Archives For Christmas

A simple Christmas

December 6, 2014 — Leave a comment

a simple ChristmasThe older I get, the more I appreciate the simple things in life.

We live in a complicated world, full of chaos, tension, and stresses of every kind. And with our always-on, constantly-connected technology, we are bombarded by news, text messages, emails, and alerts all day every day. It’s easy to feel dazed and overwhelmed by the relentless noise that has come to characterize so much of life.

This Christmas season I’m striving to focus more on the simple things, the simple joys of time spent with family and friends.

Simple conversations.

Simple family games.

Simple meals.

Simple memories.

Isn’t it fascinating how cluttered and complicated we’ve made Christmas. It’s not supposed to be about stuff, no matter what the endless commercials suggest. Do we really need bigger and better? Do we really have to have the latest update? Do we really feel more special, important, (insert your own adjective here) — because of the amount and quality of stuff we accumulate? Do we even remember what stuff we received as gifts last Christmas?

I’m reminded of the wise and true words of Jesus as recorded in Acts 20:35: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

So, let me encourage you to join me in seeking ways to give — not just money and material things — but your time, talents, love, compassion, and grace, wherever you find the opportunity.

If you have children and grandchildren, are you teaching them through your own actions and priorities what is most important in life?

This Christmas season, I hope you’ll be drawn anew to a simple baby in a simple manger in a simple town.

His name is Jesus. And He was — and is — the hope of all the world.

How do you keep a focus on the simple things that make Christmas so special?

Joy to the World!

December 19, 2011 — Leave a comment

Christmas is such a special time of year to me for so many reasons. I enjoy all the sights and sounds, the friends and family, and, of course, the food. However, there’s something I like even more than all that. Each year at Christmas, my church, along with thousands of other Southern Baptist churches, shines a light on international missions.

I have missionary friends in literally every part of the world. These are people who sacrifice much for the sake of sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with people who need to know Him as Lord and Savior. Today I’d like you to take a moment right where you are to pray for our international missionaries. Pray for their safety, their obedience, and their families. Most of all, pray that God would use them in incredible ways to impact the Kingdom.

From the comfort of our own homes, it can be difficult to really relate to what many international missionaries endure for the sake of the call. I’ve had the privilege already this month of meeting several new missionary families in person. Their call is evident. Their passion is contagious. Their commitment is clear. Whether here in the United States or around the world, the commission of Christ-followers is to go and share the love and message of Christ at every opportunity. I am immensely grateful for these missionaries who leave their families to go and serve in places where most of us probably wouldn’t desire to go.

If I’ve learned anything at all from my missionary friends, it’s that the love of Christ knows no boundaries and no limits. I invite you to take six minutes of your time right now to watch this beautiful video, put to the world edition of Chris Tomlin’s “How Great is Our God.” I think you’ll be blessed as your heart is drawn to the unreached people all over the world.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”
– John 3:16-17 (ESV)

That’s the essence of Christmas. God loves us so much that He gave the perfect gift by sending Jesus to be our Redeemer. “Joy to the world! The Lord is come. Let earth receive her King!”

Is there any particular people group or region of the world that your heart is drawn to pray for?