We are just days away from celebrating Christmas and as we look forward to this special time spent with family and friends, we are very mindful that had not Jesus come from heaven to earth over 2,000 years ago, our lives would be completely different.
Where we were once in despair, now we can live in hope!
Where we were shrouded in darkness, we now walk in the light!
Where we were anxious and in fear, we now know peace that passes all understanding.
Where we were chained by sin, we are now free!
His coming as Emmanuel-God with us-changed everything!
May you also know Jesus---the One who came to seek and save the lost! He will change everything!
P.S. We were delighted to have two of our children join us for our COFFEE & CONNECT LIVE program. We had so much fun, we split it into two episodes. We have included the videos here for you to enjoy if you like.
Also, here is the article from our Christmas card---one of my most remembered Christmases!
A CHRISTMAS TO REMEMBER!
With each passing year of life, the more I find that Christmas finds me looking back over the many Christmas experiences I have had. I suppose I do more “looking back” these days because there are so many to look back on!
I remember what my first “REAL” Christmas was like after coming to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Our entire family had changed and thus the Christmas celebration took on new meaning as it was when our Lord came to earth as a baby with the purpose to save me, my brothers, my parents, my friends, everyone from their sins. The songs held new meaning. Even the decorations took on fresh meaning as the lights twinkled and we now knew the LIGHT OF THE WORLD.
I remember the Christmas that definitely revealed that I was a bit of a tomboy! My parents had asked us kids what we wanted for Christmas. I blurted out, “I WANT A TRACTOR AND A NECKTIE!” To my mom’s consternation I am sure, she cajoled, “Missy, wouldn’t you like a pretty doll with lace and curls?” I was determined that I wanted what my brothers would want. That Christmas with great anticipation, I opened the beautifully wrapped gift and discovered a DOLL! I was not impressed and began to sob. My mother cradled me and expressed that she was sorry as she didn’t really think I wanted a tractor. I assured her I did. She graciously said she would exchange the doll—and she did thus making me the happiest little girl in the world with my tractor.
But there is one Christmas that I will never forget! I was 7 years old and I had been anxiously waiting for Christmas all year. I had just figured out that there wasn’t a Santa Clause after inspecting the chimney and knowing he couldn’t fit through it which meant that my parents were the ones who gave us the gifts. With 13 of us, I couldn’t see how Dad could possibly afford it. Yet when asked what I wanted that Christmas, I responded that I wanted a sled and a doll (finally I was asking for a doll)! My brothers and I kept encouraging my parents to go shopping before the presents were all picked over. Finally, the time came when they went shopping. We were anxiously waiting for them to return when we saw the beam of car headlights as we pressed our noses against the frost covered window trying to see if we could get a glimpse of what they were carrying out of the car. When Dad and Mom got up to the house, they set the bags on the porch before coming in so they could make sure we were not in sight. We ran upstairs with instructions that when they had wrapped the gifts, we could come back down. We heard the front door slam which meant they were bringing in the presents and waited to hear the sounds of the rustling of wrapping paper. Instead we heard, “But who would have taken them? We just left them on the porch for less than five minutes!” Our hearts sank in disbelief!
A few minutes later, Dad beckoned us to come downstairs and soberly announced, “Somebody has stolen some of the Christmas presents we had put on the porch.” To which a brother asked, “Then we won’t have presents this year?” Our parents looked at each other and tried to smile. Mom finally replied, “We will just have to wait and see.” We all quietly made our way upstairs to go to bed, and I remember crying myself to sleep that night.
A couple of days before Christmas, us kids gathered together and questioned, “What are we going to do on Christmas Eve? We have to celebrate Christmas!” One of my brothers came up with the idea, “I know, let’s make a skit of Joseph, Mary and Baby Jesus. Let’s fill a little manger and wrap a doll in a blanket. We can sing and say our Christmas pieces. We will make Dad and Mom happy.” Before we knew it all the gloom had left as we busily planned how to entertain our parents on Christmas Eve.
It was now the 24th of December. We were all prepared with our surprise, but to our amazement, our parents had returned home from somewhere and there were packages in their arms! I asked what was in them and with a twinkle in her eye, Mom said, “Well, your dad somehow managed to buy each of you a present!” The gifts were wrapped and placed under the tree. A few hours later, we turned off all of the lights except the Christmas tree and announced , “Dad and Mom, we have a surprise for you! Come and sit down.” Excitedly we began our skit. My older brother was Joseph, I was Mary and my old doll was Jesus. Three more brothers were the wisemen and others were shepherds. As we acted out the Christmas story, we felt the presence of Christ fill the room. We sang Christmas carols and recited our Christmas pieces. Then, in the quietness of the living room, with the tree lights twinkling like stars above us, we concluded in a time of prayer.
All of a sudden Dad announced, “Okay, it’s time for presents!” Joy exploded and we held our gifts tightly and opened them slowly knowing the extra sacrifices our parents made so we could have presents to open. I remember opening my gift to see a doll that I had wanted and how special it was to me for many years. It was truly a CHRISTMAS TO REMEMBER!
May you have a CHRISTMAS TO REMEMBER as you celebrate the One who sacrificed His life so you could have the greatest gift of all— ETERNAL LIFE!
"And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins." Matthew 1:21