BLUE CHRISTMAS

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Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.  – Matthew 5:4

Blue Christmas services include an emphasis on candles, with people in the congregation invited to come forward and light a candle in memory of someone or to mark an event in their lives. Some will say words out loud, others in silent prayer. Candles are also sometimes lit as prayers or Scripture readings are recited.

I appreciate these types of outreach services for a couple of reasons.  I lost my granny LaVella on Christmas day when I was just a little girl.  Christmas is not a happy cheery time.  I miss that sweet woman every day and it’s a shame that the timing was that way, but it’s not a loss I’ll just get over and go on.  And, I may get some raised eyebrows, but I’m just gonna say it…  Christ came to earth as a baby, an infant – and most people are really cool with that.  I have a tendency to cry at all things “baby” – and it’s not that I don’t understand things on a theological level – but at the heart level – the “I’m a woman” level…  it’s difficult to sit through a traditional Christmas program.

I used to think I just had to suck it up, buttercup.  At one time I worked with children to help them with choir performances at Christmas.  There were times I thought I’d lose it.  I’d go home and cry uncontrollably.  I just thought I had to tough things out.  All I was really doing was making things worse for myself.  Did God really expect that of me?  Did He really?

I did some soul-searching and prayed a long time about it.  God did not expect me to self-inflict pain and agony.  Nowhere in my Bible does it say thou shalt inflict pain on thyself.  I’m to love and care for people – but there are other ways to do that, right?  I’ve since found other ministries that allow me to be whole.  That’s what God wants me to be…  whole in Him.  I had to find ways to serve the Lord that are less painful on my heart and mind.

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I appreciate the Blue Christmas services.  It’s especially for people who deal with grief around Christmas.  We’re allowed to feel what we feel and as we feel, we heal.  It’s not a denial of the facts of Christmas – it’s just not rubbing our noses in it – if that makes sense.  I don’t have to sit through an excruciating reenactment of the events that took place in Bethlehem.  It’s good for people with children, and I believe it’s great for children to be involved.  I just had to excuse myself from it – before it sent me over the edge.  I’m glad I did.  I’m at peace like never before.  In a traditional setting, I always felt as though nobody understood my tears except God.  When I’m sitting with others who feel the same way I do – and some who suffer recent losses…  I not only feel understood, but I’m there to understand what they’re going through.

Please do not think I’m somehow diminishing a traditional Christmas program.  I’m not.  I would, however, encourage more congregations to be more inclusive of people who feel deep sorrow at Christmas.  I understand that it’s basically what a Christmas Eve candlelight service & Lord’s Supper is for…  but there’s something about being allowed to say your loved one’s name out loud.  Here in America we’re not very comfortable letting each other talk about a loss – or say the name of a loved one out loud.  Why IS that?  I’m just saying, you know that when someone loses a loved one – that person is going to be the only thought in their mind, right?  So, why not have one extra service at Christmas just for those who are grieving?  Why are American churches so afraid of doing that?  I guess I just don’t understand.  I would invite more churches to consider a BLUE CHRISTMAS service.  Yeah – it’s a bummer – but guess what?  Speaking as one who chooses to attend the Blue Christmas service…  it’s healing.  God smiles when His children have needs met by the church – which, if I remember right, is to be the hands and feet of Christ in ministry.  I think I remember that being the case.

Father God, Your heart beats for the vulnerable and for those who are alone. Help us to love Your people as You love them, for we are made in Your image.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

This is for my granny.  She liked Elvis.  If Elvis is in Heaven, maybe they’re singing duets, who knows?  🙂

blue-christmas-prayerWhile my family is in Heaven saying Happy Birthday to Jesus…  I’ll just stay here and say Merry Christmas to you!  🙂

BIRTHDAY #54

TL BIRTHDAY #54

I enjoy and am enjoying the good things that come along with [aging]… Nobody can buy experience.  Nobody can buy wisdom.  Nobody can buy a shared history with others that you get by being relevant and engaged year upon year upon year.  – Rob Lowe

Have you ever seen a cake with 54 candles on it?  I know, me neither.  So, there is a positive to not eating cake, huh?

