• 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…

  • Celebrating Christmas

    Behold Him

    On December 2nd just before lunch, I was racing to my first Christmas party–and I mean racing. I was the “set-up” lady for the celebration at my daughter’s tutorial, and I was LATE. As I was I flying down highway 65, I felt much like Santa in his sleigh, especially because I had all the decorations in my back seat, one of which was a small bell on top of a Santa-hat that literally jingled all the way. Becoming aggravated at every slow-moving-vehicle in my path, as if they were to blame, I said to myself, “This is NOT how I want to spend my entire holiday–rushed, frazzled, and in…

  • Celebrating Christmas

    The Bundle of Blessing

    As you can tell from my previous three entries concerning Celebrating Christmas, I have “nestled myself into” the appointed feasts of the Lord found in Leviticus 23. Once again, another feast, the Firstfruits Feast, (say that seven times real fast!), caught my wondering heart and mind. Listen to these words of instruction concerning this Israelite celebration: When you enter the land which I am going to give you and reap its harvest, then you shall bring in the sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest. And he shall wave the sheaf before the Lord for you to be accepted. Leviticus 23:9 A sheaf is a bundle; so…