START 2022 OFF RIGHT

(Post by: Lilly Hobbs)

Hello friends! Happy New Year! I wanted to type a little something up to thank each and every one of you who read/participated in BLOGMAS here on the Blog in December! We had a few guest writers who graciously took the time to share their hearts as well, and we truly can’t thank them enough for doing so. Our family has been incredibly blessed by the opportunities God has given us to preach the Gospel here, and we are so looking forward to what 2022 will bring!

Our mission remains the same. Madie & I, and our family, want to help people just like you get serious about being serious for Jesus. We don’t believe that anyone can take Jesus and living for Him too seriously. Sadly, so many Christians in the American Church today don’t know what that looks like or what it could look like in their very own lives. If you haven’t been following along recently, BLOGMAS is a great place to start if you desire to make Christ your one and only priority! Thirty-one days of posts are available on our Blog for free. We encourage you to challenge yourself to read one a day, allow Jesus to move in your life, and be obedient to what He has for you!

If you have been a part of BLOGMAS and Jesus used it to impact you in some way, we would love to hear your story! You can email us @ thefew.blog@gmail.com!

Let’s start 2022 off right, together, with Jesus!

EVERY NOW AND THEN (BLOGMAS DAY THIRTY-ONE)

(Post by: Michelle Hobbs)

Today is New Year’s Eve. A day of reflection and resolution. Some of you are probably excited at the prospect of a fresh start, a new year. Others are likely apprehensive about what 2022 will hold. The previous couple of years have been trying, to say the least. Regardless of where you fall on that spectrum, I want to challenge you to make your personal relationship with Jesus your priority this year.

It is natural for us to gravitate towards making resolutions about our weight, fitness, and physical health. We feel a sense of determination to get organized at home, school, or work in the coming year. But I wonder how many of us even include our spiritual life on our list of goals. Above all else, we must create space in our lives to read and contemplate God’s Word. We must make room to watch for and celebrate the truth, goodness, and beauty He has placed before us.

I heard a poem about the shepherds recently (see Song of the Shepherds poem below) that resonated so deeply with me in regard to where we Christians are in the world today. It starts with the shepherds sitting out in the darkness; darkness that they knew so well because they were out in it night after night. They knew the feel of it and had grown comfortable in it even though they knew there were threats lurking about. Most of the time they sat in silence, but every now and then one of them would pick up a flute and start playing; breaking through the oppressive silence. Pushing back the darkness.

Friends, we have been sitting in the darkness of a fallen world night after night and year after year. We have grown accustomed to it and rarely even give its threats much thought anymore. However, every now and then, one of us has the courage to stand up and provide some beauty, proof that Christ is still in the world, working through His followers. The Light of the World (John 18:12) that breaks through the silence and pushes back the darkness.

Will you be that one this year? It only takes a little courage.

Will you be that one who speaks the truth of the gospel, with love, into your workplace or school? Will you be that one who calls your church back to what the Lord said Christianity ought to look like? Will you be that one who gathers a group of your friends to study and discuss God’s Word? Every little action we take in His name breaks through the silence and pushes back the darkness of this fallen world.

You see, those of us who have walked in darkness and then have seen great light should be changed by that revelation! We should be unable to contain it; desiring nothing more than to make Him known wherever we go!

There is a line in the poem that says the light exorcised the darkness from the world and the world, coming back to itself, began again. Isn’t it just like God to take even our scant and insufficient offerings and use them to set the world aright again? If just one of us will sing His praise, it reminds the world around us of what once was; of what can and will be again.

Oh, but what if more than one of us chose to glorify Him every day in all that we said and did? What would happen to the world around us then?

The shepherds in the poem continued to watch over their flocks night by night and year by year, but something changed after they saw the great light; after God revealed Himself to them. They played and sang of Him every night, not just every now and then as they had before. They clutched their meager cloaks against the cold and played their song. The song that banished dark. The song stayed with them!

I once heard a quote that said something like… Faith is our loyalty to our response to God’s revelation to us.

Brothers and sisters, do you remember a time when the Lord revealed Himself to you? It may be the memory of your salvation and the freedom and joy you felt. Maybe He revealed that He was with you through a loss or time of grief. Has he provided for you in a time of trial? Our response in those times is usually to tell someone about what the Lord has done for us. We want to share His love with others.

You must remain loyal to your response to Him in those moments when you have come closest to Him! Repeat that response on the good days and the bad. When you feel like it and when you don’t. That, my friend, is what pushes back the darkness!

That is what faith, as small as a mustard seed, can do. “The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” And the Lord answered, “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.”  (Luke 17:5-6)

Will you be that one who has faith, even faith as small as a mustard seed? Faith that is loyal to your response to God’s revelation of Himself and His truth to you. Faith that gives you enough courage to share that revelation with those around you. Faith that inspires other Christians to do the same.

If so, go into 2022 with great joy knowing that I too will be in my little corner of the world singing God’s praises and sharing His truth; pushing back the darkness with His wonderous light.

SONG OF THE SHEPHERDS by Richard Bauckham

We were familiar with the night.
We knew its favourite colours,
its sullen silence
and its small, disturbing sounds,
its unprovoked rages,
its savage dreams.

We slept by turns,
attentive to the flock.
We said little.
Night after night, there was little to say.
But sometimes one of us,
skilled in that way,
would pipe a tune of how things were for us.

They say that once, almost before time,
the stars with shining voices
serenaded
the new born world.
The night could not contain their boundless praise.

We thought that just a poem —
until the night
a song of solar glory,
unutterable, unearthly,
eclipsed the luminaries of the night,
as though the world were exorcised of dark
and, coming to itself, began again.

Later we returned to the flock.
The night was ominously black.
The stars were silent as the sheep.
Nights pass, year on year.
We clutch our meagre cloaks against the cold.
Our aging piper’s fumbling fingers play,
night after night,
an earthly echo of the song that banished dark.
It has stayed with us.

WAR WITHOUT WAR (BLOGMAS DAY THIRTY)

(Post by: Lilly Hobbs)

Have you ever had a time where you knew what you were supposed to say, but you just didn’t have a clue how to say it? Well, I’m kind of in that awkward place at the moment. I’m really not sure how to best write this post. The Lord has been working on me with a couple of different things over the last several days, so I’m going to write this post in order to preach to myself…

If that’s ok?

I’ve been thinking a lot about spiritual warfare. The real importance of it and how it often goes unnoticed. I guess I hadn’t seriously thought about how God, (quite literally) made you and I for war until recently.

The issue is that most people that call themselves a “Christian” aren’t engaging in any kind of spiritual warfare at all. Even though they were made to fight. Not only do some not fight, but many wreak havoc on their own souls and cause themselves to fight unnecessary battles.

Leonard Ravenhill has an amazing quote that I’d like to take a look at with you today, but I first want to make it clear that this quote isn’t what it seems. I’ll explain later…

He said, “No church group that knows spiritual warfare has wiener roasts or even passion plays. There is a real warfare. I have said before that we are an arrogant, self-styled bunch of believers. We “believe” to the point of inconvenience – and then quit.”

Here’s where I explain. Some may read that quote, faint, and after they wake up think to themselves, “Is that quote really saying that wiener roasts and passion plays are bad, and that my church shouldn’t be doing any of that?!”  

Sure, I might be exaggerating a little bit, but is that not the truth y’all?

Of course he’s not saying that those things are bad. What he’s trying to do is make an incredible and valuable comparison that I think we skim right across.

Ravenhill is trying to make the point that we replace real war with our own “wars”. Sometimes we start fights (intentional or unintentional) on social media so that we can satisfy our God-given desire to fight for something.

Most of the time, the reason we put on events is not because we are fighting for people’s souls and want to see them come to Jesus, but because we want to do more this year than the church down the street could ever dream of doing.

You see, we wage “wars” that won’t ever satisfy us like real war will. All because we don’t want it to be an inconvenience on our part. We want to create the “wars” we fight. We want to plan them so that we’re certain we can win them before we even start.

But that’s not even close to the kind of war that Jesus created us to fight! He created us to fight against darkness and evil.

Ephesians 5:15-17 says, “Pay careful attention, then, to how you live — not as unwise people but as wise – making the most of the time, because the days are evil. So don’t be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.”

It’s a great thing to have the will to fight, but it’s an even greater thing to have the discernment about what kind of wars to fight.

The greatest war we will ever have the honor to fight is for people’s souls. Not because we’re anything special, but because of Jesus’ power through us. Like I said, I’m preaching to myself here. These are the very things I need to remind myself of daily.

My prayer for us this week is that Jesus would reveal to each one of us the very wars we need to be fighting.

 And, just a quick reminder, not everyone will encourage you to fight the war’s God calls you to fight. Not everyone will approve. But you, my friend, are a mighty warrior. Made with an amazing, passionate desire to go to battle and win a real war.