I’m so thankful to God for another year of life.  I received this from a friend:

Renew My Strength

Heavenly Father,

Please bless Linda, for today is her birthday. Dear Lord, please protect and guide Linda as she continues along the path you’ve chosen for her. Give her the courage to follow in your light, and feel your love wherever she goes. Make her strong and give her the strength to make good decisions in the coming year. Keep her free from illness and sadness, for she is a truly good person who deserves happiness and success in all aspects of life. We know that life is like a book. With each new chapter, we learn and grow towards what you would have us be. Bless Linda now on this day, and in the future.

In your name we pray,

Amen.

Isn’t that sweet?  My friends mean so much to me, and kindness like that is a real treasure and uplifts my spirit!

On this day I also want to wish some other (more famous) people a very happy birthday!

  • Emmylou Harris
  • Adam Rodriguez
  • Michael Fassbender
  • Quavo Marshall
  • Bethany Joy Lenz
  • Traci Braxton
  • Drew Van Acker
  • Christopher Meloni
  • Clark Gregg
  • Kapil Sharma
  • David Ferrer
  • Roselyn Sanchez
  • Linda Hunt
  • Jesse Carmichael
  • Adam Shulman
  • Sia Barbi
  • Deon Richmond
  • Leon Russell
  • Leyla Milani
  • Lindy Booth
  • Amy Castle
  • Samu Haber
  • Paquita la del Barrio
  • Pedro Pascal
  • Lee De Wyre
  • Clare Thomas
  • Simon Farmaby

I’m in good company!  And here are a few who were born on April 2nd but have passed on:

  • Marvin Gaye
  • Hans Christian Andersen
  • Buddy Ebsen
  • Alec Guinness
  • Charlemagne
  • Jack Webb

I’m sure you have done this on your birthday – looked up all the famous people who share your special day.  It’s fun to think about all the talented folks you share a birthday with.  I wonder if I could have been famous?  Oh well…  I’m sure that ship has sailed – but it might have been nice.

This year I’d like to see the movie “American Sniper”.  It’s time for America to see a real hero.

This picture [American Sniper] was interesting because I’m seeing it from the point of a person who was sort of an American hero…  His family and his beliefs were very strong…  You have to embrace his philosophy if you’re going to tell a story about him.  – Clint Eastwood

Look what I had waiting for me on facebook today…  Lucinda spoils me – she really does.  This poem made me cry – it did.

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From Lucinda… Awe!

And Lucinda, I will now give you another photo to add to your collection – LOL!  This is my official RED HAT photo.  No, I’m not a member of the Red Hat Society, but I sure do embrace the notion that as one ages, one must not be overly concerned about what colors do and do not go together, nor how many feathers one wears in one’s hat.  Bring on the hats, the feathers, the purple and red together.  I will age with grace, but I will age with an attitude that says RULES???  WHAT RULES???

I love this post on one of my favorite blogs – http://advancedstyle.blogspot.com/2015/04/easter-parade-2015.html

Wouldn’t you love to join these wonderful women???  I sure would!

Ready for the Red Hat Society!
Ready for the Red Hat Society!

I must share a story about this photo.  I found this red hat (I know it looks orange in the photo but it really is red) at the antique store.  I saw it as a photo-op.  I didn’t want to actually buy the hat, so I casually went into the booth and tried to hide amongst some other items so I would not be seen taking the photo.

I was almost home free…  I got my camera out and was seconds away from pushing the button when I happened to glance just outside the booth and across the store – at the cutest little lady.  She must have been kicking 80.  I wondered if she was going to approve or disapprove of my actions – but I knew she was cool when those two little thumbs of hers turned upward and she gave me the biggest grin I’ve ever seen!  I wish I had a photo of that – because it was priceless!

