Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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Christmas Craziness
by Tom Goodman
December 19, 2007

"Preparing for a large Christmas Eve family gathering, I had been giving out orders like a drill sergeant," Catherine Halverson wrote in Reader's Digest.  "'Pick up your things!  Don't get your clothes dirty!  Put away those toys!'

"My four-year old daughter had been underfoot, so I sent her to the next room to play with our wooden Nativity set.  As I scurried around setting the table I overheard her make-believe conversation in an all-too-familiar tone of voice:  'I don't care who you are, get those camels out of my living room!'"

Can you identify?  We love the season, of course, but all the demands can make us a little crazy.  A report from the U.S. Census Bureau reveals how amped-up things get at Christmastime.  For example, the U.S. Postal Service expects to deliver 20 billion pieces of mail between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year.  Monday of this week was predicted to be the busiest mailing day with more than 275 million pieces of mail passing through the system versus the normal 82 million.

For most of us, December is filled with parties to attend, baking to complete, cards to send, presents to buy, and people to see.  But in the midst of it all, don't lose the heart of the season (Luke 2:8-18):

There were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.  An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord...."

The shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.  When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.

We'll help you keep your focus on the Christ of Christmas!  Join us for worship at 9:30am or 10:45am this Sunday, December 23.  And don't forget our Christmas Eve service at 6:00pm. 

Merry Christmas!

Drop By the Blog, Leave a Comment.  At my weblog, "Get Anchored," every Sunday I post a new "Song of the Week" (A new series on Advent continues with "Little Drummer Boy" by Jars of Clay).  Also, read Steven Furtick's rant about whiny church members, help from Lee Strobel for answering doubts about Christmas like the ones raised in the Statesman's op-ed piece Saturday, Part Two in a leadership series on the cure for cultural intimidation, and worship wonderings.

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