The Real Christmas Story: Murder, Intrigue, Rejection & Wonder

 

The Real Story of ChristmasI mentioned recently that the Bible is the #1 best seller of all time. That is true for many reasons, not the least of which is the fact that God is always going to watch over and protect His Word. It’s, also, true because it offers the only true and lasting answers to man’s problems.

Communist and other governments have tried to destroy it. False religious leaders have burned it, outlawed it and punished those who held on to it. And today many in the scientific world and in our institutions of higher education have tried to declare it irrelevant, at best, and foolish or dangerous, at worst. Yet people continue to suffer persecution and even death to keep it and hold to its principles.

The Bible is, also, a literary masterpiece. (Go figure it was written by the most creative being ever! Just sayin’!)

It has intrigue, deception, sex, love, war, devotion, bitterness, redemption, and so much more. It’s a book of songs and poetry, story-telling, history and wisdom. It portrays human experience, even its underside, but also provides the wisdom to understand and overcome it.

The Bible tells the fascinating story of creation, the fall of man, and redemption through the lives and lessons of real people. It’s stories are without parallel.

The Christmas story alone is one of perceived betrayal and rejection (Mary and Joseph). It’s one of embarrassment (just think about what their friends and neighbors must have thought), harsh and unfair treatment (imagine riding a donkey 70 or so miles while 9 months pregnant), and murder (when Herod failed to find the baby Jesus, he ordered the mass murder of all the boys age 2 and under).

But it’s also one of wonder (the virgin birth, the journey of the wise men, angels appearing to lowly shepherds, and God’s protection of His Son).

As we finish out this year and begin rereading the incredible book we call the Bible, get ready for more shocking human behavior, more intrigue, more twists and turns, and more of God’s amazing patience, mercy, grace and love. And no matter how many times (or how few) you’ve read through the Bible, get ready to be blessed as you grow to know our amazing God better.

If you’re new here, I blog through the Bible each year sharing, as God faithfully shows me, insights about how the Bible applies to our daily lives. The journey started as a challenge to the ladies in our women’s ministry about 8 years ago. I told them if they would commit to read through the Bible with me, I would commit to send out an email every day sharing some things I gleaned from my reading. It quickly grew to 100, then 200, then 300+ men and women.

As that first year was coming to an end, God made it clear that I was to do it again … then again … then again. After several years, I decided to turn that annual journey into a blog.

I also write about others subjects. Right now I’m sharing a series on homosexuality: how we got here, the many voices telling us what to believe about the subject, how to respond biblically, how to minster to families who have a family member living or struggling with a same-sex attraction, etc.

After the first of the year I’ll pick up with another series called “Bite-Sized Theology” that I started earlier this year.

Sign up to receive the daily “Bible in a Year” posts here.

If you would like to receive the other series I mentioned, you can sign up for those “Christian Living” posts here.

If you’re a blogger, I also host a Mondays @ Soul Survival Linkup each week. View the most recent one here.

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Good Reads on Christmas Traditions, Resolutions & More

 

What I've Been Reading Christmas EssentialsI don’t know about you but I’m constantly blessed by the great posts I read on other sites. Here are a few I’ve enjoyed the last couple of weeks on Christmas traditions, possibly some New Year’s resolutions, our fear of witnessing, and more.

 

#1. If you need some creative ideas for Christmas and Christmas Eve, this is your list! From movies, to music, to making the season special, it’s here. Elizabeth’s “Christmas Eve Service” made me wish my children were young again!

The 12 Days of Christmas Things I Love by Elizabeth at Guilty Chocoholic Mama.

 

#2. There is a good chance we all need to be more faithful about this subject and Alison’s plan is the one I find the most helpful to many people. New Year’s resolution, anyone? (Speaking of New Year’s resolutions, don’t forget to sign up for the Bible in a Year posts for 2016.)

How to Memorize Scripture the Easy Way from Alison at The Life of Scoop.

#3. This is a great reminder that this is important to understand every day not just the first time faith came alive.

Do you understand the blessing of not working for salvation? by Lisa at Conforming to the Truth.

#4. If you have been thinking about doing the Daniel Fast after the first of the year, you might want to take advantage of this sale on Nannette’s Devotional.

