Thursday, December 11, 2014

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Christmas Nativity

Rancho Capistrano Lakeside w/ Giant Nativity in the backround


As my daughter Christina and I were driving North, returning from my mother's house in San Clemente two nights ago we let out a sigh of amazement as the beautiful sight above came into view.

 This larger than life nativity scene was first conceived and erected back in the early 1980s, under the vision of my husband, Pastor Robert A. Schuller .   In 2010 Saddleback Church took possession of the gift of Rancho Capistrano and they have done an outstanding job of maintaining and restoring this beautiful "spiritual oasis" (as we always referred to it) Included in their restoration efforts was this giant-sized depiction of the birth of Jesus. 

Pastoring at Rancho Capistrano Community Church created some of the happiest memories of our lives.  To this day the mere sight of "The Ranch" evokes so many warm and comforting thoughts of joy and satisfaction.  I believe that my children will be forever impacted by their life's experiences while attending church and school, and many other events on this beautiful piece of property.  They will be telling their children and their children's children about the wonderful place they enjoyed  seven days a week,  from birth up until their young teenage years.

What we create for the continuing proclamation of the love of Jesus is eternal.  I am not referring to the buildings or the physical place, but rather to the experiences which create the memories that touched so many while they enjoyed these blessed grounds.  The families who worshiped, married, were baptized or eulogized in the church;  the body, mind, spirit health seminars; the Bible studies and support groups; the children's lives who were positively affected by the schools; the endless picnics and "hoe-downs" we hosted;  all of these activities and life's experiences are something that will live-on in the hearts, minds, and spirits of many generations to come.

And that beautiful legacy of faith that my husband envisioned, commissioned, and pastored through the church, the retreat center, and the school on Rancho Capistrano,  still lives on today.  The love of God is still being proclaimed there!

This Christmas season think about the memories that you are creating as part of your family traditions and how they will impact your family for generations to come.  Included in those events or traditions make sure you give the gift of faith, hope, and love.  Pass along the "reason for the season."
And if you live anywhere close to San Juan Capistrano, California make sure you take an evening and drive down Interstate 5.  You will want to share the huge and beautiful nativity scene with your friends and loved ones.

For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.   Psalm 100:5


*Join me for The Call on December 15th at 6pm Pacific time.   Dial 530-881-1300 and key-in 642848#



To reach me by email:  Donna@DonnaSchuller.com


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Christmas Trees and Driving Safely



I love this old Christmas painting.  Such great memories from when my children were young.
 "It's the most wonderful time of the year."  (so let's try to keep it that way)

My blog and my website is all about helping people find better health in body, mind, and soul so once I read the sobering statistics about driving and texting I knew I had to share them with you.  This time of the year we can become especially vulnerable to mis-haps as we are more distracted, filled with more anxiety, and much, much busier than normal.  We all want to have a safe and a joy-filled Christmas, filled with good things which include great physical, mental, and spiritual health.  Driving safely is one way we can protect ourselves and protect others.  Pay attention to people while you are behind the wheel:  to the people in your vehicle but also to others on the road.  (Not everyone is paying attention to what they should be so drive defensively)  When you tell the kids, "get in the car, we are going to pick-out the Christmas tree" please be present for that short yet significant time that you are together.  Talk to one another. When enjoying an outing to the tree lot put the phone down for a couple of hours.  Looking back, picking out our Christmas tree when my children were young are some of my favorite memories.  I want you to have those memories too.




