VIDEO Watch What Happens When a Little Girl Asks Santa to Heal Her Cancer-Stricken Cousin

Steve Dane, of Skiatook, Oklahoma, was at the Bass Pro Shop the other day – taking his daughter Taylor to visit Santa Claus.

Like any good dad, Steve pulled out his phone and captured the Christmas time tradition on video. Little did he know what was about to unfold. Click here to watch the incredible video.

Now, Taylor could’ve asked Jolly Old St. Nicholas for just about anything – a new dress or a baby doll or a fishing rod.

But instead, the little girl asked for something completely unexpected. And before you continue reading, you might want to grab a box of tissues.

Taylor’s cousin, Ashley, has leukemia and she told Santa that all she wanted for Christmas was for her cousin to be healed.

There was a huge crowd in line that day — but the Jolly Old St. Nicholas paused for just a moment to reflect on the little girl’s Christmas wish.

“Santa then did something that was more amazing than what my daughter did,” Steve wrote on his Facebook page. “He has a hundred kids in line and I’m sure he has had kids all day begging for the toys they want him to bring.”

Santa embraced the sweet little girl and held her hand — and gently explained that Santa did not have the power to heal her cousin.

But instead of ushering Taylor back to her dad, he told her he did know someone who was in the business of healing.

And that’s when Santa Claus bowed his head and delivered a prayer in the middle of a Bass Pro Shop — asking the Great Physician to grant Taylor’s cousin a Christmas miracle.

“Father God I come to you right now and lift up Ashley. Lord I know leukemia is a formidable disease but I also know that you are the Great Physician and you can heal. And just I pray right now you will begin the healing process in Ashley. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.”

It was truly a poignant, hallmark moment for this holiday season.

“I am a big tough guy but there I stood in my favorite store – Bass Pro Shop – crying like a baby,” Steve wrote. “Thank you Santa for showing my family and everyone there what Christmas is really about.”



by Todd Starnes

https://www.toddstarnes.com/faith/watch-happens-little-girl-asks-santa-heal-cancer-stricken-cousin/

 

A Thrill of Hope

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. Luke 2:11

Reginald Fessenden had been working for years to achieve wireless radio communication. Other scientists found his ideas radical and unorthodox, and doubted he would succeed. But he claims that on December 24, 1906, he became the first person to ever play music over the radio.

Fessenden held a contract with a fruit company which had installed wireless systems on roughly a dozen boats to communicate about the harvesting and marketing of bananas. That Christmas Eve, Fessenden said that he told the wireless operators on board all ships to pay attention. At 9 o’clock they heard his voice.

Without Christ there is no hope. Charles Spurgeon

He reportedly played a record of an operatic aria, and then he pulled out his violin, playing “O Holy Night” and singing the words to the last verse as he played. Finally, he offered Christmas greetings and read from Luke 2 the story of angels announcing the birth of a Savior to shepherds in Bethlehem.

Both the shepherds in Bethlehem over two thousand years ago and the sailors on board the United Fruit Company ships in 1906 heard an unexpected, surprising message of hope on a dark night. And God still speaks that same message of hope to us today. A Savior has been born for us—Christ the Lord! (Luke 2:11). We can join the choir of angels and believers through the ages who respond with “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests” (v. 14).

God, we give You glory and thank You for sending Your Son Jesus Christ to be our Savior!

Without Christ there is no hope. Charles Spurgeon

By Amy Peterson 

INSIGHT

Luke’s telling of the birth of Christ is a study in contrasts. We are introduced to the Son of God in the weakness of an infant, while powerful world rulers play their part in moving the family to the city of David. The shepherds were likely guarding temple flocks that would supply the sacrificial system at Jerusalem’s temple. Yet though they were treated as unclean by the religionists of their day, they are invited into the presence of the ultimate Sacrifice. From the humble to the heavenly and everything in between, these contrasts launch the journey of the Son who came from the highest place to be the Lamb of God.

In what way does the coming of Jesus touch your heart?

For further study download the brochure “10 Reasons to Believe God Offers the Perfect Gift” at discoveryseries.org/perfectgift.

Bill Crowder

The Destiny of a Name

Matthew 1:18-25

Today we generally pick children’s names based on preference. But in Old Testament times Jewish parents chose names according to what they desired that child to become or what was taking place at the time of birth. Names carried a sense of the child’s history or destiny. And this is true of Jesus’ name as well.

God the Father chose the name for His Son and communicated it to Joseph, saying, “You shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21). The name literally means “Jehovah is salvation,” which is exactly what Jesus came to do. His work of salvation can be summed up in four words:

Atonement. Our sins have made us enemies of God, but His Son came to pay our penalty by shedding His blood. As a result, all who believe in Him can receive forgiveness and be reconciled to the Father (Rom. 5:10).

