Pundits cloud the issues

A true tragedy strikes and the political pundits want to turn it into a debate to get their agenda pushed through. The depth of the tragedy falls by the wayside and everyone starts to concentrate on, of course gun control. A subject the parents who lost children could care less about at that particular moment.
It’s a sad fact that many of the politicians who spout off about gun control, actually own guns or are protected by them. If the talk is not centered around gun control, then it’s the mental health issue. Neither of these address the real issue.
When I was in school, there were guns. In fact, guys even had their shotguns in plain sight in the back of their pickups. There have always been guns and the problem is not the guns. It’s society as a whole. It’s deteriorated and getting worse all the time.
Can we reverse the trend? I believe so but it will take lots of prayer, determination and a concerted effort to do what is necessary. Most people aren’t willing to do that because it is hard. It takes getting out of your comfort zone at times.
In case after case, you hear the perpetrator felt isolated, alone and that no one cared. Sure they may have been on medications or in counseling but they went through something before they got to that point.
Bullying has gotten out of hand in our society. Not just in our schools but everywhere. Adults even try to bully the teachers these days. Children aren’t taught what they need to be taught at home.
We need to talk to those people we see who look isolated or alone. We need to teach our children to reach out and talk to the kid no one else talks to at school. Social isolation is the breeding ground which leads to mental instability in many of these shooters. Social isolation is one of the worst things you can do to a person; it’s devastating.
It doesn’t help when you have students at the high school, I’ve even heard it happened locally, laugh about the shooting. An adult somewhere should have took them to task, called their parents and explained to them it was not a laughing matter and that human life is to be valued.
It’s time we actually took a step back from being anti-social using our phones as an excuse. We need to put down the phones, look around us, see those people who are lonely and engage them in conversation.
If we don’t start trying to change things and actually do something ourselves to help, then we are part of the problem.
I’m all for the second amendment and those rights given by it. You can’t argue with those who stand staunchly on gun control, so don’t try. Instead work on doing what you can to change the current situation, starting within your own family and community.
Statistics prove that you are more likely to fall to your death than get shot with a gun. Statistics run the gamut on homicides by guns and none of them agree, but it is lower than other homicides. Guns can’t shoot off by themselves without someone pulling the trigger. As startling as it might seem, while gun ownership has doubled — thank you to the gun control crazed — homicides with a gun have actually decreased. Fully automatic guns are another story altogether and at one time were illegal.
You can’t keep guns out of the hands of someone bent on doing evil. Drugs are a case in point. If someone is bent on doing them, they will find ways to, just as teenagers who intend to get beer though it’s illegal. Nothing or no one — government, law enforcement or otherwise — can stop someone who has purposed in their heart and are bent on killing. It’s a true fact that if you ban guns only criminals will have them. They always find a way to get them illegally. Murder is illegal but people are killed every day and not usually with a gun. If you don’t understand this or wish for a world without guns, then you just don’t understand violence or evil or the second amendment for that matter either.
Gun owners also need to be responsible. They should be trained with their gun and know how to use it responsibly. Schools should also have, and I don’t like saying this, but “active shooter” drills.
Gun free zones are actually enticing to someone wanting to commit a mass murder. That means they can kill without being stopped.
If you think about it, our laws do not generally allow us to deter crime. In fact, we can’t even keep violent criminals permanently off our streets. Non-violent drug offenders sometimes receive stiffer penalties than someone who rapes an underage girl and cuts off her arm as they can get paroled for good behavior.
Continuing to talk aimlessly about gun control or even mental illness, only clouds the real issue. Instead of enacting new laws, we need a shift in our attitude toward public violence and evil. Each of us should assume some responsibility for containing it. Be aware of people around you and on the look out for the lonely. Get on your knees and pray and teach your children to pray. We need to be praying for others and we need to be resolved to changing our attitudes. We owe it to our children and future generations.©2018

VICTORIA SIMMONS is an author, columnist, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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Queen of laughter goes home

