Jesus is the Best Gift of All

Christmas is a magical time of year. The music and the lights. The fellowship and the food. The decorations and the parties. Everyone loves Christmas. It brings people together. Family members who haven’t seen each other in years gather round the table. Those who were foes now find themselves as friends.

I love Christmas too. Like many, it is my favorite time of year. The only thing I don’t like? It comes and goes so fast. It feels like you blink, and December has flown by. Wait! Put on the breaks! I want a do over!

Too often we don’t get to enjoy the season because we are so busy rushing around trying to get the cards in the mail, gifts bought and wrapped, pies baked, and decorations up. We want everything to be wonderful. But we miss it all in the whirlwind of perfection.

Sometimes we even forget the whole reason for the season. Jesus. No matter what gifts we get, Jesus is the best gift of all. No matter how Christmas dinner turned out, having Jesus is what matters most. No matter how stressful the season can be, Jesus is still there by our side.

And once the hustle and bustle is over, we can still keep Christmas in our hearts all year long. We might not be able to keep our tree up or the stockings hung, but we can still remember this season and what it represents.

When I was growing up, we went to a Methodist church which celebrated Advent. Advent is the anticipation of the coming of Christ. Many who observe Advent have a big wreath laying on a table with twenty-five candles in it. They light a new candle each day throughout the month of December. And the four Sundays prior to Christmas get a special candle representing Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love. Or you can also just focus on the four candles and skip the other candles throughout the month. (If I remember right, I believe this is what my church did, which makes sense since the congregation met on Sunday.)

I suppose all of us who celebrate Christmas are inadvertently observing Advent. However, the key is to be intentional about it. When we slow down each day throughout the month to focus on Jesus and His birth, this makes the Christmas season so much more meaningful. Let’s take a close look at what each of those four candles represent.

Hope – The birth of Jesus gives us hope. In this crazy and fallen world we live in, what else do we have, if not hope? Hope that God will forgive our sins. Hope that we will spend eternity in Heaven. Hope that the Lord will walk with us each day while we are on this earth. And hope that Jesus will come again.

Peace – Jesus is the Prince of Peace. But what is so amazing is that He left peace for us as a gift. There is a lot of turmoil in this world. But we can choose to hold onto peace in the midst of it all. It doesn’t mean we won’t have difficulties. But we can rest in Jesus’s peace, knowing that our Father is on the throne, working things out in our favor.

Joy – God wants us to have joy. But the enemy is eager to steal this away from us. He will do whatever it takes to make sure we do not have joy. We have to make an effort to hold onto our joy each day. Don’t allow small things to bring you down. Don’t let tiny annoyances come between you and your family. Many of these battles are spiritual. So we have to hold onto the joy of the Lord and defeat the enemy.

Love – What speaks love greater than God wrapping himself in skin as a tiny, vulnerable baby in order to save His children? How amazing and awesome that He did this for us. The meaning of Emmanuel is “God with us.” I am in awe when I think about that. God with us. This love that He has displayed for us bubbles in my heart whenever I ponder the fact that God loves us THAT much.

I pray that you all have a very blessed Christmas. I hope that you enjoy the fellowship with your family and friends. Take a moment to thank the Lord for this glorious day. But on December 26th and beyond, I pray that we all can keep Christmas in our hearts!

advent

(Photo credit: huhu)

Gratitude Challenge Day 30

What?! Is it really Day 30 already? I can’t believe the Gratitude Challenge is coming to a close. But I hope this doesn’t mean that your gratitude walk is also going to end. Gratitude is a decision we have to make every day. And I hope you will choose gratitude!

Check out today’s Gratitude Challenge video HEREPlease share something that you learned throughout this journey!

(In case you are just joining the Gratitude Challenge, here’s the scoop: If you want to join the Gratitude Challenge, then I invite you to grab a copy of my book Every Day is a Gift on Amazon. Throughout the month of November read the chapter for that day, and then touch base with me here and on social media for a corresponding video and meme. Here are links to follow me throughout the challenge: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Google Plus)

Day 30

Gratitude Challenge Day 29

Jesus. Just Jesus. That is all we ever really need. If you have accepted Jesus into your life, then you know what an awesome gift we have. If you have not yet taken that step then I invite you to do so today! Click here to find out how: https://wpcom-104774390.mystagingwebsite.com/accepting-jesus-into-your-life/

Check out today’s Gratitude Challenge video HERE. And please share in the comments if anything in today’s reading or video hit home with you!

(In case you are just joining the Gratitude Challenge, here’s the scoop: If you want to join the Gratitude Challenge, then I invite you to grab a copy of my book Every Day is a Gift on Amazon. Throughout the month of November read the chapter for that day, and then touch base with me here and on social media for a corresponding video and meme. Here are links to follow me throughout the challenge: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Google Plus)

Day 29

Gratitude Challenge Day 28

Good Morning, Everyone! Today is Day 28 of the Gratitude Challenge! Check out today’s Gratitude Challenge video HERE.

I have found that spending time with God first thing in the morning helps to start my day on the right foot. Is this something that you currently do as well? Please share in the comments if anything in today’s reading or video hit home with you!

