The Mystic’s Christmas

‘All hail!’ the bells of Christmas rang,
‘All hail!’ the monks at Christmas sang,
The merry monks who kept with cheer
The gladdest day of all their year.

But still apart, unmoved thereat,
A pious elder brother sat
Silent, in his accustomed place,
With God’s sweet peace upon his face.

‘Why sitt’st thou thus?’ his brethren cried.
‘It is the blessed Christmas-tide;
The Christmas lights are all aglow,
The sacred lilies bud and blow.

‘Above our heads the joy-bells ring,
Without the happy children sing,
And all God’s creatures hail the morn
On which the holy Christ was born!

‘Rejoice with us; no more rebuke
Our gladness with thy quiet look.’
The gray monk answered: ‘Keep, I pray,
Even as ye list, the Lord’s birthday.

‘Let heathen Yule fires flicker red
Where thronged refectory feasts are spread;
With mystery-play and masque and mime
And wait-songs speed the holy time!

‘The blindest faith may haply save;
The Lord accepts the things we have;
And reverence, howsoe’er it strays,
May find at last the shining ways.

‘They needs must grope who cannot see,
The blade before the ear must be;
As ye are feeling I have felt,
And where ye dwell I too have dwelt.

‘But now, beyond the things of sense,
Beyond occasions and events,
I know, through God’s exceeding grace,
Release from form and time and place.

‘I listen, from no mortal tongue,
To hear the song the angels sung;
And wait within myself to know
The Christmas lilies bud and blow.

‘The outward symbols disappear
From him whose inward sight is clear;
And small must be the choice of clays
To him who fills them all with praise!

‘Keep while you need it, brothers mine,
With honest zeal your Christmas sign,
But judge not him who every morn
Feels in his heart the Lord Christ born!’

John Greenleaf Whittier

Just Be Near

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The other day while going about my usual morning routine.  A friend knocked on the door and immediately began in great detail to tell me of a very difficult challenge going on in her life.  Needless to say,  my mind went all over the place trying to grasp everything.

My initial response was telling her I didn’t know what to say or do, and that we could pray.  She agreed.  Yet afterwards she looked at me and said, “All that I need is for you to just be near.” At which time we started to talk about God’s love for us.

Many times we simply don’t know how to respond when others are going through difficult times, and words can often do more harm than good.

Serving others requires that we try at best to understand them and find out what it is that they need.  Even if only to meet a practical need.  Understandably, one of the best ways to encourage someone is to “just be near.”

God is near to us when we call out to Him.

“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles.” “The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit.”  Psalm 34: 17-18

By allowing our hearts to feel compassion for others, we can help those who are hurting. We can be near them as God is with us and “just be near” them.  And if necessary, Holy Spirit will definitely provide the right words to say.

A Thanksgiving Prayer

 


Thanksgiving

Thank you Father for the blessings you’ve given this day
Help us to remember, Thou has shown us the way
And give us strength to help those in need
Never letting us forget, Thy merciful deeds
Keep us in Thy tender loving care
Save us, O Lord, when we are in despair!
Give us grace as we walk through life.
Inspire us to seek our brothers amid the strife
Victory in Thee will be our guiding star.
In courage we march not caring how far
Now we ask for the most important thing.
Grant us salvation to escape death’s sting.
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On Wings of Love

 

The priceless gift of life is love,
For with the help of God above
Love can change the human raceimages1Q72C6SE.jpg
And make this world a better place
For love dissolves all hate and fear
And makes our vision bright and clear
So we can see and rise above
Our pettiness on wings of love.

– Helen Steiner Rice

 

Love Without Limit

Love at its deepest level does not begin within us. It begins in the heart of God.  It is a love that gives without compromise or hesitation.  It is a love that is motivated by the choice to do the highest good for us.

God does not have this love; rather, He is this love.  There are no impure motives in God’s love.  It is a holy love.  His love for us is consistent with everything that is good and right for us. wpid-images-27.jpeg

His love has no limitations.  It will not wear , fade, or tire out.  It does not play favorites, or respond only when responded to.  God does not love us today because we have been good, or because we are a nice person.

He simply loves us because He is love.  Love without limit.

