True Meaning of Christmas

One of my friends posted this on Facebook and I kinda liked it so I thought I would share it…

Just a week before Christmas I had a visitor. This is how it happened. I just finished the household chores for the night and was preparing to go to bed, when I heard a noise in the front of the house. I opened the door to the front room and to my surprise, Santa himself stepped out next to the fireplace.

“What are you doing?” I started to ask. The words choked up in my throat and I saw he had tears in his eyes. His usual jolly manner was gone. Gone was the eager, boisterous soul we all know. He then answered me with a simple statement . . .

“TEACH THE CHILDREN!” I was puzzled. What did he mean? He anticipated my question and with one quick movement brought forth a miniature toy bag from behind the tree. As I stood bewildered, Santa said, “Teach the children!

Teach them the old meaning of Christmas. The meaning that now-a-days Christmas has forgotten. “Santa then reached in his bag and pulled out a FIR TREE and placed it before the mantle. “Teach the children that the pure green color of the stately fir tree remains green all year round, depicting the everlasting hope of mankind, all the needles point heavenward, making it a symbol of man’s thoughts turning toward heaven.”

He again reached into his bag and pulled out a brilliant STAR. “Teach the children that the star was the heavenly sign of promises long ago. God promised a Savior for the world, and the star was the sign of fulfillment of His promise.”

He then reached into his bag and pulled out a CANDLE. “Teach the children that the candle symbolizes that Christ is the light of the world, and when we see this great light we are reminded of He who displaces the darkness.”

Once again he reached into his bag and removed a WREATH and placed it on the tree. “Teach the children that the wreath symbolizes the real nature of love. Real love never ceases. Love is one continuous round of affection.”

He then pulled from his bag an ORNAMENT of himself. “Teach the children that I, Santa Claus, symbolize the generosity and good will we feel during the month of December.”

He then brought out a HOLLY LEAF. “Teach the children that the holly plant represents immortality. It represents the crown of thorns worn by our Savior. The red holly berries represent the blood shed by Him.

Next he pulled from his bag a GIFT and said, “Teach the children that God so loved the world that he gave his begotten son.” Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift.

Santa then reached in his bag and pulled out a CANDY CANE and hung it on the tree. “Teach the children that the candy cane represents the shepherds’ crook. The crook on the staff helps to bring back strayed sheep to the flock. The candy cane is the symbol that we are our brother’s keeper.”

He reached in again and pulled out an ANGEL. “Teach the children that it was the angels that heralded in the glorious news of the Savior’s birth. The angels sang Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace and good will toward men.”

Suddenly I heard a soft twinkling sound, and from his bag he pulled out a BELL,. “Teach the children that as the lost sheep are found by the sound of the bell, it should ring mankind to the fold. The bell symbolizes guidance and return.

Santa looked back and was pleased. He looked back at me and I saw that the twinkle was back in his eyes. He said, “Remember, teach the children the true meaning of Christmas and do not put me in the center, for I am but a humble servant of the One that is, and I bow down to worship him, our LORD, our GOD.”

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!!!

Ever since I can remember, I have loved Christmas.  Loved the music, loved the gatherings, loved the food, and the gifts of course (what kid doesn’t like gifts?).  Even now, this time of year brings back memories of years past and I still love the feeling I get this time of year.  Only this time it’s because of the looks on my kids’ faces on Christmas morning.  This year, we’re gonna try something a little different and make sure we remember one very important thing: JESUS IS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON!!  Yes, Jesus was born on Christmas Day, He was born to die for all of our sins and He is definitely the best and only gift I need!  It’s time to remind ourselves of this and to start teaching this to our children.  I pray you all have a blessed Holiday season.  Through the next few days I’ll be sharing some of my favorite Christmas songs with a little story.

At The Movies

If you aren’t familiar with At The Movies, it’s a series that Lifechurch.tv does every summer.  Pastor Craig pulls some awesome biblical messages out of great movies like The Bucket List, We Are Marshall, Fireproof and even Nacho Libre.  This past week’s movie was Fireproof and all about marriage and that who you are without God is NOT WHO YOU ARE MEANT TO BE!  It got me thinking about some other relationships (marriage relationship is awesome).  Like my relationship with my parents and my friends.  I really have lost touch with some friends that I wish I hadn’t lost touch with.  I don’t talk to my dad like I did when I was younger and I miss that.  So what relationship do YOU need to work on and what is YOUR next step to fixing that relationship?

