Category Archives: Holiday and Seasonal

To Love And Be Loved

Love

The following poem is one of my favorites.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all.

Oh, My Love Has An Eye Of The Softest Blue

Oh, my love has an eye of the softest blue,
Yet it was not that that won me;
But a little bright drop from her soul was there,
‘Tis that that has undone me.

I might have pass’d that lovely cheek,
Nor perchance my heart have left me;
But the sensitive blush that came trembling there,
Of my heart if forever bereft me.

I might have forgotten that red, red lip,
Yet how from that thought to sever?
But there was a smile from the sunshine within,
And that smile I’ll remember forever.

Think not ’tis nothing but lifeless clay,
The elegant form that haunts me;
‘Tis the gracefully elegant mind that moves
In every step, that enchants me.

Let me not hear the nightgale sing,
Though I once in its notes delighted;
The feeling and mind that comes whispering forth
Has left me no music beside it.

Who could blame had I loved that face,
Ere my eye could twice explore her;
Yet it is for the fairy intelligence there,
And her warm, warm heart, I adore her.

by Rev. Charles Wolfeby
(Dublin; 1791-1823)

Letting Go

Candle-65814_640--Pixaby

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2 (NKJV)

For the little over a year since my husband’s unexpected death, life has taken some rather interesting and unexpected twists and turns. Some of these changes have been joyous (like my daughter’s marriage to a wonderful young man), while others have stretched me to capacity.

I have had to let go of much: a husband dearly loved, a job I would never have left had circumstances been different, a daughter whose focus is now a husband (as it should be); said good-bye to family, dear friends, a beloved church, a beautiful home, and all the hopes and dreams for a life which can no longer be. Doors I thought God was opening, have been clearly shut, leaving me with a life I never wanted.

And yet, I am filled with hope for the future.

Looking over this past year, I am overwhelmed with God’s incredible love, grace, and mercy. He has protected me more times than I can count. I see how each one of these closed doors has been an expression of His great love for me. And while life often seemed like shifting sand, an Anchor held me through it all.

When I am tempted to let self-pity sneak in, I remind myself of all Jesus Christ let go of in order that we should be reconciled to the Father. How could I give much importance to my losses in comparison?

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:5-11 (NKJV)

This is the season when we easily become distracted by so many things: shopping, Christmas parties, family get-togethers, plus a thousand non-essentials. The pressure to fit everything in becomes overwhelming and exhausting.

Maybe it’s time to let go of what we have come to expect of ourselves and others and focus on what is most important.

“Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled.” Hebrews 12:14-15 (NKJV)

Copyright© 2014 by Susan E. Johnson
All Rights Reserved

May also be found at Gospel Blog by FEBC
http://blog.febc.org/letting-go-focusing-on-whats-most-important/

 

A Father’s Legacy

Time On Book by Bartosz--Public Domain Pictures

“Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land of which the Lord swore to your fathers to give them, like the days of the heavens above the earth.” Deuteronomy 11:18-21 (NKJV)

Both my grandfathers are gone, my father also, just over two years ago now, and Hannah’s father, not yet a year. Each of these men, while no longer with us, left an eternal legacy. Godly men, they modeled for their families, their churches, their places of employment, and their communities, what it meant to be a man whose life was forever changed by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. They walked, to the best of their ability, with their LORD and Savior. They lived to honor Him, diligently teaching their children the sure foundations of faith.

Popular culture has marginalized and trivialized men in general; fathers in particular. From sit-coms’ portrayal of men and fathers as witless dolts who can’t find their way to the garage without the help of their wives (or children), advertisers “second the motion” with more of the same. At what point did men become non-essential to our families and our culture?

God created male and female for a reason–each with an important role to play in the family and in the Kingdom of God. This is profound truth:

“Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him.
And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”  Ecclesiastes 4:12 (NKJV)

Children need both father and mother who love and serve the LORD–a threefold cord. God meant for us to complement each other’s strengths, helping to overcome one another’s weaknesses (with God’s grace)—better together than apart for advancing God’s Kingdom. Marriage between a godly man and a godly woman provides an unshakeable bedrock for raising Kingdom children.

