On the Third Day of Christmas my true friend gave to me...
The Reason We Celebrate…
A CHRISTMAS THOUGHT FOR THE DAY… “Wrong Date – Right Event”
“When was Jesus born? No, not on December 25. Though Christians had adopted that date by A.D. 336, Christ was born "when shepherds watched their flocks by night." In other words, most likely in the spring. And no, He wasn't born in the year A.D. 1. The Bible tells us that Herod the Great ruled Palestine when Jesus was born, and Herod died in 4 B.C.-- so Jesus had to have been born not long before that. Blame Dionysiuys Exiguus for this one -- he's the sixth century monk who came up with the idea of splitting history into A.D. and B.C. He just chose the wrong date to do so, that's all.” –Anonymous
“…Some skeptics laugh at Christians for celebrating the birthday of Jesus of Nazareth, as if we're crazy to think December 25 is His actual birthday. But of course, the date doesn't matter -- the event does. Let's praise God for His amazing gift of His Son!”
–Gov. Mike Huckabee, Godfruits.com, December 22, 2013
I LOVE TO TELL THE STORY… "When Broccoli Finally Trumps Cake…”
The following was shared with permission by fellow speaker and sister in Christ, Vicki Hitzges. It reminds us that even traditions that were once endured can become treasures sorely missed.
When I was a girl, one of our traditions at Christmas was that my father would read the Christmas story from the Bible before we opened our gifts. “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night…”
My little brother and I would sit in front of a dazzling tree surrounded by brightly colored gifts and my mother would remind us that the Bible story was the most significant part of Christmas. I always nodded, knowing that to disagree might curtail any future gift-giving and delay that day’s present opening even further. When we sat down for that story, I couldn’t wait to get through it.
It was as if my brother and I, two, wiggly kids, were at dinner staring at huge slabs of chocolate cake, having been told that the broccoli was the really “good” part of the meal and we needed to finish it before we could have dessert.
Somewhere along the way, that all changed. One Dec. 25th, I realized that the part of Christmas I valued most was hearing my father read the Christmas story. The gifts became almost like parsley on a plate; They were a colorful addition, but not the meal’s substance. What really mattered was being together, the love in the room and the amazing account of how God Himself came to Earth as a human baby, knowing in advance that He would die a horrible death to pay the penalty for our sins. It’s a story that I never tire of hearing.
This year, my father has Parkinson ’s disease. One of the cruel side effects is that he’s lost the ability to speak louder than a whisper and his once commanding voice is most often a soft mumble.
I’d trade all my gifts this year to have my parents feel healthy and vital again. And hearing my father read the Christmas story out loud would, indeed, be the most significant and best part of Christmas.
–Vicki Hitzges, Used by permission
YOUR MIRTHFUL MOMENT OF THE DAY...”An Answer to Prayer?”
During the holiday season I was determined not to gain weight, so I promised myself I would not visit my favorite bakery-cafe for a whole month. I even altered my drive to work to avoid passing the spot. However, one day there was a traffic jam and I forgot and accidentally drove by the bakery. There in the window I saw the yummy pastries I loved. Since nothing happens by accident, I prayed as I slowed down. "Lord, it's up to you, if you want me to have any of those delicious goodies, create a parking place for me directly in front of the bakery." And sure enough, on the eighth time around the block, there it was! God is so good!
YOUR YOUTUBE CHRISTMAS MOMENT
Enjoy the men of Celtic Thunder as they perform their version of Hallelujah. Prepare for some major chills with this amazing rendition. WOW!
You can find the archived messages from this year's series on my website at http://terrypaulson.com/christmas.shtml/. More tomorrow...as we prepare for His coming!
Your Host for this Year's Journey....