Christmas Devotions

Our Family Christmas Devotion

lightstock_488916_download_medium_byrene_haney_

Christmas Devotion 2017

Opening Hymn: O Tannenbaum

 

O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum,
wie treu sind deine Blätter.
Du grünst nicht nur
zur Sommerzeit,
Nein auch im Winter, wenn es schneit.
O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,
wie treu sind deine Blätter.
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree
How loyal are your needles.
You’re green not only
in the summertime,
No, also in winter when it snows.
O Christmas tree, o Christmas tree
How loyal are your leaves/needles.

The Christmas Story

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them; and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for,
behold , I bring you good tidings of great joy,
which shall be to all people

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

From Luke 2:8-14 KJV

Christmas In CHINA                    –  Sharon Haney

Christians in China celebrate by lighting their houses with beautiful paper lanterns and decorating their Christmas trees, which they call “Trees of Light,” with paper chains, paper flowers, and paper lanterns. Chinese Children hang muslin stockings and await a visit from Santa Claus, whom they call Dun Che Lao Ren (dwyn-chuh-lau-oh-run) which means “Christmas Old Man.”.

Since the vast majority of the Chinese people are not Christian, the main winter festival in China the Chinese New Year which takes place toward the end of January. Now officially called the “Spring Festival,” it is a time when children receive new clothing, eat luxurious meals, receive new toys, and enjoy firecracker displays. An important aspect of the New Year celebration is the worship of ancestors. Portraits and paintings of ancestors are brought out and hung in the main room of the home.

A Psalm of Thanksgiving-Ps 100                       – Jonathan Haney

1 Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth!
2 Worship the Lord with gladness.
Come before him, singing with joy.
3 Acknowledge that the Lord is God!
He made us, and we are his.
We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the Lord is good.
His unfailing love continues forever,
and his faithfulness continues to each generation.

A Christmas Devotion                              -Dad

 “So, Jesus said to them, “The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going.” John 12:35

The Christmas season is a common time to feel like you are drifting through life.  Maybe you have been there too.  It has been a rough year, perhaps a turbulent few years. The hurts, pains, and disappointments of life have caused you just to drift; having no clear objective.  Have you lost your way?  Is your head up in a cloud and your faith in a fog?  December is the time you look at your past disappointments.  As you peak into the new year instead of a sense of anticipation, you only get stressed. The future produces doubt and worry.

To be honest, there are plenty of reasons for us to have doubt and uncertainty as we finish 2017 and begin 2018.  Will, the economy continue at these record levels or will it come crashing down around us?  Will I have a job five months from now?  Can I count on my health remaining intact? These concerns are real and things to be stressed about, to have doubts about the future.  What will my options be six months from now?  Will the options be any good?  Sometimes the options are the frying pan or the fire. I am so thankful to live in the land of freedom of choice, but sometimes both opportunities for your future are bad.  Consider the voters of my home state, Louisiana.  One year they had to vote for a new governor.  Edwin Edwards, a crook or David Duke, who had been the leader of the Ku Klux Klan.  What a choice!   I saw a bumper sticker that said, “Vote for the crook.  Better a lizard than a wizard.”

Dark days of doubt.  The one who walks in the dark doesn’t know where they are going.  Have you ever felt like that?  What does my future hold?  Where am I headed?  You’re in a fog.

God will guide me when I’m doubtful.

When I’m confused, and I don’t know which way to go.  John 8:12 “Jesus said, I am the Light f the world.  So, if you follow me, you won’t be stumbling through darkness, for living light will flood your path.'”

What are you worried about?  What has got you uptight?  What is it that is keeping you awake at night, keeping your stomach churning?  You’re going to have to make some significant decisions in 2018.  I don’t know what they are and you don’t either.  But I guarantee you; you will have to make some major decisions in the year to come.

On what basis are you going to make those major decisions?  “I thought/felt it was the right thing to do?”  Feelings are highly unreliable.  You might have just eaten a bad pizza the night before.  It’s not a good way to make decisions just on feelings. “Everybody else is doing it” is not a very good reason either. The majority is often wrong.