(In case you are just joining the Gratitude Challenge, here’s the scoop: If you want to join the Gratitude Challenge, then I invite you to grab a copy of my book Every Day is a Gift on Amazon. Throughout the month of November read the chapter for that day, and then touch base with me here and on social media for a corresponding video and meme. Here are links to follow me throughout the challenge: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Google Plus)

Day 28

Gratitude Challenge Day 27

Good Morning, Everyone! Today is Day 27 of the Gratitude Challenge! Check out today’s Gratitude Challenge video HERE.

Take a moment today to hand over all your worries over to God. He is faithful and will help you handle each one, if you allow Him to. Allowing God to have control of our lives is an important step towards finding peace. It might not be easy, but in the end, it is worth it. Please share in the comments if anything in today’s reading or video hit home with you!

(In case you are just joining the Gratitude Challenge, here’s the scoop: If you want to join the Gratitude Challenge, then I invite you to grab a copy of my book Every Day is a Gift on Amazon. Throughout the month of November read the chapter for that day, and then touch base with me here and on social media for a corresponding video and meme. Here are links to follow me throughout the challenge: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Google Plus)

Day 27

Gratitude Challenge Day 26

Good Morning, Everyone! Today is Day 26 of the Gratitude Challenge! Check out today’s Gratitude Challenge video HERE.

As you go about your day today, no matter what you are facing, I hope you will remember that God is always available. He will meet you wherever we are, if you ask Him to. And when we allow Him to walk by our side, we will find true peace and contentment in life. Please share in the comments if anything in today’s reading or video hit home with you!

(In case you are just joining the Gratitude Challenge, here’s the scoop: If you want to join the Gratitude Challenge, then I invite you to grab a copy of my book Every Day is a Gift on Amazon. Throughout the month of November read the chapter for that day, and then touch base with me here and on social media for a corresponding video and meme. Here are links to follow me throughout the challenge: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Google Plus)

Day 26

Gratitude Challenge Day 25

Christmas is exactly one month away. Have you already started your Christmas shopping? Do you enjoy giving gifts? I sure do! They say it is better to give than to receive and I agree. It is so much fun to watch someone else open an incomparable gift. But wouldn’t we feel bad if the person was quick to glance at it and then move on to the next gift? Now let’s imagine that the one giving the gift is God and we are the recipients. He showers us with a multitude of blessings each and every day. But often times we hurry on our way and forget to say thanks. This makes me sad to think about it, because I am sure that I do this often in my own daily life. But I hope that as I continue to practice gratitude, it will help me to take more time to give thanks to the Lord.

Check out today’s Gratitude Challenge video HERE.

Please share in the comments if anything in today’s reading or video hit home with you!

(In case you are just joining the Gratitude Challenge, here’s the scoop: If you want to join the Gratitude Challenge, then I invite you to grab a copy of my book Every Day is a Gift on Amazon. Throughout the month of November read the chapter for that day, and then touch base with me here and on social media for a corresponding video and meme. Here are links to follow me throughout the challenge: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Google Plus)

Day 25

Gratitude Challenge Day 24

Ok so I have a few chapters that I consider to be my favorites. This is another one. To this day, every time my husband and I pass through the intersection that I talked about in this chapter, I feel compelled to take a picture. I love having that reminder that even when we take a wrong turn in life, God will still bring us back to where we need to be.

Check out today’s Gratitude Challenge video HERE.

Please share in the comments if anything in today’s reading or video hit home with you!

(In case you are just joining the Gratitude Challenge, here’s the scoop: If you want to join the Gratitude Challenge, then I invite you to grab a copy of my book Every Day is a Gift on Amazon. Throughout the month of November read the chapter for that day, and then touch base with me here and on social media for a corresponding video and meme. Here are links to follow me throughout the challenge: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Google Plus)

Day 24

Gratitude Challenge Day 23

Good Morning, Everyone! Today is Day 23 of the Gratitude Challenge! Check out today’s Gratitude Challenge video HERE.

In today’s chapter, I shared a passage from the Bible where Jesus gave thanks. This is just one of many times where we see Jesus give thanks. The life of Jesus shows us how important it is to give thanks. If Jesus gave thanks, how much more important is it for us to give thanks? It only takes one second to do, but do we often overlook it? Please share in the comments if anything in today’s reading or video hit home with you! 

(In case you are just joining the Gratitude Challenge, here’s the scoop: If you want to join the Gratitude Challenge, then I invite you to grab a copy of my book Every Day is a Gift on Amazon. Throughout the month of November read the chapter for that day, and then touch base with me here and on social media for a corresponding video and meme. Here are links to follow me throughout the challenge: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Google Plus)

Day 23

Gratitude Challenge Day 22

Happy Thanksgiving!! I pray you all have a blessed day with your loved ones. And if you are reading this, then I am honored that you took a moment out of your day to participate in the Gratitude Challenge.

The story I shared in today’s chapter still makes me laugh. But it also makes me thankful for second chances. Can you think of a time when you needed a second chance in life?

Check out today’s Gratitude Challenge video HERE.

Please share in the comments if anything in today’s reading or video hit home with you!

(In case you are just joining the Gratitude Challenge, here’s the scoop: If you want to join the Gratitude Challenge, then I invite you to grab a copy of my book Every Day is a Gift on Amazon. Throughout the month of November read the chapter for that day, and then touch base with me here and on social media for a corresponding video and meme. Here are links to follow me throughout the challenge: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Google Plus)

Day 22