‘When the angels had left them and gone into heaven’

While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

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 that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.

But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.

— Luke 2:6-21

Merry Christmas!

Imagine that night.

Nothing but good news.

And, it spread throughout the land.

Life is about getting the fastball when you were clearning thinking change-up.

Life is about turning left or right, then making a U-turn when you realize it was the wrong decision.

The question then is simple — how soon do you make the U-turn, if at all?

Life is about getting disqualified and the response.

It’s about facing adversity with head held high and eyes open.

Life is about being completely overwhelmed with college, but, somehow making it through and being all the better for it.

It is about facing death with dignity and a smile.

Can you imagine being there that night?

They went with haste.

There are a lot of people who have no idea what that is today (and, in certain areas, I am one of them).

They didn’t miss a blessing.

And, the one thing about a blessing — it grows, it continues.

When we are blessed, we bless others.

It’s the other circle of life.

“Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered. The people curse him who holds back grain, but a blessing is on the head of him who sells it.” — Proverbs 11:25-26

“The person who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the person who sows generously will also reap generously.” — 2Corinthians 9:6

“A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.” — Jackie Robinson

Our responsibility is to be a positive influence on others and allow them to do the same.

The mission field is where you are.

It’s your steps, your countenance, your attitude, your voice, your words — all things we choose every day.

The mission field is the missteps and corrections.

Our life is a series of decisions that not only have a direct bearing on what we do, but also how people react.

I don’t understand being in a bad mood.

I get there at times, but I choose not to dwell in that place.

Not always easy, but it’s a decision.

It’s like that guy who used to walk into my pro shop when I was a golf pro and I knew the next five minutes was nothing but negativity.

I would much rather see the club champion, the guy who never complained.

But, that’s how we learn.

I know not everone likes what I write.

If that were the case, then I wouldn’t be doing my job.

I am thankful that you are reading this.

I hope I make you think.

I hope I teach.

I hope I help.

“Never permit a dichotomy to rule your life, a dichotomy in which you hate what you do so you can have pleasure in your spare time. Look for a situation in which your work will give you as much happiness as your spare time.” — Pablo Picasso

Being in a bad mood is exhausting.

It draining on not only you, but others around you — those you love and those you don’t always like.

I remember a veteran PGA professional once told me that everyone walks into a pro shop in a good mood because they are about to play golf and that, to them, is not work.

He said my job was to enhance their good mood by the time they walk out of the pro shop and to the first tee.

Not always easy, but not everything is.

That’s the cool thing about life.

We all go through trials and tribulations and we have people in our lives who have no problem being there every step of the way.

Remeber the saying — “If you’re not here during the hard times, don’t expect to be around during the great times.”

“I tell my kids and I tell proteges, always have humility when you create and grace when you succeed, because it’s not about you. You are a terminal for a higher power. As soon as you accept that, you can do it forever.” — Quincy Jones

Life is about those smiles on Christmas morning and understanding those smiles are what drives us.

A smile brightens a day, a moment.

A smile allows us a quick respite from real life.

A smile can make a statement to others.

I understand we cannot smile 24/7 and I understand that not everything that goes on during our lives means it’s time to smile, but, under normal circumstances, smiles bring warmth to others and we do not know what that warmth will do to their hearts.

When we think of people, rarely do we think of people who pull us down.

We think of those people who edify and lift us up.

I think of my grandmother far more than I think of my dad (and they were mom and son).

I do not remember a lot of great times with my father.

That’s what alcoholism will do to a relationship.

I remember many great times at my grandmother’s house — including picking apricots, teaching her how to use an answering machine and seeing the sign in her kitchen that said, “This isn’t Burger King. If you want it your way, you fix it.”

My goal was to be a better father a thousand times over to my wonderful daughter and son than my father was to me.

And, I sincerely hope my children are a thousand times better parent than I.

“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;” — James 1:2

ALL and WHEN.

That tells you all you need to know about facing trials and tribulations.

It will happen.

How do we react?

(Mathison, a Weirton resident, is sports editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times. He can be contacted at mmathison@heraldstaronline.com and followed on Twitter @HSDTsports)

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