The Magi

May 6, 2012 by  
Filed under The Magi

THE MAGI (THREE WISE MEN)

Advent Calendars

May 6, 2012 by  
Filed under Advent Calendars

The Advent calendar is a beloved tradition for Christian children all over the world. Here are links to online Advent calendars and resources about the history of the tradition.

Your Guide to a Christ-Centered Christmas

November 28, 2008 by  
Filed under Advent

Are you seeking to connect with the true meaning of Christmas? You’re in the right place. Christmas in Cyberspace is a Christ-centered guide to this sacred holiday, focusing on the spiritual nature of our celebration of Christ’s birth and our redemption. Here’s where you can find some of our most popular features:

  • Christmas Cheer: Finding the manger amidst the madness of the mall. A reflection for Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the retail season.
  • The Best Christian Christmas Sites: There are lots of Christ-centered Christmas sites, and you have only so many clicks. Which ones are the most useful? Here’s our list.
  • The History of Christmas: What’s the origin of popular Christian practices and traditions we observe during Advent and Christmas? You’ll find many of the answers here.
  • Advent Meditations and Devotionals: Our reflections on the Christian experience of Christmas past, present and future. A series of six devotionals perfect for Advent study.
  • Christian Christmas E-cards: Are you thinking about someone this Christmas? Why wait for the postman? Send them an e-card to let them know that they’re in your thoughts and prayers.
  • Advent Calendars: The Advent calendar is a beloved tradition for Christian children all over the world. Click through for links to online Advent calendars and resources about the history of the tradition
  • The Magi: Who were these “wise men” of the Bible? What do we know about them? You can find some of the answers here.

Advent Meditations and Devotionals

November 28, 2008 by  
Filed under Advent Meditations

Jesus Is The Reason For The Season!

The Advent and Christmas season is a time to draw near to Christ, opening our hearts and minds to who Jesus is and why He came to live among us on that night in Bethlehem so many years ago.  What does knowing Christ mean today, and what are the implications for our future? We offer the following Christ-centered seasonal meditations for your consideration:

CHRISTMAS PAST:
Gabriel’s World Tour, 6 B.C.

  • Zechariah: “Yes, but …”
  • Mary: The Bible talked about the Messiah, but not about being the Messiah’s Mom.

CHRISTMAS PRESENT:
Finding the Manger Amidst the Madness of the Mall

CHRISTMAS FUTURE:
Living In Hope

We hope these meditations will bless you and your family this Christmas season!

Christmas: A Personal Experience

November 28, 2008 by  
Filed under Advent Meditations

“For God so loved the world that he sent his only Son, that whosoever believes in Him may never perish but have eternal life.”

Christmas is not simply a national or world holiday. It is a deeply personal event for every Christian. Being a “Christian” is not about just about observing a holiday or going to church or trying to live a good life. These are certainly worthy endeavors, yet can be pursued without any definitive spiritual connection to Jesus Christ. Being a “Christ-ian” means following Jesus and really dealing with who He is and what He means to you. If you haven’t done this, take a few minutes to truly consider Steps to Peace With God and the Good News of Jesus Christ, which is for all of us – especially you!

These sites all offer clear explanations of how you can know a Personal Christmas

Many who embrace technology, including some users of the Internet, have difficulty reconciling their faith in human potential and scientific achievement with the claims of Christ and the Bible. If you’re one of them, take a moment to consider Jesus and the Intellectual or I Am A Skeptic.

Thanksgiving as a Ministry Opportunity

November 26, 2008 by  
Filed under Advent Meditations

Are we losing Thanksgiving? That’s the question posed by Leadership Journal managing Eric Reed in a holiday essay from 2006. Reed worries that football and commerce have overwhelmed the Thanksgiving holiday. “I don’t mean to sound like Chicken Little (or Turkey Lurkey?),” Reed writes, “but the one day set aside to contemplate our blessings and their divine origin has, in one generation, been reduced to a football orgy and now, for football widows, a jumpstart on the biggest shopping day of the year as more stores open on the sacred Thursday.”

