Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Birthday, Sophia!

Today, Sophia turns six. Born overseas, I never got to meet her until she was two. I fell instantly in love. Sophia has a gorgeous smile and a giggle that could stop wars. Seriously. If they bottled her laughter and sprayed it on our world's hot spots, we would have world peace.

Happy Birthday, my Princess!

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Night Kathy Fell In Love -- Twice

As I predicted, I got caught up in family stuff and wasn't able to write everyday during Thanksgiving week. Therefore, I'd like to post one more on giving thanks as we go into the Christmas season.

Waaaay back in 1973, a teenaged girl with waist long hair and a guitar at her hip (we'll call her Kathy) attended a weekend long program at her church. Lay people (aka: just regular folk) came to witness in their own age groups. Kathy's mom and dad attended the adult group while she attended with the youth. Part of this Lay Witness Mission was that the regular folk would stay in church members homes. Kathy's parents agreed to let a teen the same age as their daughter stay with them. Her name was Karen Grimm.

During this weekend long program, Kathy learned groovy new songs for her guitar. "Pass it on" became her testimony song. Now, Kathy was never a bad girl. She attended church. She even sang in the choir. She'd learned through her seventeen years that sometimes her habit of fictionalising could be construed as lying, and so she'd been working on that. But honestly, she thought by being sweet (as everyone told her she was in her yearbook) that she was going to heaven.

That weekend she learned how wrong she was.

Through Karen and the other members of the team, Kathy fell in love with a man named Jesus. Every romantic song she heard on the radio that weekend, she applied to this new relationship. Songs like "Close to You" by the Carpenters, she sang with a new heart. And on Saturday night, the youth group gathered in a circle where all said the sinner's prayer, and all committed their lives to the Lord.

This new love, Jesus, did something special for Kathy that night. Not only did He save her soul, he blessed a relationship with her best friend, Jim. Kathy and Jim had attended the same church for about a year. They sang in the choir together, and they would often talk long into the evening after practice. As Kathy gave her heart to Jesus that night, she was holding Jim's hand in the circle. They now had something new to talk about.

Two years later, they were married. Neither forgot their commitment to the Man they both fell in love with that night. They would be forever linked through that one simple act.

Kathy's testimony wasn't of breaking free of drugs, or accepting Christ despite an abusive household. Her testimony is similar to most you. She was a normal kid who lacked the one thing she needed most. A personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

And if you haven't guessed yet, I'm Kathy. I like to tell my testimony in narrative for those who haven't become Christians yet. It's not an "in your face" testimony told this way. But believe me, it's all real. From that one Saturday night in 1973 until now, thirty-five years later, I've only grown more in love with my Savior. I have had many challenges in my life to date that if I hadn't known the Lord, I don't know how I would have coped. And so, I praise Him for seeking me out at the tender age of seventeen.

And this is what I'm thankful for the most!

My prayer is that if you don't know Jesus Christ in a personal way, that you will find him before the year is out. This month on my Craft Cinema blog, we will be discussing Christmas movies. In my introduction of Coming Attractions, I've included the following scene from A Charlie Brown Christmas as my card to my readers.

Charlie Brown: I guess you were right, Linus. I shouldn't have picked this little tree. Everything I do turns into a disaster. I guess I really don't know what Christmas is all about.

Charlie Brown: [shouting in desperation] Isn't there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?

Linus Van Pelt: Sure, Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about. [moves toward the center of the stage]

Linus Van Pelt: Lights, please. [a spotlight shines on Linus]

Linus Van Pelt: "And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, 'Fear not: for behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.' And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.'" [Linus picks up his blanket and walks back towards Charlie Brown]

Linus Van Pelt: That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.

May you find the Lord, Jesus Christ this holiday season. And if you already know Him as your personal Savior, I pray that You remember Him, and include Him in all of your festivities.

In His Love,