Access. Jesus opened the door so we can have a relationship with the Father and confidently come into His presence, knowing that He hears and loves us (John 14:6; Heb. 4:16).

Adoption. We have been adopted as children of God through Jesus Christ and are heirs with Him (Eph. 1:5; Rom. 8:16-17).

Assurance. Through Jesus, we have been given eternal life, which can never be lost (John 5:24). Our future is secure in His name.

Jesus’ destiny was death on a cross so that ours could be eternal life in glory. Whenever we say or hear His name, our hearts should overflow with love and gratitude for our gracious Savior, who sacrificed Himself to save us.

Garments for the King

“All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad.” (Psalm 45:8)

One of the most beautiful of the Christmas hymns (though rarely sung at Christmas) is “Out of the Ivory Palaces,” telling how the King of heaven left His heavenly home and laid aside His perfumed, royal clothing to enter “a world of woe.” That this 45th Psalm is symbolic in part is obvious, but that it refers to Christ is also obvious from its use in Hebrews 1:8: “But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom,” quoting Psalm 45:6.

That the eternal King left heaven to come to Earth is not symbolic, however, but very real; nor did He have royal robes in which to be arrayed, for they “wrapped [Him] in swaddling clothes” and laid Him “in a manger” (Luke 2:12).

Then, as He later walked the dusty roads of Judea, we know little of what He wore, but we do know that on one notable occasion, He “laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. . . . and began to wash the disciples’ feet” (John 13:4-5). A strange garment, and stranger action, for the King of glory!

Yet, stranger still that men whom He had created later “took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat. . . . but cast lots for it” (John 19:23-24), leaving Him naked to die a painful death spiked to a tree. Finally, His little remnant of friends took “the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes” (John 19:40) for His burial.

Now, however, in glory, He once again is arrayed in kingly apparel, “clothed with a garment down to the foot, and . . . with a golden girdle” (Revelation 1:13), and one day, all His redeemed shall see Him—in His beauty—the King in whose law we delight! HMM

I will betroth thee unto Me in righteousness

Hosea 2:14-23

In the days of the second Jeroboam, Hosea lived in Samaria, and prophesied concerning the sins and woes of Israel and Judah. His utterances are passionately earnest, and therefore are often abrupt and broken. In the following chapter, having described the sin of Israel, he very touchingly represents the Lord as winning her heart by his lovingkindness.

Hosea 2:15

And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor or trouble

Hosea 2:15

The time of the nation’s trial would be a season of hearty reformation, and so all her former joy would come back to her.

Hosea 2:16

Ishi my husband

Hosea 2:16

and shalt call me no more Baali my Lord

The name of love shall take the place of the name of law. This is the spirit of the gospel.

Hosea 2:17

It is well when the very name of sin becomes detestable, when vices once delighted in are not even named among us, as becometh saints.

Hosea 2:19, 20

A superlative verse. A bottomless mine of love. It is more suitable to be enjoyed in silence than to be expounded in words. Blessed are those who are married unto the Lord, for his love admits of no change, his espousals never end in divorce.

Hosea 2:21-23

These are new covenant blessings,—shalls and wills of sovereign grace, full of abounding mercy. Such promises should lead the sinful to seek the Lord repentingly: let us see how Hosea exhorted the people to this.

Hosea 6:1-7

Hosea 6:2

When the Holy Spirit convinces of sin he has designs of love, and intends to reveal the Saviour’s healing power. God will not torment men before their time, and if now he terrifies their consciences, it is with the design of leading them to his dear Son for refuge.

Hosea 6:3

If we come to God, he will reveal himself to us in forgiving love.

Hosea 6:4

Fickleness is the crying fault of many hearers; they are impressed, but the impression soon departs.

Hosea 6:7

Let not this charge lie against us, but with truly broken hearts let us seek unto the Lord of Hosts by Jesus Christ.

 

The Real Reason for Christmas

Philippians 2:8

Do you plan on taking the time this Christmas to tell your children or friends about the purpose of Christmas? If so, what will you tell them?

Although we usually meditate on the birth of Jesus at this time of the year, His purpose in coming to earth was not to give us the sweet picture of a baby in a Bethlehem manger. That little baby was born to die for you and for me and thus pay for the forgiveness of our sins. He was born to die on the Cross that we might be reconciled to God.

