And Lo, The Angel of the Lord Came Upon Them…

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them; and they were sore afraid. Luke 2:9

Well worth the read… Merry Christmas!

Grandma and Santa Claus

I remember my first Christmas adventure with Grandma. I was just a kid.

I remember tearing across town on my bike to visit her on the day my big sister dropped the bomb: “There is no Santa Claus,” she jeered. “Even dummies know that!”

My Grandma was not the gushy kind, never had been. I fled to her that day because I knew she would be straight with me. I knew Grandma always told the truth, and I knew that the truth always went down a whole lot easier when swallowed with one of her “world-famous” cinnamon buns. I knew they were world-famous, because Grandma said so. It had to be true.

Grandma was home, and the buns were still warm. Between bites, I told her everything. She was ready for me. “No Santa Claus?” she snorted…”Ridiculous! Don’t believe it. That rumor has been going around for years, and it makes me mad, plain mad!! Now, put on your coat, and let’s go.”

“Go? Go where, Grandma?” I asked. I hadn’t even finished my second world-famous cinnamon bun. “Where” turned out to be Kerby’s General Store, the one store in town that had a little bit of just about everything. As we walked through its doors, Grandma handed me ten dollars. That was a bundle in those days. “Take this money,” she said, “and buy something for someone who needs it. I’ll wait for you in the car.” Then she turned and walked out of Kerby’s.

I was only eight years old. I’d often gone shopping with my mother, but never had I shopped for anything all by myself. The store seemed big and crowded, full of people scrambling to finish their Christmas shopping.

For a few moments I just stood there, confused, clutching that ten-dollar bill, wondering what to buy, and who on earth to buy it for.

I thought of everybody I knew: my family, my friends, my neighbors, the kids at school, the people who went to my church.

I was just about thought out, when I suddenly thought of Bobby Decker. He was a kid with bad breath and messy hair, and he sat right behind me in Mrs. Pollock’s grade-two class. Bobby Decker didn’t have a coat. I knew that because he never went out to recess during the winter. His mother always wrote a note, telling the teacher that he had a cough, but all we kids knew that Bobby Decker didn’t have a cough; he didn’t have a good coat. I fingered the ten-dollar bill with growing excitement. I would buy Bobby Decker a coat!

I settled on a red corduroy one that had a hood to it. It looked real warm, and he would like that.

“Is this a Christmas present for someone?” the lady behind the counter asked kindly, as I laid my ten dollars down. “Yes, ma’am,” I replied shyly. “It’s for Bobby.”

The nice lady smiled at me, as I told her about how Bobby really needed a good winter coat. I didn’t get any change, but she put the coat in a bag, smiled again, and wished me a Merry Christmas.

That evening, Grandma helped me wrap the coat (a little tag fell out of the coat, and Grandma tucked it in her Bible) in Christmas paper and ribbons and wrote, “To Bobby, From Santa Claus” on it.

Grandma said that Santa always insisted on secrecy. Then she drove me over to Bobby Decker’s house, explaining as we went that I was now and forever officially, one of Santa’s helpers.

Grandma parked down the street from Bobby’s house, and she and I crept noiselessly and hid in the bushes by his front walk. Then Grandma gave me a nudge. “All right, Santa Claus,” she whispered, “get going.”

I took a deep breath, dashed for his front door, threw the present down on his step, pounded his door and flew back to the safety of the bushes and Grandma.

Together we waited breathlessly in the darkness for the front door to open. Finally it did, and there stood Bobby.

Fifty years haven’t dimmed the thrill of those moments spent shivering, beside my Grandma, in Bobby Decker’s bushes. That night, I realized that those awful rumors about Santa Claus were just what Grandma said they were — ridiculous. Santa was alive and well, and we were on his team.

I still have the Bible, with the coat tag tucked inside: $19.95.

Author unknown

Today’s inspirational story is shared from the following website: http://www.inspire21.com/stories/holidaystories/GrandmaandSantaClaus

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The Holy Ghost…the Gift We Receive

We will never be prompted by the Holy Ghost to do something we cannot do Richard G. Scott

The story I share today reminds me a little of my near-death experience. The details do not match but the feelings of beauty and awe do.

My near-death experience helped me to understand how great the gifts are that God gives to us. It also taught me how much we tend to underestimate and neglect the gifts that we are given.

One tremendous gift that is available to us, as we live lives with a connection to our Creator, is the gift of the Holy Ghost. We may not have that gift continuously but it can speak to us nonetheless.