Heaven is filled with even more laughter these days. Faye Jones went to her eternal home Saturday.
Ms. Faye, as most called her, was a bundle of laughter all the time. She lived right down the road from me. Before she had to sell her house and moved in with her daughter, I would frequently walk down to her house.
I could always count on a fresh cup of coffee no matter the time of day and would laugh until sore. I met her, of course, through the newspaper and at one time she wrote a column for the paper I published. Some days she would call and begin with “Boss Lady, do I have something to tell you.”
Though she didn’t like covering the government meetings she would do so from time to time if we were in a pinch. She could write feature stories and a column with the best of them.
Her columns were quite frequently about her handsome hubby, Doyle, who was a charmer himself. There was always some kind of dilemma Faye was getting into and Doyle having to help her out or her hoping he wouldn’t find out. Or he was getting into something and she was giving him a hard time about it.
She made the most humorous stories out of everyday things and situations. Laughter was a way of life for her and we should take her lead.
When I told Byron Chief Wesley Cannon about her death, I said there is probably much more laughter in heaven. He laughed of course and said Ms. Faye was probably leading the pack in that department. I’m sure he’s right.
The last few years were hard on her. She missed her friends she had made in Byron and most of all missed writing. Writing was not only therapy for her, it was a way of life.
She never seemed to meet a stranger and her home was always open when someone stopped by. You can be sure even if you just wanted to say hello, a few hours later you would realize you needed to go home before someone sent out a missing person report. Most everyone who knew her, loved her. What wasn’t there to love with her zest for life and laughter?
You just always felt at home and the laughter you shared, made you want to linger a while longer and enjoy the fun.
She edited a tabloid called Senior News for a long time and technology challenged her. I would get calls at different times, some even late at night. When her voice on the other end called my name with a question mark at the end, I knew she needed help. Stories would disappear from the computer, a photo wouldn’t load or she would need my help trying to rewrite a paragraph that just wouldn’t go together as she wanted.
Life with Faye, was certainly never dull. Going somewhere with her was a trip. Something crazy happened every time I decided to ride with her. On some of those times she begged me never to tell anyone. I never did, but we would laugh about it together. Some days I threatened to write a book about her adventures. I actually encouraged her to do so, or least with her columns. She kept saying one day she would get me to help her do just that but she’d probably have to change some names to protect the not-so innocent.
When she moved, I talked to her several times until her cell phone no longer worked and then could never seem to call at the right time. I kept saying I would try to pay her a visit but that day never came and now it is too late. That’s another lesson we need to learn – don’t wait before visiting someone you haven’t seen in a while. We aren’t promised tomorrow and we just never know when we will be called home.
Yes, heaven is certainly filled with more laughter with the queen of laughter, Faye there. She will be missed. Rest in peace, my friend.
Speaking of laughter, our four-legged child makes us laugh at least once a day. I keep saying she can’t get any more spoiled than she already is, but she always proves me wrong.
I call her a con artist. She has learned how to get more treats in the morning. She always gets one after coming back in from outside. Now she will walk outside on the deck, turn around, come back in and sit for her treat. She will eventually go out and stay a while. I always give in to that face and give her one and so does David. So, now, instead of getting one treat she gets up to three or more in the mornings.
Roxie doesn’t like change either and David has had a change in his work schedule. For the first week she was really confused and sat at the door waiting on him the whole time, going back and forth. She has finally settled down and realizes he will eventually be home but it took a couple of weeks.
Her newest thing is that she talks more. Especially if you don’t answer her the first time. She will continue. If I ignore her long enough, she will, we believe, say “maama”. At a recent bible study, she took a shine to one of the ladies and went on to have a long conversation with her. We aren’t sure what that was all about but everyone got a laugh out of it.
Laughter is good for the soul and does a body good. It’s also good for the heart. At a recent women’s heart luncheon they explained how good it was for you. Let’s all try to have more laughter in our lives. We’ll live a lot longer if we do.©2018

VICTORIA SIMMONS is an author, columnist, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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Human life devalued

