Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!!!!!

When a child is born, it is one of the greatest moments in life for everyone. Parents are full of joy, little brothers and sisters are happy, grandparents are often insanely happy, and even family pets are glad to see a little baby come home. Friends often can’t wait to congratulate the family and to see the newest member. It’s just a wonderful time in life.

I think the story of the birth of Jesus is honestly one of the most beautiful stories that exist. How many people really knew the significance of that night so long ago!? But to think of our Lord and Savior being born in a stable and placed in a manger is hard to believe. A glorious star appeared in the sky to signify his birth. The fact that three wisemen showed up to honor the Messiah indicates how important his birth was to this world.

I know God was proud of Jesus immediately. God loves humanity and he knew that Jesus was born on Earth to save the people of the world. I wonder if God was anguished knowing how Jesus life would end. My mother has often said there is NO WAY she could have watched Travis or myself go through the torture, mocking, beating, and execution that Jesus endured. Now my thought is, she could not have watched TRAVIS go through it, but she would have considered that fate for me if necessary. I know I could not watch the children in my life suffer a horrible death to save the very people that are condemning them for no reason. God destroyed the world with a flood, he destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, and he took harsh vengeance on this world in many situations, but allowed his only son to suffer an execution. The reason? ”God so love the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.”…John 3-16. We have been saved by the grace of God and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. What a glorious night it was over 2000 years ago.

Tonight and tomorrow will be filled with family, friends, and children making memories that will last a lifetime. I’ve always loved Christmas because it gives the whole world time to pause, take a breath, and reflect on the good things that life has to offer. As you gather around your homes with family and friends this Christmas, remember to honor the birth of Jesus.

I want to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas! May your families find peace and be blessed with all of the joys that Christmas has to offer!

Friday, December 19, 2014

15 Years and Counting

A friend is one of the nicest things you can have, and one of the best things you can be- Douglas Pagels.

As we all move through life, the only way to avoid having “highs and lows” is to simply not live. As I browse through Facebook and watch peoples lives, I find a lot to enjoy. It’s great watching kids grow up, go through school, play ball, sing, etc. We see people reach milestones, achievements, awards, and even retirements. We see places people go and experiences they have. I think we all enjoy seeing good things happen to people during their lives.

But with the good comes the bad. We see people going through challenges of all kinds. Sickness, surgeries, loss of loved ones, loss of jobs, etc. Its during those times that people need each other the most. When I see people going through life challenges, its really great to see everyone show support and encouragement to help people through. Going through a difficult time is hard enough, but doing it feeling alone is even worse.

Friendship has always been an essential aspect of life to me. As I get older, it becomes even more important. We will all go through challenges and difficulties throughout our lives. The Lord does not guarantee us an easy life filled with everything we want. Everyone realizes that there are a lot of difficulties going on among friends and families. The fact remains, no matter where you are in life, if you don’t have friends and people around you for support, it certainly makes challenges even harder.

Deddy always appreciated his friends as much as anyone I know. He enjoyed spending time with them, giving them a hard time about funny things and listening to what was going on in their lives. Most of my family has always been the same way. I was talking to Uncle Boyd yesterday and he said his party is one of the things he looks forward to the most all year long. But he also said, at the same time, it makes him somewhat sad because he misses Deddy more. Tony Cox has told me many times that after Deddy died, he doesn’t enjoy playing golf near as much as he used to and he actually doesn’t play that much.

As the years have passed, we’ve lost several members of Uncle Boyd’s Christmas Party. But on the bright side, we’ve gained some members too. Tonight will be like always. We sit around and talk, EVERYONE will be ridiculed in some way or another. Hot topics will be discussed like the paramount rivalry between Boone Trail and Benhaven years ago, there will never be a baseball player as good as Mickey Mantle, NASCAR “ain’t what it used to be,” and David Pearson is the greatest driver of all time. Uncle Boyd will tell us that if he had “Air Jordans” when he played basketball, he would have probably hurt his knees on the backboard.

A lot has happened in the last 15 years. In some ways, it seems like a long time and in others it seems to have gone by in a flash. Its hard to believe that this will be the 15th year that Deddy has not been to “Uncle Boyd’s Christmas Party.” I think we all miss him the same as we always have. I have no idea what the Lord allows us to see from Heaven but I have often wondered. But I do know this, Deddy might not physically be there tonight, but if he does know, he is extremely happy that we are still having this party. Because at the end of life, two of the most important things in this world are your family and friends…..and that’s what tonight is all about.