Saturday, December 20


“For a child has been born to us, a son has been given to us. He shoulders responsibility and is called: Extraordinary Strategist, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His dominion will be vast and he will bring immeasurable prosperity. He will rule on David's throne and over David's kingdom, establishing it and strengthening it by promoting justice and fairness, from this time forward and forevermore. The LORD's intense devotion to his people will accomplish this.” (Isaiah 9:6-7 NET.)

I have been thinking of a way to express anew the miracle and the impact of the birth that we celebrate as Christians this 25th of December as Jesus Christ’s birthday. That God, in so much love, would cause a virgin to be pregnant with the very begotten Son to be born of woman, yet still fully God, is an event that still astounds me to this day.

I have spent a sleepless night; the trials and tribulations of this ending year have reached another milestone of heaviness and sorrow, for me….the person who is struggling to be a good steward of their finances, a good father, and a godly man. With all the strides I have made in the last few months by the blessings and encouragement of others, it seems impossibly unfair that a ‘random’ event that I had no way to avoid and no reason to suspect it’s coming would bring me right back to square one and the potential loss of every gain I have made.

It seems that I have been born to live on the cutting edge of impending doom and gloom. And yet, I am seizing hold of that promised peace and joy.

This Wednesday past, we were blanketed with a little taste of winter. About three to five inches of snow covered the ground as I departed my humble little apartment, as I have done since we moved here in September, from the little village of Holly enroute to my work in Allen Park, about an hour and fifteen minute journey. Not three miles from my home, I saw the headlights of a car that had slid off the road into a yard.

As I slowed down to see if the driver was in need of assistance, my car was rocked and lifted a few inches off the ground. I stopped a few feet further and retraced my route. Lying off to the side, now, was a large landscaping rock which had been apparently thrown into the roadway by the car that was now idling on the banked lawn of a home. I discovered another rock, which I had apparently missed and put both of them well off the road so that another vehicle wouldn’t hit them as I had. Checking with the driver, and getting a “I’m okay”, I got back into my vehicle and said a quick prayer of thanks that the driver was okay, that my car seemed to be okay, and that I hadn’t had worse happen that just a little ‘scare’ thrown my way.

The car seemed to be okay and drove normally all the way to work. When I got to my job, I checked it over quickly and didn’t see anything out of the ordinary. I drove home that night and to work the following day without any issues. I had indeed been blessed.

The blessings that have abound in my life since the life-altering events that had destroyed the world I once knew; the separation and impending divorce from my wife, the failure of one vehicle, the engine destruction of its replacement, the financial stresses and worries, the decision to let my daughter stay with her birth mother –separating the two children because of the impact the havoc of having to move twice since the separation, my son’s sorrow and increasing special needs, and the self-destruction of the industry that my job is a part of (automotive) that seemed to make more real the yearly worry of not having a job come the new year…….throughout these sorrowful and painful events, God showed through the working of His servants that He had me, my children, my ex-wife, and all the futures of each in the palm of His hand.

Facing the impossibility of moving; no money, no car, the inability to stay where I was, no prospect for a place to move to and no reason to suspect any of that would change, I prayed and asked my brothers and sisters in Christ to pray also. A woman travelled to my work, giving me a card filled with 10 $100 bills, which gave me enough to buy the car that I mentioned, because the owner accepted my request that he take a substantial cut in his asking price. A sister in Christ, who in the past gave me the funds to attend the IFOC Chaplaincy program, sent $200 dollars to help. The scrap yard who gave me just enough for the vehicle with the blown engine, $300.00, and a brother who gave me another $400.00 and helped me load the trailer with all my possessions. All these blessings worked, along with God giving me a landlord who would rent to me, the ability to move my son and I to Holly to a two bedroom apartment of fairly decent accommodations. God showed in a powerful and impacting way that I was His child through the blessings of others.

A brother heard of my need for clothing for my son and a group went out and purchased new clothes for him (telling me that they were used, hand-me downs from his son until I picked them up and discovered otherwise). Another brother, who two years ago I attending a life-changing event called a men’s story weekend through the Awakened Hearts ministry and I hadn’t seen since, blessed me with a month’s worth of rent for December.

As I have written my blog, and the time grew closer to the celebration of Christmas; I have spoken of these blessings and my learning to be blessed by the blessings of God through the work of others. I was not worried about presents under the tree for myself, because the presents had been given already… of my biggest beefs of the “Christmas season” is that we act differently at this time of year when Christ would rather have us bless others with the feelings, the gifts, and the fellowship common to this season the entire year……and I was happy to focus on the true meaning of the season celebration; the beginning of the redemption of mankind and the prophesied coming of the Messiah.

Coming home from work Thursday, it seemed the remark from a brother came into reality. He said, after an event that seemed random and impossible, said that I was the unluckiest person he knew. I started my travel home from my job and about a half-hour into it, my car started acting like it was in trouble. Grinding came from the transmission and then went away. I could shift and stop with no problem and the clutch seemed to work without issue, so I continued home. When I got there, the grinding was back.

