There’s No Place Like Home

[329 words] A good home is such a wonderful place. It seems that we are always wanting to go home. And we especially love being home for the holidays. In fact, there is a traditional song that testifies to that fact. What is it that is so great about home? Let’s note a few of…

Giving and Receiving

[448 words] “What are you getting for Christmas?” “What do you want for Christmas?” How many times have you heard these questions lately? Christmas shopping is in full swing. For the next two weeks many gifts will be given and received. Which do you enjoy the most – giving or receiving? Unfortunately, for many people,…

Don’t Break the Bank

[164 words] Ah, it’s that time of the year when we show people how much we love them…by spending money on them. I miss you Thanksgiving! Now I know when it comes to gifts, it’s supposed to be the thought that counts. But I also know that any gift, no matter how thoughtful or thoughtless…

What Are We to Do with Christmas?

[419 words] Christmas – what are we going to do with it? Some say, “We need to put Christ back into Christmas.” Others say, “Christ was never meant to be in Christmas.” Some celebrate it as a religious holiday. Other celebrate it as a secular holiday. Other do not celebrate it at all. What does…

Searching for Jesus

[462 words] One of the verses most heard at this time of year is found in Luke 2:11, “…for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” And as familiar as this verse is, the immediate reaction to the verse may be more important.…

‘You shall call His name…’

[280 words] One of the earliest predictions about the birth of Christ came from the prophet Isaiah. Seven centuries before our Lord was born, this Old Testament preacher wrote: “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14). This passage would be repeated later to remind us…

On Sale NOW!

[406 words] The holidays are almost over. Everyone will soon be settling back into a rhythm that will take most people through the remainder of the winter and through the first part of spring. However, every day I check my “junk email” account, I see hundreds of email subject lines from hundreds of different companies…

Expensive Junk and Free Treasure

[376 words] The zeal with which people will pursue the toy that their kid wants most for Christmas is astounding. Every year seems to have a new fad—a new massively hard-to-purchase toy. A few years ago it was “Shopkins” (tiny collectable rubber toys). When stores sold out parents flocked to eBay and spent thousands of…

A Gift for God

[203 words] This is a gift-giving season. We have been given more gifts from God than we could possibly count. So, what are you giving God this season? In Ephesians 4:30, we are warned not to grieve the Holy Spirit. Given that warning, what can we “give” to God this season?  • Read your Bible…

Pray for Others Without Ceasing

[288 words] Paul’s famously inspired words in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, “pray without ceasing” really come to light when observing all of his two letters to the church in Thessalonica. As documented in Acts 17, Paul, Silas, and Timothy establish the Lord’s church there after spending three Sabbaths reasoning with them from the Scriptures (v. 2).…

Comfort for Holiday Loneliness

[362 words] Although each person is different in how they respond, there are many common reasons why people may experience loneliness. Each of us will face events in our lives that may lead us to feel alone, rejected, or out of place. The Bible records many of these events in people’s lives: Lack of friends…

‘Twas the Night Jesus Came

[318 words] ‘Twas the night Jesus came and all through the house,not a person was praying, not me or my spouse.The Bible was left on the shelf without care,for no one had thought the Lord would come there.The children were dressing to crawl into bed,not once ever kneeling or bowing their head.And Mom in the…

What Does Christmas Mean to You?

[440 words] Soon it will be Christmas day. To children, it seems that day will never come. They dream about their time off from school, the presents they hope to receive, and seeing family they may seldom see during the rest of the year. These are things that make Christmas special for children, but what…

What is Your Gift to Him?

[182 words] The Christmas holidays are here upon us, and the world around us is filled with the noble notions of gift-giving. “What am I going to get my spouse?” “Will my kids like this gift?” “What can I do for my boss and co-workers?” Giving gifts is a godly behavior, and we should all…

How Bad Can I Be?