Feasting to Fasting – the Daniel Fast Devotional is on sale!

#5. I can’t help myself, I have to share another post I enjoyed by Sharon. She has a gift for mixing humor with serious points. The most important serious point is about “the” black Friday that made all the difference! And there’s trivia at the end!

Black Friday Shopping by Sharon at Sharon Sharing God.

 

#6. Ren makes some excellent points about the refugee situation (especially the part about listening and not demonizing each other). We must learn to balance grace and truth. The quote about why we lock our doors is worth the price of admission.

Jesus the Refugee? by Ren at Redeemed of the Lord.

 

#7. This next post is a great reminder to not be afraid to allow people to see Christ in us, even if it’s mixed with our weaknesses, too.

What I’m Afraid to Say by Renee at Doorkeeper.

 

Featuring a post here doesn’t mean I always agree 100% or I would say things quite the same way, but that the thoughts and ideas are some we should think about.

I hope you enjoy visiting and reading these posts as much as I did. I’ll have more great reads to share with you in a week or so. What have you been reading that has blessed you?

December blessings,
Donna

 

 

Do you have a plan to grow spiritually through god’s word in 2016?

Why read through the Bible?

Why read through the Bible?

Sign up for Daily Through the Bible Posts here.

 

I sometimes LINKUP with these blogs:

Mondays Making Your Home Sing Mondays Darling Downs Diaries The Modest Mom The Art of Homemaking Reflect His Love & Glory Musing Mondays The Beauty in His Grip What Joy is Mine Monday Musings Me, Coffee & Jesus Encourage Me
Tuesdays Time Warp Wife A Spirit of Simplicity Testimony Tuesdays Purposeful Faith Grammie Time Intentional Tuesday Cornerstone Confessions Teaching What is Good
Wednesdays A Wise Woman Builds Her Home Coffee for Your Heart Messy Marriage A Little R & R Whole Hearted Home Women with Intention While I’m Waiting Woman to Woman
Thursdays Creative K Kids Looking Up Linkup I Choose Joy 3-D Lessons for Life Hearts for Home Imparting Grace
Fridays Christian Mommy Blogger Fellowship Fridays Missional Women Faith Filled Fridays Grace & Truth Linkup Mouse in the House Simple Moments Stick Create with Joy A Spirit Kissed Soul Essential Fridays
Saturdays Snippets of Inspiration Ask Latisha The Weekend Brew Amanda’s Books & More
Sundays Spiritual Sundays Raising Samuels Social Butterfly Sunday Artful Homemaking

This post may contain affiliate links, but I only recommend books and resources that I believe are theologically sound and beneficial to the reader. Thank you for supporting this blog and ministry by supporting my links!

What I’ve Been Reading: Great Posts on Forgiveness, Christmas & More

 

What I've Been ReadingI don’t know about you but I’m constantly blessed by the great posts I read on other sites. Here are a few I enjoyed the last couple of weeks.

The first two are from two of my favorite bloggers, Aimee and Sharon. They never fail to speak truth to my heart.

Forgiveness is the Key to Freedom by Aimee Imbeau at “A Work of Grace.”

I am so troubled by Sharon at “Sharon Sharing God.”

 

Even though the Paris attacks are not at the top of the news cycle anymore (a sad commentary on the world we live in), we haven’t seen the end of terrorism so Zohar Gonen’s post will continue to be timely.

The Right Response to the Paris Terror Attacks by Zohar Gonen at Women Abiding.

 

I found this next post on the Titus2 Tuesdays Linkup at Time Warp Wife. We all want Christmas to be Christ-centered. If you have children, you’ll want to read this one:

Do you make these 3 Parenting Mistakes at Christmas? from Intoxicated on Life.

 

I can’t resist a good bit of trivia, especially Bible trivia, and this one is a faith builder! I love going to Nannette’s website just to see the photo of her and “the Sweetheart”!

Why the Comma in God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen? from Nannette at Hope in the Healing.

 

great posts

I hope you enjoy visiting and reading these posts as much as I did. I’ll have more great reads to share with you in a week or so. What have you been reading that has blessed you?

December blessings,
Donna

 

 

Do you have a plan to grow spiritually through god’s word in 2016?

Why read through the Bible?

Why read through the Bible?

