Holiday Ups & Downs

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Today many throughout the world are celebrating the second Sunday in
Advent, a time focused on waiting for the Lord Jesus to come into our
world (the first time around).

JPUSA had another stellar service (imho!) and all I did was sit next
to my sweet wife, daughters, sons-in-law and grandkids worshiping- so
no kudos to me at all… just a blessing to be blessed so very much.

The artwork, school children doing “the greening of the sanctuary”,
the second of the Advent candles being lit, communion as well as a
great word from The Word of God via one of our pastors (Vic),
wonderful songs and a packed room all made it special.

You can get a slight glimpse of the atmosphere by the pics I’ve
included. They are in our main room and lobby. Great blessings and
great joy is ours in this season!

Last night Wendi and I did the lion’s share of decorating our room for
Christmas.

Today we met with a guy and purchased a very cute push-toy for our 2nd
youngest grandchild as a Christmas present, then had a snack and
coffee together and a nice drive along Lake Michigan from up in
Skokie, through Evanston, Rogers Park and back into Chicago.

For those 13 miles we enjoyed the many homes and other places lit with
holiday lights, Nativity scenes, ornaments and other Christmas
decorations. Many people were out setting more of them up all along
our route.

But other, more difficult things happen during holidays too.

As I stopped to pick a few things up from a store I checked the Bears
score on the van radio- they lost… and could only manage 3 points
against 7… NFL? Wow. Lousy work, and our best running back had to
leave the game early due to injury.

Oh well!

Then I considered more important and sad matters: last night some six
blocks from JPUSA a 20 year old young man was shot and killed in a
drive-by incident, likely a gang/drug situation. This is the second
time in about four days of the very same thing happening in our
neighborhood.

Today as I dropped Wendi off and went on to a store, I checked my
email prior to going in. In my inbox came a tragic request for prayer
from a friend overseas…

It seems he has a friend whose father fell through the ice, was rushed
to the hospital. The friend and of course their family were devastated
and so many around the world were praying for a miracle.

We don’t know why God sometimes moves that way while other times does
not. For all the scripture, faith and rationale, we just don’t have
all the answers.

We’ve seen people truly healed, largely via God’s touch in prayer, and
also seen people die after a rather painful interlude.

I prayed off and on for the next hour- and when I checked my email
just as I got home, the update read “Thank all of you for your
prayers… he has died. Please lift up his family in prayer during
this very sad time”!

My wish is that this is a blessed Christmas for you and yours, but we
must remember for so many it will be dark indeed.

May the God of Hope bring you peace and make you and I sensitive to
those lacking it this Advent and Christmas season.

So many are in deep need!

In Jesus’ Strong Love, -Glenn

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2 thoughts on “Holiday Ups & Downs

  1. To Celebrate the Advent season I went to see Handel"s Messiah. Siinging the course with the orchestra… "and He shall reign for ever and ever"…etc., sure put things in perspective for me. I live in a suburb of Detroit and I hear of very similar incidents that you discribed Glen that occur in your neighborhood, (and near your area). I have to keep reminding myself that our God still reigns even amongst the worst conditions. I will pray for your friends family at this sad time that God comforts them, and as always I pray that our God continually reigns over JPUSA and those you reach out to.

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