Today I honor all godly men, whether you are fathers to natural-born or spiritual children. We can never thank you enough for what you have poured into our lives. We are grateful for your:

Courage

Diligence

Steadfastness

Perseverance

Faithfulness

Strength

Sacrifices

Leadership

Wisdom

Vision

Unselfishness

Thoughtfulness,

Kindness

And for the daily gifts of love you so generously give.

You leave a legacy in our world which will not be forgotten.

Copyright © 2014 by Susan E. Johnson
All rights reserved

 

Listen, Can You Hear It?

Christmas Lantern by Petr KratochvilThe following story comes from a blog which I have followed and enjoyed for several years, “From A Far Country.” Angus Lewis writes wonderful stories.

Today, during your many Christmas festivities, take a few moments to just sit still. Listen, can you hear it?

Listen

A Children’s Story for Grownups

By Angus Lewis

The Man picked an ornament from the cardboard box and held it up to the light. It was a round silver ball but it was not bright and sparkly like the newer ornaments. It was dull from rubbing against tree limbs, from bouncing around in cardboard boxes, from years of repeated handling.

He worked his way carefully between the couch and the tree to the back, the side of the tree that faced the wall. He slid a hook through the loop at the top of the Ornament and looked up, searching for the right place to hang it. There, a likely looking space near the top. He reached as high as he could and hung the Ornament in its place. Then he gently edged his way out from behind the tree to get another ornament.

The Ornament swung gently from its hook as the tree shivered from the Man’s contact.

The Ornament looked around to get his bearings. He was at the back again.  That’s the way it had been the last few years.  The newer, brighter ornaments got the best spots, up high and at the front.  He didn’t mind.  At least he was not down close to the floor.

There was nothing to see back here.  He liked the front because you could see things.  You could see people walking by, people with children, people with their dogs, people enjoying the crisp weather, enjoying each other, enjoying the Season.  Sometimes it snowed.  That was the best, the white flakes drifting silently down, covering everything in a soft, pure blanket of white.  But there was nothing like that to see from the back of the tree.

Still, it was peaceful back here.  He could hear the constant buzz of conversation from the other side of the tree.  He had never been like that.  He enjoyed the peace and quiet.

The Ornament was stirred from his silent meditation by a sudden shaking of the tree.  It wasn’t just a shiver or a shudder.  The tree was shaking from fright.  What could it be?  The Ornament looked around.  Nothing.  He looked up at the tree topper.  No problem there.  He looked down.  There it was.  He should have known.  The Cat was climbing the tree.  Every year the Man and the Woman decided the Cat had learned her lesson and could be trusted around the tree.  Every year she got caught climbing the tree and got pitched into the garage for the rest of the Season.

The Cat was at eye level now, looking straight at him. There was no telling what this animal would do. She started toward the Ornament, evil intentions in her eyes. The Ornament tried to make himself smaller.  It was no use. The Cat was coming for him.

But the Cat slipped by without as much as a glance. The Ornament looked over his shoulder. There it was, a bright red ornament, flashing with glitter and sequins, chattering away with his friends. The Cat had picked her target.

She was almost past him now. The Ornament was almost out of danger. Then the tail got him. Flicking this way and that, alive with the excitement of the hunt, the very tip of the tail caught the Ornament’s hook and lifted it clear of his limb. The Ornament began to tumble down through the tree, bouncing from limb to limb. The Ornament could see the hard floor rapidly approaching. This was the end of him, he was sure.

The Ornament bounced off the last limb. He closed his eyes, waiting for the crash. It never came. He opened his eyes. He had snagged in a collection of electrical cords not six inches from the floor. He was safe.

“What’s this?” It was the Man. He had discovered the remains of an ornament under the tree.

