A place to find Hope

Tag: Christmas

Mary Did You Know?

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I sat and thought about Mary, mother of Jesus. What a task she was asked to do.

Most scholars think she was between 12-14 years old. They allowed men to have very young wives.

Mary met Joseph and they traveled together.

Suddenly, Mary was pregnant. She was only engaged and not married. I wonder what Joseph thought. “Should I quietly leave mary?” An angel came to him and said, “Fear not!” Mary will conceive the child of God.” Joseph understood, and stayed with Mary.

Mary was very scared and asked why she was chosen. Another angel came to her and told her, ” You will be the mother of God’s son. Call Him Jesus.”

So they went to Bethlehem and gave birth to Jesus. They had to stay in a dirty barn with many animals in it. Mary wrapped Jesus in swaddling clothes.

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This is where I really started wondering when I read this in the Bible. What did Mary know about this little child of hers? I found a song that covers it real well, and I am going to share it with you:

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Mary Did You Know?

Words by Mark Lowry

Mary, did you know that your baby boy would one day walk on water?

Mary, did you know your baby boy would save our sons and daughters?

Mary, did you know that your baby boy has come to make new; this child that you delivered will soon deliver you?

Mary, did you know that you baby boy will give sight to a blind man?

Mary, did you know that your baby boy would calm a storm with His hand?

Mary, did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?

Mary, did you know that when you kiss your little baby boy, you are kissing the face of God?

Mary, did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?

Mary, did you know that your baby boy will rule all the nations?

Mary, did you know that your baby boy was Heaven’s perfect lamb?

Mary, did you know that the sleeping child you are holding is the great, the Great I Am?

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That cleared everything up for me. Jesus is the son of God, and Mary is His mother.

Be blessed knowing that Jesus has the perfect CHRISTmas present for you. Eternal life.

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

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Remember, the Darkness Can Not Overcome the Light

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Darkness seems to be spreading through out our world. The pandemic has raised its ugly head even more.

We have enough on our plate to have to worry about getting the virus. It is Christmas time and people should be doing Christmas shopping and yet, they stay at home and do it online. It is another form of a lock down.

I have been on lock down since March. I have health issues and the virus would do me in if I got it.

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So what do we do? Should we give in to the darkness?

Of course not!! There is always light, and darkness can not overcome it.

I am referring to the light of Jesus. He is always there showing us the way through the darkness. If you fear what is ahead, Jesus said, ” Fear not for I am with you.”

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I have gone through some horrific times in my life, and every time I came out at the other end, because of the light ahead.

I also need to remember that if I reject the light, there is not alternative, but to face darkness.

Do not give in to the darkness. Look for the light.

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Yes, we face many mountains in our lives. They seem too high and mighty. However, God is mightier than any mountain. He can move them for you.

Some people make mountains out of mole hills. They over react and start saying, “The sky is falling!” Never listen to them. You know God is there for you, and with him on your side who can be against you?

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If you for some reason feel inferior to others. Stop! God created you in His own image. He made everyone equal. He doesn’t make anything that is bad. He doesn’t make mistakes.

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

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Please Remember What is Christmas Really All About

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It has been a rollercoaster ride this whole week. I am beyond tired, but I am going to post anyway.

I have been “running,” all week. Not to the point where I can brag about my step totals, but just going, going, going!

I had two appointments to go to. A trip to the Oregon Coast. A trip to pick up groceries we had ordered, and much more.

It is called the “rat race,” and I am not able to keep up with it. I haven’t done all of my Christmas shopping yet, but I have to do it online. I am on lock down because of the virus. I have too many health problems. I would be a dead duck if I caught the virus.

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Poor me, poor me, poor me!!!

