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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


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May 12, 2010 - The Best Things in Life

By John Jackson

We’re about as far removed from Christmas as you can get in the year, but I’ve got a Christmas story that rings true in any season. For any parents who have faced Christmas shopping during this horrendous economy, here’s a thought: Many times, the best gifts we give our kids are not the biggest or most expensive ones.

The most meaningful gift I have ever received is currently worth $19.98. One year when I was a kid, my family was having a particularly tough Christmas financially. We lived in a two-bedroom apartment with my dad, mom, two sisters and our grandfather. Needless to say, no one got a Wii or an LCD TV that year.

On Christmas Eve, my sister passed out the gifts around the tree (that was her job, and it still is even though she’s 24 now). My gift was an envelope. Taking turns, everyone opened their presents, and it finally got to me. I opened my little envelope and found a note. The note was a clue. The clue led me to another clue in a different part of the apartment. That clue took me to another clue. In my PJ’s, I scurried from clue to clue, covering all 700 square feet of that tiny apartment.

Finally, I came to the end of my Christmas scavenger hunt. The final clue led me to a tiny cardboard box back where I had started, near the Christmas tree. I picked open the box and found inside a 1986 Donruss Jose Canseco rookie card. During my entire childhood, collecting sports cards was a hobby my dad and I did together. He knew what I had, what I needed and what I LIKED!

I did not know how much that card cost my parents; I still don’t. I didn’t care; I still don’t. What I loved was the idea that my parents had thought about me and made me feel special. I knew I had received the best gift of anyone that Christmas. It was more than a collector’s item. It was a symbol of my parents’ love for me.

So there you have it. A Christmas tale as we move through spring into summer. Of course, the greatest Christmas Gift of all came to us that first Christmas. I hope you have found Him and are living in His love and joy.

“But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!” (Romans 5:15, NIV).

— John Jackson is the principal at Calvary Temple (AG) Christian School in Concord, Calif.



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