Holiday Nostalgia

Posted: November 28th, 2013 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Relationships, Truth | Tags: , , , , | 5 Comments »

I’m a sentimental, nostalgic person to begin with, but the holiday season takes it to a whole new level. I spend a lot of “think-time” in the past. I think about friends and experiences together and I treasure memories of family times, football games and Christmas mornings.

As I write this, it’s just after 10:00 a.m. central time on Thanksgiving Day. So in New Jersey it’s just after 11:00 a.m., which means that 33 years ago at this time on Thanksgiving Day, my last high school football game had just kicked off against Toms River North. I forget the final score, but we won to end the season 7-1-1, which unfortunately was not good enough to make the playoffs.

IMG 4801 225x300 Holiday Nostalgia

Speaking of the playoffs, we’d anticipated Fayetteville (where we live now) would still be in the playoffs this week, so we would not be able to go anywhere for Thanksgiving. For the past two seasons, my son has had practice on Thanksgiving morning. Fayetteville lost in the first round though, so it’ll be just four of us this year.

For many years when our kids were younger, we traveled to Louisiana to be with my wife’s family. I loved checking the kids out of school early and then piling everyone into the van for the eight hour trip to Hammond on that Tuesday or Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Many of those years also included, Ivy, our beagle. She died earlier this year though, so this will be the first Thanksgiving without her in 14 years.

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We did break tradition in 1999 to travel to Colorado to help a friend administrate a conference he was leading at Keystone Resort. It was our one and only ski vacation as a family. Some of us picked up skiing a little quicker than others. I won’t say who struggled the whole time.

photo 5 300x225 Holiday Nostalgia

Because I’m so sentimental, I have a difficult time throwing things away. I hold onto old t-shirts and ticket stubs. I keep newspapers that covered important events like elections and 9-11. And in 2000, I started a tradition of cutting off a section of the trunk of our Christmas tree to save.

Screen Shot 2013 11 05 at 3.30.37 PM 300x229 Holiday Nostalgia

I not only save t-shirts and newspapers–I also save emails. This morning, I was going through some old ones. I don’t mean emails from a few months ago; I’m talking about emails from eight or nine years ago. I found some my daughter had written during her freshman year in college and forwarded them to her. I found another one where I’d recorded some of the questions my son asked me on August 9, 2004–just a few weeks before he turned nine. Here are a few of them:

“How can God always be there if nobody born Him?”

“Is there a lot of blood when an elephant is born?”

“Can anything be perfectly smooth?”

“Would you rather have a rifle or a shotgun? Why?”

“What time do I have to go to bed?”

I also found a document I’d written 24 days after my dad passed away in 2005. I wanted to capture some of the moments in his final days and also honor the man who shaped me more than anyone else on earth. This picture is from the last Christmas we had together before he died a few months later.

photo 7 300x225 Holiday Nostalgia

So where am I going with all this? Well, no deep thoughts today. Just enjoy this holiday season with those you love. Try to look past the annoyances and unmet expectations. Remember that we’re all broken, all in need of grace, all deserving of a second chance. Treasure every moment you have with your family. Take lots of pictures. And build some memories…they’ll become the glue that keeps you bonded together in the future.

This post has already been long enough, but if you’re interested in what I wrote about my dad back in April of 2005, here it is…

In the spring of 2005, a man who changed the world passed away. Through the course of his life, he influenced countless lives – touching both the great and the small in the eyes of the world. Political and business leaders attended his memorial service, as did those who knew him well and those who hardly knew him. I’m one who knew him well. He was my dad, Robert Stutts.

He was diagnosed with acute leukemia in September 2004. Six months later, on March 23, 2005 – he passed quietly into eternity. That was 24 days ago. It feels more like 24 months ago or 24 minutes ago. I dreamed about him last night. I told him he was wonderful. He told me I had a tender heart. So did he. He used to say, “I love you Greggy”, when we were getting off the phone. No one else calls me “Greggy”.

Yes, my dad changed the world. He changed my world. What makes that most remarkable to me is that he had no one to pattern his life after. He had no model. He didn’t have parenting books to reference. Of course, my dad wouldn’t have read them anyway. He liked to read the newspaper, but that was about it. Somehow though, my dad altered the course of history with his life.

My dad once described his own father as “a mean man”. Anyone who knew my dad, knew that he was anything but mean. He was the kind of person who loved to help people. Need a job? He’d help you get one. Need a ride to a cancer hospital in Manhattan? He’d take you. His son wants to go to an Ivy League university? No problem. He said if I got in, he’d pay for it – and he did.