Set Me Free

Do you remember the person you were before you met Jesus and accepted Him as your Savior?  Do you remember all the things you did that you thought no one could forgive you of?  Well I know Jesus forgives ALLLLLL of our sins, but we also need to forgive ourselves and get past the guilt and shame.  Set yourself free of your past.  I know just how hard this is because I, myself, am in the process of doing the same thing.  I did a lot of things I’m not proud of, but the past is the past and you can’t undo it.  It helps us form who we are, sure we’d love to go back and change some things, but in the end you’d change as a person.  I kind of like the person I am now, wish I was a little bit more confident, but overall I feel I’m a pretty good person.  I don’t know that I could say that if I hadn’t gone through some of the things that I went through.  I’m sure, in time, that God will show me how these things are going to be or were used for His glory. 

Now I’m not going to get into all the things that I did, because people will read this and use those things to hang over my head.  The guilt and the shame are the chains that are holding me down and every once in a while Satan will get ahold of this information and use it to bring me down even further.  All I know is that I WANT TO BE FREE!!!  Free from the guilt and free from the shame and embarassment…I will get there one day with God’s help and the help of a few of my friends.  Does anybody else want to be free of their shameful past???  Am I alone here??

Paid In Full

I found this poem a while ago…it’s a nice reminder of what God has done for us all.
After living what I felt was a “decent” life, my time on earth came to the end.
The first thing I remember is sitting on a bench in the waiting
room of what I thought to be a court house.


The doors opened and I was instructed to come in and have a seat
by the defense table.


As I looked around I saw the “prosecutor.”


He was a villainous looking gent who snarled as he stared at me.


He definitely was the most evil person I have ever seen.


I sat down and looked to my left and there sat My Attorney,
a kind and gentle looking man whose appearance seemed so familiar to me, I felt I knew Him.

The corner door flew open and there appeared the Judge in full flowing robes.


He commanded an awesome presence as He moved across the room I
couldn’t take my eyes off of Him.


As He took His seat behind the bench, He said, “Let us begin.”


The prosecutor rose and said,

“My name is Satan and I am here to show you why this woman belongs in hell.”

He proceeded to tell of lies that I told, things that I stole,
and In the past when I cheated others Satan told of other horrible
Perversions that were once in my life and the more he spoke, the further
down in my seat I sank.


I was so embarrassed that I couldn’t look at anyone, even my own
Attorney, as the Devil told of sins that even I had completely forgotten about.

As upset as I was at Satan for telling all these things about me, I was equally upset at My Attorney who sat there silently not
Offering any form of defense at all.

I know I had been guilty of those things, but I had done some good in my life – couldn’t that at least equal out part of the harm I’d done?

Satan finished with a fury and said, “This woman belongs in hell,
she is guilty of all that I have charged and there is not a person who can prove otherwise.”

When it was His turn, My Attorney first asked if He might approach the bench.


The Judge allowed this over the strong objection of Satan, and beckoned Him to come forward.


As He got up and started walking, I was able to see Him in His full splendor and majesty.


I realized why He seemed so familiar; this was Jesus representing me, my Lord and my Savior.

 
He stopped at the bench and softly said to the Judge, “Hi, Dad,” and then He turned to address the court.


“Satan was correct in saying that this woman had sinned,
I won’t deny any of these allegations.


And, yes, the wage of sin is death, and this woman deserves to be
punished.”
 
  
Jesus took a deep breath and turned to His Father with
outstretched arms and proclaimed, “However, I died on the cross so
that this person might have eternal life and she has accepted Me as her
Savior, so she is Mine.”


My Lord continued with, “Her name is written in the Book of Life,
and no one can snatch her from Me.


Satan still does not understand yet.
This woman is not to be given justice, but rather mercy.”


As Jesus sat down,


He quietly paused, looked at His Father and said,
“There is nothing else that needs to be done.”


“I’ve done it all.”


The Judge lifted His mighty hand and slammed the gavel down.
The following words bellowed from His lips..


“This woman is free.”


The penalty for her has already been paid in full.


“Case dismissed.”


As my Lord led me away, I could hear Satan ranting and raving,
“I won’t give up, I will win the next one.” I asked Jesus as He gave
me my instructions where to go next, “Have you ever lost a case?”


Christ lovingly smiled and said,


“Everyone that has come to Me and asked Me to represent them
has received the same verdict as you,


~Paid In Full~