How do I even exist through all of this turmoil. Here are somethings I do to keep my sanity:

  1. Pray every day for God’s peace and comfort. REALLY helps me through the day.
  2. Think about my family, one person at a time.
  3. Call someone to cheer them up. Cheers me up too. Win! Win!
  4. Write my two blogs that reaches out to those who need help. (My other blog is www.dougbolton.com.)
  5. Read, read, read!
  6. Watch free movies. Only on Tuesdays, and Thursdays.
  7. Stop and take a big breath, and let the air out slowly. It is amazing how this helps.
  8. Go for a walk. Not able to do that much lately because of the weather, but I do work out twice a week.
  9. Just sit and think. Very relaxing, and I come up with many ideas by sitting and jolting down what I am thinking about.
  10. Make posts on Twitter, Facebook, Parlor, plus, another social that is only for veterans called, www.rallypoint.com. Check it out if you are a veteran. Made many friends there.

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We need to take a step back and remember what the season is really for. I hear some say they hate Christmas because of the hustle and bustle. They dread this holiday.

My thoughts are that getting Christmas presents for each other is a wonderful idea, but that is not what we are celebrating. We are celebrating the birth of Jesus. We are celebrating His coming onto our earth to save us.

Think about that during the rush. Thank Him for what He has done for you.

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved,

And above all…..never, ever, give up!

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Beware The Christmas Rush Could Pull You Down.

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Well. the pandemic has hit very close to home. I live in a cull-de-sac and just three house away a neighbor has come down with the virus. Last night she got worse and they came with an ambulance to take her to the hospital.

Praying for her each day.

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I watched my church online yesterday, and as I listened to the songs, I found these encouraging thoughts.

1.I know I will never be alone.

2. We need to let the King of our heart be the wind for our sails.

3. God will never let you down.

4. Sing louder in the presence of your enemies.

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Thoughts from the service itself:

  1. Apart from God we are in darkness. Jesus is our light.
  2. In a time of hopelessness, God brings hope.
  3. God’s fullness is coming. (Jesus)
  4. The light we need to survive is Jesus.
  5. The wisdom of Jesus is forever.
  6. Reach out to Jesus in faith.

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While you watched the video you can comment on the side. The pastor asked when does Christmas really start?

Some said the day after Halloween. Others said the day after Thanksgiving. Then one said,” It shouldn’t start until Christmas Eve, and end by 5:00pm Christmas Day.

Yes, this person got a few not so friendly names like Grinch, and Scrooge.

I posted this:

“We enjoy our time with family at Thanksgiving and we are thankful. We love our fun times at Halloween and we are thankful.

BUT!! Christmas isn’t just like for family at Thanksgiving. Christmas isn’t just like laughter and trick or treats at Halloween. Christmas is a birthday party for the baby Jesus. It is a time of joy that He came into the world for us.”

That seemed to quiet the “Grinch.” I know the guy and he is is a special Christian. I think he was just joking and the people didn’t realize it.

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This is way off subject, but today is December 7th. On December 7th, 1941 Pear Harbor was bombed. Thousands lost their lives. We must never forget and honor those heroes who gave their all.

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How are you doing? Has the Christmas rush hit you? Is the rat race too fast.

Take a big breath, and realize that God just gave you that breath. Concentrate on His love. Yes, it is a hectic time. Do not let it pull you down. Cling to the robe of Jesus, and let Him lead you through the storms we face.

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all….never, ever, give up!

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+If you like what you see, please subscribe at the top of this page where it says, “subscribe.” When you do, all future posts will come directly to your inbox. Also, if you know some else who could benefit for the site, please let them know about it.

You Can Find Hope in a Package

We have had a disaster here at Signs of Hope. We had a crash that is not fully explained as of yet, but the bottom line is that we have lost ALL of our subscribers. We had 108,000 or more and they are gone. We are starting with zero again tonight. We don’t have this new site up and running the way we want it. We have finally place a subscription program on the site. Please help us start going again by subscribing.

We will continue to share hope, and reaching out to you that are battling Anxiety, fear, failure, depression, and the many other usual suspects. Don’t give up. We will be strong again!!

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Through all the turmoil of the season, Linda Clare warms our heart with hope. I needed it badly, and I am sure some of you do to. Thank you Linda. 

