Patience | Guy L. Pace

Patience

Patience is a virtue. Supposedly. Well, I guess. It always brings me back to the old printed poster we saw in the “head shops” of the early 1970’s.

Sacrifice

Sacrifice

Sacrifice | Guy L. PaceThis is the day we celebrate and commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ. It is a unique event in that the birth also heralded the sacrifice. The story of the Savior’s birth fills the airwaves with songs and music at Christmastime.

But, why does it also herald the sacrifice?

The wise men of the east, described in the second chapter of Matthew (New King James Version), “opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.” These men knew of the prophecy regarding the Messiah.

Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14 NKJV

But why did they bring gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh?

Gold

Gold, of course, is a gift for royalty–especially in the time depicted in the New Testament. They gave a gift appropriate to a new king. Joseph and Mary were not rich, so the gift of gold for their child would be a very large blessing. Chances are, it made their escape from Herod and into Egypt–and their later return to Nazareth–feasible.

Frankincense

A resin from hardy Boswellia plants native to Yemen and Somalia, frankincense became the consecrated incense used in the Jewish temples. Described in Malachi 1:11, frankincense is a pure offering to God and a symbol of holiness and righteousness.

Myrrh

Like frankincense, myrrh is another resin extracted from tough thorny plants from India, Arabia, and tropical Africa, and used for perfumes, medicines, and incense. Hebrews used myrrh to consecrate temples, and as an anointing oil. In the case of Jesus, after his crucifixion, Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea wrapped the body in “strips of linen” soaked with aloe and myrrh.

Knowing the prophecy, the wise men knew the infant Jesus would one day be that final, perfect sacrifice for all of us. These  gifts reflected that knowledge.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16 (NKJV)

Understanding God’s love–so great a love–is difficult for many of us. Where does it come from? Why? So many of us have trouble wrapping our brain cells around the concept. This is a paradox, because we have many examples of sacrificial behavior modeled for us throughout our history.

Anyone who serves in the military or as first responders (fire, police, aid) model the behavior of sacrifice all too often. Read the citations for Medal of Honor recipients or walk through Arlington National Cemetery (see image above). You’ll get an idea of the kind of love and devotion held in the hearts of people willing to serve and sacrifice for their fellows.

Now, look to God. Try to imagine the vast love it would take to sacrifice His son, a part of Himself, for us. In all this vast universe that He created, on this tiny planet circling a star in a solar system on the outer fringes of one of millions of galaxies–so totally insignificant in the scale of things–and He has this powerful love for us.

Mind boggling.

Keep the faith.

Keep writing.

 

It’s Christmas

It’s Christmas

Christmas | Guy L. PaceThis is our second Christmas in our new (to us) house. We got lights up, a new tree, and some other decorations. And of course, we shopped. It’s a good year in many respects. Sad in others.

After Thanksgiving, and just into December, we had one daughter visiting with her kids when the doorbell rang. It was a family of carolers who were caroling in support of a ministry for Philippine relief. They sang three or four songs and we gave them a donation.

But that started the season for us in a good, heartfelt way. Christmas has always been special for me. The family was always together during the holidays, it seemed. This made my first Christmas away from home, stationed on the USS Newport News (CA-148), difficult. I called home from a phone booth near the pier on Christmas Eve. Norfolk, Virginia, was cold, wet, and dark. Not the white Christmas I grew up with. It was lonely and most of my shipmates were gone for the holidays. I was too new, no leave built up, and got to stand watches in the quiet dark days.

Even though I wasn’t deployed at the time, it felt like it. It was a different time in the U.S. in the 1970s and few expressed compassion for service members away from home on the holidays.

Today, we deploy more than 300,000 service members outside the U.S. Almost a million serve on active duty in our own country. Many of those can’t join their families during this Christmas season. We often deploy our service members to inhospitable, downright scary places.

During this season, please try to remember those serving and deployed. A prayer, a card, a call can mean a lot to someone far from home, especially for the first time.

Merry Christmas.

Keep writing.

 

Countdown Sale #2

Nasty Leftovers | Guy L. PaceNasty Leftovers e-book version goes on Countdown Sale on Amazon Friday, Dec. 8, 2017, until Monday, Dec, 11, 2017.

This means that the book starts at $0.99 for 36 hours, then goes to $1.99 for 36 hours, then goes back up to the regular retail price. This is leading up to Christmas and the release of Carolina Dawn (release date still TBA).

Keep in mind that all my books are on Kindle Unlimited. This means that if you are an Amazon Prime customer, you can read them for free.

Tell you friends and family.

Keep reading.

Keep writing.

Countdown Sale #1

Sudden Mission | Guy L. PaceSudden Mission e-book version goes on Countdown Sale on Amazon Monday, Dec. 4, 2017, until Thursday, Dec, 7, 2017.

This means that the book starts at $0.99 for 36 hours, then goes to $1.99 for 36 hours, then goes back up to the regular retail price. This is leading up to Christmas and the release of Carolina Dawn (release date still TBA).

Keep in mind that all my books are on Kindle Unlimited. This means that if you are an Amazon Prime customer, you can read them for free.

Tell your friends and family.

Keep reading.

Keep writing.