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December 19, 2020 1:00 am
It's a cozy week on It's Time to Man Up! as Christmas approaches... so grab a hot cup of cocoa, a warm blanket, and settle in as Nikita takes you through the meaning of Christmas, some of his favorite Christmas traditions, and a bit of holiday history.
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Welcome back. Time to man up in an unusual topic today. No were not talking to other men or women, but we are talking about Christmas because that's right. Welcome to Christmas with pull off a what's your favorite Christmas movie. Do you have a favorite. How about miracle on 34th St., one of my favorites, if not all time favorites.
It's a wonderful life with George Bailey, have you watch that one any type recent. You should out on a lighter note, a Charlie Brown Christmas or maybe Rudolph the red nosed reindeer hey Frosty the Snowman, those are some classics that we all should watch hey what's your favorite Christmas song.
Do you have a favorite Christmas song.
I was thinking about this one is mine. I noted a few humble white Christmas now grown up in Siberia.
I mean, I'm sorry Minnesota. We had more than one white Christmas and I could tell, yes it's growing up that I absolutely dreamed of a white Christmas like nothing like lights you know outside the houses in the neighborhood and in a fresh snowfall in a white Christmas, O holy night, hey, what about Mary did you know here's a good one. Silver bells you know I'd sing for you, but you probably shut the show off some saying about Carol of the bells that's a good one and I was listening to this one today. Joy to the world what a good one, probably two of my favorites.
Believe it or not, a little drummer boy.
You know the story behind that one. Like like the little the little guy only has like a drum he has nothing to give Jesus except play a tune play a song on his drum.
It's pretty fascinating story a little drummer boy and there's a lot of different variations to that. I just love drums and I just always have, like I love that the bagpipes not because I'm Russian or anything because I'm not right.
Everybody knows that by now at least I hope they do actually have some Scottish roots and I can never even back into my junior high days just been infatuated with the bagpipes, the little drummer boy in the last but not least, silent night. That might that might rank up there with my all-time favorite but your favorite Christmas song. Maybe you should go listen to it after you listen to the show and go watch your favorite Christian Christmas and Christian movie, but you know I started thinking about Christmas and and and how different Christmas is for me now compared to how it was. So I just say BC before Christ in my life.
I mean for real Christmas had a different meaning to me back in silly micro my growing up days is already referred you know growing up in an in. I mean the frozen tundra of Minnesota in it and now I can remember some supercold Christmas mornings and and and and many times when there was a fresh snowfall in man just going out and sliding your ice-skating are just some of things we did as as a kid in an and I didn't mind that is as a child, you know, it's just what I knew we just bundled up and went outside and and and had a time of it out there and in the snowfall and and and I can think how how excited we were you at the thought of Christmas and perhaps you did to you about presents under the tree and and and maybe you are one of those families that that opened up presents on Christmas Eve or maybe you are one of those families that that decided that you were going to wait and and open them all up on Christmas day right in the morning and I just remember just how excited I was just dreaming of what was under the tree for me. Did you do that.
Did you think about that you are those that that prior to Christmas, went hunting through through mom and dad's closet to see what it was they actually got for you and you and you already knew what was wrapped before you even unwrapped it. Were you one of those I know there are those of you out there who did that I couldn't do that.
I wanted the element of surprise.
I even though I had my Chris Christmas wish list put together you know and and wasn't wasn't certain what mom had bought for me.
I was one of those that just wanted to wait and see what was under the tree. Some of my my favorite memories are going over to my grandma Bessie's house that was my my mom's mom and going over to her house. Uncle Billy and and then one of her other brothers. My uncle Duane like sometimes we'd split time between those two houses and and and open up presents and if the different houses and and celebrate. Then it was typically Christmas eve that would that we would we would do that and what about Christmas day meal that you look forward to the meal on Christmas day.
I did man the cooking. I mean I do know what you guys have, but we had ham and we had deviled eggs.
I can think of yams the with Martin melted marshmallows on top and fruit salad that was one of my favorites was fruit salad with the whipped cream of the whole mixture of different fruits in their and and and dessert. I wasn't as strict on my health back in those days. I love the good piece of pumpkin pie with some with whip cream, whipped topping on on it but the Christmas meal. Now once, might my grandma and uncles and they kinda passed on, my sister Lori. She took over and and with the with the meal duty and and then we shifted from grandma's house to to my sister's house and and at times even one of my brothers so they would they would host it at times and my sister is an excellent cook and I would always enjoy the Christmas meal right once all the presents were opened and he got kinda got tired of playing with all the toys are different things that you'd gotten for Christmas but I I was wondering about that. The history of Christmas and I don't so I did a little research and I don't know how familiar you are familiar can get that word out. You are with this, but I was looking up some of the history of Christmas and you may already know some of this you may not. But here's what I found quite interesting that only in the last 200 or so years has Christmas even been celebrated by Christians or Jesus followers up until the 1800s. The day was largely a pagan celebration set aside for drunkenness and rioting in the streets in which people would set aside a week of self-indulgence to celebrate what was called the winter solstice. Did you know this strangely. Many Christians load the holiday and considered it an instrument of sin and evil just fascinated by this myself. December 25 is widely considered by biblical scholars not to be the actual day of of Jesus's birth another's many different accounts just so happens to be the day that we celebrate that out but it's by many scholars accounts, not the actual day of his birth.
