For some of us Christmas is a wonderful magical time, yet for some a sad and desperate time. To those of us who have lost loved ones during the year, and now have to spend Christmas without them we put our hands together and pray that we will all find peace in treasuring their wonderful memories .
For some when the money runs out, Christmas also becomes a little less cheerful, as relatives don’t have enough money to visit from afar, and most people hardly have enough money to survive themselves while the ‘spirit of giving’ takes a real pounding by the lack of funds and consideration by the ones who control the money markets. For they ensure that everything you need to buy will cost you dearly with nothing left for ‘Giving’ and that successfully dampens the Spirit of Giving at Christmas Time, by their greed. On the other hand our God gave us the gift of “Love” and if we don’t have money to give we can give our loved ones, “Love”
“Don’t Let Christmas pass without telling your Loved Ones You Love Them, for you never know when it’s your or their Last Christmas” WHISNews21
Then there are the enemies of Christmas, every year they become more and more opposed to Christians wanting to celebrate the spirit of Christmas. Some are so hateful towards Christmas that it seems almost unbelievable. Unfortunately for all the enemies of Christmas, Christmas will never die it will always be there one way or another, and while it is there, it will be celebrated.
Christmas is around the corner, and we here at WHISNews21 invite y’all to visit and leave us your own personal Christmas wishes to family, friends and fans. We will publish each and every one we receive 24 hours before Christmas, on Christmas day. If you want to send us an audio wish we will add it to WCTR Christmas Time Radio and leave it there for you to listen to on Christmas Day this year and forever
Send Your Christmas wish to firstname.lastname@example.org before Midnight on the 23rd of December all written wishes will be published on WHISNews21 Christmas day and all audio wishes will play once every 2 hours on WCTR for the world to listen On Christmas.
He headed for the cashier’s counter,
hoping that the curtain rods he was carrying were the ones she wanted,
when he saw the painting for the first time.
He’d been in this store dozens of times but he’d never noticed those pictures before.
He wasn’t an art critic, but he knew he’d never seen anything like that train picture.
The surface of the picture was textured to look like a genuine oil painting,
and somehow that scene looked more real than life!
The silver steam from the old engine glowing in the sunset,
billowing against the yellow-blue-orange-pink sky,
the brightly colored, but weather worn railroad cars,
and the red caboose, so real you could almost step right into it.
Each piece of gravel along the track,
each clump of vegetation on the prairie was clearly defined,
and cast a long late afternoon shadow.
The mountains were a blue haze against the distant horizon.
It was a painting you could stare at for a long time,
finding details previously overlooked.
A bell rang. The store was closing.
On impulse he hurried to the customer service desk and put the picture on layaway
with five dollars that should have gone to overdue bills.
He didn’t know when he’d be able to manage the eleven-ninety-five balance.
He paid for the curtain rods and went home, feeling a little guilty.
* * *
She stood back and looked critically at the curtains she’d hung.
He told her that they made a big difference in the little apartment.
She smiled and said that the curtains looked better than the trash cans in the alley.
He held her and said he wished he could provide her with a better home,
and she said that they weren’t doing too badly for newlyweds,
and that she believed in him.
He didn’t mention the money he’d foolishly spent on a picture of a train.
Payday again, and another losing battle with arithmetic.
If only a tree or a patch of grass could be seen from their window,
it might raise their spirits. It would interrupt the drabness.
He felt sorry for her, being stuck there all day.
At least taking the bus to the factory everyday gave him a change of scene.
These were his thoughts as he paid the cashier
and waited for the large picture to be wrapped.
He centered it carefully on the wall over the chair with the broken spring,
and called her to come in from the kitchenette and take a look at the surprise.
Wiping her hands on her apron, she glanced around the room
until her eyes stopped at the explosion of color. She almost cried!
It was like having a window to a valley locked in sunset.
They held hands and stared at the painting until dinner almost burned.
Years struggled by,
and the broken spring chair was replaced by a new living room suite,
complete with payment book.
They moved several times in the course of their lives,
first to a couple of larger apartments,
then to a house in a suburban development,
and finally back to another cheap apartment,
where they were to spend their final years.
The infirmities of old age often require a tightening of purse strings,
but they weren’t complaining. They’d been through rough times before.
Through the years they’d managed to hang on to two treasures:
the Sunset Train painting and their love for each other.
Maybe they weren’t so poor after all.
It hit him hard when she passed away.
Somehow, he’d always imagined he’d be the first to go.
He wasn’t prepared for the emptiness. Nobody ever is.
He took the habit of talking to her, even though she was gone.
He’d stare at the painting and go over old times.
Sometimes he’d sit for hours in front of the television,
but his eyes would wander back to the Sunset Train.
He’d imagine that they were together in that valley, or riding on the train.
The neighbors often dropped in to check on him.
Conversations always gravitated to the painting.
Several days passed before they noticed the mail and newspapers outside his door.
Fearing the old man had died,
and after getting no answer to their knocking and calling,
the neighbors set their shoulders to the door and the old wood gave way.
Finding no one in the apartment, clothes intact in the closets, and the TV left on,
the neighbors notified the police of his disappearance.
While the premises were being inspected, an officer commented to a neighbor,
“Unusual painting in there! Realistic, I mean!”
“Yeah,” replied the other, “everybody remarks about that train picture.”
“No,” said the policeman, “I’m talkin’ about that picture of the valley and the sunset.
There’s a track runnin’ through it, but no train.”
And he was right. The train was gone.
© 2009, 2018.
No dagger strikes as deeply as the thrust of betrayal. Maybe you identify with David’s story of treachery. It’s the cry of a wounded heart, a desperate prayer for relief. He’s overwhelmed and shaken to the core. If it had been an enemy ‘…then I could bear it…’ (v. 12). But it was ‘my closest friend, the one I trusted most. We enjoyed being together, and we went…to your house, our God’ (vv. 13-14). It was a bitter pill to swallow—his bosom pal, the last one he’d ever suspect, the person he trusted with his deepest secrets, a brother in the faith and fellow worshipper! No wonder his heart was broken. He was in a life-threatening position because of a covenant-breaking friend. ‘As for my companion, he betrayed his friends; he broke his promises. His words are as smooth as butter, but in his heart is war. His words are as soothing as lotion, but underneath are daggers!’ (vv. 20-21).How does David get beyond his grief? By doing these three things: 1) He acknowledges it.He verbalizes the emotions he’s experiencing. 2) He talks to God about it. Instead of faking pseudo-courage, he shares his anguish with God. ‘Morning, noon, and night my complaints and groans go up to Him, and He will hear my voice’ (v. 17). 3) He turns his situation over to God. ‘Pile your troubles on God’s shoulders—He’ll carry your load…He’ll never let good people topple into ruin…’ (v. 22). Today, do those three things and you’ll get back on track again.
Heavenly Father, help me get back on track from those that betrayed me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen