Be Present this Christmas

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Christmas is about giving. The reason we have crowded stores and maxed out credit cards is so we can give, give, give. The very first gift was Jesus. God’s gift was the first. Jesus came to earth to show us how we are to trust, believe and honor God with our lives.

I’m guilty of being an over-spender, caught up in the crazy-ness of the holidays. Seeing the Christmas tree lights and spending time with family reminds me that we are to BE the present to others. With Jesus in our lives, we have the gift that gives everyday.

 

Love YOU

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There’s so much hate in the world. Brothers against brothers; Family against family; Nations against nations. This is not what God wanted, this came from the one kicked out of Heaven. If we were to love ourselves there would be less hate because love = patience, kindness, and goodness. God commands us to love God first and foremost and then love your neighbor like yourself (Matthew 22:40).

Depression has really become a problem in America. Other than chemical imbalances, people who focus on themselves tend to see all the negative. Having our focus on our own faults, failures, guilt and shame make us lash out at others. The bully concept – make others feel worse than you do has become a way of life. We have to change our focus. See yourself the way God does. He hand-made you for loving HIM. He thinks you are Wonderful and Amazing. He has all confidence in YOU to become what He created you for. So for Pete’s Sake (your neighbor) love yourself!

 

Erase All of History

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Just get rid of it all! Let’s take away the Confederate Flag, let’s chisel away at Stone Mountain until we have Mickey Mouse, Goofy and Donald Duck. Mount Rushmore is next. Why stop there? Let’s go back to Vietnam and bring back those men, women, children who died, go to Germany and build the Berlin Wall. Let’s give the United States Flag and song back and live under the Rule of England.

We cannot erase our history. You don’t have to like it, but that doesn’t mean we have to get rid of it. I’m greatly offended by World War II because my grandfather lost his right leg at the early age of 20. It’s a part of history, I’m sure he wouldn’t have chosen to give a leg if given the choice. We lived through history and it is what it is. We don’t change it. We learn from it and adjust to life in the present. If you are offended by the Confederate Flag, don’t wave one, don’t acknowledge, and DON’T force everyone else the right to remember history.

 

Throw Away Your Idols

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We throw away trash and things we don’t want. Some people have a problem throwing things away. That creates new issues and for some reason, our culture enjoys the problems of others, so we develop a medical issue and television programs devoted to “not being able to throw things away”. The Bible tells us to throw away harmful and sinful things. Matthew talks about if a part of our body causes trouble, we should cut it off and throw it away. Old Testament repeats “throw away useless idols and idols made by man”. People of that time wanted something to hold on to, they didn’t practice faith in an unseen God. They created dolls and small statues that they could hold and pray to. I would like to say that we don’t worship statues today but we do. They are in the forms of cell phones, television, gaming devises, and wallets with debit, credit and cash. While we don’t throw away money, we value making it and the time to spend it over our time with God. Maybe we spend it on things that are harmful spiritually and take us further away from our relationship with Christ. An idol by definition is any person or thing regarded with blind admiration, adoration, or devotion (dictionary.com). Our homes are full of them and our minds are overflowing with the next best. I like my computer, iphone, and new surface 2 just like anyone else. I admit that I spend way too much time on them than in my Bible. I have to be reminded that God’s has everything I will ever need or want in His Word. Jesus saw the people eagerly searching for something when He spoke these words: “For the pagans run after all theses things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first the His Kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33).

Guiding Light

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Lighthouses are built to guide ships safely in the dark. Without these lighthouses, ships would not know where the shore is and would crash into the land. Airplanes are also guided by lights in order to land safely on the correct landing strip. “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness.’ Made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6). God places His light, the Holy Spirit, within our hearts, in order to guide others to Him. People are living in the dark, going through storms that surround them, and flying out of control with no place to land. It is our responsibility as Christians filled with the Holy Spirit to be a light that shines so brightly that people in the dark will be guided toward us. Those in the dark, in storms, and flying out of control need direction. Without us being the lighthouse, they are doomed for death—life without Christ.

St. Francis of Assisi proclaimed, “Preach the Gospel at all times and if necessary use words”. The light of the Holy Spirit is a reflection of our personal relationship with Jesus, it is nothing we can work for, earn or fake. True lighthouses are easy to spot because they shine so brightly for Christ.