I have a correction from last month’s post. At the very end of the article on Amanda’s Poems, I provided a link for your inquiries about obtaining copies of the book; the link was incorrect. Here is the correct one. I apologize for any confusion.
Over Thanksgiving weekend, Minnesota was graced ….. errr, more like blasted!!! … with a fresh covering of snow. As my mom used to say, ‘A little goes a long way’. Well, I’m thinking this ‘little‘ fresh covering should have been enough to cut a path proceeding south towards Missouri, take a hard right, march through the states of California, New Mexico and Arizona and then come sliding into the East Coast like a baseball player trying to outrun the third basemen into home plate and still have enough snow left to close schools there! That ‘little’ bit of snow really did go a long way, as far as us Minnesotans were concerned.
To say we were blessed with snow is still up for discussion by some. It wasn’t a huge amount of snow, only about 18” at our house. But, to get it all in less than 24 hours and, if you think like me and only want a little covering of the powdery stuff until the Marc melt anyway, it was a titch much.
That amount of snow caused boots, mittens and heavier coats to come to attention and head for the front of the closet. Snow shovels, snow blowers, salt and sand all made their groggy appearance too, shaking off the dust and cobwebs of a long summer slumber. Things pretty much digressed to a slow crawl as we got to work clearing driveways and sidewalks.
But, the Bible tells us to always, always look for the blessings, as disguised as they might be. And, that snowstorm that everyone, with the exception of the snow plowers cursed WAS the blessing! Life for us slowed down … it had to … where can you go quickly, dressed like the Michelin Man? Neighbors helped each other; phone calls were made to check on homebound; runs to the grocery store and other errands were shared when the roads cleared for safe passage. People actually started communicating with each other again and, pretty soon, there were smiles & laughter, pats on the back, hugs, and promises to get together for coffee or lunch … greetings we hadn’t taken the time to do for a long time. We became caring, sharing polite humans again. We forgot about rushing off to the store, the craziness of holiday shopping, the busyness of the season and found the blessings God had intended for us.
The other morning, as I sat drinking my tea and watching the snowflakes drift lazily to the ground from the pine branches, I thought they looked like diamond dust … all glittery, soft and beautiful. And, then I thought, if the storm hadn’t come and caused us all to slow down, I would have been back to my regular routine, trying to cram as much in a day as I could … not taking the time to enjoy these dainty diamonds and missing everything else that matters.
We won’t forget this snowstorm for quite some time. It is my prayer that we won’t forget God’s blessing to us either. We truly do live in a winter wonderland, and it is God’s creation, just like you and me. In one swell swoop, God bestowed on us, once again, His blessings and, this time, we actually took time to breathe it in.
Now, after reading this, you might be thinking to yourself, ‘God had nothing to do with this snowstorm. This was all Mother Nature.’ To that, I say ‘What? You don’t think they talk??’ TRUST IN HIS TIMING!!!
We received these blessings from throughout the US:
‘These crosses are amazing and I love to share them! I appreciate your work!!”
Sheila – SD
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‘Thank you for all that you do to make your ministry of passing on the cross possible. Not only are recipients blessed but friends who I give them to are experiencing the joy and satisfaction of sharing them, especially with strangers! They are well received here by the giver and receivers. The cross is a gift and it has given us a way to witness for which we are grateful!’
Joy – MN
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‘Happy Thanksgiving to everyone at Cross The World. Thank you for your ministry; it has helped me and many others to be closer to Jesus and to feel His love.’
Frank – MN
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‘May God bless your ministry, bless Harlow’s ministry, and bless Ernie’s girls.’
Your brother in Christ, Tom – CA
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And, this photo of a completed shoebox for Operation Christmas Child, submitted by Candy from CA. Look closely and you’ll see the cross. Thanks, Candy, for sharing!
And, thank you to everyone who got crosses to put in the shoeboxes. This summer, we received an email from a pastor in China who had seen some of our crosses in shoeboxes delivered to his region. He was extremely grateful for them being included in the boxes and thanked us for our ministry! Great news!!!
And, more blessings!!
In November, the following shared the cross with others:
Ohioville Free Methodist Church – Midland, PA
Joplin Family Worship Center – Joplin, MO
Marian – MN
Epworth United Methodist Church – New Castle, PA
Cora – MN
Heidi – WI
Hilltop Chapel – Palisade, MN for Operation Christmas Child
Sheila – SD
Carla – MN
Bob – MN
Susan – PA
Spirit of Joy Lutheran Church – Cornville, AZ
Gale – MN for Operation Christmas Child
Beth – MI
Gold Canyon United Methodist Church – Gold Canyon, AZ
There’s no Christmas without Jesus; it’s to Him our eyes should see.
Not to jolly old St. Nicholas, not a glitt’ring Christmas tree!
Shops in town are decorated, decked in colors bright and gay.
Tinsel lights and shapes created merge into one grand display.
‘There’s no Christmas without buying gifts and toys to give’, they say.
Oh, that they should be realizing all these things will fade away!
Santa Claus is just a story; reindeer never pulled his sleigh.
Why then does he get the glory on this sacred holy day?
But a baby in a manger really lived in Israel.
He was born to be our Savior; it’s His story we must tell!
I will think of Christ this Christmas, how He left His throne above.
He gave up all His heavenly riches for to manifest His love!
Take the tinsel and the glitter and the santas all away,
For God’s love is far, far greater than this manmade grand display!
There is no joy as deep, no hope as eternal, no love as secure as that found in Christ, Our Lord.