December 2023


What Do Our Christmas Traditions Symbolize?

What Do Our Christmas Traditions Symbolize?

Are you prepared for Christmas? Most of us are decorating, purchasing gifts, and baking our favorite holiday cookies by now.  We are all getting ready for the big day.

I thought that I would take a break for a minute or two and share what our Christmas traditions symbolize.  I hope that you will gain insight and joy, as you read why and how some of these very familiar traditions were started.
The Traditional Christmas Colors
The two traditional Christmas colors are red and green.  The color red represents the blood that Christ shed as he hung and died on the cross.
Green represents the everlasting life that we have access to because of Jesus’s death.
1 Peter 1:3
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
Colossians 1:19-22
19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of[a] your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—
The Christmas Tree
Most Christmas Trees are evergreen.  These trees can remain green in the most brutal of winters.  This represents hope. No matter what life throws at you when you know Christ there is hope.  Hope for the now and hope for the future. There is a story that says: when Christ was born the trees started to shake and snow fell from every tree and they all remained green, symbolizing that you can survive the most difficult of seasons.   The tree also represents the cross that Christ hung on.
Hebrews 9:12
he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.
 The Wreaths
The wreaths represent eternal love and rebirth which gives us eternal life.
Romans 8:35
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?
Romans 8:37-39
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
1 John 5:11
11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
Romans 6:23
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in[a] Christ Jesus our Lord.
The Star
The star represents the bright star that appeared when Christ was born.
Matthew 2:1-2
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi[a] from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
 The Bells
The bells ring during Christmas to announce the birth of Christ.
The Red And White Candy Canes
Candy Canes represents the shepherd’s crook. Jesus was the Good Shepherd.  With his birth lost lambs could be bought back into the fold.
The color red in the candy cane represents the blood Christ shed on the cross.  The white represents purity. Christ was holy and without blemish.
1 John 3:3-5
And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.
Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin.
The poinsettia lives through the winter months and is actually known as the Christmas flower.  Their beautiful bright red color represents the blood of Christ and the shape of each flower is shaped like a star representing the star of Bethlehem.
The Holly Berries
Holly berries have leaves that are very prickly representing the crown of thorns that was placed on Jesus’s head.  The red color of the berries represents the blood he shed on the cross.
The Gifts 
The gifts that we give at Christmas, represents the gifts that the Wise Men brought to baby Jesus when they went to visit him.  Gifts also represents, the gift that God gave to the world when he sent his one and only Son to die a cruel death, so that we may have eternal life.
Matthew 2:11
11 And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.
Ephesians 2:8-9
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
John 3:16
“For God so loved the world,[a] that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
The Ornaments
Ornaments were originally apples that were hung on the tree symbolizing the forbidden fruit. This was started in Germany around the 16th century.  Later ornaments became representative of a family’s interest, such as hobbies etc.. Today they are mainly for decoration.
The Mistletoe
Mistletoe is a parasitic plant. Parasitic plants live on what they become attached to.  Mistletoes are attached to trees, and without the tree the mistletoe would die.  Just as the mistletoe is dead apart from the tree, we are dead apart from Christ.   For this reason, the mistletoe has become the symbol of love.
Ephesians 2:1-10
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh[a] and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
The Lights And Candles
Lights and candles are symbolic of Jesus being the Light of the world.  Apart from Jesus there would only be darkness.
May your Christmas be merry and bright, and may you hold close to your heart the reason for this season, which is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ!
John 8:12
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.”
John 9:5
While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
1 John 1:5
This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.
Revelation 21:23
The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.

What Well Are You Drinking From?

What Well Are You Drinking From?

Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John— although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. So he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.
Now he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.
When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.[a])
10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”
13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”

Today I would like to start by asking you a question.  What well are you drinking from?  This question came to mind as I thought about the Samaritan women in the 4th chapter of John.
In this chapter Jesus explains to the Samaritan woman that everyone who drinks water that God provides will never thirst again, because they will be drinking Living Water.  This water that He spoke of was an eternal water.  Of course she did not understand initially.