The Woman looked where he was pointing. “Oh. That’s one of the new ones. So bright and sparkly. What a shame.”

“How do you think it happened?”

“I know good and well how it happened. It was the Cat.”

“You think so? I was hoping she would have learned her lesson.”

“It was the Cat alright. Looks like it’s the garage for her again this year.  Once I get my hands on her.”

“Here’s another one. Not broken, though. It got caught in the wires down here.” The Man pulled the ornament out from under the tree and showed it to the Woman. She took it and turned it over in her hands, looking at it from all directions.

“That’s one of the older balls.” She looked up at the tree. “Where are the rest of them?”

“They’re around in back, facing the wall.”

“Why is that?”

“I put the older decorations in the back where nobody could see them. You don’t want these dull old things in the front.”

The Woman folded her arms and looked thoughtfully at the tree. “You know, I’ve been thinking there’s something I don’t like about the way the tree looks but I couldn’t put my finger on it.”

“I don’t see anything wrong with it. What’s wrong with it?”

“It’s too noisy.”

“I don’t hear anything.”

“All of these bright sparkly ornaments shouting for attention. It’s too much.  We need some of those older, quieter ones around front to give balance, to quiet things down. See that red ball in the center near the top? Take it down and put that one in its place.”

He reached for the ornament the Woman had indicated. “I guess this means another round of decorating.”

“You’re so perceptive.”

The Man reached up high with the salvaged decoration and hung it where the red one had been.

The Ornament settled his weight onto the support of his hook and looked around. It was a bright sunny day outside. People were out walking their dogs, pushing baby carriages, shouting greetings to one another. The Ornament smiled contentedly.

The Ornament was happy. The volume of the conversations around him had been reduced to a more tolerable level once some of the more vocal ornaments had been moved to the back of the tree. And he got to enjoy the excitement of the Season, the decorations on the mantle, the clutter of brightly wrapped gifts under the tree, the comings and goings of visitors.  One couple brought a baby. They held her up to get a good look at the tree. The Ornament could see the joy in her eyes as she waved her arms and kicked her legs with excitement.

It was Christmas Eve, near midnight. The Man and the Woman had been in bed for a long time.  It had started to snow around sundown. The wind was blowing, piling the snow up into big drifts and making a frigid howling sound as it wrapped itself around the corners of the house. The Ornament hung on his hook, listening. Even at this late hour the hum of conversation continued around him. But there was something.  He heard something else, something besides the conversation, something besides the wind.

“Shhh. Listen.” It came out loud, louder than he had expected. The conversation stopped.

A bright green ornament next to him spoke. “I don’t hear anything but the wind.”

The statement was repeated from various parts of the tree.

“It’s nothing.”

“Just the wind.”

“Nothing but the wind.” The volume of conversation began to climb again.

“Hush.” This time it was a command and the other quiet ornaments echoed it.

“Shhh.”

“Hush.”

“Quiet.”

“Listen. I hear something, something besides the wind.  Can you hear it?  It’s singing.”

The tree fell silent, listening. And, one by one, they all tuned in to the whisper that the Ornament had first heard.

Glory to God

Glory to God

Glory to God in the Highest

Peace on earth

And good will to men

And if you will be still and listen, you can hear it too. There, just under the wind. There. Can you hear it?  Down through the centuries from that hillside in Israel you can hear the angels sing.

Glory to God

Glory to God

Glory to God in the Highest

Peace on earth

And good will to men

Copyright © 2013 by Angus B. Lewis
All rights reserved

Used with permission

Unwrapping The Package

Gift by Anna Langova--Public Domain Pictures

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. Isaiah 9:6-7 (NKJV)

Below is the latest offering from my daughter’s blog, “My Soul Found Rest.” In so many ways, we have trivialized the meaning of this season with our parties, packages, and programs. Lest we forget the plan of Almighty God and the reason for all our merriment-we have a Savior and His name is Christ the Lord.

