And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth.And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. Luke 2:6-7 ESV
When I was a young man, my early morning hours were spent hand milking a cow or two. Those cold dark mornings linger in my memories as I read Luke chapter two and I realize that God sent His Son to such an ordinary place, because He came to save ordinary people, just like you and me. Isn’t the love of Jesus amazing? I hope you will be blessed with my Christmas message (and patient with the less than stellar audio). God bless each and every one of you. If you have not come to know our amazing and compassionate Jesus Christ, my Christmas prayer is that He will meet you wherever you are and lead you to both the simplicity of the manger and the grace of His old rugged cross!
I thank my God every time I remember you.In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy. Philippians 1:3-4 NIV
As Christmas creeps closer and the end of this year is in sight, I wanted to take time to be thankful for all the people who have volunteered their time and talents to our nursing home outreach. Locally, we have had, several couples consistently helping so that communion can be served at the three different senior communities every month. During this Christmas season, many others have come on board singing Christmas carols, writing out more than a hundred cards, and giving gifts to many of the residents. God sees, and what you have done for the least of these folks, Jesus tells us that we have done it for Him.
On the newsletter end of the ministry, I am thankful for Pastor Janice Burnett, Rob Keller, Barb Hegreberg and Patty Moore for their help in writing, formatting and helping with the artwork and distribution of our free publication. The Christmas editions are especially beautiful, and they are the result of teamwork and God’s blessing. These newsletters are now being read in 6 facilities in Florida and 3-4 in New York and Ohio. If you know of anyone who would like to receive them, please feel free to contact me here.
But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.
I am kind of a photo junkie. I both take way too many (Thank God for the digital age!) and I enjoy going through old family photos. I know that in Heaven everything will be made new, but here on earth I treasure these special memories. I especially love Christmas times past, and photos help me remember the sights, sounds, and smells of moments that have slipped by over the years. Christmas time at nursing home is a lot different from ones we have had at home. Being in the midst of a Christmas program or caroling can be so overwhelmingly bust that it is easy to forget the faces and the individual people we came for. In fact, I get very few of my own because usually both hands are occupied with my guitar, so I am so glad my friends sent me some of theirs. Here is a brief journey through several of the homes we had the privilege to visit this year.
I’ll be home for Christmas was recorded in 1943 and sung by Bing Crosby as a song for the troops serving in Europe during World War 2. Though we didn’t sing it this year, the words “I’ll be home for Christmas, – you can count on me” seem to be a sentiment that stirs the hearts of volunteers at the holiday season. As the lights go on and the gifts pile up for their friends and family, people recall that for those in long-term care there is little hope of a holiday roasting chestnuts by an open fire. But oh what fun we do have when we got together for our carol sessions at various facilities around our community. Here is an inside peek at how things went last Sunday at an assisted living facility. I pray you will have a blessed Christmas and that our little song session gives you a touch of the First Noel when Jesus came to visit us!