For the Man Who Hated Christmas

For the Man Who Hated Christmas

by Nancy W. Gavin It’s just a small, white envelope stuck among the branches of our Christmas tree. No name, no identification, no inscription. It has peeked through the branches of our tree for the past ten years or so. It all began because my husband Mike hated Christmas–oh, not the true meaning of Christmas, but the commercial aspects of it – overspending… the frantic running around at the last minute to get a tie for Uncle Harry and the dusting powder for Grandma—the gifts given in desperation because you couldn’t think of anything else. Knowing he felt this way, I decided one year to bypass the usual shirts, sweaters, ties and so forth. I reached for something special just for Mike. The inspiration came in an unusual way. Our son Kevin, who was 12 that year, was wrestling at the junior level at the school he attended; and shortly before Christmas, there was a non-league match against a team sponsored by an inner-city church. These youngsters, dressed in sneakers so ragged that shoestrings seemed to be the only thing holding them together, presented a sharp contrast to our boys in their spiffy blue and gold uniforms and sparkling new wrestling shoes. As the match began, I was alarmed to see that the other team was wrestling without headgear, a

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How to Have a Blessed Christmas

How to Have a Blessed Christmas

The following appeared in a church newsletter and contains some good advice that will help us keep selfishness in check this Christmas: Thou shalt not leave “Christ” out of Christmas, making it “Xmas.” To some, “X” is unknown. Thou shalt prepare thy soul for Christmas. Spend not so much on gifts that thy soul is forgotten. Thou shalt not let Santa Claus replace Christ, thus robbing the day of its spiritual reality. Thou shalt not burden the shop girl, the mailman and the merchant with complaints and demands. Thou shalt give thyself with thy gift. This will increase its value a hundredfold, and he who receiveth it shall treasure it forever. Thou shalt not value gifts received by their cost. Even the least expensive may signify love, and that is more priceless than silver and gold. Thou shalt not neglect the needy. Share thy blessings with many who will go hungry and cold unless thou are generous. Thou shalt not neglect thy church. Its services highlight the true meaning of the season. Thou shalt be as a little child. Not until thou has become in spirit as a little one art thou ready to enter into the kingdom of Heaven. Thou shalt give thy heart to Christ. Let Him be at the top of thy Christmas list. Anyone keeping these

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Santa, Can You Visit My Granddaughter? (2)

Santa, Can You Visit My Granddaughter? (2)

Rick drove them to the hospital and came inside with Santa. They found out which room Sarah was in. A pale Rick said he would wait out in the hall. Santa quietly peeked into the room through the half-closed door and saw little Sarah on the bed. The room was full of what appeared to be her family; there was the Grandmother and the girl’s brother he had met earlier that day. A woman whom he guessed was Sarah’s mother stood by the bed, gently pushing Sarah’s thin hair off her forehead. And another woman, who he later discovered was Sarah’s aunt, sat in a chair near the bed with weary, sad look on her face. They were talking quietly, and Santa could sense the warmth and closeness of the family, and their love and concern for Sarah. Taking a deep breath, and forcing a smile on his face, Santa entered the room, bellowing a hearty, “Ho, ho, ho!” “Santa!” little Sarah shrieked weakly, as she tried to escape her bed to run to him, IV tubes intact. Santa rushed to her side and gave her a warm hug. A child the tender age of his own son — 9 years old — gazed up at him with wonder and excitement. Her skin was pale and her short tresses bore

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Santa, Can You Visit My Granddaughter?

Santa, Can You Visit My Granddaughter?

Three years ago, a little boy and his grandmother came to see Santa at Mayfair Mall in Wisconsin. The child climbed up on his lap, holding a picture of a little girl. “Who is this?” asked Santa, smiling. “Your friend? Your sister?” “Yes, Santa,” he replied. “My sister, Sarah, who is very sick,” he said sadly. Santa glanced over at the grandmother who was waiting nearby and saw her dabbing her eyes with a tissue. “She wanted to come with me to see you, oh, so very much, Santa!” the child exclaimed. “She misses you,” he added softly. Santa tried to be cheerful and encouraged a smile on the boy’s face, asking him what he wanted Santa to bring him for Christmas. When they finished their visit, the Grandmother came over to help the child off his lap, and started to say something to Santa, but halted. “What is it?” Santa asked warmly. “Well, I know it’s really too much to ask you, Santa, but …” the old woman began, shooing her grandson over to one of Santa’s elves to collect the little gift which Santa gave all his young visitors. “…The girl in the photograph… My granddaughter… Well, you see… She has leukemia and isn’t expected to make it even through the holidays,” she said through tear-filled eyes. “Is

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Purpose: Sent to Absorb the Consequences of Sin

Purpose: Sent to Absorb the Consequences of Sin

But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. – Isaiah 53:5 Another mission of Jesus on earth was to bear the consequences of our sins, so we can be acquitted of them and we can have a clean slate before God. We probably know some of the grievous consequences of sin; sin reduces, hinders, destabilises and cuts us short; it aborts dreams and destiny as well as sides us up for nemesis on earth and judgement in heaven. But, the truth is God is neither interested in keeping the record of our sins, nor is He zealous about clamping down on anyone on account of sin. He would rather that we live blamelessly and maintain a right standing in life because, in actuality, our sins do no harm to Him whatsoever; they only affect us and fellow humans. However, since it is practically impossible for us to live without sinning, which disconnects from God, He demonstrated His good faith toward us by sending His son, Jesus Christ, to come and be the once-for-all sacrificial Lamb and propitiation for our sin. Jesus thus offered Himself to be wounded, bruised, chastised and hung on the cross in our stead, so that we

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