Christmas Preparation: Leap for Joy!

When I was pregnant, it was fascinating and weird to watch my belly move. Of course I felt the kicks. But it wasn’t just a feeling, and it wasn’t just me. You could actually see my belly move. A little baby tush would stick out on one side. The skin stretched, swelled, and surged as the baby flipped and flopped. It kind of looked like the 12 Days of Christmas—a little leaping lord and a tiny lady dancing—inside my belly.
The …

Christmas Preparation: The Week of Joy

Two more weeks ‘til Christmas! Does that fill you with panic or joy or a little bit of both?!
This week of Advent, we reflect on the idea of joy. There are two books in the Bible that tell the Christmas story of baby Jesus—Matthew and Luke. The word “joy” only appears a few times in the whole book of Matthew, but it appears about a dozen times in Luke. Several of those instances come in the stories surrounding Jesus’ birth.
The …

Christmas Preparation: Prioritize Love

Angie Frame here. I’m one of the teaching pastors at PCC, serving primarily as the Midlothian Campus Pastor, and I’m helping out with the blog for a bit.
My head is swimming; my calendar is crowded; my hours are full with Christmas lists to fulfill, goodies to bake, and events to attend. I love it! I love the hustle and bustle, the fullness of the season, the excitement and anticipation. I even love the lists, especially crossing them off.
But it’s a …

Christmas Preparation: The Greatest Love

At this time of year, we seem to measure love by the size of the gift.  I remember one Christmas I really wanted to buy something special for Susan to show her how much I loved her.  I spent way too much money (more than I had) to buy her a gift that she liked, but didn’t love.  We say we love things:  “I love my car!” “I love my ring!” “I love my house!”  But the truth is that …

Christmas Preparation: Love for those in need

Read Matthew 14:13-21, which you can do here. Answer the following questions:

Jesus was withdrawing ‘privately to a solitary place’ because he had been informed that his cousin and staunch supporter, John the Baptist, has been executed.  But when his boat landed, he saw that a huge crowd of people was waiting for him.  How would you have felt, in a moment of personal grief, if this happened to you?
How does Matthew tell us that Jesus felt about these people?
As …

Christmas Preparation: Love that Gives

I begin today with a confession.  I don’t offer it lightly. In fact, I’m talking about this because I feel God telling me to.  But I’d prefer to keep it a secret, frankly.
First, a little background, just to set it up.
I’ve been speaking in front of groups of people since I was 6 years old.  I don’t say that to brag.  Many people can look back into their childhood see the consistent trajectory of their lives.  I know mechanics who …

Christmas Preparation: Love has a Long Timeline

How long will you people turn my glory into shame?  How long will you love delusions and seek false gods? (Psalm 4:2, NIV)
When people talk about the love of God towards humanity, they often quote John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that he sent his one and only son, that whoever believes in him will not perish, but will have eternal life.
Think for a minute, though, how long God waited before he sent Jesus into the world! …

Christmas Preparation: Love Grows Towards God

Part of preparing ourselves for Christmas means that we are trying to draw ourselves closer to God.  We’re positioning ourselves so that God can mold us and shape us more into the person He wants us to be.
As we approach Christmas this year, I started thinking about where I am on the scale of spiritual maturity.  I do this NOT as a comparison to anyone else, but relative to where God wants ME to be.
I don’t know if I’ve ever really …

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