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Christmas Traditions that Teach Our Children Pt. 1


As we approach this Christmas season, we are “life-instructing” our kids about what this most holy day signifies. The old axiom may sound trite, but it’s painfully true that “A picture is worth a thousand words”. We are painting pictures everyday with our lives. How we act and react in front of children results in mental image reinforcing mental image, day after day, year after year. What we say often cannot be heard because of what we do and how we do it. What kind of permanent images are you impressing on your children? What kind of “stuff” for tomorrow is filtering into their minds today?

Children learn through a song on the radio that Santa Claus is omniscient: “He knows when you’ve been sleeping, he sees you when you wake, he knows when you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake!” But do they also know that God is omniscient? That what He sees in our lives is far more important than what a fictional character sees?

How do you handle yourselves during the Christmas season? Harried, rushed, short-tempered, neglectful of your family and your spiritual responsibilities? Do you withhold gifts all year but give more than you can afford at Christmas? Your children are watching and learning what Christmas is all about.

More to come . . . See Part 2


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Birthday Celebrations: Is Your Time Well Spent?


This past week was my birthday week. On the morning of my birthday, as I lay awake in bed, the thought occurred to me – how many more birthdays do I have in this body of flesh? How many more years are allotted to me in the “Lamb’s book of life”? None of us knows the length of days that have been written in the script of our life.

As I pondered these thoughts I realized that whatever days, or months or years are left for me, they need to count for something that will outlast me.

My husband, David, shared an interesting statement with me from a devotional reading. I don’t remember who he was quoting, but the thought communicated was this: 100 years from now (if the earth still exists) no one will remember who we are, or even be aware that we ever existed.

Think about it. The only one who will know us, remember us, or see the meaning in the lives we lived – is the Lord who created us and to whom we will return.

We are literally “spending” the time allotted to us here on earth – on something. It’s either being spent on things that last, or things that will dry up and blow away in the winds of time. We only have “now” to affect our world. So, how should I be spending the rest of my life?

This is how I want to spend my time allotment:

  • On the enjoyment of my relationships – with the Lord, my family, and my friends.
  • On getting to know my heavenly Father better – opening up more and more to His transforming work in my spirit, mind and body.
  • On becoming all He desires me to become; including, to be a person of genuine faith – the real thing, not just hopefulness, but certainty.
  • On bringing others into this love-relationship of God’s true family.
  • On encouraging brothers and sisters to put their full confidence in the God who loves them.
  • On communicating through both spoken and written word the awesomeness of our God.

My birthdays are measuring sticks – not a measure of years I have lived on earth – but a measure of increasing levels of faith and maturity in things of the Spirit of God.

I’m glad that I have experienced two births – my natural birth and my spiritual re-birth. My spiritual birth gives purpose to my natural birth.  And the prayer I have prayed for others I also pray for myself. It’s found in Philippians 1:9-11:

“And this is my prayer: that [my] love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that [I] may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.”  NIV

How about you? Have you thought about your remaining birthdays? Have you decided how you want to “spend” the time you have left on earth?

©2012, Marcy Alves

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