“For although we live in the flesh, we do not wage war according to the flesh, since the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but are powerful through God for the demolition of strongholds. We demolish arguments and every proud thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to obey Christ.”  (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

DON’T TREAD ON ME

Get on outta here
Get on up and leave
Ain’t no devil
Gonna tread on me
He’s choking on the blood
That ran down the tree
Ain’t no devil
Gonna tread on me

Ain’t no devil
Gonna tread on me

HOW ARE YOUR SPIRITS DRESSED? (BLOGMAS DAY TWENTY-NINE)

(Post by: Madie Hobbs)

I know we have already done a blog post about “A Christmas Carol” and the famous Ebenezer Scrooge (You can read that post here). But the other day, we were watching our favorite movie adaptation starring Patrick Stewart, and as per usual, I reaped some interesting movie-watching wisdom.

While watching the movie, I was paying close attention to the three spirits that visit Scrooge on Christmas Eve which represent his past, present, and future. I realized something that I had never really thought about before.

Let us start from the beginning, shall we?

The first spirit which visits Scrooge is the ghost of Christmas past. Now, I know many of you probably know these basic facts, but I feel that sometimes it’s important to go back to the basics in order to grasp the complexity of many stories.

Something I found significant about this spirit was his complexion and clothing. His face and hair, along with every part of his clothing were completely white, and bright light shone around him, beaming out from his fingertips and his skin so much that he illuminates Scrooge’s dark bedroom. Now, I began to ask myself, ‘what does this Spirit’s appearance represent?’ I came to one, clear conclusion. His apparel represents innocence. Purity. Simplicity.

He represents the things Scrooge has lost and takes him back through his memories to the things that stripped him of his innocence. He shows him the boarding school where Scrooge stayed by himself for many Christmases. To his first apprenticing job, where his love of money was first formed, and back to the scene of Scrooge’s heart wrenching breakup, where his first love releases him from his promise that he would one day marry her because he was a changed man.

The next Spirit comes to Scrooge shortly after and is the ghost of Christmas present. This ghost comes clothed in thick, expensive looking robes, surrounded by food aplenty, with a wreath of holly on his head. This Spirit represents what Scrooge most wants. Wealth. Comfort. Expensive things. This Spirit Scrooge welcomes gladly and follows him without question, impressed by the Spirit’s fine appearance. However, this Spirit shows Scrooge the things he has sacrificed for wealth, and the things he has taken from others just to make himself comfortable. He shows Scrooge the costs at which wealth comes.

I think the most significant part about this ghost, is the fact that he fades away the quickest. He turns grey and old and ugly before the night is over and vanishes without a trace, no longer surrounded by the plentiful food and the thick robes. He demonstrates to Scrooge that his present desires do not last and fade away without offering comfort or making one feel at ease.

The final Spirit, the ghost of Christmases yet to come, is sent to show Scrooge his future. This Spirit comes completely clothed in a black, well-worn cloak. It has no face and no words to be uttered to Scrooge, but merely a menacing finger to be pointed in the direction Scrooge is to travel. He represents the dark eternity Scrooge will suffer if his ways are not soon changed.

Now, you may be wondering, ‘Madie, what does this have to do with me?’ Well dear reader, I’m glad you asked.

You see, I believe that Scrooge’s story is so powerful because it can so closely relate to us and our present lives. I want you to think back over your life. Think about the past, about your innocence. Think about your present, the things you most want. Think about what your future may be, about whether your eternity will be dark as Scrooge’s was once bound to be.

Is your Present Spirit the representation of wealth, or status, or selfishness? Or does it represent the cross, and your willingness to suffer for it, no matter the wealth or status you have? Is your Future Spirit a representation of a dark eternity? Or does it represent the Light and glory of your salvation?

“For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son …” (Romans 1:9)

We all have ghosts, dear reader, that lurk in the shadows of our sunny days. That impact our past, present, and future.

But my question to you is, how are your Spirits dressed?

I KNOW A GHOST

There’s still darkness on this plane
There’s still a heavy in these chains
Why I carry them around
I don’t know ’cause I’ve been found
Veil was torn from top down

Now I know a ghost
I know a ghost
I know a ghost
I know a ghost

CHANGED YOUR MIND? (BLOGMAS DAY TWENTY-EIGHT)

(Post by: Scott Hobbs)

Well, here we are in that week between Christmas and the beginning of a new year. This week has always been a roller coaster of a week for me personally. We go from the pinnacle of the season, Christmas, Jesus, to the day of December 26. It’s all over and I tend to be very sad about that. Then we head to New Years Eve, another celebration high; with remembrance of the previous year and that twinge of exciting expectation for things to come in the new year.

For many years, this in between week was a week of shutdown for our trucking business. Our primary customer was closed for the week between holidays; so while most of my drivers were off for some rest, a couple of us geared up and worked on trucks the whole week. There was this strange shift from the 24 hour a day, constant stress of trucks on the road, to a different, easier stress of getting equipment repaired and year end office work completed. It was a welcome change and we got to enjoy family and the holidays as well. Woo Hoo!

It’s funny how sometimes those changes in life can be so real that you can sense them. They are as distinct as a change in the weather; like going to bed one night and it’s a balmy 40′ then waking up to a frigid 10′ and snow on the ground. You know something changed.

But what about changes in our personal lives? Are they that noticeable?

One of my favorite movies is “The Darkest Hour”. It’s about Winston Churchill and WWII. Toward the end, Churchill is wrestling with how to deal with Hitler. He moves from what seems to be the inevitable position of negotiating a peace with him; to standing strong against the Nazi regime and fighting to the death if need be.

In the final scene, Churchill’s minister for war asks him one question in regard to his position on Hitler. “Changed your mind?” to which Churchill responds, “Those who never change their mind, never change anything.”

So how is it with you? Are you willing to change as you enter the new year? Or will you stay stuck in your current state with no room for change?

You ask; Scott, what are you saying I need to change? Why do you assume I have no room for change?

In answer, I would say that I have no idea what you need to change. But you do; and it probably is that thing you thought of as you read that question.

I would assume you probably, like me, are not a big fan of change because it’s hard. Maybe it’s my cynical side coming out as well. But I can say that after years of dealing with humanity; it’s a pretty safe assumption.

The first change we must have is to follow Jesus. Accept what He did for us on the cross. Follow His instructions in Scripture. Be all in for Him. It should be a noticeable change for sure.

Then God calls us to things as we are following Him. Maybe it’s a call to be a better spouse, parent, or employee. Perhaps the call is to seek Him more through Bible study, discipleship, or participation in more Christian activity. Whatever He is calling us to, for the most part, it will probably require us to make some changes. This is where we falter because change is seldom easy.

So, here’s the thing. Most of us get to the New Years deal and look back at how quickly the year went and have to admit there wasn’t much change. Then we say, I’m going to be serious this year and do that thing God is calling me to. And another year goes by; same story. Over and over again this repeats.

Can I just confess that I’m tired of doing that? Could we really get serious this year, with God’s help, and change that thing that He has been asking of us? It starts with being willing to look different.

You see Churchill had to stand up against even those in his own party that had accepted defeat at the hands of the Nazis. His position was not the easy way or the popular choice. It was hard.

Will you do the hard thing this year? Whatever it is that God has put on your heart and mind as you read this post. My prayer is that you seek God and earnestly ask for His help to change. Then do it.

Perhaps by the end of this year, folks will be noticing a difference and asking you that question.

Changed your mind?

“And the Lord, who is the Spirit, makes us more and more like Him as we are changed into His glorious image.”   (2 Cor 3:18)

WALKING FREE

Now I ain’t nothing perfect
I still stumble every single day
I still get knocked down
But the difference now
Is that’s not where I stay
‘Cause I’ve got a Savior
Who knows everywhere I’ve been
And He’s telling me that I never have to
Go back there again

So now I’m walking, walking
Walking free
No more darkness
Guilt has lost its grip on me
When mercy called my name
Those chains fell at my feet
And now I’m walking, walking
Walking free

1,000 YEARS FROM RIGHT NOW (BLOGMAS DAY TWENTY-SEVEN)

(Post by: Lilly Hobbs)

It’s so crazy to me how easily we can get caught up on materialistic items as humans. Whether it’s money, cars, or just the little things we buy that we don’t really need; it all fights for our attention constantly.

As we have just experienced Christmas day, I want us all to ask ourselves a simple question. Presents or presence? Which of those two options are more valuable to you?

Psalm 16:11 says, “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

I think that as Christians, we should want to get to a place where God’s presence is so much better to us than presents or anything else. The reason I want us to ask ourselves this question is because it’s a reality check for our hearts.

You can identify what your priorities are pretty quick.   

A couple years ago, we were having a 24 hour prayer vigil at my church. I invited some of the girls from our Bible Study group to come and hang out with us to pray and talk. We ended up watching the movie “Passion of the Christ” later that night, and afterwards we went into our church sanctuary to pray.

God started to show up in a crazy amazing and powerful way as we sat in a tight circle in the sanctuary together. Each of us just poured out our hearts before the Lord. I don’t think that I had ever before experienced Jesus like I did that night.

Have you ever had a time where you realized something new, and it all starts to sink in and feel real? That’s exactly what happened as we prayed. We all got what believing in Jesus really means.

Listen, we can say that “Jesus is all we need” and that “only He can satisfy” as much as we want, but until you actually experience God’s presence, you won’t get it.

