Wednesday, December 20, 2006
I found this on the web and I though I would share. There is no comparison, of course, but I found it very thought provoking and quite uplifting.
Santa: Lives at the North Pole
Jesus: Philippians 3:20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Santa: Comes dressed in a red suit
Jesus: Luke 2:12 "And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger."
Santa: Comes to your home once a year
Jesus: Matthew 28:20 "And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
Santa: Brings gifts
Jesus: Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Santa: Gives gifts to good children
Jesus: Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Santa: Places presents under a tree
Jesus: 1 Peter 2:24 He himself bore our sins in his body on a tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.
Santa: We prepare for his coming
Jesus: 1 John 3:2-3 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when Christ is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
Santa: Children watch for him
Jesus: Matt 24:42-45 "Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect Him."
Santa: Comes with reindeer
Jesus: Matthew 16:27 For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done.
Santa: Enjoys having children sit upon his knee
Jesus: Matthew 19:13-14 Then little children were brought to Him that He might put His hands on them and bless them, but the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, "Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven."
Santa: We give him milk and cookies
Jesus: We usually give Jesus nothing at Christmas and its His birthday!
This last part is so simple but so true. As for me I am taking out the “stuff” and fluff of Christmas and focusing on the first six letters, CHRIST. Have a blessed day!
Monday, December 11, 2006
Well how do you handle Santa, Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny??
Well a couple of years ago when Alex was about 3 or 4 we came across a book called "The Truth about Santa Claus". What a wonderful find! I had been telling the kids that Santa did exist but he died a long time ago. I wanted them to know how much Saint Nick loved Jesus but I didn't know how to address it. So now every Christmas we read this book and let the kids ask questions. They still think Santa is coming from time to time but on Christmas morning they never say "What did Santa bring me?" It is usually adults who ask that question to my kids. Now I don't want them to kill Christmas for another kids and I haven't heard of them doing that but I want them to know the truth.
I have heard some adults say "I remember when I found out about Santa and it crushed me!" "My parents lied to me!" I don't think my kids would react like that but as strongly as I feel about lying I didn't want to take a chance.
The tooth fairy, well I couldn't find any "Christian" basis for it so I have gone along with the Tooth Fairy myth. When my kids come out and ask me "Mom are you the tooth fairy?" I will tell them the truth.
About the Easter Bunny. We haven't had a problem with this. We do get the kids Easter baskets but because we celebrate Jesus' gift to us they have never even mentioned the Easter bunny! What a blessing!! Thank you Lord for my beautiful, precious gifts!!
Although we have created our own little "myth". We have started the Valentine fairy. I remember when I was in school we would give valentine to everyone in class at school. What year was it that we began giving them only to the people we liked? I wanted my children to know that they are my valentine each and every year so I created this little way to tell them I love them!!
Any way you slice it we are giving them a solid foundation, teaching them the One Truth, the Way, and the Life.
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Thursday, December 7, 2006
We are part of the Mighty Men, Women, and Youth (MMWY) for God at our church. Really it boils down to committing your life to God. Really striving to put him first. I know as Christians we are taught at a very young age when people ask “What’s important to you?” You are always supposed to say God first, but how many of us REALLY do that? I am guilty like everyone else I am sure. But for some reason this time is different.
As I say that I have an illustration. Last night (12/6) it is MMWY Wednesday at our church, Southbrook. Ok Wednesday’s are nuts anyway we try to get off of work, come home to walk the dog long enough for him to “do his business”, go get children from daycare while other half picks up food (if we didn’t make it the night before), RACE to church, to have enough time to eat and sign kids into Little Southbrook. Well when we signed up for MMWY Matt and I made a commitment to ourselves, each other, and the church to be there for every MMWY service. When things don’t go smoothly Matt and I have a tendency to say “This is too hard let’s just not go.” We refused to do that and boy to we get tested on that!
I thought I would be smart and run some work errands about an hour before “quitting time” so that I could run my errands and be ahead of the game to church (I guess I should really say ahead of the race). My first errand which should have only taken 25 min tops took nearly the entire hour!! AAAAAHHHHHH!!!! Ok so I race to make my next stop. Oh well that only took 2 minutes YIPPEE Maybe I can get back on track. WRONG!!!! Then I hit downtown traffic but the traffic home was light. So I start this game in my head “Maybe I can make it . .. Oh! Crap! I’m going to be late!” Well by the time I got to 485 on Idlewilde I had 5 minutes to get home, let the dog do what dog’s do, get the kids and be on my way to church. Needless to say the typically 2 minute trip home became 25 minutes!!
I am supposed to pick the kids up by 6pm it was 6:25 by the time I got everyone and we were on our way to church. In my head I am thinking if I hadn’t made this commitment I swear I would turn around and go back home. But I knew in my soul that if I stuck it out it would be so worth it! And boy did God ever deliever!!
Well we got to church at 6:40pm just in time for service to start. We sat down ate our dinner, and then signed the kids in. We were late but we were there. I know what most of you are thinking, “Good Gosh after al of that how did you focus on the service?” For some reason everything fell away the moment I got to church. In fact as I was slurping the last little bit out of my straw (in service) Matthew began to give me the “Dad” look. You know “If you make that big slurping sound in church you are going to regret it Missy!” Of course I was trying so hard not to laugh!
Ok back to God delivering. I swear it was like it was straight out of a movie. Rob is preaching on “GO” one of the five purposes of our church. As he is I see God just envelope him with this heavenly light. He reached out and spoke directly to me. OK he did speak directly to me but his sermon was working in me as well. Go is one of the hardest one for me. No it isn’t hard for me to talk about Jesus but I seem to be surrounded by Christians. When I try to reach out I pray that God will give me words so I don’t sound “Preachy”. But I always feel like I fall so short.
I pray that God will use all of us (including me) to spread his news, to the hardest people of all to reach, the people we are closest too!
Thanks for listening and I look forward to hearing from any of you who are out there!
Monday, December 4, 2006
The term"Chrismahanukwanzakah" was first used in a commercial by Virgin mobile in 2004, but I just heard it last year. My wife and I have always used it jokingly, but this year I decided to not take it so lightly. It is sad that we have to "tone down" our celebration of Christ's birth just to make everyone happy. I am not saying to outlaw the other celebrations but that we, the 80-90 percent of Americans who profess to be Christians, need to bring the focus back onto Christ this time of year. (and throughout the year as well) I went to Wikipedia and found this interesting snippet on their website:
"Virgin Mobile has been criticized for removing the "t" in Christmas, yet including the subsequent "m" (i.e. spelling Chrismas). Some believe this to be a conscious attempt by Virgin at ensuring the word "Christ" not be spelled out in its advertising. Some believe Virgin Mobile would not want the term "Christ" in its advertising for secular reasons, while others assert that Virgin Mobile is avoiding criticism from Christian organizations for including "Christ" in the mish-mash holiday."
Looks like another prime example of the secular community wanting to suppress the "reason for the season". Now, again, I am not saying that we need to pull out the tinfoil hats and scream conspiracy but we do need to really look at how we are celebrating Christmas as well as where our hearts and minds are during the most wonderful time of the year.