Our family’s Christmas decorations include trees and lights, candles and wreaths, and several nativity sets scattered throughout the house. This year, I thought it would be fun to have my two-year-old grandson, James, help me set up the manger scenes, partly because he enjoys animals so much. While we worked, he named the animals and the sounds they made, but one thing that surprised me was his fascination with Baby Jesus, not only then, but also during the days leading up to Christmas. Continue reading “Captivated by Christ”
The background photo on our website speaks hope to me. The vibrant flowers catch your eye at first, but behind them in the distance towers the remains of Mount St. Helens, a volcano which erupted in May 1980, covering the area in lava and filling the air with ashes. I recall as a child witnessing on TV the devastation caused by its powerful eruption, and in 2017, my family visited the site to see it for ourselves. Continue reading “Hope from the Ashes”
Food is an important part of our daily lives. We need it to survive. I do most of the cooking in my home, which means I plan the meals, buy the ingredients, prepare the food, serve it, and finally, eat it. It takes time to do all these things, so food and all the tasks around it occupy my thoughts on a daily basis.
From the very beginning, God provided food in the Garden of Eden for man to eat. It was “pleasant to the sight and good for food” (Genesis 2:9). The purpose of food is to nourish our bodies, but in addition to that, God made it pleasant. He wanted man to enjoy that which was good for him. Continue reading “Food for Thought”
The Olympics: The torch, the ceremonies, the medals, and the athletes. Night after night, we are engaged by the competition and by the inspiring background stories of the competitors. They have trained for years, investing endless hours in the gym, on the slopes or on the ice, just to compete here. Each one has a unique story, some of which are full of adversity along their paths to the Olympics – injuries, the deaths of family members, financial distress, etc. We are inspired by their ability to overcome their circumstances and to focus on the end goal: a medal.
Every person faces adversity at some point, and like these athletes, we must focus on the end goal.
One of my own challenges came in the form of my cancer diagnosis a few years ago. Continue reading “Eyes on the Prize”
By Sheri Ellington
Like many others, we are facing our first Christmas without close family members. My mom and my husband’s brother died this year. She died after a short battle with cancer, and he died at the hands of a murderer. Both sides of our family are hurting. Each person is dealing with the grief in his own way. If you are in a similar situation this Christmas, dealing with the mixed emotions that come with grief and holiday festivities, my prayer is that this will be a blessing to you.
First of all, it is helpful to acknowledge that we all grieve differently, and that we cannot look at others from the outside and know how they are coping on the inside. From my own experience and observation, there are many ways to process grief. Some cry, while some are quiet; some stay busy and try to get out of the house as much as possible, while some long to withdraw into isolation and avoid all celebrations.
There is no magic formula for grieving, but there is a Godly and biblical way to grieve: with hope.
By Sheri Ellington
If you’ve followed my story thus far, you know that my family has experienced much loss over the past year. Reaching out to our extended families, I can count nine who have died. The closest to me was my mom. The closest to my husband was his brother. Both sides of our family are grieving, but not like those without hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13). Praise the Lord for the hope we have in Jesus Christ! Still, dealing with the grief is a daily battle, and our first holiday without these two proved to be a tougher battle than I reckoned it would be.
By Patricia Ellington
I am Patricia Ellington, Tommy’s mother.
First of all, I have good news for you: God loves you!
Next, I want you to know that I have forgiven whoever shot and killed my son, Tommy Ellington, because I know who we are dealing with, but I do expect justice.
That was the easy part. Now for the hard part: