Friday, December 31, 2004

St. Theresa's Prayer:

I recently received this by email from a former student. I thought it was a good way to start the new year...

Saint Theresa is known as the Saint of the Little Ways. Meaning she believed in doing the little things in life well and with great love. She is also the patron Saint of flower growers and florists. She is represented by roses. May everyone be blessed who receives this message. Prayer is one of the best free gifts we receice.

St. Theresa's Prayer:

May today there be peace within.

May you trust your highest power that you are exactly
where you are meant to be.

May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.

May you use those gifts that you have received,
and pass on the love that has been given to you.

May you be content knowing you are a child of God.

Let this presence settle into our bones,
and allow your soul the freedom
to sing,
and love.

It is there for each and every one of you.


Thursday, December 23, 2004

First week after Christmas

First week after Christmas
hope - peace - joy - love -LIGHT
prophets - Bethlehem -angels - shepherds -CHRIST
Discipleship -fellowship -ministry - worship -EVANGELISM

It’s not our job to change people so that God will accept them,
It is our job to accept people so that God can change them.

A Biblical Archeology Professor told this story about Neil Armstrong:
He is a devout believer and in the spring of 1988 he visited Jerusalem and stood on those steps. He asked his guide, "Do you mean to tell me that Jesus stood on these steps?" The guide answered, "Of course. Jesus was a Jew and went to the temple many times. And these steps were the main entrance to the temple. Of course Jesus stood on these steps." Neil Armstrong was quiet for a few moments, then said, "It means more to me to stand on these steps than to stand on the moon."

While I couldn’t find proof on the internet that he really said it, I once heard a pastor’s sermon that quoted Armstrong; “It’s one thing for man to walk on the moon- it’s quite another to have God walk on the earth.”

Third week in Advent

Third week in Advent

hope - peace - JOY - love -light

"We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.” ~1 John 1:3

“If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.” ~Philippians 2:1-2

It’s time to SHARE the joy. Here are some ideas from my friend Anne Bierling at the Shepherd’s House (Page 12, The Life Model; Living from the Heart Jesus Gave You:)

Building Joy:

Building joy means getting closer to God and to people. While it is a very authentic process that cannot be fabricated, here are some “joy-building” ideas to first practice with our families and then extend to the wounded community.

1. Smile whenever you greet those you love, and use sincere voice tones.

2. Ask questions that invite others to tell you truthfully how they are doing, and what they are thinking. Listen intently without interrupting.

3. Take a sincere interest in really knowing the other person. Work hard to understand the other’s fears, joys, passions, talents and pain.

4. Treat each other with dignity and respect. When ending a discussion, try to make both people feel affirmed.

5. Use touch whenever appropriate: Hold hands, link arms, give hugs and use physical connection as effectively as you can.

6. Discover what brings the person joy: a time to talk, encouraging notes, a helping hand, or evening walks. Custom fit your attempts to bring joy.

7. Give them little surprises that will cause their eyes to light up, and let your eyes light up, too! The joy builds as the glances go back and forth


Dear Jesus,

If it only takes a spark to get a fire going,
help me pass on the Joy that You give us this Christmas.

I love You, Jesus, Amen.

Third week in Advent

Third week in Advent
hope - peace - JOY - love -light
prophets - Bethlehem -ANGELS -shepherds -Christ
discipleship -fellowship -MINISTRY -worship -evangelism

“Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the JOY of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me” Psalm 51:11-12

I want you to think of joy as a place. That’s right, you can be cynical and scoff or joke and call it your “happy place” like this is some kind of psychobabble, but try it. Think of joy as a place, but not just any place, think of it as your base-camp.

Say you want to take a day trip, hike a mountain, scale a rock face. Great, but when the day is done, you have to get back. Return to base camp. So you want to try some fly fishing or white-water rafting- awesome. You’re bound to get some cuts and bruises along the way, head back to base camp an get bandaged up. Go hunting, snowmobiling, para-sailing, you name it, but at the end of the day, if you’re gonna sleep soundly, you want to be somewhere safe, secure, dry, comfortable- return to base camp.

