Barb's Mantle

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
Luke 2:11

Everywhere you go, you get the feeling of Christmas coming. The highways are filled with shoppers, and vacationers. People are on their way to visit relatives during this holiday season. Others are out to finish their Christmas shopping at the last moment.

If you go out at night during this season, you are sure to see lots of beautiful decorated homes and stores. Some people get very extravagant in their decorations. One home in our vicinity that we call 'The Mansion' has a beautiful barn in sight of the interstate. It is all decorated with a big star on top. Beside it, they have a beautiful cross that you can . . .

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
Luke 2:11

Long before the season begins, the stores begin to bring out Christmas decorations. Then, right around Thanksgiving, you see homes begin to start dressing up the windows and lawns. Then, one magical moment, you walk in the local mall, and the seasonal music is playing. This begins to stir emotions in you, regardless of your age. The Christmas season is _in the blood_, and it's hard to remove it. You may no longer feel like shopping until you drop, but those songs such as 'Little Drummer Boy' and 'I'll Be Home For Christmas', make you long for the day to quickly get here, with visions of snow, decorations on the tree, and food piled high on the plate!

This week, I was touched by something in a newsletter that I receive periodically from a family on the web. The lady writing noted in her newsletter, that she could 'no longer go home', considering her father had passed away since last Christmas. I think it kind of hit home when . . .

Thursday is Thanksgiving, a time to give thanks for all those blessings we have received throughout the year. But, I digress. Remember all the things you (and I) have complained about during the year? Did we once stop to think that God may have allowed those things to come our way to see how we would react? What did we do? Complain! And, scripture says for us to 'in every thing give thanks'.

Oh, I know it's almost humanly impossible to give thanks in every thing. I know I haven't. But, when we become humble, God can bless us. When we become humble before the Lord, then he's able to act on our behalf.

Friday night our grandchildren's school football team had a very humbling experience, or so . . .

Psalms 46:10 "Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth."

We are living in the fast lane, folks; no doubt about it! Roads we used to travel are now four-lane highways or expressways. The empty lots the children used to play are all now covered with homes, apartments, convenience stores, more and more malls, or service stations. As one more service station/convenience/package store goes up in a neighboring town, we all ask, "Why do we need ONE more station? That makes four on the same road within one block of each other. I'm speaking of a small town; not a big over grown city, with hundreds of thousands of people.

One day your neighbor drives a small car, and, the next time you look, there sets a big Van in the driveway. One television isn't enough; we need one in _each_ room. Local stations aren't enough, but it takes the . . .

'Stay ready to go, for today may be your last'. Those are words we don't like to hear, but they are true. None of us are guaranteed another day of life on this earth as we know it. It could be an accident that takes your life, or you may have a terminal disease, and the doctor tells you that you don't have long to live, or God may just call you home. Whatever it is that causes you to lose your life, it pays to stay ready to go. We will meet our maker in one form or another - either ready to live with Him eternally, or we'll be spending eternity in hell - bluntly said, but true.

Today, we said our last goodbye's to a cousin. He had been sick for several years. Yet, during all those years . . .