Merry ChristmasWhen I was eight years old I remember a distinct time of searching for something to make sense to me. It was a tradition in our family to take a summer vacation to Kansas City to watch a Kansas City Royals baseball game. My grandfather was a minor league player back in the 30’s and I remember that he loved to go and watch the Royals play ball. Some of the memories of this time escape me but at some time on that trip someone had given me a bible. I remember that it was something that I held close to me on that trip and continued to hold it close once vacation was over.

After returning home from the trip I recall an evening that as I was off to bed, I snagged a flashlight and snuck it into my room. I had built a tent earlier that day in my room and I got moms approval to sleep in the tent that night. As I lay in the tent I recall pulling out the bible that I had received. I opened it and started to read. I told myself that I was going to read the entire thing! No more than a couple of chapters into Genesis, I was fast asleep.

Fast forward 20 years later and I was faced with a time where I would either continue to live my life empty and directionless, or I would make a decision to seek spiritual meaning to my future. I made a decision to follow Jesus and my desires started to change. During this time of spiritual change, I recalled the time that I received that “unexpected gift” of a bible when I was eight. What a gift that was! Even though I only read about Adam and Eve, the seeds were planted in my heart that day, and 20 years later those sees were being watered.

As Christmas can be filled with commercial gift giving and the consumer mentality of our culture. I want to challenge you to a life giving gift this year. Maybe you are the holder of the “unexpected gift” in someone’s life. Give generously with good intentions and be Blessed this Christmas Season! Merry Christmas!

This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit. Joseph, her fiancé, was a good man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly. As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet: “Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’” (Matthew 1:18-23 NLT)