That’s what we all need every day no matter where we are, a home base. Well guess what, God is it. Our rock and our salvation. Spending time with Him is a delight- being with someone who loves you, that’s joy.

So Okay, the next time you have a stressfull day, remember, Jesus loves you, return to joy. Someone yells at you, lies about you, spreads rumors about you, return to joy. You try something new, it’s a little scary, but it worked out alright, in fact you’re kinda proud- return to joy.

Remember, joy is not temporary like happy. Joy may not always be exciting or euphoric like happy, but joy is more important, deeper, more stable, more meaningful then happy.

The next time life is rocky, whether it’s downs or ups, share it with God, you’ll be returning to joy.


Dear Jesus,

Every day, remind me that you are my safe place.
If Home is where you are loved,
I am always at home no matter where I roam,
because You promised that You will never leave me or forsake me,
and that You are with me even unto the end of the age.
Thank you Jesus.

I love You, Jesus, Amen.

prayer for our soldiers

Please send this on after a short prayer for our soldiers...please don't break it


"Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands. Protect them as they protect us.Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in ourtime of need. I ask this in the name of Jesus, our Lord and Savior. Amen."

When you receive this, please stop for a momentand say a prayer for our troops around the world There is nothing attached .... Just send this to all the peoplein your address book. Do not let it stop with you, please.... Of all the gifts you could give a US Soldier, Sailor, Airman, Marineand others deployed in harm's way, prayer is the very best one.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

christmas trivia - facts and information about christmas, xmas

christmas trivia - facts and information about christmas, xmas:
"The 'Twelve Days of Christmas' was originally written to help Catholic children, in England, remember different articles of faith during the persecution by Protestant Monarchs. The 'true love' represented God, and the gifts all different ideas:
The 'Partridge in a pear tree' was Christ.
2 Turtle Doves = The Old and New Testaments
3 French Hens = Faith, Hope and Charity-- the Theological Virtues
4 Calling Birds = the Four Gospels and/or the Four Evangelists
5 Golden Rings = The first Five Books of the Old Testament, the 'Pentateuch', which relays the history of man's fall from grace.
6 Geese A-laying = the six days of Creation
7 Swans A-swimming = the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, the seven sacraments
8 Maids A-milking = the eight beatitudes
9 Ladies Dancing = the nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit
10 Lords A-leaping = the ten commandments
11 Pipers Piping = the eleven faithful apostles
12 Drummers Drumming = the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostle's Creed "

Monday, December 20, 2004

Rapid Deployment Kits

Rapid Deployment Kits
Here's a great way to show the troops that you support them, and that you're praying for them.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Third week in Advent

Third week in Advent

hope - peace - JOY - love -light

"I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-­nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”~ Luke 15:7

So we’ve established that Joy is being glad to see someone you enjoy being with, with whom you have some kind of love-relationship. We’ve even seen that it actually effects your brain chemistry in a positive way. Did you know that social workers and counselors look for a glossy glint in children’s eyes to tell if they’re being neglected or not?

Yeah, it’s not just drinking enough water to have healthy tear ducts, it’s a matter of whether or not your eyes “light-up.” As in “as soon as he/she enters the room your eyes light-up.” I think that’s what they mean when they say someone is the “apple of your eye.”

God delights in just being with you. One of the most memorable scenes in Frank Peretti’s series of novels about angels was in Piercing the Darkness when a human girl gets down on her knees in desperation and asks God into her life. The angels, in fact all of Heaven virtually EXPOLDE with joy and celebration.

Angels DELIGHT in being with God. Without sin as an obstacle, they get to enjoy His intimate presence all the time. Yet you are more important to Him than angels.

So imagine the explosive celebration when God’s own Son, Jesus was born to redeem you, me and all humans. I’d be blown away too if I was those shepherds.

You know the absolute ecstatic joy and delight parents have when they first get to hold their new born baby, right? And you remember the joy and excitement that you had as a little kid to get up Christmas morning and see all the things Santa brought you under the tree, right?