For this reason, I always told our sons when they were young, “Don’t just think of a baby in a manger at Christmastime. Christmas is about much more than that. It is about God coming to earth in human flesh so He could die on the Cross to pay for your salvation and destroy all the works of the devil in your lives! That is what Christmas is all about!”

People rarely think of the Cross at Christmastime because it is the time set aside to celebrate Jesus’ birth. But in Philippians 2, Paul connects the two thoughts. As Paul writes about God becoming a man, he goes on to express the ultimate reason God chose to take this amazing action. Paul says in verse 8, “And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Because today is Christmas Eve, I want to use this Sparkling Gem to discuss the real reason for Christmas, which is contained in the truths found in this verse.

Philippians 2:8 says that Jesus was “… found in fashion as a man….” That word “fashion” is the Greek word schema. This is extremely important, for this was precisely the same word that was used in ancient times to depict a king who exchanged his kingly garments for a brief period of time for the clothing of a beggar.

How wonderful that the Holy Spirit would inspire the apostle Paul to use this exact word! When Jesus came to earth, it really was a moment when God Almighty shed His glorious appearance and exchanged it for the clothing of human flesh. Although man is wonderfully made, his earthly frame is temporal dust and cannot be compared to the eternal and glorious appearance of God. However, for the sake of our redemption, God laid aside all of His radiant glory, took upon Himself human flesh, and was manifested in the very likeness of a human being.

This is the true story of a King who traded His kingly garments and took upon Himself the clothing of a servant. But the story doesn’t stop there. Jesus—our King who exchanged His royal robes for the clothing of flesh—loved us so much that He “… humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross”!

The word “humbled” is the Greek word tapeinao, and it means to be humble, to be lowly, and to be willing to stoop to any measure that is needed. This describes the attitude God had when He took upon Himself human flesh. Think of how much humility would be required for God to shed His glory and lower Himself to become like a member of His creation. Consider the greatness of God’s love that drove Him to divest Himself of all His splendor and become like a man. This is amazing to me, particularly when I think of how often the flesh recoils at the thought of being humble or preferring someone else above itself. Yet Jesus humbled Himself “… and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”

The word “obedient” tells me that this was not a pleasurable experience that Jesus looked forward to in anticipation. To humble Himself to this extent required Jesus’ deliberate obedience.

As preexistent God, Jesus came to earth for this purpose. But as man dressed in flesh, He despised the thought of the Cross (Hebrews 12:2) and could only endure its shame because He knew of the results that would follow. For Jesus to be obedient as a man, He had to choose to obey the eternal plan of God.

The word “obedient” that is used to describe Jesus is the Greek word hupakouo, from the word hupo, which means under, and the word akouo, which means I hear. When these two words are compounded together, they picture someone who is hupo—under someone else’s authority, and akouo—listening to what that superior is speaking to him. After listening and taking these instructions to heart, this person then carries out the orders of his superior.

Thus, the word hupakouo tells us that obedient people are 1) under authority, 2) listening to what their superior is saying, and 3) carrying out the orders that have been given to them. This is what the word “obedient” means in this verse, and this is what obedience means for you and me.

You see, even Jesus had to come to this place of obedience. Although He knew that He was the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world, that didn’t mean His flesh was excited about dying as the Lamb of God on the Cross. According to this verse in Philippians 2:8, Jesus had to humble Himself and become “obedient” in order to follow God’s plan. He wasn’t looking forward to the experience of death on a Cross; He made a choice to humble Himself and to go to any measure in order to accomplish the Father’s plan.

Part of the Father’s plan was for Jesus to humble Himself “… unto death, even the death of the cross.” The word “unto” is from the Greek word mechri, which is a Greek word that really means to such an extent. The Greek word mechri is sufficient in itself to dramatize the point, but the verse goes on to say that Jesus humbled Himself unto death, “… even the death of the cross.” The word “even” is the Greek word de, which emphatically means EVEN! The Greek carries this idea: “Can you imagine it! Jesus humbled Himself to such a lowly position and became so obedient that He even stooped low enough to die the miserable death of a Cross!”

I heartily recommend that you take the time today to read the April 24 Sparkling Gem in order to refresh your memory on the full process of crucifixion. It was genuinely the worst death a person could ever endure. For Jesus to humble Himself to the point of death, EVEN the death of the Cross, demonstrates how much He was willing to humble Himself to redeem you and me.

Just think of it—Almighty God, clothed in radiant glory from eternity past, came to this earth formed as a human being in the womb of a human mother for one purpose: so that He could one day die a miserable death on a Cross to purchase our salvation! All of this required humility on a level far beyond anything we could ever comprehend or anything that has ever been requested of any of us. Yet this was the reason Jesus came; therefore, He chose to be obedient to the very end, humbling Himself to the point of dying a humiliating death on a Cross and thereby purchasing our eternal salvation.

