You know, I would love to just be able to focus on the Christ Child.
And I will. Right after I finish decorating.
Wait! There’s all that Christmas shopping to do.
Family, special friends, school teachers, Sunday School teachers,
My list gets longer every year!
Perhaps as soon as I finish decorating and shopping, and wrapping presents, then I can focus on the Christ Child.
Oh, but I’ve got Christmas parties and Christmas programs that I MUST attend, and each one requires a potluck dish or a gift to exchange.
Surely when things slow down, I will have time to focus on the Christ Child.
Hold up! The family is coming over for a traditional Christmas family dinner.
What on earth will I fix this year? Gonna spend a wad on that grocery bill.
Surely, once that is completed I will have a moment to focus on the Christ Child.
Oops! Christmas is finally over. And I’m beyond exhausted!
Did I ever find the time to focus on the Christ Child?
I’m t-o-o-o tired to remember!
Another Christmas has been undermined by fiery dart thinking! Putting our focus on the Christ Child must be done first and foremost. Then from that focus we will proceed to successfully celebrate Christmas! Amen?
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Please check it out and note the sale price!
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FD’s is all about how to live the life the Christ-child was born to give us.
While you are there please consider placing an order. What a wonderful gift this book would make!
As wonderful as the message of CHRISTmas is, the sad fact is that multitudes of people miss it; don’t even get it, don’t realize they need it, or have never heard of it! The holidays only serve to accentuate the fact that they are alone, depressed, forgotten, ignored, or even angry!
All of the above, and even more, are examples of the types of fiery darts aimed at our minds to keep us in the dark about the hope offered during this time of the year. The enemy’s intent is to keep us so deep in darkness, so self-absorbed with our misery, that we won’t be able to notice the lifelines available to us or awaken us to our need for the hope offered–all the work and effect of fiery dart thinking!
Why is it that we reject the babe born in the manger and all that His birth offers and embrace, instead, any and every insipid substitute that makes claim to posses a Christmas spirit? The enemy’s efforts to darken our understanding and separate us from the life God has planned for us, as is pointed out in Ecclesiastes 3:11, exposes why.
Now can you understand why the birth of the Christ child is such Good News? Because of Christ’s birth, death, and resurrection we have access to the power that will prevent our understanding from being darkened and will prevent us from being separated from the life God has planned for us. WE DON’T HAVE to feel alone, forsaken, embittered, depressed, or unloved during the holidays.
Time and time again within the pages of the Holy Bible we find verses that promise us that God will never leave us or forsake us that we are loved no matter what that we have worth that we are forgiven and that we can forgive that we matter that He cares for us. That dear readers is the Good News our enemy relentlessly works to conceal-especially at Christmas!
Therefore, this Hope is ours to choose:
But we MUST begin by refusing to believe that we have no hope, that we are unloved or forsaken or worthless. We must refuse to believe that there’s no way out of our darkness, or depression; that we have no control over the state we find ourselves. We must reject such thinking and as soon as we can get our hands on a Bible we must search for the Truth thoughts with which to supplant these negative thoughts (fiery darts) the minute they enter our minds. In the meantime, camp down on this:
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 (NIV)
Today, the circumstances of not being able to conveniently shop online for only a couple of the gifts I needed to buy and have them speedily delivered to my home in just two days, forced me to join the horde of holiday shoppers in search of those two elusive gifts! For me, shopping within this context is anything but pleasant and is a constant challenge to resist the negative thoughts or fiery darts that attack my thinking. Thus a not so pleasant me was molded and shaped by my own thoughts! My face was set in a frown, I sighed a lot, and my patience wore thin.
Sadly there was no fruit for my labors today! And all afternoon I battled with negative thoughts. After walking out of the 4th store with still no treasures to claim, my frustration level, lack of patience, and all around bad attitude were steadily on the rise.
The more commercialized we become during the Christmas season (which begins right after Halloween) the more I resent the effect this quest for gifts has on the Christmas spirit. I love Thanksgiving for all the reasons I’m beginning to dread Christmas. Thanksgiving is about being together as a family and guess what, “No gifts–just sweet togetherness!” And that is sweetly enough!
Do you see what was happening? My negative focus was producing a negative attitude. All I could think about was buying the gifts; not giving the gifts. A vast difference and not the attitude that would embrace the joy of Christmas, right?
I HAD TO MAKE THE DELIBERATE EFFORT TO RESIST THE NEGATIVITY!
As I drove toward my home in the country, the grip of negativity began to lessen. I love driving past scenery where I see more land than buildings; where I see cows and horses grazing contentedly in their pastures.
In a more pleasant frame of mine, I arrived home. I opened up my computer and began reading a blog that helped me to recognize this day (with all that had transpired) as a gift. The blog went on to say that each day is all we get. I agree! And I was determined that I wasn’t going to allow the enemy to steal the gift God had given me in this day.
So as we face this Christmas season, be aware of the enemy’s plan to aim the fiery darts of frustration, anger, greed, impatience, selfishness, etc. at us. Thoughts such as these will blind us, preventing us from receiving and sharing the splendid joy God has planned for all of us in this season. Giving into fiery darts such as I have mentioned will only allow the enemy to steal the Christmas God would desire for us to have.
What do fiery darts have to do with Christmas anyway?
Maybe I should ask another question.
Is there anything about the way we here in America celebrate Christmas that bothers you? Whoa! Hold on, I can’t type that fast!
Yes, it does seem that we have lost sight of the true meaning of Christmas. So much so, that we find ourselves in the midst of a cultural war attempting to prevent us from even saying Merry Christmas in public places.
You see, Satan’s hidden agenda (Um, maybe not so hidden anymore) is to get us to focus more (a lot more) on Santa or some magical substitutional Christmas spirit than we do Jesus. Eventually, pushing Jesus out of the picture altogether, I’m sure!
That is just a sampling of the problems with which we contend during Christmas. And if we aren’t careful fiery darts like frustration, depression, selfishness, loneliness, greed, stress, or anger and certainly the lack of personal and world peace will find us vulnerable targets!
The side affects of an over-commercialized Christmas are burdensome but added to that the persecution of Christians, especially in middle eastern countries, the heaviness of such a load is more than any of us could carry and the joy of Christmas seems beyond our grasp.
But do not despair!
Armed with the following Truth thoughts we can wage a successful war on such fiery darts and reclaim the blessedness of Christmas in spite of the darkness that tempts us to despair.
Jesus came to this earth as a baby, grew up and preached to all He could that God had sent Him to save the world. He accomplished this by dying on the cross and coming back to life–that’s what we refer to as the Resurrection. When we accept that personally then we have the promised hope of heaven and peace reigns in our hearts. (Fiery darts fizzle in the face of such Truth!)
And there’s absolutely nothing about Santa or a Christmas spirit that can compare to that; much less change that.
We have the ability by God’s grace to resist the fiery darts, like the ones I mentioned previously, that accompanies an over-commercialized Christmas, and, instead, partake of the splendors of a Christmas centered on the love, joy, and peace inspired by faith in the Christ-child.
And what about the cultural war on Christmas? Do you realize that all this upheaval only serves to broadcast the good news to anyone who has ears to listen. (I call that a fiery dart that backfired)
Does the persecution tempt you to despair? Listen my dear readers, as horrible as it is, remember this–when a Christian leaves this earth they have Jesus and heaven waiting on them. For those they leave behind, this is their comfort! And their loved ones who believe in Jesus too, have the confidence that at some point in the future they will be reunited.