The Presence of the Present

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Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

As the day approaches—the day set aside as a holiday to celebrate the birth of Jesus—Christmas Day, my attention now , more than ever, is the truth that He was, is and will always be Father’s Gift to the world, that is our Savior, our Rescuer, our Redeemer, our Deliverer.

The presents we give and receive are good. Keep giving during this season. It is in part what the holiday is all about—giving to express love. Blessing others. Enjoying family and friends—laughter because of the joy of the season. That is ALL good; however, the present GIFT (the right now GIFT) is so much better. To have Immanuel with us is the most valuable gift anyone can have or desire. The Lord’s Presence is the air that we breathe, and His Holy Spirit, a precious treasure that dwells in these frail, broken earthen vessels we call our body.

As I mature naturally and spiritually, I focus more on the Presence of the Present—being alive, embracing life, breathing, having peace with God through faith in Jesus the Christ, and thus, peace of mind in a world’s system that is unstable and a society that mad and dominated by the evil one.

The prophetic word spoken by Isaiah 7:14 was fulfilled, and Immanuel is still with us! The sign that God promised appeared. To debate the date, or when doesn’t matter to me. What matters is the He came and after His humanity assigned time on earth was completed, He gave His life and after three days was resurrected; after 40 days He ascended on a cloud back to glory, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father, with all power over heaven and earth in His hands. AND, what also matters is He is coming back again to reign forever!

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Holiday Season Pain

Since my past experience with holiday season pain, I am sensitive to the emotional and spiritual needs of people during the HopeforHolidaysholiday season.

I believe “holiday season pain” can be the worst. I also believe this time of the year strikes a chord of caring and great concern because I understand the heartbreak caused by the death of a loved one during the holiday season.  For me, it was the death of my mother the day after Christmas. Although the holiday pain is not so piercing now, I still remember it as if it was last night, although it has been 11 years since I experienced the “first” worst day of life, December 26, 2003, 12:01 a.m.
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Thanks!

Hope for the Holiday Season

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This holiday season, for many people, is the most depressing and stressful time of the year. News headlines are filled with tragic events.  An increase of deaths occur during this time of the year.  So many have to deal with trauma, tragedy; families are grief-stricken families by the death of loved ones and the many other perplexities of life. Moreover, many families are struggling financially, which increases their sadness because they lack the resources to purchase gifts, gadgets and basic essential items.   It seems like a paradox to hear about and know of  such hopelessness during a time when this season is meant to bring peace, joy, happiness and hope –celebrating the birth of the Christ. Unfortunately, too many are hopeless!

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Bittersweet

The year it really hit me that every minute you have the opportunity to spend time with someone that means the world to you, you’d better seize the opportunity.  It was  December 17, 2003 that the last chapter of life spent with my mother, Mr. Deva Mae Franks Horn, ended.  My mom’s will to live could no longer stand up to the overpowering cancerous cells that finally invaded her organs, took control and left her physical body too weak to fight. Immediately I knew this would be the last opportunity to spend time with her before she transitioned to that place of eternal rest. She fought the good fight of faith. She’d outlived her prognosis, and she touched the lives of many who admired her dearly.

This time of the year is always bittersweet. I still miss her.  Yet, I’m grateful for the miraculous comfort and peace of my heavenly Father, which enabled me to go through the grieving process. Knowing the reason for this season, and the hope it brings gives me consolation when I remember her faith, hope and love.

Therefore, I do not grieve like others who have no hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13-14). As she believed so do I. I believe that Jesus, the Son of God was born of the virgin Mary, died on the Cross and was raised to life on the third day, and we believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died.  Although the pain of separation is still difficult, the hope of our reunion gives me a reason to rejoice in this season.

December 26, 2003, she transitioned from this earthly realm to her heavenly home in Glory to be with her Lord.

Fear vs. Faith

Fear imprisons, faith liberates; fear paralyzes, faith empowers; fear disheartens, faith encourages; fear sickens, faith heals, fear makes useless, faith makes serviceable—and most of all, fear puts hopelessness at the heart of life, while faith rejoices in its God.
—Harry Emerson Fosdick

Wow! When I came across this quote, I had to share it. These are timely words for this time of the year. This is the time when “faith” should cause us to rejoice in our God. When we really focus on the true meaning of this season we should be liberated, empowered, encouraged, and healed and eager to serve—and most of all willing to share the message of faith, hope and love.

Although Christmas is the time to celebrate the good news of peace, love and hope that the birth of Jesus Christ brought to earth, it can be one of the most stressful and depressing times of the year for some people. This is because life is filled with fearful transitions and challenges that affect all mankind as a result of Man’s fall in the Garden of Eden.

Still, the Good News is: God’s planned for Man to live victoriously and to triumph over the evil that’s ever present to ensnare his soul and spirit. The plan for a victorious and abundant life is through faith in Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world, and Lord over all. In Him we live, move and have our being (existence). In Him, we have hope, unconditional love and inner peace to get us through the toughest of times, if we believe in Him, rely on Him, trust in Him, and obey His commands.

Search Scriptures, for in them in you will find and know the Truth. That truth will liberate you, empower you, encourage you, bring healing (wholeness, peace) to your mind and emotions, and put within you a desire to serve God and your fellowman, and most of all, place hope at the heart of life, and give you a reason to rejoice in this season.

I pray that you are filled with love, hope and peace this holiday season!

Scripture references: Genesis 3; Luke 2:13-14; John 5:38-40; Acts 17:11, 28; Colossians 1:26-28; Philippians 4:6-8