[445 words] With the winter holidays just around the corner, we will all be seeing items and hearing stories related to the season. As such, I just read about the fact that there is a website known as emailsanta.com where young ones may write an electronic letter to the North Pole. Several letters from these…

A Time to Rejoice

[301 words] Overheard at the Mall: “I just dread the Christmas season.” When I heard these words, I felt sorry for the one speaking them. To me, this time of year lifts my heart because of three nostalgic reasons.  First, I remember how my parents (especially my mother) worked hard to make this season of…

What Some Believe

[409 words] It is interesting the things that people believe religiously without checking the facts with the Bible. In illustrating this, consider three things that people believe about the birth of Christ. First, many believe that the star that led the wise men to the Christ was of the magnitude of a distant super nova,…

The Goal

  [185 words] Often times, I find myself lost in thought as to how I can improve as a worker in the kingdom of God. My thoughts most recently have been focused around the idea of the goal we pursue. So many aspects of Christianity seem to exist and all seem worthy of pursuit, however,…

What Will You Do With The New?

[336 words] Toward the end of the year, we begin to focus on the “new.” We enjoy giving and receiving “new” presents, and we look forward to the hope of a “new” year. A blank calendar page represents fresh opportunity, but what will we do with it? Hezekiah was known as a man who received…

When Giving is Wrong

[265 words] Ribbons and wrapping paper, shimmering Christmas trees, and children with sparkling eyes are the hallmarks of the “season of giving.” So many of us enjoy the holiday as a time of expressing love through the imparting of gifts. But did you ever consider when giving may be wrong? Our heavenly Father is certainly…

Thoughts About the Grace of Giving

[350 words] This time of year, many don’t think twice about volunteering in a food bank, in a soup kitchen, or in taking a neighbor some extra peanut brittle made for an office party. This time of year, it doesn’t take much prompting for someone to drop some pocket change into the rounded-metal canisters sitting…

To Give, or Not to Give?

[518 words] It’s that time of year again. You know…cold weather, Christmas decorations, long shopping lines, and “soldiers” in the Salvation Army standing at the entrance of nearly every major shopping area. These dedicated soldiers brave the cold while ringing a little bell, as they solicit donations to help the needy. These red kettles are…

A Short ‘Christmas’ Quiz

    [521 words] At this time of the year, more will be said about the birth of Jesus than at any other time of the year.  Yet, each year I can’t help but be a bit disturbed by all the biblical ignorance and inaccuracies associated with the birth of our Savior.  When it comes…

Being ‘Other’-Oriented is Not Just for Christmas!

  [207 words] A common reference people use when referring to our society today is “the ME generation.” The accusation refers to the perceived attitude of selfishness portrayed by many in modern-day America. Is this harsh judgement fair? I certainly think so! All one must do is to engage in some minor investigation into the…

Giving Like God

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” John 3:16. There’s a lot of talk about giving this month. Even the retail stores, who have separated themselves from the reason for the season, have not moved away…

The Goal for All Seasons

Often times, I find myself lost in thought as to how I can improve as a worker in the kingdom of God. My thoughts most recently have been focused around the idea of the goal we pursue. So many aspects of Christianity seem to exist and all seem worthy of pursuit, however, God’s word is…

Giving Like God

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” John 3:16. There’s a lot of talk about giving this month.  Even the retail stores, who have separated themselves from the “reason for the season,” have not moved away…

Don’t Let the Lights Go Out!

  [246 words] One of my favorite things about this time of the year is experiencing the beauty of Christmas lights. Ordinarily only dimly lit by dull street lamps, towns are now awash in brilliant displays of holiday cheer. So much more joyful than the rest of the year! Eventually, however, those lights will be…

Choose to ‘Do Well’

[284 words] While watching a movie entitled An Old Fashioned Christmas on the Hallmark Channel, I scribbled down an outstanding observation a character made about choosing a path in this world. In this movie, which is based on a story set in the 1880’s by Louisa May Alcott, one young man took a house guest…

The Reason for the Season?

  [317 words] It’s December! For many, especially children, “It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” It is also the time of the year when we hear the slogan, “Jesus is the reason for the season.” How do you feel about that slogan? I take issue! Jesus is not “the reason for the season.”…

Hope

  [275 words] My great-grandson is counting the days until Christmas. Almost every morning as we leave for school he will tell me how many days are left until the holiday arrives. He has “hope“ of getting presents, of being out of school for two weeks. and for all the good times that are waiting. …

Eight Gifts That Do Not Cost a Cent

  [181 words] The Gift of Listening. But you must really listen. No interrupting, no daydreaming, no planning your response. Just listening. The Gift of Affection. Be generous with appropriate hugs, kisses, pats on the back, and handholds. Let these small actions demonstrate the love you have for family and friends. The Gift of Laughter.…