DEC. 25TH, 33 b.c. (FIGURATIVE - NOT LITERAL)
Mary and Joseph have fianally made it to Bethlehem and of all the rotten luck, the only place for them to bed down is Eli Youseff's Stable and DIY Delivery. After settling down and getting the hay spread around just right, Mary say's," Joey (her nickname for Joseph), could you be a dear and move those sheep to the other side of the stable. The draft through the doors comes right across their pen and I'm downwind. And that olive kiesch we had is really workin on me, so how bout some goat milk to settle my stomach? Wow, that moonlight sure is bright tonight. Almost like really bright star....."
DEC. 25TH, 2001
We have celebrated our first Christmas without our oldest son, Brandon. He was 19, almost 20, and had finally been cured of cancer on June 10th. But it happened right before he took his first step into Heaven.The pain is still here, and the traditional Christmas Eve Family Reunion had been sad, but not terrible because we knew the year before that he wouldn't survive another year. On this Christmas Day,we are packing our luggage for a trip to Cyprus, in the Mediterrainian Sea. We have dear friends who are missionaries there who have allowed them to bring Christmas to their kids. Also making the trip was around 50 lbs of chocolate candy. Hershey's chocolate, which was not available on the island. What a reuinion took place, much happier than the one in Hueytown. But as we backed out of our driveway that Christmas afternoon to drive to Atlanta airport, we were given a double hairy moon sendoff..... compliments of our two sons.
Dec. 24th, 2011
We are preparing to go to my sister-in law & brother in laws house (formerly JayMomma's house) for our Christmas Eve get together. Last year there were 15 of us. This year, 12. It's hard to believe. JayMomma left us In February, Jennifer, our precious new Daughter-in-love, April 27th. And once again, an awesome young man I am proud to call my son, Garrett, is absent. All three have joined Brandon, who know doubt took them to meet the REAL star of that Bethlehem night, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. I am so happy that they are all together, for I'm sure Brandon was missing us. And this has to be his best Christmas in 10 years. But oh, is the pain so real. Yes, I am thankful for the fact that I am going to see them all again because they all had asked that Saviour born that night in Betleham, to live in their heart. I have two grandsons that will begin to fill the emptiness that seems to never let up. And I have a host of friends, some I know, thousands I don't, from Facebook, who are praying for us very hard these days. And...........(gee this is hard), we will make it through. Ya'll have prayed down the strength that has brought us this far. And we thank you very much.
I know from the nightly posts, we still have a lot of people hurting and needing physical healing. We have a lot financially hurting and needing financial healing. We have mental trials, anguish and feargoing on in some, that need the calming peace only God can give. Janis, Stephanie and I, as administrators of GPW's homesite, care for each and every one of ya'll. From the Jones house, we thank you for the last 8 months of your lives that you have taken us in, shared, prayed, cried, visited and posted. Please remember at this time of year, but all year long really, that our God is what ties us all together. No matter how you "celebrate" Christmas, please reach out to someone you don't know this next week or month, heck do it once a month, and be a blessing to them. Whether you bring the guy with the "homeless need help" sign at the end of the interstate ramp, a Big Mac and fries, or whether you and 5 friends get together, go to a trauma or ICU waiting room and take homemade sandwiches and chips and bottled water to them. Or better still, help a GPW who has posted a need.
One of the last things Brandon got to do was share. My sister's husband,a traveling evangelist, had come to visit Brandon. He was bed-ridden by now, so David stood by his bed and they talked. He asked David how his ministry was going, and David mentioned a group that was trying to get 1,000 Bibles printed in a certain language to take to a group of refugees here in the states. Brandon told David to look behind the head of his bed, and open the cabinet door and hand him his wallet. Brandon took out $100 and gave it to David, and said "here, this will do 10, I hope it helps".
Last year, Garrett and Jennifer heard that I was collecting funds to provide toys for 3 kids abandoned by their parent, left w/a grandparent who was on $SS. They didn't carry cash around. But he went to the ATM, and came back with $100, and said "'Dad, if you don't get enough, let me know. No kid should go without gifts on Christmas"
I have these precious memories of my sons showing God's love, that I wouldn't take a billion dollars for. I hope your family makes memories this year. They are one thing that death cannot destroy. Have a Blessed and Merry Christmas, everybody!!!!