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MATTHEW WEST-STRONG ENOUGH
My wife has been SO diligent this (and every) Christmas, trying to make sure each of our three boys (ages 7, 5, and 2) feel equally loved this year. In other words: making sure there is parity under the tree.
Ensuring this equality often involves money. But not always. We're trying hard to teach our kids their gifts are a celebration of God's ultimate gift. After all...you know how it is...even the BEST, most expensive gift you find at the store will in all likelihood be something most children get bored with before Christmas week is done.
That's why I found these gift ideas (penned by Joshua Becker) much more intriguing, and possibly long lasting:
Big television producer Mark Burnett has put together a 10 hour mini series about the epic stories of the Bible- including the Christmas story. He’s the guy behind The Voice, Survivor and The Apprentice. He and his wife Roma Downey (From Touched By An Angel) are Christians working in Hollywood. so farn they put like 20 million dollars into this project already. It airs in March on the History Channel.
Listen to this ALL THE WAY THROUGH. It will make you smile.
Mandisa talks about her Christmas traditions, her hope, joy and the key to her healthy weight loss.
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This weekend was a rollercoaster of emotion after hearing about the attacks in Connecticut. Honestly, my first reaction was anger, but Friday afternoon it developed into a broken heart and feeling that evil people too often eclipse the good in our society. I'm tired of allowing evil people to steal my hope & joy. I had to go back to God’s Word to get it all centered again.
In Pauls letters to the Roman Church, he said, “For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
Anger. Heart broken. Despair. Empathy for all impacted. More Anger. In fact, of all the emotions I've been dealing with today as we learn about the tragic school shooting in Connecticut, anger has been my strongest and most frequently recurring feeling.
Probably like you, I am still sorting through a lot of emotions and questions. Including the one some Christians may be afraid to ask: WHY, GOD???????????
Short of having that answer, I did find a couple thoughts from some of my Facebook friends comforting:
Stephen Curtis Chapman talks about joy vs. happiness.
His family lived through some tough Christmas seasons after the loss of his daughter Maria.
This chat is so encouraging!
This coming up Monday December 17th more than 1,000 online retailers will offer free shipping and other discounts with delivery promised by Christmas Eve. For all the details check out http://www.freeshippingday.com/