I absolutely love this time of the year!  The lights, the trees, the Christmas songs, being with family—it really is ,"the most wonderful time of the year!"

I do know however, that there are many people who find this time of year particularly difficult because they have experienced some loss, and their pain is far more intense at special times like Christmas. 

I also understand that there are people who simply use this season to party at any cost and often the cost is extremely high. 

So what does Christmas really mean? 

It's all about Jesus:  Yes, the real meaning of Christmas is often lost because we forget that Christ is central to this season.  He came to give us life and life in abundance.  So as we prepare for Christmas let's not forget that it really is about Jesus.

It's a season of joy:  No, not simply because we give gifts, but because the greatest gift came to earth to give Himself for us.  Jesus came to earth so we could know the true meaning of joy.  And that joy does not come from receiving gifts—true and lasting joy comes from recognizing and receiving the greatest gift of all...Jesus!

It's a time to give:  Christmas is really a time when we can share our joy with others.  Why not extend your table this year and invite someone lonely to share this special occasion with you.  Take time to think of other people and how you can bless them.  Christmas is a time when we can give to others in some small way.

It's a time to reflect:  Take some time this season to reflect on all the good things in your life.  Stop and remind yourself of the many blessings that have been bestowed upon you this year.

It's a time to be wise:  I have seen more foolishness during this season than at most times.  People over spend, over indulge, relationships splinter and the list goes on.  This should be a season of wisdom and restraint.  Let's remember that during this season.

It's a time for peace: "Peace on earth, good will towards men."  What an incredible message!  Yet, so often Christmas is filled with strife and tension.  Open your heart and allow the true meaning of Christmas to reflect from your life. 

My sincere prayer is that your homes will be blessed with peace, joy, and wisdom this Christmas season. 

I am and always will be,

recklessly abandoned, ruthlessly committed and in relentless pursuit of Jesus,