many months before Christmas. Later while wrapping gifts for our 6 teenagers, we looked forward to this time of the year as we remembered the greatest Gift of all...
the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

However this is going to be a very different Christmas in our home.
We've not shared in detail about the many limitations that we're experiencing now...
but due to those, it's going to be different in many ways. Our ears/brains can no longer handle much noise (or TV) as we can't seem to 'shake scenes/songs out of our heads' during the night. Can't explain it....but it happens.

Our daughter wanted to put up the Christmas tree when she was home last week, but just the thought of it was too overwhelming for us right now. We've always enjoyed the tree that La Moyne got at Salvation Army 35+ yrs. ago (for $12) and we especially enjoy all of the ornaments that have special meaning and bring back such warm memories!

But this year we're haaving to realize that physical (and some mental) limitations come with age/declining health. To put it mildly, this has been VERY hard to accept. We've been aware of it for the last year or so, but kept thinking/hoping that things would get better, yet at the same time we're aware of how much worse things could be.

Though we're not putting up the tree, Kristin set the Nativity Scene up in front of our house and our son, Kevin is coming by after work today to fix the lights on it.
We also put our family's favorite Nativity set on the mantle and another one just inside our front door.

Even those 'feats' proved to be challenging (and time consuming) as it's hard to do...
when we can no longer stand without holding onto something!

We've been made very aware of how quickly life can change as one of our dear neighbors had heart surgery last month which went ok, but he then had a stroke and is now in rehabilitation in OKC.

Ferrill (and Dolores) White are very active members of their church, always doing something (like building bookshelves for their church) so this alarming change in their lives was sudden and rehab is challenging as their lives took a drastic turn.

In Dolores' update today she said, "I'm relying on the prayers and God's ever abiding love."

We are told in Isaiah:
~"Their strength is to sit still..." (Isaiah 30:7)
In Isaiah 30:15 God says:
~"In returning and rest, you shall be saved;
In quietness and confidence shall be your strength...and you would not"

"Better is a dry morsel and quietness, than a house full of strife." (Proverbs 17: 1)
"The work of righteousness shall be peace and the effects of righteousness ...
shall be quietness and assurance forever." (Isaiah 32: 17)

It is a noisy world with all of the new gadgets. Noise and speed seem to be the 'order of the day'. I feel for parents trying to raise families today, but there is a better way than constant:
~no 'order' nor meaningful, loving conversation.

There MUST be some worship, spirituality and quiet moments in the home for proper growth and maturity to 'take root' in each life!

I'm reminded of the Baptist who went to a worship service with a Quaker friend.
The quietness without a word being spoken for several minutes proved to be too much for the Baptist, so he asked his friend "When does the service begin?"
The Quaker replied, "After the worship is over."
We would all do well to have more quiet times in our homes and churches.

I think that it boils down to this:
~Is this God's business or my busy-ness?
~Who's in charge here?
~How well do we know our business partner, God?
~How often do we read His Partnership Book (the Bible)?
~Do you worship Him privately as well as publicly?

I heard that the most indispensable thing in the home is the remote control.
If this is so and we seldom use the 'off' button, won't God become 'remote'?

I'm afraid that many families are missing out on 'inter-active' conversations...
which help to build character and strength in each family member.

As much as Jesus had to do, He never seemed to be in a hurry.
(Matt: 14:23 and 26:36-46)
Like God, Jesus was never in a hurry, but was always 'on time'. (John 11)

D.T. Niles (who worked with foreign missionaries for years) observed:
"Hurry means that we gather impressions, but have no experiences.
We collect acquaintances, but make no friends.
We attend meetings, but experience no encounter with God.
If we are to find time, we must encounter Eternity."

In the book, "The Growing Minister" by A.W. Blackwood, he quotes a missionary to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), "When I came to Ceylon, we traveled by oxcarts.....now we travel by car. The substitution of the one for the other, has hurt our evangelistic work. When I traveled by oxcart, I met people. Now I rush to a meeting and hurry to get back home."
I'm sure that it does not have to be this way, but you can see the point and the possible dangers.

A busy leader once said, "Be Still and Know God."
Jesus lived this by rising up a great while before day and found a quiet place to pray.
An old song says, "Take time to be holy....the world rushes on."

We're praying that in the midst of all that Christmas involves, that we'll be able to find some quiet moments and that Isaiah 30:15 will be fulfilled in our lives.

The Number One gift is to know Jesus as our Savior and serve Him as Lord.
(John 14: 6, 27)

This is a song that La Moyne used to sing at Christmas:
"Have You Any Room for Jesus?"
(Lyrics: Anonymous; adapted by Daniel Whittle. Composer: CC Williams)

"Have you any room for Jesus,
He who bore your load of sin?
As He knocks and asks admission,
Sinners, will you let Him in?

Room for Jesus, King of Glory!
Hasten now His Word obey;
Swing the heartís door widely open,
Bid Him enter while you may.

Room for pleasure, room for business,
But for Christ the Crucified,
Not a place that He can enter,
In the heart for which He died?

Room for Jesus, King of Glory!
Hasten now His Word obey;
Swing the heartís door widely open,
Bid Him enter while you may.

Have you any room for Jesus,
As in grace He calls again?
O today is time accepted,
Tomorrow you may call in vain.

Room for Jesus, King of Glory!
Hasten now His Word obey;
Swing the heartís door widely open,
Bid Him enter while you may.

Room and time now give to Jesus,
Soon will pass Godís day of grace;
Soon thy heart left cold and silent,
And thy Saviorís pleading cease.

Room for Jesus, King of Glory!
Hasten now His Word obey;
Swing the heartís door widely open,
Bid Him enter while you may."

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...in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them... 2 Cor 5:19

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