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GREYHOUNDER's Photo GREYHOUNDER Posts: 3,599
1/1/09 8:45 P

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Kathy from Oregon posted this last Christmas and I thought it would be nice to repost it.





Christmas Affirmations

I BELIEVE that Christmas is more than a time for parties and ornaments; it is a time for remembering Christ and the incarnation of God’s love in human flesh.

I BELIEVE there are gifts more important than the ones under the Christmas tree, the things we teach our children, the way we share ourselves with friends, and the industry with which we set about reshaping the world in our time.

I BELIEVE that the finest carols are often sung by the poorest voices; from hearts made warm by the wonder of the season.

I BELIEVE in the angel’s message that we should not be afraid—that the Child of Bethlehem is able to overcome all anxieties and insecurities.

I BELIEVE in prayer and quietness as a way of appropriating Christmas—that if I wait in silence I will experience the presence of the one born in the manger, for he lives today as surely as he lived then.

I BELIEVE in going away from Christmas as the wise men went: "another way." I want to be different when these days are past—more centered, more thoughtful, more caring.

AND I BELIEVE God will help me. Amen

This is from an a anonymous Writer.



Have a Merry Christmas
and a Happy New Year!


Imagine * Become



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GMASANDIE's Photo GMASANDIE Posts: 48,396
8/1/08 1:59 A

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THE ANGEL OF AUGUST

The Angel of August is the angel of perseverance. The new directions we began in the spring may have become difficult to sustain. Like a garden that needs constant watering. in the scorching August sun, our projects and dreams require stamina and determination to to bring them to fruition. he Angel of August helps us with unflagging energy to tend the gardenwe have planted. When the hot summer sun and the work of our lives demand too much of us, the August angel brings us the fortitude to cleave to out tasks through completion.

Sandie from SC
GMASANDIE's Photo GMASANDIE Posts: 48,396
7/1/08 12:30 A

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THE ANGEL OF JULY

The angel of July brings a season of leisure, a time to play and replenish our energy.
The projects we began in the spring should be well underway and growing stronger on their own. July's angel urges us to take the time, now, to step back and observe what we have planted. The July angel encourages us to tend to the garden of our life, to care for what we have started, and to be objective enough to weed out the unhealthy or unproductive elements.

This angel of summer reminds us to nurture the people and things that bring us happiness, so we can produce for ourselves a crop of joy and fulfillment.

copied



Sandie from SC
GMASANDIE's Photo GMASANDIE Posts: 48,396
6/1/08 6:09 A

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emoticon THE ANGEL OF JUNE

The Angel of June helps us flourish and grow strong. June's angel teaches us to sustain
our enthusiasm for the new projects and directions we started in the sp[ring. In this glorious time of sunshine and growth, we learn to seek out the warmth of friendships and family ties, to help nurture the seeds we planted and to become all that we were meant to be. The Angel of June urges us to be steadfast in our intentions, to renew our dedication, and to stay on course.

copied

Sandie from SC
FORMYDARLINGS's Photo FORMYDARLINGS Posts: 5,267
5/25/08 3:01 A

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Kathy, your story of the teacup is so beautiful. It has so much meaning for me right now as I struggle along, trying to quit smoking and not replace it with eating. Maybe all I had to do was ask for guidance all along.

Gini emoticon

one decision at a time





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JOEYD76542's Photo JOEYD76542 SparkPoints: (0)
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5/24/08 2:03 A

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These were all lovely! Thank you all so much for sharing them here.

Love,
Jo

~*~Jo~*~

GMASANDIE's Photo GMASANDIE Posts: 48,396
5/1/08 12:03 P

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emoticon THE ANGEL OF MAY.

The Angel of May brings the blush and promise of spring. May's angel rejoices with us as we take heart at the sight of trees and shrubbery in bloom and relish our anticipation of the fruits to come.

This angel of spring reminds us that this is the time of awakening the seed within ourselves. Perhaps we have a deep longing, an artistic talent unexplored, or a friendship never quite attempted.