Opinions are like birthdays; everybody has one, and I know yours only because of facebook.  @RANDILAWSON

Thank you all for the kind wishes and encouragement.  I’m thankful to God for another year of life!  And yes, I may have a small slice of birthday cake today – but it won’t be the cake that had 54 candles on it – lol!!!  🙂

 

 

BATHTUB PARTY DAY

TL 12-5 BATHTUB PARTY DAY

 

12-5 YOU DESERVE A BATHTUB PARTY

Let’s review:

You helped the kids have a fantastic Halloween.  You made everyone’s favorite food for Thanksgiving.  You helped your friends and family in a million different ways this year, sometimes at the expense of your own well-being.

It’s time to turn off the cell phone, put your favorite CD in the player, get the rubber ducky out of the bathroom closet, light the candles around the tub, draw a nice warm bath, adding a generous dose of your favorite bath oil and have a personal party!  Today is BATHTUB PARTY DAY!

Don’t feel guilty – you deserve this!  If you’re like me, you don’t always take much “me” time because you’re too busy making sure everyone else is taken care of.  So make arrangements to have someone watch the kids while you focus on relaxing and rejuvenating.

You and the ducky will soon be so much happier and healthier.  There is something about self-care that makes you more effective in caring for others.  This holiday was created and is provided courtesy of  Wellcat.com

and it is copyrighted.

This is cute…  lol.

That Garfield…  he’s a wild one.

If you want to use an essential oil in your bath that you’ve not tried before, make sure you do a little test on your skin, especially if you have sensitive skin like me.  Some oils may cause you to break out in a rash (which would definitely work against the goal of relaxation).  Just put a drop or two on the back of your hand.  If there’s no reaction after a few minutes, go ahead and add about 7 drops to your bath water.

The best scents to relax your senses and sore muscles are lavender and Chamomile.  Did you think it was only good for tea?  No – these essential oils work wonders in your bath.

Are you tired and need something to kick you into high gear?  Just as you would drink a mint tea, the peppermint essential oil will soon tell you to “Get up and get going!”

Most of us take quick showers every day because we lead busy lives.  Today you need to plan a nice long soak with your favorite music, candlelight, essential oil that will either make you relax or get you moving and a snack or whatever else makes you smile!  🙂

If you are looking for a perfect Christmas gift, may I suggest a new devotional book by Lucinda Berry Hill?  Everyone needs a new devotional book to begin the new year!

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Click on the link below to order your copy!

http://bookstore.westbowpress.com/Products/SKU-000952694/A-Second-Cup-with-Jesus.aspx 

 

 

 

NATIONAL PRO-LIFE CUPCAKE DAY

TL 10-9 NATIONAL PRO-LIFE CUPCAKE DAY

10-9 THINK ABOUT THIS CUPCAKE

Today is NATIONAL PRO-LIFE CUPCAKE DAY! Although it’s designed to celebrate the birthdays of all the children who are aborted and not allowed to have birthdays here on earth, I want to include my little souls who don’t get to celebrate their birthdays with me. I’m going to call it cupcakes for the babies in heaven.

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Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations. – Jeremiah 1:5

The idea is to make people think about the pro-life stance. Life really is a gift from God and to kill that small human is to snuff out their chance to live. That’s huge! Who do we think we are? We have become selfish and self-absorbed. If a pregnancy is a mere inconvenience, that is no reason to terminate it.

We may never change the minds of those who cry out PRO-CHOICE, but at least in this small way we honor those precious souls who abide in heaven now. We will keep baking cupcakes and writing literature to go with each one, hoping that one tender heart might be pricked and one logical mind may be shaken back to reality. With God ALL things are possible and we won’t give up.

Christians are not here to judge. We are here to remind people of God’s laws and that abortion is murder and murder is not right.

Wanna begin a movement to celebrate these precious souls in your area? Well, here is the official CUPCAKES FOR LIFE cupcake recipe:

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. – Edmund Burke

I believe God is smiling and is very pleased when His children support the weakest among them. Unfortunately, not everyone will support these efforts. There will be jeers from the opposition, but don’t we expect that from the world? It’s not public opinion that we care about – it’s God’s opinion that matters, right? 😀