It is that time of the year...CHRISTMAS!  My absolute favorite time for recalling all the years I have been blessed by the gathering of love ones, my church family, and friends.  

Growing up I always enjoyed the celebration of Christmas over family meals and presents.  There are two memories that I am very fond of in my life.

The first memory is at grandma's house outside of Stewardson, IL.  Grandpa had passed away when I was very young.  We would arrive at that old farm house that sat on 80 acres of land in the country.  Often there would be snow on the ground. She had no running water and the old outhouse is another subject for another time.  When you walked through the door there it was...the smell of homemade cookies just calling your name.  Grandma was the best at baking Christmas cookies and homemade cinnamon rolls.  No wonder I am a diabetic.  When it came to present time we would go into grandma's living room.  A place I would seldom go when I visited.  There in the living room was grandma's little ceramic Christmas tree with little lights on it.  We would gather around the small table the tree sat on and could not hardly wait to have our name called.  It was the same gift every year...underwear, but it came from grandma.  No greater gift than the gift grandma would give to us every year.

My second fond memory is my dad reading the Christmas story.  He often read the story as if he were right there.  I listen to him and his voice as he read not once, but several times over the season.  Being a pastor he had the opportunity to read the story more than once throughout the season.  I still can hear his voice.  Every time he read the story he read it as if it was his first time. 

So Christmas for me is so much more than gifts and parties.  Christmas is about the fond memories I carry and about making new memories. 

This year will be different for us.  Diana, mom, and I will travel to Rome to be with Allison.  We will be there making memories for each of us to cherish and pass on to our present  family and the family to come.

Take time to recall those fond memories and to make new memories this year.  Start a new tradition for the family.  Most of all take time to remember that a Savior was born for you and I.  The greatest reason for the season. 

I am a the senior pastor at The Searcy Church of the Nazarene (26yrs), chaplain for the Searcy Police Dept.(19yrs), Married to Diana Beaty. We have two great kids (Allison...presently living in OKC, OK and teaching at SNU and Bryan...presently in college at SNU and youth pastor, working toward ordination) and I love them a bunch. I grew up in Mt. Vernon, IL and Tuscaloosa, AL. I am a major ALABAMA fan...Roll Tide!

Randall Beaty

Senior Pastor

Words of Encouragements