I have been blessed with a wonderful Dad who invested and continues to invest into my life. Even with a fabulous role model in my home growing up and with other great dads as examples to look to, there are still a few things I learned by being “Dad” to my daughter and son.

It is Spring and my youngest will be graduating high school next month.  Looking back, I have many fond memories of being a Dad for two wonderful children.  Realizing that I will soon have two children in college and basically living on their own, I began to reflect on some of the things I have learned over these past few years of DadLife.

There are no real profound concepts to any of these.  These are just things I recognized as a Dad raising children into young adults.  Some are lessons I learned.  Others are just my realizations of the joy of my DadLife.

As a Dad, I’ve learned:

  1. Actions lead and Directions send.  There are times when Dad’s directions are important to send a child on an appropriate path.  However, As a Dad, it is far more important that my own actions lead my children through life lessons.  My actions will lead where my directions may never send.  More importantly, if Dad’s actions do not closely mirror his directions in an area, his children are more likely to learn his example rather than the lesson he desires to direct.
  2. Dad must teach results.  As parents, Mom and I found it important to positively teach our children.  We found when we used negative wording in our instructions our children often heard us in the positive.  For instance, if we told a child “Don’t run in the house” that child’s actions indicated he/she heard “Run in the house.”  In this example, we found a simple instruction to “walk” produced the desired results.  We also taught our children that TRUTH is specific and TRUTH MATTERS.  The one lesson we were able to teach our children early that has produced the brightest results is:  “Delayed obedience is really disobedience with a time limit.”  As a result, even as teenagers, our children followed our instruction quickly.  We never had to break their disobedience, because they learned the benefits of obedience early.
  3. There is a big difference between Discipline and Punishment.  The word discipline is derived from the same root word as the word disciple.  As such, discipline means a refining of beliefs and behavior leading to desired results.  Discipline leads to desired results, by consciously reviewing consequences of actions and refining the decision processes causing those consequences.  Punishment is the negative consequence to one’s actions or decisions.
  4. Dad must always have Mom’s back.  It’s going to happen.  Some time, somewhere, something is going to come up where a child or children try to play one parent against the other.  This is why it is vitally important that parents are on the same page.  However, the tone Dad sets in this area can go a long way toward reducing the number of these events.   The best thing I realized as a Dad in this area was:  She was my Bride long before she was their Mom and she will be my Bride long after they move out of the house. There should never be any question whose side I will be on in this arena.  Dad has Mom’s back.  When Dad has Mom’s back, Mom is more likely to get the respect she deserves from the beginning.
  5. It’s okay for Dad to show emotion.  Dads are still human.  We get mad, sad and glad like anyone else.  It is important for us to establish a good example for handling those times when our emotions are less than desirable.
  6. All words have meaning, but Dad’s words have weight.  For better or worse, Dad’s words will impact a child’s life.  As Dads we have a choice to positively lift up our children or negatively tear them down.  Either one will impact a lifetime.  It is important to use the weight of our words to compliment, encourage and enable our offspring to succeed in life.
  7. Dad is going to mess up, but it’s not the end of the world.  There is no doubt that Dad is going to make mistakes.  What is important is what Dad does after he messes up.  When Dad faces his mistakes and seeks to make corrections, he teaches his children that “failure is not final.”  Excuses are not an option.  It is far easier to go from failure to success than it is from excuses to success.  Like I said earlier, we want to teach results, which means teaching success.
  8. The best investment Dad can make for his grandchildren is being a Godly parent to his children.  This is a direct reflection of the truth of Proverbs 13:22.  The best inheritance or heritage we can leave for our grandchildren is not money or material wealth.  The best heritage we can leave our grandchildren is Godly parents, which we raised by example in our own home.  Our children are blessed that my wife and I both have parents who live out with purpose Proverbs 13:22.   I have no doubt that each of them will be a parent that seeks to continue this heritage.
  9. I miss being Dad to my children, but I love being Dad to two outstanding young adults. They are not children any longer.  That time seems to have passed so quickly.  They have grown up.  I could not be more proud of the adults they have become.  They are two of the most outstanding young adults I know.
  10. I absolutely love DadLife.

“Would you betray Jesus for thirty pieces of silver?” that was the question she asked, as she laid the coins on the table.

