I’ve not seen this blog before, but think the author has some helpful suggestions for starting the New Year well. Do just one or two of these consistently and I suspect your kids will notice!
Listen to a riveting first-hand account of someone who met the leadership of Hamas – and boldly suggested how real peace could be accomplished in the Middle East. It is in the second half of the audio file. Incredible!
I didn’t know until today that the Easter Seals organization provides services to families and individuals with autism. Here’s a study they released about how the disorder affects families, especially the uncertainties many parents have about the future.
You may have seen the news story today about a study out of the European Institute of Oncology in Milan, Italy about the link between smoking and colorectal cancer. It made me think that while we’ve seen similar studies about cancer and lifestyle choices, there are still many folks out there who have taken care of their bodies only to find themselves in a battle with cancer. It seems the disease strikes even individuals who do “all the right things.”
If you know someone affected by cancer, and there’s a good chance you do, send them the link to an article that Dr. David Jeremiah wrote about his 7-year struggle with lymphoma. You can find that on the Focus on the Family radio page here.
Here’s the website for the Arkansas family with 18 children. They look like neat folks.
For my friends who recently heard the International version of Focus on the Family’s interview with Emily Barnes, you might be interested in this post when program originally aired back in April: Overcoming the Mess.
I don’t know these folks, but someday it’d be fun to meet them. They have a lot of children!
While the week between Christmas and New Year’s is usually rather quiet at Focus, there’s a lot going on in our family.
- Dena is in Texas. Her dad is hospitalized. Her Mom has surgery tomorrow. Saige went along to help. They will be gone for a few weeks. so I’ll be “Mr.Mom” around the home, although…
- …Dakota is home from college, and is helping the home run well in Mom’s absence. He has exceptional skills in managing chaos.
- Today our 17 year-old son, Seth, has surgery to repair a pretty serious foot injury, sustained in the first minute of his first varsity basketball game of the season. They’ll put screws into his foot – ouch!
Fortunately, I can have a somewhat flexible schedule at work, since it is a quieter week and I have web access for keeping up with things remotely. And, Dena has put the family calendar online, so we can all see what is supposed to happen and when.
We’re aware of folks who are battling much tougher circumstances. We have friends with husbands in Iraq, others whose children are struggling with severe emotional and physical challenges, several who are facing financial uncertainties. Of course, I have former co-workers who are now out of work.
We’re trying to keep a proper perspective on life’s present trials. So, while we are tired, we will not lose heart! God is on His throne, He is providing grace, and we are praying that He will grant flawless surgeries and quick recoveries. He has already given us good medical care, insurance coverage, and caring friends who are supporting us through this season.
As a friend has observed, when we are desperate, God can provide a “grace bubble.” The Scripture gives me hope in such a thing. And this day, God is whispering to me that it isn’t my strength that will carry us through this time…it is His grace, grace, grace!
As we wrap up the Christmas season, here’s a thought that I continue to ponder.
Every December I turn to many wonderful recollections as a child. I enjoy seeing the hundreds of “Kodak moments” associated with Christmas which are etched upon my mind. Truly, this is a special time of year. But why? Is it because of warm memories? Family times? Great food? A day or two off from work? Childhood activities?
Many years ago a friend gave me a devotional by Frederick Buechner, an exceptional and influential writer. “Listening To Your Life” is a selection of Buechner’s works, excerpted into bite-size pieces for daily consumption and enjoyment. He is a gifted and somewhat provocative writer, one who prompts many thoughts and invariably leaves me savoring the perspective he offers – even when I don’t agree with some of his views.
Here’s part of the entry from that book for today, December 26, showing what the birth of Christ was really about:
…when the child was born, the whole course of history was changed. That is a fact as hard and blunt as any fact. Art, music, literature, our culture itself, our political institutions, our whole understanding of ourselves and our world – it is impossible to conceive of how differently world history would have developed if that child had not been born.
There is an inescapable conclusion one reaches about Jesus’ humble beginning. And that is this: He left an indelible mark on everything. On everyone. Believe Him or not, He changed the world.
More than a dream, more than a religious “story,” the coming of Christ as a babe was – and is – a world-changer. Everything is different because He came. His birth was a pivotal moment for the world.
How has He changed your life?
I liked this animated short. Great message – and music, too.