Monday, November 28, 2011


With Christmas coming up, I decided to post a program that we put on a couple of years ago. It shows some interesting things about Santa Claus that you may not have known before.


Pastor’s Introduction: With all the commercialization of Christmas it is sad how many have completely lost the true meaning of this special holiday. It seems in our society that Jesus has been replaced by Santa. This is actually quite a clever deception, for Santa has not only displaced our Lord, as we will find out tonight, but he has actually turned into an evil imposter. Tonight we will be reminded of who the true Lord really is.


Piano playing Christmas hymns.
Scene opens with Santa sitting in a large chair with Shopper and Mother beside him and the son on his lap. Mother then takes picture

Grandparents walk up with grandchildren.

Amanda: Grandma, can we get our picture taken with Santa Claus?

Grandma: No, I do not think that is a good idea

Daniel: Why not?

Grandpa: Well, Santa is not real.

Amanda: But I can see him, he is right there.

Grandma: What grandpa means is that he is actually an imposter

At this time Elijah pulls Santa’s beard off as Policeman walks up

Policeman: Ah. An imposter you say. It looks like your right.

Santa sits there looking embarrassed without his beard.
Mother: (looking embarrassed herself) Elijah, you come and stand by me for a while.

Elijah goes and stands by mother

Policeman: So can someone explain what’s going on here?

Grandpa: Sure. We were just explaining to our grandchildren that Santa is an imposter when that little wipper snapper pulled his beard off.

Policeman: (turning to Santa) Ok, so what’s your name?

Santa: Chris Cringle

Shopper: I heard that Chris Cringle meant Christ Child.

Santa: That’s correct- in fact, you can verify it by looking it up in Webster’s 7th Collegiate Dictionary. It calls me the religious and holiday spirit of Christmas personified, Father Christmas, the Christmas Gift, or the Christ Child.

Mother: (Rolling her eyes at Santa) He sure doesn’t look like the Christ Child to me.

Grandma: He’s not. That is why he’s an imposter.

Mother: How do you mean?

Grandpa: Actually there are a lot of ways. Jesus Christ is the true Christmas gift, not Santa Claus.

Daniel: Doesn’t Santa give kids gifts?

Elijah: I want a toy truck.

Grandpa: James 1:17 says, Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

Amanda: Then that means they come from God, not Santa.

Grandma: That’s right dear.

Shopper: I find it interesting that the perfect gifts come from God, yet we tell our kids to ask Santa for stuff.

Mother: So we should have them write letters to God instead of letters to Santa?

Grandma: We could just tell them to pray.

Mother: Yah, and God knows who has been naughty or nice.

Santa: Hey, you better be nice or I won’t give you any presents.

Grandpa: Jesus Christ is the ultimate judge, not Santa and He knows all our secrets. Romans 2:16 says, “In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.”

Grandma: Have you noticed that Santa only rewards us according to our works, but Christ saves us based on the grace of God? “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8&9.

Santa: Okay, if I’m supposed to be an imposter of Christ, why am I dressed up in this red and white outfit.

Grandpa: When Christ returns He will be dressed in red and white as well. Daniel 7:9 says, “I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.”

Santa: See, His clothes are white, mine are red.

Grandpa: His white robe will be stained red by blood when He returns. Revelation 19:13 tells us, “And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.”

Amanda: Grandpa, why was it stained with blood.

Grandpa: He shed his blood for us, Amanda. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Shopper: I noticed you mentioned something about His hair being like pure wool. Would that mean that Christ might have white hair like this imposter?

Grandpa: That’s right. Revelation 1:14 explains, “His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;”

Amanda: I didn’t know Jesus would have white hair.

Grandma: Yes, even whiter than Grandpa’s. Like wool and white as snow.

Policeman: Okay, Mr. Cringle, why don’t you tell me how you got here.
Santa: In my sleigh with 8 tiny reindeer.

Mother: So Santa, why are you just sitting here? Shouldn’t you be flying around delivering gifts or something?

Santa: Oh, I don’t have to do that until Christmas eve.

Shopper: You probably should get started now. There are billions of people on this planet and if you only visited 1 billion houses in 24 hours, that would mean you would have to go to over 11,000 per second. You could not be that omnipresent unless you were God.

Grandpa: Correct again. Furthermore, Christ is able to be present in more places that one. Daniel can you share that verse you just learned?

Daniel: For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. Matthew 18:20

Mother: Yah, that whole thing about Santa flying around with reindeer and giving gifts is obviously fake.

Shopper: Yes, but the idea of Jesus doing so is not. “But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.” That is found in Eph. 4:7 & 8. You see the gifts Jesus gives are even better than toys.

Santa: Okay, I’ll agree the reindeer and sleigh thing is a little far fetched, but did you know that some stories have me on a horse instead?

Grandpa: I am not waiting for you to come on your horse, but I am waiting for Christ to come on His. Let me read from Revelation 19, “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. 12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”

Grandma: That tells me we should be waiting for Jesus, not for Santa. Amanda can you share the verse you just learned.

Amanda: “He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” Revelation 22:20

Mother: That Christ you were reading about- He sounds really powerful- even more powerful than Santa Claus.

Grandpa: Yes, way more powerful. “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” Matthew 28:18
The similarities between Christ and Santa are astounding. I believe they were both considered carpenters who made things. If it were not for the fact that Santa replaces and takes attention away from Christ, he could be a great reminder of who Christ is, but I want to be reminded by the real thing not some counterfeit who sits on his throne in the shopping center receiving worship that only belongs to God.

Mother: Yah, “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.” and that comes from 2 Corinthians 11:14.