The angel of May will help us to discover this potential, nurturing our spirits so we can dare to fulfill this hidden promise and issue forth the fruits of a life fully lived. Copied




Sandie from SC
GMASANDIE's Photo GMASANDIE Posts: 48,396
4/1/08 9:10 A

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emoticon THE ANGEL OF APRIL.

The angel of April is the spirit of rebirth.

As the days grow longer and the sun begins to warm us and the earth, April is a time for new life and new beginnings. The angel of April spurs us to test ourselves in new direction and to make ourselves vulnerable in the face of unfamiliar people, situations and places. Encouraged by the April angel, we search for new and novel endeavors that will enrich our lives and bring new meaning to our career or family roles.

The April angel teaches us to delight with each sign of awakening, in nature and within ourselves.

Copied




Sandie from SC
GMASANDIE's Photo GMASANDIE Posts: 48,396
3/23/08 10:40 A

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The Miracles of Easter

The sleeping earth awakens,
The robins start to sing,
The flowers open wide their eyes
To tell us it is spring.

The bleakness of the winter
Is melted by the sun,
The tree that looked so stark and dead
Becomes a living one.

These miracles of Easter
Wrought with diving perfection,
Are the blessed reassurance
Of our Saviour's Resurrection.

~ Helen Steiner Rice ~


Sandie from SC
BKP4166's Photo BKP4166 Posts: 16,278
2/22/08 8:45 P

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A good story to reflect on.


There was a couple who used to go to England to shop in a beautiful antique store. This trip was to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. They both liked antiques and pottery, and especially tea cups. Spotting an exception cup they asked, “May we see that? We’ve never seen a cup quite so beautiful.”

As the lady handed it to them, suddenly the tea cup spoke, “You don’t understand.” It said, “I have not always been a tea cup. There was a time when I was just a lump of red clay. My master took me and rolled me, pounded and patted me over and over, and I yelled out, ‘Don’t do that. I don’t like it! Let me alone.’ But he only smiled, and gently said, ‘Not yet!’

“Then…WHAM! I was placed on a spinning wheel and suddenly I was spun around and around and around. ‘Stop it! I’m getting so dizzy! I’m going to be sick!’ I screamed. But the master only nodded and quietly said, ‘Not yet.’ He spun me and poked and prodded and bent me out of shape to suit himself and then…then he put me in the oven. I never felt such heat. I yelled and knocked and pounded at the door. ‘Help! Get me out of here!’ I could see him through the opening and I could read his lips as he shook his head from side to side, ‘Not yet.’

“When I thought I couldn’t bear it another minute, the door opened. He carefully took me out and put me on the shelf, and I began to cool. Oh, that felt so good! Ah, this is much better, I thought.

But after I cooled, he picked me up and he brushed and painted all me all over. The fumes were horrible. I thought I would gag. ‘Oh, please, stop it, stop it!!!’ I cried. He only shook his head and said, ‘Not yet!’

“Then suddenly he put me back in to the oven. Only it was not like the first one. This was twice as hot and I just knew I would suffocate. I begged. I pleaded. I screamed. I cried. I was convinced I would never make it. I was ready to give up. Just then the door opened and he took me out and again placed me on the shelf, where I cooled and waited…and waited…wondering. What’s He going to do to me next?!”

“An hour later he handed me a mirror and said, ‘Look at yourself.’ And I did.

“I said, ‘That’s not me. That couldn’t be me. It’s beautiful. I’m beautiful.’

“Quietly he spoke: “I want you to remember back to the beginning,” he said, “I know it hurt to be rolled and pounded and patted, but, had I just left you alone, you’d have dried up. I know it made you dizzy to spin around on the wheel but, if I had stopped, you would have crumbled. I know it hurt, and it was hot and disagreeable in the oven but, if I hadn’t put you there, you would have cracked. I know the fumes were bad when I brushed and painted you all over but, if I hadn’t done that, you never would have hardened. You would not have had any color in your life. If I hadn’t put you back in that second oven, you wouldn’t have survived for long because the hardness would not have held. Now you are a finished product. Now you are what I had in mind when I first began with you.’”