My dad made it to almost every football game I ever played – from 4th grade through college. His own father never saw him play a single down. His father never saw his son return an interception 38 yards for a touchdown in 1954 in his first college game. His father never watched as his son played most of his senior year of high school with Novocain shot into his thigh to deaden the pain. Yet I don’t think it ever even occurred to my dad to not be there for my games – even when it meant driving hundreds of miles to Ithaca, New York or West Point.

My dad was born and raised in Mifflintown – a little town nestled in the mountains of central Pennsylvania. He graduated from high school in 1950 and joined the Navy just a few days after the Korean War began. While in the Navy, he served on three different aircraft carriers – the Roosevelt, the Coral Sea, and the Midway. He was a radio operator. He once did top-secret work in the Black Sea – intercepting radio traffic of Soviet aircraft and submarines.

After leaving the Navy, he went to college. His father never really liked him, but going to college sealed it. My dad was the first in his family to go to college and leave home. That was interpreted as “being too good” for them. Telling his father that he was a Republican didn’t help much either. His father was a life-long Democrat.

When my dad learned that his father was in the hospital and was dying, he drove from New York to Pennsylvania to see him. When he walked into the hospital room, his father looked at him and said, “What are you doing here?” Given that type of relationship with his own father, how did this man turn it all around?

Six weeks ago, it became clear that God was not going to answer our prayers for my dad’s healing. I made plans to visit him and help care for him. I arrived in New Jersey on March 17, six days before he died. Fortunately, he still had enough energy in the first couple days I was there to get his haircut, go grocery shopping, and have lunch together at the Corner Post Diner. I don’t remember much of what we talked about – just being with my dad was enough. He ordered scrapple for lunch that day. (For those unfamiliar with scrapple, suffice it to say it’s a Pennsylvania Dutch item made from corn meal, spices and pork – boiled, made into a loaf and then pan-fried. Covered with breakfast syrup – it’s delicious!)

Three days later, the rest of my family arrived to see my dad. Everyone knew this would be the last visit with him. I later learned that he was concerned with what he’d wear when the kids saw him. He felt bad that he couldn’t look better for them. Because of his enlarged spleen and the fluid build-up in his abdomen, he could only wear pajama pants. Because of the fluid build-up in his calves and feet, he could only wear slippers.

The kids got to hug him and spend some time with him, but just a few hours later, his energy level dropped and he had to go to bed. Just an hour later, he became very ill and was rushed to the hospital. Robyn, my wife, and I stayed with him until 2:00 a.m. on Tuesday morning when the decision was made to admit him to the oncology floor.

One of the most heart-breaking moments in this entire process took place at around 1:00 a.m. that morning. We were still waiting for the results of the blood tests to come back from the lab. I explained to my dad why we were waiting and that it would be another hour until we knew the results. A couple minutes later, in a child-like, innocent voice, he said, “So I’m going home?”

That was the first time I felt like we’d reversed roles. I was now acting as his dad, explaining that he’d probably be admitted that night when all he wanted was to go home and sleep in his own bed. That would never happen.

After getting some sleep, we all returned to the hospital on Tuesday morning to visit with him. He was very, very weak and uncomfortable. He spent the entire day sitting on the edge of the bed – mostly staring at the floor, at times speaking softly to us. There were also times that he wanted to be alone.

My dad loved his family greatly, but he was also wired to like order and quiet. His grandchildren were a delight to him, but they also created some chaos when they were around. His preference toward the end was that people not be “hoovering” over him. That’s why he also did not want an open casket or a viewing after his death.

Of course he never really understood that the correct word was “hovering”. He did have a way of butchering the English language. I’m sure he was convinced until the day he died that he had a “prostrate” gland somewhere.

I asked him at one point on Tuesday when just Robyn and I were in the room if he could relive just one moment from his life, what it would be. He thought for a moment and said, “The first time I hugged and kissed Sylvia.”

He and Sylvia were so happy together. He loved being married to her. There’s a great picture of them in the limousine after the wedding ceremony in 1999. He looks like a kid on Christmas morning. His smile lit up the limo.

Sadly, his marriage to my mom did not always produce that kind of smile – certainly not in the last 15 years of their marriage. My mom died in 1997. She’d been sick for a long time – probably with some type of cancer. She just never told anyone – not even my dad. There was a lot she never told him. There was a lot she never told anyone.

Only after her death did my dad share with me some of the things in my mom’s past – things that put her life in context for me. There was a painful break-up with a boyfriend in college. My dad thought she never got over him. My brother died just hours after being born in 1963. Mom never saw him – never held him. She had an abortion a year later.

