The True Ultimate Meaning of Christmas

You have less time than you think before Christmas is here. I just finished shopping for my wife; I bought an extremely sappy card, and I wrote in it an extremely sappy message which I meant and continue to mean. Yet, is family, close friends, even parties at Christmas time is all that there is, to say we survived another Christmas? I know this season can be extremely difficult. Say someone died that you were really close to, and you know it’s not good for you, but you can’t seem to let go. There are diverse reasons that this may not be the most happiest time of year. Although I can never walk in your shoes, this can’t be the only meaning of Christmas? Is it?

Husbands, wives, fiancees, close couples, families, close friends, etc… tend to look forward to Christmas, but have we lost The True Ultimate Meaning of Christmas? In America, I think we certainly have.

Just today, I was perusing a bunch of Christmas cards at a famous store where you can buy tv’s, laptops, smartphones, etc… in the electronics department; while still at the same store you can buy food items; men, women’s, children’s and babies clothing; household items; sports and outdoor equipment; various pieces of furniture; and stationary which includes Christmas cards.

While perusing I found several with Christmas sayings on Christmas cards. They had all sorts. Some were funny; some were more serious; some tried to impress you by having a Thomas Kincade photo with snow covered tress and yard, followed by a 6 foot lamp that was shining into a all-decorated house with a real Christmas decorated tree sitting inside this large living room. However, searching for Christmas cards proved largely futile because they largely didn’t mention what traditionally is the focus of this time of year-the birth of Love, Jesus Christ the Son of God. Even the Christian card I got for my wife had a verse from the Song of Solomon, a highly erotic book in the Holy Bible. There were a few cards under the religious section of the whole wall of Christmas cards. But who wants to get that where people are subject to an impersonal God?

God is holy. Yes, but God is also personal. Take a look at this-

God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son so whoever believes in Him may not be lost but have eternal life. (John 3:16, NCV)

The last time I checked, love is a deeply personal act. It says in Scripture that “God loved the world so much…” indicating that He loved the people in the world so much that He decided to give His one and only Son to save the people in the world both past, present, and future.

Good News! This gift is indeed life everlasting, and it is not for sale indicating that it is free. Yes, that is true. Yet, if you are truly saved from eternal separation from God you (at some time(s) in your physical life) will experience trials to help you grow to be more like Christ. For 1 Peter 2:21 says-

For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might walk in His steps. (ESV)

What is The True Ultimate Meaning of Christmas? It is simple. God sent His one and only Son (Jesus Christ) to die a physical death for us. So, accept God’s gift to you, or continue to make excuses as to your free life eternal?

“We Believe”-Newsboys

“The Best Song About The Free Gift Of Salvation”

Finding Normal and Being Different Collide… (Jeff Huxford, M.D. and Darren Beattie, BA, MSHS)

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One night, about 7 p.m. in April 2018, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Jeff Huxford, M.D. over Twitter. The story of his vehicle crashing and him getting a traumatic brain injury was remarkably similar to mine, although a few minor details were most definitely different. However, God uses different people in different ways. Such as the length of the coma (he was short; mine was long), and age plays a difference as well as he was in his thirties while I was just 18 coming into my adulthood.

Yet, overlooking our accidents as the ultimate blessing to God, that is why I choose this famous verse. It comes out of Romans 8:28, and it says:

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those that are called according to His purpose. (ESV)

Just like Jesus Christ when He performed miracles. He performed His healings a little bit different every time, so that way to gain access to the healing it wasn’t reduced down to a formula (which all of us want to do). I will give you the references to prove it (Mark 10:46-52; John 9; Luke 7:1-10; John 14:1-6; Mark 2:1-11; Matthew 8:1-4; Mark 9:14-29; etc.).

There’s a temptation to think that all of Jesus healing miracles were almost commonplace when Jesus was physically around; in fact, I suffered from this delusion until I went to college. Then, through the help of my professors, I began unraveling the mysteries of Jesus healings. In fact, it was just a little different each time, just like the True Life story of Jeff Huxford, M.D and mine.

See, God uses different people in different ways to accomplish His purpose. Several times in the Old Testament passages, He does just that. The two that come to mind is the Babylonian Empire and the Assyrian Empire found in the Books of Daniel and Jonah, respectively. You can read them on your own.

God has a way of working it out, though what we determine as bad circumstances. We say things like “How can God be at work when one of His troopers is seemingly knocked down and given minimal chance to live?” Yes, I understand that sentiment, yet you are talking about the God that performs the impossible-like raising His own Son from being physically dead.