The moral of this story is this: God know what He is doing with each of us. He is the Potter and we are His clay. He will mold us and make us, and expose us to just enough pressures – of just the right kinds – so that we may be made into a flawless piece of work to fulfill HIS good, pleasing and perfect will. So…when life seems hard, and you are being pounded and patted and pushed almost beyond endurance; when your worlds seems to be spinning out of control; when you feel like you are in a fiery furnace of trials; when life seems to “stink”, try this…brew a cup of your favorite tea in your prettiest tea cup, sit down, and think of this story. Then have a talk with the Potter.


Kathy from Oregon

Co-Leader

60+LQQKing to Lose 50+




It's foolish to ask God to direct your steps, if you aren't willing to move your feet.


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GMASANDIE's Photo GMASANDIE Posts: 48,396
1/23/08 11:26 A

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TWENTY THINGS TO REMEMBER
==========================
1. Faith is the ability to not panic.
2. If you worry, you didn't pray. If you prayed, don't worry.
3. As a child of God, prayer is kinda like calling home.
4. Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.
5. When we get tangled up in our problems, be still. God wants us to be still so He can untangle the knot.
6. Do the math. Count your blessings.
7. God wants spiritual fruit, not religious nuts.
8. Dear God: I have a problem. It's me.
9. Silence is often misinterpreted, but never misquoted.
10. Laugh every day - it's like inner jogging.
11. The most important things in your home are the people.
12. Growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional.
13. There is no key to happiness. The door is always open. Come on in.
14. A grudge is a heavy thing to carry.
15. He who dies with the most toys is still dead.
16. We do not remember days but moments. Life moves too fast so enjoy your precious moments.
17. Nothing is real to you until you experience it; otherwise it's just hear say.
18. It's all right to sit on your pity pot every now and again. Just be sure to flush when you are done.
19. Surviving and living your life successfully requires courage. The goals and dreams you're seeking require courage and risk-taking. Learn from the turtle, it only makes progress when it sticks out its neck.
20. Be more concerned with your character than your reputation. Your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are. No matter the storm, when you are with God, there's always a rainbow waiting. Leave gentle fingerprints on the soul of another for the angels to read. I don't want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.

--copied

Sandie from SC
GMASANDIE's Photo GMASANDIE Posts: 48,396
1/19/08 12:26 P

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GOD IS LIKE...
God is like a Coke...He's the real thing.
God is like Pan Am... He makes the going great.
God is like General Electric..He lights your path.
God is like Bayer Aspirin...He works wonders.
God is like Hallmark Cards...He cares enough to send the very best.
God is like Tide...He gets the stains out that others leave behind.
God is like VO5 Hair Spray...He holds through all kinds of weather.
God is like Dial Soap...Aren't you glad you know Him? Don't you wish everyone did?
God is like Sears...He has everything.
God is like Alka seltzer...Try Him, you'll like Him.
God is like Scotch tape... You can't see Him but you know He's there.

--copied


Sandie from SC
BKP4166's Photo BKP4166 Posts: 16,278
1/18/08 4:17 A

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I found this on another team and felt it is a good admonition to all of us to keep going.

Here is a fabulous poem to inspire you!

START OVER

If you've started out in pursuit of your goal
And you've really tried with your heart and your soul,

but somehow things got out of control---
START OVER.

When you've tried your best to do what you should
And you thought this time that you surely would,

But once again, you didn't do good---
START OVER.

When you've worked so hard to follow a dieters way
And you fought to win a victory each day.

But one more time you went astray---
START OVER.

When you've tried so hard to yourself to be true
And do the things that you know you should do,

But once again you failed to come through---
START OVER.

When the road to success seemed much too long
And each temptation was oh so strong

And once again you gave in to wrong---
START OVER.

When you've told your friends what you planned to do
And trusted them to help you through

But soon discovered it's up to you---
START OVER.

When you know you must be physically fit,
But your hope seems gone and you're stuck in a pit

That's not the time for you to quit---
START OVER.

