What is the true meaning of CHRISTMAS?
It’s that time of year again. December has come and all the joys of Christmas with it. But what does Christmas really mean? Is it the gifts under the tree, the lights in the windows, the cards in the mail, dinners with family and friends, snow in the yard, stockings hanging in the living room, or shouts of “Merry Christmas” to those who pass us in the streets? Is this really Christmas?
For many people, Christmas is a time of sorrow. They don’t have the extra money to buy presents for their children, family, or friends. Many are saddened during the holiday season when they think of their loved ones who will not be able to come home for various reasons. Dinners may be only a wish and not a reality for some.
Yet, Christmas can be a season of great joy. It is a time of God showing His great love for us. It can be a time of healing and renewed strength. You see, Christmas is when we celebrate the birth of the Christ child. God sent His Son, Jesus, into the world to be born. His birth brought great joy. Shepherds, wise men, and angels all shared in the excitement of knowing about this great event. They knew this was no ordinary baby. The prophets were told of His coming hundreds of years before. The star stopped over Bethlehem just to mark the way for those who were looking for this special child.
Luke 2:4-19 says:
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David). To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
Why did God send His son to be born into this sometimes cruel and harsh world?
Jesus was sent to pay for our sins. He died on the cross for ALL of US. If we believe that Jesus died for our sins, we can ask Him to come into our hearts, forgive us, make us clean and make us whole. It means we are saved and we know that heaven is a place where we can go when life on earth is over.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 (KJV)
We can truly be happy at Christmas! No matter what may be happening, we can know that we are His children. We then become sons and daughters of God. Heaven will be our home one day.
Look at Christmas in a new way this year. This is the year to invite Jesus into your heart. You will then have a “Merry Christmas.” The joy and peace you will receive will last all year as you look to God for all your needs to be met.
Jesus Is The Reason For The Season! Rejoice!
Not pictured from our Huber Crew is Mike Barfield
The Basics of Elder Care Planning
As your parents or other relatives age, you may find yourself transitioning into a new role as a caregiver. Whether you live down the street or across the country, you may become suddenly responsible for many different aspects of your relative’s care, such as medical, legal and financial concerns.
An elder care plan can be a helpful resource for you, your family and your elder. This care plan maps out the areas where assistance is needed and can help you to divide responsibilities among family members.
In order for this care plan to be effective, everyone should be involved in the planning process, including your elder. By getting everyone’s input up front, you can help to ensure that the care plan is acceptable to everyone. Read more to learn about the basics of creating an elder care plan.
- Deciding if the Time is Right to Help
- Building a Care Network
- Determining Care Needs
- Creating a List of Emergency Contacts
Some things to consider are:
- Everyday activities: Some elders simply need or want some help with simple chores, such as cooking, cleaning or shopping. Others need more extensive assistance with daily activities, such as bathing, eating and medication administration. The amount and type of assistance that your elder needs can help to guide you in your search for appropriate care.
- Driving: Many elders continue to drive long after they are able to safely operate a vehicle. The independence that comes along with a driver’s license can be difficult to give up. Some signs to watch out for are a high number of at-fault accidents, unexplained scratches or dents in the car or getting lost on a more frequent basis. If you feel that your elder should no longer drive, consider enlisting the help of his or her physician; sometimes an expert’s opinion can be helpful.
- Physical appearance: Your elder’s physical appearance can give you some clues as to how he or she is functioning on a daily basis. If your elder seems to be getting thin, perhaps a meal program would help him or her to eat better and more regularly. Also look for signs such as unexplained cuts or bruises or a general decline in grooming habits.
- Emotional state: A depressed or lonely mood can be a signal for a lot of issues. Your elder may need to talk with his or her physician to determine the cause of these moods. Or, he or she may need to find more social outlets, such as senior centers or independent-living retirement communities.
Talking directly with your elder can provide him or her with the reassurance that you care and only have your elder’s best interests at heart. If you show that you are really listening up front, your elder may feel more comfortable talking to you about needing help in the future.
Some aspects of creating this network include:
- Identifying the “primary“ caregiver
- Enlisting help from trusted friends, neighbors and family
- Dividing responsibilities among available caregivers
- Researching local community resources
- Discussing the situation with your elder’s physician
- Can your elder safely continue to live in his or her current residence? Can your elder afford to continue living in his or her current residence? Does your elder want to move from his or her current residence or does he or she want to remain there?
- Does your elder need help with activities of daily living, also called ADLs?
- What medical conditions does your elder have? What types of care may be needed in the future in order to manage these conditions?
- Are there finances available to cover future medical needs?
- Are wills, advance directives and trusts in order? Do you know where they are kept?
- Can your elder continue to drive safely or is transportation assistance needed?
- Family members
- Doctors and hospitals
- Financial planners
- Neighbors and friends
- Geriatric care worker, if available
You should also ensure that you know the location of all important medical, legal and financial records, as well as maintaining a set of keys to both your elder’s home and car.
|Billy Bob Hubbard
WAY TO GO!