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December 20, 2020 12:35 am
In this episode, Lt. Colonel Eddie Hobgood share a personal story that is a beautiful illustration about how God sees us through Christ.
Hi this is breathing welcome to the Salvation Army's words of life we know the knee and that you will read, enjoy your welcome back to the words of life.
I'm Cheryl, and I'm with my composting good friend Bernie and Bernie cannot wait. I don't know what I'm getting. I don't know if you know what you're getting to celebrate Christmas. That's a great thing. We hope that you're enjoying this Christmas series. We started this one on November 29, so if you've missed any episodes. Be sure to subscribe to words of life at your favorite podcast store or visit Salvation Army sound cast.org in this episode, any shares another piece of his own testimony, which is a beautiful illustration about how God sees us through Christ, Cheryl, I don't want to be too deep with you this close to Christmas because I know that you're thinking about whether you will be snow on the ground or all of the things that we've had us while living here in the great state of Georgia but I can remember one of the greatest Christmas gifts I was ever given was actually when I moved away from home and went to after college. We were at a family reunion and my grandfather drove my parents and I to a bus station so I could get on the bus and make the move to Washington DC where we met again after you move down there, but was such a simple thing. I gave everyone a hug but my dad for the first time that I could remember in some time.
I don't know why this is so vivid in my memory just given me a kiss before we left I got on the bus and I just watch my parents as it pulled away crying then I realized what a gift I had been given by having got the parents who introduced me to Jesus and you know a good way to live your life. Absolutely that's a sweet story well I don't know what your story will be for Christmas and I hope that at the end of the day the number one thing you understand is that God sent his son for you and I and this is the time of year that we celebrate Emmanuelle God with us.
See you next week, has always been there for shaft compassion happens to be creative.
If you need help please reach out. Please feel a ranch house 25 helps rescue Christmas for the most phone Salvation Army after being married for one year parental instinct kicked in, and my wife and I decided it was time to start our family. This was a big step for us as we were aware that life as we knew it drastically change what I was up for the challenge.
You see, when I was born I was immediately given up by my birth mother for adoption. She didn't want to see me, hold me, or even name me she was in the line of work where it wasn't helpful to have a child I meet.
How can you pick up John. There's a baby on your hip. I was very young when I accidentally overheard a relative and her friends talking about this. My adoptive parents as loving as they were never told me I wasn't theirs that I had been adopted.
My world was rocked and even though I couldn't fully grasp what this meant.
I immediately felt disconnected, they were still my family in every sense of the word but yet they weren't in my young mind, I began to question why my birth mother didn't want me and reasoned it had to be one of two things I had done something so terrible that she couldn't be around me. I was bad or there was something wrong, something defective about me and as I grew these what I thought were truths about me grew to one other byproduct of this news about my birth was a total feeling of disconnect who did I look like who did I sound like was my personality like my moms or my dad's who was my dad because there was no visible evidence that I belong to the family I was adopted into this this whole grew inside of me for the longest time there was an emptiness deep within.
So having a baby was super important to me.
But there was a problem one year went by and no baby two years went by and no baby three years went by and still no baby.
We went to a doctor for test. And the sad news came back that we could not conceive.
There wasn't going to be a baby. There are words to describe my depth of despair throughout all of this time God had called my wife and me into the ministry we were open to this calling but kept telling God that before we would go to seminary. We wanted to have a baby well with the news that we couldn't have a child there when our excuse. After all, we reasoned we could adopt a child in the future and give a kid a chance at a life they wouldn't otherwise have. So off we went to study and training to become Salvation Army officers, pastors, eight months into the training experience. Wouldn't you know it. My wife became pregnant and on December 2, 1982, a beautiful baby girl was born into the world after the baby was cleaned and wrapped tightly in a blanket. The nurse handed her to me to hold.
I remember as though it was yesterday or ruddy cheeks pressed up against mine, her tiny hand clasping my trembling pinky finger. The first time in my life I was touching and being touched by my own flesh and blood.
It was the most incredible thing I'd ever experienced the most the most amazing gift I'd ever received. We were going to have another beautiful baby girl and then a few years later adopt the boy who had grown up in a Salvation Army children's home in South America with the birth of that first baby.
The hole that had been in my heart for so long.
The emptiness the feeling that I wasn't worthy. The abandonment I felt as a child was washed away far far away in the beginning humankind walked with God. Adam and Eve knew God in an up close and personal way. But there always seems to be a but. But sin destroyed that perfect relationship you can read about it in the first three chapters of Genesis, God drew his presence away from humans, this broke his heart and in the humans there grew this whole this emptiness. This place of longing for God.
The philosopher Pascal said these words.
There was a God shaped vacuum in the heart of each man which cannot be satisfied by any created thing, but only by God, the creator made known through Jesus Christ being separated from his precious creation broke God's heart and humankind in trying to fill that empty space resorted to all kinds of imperfect ways to plug up that whole each way moving them further and further from God. Humanity was bad humanity was defective. But God loves the world, the people of the world, past, present and future so deeply that he knew he had to do something to restore it and make the people of his affection whole again. So he sent Jesus an innocent helpless baby into the world to save it to fill the empty place within the hearts of every human on this planet. And when Mary held that tiny baby tightly bungled in a blanket and felt his ruddy cheek against hers and let him wrap his tiny hand around her trembling pinky finger. How could she fully know or understand that this child named Jesus would have the ability to feel the emptiness of every human heart to restore humanity's righteousness, and to save the world from its sins.
This this is the message of Christmas. This is the mystery of Christmas that God very God would take on human flesh and be born as a helpless baby grow and live among us, and then willingly die so that we could be whole, and our relationship with God restored. I mentioned earlier that my adoptive parents were loving and they were when they adopted me as far as they were concerned I was there flesh and blood. They didn't see the on accepted way that I had come into the world.
They didn't believe that I was bad or defective. They loved me unconditionally and believe the absolute best about me when when they looked into my face. They only saw the hopes and dreams and high aspirations they had for me. They offered me a new beginning, a fresh start at life when God looks at you and me through the eyes of Christmas. He sees the possibilities, the potential that lies within. For goodness, love and wholeness and is all possible because of the Christ whose birth we celebrated Christmas. Have you ever wished or prayed for new beginning. Have you ever been frustrated by the knowledge that you've never reach the full potential for which you were created. Are you tired of the whole. The incompleteness that's in your heart. The longing that it's never quite fulfilled. Let the child of Bethlehem who grew to become the Savior of the world enfold you with his love that will make you complete and whole.
My prayer for you from Ephesians 319. Is this I want you to know all about Christ's love. Although it is too wonderful to be measured, then your lives will be filled with all that God is the Salvation Army's mission doing the most good means helping people with material and spiritual needs 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 us email@example.com or call 1-800-229-9965, 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 surely give us a rating search for the Salvation Army's words of life. Follow us on social media for the latest episode extended interviews 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 spring.
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