- March 2014
- December 2013
- June 2013
- March 2013
- September 2013
- From the Editor’s Desk
- Bloom Where You Are Planted and Where You Are Transplanted
- The Change Game
- Ten Tender Weeks: The Countdown
- The Chap Who Lives in a Flat
- Conspiracy Theory
- The Closers
- He Knows
- Surprising Steps with a Friendly Wind
- If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It!
- Walking the Talk
- Message in a Bottle
- January 2013
(Matthew 1:22-24 NIV)
Readers, you will be proud of me. I have done my daily work out. No gym membership required, just a quick walk to our letterbox to collect the mail. Not much in the way of letters but a mountain of advertising catalogues to be heaved back to the house.
No wonder I’m puffed and panting. (The fact that I am very out of condition has absolutely nothing to do with it.)
Have you noticed that as each day goes past on the road to Christmas, the volume of junk mail increases exponentially? I will soon need a forklift and pickup truck just to collect the mail. And no sooner do I collect one load than another delivery of catalogues arrives. It’s exhausting. All that gathering, carrying and page flipping! Whew!
It is also a daily reminder, better than an Advent Calendar, that Christmas Day is just around the corner, with the New Year coming right behind. I know we say it all the time, but seriously, where did the year go?
For me, living in the Land Down Under, Christmas time is summertime. Hot, long days; carols by candlelight in the local park; barbecue Christmas lunches; and kids splashing in new above ground pools or under the sprinkler on the lawn.
For you, it may be the still beauty of wintertime. Cold, short days; loved ones gathered around the fireplace; hot chocolate and laughter; carolers on the doorstep; and hot roast dinners with family and other loved ones.
Tradition; no tradition; new traditions . . . Christmas brings special memories, old and new, to all of us.
Of course, regardless of how we spend the day, it is a time set aside to commemorate Christ’s birth. It may not be Jesus’ literal birthday, but how wonderful that in the midst of the commercialism and busyness of life, we stop and celebrate that God came to be with us on that first Christmas Day.
The problem is that too many people fail to realize that God is still with us today and every day. He is not packed up each year with the tinsel and the Christmas lights. He doesn’t leave us on our own when the post-Christmas sales begin. He came to dwell with us in the form of Jesus Christ, and He remains with us, 365 days each year, through His Holy Spirit.
So as 2013 draws near its conclusion, and the start of a brand-new 2014 is about to begin, we can enter it with the full assurance that the same God who walked the earth in the human form of Jesus Christ two millennia ago, is the same God who walks with us every day.
Immanuel. God with us . . . now and forever. His perfect Christmas gift.
And this issue of FaithWriters Magazine is our gift to you, starting with a very special story by longtime FaithWriters’ friend, Jan Ackerson. Jan’s story, Stalled Shopping Cart in the Baking Aisle is a gentle reminder of what is truly important—at Christmas and always. This one gets me with both the touch of humor and the very powerful message. Don’t miss it.
Staying in the supermarket, join the delightfully funny Lori Dixon for her story Vanished into Thin . . . Mints. I could relate all too well to Lori’s nearsighted shopping experience. She made me laugh, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it too.
In this issue, we have two truly beautiful poems to share with you. Gray Park Days by Frankie Kemp and Bound to be Saved by Francy Judge. Both pieces are brimming over with hope and assurance. If you are living through a time of spiritual winter or feeling bound to the things in your past, may God use these words to bring you comfort and encouragement. And if you still need some inspiration, make sure to read Andrea Van Ye’s touching story, The Trailer of Tears.
It’s always a pleasure to be able to share a story from the mission field in FaithWriters Magazine, and I’m delighted to be able do exactly that with Keep Me Focused on You by Claudia Thomason. As a side note, this little article, written originally for the FaithWriters Writing Challenge, was submitted to a publisher who gave Claudia a contract for a book of her stories. So often, God takes our little offerings and grows them into amazing things, way beyond anything we could hope or imagine.
If you need a little inspiration for life, you will find it in Seeing Red by Cheryl Harrison, and also in Linda Rogers’ devotional, Foolish Moth. Then for a spiritual uplift, take time to soak in Graham Insley’s glorious Creation’s Philharmonic Orchestra.
So, set the catalogues aside, grab a cup of Christmas and New Year cheer (hot chocolate, coffee or diet cola), pull up a comfy chair and take a faith break with some wonderful reading.
Until next issue, from all of us at FaithWriters.com, we wish you and your loved ones a very happy and blessed Christmas and New Year.
See you in 2014.
Editor, FaithWriters Magazine