Posts Tagged ‘Jesus Christ


Jesus, be the Center of my life

Over the Christmas break, I had one of those days. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. The day started with great plans to put up our Christmas tree and begin all the great Christmas fun with my family. But then my little boys got strep throat and my wife began feeling under the weather as well. Next, I got some bad news from a family member and it just seemed like it was one thing after another. I got really frustrated and felt overwhelmed. Have you ever had one of those days?

I played this song called “Jesus be the Center.” It really put things in perspective. Even when things are chaotic, you can always find something to be grateful for and on this particular day, Jesus once again showed me that it is all about making Him the center in every situation. One of my favorite lyrics in the song is, “Jesus be the center of my life, from beginning to the end, it will always be, it’s always been You Jesus.” It is true – Jesus is always there, ready to be the center of our life when we let Him. So often, I feel I need to fix things or figure things out on my own. I am so glad that Jesus is always faithful to remind me that I can leave it in His hands and trust Him.

The truth is, when I am the center of my life, everything is out of balance. Nothing can satisfy my soul like truly living for Jesus, putting others first and making Jesus the center. When Jesus is the center of my life, I have indescribable joy and peace. He sustains me with His love even when I have trials and testing.

Christmas is such a wonderful time with family and friends. I love all the time with family, the Puerto Rican food (lol), the giving of gifts, and all of the great memories to be made. But at the end of the day and even beyond Christmas…it’s all about Jesus. He came down from Heaven to demonstrate His love for us so that we would love Him with all our heart, soul, and mind. Our life has purpose, peace, and joy when we put Him at the center and lead others to do the same.

Will you pray this prayer with me today?….”Jesus be the center of my life, help me love those that You have placed in my life and bring a smile to Your face in everything I do. Show me by Your grace, what it is to truly live with You at the center of everything I do and say”.


Have a Holly Jolly Christmas

I used to like Burl Ives. Really, I did. I anticipated the Christmas season with great fervor and started each season off with Emmy Lou Harris’ “Christmas Time’s A-Comin’.” The impetus for this Christmas unveiling when I was a young adult was the first cold snap when I had to light the pilot light in my furnace. I would stand over the grate in the floor and as the heat rose up, I would sing along with my Emmy Lou Harris Christmas album at the top of my lungs. It was glorious. It was always the first Christmas song I played; it was always the first Christmas song I heard each year. I controlled how Christmas was doled out because years ago, merchandizing had not started cramming it down our throats. I was very selective with the music and reserved it for the Christmas season only, the one and only exception being this annual personal heater lighting ceremony.

Now I’m afraid if I hear Burl Ives sing “Holly Jolly Christmas” one more time, I will pummel the next five shoppers I see. The song brings out the Scrooge in me. I don’t want to buy gifts anymore. I don’t want to be within ten miles of a mall or even the grocery store with the incessant sound tracks playing. I just want to be with my family and friends. And most of all, I want to worship the Christ Child. The Savior of the world. My Savior, my God and my friend.

It is our job as worship leaders to cut through this squandering of Christmas. To put right the aberration of the purity, the simplicity of the story of “God who came to live with us.” We may be tempted to entertain the people as they walk in the door for their twice-a-year trek to church. We may be tempted to stick with tradition and not dig too deep into abandoned worship. We may be tempted to go easy, so we won’t scare them off.

But what do you think those shepherds did in that stable? Do you think they sang some four hundred year old song about the promised Messiah? God was laying right there in front of their eyes. Angels were splitting the sky open with their celestial praise; the glory of the Lord filled the atmosphere. I think they were dumbfounded with a standing in awe kind of praise that erupted in earnest and spontaneous thanksgiving. I’m pretty sure it was not very holly jolly at all. I’m pretty sure it was profound.

Don’t get me wrong. Christmas is light-hearted too. The Light of the World banished sin and death and brought us new life. We absolutely need to celebrate the birthday of the King. Throw Him a party! Dance and sing! But do it from a place deep in your heart that screams out “I love You! Thank You for coming to save me!” Then take time to usher in the Holy Spirit, the Wonderful Counselor, the One who heals and comforts and reveals all truth. And be contagious about it. Drown out the sounds of the world that tells us we can buy Christmas. Drown out the lie that we can “have ourselves a merry little Christmas and all our troubles will be out of sight.” Minister to someone whose circumstances contradict any hope that their Christmas will be holly jolly.

The bottom line: Worship this Christmas. As you sing the words to those traditional carols, full of truth, full of theology, full of life, MEAN them. Spend time with your family reading prophecy and its fulfillment. Spend time with people that need your faith, need your spirit, need your joy. Make the season holly jolly for real.

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