The Christmas Star
On December 5, 2018 at four in the morning my eyes popped open. I was wide awake. That happens to me sometimes. My brain was suddenly racing with thoughts about what I had to do and what I’d done and how I might be able to do certain things better. Maybe that’s happened to you.
After I flopped around like a fish on the bank for two hours, I got up and started to get dressed so I could go for a walk. It was around 6 am and, at this time of year, still dark. That’s unusual for me. I often walk around a small lake near our house but I’m a late riser. I rarely walk before sunrise. So it felt a little weird when I stepped through the front door of our house into the darkness. Continue reading
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
You Have More In Common With Jesus Than You Might Think Continue reading
Read John 13:31-33.
To His Little Children, He Said . . . Continue reading
The Annunciation to the Shepherds, 1663, by Abraham Hondius
Christmas is like an unforeseen kiss.
Because that’s how Jesus came to us.
We didn’t expect him to show up that night he was born in the manger. The shepherds didn’t expect to see angels declaring his glory in the sky above their pastures.
“Fear not,” the angels said to the shepherds, “for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.”
From Dave Teixeira’s teaching, Love, 12/6/2015
Oxytocin, The Love Hormone
“Oxytocin (sometimes called the love hormone) is released into the mother’s brain when she breast feeds. Continue reading
The photo at the top of this post is of my family and me during one of our past Christmases. Christmas takes different shapes for different people different years. Today we identify five different types of Christmases and what they look like. As you read about them, see if you recognize yours.
1) The Going to Dad and Mom’s Christmas
On the way to Dad and Mom’s, your stream of consciousness sounds something like this: “I’m bored already and we’re not even there yet. The Cavs play the Heat tomorrow, and I won’t see it. I wonder if any bad blood will boil over. I hope Dad doesn’t bug me about my job. Battle of the 5 Armies is out. No chance we’ll see that. I hope he doesn’t tell me why he thinks libertarians are “clueless.” Yeah, “clueless.” That was the word he used last time. I think I have one of the Lord of the Rings movies on my phone–maybe, if I sit at the table and hold my phone low…”
2) The People Coming Over Christmas
Oh those three words, people-coming-over, and what they mean. The People Coming Over Christmas means, do these things, and do them fast: Clean the house. Fix the broken doorknob. Run to the store and buy a new doorknob because you couldn’t fix the broken doorknob. Hide the Continue reading
Surrender by “Ancient History” – Creative Commons
The thermometer said 3 degrees and there was snow and ice on the roads. We were experiencing some unusually low temperatures here in Oregon and it was during that cold snap, I was reluctant to leave the nest to go to church. Inside, my house was warm and cushy. There was food in the fridge and games on TV. The lure of the self-life called strong. I didn’t want to give up that comfort to go worship Jesus corporately.
What Jesus Gave
Have you ever thought about what Jesus gave up, to come to us? He didn’t leave a warm home on a cold day, he left heaven. He left his Father. He left his throne. He left multitudes of angels who supported him at his every turn. He left a place where there’s no pain, a place overflowing with joy. He left a place so magnificent we can’t even imagine it. He gave it all up so he could come to our place, planet earth, to bleed on the cross, because it was the only way to reconcile us with our Father.
Jesus gave up everything for us. He gave it all.
What I Give
That’s what we celebrate on Christmas. I’ve been thinking about that lately, what He gave up and what I gave up. He gave up everything, I gave up–not much. I became a Christian a long time ago but there has always been some something I wanted to hang onto. Oh I wanted to be a Christian to be sure, so I could make it into heaven. But I didn’t want to let go of certain things.
I wanted to remain a Christian but… Continue reading
What is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? -Psalm 8:4
God is Big.
God is Bigger than I am. He’s Bigger than you are.
He’s the One who Continue reading