This Year’s Perfect Christmas Gift for Kids


R.C. Sproul, Sproul, The Lightlings, The Lightnings, The Prince's Poisen Cup, Justin Gerard

The Lightlings, written by R.C. Sproul and illustrated by Justin Gerard. Click image to enlarge.

My family and I started attending Crystal Park Baptist Church at the beginning of December, leaving Midrand Chapel, our spiritual home for 12 years. The departure was heart wrenching for my wife and kids, who cried buckets at the farewell. We left friends, confidants, support structures, family.

As a parting gift to our children Chris and Megan Woolley (the pastoral couple at Midrand Chapel) gave two books (The Lightlings and The Prince’s Poison Cup) written by R.C. Sproul and illustrated by Justin Gerard.

I sat on Kathryn’s bed a few nights ago with her cuddled into my chest, on the other side Kaitlyn, snuggled and content, and narrated The Lightlings to them. Towards the end of the story I had a tear rolling down my cheek as I reflected on the wonderful gift of Jesus Christ, our Lord, God and Savior, to a world which didn’t know Him and in willful rebellion rejected and killed Him.

The book is an allegorical tale of creation, the Fall and redemption based on John 1:5,

5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”

Want to hear the verse in context? John 1
What is this about?

The kids saw right through the tale, as if it were a transparent film which brought the Biblical message into sharp focus. When we got to the discussion questions at the end of the book I was amazed at how much our 5 year old understood and was able to articulate back to me.

I’d say that The Lightlings is suited for children aged 4 – 10. Justin Gerard’s illustrations are as mesmerizing for the children as they were for me and R.C. Sproul transforms a Theological debate into a family discussion as accessible to my daughter of 5 as to her dad of 35.

The kids are dying for more and I can’t wait for the next installment.

This really is the perfect Christmas gift for kids. I saw them on the shelf at Augustine Bookroom for R120.00.

Christmas Carol Service at Crystal Park Baptist Church (A Notice to all Christians in the Benoni Area)


Christmas, Carol Service, Invite, Crystal Park Baptist Church, Benoni, Baptist

Crystal Park Baptist Church is a Baptist Union church located in Crystal Park, Benoni. Click the image to enlarge.

Hey there,

Crystal Park Baptist Church is having a Christmas Carol Service on Sunday the 12th of December from 18:30 to 20:30. The venue is Crystal Park Baptist Church, 1 Clydesdale Road, Crystal Park (see map below).

If you know someone in the area why not pass this information along?

In Christ,

Mark

The advent of Christmas, a season for sinners


Snow Globes and Boney M.

When I think of the Christmas holidays thoughts of snow globes and Boney M spring to mind. Click image to enlarge.

The Christmas spirit is already being sprinkled liberally around like falling snow, flakily dropping in shops, yearend functions and churches across the land. On first glance it’s all carols, mangers and gold tipped angels with food and wine and merry making mixed in.

Now preachers have long been crying out that the worldly sparkle is without a spiritual glean. They’ve been calling their congregations back to, “the reason for the season.” They’ve been shouting out that the twinkle, glimmer and razzle dazzle that arrives at the beginning of December is merely a trick of the eye, a mirage, a forgery of reality.

You see, to the world, the baby in the manger has become a sweat tale of fluffy frivolity. As He lies on a bed of straw with sheep and oxen standing by we are subjected to stories of feel good triviality shaped around wisps of love of hope or of peace. But the reason, the meaning, the intension of why, why He had to come remains elusive, all but lost.

Coca-Cola® and Santa Claus.

Click image to link to source article about Coca-Cola® and Santa Claus. Fascinating stuff.

Despite the pressures of our current age, the pandemics and tsunamis, the famines and wars, the credit crunch and global warming; God did not send His son to die upon the tree of Calvary so that an affected world might have another warm and fuzzy holiday, some sort of a temporal relief, a band aid or a spoon full of sugar. God sent His son Jesus to an infected world ravaged by sin that He might die on the behalf of sinners, a substitute, ransomed for those who could not nor would not pay the penalty themselves.

When the angels belted out the Alleluia chorus it was to herald the birth of the Son of God, Light’s true Light, the Word of God, Emmanuel, which is God with us. God’s great redemptive plan of salvation, worked out to His eternal praise and glory, fulfilled in Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior.

Amen!

On the reason for the season, Philippians 2 reads,

5 …Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, {and} being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Want to hear the verse in context? Philippians 2
What is this about?

God’s glory manifested in Christ’s birth, Christ’s death, Christ’s resurrection, our conversion and ongoing sanctification. The sparkle of Him that saves is true radiance indeed!