Christmas–The Great Exchange

The following was written by one of my book coaching clients, Deborah Schaulis. I liked it so much I asked her for permission to publish it here.Thanks, Deborah!

You know how full of love and kindness our Lord Jesus Christ was.
Though he was very rich, yet for your sakes he became poor,
so that by his poverty he could make you rich.
(II Corinthians 8:9, NLT)

Well, it’s that time of year again-time for the great exchange.

At the local department store, you exchange your hard-earned money for gifts to give your friends, coworkers and family. At various Christmas parties and family gatherings, you exchange the gifts you got for gifts of your own. After the holidays, you wait in long lines to exchange those items you received that were the wrong size, the wrong color or just plain wrong for you! And when it’s all over, you wonder, “Was it really worth it? Why do I spend so much time and money giving gifts that others don’t necessarily appreciate, so I can bring home a bunch of stuff I don’t really want or need?”

Wouldn’t it be great if there were a way to exchange what you have for something really valuable? Better yet, what if you could turn in your garbage and come home with something worth more than gold. Believe it or not, Christmas originally was all about that kind of exchange!

Over 2000 years ago, Jesus Christ exchanged His regal glory for the lowly garb of a simple peasant babe. The King of the universe was born in a simple stable–homeless–so we could look forward to a heavenly home. The One who owned “the cattle on a thousand hills” became poor to make us rich.

When He grew up, the “Wonderful Counselor” was considered crazy–even by His own family–in order to impart to us the wisdom of the universe. Christ was rejected by men, so we could be accepted by God; He was abused and wounded, so we could be healed. He took on our sin, so we could be called “the righteousness of God.” He became a curse to allow us to receive God’s blessings. He was punished, so we could be forgiven; He died in order that we might have life-forever!

Thanks to the Christ of Christmas, you and I can take all our “junk”–our sin, our sickness, our loneliness, our addictions, our depression and anxieties–and exchange them at the cross. The gifts He offers in exchange are salvation, wholeness, belonging, freedom, joy and peace–just to name a few! Now that’s a truly Great Exchange, don’t you agree?

What’s more, this Great Exchange is not a once in a lifetime, or even a once a year event. Those who trust in Christ can exchange their garbage for Christ’s goodness every day. That’s what the Bible calls “sanctification.” It means that 365.25 days of the year we can come to God with our junk and leave it at His feet. In place of irritation, He gives us patience. In place of judgment and alienation, we can experience grace and reconciliation. Whatever we have, God takes and gives us what we need, instead.

There’s nothing we can’t take to Jesus and exchange for something better. In fact, someday, those of us who trust in Him can even exchange these worn out old bodies for ones that will last forever! We get to change our address from this old fallen world to someplace more glorious than we could ever imagine! And this Great Exchange was all made possible because Jesus was born and lived and died and rose again not quite two millennia ago!

We are so glad we made the choice to participate in this Great Exchange! Have you? If not, there’s no better way to celebrate this holiday season than in taking part in the Great Exchange. Give your life and all you have to God and see what you receive in return. It’ll be the best exchange you’ve ever made-guaranteed!

© 2006 Deborah Schaulis

Two Gifts for You

Yesterday I posted about how it is just as blessed to receive as to give.

Today I want to tell you about two gifts I have for you.

One is a Digital Web Book containing 5 sample stories from Abundant Gifts.  What’s cool about it is it opens on your computer like a book. These are some of the stories readers have chosen as their favorites. If you don’t already own the whole book, this is a great way to sample what’s in store for you.

It’s also a great way for you to send something wonderful to a friend, at no cost. Why not send the Digital Web Book to all your friends who would appreciate it who are on your list? Once you have the book downloaded, you can easily send it to as many friends as you like, via email, along with your own personal message. Just right-click on the cover of the book, and you’ll see an option to send to a friend.

The other gift is a Digital Personal Journal. Like the Abundant Gifts Digital Web Book, its pages turn like a real book. You can write in it like a real diary–but it resides on your computer (not online) for your security and privacy. (If you’re concerned about privacy, you can save it anywhere on your computer–perhaps in a folder where no one would ever guess but you.)

 Sprinkled liberally throughout the journal pages are inspirational passages , quotes–and even music clips you can listen to.Digital journals like these are selling for $39.95 or more — but this one’s yours for FREE.

