Tag Archives: Christmas

Three things to think at holiday time

May I suggest two things for your consideration this holiday season?  (1) Consider what you have, not what you lack.  Most of us enjoy material possessions far and above that of the average world. Be grateful for God’s provisions, and even more thankful for those little “extras” that make life enjoyable.  (2) Spend some time this week to meditate upon God’s goodness to you. Get off by yourself and say a little prayer to Him from Whom all blessings flow, and that in rich abundance. (3) Finally, realize that with increased blessings come increased responsibility.  Read Luke 16:19-27, Matthew 25 and Luke 12:45-48.  Then ask yourself if you are properly sharing what you have with those who have not.

I’ll close with this thought provoking analysis of how blessed many of us truly are:

If you own just one Bible, you are abundantly blessed. 1/3 of the world does not have access to even one.

If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the million who will not survive the week.

If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture or the pangs of starvation, you are ahead of 500 million people around the world.

If you attend a church meeting without fear of harassment, arrest or torture of death, you are more blessed that almost three billion people in the world.

If you have food in your refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75% of this world.

If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace, you are among the top 8% of the worlds wealthy.

If your parents are still married and alive, you are very rare, even in the United States.

If you hold up your head with a smile on your face and are truly thankful, you are blessed because the majority can, but most do not.

If you can hold someone’s hand, hug them or even touch them on the shoulder, you are blessed because you can offer God’s healing touch.

If you prayed yesterday and today, you are in the minority because you believe in God’s willingness to hear and answer prayer.

If you can read this message, you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world that cannot read anything at all.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

–by Tom Wacaster

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Are you the big church on the corner?

The first call of the morning involved a woman seeking free Christmas gifts for her family.  The gist of the conversation was something like this:

Caller:  “Are you the big church on the corner?”

My response:  “No, that is not us.”

Caller:  “Are you helping people for Christmas this year?”

My response:  “We are not involved in that type of work.”

Caller:  “Goodbye.”

This caller reminded me of Jn. 6:27:  “Work not for the food which perisheth, but for the food which abideth unto eternal life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him the Father, even God, hath sealed.”

In my mind I thought  of how Jn. 6:27 could be applied to “Christmas gifts” and the verse would read something like this:  “Work not for the gifts which perisheth—temporary items like Christmas gifts, but for the gifts which abideth.”

We certainly do need to “work for food” (2 Thess. 3:10), but our primary emphasis needs to be on the spiritual part of life.  How sad that some work so hard to find free Christmas goodies but pay little to no attention to their eternal spirit.

Brad Price
www.abiblecommentary.com
 http://bumchecks.com/biblecommentary

ASV

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The Spirit of Christmas

I have been asked on occasions if I “celebrate” Christmas. I must admit that this time of the year has a special warmth about it. There is something special about the lights, busy shoppers, and the “holiday music.” Before you brand me as a heretic let me assure you that I do not believe the Jesus was born on Christmas Day, and even if He was born in the depth of winter (which He was not), there is nothing in the Scriptures that even hints that we should “celebrate” His birthday.

It has been more than ten years since I first came across the following article. I thought it worth sharing with our readers. Unfortunately I do not have the name of the author.

WHAT IS THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS?

The spirit of Christmas is kindness, tolerance for an unpleasant relative, allowing someone else to turn first at a busy intersection. It is smiling and saying something nice to a hurried clerk who has just been chewed out by an irate customer.

The spirit of Christmas is compassion, fod for hungry people, secret gifts for needy children, and spending part of your holiday time with a lonely person in a nursing home.

The spirit of Christmas is understanding, feeling the emptiness of someone who is spending her first Christmas without a husband who died recently. It is listening to the mixed-up musings of a teen-ager who has gotten into trouble or reaching out to someone whose personal anguish over a lost job or divorce has him on the brink of suicide.

The spirit of Christmas is sacrifice. It is children breaking piggy banks to buy gifts for their parents. It is someone missing a party to be with the rest of the family on Christmas Eve, or someone refusing to pass an unkind judgment or choosing to forgive an insult.

The spirit of Christmas is love, paying special attention to children, and still being thoughtful during the most hectic days of the year. It is doing something for someone who cannot repay you. It is kindness and compassion, understanding and sacrifice, and love. Not one of these is a “secular” virtue which arises naturally from humankind. They are primary spiritual qualities which have been exhibited best in this world by Jesus of Nazareth.

With all due respect to Santa Claus, he is not the one who brought us these gifts. Santa is reindeer and elves, snow and red cheeks, pretty packages and stockings from the mantle. Jesus is much, much more. Jesus was kind enough to befriend the people everyone else avoided. His compassion made him weep with Mary and Martha when the sisters’ brother had died. He understood fickle Peter and questioning Thomas. He sacrificed all personal ambition and eventually his life for the sake of others. His very name is synonymous with love.

The “spirit of Christmas” did not originate with Charles Dickens or Jimmy Stewart. They merely wrote and performed the Christmas spirit in artistic settings. This special sentiment is rooted in a religious tradition which changed the world. It is produced by our imitation of the Son of God. Whatever it is you like most about this season of the year cannot be perpetuated by carrying the wallet you get under the tree or wearing the cologne someone gives you. It will endure only for those who remember the Babe of Bethlehem year round and allow him to live in their hearts.

I hope you enjoyed the article as much as I did. Let me close this week’s “Tom’s Pen” with a sincere wish for a Happy Holiday Season and best wishes for a Wonderful New Year.

Tom & Johnnie Ann Wacaster

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BUY NOW is a key advertising slogan

     When was the last time you saw some type of commercial that was trying to sell you something? I saw several this morning, and I bet it has not been long for you either. It is funny to me how they always want us to “Act Now!” They use phrases like “Huge Investment Opportunity! Must Act Now!” “We will throw 2 of these in, but you must call now!” Have you ever wondered why they are always trying to get people to do it at that very moment? I found an interesting article listing “10 Ways to Get Customers to Buy Now” by April Duncan (Click Here to Read Article). Listen to the 10 ways they try to draw us in. I am sure you will recognize most of them:

1. Give a Deadline for Ordering.
2. Advise of a Price Increase.
3. Establish a Trial/Introductory Period.
4. Free gift.
5. “No Risk” Trial.
6. “Not Available in Stores.”
7. Offer an Upgrade
8. Free supplies/accessories.
9. Use Action Phrases (Call Now. Toll Free. 24 Hours a Day).
10. Avoid Passive Phrases (Call us when your ready to order).

     These are the types of tactics they use to get people to think and feel like they need to make a move immediately or they will miss out on one of the greatest opportunities of their life! But why do they want people to act immediately? It is because they do not want us to think out our decisions. They want us to do it right away without careful consideration about our finances, if we really need it, and if this is really a quality product.
     In a similar way as the commercials, Satan wants us to make hasty decisions and not carefully think about our situation or the consequences. It is interesting that there are many passages about being sensible (Titus 1:8; 2:2, 5-6; Proverbs 14:8, 15, 18; etc). One of the best ones is Titus 2:11-12, “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age…” Sensibility is about thinking things through and being rational about our decisions. If we do not think things through then we will be much more likely to fall into sin. The reason the Lord has told us to be sensible is so we will realize that righteousness is always the correct decision.
     Whether it is in regards to a silly commercial, our finances, sin, or anything else, let’s make sure we are thinking about the decisions we make. The choices we make today may very well influence ourselves, our family, our friends, and many other people down the road. Let’s be sensible and realize the best choice is always to obey the Lord.

— Brett Petrillo

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