My favorite time of the year is the Christmas season. I love the lights, the smells, hearing familiar carols in various places, and going shopping in attempts to find just the right gifts for my kids and others. I am thankful that we get to spend a few days leading up to, and the day of Christmas with our family. I find what prepares my heart for the season the most, is the music. I don’t mean the fun Christmas songs, though those are ok.

I love the songs that focus on the reason we celebrate for weeks, that reason being the birth of Jesus Christ. Once Thanksgiving is over, I don’t let a day pass that I am not listening to and singing along with the Christmas songs that lead me into worshipping Jesus.

We have an 18 year old son with special needs named Micah who is non-verbal and cognitively around 3 to 4 years old. His communication skills are very limited, but he loves music. He watches preschool music videos on his iPad, but on our TV he only wants to watch Christian worship music videos. If we are watching something, which is often sports related, he will hand us one of his communication cards that says “different.”  He’s telling us he wants to watch his Christian music videos. During the Christmas season, he also has certain songs he wants and they’re all Christmas worship. He will walk up to the TV and point to the one he wants.

I am so thankful that though our son is limited in what he can communicate, he chooses to listen to the songs that talk about the gift of God given to us in Christ. Though he doesn’t fully understand it, he is worshipping Jesus. And as those songs echo through our home, I worship along with him.

Prayer Sparks

Pastor Jon Varner shares what he learned developing a practice of combining his daily Bible reading and prayer.

Jon Varner
Lead Pastor
Jon Varner is the lead pastor at Valley View Christian Church in Kent, Washington.

Sobering

Life is short, heaven is long. Let’s live like it today.

Jeff Iorg
President
Dr. Jeff Iorg is the president of Gateway Seminary. Prior to his service at the Seminary, Dr. Iorg was the Executive Director of the Northwest Baptist Convention for almost ten years. He was also the founding pastor of Greater Gresham Baptist Church in Gresham, Oregon, and has served as a pastor in Missouri and a staff pastor in Texas.

Hope that Sustains

Part of your leadership challenge is maintaining hope. Doing so isn’t simply practicing a high level of spiritual denial.

Jeff Iorg
President
Dr. Jeff Iorg is the president of Gateway Seminary. Prior to his service at the Seminary, Dr. Iorg was the Executive Director of the Northwest Baptist Convention for almost ten years. He was also the founding pastor of Greater Gresham Baptist Church in Gresham, Oregon, and has served as a pastor in Missouri and a staff pastor in Texas.