“It’s the most wonderful time of the year”!
Mall of America ramps up security after massive fight – ChicagoTribune.com – More security officers will be patrolling the Mall of America on Tuesday after a series of fights broke out Monday evening, the day after Christmas and one of the busiest shopping days of the year.
Embers From Yule Log May Have Sparked Connecticut Fire That Killed Five – New York Post – Connecticut fire that killed a fashion-marketing executive’s three children and parents was possibly sparked by embers from disposed fireplace ashes, the New York Post has learned.
Man dressed as Santa kills six family members at Texas home – Channel 6 Online – A man dressed as Santa Claus shot and killed six of his family members at a home in Texas on Christmas Day, police said on Monday. He then turned the gun on himself.
New Air Jordans cause nationwide shopping frenzy – Newsday – Scuffles broke out and police were brought in to quell unrest that nearly turned into riots across the nation Friday following the release of Nike’s new Air Jordan basketball shoes — a retro model of one of the most popular Air Jordans ever made. The mayhem stretched from Washington state to Georgia and was reminiscent of the violence that broke out 20 years ago in many cities as the shoes became popular targets for thieves.
Maybe it’s just me, but none of that sounds “wonderful” to me. Actually it is all quite sad, and these stories were just the tip of the iceberg. We live in a pretty much secluded subdivision that not many people know about, and were sent an email weeks ago warning us that cars parked in driveways were being broken into. This same neighborhood has people who leave their garages open with large screen televisions and recliners in them and host football parties, but now during “the season” we have become targets. Wonderful! My husband and I talked a lot this past week about the “Christmas Spirit” that so many talk about and it really is a pervasive spirit that has little to nothing to do with Christ. This spirit causes mischief, mayhem, destruction and confusion; unfortunately, a lot of “believers” get caught up in the hype of this spirit instead of listening to THE Spirit of God and they end up losing what God has so freely given to us – perfect peace.
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Phillipians 4:6-7).
For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace (Rom. 8:6).
Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee (Job 22:21).
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee (Isaiah 26:3).
Whose mind is stayed on thee…that’s important because so many times we start thinking about all that we have, don’t have, need or want, forgetting that God stated that He would supply all of our “needs” according to His riches in glory. Yet the commercialism that this spirit ushers in causes us to take our minds off of Him and begin walking in our own vanity, supplying what we think everyone should have. I have a friend who posted on twitter last week, “Broke now can someone lend me $20”! Really. For a “hollyday” that is supposedly about the birth of my Savior I see very little reverence towards Him. I saw countless number of people posting “Remember Jesus is the reason for the season”, but I know that Jesus when breaking bread with His disciples told them, “Do this in remembrance of me”…he didn’t say anything about shopping, overeating, getting drunk or exchanging gifts but I digress.
My children came home from college for winter break, and I really enjoyed having them here. We spent a lot of time playing board games, having bible study and watching Jeopardy (we love trivia!). On the day that most people spent opening gifts, we were preparing for service. We had a wonderful worship and praise service and a great message delivered. By the time that many people were worn out from cleaning up wrapping paper, wrangling in sleepy kids and toiling over dinner, we (including the dog) were walking on the beach enjoying and giving thanks for the beauty that God had created, and the peace that he gave us during a time that many people had none. I didn’t write this to shame anyone for celebrating the way that they do, we all have to give an account for ourselves in the end, but rather to share my story on how keeping my mind stayed on Jesus keeps me in peace. A lot of times the enemy tries to come in to destroy my peace, but I just remember the scriptures posted above and it keeps me grounded. Jesus is my reason – for everything. Let Him be yours as well.