Monday, December 1, 2014

A Christmas devotional written by Ada Brownell

It's what American culture calls "The most wonderful time of the year" because Christmastime is here! :) Countless songs, books, blogs and devotionals have been written about this significant holiday on which we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ who is known to Christians and people of faith as the "Savior of the World." 

But as the years go by, is it just me or does Christmastime become more and more commercialized? Christmas music fills the shopping malls as early as the first day of November (yes, before Thanksgiving Day) and with Christmas items go on display as early as mid-October! And who knew such a beautiful holiday would cause concern and issues? By that I mean, there are people who do not want to even mention Jesus Christ or say anything about God during this time of year--even nativity scenes can cause controversy.

So what believers in God do to keep Christ in Christmas without offending people or sounding like a "preachy" Christian?

Today, I invited prolific writer and journalist Ada Brownell to address this topic. Ada's written a devotional about teaching the reason for this Christmas season to a secular world. I hope Ada's words will enlighten you and encourage you during this time of year and always. God bless you and enjoy reading! 

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How to Teach the Reason for Christmas in A Secular World
A holiday devotional written by Ada Brownell

A disabled man who grew up in a Chicago orphanage during the violent prohibition era of the '20s and '30s gave his testimony at our church in Arvada, Colo. He told how the famous bootlegger and gangster, Al Capone, visited the orphanage every Christmas, bearing gifts.

Historians say despite his unlawful activities, Capone became a somewhat respected public figure because of donations to charities. I'm sure most orphans adored the man. Yet, at least one child discovered someone greater. He heard about a Heavenly Father who loved him, and God's gift to this boy was His Son coming to earth—for Jesus brought the gift of eternal life to anyone who would accept it.

The world still needs to hear the wonder of God becoming man that we might have life.

Death is why God came down. Sin caused death. Adam and Eve believed Satan when he said, "You won't die!" So they disobeyed, ate the forbidden fruit, and soon after had to bury a son. They eventually died , too.

The Father promised a Redeemer in the early pages of the Bible, Genesis 3:15, to restore immortality. Jesus, God's Son, was that Redeemer and He suffered on the cross to take away sin.

So, Christmas is about the cross as much as it is about the manger.

How can we share the true message of Christmas with our children and grandchildren?

· Memorize and talk about John 3:16

· Don't talk about Santa as if he compares with the all-knowing, all-powerful God who is everywhere. No one is equal to God.

· Teach about the wonder of "God with us." Jesus has many names, counselor, almighty God, the alpha and omega, the lily of the valley, but "Immanuel," which means God with us, is most significant. Isaiah prophesied that it would be His name 700 years before the Messiah was born (Isaiah 7:14.) Even now, God's presence is with us and if we open our heart to him He is in us "He dwelleth with you and shall be in you" (John 14:17).

· Teach about angels. We should never worship them, but according to Psalm 91, God gives angels charge over us to protect us. They also sometimes deliver messages, as Gabriel did to Mary, when he told her she would be the mother of Jesus.

· Teach about giving and gifts. It is more blessed to give then to receive (Acts 20:35).

· Talk about the stable and how Mary and Joseph were content in the humble place.

· Discuss the inn and the innkeeper. What would we have done if we owned the inn? Would we have given our bed so the Son of God wouldn’t be born in a stinky stable?

· Have you opened your heart to Jesus? "Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends” (Rev. 3:20).
He will never leave or forsake you, and He’ll guide you and bless your life.

©Copyright Ada Brownell

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Author bio:


Ada Brownell is the author of five books, about 300 stories and articles in Christian publications, and she spent a large chunk of her life as a reporter, mostly for The Pueblo Chieftain in Colorado. She and her husband L.C., have five children, one of them in heaven, eight wonderful grandchildren.and two great-grandchildren.


Among Ada's books: The Lady Fugitive (released July 18, 2014), Imagine the Future You, a youth Bible study (November 2013). Joe the Dreamer: The Castle and the Catapult (Jan. 15, 2013), Swallowed by Life: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal (Dec. 6, 2011) and Confessions of a Pentecostal (out of print but released in 2012 for Kindle). All the books are available in paper or for Kindle. Imagine the Future You audio book is available at www.Audible.com Readers can receive a free book with new Audible membership.

Connect with Ada: 

Visit Ada's blog, http://www.inkfromanearthenvessel.blogspot.com

Buy Ada's book The Lady Fugitive, http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LYDWAIW

See Ada on her Amazon author page, http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001KJ2C06

"Like" Ada on Facebook,
 
https://www.facebook.com/#!/AdaBrownellWritingMinistries

Follow Ada on Twitter, @adellerella

Subscribe to Ada's blog: http://inkfromanearthenvessel.blogspot.com for "Stick to Your Soul Encouragement"

2 comments:

  1. Thank you, Alexis, for inviting me to be your guest. Merry Christmas.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You're welcome! :) And thank you, Ada, for agreeing to be hosted on my blog today! :) Merry Christmas!!

    ReplyDelete