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Saturday, December 16, 2017

Thursday, December 14, 2017

The true Christmas spirit

Dear Friends.

As Christmas time nears, my heart is burdened for all those who seemed to have nailed Jesus to the Christmas tree at the Mall instead of the Cross at the church. As those of you who know me, I spend the greater part of the last two weeks of December going though my prayer request box and praying for your needs.

Please, email me today and let me pray for your needs. But, for the last 40 years of my ministry, prayer has always been at the core.

The list is long this year. But, I am asking you to send me your prayer needs today!

Now, let me share a special story about a Christmas long, long ago.

My Christmas Story 1958

Ed Decker

Many years ago, in 1958, I worked for a Drapery and Sewing machine store in the little Southern New Jersey town where I was also a YMCA program manager. The pay was low and I always had a second job.

The owner of the store was a man named Jack. He was a short, gruff Jewish man who always had an unlit cigar in his mouth. Because I was a hard worker and could hang drapery hardware and such exactly to his liking, he was always fair and paid pretty well for the times. I remember his wife as a sweet lady who was always smiling and kind.

The one job I hated to do was go to a home and repossess a sewing machine. He let people buy them on monthly payments and they didn't always follow through. After a few months of trying to collect, he sent me, Mr. Nice guy, to pick up the machines.

One year, about a week before Christmas, he sent me to pick up a machine on the outskirts of town.

When I knocked at the door, a tired young woman answered. There was a small child clutched to her skirt. She looked past me and saw the truck, with its store advertisement on the side and she looked like she would faint.

I explained why I was there and she started to cry. She pointed to where the machine was sitting, in the middle of a small, sparse living room. There was no Christmas tree.
There was fabric spread around the table and she had obviously been sewing something when I showed up.

She told me that she had three young children and her husband had left them a few months earlier. She was sewing Christmas gifts for the kids out of fabric she was taking from her clothes.

She asked me if I could just give her a few days to finish. It was all I could do to not cry myself and I just nodded and told her I would be back in January.

When I showed up at the store without the sewing Machine, Jack got pretty upset. I explained to both Jack and his wife why I did not take the sewing machine and they kind of looked at each other and asked me about the lady and the kids. Jack chewed on his cigar a bit, harrumphed and said that I did the right thing.

A couple of days later, Jack's wife met me when I came to work and asked me to come to the back room. She said I needed to drive the truck back to the lady with the sewing machine. She handed me an envelope to take to her. "And Ed. Be sure to give her those things in the back of the truck," she said. She smiled a bit and walked back to the front of the store.

I walked out to the truck and looked in the back. It was packed with gifts. I could see some of the larger things, like a dollhouse and a bike. And a Christmas tree.

I drove to the lady's house and knocked on the door. She had that same panic look that she had before. She stepped back and sort of gasped out a long "Oh No," I told her I wasn't there to pick up the machine. I handed her the envelope and told her I had something in the truck for her.

When I returned with the tree and a few of the packages, she was already crying. She showed me a fist full of cash and a note from the envelope. The note said that the machine was paid for and was hers to keep.

It took me an hour to unload the truck and set up the tree, now ringed with presents. She and the kids were just standing there looking at the tree and the gifts from a very unlikely couple. From people with hearts full of true love.

I cried all the way back to town. When I finally made it back to the store, I stood there with red-rimmed eyes, still sobbing as I struggled to tell them about it. Even Jack had a tear or two and a strong hug for me as he handed me my own envelope. I didn't even mind the cigar crushing into my cheek.

Why am I sharing this with you? Because that experience has stayed with me for almost 60 years. No Christmas goes by without my remembering every piece of that experience.

Why has it stayed with me these many years? Because it was the very first time I saw unconditional love in anyone except my mother.

I want to tell you about another Christmas. This was in 1973. And it changed my life forever. Our son, Jason was just a few months old and his baby-sitter was the daughter-in-law of a pastor of a small, local church.

Their 5 year old son, Donny, would plead with us every time we picked up Jason.' "Please, Please, will you Come to church on Christmas Eve and hear me sing in the Christmas program?" His insistent pleas brought us to that small Church that Christmas Eve.

The people I saw and talked to that night had that same unconditional and abundant, bountiful love that I saw in that Jewish couple 15 years earlier.

Their love and witness drew me to the Cross. I remember every moment of the night when I went forward and fell on the steps to the altar and received the precious gift of salvation from a loving God who brought his only son to earth to pay the ransom for my sins. He took them all away that night.

Now, here we are, 44 years later. I am still in complete awe that our God loved us so very much that He gave his only Begotten son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. He did that for Ed Decker and He did that for each of you.

My prayer for us all is that we know His full and complete love and live it and rejoice in it every day. God bless you.

Ed Decker



Monday, December 11, 2017

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Me.....in a Dollar shop.....

I was in Dollar shop last night, and there was a lady and two kids behind me in the LONG line.

One was a big kid, one was a toddler.

The bigger one had a pack of glow-sticks and the baby was screaming for them so the Mum opened the pack and gave him one, which stopped his tears.

He walked around with it smiling, but them the bigger boy took it...... and the baby started screaming again.

Just as the Mum was about to go crook at him, at the older child, he "bent" the glow-stick and handed it back to the baby.

As we walked outside at the same time, the baby noticed that the stick was now glowing..... and his brother said "I had to break it so you could get the full effect from it."

I almost ran because l could hear God saying to me, "I had to break you too, to show you why I created you. You had to go through it, so you could fulfil your purpose."

That little baby was happy just swinging that "unbroken" glow-stick around in the air because he didn't understand what it was created to do which was "glow".

There are some people who will be content just "being"......

but some of us, chosen by God, we have to be "broken".

We have to get sick.....

We go through divorce.......

We have to bury our spouse......

our parents....

our best friend......

or our child.....just because......

in those moments of desperation, God is breaking us..... but when the breaking is done, then we will be able to see the reason for which we were created.
Shared from a friend.....

Thank you friend

Wednesday, November 29, 2017