Tag Archives: Christmas

🎄 The Glorious Incarnation #25 ~ Christ’s Pursuit

“Christianity does not begin with our pursuit of Christ, but with Christ’s pursuit of us. Christianity does not start with an invitation we offer to Jesus, but with an invitation Jesus offers to us.”

David Platt, Follow Me: A Call to Die. A Call to Live.

🎄 The Glorious Incarnation #21 ~ Message Of Hope

“Thus says the Lord: the meaning of Christmas is that what is good and precious in your life need never be lost, and what is evil and undesirable in your life can be changed. The fears that the few good things that make you happy are slipping through your fingers, and the frustrations that the bad things you hate about yourself or your situation can’t be changed—these fears and these frustrations are what Christmas came to destroy. It is God’s message of hope this Advent that what is good need never be lost and what is bad can be changed.”

John Piper, The Dawning of Indestructible Joy: Daily Readings for Advent

🎄 The Glorious Incarnation #20 ~ Theology

“No priest, no theologian stood at the manger of Bethlehem. And yet all Christian theology has its origin in the wonder of all wonders: that God became human. Holy theology arises from knees bent before the mystery of the divine child in the stable. Without the holy night, there is no theology. “God is revealed in flesh,” the God-human Jesus Christ — that is the holy mystery that theology came into being to protect and preserve. How we fail to understand when we think that the task of theology is to solve the mystery of God, to drag it down to the flat, ordinary wisdom of human experience and reason! Its sole office is to preserve the miracle as miracle, to comprehend, defend, and glorify God’s mystery precisely as mystery. This and nothing else, therefore, is what the early church meant when, with never flagging zeal, it dealt with the mystery of the Trinity and the person of Jesus Christ…. If Christmas time cannot ignite within us again something like a love for holy theology, so that we—captured and compelled by the wonder of the manger of the son of God—must reverently reflect on the mysteries of God, then it must be that the glow of the divine mysteries has also been extinguished in our heart and has died out.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, God Is In the Manger

🎄 The Glorious Incarnation #19 ~ The Advent Virus

The Advent Virus

Anonymous via email

WARNING……WARNING: ADVENT VIRUS

Be on the alert for symptoms of inner Hope, Peace, Joy and Love. The hearts of a great many have already been exposed to this virus and it is possible that people everywhere could come down with it in epidemic proportions. This could pose a serious threat to what has, up to now, been a fairly stable condition of conflict in the world.

Some signs and symptoms of The Advent Virus:

  1. A tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than on fears based on past experiences.
  2. An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment.
  3. A loss of interest in judging other people.
  4. A loss of interest in interpreting the actions of others.
  5. A loss of interest in conflict.
  6. A loss of the ability to worry. (This is a very serious symptom.)
  7. Frequent, overwhelming episodes of appreciation.
  8. Contented feelings of connectedness with others and nature.
  9. Frequent attacks of smiling.
  10. An increasing tendency to let things happen rather than make them happen.
  11. An increased susceptibility to the love extended by others as well as the uncontrollable urge to extend it.

Please send this warning out to all your friends. This virus can and has affected many systems. Some systems have been completely cleaned out because of it.

🎄 The Glorious Incarnation # 17 ~ God Can Be Trusted

“Christ came to prove that God tells the truth, that God keeps his promises. Christmas means that God can be trusted.”

John Piper, The Dawning of Indestructible Joy: Daily Readings for Advent

🎄 The Glorious Incarnation #16 ~ Full Of Wonder

“To those who recognize in Jesus the wonder of the Son of God, every one of his words and deeds becomes a wonder; they find in him the last, most profound, most helpful counsel for all needs and questions. Yes, before the child can open his lips, he is full of wonder and full of counsel. Go to the child in the manger. Believe him to be the Son of God, and you will find in him wonder upon wonder, counsel upon counsel.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, God Is In the Manger

🎄 The Glorious Incarnation #12 ~ Mission Of God

“Advent is a season for thinking about the mission of God to seek and to save lost people from the wrath to come. God raised him from the dead, “Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come” (1 Thess. 1:10). It’s a season for cherishing and worshiping this characteristic of God—that he is a searching and saving God, that he is a God on a mission, that he is not aloof or passive or indecisive. He is never in the maintenance mode, coasting or drifting. He is sending, pursuing, searching, saving. That’s the meaning of Advent.”

