The 12 Days of Christmas from Dr. Terry Paulson
On the Fourth Day of Christmas...2014
On the Fourth Day of Christmas my true friend gave to me... A Sense of Wonder…!

A CHRISTMAS THOUGHT FOR THE DAY… “The Gift of Wonder”

"Each year, God asks us to shed one more coat of awareness, one more dream state and come alive to the vision of God’s plan for each of us and the world-at-large.

"The older we get, the harder this is to do. As children we had a sense of wonder. Our eyes were wide open and drinking in the fascinating gifts we beheld…Our thirsty souls could not have enough of the wonders of creation.

"Then, somehow, we grew too old to dream. We tired of the abundance of the world, or at least grew weary of keeping up with the feast of life, and stepped away from the banquet of life.

"The natural gift of wonder God gave us as children was meant to be kept alive.…Instead we let wonder go to sleep. We entered the typical dream state of most humans.

"Why else does Jesus tell us today, ‘Stay awake!’…Advent says, ‘Wake up and realize the gifts of love you have received.’

"…Psychology says, ‘Let go.’ Spirituality says, ‘Wake up.’ In both cases there is a withdrawal from the busyness of daily life (our dream state) and a waking up to the subconscious and spiritual depths of ourselves.”

–Rev. Alfred McBride, THE PRIEST, October, 1987, p.26
I LOVE TO TELL THE STORY… "Christmas Love"

Each December, I vowed to make Christmas a calm and peaceful experience. I had cut back on nonessential obligations - extensive card writing, endless baking, decorating, and even overspending. Yet still, I found myself exhausted, unable to appreciate the precious family moments, and of course, the true meaning of Christmas.

My son, Nicholas, was in kindergarten that year. It was an exciting season for a six year old. For weeks, he'd been memorizing songs for his school's "Winter Pageant." I didn't have the heart to tell him I'd be working the night of the production.

Unwilling to miss his shining moment, I spoke with his teacher. She assured me there would be a dress rehearsal the morning of the presentation. All parents unable to attend that evening were welcome to come then. Fortunately, Nicholas seemed happy with the compromise.

So, the morning of the dress rehearsal, I filed in 10 minutes early, found a spot on the cafeteria floor and sat down. Around the room, I saw several other parents quietly scampering to their seats. As I waited, the students were led into the room. Each class, accompanied by their teacher, sat cross-legged on the floor. Then, each group, one by one, rose to perform their song.

Because the public school system had long stopped referring to the holiday as "Christmas", I didn't expect anything other than fun, commercial entertainment – songs of reindeer, Santa Claus, snowflakes and good cheer. So, when my son's class rose to sing, "Christmas Love", I was slightly taken aback by its bold title.

Nicholas was aglow, as were all of his classmates, adorned in fuzzy mittens, red sweaters, and bright snowcaps upon their heads. Those in the front row - center stage - held up large letters, one by one, to spell out the title of the song.

As the class would sing "C is for Christmas", a child would hold up the letter C. Then, "H is for Happy", and on and on, until each child holding up his portion had presented the complete message, "Christmas Love".

The performance was going smoothly, until suddenly, we noticed her - a small, quiet, girl in the front row holding the letter "M" upside down - totally unaware her letter "M" appeared as a "W". Fidgeting from side to side, she soon moved entirely away from her mark.

The audience of 1st through 6th graders snickered at this little one's mistake. But she had no idea they were laughing at her, so she stood tall, proudly holding her "W".

Although many teachers tried to shush the children, the laughter continued until the last letter was raised, and we all saw it together. A hush came over the audience and eyes began to widen. In that instant, we understood - the reason we were there, why we celebrated the holiday in the first place, why even in the chaos, there was a purpose for our festivities.

For when the last letter was held high, the message read loud and clear: CHRIST WAS LOVE.

And, I believe, He still is.

(c) Copyright 1998 Candy Chand (PatCan85@hotmail.com) by way of The Daily Encourager (dlangerfeld@harrisburgbaptist.org) and Christian Voices (ChristianVoices@att.net)

YOUR MIRTHFUL MOMENT OF THE DAY...”The Baby Weighed How Much?”

A church was preparing for Christmas services, and the pastor decided he wanted a banner made for the entryway. The job was promptly delegated to a church member. The member called the banner company and told the man on the phone the banner lettering he wanted and the dimensions needed for the entryway. A few days later the sign arrived, with the following lettering: "Unto Mary Jesus was born, six feet long and two feet wide."

YOUR YOUTUBE CHRISTMAS MOMENT YOUR MIRTHFUL MOMENT OF THE DAY...

Enjoy this heartfelt, fun, and thought-provoking treat...An Unexpected Christmas. It’s the story of Christmas told by the kids of St Paul's Church, Auckland, New Zealand, including footage from their films The Christmas Story and Good News of Great Joy. The script is based on the book An Unexpected Christmas by Simone Graham, whose children are also in the film.

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....

Terry Paulson

 


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