Sunday, August 8, 2010

Reducing Risk & Providing Proven Solutions: WHY?

Reducing Risk & Providing Proven Solutions: WHY?: "Why should you think like a bank? Now that sounds like a crazy question, but let me tell you why. That's where all the money is! Ok sou..."

The Gift


As I sit in my office this Sunday morning I am preparing for a special day in our church.  Today we celebrate Christmas in August.  I know that most of you are saying, "Isn't it suppose to be Christmas in July?".  If you are thinking that then you are right!  However, because of the busy schedule that we keep here at First Pres Las Animas we could only fit it into our schedule in August.  In fact we are so busy that we, also, had to fit our Ice Cream Social (which we usually have in July) in with a picnic today!  Believe me our fellowship committee has worked their behinds off getting ready for this day.

The reason I mention our activities today is because it makes me think of that Christmas night over 2000 years ago.  Now, we all know that Jesus wasn't born on December 25th.  We also know that Jesus wasn't born in a manger, or at least not the type of manger that we think of.  We know that He was born in a cave type dwelling for animals.  The importance in knowing all of this is worth nothing.  The real purpose of celebrating Christmas is to recognize that God loved us so much that He sent His son down to earth to make a pathway between us and God the Father.  Christmas isn't about winter or mangers or Mary and Joseph.  It isn't about wise men or shining stars.  It isn't about Christmas plays or candlelight services.  Although each one of those things are perfectly fine and fitting in the holiday season I believe that we miss the true meaning of Christmas.

My journey home has made me stop along the path and contemplate what life is all about.  Those of you who have had  life altering experiences know what I am talking about.  It is during these traumatic time when we call ourselves to examine life as we know it...or knew it.  It is within this examining that I came to a great is a gift!  Perhaps, many of you have had the same realization.  Life in all of it's ups and downs and ins and outs is a gift from God.  We have been given a chance to live upon this earth and make a difference.  Now, what kind of difference we make is up to us.  We can influence people with God's word or we can turn from that Word and seek to serve ourselves.  We can make the most of this life or we can let life take most of us.  Life is a gift that is to be opened and shared and cherished.  It is not something that demean or carelessly disregard.  It is a gift from our creator that is given to the creation and given in love.

As I mentioned before today is our Christmas in August celebration at our church.  As I sit here and ponder the significance of this day I am taken back in my journey home.  I have spoken frequently of my brain surgeries.  I do that because that is what this blog is all journey home from those surgeries.  It was not too long ago when I struggled with the meaning of life.  I can tell you that there were times that I refused to believe that life was a gift from God.  The reason for this was that I could not believe that if my life was a was a crappy gift!  There could be no way that God would bestow a gift that was filled with so much pain and suffering.  Surely, our God would not be that mean and nasty.  Then, my eyes were opened to the fact that I had forgotten about the true gift that God gave to us.  It wasn't the gift of our life but, rather, the gift of His life!

The true gift that God has given to us is the gift of Jesus Christ.  In His birth we have been given a glimpse of His love for us and in His death we have been given the hope of redemption and a personal relationship with Him.  I came to realize that life, with all of its sufferings wasn't the true  gift at all.  It was the fact that, because of His gift through Christ, I would be able to endure the things in life that come my my surgeries.  I found out that I was so busy cursing God for a terrible gift that I forgot the greatest gift of all.  In my pain I sought relief from life instead of embracing the joy of the gift of His life.  What an idiot I was!

As I celebrate Christmas in August I want to encourage each of us to seek the life giving gift that God has sent to us.  It isn't something that is reserved for Advent or Christmas day.  It isn't something we box up and put in the attic while we await another 365 days to pass.  Christmas is about the greatest gift of all.  It's about the love of a Father for His children.  It's about the Word becoming flesh and dwelling among us.  My life is a great gift but the gift of His life is so much better!

May this day find the spirit of Christmas in each one of your hearts.  Open the gift and enjoy!