Many scholars believe that that may have actually taken place. Perhaps in the spring of the year and what most believe the December date was set aside to counteract the ancient wild festivals annually held around the world during this winter solstice, the date of the winter solstice on the Roman calendar December 25.
The days of December were all originally considered to be cold and dark as you might imagine many parts of the world right cold and snow but also dark. Both physically and spiritually in celebrating the season of joy and peace in December would bring light and hope into a very dark and cold. Of the year made even darker bites pagan celebrations large bands of men get this large bands of men would go to upper class homes, demanding food and drink, and money they would they would loot and riot they would scare people they would sing rowdy songs like, believe it or not, we wish you a Merry Christmas you like what I mean. Think about this. It actually included this Atlas and this actually included the sign of the times with lines like bring us some think he putting and we won't go until we get some still think about that. In other words, hey, give us what we want.
This is what that generally meant give us what we want. The writers were saying. Or we won't leave until we get what we want to give us something he putting and we won't go until we get some for many, Christmas was the day to be feared rather than celebrated but in 1822 a minister and educator name Clement Clark more rotor pole called a visit from St. Nicholas that will go on to become known as the famed was the night before Christmas, you know, for every year, every year on Christmas Eve, get choked up. But I say this every year. Christmas Eve as a tradition I call all four of my daughters and they know not to answer their phone and I read them. 'twas the night before Christmas and do you know like for refill home. Do you know they all tell yes that they look forward to that phone call, more than any other call anytime of the year because they know what's on the other hand of the voicemail dad reciting. 'twas the night for Christmas when all through the house not a creature was stirring not even a mouse, stop right there for a minute I want to cry so much. I will be able to stop the poem would dramatically change the way Americans view Christmas and for the first time children, family, and giving to others were actually seen as vital to the Christmas story.
I mean childlike wonder was introduced into the Christmas story in 1843 a man named Charles Dickens wrote a story called Christmas Carol that stress the true meaning and essence of Christmas and spreading hope and helping the needy and serving as Christ did helmet to finish the story in just a moment you hang tight you feel your receiving value from this show.
It's time to man and you like to support the show along with cola for Christ ministries go to co-op.co-op.org and make a donation of any amount no want my latest book and you receive a personalized, Mikita tail of the ring and redemption picking up will we left off.
Charles Dickens story of a Christmas Carol that brought the true meaning we were say right of Christmas.
It is spreading hope and joy in helping the needy in serving as Christ did during Dickens time people in those days utilize work 12 hours a day six days a week just to try to get by to make ends meet or try to get ahead, I mean children. Children were put like when you watch that Christmas Carol children. This is like the real deal here were in factories at age 8 and age 9. I mean young children working in factories. Just to help make ends meet, a Christmas Carol made people visit their values for what was truly important during the Industrial Revolution in the United States of America. Christmas was established as a federal holiday on June 26 818 70 and over the next 20 to 30 years Christmas evolve from a holiday characterized by drinking and riots focus on family on giving and most importantly the worship of Jesus Christ. So in effect as much as people like to criticize the commercialization of Christmas. It was actually Santa Claus.
An old miser named Scrooge that helped bring peace, joy and focus back onto the real meaning of Christmas.
The birth of a Savior in a manger, the hope of the world. Jesus not share that story with you as I think about my own story I told you Christmas looked a little different for me before surrendering my heart and my life to Jesus in 1993. Since that time. Christmas is taken on a different look as I concluded that story that it's take on more of a meaning of of the birth of our Savior Jesus then presents under the Christmas tree or looking forward to the meal on Christmas day. I still look forward to those things that I still look forward to that.
Mila still excited to put those presents under the tree for my my children and my grandchildren and I tell them I go you know there like what we get you for Christmas and like you know just your presence is a present enough just being in your presence just spending time with you is enough of a present for me that doesn't always they they don't always accept that AA still they still like to get data little something, but Christmas is taken on a different meaning. Christmas is really now for me all about the good news, but it's not just the good news of's of special gifts. It's not the good news of of a big meal.
It's not the good news of festive music as we talked about at the early part of the show or or movies or indoor beautiful lights is a set even though I enjoyed all those things. Christmas is about the good news of God's love. That's what Christmas is about. The Bible says every person desperately needs God's love. In fact, your loss without it your directionless like you have no direction in life. Your without protection your without really without real joy. And there's always trying to search for happiness or search for joy only to realize as I did in 1993 that what was missing. My life was a personal relationship with Jesus and that brought for me.
True joy and then gave me a different perspective on Christmas.
Now your potential eternal impact upon the world is unrealized without that relationship with Jesus. Your eternity in heaven isn't security see the good news of Christmas is that God sent Jesus to seek and save the lost Bible says there's only one God in Christ Jesus is the only one who can bring us to God.
