Santa is real?

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Yesterday my mother told me that Santa was real.  Keep in mind that I am a nineteen year old college student.  At first I kind of just made a nervous chuckle and then decided to ask her why she thought Santa was real.  “He’s in our department stores, on our wrapping paper, drawn on our cards.  He’s definitely real” she retorted.  And in many ways, she’s never been more correct.

Santa Clause may not be real in the mythological sense.  He doesn’t actually deliver presents to our house and come down our chimneys.  But he’s very real in so many other ways.  Our culture thrives on the idea of him coming and he fills our thoughts and minds in a very real way.

We’ve forgotten what the actually meaning of Christmas is anymore.  Jesus wasn’t even born on December 25th, yet we give each other gifts and go into credit card debt pretending that he was.  If anything, Santa takes the gold on Christmas.  And with that same idea, Santa is very real.

It really all depends on the way you define real.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Nina

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Love is no joke

I’ve heard the word love thrown around so carelessly far too often.  But I doubt that this would be the case if we started to realize what it actually meant to love, and what the definition of love actually means.  I just finished watching a video on YouTube from the “Desiring God” Conference featuring Francis Chan.

He spoke about the love that Christ has for us, this kind of love that is sacrificial.  I couldn’t help but think that most of the time when I see this so called thing called “love”, it’s so selfish.  We think we’re in love with someone and suddenly our need and desire to be with them outweighs their wants.  We are selfish.

But the love of God isn’t supposed to be like that, not at all.  The love of God places a burden on our hearts where we genuinely care about the people around us.  Not for social networking or for the ways in which they can benefit us, but just because we love.
1 Corinthians 13 teaches of the importance of love.  Can we really understand that without love we are nothing?  That or acts and our works amount to nothing.

So when I see the word love thrown around, or when a friend causally says that they love me.  I think, do they know what it really means to love?  Do they know how great it is to truly love like Christ loves?  And how much you sacrifice in loving in this capacity?  It is nothing to laugh about and I pray they take it seriously.  Because I didn’t.  I thought love was just feeling or a liking towards someone.

No, love is sacrifice and when you look at the father it is perfectly exemplified through his blood.  That’s what it means to love.

Yet another thing we need to be aware of is the meaning of the opposite of love.  I realized it first from a video from BlimeyCow on Youtube.  The opposite of love is not hate.  Nor is it indifference.  The opposite of love is fear.  Fear is crippling, fear is limiting and fear is… well kinda scary.  But perfect love casts out ALL fear.

I want to learn what it actually means to love in my life.  I want to learn what it means to have a burden for the people around me.  To weep for their salvation and love in a way so selflessly.

To this day I think of something my friend told me when we were about to lead a GIG together (Groups Investigating God, small group for nonbelievers or different faiths to come together and learn about God).  She told me that I had to love the people in our GIG,and I replied by saying “oh yeah, I’ll care about them”, and I was so shocked by the way she responded, “No you have to love them, really love them.”  I felt so touched by this kind of love that loves without requirements or quotas.  The kind of love of Christ.

Please, love.  love knowing the severity of this action, love sincerely and fully, as I pray to learn how to love.