I decided, with the impending winter storm that was to dump 7-10 inches on the ground and this problem, that I would take Friday off of work and take the car to the shop to have the transmission checked. I prayed for guidance and for mercy in this problem and contently went to sleep that night feeling assured that all would work out.

The following morning, with school cancelled for a snow day, my son and I went out to go to the repair shop two miles from home to have the car looked at. A quarter mile into the journey, the car bucked and stopped. It wouldn’t move and I was smack dab in the middle of a busy street….in a snow storm….

A friend came and pushed me out of the road, where I had a tow truck sent by the officers of the Holly Police who stopped to render assistance. We travelled to the repair facility and arranged to have the car looked at. Me and my son went home, helped dig out our neighbor on the ground floor and settled in to spend some time together.

I sent a prayer request out to the campus pastor and lead pastor of my new church, The River, here in Holly and cooked dinner for me and my son….well, my son cooked with a nervous father standing over him….. I answered the offer of a breakfast fellowship with a brother in Christ in the ministry called M3 and spent the day with my son………

And then I got the call from the repair facility. It would take 1780, minimum, to fix my vehicle because the rock that I had hit on Wednesday had hit the exposed transmission case and cracked it. All the fluid had leaked out over the next day and the clutch was ‘smoked’. If, once they got into the repair, there were other parts needed the price would, of course, go up. I have exactly $0 for such a repair.

It has been a depressing yesterday for me, sick with a coming cold and stressed about how I am going to keep a job that I don’t have the ability to get to anymore; the loss of at least three unpaid days because I could work Friday and will miss both Monday and Tuesday before the layoff for the end of the year takes effect. I have spent the night tossing and turning, praying and pondering, and have felt the need to write down this prayer request to send to those faithful and powerful warriors of our Almighty Lord, Savior, and King who’s birth we gather on the 25th of December to celebrate with family, friends, and our brethren of the faith.
Because of the actions of my son, Casey. Because of the words of wisdom that he spoke with compassion and defying belief yesterday as I worried and fretted about this dilemma.

“Don’t worry, Daddy, Jesus will save us.”

I told him that, while Jesus would help us in this situation, the outcome may be different from our expectations. But I realized in the dawning of this new day, that God had already given me the assurance once more that He does indeed have me and my son, my daughter and all of us firmly within the plan of His salvation for all of His fallen and broken children. Whatever the outcome of this latest crisis in the life of His servant; whether I am homeless, jobless, carless……I am indeed saved.

I send this to you, my brothers and sisters in Christ, to speak what God has spoken to my heart this day……….

In the coming week, we gather together with loved ones, serve our less fortunate brethren in various ways, fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ or reach out to those in need; and celebrate the birth of a baby that was wrapped in swaddling clothing, proclaimed through the heavenly sound of an angelic host, and witnessed by the lowly shepherds as he lay in a manager amidst the sounds of the livestock he displaced; amidst the discarded wrapping paper and the joyful sounds of our loved ones reflecting upon the heartfelt gifts we have given them…..let us remember the reason we gather, whose birthday we honor and remember. Despite the economic worries, the president-elect’s promised agenda, and the daily struggle that all of us, not just me, face; losing homes, jobs, livelihoods.

Because God gave us His only Begotten Son, who became flesh for the salvation of all mankind…..through the human experience of birth, life and death……and because this Son of God, this King, and this Messiah will come again to permanently establish the Kingdom of His Father upon the renewed creation with the sons and daughters redeemed by His blood.

Please pray this day that God will move in His way; no only in my life, but the lives of your neighbors, family, and friends. That His hand will be felt in an undeniable way to those who still don’t know Him and the reason we celebrate Christmas. That He will renew within those who know Him the joyful powerful impact and blessing that came in the form of a baby boy to the Virgin Mary and her husband Joseph in a little town of Bethlehem…

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty King, Messiah…….

“You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God; or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon; or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.” C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

I would ask the faithful to lift those in need, not only me and this need, up to the Almighty, that His blessing in this moment will not just impact me but bring into realization for those who need it of the love, mercy, and joy that He holds for those who will just partake of the salvation gift born on this Christmas day so long ago.

I pray that the coming celebration of the birth of our Savior is renewed within each of us; a child in swaddling clothing, of poor beginnings, who was the One who would save the world through His sacrifice upon the Cross of wood. I pray that each and every one of us facing the uncertain future of manmade designs would find the peace that comes from the assurance that our future is written in the Book of Life, and our names will be called by the Savior at the time of His Father’s choosing. I pray for peaceful fellowship, blessed relationship, and a joyful gathering on Christmas Day.

Thank you, my brothers and sisters in Christ.

In joyful proclamation of the birth of our Savior,

Jim Hutson

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