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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas ...

Just a few short days and Christmas will be here. Although I've been busy with a Bible Study on Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, I'm far from writing another post relating to that. Christmas is on my mind. It's probably on your mind too.

 Jim and I had our annual Christmas Open House this past Saturday. We've been married nearly 20 years and together we've had this event for those many years as well. It is a special time of year, a sort of  "family Christmas," where we invite friends and family and hope for a good turnout to visit and catch up on their activities. We clean and clean and decorate our home, inside and out, with nativities and trees and other knick-knacks of the season. Our home smells of evergreen via candles and potpourri and baking of cookies and candy.  We look forward to it with great anticipation.

Sunday, the day before yesterday ... it was Dec. 19. I thought .... When God says no, do you know? He doesn't always say yes or even maybe. He does say no. But do you know when He does? How have you responded? Are you content? Are you at peace, knowing that the request you've made has been answered and it is not really the answer you wanted? Do you give up or do you instead seek guidance?


What do you want for Christmas? We hear that every year and not just from kids. Adults do the same. They're kids too, just a tad older and not necessarily any smarter. Is your shopping done? Are you happy with your purchases? Are you filled with anticipation, excited to see reactions of gifts given? Have you spent too much or not enough? Does the cost matter?

What do you want for Christmas? Does it change with each passing year? Do purchases really matter or are there more important things to be concerned about?

What do you want for Christmas? I thought. I remembered a few weeks earlier when I was at the dentist, it was being discussed. I thought a Christmas wish would be to have no pain, to have all bills paid. Other things that came to mind were a relationship mended, a promise kept, a roof over our heads, a child to love, someone to come home to, true love.

What do you want for Christmas?

Monday evening, Dec. 20, we watched "The Children's Carol," a Christmas special about The Walton Family at the beginning of World War II. It was shown on the inspiration channel Saturday night and we taped it to watch later.

Today, this morning, I thumbed through the December issue of Mature Living, skimming the headlines and reading the short stories: "Christmas Presence," "Broken Cookies,"  "Come, Let Us Adore Him," "The Greatest Gift! Really?" and "Trimming the Hearts."

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved."  (John 3:16-17)
This is the gift.The greatest gift. "Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!" (2 Corinthians 9:15)
This gift is available to all, but not all receive it, not all accept it. Have you?

I also looked through the December issue of The Pathway, a newjournal put out by the Missouri Baptist Convention. David Tolliver, executive director of the MBC,  wrote the article, "Jesus is the only genuine celebration of Christmas." Included in it was the following poem, "Why Jesus is Better than Santa Claus," which can also be found on the internet.

Santa lives at the North Pole ...
JESUS is everywhere.

Santa rides in a sleigh ...
JESUS rides on the wind and walks on the water.

Santa comes but once a year ...
JESUS is an ever present help.

Santa fills your stockings with goodies ...
JESUS supplies all your needs.

Santa comes down your chimney uninvited ...
JESUS stands at your door and knocks,
and then enters your heart when invited.

You have to wait in line to see Santa ...
JESUS is as close as the mention of His name.

Santa lets you sit on his lap ...
JESUS lets you rest in His arms.

Santa doesn't know your name, all he can say is
"Hi little boy or girl, what's your name?" ...
JESUS knew our name before we were born...
Not only does He know our name,
He knows our address too.
He knows our history and future and
He even knows how many hairs are on our heads.

Santa has a belly like a bowl full of jelly ...
JESUS has a heart full of love.

All Santa can offer is HO HO HO ...
JESUS offers health, help and hope.

Santa says "You better not cry" ...
JESUS says "Cast all your cares on me for I care for you."

Santa's little helpers make toys ...
JESUS makes new life, mends wounded hearts,
repairs broken homes and builds mansions.

Santa may make you chuckle but ...
JESUS gives you joy that is your strength.

While Santa puts gifts under your tree ...
JESUS became our gift and died on a tree....
The cross.

What is it all about?
What does it mean?
What will you celebrate?
What is the real reason for the season?
What do you believe?
What does Jesus mean to you?


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"Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will direct your paths." - Proverbs 3:5-6