She never recovered from those painful events. Her capacity for intimacy and closeness was severely diminished. For 35 years, my dad was faithful to a woman who had very little to offer him in return. It makes his death that much more sad to me. He’d finally found a wife who could return his love, but their marriage was cut short after five years.

I watched his thoughts on the day before he died begin to transition from his life on earth to the life that awaited him in heaven. At one point, he said, “If Jesus came to me and said, ‘My son, you have two days left. The first day is devoted to Me to do whatever I ask. On the second day, you may do whatever you want.’”

My dad continued, “On the first day, I would do whatever God wanted. On the second day, I would take Sylvia to dinner.” He just wanted the simple things that had become impossible. I assured him that taking your wife to dinner was also devoted to God.

I also told him my sister, Terri, was on her way from North Carolina to see him. She would arrive around midnight. At 10:00 p.m., my dad was given a small dose of morphine to help him sleep, but at 10:30, he still refused to lie down. It only became clear to me later what was happening. He turned to Sylvia and said, “Why would I lie down if you’re still here?” I believe he knew there wasn’t much time left and if he went to sleep he might never wake up.

I kissed him goodnight and told him I’d see him in the morning. I learned from my sister the next morning that when she arrived at midnight that he was sitting up on the edge of the bed. It wouldn’t surprise me if he sat up soon after we left him at 10:30 – willing himself to stay awake through the morphine, through the fatigue, through the discomfort, through the final hours of his life, so that he could see his daughter one last time. That’s the kind of man he was. She had 30 minutes with him and left.

The last words my dad ever spoke came on Wednesday morning soon after we arrived at the hospital. By this time, his breathing was labored and he’d slipped into a coma. The oncologist encouraged us to say our good-byes to him even though he was no longer conscious. Sylvia entered his room and said, “Robert, I love you.” He opened his eyes briefly, looked at her and was able to get out, “I love you.”

That was 24 days ago. Today is a day my dad would have loved – warm, sunny – a day to walk on the boardwalk, plant a garden, or just run errands. I heard a song on the radio earlier. It made me want to call my dad just to talk – talk to the man who changed my world. I wish I could hear him say just one more time, “I love you, Greggy.”


God Lets Us Choose

Posted: December 23rd, 2011 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Difficulties, Relationships, Truth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

I’ve been really intrigued by the Christmas story this year. Read Matthew 2, then I’ll share a couple things that jumped off the page at me…

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”

When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:

“‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.’”

Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”

After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”

So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”

When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:

“A voice is heard in Ramah,
weeping and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children
and refusing to be comforted,
because they are no more.”

After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.”

So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets: “He will be called a Nazarene.”

So two things stand out to me…

First, since Matthew is writing to a Jewish audience, he is careful to mention how various events are fulfilling Old Testament prophecies concerning Jesus. He’s making clear that everything God said would happen is now coming to pass. It’s a great reminder that God is faithful and in control. He can always be counted on to do what He says He’ll do.

The second thing I noticed is how God handles a death threat against His Son. Wouldn’t you think God would just kill Herod when He learns he has plans to kill Jesus? After all, God has all power and authority. All. Power. And. Authority. No one can oppose Him. Why not just kill Herod?

And yet, rather than taking out Herod, He has an angel warn Joseph to take Mary and Jesus and flee to Egypt. Doesn’t that seem like the hard way to do it? I mean, Herod is an evil monster. Just take him out. Why make Mary and Joseph escape to Egypt to save Jesus? Do you think they may have wondered the same thing?

That’s just not God’s way, is it? Sure, God answers prayers, performs miracles and intervenes in human affairs, but God also seems very content to let things play out. He doesn’t usually override human decisions. He lets us choose. We get to decide whether we’ll live according to His ways or our own. God doesn’t force us to do things His way.

God’s wisdom and guidance are always available to us, but we don’t have to listen. Herod didn’t. And God didn’t change his mind. He doesn’t overrule our choices either.

The choices we make have an impact on others. And their choices have an impact on us. Sometimes it’s a good impact. Sometimes it’s bad. And sometimes it’s very bad.

I know we want God to just zap our enemies and make all of our circumstances pleasant ones. At least I do. But that’s not how He usually works. More often than not, it seems that He lets choices–good ones and bad ones–just play out. And then He gives us the wisdom and strength to navigate whatever comes our way.

In the midst of it all, God invites us to seek Him and walk according to His ways. He invites us to experience His love and love Him in return.