We sometimes, with well meaning intentions, trivialize the message of Scripture.  In Matthew 26:15, Judas strikes a deal with the Chief Priest and the Sanhedrin to turn Jesus over to them.  They agreed on a price of 30 pieces of silver.

This afternoon, after a wonderful Easter Sunday at church, for some reason I found myself remembering this particular analogy from one of my childhood Sunday School lessons.

One particular Easter Sunday, my teacher asked the question: “Would you betray Jesus for thirty pieces of silver?” She asked this while laying out 30 bright shiny new Kennedy half dollars on the table in our classroom.

She proceeded with:  “Judas made a deal to betray Jesus for thirty pieces of silver.  Would you betray Jesus for thirty pieces of silver?”

I’m not sure how old I was at the time, but I remember thinking to myself:  “For fifteen bucks?  No! I would not betray Jesus for fifteen dollars.  Shoot, I got more than fifteen dollars for my last birthday.  Fifteen dollars is not enough for me to betray Jesus. That Judas is really dumb.”

Funny thing is that analogy stuck in my mind for many years.  In fact, it stuck with me for more years than I remembered the name of the lady that taught that Sunday School class that day.

If you recall the rest of the story, Judas, after feeling remorse for his actions tries to return the silver coins to the Chief Priest.  After Judas throws the money on the floor and leaves the temple, we read that the thirty pieces of silver were used to purchase a piece of land to be used as a pauper cemetery.  So, the thirty pieces of silver were certainly worth more than the fifteen dollars from my Sunday School teacher’s analogy that day.

I chuckled to myself, as I first remembered this illustration from many years ago.  My first thoughts were we sometimes, with well meaning intentions, trivialize the truths of Scripture.  But, my smile began to fade as I thought more about the original question she asked.

“Would you betray Jesus for thirty pieces of silver?”

Almost forty years later, the question weighs heavy in my mind.  Would I betray Jesus for thirty pieces of silver?  Would I, really?

As I continue to think on this question, I recognized many times I have betrayed Jesus for far less than thirty pieces of silver.  Sometimes, I have betrayed Him for my own comfort.  I betrayed Him for my own convenience.  I betrayed Him for my own selfish desires.

If I were to ask the rest of you, I believe I may not be alone in this matter.

Oh, we love Jesus, but it’s a beautiful sunny day, so we’ll skip church this “one time.”  After all, Jesus understands. We need our family time.

Oh, we love Jesus, but the weather is so bad outside, I think we’ll just “stay home” this Sunday.  After all, Jesus understands. Besides, I don’t need to get sick and miss work Monday.

Oh, we love Jesus, but we cannot tell others about Him.  We don’t want to offend anybody.  After all, Jesus understands. Our Christian beliefs can be offensive to some people.

Oh, we love Jesus, but we cannot teach that Sunday School class.  After all, Jesus understands. We’re not good with “that” age.

Well let me remind us all… Jesus does understand.

Jesus understood Judas too.  Jesus understood Judas was about to betray Him.  Jesus understood the time had come for Judas to turn Him over to the Chief Priest.  Jesus understood the exchange Judas had made to betray Him.  Jesus understood Judas.

Jesus understood betrayal.

Jesus understands betrayal today, as well.

Today, it’s pretty easy for us to criticize Judas for betraying Jesus in exchange for thirty pieces of silver.  Yet, we will betray Jesus for far less. Sometimes, our price is as cheap as our own convenience.

In my mind, I can still see that little table with those thirty Kennedy half dollars.  While the illustration seems to cheapen Judas’ price, the truth was not compromised.  Because, that teacher (whose name I cannot even recall) asked a question that resurfaced in my memory nearly forty years later.

“Would you betray Jesus for thirty pieces of silver?”

If we’re all honest, our price is far less than the silver Judas received.  Often times, our price is even less than the fifteen dollars on the classroom table that day.

Today, I ask you:  “What is your price to betray Jesus?”

Now that your price has come to your attention, what are you going to do about it?

It’s my birthday.  It has become my habit, on my birthday, to reflect on a lifetime of lessons learned.  So, here are a few off the top of my head.

