Archive for December, 2013

A Time To Remember

December 31, 2013

On New Year's Eve, people will ring in the new year in different ways. In some countries, there will be fireworks; in others, there will be public celebrations in city squares or parks; and there will be family gatherings in private homes. …( read more )

Kingdom Living

December 30, 2013

Several years ago after shopping in a Christian book store, I returned home to find a holiday gift included in the bag with my purchase. The gift was an inspirational book entitled "101 Resolutions for the New Year". Although this little …( read more )

Control (Or Lack Thereof)

December 29, 2013

Recently, I felt like I had totally and completely lost control over every aspect of my life. Even though I didn't really realize what was happening, I had become angry at everything and everyone (including myself), and to be honest, with …( read more )

The King Of Kings

December 28, 2013

Whenever I hear of the description "wise men" given to the magi, I immediately think of a very elderly Christian gentleman who attended my church and who had printed in large letters on his small suitcase the words, "Wise men are still …( read more )

The Beautiful Feet Of Christmas

December 27, 2013

Every Christmas, one special person in Jesus' nativity story remains in the shadows. We rarely see this person on Christmas cards or in carols. Today, I wish to shine the spotlight on this one. You'll soon know who I mean. The setting is …( read more )

Two Turtledoves

December 26, 2013

When I was a child, one of my favourite Christmas carols was the popular tune, "The Twelve Days of Christmas". Until recently, I did not give much thought to the gifts portrayed in this peculiar song. Some believe it was written in code …( read more )

The Perfect Gift

December 25, 2013

Loving grandparents gave their three-year-old grandson a sturdy black and red four-by-four toy truck for Christmas. Squatted on his knees on the floor, the lad tore off the wrapping, picked up the truck, and went to a cupboard where old …( read more )

Birthday Candles

December 24, 2013

Throughout my ministry, Christmas Eve was always a high point of the year, and some years, I put a lot of effort into developing a themed script, illustrated with projected slides. After the children portrayed the nativity story, we would …( read more )

The Innkeeper

December 23, 2013

Although Scripture does not specifically mention him, the manager of the inn was responsible for turning Mary and Joseph away on the first Christmas morning. Have you ever wondered what type of person he was? For years, I pictured him as …( read more )

Tired Of Being In Charge?

December 22, 2013

Are you tired of always being the one in charge, planning, cooking, and cleaning up? Don't be dismayed. It's a godly place to be! My friend Belinda gave me this recipe, and I served it instead of traditional mashed potatoes for Christmas …( read more )

At Just the Right Time

December 21, 2013

"It wasn't worth it," screeched the commanding officer. But it was. Combat was ferocious, and many soldiers were dying. They were friends in the thick of it. When one of them was injured and couldn't return to the trenches, the other …( read more )

Christmas Past, Present, But No Future?

December 20, 2013

It all started in a large store where food products were displayed and samples were made available for the shoppers. I paused to take a sample and got more than I bargained for. A woman there began with this: "I don't know what to get my …( read more )

Changes

December 19, 2013

For the first time in thirty-five years, we will not be celebrating Christmas in our cozy house on our four acres of lawn and forest with the creek at the back, the place which has been our home for all those many years. That house is …( read more )

God's Christmas Tree

December 18, 2013

Recently, during a time of reflection regarding the Christmas tree, I read a very interesting study entitled, God's Christmas Tree, written by J. Hampton Keathley III, Th.M. The premise of the study is that although some may question the …( read more )

Glory To God In The Highest

December 17, 2013

Perhaps you are familiar with the expression "ear worm". Most of us have experienced an annoying snatch of song that sticks in our memory and plays over and over inside our heads. The refrain from the Christmas hymn *Angels we have heard …( read more )

Roberta's Tree

December 16, 2013

When my sister, Roberta, died of cancer at age 49 in July of 2004, I decided to plant a small mugo pine in our front yard. Like others who have lost loved ones, I wanted to have a living memorial for my sister. I named the mugo pine …( read more )

Nelson Mandela

December 15, 2013

Nelson Mandela was truly one the most influential Christian leaders of our time. "The world has lost one of its great moral leaders and statesmen. He demonstrated that the only path forward for the nation was to reject the appeal of …( read more )

The War On Christmas

December 14, 2013

'Tis the season of peace and joy. It's Christmas! Yet the tranquility keeps getting interrupted by controversies over the tradition. Ban nativity crèches! Ban carols from our schools! Ban Christmas trees from public buildings! And …( read more )

Do They Know It's Christmas?

December 13, 2013

In 1984, Sir Bob Geldof and Midge Ure wrote a song titled Do They Know It's Christmas? to raise money for the people of Ethiopia who were in dire need due to the famine which lasted from 1983 to 1985. Many musicians gathered together …( read more )

Christmas Cards For The Brokenhearted?

December 12, 2013

I love Christmas. I haven't loved every Christmas in my life, however. The first Christmas four months after my daughter died in a car accident was a bad one. The Christmas before that, after my husband left, that same daughter wept as …( read more )

The Dilemma

December 11, 2013

As the Christmas season approaches and I scan both the list of people I would like to give gifts to and also my bank account balance, it is easy for me to feel discouraged. Perhaps you are experiencing a similar dilemma and wondering, as …( read more )

God's Mighty ACT

December 10, 2013

The old prophet foretold it, the shepherds witnessed it, and Mary lived it. "In case you haven't heard, God, I'm just a young unmarried virgin." "Don't worry, I will A.C.T." "And by the way, the last time I checked, sex was required to …( read more )

The Red Boxes

December 9, 2013

Tradition has a way of finding a place in many of the seasonal events in which we participate. In our family though, Christmas seems to have quite a few — from the trimming of the tree, to the Christmas dishes I set the table with, and …( read more )

Rachel Weeping

December 8, 2013

Last year, my son was asked to participate in leading a special "Blue Christmas" service at our church. It is held every year before the holidays to comfort those in mourning. The message emphasizes the Lord's understanding of our …( read more )

Christmas Stressed

December 7, 2013

Don't you love that Christmas gives us at least a month of stress-free eating and spending, followed by at least three months of stress as we try to lose the pounds and the bills we gained over the holiday? Stress is caused by our …( read more )

My Husband's Christmas Tree

December 6, 2013

Ernie, my husband of 37 years, died on October 10th. As we gathered in the sanctuary of St. Paul's Presbyterian Church, in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, on October 19th to celebrate Ernie's life with a memorial service, there was a small …( read more )

His Return Trip

December 5, 2013

My brother-in-law, James Cameron, was dining in a restaurant in Glasgow, Scotland, when he felt that the service was not as good as it should be. "I should tell you," he warned, "that my initials are J. C., and I was born on Christmas …( read more )

For Unto Us A Child Is Born

December 4, 2013

For a number of years, it has been the custom in our town for merchants to decorate their store windows with a certain theme during certain seasons. There have been a number of different themes over the years at different times. One day …( read more )

The End Of An Era

December 3, 2013

For over twenty years, I have delivered one of the two free community newspapers in our town. They were both originally published three times a week, but that has recently been cut to two editions, undoubtedly because of diminishing …( read more )

Just Four Notes

December 2, 2013

"Can you believe it!" was my immediate response as I reached for the volume control on the car radio. Release and joy started to flood my being as I drove through the streets of Greenville, South Carolina, USA, on this early fall morning. …( read more )

The Advent Wreath

December 1, 2013

As I see Christmas approaching, I am reminded of the preparations that have made the season special in our home. One such preparation was to go to a Christmas tree farm where we would choose our tree, and have it cut down and mounted on …( read more )

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