You will also receive the Abundant Gifts e-zine, a newsletter designed to help you develop the habit of seeing everyday gifts from a lavish God. (You may unsubscribe at any time.) To access both gifts, simply visit the Abundant Gifts web site. To download the Abundant Gifts Digital Web Book, click on any of the turning pages icons on the web site. To download the Digital Personal Journal, fill out the pop-up window form or the form on the page itself.I hope you will enjoy using the Journal for keeping track of your abundant gifts … or for whatever reason you choose.

Make my joy complete by downloading both of these gifts right now. And don’t forget to pass them on to a friend!          

 

November Abundant Gifts Newsletter is Ready–Special Thanksgiving Issue

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and in the latest issue of the Abundant Gifts newsletter I give you one “recipe” to feed your heart, and two recipes for sides dishes that will show up on my Thanksgiving table this year (spiced sweet potatoes and a cranberry relish mold).
Please go right now to view the latest newsletter that contains not only these three recipes, but also perspectives on gratitude and abundant gifts to relish in November.

There’s also a special offer as to how to get an autographed copy of Abundant Gifts for Christmas gifts. Besides signing it, I’ll even gift-wrap it–IF you get your order in on time.

Happy Thanksgiving!

But Did He Have to DIE?

I have just returned from a service in which the focus was on a single event, and event that is at the heart of the Christian faith: the death of Jesus Christ.

A question haunts me.

Seems like every day I get some sort of advertisement for a way to become a better person. Richer, healthier, more positive, more focused, more successful, more loving. The self-help industry booms, and promises abound of the way to a new life, free of all the “negative energy” that weighs us down. The latest touts 11 Principles to get whatever you want in life and build a better world (in that order, I wonder?).

So, the question nags me: If we can make ourselves better on our own, did Jesus really have to die?

That question haunted Jesus himself, in a garden just before his horrific murder. Continue reading “But Did He Have to DIE?”

A Gift of Wisdom for Mothers

As you know if you’ve read this blog, I’ve been working for some time (too long!) on a book on personality type and mothering, with co-author Janet Penley.

I’m very happy to report, the book is now finished!

It’s called MotherStyles: Using Personality Type To Discover Your Parenting Strengths, and is published by DaCapo Lifelong Books. It is available on amazon and in bookstores as of NOW!

What will this book do for you (or a mother you know)?

Well, first I’ll tell you what this material did for me, starting way back in 1993 when I first met Janet and started pestering her to write such a book. Understanding personality type–especially my own, my husband’s, and my children’s–has enabled me to appreciate and build on the strengths of each of our types.

I also understand where we need outside help or perspective to shore up our weaknesses. I grasp our family dynamics better–particularly the greatest source of my ongoing frustration. Because Gene and I are the same type, I am often stretched in opposite directions, just toprovide the balance that every family system needs.

I draw from the material in this book, about energy management,
family dynamics, self-care and more, literally every day.

Here are some comments from some other moms who have also
found this material helpful:

“What a wonderful tool the concept of type is! I can’t tell you how wonderful it feels to have this new paradigm in my head and to feel its implications seeping in, slowly filling reservoirs thathave been empty for as long as I can remember. Thank you.—“.Irene

“I now understand exactly why so many activities I have tried to enjoy did not work, why particular interpersonal frictions have occurred and why I generally feel like a misfit with most people. I now have a tool to make better choices in my life, to avoid being swayed by other peoplegetting enjoyment from something.”–Wendy

“I learned this information when my children were about ten and it was like the Red Sea parting. I could see my own preferred path to take through mothering. It showed me how to be happy with myself and gave me the confidence to go with my strengths. Instead of saying, I can’t orI don’t,, now I say, I’m very good at…. “–Joan

“This information has helped me to understand the differences between me and family members (and friends and other mothers at my kids’ school, and co-workers, and employers and employees, and—fill in the blank), so that my relationship with each of them is better/smoother/more forgiving/better communication/more
successful.”–.Mary

“I come from a family where the mom is one type, and one of the children is a completely different type. If only both were aware of the MotherStyles method. I truly believe they would have a much closer relationship. I also believe that my sibling would be a much more confident person.”–Anne

Give yourself, or a mom you know, an early Mothers Day gift. Get your copy of MotherStyles: Using Personality Type to Discover Your Parenting Strengths either from your local bookstore (I know Borders has it, but call first to make sure), or get it from amazon.com for a 35 percent discount.

To happier and more effective parenting,

Diane