 If you drive and text you are threatening your health and the health of those around you.  
 Do you remember how fun driving used to be while singing along to the radio?  I bet that is fast becoming a past-time for most people so maybe we should start a "sing and drive" campaign?  Perhaps this could draw attention to the epidemic that has infected our roadways.
  I realize that most of us use our driving time to return business or personal phone calls;  after all, we're just too busy at home to be bothered by talking on the telephone (I am guilty of this too).  When on the road instead of filling up the moments in between stops try using some of your time listening to an educational recording once in a while.  I am trying to improve on my Spanish so often I will listen to a Spanish CD when I am in my car alone.  Better yet, turn off all noise once in a while and try just relaxing and pondering over the thoughts that are only entertained through relative silence.    We live in such a stress-filled society, it would do some good for all of us to do nothing other than sit behind the wheel and drive.  And just think of how much more alert you will be when someone else runs a red light or blows through a stop-sign because they are texting!  Be vigilant and alert.   And please NO texting-ever!
* As a side note:  most of those traffic/map apps. are just as bad because they aske you to drive and post about what you see on the side of the road.  Find apps. that start and end while you are stopped.
Start singing again...Christmas carols are the best!

I just read the following from an online article relating to an electronic product that would prevent a driver from driving and texting.  I hope the person gets their invention finished and available soon.  After reading the article I guess the only thing worse than driving and texting would be driving drunk and texting.

 "According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, cellphones are involved in 1.6 million auto crashes each year that cause a half million injuries and take 6,000 lives. Texting while driving has replaced drinking and driving as the leading cause of teen vehicular death, responsible for 20 percent of all teen highway fatalities in the U.S."

 Those are tragic statistics and totally avoidable. Share the information about texting and driving.   Have a safe Christmas season and pass along good habits to your children, your grandchildren, and those around you.  And please put leave the cell phone at home when you go to pick out your Christmas tree!

"For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord.  Plans to prosper you and not to harm you.  Plans to give you a future and a hope."
Jeremiah  29:11

*Join me for The Call on December 15th at 6pm Pacific Time.  Dial 530-881-1300 and key-in 642848#
To reach me by email:  Donna@DonnaSchuller.com


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Give Thanks With A Grateful Heart




Happy Thanksgiving is almost here in the USA! For all of my Canadian friends I know that you celebrated last month.  Personally, I am looking so forward to spending Thanksgiving Day with almost all of my family including my mom and her husband; my oldest son and his wife and two children; my youngest daughter and her husband, along with her mother-in-law and their six-month old baby;  my youngest son and his girlfriend.  We will miss our oldest daughter and her husband but we know that they will celebrate and give thanks elsewhere.

Thanksgiving is a time where we stop and give thanks for all that is good and right in our lives.  Even if you've had a rough year or have tragically lost something or even worse someone, each and everyone of us has something to be thankful for.

If you are having a tough time giving thanks this year I want you to stop what you're doing right now.  Go and get several notebook style, lined pieces of paper and title the first page, "My Gratitude List."  Next, take a good look around you.  Start with where you are sitting and notice anything that you are thankful for, maybe it's as simple as your favorite chair or unique family heirloom on one of your shelves.   Write those items down.  Go outside and notice your surroundings: the birds, the trees, the flowers, the sun or the snow.   Do you have a pet who loves you unconditionally?  Go to your closet and list your favorite items.  Do the same in your drawers.  Give each thing a separate line on your page.  Most importantly make a line each for every member of your family and each close friend or co-worker whom you give thanks for.  As you make your list you can also say a silent prayer for each person who provides you with love and friendship.

Meditate on Psalm 100, verse 4

"Enter his gates with Thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name."  

Here's a breakdown of that verse that may help you practice gratitude.  You can slowly say it over and over as it fills your heart and your mind with peace and comfort.

Enter his gates with Thanksgiving and his courts with praise.  Give thanks to him and praise him.
Enter his gates with Thanksgiving and his courts with praise.  Give thanks to him.
Enter his gates with Thanksgiving and his courts with praise.  Give thanks.
Enter his gates with Thanksgiving and his courts with praise.
Enter his gates with Thanksgiving.
Enter his gates.
Enter.

Remember:  Today is a gift and no one knows what tomorrow may bring.  Give thanks today!
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

You may contact me here:  Donna@DonnaSchuller.com