Posts Tagged you

All God Wants for Christmas Is You – Rev. Susan Sparks

The Christmas holiday is in full swing, which means that from now until December 25th, we will hear … Mariah Carey.
Every day.
Everywhere.At CVS and Walmart. At Ace Hardware and Macy’s. Even the Salvation Army volunteers will play it on the corner as they collect money.To what song am I referring?

“All I Want for Christmas is You.”

If this doesn’t sound familiar, then apparently, you have not left your home in the past 25 years. This catchy holiday love song from 1994, which reminds us about the joy of reuniting with loved ones, has sold over 16 million copies.

But I had a thought this week. What if we took this ubiquitous song and made it an anchor—a reminder of something deeper than human love? What if we heard it as a love song from God?

Sounds kind of crazy, right – God singing Mariah Carey’s song to us. But the lyrics are spot on, as God longs to reunite with us. Ezekiel 34:11 explains, For thus says the Lord God: I myself will search for my sheep, and will seek them out.”

It’s true. God yearns to be with us – at all times, in all places.

Consider what happened a few years ago at the Holy Child Jesus Church in Richmond Hill, Queens. Jose Moran, the custodian, had just finished setting up the Nativity scene and gone to lunch. When he returned about an hour later, he heard the cry of an infant. He went into the sanctuary and found a tiny baby boy, umbilical cord still attached, swaddled in purple towels on the floor of the manger.

Later, the police identified camera footage from a local 99-cent store that showed a young mother with a baby, buying the purple towels. Minutes later, she appeared in the church and laid the baby swaddled in the purple towels in the church Nativity scene. The congregation named the baby “Emmanuel,” Hebrew for “God with us.”

Like the Christ child, this little baby entered the world in a place of shame, abandonment, and brokenness. But God was there—at the manger in Bethlehem, at that Nativity scene in Queens, and with us.


Now, if that is the power of God’s love for us, then shouldn’t we share that same love with others?

Recently, I met someone who did just that. It happened while I was in line at Walgreens. I was behind an elderly Russian woman who was bent over a walker packed with plastic bags that were stuffed to the brim. For several minutes, she shuffled through the bags looking for her wallet, and as the line got longer, people got more aggravated.

All of a sudden, a tall, smiling man with a Walgreens nametag reading “Ababacar” walked up to her. He turned out to be the manager of the store and was from Senegal. When she saw him, a huge smile broke across her face. He called her by name, gave her a hug, helped her find her purse, and walked her to the door.

I found out later that she lived by herself above the store, and that he’d been helping her for years, including preparing food, and bringing her medicine. When I thanked him for what he’d done, he simply said . . .

“If we don’t care for each other . . . who are we?”


This week, when you hear Mariah Carey’s song for the 97thtime, stop and imagine that God is singing it to you. Wherever you are, whoever you are. God is longing for you.

Then, take that love out and share it with others. Be a blessing for everyone you meet. Live each day knowing you are part of something greater.

Because all God wants for Christmas is you!

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Words that Will Never Fail You

Words have power. They rule our lives. Some words fire our imaginations. Some build our spirits and enrich our souls. Some inspire us on to great achievements. Others have the power to cast us down to the deepest hell.

Franklin Roosevelt pulled a nation back from the brink of despair with his words, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Winston Churchill mobilized an entire nation with his,”Never, never, never, never give up.” Martin Luther King changed the nation with, “I have a dream,” and of course Barack Obama won a presidential election with, “Yes we can.”

I was given a list of, “17 Words that Will Never Fail You.” I have searched in vain to discover where the original list was developed. They are marvelous words, but the list is incomplete. There are four  additional words that are essential for good interpersonal relationships and successful workplace relationships. Please, thank, you, and great are the words I would add to the list. These are obvious to most of us, but it is astounding how often they are overlooked.

Please is an absolute entry word. Perhaps some think it is a little old fashioned, but you would be amazed at how many doors it opens when spoken with sincerity. If spoken with a snarl, it can just as quickly slam a door.

Thank is an essential ingredient in the workplace. Associates need to know that they are appreciated. You need to realize that others are a part of your success. None of us got here on our own.

You is a magic word that lets others know that they are a vital part of the organization. It creates community.

Great expresses appreciation for a job well done, a favor or a pleasant turn of events. It is a word of praise.. Great will carry the ball for you in so many situations. You did a great job planning the party. You are a great host. You’re resume looks great. You found my passport. Great! It may seem out of place in a list such as this, but you will find that it pays huge dividends when used appropriately.

Here you have the list, the original seventeen words plus my four additions. You are set for an easier time communicating, motivating yourself and others and networking. Put all twenty-one on a note card and slip it into your pocket or purse. Glance at these words from time to time. Think about each one. Use each of them often. You will be amazed at how much freedom they will give you and how dramatically they will improve your effectiveness.

Twenty-one Words that Will Never Fail You:

Prepare            Choose            Act                  Change            Wait                Great

Listen              Focus              Forgive           Persist             Please

Smile              Believe            Pray                 Accept             Thank

Care                Relax               Trust               Risk                 You


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Random Acts of Kindness – 13

Someone needs your prayers. Pray for her or him. You will be glad that you did.

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