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Love of God

One of my friends recently commented “Those who think that the Taj Mahal is the greatest sign of love have apparently not seen The Cross of Calvary”.

Well I know we are celebrating Christmas season, similarly we have Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Memorial Day, Valentine’s Day and of course our birthdays, but we don’t have a day set apart for Jesus. You might think that Christmas is set apart for Jesus, but in most cases that is not true. We might give Him an hour at church, but the rest of day we do what we want to do.

When we celebrate Mother’s Day, Father’s Day or someone’s birthday, we usually devote just to him. The Bible says in Matthew 25:40 “and the King shall answer and say unto them, verily I say unto you, In as much as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” This is how we can make Jesus happy by encouraging, calling and visiting people, sharing them the love of Jesus, the purpose of him coming in our midst and the sacrifice of LOVE at the cross of Calvary.

Jesus has done so much for us and continues daily to do things for us, Can’t we set apart just one day for Him? We may never get it on the calendar but we as his, can set apart a day just for Jesus and then every year keep that day just for Him. How we must hurt Jesus, when we go about our busy schedules and ignore Him most of the day, only fitting Him in when it is convenient for us. One day, we will see Him face to face and I don’t want to see the hurt and sadness in my Saviour’s eyes because I ignored him most of the day.

Lets make this Christmas season meaningful for us as well as the people we know around, people who do not know the LOVE of GOD.

The Father’s Application

“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 [of Eternity], Prince of Peace” – Isaiah 9:6

When you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, not only is your eternity secure, but you become a child of the Most High God. You instantly have an Everlasting Father! Think about that word everlasting. It means that before the beginning of time, the Father was there. He was waiting for you to accept Him and become a child of His.

I can only imagine that He was excited and anticipating that day just like a father would anticipate the birth of his child in the natural. I can imagine that each day God would think, “Is it today?” I don’t know what your experience has been with your earthly father, but God is a good and perfect Father. He loves you with an everlasting love. He loves everything about you so much that He notices when a single hair falls from your head. He accepts you just the way you are, and He loves you enough to guide you and work His character in you. And, He will be your Father from now until eternity! He will never leave you nor forsake you! Thank Him today for being your Everlasting Father!

Gifts for the King

“And on going into the house, they saw the Child with Mary His mother, and they fell down and worshiped Him. Then opening their treasure bags, they presented to Him gifts — gold and frankincense and myrrh” – Matthew 2:11

Can you imagine what it must have been like for the Wise Men when they saw Jesus? He was just a child in a stable surrounded by animals, but these Wise Men recognized that He was the King of kings and the Lord of lords; the Savior of the world. Immediately, they fell on their faces to worship Him, but notice what they did next — they presented Him gifts as part of their worship. And they didn’t just give any old thing they had; they gave Him their absolute best — costly gold, frankincense and myrrh.

When we give Jesus our absolute best — our time, talent and resources, it is truly an act of worship. We are saying with our actions, “God, You mean more to me than anything. Because You are so awesome, I want to give You everything that I am.” It pleases Him when we come to Him with this attitude. When we draw near to Him with an open and humble heart, He draws near to us. Remember, when you give Him your best, He gives you His best in return.

The Wonderful Counselor

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor…” – Isaiah 9:6

Do you need wisdom or direction in your life today? The scripture tells us that Jesus is our Counselor. And He’s not just any kind of Counselor, He’s a Wonderful Counselor. When something is wonderful, it means it is unusually good, marvelous or astonishing. Think about that for a moment. God is a marvelous, astonishing, unusually good Counselor — the very best you could ever have!

When Jesus came to earth, He brought with Him everything you need to be empowered to live a life of victory. He came as a little baby, but He represented all authority in heaven and earth. When you choose to serve Him, you have access to all of His resources. You have access to His peace, power, authority, provision, joy and strength. He brought all of this to us when He came to earth. Unto us a child is born…unto us victory is given. Unto us, peace is given. Unto us, provision is given. Unto us hope and healing are given. Unto us eternal life is given!

Today, no matter what you may be facing, no matter what kinds of decisions you have to make, consider God. Ask Him to direct your steps and confirm His perfect will for your life. Remember, He is the best counselor there is. Let Him direct and guide your path. Seek Him with your whole heart, put Him first, and let Him lead you in blessing and victory in every area of your life.

The History of Christmas Cards

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The custom of sending Christmas cards was started in the UK in 1843 by Sir Henry Cole.
He was a civil servant (Government worker) who was very interested in the new ‘Public Post Office’ and wondered how it could be used more by ordinary people.

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Sir Henry had the idea of Christmas Cards with his friend John Horsley, who was an artist.
They designed the first card and sold them for 1 shilling each.
(That is only 5p or 8 cents today(!), but in those days it was worth much much more.)

The card had three panels.

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The outer two panels showed people caring for the poor and in the centre panel was a family having a large Christmas dinner!
Some people didn’t like the card because it showed a child being given a glass of wine!

The first postal service that ordinary people could use was started in 1840 when the first ‘Penny Post’ public postal deliveries began.
Before that, only very rich people could afford to send anything in the post.

The new Post Office was able to offer a Penny stamp because new railways were being built.
These could carry much more post than the horse and carriage that had been used before.

Also, trains could go a lot faster.
Cards became even more popular in the UK when they could be posted in an unsealed envelope for one halfpenny – half the price of an ordinary letter.

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As printing methods improved, Christmas cards became much more popular and were produced in large numbers from about 1860.
In 1870 the cost of sending a post card, and also Christmas cards, dropped to half a penny. This meant even more people were able to send cards.

An engraved card by the artist William Egley, who illustrated some of Charles Dickens’s books, is on display in the British Museum.
By the early 1900s, the custom had spread over Europe and had become especially popular in Germany.

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The first cards usually had pictures of the Nativity scene on them.

In late Victorian times, robins (an English bird) and snow-scenes became popular.
In those times the postmen were nicknamed ‘Robin Postmen’ because of the red uniforms they wore.

Snow-scenes were popular because they reminded people of the very bad winter that happened in the UK in 1836.

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Christmas Cards appeared in the United States of America in the late 1840s, but were very expensive and most people couldn’t afford them.
It 1875, Louis Prang, a printer who was originally from Germany but who had also worked on early cards in the UK, started mass producing cards so more people could afford to buy them. Mr Prang’s first cards featured flowers, plants, and children.

In 1915, John C. Hall and two of his brothers created Hallmark Cards, who are still one of the biggest card makers today!

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In the 1910s and 1920s, homemade cards became popular.
They were often unusual shapes and had things such as foil and ribbon on them.

These were usually too delicate to send through the post and were given by hand.
Nowadays, cards have all sorts of pictures on them: jokes, winter pictures, Santa Claus or romantic scenes of life in past times.

Charities often sell their own Christmas Cards as a way raising money at Christmas.

Charities also make money from seals or stickers used to seal the card envelopes.
This custom started in Denmark in the early 1900s by a postal worker who thought it would be a good way for charities to raise money, as well as making the cards more decorative.

It was a great success: over four million were sold in the first year!
Soon Sweden and Norway adopted the custom and then it spread all over Europe and to America.

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