I had the best time putting our card together this year. It really is a labor of love and truly brings me joy to sit on my favorite spot on the couch with my favorite movies playing, drinking coffee and creating something. Maybe next year I'll design some for other people, too!
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Family and friends –
May this letter meet you with joy in your heart and the spirit of the season sitting well within your soul. We5Kings have been met with many blessings this year – too many to count. Good health, a warm home, working vehicles (it was touch and go there for a while), food on our table and love in our hearts. Yes, the Lord continues to bless us more than we deserve and I could write forever on all the merriment we get to partake in throughout the year. But this year, I am going to break away from our usual play by play of events, I’m not going to highlight our year and tell the story of We5Kings; instead, I am listening to Him and He’s asking me to do something a little bit different. Let me begin with another story… a parable actually. Months ago when I felt like the world could just not handle many more dark moments and I could not for the life of me understand what was happening around me, He laid The Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) on my heart. It states...
25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” 27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” 28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live." 29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ 36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” 37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
It's so simple but yet we find it so hard to follow. Love your neighbor as yourself. It's what we've been taught since we were tiny humans. Love thy neighbor. Love - it's rampant in the bible - from beginning to end.
1 Corinthians 13… “The greatest of these is LOVE.”
1 John 4:19: We love because He first loved us.
1 John 3:18 says, “Dear Children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
With actions. And in truth. Love. Love others as He loves us. Unconditionally. Unequivocally. Unquestionably.
And let me be clear – I am not trying to say that I do this so well. When I think about all the things I do to give Him a reason not to love me, I lose count. I can’t possibly track all the things I do wrong – I fail on a daily basis. But He loves me still the same. And all He is asking is for us to love in return. In our actions. In our words. He’s asking for us to be His hands and feet. He's not saying agree. He's not saying be the same. He's just asking us to love.
Just like that Good Samaritan. So this season, let’s give each other the gift of love. Of showing mercy. Of being kind and courageous even when we are filled with fear. Let’s all be a Good Samaritan this season and beyond. Let’s all “go and do likewise”… that could be buying the meal for the person behind you, biting your tongue at someone else’s cross words, or giving grace even if it isn’t “deserved”. Because, none of us “deserve” it – His grace. And yet He gives it to us every single day.
So let’s do likewise. Let’s cast a net as big as the moon and wrap this world, our world in His love.
Merry Christmas and Happiest New Year to each of you.
Ryan, Katy, Radley, Emersyn and Landry