Monday, November 29, 2010


There will always be ‘Scrooges’ in the world who don’t want to celebrate Christmas. There are even some Christians who ‘hate’ this season of the year. Even though there are many pagan concepts mixed in with the traditions of the season, it is up to those who are mature in the faith, to choose what parts we accept and what parts we reject. Why is it so important that Christians continue to celebrate this season?

Someone is Watching…

There is always someone who is watching you,—your children or grandchildren—your neighbors—your co-workers—even your family members. They are looking for consistency and reality in the lives of believers. Do your actions match your values and your theology? But even more important, God is watching! What does God think about the way you celebrate? Is your focus on Him or on the ‘stuff’ we fill our homes and lives with? What do you value most at the Christmas season? Is it the Christmas meal as family and friends gather around the table? Perhaps it is the opening of presents. For some it is going to a service on Christmas Eve. For others, it is taking the time to volunteer to help those in need. Perhaps it is the Christmas music you look forward to along with the special children’s programs at school and church. Who are we trying to please? If it is family and friends, then we buy lavish gifts, and celebrate just the way everyone else does. If we are wanting to please the Lord, then perhaps we need to take a little longer look at what we choose to value. We often ask each other, “What do you want for Christmas?” But have we taken the time to ask the Lord, “What do YOU want for Christmas this year?” What is He looking for in us? “Who may ascend the mountain of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart” (Psalm 24:3-4) He is looking for actions that match the heart. What we do speaks louder than what we say. As we gather together with family, some of whom may not know the Lord, we need to be a shining light in the darkness, not pushy or obnoxious, not ‘holier than thou”, but loving and kind. Believers should never compromise their testimony. It is sometimes a temptation to ‘give ‘em a piece of your mind’ but when we fail to act like the Christ we represent—we fail. If you must preach a sermon, do it with your life...not your words. Keep your hands clean and your heart pure. But be an example (pattern) for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity. (1 Tim 4:12 Amp)

Someone is Hurting…

For some, this season of the year is the most painful of all seasons. It brings back memories from the past of gatherings with loved ones who are now gone. Sometimes those memories are of childhood abuse, rejection, and mistakes. Some spend the day a jail cell, in a nursing home, or in a lonely apartment. This is a time, an opportunity, to reach out to someone and be a light in their darkness. Help them make some new and healthy memories. Look around you and see who you can bring some joy and put a smile on their face! We often tend to look away from pain and suffering. We fear intimacy with situations we don’t understand. We want to help, but we all too often get the attitude—”let someone else doe it!” We need to learn to do things the way Christ did. He refused to back down from pain and suffering. He chose to touch the ‘untouchable’ in His path. I read a story recently of how one of the greatest fears of St Francis of Assissi was of leprosy. One day while walking, he saw in the distance a man coming towards him who was white with leprosy. His fear rose up within him. His hearts desire was to turn and to run the other way. But as he faced his fear, he made a deliberate choice to not only meet the man, but reached out and hugged his neck and kissed his cheek. As he went on his way, he decided to look back and speak a final word of cheer to the leper. But to his surprise, the man had disappeared. He was convinced that it was a vision of Christ himself and as he chose to reach out in love, God himself was the miracle in the road. We do not know what lays ahead of us, who will be walking on our path, who needs a loving hug or a cheerful smile. God will send you what you need. Who knows but you may be entertaining angels! Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. (Hebrews 13:2)

Someone is Weary…

Perhaps you are the weary one. Today’s schedules often overwhelm us each day. We sometimes get too weary to take the time to do the most important things in life. All we want to do is crawl into a hole and hide from the stresses of life. As you grow older, weariness seems to become a way of life. You go to bed weary and wake up feeling the same way. What tends to lift the spirits of a weary person? It is a loving and caring hand, willing to step up and get involved, expecting nothing in return. Two hands make the work load lighter. Another thing that lifts the spirit is music. But the kind of music you choose to listen to is very important. Choose music that is happy, loving, friendly and that changes a dreary atmosphere into one of happiness, joy and expectation. Good music feeds the soul. Music that ministers to God, ministers to the heart as well. Hallelujah! Thank God! Pray to him by name! Tell everyone you meet what he has done! Sing him songs, belt out hymns, translate his wonders into music! Honor his holy name with Hallelujahs, you who seek God. Live a happy life! (Psalm 105aTMB)

Someone is Learning...

We sometimes meet people who think they know all the answers to life’s dilemmas. But there are also those who are learning and growing. If we are continuing to learn and grow, we become much healthier people. Learning is a life-long process. We start out learning to walk and talk, learning the skills we need to make it through successfully. We go to school and learn about history, and math and science and learn skills to provide us with a way to make a living. As we then go through life, we must continually learn, especially in today’s world in which technology is always leaps and bounds ahead of us all. You are never too old to learn to use the computer, or other techno-gadgets. You are also never too old to learn new ways to get along with people who are difficult. If you have anger issues, you can learn new ways to channel that emotion and use it for God. You can learn new disciplines (daily devotions and prayer). We can learn how to share our faith with those who don’t know the Savior. We can decide to read the Bible from cover to cover. We can choose to memorize one scripture each week. Learning is challenging, but it keeps us growing and both spiritually and emotionally healthy. What have you learned this week? "True wisdom and real power belong to God; from him we learn how to live, and also what to live for. If he tears something down, it's down for good; if he locks people up, they're locked up for good. If he holds back the rain, there's a drought; if he lets it loose, there's a flood. Strength and success belong to God; both deceived and deceiver must answer to him. (Job 12:13 TMB) Start with God—the first step in learning is bowing down to God; (Proverbs 1:7 TMB)

Someone has a need. Perhaps you have been so focused on your own needs that you have not looked around you enough to see others with even greater needs. This Christmas season, remember to reach out to others, and give from your heart. Remember this verse when you are tempted to withhold a blessing. Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” (Luke 6:38) Remember that God gave us His best gift...His Son. Can we do less than our best? Someone is waiting to hear...and you have the Words of Life!                  J. Johnson

Dear friends,

We want to wish each of you a blessed Christmas filled with the Presence of God! Christmas is a time to refocus on what is really important—Christ! Please continue to pray for us as we seek God’s placement of our ministry. We are so thankful and so appreciate each of you who take the time to pray and write. God bless you all! God is faithful and we anticipate great things in the future… …Serving the Master

Dave & Joyce

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