I’ve Learned:

  • Salvation is all about Jesus and none about me.
  • Being a Christian is about a relationship, not a religion.
  • Promises are sacred and God’s promises are forever.
  • My opinion of God’s word is less important that my obedience to God’s word.
  • The Creator gave us creativity and we invented control.
  • When I resist God, I suffer.
  • A relationship without commitment is just an acquaintance.
  • True fiends are a priceless treasure and false friends are too plentiful.
  • All the events, circumstances and people in my life were placed there by God to prepare me for this moment.
  • The same hand that wrote the law in stone (Exodus 20), wrote my sin in sand (John 8) and redemption in blood. (Matthew 27)
  • Only as I love and respect others will I be able to love and respect myself.
  • Freedom is the result of letting go, not hanging on.
  • “Faith” is a verb.
  • “Hope” is a noun.
  • Blessings taken for granted are easily lost.
  • It is far easier to go from failure to success than it is to go from excuses to success.
  • The Bible always points to the true character of God.
  • Jesus loves me even when I am not lovable.
  • A Godly wife is a precious jewel. (Proverbs 31)
  • The “Power of God’s Word” and the “Word of God’s Power” cannot be separated.
  • A Godly Pastor should be quickly followed and an ungodly pastor more quickly fled.
  • God’s call on my life does not expire.
  • Prayer is about listening, not talking.
  • My need for accountability outweighs my desire to be accountable. (Proverbs 27:17)
  • God promises to supply all of my needs, not all of my wants. It is my responsibility to recognize the difference.
  • Believing in predestination does not excuse me from witnessing.
  • Believing in election means that I am still responsible for nominating lost souls.
  • There are some things I will never understand.
  • The more I learn the more I realize I do not know.
  • God is sovereign, just and holy.
  • God does not take a day off.
  • I am responsible for building a witness for my grandchildren tomorrow, through my children today. (Proverbs 13:22)
  • Stewardship is about life, not money.
  • As I age, my definition of “old” changes.
  • Even with a lifetime of learning behind me, I still have a lifetime of learning ahead of me.
  • I’m never too old to learn.

Does Hell Know Our Name?

Posted: March 23, 2015 in Christian
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I often read about the early church described in Acts. How God’s power and Holy Spirit seemed to be real and present in every believer.

That often leads me to wonder, “Why do we not see the church demonstrating God’s power in the same ways today?” What has happened between the day of Pentecost and today? When did the church move from being an influence in the world to looking like the world?

In Matthew 16, Jesus promises us: “Upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.”

Gates are defensive weapons. The only way that gates can prevail against us is if we (the church) continue to sit in the pews and do nothing to reach a lost world.

We have moved from following the Divine process for Christ’s church (Acts 2:41-47) to seeking the next big program. Too many churches maintain shallow pulpits, with shallow sermons, filling shallow minds and creating shallow believers. We do all this in the name of progress while doing very little to change lives for Jesus Christ.

At times I feel we have gone too far to try to entice the world. Many of our churches have begun to look like the world trying to find Christ, rather than looking like Christ seeking the world. God forbid that we should become so seeker friendly that we forsake the One we should be seeking.

Before we give into thinking this is a new phenomenon, let’s take another look at a few “believers” in Acts. In the 19th chapter of Acts, we find seven sons of Sceva and a shallow preacher, they followed, who thought they could do the work of Christ without the power of Christ. They set out to confront evil “by Jesus whom Paul preaches” (Acts 19:13).

These men knew about Jesus, but did not know Jesus. As such, when they confronted the ambassador from Hell, he did not know them. He responded “Jesus I know and Paul I know, but who are you?” (Acts 19:15) He then proceeded to assault them and beat them until all eight ran away bruised, battered and naked.

The seven sons of Sceva found that a shallow preacher and a shallow understanding of God’s Word can lead to deep trouble. Perhaps if they had endured the sound preaching of Paul, instead they would have known the truth. Christianity is a relationship, not a religion.

I thank God for pastors that take deep dives into the Word of God and lead their churches to a deeper understanding and relationship with Jesus Christ. Pastors, that encourage their flock to study and know God’s Word, produce a church after God’s heart. The church that dives deeper comes out stronger and better armed for the battles.  A church like that produces strong Christians. A church like that rattles the gates of Hell.

Believers that rattle Hell’s gates, Hell knows… by name.

Ironic, isn’t it? Hell recognizes true Christians and knows them by name.

Which brings me back to the question… Does Hell know your name?

I believe every word in Scripture has a purpose.  I also find it interesting that when we look at a verse and break it down to its component words, the meaning sometimes comes even more alive.  So, today let’s break down one of my favorite promises in Scripture.