When the week seems long and successes few
And at weigh-in time you're feeling blue,

Remember tomorrow is just for you---
START OVER.

To start again means a victory's been won
And starting over again means a race well run

And starting over again proves it can be done
So don't just sit there---
START OVER

~~ Author Unknown ~~



Kathy from Oregon

Co-Leader

60+LQQKing to Lose 50+




It's foolish to ask God to direct your steps, if you aren't willing to move your feet.


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GMASANDIE's Photo GMASANDIE Posts: 48,396
1/7/08 7:26 A

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20 Tips for a Positive New Year

1. Take a 10-30 minute "Thank you" walk every day. While you walk practice gratitude. It is the ultimate anti-depressant.

2. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day. Buy a lock if you have to.

3. Buy a TIVO, tape your late night shows and get more sleep - it's the ultimate energizer.

4. When you wake up in the morning complete the following statement: My purpose is to___________ today.

5. Live with the 3 E's. Energy, Enthusiasm, Empathy.

6. Read more books than you did in 2007.

7. Make time to practice pray or medicate. They provide us with daily fuel for our busy lives.

8. Do the "one thing" you have always wanted to do.

9. Dream more while you are awake.

10. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less foods that are manufactured in plants.

11. Mentor someone and be mentored by someone.

12. Engage in daily random acts of kindness.

13. Clear your clutter from your house, your car, your desk and let new and flowing positive energy into your life.

14. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.

15. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.

16. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card.

17. Smile and laugh more.

18. Each night before you go to bed complete the following statements:

I am thankful for __________.

Today I accomplished____________.

19. Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.

20. Enjoy the ride. You only have one ride through life so make the most of it and enjoy it.

by Jon Gordon

(This has been around for a long time, but it is good advice)

Edited by: GMASANDIE at: 1/7/2008 (07:42)
Sandie from SC
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1/1/08 12:43 P

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You are worthy of reaching for the greatest accomplishments…And you are worthy of achieving them, no matter what other people think of you, no matter what you have done up to this point in life. You are worthy of the best.

You are unique, you are special. You are creative and effective. You have much value to offer, regardless of what anyone has told you. And no one can express that value but you. You are the person who deserves to live your dream. You are the only one who has what it takes to reach that dream.

If you can see it, if you can imagine it, if you can dream it, you are worthy of reaching it. And it is possible. No one will hand it to you. In fact, you’ll strive day and night to reach it. When you give the best you have, when you refuse to be stopped by the obstacles in your way, when you do what must be done, you’ll get what you deserve—a full, rich life that is like no other. Each day, with your thoughts and actions, live up to the fact that you are the best.




Risk=Life







Scarlet Dragons Time to Bloom

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GMASANDIE's Photo GMASANDIE Posts: 48,396
1/1/08 8:36 A

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I AM THE NEW YEAR

I AM THE NEW YEAR. I AM AN UNSPOILED PAGE IN YOUR BOOK OF TIME.

I AM YOUR NEXT CHANCE AT THE ART OF LIVING. I AM YOUR OPPORTUNMITY TO PRACTICE WHAT YOU HAVE LEARNED ABOUT LIFE DURING THE LAST TWELVE MONTHS.

ALL THAT YOU SOUGHT AND DIDN'T FIND IS HIDDEN IN ME, WAITING FOR YOU TO SEARCH IT BUT WITH MORE DETERMINATION.

ALL THE GOOD THAT YOU TRIED FOR AND DIDN'T ACHIEVE IS MINE TO GRANT WHEN YOU HAVE FEWER CONFLICTING DESIRES.

ALL THAT YOU DREANED BUT DIDN'T DARE TO DO, ALL THAT YOU HOPED BUT DID NOT WILL, ALL THE FAIUTH THAT YOU CLAIMED BUT DID NOT HAVE—THESE SLUMBER LIGHTLY, WAITING TO BE AWAKENED BY THE TOUGH OF A STRONG PURPOSE.

I AM YOUR OPPORTUNITY TO RENEW YOUR ALLEGIANCE TO HIM WHO SAID. "BEHOLD, I MAKE ALL THINGS NEW".



