Friday, December 21, 2007

What does Love at Christmas look like?




If I speak in the tongues of Christmas materialism and greed but have not love, I am only a tinny Christmas song or an out-of-tune choir.

If I have the gift of knowing what Aunt Agatha will give me this year and can even understand last year's present, and if I have the faith that I won't get yet more socks and ties this year but have not love, I am nothing.

If I clear out the house and give everything to charity and my credit cards are snapped in half but have not love, what can I possibly gain?

Love is patient when the fourth store you've tried doesn't have a bottle garden.

Love is kind and lets the couple with only a few items go in front of you and your bulging shopping cart.

Love does not envy your friend who gets mega-presents from everybody.

Love does not boast about the expensive bike, the PlayStation 3, the TV, VCR, and computer your dad gave you.

Love does not attempt to out-buy, out-wrap, and out-give the rest of the family just to impress.

Love doesn't cut Aunt Flo off your Christmas card list because she forgot you last year.

Love is not self-seeking and leaves a copy of your Christmas list in every room of the house.

Love is not easily angered when the young girl at the checkout takes forever because she is just temporary staff.

Love doesn't keep remembering how many times your mom forgets you don't like Brussels sprouts.

Love does not delight in the commercial bandwagon but rejoices with the truth of a baby born in the stable.

Love always protects the family from Christmas hype.

Love always trusts that the hiding places for presents will remain secret for another year.

Love always hopes that this year more neighbors will drop in to your open house coffee morning.

Love always perseveres until the cards are written, the presents all bought, the shopping done, and the Christmas cake iced.

Toys may break, socks wear thin, but love never fails.

Where there is the feeling of the presents to guess their contents, and Mom going on about being good so Father Christmas will come, and searching through the cupboards to find your hidden presents, they will all stop.

For we think we know what we are getting, and we hope we know what we are getting, but when Christmas Day arrives, all will be revealed.

When I was a child, I talked with big wide-open eyes about Christmas, I thought that Christmas was all about me, I reasoned that Jesus should have been born more often. When I became an adult, I forgot the joy, wonder, and excitement of this special time.

Now we just hear about the angels, shepherds, and wise men; then we shall see them all the time. Now I know as much as the Bible says about the first Christmas; then I shall know just how many wise men there were and where they came from.

Now three things remain to be done:
- To have faith that the baby born in a stable is the Son of God.
- To hope that the true message of Christmas will not get discarded with the wrapping paper and unwanted gifts.
- And the most important, to have a love for others like the one that God has for us.

Copyright 2001 Claire Jordan (caleb@eurobell.co.uk).
Permission is granted to send this to others, but not for commercial purposes.
(Minor edits by GCFL.net)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

This Christmas, There’s Room in the Inn for Mary and Joseph


Travelodge, a British hotel chain, is promising a free night’s stay to couples named Mary and Joseph.

"The 'gift' of a free night's stay is to make up for the hotel industry not having any rooms left on Christmas Eve over 2,000 years ago when the original 'Mary and Joseph' had to settle for the night in a stable," the company says on its Web site.

The offer is good at any of the chain’s 322 hotels in the United Kingdom. Any couple able to show proof of identity will receive one free night in a family room. The offer is good from Christmas Eve to Jan. 5.

"We've had a lot of interest," hotel spokeswoman Shakila Ahmed told CNN. "I think people like the fact that it resonates with the Nativity story at a time when the actual meaning of Christmas often becomes forgotten in festive overkill."

from Focus on the Family

Monday, December 17, 2007

Enjoy the season!


We hope you are having a wonderful preclude to Christmas . . . shopping, baking, wrapping, parties. But in the midst of all the hubbub and fun be sure to s-l-o-w d-o-w-n and take some time to reflect on the reason we do all of that, in celebration of our Savior, Jesus Christ, the Messiah's birth. It's a huge birthday party and EVERYBODY gets presents!!!! Don't forget to give Jesus a present though, your heart, your time, your focus ... practice HIS Presence with you this season and take it into the new year with you. Do something for somebody else, somebody you don't even know!!! Start a new tradition and be sure to continue some of the old ones. Some of our tradtions is to give an ornament to each of the grandkids so that one day when they grow up and get married and leave home, they will have their own Christmas memories to take with them on their own Christmas tree. Why not add your favorite Christmas tradtion in the comments area, I'd love to hear them, really!!!!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

We are celebrating Jesus's birth!

Jesus is the Gift Ten Ways to Share the Heart of Jesus Is The Gift this Christmas For God so loved the world that He gave…. JOHN 3:16 NIV 1. Give the Gift of Encouragement. Instead of writing letters to Santa, have children write letters to someone who needs encouragement this Christmas. For example, soldiers, nursing home residents, or hospital patients. 2. Give the Gift of Hope. Adopt a needy family in your church or community. Bless them with Christmas presents or a special dinner. 3. Give the Gift of Joy. Find simple ways to bring a smile to someone’s face during the Christmas season. For example, pay for the car behind you at a drive-through. 4. Give the Gift of Kindness. Offer your time or energy to someone in need. Hang lights for an elderly neighbor or wrap presents for an overwhelmed new mom. 5. Give the Gift of Words. Speak words of affirmation and affection to your friends and family. Take time to write a special note in your Christmas cards. 6. Give the Gift of Faith. Read the Christmas story with your family. Talk about what Christ’s birth means for your lives today. 7. Give the Gift of Peace. In the midst of the hustle and bustle of the season, set aside one “silent night” to be at home. Light a fire, curl up with a cup of hot chocolate, and take a few moments to rest. 8. Give the Gift of Hospitality. Invite someone to your home who may not have family close by or host an open house for your neighbors. 9. Give the Gift of Time. Help nursing home residents write Christmas letters, offer to baby-sit so busy parents can go on a date, or spend a few hours at a shelter. 10. Give the Gift of Love. Whatever you do, ask God to help you reflect His heart and share the love that inspired Him to send us the very best gift of all. www.JesusistheGift.com