Blogs by Larry D Matthews
My Christmas Message For 2014
12/27/2014 9:54:55 AM
Every Year I send a Christmas message to all our employees and staff. Here is the message I sent this year.
MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE
I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday. Just wanted to let every one know how much we have appreciated all the help and support we have received from you all this year. Our office will be closed between Christmas and New Years for a well earned rest. 2014 was a challenging year and change seems to be the norm in all of our work and lives these days. I spend many hours trying to be one step ahead of our competition and ever increasing bureaucracy from government and the many associations we belong to. Not to mention the demands and requests of many customers. In my opinion the key to success is to always try and keep our customers first through it all. What is best for the customer is always best for us in the long run.
Having said that we can't work for free. We all have the challenge of managing our cash flow and keeping the bills paid. Don't let those demands take away the spirit of Christmas. We are blessed in this country and we need to remember that. Even when we complain we are blessed to have the freedom to do that. Christmas is a time to count our blessings and spend quality time with those we love. It is also a time to reflect and plan for the coming year. How we live and deal with life has mostly to do with our own attitude and outlook on life. Let us all plan to make 2015 a year to remember by being positive by looking forward and not back. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift and that is why it is called THE PRESENT. That is my message to you today. Enjoy the present this Christmas and confront the mystery of tomorrow with enthusiasm and optimism. By doing that you will have a positive impact on all of your tomorrows. There is so much in life we don't control but we can control our own minds and how we deal with those problems in life we all share.
Many people think I'm a strong person and successful. I am not one of those people. I think I am only lucky and so blessed by the One whose birthday we are about to celebrate. He blesses me everyday with a family that loves me. Customers who support me and those of you who respect me. I only hope and pray He continues to give me the strength to not let anyone down. Our minds rule our thoughts but our hearts rule our emotions. I have learned that the only way to connect the two together is faith. With out that connection the two are at odds with thoughts pulling us one way and our hearts pulling us another way. You all know I never preach or try to force my beliefs on anyone but I would be lost without my faith. As we approach Christmas I would like to tell you a few things I have learned about Christ that you might not hear in Church. First of all I don't remember reading in the bible where He went to church. He simply said "Where two or more of you meet in my name I will be there also." He judged no one he said "Judge not lest you be judged." He also said "He of you without sin throw the first stone." He also usually went some where alone to pray. He surrounded himself with every day people fishermen, carpenters and mostly poor folk. He healed the sick and fed the poor. He had no money and depended mainly on the charity of others for his own food and shelter. He was a carpenter's son whose wife was chosen by God to conceive Him. You see when you hear mention of the Trinity that refers to God the Father, Christ the Son of God and the Holy Spirit. They are all actually one and the same. God was actually Christ born in the flesh and became one of us. The Holy Spirit is God's spirit that resides in all our hearts. That belief that God exists. That guilt that you feel when you do something wrong. You see God loves us all that is why he came here and died for our sins. Christ's resurrection was God's proof to us that He does have power over life and death. That there is life after death and our soul is immortal. Christ was clear on one important thing. "Not by you're works are you known." What that means is all the good deeds in the world will not give immortality or get you into Heaven. Heaven is a place as Christ described it prepared for us beyond our imagination. We can only achieve this wondrous gift through belief in Him as our Saviour. Now you could say that doesn't make sense. No not to us but "The wisdom of man is foolishness to the Lord." Today we have only begun (through technology) to discover how little we know and discover how much we have to learn. We have only scratched the surface when it comes to knowledge. How can we be sure Christ even rose from the dead ?
Here is how I know. You have all heard the term "Doubting Thomas" usually describing someone who doesn't believe something. The term has been around for some 2030 years. Thomas was one of Christ's disciples. When he heard stories of Christ's resurrection he said as most of us would "When I can stick my fingers in his wounds I will believe He has risen from the dead." Now when the Romans came to get Christ there was a bit of a scuffle to protect Him but Christ stepped in and said he would go willingly because He knew His time had come. His disciples swore allegiance to Him but He told Paul that Paul would deny him three times before the rooster crowed.(The morning) That night while the Romans beat and tortured Christ the disciples were recognized as Christ supporters but denied knowing Him three separate times for fear of their own lives. Although they supported Him they weren't prepared to die for Him. Christ was then crucified and died on the cross. They drove spikes through His Hands and feet and a solider stuck a spear in His side to ease the bloating on his death. Now contrary to what we see today Christ on a cross with a few people present there were actually thousands of people who witnessed his death and the dark sky and thunder. When He rose from the dead at Easter He visited the Disciples and Thomas actually was given the opportunity to place His fingers in His wounds. Here it is from the Bible
John 20:24-29New International Version (NIV)
Jesus Appears to Thomas
24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus[a]), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
So you ask what happened to Thomas?
He spent the rest of his life preaching for Christ.
Finally, Thomas travels to the east coast of India, preaching relentlessly. He is killed near Mylapore about 72 AD, near present-day Madras. Tradition tells us that he is thrown into a pit, then pierced through with a spear thrown by a Brahmin.
He who had so fervently proclaimed his unbelief carried the Christian message of love and forgiveness to the ends of the earth in his generation.
That is what convinced me personally that Christ and the story of Christ in the bible is real. None of these disciples would risk their lives for Christ before the resurrection but once He rose from the dead and proved to them He was who He said He was they all committed their lives to Him and many willingly died for Him.
Well folks that's my message for this Christmas and now you know why I have my faith and perhaps give you a little more insight as to why Christmas is so important and all about Love and Family. I do pray for you all and be sure God does love you all. You may think He doesn't from time to time but think of it this way. None of us are perfect and all of us are sinners. Just think of someone you love. Would you want any harm to come to them no matter what mistake they made. Of course not. That is how it is with God. We are His children made in His imagine. He loves us unconditionally. So much so He came here and suffered and died on the cross for us. Just so we could have immortality and be with Him forever. Now that you know !! When something bad happens blame the devil. I promise you it's not God. In closing whether you are a believer or not (I judge not) You do have to admit it is a wonderful storey and probably the greatest story ever written.
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND GOD BLESS
More Blogs by Larry D Matthews
My Christmas Message For 2014 - Saturday, December 27, 2014
Our newest employee - Sunday, March 21, 2010
The Path To Success - Monday, April 09, 2007
THE FAMILY - Thursday, November 17, 2005
Weekend on the shore - Monday, November 07, 2005