When you face doubts, there is a reliable source that you know will always give you the right advice and never steer you in the wrong direction.  Is there any place in the world you can get that kind of help?

Yes.  It’s called God’s word.  It won’t steer you the wrong way. “For it is you who light my lamp; the Lord my God lightens my darkness.” Psalm 18:28

God is the only reliable guide for life. His word is a flashlight.  It illuminates.  It keeps you from stumbling, helps you to see things.

May God show up in the midst of your doubts.  I would leave you with this poem.  It inspired me; perhaps it will you as well.

Let me meet you on the mountain, Lord,

Just once.

You wouldn’t have to burn a whole bush.

Just a few smoking branches

And I would surely be …your Moses.

 

Let me meet you on the water, Lord,

Just once.

It wouldn’t have to be on White Rock Lake.

Just on a puddle after the annual Dallas rain

 

And I would surely be…your Peter.

Let me meet you on the road, Lord,

Just once.

You wouldn’t have to blind me on North Central Expressway.

 

Just a few bright lights on the way to chapel

And I would surely be…your Paul.

Let me meet you, Lord,

Just once.

Anywhere. Anytime.

Just meeting you in the Word is so hard sometimes

Must I always be…your Thomas?

Norman Shirk, April 10, 1981, KQ (Dallas Seminary)

Prayer                                                     -Mitchell

The Gift of Gifts from The Valley of Vision

O source of all good,
What shall I render to you for the gift of gifts,
your own dear Son?

Herein is wonder of wonders:
he came below to raise me above,
was born like me that I might become like him.

Herein is love;
when I cannot rise to him he draws near on wings of grace,
to raise me to himself.

Herein is power;
when Deity and humanity were infinitely apart,
he united them in indissoluble unity,
the uncreate and the created.

Herein is wisdom;
when I was undone, with no will to return to him,
and no intellect to devise recovery,
he came, God-incarnate, to save me to the uttermost,
as man to die my death,
to shed satisfying blood on my behalf,
to work out a perfect righteousness for me!

O God, take me in spirit to the watchful shepherds,
and enlarge my mind!

Let me hear good tidings of great joy,
and hearing, believe, rejoice, praise, adore,
my conscience bathed in an ocean of repose,
my eyes uplifted to a reconciled Father!

Place me with ox, donkey, camel, goat,
to look with them upon my Redeemer’s face,
and in him account myself delivered from sin!

 

Let me with Simeon clasp the newborn child to my heart,
embrace him with undying faith,
exulting that he is mine and I am his!

In him you have given me so much that heaven can give no more.

Closing Song Melody

  1. The first Nowell the Angel1 did say
    Was to three poor Shepherds in fields as they lay.1b
    In fields where they lay keeping2 their sheep,
    In a cold winter’s night that was so deep.3

Chorus
Nowell, nowell, nowell, nowell.
Born is the King of Israel.

  1. They looked up and saw a star
    Shining in the East, beyond them far,
    And to the earth it gave great light,
    And so it continued, both day and night. Chorus
  2. And by the light of that same Star
    Three Wise Men came from country far,
    To seek for a King was their intent,
    And to follow the Star wherever it went. Chorus
  3. This Star drew nigh to the North West;
    O’er Bethlehem it took it’s rest.
    And there it did both stop and stay,
    Right4 over the place where Jesus lay. Chorus
  4. Then did they know assuredly5
    Within that house, the King did lie
    One entered in then for to see
    And found the babe in poverty. Chorus
  5. Then enter’d in those Wise Men three,
    Full reverently upon their knee,
    And offer’d there, in his presence,
    Their gold, and myrrh, and frankincense. Chorus

 

  1. Joy to the world! The Lord is come:
    Let earth receive her King,
    Let every heart prepare him room,
    And heaven and nature sing.
  2. Joy to the earth! The Saviour reigns:
    Let men their songs employ;
    While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
    Repeat the sounding joy.
  3. No more let sin and sorrow grow,
    Nor thorns infest the ground:
    He comes to make His blessings flow
    Far as the curse is found.
  4. He rules the world with truth and grace,
    And makes the nations prove
    The glories of his righteousness
    And wonders of his love.

