Discovering Joy in Christ During the Holidays

The Unexpected Visitors: God’s Message To Us Today Through The Curious Visitors in Matthew 2:1-15

I used to have a Hebrew professor who would give us a passage in the Hebrew. We were to translate it and then interpret it. I gave this one sermon, which was just outstanding, I thought. And the class also greatly enjoyed it. The professor smiled approvingly after I...

Counseling for Joy At Christmas

Luke 2:8-14, “And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flocks by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them,...

Counseling for Hope at Christmas

Matthew 1:23, “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name ‘Immanuel’ (which means, God with us).” This passage informs the Christmas story as much as any other in the Bible, and we are accustomed to reading it at this time of...

Anxiety at Christmastime

Of all the Holidays, Christmas may present the best opportunity to be anxious. Frantically running...

Keeping Jesus at the Center of the Season

Keeping Jesus at the Center of the Season

Keeping Jesus at the Center of the Season I love Christmas but the weeks leading up to it are often the busiest and most demanding of the year. As a ministry wife, I can feel pressure to be involved in every church event. As a mom, I want to support my kids by...

Sadness and Hope in Christ Alone During Christmas

Sadness and Hope in Christ Alone During Christmas

“I’m clinically depressed,” she said. One of my family members, who is a lifelong Christian, spoke these words to me one Christmas several years ago. I was surprised to hear her admission because she always seemed so joyful. She and I have been close since childhood....

Keeping Focused on Christ During the Holidays

Keeping Focused on Christ During the Holidays

“Come behold the wondrous mystery, in the dawning of the King; He the theme of heaven’s praises, robed in frail humanity. In our longing, in our darkness, now the light of life has come; look to Christ, who condescended, took on flesh to ransom us.”[1] As we approach...

The Bad News about Christmas

The Bad News about Christmas

Accepting Our Condition The baby in the manger came to tell us the worst news ever, because until we accept the worst news ever, we’ll never want the best news ever. The birth of Jesus was bad news. It wasn’t just your typical piece of bad news; it was the worst news...

Advent: Focusing Our Hearts On Christ

Advent: Focusing Our Hearts On Christ

Waiting. We’re terrible at it, aren’t we? We don’t like to wait for anything. What used to take forty-five minutes to bake can now be microwaved in two minutes. We want our internet fast and our shows on demand. I even thought about upgrading to a newer Keurig that...

Good News of Great Joy

Good News of Great Joy

Luke 2:10, "And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” We live in a world with 24-hour news cycle. Between TV channels and online newspapers, the news is flying at us constantly. I’m...

A Reason Loss Moms Can Rejoice this Christmas

A Reason Loss Moms Can Rejoice this Christmas

Family holiday dinners are something I've always looked forward to, especially once I became "Mrs. Allen." Fellowship and laughter fill the room and joy fills my heart. But in this season of our life, these dinners have become bittersweet as I remember our three...

Depression, Discouragement, and Hope in Christ During the Holidays

Depression, Discouragement, and Hope in Christ During the Holidays

The Holidays are a time when many people have a challenging time with depression. Whether from the reminder of a loss of a loved one at this time of year, a divorce, a broken heart, broken friendships and marriages on the verge of collapse, the Holidays are often...

Preparing a Table of Kindness This Holiday Season

Preparing a Table of Kindness This Holiday Season

Being a bit of a dish maven, I absolutely love a beautifully set table. I could spend hours making a table look like something straight out of the “tablescaping” contests when the mood strikes, but time constraints keep me from going completely table décor hog wild...

10 Things You Should Know about Christmas

10 Things You Should Know about Christmas

1. Jesus is the reason for the season. The primary purpose for observing Christmas is remembering Jesus’s birth. At Christmas, we celebrate Jesus’s birthday, not the little drummer boy or Santa Claus! 2. Jesus preexisted with God in the beginning before the world...

Knowing the Joy of Christ During the Holidays

Knowing the Joy of Christ During the Holidays

John 15:11, “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” Most of you reading this have never met me, but I used to be quite the scrooge during the holidays, especially Christmas. At the time it never felt intentional...

Hope, Peace, Joy, Love

Hope, Peace, Joy, Love

It was a couple of days before Christmas, and I was on a scavenger hunt through Walmart looking for a bottle of bubble bath. That morning, my daughter commented that she was really looking forward to her Christmas Day bubble bath. This caught me off guard. I hadn’t...

Friendship to the Hurting During the Holidays

Friendship to the Hurting During the Holidays

I love this time of year. I love Thanksgiving. I love Christmas. I love everything about it. I love the change in season. I love the lights and decorations that go up. I love the music, the food, the cheesy movies, and family and friends coming together over...

Serving In the Background: Joseph, the Father of Jesus

Serving In the Background: Joseph, the Father of Jesus

As the story of the birth of Jesus is told and retold, there are many characters whom we frequently hear mentioned: the Virgin Mary, the Magi (wise men), the Shepherds in the field. But one person who is represented in every manger scene, but rarely even mentioned, is...

Introduction to Discovering Joy in Christ During the Holidays

Introduction to Discovering Joy in Christ During the Holidays

The Holidays (Thanksgiving and Christmas) are often tough times for a variety of people facing a variety of different circumstances. For my wife and I, we go up to Southern Idaho to visit our friends and family during Christmas, and I often visit my parents in Seattle...