Middle Age Ramblings

Where I Share My Thoughts On This Journey Called Life

Archive for the tag “Christmas”

I Have An Announcement

The phrase “I have an announcement” is often used in our culture when someone wants to announce an event that is about to happen. Everyone from major corporations to people with a social media account make announcements every day. Some of these announcements affect large groups of people. Many times, however, the announcements only affect a small group.

There was 1 announcement made a long time ago to the most unlikely group of people to receive such message. This announcement began a series of events that would forever change the world.

The announcement took place in  a very small town in a small country to a group of people who were the outcasts of society. Nobody wanted to have anything to do with them. The smelled different from everyone else, they didn’t dress like everyone else either.

You see, this announcement was made to a group of shepherds, outside if Bethlehem, in Israel. The announcement was so big that it was sent from God. He didn’t just send 1 angel to make the announcement. He had a whole sky full of angels making this announcement!

This announcement was amazing! There was a baby born in Bethlehem. Not just any baby though, this baby was the Son of God! God became human, lived a perfect life, and gave his life that we could be free from the penalty of sin, which is death! What an amazing announcement! What an amazing God!

The greatest announcement ever made was made to a group of outcast shepherds. the announcement was made to the entire world. Just like the shepherds, we need to spread the announcement to all we come in contact with.

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Thanksgiving

I know every blogger writes a post on Thanksgiving. I didn’t want to be left out so I thought I would put down some random thoughts about Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving, like Christmas has become very commercialized in our culture in America. It has become the one week of the year that grocery store owners look forward too because of the increased sales and profits from that one week alone. I know this to be a fact because I spent several of my teenage years working for a grocer in my home town.

Thanksgiving is a day set aside for family. We as a family get together on this day and unfortunately it is one of the few times of the year that we are all together at one time and we all live in about a 60 mile radius of each other.

Thanksgiving is also about food, lots of food! As part of my decision to eat healthier I am going to try to not overeat today and yet still enjoy the day because I love food! Growing up in a family of cooks, even though I was a boy, I learned to cook and I love to cook and eat many foods.

Thanksgiving, like the name implies, should be a time of giving thanks for all of our blessings that God has given us. When I think about it though, we shouldn’t just set aside one day each year to be thankful for our blessings, we should be thankful each day for those blessings God so richly gives us. things we don’t even deserve yet e continues each day to pour them out on us.

Let me challenge each of you who reads this to be more thankful each day of our lives, not just one day each year.

I Hate Christmas Shopping!

I hate Christmas shopping! There I said it. All of you happy Christmas shopaholics can just go ahead and fry me all you want to. At one time, I was pretty much a Scrooge when it came to Christmas. Before anybody jumps on my case about the real meaning of Christmas, let me say that is not the problem. I understand totally that the real reason for Christmas is the God sent His only Son, the very best gift He had, and He gave that gift to mankind. So I definitely get it. Maybe an explanation of my feelings are in order.

Several years ago, I went Christmas shopping with my wife, my mom and dad, and my oldest daughter who was very small at the time. The crowds were large and very pushy. I was in the mens department of a large retailers store. My instructions were clear. I was to find a mans gift in a specific size. I was standing there looking at a mans shirt when a hand came in from the side and took the shirt from my hand. The woman said, “That looks just like what I’m looking for!” I found the rest of my group and told my wife,” We need to leave. These people are not like us they’re crazy!” That day I swore that I would never go shopping on the day after Thanksgiving again.

So for the last 25 years or so, my wife has had trouble even getting me to go to the store Christmas shopping. I just don’t like to go period end of discussion. I hate Christmas!

Before some of you start suggesting that I go get counseling help or something like that, let me say that I am getting better. I’m not there yet, but it is better than it was.

This year we went shopping on Friday night after work exactly one week before Christmas. I can say honestly that the experience wasn’t that bad except for one store. I can say that the experience, while extremely tiring was enjoyable. My wife and I were by ourselves. We had kinda made a date out of it, which helped my feelings.

As I said, I made it fine until we got to the huge major discount supercenter. We had to go to the toy section to get a gift for our 3 month old grandson. When we entered that part of the store, I almost turned around and went the other way. However, I faced my problem, gritted my teeth and dove in. Amazingly, I made it! I didn’t kill anybody and nobody tried to bother me!

I still will not go to the store on the day after Thanksgiving, but I’m recovering from humbugitis! Maybe next year will be even better!

Merry Christmas from the Turner household to yours! May you never forget that we celebrate this holiday because Jesus came to this earth as a baby, lived a sinless life, died on a cross to pay the penalty for our sins, rose from the grave on the third day, and is alive today at the right hand of God the Father making intercession for His Children! Never ever forget the real reason for the season!

A Right (Not White) Christmas

Before I begin, I must give credit for the outline for this post to my Pastor, Chris Lewellen of North Ripley Baptist Church, who preached this sermon Sunday morning, 12/11/2011. The main outline is his. Some of the comments are mine. Because of the impact his thoughts had on me and my outlook on Christmas, I felt I need to share them with you. My prayer is that you and your families will be extremely blessed this Christmas season.

Many years ago, Bing Crosby recorded a song that has become a Christmas standard titled” White Christmas”. In this post today, we will discuss how to have a “right” Christmas, not a white Christmas. We will very quickly discuss four things that must be included in your Christmas celebration in order for it to be a right Christmas.

First of all, a right christmas must include making room for Jesus. In Luke 2:7, we learn that Mary had to place the baby Jesus in a manger, a feed trough where I live, because there was no room in the inn. The questions here are simple. Have you made room for Jesus in your heart? Turning from sin and accepting God’s gift is a matter of the heart. We must accept the gift og salvation into our heart. Also, have you made room for Jesus in your life? Christmas is a time of hustle and bustle. We run too and fro from one party or event to another and hardly have time for ourselves, much less have a thought about why we celebrate this holiday. We must learn to make room for Jesus in order to have a right christmas.

Secondly, a right christmas includes worship of Jesus.In Luke 2, we see the shepherds coming to Bethlehem after the angels appeared to them and they worshipped Jesus when they got there. Also, in Matthew 2, we see the wise men worshipping Jesus when they brought their gifts to Him. Michael Youseff once said, ” We often worship at the malls of many shops.” I ask you today, Have you included worship of Jesus in your celebration of Christmas?

Third, a right Christmas includes the grace of giving. In Matthew 2:11 we find the Wise Men giving gifts to the baby Jesus. Notice that they gave the best gifts they could give. God the Father also gave the best gift He could give when He gave His only Son for mankind.What about the gifts we are bringing to Jesus? Are we giving the best of our time, out talents and abilities, and out tithes?

Finally, a right Christmas includes telling others about Jesus. Notice in Luke 2:15-18 that once the disciples heard the angels announcement about the baby Jesus, they did two things. First they went to see for themselves. Then they went and told everybody they could about what they had heard and seen. Have you told everyone you could about what you have heard and seen that Jesus has done for you?

These are just four suggestions that can help you to have a right Christmas in your life. I’m sure there are more that we could think of. Maybe this list will help you think of other things needed in a right Christmas.

Merry Christmas!

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