John Piper, The Dawning of Indestructible Joy: Daily Readings for Advent

🎄 The Glorious Incarnation #11 ~ Indestructible Joy

“He may be doing it for you in this Advent season—graciously and tenderly frustrating you with life that is not centered on Christ and filling you with longings and desires that can’t find their satisfaction in what this world offers, but only in the God-man. What a Christmas gift that might be! Let all your frustrations with this world throw you onto the Word of God. It will become sweet—like walking into paradise.”

John Piper, The Dawning of Indestructible Joy: Daily Readings for Advent

🎄 The Glorious Incarnation #10 ~ Divine Love

“We have become so accustomed to the idea of divine love and of God’s coming at Christmas that we no longer feel the shiver of fear that God’s coming should arouse in us. We are indifferent to the message, taking only the pleasant and agreeable out of it and forgetting the serious aspect, that the God of the world draws near to the people of our little earth and lays claim to us.4 Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “The Coming of Jesus in Our Midst”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, God Is In the Manger

🎄 The Glorious Incarnation #9 ~ The Mystery

“The lack of mystery in our modern life is our downfall and our poverty. A human life is worth as much as the respect it holds for the mystery. We retain the child in us to the extent that we honor the mystery. Therefore, children have open, wide-awake eyes, because they know that they are surrounded by the mystery. They are not yet finished with this world; they still don’t know how to struggle along and avoid the mystery, as we do. We destroy the mystery because we sense that here we reach the boundary of our being, because we want to be lord over everything and have it at our disposal, and that’s just what we cannot do with the mystery…. Living without mystery means knowing nothing of the mystery of our own life, nothing of the mystery of another person, nothing of the mystery of the world; it means passing over our own hidden qualities and those of others and the world. It means remaining on the surface, taking the world seriously only to the extent that it can be calculated and exploited, and not going beyond the world of calculation and exploitation. Living without mystery means not seeing the crucial processes of life at all and even denying them.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, God Is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas

🎄 The Glorious Incarnation #8 ~ Greedy Eyes

“Waiting is an art that our impatient age has forgotten. It wants to break open the ripe fruit when it has hardly finished planting the shoot. But all too often the greedy eyes are only deceived; the fruit that seemed so precious is still green on the inside, and disrespected hands ungratefully toss aside what has so disappointed them.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, God Is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas

🎄 The Glorious Incarnation #7 ~ Helpless Human Baby

“The Almighty appeared on earth as a helpless human baby, needing to be fed and changed and taught to talk like any other child. The more you think about it, the more staggering it gets. Nothing in fiction is so fantastic as this truth of the Incarnation.”

J.I. Packer

🎄 The Glorious Incarnation #6 ~ Glad Tidings

Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people; for there is born to you this day a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. In these words you clearly see that he is born for us. He does not simply say, Christ is born, but to you is born; neither does he say, I bring glad tidings, but to you I bring glad tidings of great joy. Furthermore, this joy was not to remain in Christ, but it shall be to all people.

Sermons of Martin Luther

🎄 The Glorious Incarnation #5 ~ His Wonders

Only the humble believe him and rejoice that God is so free and so marvelous that he does wonders where people despair, that he takes what is little and lowly and makes it marvelous. And that is the wonder of all wonders, that God loves the lowly…. God is not ashamed of the lowliness of human beings. God marches right in. He chooses people as his instruments and performs his wonders where one would least expect them. God is near to lowliness; he loves the lost, the neglected, the unseemly, the excluded, the weak and broken.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, God Is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas

 

🎄 The Glorious Incarnation #4 ~ God With Us

If we could condense all the truths of Christmas into only three words, these would be the words: “God with us.” We tend to focus our attention at Christmas on the infancy of Christ. The greater truth of the holiday is His deity. More astonishing than a baby in the manger is the truth that this promised baby is the omnipotent Creator of the heavens and the earth!

John MacArthur

🎄 The Glorious Incarnation #2 ~ Alpha & Omega

This baffles all our comprehension!

“So the Word became human and lived here on earth among us.” John 1:14

What a transition!

What a stoop for that Infinite Being who proclaimed Himself the Alpha and the Omega; for “The Ancient of days” to assume the nature and take the form of a cradled infant, sleeping on a virgin mother’s breast!

