It was Christmas night. 1776.
It was winter and visions of sugar plums most likely danced in their weary heads as they longed for the warmth of hearth and home far away. Many were in shredded clothes, and most without shoes in the midst of a winter gale of rain, sleet, ice and snow. The secret orders called for the men to muster near the river at midnight. The crossing, that would take all night, awaited them.
They did not sleep. Fishermen, now soldiers, rowed back and forth all night long, in silence, ferrying soldiers to the other side. Awaiting them would be a nine mile march over frozen roads. But in the end. They were victorious.
Shock & Awe ’76 Style
A surprise attack by this surly bunch on the thoroughbred Hessian army (who slept soundly due to having celebrated Christmas late into the night) led to a spectacular victory at Trenton, New Jersey, the following morning. Those were indeed times, as Thomas Paine would write, that ‘try men’s souls’.”
It is very difficult to imagine any man, let alone those soldiers committing body and mind to the utmost in those excruciatingly cold and exhausting conditions. What would possess those men to press on rather than run or retreat? Perhaps something deep in their souls. Maybe an amazing trust in, and loyalty to, their leader or, their acute awareness of the immense task they had undertaken for a new country. Committed to the end. With God’s blessing. They turned pain into purpose and they conquered.
On this Christmas night, may we all pause and remember. I would bet, too, that those men had our Lord on their minds that night. And their hearts and bodies found strength in the prayers they breathed as they rowed or wondered how they could endure that next painful step. They knew their families were gathered around trees at home and in the morning would head off to church in celebration. The Spirit of Christ and Christmas was surely with them then, and that same Spirit is with us this season.
Whatever river you may need to cross in the days ahead, know that He is with you today and He will be with you tomorrow. You and I can and will endure. Thanks to His blessing, His Providence and the strength He sends our way. May we cross over and into victory.
We’ll send my latest blog to your inbox. Just sign up here!December 23rd, 2014 by stephanie
Words from a saint…or so, they say…
There’s a passage from the Apostle Paul (known as Saint Paul to some) that is so poignant for this time of year. Whether 2014 was a banner year for you, or perhaps more of a challenge, the Scriptures teach us to keep moving forward.
That’s such a healthy mindset.
When you talk to people who have “overcome” you ask them how they did it and they will tell you, “I just put one foot in front of the other. I kept moving forward.”
For those of you experiencing difficult times during this holiday season, may I offer you this piece of advice that fell my way this year: millimeter shifts.
Just like the concept of compounding interest…if you simply make minor adjustments and movements, and keep going, you’ll be able to turn around at some point, and realize the progress you have made. Not only that, the view may quite surprise you.
Embrace the journey my friend. And see you on the other side…2015!
Here’s to what has been, is, and what is to come.
Just my thoughts,
We’ll send my latest blog to your inbox. Just sign up here!December 21st, 2014 by stephanie
Today, we light the 4th and final candle in the wreathe. But not the very last candle of Advent.
The season of Anticipation is just about to hit a high note as the lonely candle is lit. It’s apparently known as the angels‘ candle, symboliing the angelic proclamation of joy at Christ’s birth .
So what about that other candle I mentioned?
There’s one more candle we can add and light together after this Sunday. Yes, a fifth candle. Let me tell you about it.
Just so you know, there are a variety of ways to celebrate advent and the tradition of the wreath. You may not celebrate the same way as your neighbor, but don’t let that throw you.
If you missed this tradition during the last few weeks, do this:
It’s hard to believe that it’s almost here! The culmination of everything we’ve been looking forward to— together. And I can tell you, it’s been very special to share my annual tradition with YOU.
So, here’s to what has been, is, and is to come.
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