Romans 10:13 – And it’s true: “Everyone who calls on the Lord’s name will experience new life.”

Gratitude 702

If you have been following along about our Charlie Brown Christmas tree, here is the rest of the story.

As anticipated, the tree had very few needles on the upper ¾ of the tree by Christmas. Honestly, it looked a little pathetic. It looked a little better than this photo … but barely. At least there were lights and ornaments to help distract from the bare branches.

Except, they really didn’t.

When someone came to visit our house in the last week, the Charlie Brown Christmas tree was always part of the conversation. We all had a good laugh about our very ugly tree. More than one person committed that this will be the tree we will remember and talk about for years to come.

I have no doubt.

Last week, I went to the location where we purchased the tree for another reason. But I took a moment to share with the owner about our mostly bare tree. I assured her that I was not complaining about the tree but letting her know so she could have a chat with the vendor if she desired. Also, I would want to know if I were in her shoes. She said that someone else had also stopped by with the same response. Before I left, she gave me a full refund. This was not why I mentioned the tree to her, but she wanted to make it right.

As expected, the tree also came down on Dec. 26th; right after our last Christmas celebration. The guests were barely out the door, and I was taking the ornaments off. Some had already fell off because there were no needles for them to hang onto.

There is one little interesting tidbit of this tree that I wanted to share. While nearly all the needles were gone, the tree still had many pinecones attached to the branches. I’m not aware of any cones that fell off. It was as if they were glued to the branches and the needles were not.

Why did the pinecones stay, and the needles didn’t?

I don’t really know. Personally, the cones became a reminder of new life for me. The cones are the symbol for future. As they outlasted the needles, it’s clear they are the ones that would typically making sure a next generation of trees would happen. Yes, I know these pinecones won’t be contributing this way. But they could have.

New life. This is one of the reasons why Jesus came to earth. The guarantee that we can experience something beyond this earth and have the opportunity to punch our entry ticket. This new life is not something we can do for ourselves; it’s what Jesus does for us. It’s the grace he extends to us, whether we deserve it or not.

It’s not about what we do for God that assures us new life. It’s all about what Jesus has already accomplished for us.

This, my friends, is the Christmas message. God wants to make this new life as accessible to us as possible. So, God sends God’s son to earth to make this new life available to all. When we accept this free gift, then we receive this new life.

Those little pinecones on our Charlie Brown tree assure me that even when my life isn’t perfect and possibly even falling apart, I have a God in my life who loves me no matter what. And accepts me just as I am. God doesn’t demand that I be perfect. God just wants me to love god.

That’s all.

It’s just one little more message this tree was teaching me yesterday as I removed every light and ornament from it. And this, my friends, is one I wanted to share with you.

For pinecones and new life, I am grateful.

Blessings –


Holy God – New life. It’s a bit complicated just how it happens and confusing for many. But this is what You offer us. Open my heart to see how this gift is available to me and let me embrace it once again in my life. Amen.

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