This is the final devotional in our Diva Christmas Series 2018, “The Best Christmas Ever!” I can’t believe it either, but Christmas is one week away! Here is my contribution to the series, which I truly hope provided some enjoyment and intimacy with God this …
Tag: Christmas 2018
pray for you that in this season, God will give you a new beginning in every area of your life – physical, spiritual and emotional in Jesus Name. Amen.
Editor’s Note: This is a guest Christmas devotional by Lyndsie Suttle. We are nearing the end of our Diva Christmas Series for 2018! Here is
A little background info on our Diva Christmas Series: Every year I’ve been
The Christmas My PawPaw Knew Christ
Christmas was always a special time in my family growing up. My granny had six grandkids, and she was crazy about all of us. She had four sons, so she was thrilled when her first four grandchildren were girls. She spoiled us all rotten.
Papaw was a bit of a different story. I wouldn’t call him a miser, but he has always been thrifty, and he thought my granny was too generous with her money. He worked hard his whole life, and saved every spare cent he had. Papaw was a wonderful man, and when it came to his grandchildren, he’d do just about anything for us. I never thought he didn’t love me, but we all knew that when it came to gifts, Gran was the giver.
Christmas was Gran’s time. We gave our wish lists to her. She shopped and bought the presents. She did all the wrapping. She made all the food. Papaw sat back and watched it all—and sometimes groused about how much it cost.
You see, my papaw didn’t know Jesus.
My granny came to know Christ just a short time after she was married. She always took her four boys to church, and prayed that one day her husband would join them. But it wasn’t until many years later, when I was eleven years old, that he accepted Jesus as his Savior.
I’ll never forget that first Christmas after he was saved. He was determined to make it about more than just eating a lot of great food and opening gifts.
He wanted us to have a wonderful time to remember. He set up games like a game show. My sweet white-haired granny wore a pink feather boa around her neck—she was his Vanna.
We had a talent show and answered silly quiz questions to win prizes. They were all hilariously tacky. I remember that I won a prize called “The Big Cheese.” It was an old picture of Papaw from the 80s. I think there was a five dollar bill included so that it didn’t feel like a bum prize! Some of us sang songs, or quoted Scripture verses or poems.
He wrote little poems about each of us. He didn’t tell us who it was about, but everyone had to guess who he was describing. I can’t remember all the words, but I remember that mine mentioned that I was the tallest out of all my cousins. When your poem was read, you were allowed to choose a present to open, or choose a present for someone else to open. That way, we all saw one another open gifts. It was a major change from previous years when everyone wildly opened gifts all at once.
That Christmas happened twenty years ago. I’ve had a lot a great Christmases since then. But it still sticks out in my mind as one of the best ever. There was so much laughter and fun. I can close my eyes right now and remember how it felt to be gathered there with my aunt, uncles, cousins and siblings. I can still see Gran flipping her feather boa over her shoulder as she asked us if we wanted to keep our prize or trade for something better. (Yes, we mixed our game shows up a bit.)
My papaw changed that Christmas. He didn’t just sit and watch us. He joined in and played and laughed, and brought us together as a family. When he came to know Jesus, his whole life changed, and our Christmas changed, too.
It’s amazing to me that two thousand years after His birth, Jesus is still changing lives, and making people happier and free. I hope that we can all find that true joy of Christmas, this year and every year, as we remember that knowing Jesus makes the best Christmas.
Lyndsie is a Christian, wife and stay-at-home mom to two boys. If she has spare time, you can find her reading a good book, baking cookies or sewing a quilt. She lives in the South Carolina Lowcountry, where she writes about motherhood, Jesus, and life in a camper. You can find her at NotJustaSAHM.com.
No longer was I swimming in the doldrums, I was smiling with my face and my heart. Despite my grief and loss, a group of children reminded of my very real joy.
t’s really what Christmas is all about, isn’t it? Incarnation. The God of the Universe putting on skin and becoming human so he could be with us.
Editor’s Note: This is a guest Christmas devotional by contributor Maria Drayton (her last post can be read here.) Here’s Day 5 of the Diva Christmas Series, “The Best Christmas Ever!” I like Maria’s take here on the theme because it involves two Christmases!
A little background info on our Diva Christmas Series: Every year I’ve been
Hope in Giving
It was at an all-time high, the Mega Millions. So much so that it had created a buzz around my job and everywhere for that matter. It was the largest it had ever gotten and lines were long everywhere to get a ticket. Even at my job, a lottery pool had been created and everyone added their contribution. It wasn’t just the money that I saw but it was hope. It was hope that had been created. Hope, even if for a moment. It was the anticipation, the excitement, and the thrill of the possibility of winning something. The odds were 1 out of 353 million people but yet everyone that purchased a ticket had hope. Though it lasted for a short time it was a nice change. It was nice to see everyone buzzing with joy all over a possibility. Christmas time creates a similar hope (especially if you have children).
Hope in the time of the year that brings out the best in people, gift-giving, charitable donations, decorations, good food, family, etc. But Jesus died so that we could have hope every day, all year, even in the face of adversity. He died so that we can live, every day not just some days.
“And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.” (2 Corinthians 5:15).
One of my favorite things about the Christmas season is, I get another opportunity to give. I love to go shopping for others. I wait for the day they will open the gift that I meticulously picked out with only them in mind. Last year, I decided to give this same joy to my son. This hadn’t been the first year we had donated gifts, but this was the first year that I towed him along to do the shopping.
“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Luke 6:38)
I used to think it was better to be on the receiving end of a gift but life has taught me that it’s definitely better to give than to receive. This year will be the Best Christmas ever not because of what I will get but what I decide to give.