Christmas and Easter should bring you that same kind of ecstatic joy! The King of the universe came down at Christmas to save YOU! THE God loves YOU!


Dear Jesus,

Bring joy to your servant,
for to you, O Lord,
I lift up my soul. (Psalm 86:4)

I love You Jesus,

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Third week in Advent

Third week in Advent
hope - peace - JOY - love -light

“the joy of the LORD is your strength” Nehemiah 8:10b

I’ll be the first to admit it. Joy is a hard thing, especially this time of year. Joy is a sense of well being. If you’re like me, you don’t always handle stress well, or you suffer from bouts of depression. But you see, that’s all the more reason we need true joy.

I have a friend, Anne, who’s a family counselor. She used to be a school counselor. She contends that the true definition of joy is being in meaningful and reciprocated love-relationships.
Anne says that joy is being glad to be with someone who’s glad to be with you. That’s why Nehemiah 8:10 is SO true! God delights in you. He always, always LOVES to be with you. He LOVES it when you choose to spend time with Him: Prayer, reading His Bible, meditating on Him, His Word, & His love. Singing or listening to praise music.

This Christmas season, try setting aside time to spend with Him each day. It helps you get centered. It brings peace of mind and it works away those blues. Heck, when you’re most desperately lonely, afraid, or depressed, don’t you just wish someone would hold you and let you cry in their arms? He’ll do that too- cry yourself asleep while praying and you’ll probably wake up in a much better mood.

Are you as happy to be in His company as He is to be in yours? Try spending time with Him, it becomes almost addictive. The more time you spend with Him, the more you enjoy it. It’s good for your mental health- just like prayer brings peace, which is good for your health. Joy is too. Don’t take my word for it, see what these mental health professionals say:

“Having enough joy strength is fundamental to a person’s well being. We now know that a 'joy center' exists in the right orbital pre-frontal cortex of the brain. It has executive control over the entire emotional .system. When the joy center has been sufficiently developed it regulates emotions, pain control and immunity centers; it guides us to act like ourselves; it releases neurotransmitters like dopamine and seratonin; and it is the only part of the brain that overrides the main drive centers -food and sexual impulses, terror and rage.*”


Thank You Lord for wanting to spend time with me. Help me make time for you, show me what it’s like to have TRUE joy. Help me get my strength from being with You, so that You’ll renew my strength and lift me up on eagle’s wings!

I love You, Jesus, Amen.

(*Page 12, The Life Model; Living from the Heart Jesus Gave You, by Dr. James Friesen, Dr. James Wilder, Anne Bierling, Rick Koepke and Maribeth Poole. © 2000 Shepherd’s House, Inc. ISBN# 0-9674357-0-6)

Monday, December 13, 2004

Third week in Advent

Third week in Advent

hope - peace - JOY - love -light
prophets - Bethlehem -ANGELS -shepherds -Christ
discipleship -fellowship -MINISTRY -worship -evangelism

“9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great JOY that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.”~Luke 2:9-11

Merrium-Webster’s Dictionary puts it this way:

Main Entry: 1joy Pronunciation: 'joiFunction: nounEtymology: Middle English, from Old French joie, from Latin gaudia, plural of gaudium, from gaudEre to rejoice; probably akin to Greek gEthein to rejoice 1 a : the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires : DELIGHT

But Joy is really more than a mere emotion. Happiness, the emotion, is a reaction to circumstance. Joy is more than a reaction. Joy can actually determine emotions. Joy can improve circumstances.

Go back to the Latin root to rejoice. Like love and like peace, rejoicing is something you do deliberately. St. Paul even commands us to

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” -Philippians 4:4

Joy is intricately tied with things like hope, faith, peace, and love. That’s why it’s way more stable than the fickle emotion, happiness. Joy has to do with appreciation. To rejoice is not merely to thank God for something He’s given you, it’s showing Him your love for Him. This may make more since after tomorrow’s devotion.