Those moments when we sense that heaven’s angels may be speaking to us; those reminders that seem to “pop” into our heads, ideas that suddenly come to us, or feelings that inspire us are usually just that! Angels in the form of deceased family members, friends or those yet to be born often assist us. Though we probably don’t remember it, we most likely did the same for them!

We each have been given at least one if not more wonderful assignments to accomplish while we are having this mortal experience! I hope that you are listening to your heart and that you are endeavoring to fulfill the personal tasks you, uniquely, have been commissioned with! As we each work to manifest the life that we were created to fulfill, we contribute to the overall success of God’s work on this earth!

True happiness comes as a result of our connection to and relationships with God. I know that most of us don’t remember how well we know Him or how familiar we are with Him. However, I also know that our hearts consistently speak to us of Him as we keep them open and receptive. If the windows of heaven could be opened for just a few minutes, those brief glimpses of heaven would change our world and our understanding of it’s purpose! This world is not an accident and neither are we!

It is my prayer that you will know of the love that God has for each of His children – ESPECIALLY you! I hope you enjoy today’s story!

The Dream

 I always used to ask God to show me how to live faith ….. It’s already a few years since I had a very significant dream, which is vividly imprinted in my mind and in my heart forevermore. No doubt it was an answer to my prayers and it made me feel so deeply cared for and loved! The dream:

“I climb up a rather high mountain together with many other people. We walk in silence on a narrow path, in a row. I understand that we are pilgrims, when I see a church far away high up on the mountain, beautifully “set” on the horizon. I am full of expectance. I love the mountains and I enjoy the view and the peaceful climbing. When we reach the church and when everybody is inside, I immediately notice a Priest who shuts all the doors in what seems to me a definitive manner. He blocks the doors nailing pieces of wood on them. Instantly I feel claustrophobic and ask the Priest to please open the doors again. I don’t like to be closed in, I feel uneasy, I want to go outside again, but there is no reply from the Priest. I look around and there I see a staircase. I run up the stairs and indeed I find a little door which opens to a balcony and I step out: What I see in that moment is so immensely moving! I see a beautiful green valley stretched before my eyes (it does not seem the same valley we have come from). At the end of this valley there is a golden city. Everything is so extremely brilliant and beautiful that my heart fills with a longing so strong that I can hardly bear it. I’m overwhelmed and stand there in utter awe for quite a while. Then I do not resist anymore. I cry out, I want to go there, I feel within my heart that the Place is like Paradise. It’s as if from the shining town a voice called me, “come, come, here is beauty, here is love, here is peace “. ….. Then I hurry downstairs shouting “How can I reach the place I’ve seen from the balcony? There is a golden city! Please open the doors …” Nobody answers and I feel deeply frustrated for being closed in. Then I find myself standing right in front of the Altar with a little golden Tabernacle. The Tabernacle is beautifully decorated. While gazing at the Tabernacle I suddenly become silent and I feel at peace. In that moment I hear a beautiful voice saying “You know the way, I am the way, there is no other way to reach the place you’ve seen ….. come through the Tabernacle, this is the only way”. The Voice vibrated softly in my heart. My reaction to the “invitation” was strange. I thought “the Tabernacle is too small to get through, I’ll never manage ……..”.

The dream ended and I woke up just in that moment when I was doubting to make it “through” the Tabernacle.

I remembered vividly everything and finally, my heart strongly pounding, I understood.

JESUS had told me that HE WAS THE WAY! HE IS THE WAY to perfect joy “perfecta laetitia”! And I remembered the words He said to His disciples during the Last Supper “Do this in memory of Me…..”. The Holy Eucharisty! …. The Tabernacle!

Since I had this wonderful dream I approach the Holy Eucharisty in much deeper awareness that JESUS TRULY IS THE WAY.

WRITTEN BY MARGHERITA RUEGER

Story shared from the following website: http://godslittleacre.net/inspirationalstories/the_dream.html

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Family….The Relationships and Love that Bind Us

She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her Proverbs 3:15I am biased – I admit it. I believe that I am blessed with the most amazing and wonderful family in the world!

I hope you feel that way about your family too!

I believe that our marital relationships and the relationships we have with our family are the most important mortal endeavors we can participate in. I also believe that families are for eternity. I don’t know, for sure, that our families existed prior to our birth but I do know for sure that our families were planned well before any of us were born.

Additionally, I know that our deceased family members are not far away and I know that they often help and mentor us. I believe that they are often our guardian angels.

