Keeping Christmas by David Branon (Christmas Inspiration #19)
One of the most respected TV journalists of our time was Harry Reasoner. In 1971 he gave a Christmas commentary that bears repeating. Here, in part, is what he said:
“Christmas is such a unique idea that most non-Christians accept it, and I think sometimes envy it. If Christmas is the anniversary of the appearance of the Lord of the Universe in the form of a helpless baby, it’s quite a day. It’s a startling idea, and the theologians, who sometimes love logic more than they love God, find it uncomfortable. . . . It is either all falsehood or it is the truest thing in the world. It is the story of the great innocence of God, the baby, God in the power of man. And it is such a dramatic shot toward the heart that if it is not true, for Christians nothing is true. So even if you have not got your shopping all done and you are swamped with the commercialism and the frenzy, be at peace. . . . The story stands.”
Perhaps you have been feeling the stress and anxiety that are so much a part of the Christmas rush. If so, take a few minutes to contemplate again the miracle of Christmas: God came down to earth as a baby to become our Savior. Focus on that message today and every day. It will help to slow you down and keep the right perspective on Christmas.
We need someone to worship, We need a song to sing; Let’s keep our Christ in Christmas And honor Him as King. —Jarvis
It’s possible to keep Christmas and yet lose Christ.
Bah Humbug.. David C Egner (Our Daily Bread) (#20 of my best Christmas Inspirations)
Many Christians do a lot of complaining about Christmas. “Too commercial,” they say. “It has pagan origins. We’ve got to put Christ back into Christmas.” The only thing they haven’t said is, “Bah! Humbug!”
Yes, Christmas has become very commercial. But as we purchase and wrap gifts, every present can be a silent testimony to the supreme gift, God’s “only begotten Son” (Jn. 3:16).
Yes, we know that Santa is a myth and that reindeer don’t fly. It’s pure fiction. But instead of griping about these nonessentials, which only focuses on them, we need to call attention to the truth of the Baby who was born in Bethlehem.
And what about the cry to put Christ back into Christmas? Well, He never left. Listen to the words of the carols heard over and over in stores, malls, and on the streets. They proclaim more truth in one holiday than many pulpits do in 3 months. They put into the minds of young and old the wonderful truth that “the Lord is come” and that He is to be adored.
Christmas is not humbug; it’s a season of opportunity to point others to the Savior. It gives us a chance to say to friends and loved ones, “Do you know the real meaning of the season? I do, because I believe in Christ.”
Hark! the herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King; Peace on earth, and mercy mild— God and sinners reconciled.” —Wesley
To see the real meaning of Christmas, focus on Christ.
I spent today at the Closet Studio with Jordan McCleod and Kendal Osborne.. everthing went very well we are now taking notes and deciding what is too loud, what needs to be brought up in the mix and various other things that Kendal and Jordan was talking about that I actually had no clue.. However... One of the songs on my project titled "On the inside" was almost on the Outside... Jordan and Kendal both felt that this song was the weakest on my album.. I absolutely love the song. We are negotiating and I think that we are going to go completely acoustic with Kendal's great guitar playing. I will sing the lead and sing a simple background vocal. I am truly excited about the direction of this album. I have learned so much from working with guys that are truly young enough to be my kids.. Technology is a great thing. I will keep you posted as things develop.. next Monday the 10th, I meet with Jordan to listen to adjustment suggestions that we made today. I pray that your day has been a blessed one filled with great things. Take care, stay encouraged & God bless you.
When Thomas Gallaudet graduated from seminary in 1814, he had planned on becoming a preacher. However, his call to the ministry took a different turn when he met Alice, a 9-year-old, hearing-impaired girl in his neighborhood. Gallaudet began to communicate with her by writing words with a stick in the dirt.
Helping Alice motivated him to help others too. After consulting with European and American experts in educating the deaf, he refined a system widely known today as “signing” (a person’s hands spell out the message). Eventually, he established the American School for the Deaf.
Gallaudet’s school for the hearing-impaired contained a Christian curriculum that shared the gospel and included Bible instruction. He had answered the call to preach—but it was to a very special group of people. Signing was the way he communicated the gospel.
Like Gallaudet, we too should be sharing the Word of God with people in ways they can understand. Otherwise, “How shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?” (Rom. 10:14). How might God want you to reach out to those around you?
Seeking the lost, and pointing to Jesus, Souls that are weak and hearts that are sore; Leading them forth in ways of salvation, Showing the path to life evermore. —Ogden Don’t withhold from the world the best news that’s ever come to it.
Today has been a blessed day. I am truly looking forward to going to the studio on this coming Monday. I am looking forward to reconnecting with my great Sax player Louie Walker. He is planning on playing on 6 of tunes for my upcoming album. I am also looking forward to seeing Kendall Osborn of closet studios and my producer Jordan McCleod of runaway studios. I will keep you posted on everything as it i occurs I will do my best to get some pictures and some small clips of the music. Here is a link to my music for your enjoyment. Please let me know your thoughts. I appreciate your support. Take care, stay encouraged & God bless you.
Today has been a great day and I am happy to be home from the job. I am blessed the Lord granted me another day here on this earth. I am excited about things to come.. my actual art work for my branding as well as hearing the tracks from Louie Walker and His great sax creations for 5 of my tracks... I will also connect again with Jordan to see how things are going with the project as there are many things that need to be done as far as the mixing process.. we also have more recording to do.. so patience is a virtue with all of this. So I feel very blessed in this very room. I am leaving you with a devotional titled "In this very room" by David C. McCasland.. At our church we often sing the beautiful song by Ron and Carol Harris: “In This Very Room.” It begins, “In this very room there’s quite enough love for one like me.” This song reminds me that although there is great encouragement in gathering with other Christians for worship, the important thing is that Christ is present. But it goes beyond that. He is with us not just at church but in every room of our lives.