Wow! Seems like each year goes faster than the previous one. Can’t believe we are already in February. I so appreciate all my friends who like cold weather and hope they can appreciate the fact I love warmer weather. I am so looking forward to it.
I’m ready to get back on the walking trail and  just can’t handle it when the wind is blowing, it’s raining or it’s below 48. I’ll admit I’m a wimp in that regard.
So much craziness going on in our world. Makes you want to become a hermit. It’s bad enough that so many people are dying from the flu, but we’ve got people killing other people all the time in our communities. Many times for no reason or for reasons that make no sense whatsoever. Human life has been devalued.
We have not yet reached the point that we are throwing humans into a crematorium like the Nazis thank God. But seems we are slipping closer toward it every day. Parents are killing their children by starving them or feeding them drugs or not caring for them at all.
People watch as other humans are gunned down, beat up and even raped and do nothing. The Bible tells us things like this will happen in the last days: brother against brother; sons and daughters against their parents. It’s all around us and is the result of generations of humans denying and forgetting God.
It almost seems as if our prosperity and desire for more, is causing us to strive for an ideal human population where the old, sick, disable and unwanted are often discarded like the trash. This is in many professions as well including the medical field.
I was recently told that in one workplace, the younger generation thinks anyone 40 or over should be dead and that they not only say that, they act like that toward the older person. The situation caused some to retire earlier than anticipated. The employer does nothing about it and therefore gives the appearance of being in support of the notion.
I am many years past 40 and am still a viable and productive person with many good years ahead of me. I do not intend to die until the good Lord calls me home at the time He has appointed for me. We compartmentalize atrocities and say they are, just as Nazi Germany did, that it is for the good of science; for the advancement of knowledge; for the benefit of society or for the good of national interest. And we take it as truth, many times without any questioning.
Thinking about the number of unborn babies which have been aborted is astounding. I can’t even fathom it, but it’s just another peg in the devaluation of human life. God knows us before we are born and indicates to me life begins at conception. Instead of embracing a child with a birth defect society would rather kill it before it is born.
Suicide rates are up and many people do not have any plans for the future and don’t see any reason for their existence. Young people watch society as we kill our unborn and elderly. Then they hear reports about gunfire being exchanged over a pair of tennis shoes or over a girl or boyfriend. Some grow up in homes where their parents waste their lives on alcohol and drugs and barely provide them with a roof over their heads.
Add in the fact of violent video games where characters are killed and then come back to life and TV shows where violence is the norm and you can see how and why human life is devalued today. Plus many schools teach idealism and other notions that suggest that humans are no more than just an afterthought or cosmic accident.
As humans we are more than just atoms. Humans were created in the image of God and humans, especially the younger ones, need this reinforced in their minds. Life itself is a gift from God. You see atheism not only denies the possibility of a relationship with God, but also denies the relationship between people and therefore is an affront to humans.
Life is short and gone before we know it. We are in need of revival across our land so we can return to God, the giver of life. It’s a gift that is priceless. When we value life, we do not want to take it from someone else. Everyone, no matter their status in life is valuable and God loves them all. No one is more valuable than another person.
Along with human life being devalued, values like integrity, virtue, honesty and respect also go by the wayside.
God created life to be valuable. If you ignore God and ignore His wisdom, the value of life drops. The Romans used to line roads with people on crosses and fed them to lions and watched them kill each other as sport. Christianity stopped this behavior by teaching the value of life.
If we value life, we should stand for the value of life in our church, our politics, our entertainment, our business, and our family. We should be the light of the world and the salt of the earth as God tells us. We should impact the world by changing lives.
A move back to valuing life has to begin at home and then reinforced in our churches and our schools. If we want to change our culture, it has to start with each of us. What are you willing to do?©2018

VICTORIA SIMMONS is an author, columnist, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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Insensible, nonsense

