Share the Greatest Gift!

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Just like that, two weeks have gone by since my last post. Amazing how time flies during the holiday season!

Several years ago I had fun using Christmas song titles within a poem. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed composing it!

“Christmas Poem”

It Came Upon A Midnight Clear,
the reason for our holiday cheer.
‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,
and all through the land,
very few knew what God had planned.
O’ Holy Night, Silent Night it was,
when Emmanuel came to live among us.
While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks By Night,
they left after beholding the sight
of Angels, who were Heard on High,
as the star in the east led the magi.
Joy to the World! The Lord had come!
God gave to us His only Son.
Go, Tell it On the Mountain, or just to a friend
that Jesus came for all, God’s love to send.
Oh, Come, All Ye Faithful, let us rejoice,
with old songs and new, with one joyful voice!

11-9-96
©Ladeena Ashley

Jesus is the greatest GIFT that anyone can get, and unlike fruitcake, I’m happy to “re-gift” Him! My prayer is that all who celebrate the true meaning of Christmas will be PRESENT with others, and DECORATE others’ lives with His love by sharing the joy of our Savior’s birth and the hope He brings. May we all shine and twinkle with the LIGHT of the Spirit; dispelling the darkness and showing others the way to lasting peace beyond anything this world offers.

In this season of giving, I pray that more folks receive forgiveness and new life through Jesus. That people hear how the birth of Jesus Christ the Messiah fulfilled scriptures, setting the main stage for our ultimate redemption. How in fact His birth was not simply a quaint story or fairy tale, but that the King of kings and Lord of lords was born and placed in a manger in the most humble of circumstances. But most importantly, that He lived a sinless life here on earth before willingly giving it up on the cross for our sins, put in a tomb, and rose again on the third day.

In the nicest way possible, we should spread the less-than joyful truth that we all get to live forever, but we have free will to chose where: eternal life in heaven, or a tortured existence separated from God. Let’s share that through Jesus’ death and resurrection, God offers us the greatest gift of all: the gift of a Savior who broke the chains of sin and death. For God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him would not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16). Let’s share the true meaning of Christmas.

Do you understand and celebrate the real meaning of Christmas? If you haven’t yet received Jesus and trusted Him as your personal Savior, you are truly missing out! To accept the free gift of salvation, I invite you to pray something like this: “Father God, thank You for loving me. I believe that You sent Your Son Jesus to earth, and I believe He died on the cross and rose again, as a payment for my sins. I accept the gift of eternal life through Jesus, and ask You to help me to follow You the rest of my life. In Jesus’ name, amen.”

If you prayed and accepted God’s free gift, congratulations! I’m sure many of the same angels who sang in the skies over Bethlehem are rejoicing that another soul has escaped from death into new life with Him! If you don’t have a Bible, get yourself one, and find a Bible-believing place of worship where folks will help guide you on your new journey with Christ.

This Christmas, whether you’ve just accepted the gift of Jesus, or you’ve been a follower of Christ for many seasons, let us all share the true reason for the season with everyone we meet!

Merry Christmas!

Blessings to you, this day and always!

©Ladeena Ashley
2017 All Rights Reserved (blog content and photos)

More Than A Holiday

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As I’m typing this, my heart is light and I still feel absolutely giddy. Why? Because I just returned from serving once again at Simonka House! One of the blessings of Christmas is giving, but I get to give of myself every month! My co-minsters and I are real with our joys and struggles, which blesses the ladies; it is also an honor and blessing to share my poems that minister to their hearts and bolster their faith. It’s like Christmas all year-round!

My hope and joy comes from my relationship with my Savior who came down to earth, gave His all for me, and died and rose again so I could live. What I share with the women at Simonka springs from that glorious hope, a hope that began in creation and came to life in a lowly manger. If I didn’t believe that, then Christmas would be just another holiday.

Here is a new poem I wrote the other day about the true meaning of Christmas:

“More Than Cheer”

More than just a holiday
with twinkly lights aglow;
Santa, gifts and reindeer,
or the hope of Christmas snow.
Traditions we take part in
have a far deeper, joyful reason:
The origin of the hope and love
we celebrate this season.
Singing carols like the angels,
we’re heralding Christ’s birth;
Each chord once more proclaiming
His humble arrival on earth.
Bulbs and candles shining bright,
Light of Christ, and that of His star
which led the wise men of the East
on their journey from lands afar.
Then bittersweet sacrifice:
Red and white Shepherd’s canes…
His blood cleanses white as snow;
We’re healed by His stripes and stains.
Every brightly wrapped present
like the gift of God’s Son;
The greatest treasure of all:
new life offered to everyone.
Jolly Saint Nick and his sleigh,
reindeer and trusty elves
show teamwork and giving spirit,
serving others above ourselves.
Yes, not just another holiday,
Christmas brings more than cheer:
but abiding hope, deep joy and peace
and love that lasts the whole year.

12-4-16
©Ladeena Ashley

My prayer is that each of you think of the deeper meanings behind so many holiday traditions. Jesus is the Reason for the Season. We must all must honor the true meaning of Christmas and keep Him first in our hearts, because He loved us before we even knew Him! Share the Good News that is found during Christmas and throughout the year!

Note
I may not post much more this month, to give myself a breather (famous last words — the Lord may have other plans).

Faith Notes
Here is one of my absolute favorite Christmas songs: Joy (To the World) – by Avalon

Blessings to you, this day and always!

©Ladeena Ashley
2016 All Rights Reserved (content & blog photos)