We have no plumb line to sound the depths of that humiliation. We have no arithmetic by which it can be submitted to any process of calculation.

If we can entertain for a moment the shocking supposition of the loftiest created spirit in heaven abjuring his angel nature, and becoming an insect or a worm; we can, in some feeble degree, estimate the descent involved in the transformation.

But, for the Illimitable, Everlasting Jehovah, Himself to become incarnate . . .

the Creator, to take the nature of the created; the Infinite, to be joined with the finite; Deity, to be linked with dust; this baffles all our comprehension!

(John MacDuff, “Clefts of the Rock” 1874)

🎄10 Questions to Ask at a Christmas Gathering 🎄

🤔My Thoughts… 

After reading this interesting post , i thought it would be a nice idea to ask you(the reader) to take on 1,2 or more of these questions and post the questions & answers in the comments below. I’d love to hear a little more about you. I’m off now to think about how i would answer these questions! 😀 

10 Questions to Ask at a Christmas Gathering
(Don Whitney)

Many of us struggle to make conversation at Christmas gatherings, whether church events, work-related parties, neighborhood drop-ins, or annual family occasions. Sometimes our difficulty lies in having to chat with people we rarely see or have never met.

At other times we simply don’t know what to say to those with whom we feel little in common. Moreover, as Christians we want to take advantage of the special opportunities provided by the Christmas season to share our faith, but are often unsure how to begin.

Here’s a list of questions designed not only to kindle a conversation in almost any Christmas situation, but also to take the dialog gradually to a deeper level. Use them in a private conversation or as a group exercise, with believers or unbelievers, with strangers or with family.

1. What’s the best thing that’s happened to you since last Christmas?

2. When was your best Christmas ever? Why?

3. What’s the most meaningful Christmas gift you’ve ever received?

4. What was the most appreciated Christmas gift you’ve ever given?

5. What was your favorite Christmas tradition as a child?

6. What is your favorite Christmas tradition now?

7. What do you do to try to keep Christ in Christmas?

8. Why do you think people started celebrating the birth of Jesus?

9. Do you think the birth of Jesus deserves such a worldwide celebration?

10. Why do you think Jesus came to earth?

Of course, remember to pray before your Christmas gatherings. Ask the Lord to grant you “divine appointments,” to guide your conversations, and to open doors for the gospel. May He use you to bring glory to Christ this Christmas.

🎄 The Glorious Incarnation #1 ~ Your Gift

🎄 The Glorious Incarnation #1

Heavenly Father, We think we are ready for Christmas …Not because we have read the pages of the Bible, but because we have read our credit card statements, And they say that we have left no stone unturned, and no gift unbought, if still unpaid for. We stand ready to stagger under the weight of Christmas, To eat and drink far too much, To party with the best of them, And to worry all the time that we’ve forgotten something. And we’ll do it all, not always because we want to, but because everyone else is doing it, and we’ll go along for the ride.

Somewhere in all of this, Father, please feel free to stop us. Any place, any time, just stop us in our tracks. Stop us, grab our attention, and then place your gift in our hands where we can see it, And in our hearts where we can feel it. The gift of knowing that, a little over two thousand years ago, you stepped into the history of this world and placed yourself in a manger in a dirty backstreet stable, And called yourself a Christ-Child. It was then that we could see you and understand you as we had never been able to do before: As Creator, as Spirit, and as a man who would walk unerringly towards a Cross.

Everything else, all the food, the fun, the partying, none of it matters, and none of it has any point at all, unless we grasp this simple, beautiful gift and press it close to our hearts and keep it there…..….. that we live with you, that we are one with you, Our Lord Immanuel.

What else is there to say?

Except thank you, Amen.

🎄Prayer: Christ The Saviour

Christmas Logo

Jesus, please help me this Christmas, as i remember you as the baby in a manger. Not to see you as just a pleasant picture that conjures up nostalgic and happy thoughts for me. But to be the picture of the incredible news that was proclaimed by the angels to the shepherds…

Thank you so much for making this unfathomable Good news, that “Christ the Saviour was born!” and you made it possible for someone like me to be born again. You were as much the Saviour of the world in that manger as you were on that cross.

