Yep, you can tell that I wrapped that one.

Almost every Christmas since we got married, we have had the fortune (blessing) of waking up on Christmas day at my in-law’s house. No, that is not an opening line to a joke. =-)

There is a tree and plenty of decorations. And of course, gifts. As a follower of Christ, I know that Christmas is about the birth of a savior and not the presents under the tree. I do my best to teach that to my family as well. But let’s be honest, I like getting stuff. My mother-in-law always asks me for my Christmas (and birthday) list. So I oblige her and write one out. =-)

christmas list

Generally, my wife will wrap the gifts for our two children and mine as well. I only wrap the ones for my wife and occasionally, some gifts for the other family members. It seems that every year, my father-in-law makes a comment about the wrap job on a gift. By now, it is really simple to tell which presents I wrap and which ones are wrapped by my wife. Getting those corners so crisp is near impossible for me. I think I use way more tape than necessary as well. Every time, my wrapping paper is not very good, and it is obvious.


Let me share another little story. On Sunday, I saw my friend at church. We have shared many life experiences and have grown together in the Lord. There was a book, Lessons from a Venetian Vinedresser by Robert Scott Stiner, that I had read. I passed it along to my friend. Both of us agreed that we should re-read it. It really is a phenomenal book. But, in the past six months I lost my copy of the book. So I ordered two copies, one for me and one for my friend. I gave it to him as church this past weekend. He was really surprised but very grateful to receive his own copy of the book. It was a great joy to be able to give it to him.

vinedresser book


Do you know what a mash-up is? Take peanut butter and chocolate and mash them together. What do you get?

Reese's-PB-Cups-Wrapper-Small

That makes a fantastically tasty mash-up!

So take my first story about not wrapping presents very well. Mash that story with the second one about giving the book to my friend. What do you get?

jesus in manger

Luke 2:7 says, “and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger,”

 

Jesus was a gift to the human race. God even had it wrapped! Sometimes I don’t feel worthy to accept the gift. Other times I just plain reject it. Sometimes I feel honored to have the gift. There are many moments when I feel I need the gift.

Whatever the case (my feelings being irrelevant), the gift has been offered to me and to you. It comes to us free of charge. Anyone can have it. You don’t need special credentials or status. Young or old; rich or poor, the gift is exactly the same for everyone. We are given the opportunity to unwrap the gift and then God can do the cleaning up. We don’t get right and then accept what God has done.

So, what gift will you be opening this year? 

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“Thanksgetting”

I was watching the Packer/Viking game on Sunday. It was nice to see the Pack get back into the win column. The commercials are generally something I try to tune out but there was one that caught my attention. A major cell phone carrier ran this ad about the latest and greatest stuff a person can get. The name of the ad was “Thanksgetting.” That last word made my ears perk up. Thanksgetting?!?! What?!?! Why doesn’t that sound right?

So I began to ponder the idea of Thanksgetting. It did not take long but I did not like the thought of focusing on ‘getting’ during the holiday season. Sure, I understand the company wanting the consumer to feel like they were getting a good deal, getting the best phone, or getting what they deserve.

But isn’t that the direct opposite of what Thanksgiving is all about?

 


I believe I was placed here in earth to glorify God and to become more like Jesus. If I am to do those things than I must turn to the Word of God for instruction and guidance. Here are 5 verses that address the idea of giving. I took the liberty of highlighting the parts about giving or gifts. All passages are from the New International Version.

John 3:16

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

James 1:17

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

Romans 6:23

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Ephesians 5:25

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…”

John 14:16

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever…”


So…

During your feast and football on Thursday or some crazy shopping this Friday, try to take two minutes and be thankful. This does not have to mess up your eating, cheering, or busting down doors! You can do both!

I would just hate to see someone become consumed with Thanksgetting instead of Thanksgiving.

As always, thank you for reading and sharing this post. God bless and enjoy some turkey. =-)