Publisherâ€™s Point for Christmas and December 2017 by Rob Patz
â€˜Tis the season. I wonder how many times this year I will actually say that, and I wonder how many people really understand what we celebrate during the season. As Christians, we celebrate the fact that God saw such a need that He would send His only son, knowing full well that His son would die on a cross.
I have to say that there are times where I forget to take in the full impact of what Christmas really means. We all get so busy sharing the holiday with family and friends that we forget the impact of a baby being born in a manger. No, we as modern-day humans donâ€™t understand what a manger really is. A manger wasnâ€™t a softly made bed like the paintings that we see. They say it was hewn out of stone and probably was very rustic. Itâ€™s difficult to think that the savior of the world was born under such conditions.
That should make us all reevaluate how we look at the holidays. Iâ€™m not saying you should take down your tree, and Iâ€™m not saying you should stop buying gifts, Iâ€™m just saying that maybe this year, during the holiday, you should sit down and read the Christmas story and reflect on the magnitude of this perfect gift, which we truly celebrate.
â€˜During the holiday season â€¦â€™ â€“ that way I can work Thanksgiving in as well, since Iâ€™m writing to you before Thanksgiving â€“ I spend a lot of time reflecting on life. I think we all do. Like everyone, I miss family during this time of year. There are those that have gone on before us, those who we donâ€™t have the opportunity to call or see during the holidays, and then we have those who have â€“ with time â€“ drifted out of our lives. This includes my family as much as those that are close friends. During this time of year, I often wonder what theyâ€™re doing, or how they are. I usually take a few minutes, especially on Thanksgiving, to pray for them.
As you read this, for most of you, Christmas is in full swing. My family and I enjoy this time of year immensely. Itâ€™s an opportunity to not only look forward, but to look back at the past year.
This was a year full of changes and challenges. As someone who embraces change, some of the changes were good â€¦ some of them, not so much. As far as challenges, like everyone, I had different sets of challenges, but with challenges, we know we are moving forward. As much as we embrace change, we should also learn to embrace challenges.
What challenges are laid before you, and what does God have for you to do within that challenge? I learned that over this past year that sometimes God is creating the challenge to strengthen us. I recently heard a pastor say that without challenges we will see no growth, for in the challenge God creates in us the wisdom to move forward. I believe this year I have learned and gained new wisdom.
Iâ€™m going close this yearâ€™s Publishers Point by challenging you to pray not only for our magazine, but for your church, your neighbors, and your family. I pray that this year you take time to specifically pray for each. I believe that 2018 is going to be full of new blessings.
God has amazing things for you and for me. Itâ€™s time to stop looking at the negative. Iâ€™m going to preach this throughout 2018 â€¦ stop dwelling on the bad things and start praising God for the good things.
As I close this, I want to wish you all the best during the holidays, from my family to yours. I love you all.
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