Tag Archive | Christmas

Are You Preparing for a Baby or the Lord and King?

If you are celebrating Christmas today what are you celebrating?

The birth of a baby in a manger or the birth of your Lord and King who came to die?



Most everyone, but an ardent atheist, has no problem with Christmas and a baby in a manger. Even those of other religions accepted that Christmas was a Christian holiday and rarely complained before. But even those who claim to be Christians tend to forget and gloss over the real Christmas gift – That the baby grew up and died for our sins on the cross. Without the cross, the birth of Jesus is just a virgin birth, miraculous for sure, but it in itself was just preparation for the cross. Every event surrounding the birth of Jesus was in light of the cross.

  • John the Baptist wasn’t preparing others for a baby. He was a baby himself. John the Baptist was to prepare others for the ministry and death on the cross of the Messiah.

Luke 1:16-17 (ESV)
16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God,
17 and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.”

  • Zachariah, the Father of John the Baptist, showed that the birth of the Messiah was just a step along the road to the cross.

Luke 1:76-79 (ESV)
76 And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
77 to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins,
78 because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high
79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

  • Even the shepherds in the field were told that the baby in the manger would be their Savior. They were looking forward to the future events not just focusing on the baby in the manger.

Luke 2:10-12 (ESV)
10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”

  • Simeon, at the temple, also was looking beyond that little baby Jesus to the future.

Luke 2:34-35 (ESV)
34 “Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed
35 (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”

  • Anna, the prophetess in the temple, also was looking beyond the baby Jesus to the future.

Luke 2:38 (ESV)
38 And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.

So if you are celebrating Christmas today make sure all your celebration and focus is toward the future of that little baby Jesus in the manger, that became an adult God/Man, was crucified on the cross and has risen from the dead. Otherwise you have left out part of the Christmas Story.



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Christ Crucified

Something to ponder.

How do your Christmas celebrations preach Christ crucified?

1 Corinthians 1:22-24 (ESV)
22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom,
23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles,
24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

1 Corinthians 2:2 (ESV) For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.


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The Christmas Story from the Family Reading Bible [Kindle Edition]

The Christmas Story from the Family Reading Bible [Kindle Edition] – free for a limited time

A reading system with three easy-to-use tracks allows parents to accommodate children of various ages and stages. Readings of manageable length along with age-appropriate, engaging questions will encourage and maintain your kids’ interest in God’s Word. The Family Reading Bible is the perfect tool for parents in their role as the spiritual leaders of their home.

{The free kindle books are available a short time, they are done sorta like a sale and end quickly so you can’t wait a couple of days to “purchase” the free book. If you don’t actually have a kindle you can get the Kindle for PC which will allow you to read kindle books for free. There are also kindle versions for a blackberry and for an iPhone.}



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Christmas Is Worth Nothing Without The Cross


When we recently went to the nursing home to play Christmas music for the residents, I shared the gist of the following with them.

Most everyone but an ardent atheist have no problem with Christmas and a baby in a manger. Even those of other religions accepted that Christmas was a Christian holiday and rarely complained before. But even those who claim to be Christians tend to forget and gloss over the real Christmas gift – That the baby grew up and died for our sins on the cross. Without the cross, the birth of Jesus is just a virgin birth, miraculous for sure, but it in itself was just preparation for the cross. Every event surrounding the birth of Jesus was in light of the cross.  

  • John the Baptist wasn’t preparing others for a baby. He was a baby himself. John the Baptist was to prepare others for the ministry and death on the cross of the Messiah.

Luke 1:16-17 (ESV)
16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God,
17 and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.”

  • Zachariah, the Father of John the Baptist, showed that the birth of the Messiah was just a step along the road to the cross.

Luke 1:76-79 (ESV)
76 And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
77 to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins,
78 because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high
79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

  • Even the shepherds in the field were told that the baby in the manger would be their Savior. They were looking forward to the future events not just focusing on the baby in the manger.

Luke 2:10-12 (ESV)
10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”

  • Simeon, at the temple, also was looking beyond that little baby Jesus to the future.

Luke 2:34-35 (ESV)
34 “Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed
35 (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”

  • Anna, the prophetess in the temple, also was looking beyond the baby Jesus to the future.

Luke 2:38 (ESV)
38 And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.

So if you are celebrating Christmas today make sure all your celebration and focus is toward the future of that little baby Jesus in the manger, that became an adult God/Man, was crucified on the cross and has risen from the dead. Otherwise you have left out part of the Christmas Story.

