The Daily Scroll

Christmas Day, along with all the preparations, activity, traditions, and gatherings are now in our rear view mirror. And what a wonderful time it was. Now let us take a moment. Think… Reflect… on the goodness of God and all He has done for us. He gave us a child, his only son, to take away our sins…forever. Wow!



The Christmas Stocking

Every year my family, like many families around the world, hangs stockings on our fireplace mantle, one for every member of the family. It’s a wonderful tradition that brings childhood memories flooding back. Though nobody knows precisely when the tradition began, it is said that originally, children would put out a regular sock or a shoe in hopes of receiving a gift from Saint Nicholas, or in some countries known as Father Christmas.

I remember my Grandfather saying that if we weren’t good we would get a lump of coal or an old piece of cornbread in our stocking. I had no use for a piece of coal but the consolation prize of cornbread never bothered me. I thought that as long as I could put it in a glass of milk, it would be just fine. Ha.

When I was a kid, the Christmas stocking was the only present we were allowed to open before our parents got up. So before dawn, my Brother Chris and I would get our stockings and crawl back in the bed. With only the glow from the streetlight beaming through our shared bedroom window, we would hurriedly empty the stocking of all its contents. Sifting through our new found treasure, we whispered to each other:

“I got a car.”
“I got hard candy.”
“I got a tangerine.”
“I got a set of Jaxs.” And so it went.

Eventually we tired and dosed back off to sleep, stockings in hand. Later we awoke to open the “real” presents. Stockings were all but forgotten as we ripped open our presents with Parental supervision and joy. Forgotten, that is, until next year when the Christmas stocking was the most important gift of early pre-dawn Christmas.

Even today as I hang the stocking for my family, precious memories flood back. Sadly, one stocking won’t be hanging on our mantle this year. It still remains with the others, carefully packed in our decorations box. Our family pet Buzzy, the most beautiful Collie I’ve ever seen, passed away after battling a long illness. Three times she was at death’s door and the Vet sent her home to die. Twice, our prayers were answered and God miraculously spared her life.

Even the Vet was amazed at her incredible recovery two times, several months apart. But on the third time, we had to finally release our good friend to the Lord.

With the passage of time, sorrow weakens and the joy of fond memories grows strong. As we hang our family stockings on the mantle with care, the one with Buzzy written in glitter brings a smile to our faces and warms our hearts, as we remember her and how we used to fill her stocking with chew toys, balls, and treats. Then we carefully place it back in the decorations box.

If you have lost a loved one, friend, or even a beloved pet, and are facing the Christmas season in grief, remember the good times, just for Christmas. Treasure the precious memories with an inner peace. Depend on the Lord Jesus, whose birth we celebrate, to fulfill His mission to you. The mission that this season proclaims, peace on earth, good will towards men.

“Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” (Luke 2:14 NLT)

Jesus gave us encouragement in the Bible where these words were recorded:

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NLT)

God loves you, and offers to you a spiritual Christmas stocking overflowing with love and peace. Merry Christmas Dear Reader!

Greetings Russia! / Привет россия! Privet rossiya!

IMG_0243To all our friends and companions of faith in Russia. Greetings in the name of our Father God, and His Son, Jesus Christ, author and finisher of our faith. The Lord would say to you…

“The bitter cold you face on the outside is not indicative of the warmth in your heart, my children. Your deep faith has served you well for you are ever on my mind. Like a bundle of sticks which are so important to bring about a fire in your hearth, so are a bundle of my words in your Bible which are so important to bring about a fire in your heart. Keep that fire, feed that fire. As you do, you will feel a greater warmth within. The warmth of my presence”

My friends, the Lord loves you so much. Cling to Him. – gene


IMG_0243Всем нашим друзьям и спутникам веры в России. Поздравления во имя нашего Отца Бога и Его Сына Иисуса Христа, автора и завершителя нашей веры. Господь скажет тебе …

«Горький холод, с которым вы сталкиваетесь снаружи, не свидетельствует о тепле в вашем сердце, дети мои. Твоя глубокая вера хорошо послужила тебе, потому что ты всегда в моих мыслях. Как пачка палочек, которые так важны, чтобы вызвать огонь в вашем сердце, так и пачка моих слов в вашей Библии, которые так важны, чтобы вызвать огонь в вашем сердце. Держи этот огонь, накорми этот огонь. Когда вы это сделаете, вы почувствуете большее тепло внутри. Тепло моего присутствия »

Друзья мои, Господь так сильно любит вас. Цепляйтесь за него – ген
Vsem nashim druz’yam i sputnikam very v Rossii. Pozdravleniya vo imya nashego Ottsa Boga i Yego Syna Iisusa Khrista, avtora i zavershitelya nashey very. Gospod’ skazhet tebe …