But Reed also notes that Thanksgiving services can be an important ministry opportunity:

The pastor of an Atlanta church told us that Thanksgiving was becoming for them the new seeker’s holiday. They found that people curious about faith would attend thanks-themed worship services with their believing friends. For seekers, Thanksgiving is a less demanding holiday than Christmas, which requires belief in the improbable (a Virgin birth?), or Easter, with its claims to exclusivity (must Christ be the only Way?). Everyone has something to be thankful for, and most people recognize that something beyond themselves must be credited with their blessings.

As we interact with family, friends and co-workers this Thanksgiving, let’s be mindful of that point and share our gratitude for the amazing God who is the source of all our blessings.

Switch Seats

September 19, 2008 by  
Filed under Devotions

There’s a company that makes T-shirts with spiritual themes. One of them shows an airplane being flown by a frantic pilot. The shirt says “If God is your co-pilot, switch seats.”

That’s a statement that’s simple, but sort of sums up our struggle. We often talk about how faith is hard. But I believe a certain amount of faith is really not difficult at all. The Gallup Organization of Princeton conduct surveys that consistently report that about 94 percent of Americans believe in God. It’s not hard to acknowledge God. And I don’t think it’s hard for me to make God my co-pilot.

It’s easy. Like this:

“God, you keep an eye on the horizon and the dials and gauges while I fly the plane. But you be ready in case a storm comes up or we lose an engine or the wing falls off, because then I’m gonna need you to save the day. Of course, when we have blue skies, I’ll just take over again.”

That’s not hard. What’s hard is to relinquish the wheel. At the Annunciation, Mary gives us the blueprint for a different kind of faith – the hard kind.
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Christmas Cheer

September 17, 2008 by  
Filed under Devotions

Every year around this time, I have a familiar experience. I’m out shopping, and I’ll go through the checkout line, and pay for my stuff. When the cashier hands me back the change, they’ll say “Happy holidays,” or perhaps even “Merry Christmas.”

I realize that this comment is not always motivated by the cashier’s genuine interest in whether or not I enjoy my holiday. I’m aware that they may be saying this because they’ve been told to. I can envision the memo from K mart corporate headquarters directing cashiers when to switch from “Have a nice day” to “Happy Holidays,” on the assumption that this will somehow help cement a lasting bond between the store and the customer that won’t evaporate when a Wal-Mart opens across the street.

I’m aware of all that, and suspicious of the whole business. But at least once every year, I have a cashier who looks me in the eye and says “Merry Christmas,” and really means it. And it changes my whole day.

There really is something genuine to this whole idea of Christmas cheer. As Dec. 25th draws near, people warm up just a bit. If you’re out and around on Christmas Eve, you’ll notice that people are friendlier than on any other day of the year.

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A Thousand Years Are Like A Day

August 23, 2008 by  
Filed under Advent Meditations, Devotions

“You must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say ‘Where is this coming he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation’ … But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: with the Lord, a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 PETER 3: 3-4, 8-9

We live in astounding times.  The combination of momentous political change and unusual natural phenomena in recent years has many folks wondering just what the heck is going on. The evangelist Billy Graham recently wrote that he has never in 50 years of ministry had so many people ask him if the end of the world is at hand. The timing of the Second Coming has always titillated Christians, perhaps because it is concealed. For as Jesus said, “No one knows that day or hour, not even the angels in Heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”

That instruction often gets forgotten when believers see events that correspond with the signs Christ said would foreshadow His return. There is growing speculation that the Second Coming is imminent, a trend that will only intensify as the turn of the millenium approaches. Christians must take care to not be deceived – either by those who insist He’s coming tomorrow, or those who claim He won’t return in our lifetime. Read more

The Second Advent

August 23, 2008 by  
Filed under Devotions

“And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in Heaven, and the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory.” MATTHEW 24:30-31

Advent is a season with a two-fold focus. It is a time in which Christians recall and celebrate Jesus Christ’s entrance into our world to redeem mankind and triumph over death. It is also a period in which believers look forward to the “Second Advent” – the day when He will come back.

For nearly 2,000 years, Christians have lived in the hope of Our Lord’s imminent return. Jesus’ description of the event spans two chapters in the Gospel of Matthew (24-25) and is usually read as part of the lectionary as Christmas nears. The Second Coming was also an emphasis in the epistles of Paul, Peter and John. Bible scholars cite more than 300 references to it in the New Testament.

In his teachings about the Second Coming, it’s important to understand that Jesus emphasized spiritual preparation rather than irresponsible speculation.
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