Tag Archives: Christmas

Parting Words From The WORD…

nativity_lightenedOn Wednesday I shared a summary of Pastor Larry Scott’s three part message about the night Jesus was born.

  1. His first cry was the beginning of the end of Satan’s reign here on earth.
  2. God was saying redemption had come.
  3. Hope was restored, and we didn’t have to live in fear and sorrow anymore.

And then at our Christmas Eve service, Pastor Larry added another element of Hope: On the day of Christ’s resurrection, hope was revealed.

Hope was revealed when Jesus overcame death and the grave. It was the crowning glory, the last step of God’s plan for grace for all who believe in Him.

And Jesus Himself confirmed it. After He rode into Jerusalem, celebrated as king, He again predicted His death, and confirmed it was the very the reason He was born:

“Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.” John 12:27-28a (NIV)

So as we celebrate the birth of Jesus, let’s not forget that His birth was only the first step. A step that brought God to earth in the form of a baby…progressed to His death and resurrection…and revealed the completion of redemption.

Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Vonda

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A Baby Changed Everything on Christmas Day

My Pastor, Larry Scott, gave a summary of Christmas that I’d love to share with you today.

  1. When Jesus was born, His first cry was the beginning of the end of Satan’s reign on earth.
  2. When Jesus was born, God was saying redemption has come.
  3. When Jesus was born, hope was restored. We no longer have to live this life in sorrow and fear of the enemy.

When Jesus was born, everything was changed.

I hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch the beautiful images and listen to the words of this powerful song sung by Faith Hill.

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For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. Luke 2:11-14 (KJV)

On this blessed Christmas day, I’m so thankful a Baby changed everything for me. And He wants to change everything for you, too.

I was lost but now I’m found! Hallelujah!

Christmas blessings as we celebrate the Gift and the Giver together.

Vonda

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Parting Words From The WORD…

Christmas Present Wrapped in Gold and Silver 2000

As we celebrate the Gift of Christmas, let’s remember Him as

…the Son

…the Sacrifice

…the resurrected Savior

…the Almighty God

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Parting Words From The WORD…

We all grew up hearing the classic Christmas story, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. Although its authorship is disputed (it has been attributed to both Clement Clarke Moore and Henry Livingston Jr. through the years), we do know it was first published in the Troy Sentinel newspaper in upstate New York on December 23, 1823.

But that’s not the only story about the night before Christmas. Over 2,000 years ago, there was another story happening the night before Christmas. And its author is not disputed. Father God breathed the words to Luke, who wrote them down for you and me.

It was a night that changed the world.

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But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” Luke 2:30-33

Christmas blessings as we celebrate the Gift and the Giver,

Vonda

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Parting Words From The WORD…

nativity_lightenedHis reign was foretold 700 years before His birth.

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans of Judah,
out of you will come for me
one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
from ancient times.” Micah 5:2

And we proclaim Him 2000 years after His death.

But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.” Luke 1:30-33

His kingdom will never end. Regardless of what’s going on in the Middle East, in America, or right in our own homes, His kingdom will never end.

Praise Him!

I pray His richest blessings as we celebrate the Gift and the Giver!

Vonda

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Merry Christmas Season from North Point Church iBand…and Me, & Who Won Lisa Carter’s Book?

I’ve shown this video at Christmas before, but I love revisiting it ever year. This is Christmas music as you’ve probably never seen or heard it before! Technologically performed by my daughter’s church, North Point Church.

Enjoy! You’ll be glad you did!

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Lisa Carter aloha_rose_cover_lores

Who Won Lisa Carter’s Book?

And the winner is…Linda Greer! Congratulations, Linda! Now all you need to do is Contact Me with your snail mail address and Lisa will have your book right out to you!

And readers, since I know you’re gonna want your own copy, here’s a direct Amazon link to Aloha Rose. Order yours today and have it in just a few days!

 

Christmas blessings as we celebrate the Gift and the Giver,

Vonda

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A Baby Changes Everything…

On this blessed Christmas day, I’m so thankful a Baby changed everything for me. And He wants to change everything for you, too.

A Baby Changes Everything by Faith Hill

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I was lost, but now I’m found. Hallelujah!

I pray God’s blessing as we celebrate the Gift and the Giver,

Vonda

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Parting Words From The WORD…

As we celebrate the Gift of Christmas, let’s remember Him as

…the Son

…the Sacrifice

…the resurrected Savior

…the Almighty God

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  John 3:16

I pray God’s richest blessings as we celebrate the Gift and the Giver.

Vonda

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Parting Words From The WORD…

I can’t believe how many times I’ve heard messages this season on the idea of Mary’s pondering. I presented a message last week myself on that very thing!

For many years (before I studied the Bible for myself) I thought Mary was pondering the visit and the gifts of the Magi. Then I discovered the Wise Men didn’t even visit the manger!

Now that I’m a mother and grandmother, I personally know about pondering as I held those precious babies in my arms. What would they look like? What would they become? Of course, Mary had a little more insight than we do as new mothers. After all, an angel came to her and told her she would be the mother of the Christ-child.

