Please join me in lifting up In Touch Ministries each week. Take care and God bless you, – Briggie ^i^
Praise – In Touch’s executive team and board of directors recently approved a plan that will allow “In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley” to reach 500 million homes worldwide. Praise God that more people around the globe will have the opportunity to see and hear Dr. Stanley deliver a clear presentation of the gospel on television and radio.
Prayer – In Touch works with local churches and missionaries who reach out to viewers and listeners who respond to the gospel or need further discipleship. Pray that new believers and growing Christians would be supported effectively.
I receive daily devotions from Proverbs31 Ministries and I was catching up on my emails today and came across this one and thought I would share it you. God bless you and keep you in His peace and care…Briggie ^i^
December 16, 2008
Are You Ready for the Holidays?
“What matters is not your outer appearance… but your inner disposition.”
1 Peter 3:1 (MSG)
This year I am tempted to keep a close count of the number of times I hear the question, “Are you ready for the holidays?”
What does that mean exactly? If I were to guess what people mean when they ask one another if they are “ready for the holidays,” I would say most are not talking about spiritual readiness. I bet what they typically mean is, “Have you made a list of all the stuff you need to do before the 25th and have you checked it off?”
Usually the answer that follows is a long list of to-do’s before Christmas day. Baking, sending Christmas cards, buying and wrapping gifts, hiding presents from the children, or delivering them to neighbors, choir or play practice, preparing for guests, or preparing to travel. My list also often includes planning and attending parties, house cleaning, and finally – my favorite – decorating.
I wonder, if Jesus were making a holiday preparations list, what would He include? What if those who were there on Christ’s birth day could advise us on getting ready for Christmas? What would be on their list?
Joseph might recommend we listen closely to the voice of God to prepare.
Mary may suggest we ponder the miracles of heaven.
Perhaps the angels would propose we sing about the King.
The shepherds may gently guide us to follow their act of worship.
Possibly the wise men would teach us to give Jesus our most valuable gifts.
The innkeeper may suggest “Hospitality: open your heart and home.”
And Jesus’ list would likely encourage us to be a light on the hill pointing the way for others to know Him.
Comparing my to-do list to the ones above, I wonder if I lived at that time, would I have missed Christ’s birth? Would my busyness have kept me from slowing down to take time to worship in the stable? Unfortunately I have “missed” many Christmases in the here and now because I’ve not slowed down long enough to bow my knees and experience the miracle.
I want Christmas for my family to be more about an act of worship and awe than a frenzy to decorate, shop, and jump through the world’s hoops. I don’t want to miss the true reason we celebrate.
A few years ago I set out to purposefully plan the way I celebrate. As a result, my Christmases have become increasingly simpler and at the same time my heart has become increasingly more satisfied.
Are you ready for the holidays?
Father, Thank You for sending Your son to point the way to You. Please remind me that preparing my heart for You is more satisfying than any other preparations I could make. Simple and pure devotion to You is what makes this season so special. Help me balance my time and keep my focus on You this year. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
God will wipe away every tear from their eyes;
there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor
crying. There shall be no more pain, for the
former things have passed away.”
( Revelation 21:4 *NKJV )
If you are suffering from the loss of a loved one this Christmas,
the following message is for you. If you are not suffering
from that loss, but know of someone who is, why not forward
this message to them. For it has ministered to many over the
past few years! It is called:
“My First Christmas In Heaven”
I see the countless Christmas trees around the world below
With tiny lights, like Heaven’s stars, reflecting on the snow
The sight is so spectacular, please wipe away the tear
For I am spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.
I hear the many Christmas songs that people hold so dear
But the sounds of music can’t compare with the Christmas
choir up here. I have no words to tell you, the joy their voices
bring. For it is beyond description, to hear the angels sing.
I know how much you miss me, I see the pain inside your heart
But I am not so far away, We really aren’t apart.
So be happy for me, dear ones, You know I hold you dear.
And be glad I’m spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.
I sent you each a special gift, from my heavenly home above.
I sent you each a memory of my undying love.
After all, love is a gift more precious than pure gold.
It was always most important in the stories Jesus told.
Please love and keep each other, as my Father said to do.
For I can’t count the blessing or love he has for each of you.
So have a Merry Christmas and wipe away that tear
Remember, I am spending Christmas with Jesus Christ