A Breath of Fresh Air
A Merry Heart
A Woman's World
A Word in Season
Acting Up
As I Imitate Christ
Cyber Walk
Faith Seekers
Golden Apples
Heaven Bound
Just Between Men
Take it to Heart
Teen Truth
The Joy of Family
The Parents'
Survival Guide

The Rhythm of Life
The Treehouse
Through Their Eyes
'Tis the Season
We Are the Church
Well Read

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Acting UpCousins
By Wendy Albouy

That day started off like any other day but it would soon turn out to be extraordinary. I was in a peaceful sleep when suddenly I was awakened by the sweet voice of someone calling my mother's name with excitement. The soothing voice filtered in like fragrant perfume creating a very pleasant atmosphere. The very sound of it caused me to leap for joy.

I always knew that I had a destiny to fulfill, and yet my purpose on the earth would be far less powerful than that of my cousin. His mother was the one who just entered the room and her very presence not only stirred me but also filled my mother with the Holy Spirit. Mother had never had this type of reaction toward any other person. I could tell that mother was very pleased and honored to have her come to the house. Our lives were forever changed by this one visitor.

The voice belonged to my mother's cousin, Mary, and she had such good news to share. She was pregnant just like my mother, who at the time was carrying me. She explained to my mother that her son was the Son of God and he was a miracle. Mary knew that she was carrying a very special baby. I was also a miracle because my parents had tried for years to have a baby. They were now old, much older than Mary, but in spite of their age they soon would be parents. I was their long awaited son. Up until that point I was used to hearing only the sound of my mother’s voice but not that of my father who could not speak. I somehow knew that once I was born and my father named me he would be able to speak.

Cousin Mary stayed with us for three months. Her days were spent helping my mother with chores around the house and talking with her. Mother explained that when I grew up I would have to abstain from drinking wine and other fermented drink. Mary often spoke of her soon-to-be husband Joseph who was very understanding about her pregnancy. He did not let gossip about the circumstances of Mary's Immaculate Conception change his mind about marrying her. Mary shared that she was to name her child Jesus and that He would grow up to be the Savior of the world.

The day Mary left our home was a day full of mixed emotions. She had been a source of comfort and support for my mother, especially since my father was unable to speak and the house was very quiet before her arrival. There was also a sense of excitement in the air because shortly both cousins would be able to hold their babies.

The birth of Jesus would change the world forever and I, John, would grow up and preach a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. I would also be the one to prepare the way for the introduction of Jesus to His ministry. He would be far greater than me and it would be a privilege to eventually baptize Him – my very special cousin, Jesus.
Wendy Albouy considers herself blessed to be able to share, through her writing, words of encouragement with people she would not ordinarily have the opportunity to meet. Wendy has a special place in her heart for those who are grieving and who are facing many challenges. If you would like to write to Wendy, you can do so through the Letters page of this magazine.

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