Friday, December 25, 2015


Jesus said, “And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these, you did it to me.’” Matthew 25:40 (RSV)

One Christmas, my daughter and I were alone. A church friend who worked at an assisted living facility, announced they were having a Christmas Party for the residents and could use some help. We volunteered.

We helped with their gift giving, games they played, and assisted shaky hands while they ate. (Shaky hands and Jello presents a real challenge.) We glued, taped and stapled as they made a Christmas craft and then we all sang Christmas Carols. After one ice cream accident, we decided ice cream was good enough to wear. It was a wonderful afternoon. You could not wipe the smiles off our faces.

After a most rewarding day, we went to a Chinese restaurant for dinner—the only place open on Christmas Day. We shared and laughed again at the happy events of our wonderful day. It gave us a blessing greater than any Christmas gift could.

We could have felt sorry for ourselves and sat around complaining about our circumstances, but we chose to help. No one attends pity parties. The gift really was for us.

Charles Swindol said, “Life is 10%, what you do with it is 90%”.
Jesus said, “What you do for the least of these, you do it for me.” (Above)
Joshua said, “Choose this day whom you will serve…”  Joshua 24:15

Dear Lord. The greatest gift is You. Ignite in us the heart to be a gift to others and choose the Godly way to give—in Your name. Amen.

© 2015 Lois Gosley

Friday, December 18, 2015


This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger. Luke 2:12 (NAS)

Each year tucked away on a little twelve-house court, neighbors display a lighted version of The Twelve Days of Christmas on their front lawns.  When our children were small we enjoyed driving through the court singing the song at the top of our lungs. Although it was a cherished part of our holiday tradition, I wondered what this carol had to do with the true meaning of Christmas.

After some research, I was excited to find each symbol had a Christian-based meaning. Although there is debate as to the origins of this idea, some believe several centuries ago in England, Catholics were not allowed to practice their faith. They made up a song with secret signs for all the elements children needed to remember for catechism. The "true love" mentioned in the song lyrics was, of course, Jesus and His great love for us. The partridge in a pear tree would also represent Jesus, crucified on a tree. Two turtle doves were reminders of the Old and New Testaments, as the three French hens symbolized faith, hope and love. Four calling birds stood for the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Each successive verse edified another facet of the Christian faith.

I am so thankful each year for traditions such a nativity scenes, children’s reenactments of the Christmas story, scripture readings and carols that remind us of the true love that came to earth that starry Bethlehem night.

Father, I am so thankful for the freedom to express our Christian faith in America. I pray we will boldly exercise our privilege this season by sharing the beautiful love story of Jesus with others. Amen.

© 2015 Bonnie Mae Evans

Friday, December 11, 2015


"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights..." James 1:17 (KJV).

When I was eight years old, I sat gazing at the beautifully decorated Christmas tree and made my first wish for a slinky, one that actually walked down our stair steps. An art kit was my second wish. My heart told me there was an artist inside wanting to create a beautiful painting. Knowing, in reality, there was no Santa Claus, I said a silent prayer to Jesus. After all, Jesus is truly the reason for the season, isn't He?

My sisters and I got the Sears & Roebuck catalogue and grew excited to see all the things for kids. We put our names on paper and carefully wrote down all the things we liked and put them on the table. Before bed that snowy Christmas Eve, Mother read us the story of the first Christmas and the birth of Jesus. We went to bed with the joy of baby Jesus in our hearts.

Christmas morning there were a few gifts for each of us girls under the tree. Mother smiled as we excitedly opened them. We got dolls and coloring books with crayons, comic books and drawing tablets. We each got a Christmas stocking filled with candy, nuts and an orange. We felt rich as we played with our gifts. Most of all, we were blessed with the love of our parents and the joy we felt in knowing the baby Jesus was our Gift from God.

Father, thank You for blessing us with our parents love, realizing our blessings came from You and Jesus. Amen.

© 2015 Evelyn B. Ryan

Friday, December 4, 2015


Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy.  Psalms 47:1 (NIV).

Thoughts of the many parties, dinners and gatherings this season brings, causes my heart rejoice in the love of the Lord. I am reminded that I am truly blessed because of the grace of my heavenly Father.

There are times when I want to clap my hands, shout to everyone and sing about the joy of my Lord. The Christmas season gives me the opportunity to do this every day. Everywhere I go the holiday music plays over the intercom, and I sing along with the songs praising God.

Throughout the Bible, there are countless times that His people sang, shouted and danced before the Lord. Many times it was after a difficult situation. God delivered them from the trials and tribulations that they sometimes brought upon themselves.

David spent part of his life running from the king in fear of his life. Yet even in the darkest hours, he found the strength to sing his praises to God. Throughout the book of Psalm, we see this happening time after time.

When I go to all the parties, dinners and gatherings, I will clap, shout and cry out my joy to the One who is the reason for the season. Jesus! 

Let the good times roll. Today, tomorrow and the years to come, I will be a testimony to the love of God, a witness to His mercy and an example of the power of His strength.

Lord, I rejoice every day, not just during this time of the year. Help me to boldly shout your praises to the nation with clapping hands through the whole year.

©2015 Dawn Sexton.