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How to Enjoy the Holidays

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah
The Truth Network Radio
December 1, 2022 9:00 am

How to Enjoy the Holidays

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah

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December 1, 2022 9:00 am

In this show, Dr. Shah talks about how to enjoy the holiday amid all the hustle and bustle around surrounding the Christmas season.  

If you like this content and want to support the show you can visit us at Don't forget to rate and review our show! To learn more about us, visit us at If you have any questions or would like to contact us, email us at or text us at 252-582-5028. See you tomorrow on Clearview Today!

30 Days to a New Beginning:


Hello, everyone.

Today is Thursday, December the 1st. I'm Ryan Hill. I'm John Galantis. You're listening to Clearview Today with Dr. Abbadon Shah, a daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can visit us online at Or if you have any questions for Dr. Shah, suggestions for future episodes, you can text those to us at 252-582-5028. You can also send us an email.

Contact at If you guys want to help us keep the conversation in the airwaves, you can support the podcast, share it online, leave us a good review on iTunes. Just help us keep the discussion of Jesus Christ in the air. It really is so helpful. John, why don't you do verse of the day today?

I thought you would never ask. I love doing verse of the day. It comes from Philippians chapter 1 and verse 9. Paul says, and this I pray that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment. Your love may abound more and more in knowledge and discernment, not just love that disregards everything else. It's just like this flight of fancy emotions all over the place, but your love that is founded and based in knowledge and discernment. There's wisdom behind your love. It's not that you know who to love or how much to love them, but there's a sharpness, there's a cleverness. Wise as serpents, harmless as doves kind of thing.

I like that a lot. And founded upon the wisdom and the truth of God's word. Because that's not what the world is going to tell you love is. The world's going to tell you love is just accepting everybody exactly who they are, because whatever their sin may be, you just accept it and you move on because that's what love is.

Paul's saying, no, your love is grounded in knowledge and discernment. Amen. Yeah, I like that. How are you feeling, man? Because I know today's been tough. I'm feeling good.

You don't, you, you're saying that, but the, the fire in your eyes. Here's why I feel good because it's December 1st, which means it's finally Christmas. It's not Christmas. It's December. Christmas.

Okay. It's just December though. Christmas. It's Christmas first. It's Christmas. Today is Christmas. Today is Christmas first.

Happy. Merry Christmas. Christmas first. I just, okay. I got it.

It's Christmas first. I see. I see.

That's kind of funny. But I am, I'm a little bit, I'm frustrated. It's a dry anger.

It's an arid, it's an arid anger. Okay. What's what's up? So we've been on this, this saga for some time now. Um, we were part of a service where you like you subscribe and they send a delivery of, you know, what the, as many subscription services do. This was water. Okay. We need a water dispenser.

We had, you know, the five gallon jugs of purified water that people would bring. And you know, we could get that for whatever reason, serve. This has been a while ago now. The deliveries just stopped. They just, they, they were being marked as completed, but then no one ever showed up. So I would call, Oh, I'm so sorry about that.

We'll send another delivery out. Oh, I'm so sorry about that. And this went on and on and on and on for more than a month with this company. And you were on the phone like every day, every day you were calling these guys out and they're like, I don't know what to tell you.

I'm just looking at what's on my screen. Services were saying the same thing. So eventually we, we cut ties with that company and went a different route.

We should, we should, this is really unprofessional, but we should blast the company. It was absolutely right. What? Well, like they're not going to bleep it like he's not going to bleep it. Okay.

I like you think he's not going to bleep it anyway. Sorry. We cut ties with that company and began service with another company.

Should we say this company? No. Okay. No. Cause I saw, I saw hope for this company.

I wouldn't, but we are four weeks deep. Same problem with the new company. Same problem.

Different company. We've been without water for months. I don't understand why it is so difficult to get a water delivery here and they keep saying we've delivered it.

I promise you. Now this, now to be fair, this company has not had, they've not said the same thing. They're showing that they had not yet made a delivery.

