Yearly Archives: 2018

128 posts

From Presents to Possessions

Something mysterious happens to items in colorfully wrapped boxes and then placed under a tree full of lights. After a short incubation period these items, called presents, become possessions when the wrapping disappears. This is actually a dangerous time! Christ had an encounter with a brother who was also concerned that his sibling was not being fair with possessions. He wanted Jesus to settle an inheritance dispute. No doubt, this issue was critically important to the offended brother. He must have been taken aback to see his desire for fairness and justice be exposed for what it really was – greed. Christ ignores the who, what, where, when of the situation and goes straight to the heart. He tells this […]

What Child Is This?

Verse two of the Christmas Hymn, “What Child is This?” provides much to ponder this Christmas. Read these words slowly and carefully: Why lies he in such mean estate, where ox and ass are feeding? Good Christian, fear, for sinners here the silent Word is pleading Nails, spear, shall pierce him through, the cross be borne for me, for you Hail, hail the Word made flesh, the babe, the son of Mary. Why does the hymn writer include this line in a song celebrating the birth of Christ? Nails, spear, shall pierce him through, the cross be borne for me, for you What Child is this? He was a child born for the nails, the spear, the cross. These are […]

Christmas Rush

Being a parent is a consuming job. The unexpected and unplanned for circumstances just keep on coming. It is ironic that In the rush of Christmas, Christ can become distant.  In Psalm 73, the psalmist had become overwhelmed with the seeming futility of following God. Survival mode had become the norm. But here is the reality that the crush of daily life can obscure—Jesus is right there with you in the middle of the mess of your life! Trusting Christ in the rush of life is what gives stability to your soul. He has brought together all of the events, frustrations and demands of your life to point you to him. Jesus is not some distant bystander. He is there […]

Christmas Light

Christmas is all about the joy of true light. John’s gospel teaches us that Jesus is the light for all of humanity.  Any goodness in people is a reflection of the true light of Christ.   In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. There is no authentic light in this world but the light of Christ. Anything else that appears to be light is but a reflection of the light of Christ. This is just like the way that the moon or the planets have no light of their own – they only reflect the light of the sun. 2,000 years ago […]

Tedd Tripp on Smart Phones and Your Kids

It’s Christmas! I know, not exactly breaking news. But there is one item that is at the top of the list of “must-have” gifts for your children, Smart Phones!  Your kids have a thousand and one reasons why they need a smart phone now: it will help them with school work, they can keep up with their friends so they aren’t isolated, they can keep up with current events, the can follow their favorite sports team and many other “compelling” reasons. Then, of course, there are all the reasons that your children don’t want you to know about!  So, what do you do? Tedd Tripp has a brilliant, low-tech, cost effective solution for you! Listen to his wise suggestion to […]

 A Three Step Guide to a Miserable Christmas!

Giving gifts can be a dangerous activity. Gifts given for the wrong reasons can bring misery instead of joy and happiness. How can this happen? How can giving someone a gift be a bad thing? It is easier than you think. Here are three examples of gift-giving that can result in a miserable Christmas.  1. Giving gifts to receive. This type of gift giving is actually giving a gift to yourself.  No, I am not talking about the present under the tree that is labeled from you to you.  I am talking about the gifts you give to others because you want to be appreciated.  However, when the recipient  of your gift is not ecstatic you become discouraged and  miserable! […]

This Christmas, What Is Your Good?

What makes a Christmas a good Christmas? Think about that for a  moment. There is danger that lurks for Christians when we evaluate the quality of life with the standards of our culture. Using the world’s standards as the measure of what is good in your life will bring dissatisfaction. This is exactly what happened to the psalmist in Psalm 73. His overwhelming discouragement came directly from evaluating life the way God’s enemies do. Parents, this applies to you, as well. If you work hard at your parenting, but use the culture’s standards of success, you will become like the psalmist—embittered and discouraged with life and with God. What is good cannot be found by looking at our culture. Christians have a […]

No One Can Hold Back His Hand

Everyday world leaders make decisions thinking that they answer to no one but themselves. Legislatures pass legislation believing they have served their constituents, their party or even themselves.  Generals direct their armies where they believe they should be deployed. But behind all of these decisions is the unseen hand of God directing the affairs of people to bring about his sovereign decrees. Men seldom recognize or acknowledge this rule of God but his control is there. King Nebuchadnezzar of ancient Babylon said this about God’s control over the nations: His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation. All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers […]

Thirty-Three Years

The thirty-three years of the life of Jesus Christ on earth held little expectation that this man’s life would be the most significant life in all of history.  His life ended in public disgrace and shame. His birth was that of a peasant and his death was that of a criminal. He was born in the company of animals in a stable. He died in the company of thieves on a cross stained with his blood. The political leaders of his country tried to murder him as a baby. But it was the supposed bible-believing religious leaders who finally succeeded where Herod had failed. His friends fled from him at his trial. His family fled to Egypt when he was […]

Whose helper are you?

 Santa’s Helper? Your children know everything about you. They see when you are sleeping, they know when you have been good or bad, they know when you pout and when you shout. Your kids know all of this without your ever having to say a word. When you stumble and ask God for help — they learn. When you stumble and snap or make excuses — they learn from that, too. If you value your relationship with God above all else, your children will know that as well. What does this have to do with being Santa’s helper? Just this: in Psalm 72:18 we read that “God alone does marvelous things.” However, at Christmas time, for little children someone else […]