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Hey Christian!

I’m writing this between the 2022 midterm elections, the Thanksgiving holiday, and the once-iconic Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving that hosted throngs of mission-focused shoppers charging into their favorite stores. When this edition of the Winds of Praise Post is published, these events will have passed, with the Christmas and New Year holidays lying just ahead.

This is a unique point in time, Christian. It’s a time between major celebrations and life events. It is a time—if we take the time—to pause, catch our breath, reflect on recent happenings, and look ahead.

The election. The midterm elections in the United States were a bit of a bust, at least for the right, though that element of moral values has done an effective job of trying to expressively sweeten their view of the overall outcome.

Certainly there were successes (for both the right and the left), but for the right, the highly touted Red Tsunami turned out to be more of a Pink Ripple. And the left? Well, that element of democratic humanity had unnecessarily expected to suffer an overwhelming defeat but ended up fretting about something that plainly didn’t happen.

It's reminiscent of a past election when the shoe, or shoes, as it were, were on the other feet. The 2016 United States presidential election comes to mind.

The election—a worldly event with spiritual implications to be sure.

As you read this, I presume Thanksgiving will have been a special time. There will have been feasting and giving thanks with friends and family for the country in which we live and for the abundance God has provided us to enjoy.

Many of you will have spent Thanksgiving and the days surrounding to share their enjoyment with others—the others who found feasting beyond their means and abundance tough to comprehend, much less enjoy.

Soon now, it will be Christmas, the day we set aside to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus, the Christ. Next to his death and resurrection, the birth of Jesus can be said to be the most significant earthly event to ever have occurred in our brief history. God provided the only person, His Son, with whom and through whom we can take the personal action necessary to achieve eternal redemption and salvation.

What a blessing, Christian, to know Jesus!

This time of year, I can’t help but reminisce about my childhood. Christmas was a special time—a time to focus. I remember my grandmother. On Christmas Eve, when I was a kid more hoping for the arrival of a Radio Flyer wagon or a Red Ryder BB gun, she would take a few moments and have us listen quietly as she read from Luke 2:1-20, recounting the birth of Jesus, the Messiah. I was restless then, and those few moments did seem like an eternity, but the seed of the Gospel was planted. Then, solely through God’s mercy and grace, that seed was nurtured and did manage to grow.

Take a moment to be quiet for a time and listen this Christmas, Christian. Genuinely consider and share with those you love the gift that God has given you through Jesus.

After Christmas, the New Year will conclude this season of the annual celebration. Many will delight in the transition from this year to the next, excited about what lies ahead. Many will not. Many will make countless resolutions, most of which will end up under a table of good intentions. I will no doubt make a few resolutions of my own.

Yes, elections, holidays, and a multitude of societal stressors occupy us physically and mentally this time of year. Our proverbial plates are, as it’s said, “full.”

With that, then, I leave you with this: In the luxury of your quiet time, let the words of the Lord through Jeremiah speak to you. Take these words to heart, Christian. Embed them in your mind. They are a promise of blessing, hope, and victory to those who trust in the Lord and who make the Lord their hope and confidence. They are also words of caution. The passage is Jeremiah 17:5-8. And remember, there are two sides to the coin.


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