......Bible Illustrator




Sandie from SC
GMASANDIE's Photo GMASANDIE Posts: 48,396
12/27/07 6:08 A

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New Year Wishes

I wish you Health...
So you may enjoy each day in comfort.

I wish you the Love of friends and family...
And Peace within your heart.

I wish you the Beauty of nature...
That you may enjoy the work of God.

I wish you Wisdom to choose priorities...
For those things that really matter in life.

I wish you Generosity so you may share...
All good things that come to you.

I wish you Happiness and Joy...
And Blessings for the New Year.

I wish you the best of everything...
That you so well deserve.

HAPPY NEW YEAR FRIEND!
Author Unknown

Edited by: GMASANDIE at: 12/27/2007 (06:08)
Sandie from SC
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12/27/07 1:14 A

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Sandie I always love the inspirations you find .Here is my offering for today"Those who love deeply never grow old; they may die of old age, but they die young." - A.W. Pinero
love and hugs,Cheri

Risk=Life







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12/26/07 6:10 P

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TIME FOR NEW BEGINNING

"This is a time for reflection as well a celebration.

As you look back on the past year and all that has taken place in your life,

Remember each experience for the good that has come of it and for the knowledge you have gained.

Remember the efforts you have made and the goals you have reached.

Remember the love you have shared and the happiness you have brought.

Remember the laughter, the joy, the hard work, and the tears.

And as you reflect on the past year, also be thinking of the new one to come.

Because most importantly, this is a time of new beginnings and the celebration of life."

Taylor Addison, Blue Mountain Arts


Sandie from SC
GMASANDIE's Photo GMASANDIE Posts: 48,396
12/25/07 2:11 A

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emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
You are cordially invited to

A BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION!!!

Guest of Honor: Jesus Christ

Date: Every day. Traditionally, December 25
but He's always around, so the date is flexible....

Time: Whenever you're ready.
(Please don't be late, though, or you'll miss out on all the fun!)

Place: In your heart.... He'll meet you there.
(You'll hear Him knock.)

Attire: Come as you are... grubbies are okay.
He'll be washing our clothes anyway. He said something about new white robes and crowns for everyone who stays till the last.

Tickets: Admission is free. He's
already paid for everyone...
(He says you wouldn't have been
able to afford it anyway...
it cost Him everything He had. But
you do need to accept the ticket!!

Refreshments: New wine, bread, and a
far-out drink He calls "Living Water,"
followed by a supper that promises to be out of this world!

Gift Suggestions: Your life. He's one of those
people who already has everything else.
(He's very generous in return though.
Just wait until you see what He has for you!)

Entertainment: Joy, Peace, Truth,
Light, Life, Love, Real Happiness,
Communion with God, Forgiveness, Miracles, Healing, Power, Eternity in Paradise, Contentment, and much more!
(All "G" rated, so bring your family and friends.)
R.S.V.P. Very Important!

He must know ahead so He can
reserve a spot for you at the table.
Also, He's keeping a list of His friends for future
reference. He calls it the "Lamb's Book of Life."
Party being given by His Kids (that's us!!)!

MERRY CHRISTMAS

(copied)

Edited by: GMASANDIE at: 12/25/2007 (02:20)
Sandie from SC
GMASANDIE's Photo GMASANDIE Posts: 48,396
12/24/07 5:00 A

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The Night Before CHRISTmas (copied)

'Twas the night before Christmas
and all through the town
Not a sign of Baby Jesus
was anywhere to be found.

The people were all busy
with Christmas time chores
Like decorating, and baking,
and shopping in stores.

No one sang "Away in a manger,
no crib for a bed".
Instead, they sang of Santa
dressed-up in bright red..

Mama watched Martha Stewart,
Papa drank beer from a tap.
As hour upon hour
the presents they'd wrap.

Then what from the TV
did they suddenly hear?
'Cept an ad.. Which told
of a big sale at Sears.

So away to the mall
they all flew like a flash...
Buying things on credit...
and others with cash!