«Gor’kiy kholod, s kotorym vy stalkivayetes’ snaruzhi, ne svidetel’stvuyet o teple v vashem serdtse, deti moi. Tvoya glubokaya vera khorosho posluzhila tebe, potomu chto ty vsegda v moikh myslyakh. Kak pachka palochek, kotoryye tak vazhny, chtoby vyzvat’ ogon’ v vashem serdtse, tak i pachka moikh slov v vashey Biblii, kotoryye tak vazhny, chtoby vyzvat’ ogon’ v vashem serdtse. Derzhi etot ogon’, nakormi etot ogon’. Kogda vy eto sdelayete, vy pochuvstvuyete bol’sheye teplo vnutri. Teplo moyego prisutstviya »

Druz’ya moi, Gospod’ tak sil’no lyubit vas. Tseplyaytes’ za nego – gen





Greetings Andorra / Salutacions Andorra

IMG_0242“El que creu en mi, com ha dit l’Escriptura, tindrà corrents d’aigua viva que flueixen des de dins d’ell.” (Joan 7:38)

“The one who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, will have streams of living water flow from deep within him.” (John 7:38)

“Però la porta d’entrada a la vida és molt estreta i el camí és difícil, i només uns quants ho troben” (Mateu 7:14)

“But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.” (Matthew 7:14)

A tots els nostres amics i companys de fe d’Andorra. Salutacions en nom del nostre Pare Déu, i del seu Fill, Jesucrist, autor i finalitzador de la nostra fe. El Senyor et diria …

“Sento el vostre aïllament i, de vegades, la solitud. Malgrat això, entreteniu els molts desconeguts que visiten la vostra terra natal. La vostra hospitalitat és àmpliament coneguda. Durant els temps tranquils, confieu en que jo sóc la vostra font, la vostra veritable font per a totes les coses. . Reuneix la depressió als braços i dóna-ho tot. Jo la cuidaré i et portaré. ”

Que la vostra temporada d’ingressos et faci pròspera, i la seva gràcia i pau siguin sobre tu i sobre la teva. – gen


To all our friends and companions of faith in Andorra . Greetings in the name of our Father God, and His Son, Jesus Christ, author and finisher of our faith. The Lord would say to you…

“I feel your isolation, and sometimes loneliness. In spite of this, you entertain the many strangers who visit your homeland. Your hospitality is widely known. During the quiet times rely on me for I am your source, your true source for all things. Gather you depression into your arms and give it all to me. I will care for it and I will carry you.”

May your season of revenue make you prosperous, and may his grace and peace be upon you and yours. – gene

Greetings Ukraine /Вітаю Україну Vitayu Ukrayinu



Всім нашим друзям та сподвижникам віри в Україну. Вітаємо в ім’я Отця нашого Бога та Його Сина, Ісуса Христа, автора та завершальника нашої віри. Господь сказав би вам …
«Війна і брак стали вашими супутниками. Я бачу і розумію твою неприємність. Хоча ви боїтесь небезпеки для вашого фізичного тіла, знайте, що я з вами на кожному диханні, кожній тривозі та кожному зітханні. Посеред оточуючого вас світу, будь ласка, знайте про світ всередині вас, бо Моя присутність є там. Остерігайся ворога своєї душі, ворога, який намагається відділити тебе від моєї присутності. Це ваш найбільший ворог, злий, мета якого знищити вас на вічність. Перемагайте, бо це ваше первісне право ».

Я молю, щоб ваші дні були наповнені радістю, безпекою та любов’ю в ім’я Ісуса. Нехай його благодать і спокій буде на вас і на ваших. – ген
Vsim nashym druzyam ta spodvyzhnykam viry v Ukrayinu. Vitayemo v imʺya Ottsya nashoho Boha ta Yoho Syna, Isusa Khrysta, avtora ta zavershalʹnyka nashoyi viry. Hospodʹ skazav by vam …
«Viyna i brak staly vashymy suputnykamy. YA bachu i rozumiyu tvoyu nepryyemnistʹ. Khocha vy boyitesʹ nebezpeky dlya vashoho fizychnoho tila, znayte, shcho ya z vamy na kozhnomu dykhanni, kozhniy tryvozi ta kozhnomu zitkhanni. Posered otochuyuchoho vas svitu, budʹ laska, znayte pro svit vseredyni vas, bo Moya prysutnistʹ ye tam. Osterihaysya voroha svoyeyi dushi, voroha, yakyy namahayetʹsya viddilyty tebe vid moyeyi prysutnosti. Tse vash naybilʹshyy voroh, zlyy, meta yakoho znyshchyty vas na vichnistʹ. Peremahayte, bo tse vashe pervisne pravo ».

