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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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December 23, 2013 - When There Were No Presents Under the Tree

By Hal Donaldson

It was Christmas Eve — but four children didn't feel like celebrating.

They'd erected a small tree in the corner of their humble living room, but it was barren save a few homemade ornaments. There were no presents under their tree.

Their mother, a widow, was struggling to earn enough money to feed them. So, they already knew there wasn't enough money for Christmas presents. The children kept their disappointment to themselves, however, not wanting to add to their mother's burden. Still, it wasn't easy to hear their friends bragging about their Christmas presents and their large turkey dinners.

The doorbell rang and the oldest son greeted an unfamiliar face at the door — a tall woman holding a large box.

"Hi, I'm the Women's Ministries director for this area and we decided this year to give your family some Christmas presents."

The widow burst into tears, while the four kids raced to unwrap the packages. Each box contained a shirt and a pair of pants — new outfits for school.

"Kids, this is God's way of reminding us that He loves us," the widow announced.

The women's director departed to a chorus of thank yous and a round of hugs.

The kids could hardly take their eyes off their new outfits because it meant they would no longer be teased at school because of their inferior clothing.

A few hours later the doorbell rang again. To everyone's surprise, their aunt and uncle and cousins had driven many hours to be with them for Christmas.

Suddenly presents weren't that important to the kids. The family was together and that was all that mattered.

That afternoon their aunt and uncle restocked the cupboards with groceries and purchased a turkey for the Christmas meal. But they had another surprise in store.

They led the four children outside.

"This is your Christmas present," their mother said, pointing to four new bicycles.

Their mouths opened and their eyes swelled. "Amazing!" "Incredible!" "Thank you!" the children exclaimed, giving hugs to everyone.

At first, the kids admired the bikes as if they were expensive automobiles, touching and staring. Then they mounted the bikes and rode up and down the street until it was dark.

The oldest son, 12, returned from the ride and threw his arm over his mother's shoulder. "Mom, I want you to know I'm glad that you're my mom. We don't have a lot of things like other families, but we have each other."

"And we have Jesus, too," she added. "He didn't forget about you, did He? He knew you wanted a bike of your own."

"He took care of us," the boy replied.

"And He always will," she said. "No matter what, remember that He loves you."

I know this story. I was the oldest son. Mom was right: Jesus always takes care of His children. He loves us. He came to earth and gave His life for us that we might have a better life here and now and the promise of eternal life in heaven.

— Hal Donaldson served as editor of the Pentecostal Evangel for 13 years, and leads Convoy of Hope in Springfield, Mo. This article originally appeared in the Dec. 21, 2003, Pentecostal Evangel.



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