And, as they made their way home
from their trip to the mall,
did they think about Jesus?
Oh, no... not at all.

Their lives were so busy
with their Christmas time things
No time to remember
Christ Jesus, the King.

There were presents to wrap
and cookies to bake.
How could they stop and remember
who died for their sake?

To pray to the Savior...
they had no time to stop.
Because they needed more time to
Shop 'til they dropped!"

On Wal-mart! On K-mart!
On Target! On Penney's!
On Hallmark! On Zales!
A quick lunch at Denny's

From the big stores downtown
to the stores at the mall
They would dash away, dash away,
and visit them all!

And up on the roof,
there arose such a clatter
As grandpa hung icicle lights
up on his brand new stepladder.

He hung lights that would flash.
He hung lights that would twirl.
Yet, he never once prayed to Jesus...
Light of the World.

Christ's eyes... how they twinkle!
Christ's Spirit... how merry!
Christ's love... how enormous!
All our burdens... He'll carry!

So instead of being busy,
overworked, and uptight
Let's put Christ back in Christmas,
and enjoy HIS special night!

Merry CHRISTmas, my friends, and to all a good night!
emoticon

Sandie from SC
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12/22/07 12:40 P

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Sandie ,you always have such lovely inspirations ,My first Christmas in Heaven was wonderful , just like you are !love and hugs,Cheri

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12/22/07 11:57 A

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MY FIRST CHRISTMAS IN HEAVEN

I see the countless Christmas trees around the world below
With tiny lights, like Heavens, reflecting on the snow.
The sight is so spectacular, please wipe away the tear,
For I am spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.

I hear the many Christmas songs that people hold so dear.
But the sounds of music can't compare with the Christmas Choir up here.
I have no words to tell you, the joy the voices bring,
For it is beyond description, to hear the angels sing.

I know how much you miss me, I see the pain inside your heart.
But I am not so far away, we really aren't apart.
So be happy for me, dear ones, you know I hold you dear,
And be glad I'm spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.

I sent you each a special gift, from my heavenly home above.
I sent you each a memory of my undying love.
After all, love is a gift more precious than pure gold.
It was always most important in the stories Jesus told.

Please love and keep each other, as my Father said to do.
For I can't count the blessings or love He has for each of you.
So have a Merry Christmas and wipe away that tear,
Remember I am spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.

This poem was written by a 13 year old to his mother before he died of a brain tumor. He died in 1997, and that year he spent his first Christmas with Jesus."



Edited by: GMASANDIE at: 12/22/2007 (12:01)
Sandie from SC
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12/21/07 12:58 P

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Teach the children......

This is how it happened...I just finished the household chores for the night and was preparing to go to bed, when I heard a noise in the front of the house. I opened the door to the front room and to my surprise, Santa himself stepped out from behind the Christmas tree.

He placed his finger over his mouth so I would not cry out. "What are you doing?" I started to ask. The words choked up in my throat, and I saw he had tears in his eyes. His usual jolly manner was gone. Gone was the eager, boisterous soul we all know.

He then answered me with a simple statement.
"TEACH THE CHILDREN!"

I was puzzled; what did he mean? He anticipated my question, and with one quick movement brought forth a miniature toy bag from behind the tree. As I stood bewildered, Santa said, "Teach the children! Teach them the old meaning of Christmas. The meaning that now-a-days Christmas has forgotten."

Santa then reached in his bag and pulled out a FIR TREE and placed it before the mantel.
"Teach the children that the pure green color of the stately fir tree remains green all year round, depicting the everlasting hope of mankind, all the needles point heavenward, making it a symbol of man's thoughts turning toward heaven."

He again reached into his bag and pulled out a brilliant STAR.
"Teach the children that the star was the heavenly sign of promises long ago. God promised a Savior for the world, and the star was the sign of fulfillment of His promise."

He then reached into his bag and pulled out a CANDLE.
"Teach the children that the candle symbolizes that Christ is the light of the world, and when we see this great light we are reminded of He who displaces the darkness."

