Archive for Christmas

The Gift That Matters

Posted in Bible, Celebration, Christian, Christmas, Christmas Party, Church, Community, Faith, Family, Global, God, Holiday, Real Talk with tags , , , , , , on December 17, 2014 by BigPhatPastor

As we get closer to the day when we celebrate God’s greatest gift to humanity, the birth of His Son Jesus Christ, we tend to get busier trying to find, purchase, or make a good gift for others.  Whether you make it, order it online, or hunt for it in retail stores realize there is way more value in a thoughtful inexpensive gift than an overpriced last minute gift (a cruise being the exception…everyone loves a cruise).

Although our list of who to shop for may be long, have you taken a minute to consider what gift you can give to God?  Yes, we can give gifts to God and here are 3 excellent ones:


1.  Your Talent: although God has equipped each of us with gifts and talents many of us aren’t using those skills to build God’s kingdom.  This doesn’t mean you have to use your gifts and talents in the local church although that is the best place to start. You can also use your gifts and talents within a local organization within your community.  Using your gifts and talents that God has blessed you with and acknowledging those gifts and talents are from God is a great way to bless others and give something back to the God who gives us everything.

2. Your Time: You don’t have to have a special skill or talent to volunteer your time.  Every local church needs people to help out with numerous activities and ministries.  Local organizations in your community that are blessing the lives of others could also use extra hands.  And since we cannot earn that time back in any way shape or fashion it tops the list as one of the most precious things in existence; when you give your precious time to help others it is reminiscent of God giving His precious Son to us.

3. Your Presence (Not Your Presents): Take a little extra time to spend with family this Christmas season; hug them a little closer and a little tighter.  The overtime, the special projects at work, they’ll all be waiting for you.  All your family really needs to have a happy and blessed Christmas is you showing up, telling them you love them, and celebrating the birth of Christ with them.  Take the whole family to a Christmas Eve celebration and rejoice in the birth of Christ together.  #merrychristmas #tistheseason


Peace on Earth…Begins With You

Posted in Christian, Christmas, Devotion, Digital, Faith, God, Holiday, Jesus Christ, Prayer, Real Talk, The Church with tags , , , , , on December 9, 2014 by BigPhatPastor

Martin Luther said “Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance, but laying hold of His willingness.”  As we draw closer to Christmas we see the need for communities, legal systems, corporate and government officials, individuals, and families to grab hold of God’s willingness to offer peace on earth and good will towards our fellow man. 


As we go about our business of each day this Christmas season take an extra moment to pray for peace, safety, and rest for our soldiers, their families, and that we all would show good will toward our fellow man. Peace on earth was made possible by the birth of Jesus Christ but the spreading of it begins with you and how you treat others.  #merrychristmas #tistheseason

We Can Still Give Thanks…

Posted in Bible, Christian, Church, Community, Culture, Evangelism, Faith, Global, God, Government, Jesus Christ, Leadership, Life, Prayer, Real Talk, Spiritual, The Church with tags , , , , , , on November 26, 2014 by BigPhatPastor

In a week that should be capitalized with a time of giving thanks and praise to God for His blessings we as a nation are again divided over human hurts.  If nothing else, the events of this week in our nation  confirm how much this nation and this world needs the peace that only Jesus Christ can bring.  We need that peace so we are not fearful of people because of their race, or what clothes they wear, or what position of authority they hold. We need that peace so that hate is no longer one of the most powerful weapons on the planet.  We need that peace because it reveals the truth that every single life is precious to God and should be precious to His people.


