Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Christmas Praises 17

James 1:2-3

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.


christmas-17During the month of December I have asked some members and friends of our church to write a paragraph or so describing some of the things that bring them joy this Christmas season in their relationship with Jesus and First Church? They were asked where they see Jesus in their church family? They were asked what draws them to First Church. The reason for this is to stir up some joy and excitement this Christmas Season. I told them I would share their thoughts anonymously – but I am keeping their e-mails for sure. I will try to post a comment a day for December so obviously I need 31 comments. The posts will go up around noon each day.

A couple of years ago I was at the lowest point ever in my life.  I was in what is medically called a major depression.  I had isolated myself from everything and everyone.  Praise God I found the right treatment and medication.  

When I had made it through this time, the blessings of family and friends was once again a rich part of my life.  However, I was afraid that on my return to attending church there would be questioning looks and/or abrasive comments.  That was never the case.  I was welcomed back with open warm and loving arms.  I felt awash in His love from people I call family.  First Church is full of loving and caring people who stand with you in any circumstance.  What a very special blessing!  My return to this family has made every Christmas and Easter since the best of celebrations.  It sounds dramatic, however I felt born anew as I returned to good mental health, the Christmas connection.  What a joy to celebrate the risen Savior on Easter!  All these new beginnings richly bless me during holidays and throughout the year.

As I close, I share a call to action.  Think about someone you know who may not feel blessed this Christmas season because of depression, loss, and/or grief.  Please contact them to check in on how they are doing.  You and your love may be the blessing they need, a lifeline to knowing that someone cares. 

If you would like more information about depression and other mental health issues, please see www.nami.org.

I praise the Lord for the testimony. I hope that it brings those who read it great joy. Merry Christmas to one and all.


December 17, 2016 - Posted by | Build, Christmas, Church, Community, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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