Merry Christmas . . . and a belated Happy Thanksgiving
All is well here - now. I hadn't realized how long it had been since my last blog until I pulled up the site to write tonight. When I was almost through with the message, I hit the wrong key and everything disappeared. I'm beginning to wonder if someone is trying to tell me something. Am I really supposed to be typing away instead of getting a good night's sleep because I have drive to a neighboring town to preach in the morning? Maybe I was too wordy and the computer was slapping my hands. A pastor who has been a mentor for several years was quick to remind me: "economy of words."
I'll briefly bring you up to date. I spent Thanksgiving in Memphis with my cousin Joan. We had a wonderful time together, doing as little as possible. Still we managed to have a delicious dinner with turkey, ham and all the trimmings. Too many trimmings, if the truth be told. Meanwhile back at the compound, Tommy and Liz hosted her parents, her brothers, their wives and children. In the midst of their preparation Tommy and Liz came down with the flu, followed by three of the five children. It was a pretty miserable day for them. I was glad to have been safely away from the germs and did fine until a couple of weeks later.
I was visited by some strange stomach ailment that kept me out of commission for about two weeks. Who knows what that was? By the time I was up and going again, I was behind with the schedule I had made for myself. As of today, most of the baking is done, with a few things waiting to be baked on Christmas Eve. I finished the shopping yesterday--just have to finish wrapping.
More and more I am aware of age and the inevitable--life, as we know it, comes to an end. I have been deeply saddened by the deaths this year of Bob and Jan Stone, John Marlin and my very special Aunt May. There have been others as well, but I have so many memories of times spent with those four. I can see Tom doubled over laughing at yet another Bob Stone joke. Often I didn't get the joke, but got my kick from watching Tom laugh. The great comfort comes in knowing that I will see them again and that they are already experiencing what heaven has in store for believers--with my precious Tom.
A special highlight of 2012 was reuniting with college friends at our 50th reunion. The years between 1962 and 2012 seemed to fade away as we remembered together, told of our children and grandchildren and shared retirement stories. I also have reconnected with a high school friend who, incidentally, was in the band at Mississippi State with Tom. I'm looking forward to a face to face visit with her after the first of the year.
The oncologist reports that the cancer is stable, no increase and no decrease. I never tire of praising God for His care and the provision He has made of good doctors, caring nurses and the advances in medicine that make the stable report possible. Friends who stand in the gap with me are special! Cataract surgery in October was successful and I see better than I have in a long time--all except for reading. Glasses correct that.
Tomorrow I'm preaching in Lucedale, about 60 miles from here, in the church of a college classmate. I am excited about sharing the Christmas message and grateful for insights that have been prompted by some of the excellent books I've been reading. My anticipation of the celebration of the birth of Christ has been heightened this year by intentionally reading the prophets this fall. I continue to be amazed at the work of the Holy Spirit as I read and study God's word.
May God's richest blessings rest on you and may you experience the joy that only life in Christ can bring!
Love and blessings,