If you have webtv, you might not be able to see this email. You can click here to read it on the internet.
Welcome to 2TheHeart!
"It is Christmas every time you let God love others through you... every time you smile at your brother and offer him your hand." ~Mother Theresa
This is our final Christmas issue! I am heading to Utah for a week with our family and friends there. Our next issue with be the New Year editon! If you have a story to submit, please send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure the subject line says STORY SUBMISSION in order for me to review it. I pray that your Christmas is truly blessed and filled with many moments of love and great peace. I am happy to share two short stories today, both by members of Angels2TheHeart!
Author of this story, left, Jo Skierski and Susan Farr-Fahncke
"Hope and Joy" by Jo Skierski
Last year after Christmas, Johnathan and I found some silver plated letters, spelling out the words "Joy" and "Hope". We had both agreed these were among our favorite gifts to each other. These letters are now hanging above each of the closets in our bedroom of our little two-room house. "Joy" hangs above my door, representing the joy he brings me every day, and "Hope" above his door, representing all the hope I have given him when times have been hard throughout this year.
Together the "Joy" and "Hope" have given Johnathan and I a beautiful reminder of our love for each other and our faith in our Lord Who brought us together.
Jo Skierski copyright 2006
Jo is an Angel Mentor for Angels2TheHeart! Giving to others as part of this group is a big part of her life and she guides new angels in learning the ropes of "angeling". "Hope and Joy" is her first publication and hopefully there will be more to come! Jo and Johnathan make their home in Texas and you can email her at email@example.com
Anti-Christmas Indignation by Karen Harper DeLoach
That was my initial reaction to all the anti-Christmas malarkey in the news these past weeks.If we were celebrating Aunt Mabel’s birthday at a restaurant, we’d have a birthday cake with “Happy Birthday, Aunt Mabel” scrawled across the top in icing.Perhaps, we’d even hang a small banner emblazoned with “Happy Birthday, Aunt Mabel” and include a picture of her smiling face.But during the Christmas holiday, the season for celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, it is anathema to some even to say “Merry Christmas,” never mind “Happy Birthday, Jesus.”
Self-righteous indignation rose up in me.How dare “they” take away our traditional Christmas celebration bit by bit?Clerks not allowed to say “Merry Christmas” to customers?Christmas trees renamed Holiday trees?Decorations banned completely in some places?Political correctness overshadowing common sense?Poppycock!
What could I do to take a stand?How could I show the people around me that I was pro-Christmas?
Then it hit me like cold water on my face first thing in the morning.I remembered a Bible verse which says, “By this shall all men know ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John ).All the indignation drained right out of me.WWJD?What would Jesus do?What He always did.Love people.
What is the best thing we can do to show our love for Christ and to celebrate Christmas?Love people.Express kindness.Make room for that car to merge into traffic.Hold the door for someone when we enter a store.Give an overworked, stressed-out sales clerk a little slack.Bless someone who is less fortunate.
And no matter what can or cannot be expressed in the public domain, we are free to share a smile and call out “Merry Christmas” wherever we go.
So...Merry Christmas, friend, and may you have a blessed New Year!
Karen is the author of Thirty-one Years and a Stumble. She is co-author and compiler of Musings, Meditations, and Memories of One Slightly Dysfunctional American Family.Her stories have been published in God Allows U-Turns: American Moments, Women AliveMagazine, 2TheHeart: People Who Make a Difference,and several church publications and e-zines, including 2theHeart. Karen is also a member of Angels2TheHeart! To read excerpts from her books, please visit her web site at http://karendeloach.tripod.com/.