Some things just do not make sense to me at all.
I recently was deleted on FB by someone who said I was too upbeat all the time and they didn’t want to be encouraged every day!! I’m not kidding folks. I didn’t know her that well anyway so no big deal but I it is just more insensible nonsense.
People who know me understand why I try to be encouraging and strive to be upbeat and people who love me, appreciate that fact and I am blessed with many of them.
Believe it not I do have some pet peeves though. One being people on FB who have an answer for everything. Also people who think they have to comment on everything that is posted. Listen up, that’s not necessary and the world will survive if you don’t comment.
I don’t like the negativity and there seems to be too much of these days. We have made a travesty out of freedom of speech. You see with freedom comes responsibility and part of that responsibility is keeping your mouth shut when you don’t have to say anything. I guess it’s something you have to practice and learn but most people don’t want to take that kind of time.
Common sense is dead. Died when people decided to open their mouths when it is unnecessary and quit taking responsibility for their actions and what comes out of their mouths.
Other pet peeves include compassionless folks who leave their animals outside in the cold. If you’re cold, they are too and I don’t want to hear how their fur protects them. I also don’t understand how people can get a pet and then take it back or drop it off somewhere. That is just irresponsible and it seems to be on the rise.
Worse yet, how can you chain one of your children and not feed them or feed them drugs? I don’t get it. Crazy world we live in.
FB has made it possible for discussion pages. I’m sure someone somewhere thought it a good idea and it could have been but most of these pages have taken a wrong turn somewhere. People spout off about things they know nothing about instead of going straight to the source of the problem and trying to find out an answer or a solution. Therefore, these pages become places for whiners not real discussions.
Add in that some people become agitated and make cruel comments if someone disagrees with their statements.
Case in point, the recent flag issue at the high school. Everyone was going off the deep end on one of those pages, before they even know the whole story. People are still going off the deep end because they don’t want to accept the truth. To top it off, a media outlet (not us) didn’t report the whole thing accurately. That just added fuel to the fire. We ran a story  and we crossed our t’s and dotted our i’s. If you still don’t agree or don’t like it, then try and at least consult with the powers that be before jumping off the deep end and continuing to complain.
Our first reaction has become to get offended or get mad before we even know what’s going on. It’s affected the whole country. Some people live for this and unfortunately, FB has given those an avenue to use. It creates division and hatred. I’m against any kind of hatred. Hatred destroys you from the inside out.
We don’t always have to be heard if there isn’t really any cause for us to say anything. We beat a dead horse as my dad used to say, to death. We keep on repeating the untruth or harping on something until it permeates all of society and before you know it, the drama has spread, everyone is jumping on board and there is not a truth of evidence to be found in any of it.
That’s what’s happening in our own government in Washington. Democrats want to shut the government down because they don’t agree with immigration proposals for those illegally in our country. I don’t see them as expendable but I also do not understand why they won’t go through legal channels or don’t apply to become a citizen especially after being here years and years. Used to be you could hold a dual citizenship without giving up their heritage if that’s the problem, but I believe that has changed.
Some do pay taxes but there are many who do not. I’m not for deporting the children born here either but illegal is illegal and that’s why we have laws against it. I believe the United States should come first and its citizens. It’s kind of our right as a citizen. You can bet they can’t go to other countries and receive some of the benefits they get here. I realize immigrants founded our country, but it’s a different world now and we are not only overpopulating areas, we are destroying natural resources and we need to take a step back.
Should they have the same rights as citizens. I vote no and believe instead of working to become legal, which I understand can be tedious but worth it if you really want to be in the U.S., they take the easier way. I also feel they should be fighting to make their own country better instead of just up and leaving. That’s what U.S. citizens strive for every day.
There are many heart-wrenching stories out there and I do have compassion. However, I believe in following the law and illegal is still illegal in my book. I certainly don’t believe our military and over government workers should suffer because some in congress are not getting their way on immigration law. In reality that’s what it comes down to because most of them really don’t care about the immigrants. They just use them as pawns in a chess game to benefit themselves. ©2018

VICTORIA SIMMONS is an author, columnist, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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Seeking warmer climate

What a difference a year makes. This time last year, it was in the 70’s. This week it’s in the low 20’s on some days. It’s a good thing they changed global warming to climate change. Fact of the matter is the climate is always changing and the weather experts are not in charge of the weather, God is.
I’m not a cold weather person. I only like to look at snow for about a day or two and then I’m ready for it to be gone. I feel like I’m suffocating if I have to put on too many clothes to keep warm. I don’t like wearing heavy coats, scarves and hats. I also don’t like being cold so you see that puts me in a pickle when the temperature dips.