 

Advertisements
Christmas Devotions, Devotional Message

The Light of Christmas Dispels the Dark Days of Doubt

 lightstock_268867_download_medium_byrene_haney_

So, Jesus said to them, “The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going.” John 12:35

 The Christmas season is a common time to feel like you are drifting through life.  Maybe you have been there too.  It has been a rough year, perhaps a turbulent few years. The hurts, pains, and disappointments of life have caused you just to drift; having no clear objective.  Have you lost your way?  Is your head up in a cloud and your faith in a fog?  December is the time you look at your past disappointments.  As you peak into the new year instead of a sense of anticipation, you only get stressed. The future produces doubt and worry.

To be honest, there are plenty of reasons for us to have doubt and uncertainty as we finish 2017 and begin 2018.  Will, the economy continue at these record levels or will it come crashing down around us?  Will I have a job five months from now?  Can I count on my health remaining intact? These concerns are real and things to be stressed about, to have doubts about the future.  What will my options be six months from now?  Will the options be any good?  Sometimes the options are the frying pan or the fire. I am so thankful to live in the land of freedom of choice, but sometimes both opportunities for your future are bad.  Consider the voters of my home state, Louisiana.  One year they had to vote for a new governor.  Edwin Edwards, a crook or David Duke, who had been the leader of the Ku Klux Klan.  What a choice!   I saw a bumper sticker that said, “Vote for the crook.  Better a lizard than a wizard.”

Dark days of doubt.  The one who walks in the dark doesn’t know where they are going.  Have you ever felt like that?  What does my future hold?  Where am I headed?  You’re in a fog.

God will guide me when I’m doubtful.

When I’m confused, and I don’t know which way to go.  John 8:12 “Jesus said, I am the Light f the world.  So, if you follow me, you won’t be stumbling through darkness, for living light will flood your path.'”

What are you worried about?  What has got you uptight?  What is it that is keeping you awake at night, keeping your stomach churning?  You’re going to have to make some significant decisions in 2018.  I don’t know what they are and you don’t either.  But I guarantee you; you will have to make some significant decisions in the year to come.

On what basis are you going to make those major decisions?  “I thought/felt it was the right thing to do?”  Feelings are highly unreliable.  You might have just eaten a bad pizza the night before.  It’s not a good way to make decisions just on feelings. “Everybody else is doing it” is not a very good reason either. The majority is often wrong.

When you face doubts, there is a reliable source that you know will always give you the right advice and never steer you in the wrong direction.  Is there any place in the world you can get that kind of help?

Yes.  It’s called God’s word.  It won’t steer you the wrong way. “For it is you who light my lamp; the Lord my God lightens my darkness.” Psalm 18:28

God is the only reliable guide for life. His word is a flashlight.  It illuminates.  It keeps you from stumbling, helps you to see things.

May God show up in the midst of your doubts.  I would leave you with this poem.  It inspired me; perhaps it will you as well.

Let me meet you on the mountain, Lord,

Just once.

You wouldn’t have to burn a whole bush.

Just a few smoking branches

And I would surely be …your Moses.

Let me meet you on the water, Lord,

Just once.

It wouldn’t have to be on White Rock Lake.

Just on a puddle after the annual Dallas rain

And I would surely be…your Peter.

Let me meet you on the road, Lord,

Just once.

You wouldn’t have to blind me on North Central Expressway.

Just a few bright lights on the way to chapel

And I would surely be…your Paul.

Let me meet you, Lord,

Just once.

Anywhere. Anytime.

Just meeting you in the Word is so hard sometimes

Must I always be…your Thomas?

Norman Shirk, April 10, 1981, KQ (Dallas Seminary)

Christmas Devotions, Devotional Message

Two Warning Signs Your Heart Is Too Crowded for Jesus

cropped-635897229513164483-866846937_heart.jpg

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. 6 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger because there was no place for them in the inn. Luke 2:1-7

There is a beautiful story that comes out of the Treasury of Jewish humor about a family from the lower east side of New York City. The younger members of the family try very hard to educate their immigrant parents. Part of this endeavor takes the form of a family trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where the son and daughter interpret various paintings to the mother and father.

