Archive | December 2012

Three reasons I love Christmas Eve…

christmas paint

christmas paint (Photo credit: cassie_bedfordgolf)

Three reasons I love Christmas Eve—

Christmas Eve is special to me for a number of reasons—the first one, of course, is because of the celebration of the birth of Jesus who came to save the world. This year one of my thoughts regarding Christmas is the scripture in Luke 2 that says, “Peace on earth—good will toward men.” I think it is so wonderful that one of the first messages surrounding Jesus coming to the world is that God wanted peace and goodness for mankind. By giving His Son, God the Father was achieving this goal.

Another reason Christmas Eve is so special is—it’s my birthday! I used to love hearing my family tell small details about the Christmas that I came unexpectedly one month before I was due. My grandmother told me I was born ten minutes before midnight, barely missing Christmas day. My oldest sister said the doctor had to leave a Christmas Eve party and delivered me while he was still in his tuxedo. She asked, “Why do you have to do everything first class?” (o: My daddy and four older sisters went to my mother’s family to open gifts while Mother and I were in the hospital.

That brings me to another reason Christmas Eve is so extraordinary—the Christmas Eve I turned thirty-four years old, I left the hospital carrying my two-day-old infant daughter in my arms, thinking, “This is amazing. What a special gift for my birthday!” The whole world was doing Christmas that year, but my husband and I were enjoying a new baby.

Yes. Christmas Eve is a very special day for me, and Jesus makes it all deeper, richer, and more amazing than words can convey.

I hope this Christmas, that the Christ of that first Christmas lives in your heart and brings you joy, peace, and goodness.

Merry Christmas!

Karen

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Road Rage—Up Close & Personal

TrafficRoad Rage—Up Close & Personal … It was a mistake—I knew it when it happened. But it would save time. I had to change lanes or miss my turn. So I pulled in front of a fast-moving truck and turned the wheel to enter a parking lot, barely missing a collision.

The person blasted his horn, and a quick glance in my rearview mirror told me what I didn’t want to know—he had followed me into the parking lot. When I parked, the driver stopped directly behind my car, blocking the way out.

I stepped out of my vehicle to face a scowling young man in the driver’s seat with a couple of his buddies, all directing fury my way. He shouted, “What do you think you’re doing pulling in front of me like that?”  If rage could be charted, it would be in the red danger zone. My heart pounded in fear, and I was afraid it could turn violent.

Then I remember two lessons I had learned—one was from the Bible. “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Proverbs 15:1) The other teaching—“people like to hear a sincere apology.”

So I answered as sweetly and gently as I could, “I apologize. Will you forgive me?”

The response was gruff but positive, “I guess so.” And then he drove off.

Relief coursed through me—my heart slowly resumed its normal pace.

God’s Word and his lessons proved to be the answer against road rage, and wow, am I thankful. (o:

~ Karen Gaus ~

Karen Gaus, Author & Speaker

The Dog that Saves the Day

Rover The Dog that Saves the Day …

I’m a cat person. Dogs are okay, but I’ve always been a bit afraid of them. That is, all but one dog. He was special. We adopted him when I was eight years old. He was a stray who followed my three older sisters home from the city swimming pool in our small town of Bartlett, Texas.

My mom fed him the scraps from our table, and the poor thing was so hungry he would lick up tomatoes off the front porch.

I liked him from the beginning. He was ugly but docile and had a sweet personality. His brown fur had black strands mixed through his coat that looked like coarse horse’s hair.

Daddy called him “Rover.” Not a very original name, but we loved him. Humble, lazy Rover didn’t have a mean bone in his body.

One day, after we’d move to Clifton, Texas, my brother, a neighbor friend, and I were riding our scooters outside when two boys we had never met before approached us with three German shepherds walking beside them. The dogs looked lean and fit.

For some reason, the boys took an instant dislike to my brother, John, and one told him he was going to sic their dogs on him.

We froze, not sure what to do.

John stared at the boys but remain silent, looking small in comparison to the bullies the tension mounted.

One of the boys mumbled under his breath, “Attack.” One of the German shepherds started a slow, menacing walk toward John. The front dog bared his teeth, and a low growl came deep from his throat.

Clearly, the dogs intended to attack. What should we do?

It was then that I heard a dog’s low growl from behind me. Rover raced out from between John and me at top speed.

He charged the three dogs like he would fight to the death. His hair stuck up on his back, his teeth showed full force, and he growled like a ferocious mother bear protecting her cubs.

Rover was far from docile—he transformed from a mild-mannered mongrel into Super Dog. Amazing and fantastic.

The three other dogs knew Rover meant business, because they turned and ran the other way. Not far behind, the two bullies followed. Rover pursued them with all his might—I’d never seen him run that fast.

He chased them about half a block, than turned around and loped back to us. His fat belly swayed as he trotted. I never knew a dog could smile, but Rover was smiling broadly—he was so proud of himself, and we were thrilled.

I knelt down and let him run into my arms. I gave him a hug and kept telling him what a wonderful thing he’d done, and he seemed to understand.

Rover remained part of our family for many years and never lost his charm or intelligent insight into being a great friend to our whole family.

~ Karen Gaus ~

Here I am with Rover (right) and our neighbor's dog.

Here I am with Rover (right) and our neighbor’s dog when I was about ten years old. (o: