Christmas

Christmas Wishes

Our family had so much fun the day before Thanksgiving having family photos made in the field behind our country house.  The farmer hadn’t cut his hay yet, making it the perfect backdrop.  I wish I could show you all of them, but for sake of our little guys in foster/adoption process, I can’t show you their faces, so you’ll have to settle with just my photo with my husband, Dale!

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This is our 36th Christmas as a married couple.  You know what we say to each other?

I like you.

And

We like us.

I really do like him.

A lot!

Of course I also love him, but liking someone means you

accept them for just who they are,

look more at their good qualities than their faults,

smile when you know the punchline of the joke they’re telling (again),

serve them when you’re tired,

listen when they talk,

smile when you catch them looking your way,

and stay together for as many Christmases the Lord gives you together because you never know which one will be the last.

Yeah, we like us.  And we look forward to spending time together this Christmas.  Our girls are spending the holiday with their in-laws and because we really do like “us” we will have a great time together!  We won’t be sad, because we’re back to where we started all those 36 years ago, and WE LIKE IT!

Merry Christmas to each of you!  Rejoice in Christ and let all the things troubling you fade into the background as you keep your eyes on Him!  I’ll see you after the holidays are over!!

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Christmas

Three Ways to Make This the Best Christmas

I guess we could count these days as “Crunch Time” in regards to prepping for Christmas!  How are things going on your end?  Are your plans coming together?  Are the purchases all made, the cookies all baked and the gifts wrapped?  Maybe you simplified this year, so the answer is “Yes!”  Or you might be in the panic mode because you’re feeling the pressure of Christmas pressing in on you.

There are many things that make Christmas a time for upset stomachs and I don’t just mean the viruses going around!  I’m talking about the pressures and demands we put on ourselves and others and the relational tensions.  I thought about these scenarios and realized that there are three simple ways to reduce these hardships right now and turn this Christmas into one that will be remembered as the best yet!

Watch the video below for those three simple suggestions.

Which of these three do you need to work on most?

 

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Christmas · Life

Without Christ in Christmas

Image result for chocolate chip cookies without chips

A heavy tray is extended towards you full of fluffy, golden brown cookies.

“Take one, please!”  your host offers.  “They’re Chocolate Chip Cookies, except they have no chocolate chips.  We just don’t do those.”

Odd.

The outside of the bookstore is inviting and charming.  Signs in the windows boast of new titles and the arrival of authors who will be in house soon.  A lover of good books, you step inside, anticipating lingering over the newly bound pages and reading in a comfy chair.  But your head jerks back and forth across the shelves that are…empty.
“You have no books?” you ask the clerk at the cash register.
“Oh, no.  We just like having a store.  We don’t do books.”

Image result for empty shelves at bookstore

Bizarre.

A jolly clerk at the retail store had to wait to finish ringing up my purchase, because a price check was needed.  The awkward wait was broken when he asked,
“Where will you spend Christmas this year?”
“Lexington, KY!  How about you? came my response.
“Oh, I’ll stay right here.”
I continued the dialogue,  “And how do you celebrate Christmas?”
“How? Oh, just with giving gifts – that’s all.”
My husband chimed into the conversation by asking, “Do you know the Christ of Christmas?”
“Oh, we usually don’t do the religious thing at Christmas” was his answer.

Don’t do the religious thing?  

Me either.  Rather, we Do Jesus.  He is the reason we have Christmas!  Without celebrating His coming to earth to die for my sins, there would be no Christmas, and certainly nothing to celebrate!

My first two scenarios in this post were totally fictional, but I use them to make a point. If you’re celebrating Christmas and leaving the worship of Christ out of your celebration, you have a far greater crisis than a chocolate chip cookie without chocolate chips or a bookstore without books!  You have life without meaning.  When the tinsel has lost its glow, the wrapping paper is stuffed into the trash can, the last cookie is eaten, and the final gift unwrapped, you are still left with that empty hole in your heart.  The void in your life will still be unfulfilled on December 26th, because without Christ in Christmas you…

  • have no meaning all the other 364 days of the year.
  • don’t understand the sacrifice Jesus made to come to earth for you.
  • have no hope for eternal life with God.
  • have no peace in your heart.
  • don’t understand true satisfaction and contentment.
  • have just another party.

But if you will receive the greatest gift – the gift of eternal life THROUGH Jesus Christ, you can celebrate the joy of Christmas every day of the year.

If Christ is your Savior, I challenge you to make Him the center and focus of your celebrations this year.  Without Him you’ll have just a plain ol’ holiday, but when you center everything around Him, you’ll have CHRISTmas!

Lovingly,

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