Christmas

Merry Christmas

12/25/2021

Merry Christmas, sweet friends. I hope your day is filled with the joy that only our sweet Savior can bring. Love, Debbie

It came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.1

3 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

The Christmas Tree

12/20/2021

“Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and may enter by the gates into the city.” Revelation 22:14

A Christmas tree is often the centerpiece around which Christmas activity occurs. However, this Christmas, as we gather around the evergreen tree to sing carols or open presents, let’s turn our thoughts heavenward to the tree that stands at the centerpiece of our faith – the tree of life that stood in the Garden of Eden, the tree of life on which Jesus was crucified to secure our eternal salvation, the tree of life we will see in the New Jerusalem.

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Copyright, “Preparing Our Hearts for Christmas,” by Debbie Taylor Williams

Ornaments

12/19/2021

You are the light of the world.  Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.  Matthew 5:16

Ornaments decorate Christmas trees and reflect the lights on trees. As we observe them hanging on the branches and reflecting the lights, they are a reminder of the need for us to hang close to Jesus so we reflect His light. Ornaments also reflect the personality of the one who bought them. Likewise, Christians who hang close to Jesus reflect His personality – His love, joy, peace, and kindness. When I was a child we would sometimes bring the box of tree ornaments into the family room but not take the time to hang them on the tree for several days.  Wrapped and cushioned they remained in the box, not adorning the tree, not reflecting the tree lights, not showing forth the personality of the one who purchased them.  May that not be said of us, sweet friends. Rather, may we each hang close to Jesus so we reflect His light and personality.

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Copyright, “Preparing Our Hearts for Christmas,” by Debbie Taylor Williams

The Christmas Wreath

12/18/2021

And I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. John 10:28

The evergreen wreath is a perfect symbol of Christmas.  The evergreen leaves signify everlasting life.  The circle symbolizes eternal life with God through Jesus Christ. Have you adorned your home with a wreath? If so, let it be a reminder of God’s gift to you of never ending, eternal life. Let it be a reminder of the importance of sharing the good news of Jesus with others. Let it be a prompt to check and see if the eternal Holy Spirit is filling your spirit so your countenance reflects Christ’s grace and love. The Christmas wreath. More than a decoration. A reminder.

Blessings, friends, as the Christmas wreath reminds you of your eternal life and in that reminder, you are filled with joy.

LOOKING for a LAST MINUTE GIFT?  Here it is: Prayers of My Heart JOURNAL to kick off 2022 with new optimism and fresh prayers. A place to record God’s character traits, your prayers, His answers, and verses that encourage you. Get it on Amazon. Local? Reply to this email and you can get copies from me. Hurry!

Copyright, “Preparing Our Hearts for Christmas,” by Debbie Taylor Williams

Musical Instruments

12/17/2021

Therefore, do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members INSTRUMENTS of RIGHTEOUSNESS to God. Romans 6:12-13

Musical instruments play a key role in the Christmas season. While the secular world plays jingles, Christians use music to encourage and bless others by focusing on Jesus’ birth.  Decorating with angelic harps and trumpets reminds us to praise Christ our King, whose birth we celebrate. In addition, musical instruments remind us that Christians are God’s instruments.  We are instruments of His grace. We are instruments of His love.  In His hands, He can use us to herald people to His throne. With that in mind, dear friends, let us tune our hearts to God each morning.  Let us keep our thoughts and voices in harmony with Him.  Let us rest in the Master’s hands trusting Him to make all things beautiful in His time.

Copyright, “Preparing Our Hearts for Christmas,” by Debbie Taylor Williams

Christmas Candy Cane

12/14/2021

In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them. Luke 2:8, 20

The candy cane is not only festive, it is also symbolic for Christians.  The shape reminds us of the shepherd’s staff and of the shepherds in the field who heard the angelic announcement of Jesus, the Good Shepherd’s birth. In addition, the colors of the candy cane are symbolic.  The red stripes remind us of the stripes Jesus took on His back for our sins.  The white stripes remind us of Christ’s purity. And the sweet taste? A reminder of the sweet Spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ. This Christmas let the candy cane be more than Christmas candy. Let it be a reminder of Jesus and the real reason for the season.

