Merry Christmas from All of Us at Priceless!

The Greatest Gift of all is Jesus

Where ever you find yourself this Christmas, and in whatever bleak or joyful, lonely or busy situation, may you know and rejoice in the Greatest Gift of All – Jesus!

Your Father God gave you His own Son – Jesus.

In Jesus, He gave you a Redeemer to reclaim for you all you have lost and all the things the enemy of your soul has stolen from you.

He gave you a Spotless Lamb, a perfect sacrifice for your sin and failure – the sinless Son of God.

He gave you Hope in the form of a man.

He gave you Unconditional Love that says “I love you.  I accept you. I choose you as mine, no matter what you have done.”

He gave you a Wonderful Counselor for your darkest moments and deepest depression and despair.

He gave you a Prince of Peace to come and work in your confusion and chaos.

He gave you a Friend that sticks closer than a brother for when you feel alone and abandoned.

He gave you a Mighty Warrior to rescue you from the evil one and the prison of sin and self.

He gave you the gift of a loving family, even if your earthly family has let you down. He Himself is your Everlasting Father, Jesus is your brother, and the entire body of Christ is your extended family!

He gave you Immanuel, God with Us, who humbly came to earth as a man, to know our pain and be one of us.

He gave you the gift of that Babe in the manger, but that babe wrapped up so much more than we comprehend!

Celebrate these gifts you Do have this Christmas. These eternal gifts in Christ!

christmas-3024428_1280.jpg

Love Has a Name

Scott Martin is notorious for scoring things no one else in our family has. Once he won some bleacher seats from the television station that had previously resided at Talladega Superspeedway. He brought them home, perched them on our patio and would sit in them regularly. They were very ugly and I winced every time I had to look at them. He eventually sold them and they reside now at a friend’s tire store, I still wince when I see them, they are still ugly, but at least they aren’t on my patio.

tickets-672414_640He has won countless tickets to events, we have never paid for tickets to the Monster Truck Jam, but he and my children have been multiple times. He usually wins a “family four pack” and since there are five of us, I always forfeit my ticket option. I have come to appreciate that I am the real winner, a quiet evening at home. He is forever receiving “swag” in the mail from folks: autographs and goods from names I am not even vaguely familiar with, trinkets that bear some logo or advertising on it, original art, and all manner of music paraphernalia.

We never bought a ticket to a comedy event the entire time we dated. Then there was that prize money from Wheel of Fortune that we used to adopt our youngest child. He has a knack for things like that. If I truly believed in luck I’d say he got a hefty helping of it. I on the other hand do not recollect when I have ever won a thing. I am accustomed to his winnings, so when he mentioned he had received some tickets to the upcoming Ice Show I was not at all surprised.

We decided to make a night of it, we took our teenage children and one of their friends to watch the costume clad Disney characters skate about on a sheet of frozen ice. As the show began the characters announced that we were going to discover the “World’s Greatest Treasure” I turned to my left and said to Scott Martin, “It’s love.”

“Huh?”

“The greatest treasure is love.”

“How do you know? We haven’t seen this before.”

“I just know. It is love.”

Throughout the performance the filled arena would be shown items pulled from a treasure chest that would segue into the next act. All treasures, but none the greatest treasure. At one point I literally laughed out loud because, Scott Martin had been repeatedly assaulted by the various extremities of the approximate six-year-old Woody-hat-wearing boy seated to his left. Scott would adjust, lean over to me and matter-of-factly say, “This kid has hit me like fifteen times.” At the exact moment I looked, said Woody-Hat-Wearer was upside down in his foldable arena seat. We remember those days, when our six year-old was upside down in his chair kicking the seat occupant next to him. For years we would “bookend” our kids so as to avoid a cowboy boot to a stranger’s eye.

At one point in the performance Scott leaned over and said, “That looks like aquarium line dancing.” If I had’ve been drinking one of those fifty dollar Cokes you can only get at such events, I’d’ve for sure spit it onto the seat occupant in front of me. I am not entirely sure the limited gravity of water would even give way to line dancing, but I didn’t argue, I just laughed.

