Sometimes we don’t realize the impact we have on others.  We all have memories tied with the Holidays. Most times those memories are a blessing, but some bring back pain. I would encourage us to make a commitment this holiday season to make a difference, be a blessing because we are blessed. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

I remember reading the story written by Patricia Cornwall as she relates a Christmas memory from her childhood. She has become an award-winning American novelist and all because someone touched her life. 


Patricia Cornwell writes;


              The Christmas of my ninth year, it had been snowing for three weeks in the mountains of North Carolina, where my mother was struggling alone to care for two brothers, age 6 and 10, and me. We had lived in the tiny town of Montreat only two years and although my father did send money, it wasn’t much, and my mother was under tremendous pressure and constantly worried about paying bills. Finally, the stress, relentless weather and the holidays spiraled her downward into a black depression. For us, Christmas was the anniversary of when my father left. We were frightened and lonely.


              Our car was stuck in the snow at the bottom of a hill; we ran out of heating oil and food, and in despair, my mother walked us three kids up the steep, snowy road in front of our house, headed to the top of the ridge where Ruth and Billy Graham lived. We did not know them. As providence would have it, the Graham’s caretaker was coming down the mountain in a Jeep, plowing the roads for the neighbors, and he stopped when he saw us, quite aware that there was something odd about this young woman walking with her three children up the mountain. 


“Where are you going?” he asked my mother


“To see the Grahams.”


He knew the Grahams were not expecting us and didn’t know us, for that matter. But he piled us into the Jeep and drove us up to the top of the ridge, where the world-famous evangelist and his family lived. I can still feel the cold metal floor of the back of the Jeep and the smell of the spare tire as I wondered what in the world was going to happen to us. Then the house, built of century-old split logs appeared from behind the trees, smoke rising from the chimney, and Ruth appeared on the porch as if she was waiting for us all her life, and we were welcomed and fed spaghetti. I remember Ruth was dressed in a long gray skirt, a shawl wrapped around her, and was struck by her beauty and incredible warmth.


She took these complete strangers into her living room, where a huge fire was burning on the hearth. My mother handed her a note that said she was giving Jim, John and me to the Grahams so we could be raised in their kingdom. Within hours my mother was checked into the hospital, where she stayed for three or four months. We couldn’t stay with the Grahams, but they went about finding us a foster home. 


As I grew up in Montreat, I would see Ruth from time to time, she was always kind to me. It wasn’t until I was 19 and dropped out of college that she and I became friends…. She began to bring me back to life… She told me I was special…She encouraged my writing and told me I was talented. If any single person in this world made a difference in my life, she did.


As I look back on those painful, but miraculous days, I am amazed by what has happened to me since. I am blessed… What I believe is most powerful is touching a single life, instead of believing that you are ineffective unless you heal the masses. If everyone would reach out to the hurting person right before their eyes, the world would change, because if you make a difference in even one life, you have changed that persons world, and in the process, your own. Leave the world better than you found it.


I am thankful for Patricia’s sharing because it tells us the rest of the story. It encourages us to give others hope. A couple things came to mind as I read.  


When people are faced with dire circumstances in life they should know that they can turn to Christians to find mercy, compassion and grace. Too many times Christians are viewed as judgmental and condemning.  We should be as attractive as Jesus was. The people flocked to Jesus to experience his mercy, compassion and grace. Are we as attractive as Jesus?


I also thought about how big the world’s problems can seem. We shouldn’t look at the enormity of the world’s problems and be overwhelmed. Instead let us look at the individual lives we come in contact with each day. The most effective ministry is done one on one, person to person. Each one of us is a minister of the Gospel. Look around; find a life that needs Christ’s love and commit to make a difference in that life.


Part of the passage we will explore in our Winter Bible Study comes to mind;



Romans 12:9-18; NLT; Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.


Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!


Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.


We can change eternity when we reach out and touch one life. Please consider reaching out to someone today.


Until next time, remember God loves you and Jesus is Lord over Auto Racing! God Bless. Remember, that your prayerful support and donations helps us continue this ministry. Thank You.