But as she pondered that dark and chilly night, did she really understand that her baby would change the world? Did she understand that 2000 years later, we’d still be celebrating His birth?

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But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.  Luke 2:19

Happy birthday, Jesus…

Vonda

(Photo courtesy of ChristianPhotos.net)

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Interview & Book Give-Away with Author & Speaker Linda Gilden; And Who Won Cindy Sproles’ Book?

Yep, you read the calendar right. It’s NOT the 1st or 5th Tuesday and it’s not the 5th Thursday, but I just had to share my friend Linda Gilden and her new book with you this week! Linda’s been with us before here at The Christian Writer’s Den, but I want to let you know she has another book out–a Christmas book!

I’ll let Linda tell you about her book, Mama Was the Queen of Christmas, but I do want to remind you to leave a comment and you could win a free copy–just in time for Christmas!

Welcome, Linda. Let’s jump right in. We just finished Thanksgiving weekend. But the retail world has been focused on Christmas for months. Despite all the commercialization, how can Christians keep the focus on Jesus, the real meaning of the season?

Well, I hope my latest book, Mama Was the Queen of Christmas, will help with that! But the bottom line is that if you are not focused on Him all year long, you will probably not make Him the center of your Christmas. So the first step is a personal relationship with Him. Then, your heart’s desire will be to keep Him at the center of your Christmas.

A few tangible things – Display manger scenes in your home. Put an advent wreath on your table. Joyfully attend Christmas programs. Give to help others. Teach your children to recite the Christmas story. Plan ahead but be flexible (yes, there will be surprises in the schedule!).

Why did you write Mama Was the Queen of Christmas?

Christmas is a very special time of the year when we celebrate Jesus’ birth. But it shouldn’t be just one season. The older I get and the more children and grandchildren I have, the more strongly I feel the responsibility of encouraging them in their faith. I grew up in a home where Christmas was talked about, thought of, planned for, and celebrated all year long. My mother was indeed the “queen of Christmas!” I want the same experience for my family.

I know Mama Was the Queen of Christmas isn’t your first book. Tell us about your other writing.

I’ve written six books and ghostwritten, compiled, or edited dozens. My writing career began with writing articles and I really love that area of writing. I still write several articles every month. Articles are a great way to increase awareness for your books and to establish your expertise in the subject area of your book. At the moment I seem to be focused on books, with one recently released, a new book deadline the middle of this month, and another deadline January 30, 2013, for a book called Becoming a Writer on Mission.

What is one of your family’s favorite Christmas traditions?

When all my children were at home, I think one of my favorites was the cousins orchestra. On Christmas Eve my children and their first cousins, ranging in age from 20 to 3, brought their instruments and played Christmas carols. The three-year-old played the triangle and the one cousin who didn’t play an instrument was the narrator. Even practices were entertainment worthy of videoing!

What would be your best holiday tip for busy families?

Don’t stress unnecessarily. There are things that are important to celebrating Christmas but none more important than being together as a happy family. Create memories but be sensitive to the needs of your family. If your only family time is around the dinner table on Christmas Day, that’s where memory-making takes place. Plan a dinner table game or create directed conversation that will draw your family closer. Eat the same foods. Don’t have unrealistic expectations.

One of our favorite traditions is “reading the plates.” Several years ago my husband gave me Christmas china called “Bethlehem.” The Christmas story is written around the rims of the plates. When our family gathers, before we put anything on our plates we read the Christmas story from the plates. The plates are on the table in random order so you have to know the story to read your plate at the proper time. This tradition has not only been fun but has driven us to keep the Christmas story the focus of our mealtime.

Any parting thoughts for writers at Christmas?

Try to have your writing projects to a point that you can put them aside for a few days. Decide now that you will enjoy the holidays with your family and put celebrating Jesus first. Gather writing material for the next Christmas season as you enjoy family time and worship Jesus together. Thank God for our freedom to celebrate and honor God’s greatest gift to us in everything you do. Merry Christmas!

Bio: Linda Gilden in a freelance writer living in SC. Her recent book, Mama Was the Queen of Christmas, shares her love for Jesus’ birthday season and how it really should be a year-long celebration. Linda is also a speaker, editor, and writing coach. She has written hundreds of articles as well as the Love Notes series, Mommy Pick-Me-Ups, and has ghostwritten or contributed to over three dozen books. As Director of the CLASS Christian Writers Conference, she encourages others to clearly communicate God’s love to the world. Linda’s favorite times are those spent with family – a source of tremendous blessing as well as speaking and writing material! www.lindagilden.com www.queenofchristmas.com

Thank you for sharing your new book with us, Linda. And readers, don’t forget to leave a comment and you’ll be in the drawing for your own copy! Don’t forget to come back next week to see if you’re the winner.

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And speaking of coming back to check on winners…

The winner of Cindy Sproles’ book, New Sheets, is Comment #23–Cynthia Lott Vogel! Cynthia, just contact me with your mailing address and we’ll get that book right out to you!

Thank you for stopping by, dear friends. What a joy to have you with me each week. You bless me more than you know!

Vonda

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