How to Enjoy Christmas

How does one enjoy Christmas? For many Christmases in my life, I was fed up by the hustle and the bustle of the holidays. Sometimes I was outright angry at secular disbelief, insisting how offended they were by “religious symbols” or live nativity scenes invading their darkness…the true Narcissists of modern times. A few times at Christmas, I loathed my inability to lavish unnecessary gifts on my children and family members. And finally, often, the holidays passed while I boozed through them.

I should never judge how people see the Christmas season, but pray they get the point. I never want to be disappointed that I will be working and not with family, missing the family gathering and meal, watching the children beam when they open their gifts. That is precious, and should burned into thoughts or memories forever…with gratitude. That isn’t the point. So, what is the point?

The point I see today, as a follower of Christ, is the purpose of His visit, my gratitude and acknowledgement of that. I am transformed by believing in Him, His virgin birth… His life and teachings… His sacrifice on the cross… His blood destroying my sins past, present, and future… His resurrection guaranteeing mine from eternal death… and His continual intercession as advocate, defending me from accusations by the evil one. I am lifted when my belief turns to gratitude as I see the real Gift of Christmas, He gave Himself.

The point is seeing entire world is different because of His coming. Invention, exploration, and discovery may have been a part of mankind’s history, yet because of His coming and commission to His disciples to “go ye into all the world,” was catapulted as the Gospel spread, especially through the nations that accepted the message.

In fact, within modern history, from the past 150 years, technology has grown exponentially. I’m filled with gratitude, knowing He is the reason for this, His Spirit, Jesus promised, would come in His stead. The Holy Spirit brought the light of understanding and knowledge to people for invention, exploration, and discovery where His message is freely expressed and received. Where the message is rejected as truth, There is practically no invention, and the people would be living as people lived a millennium or more in the past without the discoveries from others.

How Christmas can be truly good, even wonderful, is refusing to allow the holiday to be about all you have done for others. You may have worked hard to cook, get everyone together, and to find that perfect gift for family and friends…and they don’t offer thanks for your toil. Think about what He has done for you, and be grateful by not expecting accolades…just give.

One last thought, and this is a “biggie.” You may not have time to go serve at a “drop-in,” or soup kitchen-meal-station for the homeless. Take a moment, pause and say thanks for what you do have. Ask God to bring comfort to the homeless, the widow and orphaned, the addict, the alcoholic, those trapped in darkness. Don’t forget to ask for our men and women serving the country, away from their families. Ask God to protect them from danger, from evil, comforting them in their loneliness…and their family the same.

Bonus thought. While you are asking, ask Him to foil the plans and schemes of the grifter running scams, preying on the elderly and weak. May God protect them all.

Merry Christ-mas to all, God grant you light to see His Truth…for His glory!

Under The Influence

we have a book…and an ebook.

Hello all! This is just a reminder about my new book now available. I have about a month and a half before it goes public, but you can get it now through my website at www.skeithbarnes.com We are pretty excited, and those who have already received their copies are pretty pumped! This should be a real help to the individual that struggles with drug, alcohol, porn, gambling, well…any addiction. Alcoholics and drug addicts wanting to stay clean and sober, learn a few secrets about doing just that in this book. The truth is, there is no secrets per se, it is how you start each day, live through the day, and reflect at night.

 

It is possible to live every day with purpose, fulfilled through a relationship with God through Jesus, and a grateful heart. Any person wanting to recover and serve the Lord, needs this tool. It works, as we work it. This isn’t a pie in the sky, hope to heaven it works. The book is a guide to staying sober through spiritual focus. If you or a loved one are struggling, get this book, or ebook, you won’t be sorry. I will sigh the book for you, and get it to you asap. Allow 1-2 wks for delivery.

 

The book will retail for $27.99, but you can get it through my website for $23.00 plus tax, and $3 will ship it anywhere in the US. That’s $27.61 total. The ebook is $10.95 including tax and shipping. International rates are a little higher for shipping, but no sales tax is added. That’s it. Thanks for reading, hope you like the book, but more importantly, it helps you grow in Christ and stay sober!

Good Sunday Mother!

Sunday is the day of worship for the majority of Christians, and this particular Sunday, we recognize and honor our “Moms,” you know, the one who brought us into the world.
Mom didn’t just bring me into the world after nine months of toting me around inside and like eighteen hours of labor, (I have always been stubborn), she did much more. Mom determined to raise me to know God, to believe in His unbelievable abilities,  and to follow Christ lifelong. Of course, my strong free-will got in the way. I decided that I could go my way and proceded to disappoint her and dad for a time as the prodigal son, outside of the fold.
I am convinced that mom would not stop praying for my return to sanity and into the “Kingdom of God,” until the day she would return to the “Kingdom of Heaven” to be with Christ. Those prayers she and dad prayed are the reason I “came to myself,” and was freed from a life of addiction to alcoholism. I am eternally grateful and when the eons in eternity never cease, I will continue to tell her so. She is eighty-one and continues in prayer for me, my wife, children, and all in the household of faith. Thanks mom!
Not all have had this blessing of a praying mother, that clothed me in prayer protection from evil and danger. Many people today are being raised by their grandmother, or aunt, because their mom is still living out her personal desires and placing her children last, less important than her offspring that still adore her anyhow. They will have future grief for their actions, let God judge, not us.
Nonetheless, most children do have someone they can look to as a mom in their upbringing. Today or tomorrow, honor them. If your motherly influence has passed away, honor another mom you know who have given themselves to raising and nuturing children…theirs or others children.
How should I honor mom? Okay you men, we are inept in knowing how to do anything outside of man-stuff, so here is a couple of hints. Don’t have mom make you a big dinner, and then do the cleanup while you watch baseball and sleep on the couch. You can take her out, or carry in lunch or dinner. You could even make her dinner if you know how…no bologna sandwiches, dummy, peanut butter and jelly is better. Clean up after the meal, make sure she rests on the day of honoring her. Make it a tradition.
Find things that need done around her dwelling, and fix it, or have it fixed. Take genuine interest in your mom, grandmother, or whomever is responsible for helping you survive in life. This day, don’t whine about your troubles to ma, ask her about her upbringing, about her mother and grandmother. You may learn things you never knew.
For the women, be sure to tell your mom thanks for everything. That of course being you are thankful. Maybe your mom didn’t raise you, and left you with her mom, or you wound up in foster-care. Forgive her as your gift for Mother’s day. If you cannot, as a gift, pray for God to heal you so you can forgive, and pray for her good. (Men do the same if the shoe fits) Mothers can sometimes make mistakes that really mess up their kids.
Mothers also have a tendency to enforce their will on their children to be better than they were, and cause severe damage to the relationship. They really want to control your life so you don’t err, instead of surrendering their will and trusting God for their children’s future. Love is their reasoning, and unguided faith their oversight. They do want the best for their little ones, give them a break, you’ll do the same if you are not surrendered to God’s will for your, and your children’s lives.
For you whose parents have passed, or do not live in the same geographical area, make a Mother’s day phone call…the first thing so you do not forget. If mom is with Jesus, as I stated earlier, find another mom to honor. Maybe a neighbor, a friend’s mom, an aunt, or seeing a mom with kids in passing. The main thing is, get outside of your head for another, and Sunday it is for moms.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all. Thanks again mommy! Keith