For now try to remember that you have well-being, because unto you is born a Savior. Christ the Lord has had success in His mission to defeat death and the Devil.

You have good fortune because of the prospect of possessing what one desires, His forgiveness, His love, and His salvation, an eternal life with Him in Heaven.

You are His delight. He delights in you!


Thank You Lord for delighting in me.
It’s amazing to me that You would think of me as Your pride and joy.
Teach me to rejoice that the Savior has come.

I love You, Jesus, Amen.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Festival of Lights

Click here to read a column I recently wrote about what Advent is, as well as Hannukka and Kwanza.

Second week in Advent

Second week in Advent

“This generation of Americans has already had enough - more
than enough - of war and hate and oppression. We shall be prepared if others
wish it. We shall be alert to try to stop it. But we shall also do our part to
build a world of peace where the weak are safe and the strong are just. We are
not helpless before that task or hopeless of its success. Confident and
unafraid, we labor on - not toward a strategy of annihilation but toward a
strategy of peace.” ~John F. Kennedy

“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” -Romans 12:18

”Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.” -
Matthew 5:9

"If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you” -Matthew 10:13

So what does peace have to do with Bethlehem or with Fellowship? Let me tell you. Peace is a verb, something you practice. Like ‘love is a decision,’ peace is not just a noun that you have, it is a verb that you do. Did you notice that in Matt 10:13, it’s something you share with others?

Being “in fellowship,” means that you are not “in conflict,” with someone. It means you share, you support, you encourage, you don’t injure or compete with someone.

The traditional Hebrew greeting that people in Bethlehem shared at the time of Mary and Joseph was “Shalohm.” Shalohm means, “God’s peace be with you.” Kind of like “Good Bye” means “God Be with Ye,” or “Adios” is short for “Via con Dios,” or “Go with God.”

But do you have room for peace in your heart? Do you have room for Jesus in your heart? Mary & Joseph found no room at the Inn. If your heart, your life, and your relationships are full of conflict, selfishness, worry, anxiety, anger, hate etc. etc., there’s no room for fellowship. And remember, that’s what Christmas is all about, God seeking fellowship with us, an end to conflict.

Shalohm to you.

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May those who love you be secure.” -Psalm 122:6


Shalohm Lord Jesus,

Thank You for coming so that we can be at peace,

not war with God.

Thank You for coming so that we can be at peace,
not war with our fellow man.

Help me to make room for peace in my heart and in my life.
Help me to share Your peace with others.

I love You, Jesus, Amen

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Second week in Advent

Second week in Advent
hope - PEACE - joy - love -light

Sorry for the hiatus- I didn't have MS Word on my computer for a few days and it took a while to get it re-installed. Monday I had promised to look closer at Philippians 4:6-7 and how you can deliberately, carefully condition your mind to receive Christ’s peace. Here goes:

“6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8Finally, 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 4:6-7

It’s easy to say do not be anxious about anything, but it’s another to not be, right?

St. Paul tells us how to ease our anxiety in the very next breath- “in everything, present your requests to God, with thanksgiving.”
Prayer is the key to peace. Dr. Bob Orr, director of clinical ethics at Fletcher Allen Health Care, the teaching hospital for the University of Vermont reported that prayer brings a definite physiological benefit.
"I certainly encourage people who are believers to pray," Orr said. "My observation is the person who prays is less stressed. He becomes less anxious, and his blood pressure and pulse improve."

One study showed the risk of diastolic hypertension was 40 percent lower among those who studied the Bible daily and attended church weekly. Another study concluded that elderly heart patients were 14 times less likely to die after surgery if they found comfort in religious faith.
It’s a simple if-then proposition.

Here’s a special Christmas song from one of my favorite Christmas movies, White Christmas, to help you remember Philippians 4:7...

COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS (Instead of Sheep) by Irving Berlin

Both Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney had hit versions of this song from their 1954 1954 movie White Christmas. "Count Your Blessings" was the 11th song introduced by Bing to be nominated for an Academy Award.

