I'm sorry I've been so tardy at commenting and also taking ages to reply to mails. I'm here, I promise (cannot go anywhere!) but I've been busy with a story (not an article) for the adventure magazine which accepts my pennings. (Sorry, perhaps "pennings" is not a word; I'm using prosaic license here!) My story was about our Harley Davidson which we rode for five years until we bought a BMW motorbike. It was a real story, a true story about me and Grant. Many, many years ago, (in 1971) as a young lad, Grant sold his motorbike (a 1961 Velocette) to buy me an engagement ring. Thirty-one years later, we were still married and happily so. It was at this stage of our lives that we decided to buy a bike! A Harley Davidson.
My dear friend, Sue posted the photos while she was in Johannesburg a few weeks ago. This morning I completed the story and submitted it by e-mail. It will appear in the magazine in January 2012.
(Now it's nose to the keyboard on the weekly submission of stories for a farmer's magazine in SA)
All photos bar the middle right and the last one is of me and Grant with/on our Harley. In the last photo, our older son, John is riding the Harley , with a young girl on the back. It was in aid of a Christmas dinner at to the retirement village in our hometown. The photo above it depicts our 12-year-old Siamese cat, Chip, who loves to sleep on motorbikes
Now to the heading of this post. One of the regular Christian newsletters that I received this week, really made an impact on me.
It doesn’t matter how old we get, we all love receiving gifts. Even those of us who have seen many a Christmas come and go, still get excited by gifts and watching others opening the gifts they receive.
Sadly, the snake in the garden has raised its ugly head in this paradise too. Bigger and better has become the norm and receiving has become far more important than giving. Perhaps we should take a different view of gift-giving.
In the Scriptures we read of a whole range of gifts which are intangible but of immense value to believers.
The gift of a pleasant attitude
If dissatisfaction has become your default facial expression and negativity has become your trademark, it’s time to start spreading the pleasant aroma of God’s love in your life. It doesn’t come in an aerosol can but from a heart filled with gladness over God’s gift of life.
The gift of kindness and tolerance
It’s not easy to love everyone who crosses you path and a critical attitude makes it difficult to accept people for what they are. We seem to be addicted to negativity. Isn’t it time to cast negativity to the wind and learn to enjoy the wonderful variety of people in all colours, sizes and shapes who are all part of God’s creation.
The gift of laughter
Laughter makes the world go round and yet it’s so hard for us laugh without reservation. Next time, instead of moaning every time you hear “Jingle Bells” in the shopping centre, enjoy the kids’ laughter in the toy store. Laugh with people and not at them. Joy is one of the gifts of the Spirit, so use it in abundance.
The gift of listening
Make time to listen to someone who needs an ear. Listen with care and with an open mind. And without watching the clock.
The gift of hospitality
Today people are extremely protective of their privacy. We will invite to our homes those whom we decide are fit for our company. But Christ thought nothing of putting his reputation on the line by having dinner with the outsiders and the outcast. Hospitality is high on the list of Christian virtues. Paul challenges us to: Share your belongings with your needy fellow-Christians, and open your homes to strangers. Romans 12:13
The beauty of these gifts is that you can hand them out all year round and not just at Christmas time.
The Bible mentions the abundant gifts of the Spirit. Read Romans 12:9-21 from top to bottom to make your gift list for the year. You would be surprised by the treasures you will find there.
My gift to you all at the early stage of Christmas, is God's richest blessings.