Posted in Christmas, From Worry To Glory, New Year

How To Celebrate Christmas Daily in New Year 2015 and Beyond

Christmas angels on Stafford St. Timaru herald the start of Christmas celebration for more than 3 decades now.
Christmas angels on Stafford St. Timaru had heralded the city’s Christmas season for more than 3 decades now.

“Merry Christmas”

The most uttered phrase or greeting each Christmas season, spoken for infinite number of times by peoples of the world.

As the zenith of the Christmas season comes 25th December, so does our greeting one another intensifies. We just love to celebrate Christmas,aren’t we?

Well, if we really love celebrating Christmas and we want to honour Jesus the Christ of Christmas, then we should face the challenge of celebrating Christmas daily.

How to celebrate Christmas everyday? Let the exhortation of the Apostle Paul in Philippians 2:1-11 guide us.

Humility

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. (Philippians 2:3-4)

Yes, everyday, let us keep the humble spirit, acknowledging that all that we are, all that we have are because of God’s overflowing and never-ceasing mercies and grace.

Servant-hood

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. (Philippians 2:5-7)

Are you ready to break your seasonal celebration of Christmas by shifting from symbolical giving to total sacrificial giving as what Jesus has done?

It’s easy to give gifts on Christmas but it’s very challenging to really go out of your comfort zone, “pour out” yourself and be involved in uplifting the quality of life of your fellowmen throughout the year.

Take your Christian service to the next level by being involve actively in the service of humanity and for the glory of God.

Lifelong Commitment

And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death — even death on a cross! (Philippians 2:8)

Celebrating Christmas daily requires lifelong commitment. It doesn’t stop on 25th December and will resume again next year’s Christmas season.

Jesus Christ’s example is “becoming obedient to death”

I hope Christmas isn’t just the highlight of our holiday season. May after celebrating our excitement about Christmas won’t falter nor die down.

May our greeting one another “Merry Christmas”, giving gifts to our children, loved ones and friends, lead to our recognising and achieving the bigger challenge of celebrating Christmas daily, as long as we live and until He comes.

As God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, may all people at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11 paraphrase mine)

 

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Posted in Christmas, Help Philippines, Living in Timaru

Kindness of a House Owner in GigatownTimaru

In the spirit of Christmas, I would like to share the kindness that our landlady did for typhoon-stricken Filipinos.

Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) struck Central Philippines on 8 November. I and my wife were very much concerned because of the destruction it brought to Northern Iloilo, particularly our town of Ajuy.

Sunday afternoon of 10 November, I got a call from the Timaru Herald. Their reporter asked about the situations back home and my plans for helping fellow Filipinos.

On 11 November 2013, the Timaru Herald published our desire to help the Philippines through fund-raising for relief goods.

Two days after, while we were busy contacting and soliciting help from friends abroad, I got a phone call from our land lady.

She told me that she read the article on the local paper and learned about what happened in the Philippines.

Then she said, “Instead of paying me for this week’s rent, I would like to donate it for your town’s relief effort.”

Her kindness surprised us. We’re so thankful for her generousity.

Our land lady’s contribution became part of early relief operations for Ajuy.

See some of the photos below:

Giving relief to Ajuy folks  (2)

Giving relief to Ajuy folks  (1)

Giving relief to Ajuy folks  (4)

Giving relief to Ajuy folks  (5)

Giving relief to Ajuy folks  (8)

Giving relief to Ajuy folks  (3)

Thank you Lord for giving us generous neighbours.

The kindness of people at Gigatown Timaru is quite amazing.

Posted in Christmas

The Danger of Keeping Santa in Christmas

The Salvation Army Band and its firm Christmas statement
The Salvation Army Band and its firm Christmas statement

Reason for the Season is Jesus

Don’t get me wrong here. I love Santa Claus for the tale of generousity he exemplifies.

I could still recall hanging stockings on our wall (we don’t have chimney in Central Philippines) and what glee I felt discovering a packet of Nips chocolate the follow morning.

Of course, it didn’t take eon of years to discover that it’s been our parents playing Santa, much to their delight.

I grew up believing that Santa Claus is a person who’s following the example of Jesus Christ, for whom Christmas is celebrated.

Yes. I believe in the Santa Claus who’s very generous because he had experienced the sacrificial love of God in Jesus Christ.

Anyway, my purpose for this blog post is to mention one danger of keeping Santa in Christmas.

I read an opinion on how Santa is being attributed as the “reason for the season (of Christmas)” and not Jesus Christ in the many Christmas Parade around New Zealand.

Will we be seeing changes in the future of celebrating “Santamas” instead of Christmas?

I’m seeing more of “Santa Parade” instead of Christmas Parade being promoted.

With the fast changing world where beliefs, values and meanings are gradually changing, there is great danger in keeping Santa in Christmas.

And that danger is ‘Santa’ could be rearranged easily to ‘Satan’ because some people in this ever changing society would prefer darkness to light.

Far out? Well, I’m trying to be broadminded here…if a sector in the community could persuade governments to re-define marriage….hmmm…you know what I mean?

So, while we still have the strength, faculty and facility, let us keep CHRIST in CHRISTMAS!

Keep Christ in Christmas because who knows, tomorrow will be really Christmas day!