The Season That Stole Christmas

The lights went out on the top and the bottom this year!!

There I sat with my car backed into the parking lot at Target in observation mode. Still in quarantine, my wife made her trek into Target to purchase a gift.

What did I observe? A steady of stream of shoppers entering and exiting their cars and the stores with sad, frowning, hardened faces. Some were walking briskly, some on a mission, others at a snail’s pace. And, what season of the year is this?

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!”—Go ahead; sing it! You are hearing it in your head anyway!

It’s the celebration of good news of great joy that will be for all the people (Luke 2:11)!

Isn’t Christmas all about joy, cheer, good news, giving, laughter, family traditions, get-togethers, etc.?

As I watched, my finite mind could not fathom all the stories in front of me in this “season of joy.” Perhaps sudden job loss, death of a dear loved one, disappointment in not finding the right gift, the general frustrations of life, cancer diagnosis, home life issues, heart-crushing memories, failing marriages, brokenness, fear, rejection, dread, chaos, thoughts of suicide, sorrow, discontentment, etc.

In the midst of these stories of life, many hoping that this season might bring a little good news, a little cheer, a little “Tender Tennessee Christmas” to take off the edge of the pain, my mind considered my own current “covidness” and was once again reminded that this season is only a mere shadow of the Realty. If my heart is fixed on all the ingredients of the season, I miss the preeminent, transcendent Person of this day, this season, this year, and this life. At that point, I have fallen into idolatry; worshiping the creature (and what the creature creates here) more than the Creator (Romans 1:18-25).

You see, the only Story that can completely deal with the root cause of all “the fears of all the years,” which began in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3), is the Reality of the living Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ Who stepped into your life to be your substitute on the cross (Isaiah 53:3-5; 1 Peter 3:18). Life is the Eternal Story, not a temporal season.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:3-9 ESV).

Today, tomorrow, on Christmas Day, and the days to follow, listen to and meditate on the Story of hope and redemption, the salvation of your souls, in exchange for the shadows of the season. No matter how good they may be for now, they are only shadows.

Don’t let the season steal what Jesus came to give and restore!

I came that they may have life and have it abundantly (John 10:10).

Additional links for your encouragement today:

Nothing Ever Can, Nothing Ever Will

After a long week of sharing my heart and hopefully some help concerning the subject of suicide, I want to end the week on a high note; a note of hope; a note of promise!  We have been singing this song in our congregation since the middle of June.  The lyrics have stirred our hearts, given us hope, and pointed us continually to Jesus Christ!  Rejoice in the truths, raise your hands in praise, and drop to your knees in submission to our God Who always wins!!  Worship here: Nothing Ever Can, Nothing Ever Will


“Nothing Ever Can, Nothing Ever Will”

Ross King

1) Every power on earth and in heaven

Is a shadow in His light,

No authority, law or government

Challenges His sovereign might.


His reign and rule have no boundary,

All that is, His hands have wrought.

Nothing ever can, nothing ever will

Overcome the Lord our God.


2) We are well aware we were orphans once,

Bent and broken in our shame,

Then He sought us out and adopted us,

Now we bear His royal name.


Every sin or crime we have ever done

Is no match for Jesus’ blood.

Nothing ever can, nothing ever will

Overcome the Lord, our God.


3) We are rescued out of darkest night,

Freed from Satan’s evil hold

And the kingdom of our Savior’s light

Is our soul’s eternal home.


Though the enemy tries to steal and kill

What the death of Christ has bought

Nothing ever can, nothing ever will

Overcome the Lord, our God.



Our God is victorious,

He always wins! He always wins!

In love He reigns over us,

He always wins! He always wins!

Our God is victorious,

He always wins! He always wins!

In love He reigns over us,

He always wins! He always wins!


4)  We, the Church, declare: Jesus Christ is King,

For He conquered death once for all.

We will live in light of His victory

Following His gospel call.


And when the story ends we know Jesus wins,

For His power cannot be stopped.

Nothing ever can, nothing ever will

Overcome the Lord, our God.

