* Special "What's The Meaning Of Christmas Gift Pack" Giveaway by VeggieTales Creator Phil Vischer * What's In The Bible? Jellyfish Labs is celebrating the true meaning of Christmas by giving away FIVE (5) special gift 2-pack bundles here on Faith Barista. Enter the giveaway at the end of today's post!
It’s my special day.
It’s my birthday.
As I throw the covers off, I swing myself off the bed and into the morning routine: get dressed, get the kids ready for school and fix breakfast.
Just another regular day.
My birthday happens to land on a weekday this year, so the everyday routine makes me feel… ordinary.
Are you serious, girl? I say to myself. You’re getting too old to need attention on your birthday.
As I shuffle my feet to make the morning cup of coffee, it strikes me.
Whether we are a child or a full grown adult, we all carry pictures of what it looks like to have a good birthday.
Do we do the same with Christmas?
What’s my version of a picture-perfect Christmas?
When I was a little girl, I dreamed of —
A beautifully decorated home.
Lots of friends crowded in, laughing and just huggin’ on each other.
Extended family cheer, free of the undercurrent of drama and memories of hard conversations.
This and more were once etched into my heart, causing me to dread the holidays.
This picture of Christmas dreams changed every year as I grew up, whether I was single or married, student or working adult.
The truth is this: what I really longed for was a deep craving for love. To belong.
Jesus knows this ache well.
Outside of Perfect
On his very first birthday, Jesus didn’t even get half the attention He deserved.
It was far from picture perfect.
Jesus came quietly. Pretty much flying as below the radar as you could imagine.
His Father God choose a cave instead of a palace for his delivery room.
And the birth announcement went out, it was one of a kind. It was interactive. Not just 3D.
A choir of angels blasting the sky. Live.
But, this big investment of angel-power was spent only on one recipient. A bunch of shepherds. The most ordinary folk you could’ve chosen in that day.
The supernatural announcement of Jesus’ birth didn’t even go to the family members back in Nazareth. Don’t you think Mary and Joseph could’ve used the help, given the pre-marital pregnancy and everything?
Do you relate to all this picture perfect pressure during Christmas?
Maybe you’re waiting for something supernatural to just quell all the fears and uncertainties that are going on right now.
We all have them.
God knows this.
This is why He sent us Emmanuel.
God with us.
Outside of the picture perfect life we dream of, Jesus stands with us — making His home right where our imperfect lives have us feeling ordinary and hidden.
“Instead of taking power, this king will give up his power for us.
He became human like us,
turned his life upside down,
so he can take our mess ups.
I’ll never be alone,
cuz Jesus.. in God, I’ll find my home.“
from the video “Why Do We Call It Christmas”
by VeggieTales Creator Phil Vischer
In the coming weeks, the routine of holiday traditions may take the special out of Jesus’ birthday. Maybe have us feeling it’s just an ordinary Christmas. The opposite can also be true. There may be mounting pressures building up for that picture perfect holiday.
Either way, we have a reason to let our picture perfect distractions go when we hit those patches.
Let’s unwrap Jesus, each of us, in the inner rooms of our hearts.
Where you’re celebrating,
Where you’re waiting for joy,
Where you’re hurting, but persevering,
Where you don’t have answers, but you are holding onto the One who does,
Where you’re thankful and giddy from the beauty of the life God’s blessed you with,
Breathe a smile to the Jesus — God who is with you — pouring His all into you.
Just like he did over 2000 years ago.
In an upcoming post, I’ll be sharing a special baby gift registry.
No, I’m not pregnant.
I would just love your ideas on how we can offer gifts for a Baby King’s birthday celebration.
It’s coming soon.
You know, Jesus’ birthday.
I was struck with today’s deeply comforting reflection in today’s post when I least expected it last week.
Hubby and I were watching a wonderful new Christmas DVD created by VeggieTales Creator Phil Vischer called “Why Do We Call It Christmas?” with our boys two-year-old CJ and six-year-old TJ. It’s a heart-tugging and hilariously entertaining Christmas video that explains the history and biblical meaning behind a lot of the holiday traditions.
The Christmas DVD is part of a Muppets-like series called “What’s In The Bible?”. Our church uses it in Sunday School as a educational tool to teach grade school kids about each book of the Bible. It delivers theology in a funny and memorable way.
Thanks to What’s In The Bible?, FIVE (5) Winners will be randomly selected to receive a Special Christmas Giveaway 2-pack Bundle:
1. The Christmas DVD “Why Do We Call It Christmas?”.
2. What’s In The Bible (Vol1) DVD. “In the Beginning: Genesis”
Psst… Special Christmas Pricing. TJ loved watching the videos so much at church, we got the DVDs for the Pentateuch – the first 5 books of the Bible – for home. If you’re interested, there’s a special Christmas Gift Bundle currently offered: 6 DVDs at $7.98 per DVD. Click on the ad below to view (subscribers can click here).
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* CONGRATULATIONS TO * Our 5 winners of What’s In The Bible Christmas Giveaway: #69 Tanya, #53 Jenny YH, #71 Katy, #45 Melissa C #24 Mary Mauk. You’ll be contacted shortly for contact info!
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*** NOW, IT’S YOUR TURN — FAITH BARISTA JAM! ***
** Special December Series: Unwrapping Jesus**
Next Thursday & every Thursday in December, our writing prompt is: Unwrapping Jesus
Take The Faith Barista Challenge: Unwrapping Jesus
If you’re looking to unwrap Jesus in a new way this month, join me and take the Faith Barista Challenge this month.
Keep a lookout for:
*1. Ways to celebrate Christmas simply.
*2. Inspiring moments that fill you with God’s love, joy, peace, or hope.
*3. Encouragement to see Christmas in a new way.
*4. A Fresh Take on the Gift of Jesus.
Approach it any way you feel inspired! Only required ingredient: keep it real.
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Who knows? Maybe you’ll get a special message you didn’t expect.
On second thought, if you take up the journey — I know you will.
It’s a jam session. As time allows, say hi & drop a comment when visiting the community faith blends!