PUBLISHER POINTS by Kelli Barnes
This Christmas season, it is good to remember what the indescribable gift from God is to all of humanity. He gave his son Jesus, who was 100% human and 100% God. Jesus is seen mostly in the manger this time of year, but as the story is told, can also be seen as a toddler when the wise men finally arrived from the Orient to see the King that was promised … the Savior of the world. Why did we need a Savior? Because of sin. It is that simple, yet that profound.
Each person in our family, in our community, in our country, in our world, is flawed. We disappoint each other. We hurt each other. We are damaged, we are fearful, and we have no hope for a brighter future … but God.
I encourage you to seek God despite flawed humans and because of this flawed world. He is the real reason for the season, and the only one who can give hope, lasting peace, and a future.
Below are words of wisdom given this year from some of our newspaper contributors, subscribers, and community leaders:
For by grace, you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God – not the result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
—James Earl White, retired schoolteacher, and former State Representative
“As we celebrate the birth of our Savior this month during an historically tough time for America, please keep up faith and hope - for we are fighting a battle He has already won.”
—Congressman Brian Babin, retired dentist, and current U.S. House Representative
“One thing we do not have a shortage of -- that’s advice. Many of the decisions you make every day are life or death issues. Where do you go when you need help? Let me give you one word of wisdom. You don’t need second-party, third-party information when you can go directly to the Source — God, our Maker. That’s why Christmas is so important. He came! Our great Creator God did not leave us alone. He is here and He has given His Word on every issue we may struggle with. Open the Bible. You can get all the help you will need. Sincere seekers only! Merry Christmas!”
—Gloria Russell, missionary to children in East Texas
“He (Jesus) was willing to go all the way to the cross and to the grave so He could rise again and defeat death, so we could have the promise of eternal life in Heaven if we choose to follow Him.”
—Keith Bellamy, pastor Woodville Church of Christ, Tyler County
“I have been teaching the Bible for 45 years. The main thing I can say without question is Jesus is the answer to every need. He said, ‘I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father but by Me.’”
—James Smith, retired Sunday school teacher, Trinity County
“There is no reason that God should stoop to becoming one of us, except that He loves us with an endless, longsuffering, and divine love.”
—Dr. Dan Darby, retired United Methodist pastor, San Jacinto County
“It’s through the Holy Spirit (of God) that we are drawn to Jesus, convicted of sin, born to new life, and empowered to walk a new way.”
—Brett Lester, pastor First Baptist Church of Livingston, Polk County