He wants a genuine friendship with us. It’s what He’s always wanted. And that requires that we have a choice.



The Humble God

Posted: December 21st, 2011 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Truth | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

Imagine throwing a very expensive, elaborate party at an exclusive restaurant. Everything is first class. You spare no expense.

When you arrive, you see everyone enjoying themselves, but no one acknowledges you. And when you make your way to the buffet, someone even asks who you are and wants to know if you have an invitation.

How would you feel? What would you say?

I’d be angry. And offended. To the person who asked if I’d been invited, I’m pretty sure I’d say, “Excuse me?! Do you have any idea who paid for all this? I should be asking if you were invited!”

Maybe that scenario gives us just the very smallest taste of what it was like for Jesus to come into the world.

Jesus spoke the universe into existence and yet John 1:10 says:

He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.

Jesus came into the world. We didn’t recognize Him. And yet He didn’t assert His rights as God and demand His own way. He was humble.

Do you understand how the One who spoke the universe into existence is humble? I don’t.

God didn’t choose to humble Himself and become a helpless baby, He became a helpless baby because He’s humble. Jesus experienced life as one of us, felt what it was like to be rejected by those He created and even let us kill Him because that’s what a humble God does.

God hasn’t changed. He’s still humble. He doesn’t demand things be done His way. Sure, He gives us commands, but they’re for our own good and He doesn’t make us obey.

God never forces us to do things His way. Instead, He invites us to seek Him and rewards us when we do (Hebrews 11:6). He first loved us (1 John 4:19) and desires that we love Him in return. When we offend Him, He gives us more grace. When we ignore Him, He waits patiently for us to return.

Somehow, Almighty God is also humble and unassuming. He reveals Himself to us and is then content to wait for us to come to Him. He doesn’t force Himself on us, but lets us choose Him.

If your view of God has ceased to amaze you, maybe this Christmas is a good time to stop and remember the most perplexing of all of God’s attributes. His humility.

Merry Christmas!


Christmas Spirit

Posted: December 12th, 2011 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Difficulties, Fitness, Other, Relationships, Truth | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

It’s less than two weeks until Christmas. So how’s your Christmas spirit holding up? Do you feel connected to God? Or has the busyness of the season already robbed you of what little joy and peace you had?

Sometimes I think the root of our problem is the simple fact that we practically live like atheists or agnostics. And I’ll be honest, I don’t know how atheists and agnostics do it. How do they keep going? Even more, why do they keep going?

If you’re convinced there is no God (atheism) or you neither believe nor disbelieve in God (agnosticism), what’s the point? Of anything?

Why go to work? Why try to do the right thing? Why help someone less fortunate? Why tell the truth? Why remain faithful to your spouse? Why keep living?

Why? Why? Why?

What’s the point if there is no God?

If you believe there is no God and that the theory of evolution explains our existence, then there is no meaning or purpose or point to anything in the universe. If everything that exists came from nothing, then everything is an accident. Pure, random chance. And there can be no point to an accident. By definition, an accident lacks intention or purpose.

But if there is a God, then there is a point. Our lives do have meaning and purpose. We were created with intentionality. There’s a reason we’re here.

And if there’s a reason, then is there anything more important than understanding what it is?

In other words, if you exist for a reason, if there’s a God who created you with a purpose in mind, then it would seem like the wise thing to do to discover what it is and then live according to it.

I believe the Bible provides the answers to those questions. In it, we discover the One who created the universe. He has revealed Himself to us. He has shown us what He’s like and what’s important to Him.

“In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.” (Hebrews 1:1-3)

Jesus is “the exact representation of his being.” In other words, Jesus is God.

In the first couple of chapters of Luke, we find the story of Jesus’ birth. For many of us, it’s a familiar story. Mary is virgin and gets a visit from an angel who tells her that she’s going to give birth. He tells her that God Himself will be the child’s father.

Do those last few sentences amaze you? Or has the familiar become boring and almost meaningless? If it has, maybe it’s time to stop what you’re doing and re-visit the story.

Think about it, God made the conscious decision to step out of heaven and become one of us. He was born to a virgin in the town of Bethlehem, just as it had been prophesied. He came to reveal to us what He’s like and to pay our penalty for sin.

It really is an amazing story.

Do you believe it though? Do you really believe it? Will it effect how you live today? How you speak? How you spend your time? How you spend your money?

It just doesn’t make sense to believe God stepped into human history and then live as if He doesn’t even exist. He wants us to know Him and experience His love for us. And He wants us to love Him in return.

It’s what God has always wanted. Friendship. With you.