Thank you for loving me so much, that you’d purposely lay your glory aside to enter your own creation, to save someone like me from my sins, and the punishment of those sins, providing the way of escape from death itself!

Thank you Jesus, Amen.

🎄 Christmas Prayer

Christmas Logo saying Jesus, the reason for the season

Heavenly Father, We think we are ready for Christmas …Not because we have read the pages of the Bible, but because we have read our credit card statements, And they say that we have left no stone unturned, and no gift unbought, if still unpaid for. We stand ready to stagger under the weight of Christmas, To eat and drink far too much, To party with the best of them, And to worry all the time that we’ve forgotten something. And we’ll do it all, not always because we want to, but because everyone else is doing it, and we’ll go along for the ride.

Somewhere in all of this, Father, please feel free to stop us. Any place, any time, just stop us in our tracks. Stop us, grab our attention, and then place your gift in our hands where we can see it, And in our hearts where we can feel it. The gift of knowing that, a little over two thousand years ago, you stepped into the history of this world and placed yourself in a manger in a dirty backstreet stable, And called yourself a Christ-Child. It was then that we could see you and understand you as we had never been able to do before: As Creator, as Spirit, and as a man who would walk unerringly towards a Cross.

Everything else, all the food, the fun, the partying, none of it matters, and none of it has any point at all, unless we grasp this simple, beautiful gift and press it close to our hearts and keep it there…..….. that we live with you, that we are one with you, Our Lord Immanuel.

What else is there to say?

Except thank you, Amen.

What Love Is?

Love Logo

Some children were asked what love is. The responses were quite interesting and instructive for us adults.

One said “love is when my daddy makes a cup of coffee for my mummy and tastes a bit first before he gives it to her to make sure it’s ok.”

Another said ”love is when your puppy licks you, even when you’ve been out all day.”

one said “ you really shouldn’t say I love you unless you really mean it, but if you do mean it you should say it a lot, ‘cause people forget.”

One boy said “when someone loves you they say your name different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.

And finally one seven year old said “love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you just stop unwrapping your presents and listen.”

Stop Us In Our Tracks

Prayer 3D Logo

Heavenly Father, We think we are ready for Christmas …Not because we have read the pages of the Bible, but because we have read our credit card statements, And they say that we have left no stone unturned, and no gift unbought, if still unpaid for. We stand ready to stagger under the weight of Christmas, To eat and drink far too much, To party with the best of them, And to worry all the time that we’ve forgotten something. And we’ll do it all, not always because we want to, but because everyone else is doing it, and we’ll go along for the ride.

Somewhere in all of this, Father, please feel free to stop us. Any place, any time, just stop us in our tracks. Stop us, grab our attention, and then place your gift in our hands where we can see it, And in our hearts where we can feel it. The gift of knowing that, a little over two thousand years ago, you stepped into the history of this world and placed yourself in a manger in a dirty backstreet stable, And called yourself a Christ-Child. It was then that we could see you and understand you as we had never been able to do before: As Creator, as Spirit, and as a man who would walk unerringly towards a Cross.

Everything else, all the food, the fun, the partying, none of it matters, and none of it has any point at all, unless we grasp this simple, beautiful gift and press it close to our hearts and keep it there…..….. that we live with you, that we are one with you, Our Lord Immanuel.

What else is there to say?

Except thank you, Amen.

My Thoughts 💭

Our fantastic minister Nik convicted us with this prayer earlier this evening at our evening service, and she kindly let me share it with my loving brothers & sisters on iChristian! 🙂

Have You Received This Gift?

Christmas Logo

“Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about? – Charlie Brown

“Aren’t we forgetting the true meaning of Christmas? You know… the birth of Santa!” – Bart Simpson

Are you aware of this simple fact, that God couldn’t possibly love you more than He does right now? That He loves you as much as a perfect God can? That He loves you perfectly, and there’s nothing you can do to make Him love you more? There’s nothing you can do to earn His approval; you have it. Are you aware of that? Do you realise how deeply God loves you?” 

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

Have you received this gift? 

Father, today and through this season, give me the ability and the willingness to realise how deeply and passionately You love me. Amen.

The Masterpiece

The Masterpiece

By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

There is a story about a wealthy man and his only son who travelled the world together collecting priceless paintings by Van Gogh, Monet and many other masters. Tragically, the son died at war while rescuing others. Distraught and lonely, the old man dreaded the upcoming Christmas day.