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

  • “And…” – It is a connecting word.  The promise of verse 28 is connected to something in verse 27, the reason this promise is true. (Romans 8:27 – “Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”) – Jesus, Himself is praying for us.  Therefore…
  • “…we…” – You, me, all of us.
  • “…know…” – Absolute truth, we can rely upon.
  • “…that all…” – Any and every.
  • “…things…” – Events, occurrences, situations.
  • “…work…” – Specific action of God.
  • “…together…” – Everything is part of God’s plan for you.
  • “…for good…” – God desires the absolute best for you. May I remind you of Jeremiah 29:11?
  • “…to those…” – This is a specific promise with specific recipients.
  • “…who love…” – Our primary responsibility.
  • “…God…” – The One, the Only, the Creator.
  • “… , …” – Just like that connecting word at the beginning.
  • “…to those…” – Reminder, this is a specific promise with specific recipients.
  • “…who are the called…” – The specific recipients.
  • “…according to…” – The specific recipients are those who are following after…
  • “…His purpose.” – Our purpose belongs to God.

So, what do we have? We have a promise from God, Himself, secured by our perfect intercessor, Jesus Christ, that guarantees every event, occurrence and situation in our life is part of God’s plan for us and for our good in fulfilling His purpose for us.

No event, no occurrence, no situation in our individual lives distracts God from His purposeful calling for us, nor from His desire to provide His absolutely best for us.  We may not always feel this is the case.  It is best for us to remember, our perspective on our circumstances is different than God’s.

God defines “for good” from the perspective of our eternity.  Our perspective is often limited to the present moment.

It is all things working together for our good that refines our calling according to His purpose.  It is our calling according to His purpose that defines all things working together for our good.  There is the paradox of the promise.

Earlier this year, my team experienced the sudden tragic death of one of our teammates.

I am fortunate to lead a great team.  Our team members had been in place and unchanged for over five years.  We knew how to support each other and perform as a highly functioning team.  As we left the office together on Thursday evening, for an extended shutdown weekend, we wished each other a good weekend.  Sunday morning, a couple of us began to notice some comments on social media about “prayers for Jane’s (name changed) family.”  By the time we were returning to work Monday morning, our fears were confirmed.  Jane had died suddenly Saturday evening as the result of a traffic accident.

As I said, our team had been intact and unchanged for over five years. We were a high performing successful team.  We are also a very lean team.  One person on an extended absence creates increased workload for the remaining team members. But this wasn’t an extended absence. Jane, a highly respected manager and seventeen year employee, was gone and she was not coming back.

As a team and as a leader, we were on an odyssey we would have never chosen.  Yet, our team must continue.  We have customers to service. We have a mission to accomplish. We must succeed.  We had to navigate through the morass of emotions and increased job requirements before we could begin to recover and return to the highly performing team which we are capable.

Like many leaders navigating new experience, I turned to wisdom base of the internet. I searched for anything related to “leading after the death of a team member.” My search results provided little to no guidance.  I guess it is such a painful and emotional event, many leaders would rather not relive their experience by writing it out.  That is probably why it has taken me nearly eight months to sit down to complete this blog post.

Throughout our recovery, I have tried to capture notes of leadership lessons learned in my journal.  I have consolidated these to nine key leadership lessons for leading through the death of a teammate.  I hope you never experience these, the way we have this year.  But if you do, I hope you find some comfort in our shared experiences.

Understand Mourning Process – When we returned to work Monday morning, we were slapped in the face with the reality that Jane would not be returning.  A couple of us had pieced together information from various social media posts.  Others were just learning of Jane’s death that morning.  We did not need to take time for mourning.  The mourning was confiscating time for itself.

We spend as much time, often more time, with the people we work with than we do our own families.  On this particular Monday morning our work family was deeply hurting.

Jane’s workspace was the first space you saw as you enter our team area.  As a team, we felt it was important to have a memorial, a small vase with some of her favorite flowers, at Jane’s desk. It was a stark reminder of our loss that encouraged memories of happier times.  It was important that we mourn our loss as a team.  It was just as important that we mourn individually.

As a leader, it is important to realize that each individual mourns differently.  It was important for each person to have the freedom to step away whenever needed. We still had jobs to do.  Our customers had no idea what our team was going through.  As much as possible, we had to maintain business as usual, so stepping away was the safety net each needed for overwhelming emotional moments.

