Thursday, December 10, 2015

Deb Kastner | Spread the Christmas Joy

Loving Sacrifices

Hello! Deb Kastner here with “He knows when you’ve been sleeping, he knows when you’re awake. He knows when you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake. Oh, you better watch out…”

I have nothing against Christmas carols. Ask anyone in my family who gets tired of me belting out Christmas tunes and cranking Christmas albums. I’m the one in the church choir who gets excited when Christmas music starts trickling out into our folders in October.

But this little ditty, not so much. First of all, raise your hand if you think having some “jolly old elf” always watching you is kind of creepy. Am I right?

Second, although really this should be first, we know Who watches over us, awake and asleep. Ultimately God is the One to whom we’re accountable for our thoughts, words and actions.

And yet hundreds of thousands of parents over the years have used this very song to hold over the heads of their children. For at least a couple of weeks a year, kids strive to be good and think twice before acting, lest they end up on Santa’s “naughty list.”

But is that what we ought to be teaching our children? “You be good or you won’t get…”

My church has started a new tradition that I absolutely love. At the beginning of Advent they handed each child a bundle of hay. Did you sneeze when you read that? Bless you.

Whenever one of my grandchildren performs an act of mercy or an act of loving sacrifice, they collect one straw. For the time being, we’ve been spreading the straws throughout our nativity set. On Christmas eve, the children will bundle up the straws they’ve earned and place them in the manger of the church nativity scene. By their kind acts, they are making a soft place for Baby Jesus to lay.

Now that’s a tradition I can get behind. Sacrificial love to please the Lord. If it requires me to take Benedryl from now until Christmas, it’s a small price to pay, to see the glow and delight of my grandchildren’s faces as they offer up their gift to Jesus.

As for me? I’ll be in the choir loft, joyfully belting out Christmas hymns. Joy to the World, the Lord has come!

~~Love Courageously~~

Award-winning author Deb Kastner writes contemporary inspirational romances containing sigh-worthy heroes and strong heroines facing obstacles that draw them closer to each other and the Lord.

Deb has written over 25 published novels and has over a million books in print. Awards include first place in the Beacon contest and three Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice nominations. She has presented numerous writing workshops in Colorado and is involved in leadership roles in American Christian Fiction Writers at both the state and local levels.

She lives on Colorado’s beautiful Front Range with her husband and a pack of miscreant mutts. She has three grown daughters and two wonderful grandchildren. Spoiling the grandkids is her favorite hobby, but she also enjoys movies, music, and singing in the church choir.

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