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Christmas is a Challenge

Christmas is a challenge. For example, there is the challenge of finding just the right gifts for each of the special people in our lives. In my family of origin, my father was always the most difficult person for whom to buy Christmas gifts. The best job I ever did, of giving my father a Christmas gift he enjoyed, happened the year that my car broke down. I was nineteen years old, and one day driving down the freeway in California, the engine in my little Renault Le Car blew up. I had failed in a very simple maintenance task—that of putting oil into the engine. My father payed to have the car repaired. I decided in response, at Christmas, that I would wrap up all the burnt-out engine parts as a gift for my father. Then I put a check with the gift—the first installment in my pay-back plan. He loved it.   Christmas poses the challenge of finding just the right gifts for those special people in our lives. Christmas poses some other challenges as well, some challenges that we share with a
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In Everything, Give Thanks?

Helen Hayes, though she was a great actress, was not a great cook. So, on Thanksgiving Day her family would traditionally go out for dinner. Finally, after many years, her family decided that they would give Thanksgiving dinner at home a try.     The day having arrived, Helen told her husband and son, “Now, I’ve cooked a turkey for the first time and I’m going to bring it to the table. If it’s not good, I don’t want anyone to say a word. We’ll just quietly get up from the table, and without any negative comments, we’ll just go to a restaurant and have a Thanksgiving meal there.”   So, Helen went into the kitchen to get the turkey. When she came back out to the dining room, her husband and her son were both sitting at the table with their hats and coats on.   Giving thanks isn’t always easy, even on Thanksgiving Day. Perhaps that is why the Apostle Paul, writing to the church in Thessalonica, penned these words of encouragement:  “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will

God's Love & Ours

What is love, from a child’s point of view? Here are some actual definitions of love given by children... “When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn’t bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That’s love.” “When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You know that your name is safe in their mouth.” “Love is when someone hurts you, and you get so mad, but you don’t yell at them because you know it would hurt their feelings.” “Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is okay.” “Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.” “Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well.” “Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford.” “Love is when your p