It's just the initial delivery just keeps getting rescheduled. So the people are saying, Hey, we want you to deliver water to Clearview church. And they're just like, no, I don't know what's happening.

It's no, I'm confused. What's water? I don't know. Wait, why are you doing that stuff that falls out of the sky? We're charging people for that.

I don't know. At this point, it's unclear as to where our water delivery is going to show up. We're so thirsty. We're so thirsty.

Please. All I've had to drink is coffee and ketchup and I'm so dehydrated. I'm so dehydrated.

I drank so because we don't have any water. Well, because it is, I got to shift my mind off of this because I'm getting a little frustrated just thinking about it. It is Christmas first or as you know, the common person calls it December the first, but we're going to start a month of Christmas topics starting today related to the holidays, how to approach the holidays, how to think rightly about the Christmas season and how to, you know, people talk about all the time struggling to find that Christmas spirit. We're going to help you do that.

That's right. We're going to bring Dr. Shawn in just a minute, but if you have any questions or suggestions for future episodes, send us a text at 252-582-5028 or visit us online at Clearview Today Show dot com. We'll be right back. Hey there listeners. My name is Kelsey and I'm John and we want to pause the show for just a second to talk to you guys about Clearview Church's original EP Together Forward. Yeah, these are five songs, five original songs that we wrote right here at Clearview Church. Myself, Dr. Shah, David Williamson, our engineer on the Clearview Today Show, some of the other guys on the worship team. But sometime during all the shutdowns of 2020, we noticed this really horrible isolationism setting in all over the world.

It was like nothing we've ever seen before. That's right. And one of the things that we've always been about here at Clearview is forward motion and community. Those are both very important. So the whole heart behind the EP was, hey, let's just take these two things and let's put them together because we truly feel like that's the antidote to what's happening in the world today. We're right in the middle of writing a whole bunch of new material as a church. But while all of those projects are still in the works, we want to help point you guys towards these songs that God has given us.

You can listen to all of them right now on Spotify. Just look up Clearview Worship. Or if you want to support what we're doing here at Clearview Church, you can buy it on iTunes right now. And always remember you can support us directly at the Clearview Today Show by visiting us online at

That's right. Thanks for listening. We hope these songs are as much a blessing to you as they were for us. Amen. Let's get back to the show. Welcome back to Clear View Today with Dr. Abbadan Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

You can find us online at or if you have any questions or suggestions for future episodes, make sure you send us a text at 252-582-5028. Dr. Shah, how are you doing today? It's Thursday.

How are you feeling? We've made it through the week. Well, most of the week at this point. Most of the week and closer and closer to Christmas.

I'm excited about that. We're getting in the Christmas spirit over here. Yeah, we are.

I wish you were all excited about Christmas. Well, if you guys are joining us for the first time, you've never listened to the show before. Dr. Abbadan Shah is a PhD in New Testament textual criticism. He's a professor, Carolina University author, full-time pastor, and the host of today's show.

You guys can follow him on his blog, That's right. And I just realized we're like Christmas colors. Yeah, man, we look good.

Today. I'm very excited about Christmas. We look real good. Yours is more like a lightish red. It's kind of somewhere between a light red and a pink. It's like a candy cane that got melted halfway through, I think. Someone left a candy cane in the wash and your wife told you you're not allowed to have no more. I've not done that. Just me. That's fine. That makes it hard to enjoy the holidays.

It does. It makes it very hard to enjoy the holidays. Appreciate that setup. On today's episode, we are talking about, as we head toward the holiday season, we're talking about how to enjoy the holidays. A lot of people are traveling for the holidays or a lot of people are spending time with their family.

Your routines look a little bit different around Thanksgiving that we just had, Christmas, New Year's. So we're going to talk about how to enjoy the holidays. And Dr. Shah, you actually preached a message on this several years ago.

Absolutely. This was back in, I want to say 2015, that I preached a message on how to enjoy the holidays. It was kind of based on the conversations I have with people, with families about the struggles, financial struggles, relational struggles, spiritual struggles during holidays. They often tell me they really want to enjoy the moment. They really want to celebrate Christ and whatever, whether it's Christmas or Easter or Thanksgiving. But for one reason or another, they don't get to do that or they fail to do it.