Milk Not Meat

In one of the classes I took for undergraduate work, we were required to read chapters for a certain textbook (I won’t mention which one) and write short essays on them about what we’ve learned. As a disclaimer, I’ll just say that there were some things that I really liked and that I found really helpful. But in general, I found myself frustrated and discontent with the lack of detail contained in the chapter. The time I spent reading the chapter could have actually been spent reading the Bible! I traded in twenty minutes I could have spent soaking in the rich detail of the gospels for a warmed-over summary of them that somehow manages to give the entire story of Jesus’ life in about fifteen pages in a boring and rote manner. The information found therein is such as might be in Christianity 101A… anyone who’s been a Christian for more than six months probably does and should know the information in this chapter. This is a Christian college—so what’s wrong with this picture? I think we would be far better off actually reading the Word of God and chewing on it for what it is than trying to spoonfeed ourselves ready-made baby food. We don’t grow that way. Did I learn anything from the chapter? Yes! But all it made me want to do was go deeper. I don’t want easy Christianity. I don’t want something that can be neatly packaged up and that’s it. The beauty of Christianity is that it can be beautifully wrapped up and handed to someone as a neat package—but once you unwrap the package, there’s another layer. And another. And another. And all the while you still have the same information, but it is infinitely deep, because we have an infinite God.

I long for a class in which we’re required to actually grow in our faith, not stock up nice little facts we’ve probably learned already (if not through the Word, then at least in Sunday school!) to spit out again when called for. I long for a class in which the textbook requires actual thought and doesn’t have fill-in-the-blank questions at the end of each chapter so that I can remember the year Jesus died and the exact place He was baptized. Is that all that interesting and important? Sure! But wouldn’t we be a lot better off knowing our Bibles so well that we know the chapter and verse where that information is found anyway?

Walking with God requires you to go beyond the facts. It requires understanding. And commitment. God is infinite. No matter how committed we are and how much we study we’ll never get to the bottom of Him. We’ll never run out of things to learn about Him. Being with Him never gets old or stuffy or boring. So let’s have a little more in our study beyond the basics. There is a time for milk, but we can’t stay baby Christians forever. Let’s eat meat. There’s plenty of it.

Copywrite 2013 ©My Soul Found Rest

Used with permission

Father’s Day Gifts

HannahWise words from my husband’s blog, No Grey Areas, today.

Father’s Day Gifts

Today, is Father’s Day. Another one of those special days so beloved by retailers.

I have already received the greatest Father’s Day gift I could ever receive. This gift arrived one January night in 1991. My daughter was born and, in a typical fashion, it was not during “office hours.” For some reason I have forgotten how tired I was that night. Perhaps, I was not totally calm during the entire experience either. However, I do remember seeing my beautiful daughter for the very first time, holding her, and at that moment dedicating her to the Lord.

Dedicating her to the Lord meant I had to be dedicated to being a father who served our heavenly Father with my whole heart. The wisdom of God was going to be needed. I certainly didn’t have the knowledge or wisdom required to raise our daughter in a dangerous world. I have depended much on the mercy of the Lord during these intervening years and will continue to do so for the coming years. God is always gracious and merciful!

Watching my daughter mature into a lovely, young lady with a heart and passion for the gospel is a joy to my heart. Watching her grow as an adult, making wise decisions and handling issues with maturity, is a daily pleasure to behold.

We know that when our children do well, our hearts rejoice. When our children are struggling physically, emotionally, spiritually, or in any other way, our hearts grieve.

Men, God has called us to raise our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Seeking God’s Kingdom has to be our first priority. Our families are our home turf in God’s Kingdom. What good does it do to be professionally successful if our children are lost?

This is not a new question for mankind. Jesus asked us the same question – “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?”

What sorrow matches the sorrow of a father and mother who lose a child to disease, to crime, or to any one of a myriad of dangers that lurk ready to pounce at any opportunity?

What joy matches the joy of a father and mother watching as their child grows into God’s calling on their lives, building their own families, and extending the legacy of faith to another generation.