Christmas morning, a young soldier knocked on his door and said, “I’m a friend of your son. I’m one of the ones he rescued.” Then the soldier presented a picture he had painted of the son. Though the picture lacked genius, the brokenhearted father saw the features of his precious son and immediately valued this painting above all the masterpieces in his home. Every day, the father gazed at the portrait and told his housekeeper of his great love for it.

When the father died, the art world buzzed with excitement over the sale of his extraordinary art collection on Christmas day.

The first item offered was the painting of the son, but no one in the self-important crowd would bid on the amateurish portrait. The auctioneer insisted that the terms of the will required the portrait must be sold before any other paintings could be offered. Finally, the housekeeper, tears streaming down her cheeks, said to the auctioneer, “May I pay ten dollars for it? That is all the money I have. I knew the son, and I know how much the father treasured that portrait.” The auctioneer said, “The bid is ten dollars. Going once, going twice, gone,” and the gavel fell.

The auctioneer then announced that the auction was over. “What do you mean?” said the stunned audience. “There must be hundreds of millions of dollars of art here.” The auctioneer replied, “It is very simple. According to the will of the father, whoever takes the son gets it all.”

Like the art collectors, not everyone can see the real value of a relationship with Jesus. John 1:11 tells us that Jesus came to His own but His own received Him not. They did not accept the precious gift of God’s Son, a gift that brings with it all the blessings and love of God.

If you are not intentional about recognizing and receiving Jesus Christ, you will have nothing in the end, and there will be no negotiation of God’s terms. God’s Son may have been born in the most humble of circumstances in a manger in Bethlehem, but He is coming back in power and glory. The next time we see Jesus, things will be very different from His first coming. Not only will He be the King of kings but He will be a judge and we will be held accountable for our lives.

Read John 3:18-36 and Revelations 3:16. Clearly, there are two categories of people: those who fully accept the Son as the only means to the Father and those who don’t. People who are indifferent or neutral about the Son will miss the opportunity to live eternally with the Father in Heaven. It is not enough to believe Jesus was a good man or a prophet; James 2:19 says that even the devil believes and “trembles.”

Have you said “Yes” to the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior? Luke 15:7 says there will be joy in Heaven when you do. Tell the Father today about your love for His Son. Ask God to protect your heart from being neutral or complacent about your devotion to Jesus. Is there someone you know who needs to acknowledge Jesus as Savior? Pray about being intentional about introducing them to the Son.

Furry Angel

DSC04627

2 years ago today we said goodbye to Bruce (Furry Angel). We still miss him, his character & his ability to love at all times! We also miss his squeaky toys at Christmas too! 🙂

Genesis 9:12 (NIV)

And God said, ‘This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: 

Why Christmas?

Christmas Logo

Why Christmas?

Because God loves you so much that He gave His one and only Son, sending Him into the world as a poor baby so that He could show you how to live.

Even more than that,

that He might be your life. He lived perfectly, died a grizzly death, shed His blood so that your sins might be removed, so that you will not perish, but spend forever with Him.

Have you received this gift?

The Spirit Of Christmas

Quote 3D Logo

“The spirit of Christmas needs to be superseded by the Spirit of Christ. The spirit of Christmas is annual; the Spirit of Christ is eternal. The spirit of Christmas is sentimental; the Spirit of Christ is supernatural. The spirit of Christmas is a human product; the Spirit of Christ is a divine person. That makes all the difference in the world.”

Stuart Briscoe

Christmas is Forever Poem

Christmas is forever
Christmas is forever, not for just one day,
for loving, sharing, giving, are not to put away
like bells and lights and tinsel, in some box upon a shelf. The good you do for others is good you do yourself.

Christmas Joke – Perfume?

After being away on business for a week before Christmas, Tom thought it would be nice to bring his wife a little gift.

“How about some perfume?” he asked the cosmetics clerk. She showed him a bottle costing $50.

“That’s a bit much,” said Tom, so she returned with a smaller bottle for $30.

“Thats still quite a bit,” Tom groused.

Growing disgusted, the clerk brought out a tiny $15 bottle.

Tom grew agitated, “What I mean,” he said, “is I’d like to see something real cheap.”

So the clerk handed him a mirror.

 


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