You will find me snug and warm inside by the fireplace when not working during extremely cold weather.  Our fur baby is not too keen on the cold either. She gets under the covers to get warm and loves to lie on the couch in the living room near the fireplace. In fact, she will stay there until the fire finally dies out, long after we’ve gone to bed.
David was home with her for awhile after his company closed and before starting a new job and she got too used to it. Roxie doesn’t like change. When things went back to normal, she acted a little depressed, moping around after he left for work.
Like me, I’m sure she’ll be glad when warmer weather arrives so we can get back on the walking trail. I just can’t do it when it’s so cold. If my feet ever get cold, I’m done for because it takes forever for me to thaw out.
The cold is a good thing though, like it or not. Peach trees need a certain number of cold hours and they should definitely get enough this year. It also helps to kill the mosquitoes and other pesky insects.
With extreme cold weather comes health hazards like frostbite, seasonal affective disorder and even an increased risk of heart attacks. However, cold weather also burns calories which is always a good thing in my book.
It can also bring you closer to your sweethearts as you snuggle up to keep warm. Some scientists say it reduces inflammation. That’s the reason you put ice on a sprain. We also don’t have to deal with pollen in the winter.
While it seems more people are sick during the winter time, colds and flu are not caused by the cold weather but once contracted, both are happier in the cold weather. They are caused by viral infections which are caught from other people. During winter, we tend to stay indoors in a smaller space so if we are around more people in closer quarters, chances of catching something is greater.
Personally, I’m into essential oils and have found they do work in helping ward off colds and other sickness if you use them in time. I also use them in a diffuser next to my bed at night to help me sleep better. My hubby always gets a bad cold at the end of the year but did not this year and I attribute that to my use of essential oils. Plus if he says he feels like he’s getting sick, we start upping the vitamin C and if congestion starts in your chest, I start making mullein tea. It seems to knock out the congestion right away. At least that’s been my experience but please remember I’m not a doctor, though I would like to study holistic medicine further.
I do not understand why they urge people to get flu shots and then say it is ineffective on this year’s strain of flu. I do understand there are different strains and they just guess which one will be prevalent when they are working on the vaccine. To that point, I guess it would make sense.
I never take the shot, as the only time I did take it, I had a really bad case of the flu and have not had it since that time. I am opposed to some of the ingredients in the shot as well as having the powers that be push it on me. You can’t go to the doctor without them asking you about taking it and now even the drug stores are pushing it as well.
They usually contain mercury, which is a heavy metal that is hazardous to humans. It can not only cause memory loss, digestive imbalances, respiratory problems but also cardiovascular diseases. Some evidence suggests the flu shots are responsible for some cases of Alzheimer’s disease. The shots can be more dangerous than the flu in some cases. Of course, it’s an individual choice and I choose not to get one. There is a reason dentists no longer use mercury fillings.
I do not trust the CDC or any other agency to tell me I should take a vaccine. They have a financial interest in immunizations just as Big Pharma has an interest in seeing that you take various pills continuously.
We should take our health seriously and know what we are taking and if there is a better way we should seek that way.  Seems to me they should spend more money of educating the public on how to avoid getting the flu than pushing flu shots. But that’s just me.
And if I pay for insurance, I feel I should be able to decide if I want to go to an alternative doctor or a regular doctor. But, unfortunately, we are not allowed that choice. As long as Big Pharma is in control, that will never be a choice. It’s something that should be changed. Not buying into the bull they tell us is a start. ©2018

VICTORIA SIMMONS is an author, columnist, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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New year, new attitude