Sign up for Daily Through the Bible Posts here.

 

I sometimes LINKUP with these blogs:

Mondays Making Your Home Sing Mondays Darling Downs Diaries The Modest Mom The Art of Homemaking Reflect His Love & Glory Musing Mondays The Beauty in His Grip What Joy is Mine Monday Musings Me, Coffee & Jesus Encourage Me
Tuesdays Time Warp Wife A Spirit of Simplicity Testimony Tuesdays Purposeful Faith Grammie Time Intentional Tuesday Cornerstone Confessions Teaching What is Good
Wednesdays A Wise Woman Builds Her Home Coffee for Your Heart Messy Marriage A Little R & R Whole Hearted Home Women with Intention While I’m Waiting Woman to Woman
Thursdays Creative K Kids Looking Up Linkup I Choose Joy 3-D Lessons for Life Hearts for Home Imparting Grace
Fridays Christian Mommy Blogger Fellowship Fridays Missional Women Faith Filled Fridays Grace & Truth Linkup Mouse in the House Simple Moments Stick Create with Joy A Spirit Kissed Soul Essential Fridays
Saturdays Snippets of Inspiration Ask Latisha The Weekend Brew Amanda’s Books & More
Sundays Spiritual Sundays Raising Samuels Social Butterfly Sunday Artful Homemaking

This post may contain affiliate links, but I only recommend books and resources that I believe are theologically sound and beneficial to the reader. Thank you for supporting this blog and ministry by supporting my links!

December 25 “The real story of Christmas: murder, intrigue & wonder”

nativity sceneMerry Christmas,

I pray that you are enjoying a wonderful day rejoicing in the birth of our Savior! It’s His birth, life, and sacrificial death that makes reading His Word so important.

I mentioned yesterday that the Bible is the #1 best seller of all time. That is true for many reasons, not the least of which is the fact that God is always going to watch over and protect His Word. It’s, also, true because it offers the only true and lasting answers to man’s problems.

Communist and other governments have tried to destroy it. False religious leaders have burned it, outlawed it and punished those who held on to it. And today many in the scientific world and in our institutions of higher education have tried to declare it irrelevant, at best, and foolish or dangerous, at worst. Yet people continue to suffer persecution and even death to keep it and hold to its principles.

The Bible is, also, a literary masterpiece. (Go figure it was written by the most creative being ever! Just sayin’!)

It has intrigue, deception, sex, love, war, devotion, bitterness, redemption, and so much more. It’s a book of songs and poetry, story-telling, history and wisdom. It portrays human experience, even its underside, but also provides the wisdom to understand and overcome it.

The Bible tells the fascinating story of creation, the fall of man, and redemption through the lives and lessons of real people. It’s stories are without parallel.

The Christmas story alone is one of perceived betrayal and rejection (Mary and Joseph). It’s one of embarrassment (just think about what their friends and neighbors must have thought), harsh and unfair treatment (imagine riding a donkey 70 or so miles while 9 months pregnant), and murder (when Herod failed to find the baby Jesus, he ordered the mass murder of all the boys age 2 and under).

But it’s also one of wonder (the virgin birth, the journey of the wise men, angels appearing to lowly shepherds, and God’s protection of His Son).

As we finish out this year and begin rereading the incredible book we call the Bible, get ready for more shocking human behavior, more intrigue, more twists and turns, and more of God’s amazing patience, mercy, grace and love. And no matter how many times (or how few) you’ve read through the Bible, get ready to be blessed as you grow to know our amazing God better.

On to …

Today’s Readings:
Haggai 1 & 2
Psalm 147.7-11
Proverbs 30.20
Revelation 15

 

Priorities ConceptHaggai 1 & 2:

Consider your priorities

Verse 1.5b sums up the theme of this book when it says, “… ‘Consider your ways!’” He repeated the admonition in 1.7. The blessings of the Lord were missing from their lives. Verse 6:

6 “ You have sown much, and bring in little;
You eat, but do not have enough;
You drink, but you are not filled with drink;
You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm;
And he who earns wages,
Earns wages to put into a bag with holes.”

The people’s priorities were all wrong. They were more concerned about their own homes and personal comfort than they were the work of God. And it wasn’t working out so well for them!

As we approach the New Year, Continue reading