Tag Archives: Christmas

What Christmas Means to Me

I sat in the darken church, Christmas tree beautifully lit, a trio of nativity figures beneath, Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus. Centered in front of the pulpit stood the Communion Table, the elements security covered in silver trays. The music was beautiful; especially the rendition of “O Holy Night”. I listened closely, maybe for the first time ever, to the words of each individual verse. And as the elements were distributed my mind filled in the words I knew to “What Child Is This?”, as the pianist played in the quiet sanctuary.

During an earlier song, “Sleep Jesus Sleep”, individual snapshots of the accident scene flashed through my mind. Horrible images of a day I wish were only a nightmare instead of reality. My Dad sat to my left, completely unaware. I contemplated exiting the sanctuary but stubbornly remained seated thankful that the images abated once the congregation stood to sing, “O Little Town of Bethlehem”.

The Pastor took the pulpit and began to tell of the Christmas Story from Matthew chapter 1 verses 18-25. . . 

And in the reverence of that darkened sanctuary I knew exactly what Christmas means to me. It is the Genesis of my most precious hope. The reason my broken heart can celebrate at all. A babe in a manger, the seed of an untouched woman, a virgin, not the seed of the first man of sin, Adam. The seed of woman as foretold in the book of Genesis and Isaiah, free of the sin nature passed down through the centuries as described in the book of Romans. The first and only sin-free man ever born. A perfect blend of deity and humanity born in a sheep fold and laid in a manger – a feed trough – how fitting for THE BREAD OF LIFE. God set aside the exaltation worthy of His holiness and took on human flesh, the cloak of humanity, wrapped in humility, to enter our world for the sole purpose of saving His creation.

And therein lies my hope. His advent led to the Via Dolorosa, to the cross, on which He would sacrificially lay down His life for the sins of the world. And so at His birth we take into our bodies the symbolic representation of His broken body and spilt blood. We remember His death. He came to die and because He did, we all have hope.

Hope that a place free of sin and sorrow awaits those who receive the free gift of salvation through faith by the grace of God. Hope that every painful loss will be redeemed by the same Savior who laid down His sinless life in atonement for our sins. Hope of reunion. Hope of perfection. 


That long ago starry night, full of angels proclaiming and shepherds searching and wise men from afar worshipping a tiny babe in a dirty sheepfold, the manifestation of the redemptive hopes of all the world. We think of the gifts offered this child-king but this little baby was both the gift and the giver. A lowly birth, a shameful death . . . culminating in the foretold resurrection and the birth of hope. 

Christmas – the small, seemingly insignificant babe for which there was no room – ushered hope into this world of sin. 

Christmas – and Easter – brought the only hope of my eternal soul. So as packages are passed, and families gather together, and the Spector of those gone before lingers over the day, I will worship the King of kings as my heart longs for His return – longs for that great day of rejoicing – longs for reunion – longs for Jesus – the one and only hope for all of humanity.

Christmas means hope to me!


Posted by on December 25, 2016 in Faith


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The Brutally Honest Christmas Card — D.L. Mayfield


childsxmasThe dreaded annual Christmas letter . . . well, that’s how I feel about writing a Christmas letter anyway . . . and I guess I’m not alone!

Our family life has never been filled with exceptional academic, musical or athletic achievements. If I compare my life to the Christmas letters I’ve received in the past, I end up feeling as if every family, except ours, is filled with over-achievers.

What ever happened to the average family? The family that was content with passing grades, musical or athletic participation, and kids who got part-time jobs, were kind, polite and didn’t get arrested? When did keeping it real become passé in exchange for masks of familial perfection?

At some point, writing the annual Christmas letter seemed to demand that I turn myself into a first class spin doctor. Should I have submitted a draft to the Positive Propaganda Police before distribution?

I quit writing that annual letter precisely because it became too hard to spin our everyday life into perfectly positive tidbits. Tidbits fit for . . . my friends . . . my family . . . close acquaintances?

My word!

If I can’t be myself with friends and family; are they really friends? Am I really accepted by family? Am I only worthy if I can frame my little life into a positive façade fit for publication?

If so, I guess I’m not worthy.

