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DIRTY SANTA

 
And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.
Ephesians 5:2
 

DIRTY SANTA

 

crystal_crossAll eyes in the tightly packed game room gazed intently at the heap of brightly wrapped Christmas gifts in the middle of the floor. In the background, Christmas tree lights twinkled as the aroma of chocolate chip cookies and hot wassail hung in the air. All 40 of us waited patiently for our turns to choose any gift we wanted from the treasure heap.

Anticipation mounted as the first person opened his chosen treasure. “Oh boy,” he shouted. “A tackle box!”

There was only one problem with getting such a highly sought after gift. The game of Dirty Santa allows the next person to choose a gift from the unopened pile or from any of the gifts already opened, taking it away from the one who held it. If your gift is confiscated, you can then choose again from the pile or from all the opened gifts.

Clearing his throat, number five stood for his turn, speaking crisply. “I’ll take the tackle box, please!” Shouts of laughter ensued as a loud groan escaped the lips of number four. Choosing again, number four opened a beautiful crystal cross, generating oohs and ahhs all around the room.

All of us opened gifts and jockeyed for position to obtain the greatest treasures in the room. Gifts like the tackle box were confiscated all three of the allowed times before finding a permanent home. Each time a person stood to choose a gift, the owner of the crystal cross held out his treasure offering it to anyone who would take it.

“No thank you, I’ll pass on that,” said one after the other. “Are you sure?” said its owner.  “Come on, I want that 20 quart cooler to take fishing!” Hoots of laughter echoed around the room as he whined, “Anyone else want this? Going once, going twice …”

As I sat there watching the crystal cross face rejection time after time, I couldn’t stand it anymore. “I want it!” I shouted. Silence filled the room as every eye turned to see why I was shouting. After all, it was just a game and everybody was having fun. No one meant anything by it.

But all I could think about was what that cross represented.

Christ purposefully left the grandeur of heaven to come to this violent sick earth, all because He loves us so much. Coming here represented how dedicated He was, and still is, to our rescue.

Jesus gladly sends His message of peace and goodwill to you on His birthday again this year! I pray you’ll take advantage of it and accept His cross as your most valuable Christmas present ever! As we play our games and enjoy the most beautiful time of the year, I pray we’ll all be careful to remember and respect the sacrifice it took to bring the blessings of Christmas.

Merry Christmas friends! I pray the Lord’s richest blessings upon you!

Until 2015,

Your Traveling Partner,

Brenda

WHEN LIFE IS HARD…COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS!: GIVING THANKS THAT WITH GOD, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE!

 
Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands!
Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before His presence with singing.
Know that the Lord, He is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
For the Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.
Psalm 100 (NKJV)

GIVING THANKS THAT WITH GOD, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE!

 

On Thanksgiving Day I pray you and your family had a grand old time. I pray you counted your blessings to each other and to God.

Nativity-300x249Especially today in our seemingly self-sufficient world, we need to realize we need God. We need to understand we are dependent on Him for our daily lives. Whether we want to admit it or not, we simply cannot be all we need to be and do all we need to do without His help.

When we finally understand this fact, it will create in us a thankful heart. A thankful heart will produce the peace and joy we all crave. And Christmas is all about peace and joy!

I love holiday celebrations! As we head into the Christmas season, I pray we will remember to show a thankful and giving heart to the stressed and hurting around us. As we prepare to celebrate the birth of our Savior, let’s remember to show the joy of Jesus and His love on our faces and in our voices. People are in desperate need of it.

They will see that having joy in this season doesn’t revolve around how much money we spend or how many gifts we give or get.

It revolves around remembering the Reason for the season – Jesus – and sharing that Reason with those around us. LET THE HOLIDAY’S BEGIN!

Brenda

WHEN LIFE IS HARD…COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS!: GIVING THANKS FOR THE BLESSING OF FAITH

 
Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands!
Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before His presence with singing.
Know that the Lord, He is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
For the Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.
Psalm 100 (NKJV)
 

GIVING THANKS FOR THE BLESSING OF FAITH

Thurs.-2-300x221

 

Join my family as we sit around the Thanksgiving table today and boldly declare aloud, to each other, those things for which we are most thankful.

And then let us offer a sacrifice of prayer to the One who has given us those blessings, and a return to Him by our people.

“if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV)

A Thanksgiving Prayer For Our Nation

“Lord, we too want to come before you in thanksgiving and praise for your 

mercy and your grace to us this year. 

We confess our sins and thank you for your forgiveness. 

We realize your blessings do not come because we deserve them, 

but because of your love for us. 

We thank you for what you did to give us eternal life. 

 We thank you for your goodness and loving kindness. 

We thank you for provisions given to us day by day. 

We praise you for giving us life and offering it to us abundantly. 

We thank you for allowing us to come boldly before your throne 

  when we need it the most. 

We thank you for being all wise, all knowing, and always faithful. 

We ask you to strengthen us to be faithful in giving to others as you have given to us. 

We simply praise you today Lord and fully acknowledge 

our need of you in our daily lives. 

Teach us, oh Lord, to pass along this Good News so others are blessed as well.  

In Jesus name. Amen.”