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It's a Wonderful Life!

As much as we enjoy the film “It’s a Wonderful Life”, we did not set out to create Christmas cards fashioned after the VHS movie jacket. Many providential things took place that inspired this design. Michael had the idea to make a collage of photos that would give a glimmer of our life here in California. We worked on that card together picking four pictures: 1) our new family member “monkey” the cat from the Secret Garden who adopted us in October; 2) The winter snow scene on the highway from Reno to Sacramento; 3) Sacramento in the Fall; and, 4) the Wandering Jew from Michael’s grandma’s porch in North Carolina that is now growing here in California in our little apartment.

We needed one last photo—a current picture of the two of us together. So, we decided to do an impromptu photo session. We were already in our night clothes. Michael threw on a sport coat and I a red sweater; set up the tripod; and took a couple dozen photos. While viewing the photos, to decide which photo to use for the Christmas collage card, we came across the one where Michael was goofing around—he had grabbed me and kissed my cheek right as the camera was flashing. I loved the picture and after completing the Christmas collage card, I started playing with that one on my computer. I cropped it and then changed the colors to a sepia tone to give it a vintage look.

We sent the finished Christmas Collage print to Walgreens to have copies made for Christmas and thought that we were done with our Christmas cards for this year. During the week, I showed the vintage picture to a lady at work, whose name is Melanie, and she commented, “It’s a wonderful life where you are right now! Share that moment and bring a smile to people’s hearts…”

When I got home, I shared with Michael what Melanie had said and we both reflected back on how we had just watched “It’s a Wonderful Life” together the previous week. I took the VHS movie jacket to the computer and went to work attempting to recreate it using our vintage photo. It took a few hours for it to all come together, but after it was completed, we both decided that this year we would send two Christmas Cards.

For us, it is indeed a wonderful life right now and we are very much enjoying the love that we have for one another. However, we are under no delusion that life on earth is always wonderful—as the world defines wonderful. As we reflect on the birth of our Lord this Christmas season our hearts are warmed and our souls delight in knowing that whatever may befall us during our life here on earth the thing that brings us the most happiness is knowing that He was born a man, lived a perfect life, paid the penalty for our sins by suffering the wrath of God on our behalf, so that we might have life everlasting through His atoning work on the cross at Calvary. What joy it is to know the One who came so that all who would believe on Him would have life everlasting. Now that will truly be “A Wonderful Life” for all that know the Savior.

With Love for You this Christmas Season and Throughout the Coming Year
Dianna Wood

“And the ransomed of the LORD shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.”

The Story of This Card (As told by Michael)

Dianna had set up the tri-pod in our living room to take some pictures with the intent of using one to make our own Christmas cards. While reviewing the nearly thirty pictures,
We happened to come across this one which reminded us of an old vintage movie poster. Dianna showed the picture to Melanie, one of her friends at work, explaining how it came about. Her response was, “It’s a wonderful life where you are right now.” Little did she know that the previous week we had watched the movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life” starring Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed released in 1946.

For those that may not be familiar with the story line, Stewart grows up with anticipation of following his dreams to see the world; but, because of a number of circumstances stays in his hometown, doing good to others, and marries his sweet heart. By chance a large portion of the money from his business turns up missing. With false accusations arising and the impending closure of his business, he goes to a bridge on Christmas Eve with strong consideration of jumping over to end his life.

An angel is sent to earth and appears to him. The most dramatic thing the angel does is show him what effect on others would have been had he never been born.

The Bible tells us that Job underwent such calamities that he came to the place in which “he opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth.” And yet, through the life of Job, countless numbers of believers have been encouraged by the Word of God to see that God is sovereign in working all things together for the good of His children and for His own glory.

The Bible, on the other hand, tells us of Judas in Matthew 26:24, “…It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.” All of us fall into one of these two categories of men. Apart from the free grace of God through the merit of the finished work of Christ at Calvary, we would all fall under the category of the latter rather than the former.

All of life must be viewed from an eternal perspective rather than the mere temporal, as it is not by works of righteousness of which we do but according to the mercy of God that we are saved. This He does for His glory that all may know that He is God and God Alone! And thus, the idea to make this card and the following poem was born.

How wonderful is all of life
When redeemed from sin and strive.
But greater than you may perceive
The truth of Christ, you must believe.

And though the movie was not real
There were great truths in it concealed
As in this life you’ll never know
The impact of His love you show
Until with Him in scenes of glory
All creation sings His Story.

Rejoicing in Jesus,
Michael Wood

“…the righteous and the wise and their deeds are in the hand of God…Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, all the days of your vain life…“Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all.”
Excerpts from Ecclesiastes 9


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