As this is the last Cybersalt Digest to go out before Christmas Day, on behalf of Grandma Cybersalt and myself I wish you a blessed and peace filled Christmas!
I am mindful of the reality that this newsletter goes out to people in all stages of life and all seasons of life. Christmas, like other things that do not change from year to year, makes us keenly aware of those different stages and seasons. Often, but not always, sadness and sorrow are stirred as a result.
Such is the case for part of our hearts this season. We are missing a dear family friend who recently passed away a few weeks short of his 50th birthday. He was a father-in-law to our daughter and grandfather to one of our granddaughters. In the past we celebrated many joys with him, his wife and their 8 children. Now we share in the heartache of his absence.
When things that do not change stir up emotions because of what has changed, I find comfort in the hope and promise of Jesus whom the Bible describes as "the same yesterday, today, and forever." (Hebrews 13:8) At Christmastime that reality brings me back to ground zero of why Jesus was born in Bethlehem. As Roy Lessin put it:
"If our greatest need had been information,God would have sent us an educator. If our greatest need had been technology,God would have sent us a scientist. If our greatest need had been money,God would have sent us an economist. If our greatest need had been pleasure,God would have sent us an entertainer. But our greatest need was forgiveness,so God sent us a Saviour."
Regardless of stage or season, Christmas reminds us that in Jesus we can find satisfaction for our greatest need: forgiveness and a restored relationship with our Creator.
So again, from our hearts to yours, may the blessings and peace of Christ rest upon and within you.
'Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house I searched for the tools to hand to my spouse.
Instructions were studied and we were inspired, in hopes we could manage "Some Assembly Required."
The children were quiet (not asleep) in their beds, while Dad and I faced the evening with dread: a kitchen, two bikes, Barbie's town-house to boot! And now, thanks to Grandpa, a train with a toot!
We opened the boxes, my heart skipped a beat - let no parts be missing or parts incomplete!
Too late for last-minute returns or replacement; if we can't get it right, it goes straight to the basement! When what to my worrying eyes should appear but 50 sheets of directions, concise, but not clear,
With each part numbered and every slot named, so if we failed, only we could be blamed. More rapid than eagles the parts then fell out, all over the carpet, they were scattered about.
"Now bolt it! Now twist it! Attach it right there! Slide on the seats, and staple the stair! Hammer the shelves, and nail to the stand." "Honey," said hubby, "you just glued my hand."
And then in a twinkling, I knew for a fact that all the toy dealers had indeed made a pact to keep parents busy all Christmas Eve night with "assembly required" till morning's first light.
We spoke not a word, but kept bent at our work, till our eyes, they went blurry; our fingers all hurt. The coffee went cold and the night, it wore thin before we attached the last rod and last pin.
Then laying the tools away in the chest, we fell into bed for a well-deserved rest. But I said to my husband just before I passed out, "This will be the best Christmas, without any doubt.
Tomorrow we'll cheer, let the holiday ring, and not run to the store for one single thing! We did it! We did it! The toys are all set for the perfect, most magical, Christmas, I bet!"
Then off to dreamland and sweet repose I gratefully went, though I suppose there's something to say for those self-deluded ... I'd forgotten that BATTERIES are never included!
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was filled with sorrow at the tragic death of his wife in a fire in 1861. The Civil War broke out that same year, and it seemed this was an additional punishment. Two years later, Longfellow was again saddened to hear his own son had been seriously wounded as a lieutenant in the Army of the Potomac.
Sitting down to his desk, one Christmas Day, he heard the church bells ringing, and ringing. It was in this setting he wrote:
I heard the bells on Christmas Day Their old familiar carols play And wild and sweet the words repeat Of peace on earth, good will to men.
And in despair, I bowed my head There is no peace on earth I said For hate is strong and mocks the song Of peace on earth, good will to men.
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep, God is not dead, nor doth he sleep. The wrong shall fail, the right prevail With peace on earth, good will to men.
At this Christmas time whether you are in sorrow or in joy you can know that God is not dead, nor doth He sleep. He knows your every need and longs to comfort you and be that special One you need. Seek Him this year instead of the outward manifestations of the season. He will give life real meaning and your heart real peace - the peace that passes all understanding.
Featured Illustrations are items well suited for illustrating or inspiring a point in a sermon, speech, or devotional. Funny, moving, or perhaps even graphic, the point of them is the point you make with them.
The Cybersalt Digest is a ministry of Pastor Tim and Cybersalt.
If you got this mailing but think you never subscribed, you may have received it after someone forwarded it to you. Please do not use the unsubscribe links if the subject line begins with "FW:" or the address in the unsubscribe form is not yours.