Now more than ever we, who are the Church, should pray for a spiritual awakening  across the nation: that the Gospel would be communicated across the full spectrum of American society and that people of all ages, races, backgrounds regardless of political affiliation or economic situation would be drawn to Jesus Christ and receive His life, His salvation, and His peace…and we should give thanks that we live in a nation that allows us to do so freely #givethanks

Busy Busy Busy

Posted in Christian, Christmas, Christmas Party, Community, Culture, Devotion, Digital, Faith, Family, Fun, God, Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, Life, Prayer, Real Talk, Spiritual, Taboo Topics with tags , , , , on November 14, 2014 by BigPhatPastor


Many are already planning to visit family for the holidays or are preparing their homes for family and friends to come visit.  The holidays present a time of high activity and hustle and bustle in our homes, schools, work places and in our communities.  But let’s not get so busy that we forsake our precious alone time with God.  It just might be the thing that gets us through the hustle and bustle.  “Time spent alone with God is not wasted. It changes us; it changes our surroundings; and every Christian who would live the life that counts and have power for service must take time to pray.” – M.E. Andross

Twas the Night Before A Pretty Geeky Christmas

Posted in Apps, Christmas, Christmas Party, Culture, Digital, Entertainment, Family, Fun, Holiday, Social Media, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 19, 2013 by BigPhatPastor

Christmas Geek

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house;

The geeks home was wired both inside and out.

The dropcams were hung, motion sensors were on,

To catch children peeking before Christmas morn.

And I on my nexus had just made some time,

To shop with the missus via Amazon Prime.

When up on the roof we heard something amiss,

We stopped all our shopping and paused the Netflix.

Whilst voice dialing the police who should appear,

But a young hipster Santa and digital reindeer.

Sup” he said smoothly as he swaggered our way,

Then he winked at the missus, nodded to me and said “Hey“.

He began laying batteries neath our digital tree;

Double A, triple A, some C’s and some D’s.

He laid out some chargers, wireless docks and some mats,

And spread out some gift cards to purchase free apps.

He gave the missus a smart watch and I with a gasp,

Accepted from Santa my first Google Glass.

Then he acknowledged the digital fireplace;

He said “It almost looks real.”

I said “It should, it’s 4K.”

In a flash he was gone but I heard him profess;

Merry Christmas to all! Peace out and God bless!

7 Things You Didn’t Know About The 1st Christmas Party

Posted in Bible, Celebration, Christian, Christmas, Christmas Party, Church, Community, Culture, Devotion, Entertainment, Global, God, Holiday, Jesus Christ, Real Talk, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on November 21, 2013 by BigPhatPastor

I realize for many we are still one Thanksgiving away from the start of the Christmas season.  However, for others it started with the first snow, the first Christmas present you purchased for someone this year (for some that was in January, lol), or the day after Halloween or the elections (depending upon your upbringing).   With the start of the Christmas season comes gift wrapping, gift giving to co-workers, gift mailing to our troops and far away family members, and of course, Christmas decorating.  But one of my favorite aspects of Christmas is the Christmas party or as I like to call it the Christmas Celebration.

Nov 2013 4Many people have gotten away from having Christmas parties because the parties have become more about the party than about Christmas (‘ll just leave that thought there).  However, Christmas parties used to be about celebrating the true meaning of the season with family, co-workers, friends, and neighbors more than anything else.  In fact, we can learn a lot by looking at 7 things you didn’t know or may not have known about the very first Christmas party.  A man named Luke researched the Life of Jesus Christ including His birth.  He captured his findings in what we today call the book of Luke or the Gospel (good news) of Luke.  From that we find the following about the first Christmas party:

