The Ten Commandments at Christmas 2011
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life"
I never thought of this Scripture from John 3:16 before as a perfect one for Christmas. We have gift giving on our minds. So does God. He gave us His only Son! In terms of our giving our own son away, we can barely imagine the uttermost supreme value of God's gift. By our acceptance of Jesus, we are further gifted with eternal life in God's heaven. How much more blessed can we be?
How can we sufficiently say "Thank You, God?" By celebrating Christmas as God's love for us and our love for each other.
How do we know our children love us? By their accepting our rules, respecting our teachings. God knows we love Him by keeping His commandments. Jesus said, "If ye love Me, keep my commandments."
Think about how we can honor the Ten Commandments at Christmas.
1. Thou shalt have no other gods before ME. Every day you speak to everyone living in your home. Do you speak to God every day? Get off the carrousel of shopping, wrapping, decorating, cooking, cleaning. Set aside some time to be with God and thank Him for Jesus.
2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image. Santa Claus
and gift giving are important; but Jesus's birthday is most important. Make sure the children understand "Jesus is the reason for the season."
3. Thou shalt not take the Name of the Lord thy God in vain. It's not just cursing that belittles His name. There are songs and greeting cards that are offensive to you, me and God. May everything you do and say reflect reverence for our Lord.
4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Most of my life, stores were closed on Sunday. Now, it's holy when Christmas falls on Sunday, as this year. Make it a priority to keep Sunday as a day of rest, even when the sales beckon.
5. Honor thy father and thy mother. Teach your children to value their grandparents (and you) by helping them choose or make special gifts…a poem; letter; photo album, decoration, chore coupons.
6. Thou shalt not kill. We would not murder -- we respect life.
We teach our children this respect when they help us care for "the least of these." Every year, our children helped with wrapping gifts and
assembling a basket of food for a poor family. If they didn't have a tree, we gave them one with decorations. Now, they are grown up and give to charities on their own. Last Christmas, they came to me and said they all wanted to help a poor family. We did! "Train up a child in the way he should go…he will not depart from it." What a blessing!
7. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Sometimes we get so busy with shopping, wrapping, decorating, cooking, cleaning, that we neglect our mates. Don't let this happen! Devote time to each other.
8. Thou shalt not steal. Make out a Christmas budget…an amount you can afford without putting anything in a layaway, or on
credit cards, being aware that you don't know where the money is coming from to pay for them. Spend only what you can afford.
Remember, it is Jesus's birthday. Why are you spending so much money on everyone else?
Being 90 years old, I can remember a LOT of changes. There was a time when NO Christmas decorations were in the stores until after Thanksgiving. We did our Christmas shopping in December. Now, the merchants keep decorating earlier and earlier every year. They want you to buy more presents. On Sept. 9, this year, Wal-Mart had a write-up in the Chronicle that they were bringing back layaway beginning Oct. 17 and running through Dec. 16. Why would anyone want to think of Christmas in October? Don't steal from October fun and Thanksgiving praises.
9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. Jack and I had one disagreement: I wanted to buy gifts for family, only. Every time a friend bought a gift for our children or for us, Jack would rush out and buy them even more expensive gifts. I couldn't influence Jack that these were gifts of appreciation…like the gifts I received at my office from companies. They didn't expect me to go out and buy them a gift! Jack wouldn't agree. It became a resentful burden to me, because they were added to my list every year thereafter! We spent Christmas eve with Jack's family and Christmas day with mine. We exchanged gifts with all our siblings, their spouses and children--plus our parents. We took care of a poor family. Enough!!!
10. Thou shalt not covet. There will always be others who have more, get more, do more. Be content with what you have, and do what you can afford. Make worshipping the Lord your top priority, and you will receive more blessings than your heart can hold.
Christmas will be real exciting this year with all my family in Florida. Wanda and Dexter bought a home March 1st, twenty minutes from their golf course. Rachel and Mike spent four months there doing remodeling throughout the 5,300 sq. ft. mansion on 3 acres with trees and a lake. I've seen pictures of the house, twelve feet above the ground with a covered porch all the way around! A gorgeous winding stairway path goes down to the lake. Wanda wrote:
"There are so many places for our grandchildren to play and explore…back in the woods, and across the creek. Just a mile away is the beach and the ocean. Great place for a picnic. We have blue crabs right off the dock in our back yard. Mike caught an ice chest full, and we didn't know what to do with them. We've only caught bait when fishing. Mike has just expanded the dock area to a larger lake and has seen huge fish on that side of the property…our own pool, 30,000 gallons and a hot tub that 10 people have been in at once, and no toe touching, (unless it was on purpose) is very comfortable for everyone...or you can just relax with a good book and watch the birds and wildlife around. We have an osprey nest and I saw an osprey carry a fish to the nest. There is usually a pelican or herring that sits on our dock…we saw an owl one night, and a raccoon comes and drinks from the pool every night. We'll have fun if we do absolutely nothing--or watch movies from my collection of favorites, play games. There are places to go."
One morning, Rachel woke up early, got a cup of coffee and strolled out to the patio. She came flying back to her bedroom, screaming and beating Mike on his arm, "Wake up! Wake UP! There's the biggest snake I ever saw in my life out on the patio!" They rushed out of the house. Mike picked up a sheet of plywood and a hammer. Rachel yelled, "Put your boots on! The snake will bite your toes!" He quickly put his left foot in, and she shouted, "NO! Did you check it for snakes?" He shook the right boot…empty…slipped it on his foot, and approached the snake
…slammed the bottom edge of the plywood across the middle of its body! Rachel squealed as the snake thrashed against the wooden wall Mike held up with his left hand while swinging the hammer with his right. The snake lost the battle.
Talking to Wanda on the phone, I said, "You'll have to get rid of ALL your snakes before I come up there!" She said, "I've surrounded the house with eight pounds of mothballs. We have not seen one since, but there was a snake skin by the front porch! I'm not sure what that means!"
"Somehow not only for Christmas, but all the long year through, the joy that you give to others is the joy that comes back to you. And the more you spend in blessing the poor and lonely and sad, the more of your heart's possessing returns to make you glad" --John Greenleaf Whittier
May your life overflow with joy in celebration of our Savior's birth. Enjoy a Christmas blessed with love and kindness that will spill over throughout the New Year, 2012. 'Love you all!
TILLIE WIER, inspirational writer and employee of Logos Ranch, LLC shares her adventures with God so that others may see Him in their everyday lives.
> Christmas 2011