I wonder where you’re reading this—a kitchen, a coffee shop, a prison cell, a military post? Perhaps you’re in a hospital or a courtroom. It may be a room that reflects everything that’s right in your life or a place that represents all that’s wrong. And you might be afraid.
In the aftermath of the awful reality of Jesus’ crucifixion, His followers met in a familiar room. John records that “when the doors were shut [locked] where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, ‘Peace be with you’” (John 20:19). A week later it happened again when Jesus entered through locked doors to bring peace through His presence (vv.26-29).
Wherever you are today, “There’s quite enough hope and quite enough power to chase away any gloom, for Jesus, Lord Jesus, is in this very room.”
When in the midst of life with its problems, Bent with our toil and burdens we bear; Wonderful thought and deep consolation: Jesus is always there. —Lillenas Our loving God is always near—forever by our side.
Back to work today and man it was busy and hectic.. I was truly glad to enjoy the ride back home today. Once I got here I was greeted by my awesome wife and we had dinner tonight at Charleston’s I had my usual oven roasted chicken and it was wonderful. I am blessed again to have witnessed this beautiful day here in Tulsa. I pray that your Monday has been Magnificent one. I did run across a awesome quote today from Oswald Chambers today that stats: If we are devoted to the cause of humanity, we shall soon be crushed and broken-hearted, for we shall often meet with more ingratitude from men than we would from a dog; but if our motive is love to God, no ingratitude can hinder us from serving our fellow men. Take care my friends & God bless you.
Today has been a day of worship. I had 2 services today and the Lord was in the house. I was truly blessed by the word that was brought today. I also got a surprise visit today from my daughter and her boyfriend. It truly was a great day we had dinner at the church and everything went well. I am blessed the Lord allowed me to see this beautiful day. It truly was a perfect fall day here in Tulsa today. I pray that your weekend has been an amazing one filled with great things. So how was your weekend? Anything special happen this weekend? Are there any prayer request? I would appreciate you responses. I appreciate your friendship and hope that we continue to stay connected. Take care, stay encouraged & God bless you
Today has been a great day of family and productivity. I am blessed to have had the opportunity to see this day. I spent the day with my wife and her family.. we had a great day and enjoyed our time together. I have also sent some of my music to a local production company for a movie that is being produced here. I got the invitation from my lawn man Victor Muse who is playing in the movie. I will let you know if anything gets selected. I do pray that your day has been a blessed one filled with great things. Take care and stay encouraged. Tonight I am leaving with this devotion simple titled "Who's the Audience?" by Philip Yancy
I used to view the worship service in church as a time for entertainment. Speaking of folks like me, Sören Kierkegaard said that we tend to think of church as a kind of theater: We sit in the audience, attentively watching the actors onstage. If sufficiently entertained, we show our gratitude with applause. Church, though, should be the opposite of the theater. God is the audience for our worship.
What matters most takes place within the hearts of the congregation—not onstage. We should leave a worship service asking ourselves not “What did I get out of it?” but rather “Was God pleased with what happened?”
God took pains to specify details of animal sacrifice for the ancient Israelites in their worship. Yet He said that He didn’t need their animals: “I will not take a bull from your house, nor goats out of your folds. For every beast of the forest is Mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills” (Ps. 50:9-10). What He wanted was their praise and obedience (v.23).
By focusing on the externals of worship, we too miss the point: The Lord is interested in a sacrifice of the heart, an internal attitude of submission and thanksgiving. The goal of worship is nothing less than to meet and please our God.
Lord, may our worship and our praise, From hearts surrendered to Your ways, Be worthy offerings of love For all Your blessings from above. —Sper At the heart of worship is worship from the heart.
Today has been a blessed one. I have truly had a busy day at work. After work, I have had a rehearsal with the Voices of Praise. We had a great rehearsal and we learned Get your blessing and Awesome... I am blessed to have been apart of the rehearsal tonight. I am truly working on myself and my phrase for this week is to not let "emotion trump logic" It is vital that we make good sound decisions in everything we do and not let emotions overcome our logic. I pray that your day has been a blessed one filled with great things. Take care, stay encouraged & God bless you. Tonight I am leaving you a devotional titled Impact for Christ by Dave Branon
Over the past several years, I’ve been privileged to travel with teenagers on eight mission trips. One thing I’ve learned in those excursions is that teens are not too young to make an impact for Jesus—either on me or on others whose lives they touch.
I’ve also noticed that the teens who make the biggest impact for Christ match the characteristics Paul told Timothy about in 1 Timothy 4:12. Trying to convince Timothy that his relative youth did not have to be a deterrent to his ministry, Paul told him to “be an example to the believers” in several areas.
In word: Young people who make a difference for Christ control what they say, avoid negative talk, and speak words that honor God. In conduct: Teens who practice discretion in their behavior shine for all the world to see. In love: By taking heed of Jesus’ words to love God and their neighbor (Matt. 22:37-39) teens please Jesus and touch hearts. In faith: Those who put their faith into action change lives. In purity: It’s tough to be morally pure and doctrinally sound, but kids who are can set the bar for the rest of us.
Paul’s words aren’t just for the young generation. All of us should be an example in word, conduct, love, faith, and purity. That’s how we make an impact for Christ.
O Christians, remember, you bear His dear name, Your lives are for others to view; You’re living examples—men praise you or blame, And measure your Savior by you. —Anon.
The most valuable commentary on the Bible is a godly life.