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Twas The Night Before Jesus Came

The following poem I have had framed on my wall for years. Seems like the year I got the large poem, I also sent out Christmas cards with the same poem. The theology isn’t necessarily totally accurate but it will cause you to think about what is happening in your home the night before Christmas, or really any night of the year.

Twas The Night Before Jesus Came

Twas the night before Jesus came and all through the house
Not a creature was praying not one in the house
Their Bibles were lain on the shelf without care
In hopes that Jesus would not come there.

The children were dressing to crawl into bed
Not once ever kneeling or bowing a head.
And mom in her rocker with baby on her lap
Was watching the Late Show while I took a nap.

When out of the east there arose such a clatter
I sprang to my feet to see what was the matter
Away to the window I flew like a flash
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash

When what to my wondering eyes should appear
But angels proclaiming that Jesus was here
With a light like the sun sending forth a bright ray
I knew in a moment this must be the day.

The light of His face made me cover my head
It was Jesus, returning just like he said
And though I possessed worldly wisdom and wealth
I cried when I saw Him, in spite of myself.

In The Book Of Life which He held in His hand
Was written the name of every saved man
He spoke not a word as he searched for my name
When He said “It’s not here” my head hung in shame.

The people whose name had been written in love
He gathered to take to His Father above
With those who are ready He rose with out a sound
While all the rest were left standing around.

I fell to my knees but it was too late
I had waited too long and this sealed my fate
I stood and cried as they rose out of sight
Oh, if I had only been ready tonight.

In the words of the meaning is clear.
The coming of Jesus is drawing near.
There’s only one life and when comes the last call
We’ll find that the Bible was true after all.

Copyright Bethany Farms, 1993

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Happiness Despite Happenings

This past week has been packed to the brim and the Lord’s presence has been obvious. But this post isn’t deep and profound so if that is what you need this won’t help and might be quite boring. This is just a slice of Berean Family’s life.

Several prayers for others have been answered. Some can be publicly shared and others not. Isaiah at Word And Verse was able to get a job despite the economy and being jobless for much longer than desired. There are several others that are not public but God does still work in the lives of His people.

This weekend we heard the phrase “Happiness is based on happenings, but that true joy comes from within.” However, we had researched this phrase according to Scripture about a year ago and found that the Scriptures do not support that statement. Happiness and Joy are not separate ideas or concepts. They are woven together throughout the Bible. If you were to search the Scriptures for every word related to happy, joy and merry you would find that you can’t make such a cut and dried statement they are so interrelated. Anyway, the reason for stating this is an experience this past weekend.

The way things turned out this year I had no large family gathering planned for my house this Christmas. We had Berean Husband’s parents to visit Christmas Eve, with me bringing the potato salad and a dessert. Then Christmas Day was peaceful here at home. No big meals, no big fuss to make. Our traditional breakfast is cream puffs, chocolate gravy, raspberry sauce, and whipped topping. Very simple and very much enjoyed by the children.  🙂 My mom and my great aunt, second cousin, second cousin once removed relative came by during breakfast and were here to see the children get their Christmas presents. It was no big deal to me but later my mom said my relative had enjoyed it so much since she had no particular extended family to spend Christmas with. Wow, you can bless others by just letting them observe regular (chaotic) family life. 😀

Friday was spent mostly with everyone playing with their new goodies. Mine’s an iPod so I can get “pod casts” of favorite preachers and speakers. 🙂 Everything was going so smoothly (famous last words!). Christmas with my mom and sister’s families was planned for Sunday afternoon after church at her condo.

Then around 8:30 or 9:00 PM I get a phone call. Suddenly everything is changed. Can my mom and sister stop by Saturday before my mom transports sister back out of state to her home? Well, of course, they can. Nevertheless, my mom is upset because this particular sister isn’t planning on staying in town for the Sunday get together.

So at 6:00 AM Saturday I get up and begin cooking what I have here in the house. By 9:00 AM all the sisters are contacted and everyone is heading to my house for Christmas at 1:00. Only another woman would understand how potentially stressful this could have been. The house was a wreck since we sorta suspend the usual chores during the holidays and only do the minimum work for a few days. I didn’t have a large sum of food in the house since I wasn’t planning on doing any major cooking. Time was short, very short. Oh, yeah, I had promised to buzz the boys that day also!

Therefore, between 6:00 AM and 1:00 PM this is what got accomplished:

~ Spaghetti Sauce and Noodles

~ Chicken Alfredo and Noodles

~ Baked a Swedish Nut birthday cake for second Berean Son whose birthday was that day.

