Signed, Sealed, Delivered For Christmas, and Hope at Christmastime

Signed, Sealed, Delivered for Christmas, and Hope at Christmastime

Copyright 2014 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer:Eike Schroter

In Signed, Sealed, and Delivered For Christmas, Oliver, Rita, Norman, and Shane (whom Oliver formally calls Ms. McInerney) have a very special job – they track down the recipients of undelivered mail, and deliver it to them. At Christmas time, they run the Dear Santa project, where they provide the gifts for children that they requested in their letters to Santa. At the last minute, they receive a letter that’s a little bit different – it was addressed to God, rather than Santa! It’s from a girl whose mother’s in the hospital. They do their best to track her down, and give her a Merry Christmas. Throughout the process, Ms. McInerney appears uncomfortable, due to memories of the Christmas her dad walked out on her, and she personally wrote a letter to God that she hadn’t received a response to. Also, Oliver is given another last minute letter to deliver that a child had sent to God a long time ago, but he just can’t seem to track down its writer. As the four of them help out the little girl whose mom is in the hospital, will the mystery solve itself?

The fact that her dad had left when she was a child and didn’t come back after she mailed her letter to God caused Ms. McInerney to reject Him. At one point, she opens up to Oliver about what happened that Christmas, and he says that sometimes, someone else having a great Christmas can cause us to relive our pain if we don’t let Christmas do its job, and that the way to hold firm in a storm is “. . . by trusting that that the one thing that matters in this world will never let go (of you).” He continues on to tell her “Perfect love casts out all that pain, all that fear, and replaces it with hope, and hope is what you were asking for.” He concludes by saying “. . . every Christmas since, hope is what you have been given . . . It’s right here for you.”

Maybe you’re dealing with a painful situation. Maybe, like Ms. McInerney, you’ve become skeptical towards God because of what you’re going through. Maybe the holidays, which are supposed to be filled with joy, seem to intensify the pain you’re going through, by contrast. If so, know that God’s perfect love is ready to meet you right where you are, and bring about healing in your life. The Christmas story is all about hope – hope for a world that couldn’t save itself, but now wouldn’t need to, because a Savior had been born. The hope that because of what He’s done for us, we can now approach God with confidence. Hope that no matter what’s going on in our lives, He will find a way to rescue us if we’ll open ourselves up to Him.

Romans 15:13 says “. . . may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Know that if you’ll come to God, He will cause you to overflow with hope this holiday season. Don’t keep your distance from Him. Turn to Him, and receive the hope that He is offering you!

What Are The Christmas Carols We Listen To Really Saying?

carolsEver listened to a Christmas carol during the holiday season, and wondered what the song was talking about? Most Christmas carols have a really neat meaning, but because of the way they are written and the language they use, it can be hard to tell what they are getting at. Find out what a few of the carols we listen to at Christmastime are actually saying!

Silent Night 

“Silent night, holy night. All is calm, all is bright round yon virgin, mother and child, holy infant so tender and mild. Sleep in heavenly peace.”

Quiet and holy night. Around the mother and baby, everything is calm and bright. The baby is holy – the perfect Son of God. He is calm and quiet. Sleep peacefully, Baby Jesus!

Hark The Herald

“Hark the herald angels sing, ‘Glory to the newborn King! Peace on earth, and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled.’ Joyful, all ye nations rise. Join the triumph of the skies. With angelic hosts proclaim ‘Christ is born in Bethlehem!’”

Listen to the message the angels are singing. They are singing “Glory to the newborn King!” Their message is of peace on earth and God’s mercy – that because of Jesus, we can have a relationship with God! Everyone, rise and rejoice. Declare that Christ is born in Bethlehem!

O Holy Night

“O holy night, the stars are brightly shining. It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth. Long lay the world in sin and error pining, ’til He appeared, and the soul felt His worth. A thrill of hope. The weary world rejoices, for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!”

