Plug in the Lights!


This morning, as I began my morning routine, I looked across the room to notice the Christmas tree lights had not been plugged in. “Ugh!”, I thought to myself; “that tree looks so ugly right now!” “Before I do anything else, I am plugging in the tree lights!”

What made the Christmas tree look ugly to me? It was all the matter of the  lights. Once I ventured across the room and plugged in the tree’s lights, my outlook on the tree changed completely. I saw a very pretty tree that my family will enjoy when they come in from Christmas.

Thomas Kinkaid “The Painter of Light”

When the Christmas Season arrives, some of us go out to find that perfect tree to bring home. For others of us, it is a matter of deciding which tree from the attic will come down this year. Then, for some, there is a theme for the tree and others it is putting heirloom ornaments on the tree.  The Hawkins’ tree is one of two we choose from year to year as to which to put up. Then, in recent years, I have used a Santa theme with all things related to Santa with the exception of two nativity ornaments that are placed in the front of the tree. Other items that go with our tree are  the heirloom hand crochet snow flakes that Jim’s grandmother made for as a wedding gift, the Precious Moments angel at the top, the crochet tree skirt made for me over thirty years ago by one of my dad’s parishioners and underneath in front of the packages is Santa kneeling at Jesus’ crib. Yet, with all the memories and ornaments that have been placed on and around the tree, it is still not the same until the lights are plugged in.

Our lives are much like the Christmas tree. Despite all the dressing up we do, our true beauty is revealed when we allow the light of Christ to shine through us. Jesus reminds us ALL in  Matthew 5:14-16; You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

May your light shine before ALL men not only during the Christmas Season but all through year ahead. Plug in the  light of Christ and let others see His beauty through you.

Christmas Blessings!


God’s Symphony

Originally posted October 2, 2010


Today has been a beautiful brisk fall day.  As I have gone through my day, I am reminded of an experience that happened with our family on a fall outing in 1989.  Also, I am reminded  of the lesson learned on that fall day.

When Drew was  two years old, we  took a family trip to the North Georgia mountains. The day started out being a simple day of enjoying fall scenery and just simply getting away.  What started out as a fall day outing turned out to be a day of learning to listen to God through the ears and eyes of a two-year old boy.

When we arrived in the Dahlonega area, Jim wanted to see the North Georgia Conference United Methodist campground Camp Glisson.   As we walked the grounds of Camp Glisson, our  two-year old son Drew was pointing things out as any two-year old that is learning to talk would with his mommy and daddy. He showed us a squirrel, he tried catching leaves as they fell from the trees, and he was full of laughter and enjoying all that was around him.  As we continued to walk and enjoy the scenery, we knew we were approaching the waterfalls due to the sound of rushing water.  Though, we could hear the rushing water of the falls Jim and I had gotten caught in conversation of things to do once we returned home and not paying attention to what was around us.  In the midst of this conversation, Drew shouted “Sh-hh-hh…listen.”  I asked Drew what he heard.  His reply was “the Lord.”  Can you believe it took a two-year old to make two grown adults stop and hear the sound of God’s symphony through the rushing of the water, the rustling of the leaves and all the other sounds of nature around us? How suddenly did a sense of calmness and peace fill the inner soul. Those every day issues that Jim and I were discussing prior to Drew telling to be quiet were no longer important.

How wonderful the world would be if everyone could hear and see all the peacefulness that God does provides through the eyes of a child. Unfortunately, the world is not that way. It is so easy for our days to get caught up  in our lists to the point  we forget that God’s symphony is playing for us.  My challenge for you is to take a minute or two to stop in the midst of your busy day, shut the noise out, and listen to God’s music around you.  You will be amazed at the beautiful symphony that is playing all around you.  It is quite a symphony! At least my now 23-year-old son did when he was two.   Afterall, who would know better than a child of God. SH-HH-HH LISTEN!!

One day children were brought to Jesus in the hope that he would lay hands on them and pray over them. The disciples shooed them off. But, Jesus intervened.” Let the children alone, don’t prevent them from coming to me.  God’s kingdom is made up of people like these.” After laying hands on them, he left. Matthew 19:13-15 (The Message)

Drop everything and listen, listen as he speaks. Psalm 95:7 (The Message)

Prayer:  Father, when daily things get hectic, remind us to stop and listen and hear your voice. To feel the calmness you provide all around us in your symphony. In Jesus name. Amen

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