Of course, all of us girls were emotional as we prayed and as we talked about what God was showing us. However, I noticed that one of the girls kept getting up to go to the restroom, and then she would come back. I could tell that she had been crying each time she would come back, but we all were crying so I didn’t think much of it.

She got up to leave again, and then she texted me and asked if I could meet her in the restroom. As I walked in, I remember looking at her and asking what was wrong Almost immediately she began to weep.

The presence of God was so thick in the atmosphere of that restroom, and we both just started to weep over what Jesus had done for us. I can’t put into words how intimate of a moment that was, not only with the Lord, but also with her.  

I’ve never felt something more real in my life. Oh what I’d do to live that night over again.

With all of that said, here is what I want you to remember… If you really get serious about living for Jesus, and you give Him your soul’s attention, He will show up.

In this time, let’s not focus on the presents we may have received or the busyness of this season. Let’s ask Jesus to show up. Let’s ask to experience Him and His presence.

We should long to be a part of something that can only be explained by the power of God.

Let’s live for what’s going to matter 1,000 years from right now. Jesus is so good, and He is all you’ll ever want after you encounter Him.

“But for me it is good to be near my God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.” (Psalm 73:28)

NOEL

Love incarnate, love divine
Star and angels gave the sign
Bow to babe on bended knee
The Savior of humanity
Unto us a Child is born
He shall reign forevermore

CHRISTMAS CAROL POEM (BLOGMAS DAY TWENTY-SIX)

Happy Sunday! Our family has decided to continue BLOGMAS this week because we have enjoyed sharing with y’all, and didn’t want it to end quite yet! Let’s continue to challenge ourselves to live wholeheartedly for Christ, no matter what day it is! Enjoy this poem for today. 🙂

The kings they came from out the south,
All dressed in ermine fine;
They bore Him gold and chrysoprase,
And gifts of precious wine.


The shepherds came from out the north,
Their coats were brown and old;
They brought Him little new-born lambs–
They had not any gold.


The wise men came from out the east,
And they were wrapped in white;
The star that led them all the way
Did glorify the night.


The angels came from heaven high,
And they were clad with wings;
And lo, they brought a joyful song
The host of heaven sings.


The kings they knocked upon the door,
The wise men entered in,
The shepherds followed after them
To hear the song begin.


The angels sang through all the night
Until the rising sun,
But little Jesus fell asleep
Before the song was done.

CHRISTMAS CAROL POEM BY SARA TEASDALE

THE KING HAS COME (BLOGMAS DAY TWENTY-FIVE)

The Lost Christmas Poem by J. R. R. Tolkien

Grim was the world and grey last night:
The moon and stars were fled,
The hall was dark without song or light,
The fires were fallen dead.
The wind in the trees was like to the sea,
And over the mountains’ teeth
It whistled bitter-cold and free,
As a sword leapt from its sheath.

The lord of snows upreared his head;
His mantle long and pale
Upon the bitter blast was spread
And hung o’er hill and dale.
The world was blind, the boughs were bent,
All ways and paths were wild:
Then the veil of cloud apart was rent,
And here was born a Child.

The ancient dome of heaven sheer
Was pricked with distant light;
A star came shining white and clear
Alone above the night.
In the dale of dark in that hour of birth
One voice on a sudden sang:
Then all the bells in Heaven and Earth
Together at midnight rang.

Mary sang in this world below:
They heard her song arise
O’er mist and over mountain snow
To the walls of Paradise,
And the tongue of many bells was stirred
in Heaven’s towers to ring
When the voice of mortal maid was heard,
That was mother of Heaven’s King.

Glad is the world and fair this night
With stars about its head,
And the hall is filled with laughter and light,
And fires are burning red.
The bells of Paradise now ring
With bells of Christendom,
And Gloria, Gloria we will sing
That God on earth is come.

The King has come! We celebrate this Christmas Day for that reason. No longer is our world grey and grim. No, it is now bursting with hope and joy because the Light has come into our darkness in the most powerful way. What an adventure this has been! Have a very Merry Christmas, y’all! We thank God for each and every one of you!

You can listen to us read the poem above on our Podcast (uploaded just today) by clicking here! We briefly explain what Tolkien is alluding to, and how it can change our perception of Christmas. Enjoy!

O COME, O COME, EMMANUAEL

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here,
Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

FOR LACK OF WONDER (BLOGMAS DAY TWENTY-FOUR)

(Post by: Lilly Hobbs)

There used to be a sort of magic in the air around this time of year. I remember being little and marveling at how the Church would sing the Christmas hymn “Silent Night” with an attitude of wonder and awe.

The eyes of those attending Christmas Eve services were filled with such hope as they held their Christmas Eve candles high in the air. Pride for our Savior used to be evident as we welcomed Christmas Day with a time of reverence together, in unity.

But, the wonder has gone away for so many. Only a few eyes still twinkle with a glimmer of hope. There are, but a couple of arms still holding their lights high for others to see.

G.K. Chesterton once said, “We are perishing for lack of wonder, not for lack of wonders.”

Perhaps Christians have allowed the consumer culture to consume the whole point of Christmas? Sure, giving gifts and decorating the tree is fun, but how much more could we marvel at the Messiah if we didn’t allow those distractions to get in the way?

I have a question for us to think about today… What does Jesus marvel at us for? You know, there are only two times recorded in the New Testament where Jesus is said to have marveled.

Mark 6:7 records that Jesus marvels at the unbelief in Nazareth, and in Luke 7:9 He marvels at the Centurion and His great faith. I wonder if today Jesus is marveling at our unbelief or our great faith?

Listen, I have a passion to see the Church become like the shepherds who, as soon as they laid their eyes upon the Messiah, hurried to go and tell everyone they could about Him and what they had experienced. I long for Believers to be like the wise men who brought gifts to their newborn Savior because they recognized that He alone was worthy.

I long for us to want the wonder again.

The wonder that has left our homes. The admiration for Christ that has left our Churches.

I would be bold enough to say that most of us stress about presents and parties and punch each Christmas more than we think about the manger, our sin, and the cross in a whole year.

Is tonight the night revival breaks out because we actually seek the One true King?

Perhaps tonight, on Christmas Eve of 2021, the Church will choose to marvel at the only thing that has ever mattered. May we want the wonder.

“And amazement seized them all, and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying, “We have seen extraordinary things today.””    (Luke 5:26)

O HOLY NIGHT

O Holy Night!
The stars are brightly shining
It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth!
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Till he appear’d and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!

Fall on your knees
Oh hear the angel voices
Oh night divine
Oh night when Christ was born
Oh night divine
Oh night divine

CHRISTMAS IS WHAT WE DEFINE IT AS (BLOGMAS DAY TWENTY-THREE)

(Post by: Madie Hobbs)

Just yesterday, I was listening to someone who was talking about some of the things she had done with her family before Christmas Day. She was speaking about an exhibit they had seen which illustrated ‘Christmas through the ages’. It showed Christmas during the Victorian era, the early 1900’s, and present-day Christmas. Then the exhibit began to illustrate what the makers of the exhibit think Christmas will look like in the future.

(Cue the scary music)

The exhibit interpreted Christmas of the future as being entirely virtual, free of contact, and entirely secularized. They didn’t even include real decorations or gift boxes, but rather showed a world in which everything was plastic, and pre-packaged, and all care for thoughtful, touching gifts had ceased to exist. Many of us have been expecting this, as we have looked around at the pre-meditated plans of many in our society who have a strong desire to completely change the world as we know it. This story filled my heart and soul with a heavy sorrow that made me fear for Christmas in the future.

The woman then made the point that Christmas is about incarnation, Jesus coming in the flesh, congregating, fellowshipping, with His Creation. I thought about this for a while and came to consider the deep, profoundness and importance of physical fellowship that we experience with family and friends during this time.

I think over the course of 2020 and 2021, we have all realized that if people can take away our ability to socialize with others, they can control our lives, and I think many of us regret letting people have so much power over us in that way.

For a moment, I felt it was too late; too late to turn back on the path we’ve already chosen. Too late to take back control over our own lives and our own health. Too late to make the world a better place for my children, and to make Christmas the special time I remember from when I was a girl.

Since then, however, I have been filled with hope anew. You see, in that moment, I focused on the darkness, and the power I thought it had over the way we may celebrate Christmas in the future. Now, I focus on the small things, as I wrote about in one of my other, recent posts. I began to focus on the things I can do to keep darkness at bay, the intimate gatherings we have during this season. The good food we are blessed to enjoy. The presents we have the privilege of giving, and I was reminded all over again that Christmas is about the little things. It is about the words we sing in carols, the things we write in a Christmas card, or the time we spend together as a family, in the flesh, just as Jesus came and did.

I will say that this futuristic exhibit is still scary because it is so close to being real. But I will also say that Christmas is what we choose to define it as. Will we choose to define it as a time of fear, as we cower in our houses, afraid of death? Will we choose to define Christmas as a holiday about ourselves as we spend unbelievable amounts of money so we can outdo the neighbors next door? Or will we choose to celebrate Christmas together, and define it as a time of reflection, used to think about the glory of our Savior and His coming?

