Blessings to give

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It has been strange this year.

Those are words that have been echoed throughout the area this Christmas season, almost as if something is amiss, but you can’t quite put your finger on it. Perhaps the hustle and the bustle of the season has been too long and the parties a little too much and perhaps, just perhaps the reason for the season has become distorted.

Now, as Christmas draws near, it makes one wonder how the Wise Men felt as they followed the Star of Bethlehem to Jerusalem in search of the newborn child named Jesus. The unexplainable love and fulfillment they must have felt when first looking at the babe lying in the manger.

It was a star that appeared only one time to the naked eye according to records. To Christians the beautiful Star of Bethlehem shines within their hearts and perhaps that is the feeling of things being amiss. Perhaps that star is pulling us to the day and the time set aside to celebrate the real reason for the season. There is much to be said of being still and knowing that all consuming love. You are worthy. The gift buying is over, the parties well done; enjoy the ultimate gift of being still and breathing in the fulfillment of an all consuming love. Merry Christmas to all.

PEACE could be found in certain areas of the community by sweet sounds of music from David Berryhill. David is far more than the choir minister at First Baptist Church. When he sits down at the piano the angels are sure to surround him. He and his lovely wife, Heather, were thoroughly enjoyed recently at the Christmas party hosted by Rader. While he played she gathered and shared recipes to the delight of caterers in attendance.

ONE of Kilgore’s beloved pianist/soloist, James Holder, received a Christmas miracle on Thursday of this week when he reached out to his specialist with ear problems. He was informed the doctor had no openings for the next two to three weeks. He hung up the phone and the office called him right back telling him a cancellation had just taken place. James jumped in the car and raced toward Longview. “It was unbelievable,” he told his cousin Mitzi Hartfiel. “I hit every green light along the way and from the minute I received the call to the minute I got to see the doctor was a total of thirty minutes wait time. It’s my Christmas miracle." James has been dealing with some serious ear infection problems. It has not caused any hearing loss which is of utmost importance to those who love the art of music.

MITZI will be sharing her love of Christ through song at Arabella Assisted Living Friday evening and at Forest Home Baptist Church during their candle light service on Christmas Eve.

THE following story of a Christmas past came in from Matthew Prosser, Director of Communications, Longview Schools and so touching now is the time to share it with you.

“SEVERAL YEARS back I was working for the Boys & Girls Club in the Baltimore/D.C. area, specifically targeting economically disadvantaged communities. One of our outreach programs was to bring gifts to the needy families for Christmas,” said Matthew Prosser, Director of Communications, Longview Schools.

“We’d had several inches of snow in the week leading up to the holiday, and I was behind in schedule. I arrived at my last recipient at around 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve. The house was not decorated on the outside and it didn’t appear to have a tree inside.”

“Opening the door was a young woman who looked tired and downcast, then confused by the sight of me: a large white man with wild black hair and goatee, wearing a Santa hat and carrying a sack over my shoulder. I probably looked like some deranged Hell’s Angel St. Nick,” he continued.

“Merry Christmas!” I boomed, swinging my bag around. From behind the young woman, two wide-eyed faces appeared,” he said.

“I asked if I could come in, and the young woman opened the door. The sight of her home broke my heart. No tree. No decoration. No presents. No Christmas.

The woman explained her mother and grandmother had died the previous month in a car wreck and she didn’t have any extended family. While she had enough to pay bills nothing was left for Christmas. I told her Jesus and Santa had sent me and unloaded the bag of gifts donated by local businesses. The children tore through the presents in a blizzard of wrapping paper and gleeful giggles. On their small dining table I plopped a Butterball turkey and other items needed for a traditional meal.

Then I asked the mother if there was anything else she needed for Christmas.

“A hug would be nice,” she said with tear-stained eyes. I leaned over and embraced her tight. Now, more than ten years late, I don’t remember what I received for Christmas that year. But, I’ll never forget what I was blessed to give.”

May Your Christmas Be Blessed and May His Love and Laughter Fill your Hearts and Your Homes Throughout the Week. In the meantime, we may be reached at chitchatlinda@aol.com or 903-984-2593.

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