Men, I am a poor shadow of our true Father. If my heart delights to see godliness, obedience, and wisdom in my child, imagine how the Heavenly Father’s Heart delights to see obedience and faith in His children. If we grieve when our children rebel and make bad decisions that have far-reaching consequences, how does our Heavenly Father respond to us when we do the same?

The first step in being a good father, is to be a good and obedient servant to the King of Kings. When we set our hearts on serving the Lord, that commitment will bring forth fruit in our families. When we rebel, that will also bring forth fruit in our families. Where we have not modeled faithfulness for our children we need to immediately repent and cry out for the mercy and wisdom of the Lord.

Let us prepare our hearts so that this Father’s Day, we purposefully thank the Lord for the incredible gift He has given us in our children.

What more could a man ask for in life than to know that his children are advancing God’s Kingdom, watching as they then raise their own children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord?

Just for the record – my daughter is the delight of my heart. There has never been a day I haven’t thanked God for her. That is indeed the Blessing of the Lord!

Copyright © 2013 by Charles L. Johnson
All rights reserved

Used with permission

A Blessing–The Perfect Gift

For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”  Isaiah 9:6-7 (NKJV)

There is no argument that the greatest gift we have ever received is that of Jesus Christ’s birth, atoning work on the cross, and His resurrection.  In this Christmas season, we are mindful of that Perfect Gift to all of mankind, but, we can also be distracted by the commercial emphasis in the market-place as merchants bombard us with the need for giving gifts to each other.

This Christmas, as never before, I want to focus on something of eternal value in my gift giving.  So few of the gifts any of us will exchange this year will even be used or remembered by next year at this time. The gifts that we give to our children are often quickly broken or forgotten as they are turn their focus onto the next hottest item advertised by commercial interests.

A church that we previously attended had a lovely custom for its graduates, one which I had not previously been aware of. It is based on the Biblical principle of the father’s blessing.  Each graduate is given a Bible and then the father (or mother, if no father is present or available) is encouraged to pray for his child and speak a blessing over him as he enters into the next phase of his life.  It was a great disappointment to us that only two of the fathers in the group of graduating seniors officially blessed them. My husband was one of that small group. He spent a number of hours working on the blessing that he would speak over our daughter during that ceremony.

It is so easy, as parents, to focus on many things where are children are concerned. We work diligently to pass down to them the knowledge and skills that they will need to make their own way in the world.  We try to provide them with a rich environment for learning and character development. Within the home school community this becomes a full-time occupation for at least one of the parents.  However, I believe that most parents omit one fundamental gift to their children in this growth process: the father’s blessing.

There are a number of examples of the father’s blessing within the Old Testament. As a father passed down to his sons their material inheritance, he also spoke over these sons a spiritual blessing.  Genesis 27 recounts Isaac’s blessing to Jacob:

Then his father Isaac said to him, ‘Come near now and kiss me, my son.’ And he came near and kissed him; and he smelled the smell of his clothing, and blessed him and said: ‘Surely, the smell of my son is like the smell of a field which the LORD has blessed. Therefore may God give you the dew of heaven, of the fatness of the earth, and plenty of grain and wine. Let peoples serve you, and nations bow down to you. Be master over your brethren, and let your mother’s sons bow down to you. Cursed be everyone who curses you, and blessed be those who bless you!'” (Genesis 27: 26-29 NKJV).

Clearly this is more than just the gift of material blessings. This blessing speaks into the spiritual realm something of real significance.  How is it that those of us in the church have neglected something this important?  What has been lost because we have done so?

