Winter storms do not delay what the message of Jesus Christ’ birth was meant to portray:
Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (New International Version)
For some reason this year—more than most—my hearing was extra sensitive to murmurings of people saying, “I’m just not in to Christmas this year; I just don’t feel the Christmas spirit this year; or this year (2018) is a bad Christmas for me.”
The only reason I could think for most of their laments was because these individuals failed to remember the “true reason for the season.” Merry Christmas has been replace with Happy Holidays and from there the birth of baby Jesus is lost. No one really talks much about The Three Wise Men and their significant role during the birth of Jesus Christ… Where did the gift of giving come from? Perhaps sparked from the Wise Men, who came with a joyful countenance hustling to find the location of the new born baby bearing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
The Wise Men’s gifts acknowledged the fact that a priest, a king, and the savior of the world was here and they wanted to show honor, because they believed the story; they obeyed the angel who gave them the message, and that year they had a very Merry Christmas… Yes, it might have been the beginning of a new holiday—but how about us thinking about it as a new “Holy” day.
Why don’t we push to change (if that is by popular polling or majority rule) Merry Christmas with Happy Holy Day… Instead of Happy Holidays? I wonder, if that phrase might change the mood of [the] peoples foreboding posture “I’m just not into Christmas this year.”
I read somewhere that the gift of myrrh actually symbolized an act of our willingness to follow or [serve] Jesus Christ in the active sense by living a life of submission and obedience to His teaching. I wonder if those people, many of who profess to be Christians’ cavalier sentiment “I’m just not into Christmas,” would not have instead be hit by a light bulb moment that what they are really saying is “I’m just not that into following Jesus Christ right now.”
Of course, should we choose to be cut from the vine, we cut off our life’s supply of bread, meat, and the living water—then we die for a season, with no happy holiday meaning, no Christmas spirit… As a result, we end up losing the true meaning and reason behind the Christmas season of giving—and why we give like The Wise Men did—out of an intentional heart of compassion.
The National Association of American Veterans (NAAV) is a compassionate non-profit organization 12 months out of a year. That means that every month this organization is looking for veterans and their family members to bring the blessed gift of giving, aiding, and supporting in a variety of areas through whatever means we have available.
This year, this December 2018, has been no different for NAAV in its 13th year of serving. Thanks to the Organization’s obedient President and CEO, NAAV made it through another year of providing for the needs of our nations veterans and their family members.
As we close out this season bearing gifts, NAAV shares with you its final blessings for 2018:
- Over 70 Christmas cards mailed out to service members – NAAV happy to be a part of spreading the Christmas cheer
- A little break for a veteran caregiver – “I want to thank Ms. Burns for understanding that I needed a little time away from my daily responsibilities, to refocus attention on me. I thank the NAAV for offering the opportunities for us caregivers of Veterans, to get a respite break if only for a couple of hours. It gave me a chance to refresh. I went to Jerry’s Seafood and had the best time. My waitress name was Christy and she was great! She knew what I needed before I asked. I felt very comfortable at Jerry’s. Thanks again Christy for taking a picture with me! To the NAAV I would love to go again!” – lj
A November rest period spills over into the final month of the year. NAAV invited several veteran caregivers to a Respite Care Retreat at the National Conference in Leesburg, Virginia. Those who attended (both adults and youth) enjoyed a restful weekend with a twist of spiritual renewal, topped off with breakfast with Santa, fun games, and making delicious ginger bread cookies. An early Christmas gift of a relaxed time, fellowship with others, plenty of laughter, plus time to reflect, and two days of a wonderful three course meal, which is always the highlight at the National Conference Center…
A few of the individual testimonies:
- “I enjoyed a very restful and fun-filled respite care retreat… My guest room was very comfortable…”
- “NAAV’s Respite Care Retreat was very good and beneficial. I enjoyed relaxing outside at the fire pit during my free time at the retreat.”
- “I cannot wait to use the information received at the retreat in my daily life. The spiritual wellness and understanding grief were exceptional presentations.”
- “I would like to thank Constance Burns and NAAV for the opportunity to attend NAAV’s Respite Care Retreat for much needed rest and refreshment I received during this time.”
As we move into an uncertain New Year 2019, we invite you all to keep the meaning of giving and spirit of serving upon the forefront of heart and mind. NAAV, like the birth of Jesus Christ, was established to be a beckon of light and resource of life for as many who come seeking. Thank you for being a part of NAAV’s mission.
Have a happy and blessed New Year 2019.
o/b/o CEO and President