Christmastime Activities That Focus on Faith

wood nativity scene resting on a wood table


4 Christmastime Activities That Focus on Faith

Christmas is here and, if you already have Christ present in your daily life, then you know that this time of the year is especially important for our community.  Keeping The Lord in your holiday celebrations allows you to stay connected to Him and focus on what this season is all about.

Read on for some tips on how to center your attention around faith during Christmas time.


  1. Give Him a Gift

Have you been thinking about forgiving someone who wronged you in the past?  Have you been wanting to spend more time committing to Him?  Are you willing to let go of something He has asked you to give up?

Make this gift a personal one; no one else needs to know about it.  It will be the most important present you give this season.


  1. Set Up a Nativity in Your Home

Nativities are beautiful reminders of what Christmas is all about.  Get creative!

If you don’t have a Nativity at home, gather some materials and spend time building a little one on your own.  Make it a family tradition and add elements to it every year to watch it grow as much as your love for Christ does.


  1. Volunteer

Volunteering is a beautiful way to spread love and cheer year-round.  However, the Holidays make it an even more meaningful undertaking.  Take some time researching local charities, children’s hospitals, or nursing homes and give them a call to see how you can help as a volunteer.

Whether you go caroling or simply spend some quality time with people that need it most, He will be watching over you, smiling and knowing you are keeping your faith at the center of Christmas.


  1. Make Time for Family Prayer on Christmas Day

Before the gift opening begins, take some time to gather as a family in prayer.  Read a few verses of the Bible and discuss the true meaning of Christmas with your loved ones; it will make you appreciate every present and remind you that Christ is always around.


Join Our House Church in Frederick, Maryland

At Household of Faith in Christ, we begin our online service at 6 pm with prayer, Scripture reading, and a gospel exalting expository sermon.  This is followed by a group discussion on the day’s message before signing off from our online broadcast at 7 pm.  Before everyone begins to head to their own homes, we sing, share, and on select weekends we partake of the Lord’s Supper together.

If you’re looking to establish a house church or already lead one, contact us so that we can exchange ideas and encourage one another while working together.



The blog above was first published on the original version of this website.  Since then the site has been completely reformatted and upgraded.  With this change, the blogs needed to be re-uploaded to correct corruptions that occurred with the transition in 2023.  While doing this, some additional information was added at the conclusion of many of the older blogs in a “postscript” section that might not have appeared in the first draft that was published on the first website.  Think of this new content as “bonus material”.


An Electronic Newsletter Containing a Synopsis of an Upcoming Sermon

When writing the blurb for last week’s midweek newsletter I hadn’t yet written the Sunday sermon.  So, I didn’t quite know what I would say.  This week is different. I have written Sunday’s sermon, and so I know what I will say.  This week we wrap up our extended look at the Epistles of John.  For the second, and final time, we will use “The Shack” as a case study.  What do many people in and around the church believe about the nature of God?  How well does this match up with biblical teaching?  What are the implications of these beliefs, both good and bad?

The book continues to be popular.  The movie is out on DVD, and is likely to be a big gift item during this year’s holiday season.  Do you know what “The Shack” teaches?  Are you equipped to talk with others who might ask you questions about the issues it raises?  Do you even know what you believe, or what you should believe, about these things?  The Apostle John would hope for you to know what you believe and why.  John would want us to understand the truth and be witness to the truth.  This is the endeavor we will continue to undertake on Sunday.  I am eager to worship with you once again.


The Musical “Rent” Helps Illustrate the Gospel?  Yes, it does.

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes

Five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes

How do you measure, measure a year?

In daylights, in sunsets – in midnights, in cups of coffee

In inches, in miles – in laughter, in strife

In five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes

How do you measure a year in the life?

How about love?  How about love?  How about love?


