Did you ever notice that the wrapping paper seems to always run out before the number of presents. I used to think that each year you had to out do the gift buying from the year before. Then I discovered one simple truth…Christmas should not be about how much is under the tree but about who is around the tree. Christmas comes from the heart not from a box or bag. Remember “The gift is to the giver…and comes back most to him (or her).” Walt Whitman
As children Christmas time meant went being on our best behavior because we did not want to be on Santa’s Naughty List. Having your name on the naughty list meant not getting any gifts from Santa. So the closer you got to Christmas the more you wanted to be on your best behavior. The key was however no matter what you ended up being forgiven on Christmas and there was always presents under the tree. Get the parallel. God sent His Son because we were separated from because of our sin. I guess you could say we were on God’s naughty list and there was no way being on our best behavior was going to get us off…well there is one way. If we put our faith and heart in God’s hands and what He did for us we would be able to get the most desirable gift of all…a way into Heaven.
Mistletoe, what is it and where did it come from? Each year we hang mistletoe so we can catch a kiss from some unsuspecting soul who happens to stand under the plant but does anyone know where the tradition comes from? Mistletoe is a parasitic plant which owes it’s life to the whichever trees it attaches itself. The tradition of stealing a kiss under the mistletoe dates back to old Nordic traditions. From there it gained it’s way to the United States from the 18th Century British servants who carried it across the ocean. Now loves blossoms under the mistletoe.
I think it as a Christian it is important for us to know where the traditions we have at Christmas time started. God us wants us to be in the world but not of the world so we have to be careful how and what we choose to use in our homes when we decorate.
One of my favorite funny songs of the Christmas season is, “The 12 Pains of Christmas.” It is a song about all the things which can wrong at this time of the years. One of them is stringing up the Christmas lights. If you’ve ever done it before you know what I’m talking about. The lights can be all tangled together or in the old days when one light went out the rest would go out. Today however most Christmas lights are made to stay on when one of them isn’t working. This goes a long way to insuring that the light will still shine no matter what.
I think our life is like the Christmas lights. There are times when our life is a tangled up mess that has to be unraveled. Once that is done even though one bulb may be out but because of the Holy Spirit inside us our light from the faith we have in God still shines forth for all to see.
This post is not a guide on how to use our hands. I suspect most of those reading this already know. I am writing more about where and how we use our hands. Right now I am using my hands to type this message. I use my hands to perform my job and to draw. The things I like using my hands for the most is when I am helping others. There is a certain joy and peace that comes with wielding a hammer to create a home for someone who otherwise would not have one or helping serve meals to those who come seeking a hot meal. Our hands are a vital resource for God’s work. Proverbs 16:3 tells us, Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” In other words use your hands to do good and the rest will fall into place.
Over the centuries many a written word has been penned to a page. Thousands of letter in black and white put down to entertain us, to instructs us, to spread our wishes to others. None of these creations in black and white are more important then the words laid out for us by God in the Bible. In 2 Timothy 3:16, the Bibles tells us that, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” The Bible teaches us about the world and how we are to live as believers. The only thing we have to do it pick up the book, read the words and with God’s guidance place them in our hearts.
Here is another in the handful of self portraits I have done. This however does not have a face for a very good reason. In life we all want to be something other then another face in the crowd. We want to matter, be popular, succeed in life. I wanted in growing, until a few years ago. I learned a lesson one day. What matters in life is not to be or famous, popular or successful. It is more satisfying to be the faceless one who helps those who need the most help not just at this time of year but all year long. Time is a fleeting thing. Why bot use what little time were given in giving back?