We watched the parade of stars, found ourselves talking amongst ourselves about the costumes and at times focused on the people around us more than the ice skaters below. Our nose-bIeed-section seats afforded us little in the way of seeing details below. As I was people watching, I noticed a couple of Daddies who had nodded off, a few other teenagers, who like my own knew every word to every song sung, despite informing me prior to the beginning of the show that they might be “too old for this.” I noticed Mamas with phones, kids with cotton candies and cell phone selfies galore.

ice-snow.jpgA few rows ahead I spotted a curly headed little girl. She was fun just to watch. It was clear to me that her favorite princess was on the ice as she began to jump up and down. She pulled her Mama’s shirt and pointed wildly at the princess-dress clad woman skating below. As her favorite princess would randomly wave to her adoring fans the curly headed girl began to shout with adoration. She waved wildly screaming, “Look here! See me!” When the Princess skater whizzed by without a personal acknowledgement the curly headed girl picked up her petitions. She held the dollar store glow sticks her mama had given her. She waved it so fast the pink and orange neon sticks looked like a blur.

I feel certain that the Princess never saw her Number One Most Adoring Fan, way up high in those seats, waving that literal Neon sign. In that moment, The King spoke. He reminded me that He is never far away from us. We don’t have to yell, “Look here! See Me!” to get His attention. We don’t have to wildly wave cheap glow sticks for him to focus on us. He is near and we need only say His Name.

As the show came to a close the “Greatest Treasure” was revealed, and it was indeed love. As we made our way out of our seats Scott Martin said over the hum of the people, “Love has a Name, and it’s Jesus.” He may not have been exactly right about the line dancing in an aquarium observation, but he got that one right for sure.

Love does have a Name and it is Jesus.

god-2012104_640

“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13

 

Who Is This Jesus?

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). Matthew 1:23

To Mary, he was an unexpected baby and the son of the Most High.  Jesus was also her sweet firstborn baby who she loved and nurtured.

To Joseph, he was a son that he didn’t father, but received in obedience through faith because of a dream that was to be played out before his very eyes.

To the shepherds, he was Good News in a manger that they were told to go and see. They were the first to get to see him and then they went and told!

Elizabeth called Jesus “my Lord” when Mary walked into the room.

The wise men from the east who followed the star, came looking for a king to worship. He was worth a visit from a far land.

Herod perceived the newborn king as a threat and sought to kill him.

Ponder in your own life who Jesus is to you TODAY. We come up with great sounding, quick answers of who we know Jesus to be – what we’ve heard from others and what we’ve read. But think for a minute on who Jesus is to you right now, deep in your heart.

Is he a close friend and confidant that you talk to every day?

Does your heart overflow with gratitude for provisions from your Jehovah Jireh?

Is he your source of strength?

Healer?

Is he a distant acquaintance that you will get back to when there is a little more time? (we’ve all been there a few times)

One blogger often refers to him as KING. You can hear how she admires him with the words she writes.

A young lady struggling with self-image is learning that he is her peace and He shines brightly on her face.

A not-so-old widow says he is an awesome friend and confidant, one she can trust and a whole lot more.

The quiet one says he is her comforter.

“The strength holding me together” said a wife and mom who juggles a family and a job and aging parents and a lot more.

The brand new mom says he is an innocent, sinless baby. Perfect.

He is faithful to one who has never had a person be faithful to her.

Jesus is hope to the mom and peace to the little girl in the family that is struggling to hold it together some days.

He is our savior and our Lord. Our strength, wisdom, redeemer. The one who is closer than a brother. Revelation 1:5 says he loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood. John 10:10 tells us that Jesus came that we might have life and have it abundantly. He is GOD WITH US. That thought… It’s almost more than a mind can grasp and such a comfort and cause for peace even in the most difficult of circumstances. We may have a daily change in our view of the Lord, and see him differently depending on our circumstances in life. In Hebrews 13:8, Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. How awe-inspiring is it that Jesus never changes and yet as our needs change each day, He already is sufficient to meet that need in our lives.

Remind yourself of who Immanuel is to you in this season of celebration. He is truly the reason and we do have cause to celebrate.

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,  Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 

jesus-child-3007032_1280.jpg