Prior to my daughter’s departure for college, many people expressed their sincere sympathy about the impending loss in my life. I was told about the difficulties of “empty nest” syndrome and how I would struggle emotionally with it.  I was informed that my marriage would be stressed and that I would continually weep as I grieved over her going away from me. Actually, neither one of those occurred. Did I miss her?  Yes greatly, however, those moments of emotional distress were few and far between.  I believe that this was mitigated by several factors. Besides the obvious grace and mercy of God, the fact that our daughter is exactly where God has ordained her to be has been an incredible blessing to us.  She has not distanced herself emotionally from us, even though she physically no longer resides in our home for the better part of the year. Our marriage has not suffered either. We had twelve years of married life prior to the birth of this child which we never thought we could have.  Our patterns of marriage were well established and we returned to that which we had before she was born.

My husband and I have discussed many times as to why our experience was so radically different from most of the people we know. We have come to the conclusion that this ease of transition had much to do with the blessing my husband spoke and prayed over our daughter during that graduation ceremony. In that blessing we released her into the next phase of her life. As we let go of her in the physical and spiritual realm, God gave us peace in the emotional realm. Here is the blessing that my husband spoke over her that day:

“A Father’s Blessing

Hannah, joy and delight or our lives, I charge you today before God, our family, and our friends to serve the LORD wholeheartedly, to seek His kingdom first, and above all, to faithfully run the race He has set before you with joy and perseverance. As your father, it is my honor and privilege to bless you with wisdom and insight, to bless you with courage and grace in the face of the challenges you will face in this next stage of your life and service to the Lord.  I bless you with Divine Protection in every activity–in your daily life, in your travels, in your dance and dance training, that in every way God will cover you with His wings and keep you from all harm.  In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, I bless you and I release you into this next stage of your life and service to the LORD, with our love and our full assurance that God will direct and protect your every step.”

This year as we contemplate what gifts we will present to our daughter on Christmas morning, I have decided that the most important gift I want to give her is a mother’s blessing.  I want to speak into her life that spiritual inheritance which will have eternal value.  Just as my husband and I chose our daughter’s name to exemplify one of the spiritual qualities we wanted to be most evident in her life, I want to continue that spiritual inheritance with a mother’s blessing.

A Mother’s Blessing

Hannah, you are such a treasure to us. We have been blessed to see so many elements of your father’s blessing already manifesting in your character and in your spirit.  I charge you today before God to continue serving God wholeheartedly, seeking His Will and His purpose for every decision that you make.  As you grow in Him and walk into His Divine plans for your life, I would bless you with those elements of a godly character that He most values in women.  And one day, when God blesses you, I charge you to give to your husband and children that which God has so generously given to you.  I bless you with the godly attributes of the “Proverbs 31 woman.”  It is His Desire, and mine, that you will be an example to all of that which constitutes a virtuous woman: that the heart of your husband and children will safely trust in you; that you will do your husband good and not evil all the days of your life; that you will willingly work with your hands to provide food and a loving home for your family; that you will gird yourself with all spiritual strength to meet whatever challenges come your way; that your lamp will never go out, even during the darkest of nights; that you will not be afraid, trusting the LORD your God in every situation; that strength and honor will be your clothing; that you will open your mouth with wisdom and speak the law of kindness; and that you will watch over the ways of your household, not eating the bread of idleness.  As you walk in these godly attributes, your children will rise up and call you blessed and your husband will also praise you. It is in agreement with the Word of the Living God, that I speak His Truth over you today; that you may continue to walk in His Ways and be a living example of His Love to all those He brings into your life. As you do so, you will bring Glory and Honor to the King of Kings, both today, and for the rest of your life.”

As we think about those gifts we want to bless our children with this Christmas season, let us not forget the God’s Perfect Gift. I would also ask every parent to consider what spiritual blessing you might speak as a gift into each of your children’s lives. This is not a gift that will be quickly broken or forgotten. This is a gift that has eternal value and will continue to bear eternal fruit.

I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did, as without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day, greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with joy, when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also. Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of hands.”  2 Timothy 1:3-6 (NKJV)

Copyright © 2011 by Susan E. Johnson
All rights reserved

(Edited version of original which was posted on 12/12/2010 as The Perfect Gift–A Blessing)