Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Star of Bethlehem

Bill Keane’s comic strip, Family Circus, has communicated a beautiful truth about Christmas. As the children were setting up their nativity set, little Dolly held up the baby Jesus and declared, “Here’s the star of Bethlehem!” May you and your family experience the majesty of gazing on the Star of Bethlehem  during each and every Christmas season.

From McHenry’s Stories for the Soul – Raymond McHenry, Hendrickson Publishers, 2001, Peabody, MA, Page 36

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Puzzle

© by Cliff Leitch. The Christian Bible Reference Site, http://www.christianbiblereference.org.
Used by permission.

Friday, December 21, 2012


Christmas was going to be different this year. The father called a family conference and challenged them to be more disciplined in the management of their time during the busy Christmas season and to curtail excessive spending on gifts. He talked about better relations between visiting relatives and a more congenial atmosphere around their home. He brought his speech to a crescendo with his final rally cry, “Let’s make this the best Christmas EVER!” His little second-grade son countered the big motivational speech by noting, “But Dad, I don’t see how we could ever improve on the first Christmas.” We certainly can’t improve on what happened that first Christmas, but we can improve on the way we celebrate it today.

Humorous Notes, Quotes, and Anecdotes, Leslie & Bernice Flynn, 1973, p. 27
McHenry’s Quips, Quotes and Other Notes, HeavenWord Stories for Teachers and Preachers, CD-ROM, HeavenWord, Inc., Raleigh NC, 1999.

Jesus with a Switch

The kids were putting on the Christmas play. To show the radiance of the newborn Savior an electric light bulb was hidden in the manger. All the stage lights were turned off so that only brightness of the manger could be seen, but the boy who controlled the light got confused—all the lights went out!
It was a tense moment, broken only when one of the shepherds said in a loud stage whisper, “Hey! You switched off Jesus!”

From Illustrations Unlimited – James S. Hewett. Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, IL. Page 86.

Monday, December 17, 2012


Ben Patterson writes in The Grand Essentials:
I have a theory about old age. . . . I believe that when life has whittled us down, when joints have failed and skin has wrinkled and capillaries have clogged and hardened, what is left of us will be what we were all along, in our essence.

Exhibit A is a distant uncle. . . . All his life he did nothing but find new ways to get rich. . . . He spent his senescence very comfortably, drooling and babbling constantly about the money he had made. . . . When life whittled him down to his essence, all there was left was raw greed. This is what he had cultivated in a thousand little ways over a lifetime.

Exhibit B is my wife’s grandmother. . . . When she died in her mid-eighties, she had already been senile for several years. What did this lady talk about? The best example I can think of was when we asked her to pray before dinner. She would reach out and hold the hands of those sitting beside her, a broad, beatific smile would spread across her face, her dim eyes would fill with tears as she looked up to heaven, and her chin would quaver as she poured out her love to Jesus. That was Edna in a nutshell. She loved Jesus and she loved people. She couldn’t remember our names, but she couldn’t keep her hands from patting us lovingly whenever we got near her.

When life whittled her down to her essence, all there was left was love: love for God and love for people.

From Illustrations for Preaching and Teaching from Leadership Journal - Craig Brian Larson. Baker Books, Grand Rapids, MI, 2000. Page 187.

Nativity Seat

A three-year-old was helping his mother unpack their nativity set. He announced each piece as he unwrapped it from the tissue paper. “Here’s the donkey!” “Here’s a king!” When he got to the infant molded in a manger he proclaimed, “Here’s baby Jesus in his car seat!”

Reader’s Digest, Dec. 1991, p. 66. McHenry’s Quips, Quotes and Other Notes, HeavenWord Stories for Teachers and Preachers, CD-ROM, HeavenWord, Inc., Raleigh NC, 1999.