In May 2014, Dave Stachowiak, on his Coaching for Leaders podcast, discussed the emotional side of leading after a workplace loss. His podcast offered some excellent advice for dealing with team members’ emotional wellbeing.  For me, the podcast was a great reassurance that we had handled the emotional aspects of our loss fairly well.  Dave and I have shared a couple emails since.  With his permission, I have included a link to the podcast episode at the end of this post.

Together, We Are A Team – “As a leader, you set the tone for your entire team.” (Colin Powell) 

As we stood consoling each other and discussing what we needed to do first, all I could think to say was: “Together, we are a team.”  We will get through this, together.

That word carried a lot more weight than I ever imagined.  It was more than just a reminder that each of us is there for the others.  It was a reminder that we are watching out for each other.  We would remind each other to “breathe” when the weight of the moment became too much.  We found greater comfort in mourning our shared loss together. We attended the visitation for the family and funeral, together, as one team.

We discussed how we would need to adjust our workflow, for the immediate future.  But all of that seemed miles away during the early moments.  As the days rolled forward, it was our commitment to together that helped us focus and succeed as a team, even though business was no longer usual.

Leadership Can Be Lonely – John Maxwell says: “Anyone who says, ‘It’s lonely at the top’ is not a leader. A leader wouldn’t be at the top by alone.”

While a completely agree with Dr. Maxwell’s statement, in this situation there were certainly some lonely leadership moments.  Securing access and rerouting Jane’s email, even though business related, felt like an invasion of privacy.

Going through her desk to separate out any personal belongings definitely had a more personal feeling.  You truly recognize what is most important to a person, when you look at their personal effects around the workspace.

The lonely task that hit me the hardest was changing the voicemail message on her phone.  Listening to the old message, hearing Jane’s voice drove home the realization that my team would never be the same.  How we navigated the next few weeks and rebuilt our team would determine our recovery and continued success.

The worst days were behind us.  It was time to focus on the rest of our journey.

The “Hit by a Bus” Plan Is Inadequate – In every leadership position, I have encouraged key people to maintain what I call a “hit by a bus” plan.  The hit by a bus plan is a set of instructions of where key information, status of current projects, and current commitments can be found, if the individual has an unexpected absence for a period of time.

We even tested our “hit by a bus” plans when each individual would take vacation or be out for multiple days.  We would make adjustment for anything that had to wait until the individual’s return.  The worse situation was when we would need to call someone on vacation to find answers to problems we could not solve.

Now Jane was no longer a phone call away.  She could not answer any questions.  Any short falls in the plan were ours to work through.  We soon realized our “hit by a bus” plans seldom assume we will never return.

Respect Time in Replacement – Immediately after Jane’s death, our remaining team covered the additional duties, similar to the way we would cover during vacations or temporary absences.  The team’s mission was our biggest driver.  In reality, it was a very healing process for each of us.  As I spoke with each team member, each relayed that honoring Jane’s memory was a large motivator.

Filling all our activities with a smaller team is a short term solution to a long term problem.  The leadership challenge, for me, was finding the balance between respecting the time needed for emotional healing, the toll of the temporary workload increase, and refitting the team for our long term success.

In the end, it was nearly two months before we began seeking the right person to complete our team.  It was a wait that really stretched my comfort level, as a leader.  Ultimately, I am glad I did not allow my desire for expediency to overrun the team’s need to grieve, reprocess and begin to look forward.  The best leadership decision for me was to keep pace with my team so we all arrived at our destination together.

“Leadership is not something you do to people. It’s something you do with people.” – Ken Blanchard, Patricia Zigarmi, and Drea Zigarmi (Leadership and The One Minute Manager)

The delay provided time to think through our team needs.  We had a blank page.  We had the opportunity to design our ultimate team, define our talent needs and find our new mix.

Compatibility, not Conformity – There is not another Jane.  Searching for her would be frustrating, at best.  Finding her would prove impossible.  Selecting the new team member is important.

Hiring to fill our needs and build the team is most important.  We had to avoid the hiring to “replace Jane” trap.  This is not “Jane’s Job” any longer.  Conformity to the old mindset was not optimal.  In the building of the new team, compatibility is paramount.

Respecting the time in replacement and defining our team needs encouraged a metamorphosis in my own thinking as the team leader.  We are not rebuilding the team; we are building the NEW team.

