Chris Marion was Friday's keynote speaker during the Neosho Laymen's League Pre-Christmas Services.

Chris Marion was Friday's keynote speaker during the Neosho Laymen's League Pre-Christmas Services.
"I do love Christmas," he said in his opening remarks. "As you get older, some of those things changes (from childhood). You learn that Christmas is about Jesus, it is about His birth and celebrating that birth. But also it is a gathering as families."
Marion then said that life changes and using baseball terminology - because he loves baseball, "life can throw you curve balls."
"It was about 15 years ago that I felt like I was on top of the world," he said. "I had a great job, a career that I loved. I had a wife, beautiful children, good health, a little money in the bank, nice home, all these things that we find to be important. But more importantly I felt like these were my achievements... but in life, in a blink of an eye, things can change and they change for me."
He found himself single, trying to raise three children, battling loyalties, was working at Branco Enterprises and raising his three children.
"Eventually being the role of daddy, I reluctantly went in and resigned from my career," said Marion. "I took on a new business venture at that time, seemed like it was going to open all kind of doors for me. I bought property in Oklahoma, I was going to develop this property. Be able to attend all of my kids events, coach them (in sports), in that aspect it worked out perfectly. but from the business side, it didn't work out perfectly."
He said there were some legal issues involved with the property that he purchased.
"so then I found myself single parent, three kids, a pretty big debt with the bank, and no income," he said. "How that ties back to Christmas, is because I struggled with this for a few months, piling up legal fees, loading up credit cards and going into Christmas because it is one of my favorite times and unfortunately I am going into Christmas very depressed, very low on income and in all honestly, trying to stay off of bankruptcy. I was very reluctant to ask for help from God or anybody."
On that particular Christmas, he couldn't put gifts under the tree, he also feared of losing his home.
He prayed.
"As I am praying, He (God) opened my eyes, (God said) 'you need to quit trying to do this all of yourself,'" Marion said. "(God said) 'I do help you. I put people out there, you need to let me help you through these people.' So it was a little bit of pride swallowing it admit that I wasn't able to do it all myself. I opened up, I had family members that stepped in, help me keep the banks off of my back. Christmas gifts and money for gifts, appeared. as I was going into that Christmas, what seemed like the worst part of my life, all of a sudden was turning. I was seeing all of these wonderful people in my lives and how God was helping me. I sat there at that Christmas and I really relished in the fact that those kids opened gifts and stuff and that God was with me at that time."
In conclusion, Marion said he would not forget that Christmas.
"I think about it every Christmas that I move forward," he said. "God taught me two really big lessons: one was to have faith in him and to know that He is always with me, He is carrying me and that I just need to trust Him, and trust the things that He puts in my life to help me. since that point, life has turned and I thank God for those lessons that He taught me."
Next year's Neosho Laymen's League Pre-Christmas Services will be held at the Neosho Second Baptist Church.