During the afternoon in the gallery, the party comes to a nativity scene. The father points to Joseph in the picture, “Is Papa?”

“Yes, that’s the father.” Then he points to Mary.

“Is Mama?”

“Yes,” the daughter replies.

“Baby?”

“Yes.”

“Vas de cows and donkey?”

The daughter explains: “The baby was born in a stable – they were poor peasant people and could not get into the inn.”

“Ahh!” said the father, “Just like Gentiles! Too poor for a room, but still they get their picture taken!”

Perhaps there is no verse in the Gospel narrative so clearly prophetic of the whole life and ministry of Jesus as the short, cryptic words of Luke: “There was no room in the inn.”

Have you ever had one of those Christmas seasons where you struggle to find that magical Christmas spirit?  You pull out all your favorite Christmas albums and watch the Hallmark channel on your television because the day after Thanksgiving there are non-stop Christmas specials.  Undoubtedly one of those will help you find that elusive Christmas joy.  But alas to no avail, there is no room in your heart this year for Jesus.  In this post why don’t we examine what may be preventing you from having a joyous Christmas?

Preoccupation

Preoccupation is one possible culprit.  Mary and Joseph were shut out; all the rooms were occupied. Every space was already filled. Those who had arrived earlier had settled in for the night.

We can have some sympathy for the innkeeper. He was not a mean man. He had no ill will toward the holy family. He was running a hotel. He was in the business of lodging weary travelers. The simple fact is that others had gotten there first, and there was no room for more, and that was that.

Preoccupation is the thing that gets into the heart first. We don’t intend to leave Jesus out of our lives.  We don’t have anything against Jesus, but others things have taken up residency early. It is painfully dull to get so preoccupied, that other matters more pressing filled up all the space. These things are important. They are our work, our social life, and our family responsibilities. “The heart is full; I tell you, Jesus! There’s no room!”

But all is not lost! The holy family beds down in a cave where the animals are kept. A poet put it this way.

 

The innkeeper says:

I only did what you have done

a thousand times or more,

When Joseph came to Bethlehem

and knocked upon my door;

I did not turn the Christ away

or leave him there bereft.

Like you, I only gave to him

whatever I had left.

How close to home that strikes!

 

Insensitivity

 Another reason there was no room was that nobody there recognized the importance of the moment. That’s familiar, too.

Rebecca Barlow Jordan wrote these, “If we had been the shepherds one night long ago, I wonder if we’d recognize the star or if we’d know the reason for His birth and if we’d actually go to worship at the manger. I wonder, would we know? Is it really any different than if Jesus came today? I wonder, would we recognize His face in any way? Or would we turn away from Him not knowing what to say?  If Jesus walked among us in our hurried, busy pace, I wonder if this stranger would actually find a place?”

We are impressed with shiny things. We marvel at greatness.  And we expect fame to come clothed with glitz and glamor.  When majesty comes from humble beginnings, we question whether or not the individual is even worth our time.  We expect that when God’s one and only unique Son enters the world that it would have to be a must-see worldwide event.  It must be impressive when he comes.  After all, the world had waited over 2,000 years for the blessed event. Our thoughts and God’s thoughts about greatness are incompatible.  God uses a manger and straw, peasants and donkey, a woman heavy with child, and a small hotel in a sleepy little, insignificant town off the beaten path.  What makes God’s coming so ordinary, so unspectacular that we meet that coming with insensitivity.  We dismiss it as not worth our time to stop and recognize the significance of that entry into the world.  How often we shut him out, not able to appreciate the beauty in the simplicity of the humble birth.  Think about how the flash would have taken away from the substance.  It was not about how Jesus arrived; the focus should be on the why He came.  To save the world from its sin.  He reached out to me, and He came for you. So, won’t you stop this Christmas season and find room for Jesus? We must make room.

The story of the Bethlehem Inn reminds us once again about preoccupation, about being unaware. And the innkeeper calls to our attention the importance of opening the door when the knock comes.

Christmas is coming again. What shall we do this year – just keep Christmas, or make room?