When I'm worried and I can't sleep
I count my blessings instead of sheep
And I fall asleep counting my blessings
When my bankroll is getting smallI think of when I had none at
And I fall asleep counting my blessings
I think about a nursery and I picture curly heads
And one by one I count them as they slumber in their beds
If you're worried and you can't sleep
Just count your blessings instead of sheep
And you'll fall asleep counting your blessings
I think about a nursery and I picture curly heads
And one by one I count them as they slumber in their beds
If you're worried and you can't sleep
Just count your blessings instead of sheep
And you'll fall asleep counting your blessings

Thank you, Jesus

For being the blessings you bring me, including peace.
Please grant peace to my friends and loved ones who don’t have it this Christmas.
Teach us to pray, Lord.
Teach us to leave our burdens at your feet and count our blessings.

I love You, Jesus, Amen.


“6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8Finally, 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 4:6-7


Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Second week in Advent

Monday Second week in Advent
hope - PEACE - joy - love -light
prophets - BETHLEHEM -angels -shepherds -Christ

“6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” ~Philippians 4:6

“I have, therefore, chosen this time and this place to
discuss a topic on which ignorance too often abounds and the truth is too rarely
perceived - yet it is the most important topic on earth: world

What kind of peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced
on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the
security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that
makes life on earth worth living, the kind that enables men and nations to grow
and to hope and to build a better life for their children - not merely peace for
Americans but peace for all men and women - not merely peace in our time but
peace for all time.” ~John F. Kennedy

This is not really a peaceful season is it? Whether it’s the stress of getting things done or the stress of family spending time together, the very time of year when we talk the most about “peace on earth,” seems to be one of the least peaceful.

As far as President Kennedy’s speech goes, I hate to be too cynical, but let’s face it, after September 11, 2001, do any of us really believe that world peace is possible?

But Paul’s not talking about either of those kinds of so-called peace. He’s talking about a deeper, truer, more lasting peace. An inner peace-of-mind. One that surpasses all human understanding. In my experience this is something that almost all of my students want most.

Whether it’s clinical depression, anxiety attacks, epilepsy, ADD, ADHD, bipolar, someone who’d molested them as a child, their parent’s divorce, money, grades, drug or alcohol addition, sex, guilt, fear, anger, hatred…the list goes on and on. Today’s teens desperately desire this kind of peace. A peace that let’s you sleep at night.

Jesus came to offer us this peace. All you have to do is ask Him for it. In tomorrow’s devotion, I’d like to look closer at Philippians 4:6-7 and how you can deliberately, carefully condition your mind to receive Christ’s peace.

Thank you, Jesus

For being the Prince of peace and for offering me escape, stability, and strengthening peace. Please be my anchor and my refuge this Christmas, please grant me peace.

I love You, Jesus, Amen.

Friday, December 03, 2004

First week in Advent


“And HOPE does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” ~Romans 5:5

Hope is so important. We all get depressed, especially this time of year. Without hope, we’re lost. Suicide rates rise this time of year because people lose hope.

I know you might just be tempted to avoid watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” again this season because you’ve seen it a million times and it’s become cliché’, but I want you to make a point of watching it again and this time keep reminding yourself that it’s a religious movie.

That’s right. It’s a religious movie. It’s all about faith, worth, hope, and love. George was desperate and depressed. He thought he was worth more dead than a live and attempted suicide. God sent Clarence the angel to give George hope. By showing him how much God had used him throughout his life, Clarence helped restore George’s faith that he had hope no matter how dire his situation. Even more so because he had given hope to so many people throughout his life without even realizing it, you reap what you sow (Galations 6:7).

You have worth, belonging, usefulness, importance, AND hope. For every recession there is eventually a recovery. Every war ends, every storm ends, it’s just hard to remember that while you’re in the midst of it. God used George Bailey of Bedford Falls as His instrument for good. Will you let God use you to share the hope of Christmas with others?

“For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD , "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you HOPE and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11


Thank you, Holy Spirit

for filling us with a hope that won’t let us down. Thank you Lord, for including me in Your plans. Please help me to live with that hope and to share Your hope with others.

