Joh 15:12 “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Joh 17:26 “And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”
            I have just got back from a Celebration of Life for Dorothy Ellison. She was a lifelong friend of our family. She was a teacher at my Alma Mater Dora High School for over thirty years. Her son James was my first friend in the First Grade and in Sunday School. She had been honored as one of the top ten teachers in the United States by a national magazine at one time during her illustrious career. Most of all she was greatly admired and loved by all of her students.

            At her service today I saw people that she had influenced that had become very successful in life. Some were pharmacist’s, attorney’s, school teachers, and many that were serving Jesus Christ in some way in a local congregation somewhere.

            In high school I was not a very serious student. I took Physics under Mrs. Ellison and was glad that I was able to get through her class with a C average. Today on the way down to the Sumiton – Dora area from Hamilton I was thinking about her being my teacher in high school and also about her being my Sunday School Teacher when I was a little boy. Through no fault of hers I honestly don’t remember a whole lot of what I learned in Physics. Perhaps it is in my mind somewhere and I just don’t realize when some of what I learned there is being applied in my life. On the other hand I do remember her being one of the teachers that taught me these word to a song when I was a little boy “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.”

            Here at Christ Community Fellowship we have been praying for the prodigals to come home for Christmas. I remember what it was like being a prodigal away from Christ and the church at Christmas time. I remember lonely nights on Christmas Eve. I remember riding home late at night and on the secular radio stations the disc jockey would stop for at least one song and play Silent Night. I glad that Jesus loves us enough to send us messages like that when we are out in the far country. I am glad that I had also learned that song from Mrs. Ellison and the women at Sumiton United Methodist Church when I was a child. The Holy Spirit would use that to call me back home out of the far country.

            I remember when J.J. and I started going back to church. Mrs. Ellison asked me one day if I would be willing to take up the offering that following Sunday. At that time I was still bartending and I told her that I just didn’t feel worthy to do that. She encouraged me to go ahead and to do it. I think that I did. For me that was probably a small step on my journey to committing my life to Jesus Christ. The Bible tells us in Zechariah 4:10 Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.” Perhaps you are reading this and there is someone that the Father wants you to encourage in a graceful way as Mrs. Ellison did me. Or you may be out there and you know that something is really missing in your life. Do you know what it is? It is the love of Jesus Christ. In a couple of weeks the trees will be taken down. The presents will be unwrapped ,but you can rejoice in having an eternal relationship with the Son of God. If you have one already I encourage you to look back and give thanks for the people that God has used in your life in so many ways to help you to experience a born again relationship with Jesus Christ. Yes, Jesus loves us this we know, because the Bible tells us so.
Let Us Pray
Lord Jesus we thank you today for saints that You have used to help us to come to a saving relationship with You. We are thankful for everyway that You have used them. Today lord we pray for not just for the prodigals to come home, but for us to be instruments of God’s grace in helping them to get home.

In Jesus Name

Merry Christmas 365 to you!

Your Friend/Kinfolk


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