Since Timothy and I are very busy getting ready for Christmas, we decided to put up a couple of my yuletide posts from our archives. I wrote both of these devotions in 2014. Here’s the first one, and the second will be up next Tuesday. Enjoy, and merry Christmas!

“No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”
–Matthew 5:15-16 (NLT)

I’ve always loved the song “Little Drummer Boy”. I’ve been hearing it a lot these days, and I love listening to its message again and again.

If you remember, the song is about a young boy whose friends tell him they are bringing their best gifts to Jesus Christ, who has just been born. The boy becomes very sad, because he is very poor and he believes that nothing he can give will please the Christ child. Suddenly he is inspired to play his drum, and he puts on his best show for Jesus. At the end of the performance, Jesus smiles at the drummer boy. The simple and humble gift of music has brought Jesus great pleasure.

Sometimes we also believe our God-given talents and abilities won’t be satisfactory. We’re afraid we won’t perform well enough to please those around us, or even ourselves. But I believe that since our natural gifts and talents have been given to us by God, He will always be pleased when we “perform” for Him.

In the Bible verses which open this devotion, Jesus encourages people to perform good deeds, instead of hiding their heads in the sand. I believe the same is true of our natural abilities. We should never be afraid to display our gifts in the sight of God.

I encourage you to think about all the talents you were born with. Maybe you’re good at writing or music or computer skills. Some other natural gifts may be intangible; you may be great at listening, giving advice, or performing kindnesses for others. Whatever your best abilities may be (and we all have more than one), find some way to let them shine this week. And if you’re never publicly recognized for your gifts, remember that God loves you and everything that you do, whether you get any worldly praise or not.

Thank you for reading this, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please visit and click on the Donate Now link. You can also send donations by mail to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 377 E. Chapman Ave., Suite 260, Placentia, CA 92870. Finally, you’re always welcome to join our Monday night Bible study or Tuesday night prayer meeting. Both are conducted by conference call, and they take place at 5:30 PM Arizona time. Our conference number is 712-775-7031, and our ID is 607518748. We hope to talk with you soon!

If you have questions, comments or prayer requests for Timothy or Stephanie Burdick, please call 507-369-6861.