Karen's Devotions

This is a selected collection of my devotions e-published on Daily Devotions, Journey Christian Church, Irvine, California; George Bragg, Editor. To join the mailing list, email George, gbragg@cox.net.

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As a 25+ year homeschooling vet, post-cancer, math prof, mother of five, master's track and field athlete, and certificated private pilot, I have a lot to share about what God has done in my life. In 2000 I began writing devotions as something to try when it seemed like accoustic pianists were becoming an endangered species at church. I have since found great blessings from writing and sharing. God is good.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Come Thou Long Expected Jesus

video

Come Thou Long Expected Jesus
Four Flutes and Piano

Tune: Rowland Prichard
Text: Charles Wesley
Arrangement: Rebecca Vaughn
Flutes: Nichole Baughman, Debbie Franklin,
Summer Hall, Karen Vaughn
Piano: Rick Terry
Anaheim First Christian Church
December 12, 2010

Friday, December 10, 2010

Santa-Caused

First Published December 10, 2010

(Matthew 2:11)
And they came into the house and saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell down and worshipped Him; and opening their treasures they presented to Him gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh.

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Jeff and I were recently shopping in a Wal-Mart® Store browsing when a young tyke and his mother walked (actually the boy was bouncing) down a main aisle. We were close enough to hear “Is this Target®?” His nervous mother replied, “Sh! No, this is Wal-Mart!” Our smiles turned into snickers when we next heard a resounding chant, “Tar-get! Wal-Mart! Tar-get! Wal-Mart!”

It was obvious that the little boy didn’t know the difference between the two stores, and he didn’t care about it either. The same may be said about the American culture, Christmas, and Santa Claus.

What is the message when both a Nativity display and Santa with reindeer display appear on a church lawn? Confusion. Yes, Saint Nicholas of Myna generously gave gifts to the poor in 4th century Greece. But today’s Kris Kringle with the flying reindeer, supernatural elves, and a toy factory at the North Pole is mythical. To a non-believer or “baby” Christian, gift giving associated with the birth of Christ may not be different from Santa Claus. Like the little boy and his Wal-mart versus Target dilemma, people might not see a difference between the symbolism of the tubby man at the mall and the plastic baby in a straw filled wooden box.

We must regain the meaning of Christmas. Do all great gifts come from God or Santa?
Saint Nicholas gave to many men. God gave his Son to Mankind. This is what Christians must reflect. Let’s be sure that our decorations, our songs, and our gift giving reflect Christ’s birthday celebration and not a man in a red suit.

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Father God, we earnestly seek to make Christmastime a definitive celebration of the birth of Jesus. Help us to teach and live the meaning of Christ through words and actions that point to you as the Almighty. We pray that the hearers of the message of salvation through Christ will make a decision to follow Him. Amen.

Copyright 2010 Karen Vaughn