Luke 9:23-26 says this:

And He said to them, “If anyone comes after Me, let him take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever would save his life must lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what does it profit a man if he loses and forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of man will be ashamed when He comes in His glory and the glory of the Father and His holy angels. (ESV)

You can read it, hear it, listen to it through the pages of the New Testament starting with the Acts of the Apostles down through Revelation.

Jeff’s favorite verse comes from the Old Testament Joeseph (which to be honest, I like this verse, too):

As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. (Genesis 50:20; ESV)

That verse speaks about the horror of his car wreck and subsequent rehabilitation, but I have one also steeming from my car accident from which I was almost dead. It comes from 1Peter 2:21 which says:

For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you may walk in His steps. (ESV)

“Blessings”-Laura’s Story

A Short Interview On “Finding Normal”-Jeff Huxford, M.D.

Finding Normal: An Uninvited Change, An Unexpected Outcome by Jeff Huxford, M.D.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Thank you, Jesus, for giving me a story and thank you for saving my life so I could tell it. I hope and pray I tell it well and it points people right back to you.-JEFF“-Jeff Huxford, M.D.

“Blessings”-Laura’s Story

“Thank You, Lord”-unknown artists

“The Huxford Family Story: Finding Normal After A Traumatic Brain Injury”

Finding Normal: An Uninvited Change, An Unexpected Outcome by Jeff Huxford, M.D.

*note: these Before and After statements are coming from Before and After Jeff’s major incident which left him with a traumatic brain injury (TBI)

Before: Even when I felt close to God and I was spiritually healthy, I didn’t feel it was my duty or I was qualified to tell others about Jesus and what He had done for me. That was a job for ‘professional’ Christians.

After: Because of what God has done for me, I can’t help but tell people about Him. This is somewhat difficult with my speech difficulties, but I am finding a good outlet for this on my blog. I get better with my verbal skills and I am confident that if God wants this, He will make it happen. I know now that we are all powered by the same Spirit, so we all have the ability to share our faith in our own unique ways, and maybe not in the way we expected.”-Jeff Huxford, M.D.

“When I Am Weak”-The Response Band

A Warning To All Christians Worldwide!

At the end of the most famous of His recorded sermons (spanning 2 chapters in Matthew), Jesus Christ says this concluding all that He has taught by comparing which house will survive-the one built on the rock or built on the sand:

Everyone, who hears these words of Mine and does them will be like a wise man who builds his house on the rock. And the rains fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, and it did not fall, because it had been founded upon the rock. And everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not keep them will be like a foolish man who builds his house upon the sand. And the rains fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it. (ESV)

This passage of Scripture has been used by many preachers, teachers, missionaries, and evangelists to convey to the sinful world that they better accept what Jesus Christ did for them on the cross, or they are doomed for hell. Yes, that is true. And there is no way of getting around it. If you don’t accept Jesus Christ you are forever lost or eternally dead.

However, take a look at what Jesus Christ said in John 15:1-6:

I am the true vine and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch can not bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in Me and I in him, he it is that will bear much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. (ESV)

It seems like Jesus Christ is saying you can have an initial moment of salvation (going from eternal death to eternal life). However, if you are truly saved, the Holy Spirit inside of you will cause you to act because so many others are spiritually dying.

The parable of sowing seeds is another prime example. Take Luke 8:4-8:

And when a great crowd was gathering and people from town to town came to Him, He said in a parable, “A sower went out to sow his seed. As he sowed, some fell along the path and was trampled under foot, and the birds of the air devoured it. And some fell on the rock and as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up with it and choked it. And some fell on good soil, and it grew and yielded a hundredfold. As He said these things, He called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” (ESV)

The house, the branch, and the seed stands for people (you and me). If we don’t build on the rock (Jesus Christ), eventually our house will fall, just like if you built it on the sand.

Similarly, Jesus Christ uses the grapevine to make His point. We all need to be grafted in; however, some branches (people) won’t take because the nature of the vine (Jesus Christ). Lastly, the farmer (sower) gets ready to sow his seed.

Let me explain. I picture the farmer with a wheelbarrow full of seeds going down some bumpy road. As a result, the some of the seeds get deposited on someone else’s footwear. Though careful, he can’t help but spill some of the seed with the bumpiness on the road. Most of the spilled seeds (anyone who does not have a firm position on where they stand with Jesus Christ) gets easily swayed and not being able to put down roots anywhere.