Nothing ever can, nothing ever will

Overcome the Lord, our God.

Why? – Part 2

FoxNews reported the following about Robin Williams:

The beloved “Mork and Mindy” star had been battling severe depression recently, said his rep Mara Buxbaum. Just last month, he announced he was returning to a 12-step treatment program he said he needed after 18 months of nonstop work. He had sought treatment in 2006 after a relapse following 20 years of sobriety.

He had a complicated personal life and often seemed driven by demons. He did a few lines of cocaine with John Belushi on the last night of that comic’s life.

A darkness seeped in during an interview with comedian Marc Maron in 2010, where Williams seemingly dismissed what would be a career highlight for many actors. “People say you’re an Academy Award winner,” he said. “The Academy Award lasted about a week and then one week later, people went, ‘Hey Mork!'”

Depression, alcohol, cocaine, demons, and darkness; these are the words that stood out to me as I read the report.  Why would anyone take their own life?  Yesterday, I shared two important thoughts in reference to suicide.  Today, two more.  May I quickly add that my heart is saddened when I hear of anyone coming to this point because there is a remedy for ALL of life’s trials and disappointments.  His name is Jesus (John 10:9-11)

  1. No matter what the situation or circumstance of life may be, you must begin with God.
  2. Never overestimate the condition of man’s heart.
  3. Suicide is NOT the unpardonable sin. When you study Matthew 12:31-32, where the unpardonable sin is mentioned, you find no mention of suicide in that passage.  The unpardonable sin as verse 32 says, blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.  For a more in-depth study of this passage, see the following link, The Unforgivable Sin.
  4. Recognize the full deception of Satan. Jesus said of the religious, hypocritical Pharisees, You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it (John 8:44).  Satan is a complete, absolute liar who cannot speak the truth because there is no truth in him (Genesis 3:4-5).  He has been engaged in an all-out assault on the truth, on men coming to the Truth (John 14:6), and seeking to defraud the truth from the time of Adam and Eve.  He hates Jesus Christ, Who is Truth. He will do all he can to hinder someone from coming to know the Truth. When a distraught individual considers suicide, Satan will place thoughts of revenge, selfishness, bitterness, despair, and/or utter hopelessness and helplessness in the minds of individuals.  Satan is a destroyer who is always on the prowl waiting to lick his chops over another soul he has devoured (1 Peter 5:8).

Now, there is no way any of us can know all that goes through a man or woman’s mind who considers and then completes the act of suicide.  I only offer these truths in light of recent events to maybe help someone who is thinking of taking their life as well as to shed some light on this dreadful subject.

For anyone you know who may be dealing with thoughts of suicide or even yourself, I recommend you turn this website and check out the list of resources counselingoneanother- resources-suicide

My friend, for every issue of life, for sin, for sorrow, for despair, for the agonies of life, the answer is Jesus Christ. Turn to Him today. Receive Him as your personal Lord and Savior. (Isaiah 53:1-12; Romans 3:19-26; 5:1-11; 8:28-39; Philippians 2:1-11)

Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.  Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. — Hebrews 4:14-16


According to, over one million people die by suicide worldwide each year. On average, one person dies by suicide every 40 seconds somewhere in the world.

Global suicide rates have increased 60% in the past 45 years. As for the United States, 38, 518 were reported in 2011 (the most recent year for which data is available) by the American Suicide Prevention Foundation, making suicide the 10th leading cause of death for Americans. In that year, someone in the country died by suicide every 13.3 minutes.

What causes a person to come to the point of total despair and take his/her life? As I have pondered this in view of a well-known actor and a college president’s son recently committing suicide, the following thoughts have come to mind.

