First and foremost I wanted to wish all of my visitors and readers a very Merry Christmas and thank you for making this such a wonderful year. And now I wanted to share something uniquely personal to me that occurred to me 17 years ago today.
It was Christmas Eve and I had gone over to my girlfriends house to celebrate with her family and open presents from her family. They are a wonderful Christian family and had always been so welcoming of me. I needed to head back to my parents house and my girlfriend handed me a gift as I was heading out. I opened it quickly and found a leather bound Bible with my name in it. I had never actually owned a Bible before and was very thankful for the gift even though I wasn’t sure what I was going to actually do with it. I said goodnight and went back home.
When I got home my oldest brother was there and was staying with us for Christmas. He asked me what I got for Christmas and I showed him the Bible. In his classic way he said “You got her diamond earrings and all she gave you was a Bible?” To back up a bit in the story, I had purchased my girlfriend a pair of diamond earrings at a local jewelry store that were greatly discounted. At the time I believe I paid $150 for them and they had the brilliance of a piece of slate but I was proud of them and was going to give them to her on Christmas Day. Okay back to Christmas Eve. My brother’s comment made me so angry, and I don’t even know why. I had been hardened to his comments early on in life but this one hurt. So I took my Bible went into the living room by the Christmas tree and began to read. That night I read for about 2 hours and worked my way through the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Later that night I asked Jesus to come into my heart and cleanse my sins. That’s what I had been missing and what hurt so bad, a very real and personal God was waiting for me and in a very special way used my brother to help me see that.
I don’t want to highlight my brother as some big jerk, he’s a good man and loves the Lord himself it’s just funny how people in your life can you help you without them even knowing it. I had a particularly dark year before this Christmas. The previous year I started my freshman year in college at the University of Washington and for a kid who always tried to do the right thing I really “enjoyed” the college life if you know what I mean. What I couldn’t figure out was that the more I partied the bigger the hole grew inside me. Frankly I have never been lonelier in my life as I was that year at a big school trying to live the college experience. But all it took was one night sitting by the Christmas tree to change everything.
I don’t normally associate myself as a Christian Personal Finance blogger like some of my good friends Matt at Debt Free Adventure, Peter at Bible Money Matters, Bob at Christian Personal Finance, Jason at Redeeming Riches and so many others. But because it’s Christmas, and this so defines the person that I am thought I would be remiss to not share with you my story. Merry Christmas to you and I want to leave you with this passage from Luke 2:8-11 from the New International Version:
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.