Christmas

On the Inside; On the Outside


 

And So We Wait

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There is no shortage of waiting in life. Waiting for the weekend. Waiting to find out if you got that new job. Waiting to find out if you made the team. Waiting to hear the test results from the doctor. Waiting to get a driver’s license. Waiting to hear from colleges. Let’s face it: our days are packed with family obligations, work, school, sports and Netflix. But there is also a great deal of waiting in the midst of all the activity. Read More

There is None Greater

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What does it take to be great? According to the Lord, it takes humility. “The Lord is gracious and merciful; slow to anger, and of great kindness.”(Ps 145:8) Let’s dive into these four attributes.

The Lord is gracious. The Christmas story is powerful because it is gracious. The Creator of the Universe, the One who is not like us, became one of us so that He could be one with us. This story is retold in many different ways. I think back to the movie, “Avatar.” A man traveled to another world. He became one of them. He fell in love with them. He was willing to die for them. He saved them from the evil ones. He was betrayed and nearly killed by his own. Sound familiar? There is no more gracious God then the Lord who became one of us.

The Lord is merciful. What does mercy mean? It means getting filthy, downright dirty, for another. It means sticking your hand into something slimy and gooey to help someone. For example: a bus driver who stopped to rescue two families from a burning house – and went on to finish his route; a grad student who lost her leg in an earthquake in Haiti, then returned to the country to build a school; a woman who donated her kidney to a Facebook friend. The Lord defined what mercy truly means: to do something beautiful, unexpectedly. The Lord is merciful because he gets right into it!

The Lord is slow to anger. We know what this means. We have all experienced it. We are all recipients of it. We live, breath, smile and give a big sigh of relief because the Lord turned the other cheek. Who would tell us the truth without fear of being rejected, rebuked or ridiculed? Only the Lord does not fear being hurt by our feelings. The Lord is slow to anger because He is rich in kindness.

The Lord is great in kindness. He gives what we need. He takes what we give. The difference between the two is immense. He gives us His Son. What do we give Him? For this reason, the Lord is great in kindness.

Let us imitate the Lord by living these four great attributes. Our God is amazing, full of humility and love. There is none greater!

Announcing a Birth

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The Witness of the Candymaker

How can a candy treat be a birth announcement? Many years ago a candymaker had an idea. He wanted to show, through the candy he made, that Jesus Christ was born among us, lived and died to save us all. So, through the use of color and shape, he created a piece of candy that told the story of Jesus from Christmas to Easter. He created the candy cane!

Color
The white stripes on the candy cane stand for the fact that Jesus was sinless and pure. The three small red stripes stand for the scourging Jesus endured before he died. The large red stripe stands for Jesus’ blood, shed on the cross.

Shape
The candy cane is shaped like a shepherd’s staff, reminding us that Jesus is the Good Shepherd. Turn it upside down, and it is the letter “J,” the first letter of Jesus’ name.

We can learn a lot from the candy cane – both to look at it and see Jesus, and, like the candymaker, to share the story of Jesus in whatever we do.

May the peace and joy of Christmas fill you, complete you, and overflow into everything you do and everyone you meet.

Merry Christmas!

Warning Labels

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Maybe it’s just me, but I’m getting really tired of those prescription drug commercials on TV. Now I don’t watch a lot of TV, but it seems like when I do, there are more and more of these drug companies advertising their particular drug. And it’s not that I’m bothered by the dancing elderly people, or the guy playing with his grand-daughter and her dog, or the frisky couple sitting in two separate bath tubs overlooking a lake; what gets me is the never-ending warning labels within those commercials. Here is an example of one I recently saw: Read More

My Christmas Greeting to You

Posted by | Everyday Life | 2 Comments

As my Christmas greeting to you this year, I wanted to send out the lyrics from one of my songs that I wrote back in 1984. I pray that you and your family have a wonderful and blessed Christmas. May the spirit of the season remain with you throughout the entire year. May God bless you always!

Deacon Allen

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We Need A Little Advent Now!

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I was running errands the other day, and when I walked into one of our local stores, I heard these familiar words of this Christmas song:

“Haul out the holly; put up the tree before my spirit falls again.
Fill up the stockings, I may be rushing things, but deck the halls again now.
For we need a little Christmas, right this very minute, candles in the window, carols at the spinet.
Yes, we need a little Christmas, right this very minute. We need a little Christmas now.” Read More

That Night at the Nursing Home

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I was recently digging through some old documents in my file cabinet in my home office when I came across these song lyrics that I had written back in 1989. It was a meant to be a recitation with an instrumental version of “Silent Night” playing in the background. But since this is not possible within my little blog post, I will share the story with you as it was originally written… Read More

Merry Christmas to All!!!

Posted by | Hodgepodge | No Comments

“I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come around, as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.”
~Charles Dickens Read More

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