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With so much tumult and violence going on, around the world; and holiday shoppers at best, behaving like wild beasts too, and turning CHRISTMAS into a beaten-down, good-for-nothing, huge occasion for commerce and insanity! I would think that the collective body of sane humans in all of the universe would want to turn their backs to all of that madness and make the year-end holidays particularly special!

No doubt, is there, that some new sort of sinister energy has risen up all around us –to hack away at just about anybody or anything that it can destroy! This… evil, that seems prevalent today, is nothing short of the very topic that Jesus the Christ himself warned us about in the Gospels: “The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows].” John 10:10. Amp. [Bold emphasis mine.]

I made sure to add the supplementary latter; “I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows]” -so that we not focus solely on the former part of the verse, on the obvious elephant in the room, and grow fearful that we’re all doomed!

Friends, staring at the “evil,” at ISIS, and Terrorists, and corrupt Governments, and even at the appalling willful conduct of Shoppers; be it via the media, every branch of media, or in front of us, or within the confines of our own brains! Most-definitely is a sure way to make us lose our joy, our hope, our plans to enjoy Christmas, and make us wonder, where is Jesus in all of this?

Such stuff as that, such noise as that, such unrest as that, such peril as that, all seems to drown-out the Lord who loves us, the Lord God that wants us to enjoy life, and have it in abundance, to the full, till it overflows! It seems to make Him appear much smaller than he really is, or as if his Father [GOD] has turned away from everything that is going on, including us! So that the opposing god -running rampant upon the earth, with its demonized devotees- has its way with all of us!

Dear God of the heavens, Father of Jesus Christ, wake us up to WHO YOU really are, Lord! Let us know that nothing escapes your eyes, that YOU are well aware of what is happening on earth these days! That YOU are effectively contending with and doling out precise judgment on –all of those that want to act like The Thief you spoke about; and that we, the ones that love and respect you, may move forward in YOUR loving care! Thank you Lord.

Christmas 2015: Merry? Yes, Please!

the-spirit-of-christmas-greg-olsenI don’t know about you, but I certainly still appreciate the Christmas season! The holiday itself; the meaning behind it all; the celebration of the birth of our Lord Jesus; the decorative designs that adorn our homes and our trees, our streets, our stores; and warms our hearts, and curves our faces into cheerful smiles, and brings loved ones together, and goodwill to mankind! I not only love Christmastime, but I refuse to let anyone steal it from me!

For those of you that have had a tough year, and now even your finances have been shaken; and somehow this plays into your Christmas and whether you could stick presents underneath your tree or you can’t, don’t let it get you down! Don’t allow yourself to feel pressured into showing up, even at home, with stacks of gifts, for anybody. Essentially, this isn’t only what Christmas is about! Somewhere along the line of history, someone turned Christmas into commercialism, and that “someone” may have even been you, in your own world, being over-the-top in generosity, when you were financially able to please everyone. We all have been in that place; we all have been that “someone” that added to the growing commercialism. We [who has] have had that same kind of prosperity, and were able to spoil the lights out of our loved ones, until now perhaps.

If you can gather with your loved ones, with your kind neighbors, with your good and loyal friends, and just sit around your tree and have fun-filled conversations and much laughter, you have gained a wonderful holiday for yourself. Anyone who knows you and loves you won’t ever think less of you for not handing him or her a present, elaborate or simple, at Christmastime. Just sharing your love, demonstrating your affection, your care and your happy heart to your loved ones, is gift enough.

The day will come when the financial tide returns to our lives and washes over us with new meaning. For now, take your 2015 Christmas and make it Merry, for your loved one and for you! But, above all, never let yourself lose sight of Jesus the Christ and his bonded word, that HE came that we may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows]! Stick with Him.

Merry Christmas!

Christina L. Ibbotson