Shopper: As we celebrate this holiday season, let us remember who is really the one with power and judgment at Christmas time. It is the Lord Jesus Christ, not Santa. Let us pray to Him, worship Him, and think of Him during this time, not the imposter.

Policeman: Yep, I’m convinced. This guy is an imposter. You’d better come with me.

Santa: Wait. I’m not really Santa. They’re right, he’s just a fake. I’m just a teenage kid with a side job here. Besides, I want to know the true Christ. I don’t want anything more to do with this counterfeiter. pulls hat and fake hair and beard off.

Amanda: Grandpa, thank you for telling us the truth about Santa and not lying to us and telling us he is real. I know I can believe you when you tell me that Jesus is real because you never lie to us.

Daniel: I don’t like Santa anymore because he is a fake, but I love Jesus because he is real.

Santa: Me too

Elijah: Me too

Pastor: Perhaps you are here today and once believed in Santa as a child and realized he was a lie and no longer believe in him. Perhaps you have taken a similar approach with Christ. There is one big difference. Jesus Christ is real. Hebrews 9:27 says, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” Jesus was born into this world to pay the penalty so that you could be forgiven when that judgment comes. Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
You may have been lied to about Santa Claus, but God will not, and has not lied to you, and He gives us hope of eternal life. Titus 1:2 “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;” So trust Christ if you have not do so already.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Penn State and Morality

As I write this article, the country is reeling over the news of one of the worst scandals to have ever hit college football. The scandal is so bad that a famous head football couch has stepped down from his position. I do not want to go into all the disgusting details surrounding the terrible events that happened at Penn State. For those who may not know about this incident, it involved a high ranking assistant couch raping young boys who were around 10-12 years of age. What made it worse is that many people knew about it yet did little or nothing to stop it.
Today many are speculating about what went wrong at Penn State. Why did so many turn a blind eye? No doubt the success and popularity of the football program was a factor. Further the perpetrator, Sandusky, was running a program to “help” underprivileged boys. Of course what he was doing was hurting them more than helping them.
Part of the problem is that not everyone in our country believes that what Sandusky was doing was wrong. There is actually an organization that is attempting to legalize the sort of behavior this coach had with minors as long as it is consensual. Fortunately most people are still appalled at such an idea, but how long before that changes. Just a few decades ago, most people were appalled at the idea of homosexuality, now it is simply considered an alternative lifestyle choice. How long before pedophilia falls into that same category?
You may ask how I could even suggest such a thing. Proverbs 21:2 says, “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts.” In other words, man can justify any sin in his own eyes, but God is the ultimate judge of what is right and wrong.
Here is the problem. If we leave God out of the equation, who gets to decide what is right or wrong? Does the football coach get to decide because he is popular? Does Hollywood get to decide because they are able to use their influence to make deviant behavior acceptable and even popular? Does the government get to decide because political campaigns and politicians are influenced by the money given by pedophiles and homosexuals? Right and wrong should not be based on any of these factors. Instead it should be based on the moral absolutes of an unchanging God.
No doubt college campuses have played a role in the changing moral ethic of our nation as well. Students are told that they need to accept the choices of others and promote those choices even if they believe those choices are wrong. At the same time those who believe in God and commit to following Him are mocked. Essentially there is tolerance for every deviant behavior, but no tolerance for Christ. Should we then be surprised that such sin would occur at a college campus like Penn State?
Isaiah 2:20 says, “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” It is time that we stop making excuses for evil and stand up for what is right. It is time that we stop trying to determine for ourselves what is right and wrong. It is time we stop letting other people tell us what is right an wrong. It is time we listen to God and let Him tell us what is right and wrong.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Those Cold Blanket Wars

The blanket wars have resumed in the Miller household. There had been a cease fire in the battle for quite awhile. Through the summer months blankets were not such a prized commodity, but now that fall has set in and the temperatures have gone down we had our first skirmish in a long time last night.
Now before you feel sorry for our family and start donating bedding, realize that we have cedar chests full of blankets. The problem occurs with the tug of war that can occur during the middle of the night.
Again, do not feel sorry for us. Our bed was piled with 3 nice quilts last night, but by morning I only had the slim edge of a sheet and the thinnest of the quilts. I sensed that all it would take was for my wife to roll over and I would have no blanket at all, so I said something to her. Her response, “I know, I don’t have any either.” Incredulously, I responded, “sit up and look how much I have!”
She did look, and then informed me that the rest of the blankets were all on my side- on the floor. It is amazing the difference a little perspective can make.
Crystal and I were able to laugh about what happened, but it is sad how often conflict arises between two people simply because we do not have the complete picture of what has actually happened. We may think someone has wronged us when in fact we had unintentionally wronged them.
Proverbs 10:12 advises, “Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.” Fortunately the love between my wife and I is strong enough that we were able to see the humor in the event rather than inciting strife. That strife was diverted as our loving relationship was informed about what had actually happened.
Too often people who should be getting along with each other are at odds simply because they do not understand each other. This is especially true in a husband and wife situation. I might be upset because dinner is not ready and my wife is already upset because the crock pot quit working. It was not her fault that dinner wasn’t ready and she already feels bad that she needs a new crock pot. The last thing she needs at such a time is a bitter attitude from me.
At the same time she should not expect me to understand why dinner is late and the extra stress she is under if she does not tell me. Really what it comes down to is dwelling with one another according to understanding. In fact Peter gave specific instruction to husbands to do just that. “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.” (1 Peter 3:7)
Understanding one another so we get along better is not just limited to the marriage relationship. “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Psalms 133:1)
Let us take time to see the bigger picture so that we understand what the other person is going through. Then hopefully our blanket wars will be something we can look back and laugh at instead of adding tension to our relationships.