I know that my grandparents have been with me and I know that my father was a part of the circle of angels who protected and gave strength to my granddaughter at the time of her accident and while she gingerly clung to life in the NICU at Primary Children’s Hospital.

I now have 18 grandchildren with the 19th on her way. When the newest member of our family makes her mortal entrance, she will be my 13th granddaughter and she join what I consider an elite team of incredible individuals. It is my hope and my duty as her grandmother to help her know just how amazing and wonderful she is. You see, once she takes her first breath, she will lose much of her pre-mortal memory. I will need to remind her of what I know of her – what I know of each of us: We are all precious children – all worth incredible sacrifice and effort as far as the Lord is concerned.

And I will pray for her and for the world as I always do – I will pray that she will know God’s love for her. I will pray that she comes to know Him well throughout her life. And…I will pray that each individual who is a part of this world will have the same blessing and knowledge of God that I want for my granddaughter and every member of my family.

I hope you enjoy today’s story!

The Lost Ruby

I’ve had only one experience in my life and this one changed my life and way of thinking.  When I was a teen my grandmother moved in with us.  I loved my grandmother, we were very close. My mother called me her ‘junior’.

When I was seventeen I went to the prom and my grandmother let me borrow her beautiful ruby necklace. At that age, being somewhat reckless, I lost it somewhere. To this day I still don’t know where, I just remember at the end of the night my mother was extremely upset with me. My grandmother being very understanding and forgiving was not upset at all.

A year later my grandmother passed away and not long afterwards I joined the military and was stationed in Germany. For years I had not talked to my family. My husband left me and at this point I‘d been in Europe four years with still another year to go.

One night I became an hysterical drunken mess, cried for hours and I passed out. The next morning I found clutched in my hand my grandmother’s beautiful ruby necklace. I don’t know how to explain this! I shared this with my mother and we both cried. Together with the help of my family and this miraculous event, I’m putting my life back together,

Contributed by Cindy Rowe

Story shared from the following website: https://www.keen.com/CommunityServer/UserBlogPosts/Ms_Claritynow/TEN-ORIGINAL–TRUE–DIVINE-INTERVENTION–ANGEL—-MIRACLE–INSPIRATIONAL–STORIES—collected-by-me–amp–till-now-unseen/141689.aspx

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Miracles…They Are All Around Us

Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see C. S. LewisThose of you who follow my blog know that my granddaughter was critically injured last summer and that she is a walking talking miracle!

And, even though my life has been filled with miracles and events that God orchestrated, I think it is important to recognize that we are surrounded by miracles on a daily basis.

Today I share a story that reminded me in some ways of my experience with my granddaughter (think longer time line but she was saved by God nonetheless).

I hope that you will read and enjoy today’s story and that, as you look around, you will recognize the miracles that surround you!

Everyday Miracles

Tiffany Youngblood Gilliam – Seven years ago, my husband, Shane, who was a construction contractor and volunteer youth minister at Osage Baptist Church in rural Osage, Arkansas, called and said our little boy, Braedyn, had been in a wreck and was in terrible shape. I asked if Braedyn would be OK. My husband had no response, which alarmed me terribly. Waiting for my parents to drive me to the hospital, I felt so helpless. I dropped to my knees and began praying! Then, I started phoning everyone I knew and asked for prayer and they called other people. When I arrived at the hospital, my husband was crying in a way I had never seen a man cry. He didn’t want me to see Braedyn. When I did, it was terrible. His head was caved in on the right side. He had blood coming from his ears, eyes, nose and mouth. His pelvis appeared to be completely crushed. His catheter was full of blood, which means internal bleeding. The doctor told us the prognosis looked “very grave” and he might not make the flight to a big hospital in Springfield, Missouri. The thought of placing my baby on a helicopter by himself was just more than I could handle. The pilot asked if I wanted to ride, which is not usually allowed. I held onto my little boy’s arm and prayed during the whole flight that God would heal his broken little body. I told God I knew Braedyn was only on loan to me, but I wasn’t ready to not be his mommy. I fully trusted God that He would take care of my baby boy. When we landed, everything was so fast-paced. I was placed in a little room all by myself. There, I just continued to pray. After an eternity –  actually only about 40 minutes – the doctor came into the room. He seemed to be in shock!! All of the x-rays and tests had been redone and my little boy didn’t have a broken bone in his body. No internal bleeding. He was bruised and banged up very badly, but the doctor said “I can’t explain what happened. I thought I was going to be telling you there was nothing we could do, but instead I get to tell you that you are very lucky.” I said, “We are not lucky, we are BLESSED! Our God saved our little boy.” When we finally got to see him, his head was no longer caved in. He did have to be bed-bound for two weeks, but it was nothing we couldn’t handle. When we went for a check-up, our family doctor cried and hugged Braedyn. He said “I prayed so hard but I never thought I would see this little guy again.” God is so good! Braedyn is our little miracle boy!

