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Christmas Thoughts from Our Home, My Heart

It’s December 21 and I am done wrapping  and sending out 95 % gifts that need to be delivered. So here I am, taking a break and writing.  9 days to go till we “wrap up 2016″… and it is not easy looking back.  It is actually painful .

The year was just about to roll in when we lost my Daddy Dony. It is actually going to be the first Christmas without him. Actually, he celebrated his last Christmas here on earth in the ICU on his 10th week in the hospital.  “Daddy Dony and Christmas” was always special because he loved special occasions to gather his loved ones. He thought of all ways to spice up the event and we’ve had the most “all out” gatherings because of his ideas.

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The only photo I unearthed from my file that showed our family ( half of our size now) in Filipino Christmas motif! There was also a Christmas gathering that we were to come as members of the Nativity Scene, and yes someone came as Baby Jesus in the manger!
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,,,,,one Christmas, the grandkids decided to have a family super selfie dance! If you want another one,  here.  We are a CRAZY bunch, and that’s partly due to Daddy Dony!

Please remember to pray for my Mommy Emma.  It was difficult  for her to live without her boyfriend and husband of 64 years this year.img_4074

But sadly, so many other precious lives left us this year: a  homeschooler  friend who had 4 children, a dear sister of  one my BFFs, my eldest brother in law,  my neighbor’s father,   several of our helper’s dearest relatives and several parents of other friends.

Our own family had one relationship problem after another,   and  so I think 2016 was my most “crying-ext” year.  I love how the Psalms in the New Living Translation says it ever so clearly in Psalm 56:8 “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.”  I also soar in the assurance in  Psalm 34:18 “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.”  So when you really think about it, the Lord is near and so I must rest  and rejoice in that.  And truly this season is the best time to rejoice knowing, “Emmanuel, God is with us!”  So, instead of wallowing and yes, staring at my tears in my own “memory” bottle and reliving the hurts again in my thoughts and heart,   I have made a choice to rejoice.  God is with us. He is near us.  What an amazing , awesome, mind-blowing truth!!!!

So as I greet you all a truly MERRY “because God is indeed with us” Christmas, let  me do this using some of the Christmas sights here at home.

Let me take the simple messages from our tree this year.  (Set up by all our kids!)

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  1.  Be Merry, God is with us.    Take time to think of that. Close your eyes and say. “Thank You, Jesus.” “God with us” paved the way for  the redemption of  every believer in Christ. “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).

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2.  Life’s circumstances may cloud the way, dim our thoughts but as one follower encountered Jesus, he called out and said, “I do believe; Lord, help my unbelief.” (Mark 9:24)  Even Mary had her own doubts, “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”  (Luke 1:34 ) So my dearest one, Merry Believing!

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3. May you have Joy and Freedom.   God, through Jesus, has already provided this with the greatest sacrifice at Calvary.  With Jesus, we have eternal joy and freedom from the burden and weight of our sins and failures. Again, take time to think and ponder on these. Indeed, we can really sing, “Joy to the World!”

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4.  Amidst the troubles at home, in our families and in our society, and yes in our world,  may you have  inner peace in believing in faith, that God is sovereign.  I weep as I think of children in  Aleppo, as I think of those killed in this “all out drug” war.   We know  that the  worsening  “darkness” has been foretold but alongside that, there is  the call to press on to be salt and light in this earth. I cannot let the darkness , whether in my own family life or in this word,  make me cynical, cripple me or paralyze me. ” You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3. “For the peace of God that transcends all understanding shall guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7

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5. In faith, I have chosen to draw near to God and  believe. James 4:8 says, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. ” May then your faith in Him  be strengthened as you look back at 2016 and look forward to 2017.  God is faithful and He seeks those who will believe Him in faith.

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So there. Simple truths but truly profound and wondrous.  Let us, like Mary,  take time to celebrate as we meditate on these thoughts.  “Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” (Luke 2:19) As you do this, listen to traditional Bible based Christmas carols and be blessed with these 5 simple truths I drew out from our CHRISTmas tree this year.

Merry CHRISTMAS!!!!

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For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6

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