So as you celebrate Christmas tonight and tomorrow, be sure to remember the real purpose of Christmas. It isn’t just a time to reflect on the baby boy who was born in Bethlehem so long ago. That baby was God manifest in the flesh. He was born to die for you and for me. Jesus was so willing to do whatever was required in order to redeem us from Satan and sin that He humbled Himself even unto death on a Cross! That is what Christmas is all about!

MY PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, I thank You for coming to earth so You could redeem me. When I think of the extent to which You were willing to go in order to save me, it makes me want to shout, to celebrate, and to cry with thankfulness. You love me so much, and I am so grateful for that love. Without You, I would still be lost and in sin. But because of everything You have done for me, today I am free; my life is blessed; Jesus is my Lord; Heaven is my home; and Satan has no right to control me. I will be eternally thankful to You for everything You did to save me!

I pray this in Jesus’ name!

MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY

I confess that Jesus Christ loves me! He demonstrated His love to me by leaving behind Heaven’s glory and taking upon Himself human flesh. And He did it for one purpose: so that one day He could go to the Cross and die for me and thus reconcile me unto God. There is no need for me to ever feel unloved or unwanted, because Jesus went the ultimate distance to prove that He loves me!

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER

  1. When you compare Jesus’ ultimate act of obedience to God with your own willingness to obey God in every area of your life, are you satisfied with your level of obedience to Him? Or do you find yourself falling far short of what He requires?
  2. What can you do on this Christmas Eve to more fully “let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5)? Are there specific ways you can show humility toward others or prefer someone else above yourself?
  3. Now that you’ve read today’s Sparkling Gem, what will change in the way you talk to your children or your friends about the real purpose of Christmas?

Here is the true story of a King who traded His kingly garments and took upon Himself the clothing of a servant. Jesus—our King who exchanged His royal robes for the clothing of flesh—loved us so much that He “… humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross”!

 

Accelerating Complexity And Velocity Spell Disaster

Recently I spent time with a couple whose marriage is in serious trouble. Both are talented, highly educated, and eminently “successful” in their professions. The nub of their problem, it seems to me, is their mad rush to gain a sense of self-worth and acceptance through high achievement and the incessant acquisition of things. The net effect is an accelerating pace and complexity of life that has spun out of control, causing a breakdown in relationships. Consequently, both parties have lost touch with each other, and are traveling in different orbits, and on contrary frequencies.

 

Their tragic situation reminds me of the worldwide convention Satan called. In his opening address to his evil angels, he said, “We can’t keep the Christians from going to church. We can’t keep them from reading their Bibles and knowing the truth. We can’t even keep them from forming an intimate, abiding relationship experience in Christ. If they gain that connection with Jesus, our power over them is broken. So let them go to their churches, let them have their conservative lifestyles.

 

“But steal their time, so they can’t gain that relationship with Jesus Christ. This is what I want you to do, angels. Distract them from gaining hold of their Savior and maintaining that vital connection throughout their day! How shall we do this shouted the angels. ‘Keep them busy in the non-essentials of life and invent innumerable schemes to occupy their minds,’ he answered. ‘Tempt them to spend, spend, spend, and borrow, borrow, borrow. Persuade the wives to go to work for long hours and the husbands to work 6 – 7 days a week, 10-12 hours a day, so they can afford their empty lifestyles.’

 

“Keep them from spending time with their children. As their family fragments, soon, their home will offer no escape from the pressures of work! Over-stimulate their minds so that they cannot hear that still, small voice. Entice them to play the radio or cassette player whenever they drive. And see to it that every store and restaurant in the world plays non-biblical music constantly. This will jam their minds and break that union with Christ.

 

“Pound their minds with the news 24 hours a day. Invade their driving moments with billboards. Flood their mailboxes with junk mail, mail order catalogues, sweepstakes, and every kind of newsletter and promotional offering free products, services, and false hopes. Keep skinny, beautiful models on the magazines so the husbands will believe that external beauty is what’s important, and they’ll become dissatisfied with their wives. Ha! That will fragment those families quickly!

 

“And when they meet for spiritual fellowship, involve them in gossip and small talk so that they leave with troubled consciences and unsettled emotion. Go ahead, let them be involved in soul winning. But crowd their lives with so many good causes they have no time to seek power from Christ. Soon they will be working in their own strength, sacrificing their health and family for the good of the cause. It will work! It will work!”

 

QUESTION: Are you “BUSY”?

 

 

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