The David Boxx branch of the family tree is not “practically perfect in every way.” We are human. Life throws us curve balls. We struggle. We screw up. We don’t always make the best decisions or the wisest choices. We do our best. We fall down and sometimes we stay down for awhile. We adjust, adapt and try something new—and it’s often not very pretty.

So last year when I came across this blog post I uttered a heartfelt, ‘Hallelujah!’

Here’s to keeping it real—to being ourselves instead of fitting in.

Here’s to life—good, bad and ugly!

Let’s live life instead of paraphrasing and editing it!

Follow the link below for inspiration on how to get started.

Source: The Brutally Honest Christmas Card — D.L. Mayfield


Posted by on November 30, 2016 in Uncategorized


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Bearing Gifts


And the wise men came to worship – bearing gifts, gold, frankincense and myrrh. We exchange gifts because the wise men brought gifts to the Christ child. But, I have to wonder if we got Christmas gift giving wrong from the very beginning. I wonder if instead of exchanging gifts with each other, Christmas should have been about giving gifts to Christ all along. It is after all a celebration of His birth – of His coming down to surrender His life in order to redeem our lives. Should not Christmas still be about bringing our finest gifts to Him?

Over the years I have learned to listen closely for offhand remarks by loved ones in order to determine gifts they would like to receive for birthdays and Christmas. But, I’ve found it’s best to request a wish list as well.

Have I listened closely enough to the Lord over the last year to have picked up on the gifts His heart desires to receive from me? It’s highly likely that I have been far to self-absorbed – begging for or demanding answers from the King of kings. Listening only for the answers I desperately want instead of listening for what Jesus wants to tell me, leaving me clueless as to what gift Christ would most like to receive from me this year. I think I’m in need of a list.

I wonder what kind of list He would prepare for me. Would the wish list He placed in my hand look like the generic list you give to extended family? You know the one where you withhold the things you most want because they are far too costly. Or would it be the list a child gives to a parent because the intimacy of the relationship gives you confidence that those are the things they most want to know about – because they have planned to be as extravagant as possible when selecting a gift for you?

Which kind of list would Jesus present to me and what would It include?

Would regular church attendance top His list? Time reading His word? Prayer throughout the day instead of when I’m rushing out the door or drifting off to sleep at night? Some form of service to the body of Christ or to the lost?

What is the gift Jesus most wants to receive from me? Not what he’d be content with receiving but what He most desires to unwrap on the day of His birth?

The thing I find most extraordinary is, Christ’s wish list not only represents any gift He’d like to receive from us, but every single item listed is beneficial to the giver. No matter what gift you selected from His list you would be gifting yourself with more of Christ. More of His presence, more of His wisdom, more of His compassion, simply more of Him. We can afford to be extravagant because most of the things we might commit to give Christ don’t require financial resources, instead they require time, love and commitment.

What gift can I commit to bring the Savior of the world not just Christmas morning but every morning of every day that follows? Will I be extravagant or will I simply choose the easiest, least costly gift on His list? Is His pleasure my goal or is a sense of obligation driving me? Will I give Him my best or simply make do with that which is good enough?

The answers to these questions reveal much about the state of my heart – the depth of my love – and maybe they also reveal my state of mind. Circumstances not only distract but can also limit what you have available to give – the depth of the emotional and spiritual reserves may be depleted. My finest gift may be far less costly than I could afford to give in Christmas’s past.

I think the only one to which the phrase, “It’s the thought that counts” applies may be the Lord God Almighty. He alone knows the sincerity of the thought or intention. He alone fully knows and understands both the heart’s desires and burdens. He alone knows if we are striving to give beyond our means or if we are so lost and overwhelmed that we have little left to offer. He understands because His love is perfect. It is patient and kind and is not at all self-serving. You may find that the gift He most desires from you is little more than a step into the arms that long to hold you, to comfort you.





“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killers the prophets and stonest them that are sent into thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye wouldest not!” – KJV – Luke 13:34




Will you let Christ gather you to Himself? Will you plan to welcome Him the way you welcome family and friends? Will you listen for His still small voice inviting you to draw near? Will you come before Him in worship bearing a gift for the King of Kings? Will you find Christ in Christmas this year?

Will I?

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Posted by on December 23, 2015 in Faith


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