Story shared from the following website: http://www.beliefnet.com/faiths/galleries/12-absolutely-amazing-miracles.aspx?p=5

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Angels….Are There to Help Us!

Angels play a prominent part in the Lord’s plan in all dispensations. Our own dispensation is no exception. In fact, our dispensation has been a period of extraordinary angelic activity Donald W. ParryI believe in angels – I have to – I have seen them more than once.

The first time came when my husband and I saw our unborn children. The second came when my angel took me back to heaven to witness my meeting with God.

The angels, that I have witnessed, did not have wings but their visits did have purpose and were orchestrated by God.

Knowing what I know, I realize that I see angels on a daily basis. It’s just that all of the angels I see daily have bodies now and are having a mortal experience. The mortal angels I see daily have mostly forgotten where they came from and the purpose for their being here. (If they only knew their true identity!)

I know and I have witnessed, many occasions, events and occurrences in which angels were involved. I know that my deceased father saved my granddaughter when she was caught in a rock slide. I know that angels surrounded her in her hospital room and gave her much needed strength and healing. I know that angels facilitated the miraculous search and adoption of my two children from Russia. I have heard the voices of angels, seen them and felt them. Would you be surprised to know that I believe that manifestations through feelings is most important?

Feeling is believing…after my near-death experience, I have come to recognize how important it is to give feelings credibility. It is even more important to give God credit for the work He does in our lives.

I suspect that once I return to that heavenly realm from whence we all came that I will see that my encounters with heavenly angels were much more frequent than I even knew. I will not be surprised if I find that all of us are helped and assisted by angels in some way on a daily basis.

As a result of my near-death experience and encounters with angels, I have learned to give thanks for my angels and to ask for their assistance. I know that they are a great blessing in my life. I hope you will join me in giving thanks to God for the angels who assist us!

I hope you enjoy today’s story!

Paris

This story takes places on February 3, 2001. My best friend is a flight attendant for a Canadian Airline and she took me to Paris with her for my 40th birthday as my present. It was a whirlwind trip but very special and very memorable for many reasons but specifically this one. We had walked from our hotel over the bridge of the Thames River to the old side of Paris. We stopped at the flame of Princess Diana and shed a few tears looking at all the letters, candles, etc. that were there for her. We went to a restaurant and had dinner. When we went to go home we couldn’t decide whether to walk or take a taxi. It was drizzling some but we decided to walk anyway.

When we got back to the site of Diana’s flame, we got into a very deep discussion about death and why good people get taken away at such a young age. My sister-in-law had died in her early 40’s of leukemia a few years prior. I am a Christian and my best friend was just starting to believe so it was a very interesting conversation. In front of her flame, we crossed the street and were walking along the sidewalk very close beside the Thames River which was flowing very fast and high because of the rain and time of year. My friend had warned me earlier in the day to hold onto my purse because there were a lot of muggings in Paris. I had never been mugged before even though I had lived in places like Mexico City, Acapulco and downtown Toronto so I honestly didn’t think much of it.

Well, as we were walking along in this deep spiritual conversation, someone ran up to me and pushed me really hard towards the river and tried to grab my purse. It was like out of a movie or something. I felt like I was standing back while it was happening kind of in slow motion. I screamed very loud and so did my friend, I held onto my purse for dear life and all of a sudden, out of what seemed like nowhere, a very tall (over 6’5″ tall) very handsome man came along, enveloped both my friend and I in his arms and asked us if we were okay. We screamed at him too unfortunately just because we were so distraught and afraid and when the mugger ran in the opposite direction after turning back and looking at us, we turned around to thank the man and he was gone – just like that.

It was all open so we couldn’t figure out where he went so quickly. We both looked at each other after, both of us shaking like leafs and we both said at the same time, “Was that an angel that helped us?”. And if so, we hadn’t been very kind to him. I guess he understood our fright. Both of us maintain, to this day, the mugger looked back and saw the man with us and ran away because of him. Once his job was done, the man was gone. I still believe he was an angel and I’m very thankful. I could very easily have been pushed into the river and swept away. Merci to whoever it was . . . 🙂

Story shared from the following website: http://www.angels-online.com/

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