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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Enjoying Christmas


An excerpt from Liveprayer.com's Daily Devo yesterday--


I am saddened every morning as I open the business page to read about
another company laying off thousands of people. While it is only a number in
a story to most, the fact is each number is a very real life, with a very
real family, that will probably be facing very real financial issues because
of losing their job. While there is never a good time to lose your job, it
is especially difficult at this time of year.

We are expected to buy gifts for our family and close friends. We are
expected to decorate our homes. We are expected to attend various parties
and events. All of these require EXTRA MONEY, over and above our normal
monthly living expenses. This time of year that is supposed to be
personified in the word JOY, quickly becomes a nightmare for many who simply
don't have the money to do all they feel they are expected to do.

First, let me reiterate the point I made last week. Christmas is NOT about
gifts. Christmas is NOT about decorating your house. Christmas is NOT about
parties. Christmas is the day each year that we set aside to celebrate the
birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is HIS birthday. THAT is what
Christmas is all about, celebrating the birth of our Lord.

Of course, it is impossible to deny the gross commercialism that marks this
time of the year. But we have choices. We CHOOSE to get caught up in how the
world celebrates Christmas. I have yet to read a news account of someone
that was forced at gunpoint to go to the local shopping mall and spend
thousands of dollars on presents. I realize that if you have children, being
able to provide them presents on Christmas morning is important.

However, what is MORE important is making them aware of what Christmas is
really about. The greatest gift that you can give your children this
Christmas is NOT some toy that they will forget about in a month. The
greatest gift that you can give your children this Christmas is the
knowledge of what this blessed day is really about...the birth of Jesus!

Some practical ways that you can do this is by attending some of the
fabulous Christmas pageants many churches now put on. In many cities, some
of the larger churches put on incredible, professionally produced Christmas
programs that do a marvelous job of telling the story of Christ's birth.
Taking your children to see these great productions will be fun and help
them understand the true meaning of Christmas. Another great thing to do
with your children is to teach them that Christmas is NOT about getting
presents, but about giving to others. Getting them involved in helping to
prepare a bag of groceries that you give to a ministry feeding the homeless
is a very easy way to help them learn the blessing of giving.

Within your own home, sitting down with the entire family and reading the
Christmas story in Luke chapter 2, spending time as a family in prayer
thanking God for the wonderful gift that He gave this world that first
Christmas, going as a family to church and celebrating His birth together
all help your children learn that Christmas is the time we set aside each
year to celebrate the birthday of Jesus. YOUR CHILDREN WILL CARRY THESE
MEMORIES, AND THE REAL REASON OF CHRISTMAS WITH THEM FOR THE REST OF THEIR
LIVES!

My word for you today is that you don't have to fall into the trap of buying
lots of gifts, or decorating your home, or going to all the parties. Those
things are NOT what Christmas is about. The true peace of this season, the
true joy of this season, comes from celebrating the birth of Jesus. HE is
the reason for the season. The greatest gift that you can give someone this
Christmas is to share with them the REAL meaning of Christmas. The greatest
gift you can receive this Christmas was given over 2000 years ago when God
gave you His son Jesus!!!

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