Archives For Christmas

This year, my favorite Christmas present wasn’t a gizmo, a gadget, a phone, or some other compellingly cool technological marvel.

I didn’t get:

An Amazon FireTV

An AppleTV

A new laptop

Or even any books (e, or otherwise).

No, my favorite gift this year was from my eight-year-old daughter (with an assist from mom, who took her shopping), and uses technology that’s been around for centuries.

While the other things would have been nice, displaying a knowledge of the things I like (and would have been appreciated), what I got shows me just how special I am to a certain little.

It shows me how loved I am.

It’s not really even so much the gift itself as it is the sentiment behind it. So just what is this magical gift?

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Just a couple of bracelets–which happen to mean the world to me. Thank-you, Bella, daddy will wear them with pride.

Love you.

No, not the movie starring Tim Allen. No this one stars you. That is to say it’s not a movie at, but rather your life. And it’s unfolding around you in living Technicolor©, blasting your ears with Quadrophonic sound.

You’re at church.

You’re a tither, a regular attender. It’s normally a safe haven–a refuge from the cares and worries of life. But it’s Christmas. And all bets are off. Because the place is packed. Don’t get me wrong–you’re glad all those folks are there. God knows they need to hear the good news.

But you wish they were just a little more attentive.

And that little Johnny (not his real name) behind you would stop kicking your chair. Where are his parents anyway? Then there’s the kid right in front you, whose parents have given him an iPhone to pacify him. You keep hearing the squawking of Angry Birds©!

But, you keep reminding yourself, this is church.

Time was, people knew how to comport themselves, how to keep their children well-behaved… But not, it seems, anymore. You’re just about ready to slay someone in the spirit, but then the rousing rendition of “Joy to World” is followed by the minister, who has come to speak about the “Colors of Christmas.” How what can such a dark time in people’s lives can be made light in Christ. You’re enjoying it, trying to listen, when the mom, who was talking to a friend ask throughout the song service, begins reading a story book to her squirming, squalling child.

Boy, it sure seems like all the bored, distracted, tired people all around you just don’t love Jesus like you love Jesus…

Then you catch yourself wishing that none of them were there… That you could just have a minute to engage with what the pastor’s saying. That people, who likely only go to church twice a year, would act more like you…

Then you swallow, draw in a deep breath, as it dawns on you that maybe, just maybe, the Christmas cranks aren’t the unruly masses all around you.

It’s you.

Bowing your head in silent prayer, you ask for forgiveness.

And you thank God for Christmas.

For Jesus coming to redeem such a one as you.

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The trailer for the upcoming Son of God movie from Mark Burnett and Roma Downey premiered today on Good Morning America. The following is a link to that exclusive trailer:

http://gma.yahoo.com/video/exclusive-first-look-son-god-114908407.html?format=embed&player_autoplay=false

Are you planning on seeing Son of God when it premieres in February?

Comment for a chance to win:

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Click the following link to read my guest post for Tim Gallen:

An Open Letter to Ted Dekker

(Which is really all about Christmas).

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So there lots of days signifying something or other. Here in America, our national day of thanks is followed by a national day of greedy consumeristic materialism.

We’re bipolar that way.

Or at the very least, we are, as a nation, highly adept at compartmentalizing. Listen: I’m all for a good deal, and of faithfully stewarding the resources entrusted to me.

But Black Friday is ridiculous.

And in reactionary backlash (another thing we Americans are quite adept at: lashing back), we now have Small Business Saturday, which is quickly followed by Cyber Monday (wherein you suddenly realize those mall Uggs you thought were such a good deal at $150 you could have gotten for $100 if only you’d waited to buy them online. The good news: the Uggs are still ugly. Bad news: your wallet is $50 lighter).

Cyber Monday is of course now followed by Generous Tuesday. Which seems ridiculous, and again reactionary, right?

Shouldn’t we be thankful, like, I don’t know–everyday?

I think so.

In the spirit of being thankful, perhaps it’s high time to give back? Yes, there are many struggling, many out of work, here in America. But by-and-large, we here are highly blessed by God’s largesse.

I have a great deal for you:

How about helping some folks way less fortunate than you gain access to the most essential commodity? No, it’s not stuff.

It’s clean drinking water.

Earlier this month, I joined with an august

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group of men (and women) (and then shut down my blog to work on NaNoWrimo–I’m douchey that way) united with a single purpose:

To raise $1,000 to provide clean drinking water. We are nearing the end of the month, and are currently $250 short of our goal.

Please visit the Bearded Bloggers site to make your donation. Any amount helps. And 100% of your donation directly funds clean water projects in developing nations.

Please help us finish strong.

As Bartles & Jaymes used to say:

“Thank-you for your support!”