Christmas Stories: Day 23

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This Christmas season I’m reminded that a year has sped by since Ginny and I joined you.

God has allowed me to experience many joys and hardships in this life. Yet in all the joys and hardships I see the loving hand of God influencing, comforting, challenging, instructing, protecting, ministering, encouraging, helping, redirecting, and providing me with all I need every day of my life.  I find deep abiding beauty in the love and care God has given me.

At Christmas we remember that God is with us. That he came to be with us.

God, His Son, and Holy Spirit have been there, with me, in every nanosecond of every day. Most times I am completely unaware. Sometimes He allows me the unmistakable sense of His close presence. There are times when I feel He is far away. But I’ve lived long enough now and have seen firsthand some of the countless ways He has restored, healed, and helped me and others. I know God is alive and loves me, and you too.

I love God’s Word. I find great comfort there. One scripture I frequently remind myself is:

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

I think this passage makes a wonderful prayer, especially at Christmastime. Here is my prayer for you, for me and mine:

Father God?  Help us not lose heart.  Help us not give up.  Help us trust you more, leaning not on our own understanding… You love and care for each of us individually.  Help us rest in You.  Help us take a long view of life… we experience hardship.  Sometimes it feels like we are wasting away yet we are being renewed day-by-day.  We desperately need Your renewal.  Help us see that You are working ongoing renewal in us that is of untold value in Your eyes.  Jesus?  Please remember it is sometimes hard for us  to remember You are at work, even when life seems hopeless.  Please give us hope… Your hope… new hope…  Help us focus on You and Your eternal plan.  Lord?  Help us love You, love our families, and others.  In Jesus’ name…

My Ginny and I are so thankful for you, your friendship, acceptance of us and your loving care. Thank you for being Jesus in this world!


IMG_5384Today’s story is by Bill Carpenter.

Bill and Ginny have been married 5 years, and each have 3 children from previous marriages. Together, they have 5 grandchildren. Ginny retired from teaching this year. Bill is in graduate training to be a licensed marriage & family therapist. Together, they’re helping guide the launch of Re:generation, a discipleship ministry for those seeking community with others who are experiencing pain and suffering.




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