YA molyu, shchob vashi dni buly napovneni radistyu, bezpekoyu ta lyubovʺyu v imʺya Isusa. Nekhay yoho blahodatʹ i spokiy bude na vas i na vashykh. – hen


To all our friends and companions of faith in Ukraine. Greetings in the name of our Father God, and His Son, Jesus Christ, author and finisher of our faith. The Lord would say to you…
“War and lack has become your companion. I see and understand your distress. Though you fear danger to your physical body, know that I am with you in every breath, every anxiety, and every sigh. In the midst of the world around you, please be aware of the world within you, for My presence is there. Beware of the enemy of your soul, the enemy who tries to separate you from my presence. This is your greatest enemy, the evil one whose goal is to destroy you for eternity. Overcome, for this is your birthright.”

I pray for your days to be filled with joy, security, and love, in Jesus’ name. May his grace and peace be upon you and yours. – gene


Bonjour la France!


À tous nos amis et compagnons de foi en France. Salutations au nom de notre Père, Dieu et de son Fils, Jésus-Christ, auteur et finisseur de notre foi. Le Seigneur vous dirait.

“Tu es précieux. Votre esprit est précieux. Ton coeur est précieux. Ton esprit est précieux. Votre relation avec moi est précieuse. Vous êtes doux, délicat, tendre. Comme la toile d’une araignée, à la fois délicate et puissante. Comme une belle bulle. Je retiens mon souffle pour que vous ne vous dissolviez pas. Voilà comment tu es pour moi mon enfant. Vous tenir dans ma main, c’est comme tenir une perle rare et précieuse dont le seul but est de me donner de la joie dans sa beauté simple mais glorieuse. Tu es précieux.”

Laissez-nous travailler pendant que nous pouvons. Laissez-nous aimer pendant que nous pouvons. Adorons notre prochain roi. Que sa grâce et sa paix soient sur vous et les vôtres. – gène

To all our friends and companions of faith in France. Greetings in the name of our Father, God and His Son, Jesus Christ, author and finisher of our faith. The Lord would tell you. “You are precious. Your mind is precious. Your heart is precious. Your spirit is precious. Your relationship with me is precious. You are gentle, delicate, tender. Like the web of a spider, both delicate and powerful. Like a nice bubble. I hold my breath so that you do not dissolve. That’s how you are for me my child. Holding you in my hand is like holding a rare and precious pearl whose sole purpose is to give me joy in its simple but glorious beauty. You are precious. ” Let us work while we can. Let us love while we can. Let’s love our next king. May his grace and peace be upon you and yours. – gene

The True Image of Christmas


Picture it — an A-frame chalet in the hills above Gatlinburg Tennessee. Snow on the ground and trees covered in ice, making them look like glass. A roaring fire sets aglow the prefab fireplace in the left corner of the room. A huge glass wall offers a spectacular view of Main Street in Gatlinburg down below, completely lit with lights and splendid Christmas decorations. All surrounded by a forest of glass trees magically shining under a full moon.

The Christmas tree on the right side of the room is fully decorated with a red tablecloth wrapped around its base, just begging for the bevy of presents that are soon to come. This is the scene as I sit in my overstuffed chair, sipping hot apple cider from my Happy Holidays mug, reading my new Christmas novel by a favorite author.

The book is a pleasant read, filled with the atmosphere of Christmastime. The story unfolds about a young couple caught up in an adventure with life-changing circumstances. A new beginning, finding love and hope for the future, during the Christmas season.

An entertaining image … but what about Christmas?

As I sit reading, I listen to an Internet radio station playing Christmas music nonstop. I hear the familiar strains from artists of yesterday singing about stories of snowmen, a white Christmas, sleighs, and grandma having an accident with a reindeer. Again I wonder…

This is a pleasant and entertaining Image … but what about Christmas?

We decorate our homes, participate in Christmas traditions, but many times we find ourselves caught up in the image of Christmas. An image, although fun, has nothing to do with what Christmas is all about.

Picture this — in a cave being used as a barn, a young couple is having a baby without a mid-wife, much less a doctor. Not even a bed for the young mother to lay on while she gives birth. Only a scratchy pile of hay which her anxious husband hurriedly pushes together to form a makeshift bed, covered with his cloak, as his young wife squeezes his arm and grimaces, “Hurry! It’s coming! It’s coming! Hurry!”

We all know the stench of animals in a barn as representing a most unsanitary condition. Yet, this is the event for which people all around the world celebrate with glitter and candy canes. What this poor desperate young couple did have, though, was the blessing and protection of God Almighty as His son was brought into the world.

This wasn’t a pleasant or entertaining image … but this was Christmas.

The Bible teaches us:

“God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.” (1 John 4:9-10 NLT)

So, this year, as we watch our favorite Christmas movies, listen to our favorite beautiful Christmas music, and enjoy all the festivities that encapsulate our modern-day image of Christmas, remember that cave, used as a barn, where a poor young struggling mother brought forth the Son of God, the Savior of mankind, in the most difficult and unglamorous of situations. Remember how Father God helped them. And remember the true image of Christmas.

Copyright © 2019 Gene Markland, used by permission.