I challenge you to act on the small things this year. Please, don’t take them for granted. Those are the things that make Christmas magical.

“The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.”  (J. R. R. Tolkien)

ANGELS WE HAVE HEARD ON HIGH

Come to Bethlehem and see
Him Whose birth the angels sing;
Come, adore on bended knee,
Christ the Lord, the newborn King.

Gloria, in excelsis Deo!
Gloria, in excelsis Deo!
Gloria, in excelsis Deo!

CAN’T YOU JUST SEE IT? (BLOGMAS DAY TWENTY-TWO)

(Post by: Barbara Reffey)

Welcome. Thanks for stopping by. I would like to have you stroll through my house with me.

Look, I have several manager scenes, (creches)… seven to be exact. Some are big; some are tiny. Some have many figures; some only 3. However, they all have one thing in common. A baby. Granted, some of the babies are glass, some are wood, some are ceramic. Can’t you just see it?

But let’s stop and sit for a minute. Just let the Holy Spirit refresh our minds. Who is the Baby… Really?

Jesus Christ. The very Son of God.

Isaiah 9:6 says, “His NAME will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

“A Son who has been given.”

Luke 1:23 says, “Emmanuel, God with Us.”

Luke 1:11 says, “His NAME is Jesus for HE WILL save His people from their sins.”

Luke 2:11 says, “A Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”

That Baby in our managers, in our homes, reminds us that HE grew to an adult who died a wretched death on a cross for my sin and yours. 

That is who HE really is… Our Savior.

So how does that challenge you and me this Advent season?

Join me as I press on in 4 areas:

Worship – Not platitudes, but real heartfelt praise, welling from deep within us as we humbly fall on our faces, trembling with a true connection with the Holy Spirit. 

The WORD – Slow Down. Go daily to the Word of God, The Bible. Let’s pull out what I like to call our “cling to verses”.  The precious promises He has given us.

Willingness – to daily surrender to the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. “Not my will but Yours (Lord) be done.”  (Luke 22:42)

Witness – This Advent season, be aware of every person that comes across your path. God has put them there. God has put you there. Let’s share what this amazing baby in our managers has done, and is doing in our lives.

All for the glory of God. Amen and Amen.

AWAY IN A MANGER

Away in a manger
No crib for a bed
The little Lord Jesus
Laid down His sweet head

The stars in the bright sky
Looked down where He lay
The little Lord Jesus
Asleep on the hay

AND FOR WHAT? (BLOGMAS DAY TWENTY-ONE)

(Post by: Scott Hobbs)

I have a favorite Christmas book, A Bethlehem Christmas, by Chuck Swindoll, that always gets pulled out after Thanksgiving. Like everything else in my life, I usually have to go looking for it. It’s kind of small; I call it my little blue Christmas book. So usually on the last Sunday of November I’m hollering, “Honey. Have you seen my little blue Christmas book?” because I’m really in a panic when I can’t find it. It’s definitely my go-to for getting prepared for Jesus coming.

Swindoll takes some liberty in getting us into the minds of Mary, Joseph, Zechariah, and the angel Gabriel. He shares the events of Christmas in the first person, or as though we were hearing directly from each of these people; from their perspective. So he’s writing with his perception of what they might have been thinking. 

My favorite chapter is that of Gabriel’s perspective. I want to discuss a little bit of that with y’all tonight. In one particular section, after God has explained all the wondrous details of His long-developed plan to save humanity, Gabriel is just sitting back in complete amazement of the price and sacrifice that is required to save us all from our sin.

He says: “At this I wept. The immense love of God was more than I could fathom. The selfless grace of God was beyond my comprehension. And for what? Creatures who neither desired Him nor sought Him, who not only failed to believe but who refused to believe. This will always remain a mystery to me” (Swindoll, p. 171).

Wow!! That section just hits me like a ton of bricks. Every time I read it, I just feel like I need to stop right there and hit my knees. I hear the forerunner, John the Baptist, preaching directly at me: “REPENT! REPENT! REPENT!”

I know what you’re thinking; but Scott that doesn’t apply to me. Gabriel was referring to the Jews who rejected Jesus as Messiah. They are the ones who don’t get this Christmas thing, don’t desire or seek Him, refused to believe.

Oh, but who was the first that faltered and didn’t believe this plan. A priest maybe? Zechariah; called upright in the sight of God. Gabriel had seen his doubt firsthand upon his announcement of the forerunner John the Baptist.

The question is, how different are we than the folks Gabriel was describing from those early days? What is Gabriel saying about our level of belief today? Do you think he would be looking down at us and saying, “Now this generation of the Church really gets it. Man, look how they are living.”

I think not, and I am preaching as much to myself as to you here. How many times do I miss it in my daily walk? Why can’t I seem to stay focused on what Jesus wants in my life and not on my own selfish ambitions? Where were my priorities today? Was He really first in all that I was doing? Did I take time for the people God put in front of me, or did I just pass right on by trying to get all my stuff done?

Now, I know this is none of y’all. Especially this last week as we prepare for Christmas on Saturday. There’s no way any of y’all are putting the last-minute gifts ahead of Jesus as you take the closest parking spot to the store. I’m sure you’re not sitting around with your family discussing how much you dislike a couple of those folks coming to one of your gatherings; rather than trying to think about them like Jesus does. Probably none of you have decided all the other “stuff” is more important that doing your Advent study, taking time to watch an old spiritual Christmas movie you’ve seen 50 times with your family, or reading the Christmas story out of Luke to your family.

Here’s the thing. Let’s not get to December 26th and once again, like so many years before, say to ourselves, “I’ll do better next year. I won’t leave Jesus out of Christmas like I’ve done so many times before. I really will seek Him, desire Him, and believe.”

God put this perfect plan together for our salvation. Christmas is all about that. Let’s not live our lives for us. Look different. We must live for Him.

Keep Christmas, Jesus, in your heart all the days of the year. I don’t want Gabriel to look down at my life and think, “Really? God did all this for him and all humanity. And for what?”   

O LITTLE TOWN OF BETHLEHEM

Oh little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by
Yet in thy dark streets shineth, the everlasting light
The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.

HARMONIZING WITH HEAVEN (BLOGMAS DAY TWENTY)

(Post by: Lilly Hobbs)

The first few weeks of Advent seem to hold a heaviness for those who still observe and keep it. It is a time of repentance, and of remembrance. I am so very grateful for the time we have spent preparing our hearts for Christ’s coming and taking this journey together, however, we are not yet through.

As we enter this Christmas week, we now have the opportunity to celebrate.

Not that we couldn’t celebrate before, but it was almost as if we were sitting on a grassy hill, waiting for the sun to make its way above the wooded area before us. Now, as a few moments have passed, we can start to see the sun rising above the tops of the trees and feel the warmth on our skin.

We continue to wait until it rises, though, because we are confident that it will. We dare not leave for fear that we will miss watching it dawn.

My friend, I hope you find yourself in the same predicament today. Christmas Day is quickly approaching, and I would very much dislike for you to rush through these next days and miss joining the celebration of Heaven with your heart and home.

Our souls are in desperate need of harmony. Harmony with our Messiah. We are longing to dance with the only One who understands everything about us. The One who doesn’t simply play the note we long to dance to, but is the note itself. I feel as if many believers are looking for “better places” or “better seasons” than where they currently are, to be joined with Heaven. But when we look only for better places and ignore the presence of God breaking into our darkness, we end up in worse ones.

Each one of us must determine if we have room in our lives for Jesus. I’m sorry to say this to you, but we are each proving whether we do or don’t this very day. While He seeks to invade our hearts and souls completely, we only allow Him to have a “stable” portion of it. For example, we’ll try to give Him a Sunday morning every month or post a cute manger graphic about tiny baby Jesus around Christmas time to make Him happy, but other than those occasional times, our passion for Him is pretty much non-existent.

What do you think would happen if we made room in our lives for Jesus all year long, no matter the cost? Do you think we’d live with a bit more intentionality? Do you suppose we would chase after the cross and our Savior with more of an urgency, because we understand just how much we need Him?

On a Thursday evening a couple weeks ago, Madie & I were having Bible Study with some girls our age who have committed themselves to meeting weekly. As we were studying, I started to weep as I explained to them the burning desire I have to see them live for Jesus who came to save us from our sin and who is coming again to redeem this broken world.

I saw a quote the other day that said, “Crying doesn’t just mean sadness and despair, it can also mean longing.”

If you are reading this post, I want you to know that I feel the same way as I write today. I long for you to encounter Jesus Christ for yourself. I long for you to be in harmony with the Savior this Advent season.

All we must do is repent for losing sight of Him, make room so that He can invade our lives in the ways He alone sees fit, and then celebrate His goodness in every ordinary, radical way we can.

Allow the expectation of Christmas day and the coming of Christ cause you to rejoice, celebrate, and maybe even cry a bit as your soul longs to be in perfect harmony with its Savior. He is coming!

