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Phoenix, Arizona

We had a great time is Phoenix on December 10. It shows, doesn’t it?!

Shreveport, Louisiana

Thanks for being amazing hosts on December 6th, Bossier City and Shreveport!

Columbus, Mississippi

After 4-hour drive from our last stop, we found ourselves in a town right near the Mississippi – Alabama state line: Columbus, Mississippi. The tour team was met with a very warm welcome in “The Friendly City”. Something about small towns always makes me feel so loved and welcomed.

Since the weather was nearing the 30’s this evening, our hot cocoa hosts decided to go full postal, and deliver cocoa to each and every storefront on Main Street. It was a beautiful sight to see folks who weren’t quite off work yet able to partake in the fellowship outside.

In the Bible, we know that Jesus’ life was centered fellowship. As a newborn baby He was already gathering people from far away lands and diverse backgrounds to a single place where they could all partake in the miracle of His birth. He invited people to the Kingdom of God, a space where (and when) all are truly equal and experiencing grace. The Kingdom of God can definitely be experienced in Columbus, MS. So many genuinely kind people call this town their home, and our team was sad to say “goodbye.” Our volunteers were a blessing because they demonstrated intentional kindness to extend a season’s greeting in the Leadership Plaza. Even if the air was chilly, the hearts of our volunteers and guests were warmed with love and acceptance.

Thank you so much to everyone at First Columbus United Methodist Church who made this event the talk of the town.

Peace,

Paul

Baltimore, Maryland

Christmas was not given to us to be a burden. The advent of Christ’s birth was initially proclaimed using words like joy and peace. That Christmas has become something that makes many of us tense up in the shoulders is a relatively modern development.

I thought about that first Christmas night quite a bit while we handed out cocoa and joy in Baltimore on November 29.  Continue Reading

Columbus Ohio

We’ve been conditioned to be skeptical of free. That’s conditioning is probably the biggest barrier we face in dong events on the True Meaning of Christmas Tour. Nobody really seems bothered by our Christmas imagery or music. They aren’t turned off by our blessings of “merry Christmas!” People are simply weirded out that we want to give them hot cocoa.

There has to be a catch, right? Continue Reading

Fairview Heights, IL

When does Christmastime start for you? We’ve all experienced that in the commercial world, the Christmas season starts the day after Halloween. In the music universe, the Christmas season starts the day after Thanksgiving–when some radio stations switch to Christmas programming.

When does it start for you? When does the Christmas spirit become real for you? When do you allow yourself to get in the Christmas mood?

Continue Reading