Saturday, November 30, 2013

Not Under the Tree

If you are looking for the spirit of Christmas you will not find it under a tree, but in a Person who transforms the hearts of men, women, and children.

God Says 

So the Word became human and made His home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen His glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son. -John 1:14 

Something to Think About 

Christmas is about a person, Jesus Christ, and people. God offers the gift of a relationship with Him through the person of Jesus Christ. This one relationship can change your world and the world. 

Individual or Family Activity 

Ask yourself the simple question: What would your life look like if I (we) spend the next 25 days intentionally growing in your (our) relationship(s) with God?

Commit to participating daily in WE Christmas.

Individual or Family Prayer 

Dear God, 

During these seasons of Advent and Christmas, I want to grow closer to you.
You offer me the gift of Yourself through Jesus Christ. 
     Help me accept this gift. 
     Help me keep accepting this gift. 

During this season of busyness – let me listen to and respond to Your voice.
During this season of commercialism – let me embrace Your simplicity. 
During this season of distractions – let me focus on You. 

On Christmas morning – with all the chaos and clutter – 
My prayer is that I have experienced and am experiencing 

Your hope 
Your peace 
Your love 
Your joy and 
Your grace 


Friday, November 29, 2013

Spend Less. Give More.

Today is the busiest shopping day of the year. Giving is part of the Christmas tradition. The three travelers brought gifts to the baby Jesus. God is generous and we are created in God’s image.

God Says 

I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. –Acts 3:6

Something to Think About 

Peter gave what he had and that was more than enough. The quality of a gift has little to do with the cost of the gift. 

It's not how much we give but how much love we put into giving. –Mother Theresa 

Spending more on a loved one doesn’t make the gift better. It makes it more expensive. Some of the best gifts can cost a lot. Some of the best gifts can cost nothing at all. 

Each of us has a primary love language

1. Physical Touch 
2. Quality Time 
3. Gifts 
4. Words of Affirmation 
5. Acts of Service 

Four of these five love languages cost nothing at all except a little effort. It is possible to spend less and give more! 

Individual or Family Activity 

Spend some time indentifying your primary love language or the primary love languages of each other. Share what you learned about each other and how this will change the way you give. 

Practice Giving 

  • Give a hug or hold somebody’s hand. 
  • Spend some quality time (put your phone away…the world will be fine without you for a few hours) with somebody. 
  • Be generous by using encouraging words. Be really intentional about this one.
  • Surprise somebody with an act of service. 
Practice giving more and spending less during the seasons of Advent and Christmas. 

Individual or Family Prayer 

Dear God, 

You are generous. Thank You for giving so much to me. 
Let me be more generous and reflect Your generosity to others. 
Teach me the lesson: I don’t have to spend to give. 

Jesus touched the leper
            Help me hug the hurting and embrace my loved ones 
Jesus spent time listening to and investing in others
            Help me spend undistracted quality time with my friends and family
Jesus offered words of grace to all
            Let my words be intentional and build others up
Jesus was a faithful servant
            Let me selflessly and genuinely serve Your children


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving and welcome to WE Christmas! The next thirty-four days are designed to help you grow in your relationship with God and with others.

God Says 

And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. –Ephesians 5:20 

Something to Think About 

Don’t spoil what you have by spending so much time and energy desiring what you don’t have. Thanksgiving is God’s plan for our lives. It closes doors of jealousy, resentment, greed, and discontentment. It opens doors of grace, joy, peace, generosity, and love. Thanksgiving is a lifestyle and not a single act. It is the way we think, speak, and act. It is also the single best way to start the seasons of Advent and Christmas: grateful, content, and loved. 

Individual or Family Activity 

Spend some time creating a list of things you are thankful for. Try to think of at least a dozen people or things or events or experiences. Think about or explain to others why you are thankful for what you are thankful for. 

Individual or Family Prayer for Thanksgiving Day 

Dear God, 

Create in me a thankful heart.
Develop in me a grateful mind.
Give me an appreciative spirit. 

I confess feelings of jealously toward the actions of others.
I confess feelings of envy toward the possessions, attributes, and skills of others.
I confess feelings of greed that have caused ungratefulness in my life. 

Create in me a thankful heart. 

I have focused on what I don’t have rather than what I do have.
I have taken for granted many of your blessings.
I have wanted more than I have needed.
Create in me a thankful heart. 

For Your fellowship
For my family
For my friends
I give you thanks. 

For a warm bed to sleep and good food to eat
For clean water to drink and a clear mind to think
For comfortable clothes to wear and a life to share 

I give you thanks. 
For your grace for my mistakes
For your power when I am weak
For your love when I am alone
I give you thanks. 

For your presence and promise in times of grief and trials 
For your hope and light in days of despair and darkness
For creating the unique person I am
I give you thanks. 

For laughter and smiles and hugs and most tears
For the ability to embrace and to be embraced
For recovery, restoration, repair, and reconciliation
I give you thanks. 

Give me an appreciative spirit.
Develop in me a grateful mind.
Create in me a thankful heart. 


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Journey Begins on Thanksgiving

Christmas is grace. The day the Word became flesh. God came down from heaven. It either means everything or it means absolutely nothing. For those to whom it means everything, the young mother held the Life and the Resurrection in her wobbly arms. Her world was never the same again and neither was the world she lived in.

Children singing in worship

WE Christmas takes us back to basics. Together WE will look at Jesus as hope to a discouraging world, joy to a painful world, love to an indifferent world, peace to a busy world, and grace to a broken world. And because of this gift—your world doesn't ever have to be the same again.

WE Worship

Each day between Thanksgiving and Christmas we will post a daily devotional guide. It will usually have a short Scripture reading, an application, an activity for individuals and families, and a prayer. You can do this privately or as a family. Join the conversation on this blog. The aim of WE Christmas is to help us grow in our relationship with God and experience God's love and grace more fully during this season of Advent and Christmas.