Team Building Phases Still Apply – We had been fortunate to have our team intact for as long as we did.  We had enjoyed a significant period of sustained high performance.  It would be easy for those of us who experienced that period of time to force the same expectations on the new team.  That is the mistake I most wanted us to avoid.

In the 1960’s, Dr. Bruce Tuckman defined the phases of team work as:  Forming – Storming – Norming – Performing – Transforming

I have found these to be true in my own experiences, as well.  There is a process to building a team.  No matter how good we are, we are not exempt from the process.  We must respect the process.  Knowing this is part of what drives us to continually improve.  We are not yet where we need to be, but we are a long way from where we started.  Our team’s best days are in front of us and getting closer all the time.

Honor History, Focus Forward – Not many days go by without us thinking about Jane.  We still see her influence in our processes and activities.  We find her notes and contributions in project files.  We have memories of times past and the benefits of lessons learned.  There are now more pleasant thoughts than sad.

Building our new team didn’t ignore history.  Instead, we found the best measure of honoring history was by focusing forward.  The best way we can honor history is by making this team the best ever.

It has been a difficult journey.  I have learned many more lessons, than I could ever mention here.  Those lessons will not be easily forgotten.  It is that knowledge that brings me to the greatest lesson of all.

Together, We Are The Team – We are moving forward together. We are succeeding together.  Together, we are the team.  That is what leadership and teamwork are all about.


As I promised, here is the link to Dave Stachowiak, Coaching for Leaders – Podcast 142:  http://coachingforleaders.com/podcast/what-to-do-after-workplace-loss/

Naughty or Nice

Posted: December 20, 2014 in Christian
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Christmas is a few days away.  All around there is talk of a little guy making a list and checking it twice… the “Nice List” or the “Naughty List.”  Which list are you on?

All of us like to believe we are on the nice list, don’t we?  But, if we are really honest, we have to admit, we’re not always so nice.

Do you know someone who you are absolutely positive if there really is a naughty list, this person is one it?  We all do. But, do those “naughty” people receive Christmas presents?

Ever wonder why the naughty kids received presents too?

The legend of Santa Claus is based on a man, who lived a long time ago, named Nicholas.  We know him as St. Nicholas, because saint means someone who belongs to God.

In St. Nicholas’ town there were many poor children. They didn’t have enough food, clothes, or toys. St. Nicholas used his money to buy things for the children, they could not buy for themselves. He didn’t want them to be embarrassed by his gifts, so he gave secretly.

St. Nicholas also told everyone about Jesus and how much God loved them. Many people became Christians because of what St. Nicholas said and did.

St. Nicholas loved Jesus and he loved children. So, when it came to the naughty or nice lists, Nicholas chose to look at the lists the way God looks at these lists.

When God looks at the nice list, He sees People Who Need to Know Jesus.  When God looks at the naughty list, He sees People Who Need to Know Jesus.

Because of how much St. Nicholas loved Jesus, and because of the many gifts he gave the children of his town, we still remember St. Nicholas at Christmas time. All of the gifts he gave, and all of the Christmas presents we give, are to remind us of the very best gift anyone ever gave: when God the Father gave His only Son, Jesus Christ, to us for our salvation.

We all know a lot about Christmas. But, many stop short of knowing the reason for Christmas.

The reason for Christmas is we needed something we could not give ourselves. The Bible says “All have sinned.” (Romans 3:23) Because of sin, we are all on a naughty list we cannot remove ourselves from.

The reason for Christmas is God provided a way for us to be removed from the naughty list. Because, while we were still sinners, God gave His Son to redeem our overwhelming sin debt. (John 3:16, Romans 5:8) We celebrate God giving His Son, by celebrating the birth of Jesus during the Christmas Season. But, if at Christmas we only remember Jesus as the Babe in the manger, we miss the whole Reason for the Season.

The reason for Christmas is the giving and receiving of gifts. My name might be on the biggest gift, with the prettiest wrapping and bows, under the tree. But, if I never accept and open that gift it will never do me any good. God has offered us the best gift we could ever receive, complete forgiveness of our sin. It is up to us to receive it. We can receive the Greatest Gift, the real Reason for the Season. (Romans 10:9)

May the Reason for the Season, the infinite gift of Christmas, be yours this year.

Merry Christmas!!!