She did not understand that all that God gives, provides nourishment and life to our very souls.  This water that He spoke of quenches our thirst physically and spiritually. In other words it satisfies.  There is no need to look to other places for fulfillment or satisfaction..
Daily we hear of the different addictions that people are dealing with.  These struggles can be constant and they are absolutely real. Whether you know someone personally or you have experienced it first hand or simply seen it on  a T.V. show, it is heartbreaking to watch.
Maybe your struggle is not an addiction. Maybe it’s just discontentment, sadness or even disappointment. Maybe it’s a struggle with unforgiveness or other unresolved issues in your life. Whatever the case, how are you choosing to cope with your problem or resolve your issue?  If it’s anything other than what God provides through a relationship with Him and spending time in His Word, it will be a temporary fix.
If you have not already done it, I want to encourage you to drink deeply from the well of Living Water that God provides.  Only God can fully satisfy our every need.  Why not surrender your burden to His care?   You can actually start living a life of freedom today.  My prayer for you today; is that you will drink deeply of the Living Water that comes straight from the well that our Heavenly Father provides.

30 Years Of Marriage

Genesis 2:23-24
23 The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.”
24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.
Matthew 19:4-6
“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’[a] and said, ‘For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’[b]So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: 10 If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
Ephesians 5:22-27
22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[a] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
1 Peter 3:7
Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.
Colossians 3:18
18 Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.

On November 27th of this year, my husband and I celebrated our 30th Wedding Anniversary.   Yes, thirty years!  As we approached our special date, I kept thinking where in the world has the time gone? How could thirty years have possibly flown by so quickly?

We have been so blessed to have shared thirty years of life.  As most couples we have had our ups and downs, we have had good days and days that were not so good.  We have laughed and we have cried. But through it all, I can still say that without question we have absolutely had more good days than bad days.

I know that our love for God has been the glue that has held us together when times were difficult. I truly believe that God has honored our commitment to Him and each other by blessing us with a good marriage.

My husband is truly my best friend and I know that I am his.  God knew exactly who we both needed to spend life with, and I am so grateful that He brought us together.  My prayer is that He will bless us with at least thirty more wonderful years together.

Here’s My 13 Tips For A Healthy Marriage

  1. Marriage is a gift from God. Cherish and love the mate He has blessed you with.
  2. Marriage is hard work.  It is not for the faint-hearted.  When things get tough, go to God in prayer together and seek His guidance to bring healing.
  3. The couple that prays together stays together.
  4. Marriage is not a 50/50 relationship. Sometimes it will be 70/30 or 40/60, maybe even 80/20, but with God’s help, you will get through it by taking one day at a time.
  5. A good marriage is one of the best gifts that you can give to your children.
  6. A loving marriage gets sweeter as the days, months, and years go by.
  7. When God is truly the head of your marriage you can work through any difficulty.
  8. When the marriage relationship is suffering, there is absolutely nothing wrong with seeking good sound Christian counseling.
  9. Abuse of any sort is never okay in a marriage or any relationship.
  10. Make your marriage a priority. Keep dating, this says to your spouse that the relationship is important. It also brings joy to the relationship.
  11. At some point in the marriage, you will have to forgive an offense by your mate, or you will be seeking forgiveness.  Be willing to forgive.
  12. Never go to bed angry, try to resolve the issue if at all possible before bedtime.  Every moment with your spouse is precious, so don’t spend those precious moments fighting.
  13. Never withhold sexual intimacy from your spouse, it will create resentment and frustration in the marriage.

In conclusion, I would like to say, that simply practice the Golden Rule in your marriage. Treat your spouse the way you would like to be treated.

Love them the way Christ loves, faithfully and unconditionally.
1 Corinthians 7:2-5
But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.