Tag Archives: gift

I Love You So Much…Alexa? Perfect gifts are from above!

So, by now, you’ve probably heard of the 6-year-old girl, Brooke Neitzel. She is the young lady who tried out her family’s new voice-activated system (“Alexa”) soon after Christmas. She had seen the commercials. It seemed easy. Ask Alexa, and Alexa does.

So Brooke had a conversation with Alexa. She told Alexa how much she loves dollhouses, and would Alexa please order her one…and some cookies. And guess what? A dollhouse and cookies showed up at the door. Magic!

Her parents were confused, to say the least. So they went back and looked at the transcript on their computer. Sure enough, young Brooke had asked Alexa for a dollhouse and cookies. And when Alexa told Brooke she would be happy to comply, Brooke said, “I love you so much.”

So Brooke’s parents put new controls on Alexa to make sure it wouldn’t happen again. They also spoke about the value of things, and donated the dollhouse to a charity. But Brooke got to keep the cookies.

The story is cute. It is also a good reminder to keep parental controls on the Internet and automated home systems. We all know that the story could have ended very differently. After all, the Internet is a dangerous place for kids without parental guidance.

Nevertheless, in the innocence of a child speaking to Alexa, I see a bit of the way God wants us to approach Him. No, God isn’t, as some prosperity preachers want you to believe, interested in giving everyone dollhouses and cookies. But He is the good gift giver (Matthew 7:11) who gives perfect gifts from above (James 1:17).

1 John 5:14-15 reminds us, “If we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.”

So consider this: Do we approach God with confidence? And when we see how blessed we are, do we remember to thank God, and tell Him we love Him? Surely, a 6 year-old teaches us a good lesson.

“Just What I Wanted! What Is It?” (Revisited)

About 4 years ago (December, 2012) I wrote an article, “Just what I wanted! What is it?” I decided to edit and update the original, and I hope you will give it your post-Christmas consideration.

We go to my in-laws for Christmas each year. The crew usually includes 4 parents, 5 kids, a couple of dogs, and a Nana & PawPaw. We gather in the living room as the kids receive gifts, and…let’s say…“present opening frenzy?” Wrapping paper flies when 5 kids open their presents at the same time!

Of course, the kids have a great time. Sometimes they open a present and scream, “Just what I wanted!” Sometimes they need a moment to process, asking, “What is it?” And sometimes they get a gift they needed, but hadn’t requested, asking, “How did you know?”

Almost 2,000 years ago, our Father gave us the greatest gift ever – the expected Messiah. Angels announced Him (Luke 2:14); shepherds praised Him (Luke 2:20); Mary rejoiced in Him (Luke 1:46-55); and prophets proclaimed Him (John 1:29).

People such as lepers, centurions, blind men, etc., knew immediately that Jesus was the healing – ‘just what they wanted’ (Matthew 8:5, Luke 7:1-10, Mark 8:23). Others marveled – ‘what is this’ indescribable gift (2 Corinthians 9:15). Still others were impressed that God’s gift was perfect, long before they asked for it – “how did He know?” (James 1:17, Matthew 7:11).

Today, some are ready to receive, saying, “just what I wanted.” Others search to understand, asking, “what is it?” The answer is, the greatest love ever (John 3:16). Still, others wonder how God prepared a gift that meets each individual’s deepest needs – ‘how did He know?’ (Philippians 4:19, all needs are supplied in Christ).

Grace is given freely, but it wasn’t free. It cost God. Do you already know that grace is ‘just what you always wanted?’ Perhaps you don’t understand exactly what it is, but are interested. Or maybe you are in disbelief that God foreknew your needs that intimately. Whatever the case, get in touch…let’s discuss His amazing gift!

Did You Check Behind The Tree?

 So you are cleaning up after Christmas morning, wrapping paper is everywhere, and the kids have run off to play with their toys. And then, “uh oh!” As you take a look around the tree, you see it…that one unopened present! Whose is it? Who didn’t get their gift?

Well, hopefully this didn’t happen at your house! I would hate for someone to miss the joy of getting all their gifts. But did you know that there is an unopened gift sitting in houses all over the world?

And it  has an urgent message on it – “open immediately!” You see, this one is from Jesus; and it is called grace.

Did you notice? Did you receive the gift from Christ this year? Jesus freely gave, but you have to “open” your present! Grace is one gift you don’t want to lose. Don’t let it get pushed to the side in your busy life! No other gift is so important.

If you aren’t a Christian, receive Christ today and accept His free gift of grace – it will be the best gift you ever opened! Be forgiven of your sins by trusting in His gospel of salvation.

If you are a Christian, it may be that this Christmas, you got so hectic that you put Jesus second in your life, even if just for a moment. Let’s get back on track quickly. Live for Him and for His Kingdom, remembering the wonderful gift of grace.

So, check behind your tree for lost presents, but check your heart and God’s Word for the grace of Christ.