Judy Rachels: Christmas gifts (December 22, 2002)
...Judy Rachels: Christmas gifts (December 22, 2002)
has ministered with her
husband, T. Ray Rachels, for more than 35 years.She now serves as Women's Ministries director for the Southern California District, where her husband is superintendent.Judy recently spoke with Scott Harrup, associate editor, about the meaning of Christmas.
PE: What does Christmas mean to you as a believer?RACHELS
: God forever made it possible for me to be in His
came to my rescue as God
in the flesh.
PE: When did you discover that to be true in your life?RACHELS
: I grew up in a pastor's home, so it discovered me before I knew I had discovered it.
: We began as youth pastors.Probably one of the most blessed Christmases women know is their first one with their husbands.It was a very profound thought for me, that I was now a wife and that I stood on the edge of having a family and sharing with them those truths I had received, embraced and lived by.
PE: Was there ever a Christmas that brought you renewed hope during a dark time?RACHELS
: One of our children was really struggling.It was a difficult time for all of us.That year we received a gift from a lady who attended the first church we had pastored 15 years earlier.She
had given us modest gifts over the years, and this one came with a note that said, "I think you're going to like this one, Pastor."It was a cassette tape.When we played it, we discovered it was an old tape of Ray preaching in his
office.This lady had asked him to tape a sermon so she
could use it in hospitals and nursing homes.
: In 1945 my dad was in combat in the Philippines and we had gone weeks without hearing from him.Christmas came and my mother was the absolute picture of peace.She
would tell me the Christmas story at night and she
would say, "There's always hope.There's always peace.That is settled in our hearts and this is the day we celebrate that it can be settled."We believe that God
loved us so much that He
would take care of us, not only in this life but in the future.His
grace was born on Christmas.His
gift of peace was born that day.