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See the Face of Jesus

by

Linda S. Clare

Christmas Day, I was anxious for a last-minute package to arrive. As I scanned the street for the UPS truck, Jesus came home drunk. Well, not the Lord Himself, but the Face of Jesus, the one we’re urged to see in every person we meet. Standing swaying in the doorway, the Son, OK, my son John, was pretty wasted. “Merry Christmas, Mom,” he said or tried to say as he swept me into a boozy embrace. “I love you.”

It was hard to talk while holding my nose against beery breath. “I love you too.” I meant it, but my voice hitched and tears stabbed at my eyes. To fight my urge to sob, I lit the fires of anger. How could he hurt his mother this way? Selfish idiot, he was ruining the holiday—again! That screw-up, always thinking only of himself! How could he?

I couldn’t bear to look this Face of Jesus in the eyes.

John staggered over to the sofa. I drowned my hopes for a merry and bright season and instead stewed in frustration. Like mothers of addicts everywhere, I grieved for my son and his disease. I begged God for mercy and hoped no one asked me how my holiday went. I cooked the darned ham, decorated the cookies and cleaned up the wrapping paper—I had all the motions down pat. The one thing I didn’t have was hope.

It took another face of Jesus to deliver me out of despair.

This is how Moms of Addicts do holidays: if we are in touch with our sons or daughters, we hold our collective breath hopinghopinghoping they’ll make it through without a catastrophe. If our addicts aren’t in our lives, we give thanks that God watches out for them. And if they’ve passed, we mourn in a thousand ways. Moms of Addicts are in a giant club we never wanted to join, and as the holidays descend, we brace ourselves for pain but try to find a reason to smile.

My love for the Son is supposed to be brighter than all my earthly relationships, and I do celebrate the reason for the season: Jesus’ birth. But, doggone it, I’m a mom, too. A mom of three addicted adult sons, two alcoholics and one meth addict. My love for them defies logic and often sweeps me into a chasm of enabling and despair. Especially during the holidays.

That’s when manipulation gets wrapped in pretty please and enablers like me fall hard. Even those without addiction issues make exceptions. “Oh, it’s Christmas,” we all tend to say and excuse actions and words that might not get a pass any other time of year. I might slip the alcoholic a few extra dollars, knowing full well what it will be used to buy. I might forget that gift cards are easily exchanged for dope. Or I might rationalize my hurt feelings when one or the other of my four adult children disappoints or takes advantage. When it comes to Yuletide enabling, I am a champion.

And most Christmases, my middle son, whom I’ll call Henry, skews our Perfect Clare Family picture into a wreck of dashed expectations. He’s been addicted to meth for years, and in his late thirties, seems its prisoner for life, no possibility for parole. We offer Henry the same sorts of gifts we give our other loved ones, and it has hurt to see him either too high to show up or else too exhausted to care.

Yet this Christmas, instead of tweaking his butt off, sleeping forever or disappearing, he was sober. Sober. It was the best Christmas gift ever, seeing him smile and act normal. He wasn’t in jail or out there somewhere in the cold or skulking around like a methspook. He was the boy I remembered, all handsome and grinning, those green eyes still fringed with lush dark lashes.

I laughed out loud at the joy of it. And steeled my tender feelings against the probability that it wouldn’t last.

All day long, he chatted with family members as if he had never even heard of the awful drug meth. He helped John sober up a little, feeding him (alcoholics often refuse to eat until they are wasted) and speaking to him in love. As I scurried around with the cooking and cleaning tasks, he kept his sloshed bro away from additional spirits and listened patiently as John poured out his heart.

Before the sun dipped and I served Christmas dinner, the unmistakable diesel rattle of a UPS truck stopped in front of our house. I went out to get the awaited package. When I came back in, Jesus aka Henry was just pulling a blanket over a now slumbering Jesus aka John. Henry covered his brother with the tenderness of a father toward his newborn son. This time, my tears flowed in thanksgiving.

Christmas with addicts in the family comes loaded with expectations, but love always rises. Love always wins. You never know where you’ll see the Face of Jesus, or in whom.

I opened the UPS package. It overflowed with fresh hope.

 

 

 

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