Happy Holidays!

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This time of year is a special time for the Christian World. The birth of our beloved Savior swells our hearts and brings us great joy.
It brings ‘peace on Earth’ and ‘good will to men’ when we focus on Christ. So why is there so much enmity toward each other? Why do we fight?
The Religious and Secular Worlds compete so often. We are told to say “Happy Holidays!” as not to offended anyone. And why not?
After all, wasn’t the birth of the Christ child a ‘holy’ ‘day’. Don’t we sing “O Holy Night” and “Silent Night. Holy Night…”
Then why shouldn’t we say ‘Happy Holidays!’ For Christmas is just that. Additionally, New Year’s is about new beginnings. About changing for the better. In a word, Repentance. Which is what Christ taught us that we must do.
So the next time you say “Happy Holidays”, I hope you mean it. Remember that Christ was born so that He could be our perfect example and teach us to repent and become like Him.
Merry Christmas! I hope your day is full of gladness and remembrance.
Happy New Year! May we all become better and correct our mistakes and shortcomings.
Happy Holidays! May you remember why you celebrate and recommit yourself to follow Christ.

Joys of the Journey

A young traveler once met a divide on a mountain side.

One road was current with the path he now tread.

The other seemed harder for in a higher plain did it abide.

But with a hopeful heart, the boy stepped up his stride.

At first, it seemed all was well,

But then he tripped and his courage fell.

His progression slowed as he stumbled along.

The hope he once had was now gone.

He needed to stop. He needed to rest.

But then he recall something that put his faith to the test.

It was the voice of his father and friend.

“Push on, my son. Look for joy on your way.

Don’t stop until you’re reached the end of the day.”

So again he started, his feet still sore.

But he would walk and climb ’til he couldn’t anymore.

As he continued his climb,

He couldn’t help but notice the beauty sublime.

When he stumbled, he would spot all the wild flowers.

As he sweat, he was grateful for the wind and its powers.

Finally, as the day began to close, the weary traveler reached the summit’s peak.

Down the trotted path he looked, o’er the vast valleys and streams.

Such was the beauty he beheld, such marvels as no tongue can speak.

Then upon his shoulder he felt a touch and looked

To see the father death had once took.

Tears brimmed and fell as each embraced.

“Well done, my son,” His father beamed. “Your reward is well earned.

You labored well and did much good.

Thank you for doing all you could.”

Planning is Hard…

It seems that all around us the world is hurrying on, while many people say “Slow down!”

This is true for Christmas time as well. Every year without fail, the stores are booming with shoppers and rushing to and fro, and voices echo to “Remember Christ at Christmas time”, including myself.

But sometimes it’s hard to know how. How do I show my appreciation to Christ? How do I share it with my friends? How do I teach my family?

To ease the burden on all of us, I’ve provided a site to help you have a more Christ centered Christmas.

http://www.lds.org/church/news/visit-ldsorg-for-a-more-christ-centered-christmas?cid=HPTH120513201&lang=eng

Enjoy!

Snowflakes and Divinity

Snowflakes and Divinity

What do you see when you look at a snowflake?
I see an unique beauty. Each snowflake has a look all its own.
It’s true that no two snowflakes are ever alike. Each has a shape difference from the one falling next to it. This is true for us as well.
You are different from your mother and your brother, as well as your sister, father, cousin, aunt, uncle, grandparents, and friends. No one is exactly like another. Sure you may have similarities, but you are uniquely yours. Why?
Because God made you to be you and He loves you. Do not compare yourself to others. Do not change your morales or lower your standards to ‘fit in’ with the crowd. To do so it like bringing a snowflake into the heat. You meltaway who you are and become a water droplet, exactly like all others. Yes, you’ve achieved your goal, but you’ve lost much more in doing so.
Do not put yourself down, because you are different. Lift yourself up, because you are unique. You are God’s child, and He loves you. He will bring you through every storm, but you must first put yourself in His hands.

“…I bring you Good Tidings of Great Joy…”

sheppards

Long ago, in a land across the sea, where a group of shephards keeping watch over their sheep during the night. This was an ordinary night for them, just like any other when an angel came to them with a message.
We are told they were afraid, and understandably so. But the angel reassured them, saying “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy…”
This marvelous thing which they are told to go seek and see for themselves was for “all people”, including us.
Let us not forget during this Christmas season what was so joyously declared to the shepherds. Christ was born. He lived and died for us. What greater news is there?

Christmas Giving

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Today is December the 4th. Last night I set these two on a little table in my apartment. This morning as I was finishing up my exercises I looked at them.
Both are promenade parts of the Christmas season. Both hold a great deal of significance and import to a vast group of people the world over.

The first, of course is the Nativity scene with Mary, Joseph, the star and the baby Christ beautifully displayed. It is the first Christmas and is revered by the whole Christian world.

The second is St. Nicholas, more commonly known as Santa Claus. Some argue that his character distracts from the true meaning of Christmas. Many refuse to teach their children about him for this and other reasons. I, however, disagree.

This morning as I gazed upon the two figurines I noticed something I had unintentionally done. If you look closely, you will see the eyes of St. Nicholas looking toward the humble group beneath the blessed star. He seems as if he wishes to bring gifts to the Christ Child. And there in lies the true meaning of Christmas.

It is no sin to get a gift for one you love, but we shouldn’t forget the meaning of the gift. Yes, Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Christ, for He was God’s gift to us.

When I was a child, Christmas was an exciting time. I was anxious to see what I would ‘get’ for Christmas. As I entered my teen years and started to give gifts to others, the excitement passed to what I would be ‘giving’ for Christmas. There usually was one present I looked forward to giving each year because I had worked hard to find or make it. I was anxious to see the expression on the person’s face when they opened the gift I’d given to them. That is my favorite part of Christmas.

There is a picture with a coupling story of the dear Santa Claus kneeling before the Baby Jesus. He prays that the children of the world will do as he has done. He traveled the world, giving freely. Let us do the same.

As you prepare for the 25th, try to put real meaning in your gifts. Not just what someone wants or needs, but give from your heart the best gift. If that is your time then do not hesitate to spend every moment possible. If it is an object that you will wrap and place under a tree then let it be filled with your love, because in doing so you will both be happy.

The Savior came to give us happiness. He wrapped it in swaddling cloth and sealed it with His blood. Remember the Spirit of Christmas and give it to others.

Isn’t it interesting

Isn’t it interesting
That the worlds aligned so perfectly.
And the smallest detail has come to be.
Isn’t it interesting
That the heart beats just right,
That the stars come out at night.
Isn’t it interesting
That the lights come on when you flip a switch.
That voices change in tone and pitch.
Isn’t it interesting
That winter turns into spring.
If you want to talk, just give a ring.
Isn’t it interesting
That you were made with eyes that see,
That friends are made of you and me.
Isn’t it interesting
That in a garden there suffered one
to pay the price for what the world has done.
Isn’t it interesting
That He would leave His throne divine
to save each soul, including mine.
Isn’t it interesting
That in this world so full of hate
He loved enough to save us from our cursed fate.
Oh, how grateful I should be
that He gave all these interesting things to me.
-Clorisa Hansen 11/25/13