Merry Christmas

from Michael Lanning

As I sit in this cell tonight and as I listen to the silence of the night, I praise our Lord for all that you have shared with me throughout this year. Your letters of friendship, encouragement, and connection into your life have been very precious to me. What wonderful gifts He has blessed us with. Each day that passes, brings us closer for our Lordís arrival to take His people home.

My family and friends, I have no gifts to send this special season. In this cell there is no Christmas tree, no fancy lights, and not gifts under its branches. We cannot even adorn the cell with the many cheerful cards and pictures received. Yet with these special words from my heart to yours. For all of you have been in my thoughts and my prayers throughout this year. So tonight as this special day comes to an end, I would like to share my heartís Christmas tree with you.

We all remember what a wonderful Creator we have. For I know He has really blessed all His people with the most precious Christmas tree that there could ever be. Close your eyes and picture this special tree our Lord has prepared for each of His people. Upon this special tree are many Branches. They are filled with thousands upon thousands of lights that always shine, and under the Branches are many gifts for all His people. This Christmas tree is the Tree of Life.

We all must see with our hearts and not our eyes. Seeing is not believing, believing is seeing. Yes! We all have a Father who has always had us a home, and yes Mothers, Brothers, and Sisters. His table is always filled with food and no one shall hunger. He gives us all a very special gift and itís the gift of "Eternal Life." What a wonderful day this is and what wonderful gifts we have received.

As we keep our eyes closed and our hearts open, listen to the silence of the night. Remember all the people of this world who really feel left out this time of year. For we know there are many who donít have a Christmas tree with lights, or gifts under its Branches. There are some without Fathers, Mothers, Brothers or Love, Peace or Joy, or food upon the table. Sadly, there are those who already received those blessings, but for whatever littlest reason thrown it all away and chose to keep a wall built around their heart, unforgiveness in their spirit, and blind to a gift.

As this year comes to an end, remember our Lord who is our Creator, and who has wrapped for all His people many gifts under His Branches of Love, Peace and Joy, and the gift of Grace and Heaven upon the vines.

May this Christmas once again be a very special one for all. May we all meet in the home He has prepared for all His people. May the Tree of Life always shine upon you and may GOD always be with you.

Lanning Letter

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