This morning (Christmas morning) I was sitting on my porch here in Monterrey and reflecting. It has now been 7 years since I last spent Christmas morning with my family in Cincinnati. Many things have changed since then. Some, like my mom, have passed away and are no longer with us. Others, like my grandchildren, are new to the family and I have yet to spend a Christmas morning with them. I could be filled with sadness as I think about such things. But I am not. Don't get me wrong. I miss my family and I love them dearly! They are a real blessing to me! But God has given me a blessing the last 6 Christmas' that has been a blessing as well!
You see, for each of those years, we have been able to spend Christmas with kids here in Monterrey who have had no one to spend Christmas with. Each year the names and the stories of those who have joined us for Christmas have been different. But each Christmas has been special. This morning, on my porch I was thinking that the world I live in here is a war zone. Not just a place where guns and violence exist, but a place where spiritual battles are fought everyday. As a Christian, I may have to connect with my family via Skype on Christmas day, but I get to wake up in the battlefield in the morning! And the only real place to celebrate God's Victory is in His battlefield.
I want to share with you a friend's Facebook post today, "There could be no peace on Christmas unless the first Christmas was an act of war. The world was invaded by a child who would defeat evil without a sword!" Another friend put it "Jesus left the Shalom of eternity to enter my chaos...and changed my life forever!" If we really want to follow Jesus, don't we really want to be doing the same? We need to be unafraid to leave "peace" to experience "victory!"
It has often been said that it is greater to give than to receive. Most of us would agree with that. I want those of you who are supporting us with your prayers, finances and friendship to experience that joy. You may not be here to share in the victories with us on Christmas morning or many other mornings for that matter. But I want you to know that as crazy as it was for the God of the universe to send his only begotten Son to a war zone, that that same Jesus is bringing peace to the broken lives of forgotten sons today!
We love you all and pray that God will continue to bless each of you and your families as He is ours!