What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Greatest Gift of All - Updated again!

I just re-read this post that I had updated last year from the original post of 2014. Today is 12/21/2016...and I'm not much better off as far as the gift wrapping and shopping goes...been wrapping all day,
Yes, that is an ironing board, disguised as a gift-wrapping table
in my bedroom.  Once a year I pull it out of storage and put it
to a good use! The adjustable height makes it a good table to
do my wrapping!  I can iron out the wrinkles of the wrapping
paper and recycle the gift bags as I go...Ho! ho! ho!
and trying to be sure I don't need anything else while I still have a few days left before Christmas...I wish I could say that being retired for a whole year changed my habits regarding shopping, etc., but alas! Some habits are very hard to break. Next year is a new opportunity to try again...we'll see what happens.  Meanwhile, this message written originally in 2014 is still very poignant and meaningful today.  I hope you will take the time to read it and be blessed as I was in writing it.  Yes, I am blessed when I write, because the Holy Spirit seems to take over and minister to me as He directs my thoughts to write what He wants to share with you and me.  

This was my update LAST year, 12/23/2015:

So, this is where I was around this time last year...Last year (2014) WAS a difficult year, and Christmas was something that I wanted to avoid.  Be sure to read the links included in this post from last year.  Now today, one year later, I am doing much better.  Although here it is December 23rd (Christmas EVE EVE), and I just finished wrapping our gifts. Finished the shopping yesterday...and can you believe that I actually retired a month ago, so I really shouldn't be so far behind...but some habits are hard to break...procrastination..especially regarding Christmas...I am hoping to be much better by this time next year, since I am retired I have no good excuse!

Anyway, please read on to get the full impact of this message written one year ago.  The purpose and plan of Christmas has never changed.  Jesus is the Greatest Gift of All!

Original post from 12/21/2014:

This post is not what it appears on the surface...Please keep reading...

By now most of my friends and family know that we did not send out our annual Christmas letter...and only a very few cards to some who don't have email or do Facebook.  And many of you also know that I had a hard time getting myself into the proper spirit for Christmas shopping, etc.  (click on the blue words for a link to these posts).
But if you have been following along the past week or so, you also will know that God came through, and He met me in my deepest place of sorrow, and gave me the strength and courage to choose JOY!

I am happy to report that after two long, grueling days of shopping and gift wrapping...I am feeling much better prepared to face this week and truly enjoy Christmas!  Thank you all for your prayers and words of support and comfort. You have blessed me with your love and wisdom, and I thank God for you.

Today has been a wonderful day of Sabbath Rest.  We had our
morning worship service here in our home, and the lesson today was taken from Matthew 13:45-46, which says:

"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls,
who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it."

Not exactly an Advent or Christmas message for this fourth Sunday of Advent, the Sunday before Christmas.  At least not at first glance.  But as the message unfolded, we were asked to imagine ourselves as a person who had been captured and held prisoner, chained to others and forced to walk many days in the hot desert, back in the days of the Roman Government, which was in power at the time of Jesus' birth. Instead of food we were given very little water and a detestable watered down broth of some kind, just barely enough to keep us alive. As our horrendous journey continued, we were not permitted to speak or cry, and if one did, he would be severely punished by many lashes of the whip.  

After many days we finally arrived in a city, where the slave auction was held. One by one we watched our traveling companions be auctioned off to the highest bidder, to be purchased as a slave to cruel taskmasters who would make the previous journey seem like a vacation.

Suddenly it was my turn on the auction block. I was forced to stand before the bidders, my clothes were tattered and torn and filthy. I had not eaten or bathed in many days. My hair was matted and dirty, my body was bleeding from the many lashes I had endured. Weak, weary, and fearful, I tried to stay conscious as the bargaining and bidding began for my life. As I struggled to stand, listening to the jeers and jests of those around me shouting all manner of ugly and disgusting insults regarding my appearance, there was One bidder who stepped forward, and with a commanding voice He spoke His bid loud and clear above all the others.  The amount that He shouted out caused all the other slave traders to stop and turn around and look.  They began to question among themselves, "Who can this be? Why would He want this worthless prisoner...the one who looks completely beaten and defeated...the one who probably couldn't do a day's work no matter how hard she's whipped?  And what is that He said? He's giving all that He has to purchase this piece of human refuse! Who IS He?
And who can this person be who has such value in His eyes?"