  1.   It was God’s idea– In the book of Luke chapter 2 we read about the birth of Jesus Christ.  It was God’s idea to send His son, Jesus Christ, as the Savior of humanity, but it was also God’s idea to celebrate that birth and have representatives of Heaven and Earth join in rejoicing about it.   In verse 9 of the chapter we read that God sent an angel to tell the shepherds about the very 1st Christmas party.
  2. It was by personal invite – Although God could have invited anyone and everyone, verse 9 also tells us that God sent an angel to provide a personal invite to some shepherds who just happened to be out on that particular night.  He didn’t invite the most popular people, the richest people, or royalty (not even the media made this invite list).  He sent an angel to personally invite local people from within the community to come and rejoice and to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
  3. It took place on Christmas Day – Most people and businesses plan to have their  Christmas party weeks or days before Christmas.  There was a time when every week in December and every day of the week before Christmas there was a Christmas party being thrown by someone I knew that I would attend.  Verse 11 tells us that this first Christmas party took place on the day of Christ’s birth, although in the evening.  This is why many congregations used to hold a special service on Christmas day.  Most congregations have gotten away from doing that by switching to holding it on Christmas Eve.
  4. There was a whole lot of music – Verse 13 tells us the party started way before the shepherds got to the house.  I can remember playing Christmas music and getting in a happy happy jolly jolly mood before heading out to many a Christmas party.  This must be where that tradition started because verse 13 tells us a multitude of heavenly beings appeared and started celebrating.  The word multitude is used in the KJV whilst the Amplified and Complete Jewish Bible versions use verbiage indicating there was an army of heavenly beings.  The Greek word used is one where we get our English word plethora and it indicates there were a whole lot of angelic beings, a great number.  While Luke tells us that they praised God the word He uses for praise is a word commonly used for singing praises.  Luke’s verbiage paints the picture that most of us grew up with of a heavenly choir appearing and singing and rejoicing at the birth of Christ before the shepherds even got to the location where Jesus Christ was born.
  5. There were no gifts exchanged – Despite many of our traditions of exchanging gifts, or white elephant exchanges, there were no gifts given at this party.  The shepherds showed up empty handed because they were there to acknowledge humanity’s receipt of the greatest gift ever given in the history of creation: God giving His Son to us.
  6. There was only one party – Although verses 17 and 18 tell us that the shepherds left the party and immediately began telling others about it, we don’t read of any other gatherings or any other celebrations.  There was only one gathering, one celebration, in an un-decorated location that would make Martha Stewart cry if she knew parties were hosted there.  But people representing the community gathered there to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.   Verses 15, 16, and 20 indicate they went eagerly wanting to experience all that had been revealed to them and they left excited and happy and glorifying God.  The main reason was…
  7. It was all about Jesus – The shepherds went to celebrate Jesus, the party was all about Jesus, and they left glorifying and celebrating about Jesus.

This Christmas Eve many congregations will be hosting a Christmas Eve Celebration.  If you attend one you can put some of these things into practice by: Inviting a friend or neighbor or co-worker to go with you; invite them personally, not just by text or Facebook invite (although if you invite people that way, try to connect with them personally and let them know you really want them to attend); if you host a Christmas party or attend one somewhere else ensure you invite those people to attend the Christmas Eve Celebration with you and your congregation;  help get them in the Christmas mood before the celebration by taking them out for coffee, or lunch, or dinner depending upon the time of the celebration you are attending; but most importantly, let them know in advance that you want them to join you in celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.

From myself , my family, and the entire Church family of CrossRoads Community Church of Jefferson Hills, have a very merry Christmas and God’s blessings for the New Year.

All I Want for Christmas…Next Year

Posted in Celebration, Christian, Christmas, Community, Culture, Digital, Entertainment, God, Holiday, Jesus Christ, Real Talk, Social Media, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 22, 2012 by BigPhatPastor

As a professed Christmas geek I don’t have a problem admitting I enjoy all the Christmas TV that comes with the season.  We not only get the classics like Rudolph and Frosty but Lifetime TV constantly gives us a fresh perspective on doing life Christmas style.  In addition we get to see a host of recording artists from every genre of music do Christmas specials: country music, jazz, pop, you name it; every genre has their representation…except the obvious one…Christian Christmas music.

Christmas Tree MusicWhy isn’t there a Christian Christmas music special?  I mean who better to sing about and rejoice in the Christmas season than Christians?  I realize the secular music producers have deeper pockets, but couldn’t a few of the mega churches (the Willows, Saddlebacks, Elevation, Newspring, etc…) join forces to pull off this amazing line up:  Chris Tomlin, Brandon Heath, Toby Mac (whose concert I just attended on the 15th and it had a great Christmas vibe), Kirk Franklin, Lecrae, Flame, etc…

So all I want for Christmas next year, is to turn on the TV and watch as some of the biggest names in Christian music get together and put on the most amazing Christmas special ever…and of  course I want them to stream it live.  #christmasnerdproblems

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