John 3:16 - The Greatest Gift Ever Given.
John 3:16 - The Greatest Gift Ever Given.
John 3:16 (NKJV) For God so loved the world that He gave His
only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but
have everlasting life.
John 3:16 (AMP) For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the
world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that
whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not
perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting)
You Do Not Really Know Christmas Joy Until You Know The Joy Of
Jesus [Church Marquee]
He Who Has Not Christmas In His Heart Will Never Find It Under A
Tree. - Roy L. Smith
Christmas Is A Gift From God That A Man Cannot Keep Unless He
Gives It To Someone Else. - Anonymous.
The True Gifts Of Christmas By Gordon Botting, DrPH, CHES.
For just a few moments, imagine with me this family scenario
on Christmas morning:
Jon and Susan are awakened by the sounds of their only child,
Charlie, racing down the stairs to see what Santa Claus has left him
under the Christmas tree. Slowly they open their eyes, wishing they
could sleep in a few more moments. It takes them a few minutes to
adjust to the new morning. They look at the ticking clock by their
bedside with half-sleep eyelids blinking in disbelief. It is only six
minutes past six o'clock.
However, like most parents, Jon and Susan scramble to the
staircase and down the stairs to see firsthand the reactions of their
child as he opens his many lovingly wrapped presents.
Charlie dives under the tree and retrieves the largest
present labeled with his name and tears it open with joyful
anticipation. It was exactly what he had wished for - a large Lego train set.
Then he opens in succession smaller, distinctively wrapped and
labeled presents in which he finds a baseball glove, a new video game
and an action figure. His eyes are as large as saucers as he
exclaims: "Great! What else is for me?"
More tearing and flinging of Christmas paper reveals a
coloring book from Cousin Jean, a piggy bank that lights up when you put
coins in its top from Granddad and a homemade scarf from Aunt
Stephanie. Charlie's inner spirit begins to show itself as he disdainfully
throws the last item to one side and hollers, "I don't want this scarf,
Next he opens a radio controlled helicopter and immediately
looks over at his father and with scornful brow exclaims, "Not this
one! I told you, Dad, the other one was what I wanted!" His mother,
Susan, quickly consoles him, "Don't worry, tomorrow we'll take it back
to the store and get you the right one." Charlie sulks as he prods
through the pile of wrapping paper and finally says out loud and with an
irritable voice, "Is this all I got for Christmas?"
Well meaning parents give of their time and resources to make
December 25 a special day for their children, but unfortunately Christmas
morning drama similar to Charlie's happen in too many homes. Here are
few suggestions that may help change your children's attitude as to
what Christmas is all about and bring back the true Yule-tide spirit.
Giving Value To Christmas
The first part of your Christmas plan should not be dollars
and cents but what spiritual values you would like your family to
experience during this season. These could include some or all of the
following ways to make Christ the reason for the season: joining your
church's choir for its special Christmas evening service, or charitably
reaching out to the less fortunate in your community. Why not include the
Christmas simplicity that was part of your grandparent's era: each week in
December visit a beautifully lighted street in your city, exchange gifts
that were not bought in a retail store, eat goodies created in your
very own kitchen, and experience the true joy of the season with
friends and relatives.
What's On Your Christmas Bucket List?
Does your child give you his or her Christmas bucket list and
inform you that everything is a must have? Sadly, most children have no
concept of how much the items they have requested really cost. First,
make it absolutely clear that mom and/or dad do not have unlimited
resources (like Santa Claus seems to have). Secondly, inform them that you
have a set amount of money for their gifts. Thirdly, have them
prioritize the gifts on their list and research the prices. This will be an
opportunity for you to show them how to budget, how to watch for weekend
sales and look for items at discount retailers. If their first item
costs more than what you have set, have the child make up the
difference by saving their allowance, or doing extra chores.
Reach Out To Others
Encourage your children to make a list of families or
individuals to remember this Christmas season. Bless your neighbors by
having your children bake them a variety of cookies and deliver them in
nice Christmas tins. Adopt a family from a charity's Angel Tree
program and let each member of your family contribute one or two items
for the adopted family's basket. Many organizations have an Adopt an
Orphan program to which you can give a certain amount of money per
month. This type of activity helps keep the Christmas spirit alive
throughout the whole year.
Give What You Do Best
Foster the idea of your children creatively providing giving
from the heart gifts. These are gifts of time, energy and talent and
could include projects such as babysitting, shopping, gardening, etc.
Have them create unique gift certificates which might say: six hours
of errand running, one night a month babysitting for the next six
months, or four hours of house cleaning. Remember to have a redemption
date at the bottom.
Start An Annual Tradition
The most memorable parts of the Christmas season revolve
around those activities that have absolutely nothing to do with money
or exchanging gifts. For example, make it a special family outing
to pick out a fresh Christmas tree - or better yet, cut your own
tree at a local Christmas tree farm. One year when our children were
young, each child had a paper house with lots of windows and doors that
could be opened and each day during the month of December they opened
a window or door to view a spiritual aspect of the true Christmas
Sharing with others is not normally the first thing children
and teenagers think of when they think of Christmas. By instilling
the habit of giving when they are young they are much more likely to
continue to have a spirit of generosity, not only during the Yule-tide
season, but throughout their lives.