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Wednesday, Apr. 23, 2014

"Keeping Christmas"

Posted Thursday, December 23, 2010, at 7:09 AM

Click on the following link and read my special message to you:

I recently came across a great Christmas piece by Henry VanDyke (no relation to Dick VanDyke of television comedy fame).

VanDyke, a Presbyterian minister, an author and an educator, wrote the Christmas hymn "Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee" as well as a sermon titled "Keeping Christmas".

In his message Van Dyke says there is something better than just observing Christmas.

He calls it "keeping Christmas."

The words are powerful and touched my heart as we approach this special Christian holiday. There's a message here that needs to be read daily and meshed in your personality and approach to life.

I wanted to share a portion of his message with our readers as my Christmas gift to each one of you.

I thank you for your faithful reading throughout the year and hope some of our words have touched you, inspired you, made you laugh and made you think.

Please do your part to "Keep Christmas" in your life, your family and your community.

VanDyke wrote:

"Are you willing to forget what you have done for other people, and to remember what other people have done for you; to ignore what the world owes you, and to think what you owe the world; to put your rights in the background, and your duties in the middle distance, and your chances to do a little more than your duty in the foreground; to see that your fellow-men are just as real as you are, and try to look behind their faces to their hearts, hungry for joy; to own that probably the only good reason for your own existence is not what you are going to get out of life, but what you are going to give to life; to close your book of complaints against the management of the universe, and look around for a place to where you can sow a few seeds of happiness--are you willing to do these things even for a day?

Then you can keep Christmas.

Are you willing to stoop down and consider the needs and the desires of little children; to remember the weakness and loneliness of other people who are growing old; to stop asking how much your friends love you, and ask yourself whether you love them enough; to bear in mind the things that other people have to bear on their hearts; to try to understand what those who live in the same house with you really want, without waiting for them to tell you; to trim your lamp so that it will give more light and less smoke, and to carry it in front so that your shadow will fall behind you; to make a grave for your ugly thoughts, and a garden for your kindly feelings, with the gate open - - are you will to do these things even for a day?

Then you can keep Christmas.

Are you willing to believe that love is the strongest thing in the world - - stronger than hate, stronger than evil, stronger than death - - and that the blessed life which began in Bethlehem nineteen hundred years ago is the image and brightness of the Eternal Love?

Then you can keep Christmas.

And if you keep it for a day, why not always?

But you can never keep it alone."

May God richly bless you, protect you and keep you during this Christmas season and in the New Year.

There is much more to this season than Santa Claus and gifts.

Please "Keep Christmas" in your hearts and your actions.

Nick is assistant editor for the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached by telephone at 847-4487 or 1-800-947-4487; by e-mail at schneider.nick@gmail.com or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php...

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Thanks Nick, I believe we all need a reminder in .these hecktic times. I will make it my New Years promise to "Keep Christmas". Happy New Year all.

-- Posted by Freedom Lover on Mon, Dec 27, 2010, at 6:00 AM

Very true and well said what a wonderful country we live in. We are a truly blessed nation I know I am truly blessed. The story makes me stop and think do I do enough fo those who are less fortunate. All I can say is I try wish I could do even more, lets keep Christmas.God bless you and yours this season and all year long

-- Posted by willard on Thu, Dec 23, 2010, at 10:40 AM

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