Holidays

120 posts

Peace on Earth

This Christmas season the truth about God and his Son is mixed with cultural myth and fantasy. This mixture dilutes the power of the gospel. This mixing of truth and cultural myth can also help to mislead your children about the real meaning of the incarnation of Christ. For example, look at Luke 2:14: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” ESV

Black Friday, Lord Willing

Please don’t worry–this blog has not embraced materialism! I will admit, though, the title of this post does appear to be influenced by the profit motive. But the notion that making money and following God are polar opposites actually represents a cultural bias, not a biblical one. Does that surprise you? Let me illustrate. It would not seem unsettling for a farmer to ask God to bless the harvest and provide a good crop. In an agrarian culture it would be only fitting to acknowledge God’s control over all the details that affect the harvest. Yet most of us would not recognize the same dependence on God’s control of business and retail that we do for agriculture. But the Scriptures […]

Psalm 73, Christ and You – Part 3

Yet I am always with you;        you hold me by my right hand.You guide me with your counsel,        and afterward you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you?        And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail,        but God is the strength of my heart        and my portion forever. Those who are far from you will perish;        you destroy all who are unfaithful to you. But as for me, it is good to be near God.        I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge;        I will tell of all your deeds.  Psalm 73:23-28 Psalm 73 shows the danger that lurks for […]

Psalm 73, Christ and You – part 2

Yet I am always with you;        you hold me by my right hand.You guide me with your counsel,        and afterward you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you?        And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail,        but God is the strength of my heart        and my portion forever. Those who are far from you will perish;        you destroy all who are unfaithful to you. But as for me, it is good to be near God.        I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge;        I will tell of all your deeds. Psalm 73:23-28 Being a faithful parent is a consuming vocation. […]

Are You Santas’ Helper

This post is from last Christmas, but I pray it will be a blessing to your and your family. Listen, my son, to your father's instruction        and do not forsake your mother's teaching. They will be a garland to grace your head        and a chain to adorn your neck. Proverbs 1:8&9 Little children are dependent upon their parents for everything. This includes more than food, clothing and shelter. Children are dependent upon you, parent, for how they view the world around them. The way you live in front of them is the most powerful teaching tool that God gives you. This is teaching in the milieu. God designed families to demonstrate what it means […]

Christmas Lights and Christmas Lights

“Can you bind the beautiful Pleiades? Can you loose the cords of Orion?  Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons or lead out the Bear with its cubs? Do you know the laws of the heavens? Can you set up God’s dominion over the earth? Job 38:31-33 I was fascinated by viewing a short clip about a massive Christmas Light display at a home in Pittsburgh, PA. These folks put in an enormous amount of work to make this display happen. Here are just a few of the statistics about this light display:  *There are over 200,000 lights connected to over 5 1/2 miles of extension cord. *It took over 3 months to put up the lights, but we work on the display year round. […]

The Greatness of Knowing Christ’s Word

The law from your mouth is more precious to me        than thousands of pieces of silver and gold. —Psalm 119:72 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. —Colossians 3:16 This is the season for giving gifts. Parents everywhere are thinking about what their children want for Christmas and, perhaps, what they would like to give their children for Christmas—two things which are not always the same.  More often than not, values differ; that difference leaves you with the question, what should we get the kids for Christmas? Consider your own values. […]

Gifts and Escapism – Tis the Season 6

Don't be deceived, my dear brothers. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created. James 1:16-18 Here is the last installment of the series about preparing for the holiday season. Let's focus now on the attitude of the recipients of gifts. Christmas has become a season all about children. Culturally, Christmas is an exercise in benevolent escapism. This escapism is possible because children tend to trust their parents' view of reality. This is appropriate—as long as children are dependent upon their […]

Breaking the Holiday Code – Tis the Season 5

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest,       and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." Luke 2:13&14 "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn   " 'a man against his father,       a daughter against her mother,       a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law –       a man's enemies will be the members of his own household. Matthew 10:34-36 The Advent of Jesus Christ has become the season where political correctness and materialism combine to obfuscate the purposes of God. This […]

Why Do You Give Presents? – Tis the Season 4

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9 Why do you give presents? At first, the answer seems obvious—but is it? This is important to understand, especially with the Christmas gift season approaching. The obvious answer is that you give to make someone else feel happy or appreciated. But let’s take a deeper look at this “obvious” answer. There are many ways to approach this issue, but this in post our focus will be on why you give presents to your children. Gift giving, like anything else in the Christian life, must be done for the […]