Here are thoughts as we get closer to Christmas Day. Remember that not everyone is looking forward to Christmas since they may not have loving and supportive families. Some people have problems during the holidays. Great sadness plague those remembering the loved ones no longer with them. For many, it is their first Christmas without a particular loved one; many others lost loved ones at Christmas time. Many people have no one to spend these times and are lonely. We all need caring, loving thoughts right now. Pray for all those who have family issues, health problems, job struggles, or worries of any kind. They need to know someone cares. Pray for our military families, those who lay terminally ill in hospital beds, those who are in prison, as they are all someone’s son or daughter, spouse, parent or friend too.
I recall breathing a sigh of relief on December 26th. It was over, and I could get back to a “normal” life. When I was a young, single woman, my next concern was not having a date for New Years’ Eve. I’m grateful those days have passed. Now I have more important matters that consume me such as filing taxes. I have stopped making New years resolutions as I am still trying to fulfill the ones I made back in 1995! Instead, I make short and long-term goals. For 2019, I want to become a disciple maker for the Lord Jesus Christ. I will volunteer where I am needed at my church and my community. I will continue to grow my blog followers and offer more personal support to the women in need. Finally, I will give thanks every day to the Lord who created me to do His work and will do it with a loving heart.
Christmas is an opportunity for people to see the peace that the Holy Spirit has given us. The way our society does Christmas is stressful. We should not allow the stress of others to affect the peace we want to experience. Remember, non-believers should see us act differently than others. We experience the same temptations and stress that others do, but with the help of the Holy Spirit and the Word as well as the strength that other believers give, we are not affected the same way. In order to have the peace God provides, we must abide in Christ. This Christmas we are setting aside time to spend in prayer and worship our King. This will give us a different perspective and enable us to be more Christ like.
Colossians 3 is a great text about setting our minds on things above and then the resulting love that comes from that. As people see us differently it gives us the opportunity to speak about Jesus and opens the door to discipleship. My husband and I have no family in Idaho so we have made this holiday season a time to serve others however God wants to use us. We refuse to surrendor to the secular world by putting ourselves into a mountain of debt on possessions we certainly don’t need.
Christmas will also be a good time to work on disciple making skills. Invite a friend, a neighbor or even a stranger to attend Christmas service with you. Oh, one more thing, before you go making those New Year’s Resolutions, you might Ask God what changes He would like to help you with. After all, nobody knows you better!
Here we go again. Every year, immediately after Halloween, the Christmas decorations begin to decorate store windows, commercials showing high-end automobiles, expensive perfumes, alcohol, and Black Friday Sales. Thanksgiving seems to have taken a back seat and has almost become politically incorrect to even mention it. When I was teaching in the public schools, teachers received an announcement asking us not to discuss Thanksgiving or introduce any form of Indian/Pilgrim stories or art projects. It had nothing to do with religious beliefs, it was about how the white man killed and robbed the Indians so therefore, we are no longer allowed to teach the traditional Thanksgiving Story. Of course, we can’t forget Christmas. Another holiday that has been removed from the schools in fear of offending other religions. What I really find hypocritical is on Thursday we bow our heads and offer thanks and talk about what we’re thankful for and Friday morning, 3am people are up and out pushing and shoving their way into the store the moment the doors unlock, run frantically to fight other people over sale items on Black Friday.
My husband and I decided to do something different this year. Instead of spending a small fortune (that we can’t afford) on an expensive dinner and weekend get away at a resort, we chose to spend last night volunteering to serve Thanksgiving dinner to our community. Every year our church puts on a wonderful Free Thanksgiving feast. It felt wonderful to greet the people, tell them about the evening and wish them a Happy Thanksgiving. I sat with many different families and spoke with children for brief moments gave them a warm, sincere smile and told them how I enjoyed spending the evening serving them.