The same goes for the vine. You have to believe in what Jesus Christ did for you on the blood-soaked cross, and God the Father raised Jesus Christ from the dead, three days later. Yet that is only the first part. You got to act with boldness and tell others of the new spiritual life you have found. Correct? For the branch that withers, gets tossed into a pile, then ultimately gets burned is the so-called “Christian” who said a prayer to accept Jesus Christ when that person was younger than what they are right now and thinking they are good to go. Living a life like that, I would be shakin’ in my shoes.

Also, Jesus Christ said in Luke 9:23:

If anyone wants to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up your cross daily and follow Me. (ESV)

In a similar verse, 1 Peter 2:21 it says this:

For to this, you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in His steps. (ESV)

Leaving A Warning To All Christians Worldwide!

“Cornerstone”-Hillsong Live

“On Christ The Solid Rock I Stand”-(unknown)

Finding Normal: An Uninvited Change, An Unexpected Outcome by Jeff Huxford, M.D.

*note: these Before and After statements are coming from Before and After Jeff’s major incident which left him with a traumatic brain injury (TBI)

Before: I knew I was guilty of sin but was also confident that Jesus died for my sins. But my sin never grieved me because I knew many other people doing far worse things than me.

After: I started viewing my sin differently. My sin is beginning to grieve me. I don’t want to take advantage of God’s grace and love, and I am finding this much harder to do while in a constant relationship with my Savior.”-Jeff Huxford, M.D.

“Oh, My Soul”-Casting Crowns

“Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)”-Chris Tomlin

“The Love Of God”-MercyMe

Finding Normal: An Uninvited Change, An Unexpeced Outcome by Jeff Huxford, M.D.

*note: these Before and After statements are coming from Before and After Jeff’s major incident which left him with a traumatic brain injury (TBI)

Before: I was following what Mark Batterson calls the ‘inverted gospel.’ I stated that I was following God but really invited Him to follow me. And if God was following me, then I had nothing to worry about.

After: I want to follow God wherever He leads despite my own wishes or preferences, even if that means being uncomfortable.”-Jeff Huxford, M.D.

“From The Inside Out”-Hillsong Worship

Dog-Gone It!!!

Recently we were gone from our home to go see “Bloodroot,” a play by Liberty University female students that featured women acting out Appellation women from different time periods which was based in reality. The young women were terrific; they not only acted, but they researched and wrote all of “Bloodroot,” a beautiful weed that can survive in circumstances that anyone would think to be impossible. It took place over many centuries, and it was truly incredible.

In the meantime, we needed a place to store our dog for the weekend, so we asked a family to watch our dog. They agreed on the condition that we wouldn’t hold them responsible while they went just for some hours. We agreed. And we prepped them of all the behaviors they might see from the dog. Though no fault of their own, the moment we got the dog back, he was sick for a week having diarrhea.

To our full knowledge, the dog was going to be left alone for an extended period of time, for the dog is used to that so we had thought nothing about it. The home that the dog was staying over, he was familiar with. So, it came as a shock to some of the family to hear that he devoured two 5 pound bags of Pepperidge Farm Goldfish (delicious cheddar-cheese crackers shaped into mini goldfish).

You would have figured out that the dog would have learned his lesson, and we thought for part of the miserable week for him and us we had a glimmer of hope because during that week we had to say a couple of times to eat the dog food. However, things won’t last down here on earth, and before long the dog was back to his old hungry self (which I think he has an eating disorder where his signal in his brain is broken).

On a much bigger level, can’t the same be said of us? We do something bad (like eating two 5 pound bags of yummy goldfish) but we can’t stop ourselves (or don’t want to). Let us take addiction to chocolate, for example. A little chocolate can have some health benefits, and that is true based on all the research. However, it can quickly become an addiction where you can’t live without it. Soon you will gain weight, not in the right areas and develop love handles, until one day you pass by a mirror. It completely horrifies you. Then you swear by everything that is in you not to eat chocolate again until it happens again-that little piece of chocolate. On and on it goes. Only One solution to this merry-go-round problem we have, and His name is Jesus Christ.

Yes, there is hope in Jesus Christ which has the power to save every individual out there (Acts 2:24-28). Dog-Gone-It!!! Don’t be like everyone out there succumbing to whatever sinful desires you have; rather instead choose to get off that merry-go-round with Jesus Christ leading the way.

“Merry-Go-Round”-Manafest

“Merry-Go-Round”-Manafest (a Doug Weier remix)