Christmas Devotions

How to Cultivate a Welcoming Heart At Christmas?

lightstock_488231_download_medium_byrene_haney_

Pastor Clifford S. Stewart of Louisville, Kentucky, sent his parents a microwave oven one Christmas. Here’s how he recalls the experience: “They were excited that now they, too, could be a part of the instant generation. When Dad unpacked the microwave, and plugged it in, literally within seconds, the microwave transformed two smiles into a frown! Even after reading the directions, they couldn’t make it work. “Two days later, my mother was playing bridge with a friend and confessed her inability to get that microwave oven even to boil water. ‘To get this darn thing to work,’ she exclaimed, ‘I really don’t need better directions; I just needed my son to come along with the gift!'” When God gave the gift of salvation, he didn’t send a booklet of complicated instructions for us to figure out; he sent his Son. – The Greatest Gift sermon, 17 Dec. 2016

Inhospitality

When it comes to Christmas, there was something else beyond preoccupation and ignorance. Inhospitality. There were those in Christ’s day who looked him over, listened to him, and when they sensed what he was saying, only said: “No thank you! I don’t have room for you!”

There was no room in the synagogue at Nazareth – they threw him out. During this past year, we have seen such racial, and political division such inhospitality, have we forgotten that all people, regardless of their color or political views are equal in God’s sight? People today are not very hospitable to that idea, just look at the unrest around the world.

There was no room in the Temple.  Jesus came to disrupt the status quo.  He began to shake up the comfortable.  And you can’t go around overturning the tables of the high priest’s concession stands and expect to have hospitality among those in power.

There was no room in Israel. We don’t welcome people who turn our comfortable lives on their head.  Jesus was accused of not playing by the rules, of inciting riots, conducting rallies and engaging in the subversive talk. With the Romans breathing down their necks the religious leaders felt threatened.  The Jewish people were under the oppressive rule of the Roman Empire.  So, it was the standard practice to try to get by through getting along.  Don’t make waves. Be patient and wait for the deliverer to come. Because when the Messiah shows up, He will deliver the nation from the rule of Rome and free the people from the arrogant tyranny of a dictatorship. The people were obsessed with that issue; it was always at the forefront of their minds. They were not at all united on how that would be accomplished, but they all believed that something had to be done.

A large faction, called Zealots, thought the only way was to resist, fight and kill. Sounds like some in society today.  They were in a quandary for a while, wondering if Jesus could be the promised king who would provide the kind of strong leadership necessary to lead the revolution. They would have made Him king if he even indicated that He was ready to take the mantle and run with the movement. But Jesus had other plans, a different mission. Jesus saw the problem of power and passion. He knew that hatred was not a proper solution.  You must love all people; Jesus said, even your enemy. If he compels you to go one mile, go two. You must get started with something constructive to get out of the everlasting vortex of hatred. If you resist evil with evil, you will be destroyed by evil.

Well, they were in no mood to welcome that! They shut him out. “He came to his own, and his own received him not.” There was no room for his kind.

The story continues.  We do not need to belabor the point. All too well, we recognize that even in countries where Christ is loudly praised, in nations where the public holiday is made of his birth, there is not much room for him, at least not down in the dark currents of life where real decisions are made about real issues.

The late David Roberts said that if he could have anticipated Bethlehem, his first temptation would have been to cry out: “O Gentle Son of God, don’t come here! Don’t come into such a world. This is no place for you. This is no place for someone who cares nothing for money, prestige, or power. You don’t fit in here—it will destroy you. This kind of world will crush you, break your heart. Don’t come! You don’t belong.”

But then, he went on to say that, on second thought, as the years roll by, we can’t get rid of the haunting realization that Christ is the one who actually belongs. We are the misfits whose ugly passions and unholy lives are out of touch with reality. We are the strange ones with distorted images of what humanity was meant to be.

The encouragement of Christmas is that the light of Christ is still shining in the dark and that the future belongs to the light. With the darkness of every tragic human blunder, the contrast of the light grows clearer. The light of Christ is the real thing, and we must make room for it in our business, in our politics, in our education, in our homes, and in our personal lives. And we must do it soon.

We never find room. We must make room.

The story of the Bethlehem Inn reminds us once again about preoccupation, about being unaware, and about inhospitality to the highest. And the innkeeper calls to our attention the importance of opening the door when the knock comes.

