Dear Friend,

With the many stresses of life, it's important that we never lose the inner child like joy that God has placed within each of our hearts. It is fine for us to be serious at the workplace and firm when it comes to our faith, but we should never get so serious that we forget to enjoy and appreciate the simple pleasures of life. The Lord Jesus declares in Matthew 18:3, "I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven." I encourage you to enjoy life as best as you can and remember to see the humor in the things that would otherwise get you frustrated. (John 16:20-24)

I hope you are blessed and encouraged by this great story that shows how we should not always be so serious, but rather try to appreciate and enjoy the
simple joys of daily life.


GOLD, COMMON SENSE AND FUR

My husband and I had been happily (most of the time) married for five years, but hadn't been blessed with a baby. I decided to do some serious praying and promised God that if He would give us a child, I would be a perfect mother, love it with all my heart and raise it with His word as my guide. God answered my prayers and blessed us with a son. The next year God blessed us with another son. The following year, he blessed us with yet another son. The year after that we were blessed with a daughter.

My husband thought we'd been blessed right into poverty. We now had four children, and the oldest was only four years old. I learned never to ask God for anything unless I meant it. As a minister once told me, "If you pray for rain, make sure you carry an umbrella."

I began reading a few verses of the Bible to the children each day as they lay in their cribs. I was off to a good start. God had entrusted me with four children and I didn't want to disappoint Him.

I tried to be patient the day the children smashed two dozen eggs on the kitchen floor searching for baby chicks. I tried to be understanding when they started a hotel for homeless frogs in the spare bedroom, although it took me nearly two hours to catch all twenty-three frogs.

When my daughter poured ketchup all over herself and rolled up in a blanket to see how it felt to be a hot dog, I tried to see the humor rather than the mess.

In spite of changing over twenty-five thousand diapers, never eating a hot meal and never sleeping for more than thirty minutes at a time, I still thank God daily for my children.

While I couldn't keep my promise to be a perfect mother. I didn't even come close. I did keep my promise to raise them in the Word of God.

I knew I was missing the mark just a little when I told my daughter we were going to church to worship God, and she wanted to bring a bar of soap along to "wash up" Jesus, too.

Something was lost in the translation when I explained that God gave us everlasting life, and my son thought it was generous of God to give us his "last wife."

My proudest moment came during the children's Christmas pageant. My daughter was playing Mary, two of my sons were shepherds and my youngest son was a wise man. This was their moment to shine. My five-year-old shepherd had practiced his line, "We found the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes." But he was nervous and said, "The baby was wrapped in wrinkled clothes."

My four-year-old "Mary" said, "That's not 'wrinkled clothes,' silly. That's dirty, rotten clothes." A wrestling match broke out between Mary and the shepherd and was stopped by an angel, who bent her halo and lost her left wing.

I slouched a little lower in my seat when Mary dropped the doll representing Baby Jesus, and it bounced down the aisle crying, "Mama-mama." Mary grabbed the doll, wrapped it back up and held it tightly as the wise men arrived. My other son stepped forward wearing a bathrobe and a paper crown, knelt at the manger and announced, "We are the three wise men, and we are bringing gifts of gold, common sense and fur."

The congregation dissolved into laughter, and the pageant got a standing ovation. "I've never enjoyed a Christmas program as much as this one," Pastor Brian laughed, wiping tears from his eyes. "For the rest of my life, I'll never hear the Christmas story without thinking of gold, common sense and fur."

"My children are my pride and my joy and my greatest blessing," I said as I dug through my purse for an aspirin.


Just in case you are puzzled by the title of this story, it was Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh that the three wise men brought to the Lord Jesus when He was born. I hope the lightheartedness of the story encouraged your heart to have the same attitude of Joy. (Matthew 2:9-12)


Read and meditate on these scriptures:

John 15:10-11 Jesus declares, "If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Fatherís commandments and abide in His
love. These things I have spoken to you, that My Joy may remain in you, and that your Joy may be full."

Psalm 16:8-11 "I have set the LORD always before me: because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. For Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in Thy presence is fulness of Joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore."

Psalm 34:1-5 "I will bless the LORD at all times: His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His name together. I sought the LORD, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. They looked unto Him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed."

All of these scriptures can be found in the King James Version Bible.


In Christís Service,

Darrel Onstad

 

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