Tag Archives: Christmas

Is Christmas Really Over?

It has been a long time readers. We all know how winter breaks keep you busy with family and friends and of course relaxing. Then as things start to settle down, you get back into the groove of life. Our family of 6 all got sick and for the most part are still breaking the sick/healthy barrier.

Let us know if there is anything going on in your family that you would like us to pray for. I hope that Christmas went well for everyone and Jesus was worshiped, families were loved, and lives were changed.

Remember that although the day of Christmas may be over, it is the gift that was given that day that changes lives and brings hope to our world. This video is a great reminder of that promise: Christmas Really Happened. Enjoy and remember that when life starts back up, give your worship to the One who gave that Life.

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Celebrate Jesus this Christmas Season!

I just got back from Nebraska to see a friend of mine who teaches in China. It is always a celebration when we get together because of the distance between us throughout the year. There was a celebration of the prodigal son when he returned to his family. We find many celebrations in our culture; birthdays, holidays, and graduations and yet other celebrations are described in the Bible.

Celebration can occur when the Lord delivers you from your enemies like in 2 Samuel 22. “David sang to the Lord” because his heart was thankful and the Spirit of God moved Him to sing. Celebration can also occur with restoration like in Job. He had lost everything in life but because of his faithfulness “the Lord made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before” (Job 42:10). One of the greatest celebrations that is still celebrated today is the birth of Jesus that bright night in Bethlehem. This celebration has taken dips and turns through our world but the truth of Christmas is made known in the hearts of men and women like Christina Rosetti and John Henry Newman.

Christina Rosetti wrote a poem title The Christmas Carol where the nativity is the theme. The last verse says this, “What can I give him, poor as I am? If I were a shepherd I would bring a lamb, If I were a wise man I would do my part—Yet what I can I give him, Give my heart” (Foster, pg.310). Foster says this verse of her poem clearly depicts celebration and joy of the Christmas season. Newman had similar thoughts about Christmas, cheerful and joyful, because of the humbleness of Christ. He said, “No lot could be more humble and more ordinary than that which the Son of God chose for himself” (Foster, pg.328). Christmas is just one celebration that we, as humans recognize as important to gather together for–BUT DEFINITELY RANKED TOP ON MY LIST.

C.S. Lewis said, “what we have been told is how we men can be drawn into Christ—can become part of that wonderful present which the young Prince of the universe wants to offer to His Father—that present which is Himself and therefore us in Him (C.S. Lewis 1980, pg.200). With Christmas around the corner I think it is only appropriate to accept the wonderful present the baby in the manger was born for and ultimately what he died for. I would like to go further and to say if we want to indulge in the gift even more than accepting it, we should surround ourselves with Christ like attributes. That might require a few disciplines on our part, so, go ahead discipline yourself. I know I will.

With only three days until Christmas, I encourage us all to consider how we are spending our time, money, and service. God has given us everything and now we have the opportunity to give back and Christmas is a great season to start. Everyone waits until the new year to start something “new”, a new resolution, but I think it is the Christmas season that guides us into something new. A new born King. A new law. A new chance. A new light. So many things are new around this season and I urge my readers to consider this day, a resolution that will change your life forever! The resolution to accept the gift of salvation that is given to all.

References:

Foster, R. (2000). Spiritual classics. New York: HarperOne.


What will you give Jesus for His birthday?

A Conversation with my 5yr old, Madilyn Allsup: 

Madilyn: I want to go to Jesus’ birthday.

Me: Absolutely! We will have it here.

Madilyn: Oh, I need to get him a gift. (she ponders for a second)

Madilyn: I know! I will give him ME!

Me: Madilyn, that is the best gift of all.

Madilyn: I’ll have to wait until I die though.

Me: You can give Him your gift of yourself every day. Isn’t that amazing?

Madilyn: That is so amazing. Will Noni (her grandmother) be here?

Me: Not for Christmas, she will be in Texas.

Madilyn: She needs to have Jesus’ birthday there then.

Me: Yes, that would be nice. You should ask her.

———————-

What will you be giving Jesus this year? Will it be your time, money, or addiction? We all have something to give and the greatest gift is the gift of yourself like my daughter said. If you think about the reason for the Christmas season, it is so that God can give YOU His greatest gift in the form of himself–Jesus Christ.

I urge you dear readers to think about the gift exchange between God and you. Are you going to except His gift of Jesus Christ this year? Are you going to give something back to God? What type of gift exchange will surround your family this year?

**I read a blog recently where someone had left a comment and I thought it was a great idea so I will share with you. They said that they buy a white stocking and write their gift to God on it and then next year they get it out and see if they truly gave God that gift during the year. We, the Allsup family, are going to do that this year and we urge others to utilize this great idea.

Merry Christmas from the Allsups!


Letter from Saint Nicholas

World VisionDear World,

I saw that you hang me out in your yards and wear me on your sweaters. I noticed you tell your children that I will bring them presents and that I like milk and cookies. Why is it that you tell your kids that I check my list to see who is naughty or nice? I do not understand why you do all these things. I pray that you will hold true to Jesus during this time of His birth. Praise God for what He has done not what I did.

I only helped children because of the love in my heart for God. It is God that changed my life. Please stop making me the center of this advent season. The coming of Christ in a manger long ago is more marvelous than “Santa” flying around delivering presents to every child in the world. Yes, I understand that children get excited, but let us remember that the most exciting thing WAS A CHILD.

It breaks my heart to see myself everywhere, in stores, on houses, in lawns, on trees, on stockings, in movies, in books, on T.V., in songs, and constantly talked about during this season. Not to mention some of you dress up like me and have children sit on your lap, I would cry too.

I want to thank all of you who choose not to ponder on a servant of God all season long, but rather on the precious King of kings. Teach your children who I really am—a servant of the Most High God. Teach your children that Jesus came to this earth so that people like you and me can have an amazing relationship with the Almighty God–if we believe. Every time I see paraphernalia of myself instead of Jesus I just want to destroy it because my life consisted of increasing God and decreasing myself. We should all attempt to make that our life calling.

Understand one thing: Christmas is not about me. I did not come so that you might have life and life more abundantly. Jesus is the one who gives you that life. Without Him, I would not have loved children so much. Without Him, I am nothing!

 Love Saint Nicholas

I am joining forces with World Vision’s 12 Days of Christmas Blogs. Click on the image above and read other blogs that celebrate the true meaning of Christmas. If you have a blog that represents what you believe about this season, there are instructions on how to link it to your post. Merry Christmas!


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