Christmas 

“But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”‭‭Luke‬ ‭2:10-11‬ ‭NASB‬‬

http://bible.com/100/luk.2.10-11.nasb

Are you anxiously awaiting that perfect gift for Christmas this year? It is always fun giving and receiving gifts at Christmas. There is always excitement about what is under that wrapping paper. As you open it you are thinking what could it be. You might be hoping for a certain gift. 

No matter what you receive it cannot compare to the gift that was given when Christ was born. God knew that we needed forgiveness and that is why he sent a savior. He sent his son to pay the price for our sins. He gave the best gift ever and it was because He loved us. 

One great thing about this gift is that it is for everyone. The angel told the shepherds that he had great news for all people. This gift isn’t for just a few people but all. No matter who you are this gift is before you. 

You have to have the faith to accept this gift. The gift was freely given but you have to be willing to accept it. My prayer is that you will accept this gift this Christmas. 

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Love Your Neighbor

God tells us in the Old Testament and the New Testament that the greatest commandment is to love the Lord with all your heart and the second is to love your neighbor. Then we have the golden rule. We are to do unto others as we would have done unto us. This rule can be found in almost every major religion. Loving your neighbor should come naturally to us as humans. 

With the current political mess our country is in I feel that some have forgotten how to love their neighbors. We have riots and protests going on. There are also people who are criticizing those that are protesting. They are saying awful things about them instead of listening to what they have to say. I recently have seen two men get into a heated discussion over Trump because of a comment that was made. These men are some of the most loving God fearing men I know. 

What is the point of not showing love to your neighbor? Have you or will you accomplish anything by not showing love? The only thing you will get is stress in your daily lives. Most people are wrapped up in current events regarding politics and might be neglecting their neighbors. Think about who you might have neglected. Have you forgot to say happy birthday to a loved one? Have you forgotten to say hello to or just check on a neighbor? 

As we approach the holidays I propose that we turn the news off and get away from the negativity that seems to bombard us daily. I say that we start loving our neighbors. There are several ways to do this:

  1. Be kind to those you meet and show them love. 
  2. Be respectful. 
  3. Stop letting politics get in the way of friendships. 
  4. Volunteer at a homeless shelter and provide a meal. 
  5. Call a family member and tell them how much you appreciate them. 
  6. Help raise money for a local food pantry. 

The list could go on for a long time. The point is that we need to get back to loving those that we encounter on a daily basis. Many problems we face in society comes from people looking out for themselves. 

Let’s have a joy filled holiday season and that is going to start with showing love to everyone. This might mean loving those that you disagree with. Imagine what your community could look like if everyone shows love to their neighbor. 

Christmas Memories 

What is your favorite Christmas memories or traditions? I have two of them. 

1. I enjoy the candle lighting service at my church. The past two years I did not attend one. This year my family will be attending the one at our new church. It is such a beautiful time of worship. 

2. Spending time with family. My wife and I are really big into family. This year we will not get to be with as much family because of schedules. 

I urge you to make the most out of Christmas. Spend time with your family. Make new lasting memories. Most importantly worship the King who was born in a humble manger. 

#MerryChristmasStarbucks

This morning I saw this hashtag on Twitter. I was curious as most of you probably were. So evidently a pastor was offended because Starbucks was using plain red cups for the Christmas season. I have not been real big into Starbucks so I did not understand at first. Evidently according to this pastor this was an attack on Christmas. 

I started googling past red cups from Starbucks. What I saw was cups with images of snowflakes, people ice skating, snowmen, and things that depict winter. One thing I did not see was Merry Christmas or anything that depicted Christmas. There was no red cups that I saw with a nativity scene. So I am confused how a plain red cup is an attack on Christmas? What is different this year over previous years? If this is an attack on Christmas why was the pastor buying coffee? 

Your coffee does not define you as a Christian. I think Christmas is a great time to tell people about our savior Jesus coming to earth as a man to pay for our sins. It is a great way to share the love of Christ. People will come to church at Christmas time or Easter more than any other time of the year. 

Why as Christians would we pick such a silly fight. Who cares if your Starbucks cup is plain or has a snowman on it. Let’s focus our attention on spreading God’s love. Get your coffee and start up a conversation about God’s redeeming grace. Do not forget what we celebrate Christmas for. 

Let’s not attack a business over a cup of coffee. If you want their coffee drink it. If not go somewhere else.