Today is a solemn day in American history. Because of that, I decided to share two songs that give us a reminder that Christmas is not always wonder and glimmer. Not everything shines under those sparkling lights. Christmas can be the most painful time of the year for the lonely, the lost, those struggling financially, those struggling with all the issues of life suddenly compounded due to a completely unnecessary pressure to give to earn favor. I wish the world had not distorted the true meaning of Christmas. We increasingly make it more and more about giving and getting that we barely mention the true reason for this season. This is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. So if you are feeling the pain from the loss of a loved one this year, cling to the thrill of hope that they are in the presence of Jesus Christ for the first time. They get to celebrate His birthday with Him this year. Never forget to behold Jesus in this season, as Ms. Francesca Battistelli reminds us in her most recent masterpiece.
There’s a lot that has happened in 2020. We have just over three weeks left, and for many, there is still a lot of fear. JJ Weeks Band put this masterful melody together a few years ago and it’s still one of my favorites today. Titled “Do Not Be Afraid,” it’s a perfect reminder of the good news Christmas brings: mankind’s greatest hope, a pathway to eternity, a guide into forever. An eternal life filled with love, peace, and true joy. All starting from the birth of a baby in the manger.
12”Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
and honor and glory and praise!”
13Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them saying:
“To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be praise and honor and glory and power,
for ever and ever!” (Revelation 5:12, 13)
There’s so much amazing imagery in Revelation that I feel like I could take any verse and highlight it, but I love these verses for the image of every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, all of creation crying praise to God and the Lamb. These verses make me think of Hillsong Worship’s masterpiece, “So Will I (1 Billion X).” In that song, the great Taya Gaukrodger sings “A hundred billion creatures catch your breath,” and at the end of that stanza she sings “If creation still obeys You so will I.”
Today marks the 79th anniversary of the attacks on Pearl Harbor. A day of infamy where the devil demonstrated his power among men, to raise an island nation to challenge the might of the American military. This was the event that finally got us off the sidelines and into what will hopefully be the last World War ever fought between men. But as we continue to read in Revelation, if John’s prophecy is correct, there’s still our most devastating wars yet to be waged.
Reading plan: Revelation 7
Deeper reading plan: Zechariah 3
Prayer and meditation: Today we pray for the memory of all those who lost loved ones in the brazen attacks on Pearl Harbor. This month we pray that the world comes together to celebrate the birth of Jesus. We pray that the miracle of the child in the manger changes this world forever, as it should have nearly 2000 years ago. This week we will also add a prayer for everyone’s financial wellbeing and peace that the pressures of the Christmas holiday do not overburden anyone’s soul.
Fitness challenge: Day 98-98 reps each:
- Hand-release Push-up
- Jumping squat
- Leg lifts
Run: Monday-resistance running day. Whatever you used last week, get after it again. This week, perform 10 sprints with whatever resistance you can come up with, add a one-mile warm-up and TWO-mile cool-down.