A little over six months ago, our family had the privilege of visiting the little town of Bethlehem, about six miles southeast of Jerusalem. I still recall the day vividly. We drove through the terraced hills, past a security checkpoint, and entered the city. Looking past the political tensions of the present day, I allowed my mind to consider the rich history of this City of David. As we walked through caves there in Bethlehem, we considered what it might have been like that first Christmas morning.

As our family has approached this Christmas day, we have looked forward to the joy of the Christmas celebration. At the same time, our hearts have also been filled with the emotions and challenges that trials can bring our way.

Over the last several weeks, three members of our family have been taken into surgery rooms. We thank God that each of the surgeries were successful.

Larry and Ashley

Now we are facing a most serious surgery for our son, Larry, on Monday, December 28. It is our hearts’ desire to place our full trust in the Lord (Psalm 37:1-5) as we call upon him in faith (Jeremiah 33:3). We believe that we serve a God Who can and will do wonders (Psalm 77:4), and we are thankful for the tremendous grace and wisdom evidenced in the life of our son, Larry, and his dear wife, Ashley.

As we humbly ask for the prayers of our Christian friends around the world, we are also keenly mindful of the many lessons of that first Christmas story.

Mary also was filled with human emotion when Gabriel announced to her that she would bring forth the Son of God. The Bible says she “cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be” (Luke 1:29). Mary was trying to figure things out and could not quite put it all together.

Even as Mary experienced those emotions, the angel simply assured her, “Fear not.” Gabriel had the heavenly perspective—God’s perspective. Because of that, he reminded Mary, “For with God nothing shall be impossible” (Luke 1:37). What a wonderful promise!

With that reminder, Mary said the words that we have often spoken, but have sometimes found difficult to live out, “Be it unto me according to thy word.”

We thank God that in the fullness of time He sent forth His Son. Once again, we covet your prayers for our son during this season, and we look forward to seeing God glorified in ways yet unknown to us.

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