On this holy, special night, the stars are shining brightly. Jesus, our Savior, is born! We were stuck in sin – trapped by the wrong things we had done – filled with guilt and condemnation, until Jesus came, and we realized what He did for us. We have hope! Rejoice! God is doing something new!

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

“God rest ye, merry gentlemen, let nothing you dismay. Remember Christ, our Savior, was born on Christmas day to save us all from Satan’s power when we had gone astray. O tidings of comfort and joy!”

Be at peace. Don’t lose hope. Remember that Jesus, our Savior, was born at Christmas. Even though we had wandered away from God, Jesus would save us from the power of the devil. This news brings peace and happiness!

O Come All Ye Faithful

“O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant. Come ye to Bethlehem! Come and behold Him, born the King of angels. O come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord!”

Everyone who loves God, and has for a long time, be happy! Feel victorious! Come to Bethlehem, and see Jesus, the King. Come and worship Christ!

Repost from Generation Arise, my site for teens and young adults. For more fun Christmas posts like this one, check out generationarise.com!

Thanksgiving Family Fun

tff

Looking for something fun to do with your family this Thanksgiving? Check these ideas!

  • Watch a Thanksgiving parade together on tv.
  • Watch the first Christmas movie of the year.
  • Challenge your family to a game of Thanksgiving trivia! Click here for some trivia questions to get you started!
  • Listen to Christmas music as you start decorating the house for Christmas.
  • During the first Thanksgiving celebration, the Pilgrims and Indians challenged each other to various games and competitions. Follow this tradition by playing some board games with your family this Thanksgiving!
  • After Thanksgiving dinner, go around the table, and each share one of your favorite holiday memories!
  • Check out a book from the library, or look up some info online, and read about the first Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims and Indians.

Which of these things will you do with your family this Thanksgiving?

From http://generationarise.com/thanksgiving-family-fun/.

Linking this post up with Thriving Thursdays at Serving Joyfully.

The Story Of His Birth

The Story Of His BirthThe posts from the past couple of days have been filled with Christmas songs for celebrating Christmas in July.

Any time of year is a great time to celebrate the birth of our Savior, and how He came to save us. Check out these links, and review the story of His birth!

 

 

 


The Lord’s Promises 
– An angel tells Mary of Jesus’ birth

http://calledandcreated.com/2013/12/the-lords-promises/

The Voice Of God – An angel tells Joseph of Jesus’ birth

http://calledandcreated.com/2013/12/the-voice-of-god/

The Birth Of Our Savior – Jesus is born

http://calledandcreated.com/2013/12/the-birth-of-our-savior/

Good News Of Great Joy – Shepherds hear the good news of Jesus’ birth

http://calledandcreated.com/2013/12/good-news-of-great-joy/

The King Come To Save Us – Wise men come to see Baby Jesus

http://calledandcreated.com/2013/12/the-king-come-to-save-us/

Christmas In July Playlist

Christmas In July PlaylistCelebrate Christmas in July by listening to the following Christmas carols!

  • O Holy Night
  • Silent Night
  • Jingle Bell Rock
  • Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
  • Angels We Have Heard On High
  • Deck The Halls
  • Joy To The World
  • O Little Town Of Bethlehem
  • What Child Is This
  • Away In A Manger

Click on this link to check out our Christmas In July Youtube playlist of these carols, sung by Christian artists!

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLLv8FcZq8aztOkliSokNgNCtLmqv9PVOL

What is your favorite Christmas carol?

Linked up this post with Thriving Thursdays.

Our Savior Has Come

Our Savior Has ComeWhat comes to mind when you hear the word Christmas? Perhaps you imagine beautifully decorated trees, houses adorned with festive lights, or piles of neatly wrapped presents. Maybe you think of angels, shepherds, wise men, and a baby in a manger. At Christmastime, we celebrate Jesus’ birth. The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us (John 1:14). He was Emmanuel – God with us (Matthew 1:23). What is the significance of Jesus’ birth? Why did He come? What relevance does the Christmas story hold for our lives today?

