Sunday, January 31, 2016

January 30, 2016

I Heard the Christmas Bells Today
or
The Christmas Tree is Finally Down
January 30, 2016


Just below the front foot of the elephant ornament,
 is the brass bell referred to in this blog.

The Christmas tree is finally down!  All the ornaments are boxed and put away!  Never has my tree been up this long!  What a job.  As I took ornaments off the tree, I sorted them putting ornaments that looked alike together.  Then I had categories like angels, snowflakes, bells, hand-painted ornaments, etc.  As I was taking the last of the ornaments off the tree, there were several bells.  I picked up a heavy brass bell that I had bought when on a trip with my parents to Thailand about 30 years ago.

As I removed that bell from the tree, it rang out a clear tone that was louder than I had expected.  When I added it to the pile of other bells, I took time to ring several of them, rejoicing that I could hear those bells.  (In spite of my deafness, my Cochlear Implant allows me to hear the bells as well as millions of sounds.)  The Christmas song, I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day was a favorite of my Dad's.  I began thinking of packing those bells away and started to write a silly little poem about that task, but stopped as I thought more of the Christmas carol and its words.  I began to rejoice knowing that although I was packing away the decorations of Christmas, the Christ of Christmas is with us every day. 

We may pack away our nativity sets, but that baby born in a manger died for our sins on a cross.  All we need to do to spend eternity with Him in Heaven is to accept the free gift of salvation that He paid for on that cross with His blood.  For some it just seems too simple to be real.  They want to add things to salvation - usually works.  If you have accepted God's gift of salvation by admitting that you are a sinner and that Christ died for those sins, and you are willing to make Him Lord of your life, you will want to serve Him.  That is where works come in.  We want to help others, tell others what we have found, and do all we can to serve our risen Savior.  But we don't have to do works to become a Christian.  Nothing we could ever do would be good enough. 

By our works we are known.  If we serve the Lord, others will know there is something different about us and most often they will want what we have - maybe not today, but soon.  If your Christmas decorations are stored for the year, in a closet, in the garage, or in a storage place, just remember that the most important thing about Christmas is that we can have that joy and peace in our hearts all year long.

The day was VERY busy!  Ron's brother and his brother's wife were coming to spend a couple of days with us and although the house was in pretty good shape if you don't count the living room that was filled with boxes and decorations, I still had work to do.  I got several loads of laundry done, Ron helped with dishes, I spent about an hour in the yard early in the day, and took care of ponds and feeders.  In the guest room, I had to put away the last of the Christmas wrapping items. I had a couple of bathrooms to clean and a kitchen floor to mop.  I worked all day long and almost all was done when they arrived at 9:00 p.m.

While I worked on my chores, Ron helped by actually taking down and packing away the Christmas tree and taking it to where we store it.  He helped with dishes and vacuuming and running a couple of errands for me and for his mother.  It was a long, busy day, but it sure is nice to have all those things done.

Once they arrived, we sat up talking until about 12:30 or later.  It was so good to see them and spend time catching up.  They will be helping Ron's mother for a few days as Ron's sister returns to her home for this week. 

4 comments:

  1. Linda, this is such a beautiful testimony and plan of salvation! You are so very
    special!!!

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  2. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and witnessing as you have here. I want to find a similar bell to appreciate as much as you appreciate yours. We had a bell on our tree when I was a child. I had not realized how much I missed it until I read your post just now.

    Brandi Bradley @ Rotax Metals

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Brandi. I bought the bell in Bangkok, Thailand about 25 - 30 years ago. I expect they are still available there and maybe through catalogs. It is heavy and hard to find the perfect branch for it on the tree. Hope you find one.

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