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‘... And on earth peace, good will toward men’

December 25, 2013
By MIKE MATHISON - Sports editor ( , The Herald-Star

"And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb." - Luke 2: 7-21

Merry Christmas!

I had the pleasure of seeing bunches of people I know on Christmas Eve morning.

I was shopping.

Not last minute, mind you.

It's when I do the majority of my Christmas shopping.

I enjoy it. I welcome it.

I have fun with it.

The great part about that morning is that I came away blessed after talking to everyone that morning.

I was encouraged.

Every person God put in my path was a blessing to me.

Have you been a blessing lately?

Have you missed any blessings lately?

"I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive." - Acts 20:35

How many blessings did Cal Ripken Jr. bestow when he played in every game from May 30, 1982 to Sept. 19, 1998?

Ripken played in over 8,000 consecutive innings from June 5, 1982 to Sept. 14, 1987.

How many blessings did he receive?

How many blessings have you missed when you called off of work, missed a practice or were late to a practice because you just didn't feel like getting up?

Did you miss being a blessing to someone because of those same reasons?

Brett Favre made 297 straight starts as an NFL quarterback.

You think he was 100 percent each morning he woke up on a game day?

He started every game from Sept. 27, 1992 to Dec. 5, 2010, and that includes 24 more playoff games for a streak of 321 games.

The shepherds "came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger."

Imagine if they were in today's world and left when they got around to it.

Imagine the blessings they would have missed?

But, they didn't.

They did as was told.

They were faithful in what was said to them by "the angel of the Lord."

"Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." - Matthew 5:3-11

There is no standing on the sidelines when it comes to life.

Failure is not a bad word and neither is adversity.

We must be persistent in what we believe.

We must be persistent in teaching our children that everything they do effects others.

We must be diligent in teaching our children the way of the wise men.

They didn't just turn the corner and find baby Jesus in the manger.

It took them years to find him.

Our kids must understand that hard work is not easy.

Hard work is the fiber of who we become.

If we are to influence, we should be a blessing.

Bless someone today.

Bless someome tomorrow.

Then, let them be a blessing.

"Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers." - Ephesians 4:29

But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

"Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud." - Proverbs 16:19

"A man's pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit." - Proverbs 29:23

(Mathison, a Weirton resident, is the sports editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and can be contacted at

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