Holidays

122 posts

Are You Celebrating Insanity?

There is a popular definition of insanity that is attributed to Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, and others. It goes like this: Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Every January 1st, most of the world celebrates insanity. Times Square is filled with people who watch a crystal ball descend as midnight approaches. Millions more watch on television. When the ball ends its journey a massive celebration erupts. People are excited about the promise of a new year. They hope the disappointments of the previous year will be replaced by better times in the new year. They believe that their new resolutions will work better than last year’s. But the jubilant celebrations too often […]

You Have More Gifts To Give

The presents have all been opened. Christmas is done. For your children, next Christmas seems more than a lifetime away. I remember feeling sad that there were no more gifts to open, even as I was surrounded by presents and empty boxes! As I look back, I am amazed at how quickly gratitude was replaced with a self-centered longing for more stuff. Not pleasant thoughts! Now as an adult, I find I still quickly forget God’s kindness to me. His goodness to me is quickly forgotten and replaced with, “I need more.” Losing sight of God’s goodness skews my understanding of reality. The truth is that God’s faithfulness to me never stops! God is relentless in his pursuit to bring […]

Joy to The World: A Biblical Worldview, Part 2

The Savior Reigns! (Part 2 of 4) The second verse of “Joy to the World” builds on the theme of the first verse, where Isaac Watts anticipates the coming king. Now he exults in the current reign of Christ. This is the next foundation stone in constructing a biblical worldview based on this hymn. This truth is simple, yet profound – if Jesus is reigning, it is a good thing. Here is the second verse: Joy to the World, the Savior reigns! Let men their songs employ; While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains Repeat the sounding joy… All that is good, noble, and excellent in life stems from the glory and goodness of God, not from any other […]

The Story of the Manger to the Cross

Christ’s 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 a toddler. This is not exactly the story one would expect for the greatest life ever lived. If someone were to come to your church to speak and his bio read like Christ’s, you would be […]

Ordinary Girl, Extraordinary Faith

Mary was a teenager. There was nothing remarkable about her. The first time we see her is in Luke’s Gospel when she is greeted by the angel Gabriel. To say that she was startled and taken aback would be an understatement! But Gabriel comforted her and then with a few words turned her life upside down. She was going to become a mother. She was told her child would grow up to take the throne of King David and that his kingdom would have no end. So far, so good until she learns who the baby’s father would be. This was no ordinary conversation. Gabriel was no ordinary visitor. Her baby would not be an ordinary son. Mary, an ordinary […]

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 you 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 is portrayed […]

Christmas for All

On a quiet night, the sky erupted with the praise of heaven to shepherds in a pasture with their sheep. In an age of global communication and media fanfare, it seems unsettling that the most important announcement ever made to humans was given to just a few shepherds. They had no political connections. They were not celebrities with social media connections. I don’t believe they even had a youtube channel. Yet the angels gave them the wondrous message of Christmas that was meant for all people.  Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to people he favors! However, this message was broadcast in ways quite different from the internet and social media channels. It was proclaimed […]

Do Good to One Another at Christmas

There is an amazing gift that you can give this Christmas that is literally priceless. In the book 31 Ways to be a One Another Christian the authors remind us of the gift of doing good to one another. It is a gift so easily ignored, but there are few things in life that can match the power of the gift of goodness.  The book explains it is this way: “See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone.” In 1 Thessalonians 5:15, Paul uses the present tense to show that seeking after good for one another person should not be a temporary or sporadic action, but rather […]

When Christmas Hurts, Hope in Christ

Christmas is a time of joy and thanksgiving but not for everyone. Amid the colored lights and wrapped presents there are hearts that are as empty as the open gift boxes under the tree on Christmas morning. Christmas brings good memories but also the hard ones of broken dreams and relationships. When we are struggling, it is tempting to ask where is the joy in life?   David asked these same questions long ago. He wanted to know why God had abandoned him. He wanted to know why his prayers were not answered. He cried out to ask why God does not answer his pleas. So he writes these words in Psalm 22: My God, my God, why have you […]

The Planet, Jesus, and Christmas

When Adam and Eve embraced the lie of Satan, the impact of their fall reverberated all through Planet Earth. God designed the earth to be lovingly cared for by people. All of the beauty and resources of the earth were to be under human care for the glory and honor of God. Practically this meant the planet and its resources would be managed well and respected. This gracious command to protect the planet is called the Creation Mandate.  But after sin entered into the human race that balance of care and respect was replaced by the unholy combination of abuse and worship. People either abused creation or they deified and worshipped it. Both actions continue to inflict disastrous consequences.  The […]