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Showing posts from December, 2010

Rising to meet Christmas Challenges!

You see it on the faces of people. You can hear it in their voices. It is clear by the way they walk through the crowds at the mall, stand in the long lines, or even try to smile at a passerby. Once again we find ourselves surrounded by the challenges of Christmas. There is real fear in people’s lives that challenges their finances, their families, and even their faith. Will this Christmas live up to its billing? Will everything get accomplished? Will there be hope in a new year? God…are you there?

Mary understood these feelings. When the angel came and announced what God had chosen to do in her life she was probably filled with more questions than answers. She faced real challenges relating to that first Christmas event. However, in reading scripture she faced these challenges in several ways that might be good reminders to us this year.

Mary heard the announcement of the angel and she trusted God with action. She said, “I am the Lord’s servant. . . May it be to me as you have said (L…

Move from Commercialism to Contentment the Christmas!

During the Christmas season, people all around us are assaulted with the message of discontentment, commercialism, and materialism. Marketers spend most of the holiday season trying to convince us that we cannot live without their products, our children must have the latest and greatest toys, and we must give these “precious gifts” to our friends and family. The result is that we spend a holiday focused on materialistic things instead of the Master of all things.

So what do we do about this in our own lives? How can we beat materialism this Christmas?

1. We must intentionally be grateful to God.

The first thing we need to do to is to realize just how much we've already been blessed with individually, as believers, and as a nation. Everything that we are and everything that we have are gifts from God. Many people in our churches and communities struggle with this. They believe they worked hard for what they have. But we must help them see that God is the one who allowed them to do th…