It ends up being just a turmoil, just a time of pain and suffering rather than joy and gladness. What is the biggest complaint that you've heard from people that keeps them from enjoying the holidays? Well, we covered this on one of our radio shows already, but families, how to make it work with families because families have conflicts, relationship conflicts.

So how do you make it work? And I would say that would be the big one. And then followed by finances. We don't have the money. And if we had the money, we would do this, that and the other, but we don't. So we're trying to make the best we can of the situation.

So usually somewhere between relationships and money is where people are. It's almost like we forget to enjoy the holidays. It's almost like we forget. It becomes like a list of things that we have to do or get done. And then only then are we allowed to not stress. But it's almost like we forget to completely enjoy it at all.

Yeah, it's that. It shouldn't be like that. And then add to that, there are people who will come along and say, you know, the holidays don't matter. We don't know the date when Jesus was born and we don't know when the crucifixion was or the resurrection was. And so there are also these kind of issues to contend with. So I would say when people talk about, are you sure this is the date?

Are you sure Jesus was born here or the Good Friday was at this time of the year? I would just tell you there are plenty of reasons. And we're going to cover that in one of our shows. Oh yeah. Plenty of reasons why we celebrate Christmas when we do. All right. So don't let anybody, whether they are outsiders or insiders, steal away these holidays.

Right? Absolutely. But it's Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving. Don't let them steal it.

Absolutely. So let's say we've got people listening or people watching the show today and they're like, you know, I'm coming up on the holiday season, but I've got lists galore going on in my mind. I've got the, you know, this person's house I've got to visit this person.

I've got to call these, these dishes I have to make for this holiday party. Um, what, what advice would you give them on how to approach the holiday season and how to make it through the holiday season and enjoy it while they're doing it? Personally, I would say you have to, the first battle you have to fight is in your own head. You know, that's, I think that's where it begins, where we think or create scenarios that haven't taken place yet and we begin to find ways on how we're going to deal with them or how we're going to deal with that issue or this and that and the other. And so I would suggest you deal with those fiery darts of the enemy first, because I think many times they're coming from the enemy. The enemy will kind of give you that one little thought that says, Oh, you know, so-and-so don't want to be here. This, you know, and this person, you know what they said about you or, you know, they're not gonna like that gift or, you know, wish you had saved up earlier so you could have bought the best gift or this particular thing.

And so there's going to be some disappointments. So once you are able to deal with those issues in your head and neutralize the attack of the enemy, and the only way to neutralize that is to call it what it is. It's a lie. It's a lie from the enemy.

It has nothing to do with God. And so you have to recognize it, fight it, and then walk in truth. And when you walk in truth, there's so much peace and joy.

Right. Because the enemy wants you to think that joy is hinged on your circumstances. Not necessarily from him, because he knows that you're never going to think that, but he wants you to think that your joy comes from what's going on around you, how smoothly life is going. That's where your joy comes from.

And it's really not. We know our joy comes from above. Right. There's ups and downs in life. There are misunderstandings and miscommunications in life.

So once we understand that, that we're living in a world of sin and we should trust God's grace and God's forgiveness and God's wisdom and God's guidance and God's providence in your life, why are we giving into these what ifs? And once you've dealt with that, that's what we've done. Nicole and I talk about it often through the years is we're not going to give in to the enemy's attacks.

See, we wouldn't have made it this far if it wasn't for that. We're not going to give in to that. We're going to, as Barney would say, nip it in the bud, nip it right in the bud. And sometimes you have to nip it in the bud about a hundred times a day and say no to that thought.

No, we're not going to go there because that's not right. Here's where we're going to be. And once we do that, it's so much more fun. I love that advice to just, you know, taking an active role in monitoring your thoughts and monitoring the lies that are going on that the enemy is trying to feed you. You shared with me one time where I was, I think I was talking about, you know, being stressed about trying to make it to this family function and make it like, make sure everything happens during the holidays. And you said, you know, if the holidays are when we sort of naturally focus more on who Jesus is and what God has done for us, don't you think that the enemy's going to work overtime during those times to try to pull our focus away? And just that, that awareness has helped me kind of gauge, okay, where's my mind right now? Where's my heart right now?

