Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Rerun Article: What is YOUR Focus This Christmas?

Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Christmas time is my favorite time of year, no doubt! I love everything from the lights, to the candles, caroling and music, festive-ness (is that even a word?) and, most of all, I love celebrating the birth of our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ! What more could you ask for at such a time of year as this?

Days till:
It is: 13 days till Winter Solstice
It is: 16 days till Christmas
It is: 23 days till 2016
It is: 27 days till My Birthday
It is: 40 days till Martin Luther King Jr. Day

In the Spotlight:
You guys must have known this is coming! Today, I have decided to share some of my favorite Christmas music. Have you heard of the new band The Girl and the Dreamcatcher? The band consists of actress Dove Cameron and her boyfriend Ryan Mccarten. I'm telling ya, these two are such a cute couple! I mean...if you don't believe me, see for yourself:

Dove Cameron and Ryan Mccarten are the bomb! (Credit)
Anyway, so The Girl and the Dreamcatcher recently released two songs, which can be seen below. My favorite of the two is the latter, but they are both awesome:

See what I mean? Cute couple, aren't they?

Topic of the Week by Christian Ryan
Christmas came last year, and it’s already coming back! You know what’s interesting? When you ask a lot of people what Christmas is all about, many people including non-Christians could say something like: “Jesus Christ is the reason for the season!” And this is very, very true, as Christmas is Jesus’ birthday (at least, that's when it's celebrated). But that leads us to a very personal question: “What do we do for Jesus’ birthday?” If we were honest, most of us would probably say that we’re either visiting family members and/or giving gifts. But what do we do for Jesus HIMSELF for His birthday?

Christmas is Jesus’ birthday, but if we were honest, many of us would say that we don’t really do much for Jesus on His birthday. Now technically, we don’t know the exact date Jesus was born on, but we celebrate it on December 25th. So why don’t we really do anything special for His birthday? Perhaps it’s because we’re too focused on ourselves and each other!

While the giving of gifts to each other is not bad in and of itself, we really should be focused on the One who’s birthday it is. This may seem weird to some, but let’s make this a little more applicable – say your birthday falls on May 1st, the same as celebrity Jamie Brinton. Now, let’s just say that instead of celebrating your birthday, you celebrate Jamie’s birthday and yet you hardly know the guy (and that’s saying something because a celebrity by the name of Jamie Brinton doesn’t exist, but you get the picture, right?)! That wouldn’t feel very good for you, would it? Well, this is sort of what we do with Jesus. We do things for each other, when it's not even our birthday.

Granted, gift-giving, Santa Claus and other things we typically associate with Christmas aren't bad, but we should be primarily focusing on Jesus Christ this time of year.
This year, I'd like to challenge everyone to do something different. That's why my family and I recently produced a Christmas play entitled, "Meet the Cheatham's". The goal of the production was to get people to stop and think what or who they were focusing on this time of year, whether it be presents, decorating, Santa Claus or Jesus Christ. In the play, my family portrays a wealthy family known as the Cheatham's; their only concern is to use the Christmas season to make more and more money . . . until they decide to go to church, intending to make a profit. I don't want to give the ending away, so I won't describe anymore of the plot.

Now don't get me wrong, I totally enjoy Christmas decorating, giving and receiving gifts, Santa Claus and many other Christmas traditions; these aren't bad. They just shouldn't be the focus of the Christmas season.

So I'd like to encourage you readers, this Christmas and the Christmases to follow, to use Christmas to actually put Jesus as the center of attention at His birthday! The changes you make, whether big or small, still make a difference - for some it might be gift-giving on another day instead of December 25 (like my family is doing), or doing a Bible devotion on the true-meaning of Christmas before opening presents. Instead of focusing on ourselves this Christmas, let's focus on Jesus and also give Him what He wants for His birthday. What does He want? All He wants is us; He wants our time and attention given to Him on Christmas, since it is His birthday and all.

My family has decided to dedicate this day to the Lord. Now let me leave you today with the following question: what's YOUR focus this Christmas season?

Jesus Christ should be the main focus of Christmas for us, because only HE is what Christmas is all about!

Disclaimer: Many (or in some cases all) of the photographs and images above are not mine. If you own one or more of them and would like them to be removed, politely let me know via my email address.

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