“In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35)
No matter where you are in life, no matter what the season is, give. We’ve already received the ultimate gift, everlasting life.
“For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
Heavenly Father, Thank you for all you are to me. You are the ultimate gift and I am thankful for all you’ve done for and through me. Let me be reminded that it is better to give than to receive during this holiday season and throughout the year. I’ve already received the best gift ever, You. In Jesus name, I pray.
Maria Drayton, originally from Seattle, Washington is a graduate of Washington State University and has a degree in Communications with an emphasis in Journalism through the Edward R. Murrow School of Communications. Maria currently resides in Deptford, New Jersey with her husband and son. With a passion for the Lord, she desires to bring a young, fresh, new look into intimacy with the Lord. Purchase Maria’s newly released book, “The King and I: Steps for Living in Today’s World Through Intimacy with the Lord” on her website: www.mariadrayton.com !
I couldn’t wait to go to Mammaw’s house and show off the new, “sophisticated,” 6th-grade Heather. I was shocked when Daddy said, “Why don’t we stay here and celebrate, just the 4 of us?”
Much like the joy of seeing our own children squeal with delight over getting that one present they asked for on Christmas morning, can you imagine the joy it brings to the Lord when His beloved children accept His Son, Jesus, as their Lord and Savior?
Editor’s Note: This is a guest Christmas devotional by contributor June Titus (See her last post right here). It’s the second entry in our 5th Annual Diva Christmas Series with the theme, “The Best Christmas Ever.” Miss the last post? Catch up here with Day 1
A little background info on our Diva Christmas Series: Every year I’ve been editor, I like to celebrate the Christmas season with a special series and theme. This is year 5!! This year’s theme is “The Best Christmas Ever” and I think you’ll enjoy the wide variety of posts everyone submitted! It was a pleasure reading them as they were submitted, and taking in everyone’s Best Christmases Ever. Submissions are closed, but if you’d like to read more about the series, here is my post announcing the series!
The Red Sled
Seven-year-old girls have different Christmas priorities than their mature self. Back in 1944 it would be the same: different circumstances.
The country’s economy didn’t lend to fancy presents. The country was crawling out of the Great Depression, and America was at war. Although many fathers were serving overseas, mine was a farmer, needed on the Homefront. Much was rationed, but we raise our own food. We had it better than most.
Christmas gifts were not extravagant. My parents worked very hard make our Christmas enjoyable: tree, big meal, a few modest gifts, goodies in our stockings. Grandmother would give a box of candy. A friend in the city would send something. I didn’t want knit stuff or a book. I wanted a sled!
My brother and my sister had their own sleds, but I had a beat-up sled that had been brother’s. I didn’t want an old sled with a bad nick in one of the runners. I just wanted A RED SLED OF MY OWN!
The steep hill behind the barn was just right for sledding if I had my own new sled with smooth runners.
I dutifully got ready for Christmas: drew a picture of our house to give my parents; learned my lines for the school’s Christmas play; practiced my part for the Sunday school program.
Then I spied out Mother’s closet, even when I knew it was wrong. I just wanted to see if there was a big package that looked like a sled. But . . . The only thing with my name
Daddy and my brother cut and brought a real Christmas tree inside. We all decorated it. Beautiful! I especially liked the red lights . . . like the sled I wanted! But there wouldn’t be a sled. I knew it!
Hah! Search the farm for evidence of a sled. Just maybe. I had already looked inside. Now, I searched the barn, the shop, the hen houses. No sled. This was the worst Christmas ever.
Christmas morning. No snow. Well, no sled; who needs snow? I ran downstairs in my night gown and looked. Just one glimpse told me that there were only two small presents for me. But, my stocking was bulging, so I knew there would at least be candy.
A working farm means breakfast before presents. The men, up since before daylight working with the cows and other animals, would be starved.
Then presents. I don’t know what my brother and sister received, but mine was a book and a winter
I said, “Thank you,” and smiled to mask my disappointment. That looked like the only Christmas for me.
And then Daddy said, “Thought there was another present.”
“No! That’s all.” Mother said.
“Uh Oh!” he laughed and sent my brother to the back porch. In a minute he was back with a . . . well, you guessed it: a beautiful red sled!
Big smile! A beautiful, bright red sled of my own!
There’s more to the story. I went outside and checked where we kept the sleds to make a spot for mine. My heart plummeted. The ugly little sled was gone. I realized that my beautiful red sled was old one I hated. I ran into the house and looked at my sled under the tree. On
Mother was in the kitchen making dinner. Oh, what a grouch I was!
“Mother! It’s the OLD sled!” Well, you can imagine my little tirade.
Mother stopped what she was doing and sat down, taking me in her arms. With tears in her eyes, she loved on me as she talked.
She didn’t fuss about lack of money, or that I should be glad to have what other children would love to have.
“June, your sled is just like people. You see, when Jesus comes into a person’s heart, that old heart is changed. Yes, it’s the same person, but Jesus gives that person a clean heart.”
It was not until I was much older and faith in Jesus as my Savior was born in me, I finally knew of the best present of all. He came to earth that very first Christmas to give me Eternal life . . . the BEST Christmas ever.
I am still me, including all the NICKS of my old self, but I am a new person in Jesus.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.John 3:16
June W. Titus is a retired nurse and poet and mother and grandmother, living with her husband in southern Georgia. Now in her eighties, she remains active in her local church. Among other church responsibilities, she teaches a Sunday school class of her peers. She writes a weekly blog on Facebook, entitled “Monday Musings.” Prior to moving to Georgia, she was a regular contributor to “The Watauga Democrat” newspaper, and “