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Posts tagged with Christmas

November 21, 2017 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Helping without hurting

Over the next few weeks, our church will join with other area churches in collecting new, unwrapped toys for the Hartford City Mission Noah Christmas Store. The Noah Christmas Store is a store for parents of children in Hartford City Mission programs, where they can buy toys at a minimal “suggested donation” cost for their children for Christmas. In the Hartford City Mission flyer promoting this event to churches, they use the word “dignity” in describing what this opportunity affords low-income parents. It is worth reflecting on what that means....Keep Reading

Tags: Christmas, Service

December 6, 2016 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

What is Christmas spirit, really?

My favorite Christmas movie is probably Elf, the 2003 movie starring Will Ferrell. One of the obstacles in the movie that has to be overcome in order for there to be a happy ending is the decline of Christmas spirit in the world. Christmas spirit, if you watch closely, seems to be defined as having a childlike faith and wonder, especially as it comes to believing in Santa Claus. Now, (spoiler alert!) anyone who can read this article knows that Santa isn’t real. But the idea of Christmas spirit still perseveres in our culture. What is Christmas spirit? Consider, if you will, these challenging words from J.I. Packer’s book Knowing God about this thing we call “Christmas spirit”:...Keep Reading

Posted in: Christmas Tags: Jesus, Christmas

December 23, 2014 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

The great gift exchange

‘œGod made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.‘ (2 Corinthians 5:21) To what shall I compare the kingdom of God? The kingdom of God is like a man at a White Elephant Gift Exchange. Picking first, he chose the present with the Justin Bieber wrapping paper, hoping for something epic, and unwrapped it to find... a mug shaped like a toilet bowl....Keep Reading

Posted in: Christmas Tags: Christmas, Gift exchange

December 2, 2014 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Longing for home this Christmas

If you are have been around evangelical Christianity any length of time, or ever listened to Billy Graham, you are familiar with what has come to be known as ‘œThe Sinner‘s Prayer,‘ which goes something like this: ‘œDear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for your forgiveness. I believe you died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite you to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow you as my Lord and Savior. In your name, Amen.‘ The prayer I uttered on the day I came to faith in Jesus in September 1994 was a little different. I remember kneeling by my bed in my dorm room at UConn and saying, ‘œGod, I know where I belong, and it‘s with you.‘ While that prayer was not a theological masterpiece, in that there was nothing in there about sin or repentance, the heart of the prayer reflected a young man who desired to come home to the place he knew he belonged ‘" a relationship with God. Like the prodigal son in Luke 15, I had turned from my self-centered way of living to come home to my Father....Keep Reading

Posted in: Gospel Tags: Christmas, Home

December 11, 2012 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Christmas and the incarnation of the Son of God

“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. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:16-17)...Keep Reading

Tags: Outreach, Christmas

December 22, 2010 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

A Christmas gift

The following is reprinted from a blog post I wrote last Christmas:(Matthew 2:11) “On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.”...Keep Reading

Tags: Christmas

December 3, 2010 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

A different kind of Christmas

Matthew 10:8 - Freely you have received, freely give. Is there a crazier juxtaposition in the calendar year than Thanksgiving and Black Friday? On the former day, we are encouraged to reflect on what we are thankful for, to enjoy what we have, and to develop an attitude of gratitude. And then, millions of people set their alarms for some ridiculous hour so that they can push through the crowds the next morning in order to get the best deals on toys and goods for the holiday season. In the blink of an eye, gratitude turns to covetousness; thanksgiving to full-blown consumerism....Keep Reading

Tags: Outreach, Christmas

December 24, 2009 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

An unexpected Christmas gift

On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. (Matthew 2:11)...Keep Reading

Tags: Christmas