The story is told of a father who decided that Christmas was going to be different this year. He called a family conference and challenged his family to be more disciplined in the management of their time during the busy Christmas season. They had to curtail excessive spending on gifts. He talked about better relations between visiting relatives and a more congenial atmosphere around their home. He brought his speech to a crescendo with his final rally cry, “Let’s make this the BEST Christmas EVER!”
Jim was leaving church after Christmas services when the pastor greeted him and said, “Jim, it’s time you joined the Army of the Lord. We need to see you every Sunday.”
“I’m already in the Army of the Lord, Pastor,” Jim replied.
“Then why do we only see you on Christmas and Easter?”
Jim looked to the right and to the left, and then leaned over to whisper, “I’m in the Secret Service.”
Your standard man, at this point in the Christmas season, has purchased zero gifts. He has not yet gotten around to purchasing an acceptable gift for his wife for last Christmas. He did give her something last year, but he could tell by her reaction to it that she had not been dreaming of getting an auto emergency kit, even though it was the deluxe model with booster cables and an air compressor. Clearly this gift violated an important rule, but the man had not idea what this rule was, and his wife was too upset to tell him.
Some retailers are concerned about the the fact that there are only 26 shopping days between Black Friday and Christmas day this year. Yet, the National Retail Federation expects Americans to spend even more than they did last year. They estimate that we will spend $602 billion on Christmas gifts and merchandise. That is close to $85 for every person alive on the face of the globe.
It is amazing that at the time of year we set aside to honor Christ’s birth, we can easily be consumed with ourselves.
Source: USA Today, November 29, 2013
In January of 1956, Jim Elliot and four other missionaries gave their lives in Ecuador in their effort to reach the Waodani (Auca) Indians. This fierce group was known to attack any outsiders, but the vision for reaching them with the gospel compelled these young men to take the risk. Not long after they set up camp near the Waodani village they were attacked by warriors. Refusing to defend their lives with force, the missionaries were killed. The news flashed around the world, and the story of courage and sacrifice challenged many to take up the missionary cause.
A television interviewer was walking the streets of Tokyo at Christmas time. The interviewer stopped one young woman on the sidewalk, and asked, “What is the meaning of Christmas?”
She responded, “I don’t know. Is that the day that Jesus died?”
There was some truth in her answer—Christ was born to die.
Source: More Grace for the Daily Grind, Larry Briney
8. Well, well, well, now, there’s a gift!
7. No, really, I didn’t know that there was a Chia pet tie! Oh, wow! It’s a clip-on too!
6. You know, I always wanted one of these! Jog my memory—what’s it called again?
5. You know what?—I’m going to find a special place to put this!
4. Boy, you don’t see craftsmanship like that every day!
3. And it’s such an interesting color too!
2. You say that was the last one? Am I glad that you snapped that baby up!
It’s only natural that stressed-out people eat more desserts, because “stressed” spelled backwards is “desserts.” If that’s true, there’s a lot of stress between Thanksgiving and New Year.
Submitted by the homiletics class of West Coast Baptist College
Grace Davidson took her four-year-old granddaughter to “big church” for the first time. She sat quietly taking in every aspect of the service and her attentive curiosity stayed in check until the pastoral prayer. The pastor said, “We thank You, Lord, for Your presence.” The little girl’s eyes flew open and she whispered to her grandmother, “Granny, we’re gonna get presents!”
Source: The Best of Grandparents’ Brag Board, Pregal and Riley
In 1988, Anissa Ayala was sixteen years-old and diagnosed with a rare form of Leukemia. The doctors said that if she did not receive a bone marrow transplant after chemotherapy and radiation treatment she would die.
Neither her parents nor her brother was a match, and they could not find a donor elsewhere. Her parents, both in their forties, conceived another child and hoped that its bone marrow would be compatible with Anissa’s.
In a survey, nearly a third of those questioned stated, that of all the persons mentioned in the Christmas story, they identified the most with the shepherds. The shepherds were average, ordinary people and were invited to see the birth of the King of kings!
One lady waited until the last minute to send Christmas cards. She knew she had forty-nine folks on her list. So she rushed into a store and bought a package of fifty cards without really looking at them. Still in a big hurry, she addressed the forty-nine and signed them without reading the message inside.
On Christmas Day when things had quieted down somewhat, she happened to come across the one leftover card and finally read the message she had sent to forty-nine of her friends. Much to her dismay, it said:
If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights, and shiny balls; but do not have love, I’m just another decorator.
If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals, and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime; but do not have love, I’m just another cook.
If I work at a soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home, and give all that I have to charity; but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
The following memo was sent by a school administrator:
Please remember that we live in a multicultural community, and it is not acceptable to continue to act and speak as if everyone celebrates Christmas as the birth of Christ. The use of the word Christmas and references to nativity or the birth of Christ is offensive to some members of our diverse community. Please remember to use neutral language in any of your decor, announcements, bulletin boards, and invitations. Use neutral language, such as “winter holiday,” “winter programs,” etc.
In a Charlie Brown Christmas Charlie Brown was having trouble getting into the Christmas spirit so Linus said, “Charlie Brown, you’re the only person I know who can take a wonderful season like Christmas and turn it into a problem.”
Unfortunately, some Christians seem to have the same problem as Charlie Brown when we should be lifting up our Lord and Saviour.