CHRISTMAS IS COMING

I don’t want you to miss it, I know I have before
Like the innkeeper who missed the wonder right outside his door
So open up your heart as Christmas passes through
Just in time to wake the child asleep inside of you

Christmas is coming, the bells are ringing
Hope comes alive as music fills the air
I hear the drumming, it won’t be long now
Christmas is coming, will you be there?
Christmas is coming, will you be there?

IN THE BLEAK MIDWINTER POEM (BLOGMAS DAY NINETEEN)

Enjoy this delightful poem on this cold, winter Sunday! We look forward to continuing on with this journey of Advent with you this final week!

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, whom cherubim, worship night and day,
Breastful of milk, and a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels fall before,
The ox and ass and camel which adore.

Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
But His mother only, in her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the beloved with a kiss.

What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.

“IN THE BLEAK MIDWINTER” BY CHRISTINA ROSSETTI

DEALING WITH DARKNESS (BLOGMAS DAY EIGHTEEN)

(Post by: Madie Hobbs)

During the Christmas season, it’s easy to get caught up in the light heartedness of it all, isn’t it? Now, don’t get me wrong, this is a very happy season, considering that this is the holiday where we celebrate our salvation and our Lord coming to earth to redeem His people.

However, I believe we sometimes get so caught up in the nativity plays, and the pictures of the cute, little baby Jesus lying in a manger, that we often forget the grotesque and gruesome task that Jesus was actually sent here to accomplish.

Jesus’ life wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows and unicorns. It was hard, and he had to go through some very painful and scary things while He was here rescuing His creation from sin.

We often forget that what Jesus really came to earth to do, was to deal with Darkness.

From the time when he was that innocent child in a manger, this was his goal. This was his mission. This is the reason He suffered and died. To deal with Darkness.

Many times, in the Church, we throw around the apparently light-hearted terms, ‘follow Jesus’ example,’ and ‘what would Jesus do?’

But wouldn’t following Jesus’ example entail dealing with the spiritual Darkness that is presently enveloping the world? Would that not entail devoting ourselves entirely to the Light, and willingly going to war against hell and everything that comes from it?

Because make no mistake, if we said we were willing to do this, we would be following His example to the fullest extent.

I heard a quote this week that inspired me to write this blog post, and I believe if we could grasp the true meaning of this simple thought, we could become Christians to be reckoned with.

“If you simply “escape” the darkness, that means you haven’t dealt with it.” (Sarah Clarkson)

How often I have found myself, and seen others, escaping from the darkness that we so vehemently declare to loath, and that we so eagerly claim to defeat!

You see, fellow warrior, we were made to do so much more than escape darkness. We were made to stand in the midst of it and shine the light Jesus sought to bring so brightly, that Darkness is extinguished in all its schemes.

We were made to wrestle with the Darkness. We were made to defeat it.

In the twenty-first century, however, I have come to the sad realization that many people tend to reason, to bargain, with the Darkness and say ‘do what you like in the world, but I’m a good person. Just leave me out of it.’

Guys, we must come to a point in our Christian walk where we realize that there aren’t other magical people who are going to do our job for us. We, you and me, have been placed on this earth to deal with Darkness, and I wholeheartedly believe that. Like Jesus, we can be victorious over the darkness, if only we would take following His example seriously.

“Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” (Matthew 10:34)

Be confident, oh Christian, that Jesus came to win a war. Not to make peace treaties!

SILENT NIGHT

Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love’s pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus Lord, at Thy birth
Jesus Lord, at Thy birth

WHICH SPIRIT HAVE YOU? (BLOGMAS DAY SEVENTEEN)

(Post by: Scott & Lincoln Hobbs)

I was in a Bible study this week and the question was put to the group asking how we get ourselves ready for Christmas. You know, the whole Advent thing? This preparation for the birth of Jesus. Not the actual birth you realize; but the symbolic day, December 25th, that we set aside each year to celebrate the birth of Jesus, Messiah, Savior, Emmanuel, King of Kings. Could this be preparation for the Christmas Spirit? 

Let’s come back to that.

The comments were actually heart breaking. A couple of the folks were just done with Christmas all together. The only preparation they were interested in was to prepare for December 26th; and it couldn’t get here fast enough. Why, you ask, were they wanting Christmas to be over? Well, it was because they said they had lost the Christmas Spirit. The world had driven it out of them.

You see when Christmas becomes what the world makes it, even things that are good can drain us.  Family gatherings where everyone is sitting around scrolling on their phones and seemingly only showing up out of obligation or ritual. Or the joy of refereeing family members that are still carrying wounds from years before that they have inflicted on one another. Gift exchanges that have completely exhausted us physically, from shopping, not to mention exhausting our bank accounts. Often for gifts that folks just throw in a closet and sell at a garage sale in a few years.

I’m back. Didn’t even miss me did you? I just got off a phone call with my great aunt. She turned 90 a couple months ago. I told her I was writing about the Christmas spirit; what did she think? Her comment was that Christmas had changed so much since she was a kid. Her memories were of not having much money, only a few gifts, and cooking ahead because they only had the one wood stove. She fondly remembered the 3 foot tall, artificial Christmas tree, with very few needles left on its branches, that they used every year. Neighbors really cared. Her mom would always send $1 to a boys home somewhere in Indiana. She told of how kind folks were to each other, and that it was more genuine than it seems to be today. 

So back to our Bible study discussion; the question was posed about how we could keep the Christmas Spirit. We also pondered the difference between the Christmas Spirit and the Spirit of the Lord. Here’s your recap.

The Christmas Spirit seems to be this spirit of joy and happiness that surrounds this holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus. While the Spirit of the Lord is with us all the yearlong when we know Jesus as our savior. So, is there a difference? I think not. 

If we know Jesus in our hearts; like really know Him, then our lives should look different the whole year.  Not just the month between Thanksgiving and Christmas. And guess what? Mean cousin Eddie or unappreciative little Sally should not be able to steal your Christmas Spirit or the Spirit of the Lord; whatever you decide to call it.

“Christmas is a time to experience the spirit of Jesus coming into the world.  In the other 364 days we should be experiencing the joy of Jesus coming into our hearts. We need to celebrate the spirit that God gives us, not just on Christmas, but all the time.  Honestly, I have missed what Christmas is all about. I mostly just think of the presents and the food. That is good stuff, but it is totally not what Christmas is about.  I found this verse for all of us to think about. This should be for everyday, not just Christmas day.”  (Lincoln Hobbs)

“I will put my spirit in you and cause you to walk in my ways.”  (Ezekiel 36:26-27)

It was said of old Scrooge that after that, he kept Christmas in his heart all the days of the year. What will people say about us? Which spirit have you?

I STILL BELIEVE IN CHRISTMAS

The choir’s singing carols
Bells are ringing, streets are bright
It’s Christmas all around me
So why is Christmas hard to find?
December snow is falling down like I am to my knees
I could use some hope right now
‘Cause right now hope is hard to see
Help me still believe

For God so loved this broken world
He sent His only Son
To a carpenter and a teenage girl
To show us all His love
He left His home in Heaven
To make Heaven my home
My Emmanuel is with me
And I’ll never be alone
Down here, my heart can’t find much to believe in
But I still believe in Christmas

PAY ATTENTION TO THE PREPOSITIONS (BLOGMAS DAY SIXTEEN)

(Post by: Gerald Steele)

As a linguist I know that prepositions matter. As a matter of fact, they are sometimes even more complicated to master than verb tenses. 

I have been intrigued, in recent years, at Christmastime to read the words of Matthew 1:18-21, “Now the birth of Jesus Christ happened this way: After His mother Mary was engaged to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child by the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man and not willing to make her a public example, had in mind to divorce her privately. But while he thought on these things, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for He who is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She will bear a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.”

The narrative is not complicated to understand, and it concludes with the angel’s affirmation, “She (Mary) will bear a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people FROM (emphasis mine) their sins.”

The preposition “from” is key to our understanding of the biblical doctrines of “sin and salvation.” Unfortunately, sin and Christians have become strange bedfellows in the 21st century. Christians divorce at the same rate as non-Christians. Christians drink like non-Christians. Christians fornicate like their non-Christian counterparts. Christians engage in pornography. Christians think that occasional cussing is okay and cute. I could add to this list into infinity. 

Let me be clear, this substandard approach to genuine Christian living was never God’s intention for His people. God calls His people to holy living as evidenced in Matthew 1:21. Jesus did not arrive on planet earth with the mission of saving His people IN their sins but FROM them. 

God’s grace is not a license to sin. As a matter of fact, according to Paul it’s a deterrent. 

“For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say ‘NO’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are His very own, eager to do what is good.” (Titus 2:11-14)

This is the Christmas message. Jesus came to free us from the tyranny of sin. He came to save us FROM our sins and not IN them. Pay attention to the prepositions in this hymn!

O HOLY NIGHT

“Long lay the world in sin and error pining

Till he appear’d and the soul felt its worth.

A thrill of hope the weary soul rejoices

For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!”

CHRIST, THE LOGOS (BLOGMAS DAY FIFTEEN)

(Post by: Michelle Hobbs)

For the past several years, the world has told us that we cannot know absolute truth. It tells us that we can all have our own truth. You do you, and I will do me. We were created from a big bang or evolved from goo to you. I say that is absurd!

