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Entries in Christmas (3)


3 tips to help us keep Christ at the center of Christmas - Tip 2

In Tip 1, I shared how easily distracted I can be by the things of this world.  Even at CHRISTmas.  I can start out with a heart to celebrate Jesus and keep Him at the center of all my Christmas doings but then I can find myself getting distracted by the twinkle lights, decorations, holiday clothes and Christmas menu.  Far too easily it can become about creating a wonderful environment, meal or "look" - all in the name of Jesus or Christmas.  These things aren't bad.  It's just that I have to determine to keep Christ at the center of my Christmas and life.  Then, I have to be intentional about keeping Him there.  I have to fix my eyes on Jesus and not on the things of this world. Okay, so Tip 1 for helping me do this is to stop and remember where I am - the world and what's true about this world and my relationship with it.

Tip 2 to help me keep Christ at the center of Christmas (and life)

Remember whose I am.

I'm not even sure if that's proper grammar but it works for me and hopefully you get the point.  Stopping to remember the truths about who I am in Christ turns my attention away from the world and the desires of my flesh and puts my eyes or focus back on my Jesus.  One of my favorite places to to go when battling with distractions is Ephesians.  It's like having a "V8 moment" with God.  If we belong to Jesus, the below list represents just a few truths about us. This list is our reality!  Read Ephesians, review the list and have that "V8 moment" with God!  In the midst of all the hustle and bustle let's take time to remember whose we are and rejoice - celebrate.  If you don't belong to Jesus or aren't sure - please ... let's talk!  

  • Blessed with every spiritual blessing
  • Adopted by God through Jesus
  • Redeemed through the blood of Jesus
  • Forgiven
  • Are lavished in God's grace
  • Sealed in Jesus with the Holy Spirit
  • Were dead in our sins and trespasses
  • Walked according to the course of this world
  • Lived in the lusts of our flesh
  • Indulged in the desires of our flesh and mind
  • Made alive together with Christ
  • For by grace we have been saved through faith and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works.
  • His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works

Remembering whose I am helps me to fix my eyes on Jesus and helps me from getting distracted. So, how about this: if we find we are getting distracted by things like whether or not we have a Christmas tree, give or receive presents, sending or receiving Christmas cards, family gatherings, meals to cook (or not) - whatever - let's take time to remember where we are and whose we are.

What tips do you have to share?


3 tips to help us keep Christ at the center of Christmas - Tip 1

In starting my Bible study of 1 John this morning, I was to read through the book marking every reference to the words write, writing, written.  That was the instruction but I couldn't get past 1 John 2:15-17. Here is what grabbed my heart:

Immediately, my mind went to a time when we were on vacation at the beach.  Those first few mornings I couldn't wait to get up before the house and walk the beach with the Lord.  I was eager to see the sunrise He would paint, praise Him and ponder His Word with Him.  It was wonderful!  But ... on the third day I began to notice the beautiful houses along the beach and was aware that I had to draw my attention away from them and back to the Lord.  On the fourth day, I not only saw the houses but noticed they had beautiful pools, landscaping, a bench or chair for beach watching ... Oh...so many pretty details to take in.  Yep, my attention was being drawn away from the Lord and to the beautiful things of the world.  I am ashamed to admit it but by the fifth day, I was totally distracted.  So why am I telling you this?  Well, this story reminds me of how Christmas starts out being all about celebrating our Savior. We all want to keep Christ in Christmas but if you are like me, you can so easily get distracted by the desires of the flesh and eyes.  More and better decorations.  I mean don't they just get more beautiful each year?  Oh, and what about trying to find the best ever Christmas card or chasing the sales and adding more packages under the tree.  Come on now - you know you have to work to not go there - right?

Tip 1 to help me keep Christ at the center of Christmas (and life):

Remember where we are.  

Remember, we are in the world and as 1 John 2:15-17 reminds us we are not to love the world or the things of the world.  No matter how pretty they might be. The world is passing away. Or, as my sweet daddy used to say - "it's all going to burn".  Yes, the things of this world will pass away - along with it's desires.  But until then the things and desires of this world can and will distract us from keeping Christ at the center of Christmas (and life).  So, let's:

  • Remember where we are - the world.
  • Remind ourselves and each other we are not to love this world for this world and the things of this world will pass away. (My life as a harlot - Part 1Part 2Part 3.)
  • Be alert and aware when the desires of our flesh and eyes are distracting us from Jesus.
  • Determine to fix our mind and eyes on Jesus (watch for Tip 2).

What tips can you share?


*The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (1 Jn 2:15–17). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.


Wishing you a wonder filled Christmas

This is one of my favorite Christmas scenes.  I love how the room is so charming and inviting.  In my mind, this represents a picture perfect Christmas atmosphere.  Look, it's even snowing outside!  The decorations are beautiful, the fire crackling, candles burning, decorated packages.  In my dreamer mind, I envision mother, father, children and spouses and grandchildren in the kitchen and dining room laughing and enjoying each other. 

Perfect lives, perfect house, perfect Christmas.  Even the dog is perfect! 

Soon they will be coming into this room where they will open the Bible, read the Christmas story, sing Silent Night, sip eggnog, open gifts and then play games.  Surely, the wonder of Christmas is found in such a scene of perfection!  Now, this is what Christmas should be like - right?

I long for...what - perfection?  Well, that would just be perfect - wouldn't it?  I've experienced some perfect moments in time. Priceless and treasured moments held dear in my heart.  But they were fleeting and while grateful, I still have this longing...for what?  Picture perfect?

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil—this is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere him. Ecclesiastes 3:11-14
God has put eternity in our hearts.  Isn't that the most amazing truth?  I long for eternity!  Where God Himself will be with us and He will wipe away every tear and there will be no more death, mourning, crying or pain  (Revelation 21:3-4). Oh yes, there is a longing for eternity in my heart.  But, those perfect moments here - where we experience happiness or satisfaction - these are gifts from God!  And, we stand in awe and wonder!  Oh, the wonder of God of our gift giving God.  And His greatest gift to us? 
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 6:23
Oh, the wonder of our gift giving God!  Wonder is such a great word.  It means...

· An intuitive grasp of reality through something (as an event) usually simple and striking
· An illuminating discovery, realization, or disclosure
· Revealing scene or moment

My prayer for us this Christmas is that God will grant us a simple yet striking grasp of the reality of who He is and what He has done.  That in the hearing or reading of His Word we will have an new and fresh illuminating discovery and realization of Jesus as Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.  I pray that in the gathering with friends and family, while waiting in line or in traffic, while dealing with cranky shoppers, friends or family or while experiencing perfect moments in time - that in ALL these moments we remember our gift giving God and are filled with awe and wonder.

Wishing you a wonder filled Christmas!