From the Word

Journey to Bethlehem

“While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” (Luke 2:6-7)

Notable Quotables

“Christmas, children, is not a date. It is a state of mind.” (Mary Ellen Chase)

“Something about an old-fashioned Christmas is hard to forget.” (Hugh Downs)

“There’s nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child.” (Erma Bombeck)

“There are not seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million.” (Walt Streightiff)

“The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree is the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.” (Burton Hillis)

Around the Net

6 Surprising Things about Matthew’s Christmas Story (Jeremy Bouma)
“There are two versions of the Christmas story: the one reflected in Christmas carols and pageants; the other version most forget—Matthew’s Christmas story. ‘Matthew’s version of our favorite holiday,’ Rodney Reeves explains in his new Matthew commentary (SGBC series), ‘is hardly recognizable except for the star and the three wise men. Joseph nearly divorcing Mary, Herod’s diabolical ploy, the slaughter of the innocents, the flight to Egypt, waiting for a wicked king to die—none of these things make the cover of Christmas cards.’”

Meditation: The Word Became Flesh (Sam Storms)
“I’ve often said that the single most amazing, mind-boggling verse in the Bible is John 1:14, ‘The Word became flesh!’ As we approach Christmas, I thought it would be good to post again some observations I made in my book, Pleasures Evermore. I pray you are blessed by this meditation on the paradoxes of the Incarnation. Take a deep breath and ponder what this means. Don’t dismiss it as theological speculation. This is a truth on which your eternal destiny hangs suspended.”

What About When Christmas Hurts? (Janel Barr)
“The holiday season can be painful for many—a time when joy is hard to hold on to and peace seems unattainable. . . . The fulfillment of our Christmas celebrations won’t happen on Christmas morning. Actually, Christmas morning can leave us with even more disappointment. Unlike most holidays Christmas reminds us that there is more, and that we wait for something far more glorious than something that we can purchase on our own.”

Newly Discovered ‘Christmas Sermon for Pagans’ by C. S. Lewis (Gene Veith)
“The scholar Stephanie R. Derrick tells about discovering two previously unknown essays by C. S. Lewis, including ‘A Christmas Sermon for Pagans.’ Dr. Derrick says of the Christmas essay that the editor of The Strand gave Lewis the topic of preaching about Christmas to modern “pagans.”  But Lewis, as he does elsewhere, pointed out the difference between modern day secularists and actual pagans.”

4 Reasons to Show Mercy to Others (Rick Warren)
“God wants you to be an agent of mercy in the world. Everyone needs mercy because everyone has messed up. We’ve all hurt other people and made mistakes. We’ve all sinned and we all have hurts, habits, and hang-ups as a result of the mistakes we’ve made. Mercy changes the lives of people who have made mistakes, and we who have received mercy freely can change the world around us by showing mercy to others. Here are four reasons to keep showing mercy to others.”

Something to Ponder

His Love Covers All Things

“Would you do what Jesus did? He exchanged the worship of angels for the company of killers. If you were God, would you? I wouldn’t, but Christ did! Jesus humbled Himself. He went from commanding angels to sleeping in the straw. Why? Because that is what love does. It puts the loved before itself. Your place in heaven was more important to Him than His place in heaven, so He gave up His so you could have yours.

“It’s time to let His love cover all things in your life. Every promise broken, every cross word, and harsh word. His love covers all things. Let it! Do it for His sake. For the peace of your heart. And do it for their sake. For the people in your life. Let His love fall on you so yours can fall on them.”

– Max Lucado

The Glory of Creation

A Blue Titmouse Waiting for Christmas

blue-titmouse-branch-snowImage Credit: SaultOnline.com

Into All the World

“One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess in the living room on Christmas day. Don’t clean it up too quickly.” (Andy Rooney)

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