~ Opps! Cake over topped pan and made a huge mess. Stank up the house, looked horrible, etc.

~ Baked second Swedish Nut birthday cake. Worked better this time.

~ Buzzed all three boys, sent them for baths/showers.

~ Artichoke and Spinach dip for an appetizer.

~ Got kids to straighten up the house some. Like clean under the seat of the four year old at the table, kinda stuff.

~ Caught up on several loads of laundry. With seven in the family it can pile up after just a couple of days. Didn’t want smelly socks adding to the odor of the burnt cake.  🙁

~ Opps! Red Blood looking stuff running all over the inside of the refrigerator! Major panic what is that! Turns out to be a jar of apple rings in red cinnamon sauce has turned over and is draining its sticky contents all over the refrigerator. What a mess! First Berean Son says just leave it until later. But no! I can’t have company opening the refrigerator and it looking like blood is all over the place. So we remove everything from the refrigerator and clean it out. It is amazing how fast you can do this if you have to.

~ Sent Berean Husband to Wal-Mart for Ice Cream for Birthday boy. Forgot to add Alfredo sauce to the list. Opps! Call him on the cell phone while he is there. Cell phone sitting in car not even on. He will get that call today when he goes to work. Homemade Alfredo sauce tastes much better than store bought anyway.

~ Berean Husband and Berean Grandmother, unexpectedly, meet up at Wal-Mart and compare buggies. They bring home salad and fixings, bread, pre-made brownies and Ice cream. Plus a few extra items that there was no time to fix, sorry.

~ Berean Husband helps by turning on the mixer for the cake icing and watching it for me as I put in ingredients. He got several compliments over “his icing he made.”

~ At around 1:00 PM the first of the guests arrive and everything is done but cooking the pasta and warming the bread.

Only those that know me well would understand that this is not how I like things to work. I tease about a couple of my kids liking to have their “ducks in a row” well they got it honestly. I like advanced notice about everything, spontaneous is a foreign word to me. I like my ducks all lined up also. But the Lord has taught me to accept the unexpected, even if He has to scatter my ducks Himself.

If happiness was based on happenings, I should have been most unhappy. Now true I do have the Joy of the Lord in my life. But I could honestly say that I was happy. Actually, I was laughing about everything. I was very busy and slightly stressed as to time issues but I just thought everything was just hilarious. Some of the funny things must remain private in order to not offend those affected. I was laughing about some things so much last night I couldn’t sleep.

Overall, the Lord was Merciful and Graceful to me. He gave me plenty of help from my husband and children. He gave me both happiness and deep joy when I could have easily been bent out of shape. (That was Sunday when I was bent out of shape due to a terrible backache that morning.) Despite all the things that could have gone wrong, things after guests arrived went very well.

Birthday Boy did have one trouble. The children overruled mom and we ate off paper plates instead of the usual china. Due to a dear friend, I have lots of china because mine is the type a grocery store gave away with a certain amount of purchase. My grandmother gave me a small set when I got married. It is old and worn but extra pieces can be bought from many thrift stores. But the kids didn’t want to hand wash china. So we used Great Value Foam plates, not Kelli’s husband’s Chinet plates. Well, foam plates don’t hold up well to an onslaught of food at Christmas. His plate broke in half spilling all the contents! Thankfully, he had just stepped outside. Yeah, it was in the yard! Dogs hit the jackpot! Did I forget to say that it was 75 degrees here in winter for Christmas! We had to turn on the air conditioners.

Sunday was great other than the backache. We visited three different churches in one day. We had a good Sunday School lesson together as a family, then three different but good worship services throughout the day. Even the four year old sat well through so many services and wasn’t any trouble. He did sing in the car on the way home and talked in his bed for hours after “going to bed.” Obviously, he hadn’t used up his allotted words for the day.

If you sent me an email this week and I haven’t responded, so sorry, I have gotten a little behind. I plan to catch up this week unless of course my ducks get scattered again.

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Who Do You Celebrate Jesus or Santa?

Santa Christ?

Santa is worshiped, not the Savior; pilgrims go to the stores with credit cards, not to the manger with gifts. It is the feast of indulgence, not of the incarnation.

It is always easier to lament and critique the new paganism of secularism’s blatant idolatry than to see how easily the church — and we ourselves — twist or dilute the message of the incarnation in order to suit our own tastes. But, sadly, we have various ways of turning the Savior into a kind of Santa Claus.

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