Once again he reached into his bag and removed a WREATH and placed it on the tree.
"Teach the children that the wreath symbolizes the real nature of love. Real love never ceases. Love is one continuous round of affection."

He then pulled from his bag an ornament of himself.
"Teach the children that I, St. Nick, ( Santa Claus ) symbolize the generosity and good will we feel during the month of December."

He then brought out a HOLLY LEAF.
"Teach the children that the holly plant represents immortality. It represents the crown of thorns worn by our Savior. The red holly represents the blood shed by Him."

Next he pulled from his bag a GIFT and said,
"Teach the children that God so loved the world that HE gave HIS only begotten SON..." "Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift.

"Teach the children that the wise men bowed before the Holy BABE and presented HIM with gold, frankincense and myrrh. We should always give gifts in the same spirit of the wise men."

Santa then reached in his bag and pulled out a CANDY CANE and hung it on the tree.
"Teach the children that the candy cane represents the shepherds' crook. The crook on the staff helps to bring back strayed sheep to the flock. The candy cane is the symbol that we are our brother's keeper."

He reached in again and pulled out an ANGEL.
"Teach the children that it was the angels that heralded in the glorious news of the Savior's birth. The angels sang 'Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace and good will toward men."

Suddenly I heard a soft twinkling sound, and from his bag he pulled out a BELL.
"Teach the children that as the lost sheep are found by the sound of the bell, it should ring mankind to the fold. The bell symbolizes guidance and return."

Santa looked back and was pleased. He looked back at me and I saw that the twinkle was back in his eyes. He said,
"Remember, teach the children the true meaning of Christmas and do not put me in the center, for I am but a humble servant of the One that is, and I bow down to worship HIM, our LORD, our GOD."

copied


Sandie from SC
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12/18/07 12:20 P

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Hi all,
I just want you all to know that I am thinking of all of you, just haven't had time to really post.
My Mom is failing fast and the stresses of the holidays have taken their toll.
Huggggggggggggggggs to all, Mary Sue

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12/16/07 12:41 P

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First Corinthians 13, Christmas Version

If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love to my family, I'm just another decorator.

If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love to my family, I'm just another cook.

If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.

If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir's cantata but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.

Love stops the cooking to hug the child.

Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband.

Love is kind, though harried and tired.

Love doesn't envy another's home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.

Love doesn't yell at the kids to get out of the way, but is thankful they are there to be in the way.

Love doesn't give only to those who are able to give in return but rejoices in giving to those who can't.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails.

Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust.

But giving the gift of love will endure.

Merry Christmas



Sandie from SC
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12/16/07 1:00 A

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Kathy I liked the white envelope project .Here is a quote I liked Dale Evans Rogers
"Christmas, my child, is love in action. Every time we love, every time we give. It's Christmas."
love and hugs,Cheri


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12/16/07 12:29 A

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This was posted on the Community Team today.

I received this in an email today and felt it was well worth passing on.


White Envelopes

It's just a small, white envelope stuck among the branches of our Christmas tree. No name, no identification, no inscription. It has peeked through the branches of our tree for the past 10 years or so.

It all began because my husband Mike hated Christmas. Oh, not the true meaning of Christmas, but the commercial aspects of it, overspending, the frantic running around at the last minute to get a tie for Uncle Harry and the dusting powder for Grandma, the gifts given in desperation because you couldn't think of anything else.

Knowing he felt this way, I decided one year to bypass the usual shirts, sweaters, ties and so forth. I reached for something special just for Mike. The inspiration came in an unusual way. Our son, Kevin, who was 12 that year was wrestling at the junior level at the school he attended, and shortly before Christmas, there was a non-league match against a team sponsored by an inner-city church.

These youngsters, dressed in sneakers so ragged that shoestrings seemed to be the only thing holding them together, presented a sharp contrast to our boys in the spiffy blue and gold uniforms and sparkling new wrestling shoes. As the match began I was alarmed to see that the other team was wrestling without headgear, a kind of light helmet designed to protect a wrestler's ears. It was a luxury the ragtag team obviously could not afford. Well, we ended up walloping them. We took every weight class. And as each of their boys got up from the mat, he swaggered around in his tatters with false bravado, a kind of street pride that couldn't acknowledge defeat. Mike, seated beside me, shook his head sadly, "I wish one of them could have won," he said. "They have a lot of potential, but losing like this could take the heart right out of them." Mike loved kids, all kids, and he knew them, having coached little league football, baseball and lacrosse.