Sometimes Love…

Sometimes love can be quiet
And sometimes love can be still,
But always love is patient
And is a choice of our will

 

Sometimes love can be vibrant —
Sometimes it’s not easily felt,
But always love is eternal
And is never boastful or proud

 

Sometimes love can be tender
Then sometimes hard to express,
But always love is truthful
And believes in the very best

 

Sometimes love can be exciting
And love can sometimes be sweet
For love is always trusting
And chooses never to envy

 

Sometimes love can be painful
Then sometimes love’s like a song,
But always love is forgiving
And keeps no record of wrongs

 

Sometimes love can be gentle
Then sometimes it’s just a word,
But always love protects and hopes
And love is always preserved

 

Love is never self-seeking
And is never angered or rude
Love can never fail us,
For God’s love is faithful and true.

M.S. Lowndes

GOD Knows Best

Our Father knows what’s best for us,
So why should we complain
We always want the sunshine,
But He knows there must be rain

We love the sound of laughter
And the merriment of cheer,
But our hearts would lose their tenderness
If we never shed a tear…

Our Father tests us oftenb9c5c87005d8c4862ceb09ea93b59f598a74.jpg
With suffering and with sorrow,
He tests us, not to punish us,
But to help us meet tomorrow…

For growing trees are strengthened
When they withstand the storm,
And the sharp cut of a chisel
Gives the marble grace and form…

God never hurts us needlessly,
And He never wastes our pain
For every loss He send to us
Is followed by rich gain…

And when we count the blessings
That God has so freely sent,
We will find no cause for murmuring
And no time to lament…

For our Father loves His children,
And to Him all things are plain,
So He never sends us pleasure
When the soul’s deep need is pain…

So whenever we are troubled,
And when everything goes wrong,
It is just God working in us
To make our spirit strong.

Helen Steiner Rice

A Priceless Gift

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Friendship is a priceless gift
that cannot be bought or sold,
But its value is far greater
than a mountain made of gold.

For gold is cold and lifeless,
it can neither see nor hear
And in the time of trouble
it is powerless to cheer.

It has no ears to listen
nor heart to understand,
It cannot bring you comfort
or reach out a helping hand.

So when you ask God for a gift
Be thankful if He sends
Not diamonds, pearls, or riches
But the love of real true friends.

– Helen Steiner Rice

 

 

Climb ‘Til Your Dream Comes True

Often your tasks will be many,
And more than you think you can do.
Often the road will be rugged
And the hills insurmountable, too.
But always remember,
The hills ahead
Are never as steep as they seem,
And with Faith in your heart
Start upward
And climb ’til you reach your dream.
For nothing in life that is worthy
Is ever too hard to achieve
If you have the courage to try it,
And you have the faith to believe.
For faith is a force that is greater
Than knowledge or power or skill, imagesRZUYVL8Z
And many defeats turn to triumph
If you trust in God’s wisdom and will.
For faith is a mover of mountains,
There’s nothing that God cannot do,
So, start out today with faith in your heart,
And climb ’til your dream comes true!

Helen Steiner Rice

Highest Praise

In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

The last few days “social media” has been filled with many postings, in relation to thankfulness for many great things.  The season of Thanksgiving does in fact bring to mind all of the many reasons that we are blessed.

While reading and meditating on the word “thanksgiving”, I found that the letters written by the Apostle Paul, helped us to develop a heart of gratitude.  He wrote about thanksgiving more often than any other New Testament author. From the twenty-three times that he used the word, we learn a few magnificent lessons about thanksgiving.

For starters, Thanksgiving is always directed toward God and never toward people (or things). People are gifts from God, and we like Paul should thank God for their growth, love and faith.  Thanksgiving is and should be given through Jesus Christ for everything in our lives.

Paul also expressed and believed that followers of Jesus Christ could and should be thankful for everything because God is sovereign, and is working things out for the believers’ good.  Everything!imagesDQIXPOXA

May we respond with a heart of gratitude, in response to God’s many gifts to us:  grace, mercy, provision, protection, pruning and for His undeniable and sacrificial love for us……..

Yes, we have so much to be thankful. May we intentionally be aware of God’s gifts every day of the year, and not only during the Thanksgiving Holiday season.  God is so good toward us, and deserves our Highest Praise!