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Christmas 2008 Newsletter

December 16, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

And the angel said unto them, “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:10, 11

Warm greetings,

Truly we are very thankful and blessed when we think of all of you who faithfully uphold us in prayer and support throughout the year.  We deeply appreciate your continuing encouragement in a day when optimism seems bleak.  Our hope is in His promises.  We are grateful for God’s sacrifice of His Beloved Son, Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:  But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Philippians 2:6-8    The very thought of the Lord Jesus Christ leaving the wonders and splendors of His Creation to come to this wretched and wicked earth for the likes of us is overwhelming … but He did!  And we still quibble over vain and meaningless trinkets and baubles … and call them “gifts”…  while God’s Gift to us cost Him the life of His uniquely-begotten Son…

The beginning of November we were in Little Rock, Arkansas, and the annual COPS (Concerns Of Police Survivors) Parents’ Retreat.  There were many “first-timers” among the almost 150 grieving moms and dads of law enforcement officers slain in the line of duty.  There were quite a few believers who were blessed and encouraged to find us there.  Ray had devotions each morning and many expressed appreciation.  One new couple, believers, also had two additional sons – one already in a police department and one in the academy.   Oh … did I mention that the dad had just retired after 30+ years on the “Job”… a great role model for his family!

On the way back home, we stopped at a North Carolina State Highway Patrol station near Asheville – Ray knew that there were two North Carolina troopers killed recently – one violently executed in that Asheville area.  The trooper’s wife had given birth to a baby boy shortly before the trooper was shot, and the baby died a couple of weeks later.  Our hearts go out to all involved in that tragedy, including the law enforcement “family” all over.

Then we were refreshed in spirit as we continued on … stopping for a couple of hours and lunch with “Skip” – our good friend who is retired FBI, but still not really “retired” because he is now on a Sheriff’s Department!  Then, on to Mt. Gilead, NC, and Wednesday Prayer Meeting with Pastor Gary, and our friends at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church!  They do feel secure because they now have almost a half dozen law enforcement people in the Church, including NCSHP Trooper Dale, “keeping watch over the flock by night (and day!)”

There are many more we could talk about … like the mom who called in tears to talk about her youngest son in his early 20’s, a youth pastor in a western NY city, who was gunned down in a drive-by shooting three years ago …  or, the lady we met years ago in California who wrote us recently about her loss and pain … this is the time of year that hearts are so very delicate and people hurt so badly – feeling the reminders of intense loneliness and heartache …

We are thankful for the joy of our children and grandchildren, and the two great-grandchildren (Sarah and Michael were blessed with little Josie last April)!  Our prayer for them all is that they will be drawn to the Saviour, and desire to love and serve Him with their whole heart.

Two special gifts came just in God’s timing to help in the costs of a new heater for our home, and for an updated car with lower mileage!  The Lord is gracious in His provisions!  The oilman thought it not wise to service the boiler in the fall – it would be a waste of money … he was right, because when they started to remove some pipes, the pipes dissolved!   Through a police officer/friend, a gift was given to us through another who was in charge of a will.

By this time in our lives we thought that we’d be slowing down a bit and driving less on the road but November was the most miles we’ve ever put on a car in a month – 6483!  Thankfully, we now have a ’05 Buick Lacrosse, with less than 30,000 miles on it!  This is a special blessing through a car dealer and his wife who love the Lord – especially in these days when there is so much stress in the car industry.    “For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanks-givings unto God;   Whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ, and for [your] liberal distribution unto them, and unto all [men];  And by their prayer for you, which long after you for the exceeding grace of God in you. Thanks [be] unto God for His unspeakable Gift.” II Corinthians 9:12-15    This is a most descriptive expression for our thanksgiving and the supply of all our needs!

We would enjoy hearing from you.   Our desire for you and yours is a truly blessed Christmas and a spiritually prosperous New Year!

“For the Grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that Blessed Hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” Titus 2:11-14

In His Wonderful Name,

Barb and Ray
II Timothy 1:12

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