That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.


The Birth of Jesus as Told on Facebook

Posted: December 18th, 2010 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Truth | Tags: , | No Comments »


10 Ways to Get Into the Christmas Spirit

Posted: December 18th, 2009 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Difficulties, Relationships, Truth | Tags: , , , , , | 5 Comments »

img 0173 300x225 10 Ways to Get Into the Christmas Spirit

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas everywhere you go…”

Christmas is one week from today, but you may not be feeling much of the Christmas spirit this year. If you are, then wonderful…some of these ideas will only enhance this next week, but for others, this next week could be tough.

You may have lost someone very close to you–a spouse, a child, a parent–and so this season just isn’t as special as it used to be. The “magic” is gone. Rather than making you joyful, the memories are painful.

If you’re divorced or separated and won’t have your children with you, then you’re struggling with feelings of sadness or loneliness.

Maybe you’ve recently lost your job, so things are going to be tight.

You might be waiting for the results of a medical test and you just can’t think of anything else right now.

It won’t be easy, but if your circumstances aren’t very good this year, ask God for His help to get into the Christmas spirit…whatever that looks like for you.

Try some of these ideas over the next week…

  1. Listen to the Hallelujah Chorus. I just found a version by Neil Diamond on iTunes I really like. Right now, I’m listening to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra perform it. Find a version you like and listen to it…over and over. Let the words soak in. “King of kings and Lord of lords. He shall reign forever and ever…and ever and ever…”
  2. Read Matthew 1:18-25. Don’t read it too quickly. Again, let it soak in. Let it amaze you. God…became…a helpless…baby. He made Himself dependent on a teenage girl.
  3. Want to feel what it might have been like to be present for the very first Christmas? Rent “The Nativity Story.” It’s a great film.
  4. Look for someone to bless. You could buy presents or food. You could deliver cookies. You could simply tell someone how much they mean to you or that you’re praying for them. Is there a co-worker who needs you? A lonely neighbor? A single mom and her kids? If you are a single mom–think about still doing it for someone else. We seem to reap what we sow.
  5. Volunteer to help someone less fortunate than you. Our church is providing and serving lunch at a homeless center on Christmas Eve. What can you do?
  6. Something else our church does is serve communion on Christmas Eve. It’s not an hour long service, just a time to come by with family and receive communion. It’s a great way to refocus on Christ. If your church doesn’t do this, there’s nothing wrong with you serving communion to your family.
  7. Tip someone who would never expect it…whether they deserve it or not. Be as generous as you can and tell them, “Merry Christmas.” It could be the UPS driver, the cashier at the grocery store, the mailman, the person who cleans the building where you work or anyone else you can think of. Ask God to show you who it is.
  8. Make a list. Not of what you want, but of what God has already given you.
  9. Get alone with God. Maybe it’s been awhile since you’ve talked with Him. Open your Bible. Read a few psalms. Read some passages in the gospel of John. Listen to Him. Then pour your heart out to Him. Nothing wrong with setting aside a couple of hours for just you and Him. He’ll love being with you.
  10. Then of course there’s this.

If you have other ideas or something you’ve done, I’d love to hear about it.

Last thing, remember this: everything changed 2000 years ago. We are never alone. Emmanuel, God with us, came to earth. Whatever you’re facing, know this…God is with you.

If you need someone to pray for you, feel free to email me: greggstutts@yahoo.com


This Year Feels Different

Posted: November 27th, 2009 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Truth | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

I know we just celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday and some are celebrating “Black Friday” today (which I care nothing about) and Christmas is still a month away…but I love this time of year. For me, Christmas time starts right now! I absolutely love the anticipation and mystery of these next four weeks.

I love seeing the lights go up. I love buying presents for people. I love getting our Christmas tree. I love all the Christmas music. I love the memories of all the Christmases that have come before.

Something feels different this year though.

This year, maybe more than other years, I’m struck with the fact that God actually came to planet earth. As one of us. As a baby.

No brainer, right? Heard it all before? Yeah, me too. But stop to consider it for a moment. I mean really consider it.

God showed up in the womb of a teenage virgin almost completely unnoticed. But on that night in Bethlehem 2,000 years ago…everything changed.

God was now with us. Not “up there.” Not “somewhere out there.” God with us.

God with you.

So what if for the next four weeks, we simply remembered that God is with us? Think it would make any difference?

Before the next four weeks flash by in a blur, stop long enough to consider…

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:11-12)

“The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”—which means, “God with us.” (Matthew 1:23)

God. Is. With. You.