And what do I need to do in order to get it back on track? Right. It's awareness. And the Holy Spirit will tap you on the shoulder. He will, you know, tell you, Hey, that's the thought. Don't give into that. Now you have a choice. And again, this is not like choice, like you got to make, decide.

No, God will give you plenty of grace to make the right choice, but you have to just take it. I like that you say that because a lot of us, we want to take that passive role. We want to take that passive understanding that if I'm going to be joyful, something good has to happen to me. It's not something I can choose.

It's not something I create. And it's such a temptation to think that way. But it takes God out of it. Like you said, God is the one who's giving you all of these opportunities to respond to Him and to His goodness. That's right. So remember that and choose to do things God's way.

I love that. In your message, you talk about finding joy, but you also tell people to focus on being gentle. What role does gentleness play in our holiday interactions? It's just when we're stressed out, when we're anxious, when we are worried about whether or not we're going to have enough time to do this than the other, or whether we're afraid of if this person will feel this way or that person will get their feelings hurt or they're going to say that. I know they're going to say this and they do.

I'm going to going to do this than the other. When we do those kind of things, we lose the ability to be in the moment kind and gentle and Christ-like and loving and joyful. And we become harsh and judgmental and put people in their place. And none of that is good.

I'll personally tell you, you know, every time I didn't do that, didn't get upset or angry, I never regretted that. Yeah, that's true. That's true. And I feel like that's such a great antidote for anxiety and worry, which has almost become synonymous with the Christmas season nowadays.

Worry and anxiety and stress and all these things that just kind of break us down. But yet gentleness and understanding and prayer. Right. It's tough. I think you said that prayer. If you spend time talking to God and are full of God and full of Christ, then you will be gentle with people. You will look past the surface. You will look past the bygones and you will see what really matters. And you'll have a wonderful, meaningful conversation and bridges will be built and, you know, wounds will be healed and Christ would be glorified. But if you don't and you become harsh and hateful and, you know, snappy or whatever, then of course you'll create more problems that you will regret.

Yeah. You gave me this scripture one time. I remember we were having a conversation. You told me this in Philippians where Paul says, be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known. That's something that I know that I struggle with because my immediate goal is to solve whatever anxiety is coming my way. Okay, this is coming at me.

I'm going to do like you said, I'm going to do this or I'm going to not do this or I'm going to try to make this a solution. Never once trying to actually pray, never once actually going to God and asking Him for the solution. That verse has helped me a great deal.

I appreciate you giving me that because I always go back to it. Like that old song, you know, oh what peace we often forfeit or what needless pain we bear all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer. That's right. You know, so it's a song, what a friend we have in Jesus in case somebody is like all of a sudden going, what song is that? You know, cause you don't know the words. Yeah. You know the words, but it's like, what is it? What is the title of the song?

Well, that's the title, right? What a friend we have in Jesus. And you would, you'd be amazed how quickly God's peace will come upon you when you have that problem, whatever that problem is, whether you're the problem or someone else is a problem, whatever. Take it to God and immediately God's peace will come. That's right.

That's right. Do you and Nicole have any, maybe traditions is the right word or any, any things that you do specific during the holidays to sort of keep you focused on what the season is truly about. Keep your minds and hearts focused on Christ and His birth and what God has done for us. Well, one of the things we do is opening presents. We'll read Luke chapter two or Matthew chapter one, just, just to get our hearts and minds right. And our kids know that because, you know, growing up, Hey, before we open anything, we're going to read the Christmas story and they all sit together and they would read it and we would read it or somebody would read it and then we would pray a short prayer and then thank God for that. So it, it was very special in our home and still is. Now, of course, the kids are older, grown, and you know, two of them are married and they're going to have a very different Christmas this year because it'll be their Christmas.