This way of thinking has caused chaos and division versus the harmony that so many are seeking through this faulty thinking. Once again, the enemy has distorted the truth and has led us astray.

You see, Christ is the logos of our world. Logos means the reason or plan. The divine reason implicit in the cosmos, ordering it and giving it meaning.

Are you looking for order, reason, or meaning? I know I am, especially in this Advent season and looking forward to a new year.

While we may not be able to change the whole world, we can change our reaction to it. We can impact those within our small sphere of influence for the better. We can know the world as Christ intended by learning to look for Him in everything.

My homeschool hero, Andrew Kern, says, “You become what you behold.”

Isn’t that a beautiful truth? I challenge you to think about what you truly behold. What do you intentionally give your attention to, gaze upon, actively pay attention to? Too many of us have been captivated by absent minded scrolling, streaming short video clips, and reading twaddle. We are constantly striving to keep up with our neighbors in posting pictures of what looks like a happy life, when, in reality, we are miserable.

Christ commands us to “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)

Friends, all the things that you are constantly chasing after in this world, peace, joy, love, etc… can only be found in Christ. They will only be truly and everlastingly achieved by living in the way He tells us to. By living as if Christ is the logos of the world, your personal logos.

How do you do this? By training your eye and your heart, to see Christ in everything. Your soul does something with everything that goes into it. We process those memes, videos, and pictures and they change us for the better or the worse. That is why it is so important for us to purposefully seek out the true, the good, and the beautiful.

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”  (Philippians 4:8)

Imagine how your life would change if you made an effort to seek out things that nourish your soul and glorify Christ as the logos! How would your child’s life change if you gave them great works of literature, art, and music to consider versus Facebook, YouTube, and Tik-tok.

This Christmas season, I have been thinking about the Magi. Who were these mysterious men from the East, mentioned only briefly in the second chapter of Matthew? They were not Jews, yet they were familiar with Jewish scriptures. They were men who studied widely and sought truth, goodness, and beauty. They were Pagan, but the logos of the universe revealed to them a critical piece of prophecy no one else seemed to possess. The Magi studied the stars for years, watching for something that was coming, something that was going to change the world.

When the long-awaited star appeared in the sky, they were willing to travel, possibly 1,000 miles or more to worship Jesus, the Messiah. You see, these wisemen sought the true, the good, and the beautiful. When the logos of the universe finally presented Himself to them, they were ready to accept Him as the true logos of the universe and bow down before Him.

Are you willing to accept Jesus as the true logos of the world?

Will you accept Him as your personal logos and start living in a way that glorifies Him as such? This Christmas is a great time to seek out the true, the good, and the beautiful in His Word and discover His peace, joy, and love!

WE THREE KINGS

We three kings of Orient are
Bearing gifts we traverse afar
Field and fountain, moor and mountain
Following yonder star
We three kings, we three kings

Born a king on Bethlehem’s plain
Gold I bring to crown Him again
King forever, ceasing never
Over us all to reign

Oh, star of wonder, star of night
Star with royal beauty bright
Westward leading, still proceeding
Guide us to thy perfect light
We three kings, we three kings

GIVE YOUR YES (BLOGMAS DAY FOURTEEN)

(Post by: Lilly Hobbs)

I am prone to think that one’s lifestyle amidst the Christmas season speaks great volumes as to their priorities and what they value the most year-round.


Maybe you are weary of reading the same challenge on this Blog, but it will continue to remain the same. There is no better time than right now to get serious about living a life completely sold out to Jesus. I don’t mean start living for Jesus today and then stop the day after Christmas on December 26th.
No, what I am proposing is that we start now and never, ever stop.


After doing ministry for the extremely short amount of time that I have, there is one thing that commonly seems to be the reason for why people claim they just can’t follow Jesus. The reason is this… They don’t have time.


They don’t have time to study their Bible. They don’t have time to spend in quiet prayer and communion with the Lord, or to disciple someone else. It’s why they can’t commit themselves to spending Sunday mornings at church with other believers or a Bible Study small group during the week.
I’m here to tell you that we’ve gotten it all wrong. As a Church, and as individuals. We’ve gotten it so wrong.

The question is not do we have time for Jesus, it’s will we MAKE time for Jesus?


If Jesus isn’t our life, then we will spend it in hot pursuit of the world. The world doesn’t “take breaks” so that you can spend time with Jesus, your family, in your Bible, etc. Its primary goal is to keep you as far away as possible from each one of those important things.


Will we choose to engage with the story that is unfolding right before our eyes? Do we long to rise up and open our eyes to His coming this Christmas season and in this New Year that is before us? Just as Gideon, Mary, Joseph, Noah, Peter, Simeon, Micaiah, and many other heroes of the faith all had to choose whether or not to engage with the story before them, so do we.


We will either build the Kingdom or make a life, but have no doubt, we cannot do both.


Deuteronomy 10:20 says, “Fear the LORD your God and serve Him. Hold fast to Him and take your oaths in His name.”


I have always loved the “holding fast” part of that verse. Holding fast to the Lord means loving Him, following Him, diligently obeying His Word, devoting ourselves only to Him, and serving Him. Holding fast requires us to not compromise in our relationships, behaviors, or anything that might pull us away from our covenant with God.


Being so content with our small and humble place in His story, with our only desire being that we never forsake the roles we must play in it as the pages turn. When Gabriel came to Mary and told her that she would bear the Son of God in her womb, she never asked “why”. She only asked “how”.


She longed to engage in God’s miraculous story.


Proverbs 4:4 says, “Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments, and live.” Even in the New Testament, holding fast is an appeal, complemented by a conditional promise of life. Paul said, “Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:1-2)


My longing for Christians living in this generation is that they would simply give their yes. That they would say yes to engaging in the story before them, not forsaking their role in it. Will you be bold enough to hold fast to Jesus though everyone else’s grasp is firmly placed on the temporary and fleeting things of this world?


Start by making time for the One who always has time for you. Give your yes.

FROM EAST TO WEST, FROM SHORE TO SHORE

From east to west, from shore to shore,
Let every heart awake and sing
The holy Child Whom Mary bore,
The Christ, the everlasting King.

Behold, the world’s Creator wears
The form and fashion of a slave;
Our very flesh our Maker shares,
His fallen creature, man, to save.

For this how wondrously He wrought!
A maiden, in her lowly place,
Became, in ways beyond all thought,
The chosen vessel of His grace.

She bowed her to the angel’s word
Declaring what the Father willed,
And suddenly the promised Lord
That pure and hallowed temple filled.

ADVENT INSECURITY (BLOGMAS DAY THIRTEEN)

(Post by: Pete Yost)

I was having lunch with a group of friends this past week, and one of them said something that caught my attention. Made me think. Made me reach inside of myself.

At first, I thought, where has he been all of his life? How did he miss it?

My friend Calvin asked, “What is Advent? I’ve never heard of such a thing. We are lighting an Advent candle this coming Sunday at church, and I don’t know anyone who knows what this means.”

“We’ve celebrated Advent forever, since I was a little girl”, came the reply from one of the women in the group. “But I don’t understand it either.”

The word “Advent” is derived from the Latin word adventus, meaning “coming”. During this season of preparation, Christians would spend 40 days in penance, prayer, and fasting to prepare for this celebration; originally, the celebration of waiting on the Christ child to arrive.

Calvin is a Christian. He loves Jesus. However, he was bewildered because the people in his new church only celebrated Advent because it was something they do each year.

It is a ritual.

On the other hand, there is Hunter, a young single mom with two kids, who recently told me she wants to reconnect her life with Jesus. She has made some terrible decisions in her life which has resulted in great emotional pain and suffering.

During the past week she has decided to intentionally seek God and praise Him. She is excited and joyful while sensing the Presence of Christ anew. She found this song and sent it to me…

START OVER

Chorus:

Everybody’s got a blank page

A story they’re writing today

A wall that they’re climbing

You can carry the past on your shoulders

Or you can start over.

Regrets, no matter what you goin’ through

Jesus, He gave it all to save you

He carried the cross on His shoulders

So you can start over

Advent is a time of Anticipation, not Anxiety. Advent is not a Ritual, but a Relationship. Advent is not a Ceremony, but a Celebration. Advent is not Looking Backwards, it is Looking Forward.

Calvin was confused because his church friends really did not understand the meaning of Advent. They could not explain the meaning of Advent to him. However, Hunter knows fully what Advent means because she is celebrating a new life, a new start with Jesus.

The question for each of us, is, are we able to confidently explain what Jesus did to save us from our sin, or are we insecure and unsure of the meaning behind Advent/Christmas?

CHRISTMAS BELLS (BLOGMAS DAY TWELVE)

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
    And wild and sweet
    The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
    Had rolled along
    The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
    A voice, a chime,
    A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
    And with the sound
    The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
    And made forlorn
    The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said;
    “For hate is strong,
    And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
    The Wrong shall fail,
    The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men.”