PS:  Friends, some of you may not be subscribed to my Faith Nugget blog and so didn’t get my recently written devotional and Candy Cane Salvation Poem. I encourage you to read it. Most importantly, print the poem and follow the instructions. I took the candy canes and attached poem with me today and handed them to a cashier and to a man I passed at the post office. We never know how God may use the salvation poem to plant a seed in someone’s heart. So put on your brave, carry the candy canes and poem with you when you’re running errands, and wish a stranger, “Merry Christmas” while handing them a candy cane. Let me hear how it’s going for you! Love you.

I am the good shepherd, the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. John 10:11

Copyright, “Preparing Our Hearts for Christmas,” by Debbie Taylor Williams

Bells – Are You Listening?

12/13/2021

 

They also made bells of pure gold, and put the bells between the pomegranates all around on the hem of the robe, alternating a bell and a pomegranate all around on the hem of the robe for the service, just as the Lord had commanded Moses. 

Exodus 39:25-26

What would Christmas be without the familiar “Silver Bells” being sung and the Salvation Army bell-ringers calling us to give to those in need?  Of course bells remind some people of Santa’s sleigh bells, but tinkling bells have far greater significance for Christians. The Bible tells us that gold bells were sewn on the hem of the Jewish priests’ garments. As the priests went about their service, the tinkling of the bells could be heard. That has special significance for Christians. Why? First Peter 2:9 describes believers as ”… a royal possession, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession…” And our purpose? The verse continues, “so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” In other words, we are described in the Bible as God’s priests. What an incredible honor!  Oh, may the sound of our movement be as the sound of   priests, bringing glory to Jesus as we serve Him!

Sweet friends, may that be our prayer.

Copyright, “Preparing Our Hearts for Christmas,” by Debbie Taylor Williams

The GIFT

12/12/2021

And coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshipped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Matthew 2:11

What was your home like during the Christmas season when you were a child? Mine buzzed with activity as family members made gift lists for everyone from mama and daddy all the way to aunts, uncles, the postman, and anybody who might drop by our home.  Love was the motivating factor.  In buying a gift for someone, there is no selfishness.  It costs not only money, but time, thought, and energy.  Certainly, no one has given more of Himself in giving a gift that would be perfect, timeless, and for all people than God when He gave His only begotten Son to us.  The wise men recognized and worshipped God’s gift of Christ Jesus. They demonstrated their adoration by falling before Him and worshipping Him. This Christmas, as we demonstrate our love for one another by giving gifts, let us be careful to be as the wise men and not neglect to fall before Jesus and worship Him, the greatest GIFT.  

Blessings, sweet friends, as we celebrate the gift of Christ.

Copyright, “Preparing Our Hearts for Christmas,” by Debbie Taylor Williams

The Christ Star

12/11/2021

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews?  For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.” Matthew 2:1-2

Every morning when I have my quiet time with God, I look out at the black sky.  If it is not too cold or rainy, I walk outside and gaze heavenward praising the Almighty.  I love mornings when the black sky is star studded. Twinkling lights beacon me to worship the One who made the heavens and set the stars in their places.  

Atop Christmas trees and perched on rooftops, the Christmas star is a reminder of the star that guided the wise men to worship the Christ child.  As the wise men followed the star, may we each turn our hearts heavenward and not just admire Jesus, but follow Him.

Blessings, sweet friends.

Copyright, “Preparing Our Hearts for Christmas,” by Debbie Taylor Williams

Angels and How to Think Like Them

12/10/2021

Are you struggling with how you think? If so, it’s understandable. We are continually bombarded with negative news.  Then there are the uninvited thoughts the enemy presents. Would you love, instead, to think like an angel? We can. How? Follow their example. In the midst of all that seemed wrong the night of Jesus’s birth, (crowded city, no rooms, delivering Jesus in a stall) the angels announced the Heavenly Gazette headlines, “Savior Born,” not the Bethlehem Post headlines, “No Rooms.” In other words, the same events happened the night of Jesus’s birth, but they were viewed differently; one from a heavenly perspective and the other from an earthly perspective. I can’t help but think it would put a smile on Jesus’s face if believers thought like angels. God is up to something. We can be sure His motive is holy. Let’s commit to being messengers of the good news that there is a Savior and speak of God’s peace and goodwill demonstrated through Christ.

Blessings, sweet friends, as we choose to think like an angel.

Copyright, “Preparing Our Hearts for Christmas,” by Debbie Taylor Williams