Finally I heard the auctioneer shout, "Sold to the Highest Bidder! Take her away!"  I was expecting to be yanked up and rudely jerked off of the block and dragged along by my chains.  But instead, my Purchaser was kneeling before me, tenderly washing my wounds, removing the chains from my ankles and wrists, holding a cup of water to my lips, lifting me up and carrying me away in His arms. As He lifted me high above my previous tormentors, He gently whispered my name and called me His beloved child. I thought I must have died and gone to heaven, but He said, "You are my precious child...my chosen one...my "Pearl of Great Price!" 

I did not quite understand then what He meant by that...but when the day came that I saw this One hanging on a cross, crucified and dying, I understood.  You see, He did give all that He had for me...He gave His life, so that I might live.  And before He died He told me all that I would need to know so that I could one day join Him.  He said,

"Let not your heart be troubled; 
you believe in God,
believe also in Me.
In My Father's house are many mansions,
if it were not so, I would have told you.
I go to prepare a place for you.
And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come again and receive you to Myself,
that where I am, there you may be also.
And where I go you know,
and the way you know...
I am the way, the truth, and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through Me."

John 14: 1-6 

You may be asking yourself, "What does this story have to do with Christmas?"  Well, my friend, it has EVERYTHING to do with Christmas!

Why did Jesus come to earth in the first place?

"For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, 
but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."
Mark 10:45

And again:

This sign hangs in my living room...a very old heirloom from my husband's grandparents' home.  A powerful message there to remind us every single day that we were bought at a great price...the very life of our Savior, Jesus Christ.  He gave His life a ransom for us all...(see I Timothy 2:5-6)

This Christmas song tells it clearly: (click below for the song)

Bill & Gloria Gaither,  copyright 1963

"From God's heaven to a manger,
From great riches to the poor,
Came the Son of God, a little Child;

From the azure halls of heaven
To a lowly manger stall,
Jesus came, and here He gave His life for all.

From a loving heavenly Father
To a world that knew Him not,
Came a man of sorrows, 
Jesus Christ, the Lord;

In my wandering Jesus found me,
Touched my life with His great love,
And this Babe has grown to be my sovereign Lord.


Redeeming Love,
a love that knows no limit;
Redeeming love,
a love that never dies;

My soul shall sing 
throughout the endless ages
The adoration of this great love on high!"

My friend, I am that precious pearl...and so are YOU.  This same Jesus left the "azure halls of heaven...to a lowly manger stall...Jesus came, and here He gave His life for ALL!" ...and that includes YOU! YOU ARE ALSO THAT PRECIOUS PEARL!  JESUS CHRIST HAS PAID YOUR RANSOM WITH HIS LIFE.  Won't you accept this greatest gift of all this Christmas?  The gift of your redemption from sin and sorrow...from the slavery of this old world...freely given for you, so that you might live! Yes, that IS THE GREATEST GIFT OF ALL!

Merry Christmas from our house to yours!

Update:  These pictures are from our front porch this year, 2015

Merry Christmas from our house to yours, 2015

This is the Greatest Gift of All! 


  1. I love your post, yes, we are purchased and are beloved as beautiful pearls by our Savior. I am glad you are feeling joy again. Merry Christmas.

    1. Thank you Terra. It is a wonderful message for us today. May God's richest blessings be yours today as well. Merry Christmas.

  2. Pam, Thank you for your beautiful post and reminder of how precious we are to God. Christmas isn't always easy for me either, for a variety of reasons. The Lord has been so gracious to me this and brought about some inner (needed) healing. The holidays will always likely hold a bit of challenge for me.

    Merry Christmas from my home to yours!



    1. I pray that your Christmas was a time of peace and healing and deep joy in knowing Christ and how much He loves you. You are in my thoughts and prayers. I love having you as a new friend. May God continue to give you strength and comfort and hope in Christ. May 2016 be a year of bright new beginnings for you in all the best ways. Love in Christ, Pam

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  4. A wonderful reminder of the deep love our Saviour has for us.
    Blessings to you and yours in this Christmas season.


    1. Thank you Diana. Yes! What a Saviour!! Blessings to you and yours as well.

  5. "Yes, I am blessed when I write, because the Holy Spirit seems to take over and minister to me as He directs my thoughts to write what He wants to share with you and me."
    Pamela, your entire message spoke to my heart, but this one passage held me captive. I've taken some weeks off my blog, but am so missing writing for the Lord. I just might have to return from hiatus sooner than I thought!
    Merry Christmas!

  6. Precious pearl, that says it all!

    "from the slavery of this old world..."


    Merry Christmas, Pamela, and God bless you.

  7. Pam,
    It was a blessing to read this post again. I understand your writing process and the Holy Spirit's presence. When I write, I get into a "zone" of some sort--the Holy Spirit clearly drives that time. :)



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