CHRISTMAS BELLS BY HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW

Happy Sunday, everyone! We will be back again tomorrow with a new BLOGMAS post. Be sure to scroll through the recent posts from this past week in case you missed any!

THE EVERYDAY DEEDS (BLOGMAS DAY ELEVEN)

(Post by: Madie Hobbs)

Christmas has the power to change people, don’t you think?

Over the years, we have all seen the change that takes place in people around this holiday season, and I think that there can be power in that change. People begin to talk to one another as they do their last-minute Christmas shopping. We all sing the songs that have become so familiar. We all tend to greet one another with a joy-filled, “Merry Christmas.”

I especially remember these small changes in people from when I was a child, looking at Christmas as this crazy time when suddenly, all our differences and disputes were put aside. It was something that I always loved experiencing and seeing, and something that now, I miss very sorely.

You see that small window of time, that month and a half leading up to Christmas, was something that has impacted me in such a powerful way, and I wish I saw that more now. I think that now, in 2021, we have become so self-obsessed, and so consumed with what we want and need, that no one even thinks about the power they could have, just by telling a little girl “Merry Christmas”.

Once again, I believe that J. R. R. Tolkien sums up the power of these little things in this perfect quote by Gandalf, when talking about why he chose Bilbo Baggins to accompany himself and thirteen dwarves on a perilous quest.

He says, “Some believe that it is only great power that can hold Evil in check. But that is not what I have found. It is rather the small, everyday deeds of ordinary folks that keeps the Darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love. Why Bilbo Baggins? Perhaps it is because I am afraid; and he gives me courage.”

Now, I believe we can all agree that the darkness in this world is barely, at best, being kept at bay. Yet we are all at a loss as to how that has happened so rapidly. If what Gandalf has said is true, which I believe it is entirely, the answer is staring us straight in the face.

It is the small, everyday deeds of ordinary folks. Something which we have not taken as seriously as we ought.

You see, the reason I always felt so much happier and more content around Christmas time, is because of the small things, that kept the darkness at bay for the month of December. The small things that changed a little girl’s view of the world, even for a short time.

I want to encourage you today, it is the small things you do, the smile you freely give to a stranger, the holiday greeting you utter, that keep the darkness at bay.

Why do I enjoy the changed mood, the songs we all sing, and the spirit of Christmas that changes people?

Perhaps it is because I am afraid; and they give me courage.

HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS

Have yourself a merry little Christmas

Let your heart be light

From now on, our troubles will be out of sight

Have yourself a merry little Christmas

Make the Yuletide gay

From now on, our troubles will be miles away

Here we are as in olden days

Happy golden days of yore

Faithful friends who are dear to us

Gather near to us once more

Through the years we all will be together

If the fates allow

So hang a shining star upon the highest bough

And have yourself a merry little Christmas now

TRUE WORSHIPPERS (BLOGMAS DAY TEN)

(Post by: Michelle Hobbs)

One of our dear friends, who is a pastor in Texas, always says, “We have a God-shaped hole in our hearts.” I thought of that saying today as I braved the crowds and long lines of the super-store in our town. There were so many folks filling up their carts and dodging each other in the aisles. There were two guys in the hair and make-up section trying to decide what to buy for (what sounded like) the many female family members in their lives. There was an older woman telling an acquaintance she ran into that she was so glad her grandkids were older, and she did not have to buy toys this year. Then, there were all of us lined up, in frustration, to check out at the two open registers. Ugh!

Some people I saw today were obviously happy to be buying gifts for loved ones, but most seemed to drudge through the task. I grieve over the realization that most of us have lost sight of the true meaning of Christmas. We are trying to fill that “God-shaped hole in our hearts” with gifts and gadgets. Material things that bring joy, only for a moment.

We have allowed our hearts to be captivated by the bright lights, shiny bobbles, and finely wrapped gifts of this world. Yet, what our hearts truly long for is the eternally satisfying glory of God. Jesus’ presence and rule in our lives.

We were created to worship. The need to worship is a big part of what it means to be human. That is the way God made us. He wanted us to want to worship Him and have a relationship with Him. The enemy has distorted that desire, however. Now, we humans worship our careers, sports, bank accounts, and hobbies.

St. Augustine said in his Confessions, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”

Friends, there is nothing wrong with gift giving. My family enjoys finding something special for one another each year. I just pray that we spend more time on cultivating our relationship with Christ this Christmas than we do on buying and wrapping material gifts. Let us be swept up in the true wonder of the season; the Lord came to dwell among us! May we feed our own souls with the right kind of worship and share the good news of Jesus birth, death, resurrection, and second coming with those around us.

“But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship Him.”  (John 4:23)

Will the Father find you a true worshipper when He returns?

ALL THE WORLD AWAITS

All the world awaits

The promise of His birth

Open up the gates

Heaven come to earth

A host of angels sing

Our Savior here to dwell

The King of every king

Our Emmanuel

ALWAYS WINTER (BLOGMAS DAY NINE)

(Post by: Lilly Hobbs)

Before this season of Advent began, I started thinking about the significance of winter and what exactly it has the possibility of producing. If you’re anything like me, it is much harder to see the beauty in freezing temperatures, snow, and darkness than it is to see beauty in the warmth from the summer sun, fresh flowers blooming, and the chance for new adventures to unfold. Perhaps you’re the opposite, in which case, I applaud you.

The Lord, however, has been revealing to me this winter just how much my soul longs for and rejoices in the light. Not just physical light, but ultimately the light of our promised Messiah who will come to us again, which I believe the physical light directly points the believer to.

The only reason we know to rejoice in the light, though, is because we have once or twice had to embrace the dark. The darkness that plagues our world, our homes, sometimes our very own souls which seems to make itself extremely apparent amid the winter season.

Madie & I discussed this topic a little more thoroughly, and in a bit of a different way, in our latest podcast episode! Click here if you would like to join the conversation!

I recently read a quote by Charles Spurgeon who once said, “Winter in the soul is by no means a comfortable season, and if it is upon you just now, it will be very painful to you: But there is this comfort, namely, that the Lord makes it.”

What a beautiful, yet challenging quote to read and consider.

It can be quite difficult to remember that the same God who made the summer is indeed the very same God who made the winter, and that there is a unique purpose for each.

Psalm 74:17 says, “It was you who set all the boundaries of the earth; you made both summer and winter.”

In a book titled, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe that was written by C. S. Lewis, there is a specific quote that I have been pondering that I’d like to share with you today. In the book, Lucy, the youngest of four siblings’ stumbles upon a place called Narnia where The White Witch has cast a magic spell so that it is always winter there.

As Lucy explains to her older brother, Edmund, what she had encountered while in Narnia, she says something that intrigues me. She says, “It’s always winter, but never gets to Christmas.” 

I wonder how many of us can deeply relate with this after the past couple of years. I wonder if you feel as if you have been living in the dead of winter, never getting to Christmas.

If you do, could I lift your spirits today?

There is comfort in the trials that winter brings, because the Lord who has created them never lets them weather us without also allowing us to experience the hope and joy of Christmas. Jesus has always promised His presence to us. But in order to understand the beauty of Christmas, we must understand just how bleak winter can be. What if we rejoiced in the struggles of life and this season because of what the Lord can produce in us through them?

As Christians, we can find peace knowing that winter will not last forever, and that darkness never triumphs over the light. Christmas is coming because Christ has come.

JOY TO THE WORLD

No more let sins and sorrows grow
Nor thorns infest the ground
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found
He rules the world with truth and grace
And makes the nations prove the wonders of His love

Joy to the world, the Lord is come
Let Earth receive her King
Let every heart prepare Him room
And Heaven and nature sing
Joy to the world, the Lord is come
Let Earth receive her King
And Heaven and nature sing

Please be sure to read the last few days of our BLOGMAS posts if you haven’t already! We have had some wonderful guest posts and we don’t want you to miss what they each shared! You can also follow and sign up to be on our email list so that you don’t miss tomorrow’s new post. See y’all then! 🙂

JESUS, PEARL HARBOR, AND BLOGMAS (BLOGMAS DAY EIGHT)

(Post by: Scott Hobbs)

I sit here tonight, on the 80th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, pondering how to connect this day with Jesus, the Advent season, and Blogmas. I know it sounds crazy; but stay with me and let’s see how it goes.  

As I have listened to stories today from some of my favorite historians, and pondered the commitment of the greatest generation of Americans on the heels of Pearl Harbor, I am left wondering if we presently have any real understanding of that type of sacrifice.

We sat in the living room tonight as a family and read our Advent devotional by A. W. Tozer. That was followed with listening to the speech FDR gave the day after Pearl Harbor. Then came excerpts from one of the speeches Patton gave to the troops as they headed into battle with the evil Nazis. I thought about how politically incorrect everything we were hearing from Tozer, to FDR, to Patton, would be today.

Our current cancel culture would say what a terrible father I was for teaching my family that Jesus is the only way to Heaven, that He remained fully God while willingly laying aside his deity to come as a baby in a manger and function fully as a man. Christmas preparation.

