Tag: christmas

It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas!

This is my favorite song…….It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas!  I love this song because it is like a ribbon cutting to begin the excitement of an event; of a season; of a whole month of fun with family and friends.

We watch the Macy’s Day Parade on Thanksgiving Day and see Santa arrive into town as the official start of the Christmas season.  Time to decorate and shop and send cards and bake!

We see beautiful Christmas trees lit.  Gifts surround our trees.  Wreaths dawn the doors and posts of every street corner. Nativity scenes are in the yards and amidst the landscaping and outdoor lights.

The smell of cinnamon and pine are in the air.  The sound of sleigh bells and Christmas music and kindness……….wait a minute………yes kindness.  People tend to be more kind this time of year (except on Black Friday sales).  You can see money being dropped in the red kettles as the Salvation Army bell rings……….people look for less fortunate people they can help have a joyous Christmas.  Volunteers are at an all-time high in soup kitchens and homeless shelters.  Gifts are purchased for people we tend to take for granted the rest of the year – the mailman, paper boys, hair dressers and pastors.

Yes, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. I love it all but don’t leave out the most important gift………the most important part……….the whole reason there is even a season…….JESUS.  He was kind His whole life.  He looked for people to help His whole life.  He enjoyed the beauty and sounds of every season.  He celebrated at every victory and every chance He could with others.  He didn’t wait until a specific day of the year!

It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas.  Therefore, look around.  See past the trees, the gifts, the lights, the bells.  Look at people.  Normal, every-day, pass-them-on-the street, behind-the-counter-at-Starbucks, people.  Be kind.  Give a little extra.  Keep it going all year long.  Keep Jesus in first place all year long so that there is no beginning of Christmas – it’s a season, a feeling, a celebration to last all year long.  It’s beginning to FEEL a lot like Christmas kindness and happiness!  See it.  Feel it.  Keep it all year long.  It’s just the beginning…….Merry Christmas!

Gifts that Light Up Your Life

I love giving gifts.  It doesn’t have to be Christmas or a special birthday (although I absolutely love giving Christmas gifts).  I just love to make a difference to someone every day and to show people how special they are.

Think about a gift you have received that was very special and that you use a lot.  When you use it, it makes you think of the person who gave you that gift and maybe brings a sweet smile to your face.

Last Christmas I got a gift from a friend that was a beautiful decorative lantern filled with fun kitchen items.  She had rolled up a tan kitchen towel, another complimentary brown kitchen towel and strategically placed small bright orange kitchen utensils in the lantern sticking up from the towels.  It was absolutely adorable.  I use that small orange set of tongs and spatula all the time.  I placed a battery-operated candle in the lantern and have it setting on my fireplace mantle.  Every time I use those utensils and look at my lantern, I think of my friend, Brenda and smile.  I am very thankful for our close relationship.

That is how our spiritual gifts are from the Lord.  He carefully chooses the gifts He gives us.  He wraps them in His love and strategically places them within your heart to be revealed at just the right time.  When you start using your spiritual gift, you will be overwhelmed at the joy you receive.  When you experience this joy, you will smile as you remember who gave you that special gift – your Heavenly Father.  And when He sees you using that gift, it warms His heart.

Romans 12:6-8 says:  We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.  If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith.  If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.

If you aren’t certain what your spiritual gifts are, then take a spiritual gift survey.  Your pastor or leader in the church should be able to help you with that.  If not, just email me and I will find one especially for you!!

One of the ways to recognize a spiritual gift from the Lord, is to think about what you do for others that brings you joy.  Perhaps it is sending cards to encourage others.  Or maybe it is leading the teenagers.  Maybe it is hosting gatherings in your home and serving others.

I don’t know what YOUR gift is, but I know that God will reveal it to you when you ask and seek guidance from additional resources if you need to.  He is so happy to be able to give you that gift and loves to see you enjoy it and use it for good.  And when you do, you can’t help but smile and thank Him for that special gift.

Now excuse me, while I go turn on my lantern and enjoy a little light from my friend!

All Aboard!

I love watching toy trains.  I love watching the train go round and round a track especially if it’s under a Christmas tree!!  The sound of the “chug chug”  of the train and the sparkle of tiny little lights glowing bring a smile to my face and a warmth to my heart.

It’s so aggravating though when the train gets derailed and the normal roll of the train wheels is interrupted. But the good news is that when the train gets set upright again, it hugs the tracks and gets back in rhythm.

That’s how our lives roll.  We chug along enjoying the ride and all the sights and sounds along the path.  Sometimes we get comfortable and something we do takes our eyes off of the right path and we get derailed.  It may take a while for us to get back on the track and start rolling again.  The good news is that we have Someone who can set us upright and put us back on the track.

Sin derails us.  Forgiveness from God puts us back on track.  I’m so glad to be on the train to heaven and even when it gets derailed by something I do because of taking my eyes off of the path, I am thankful for the ultimate Conductor to put the train back on the right track.

Won’t you join me on this joyful ride?  The seats are unlimited.  The destination is to die for.  Grab your coat and sit down.  All Aboard!

Life is Too Short to Live the Same Day Twice!

I’ve been watching Christmas movies all week and weekend on the Hallmark Channel as it celebrates Christmas in July.  I love Christmas and although I know it is very early (and way too hot) to celebrate Christmas, I do love the feeling I get from the Christmas music and watching the movies.

Tonight my daughter said, “I wish people could be in the good mood they are in at Christmas time all year long.”  I thought about that comment and realized that is why I love Christmas so much.  I love the kindness and the gift giving and the way people want to do things for other people during the Christmas season.

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