I love You, Jesus,


Thursday, December 02, 2004

First week in Advent


“…we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24For in this hope we were saved. But HOPE that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? 25But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”
~Romans 8:23b-25

It’s not always easy to wait is it? It seems like the whole month of December is all about waiting. When we were kids we started waiting for Santa Claus. If you’re in high school or college, you might be counting down the days until vacation! Then you wait for family gatherings or friends’ parties. After Christmas we wait for New Year’s. On New Year’s Eve we wait for midnight. Then it’s only a matter of time till its back to school.

Thousands wait in line at stores and airports. We’re still waiting to receive some of the gifts we ordered for people on the internet to be shipped to us…

But what does it mean to wait eagerly for our adoption? For the redemption of our bodies?

It’s part of the “Now-Not-Yet” principle of prophecy.

Jesus has come and has defeated death and Satan, yet He is still coming again and will remove Satan and eliminate death once and for all. Hitler was doomed as of D-Day (June 6, 1944), but WWII didn’t quite end in Europe until V-E Day (May 8, 1945). When the Marines landed on Omaha Beach, millions of people were still stuck in concentration camps, waiting to be freed.

We already have salvation and a reconciled relationship with God thanks to Easter, but we continue to hope for Jesus’ SECOND coming promised in Revelation 20: 3-4 when God will live with us. We will be His people, and God Himself will be with us, He will wipe every tear from our eyes.

That kind of hope can get us through the hardest times. When I was depressed and exhausted by the worst summer jobs or the most difficult classes in school, I KNEW that it wouldn’t last forever. The summer would end and I could go back to school to escape that awful job. The semester would end and I’d swallow the poor grade and get to take a different class, hopefully one I’d enjoy more.

The point is I didn’t WISH the bad times would eventually end, I KNEW they would. That’s what real hope means. A genuine light at the end of the tunnel, but just a light, not the end. If there were no light, there’d be no hope. But if it were the exit already, you wouldn’t need hope. That’s the “Now-Not-Yet” principle.

Advent and Christmas are all about hope. We celebrate them to remind us that we only have to suffer in this world for a little while longer, Jesus is on His way.

Dear Jesus,
This Advent, help us to remember that we’re not just waiting for Christmas 2004 to arrive.
We are celebrating the victory that You have already won,
while waiting eagerly for you to liberate us from this corrupt and dying world,
our own frail and fickle flesh,
and the taunts and temptations of the defeated Devil.
Come Lord Jesus,

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

First week in Advent


“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their HOPE in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their HOPE in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.” ~1 Timothy 6:17

What do you hope Santa will bring you this Christmas? As a parent, I really hope that our daughters enjoy the presents that we’re getting them this year.

During the Vietnam War, ex Beatle John Lennon wrote a modern holiday classic.

And so this is Christmas, I hope you have fun! The near and the dear ones, the old and the young. A very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Let's hope it's good one, without any fear.

Lennon hoped that the war in Vietnam would end. Unfortunately, as long as there are people, there will be wars.

As Christians, we have hope, even during times of war, Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 4, “we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

In his letter to Timothy, Paul told the young pastor to make sure that the members of his congregation didn’t get too wrapped up in the temporary things of this world. Presents are not what Christmas is all about. Even “peace on earth” isn’t what Christmas is all about- not peace as we know it anyway.

True peace, the peace which passes all understanding, comes from hope. The hope that there is eternal life, eternal enjoyment, and eternal peace – an end to our spiritual war with God.

My hope for you is not that you get what you WANT for Christmas (presents, money clothes, etc.) Instead, I hope you get what you NEED; Faith, Hope, Love, and Peace in Jesus.


Dear Jesus,

Please protect our soldiers overseas this Advent.
Especially the ones in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, and Korea.
Boost their morale, Lord.
Remind them of the hope that eventually their tour of duty will end and they’ll get to come home to their families.
Help us to put our hope in You, not in money, toys, gifts, things, or even noble things like peace, but only in you.

I love you Jesus,