And then to discuss 16 and 17 year old American boys falsifying their birth certificates so they could sign away anything they had, and possibly were ever going to have, for the cause of freedom and the destruction of the enemy. Do we have that type of love for the country and freedom God has given us today? I wonder…

But could it be that was what was happening in the preparation (Advent) leading to Jesus birth? A young virgin named Mary, somewhere around the same age as those young American boys, said yes to what would have seemed a truly unbelievable assignment from God. While a young man named Joseph, betrothed to this same Mary, accepted a path that any one of us would have said was complete insanity. Christmas preparation.

As we ready ourselves for the celebration of Jesus birth we should be asking; what did Jesus do? He gave up this great seat at the right hand of God to come down and be born a man to die for our sins. To give up His life for ours. And all we have to do is repent of our sins and accept that He paid the price for us.

John 15:13 says, “Greater love has no one than this; that he lay down his life for his friends.”

So, as I reflect today and honor those men who, 80 years ago, made the greatest sacrifice for this great nation; a nation founded on the sacrifice of Jesus. A nation that has spread Christ and freedom around the world like no other nation in history. I’m reminded of my own preparation for Christmas.

I have to ask; am I willing to sacrifice as those young men did 80 years ago? Oh, not to falsify my birth certificate and sign up to head across an ocean to war. But to say I’m preparing for the birth of Jesus. I’m all in for wherever that may take me. I want to give everything I have and am ever going to have to Him.

Sign me up.

I want Christmas to mean that for all I do to celebrate His wonderful birth, it will prepare me to live the way He taught me to in His life. In that, I have to recognize His birth, this Christmas thing, has to point me to His death and sacrifice for me and you. What a glorious thing this Christmas deal is when we get that.

So thank you Jesus for the cross, our American military for fighting evil on our behalf, and for the freedom we still have to do Blogmas. There; I brought it all together and you doubted that I could. If I’m honest; so did I.  

Merry Christmas!

LIGHT OF THE WORLD

Light of the world
Crown in a manger
Born for the cross
To suffer, to save
High King of heaven
Death is the poorer
We are the richer
By the price that He paid

Sing hallelujah
Sing hallelujah
Sing hallelujah
For the things He has done
Come and adore Him
Bow down before Him
Sing hallelujah
To the light of the world

ODE TO EBENEZER SCROOGE (BLOGMAS DAY SIX)

(Post by: Michelle Hobbs)

Y’all, I love and adore A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. I love the book, and I love the movie adaptation starring Patrick Stewart. Every time I read the story or watch the movie, I glean a new spiritual lesson.

If you are not familiar with A Christmas Carol, let me give you a quick synopsis. Ebenezer Scrooge, the main character, is a “tight-fisted” businessman who thought Christmas day, and every day for that matter, was a “Humbug”, and he just wanted to be left alone. He had no use for his fellow man, other than to collect from them the interest he gained from the money he loaned them. He had a kind-hearted nephew and a humble clerk that attempted to soften Scrooge, but to no avail. Then, on Christmas Eve, Scrooge is visited by his dead business partner, Marley, who is fettered with the chains he forged himself through sins committed during his life.

Marley warns Scrooge, “man of the worldly mind”, that he had gotten his life wrong, and tells Scrooge that he is even worse. Marley explains to Scrooge that if a man’s spirit does not go forth in life caring for his fellow man, he will be condemned to do so after death. However, there is “incessant torture” in that, because in death, it is too late to live as you should have.

Marley then offers Scrooge some hope. Scrooge will be visited by three Spirits who can help him “shun the path” that Marley is forced to tread. Through the visits of the Spirits of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, Scrooge is able to see the hurts and decisions that hardened his heart and made him the callous man he is. He was able to see how a faithful man keeps Christmas and cares for those around him. Finally, Scrooge is able to see his dark future and is given a chance to turn from it.

Scrooge’s heart is changed!

He cries out, “I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach.” Scrooge immediately sets out to mend the relationships he has with his nephew and with his clerk. He gives generously to charity. He is friendly and kind to his neighbors. “He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good city knew.”

Friends, Christmas is the perfect time of year for us to reflect on our own lives. The Holy Spirit invites us to do so, just as the Spirits invited Scrooge to do. Have we allowed past hurts and decisions to harden our hearts and set us on a path that God did not intend?

Are we celebrating Christmas this year in a way that honors Christ’s first coming and anticipates His second coming versus merely indulging in a worldly version of Christmas? Do we have a secure future with Jesus?

Scripture tells us that we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), and that the wage for that sin is death, but God offers us the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ (Romans 6:23).

You see, God loved us so much that He sent Jesus to die for us, even while we were yet sinners (Romans 5: 8). If you have faith in God’s love and accept His free gift of salvation, you can have eternal life with Him (Ephesians 2:8). If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved (Romans 10:9).

Do not shut out the lessons that can be learned from Ebenezer Scrooge. He did not just become a good friend, master, and man because he was scared by the Spirits. He did not change his ways, only for a little while, because he was afraid to be fettered by chains as Marley was.

Scrooge examined his life, his heart, against God’s standard and found himself lacking. He knew that he could not change on his own but called on the Spirit to strive within him. You and I have a wonderful opportunity to ask the Holy Spirit to live within us this Christmas day and every day, friend!

Will you join me and Ebenezer Scrooge in doing so?

LET THE EARTH NOW PRAISE THE LORD

Let The Earth Now Praise The Lord.
Who Hath Truly Kept His Word
And The Sinners Help And Friend
Now At Last To Us Doth Send.

Welcome, O My Saviour, Now!
Hail! My Portion, Lord, Art Thou.
Here, Too, In My Heart, I Pray,
Oh, Prepare Thyself A Way!

King Of Glory, Enter In;
Cleanse It From The Filth Of Sin,
As Thou Hast So Often Done;
It Belongs To Thee Alone.

CHOOSE SOMETHING LIKE A STAR POEM

BLOGMAS DAY FIVE

O Star (the fairest one in sight),
We grant your loftiness the right
To some obscurity of cloud—
It will not do to say of night,
Since dark is what brings out your light.
Some mystery becomes the proud.
But to be wholly taciturn
In your reserve is not allowed.
Say something to us we can learn
By heart and when alone repeat.
Say something! And it says, ‘I burn.’
But say with what degree of heat.
Talk Fahrenheit, talk Centigrade.
Use language we can comprehend.
Tell us what elements you blend.
It gives us strangely little aid,
But does tell something in the end.
And steadfast as Keats’ Eremite,
Not even stooping from its sphere,
It asks a little of us here.
It asks of us a certain height,
So when at times the mob is swayed
To carry praise or blame too far,
We may choose something like a star
To stay our minds on and be staid.

“Choose Something Like a Star” by Robert Frost from Collected Poems, Prose & Plays

We pray this encourages your heart to be willing to see the mystery of Christ and His coming. Happy Sunday & Merry Christmas!

WHO ARE WE TO HIM? (BLOGMAS DAY FOUR)

(Post by: Lilly Hobbs)

The title of this post is a question I have been challenging myself with almost all of this week. If you’ve been around the church much, then I’m sure you know that we like to say “where are you at with Jesus” often. I have nothing against this question, I would simply like to ask it in a different way…

Who are you to Him?

I understand that we have so much fighting for our attention and time right now. Whether it be family, friends, parties, gifts, work, school, or even church. We all have stuff. We think that after this week is over, we will finally have time to spend with Jesus and get serious about living like Him. Life doesn’t usually work that way though, and if we continue living as the world does, it will only get busier and busier.

I’m going to be bold and write that maybe many of us are uncertain about who we genuinely are to Jesus, because we live for the noise, the busyness. Our arms never can stop flailing about. We can never sit still to seek Him. We despise quiet and if it begins to surround us, we fill it with other distractions.

We have allowed ourselves to become addicted to busyness. Most especially the busyness of the Christmas season. I want you to know, friend, that God is not a God of chaos and just maybe, He is inviting you to breathe in His peace and to let some things go.

I think the enemy has been successful in that, he has made this time so hectic that we don’t even realize that we’re missing the entire point and purpose of it. The coming of the Messiah, our King. The One who has redeemed our lives and shown us mercy and grace. If we’ve bought into the world’s point for Christmas, which is materialism, it’s almost impossible to take a minute to stop and fall in love with Jesus again.

Lamentations 3:25-28 says, “The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is young. Let him sit alone in silence, for the Lord has laid it on him.”

No one knows who you are to God, except you. Does He know you as a friend, as an acquaintance, as a good and faithful servant? Or do you find yourself to be a stranger to Him?

I love this translation of Psalm 46:10. It says, “Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Friend, I have great news for you today. You have always meant so incredibly much to Jesus. Take heart, knowing that He is God and that He is the most important thing. Cease your striving. Though you may be in the world, you are not of the world. Don’t you ever forget that.

So, the question truly becomes, does Jesus mean much to you? Does He mean much to us?

GOD REST YE MERRY GENTLEMEN

God rest ye merry gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
Remember Christ our Savior
Was born on Christmas Day
To save us all from Satan’s pow’r
When we were gone astray
Oh tidings of comfort and joy
Comfort and joy
Oh tidings of comfort and joy