Did Someone Say Christmas?

by Marcia Lee Laycock, @MarciaLaycock

Did Someone say Christmas?

Yes, I’m looking forward to it. I love all that Christmas is, and symbolizes. I love the tree with its tinsel and baubles; I love the presents tucked under it; I love the lights that decorate it, and I love the food – turkey, mashed potatoes and dressing and of course, home made pumpkin pie. I most especially love the fact that my family will gather to enjoy all these things with me.

All of these things are wonderful, yet they can be a distraction from the real message of Christmas and I wondered how I could connect them in my mind with the truths of the season.

The tree, for instance. Not all Christmas trees have needles. One of the most beautiful Christmas trees I’ve ever seen was a spindly birch decorated with tiny white lights. That tree often reminds me that Christmas is not the same for all people – many have different traditions and ways of celebrating the birth of the Saviour, but the Christ came for all, no matter their nationality, language or ethnicity.

As I thought about the lights of Christmas, I remembered that Jesus called himself the Light of the world in John 8:12. Isaiah 60:1 tells us to “Arise, shine, for your light has come.” John calls Jesus the true light that gives light and Ephesians 5:8 tells us we ourselves are “now light in the Lord.”

And the Lord himself is our food, our nourishment. He said, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry…” (John 6:35). “For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world” (John 6:33).

And what about the presents? We know Jesus was God’s gift to us, a gift that ‘keeps on giving’ because once we have sought his forgiveness and accepted the sacrifice he made for us, He lives in us.If you have not accepted Jesus as your brother, your friend, your saviour, you have left a priceless gift unopened. That gift is offered to us all at no cost. All you have to do is say yes. Christmas gives us all a new opportunity to celebrate the gift of God’s Son, the gift of the forgiveness He has offered to us.

The tree, the lights, the food, the presents. As I began to connect all the trappings of Christmas to the truths of Christmas, I realized that it’s just a matter of seeing what is really right in front of us at any given time, and connecting it to the mercy and love of Christ.

As writers “in Christ,” Christmas is an opportunity to help our readers see, understand, and perhaps for first time, truly believe in the Christ. As we tell His glorious story through our words, the power and majesty of that story comes alive again and again.

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given … And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).


One Smooth Stone

Desperate to escape his past, the police, and especially, God, Alex Donnelly picks a good place to hide – the Yukon wilderness – but he finds even there he is pursued. What will it take for him to discover that no matter how far you run, God will find you, and no matter what you have done, God will forgive you?

Marcia Lee Laycock writes from central Alberta Canada where she is a pastor’s wife and mother of three adult daughters. She was the winner of The Best New Canadian Christian Author Award for her novel, One Smooth Stone. The sequel, A Tumbled Stone was shortlisted in The Word Awards. Marcia also has four devotional books in print and has contributed to several anthologies. Her work has been endorsed by Sigmund Brouwer, Janette Oke, Phil Callaway and Mark Buchanan.

 

5 Ways to Read More books

By Michelle Griep, @MichelleGriep

“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”  ~ Stephen King

If you spend any amount of time online you’ll not only notice sales galore, but “Best Of” lists for 2017, most notably the Best Books of 2017. Everyone’s got their list,

Motivation is Key

by Kim Vogel Sawyer, @KimVogelSawyer

Before I started writing full-time, I was an elementary school teacher. Although I love what I’m doing now, I think I will always miss the classroom—witnessing the kids’ excitement at learning something new, watching them grow over the course of the year, and sharing my passion of history and writing with them. Even though I’m no longer in the classroom, I still have the opportunity now and then to teach at writing conferences,

Numbering Your Days with One Word

by Beth K. Vogt, @bethvogt

“So teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom.”

Psalm 90:12 NASB

 It’s that time of year again when I throw down my One Word challenge!I encourage one and all –  that means you! –  to abandon the time-honored tradition of New Year’s resolutions and instead,

Writing When You Can’t

by Normandie Fischer, @WritingOnBoard

This has been a season of I-can’t-write jammed with so many becauses that I can barely keep up with them. Because of family issues—ongoing, messy, time-consuming with a lot of travel involved. Because of sickness—caught during that travel and keeping me quarantined and without energy for too long.

I know you’ve had times like this. I had to back out of my monthly column here at Novel Rocket for a few months.