Here we are on the third day of 2018! Doesn’t really seem possible but it’s the truth. Personally, I’m full of hope and anticipation for a year full of God’s blessings.
Take the lessons learned from the previous year, move forward and forget the rest.
As the year ended, I was asked to officiate a wedding. I didn’t know the couple but time spent on the phone in conversation and then in person counseling gave me what I needed to know and that yes, they were indeed in love. It’s my desire to personalize my ceremonies and always ask God to guide me, so I needed to know some things about each of them.  I also counsel with them before marrying them.
It is sometimes hard to counsel older couples, as at our age, we tend to think we know everything and there are no new tricks to learn. That is so not true, because you should always be learning. If not, then you have become stagnant. That means you cease to move, cease to develop, become inactive or dull. None of which is a good thing.
Sometimes we have become stagnant and don’t even realize it. Becoming stagnant means you start to decay. So growing and continuing to learn is a way to avoid stagnation.
One area in particular we allow to stagnate is our relationships. We allow negative people, fake people and complaining people to bring us down which leads to stagnation in the relationship. One of my goals this year is less drama. With a lot of prayer, I have come a long way in this area. God has removed many of the people who are all about the “drama”. Some of those people were drowning in drama and if you continue hanging with them on a regular basis, you will end up drowning with them.
Unnecessary drama brings stress and other ailments into your life. Something none of us need. I don’t believe there is a way to totally eliminate all drama because sooner or later, we all have an encounter with someone who is overly dramatic. But, we can lesson that exposure to toxic people in our lives but it takes work.
Recently, someone who called themself a “friend” deleted me from Facebook. Usually our first reaction is to feel hurt because it is like a rejection. This time my first reaction was to be glad because that meant, no more of the drama from her. So, no hurt feelings. Just a praise dance! It’s all in how you look at it and I have been working on looking at things differently.
You see sometimes we attract that drama because of our reactions to toxic people or we can even create it ourselves. So, I’m focusing on my reactions. Life is way too short to let the little things become big things.
We all need encouragement and positive, upbeat people in our lives. So, this year I will be spending more time in those relationships that are that way and provide laughter, calmness, happiness and help me grow in my relationship with the Lord.
Poor communication can cause drama as well so I am trying to be more direct and open. If something comes up and I develop an issue with someone, I try to go straight to them and talk it out. It’s not easy and not everyone appreciates such directness, but I feel much better afterward. Participating in drama, just feeds it, so nipping it in the bud is an accomplishment and helps prevent stagnation.
To overcome any stagnate areas in your life, you first have to identify them. Social media and our cell phones attribute to stagnation because they keep us from doing other things and from remaining in motion. You need to unchain yourself from both which in today’s society is easier said than done. Start out with small doses of doing without and work up to longer times. It can be accomplished. Determine to remain in motion.
Being grateful for life and realizing how short it is helps keep me grounded and to overcome stagnation. Helping someone else in need or just offering a word of encouragement to someone who is down, also helps. If we focus on other people, we are not focusing on ourselves.
Trying new things and re-examining and establishing your dreams are enemies of stagnation.
Knowing that everyone has a point in their life where they feel stagnate or that they are in a rut, also helps because you realize you are not alone and that it is normal.
Get off the couch, put your phone down and unplug if you don’t want to stagnate. Up your prayer life. Have a conversation with God about everything in your life. He cares about the little things as well as the big things. Determine every day to be grateful and to keep moving forward. Tell God that’s what you want to do and He will help you accomplish that feat.
So as we are now in the new year, is it time for you to adjust your attitude? Ring in the new attitude of encouragement, hope and peace. Get your attitude right by putting God first. Get rid of those things which drag you down and the negative thinking. You’ll be much happier when you do. Blessings to you each this year.©2018

VICTORIA SIMMONS is an author, columnist, motivational speaker, minister, copy writer/editor and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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Lessons from the manger