Jesus was truly human me. He was a man he was a man's man. You have to tell Jesus to man up. He knew what that already look like I've been anyone manned up.
It was him. Just consider what he did when he went to the cross, Jesus was truly a man and he gave himself to rescue all of us talk about that in first Timothy the second chapter. If you've ever spent time in church. You've likely heard the word salvation probably more than once.
What you may not notice what that means though like you may be out there listening today to this the show and and you're not certain what the word salvation means I mean.
The word is like. It's like a diamond right you can look at it from many different angles and still discover new facets right.
Salvation means Jesus came to rescue you and he came to rescue me. You can't solve all your problems on your you could try. I tried it didn't work out well. Without Jesus you're trapped in the expectations of others. You're trapped in living for the approval of of of others you're trapped in addictions. You may be out there today and this Christmas season entrapped in an addiction.
You may try to change but you don't have the power needed to escape the addiction to escape the expectations of others to escape the desire to be approved by everyone else. Jesus came to give you that power to set you free.
Jesus came to recover you all.
People long to recover parts of their lives that have been lost. I know I look back and some of the parts of my life and like man I wish I could recover that right without Christ. You long to recover your strength, your confidence, your reputation, your innocence, your relationship with God but only Jesus can do that Jesus came to reconnect. You. Many people think God will scold them if they come back to him like maybe there was a day and a time when you were walking with Jesus. But somehow, some way you slipped off the straight and narrow path and you find yourself today out there in a wayward way you're thinking I've done too much of screwed up too much at this point Ike I can't turn back to God it at you think he's you know is this ogre was just going to scold you for all the mistakes you you've made, but can I tell you that the God's not mad at you, he's not.
If anything, he's mad about you it in a in other words, his love for you is immeasurable. You can't measure the amount of love that God has for you to whether you were on that narrow path one time or maybe today you're listening to this, Joan. You've never been on that narrow path. Can I tell you, God loves you with all of his heart, soul, mind and strength.
Jesus came to earth on the first Christmas to reconcile you and I back to God, separated from the fall of man in the Garden of Eden.
To give you and I harmony with the creator of the universe as you look around this Christmas you see plenty of of good in the Christmas season you will use it. A lot of good, but remember that the best of all is the good news of God's love through Jesus you can experience rescue recovery and reconnection with God.
How can you experience rescue recovery and reconnection with God. You don't have to earn God's love don't have to earn it, or work your way into heaven at the Bible says, for it is by grace that you have been saved through faith and this is not from yourselves is the gift of God, the greatest gift of all. A present that doesn't even come under a tree's not of yourselves.
It's gift of God not by works, that no one can boast you find that in Ephesians chapter 2. If you haven't trusted Jesus and committed to following him. Why wait any longer. If you're ready to step across that that line make a decision to believe in Jesus Christ that I want to encourage you today even as you're listening to this show to pray this prayer dear Jesus, you promise that if I believe in you. Everything I've ever done wrong will be forgiven. I'll learn the purpose of my life and you will accept me and treat your eternal home in heaven one day. I confess my sin and I believe that you are my Savior. I trust you I trust you when you say salvation comes to grace through faith and not by anything I do I receive you into my life as my Lord today. I'm turning over every part of my life to you.
You have the right to call the shots in my life. From this point on I want to use the rest of my life to serve you. Instead of serving myself and I commit my life to you and ask you to save me except me into your family. I pray this in Jesus name, amen. If you prayed that prayer and shoot me an email go to co-op.org and just shoot me an email and say man I listen to your Christmas show Christmas with cholos and I surrender my heart, my life to Jesus. I got my life back on the right track and now this site now at this is good be the great. This is the greatest Christmas present I've ever received nation so grateful and thankful that you tune into to this show each and every week, and I encourage you to spread the word and and tell others and I I hope I hope that truly this Christmas is the best Christmas that you ever had you go out and spread lots of Christmas joy seeing lots of songs watch some of the movies that we talked about and go out with a cheerful heart and be a giver gift to others, make a point this Christmas season to be more of a giver than you ever have before. Whether it's given to a mission given to a missionary given to your church given to a friend given to a neighbor given to a coworker whether it's giving a present buying them a meal.
Just go out this Christmas that the best Christmas yet. And oh yeah by the way, as we close out 2020. It's been an interesting year as it not been an interesting year but get ready if you prayed that prayer and/or made that decision 20, 21 will be your best year ever. So not only will this be your best Christmas, 20, 21 will be your best year ever. God bless you will see you next week on it's time to man up, so if you prayed that prayer today. Guess what this really is Christmas with cholos because you and I get to spend all eternity together celebrating Jesus. Merry Christmas.
Amen. I would like to challenge each of you to consider spending five days with less liver and I am pursuing the heart of ladies you're listening.
Will send your manhole with God godly husband and God you give them your blessing them. Sign up today at band camp.full pastors you would like to bring Holland for Christ ministries and man up conference to your community. Go to co-op.org and email. Remember this. It's time to man up. This is the Truth Network