It is coming again. What shall we do this year – just keep Christmas, or make room?

Other  Christmas articles:

https://revheadpin.org/2017/12/20/two-warning-signs-your-heart-is-too-crowded

Christmas Devotions, Depression

The Light in the Dark Days of Depression

 

lightstock_154010_small_byrene_haney 

 

“I am the light that has come into the world. No one who has faith in me will stay in the dark.” John 12:46

Everybody has dark days.  You know those times you don’t wish or can’t get out of bed. You’re afraid to face the world.  You are scared to face your anxiety, your depression, your anguish, your demons.  You don’t feel like it’s worth the effort.  You just want to throw in the towel.  You don’t want to see anyone nor do you want anybody to see you.  Holidays can make those days seem even blacker.   We all go through dark days or those seasons like this.

In this series of post leading up to Christmas I want us to look to the light of Christmas, Jesus Christ for our dark days.  I want us to look primarily at four types of dark days and how Christmas is the response to that through the life, death, and resurrection of the babe of Bethlehem.  Jesus is the way through the dark days of disappointment, distress, doubt, and depression.  You perhaps can relate to at least one of those during this holiday.

The Dark Days of Depression

I have written before about how depression robs us of our true identity.  What depression also does is makes it seem like everything in our life seems to cave in around us.  The holidays are a particularly lonely time.  When the world around you tells this is a season of joy,  but all you are feeling is hopelessness.  You may say to yourself, “what’s the use?”  You feel like giving up.

In World War II, Winston Churchill said when the war started in Europe, “The light has gone out in Europe.”

Depression has the effect of snuffing The Light out of our life.”  Misery is evident in Lamentations 3:19-20,

Just thinking of my troubles
and my lonely wandering
    makes me miserable.

20 That’s all I ever think about,
    and I am depressed.

Some of you faced a major crisis this year.  Maybe it was a divorce, a death of a loved one, a defeat, perhaps you got laid off, maybe you faced a significant illness, but it has snuffed out or at least dampened your Christmas spirit.  As you approach December 25th the fact is, you don’t feel like being happy. Other people’s talk of happiness only intensifies your pain and your loneliness.  Maybe you feel like Job in chapter 3 he said, “Erase that night from the calendar and conceal it with darkness.”

When the pain is that intense you wonder, “Does anybody care?” “Does anyone see the hurt?” If you find yourself asking those questions know this: God cares.  He cares about you because you matter to him.  Your issues of pain matter to God and He cares about it.

If you need some proof, in 2 Samuel 22:29, “You Lord, are my light; you dispel my darkness.” What Christmas reminds us is Jesus says, “I’m the light of the world.”  Jesus came at Christmas to bring light to our dark days.  Only Christ dispels the darkness.   Only Christ can be the Light of my life. Here is an illustration to remind us of the power of Jesus.

From the news, Julianne Holland, 13, an eighth grader in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, wanted to do her part for Jesus at Christmas. Without informing her parents, she addressed a letter to Jesus in care of the local post office. It landed on the desk of Presbyterian Donald L. Orner, 62, director of customer services at the postal center in Harrisburg.

“Dear friend,” wrote Julianne, “I am 13 years old. And you must think I’m weird for writing a letter to Jesus when everyone knows it wouldn’t get anywhere. But I wanted to give you a message.

“Every Christmas all people think about is getting presents. But that’s not the reason at all. I think Christmas means getting all your friends together and having a good time because Jesus is born, and that’s just the beginning of all the beautiful things he did for us. By being born he let love into the world.”

Replied Orner:

“We have no mail route to heaven, but I am sure that (Jesus) is aware of what you wrote. He knows our thoughts, our feelings, in every line of your beautiful letter flowed out across all the miles that no mailman could ever travel and touched his heart.

“You said your letter wouldn’t get anywhere—it touched my heart, and be assured, Julianne, he knows. May you have a happy Christmas, and God bless you.”

Somehow a reporter found out about the letters, and the Associated Press flashed the story around the world.[1]

 

[1] Tan, P. L. (1996). Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times (pp. 656–657). Garland, TX: Bible Communications, Inc.