And then of course with us. So it'll be different, but it's good, different. It's not a bad, different is good. And hopefully they will not just carry on these traditions, but create their own. That's right. Because that's what we want.

We want them to create their own traditions because that is normal. That is natural. That is biblical. And I think you're, you're hitting on another thing that you pointed out in your sermon as well as you just fix your mind on the positive things. It's so easy to look at the negative, especially when you look at the Christian life. People think that it's just a bunch of don't do this and don't do that, but there's so much positive.

And I think even with what you just said there, there's, there's positive things that now we're building our family and yeah, it'll be stressful and it's adding more steps, but how much more blessing will it be? Absolutely. I admire people. I admire people in our church. People I've known through the years, friends, family who, who can do this.

Yeah. You know who can truly be positive because I know their situation. I know they're the complicated situations with family and, and whatever has happened. And so I know it's tough for them, but they, they carry themselves so well and it's because Christ is in them.

It's because they're full of the Holy Spirit. And if other people don't know it, I know. So I'm like, wow, that's amazing how you did that. I'm, that's amazing how you're, you're making things work. And so I've used them as my model and in how I raise my family or how I lead my family in this new season.

And it's been wonderful. Yeah. You learn from each other.

Yeah. The, the last point that you had in the message, and I love that, I love that this is the end because this encapsulates, I mean, every action step that we need to take is fill your heart with Christ. Amen. Fill your heart with Christ. And I mean, it's, it's more than just, you know, think about Jesus and everything that he's done, although we should do those things, but it's, it's allow that to overtake you. It's allow that to kind of carry you through every interaction, allow Christ to saturate every relationship as you head into the holiday season. It almost makes that point that you just made where, because they're so full of Christ, the positivity comes out. I remember, I can't remember who, who you said, who you quoted this to, but they said, you know, if you, if you fill up a man with anger and you jostle him, anger is going to come out. But if you fill up a man with Jesus, when you jostle him, Jesus is going to come out. That positivity is not just forcing yourself to mean it harder or to just be positive.

It's because you're there. Those people are so filled with the Holy Spirit that that's what comes out. Absolutely. Well, that's how Paul was, right? He was full of Christ, even though he was in some bad situations, even Philippians, you know, most scholars agree that it was written while he was in house arrest, possibly even in a Roman dungeon.

Right. And in Philippians chapter four 13, he says, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Now that verse has often been taken to mean I can, I can dunk basketball. I can dunk that ball.

I can make my million before I'm 30. I don't think that's what this passage is about because if you read the context, it's about Paul saying, I have learned in whatever state I am to be content. Verse 12, I know how to be abased and I know how to abound everywhere. And in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. Then he says, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, which means this, whether good times or bad times, times where it seems like no problem in sight or times when it seems like, man, we have, we have a mess. Yeah, we have this.

I don't know how we're going to get out of this one either way because Christ is in us. We can do all things. That's what that passage means. Not that we can do the impossible. Well, I guess you can do the impossible, but I don't think Paul was thinking about dunking basketball, probably not being four foot six or, you know, something like that or making a million by age 30 just by sitting around looking at the ceiling fan. It's more than that.

It just shows the hunger for truth and the hunger for Christ that Paul had. Do you remember that story that you told us about when you guys were in Mexico up in the Yucatan? Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Like the Bibles and stuff. Yeah, that was amazing. We were, this was one of the last, second last night I want to say, and we were finishing things up. This is up in the Yucatan where they did not have electricity. People lived in tiny little huts.

I mean, that's pretty much what I can describe them. And I think it was on the last day we had our final activity in the morning and we were going to leave after that. And as we were breaking down, you know, I thought about it, you know, was this worth it? Yeah. We came all the way from the United States into Mexico. This is going back to 2008, I believe.

Wow. And you know, we've done all this for the people. We brought all the stuff that would help them. And we did Bible school with the children and each night there was a message.

Some nights we showed up Jesus film and all that, but is it worth it? And it seemed like maybe not, maybe whatever. It's time to go back home.

