Daily Archives: December 4, 2015

Don’t get cold

Women meeting in cafe and drinking latteIt has gotten chilly in northwest Florida. I know, our worst winter days are so much warmer than those of the more northern sections of our nation. We don’t get the winds that cross the plains of Kansas, the snow that Illinois sees, or the ice that our friends in Maryland find on their windshields. But, we do get chilly.

When the temperatures drops, we find ourselves pulling out sweaters and boots and blankets that have been pushed to the back of the closet. We wrap scarfs around our necks and put on heavier socks.

And, I rediscover hot tea. I love to brew a cup of tea and hold it in my hands, warming up each finger.  As I drink the hot liquid, I begin to warm up from the inside.

Being warm is a wonderful gift.

But, staying warm is tough. Finish the cup of tea. Step out of the warm house. Take off the gloves. And, suddenly, the warmth begins to be replaced with cold. It can happen quickly. We humans have little in ourselves to stave off cold. When we are unable to restore warmth, cold overwhelms us. And, cold results in stiffness in our joints and lessens our ability to focus mentally. Allow it to grow unchecked and cold causes pain, our hands and feet lose feeling.

That happens in relationships too. Remove the warmth of contact and communication and our relationships with others grow cold and stiff and stilted and painful. Allow the cold to grow unchecked and we lose touch entirely.

This holiday season is a perfect excuse to rewarm relationships.

  • Start a new conversation.
  • Engage others.
  • Replace the chill of “acquaintance” with the warmth of “friend.”
  • Make a phone date with that Facebook friend.
  • Drink hot cocoa with a coworker.
  • Eat the cookies right out of the oven with the kids.

Take the time to rekindle warmth in your relationships.  It feels so good!!

Don’t wait.  Do it now.  Send the email.  Make the call.  Set the date.

“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:16)


How dark is the night?

I will never forget that December night many years ago when we celebrated the first birthday of a friend’s daughter. The child’s Dad had to work that night and Mom found herself with no family nearby to share cake and joy. And so, several Mullins family members gathered at my house and we had dinner and a cake with candles. It was sweet and dear and fun.

The others had left and the dishes were done when my girlfriend and I saw down to watch her daughter enjoy the presents. We had just gotten our mugs of tea when there was a loud bang and the lights went out.

We weren’t in total darkness, there were stars outside lighting the snow on the yard. And, we weren’t cold. The gas heater was still working fine. I pulled out some flashlights and we got comfortable on the couch, not knowing how long we would be in the dark.

The child was immediately drawn to the flashlights and we gave her one to use as a toy. Mom was a little worried when her little one would hold the flashlight against her face, shining the light directly into her eyes. It wasn’t long before we were able to distract her by using our flashlights to make the tinsel on the Christmas tree shine. The tree looked different now. No colored lights. No blinking strings of bulbs. Only the light from our flashlights danced and lighted the tree.

Soon the power came back on and my friend and her daughter bundled up and headed home. I put our tea mugs into the sink and headed back into the living room. And, then I did the silliest thing, I turned off the lamps and unplugged the tree. I grabbed my flashlight and settled back on the couch. That night, that single light was so beautiful, it touched my heart.

  • We may not have blood relatives nearby, but God provides family.
  • We may not have exciting and expensive entertainment, but God gives us joy in the simple.
  • We may not have colored bulbs that blink and shine, but God provides light.

Look around you. God is near.


Jill (just one of God’s kids)

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, ‘Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.’” (Matthew 2:1-2)