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December 6, 2020 12:32 am
We know that the Christmas season doesn’t bring back happy memories for everyone. For those of us who have lost loved ones during the Holidays, Christmas can be a painful and lonely time of the year. But, we’re here to let you know that you are not alone. There are many who have experienced similar trials. And there is a God who loves you so much, he came as a man and died for you to have eternal life.
Hi this is breathing welcome to the Salvation Army's words of life and welcome back to the words of life.
I'm Cheryl Galan and I'm Bernie Dake.
Last week we began our five-week Christmas series with Eddie Hobgood this week.
He sure is a very personal testimony about a tragedy that occurred in his family on December 1 when he was 14 years old. Wow he had the holidays can be very painful for some people who've gone through some tragic situations. Or maybe they're going through some tragic situations right now. Even just talking about this episode in the room.
We were trying to recount stories of families that we know who might have pain. Wesley think about this time of year and things that have happened in the in their course of their life, but I can honestly say and I'll speak for my wife and I who've been through valleys that this is a season of joy and other something about the strength of the community of believers. The fellowship of believers and just knowing that other people are there praying for you or I think the best illustration I've heard people use just stretcher bearers.
People bring stretcher bearers for you. We want to know that you're not alone. You know Christmas is all about hope and hope is not just a feeling that is the assurance and the faith that we have, knowing that as Jesus came to be Emmanuelle God with us.
He is with us in our present circumstances. Right now men, one of the greatest things we can do as fellow believers is lift each other up in prayer and if there is something specific that we can pray for you or your family.
Please reach out to us, especially during this time of year you can get to us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-229-9965 need has always been there a need for shaft compassion happens to be creative.
If you need help please reach out if you can get.
Please feel a ranch house 25 helps rescue Christmas for the most phone knives I mean Salvation Army it was December 1, and I was 14 years old.
It was shaping up to be one of the best Christmases in my life just that day. My junior high band teacher had announced that one student would get the gas conduct the band in one piece of music at the annual Christmas concert and wait for it, that student would be me. I was lighter than air. I floated through the rest of the day, and rather than ride the school bus home. I wanted to walk no jump and run all the way home. I couldn't wait to get home and tell my mom and dad. They would be so proud.
I learned to play the cornet at the Salvation Army had gotten a lot of grief from my schoolmates because I was one of those Sally musicians, but hard work and practice had paid off and my teacher recognized that I had skills I was about halfway home when my best friend's mom pulled up beside me and offered to give me a ride home. No thanks.
Mrs. Boyd, I'm good, but she didn't drive off for very serious expression on her face and insisted that I get in the car and let her take me the rest of the way home we sat in silence as she pulled up to my house and stopped the car as I reached for the handle to open the door, she grabbed my arm burst into tears and cried. I'm sorry.
I'm so sorry what are you sorry about.
I asked your dad.
He's been killed in an automobile accident.
Time stood still using those movies or television shows where everything and everyone around a person is frozen in time. That's what happened to me.
I started yelling for my dad. I ran out of the car into my house to straight into my mother's arms.
She was numb. She had been crying ever since she got the news. My dad was the chief of police in the nearby small town was driving to the county courthouse to handle some business with a dump truck driver who had been drinking, hit him head on. He was thrown from the vehicle and instantly killed. I never got to see him. His body was to mangled for an open casket service. Did I mention it was December 1 24 days until Christmas. I was the oldest of five children. What were we going to do. How would we ever survive this. For all our new life was over. The only thing I want for Christmas was for my dad to walk through the front door again. I was very young in my faith I have attended the Salvation Army church since I was nine and was faithfully taught about Jesus love and care for me but at that moment I was feeling anything but his love and care my world come crashing down like St. anything and everything but good.
I began to think about how would we. How could we ever celebrate Christmas with such a horrible thing that happened to our family. How would my broken heart ever be healed.
And just as my level of despair began to rise in through the front door, came the captains from the Salvation Army.
Mrs. Capt. put on her apron and began to clean the house from top to bottom and then she started cooking dinner. Mr. Capt. gather the family together and after crying with us in praying. He took me aside because I was going to be the man of the house now and spoke to me. I can imagine the pain you're in right now.
He said, but God is going to give you an extra measure of his love, peace and hope you won't see it or understand it for a while but he will, I promise. And looking back, I did see it. I saw the Mrs. Capt. as she came into our house took charge, loved and cared for us as though we were her own family. I saw it and other members of the church family as they came in. Taking turns to care for us and love us through the darkest days of our lives. The captains my captains even in the middle of the busiest season for Salvation Army officers came to our home every day to pray with us and remind us that God had not forgotten us and he had not because I saw the physical evidence of that, every day through the lives of all the Christ followers at my church we went to church on Sunday and heard once again about the promise of Christmas.
The promise that God made his people centuries before about what would happen when the Messiah came, Isaiah wrote in chapter 61 verse one the spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners at 14. I didn't understand that all but as time went on and the wound didn't hurt as much as God's people continue to love and nurture me. I began to see this verse of Scripture being fulfilled in my own life and today I am in my 38th year of being a Salvation Army officer and have been given the privilege of reminding people who are hurting and feeling like I did all those years ago that God through Jesus wants to heal their brokenness and set them free. I don't know what your life is like. I don't know what pains hurts or scars you carry. But I do know that Christmas is God's way of saying I care you matter. Let me walk through this thing called life with you in my 14th year of life on earth. I learned that Christmas is so much more than gifts and food and parties.
Christmas is a lifestyle and through Christmas. God wants us to know that he desperately longs to be an intimate part of our lives.
If you go through Christmas and miss that sad to say you've missed Christmas Isaiah also wrote that this Messiah would be an everlasting father and I have found in him everything I lost that December day in more I have hope and faith that my earthly father and I will be reunited again and that this relationship I have with my heavenly father will continue throughout all eternity. Can you think of a greater Christmas gift to receive. I like to pray with you today, especially remembering those who have perhaps lost loved ones during this time of year so let's pray God our father.
Wow, what an incredible privilege it is to call you father God, very God, Creator of the universe you love us so much you desire to have relationship with us so deeply that you sent Jesus into this world to redeem us. This is evidence of your deep love for us, and there are those who are listening today who whose hearts are broken, who have been broken because of lost tragic losses in their lives and it's difficult to find a reason to celebrate.
I pray father that you would speak to their hearts. You would speak peace to them that they would in a way that it is even supernatural. Know your love for them. You've proven it to us through Jesus.
You've proven it to us through Christmas and so because of that love.
Because of that gift we can celebrate and you will as you promised in Isaiah, you will heal the brokenhearted, so today in the name of Jesus I pray for that for those who hurt during these days, we thank you for your love and your blessing to us and we just give you praise and honor in Jesus name, amen. The Salvation Army's mission doing the most good means helping people with material and spiritual needs to become a part of this mission every time you give to the Salvation Army visit Salvation Army USA.org to offer your support and love to hear from you. Email email@example.com or call 1-800-229-9965 or write us at PO Box 29972, Atlanta, GA 30359 tell us how we can help share prayer request or share your testimony. Would love to use your story on here. You can also subscribe to our show on iTunes podcast store and be sure to give us a rating search for the Salvation Army's words of life. Follow us on social media for the latest episode extended abuse and more. And if you don't have a church home. We invite you to visit your local Salvation Army worship center will be glad to see you.
This is brain to join us next time for the Salvation Army's life