Right. And right when I was thinking that this man came over and I had seen him, you know, throughout the week, several times, he had a wife and a couple of little kids. And he asked me something in Spanish.

He thought I was Spanish. People often think that, which is fine. Not for a moment do I say, no, how dare they? A bunch of people right now are going to go look at the Facebook cover. Let me see what he's talking about. No, I get it. I love it.

It's a great day. I am the citizen of the world, so go for it. But he was trying to ask me something. So I called the translator. I said, Hey, can you ask him what he's asking for? I thought he would ask for some money or food or something. Some something we were giving out that he didn't get. And he said, no, he's asking for a Bible.

I said, are you serious? He said, yeah. And thank goodness we had a bunch of Bibles that we had brought with us and I gave it to him. And as soon as I did that, three more people showed up and said, can we have a Bible too?

I said, yeah, here you go. And they were all given out. And if I'm not wrong, as we were driving off, I saw the man just kind of flipping through the Bible. And I thought, we have 20 Bibles in our homes, covered in dust, sitting in our back seats and we don't read them.

We have the greatest gift already with us. And here are people who don't have a Bible up in the jungle. There's no other way that he would have gotten a Bible unless he got out or did something like that. He would not have a Bible. And here he had one and he was reading it and he was content. He didn't ask for money, for food, or can I get some toys or something?

No, nothing. He was satisfied. I love that. I mean, it just kind of goes to show how much Christ can fulfill you.

You know, we like, especially at Christmas, we start to think about all the things that we want, what's useful for us and what can I ask for and what can I get so we can be set for a little while. And yet there's these people who all they want was the Bible. That's all they want was the truth of God's word. And they were so happy and they were so filled with joy to get it.

That's right. Wow. Such a beautiful perspective to take as we head into holiday season. If you guys would like to learn more about that message, you can find that transcript or that entire message over on Dr. Shah's blog,, or you can visit our church's website,, to find the full message there. Give it a listen, watch the message and it'll help you kind of put things in perspective as you head into this holiday season. If you have any questions or suggestions for future episodes, send us a text at 252-582-5028. You can also visit us online at And don't forget, you can support us financially on that same website.

Every gift, every contribution goes to building this partnership for impacting the nations with the gospel of Jesus Christ. That's right. Do you have, do you have a, I was waiting for you. I have this advice. Unless you've got it, you can take this one. No, I don't got it. I don't got it.

I was actually sitting here thinking like, what's my last minute advice? I do, with, with a holiday themed episode, I do have- Hold on, let me punch, let me punch it to you. Okay. Okay. Sorry. Sorry.

I shouldn't be upset. Protocol is protocol. Ryan. Yes. Before we head out, you got any last minute advice? I do have some last minute advice. So this advice is specifically designed or specifically geared for tree decorating. Okay.

So if you are, whether you're decorating a live tree or an artificial tree, these, these tips will work for you. These are tips that my mom taught me, by the way. Shout out to my mom. Today is her birthday.

Oh, happy birthday. Shout out to my mom on the air. Love you, mom. Thank you for all that you do. Ryan's mom.

Happy birthday, Ryan's mom. Um, so she taught me this as we were decorating trees. We only had artificial trees growing up, but now in my house we do a live tree and an artificial tree. Um, so if you do, when you, when you're putting lights on the tree, you start from the bottom of the tree and wind them as close to the trunk of the tree as you can, or if it's artificial, that little fake trunk post thing, the pole, and then you wind them up and then kind of fill them out as they go down. That'll ensure that your lights are evenly distributed throughout the tree. And if you have some spots, maybe you've had an artificial tree for a while and it's starting to look a little, you know, like it's on the struggle bus a little bit. Or if you have, I love to hear it. I just kind of, I just kind of sit in the chair and let it go. The best thing I got out of that was a struggle bus.

Sometimes your tree is on the struggle bus and you got to just work with what you have. We love you guys. We'll see you tomorrow on Clear Me Today.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-01 10:05:49 / 2022-12-01 10:19:06 / 13

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