Dear Family & Friends,
“Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.” -- Matthew 2:1-2
Who were these “wise men from the east?” They were most likely advisors to the Persian royalty, but why did they travel all the way to Jerusalem to worship the recently born “King of the Jews?” The answer may lie in events that occurred over 600 years prior to Christ’s birth. The book of Daniel, and the second chapter in particular, records the tragic captivity in “the east” of many Jews including Daniel. During his time there, Daniel prophesied of Christ’s advent and was promoted to the chief “wise man.” It is virtually certain that most of the Jews viewed their captivity as a catastrophe, but God may have used Daniel and others during those difficult times to plant the seeds of the Gospel “in the east.” All we know for sure is that six centuries later these “wise men” (and there were likely many more than three despite the Christmas tradition) appreciated a fact about the newborn King that we sometimes fail to recognize: He is more than King of the Jews. Why else did they risk life and limb to worship Him?
So as we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, we also hope that one of your joys in this season will be reflecting on who the manger-born King is and what your relationship with Him is. If you are uncertain and would like to talk more about these matters, then please feel free to visit, call, or write. It would be one of the joys of our Christmas season or the New Year to get together with you.
Although we have had a somewhat difficult year (as we know some of you have had as well), God has displayed His faithfulness throughout the year. We thank the Lord Jesus Christ that He blessed us with Daniel Earle on January 9th. Daniel continues to grow and develop along side Kenneth and Hannah. My employment with the insurance company was a trial for much of the year as I struggled to sell enough policies to make ends meet. Additionally, I was repeatedly applying for either a second job or for new full-time employment. Although the economy did not do us any favors on either account, God provided through gifts from many of you and others, too.
Autumn found Melinda taking on her first quilt. Learning how to quilt while finishing a project that someone else had started was a tall order, but by God’s grace she completed the work by Thanksgiving. In the meantime, I interviewed for three different positions at SC’s Dept. of Juvenile Justice and was hired in mid-November as a probation officer. So both Melinda and I are learning new tricks this year. Although my mother was not able to make her annual trek to our home for Thanksgiving, we did enjoy the day with some friends on their parents’ farm in GA. The kids enjoyed a tour of the farm which included cattle, horses, donkeys, mules, cats, and German shepherds.
As we prepare to celebrate Christmas, our thoughts and prayers turn to each of you who have enriched our lives over the years. Thank you very much for your love and fellowship. May God richly bless you and your family this Christmas and in the New Year.
Written by Sheep Dog
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