I recently saw a stage play, a musical, that very accurately captured much that is true about life in the world.  As the lyrics to “Seasons of Love” tell us, there is both laughter and strife.  And our lives can pass us by quickly with meaninglessness, if we’re not careful.  But “Rent” blends these helpful insights with a troubling outlook on the human condition.  For example, these words from the song “No Day but Today”:

The heart may freeze or it can burn – The pain will ease if I can learn

There is no future, there is no past – There’s only us, there’s only this

No other road, no other way – No day but today

There’s only yes, only tonight – We must let go to know what is right

No other course, no other way – I trust my soul, my only hope is just to be

There’s only now, there’s only here – No other path, no other way

No day but today


Believe it or not, these songs provide the perfect teaser for Sunday’s sermon.  We’ll recap what we talked about last time when I preached on 2 John 1-11.  Then we’ll embrace the wonderful theme of community in fellowship that is found in 2 John 12-13.  It will be a special time that we spend together, and I am so looking forward to it.


“Almost a Monstrous Crime?”  Is There a Translation Issue Here?

In his Commentary on Exodus 21:22, John Calvin writes:

“…for the fetus, though enclosed in the womb of its mother, is already a human being, and it is almost a monstrous crime to rob it of the life which it has not yet begun to enjoy.  If it seems more horrible to kill a man in his own house than in a field, because a man’s house is his place of most secure refuge, it ought surely to be deemed more atrocious to destroy a fetus in the womb before it has come to light.”

I’m not in a position to speak for Calvin (obviously).  However, given Calvin’s high view of imago Dei along with his generally careful word choice, I think the phrase “almost a monstrous crime” could very well be an accurate translation.  All humans bear the image of God, and therefore are not mythical and frightening entities.  And yet the act of killing an unborn child is the sort of thing a monster would do, if monsters did, in fact, exist.  So, to say abortion is “almost a monstrous crime” was a rather powerful turn of phrase.  Intensely condemning, while not hyperbolic.


Trump Derangement Syndrome is Powerful

A Leftist “never-Trumper” posted a series of photos online, edited to selectively change the context of the images.  The stated goal was to highlight “Trumps lack of certain genuine/normal human qualities, such as compassion and empathy.”  I replied with my own collection of photos, selectively chosen so as to prove the exact opposite point.  As my caption I added, “Photos don’t always tell the story the way that we might think that they do.”

The Leftist’s retort was to be angry that I restricted my comments to his original post (and didn’t take the bait to slide down numerous rabbit holes in the various comment threads), and also add: “Troy…duh.  This is much more about the fact that the images do succinctly capture and convey Trump’s general lack of certain genuine/normal human qualities, such as compassion and empathy.”

Avoiding the temptation to join the Leftist in his snark, I responded:

I’m a big fan of compassion, to be sure.  It is one of the very important things we should all aspire to have.  It is also one of the very important things we should seek to have in our chosen leaders.  But, duh (to use your word), life and leadership are much more complex than just this one thing.  If we sought out a list of the ten most compassionate presidents in US history, we’d likely find listed the likes of John Adams, Abe Lincoln, and Harry Truman.  All pretty darn good presidents, most agree.  But we’d also likely find listed the likes of John Quincy Adams, James Garfield, and Jimmy Carter.  All good men, but mediocre (at best) presidents.  I am not a Trump acolyte, but I’m willing to try to demonstrate compassion and empathy toward the man.  I wish we could all more consistently do so (myself included).

I’m not defending nor attacking the president.  I’m merely suggesting that giving hugs to a few people is not an indication of success in getting the job done.  The people living along the Gulf of Mexico might have liked a hug, but what they need is tangible help.  Will President Trump prove to be a pretty good president with regard to the federal government’s response to Hurricane Harvey?  Too early to tell… hugs or no hugs.  But I sure hope so.

I haven’t been responding to the whole thread, but rather to the initial post.  Three pictures of hugs and one picture of no hugs.  I apologize if I misinterpreted your post to be about hugs or no hugs when the entire post was about pictures of hugs or no hugs.


Many blessings to you,

Pastor Troy Skinner