In John 1:29, Jesus is called the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.
John 3:17 states that God did not send His Son to condemn, but to save. Right from the start, it was foretold that He would save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21). The little baby whose birth we celebrate grew up to one day give His life for us, to redeem us. He rose again, victorious, our sins paid for in full! Through Him, we can become God’s children, and have a personal relationship with our Heavenly Father. When we celebrate the birth of Jesus, we are celebrating the birth of our Savior!

Christmas, in essence, is all about Jesus coming to save us! He came not to be served, but to serve, giving His life as a ransom (Matthew 20:28). This Christmas season, let’s rejoice in the coming of our wonderful Savior, and all that He’s done for us. Let’s welcome Him into our hearts and lives!

The Lord’s Promises

The Lord's PromisesAngel tells Mary of Jesus’ birth –
Luke 1:26-38

God sent an angel to a young woman by the name of Mary, informing her that she would give birth to a son, whom she was to name Jesus. Notice the angel’s first words to her – a greeting to her as highly favored. These same words are true of us today. When Jesus came, truth and grace – the unmerited favor of our Heavenly Father towards us – came with Him (John 1:17). We have been made right with God through Jesus’ sacrifice, and Psalm 5:12 speaks of God’s favor surrounding the righteous as with a shield. Psalm 39:5 declares that the favor of the Lord lasts a lifetime. We now have God’s favor upon our lives, not because of anything that we have done, but because of what Christ has done for us. Because of our Savior, we truly are highly favored by our God!

In verse 29 of Luke chapter 1, we find that Mary was greatly troubled at the angel’s words of salutation – the assurance of God’s favor and of His presence – wondering what kind of a greeting it was. The angel told her to fear not, declaring that she had found favor with God. Then he went on to deliver the message that she was to give birth to a son, whom she was to name Jesus. The angel further informed her that the child she bore would be called the Son of the Most High, and that His kingdom would never end.

Mary’s response to the angel’s words was to question how this could be, considering that she was a virgin. Have you ever felt God speaking something to your heart that seemed impossible to you at the time? Have you ever wondered how certain promises of His could ever come to pass in your life, considering sundry seemingly insurmountable obstacles? How was a woman, who was yet a virgin, to conceive and give birth to a child?

The angel’s reply to her question was that the Holy Spirit would come upon her, and that she would be overshadowed by the Most High. After this, he spoke of how her relative, Elizabeth, who was said to be unable to conceive, was to have a child in her old age, and in fact was in the sixth month of her pregnancy. Then he wound it all up with the assurance that nothing was impossible with God – that no word from Him ever would fail (Luke 1:37).

In those times when we feel God speaking to us the impossible, it behooves us to recognize that it isn’t our might nor power that is to bring about the miraculous, but rather God’s ability working in us and through us. Our part is to simply cooperate with what He is wanting to accomplish. (To read a story of how God has proven Himself faithful to His word in my life, check out the L.A. Bound series of posts!) Just like the angel informed Mary of the fact that Elizabeth was to have a baby even in her old age, it is beneficial for us to remind ourselves of all that God has done for us and our loved ones in the past. After all, if He’s brought us this far, surely He can continue to lead us going forward. We must also remember that what’s impossible with man is completely possible with our powerful God (Luke 18:27), and that all of His promises will come to pass. When He speaks, He acts. When He promises, He fulfills (Numbers 23:19).

At the end of the day, our best response to what we feel that God wants to bring about in our lives is summed up by the words of Mary to the angel in Luke 1:38 (NASB) – “‘ . . . may it be done to me according to your word . . .'” God has many wonders He wants to perform through each of us, if we will listen and cooperate. Know that you are highly favored by your Heavenly Father, and that He desires many good things for your life. Place your trust in Him, and see His promises come to pass before your very eyes!

In what ways has God proven Himself faithful to His promises to you in the past, that can give you the confidence to place your trust in Him in the present? Comment below to share how you’ve experienced the Lord’s faithfulness!

“Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.”