That's when the idea of his present came. That afternoon, I went to a local sporting goods store and bought an assortment of wrestling headgear and shoes and sent them anonymously to the inner-city church. On Christmas Eve, I placed the envelope on the tree, the note inside telling Mike what I had done and that this was his gift from me. His smile was the brightest thing about Christmas that year and in succeeding years. For each Christmas, I followed the tradition, one year sending a group of mentally handicapped youngsters to a hockey game, another year a check to a pair of elderly brothers whose home had burned to the ground the week before Christmas, and on and on. The envelope became the highlight of our Christmas. It was always the last thing opened on Christmas morning and our children, ignoring their new toys, would stand with wide-eyed anticipation as their dad lifted the envelope from the tree to reveal its contents. As the children grew, the toys gave way to more practical presents, but the envelope never lost its allure. The story doesn't end there.

You see we lost Mike last year due to dreaded cancer. When Christmas rolled around, I was still so wrapped in grief that I barely got the tree up. But Christmas Eve found me placing an envelope on the tree, and in the morning, it was joined by three more.

Each of our children, unbeknownst to the others, had placed an envelope on the tree for their dad. The tradition has grown and someday will expand even further with our grandchildren standing around the tree with wide-eyed anticipation watching as their fathers take down the envelope. Mike's spirit, like the Christmas spirit, will always be with us.

Nancy W. Gavin

This story is a true story and inspired four siblings from Atlanta, GA to start The White Envelope Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting this tradition and charitable giving. The White Envelope Project founders are regularly in touch with the family in the article and are thrilled to have their support. The Gavin family and now thousands of others continue to celebrate the "white envelope" tradition each year. For more information about The White Envelope Project or to honor a loved one through a "white envelope" gift this year, please visit their website: www.WhiteEnvelopeProject.org

HAPPY HOLIDAYS emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Kathy from Oregon

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TRACYZABELLE's Photo TRACYZABELLE SparkPoints: (139,139)
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12/15/07 4:34 P

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Thanks Kathy!

THis time of year we are all in such a hurry it is good to know someone has the time to think of these things and pass them on.

God Bless...

TracYZ

One bite, one day, one pound at a time. Remember you are worth the effort!


Tracy


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12/14/07 1:49 A

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Kathy,

Thank You also for the Christmas Affirmations.
I BELIEVE! God Bless, Hugs! Teresa

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12/14/07 1:38 A

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Kathy I love your Christmas afirmations and I needed then tonight !Thank-you!love and hugs,Cheri

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12/13/07 7:07 P

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Christmas Affirmations

I BELIEVE that Christmas is more than a time for parties and ornaments; it is a time for remembering Christ and the incarnation of God’s love in human flesh.

I BELIEVE there are gifts more important than the ones under the Christmas tree, the things we teach our children, the way we share ourselves with friends, and the industry with which we set about reshaping the world in our time.

I BELIEVE that the finest carols are often sung by the poorest voices; from hearts made warm by the wonder of the season.

I BELIEVE in the angel’s message that we should not be afraid—that the Child of Bethlehem is able to overcome all anxieties and insecurities.

I BELIEVE in prayer and quietness as a way of appropriating Christmas—that if I wait in silence I will experience the presence of the one born in the manger, for he lives today as surely as he lived then.

I BELIEVE in going away from Christmas as the wise men went: "another way." I want to be different when these days are past—more centered, more thoughtful, more caring.

AND I BELIEVE God will help me. Amen

This is from an a anonymous Writer.



Have a Merry Christmas
and a Happy New Year!

Kathy from Oregon

Co-Leader

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It's foolish to ask God to direct your steps, if you aren't willing to move your feet.


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