1. No matter what the situation or circumstance of life may be, you must begin with God. Genesis 1:1 has more to say than just referencing creation. When Scripture says, “In the beginning, God,” we are referred to the starting point and conclusion for all discussions, situations, circumstances, and answers of life. Since God is holy (Exodus 15:11; 1 Samuel 2:2; Isaiah 6:3), omniscient (Psalms 139:1-6; 147:5; Isaiah 40:28; 55:9), omnipresent (Job 34:21; Proverbs 15;3; Jeremiah 23:24) , and eternal (Exodus 3:13-14; Psalm 90:1-4; Revelation 1:8), He is the absolute perfect reference point for all of life. If I start with man or my own humanistic thoughts when trying to draw a conclusion, I will always come up with a faulty assumption because man is sinful, imperfect, limited in his knowledge and ever-learning, ubiquitous, and short-lived (Psalm 90:10; Proverbs 3; Romans 3:23; 5:12; Hebrews 9:27). How grateful to know that God is able to make all grace abound in every situation (2 Corinthians 9:8).

2. Never overestimate the condition of man’s heart. I have heard so many people say, “Just follow your heart” when a life-decision needs to be made. Why would you do that? Look at what God says about our heart:

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? – Jeremiah 17:9

Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. – Matthew 12:34

For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man, — Matthew 15:19, 20a

Since a man’s heart is deceitful, if he listens to his heart, then self-murder is a possible “escape” for the immense troubles of life. Our heart has been sinful since the fall of man. The only remedy is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ Who has done everything necessary to fulfill the righteousness of God and to cleanse us from sin (Isaiah 53; Romans 5:1-12).

Tomorrow, I’ll continue these thoughts. For the present, make sure God is always your Reference Point for all of life and do not listen to yourself, your heart. Instead, preach the Word to yourself. The Truth always sets you free (John 8:32).

For additional reading: Psalm 42

Laughter Gone

He made thousands and thousands of people laugh.  His quick wit, ability to play many roles, and stand-up comedy endeared him to the world of entertainment.  Sadly, his humor was often crass and ungodly. Today, the laughter is gone.

Robin Williams broke on the entertainment scene as an alien, Mork, in the 1978 TV series, Mork & Mindy with what became a household phrase of “Nanu-nanu.”  I remember my daughters loving his role as the comedic genie in the famous Disney film, Alladin.  He even appeared in the happy tune by Bobby McFarrin, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.”  As of yesterday, Williams will no longer be making people laugh; he has passed away.  The tragedy of this death is that it is being considered an apparent suicide.  Fox411 reported, “A representative for Williams said in a statement the actor had been battling ‘severe depression of late’.”

No matter what you thought of Robin Williams, death by suicide is oh so sad.  Tragic.  Bewildering.  Selfish. Sinful.  Wrong.

There are many things that I would love to say from a burdened heart, but suffice it to say that we as believers need to realize afresh and anew, we are living in a world of hopeless people!!  For a successful man to take his life when he had everything earthly he would need says that he lacked hope.

Hope is found in the gospel of Jesus Christ! Read the following with an attentive heart:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. —John 3:16

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.— Jeremiah 29:11

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead—1 Peter 1:3

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. 6 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.—Romans 5:1-11

Hope (assurance, confidence) that is eternal, persevering, faithful, not disappointing, productive, and full of grace is found only in a personal relationship with the risen Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  He is the foundation, giver and sustainer of hope.  He is hope. A man without Jesus Christ is hopeless . . . forever.

For those of us secure in Christ because of the aforementioned truths of Scripture, we must share the good news of hope to a hopeless world!  We have the Truth that liberates (John 8:32).  Christ in us is the hope of glory, and He resides in us giving us hope for all of our earthly days (Colossians 1:27).

For those of you who are searching for hope in a world of empty happiness, I ask that you read the Scripture passages given in this post and turn to Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior.  Today you can repent which means to turn away from all you have been trusting in to get you to Heaven, and receive Jesus Christ as Your Savior today (Romans 3:23; 6:23; John 3:16; Romans 5:8; 10:9-13).  For the believer, no matter what his circumstances may be, each day is getting better because he is closer to his eternal home, Heaven.  Hope gets brighter each day!

Laughter produced by Robin Williams is gone.  Hope is not.


For further help in finding and understanding this everlasting hope, watch this 11 minute film: The Gospel