Most nativity scenes we see around our communities, are incorrect, not only because they depict wise men but mainly because they are always neat and pure looking. We want to depict it as heavenly. That way we can keep God at a distance. We don’t want to imagine anything at all like a real manger the night Jesus was born. It wasn’t comfortable, clean, warm or brightly lit and you certainly couldn’t describe it as heavenly.
Not the birthing place most mothers envision. A manger is a place where they feed animals. Shepherds often took shelter out in the fields, in a stable, usually a cave which would keep off the rain and wind. But they didn’t live there and their wives didn’t give birth in such places, even though shepherds were treated as outcasts because they were poorest of the poor.
Jesus was not born in a manger because there was no room in the inn. Every detail of Jesus birth had been planned. Even the manger.
A manger is cold; a damp cold that chills you right to your bones. Probably made of stone. The only heat would be from the body heat of the animals when they came in to feed and when they breathed.
Not only is it cold, but a manger is dark, but most of all a manger is just dirty. Full of mud, manure, dust and cobwebs and it smells like must and mold. As the animals eat the feed they slobber and drool. In the summer there are flies and other insects so there is no such thing as a clean or even hygienic manger. Fact of the matter is Jesus was born in a place that was cold, dark and dirty.
When we realize the truth of a manger, we might ask why then would our savior be born in such a place. Really, every time Jesus comes into our lives, He is born in a manger because the human heart is much like the manger before Christ, cold, dark and dirty. We only become clean when Jesus comes into our hearts with forgiveness, mercy and grace.
So what can we learn from the manger?
1. We learn Christ’s humanity – the angel said “You will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. A baby, a human. He came into the world just as each of us do. He had been a fetus, sleeping in his mother’s womb. He had two eyebrows, elbows, two kidneys and a spleen. Yes, His conception was a miracle but His physical birth was normal as it could be given the circumstances.
Christ being born as a baby brings us face to face with the truth of the incarnation. He was fully and truly God but took on true humanity when He was conceived in Mary’s womb and born in Bethlehem. He was not half God and half man, but fully God and fully man. God entered human history in order to provide for our salvation. What we could not do, He did for us through His son. If He had not been born, He could not have died for our sins nor risen from the dead. He had to become like us in order to save us. So God chose to send Him as a baby.
2. A baby is helpless when they are first born. From the manger we learn about His helplessness – being wrapped in swaddling cloths. When Jesus was born, newborn babies were wrapped in strips of cloth to protect them from the harsh elements. Usually mothers would wrap the arms and legs separately, then wrap the torso until the baby looked something like an Egyptian mummy. As a mother, this seems a little cruel. There was very little medical care then and babies routinely died before their first birthday so the mothers were doing all they knew to do to provide protection for their child.
His being bound in swaddling clothes, reminds us when years later, He would stand before the Jewish authorities, bound and guarded as if He were a common criminal. It is no coincidence that He entered the world as He left it – bound and helpless.
He was bound that we might be set free. But Christmas is not about the Savior’s infancy; it is about His deity.
3. We learn about His humility – Lying in a manger. We can’t really fathom what it means for God to be born in a manger. I have already emphasized how cold, dark and dirty the manger was. But is there perhaps a hint of His upcoming death to be found here. I think so. Even in the feeding trough, He was bearing the only cross a baby can bear – extreme poverty and the contempt and indifference of mankind.
There was nothing superhuman about Him. If you and I had been there we would not have taken notice of it, just concluded this was a baby born to a poor young couple down on their luck.
Not a very likely beginning for a movement that would change the world. But because He was born in a manger, He was humble and accessible. When He died He was buried in a borrowed grave, a cave similar to the one where He was born. He was always accessible. Had He been born in a castle He would have been an exclusive savior. But the manger birth made Him savior to everyone.
Part of Christmas involves giving gifts. Big gifts often come in small packages. Jesus, coming as a baby, would be considered a small package. Looking at the birth of Jesus, God went to great lengths to make sure this gift to the world looked small. But the gift of this small baby made a big point: God is capable of more than we can imagine and can make the best out of any situation.
A small gift can become a big gift because of its meaning; because of a need and because it’s free.
A small gift, does not mean a cheap gift, as it cost Christ everything.
We are all invited to the manger.

So what will you bring to the manger. The circle around it is wide, infinite. Will you bring riches, your glad, full and joyous hearts like the shepherds? Will you take your brokenness, or sadness, your failures and let Jesus hold them in His hands? The circle around the manger is where sins are forgiven and life starts over again. But what if you have none of this to bring? You can simply come as you are. You can worship. From the manger we can take the message of God’s love to all whose hearts need to know the message that will crack their sinful hearts. God accepts everyone from a shepherd to a wise man and He doesn’t care about our merits or achievements. He doesn’t need our help, but He does want our heart. Won’t you come to the manger? (NOTE: Condensed from a God-given sermon with same title I delivered a couple of years ago.)©2017

VICTORIA SIMMONS is an author, columnist, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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