• All Writings,  Celebrating Christmas

    The Long Awaited Suddenly

    When thinking of the age-old Christmas story, one of the most familiar portions of Scripture is when the angel greets the shepherds in the darkness of the night. This passage is read so repeatedly each year that the event becomes a common scene in our minds. But goodness, how uncommon this real-life event must have been! First, one angel, then, a host of angels suddenly appeared, proclaiming the promise that had been held behind a divinely closed curtain for thousands of years. Yes, the wait of the great reveal had been put on sovereign hold since Adam and Eve’s exit from the garden. God’s people suffered much, but they held…

  • All Writings,  Celebrating Christmas

    Christmas Wreath of Hope

    My friend and interior decorator Madelaine Singleton and I just got back from Mississippi and Florida where we presented the Christmas Wreath of Hope to a few local groups. Through Scripture, I told the purposeful meaning behind each decorative element that Madelaine used in her wreath demonstration. It was a pleasure to share this symbolic message. As we journeyed along together, we jokingly called ourselves the “Tell and Show” show. My talk was packed with God’s word, and Madelaine’s teaching was detailed, but below are the 5 basic wreath instructions along with their truths. After reading, who knows, you might be inspired to hang a Wreath of Hope on your…

  • Celebrating Christmas

    Prince of Peace

    Last Sunday, my pastor Rob Sweet, enlightened me to a new thought concerning an ancient title. He pulled apart this familiar Christmas passage: And a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah9:6Concerning the title, Prince of Peace, Rob explained that another term for Prince is Administrator, and then, another word for Peace is Wholesness; thus, the Prince of Peace becomes the Administrator of Wholeness. I like this thought. It gives me a new perspective on what Jesus wants to do…

  • Celebrating Christmas

    Humble Thoughts about the Humble One

    As we are now in the thick of the holiday season, the propensity to be distracted by so many things increases by the day, so much so that we lose focus of the one thing we are celebrating. (from Luke 10:41-42) Let’s face it, we are a frantic and frazzled people, all in the name of Christmas. Today, I’m hoping to pull you back in with some pleasant and peaceful thoughts about the one thing we are celebrating, Jesus. The first thought is the lead-in question: If you were asked to describe your core personality with two words, what would those words be? Wholesome and happy?  Calm and collected? Eager and excitable?…

  • Celebrating Christmas

    ‘Tis the Season…to Sing to the World

    Not too long ago, my parents and I made a long drive from my home in Nolensville, TN all the way to Houston, TX. To stay alert during the 12 hour journey, I changed radio stations often, picking up all kinds of music along the way. I was delighted when I came across Christmas music; it was the first time to hear the familiar tunes of the season. I found myself snappin’ and tappin’ down the highway, over the river and through the woods. However, the longer I listened to the merry melodies, the more I began to realize, no Christmas carols, not one. I waited and waited, but to…

  • All Writings,  Celebrating Christmas

    These are a Few of My (His) Favorite Things

    Every year at Christmas time I look forward to a few of my favorite things. It’s what makes Christmas, Christmas. Here are three (of many) traditions that I cherish over the holiday season: love exchanged through Christmas cards, joy shared at family get-togethers, and peace given in quiet moments with my Savior. I think each of you can relate to one or all of these Christmas traditions. Love one another deeply, from the heart. I Peter 1:22 If we walk in the light as He is in the light we have fellowship with one another. I John 1:7 But have you ever thought why certain things are our favorites? What is…

  • All Writings,  Celebrating Christmas,  Giftings

    Christmas Tree Lessons

    A holiday tradition in the Baxter home is for all of us to load up together in the truck and head toward the local Christmas tree lot. A tree is picked from the selection, put in the truck-bed, and then placed in the corner of our living room. All of this is done in cheerful merriment of the holidays. (Ok, not all of us are cheerful all of the time, but it sounded good). Our tree stood bare for a night and a day before we decorated it this year. The evergreen branches have a stark beauty all on its own. But, of course, a Christmas tree is meant to…

  • Celebrating Christmas

    Knock, Knock…Who’s there?

    The familiar line of the Christmas story goes….And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. (Luke 2:7) “Knock, knock.”“Who’s there?”“Jesus.”“Jesus who?”When Joseph and Mary went knocking on the doors of the homes and inns of Bethlehem, they were shut out, one at a time. If these residents and inn owners had only known just Who it was they were pushing away, would things have played out differently? For example, if Joseph had said about the soon-to-be-babe, “It’s Jesus, Prince of Peace,” would they have let the young desperate…

  • Celebrating Christmas

    His Christmas Devotion(al)

    Here we are in the beginnings of the Christmas season, and I already feel surrounded by lots of the swirling and twirling activities that accompany the season. Every year, I have to keep my heart in check, and consciously choose to Whom or what I will give my devotion. (Devotion: love, loyalty, or enthusiasm for a person, activity, or a cause.) Will I choose Jesus or will I choose the season? I invite you to join me in reading the 25-day devotional, “Who is this Jesus and Why did He Come?”. Each day, 5 defining verses are provided for you to “be still in” during the rush of the holy-days.…

  • Celebrating Christmas

    One Word…One Gift…The Word…The Gift

    For many years now, my heart has considered the days between Thanksgiving and Christmas as the “holy days.” I have encouraged my children to be extra attentive during this season as well. I reminded them only a few nights ago that the Lord will be whispering something specifically to each of their hearts in the midst of all the hustle and bustle of the season… so… be still… don’t miss it. God has something for you as well over His holiday. This “something” may be nestled in a phrase from a Christmas carol; it may be words from a sermon, or it might be a new thought from the age-old…